100 Things to Do in Kerala

Kerala, the land of eternal charm lures people from every corner of the globe to its bosom. The people who have visited this destination have gone back wistfully, because, the energy they felt while touring this place can never be replicated by any other. Kerala is like the nectar that breathes fresh life into tired souls, so if you are looking for a vacation that will rejuvenate your mind, body and soul, come right here – to God’s Own Country, Kerala.

Plan your itinerary for Kerala Tours by looking at the 100 things that you can do here:

1. Stay in a Kerala Houseboat:

Houseboats at Kerala BackwatersA cruise on Kerala houseboat is a must thing to do, when you visit Kerala. It is usually the first thing that tourists opt for; but sometimes they just overlook this awesome experience. Floating on the waters, enjoying the lush surroundings, watching the village life of Kerala; it is simply incredible. This is how you get to experience the real pulse of Kerala. As you explore Kerala Backwaters, you will find nature entwined in all aspects of day-to-day life!
Enjoy the unique ecosystem of the backwaters when you are cruising on it. You can read our article series on Kerala backwaters to know more about this distinctive geographic formation found rarely on earth.

2. Participate in a Theyyam Festival:

TheyyamTheyyam dressed up as Vishnu Moorthy : Image by freebird (bobinson) via flickr

One of the traditional art forms of Kerala and performed in the Malabar region of Kerala. Theyyam is a form of dance where people dress up as deities and dance along to the tunes of a story. The colorful costume is one of the things that attract most people to this art form and of course, the soulful, vibrant dance. I am sure you will love this.

3. Replenish the Aura Around Your Body: Go for an Ayurvedic Massage

ayurvedic-massage

Visit an Ayurvedic centre or a spa (some resorts and hotels have that inside their property) and indulge in a full-body replenishing therapy. A variety of herbs and therapeutic oils are used to nourish the aura around your body. Once you are done with the massages and treatments, you will be ready to take on the world.

4. Working Out the Traditional Treadmill (aka Water Wheel):

Farmer working on his water wheelFarmer working on his water wheel : Image by Arayil via flickr

When you visit Kerala, you must ask the local farmer on the paddy fields to let you ride the traditional water wheel. And yes, it sure can be doubled up as your treadmill! This machine is being used from the ancient times to irrigate the paddy fields here. When you are riding the spokes, it is like riding the treadmill. Excellent for an early morning workout!

5. Walking Along the Paddy Fields:

Once you finish with the treadmill, you must walk along the paddy field, breathe in the fresh air, hear the chirping of birds – it is a different experience that can never be duplicated by any other.

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6. How About Trying to Cross a Makeshift Coconut Bridge?

The makeshift coconut bridge Makeshift Coconut Bridge : Image by sraj via flickr

There are exciting looking coconut bridges along the streams and rivers in the villages. Ask your tourist guide to take you to such a village and walk along the narrow coconut bridge. You can also watch the villagers cross the bridge with perfect balance.

7. Riding the Traditional Country Boat:

Country Boat Ride

While in the village, hire a traditional country boat (the ones without the motor) and go for an enchanting boat ride. Observe the life of the people as you float on the canoe and enjoy the shade of the slanting coconut trees and surrounding green foliage.

8. Taste Tapioca and Fish  

mashed kappa

Image by Mikhail Esteves via flickr

This is one of the traditional delicacies of Kerala and if you go back without savoring the taste of Tapioca with a spicy fish dish, you are seriously missing something.

9. Take a Sip of Sweet Toddy:

Tasting Sweet ToddySipping Toddy at Kerala : Image by smee_me via flickr

 A trip to Kerala will be incomplete if you leave without tasting the sweet toddy. Known here as Madura Kallu, toddy is extracted from the coconut trees. Take a swig with some spicy pickles or traditional Kerala dishes like Duck roast and Kareemeen fry.

10. Climb a Coconut Tree:

Climbing Coconut TreeClimbing Coconut Tree: Image by Manojk

Want to have a aerial view of Kerala? Then climb a coconut tree! If you are thrilled on climbing the coconut tree yet uncertain, there are professional climbers who will help you with it. They have machines that help in climbing the coconut trees. Now isn’t that going to be the highlight of your tour?

 11. Wear the Traditional Kerala Outfit:

Wearing Traditional OutfitWearing Traditional Outfit : Image by jeffkole via flickr

When you visit Kerala, try wearing the traditional dress; Mundu-Shirt if you are a man and the Kerala set saree if you are a woman. If you plan to visit any temple in Kerala, then this is the ideal attire for that.

12. Enjoy Bamboo Rafting:

Bamboo Rafting Thekkady
This is not like boating at all. When you visit the forest reserves of Kerala, like in Periyar Reserve, Thekkady; you can go for bamboo rafting. Enjoy the exotic scenery, the flora and fauna while riding on these bamboo rafts.

13. Go for Ox Racing (Kaalapoottu)!

Kaalapoottu, OX Race in Kerala

This is held in Kerala villages during the harvest season. Kaalapoottu, the agrarian sport of Kerala, is quite a thrilling experience. This is in fact a competition between oxen conducted in a waterlogged paddy field.

14. Participate in Onam Festival:

Onam is a splendid festival held every year in Kerala. Though it is a Hindu festival, all the people of the state celebrate it at a lavish scale. It is in way the harvest festival of Kerala. This festival is held in the loving memory of the famous king, Mahabali who once ruled Kerala. Legend says he was thrust down to the bowels of the earth by Vamanan, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. But he was granted a boon by Vishnu that he can revisit his country once a year. And his annual sojourn to Kerala is celebrated as Onam festival by his beloved people!

There are a number of activities that you can do during the Onam season in Kerala. Below, I am listing few of them.

15. Go for Vallamkali (Snake Boat race):

Aranmula boat race

 The boat race in Kerala, called the “Vallamkkali” is a major event that is held every year during the August-September months, especially during Onam. Snake boats are used for these boat races. Aranmula Boat Race, conducted in Allapuzha backwaters is the oldest among them. The powerfully brilliant performance of the competitors is in perfect tune with the rhythm of the waves through which they thrash and charge forward. There are special Vallamkali songs sung during these races to motivate the oarsmen!

Thithithara Thi Thi Thai Thi Thai ThakaThaiThaiThom……..

16. Design a Pookkalam (Flower Carpet):

Pookalam Pookalam : Image by Rameshng via flickr

‘Pookalam’ – a beautiful arrangement made with flowers, colored powder and chalks on the floor. This is one of the major events during Onam. You can make gorgeous designs and then click photos of your creativity.

 17.  Go Along with Pulikkali Day Float:

PulikkaliPullikali Procession : Image by Felix Francis via flickr

It is a colorful float held during Onam and something you must see. Performers dressed up Puli (tiger) and dancing to the tone is the major attraction. You can also see colorfully dressed up performers depicting the important scenes in Kerala history perform for hours at a stretch.

18. Eating the Onam Sadya (Feast):

Onam SadyaOnam Sadya : Image by George Augustine via flickr

Made with sumptuous recipes consisting of sweet, sour, spicy and tangy dishes, you must eat the Onam sadya(feast), at least once in your lifetime. All 21 dishes are laid out in a clean banana leaf on the floor and you eat with your hand. It is something you must experience.

19. Onam Games:

Plenty of games are held during the Onam period. Known as ‘Onakkali’, this is another significant part of Onam and must never be missed. Socialize, play games and go back happy and refreshed.

20. Onathallu: 

Onathallu is a special kind of art form were the participants where the participants beat themselves to absolve them of their sins. This is also a major event during Onam. It is quite fascinating to watch.

21. Ride Like a King – Elephant Safari:

Elephant Safari

 One of the exciting things people can do while in Kerala is to go for an elephant safari through the wildlife sanctuaries. It is a different feeling and you must not miss it.

22. Be There for Thrissur Pooram:

Elephants at  Trichur Pooram

One of the most famous temple festivals in the whole state; and the fame of Thrissur Pooram have spread beyond the state boundaries. The festival is usually held during the month of April-May, in Thrissur district. The festival is believed to be attended by the reigning deities of all the temples nearby. That fact induces a competitive spirit among the participants making the festival even more energetic than ever. There are many events conducted during these days. I will list some of them below.

23. Elephant Pageant and Kudamattom ( Part of Thrissur Pooram Events):

There is a beautiful procession where more than 50 elephants participate, and the magnificent creatures are decked and adorned in a beautiful fashion. These elephants with specially crafted ornaments like Nettipattam (gold plated caparisons) and necklaces are indeed sight to behold. The Kudamattom (exchanging glittering umbrellas) ceremony conducted along with this, will make your visit worthwhile!

25. Enjoy the Ilanjithara Melam ( Part of Thrissur Pooram Events):

Seeing the music, between the gaps ..

Ilanjithara Melam : Image by inderSTADT via flickr

It is a major segment during Pooram. The music weaved by the rising crescendo of 250 instruments is highly excitable and orgasmic!

25. Visit Chamayam Exhibition ( Part of Thrissur Pooram Events):

The exhibitions form another major part of the Pooram. You can feel the spirit of the festival when you look at the stunning ornaments displayed at the chamayam exhibition. The glory, pomp and show of the festival will keep your spirits alive, so a visit to the exhibition is a must.

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26. Fireworks ( Part of Thrissur Pooram Events): 

Fireworks Thrissur Pooram

The sample and the original fireworks conducted during the wee hours of the morning draw large crowds every year during Pooram. Sure, you might be emotionally and physically drained after participating in the festival during the daytime, but missing the fireworks is like missing out on the dessert after a sumptuous feast.

Fireworks are an integral part of all temple and church festivals in Kerala.

27. See an Ottamthullal Performance:

ottamthullalOttamthullal performance: Image by freebird (bobinson) via Flickr

This satirical solo performance by dancers is another major art form in Kerala. You can visit the Kerala Kalamandalam to see Ottamthullal performances at its best!

28. Take a Bullock Cart Rides:

Bullock carts

Bullock cart in rain : Image by dotcompals via flickr

You can see plenty of bullock cart’s as you travel along Kerala villages. And you can ask one of the villagers to give you a ride! It will be bumpy but exciting. Go for it on your next Kerala tour.

29.  Visit Tribal Villages:

The Jenu Kurubas

Tribal Dance  : Image by  saish746 via flickr

In Kerala, there are 48 tribal communities. Most of them are primarily seen in the deep forest areas along the western ghats. They have many customs and rituals which are quite fascinating. Your tour operator can arrange a tribal visit for you to enjoy their unique lifestyle.

30. Visiting the Mother – Mata Amritanandamayi:

Mata AmritanandamayiMata Amritanandamayi : Image by Hari Images via flickr

She is considered to be the universal mother who showers unconditional love on anyone irrespective of caste, creed or sex. Her ashram at Vallikkavu in Kollam is always filled to the brim with devotees from all over the world. You must visit her and feel her divine love washing over your entire soul as you will never get this feel from anywhere else in the world.

31. Take a ferry ride from Marine Drive :

Marine Drive CochinMarine Drive Cochin: Image by Dhruvaraj S via flickr

You can walk along the Marine Drive, munch peanuts and watch the ships come and go. You must also take a ferry ride offered from the Marine Drive and reach Fort Kochi. You will be struck by the beauty of the scenery and also enjoy the copulation of the sea with the backwaters.

32. Stay in a Tree House:

Tree House in KeralaTree House in Kerala : Image by The MacKay Way via flickr

Do you like to live in a tree house?  That too in the middle of the jungle…? Kerala has some exclusive jungle resorts which will offer you just that with enough safety. You can practically see the animals in their natural habitat. Built with eco-friendly materials, you will be able to have a wonderful and relaxing holiday enjoying the scenery, watching the animals and listening to the different melodies of the birds.

33. Watch  Kalarippayattu Performance: 

kalaripayattu

It is a different kind of martial art form where you can see a amazing blend of Judo, Kung Fu and Karate. This ancient form of art was once part of Kerala warfare. Get ready to be mesmerized by the brilliant performance of Kalarippayattu.

34. Trekking Through the Forests:

Trekking in Periyar Reserve

Through the Periyar Tiger Reserve : Image by  Sen Lek Naam via flickr

A hike through the forests of Kerala will get you acquainted with the prevalent species of flora and fauna. Watching the animals and birds in their natural habitat will certainly be an enriching experience, so go for one in your next Kerala holidays.

35. How About One Night Jungle Camping?

It is surely for the most adventurous as one need to be extra vigilant and agile. Wild elephants will be roaming through most of Kerala forest areas.  Gavi tourism department offers a camping package with neceassry camping gears, travel guides and helpers.

36.Visiting the Mosque Dedicated to a Muslim Lady:

BeemapalliBeemapalli Mosque : Image by eeko via flickr

This mosque, called the Beemapalli, is a shrine dedicated to the memory of a devout Muslim lady, Beema Beevi, who they say had extraordinary powers. This mosque is very close to Trivandrum, on the way to Shangumugham beach. Visit the mosque as there are plenty of things to see and buy around the mosque.

37. Visiting the Crocodiles at Neyyar:

Crocodiles at Neyyar

 Crocodile Rehabilitation and Research Centre at Neyyar is a crocodile breeding centre run by the government. Tourists are allowed to watch these amazing animals and it is fast becoming a popular picnic spot.

38. Buy Some Spices of Kerala:

Kerala from the very early times is known for its exotic spices. You must take home some of these spices while visiting Kerala. Adding them to your recipes will definitely make it zing.

39. See Chinese Fishing Nets:

Chinese Nets Seen at Ashtamudi LakeChinese Nets Seen on the Banks of Ashtamudi Lake: Image by albert via flickr

You know that Kerala had strong trade links with China in the past and you can see evidence of the same when you see the Chinese fishing nets. You can see them along the Kerala backwaters. It is so lovely, especially during the early mornings and late evenings.

40. Visit Vadakkumnathan and Paramekkavu temples:

Paramekkavu TempleParamekkavu Temple:  Image by sreeshree via flickr

These are the two of the major temples in Thrissur and they play a major role during Thrissur Pooram. The magnificent architecture of Vadakkunathan temple dedicated to Lord Shiva will amaze you.

41. Thiruvambady Temple :

This is another important temple in Kerala which is dedicated to Lord Krishna. If you are a fan of the lord, visit the temple at Thrissur.

42.  Go for a Village Tour:

village-scene-from-nemmara

Kerala is more beautiful as you go and explore the rural villages. You can ask your travel organizer to arrange one when you plan your Kerala trip.

43. Do a Farm Visit:

You can go a farm tour when you are in Kerala and experience  Kerala’s farm practices and methods. There is home-stay facility in many of these farms.

44.  Now Some Exotic Shopping:

If you are looking for Oriental rugs, bronze sculptures and exotic jewelry, you can go to Jews Street in Mattancherry (Cochin). Some good antique gallery and shops are also there.

45. Visit Greenix Village:

This is a place in Fort Kochi where you can savor several art forms of Kerala under one roof. Must visit place for a art lover.

46. Watching the Birds at the Mangalavanom:

If you love watching migrating birds, there is one such place that breeds them. You can visit the same while touring Kochi; it is right beside the High Court of Kerala.

47. Visiting the Guruvayoor Temple:
Guruvayoor Temple
The Guruvayoor Sri Krishna Temple near Thrissur is one of the most important temples in Kerala. Though it is not open all the time for devotees, just being in the vicinity of the temple is certainly inspiring.

48. Stopover at Punnathoor Kotta:

Guruvayoor Elephant Camp

If you love elephants and want to spend some time with these magnificent creatures, and then visit Punnathoor Kotta , 3km away from Guruvayoor Sri Krishna Temple. This elephant camp houses more than 60 elephants.

49. Pop in at Guruvayur Devaswom Institute of Mural Painting:

If you love murals, you can observe how they are done when you visit this institute. The ‘Gurukulam’ system of teaching is still observed at this place.

50. Watch Kathakali Performance:

Kathakali

 This traditional dance drama form of Kerala is globally enjoyed. It takes an artist 4-5 hours to apply complete makeup for a particular show and is quite fascinating to watch. Definitely worth a few clicks in your camera.
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51. Savoring a Sumptuous Breakfast:

Kerala Foods - Puttu

Puttu : Image by smruthy via Flickr

Perhaps, you have never had time to eat a leisurely breakfast back home, especially when you are running to meet deadlines. But when in Kerala you must treat yourself to elaborate Kerala breakfasts (no breads and cereals, please) like “puttu” and banana, “puttu” and chana curry, “vellayappam” and stew, various varieties of steaming “dosas” and “idlis”, “oothappams” and so on.

Do you still feel like going back to cereals when you get back home?

52. Take Home Coconut Tree Products:

Coconut tree productsCoconut tree Products: Image by  Denish C via flickr

Buy some of the unique products derived or produced from the raw materials that we get from the coconut trees. Coconut oil, coconut toddy, coconut wood products, coconut shell products, raw kernel, coconut leaves products and Coir mats are some of the Coconut stuff you can take home.

53. Participate in Vishu:

SONY DSC

 Image by aroon_kalandy via flickr

 Another significant festival of Kerala held during the month of April (mostly on the 14th, 15th or 16th, depending on the day when the new Malayalam month begins).  It is also the beginning of a new year of Malayalam Calendar( the Kolla Varsham). The festival is celebrated to commemorate the rich harvest from the paddy fields.

You should try to take part in the Vishukani ceremony. The elder woman in the family prepares the Kani in front of the Lord Vishnu (sometimes Lord Krishna also), the night before. Long before sunrise on that day, you will be woken up and made to see this display before anything else. It is said to bring good luck and fortune.

54. Munching on Special ‘Naddan’ Crispy Snacks:

There are some Naddan (local) crispy snacks, found only in Kerala like the “Murukku”, banana chips, tapioca chips, jackfruit chips and so on. Do try them when you are in Kerala.

55. Drinking Pure Honey :

When you visit the “Adivasi” tribal villages in the forests of Kerala, they will gift you with pure honey; the taste is so divine, that you will know the difference instantly. Don’t forget to buy a bottle to take home.

56. Buying Kerala Earthen Pots:

Fish curry

Fish Curry in Earthen Pot Kerala: Image by dewsandwaves via flickr

If you like Kerala recipes, you must buy some earthen pots; recipes made in them have a very special taste. Especially the traditional Kerala style fish curries cooked in them are simply delicious!

57. Visit at least one Waterfall in Kerala:

Athirappilly Waterfalls

 Athirappally, Vazhachal, Thommankuth, Palaruvi, Cheeyappara and Thusharagiri…so goes the list of beautiful waterfalls in Kerala. Take time to visit at least one when you are in Kerala. The beauty of the cascading waters will definitely rejuvenate your soul and calm your senses.

58. Eating at Roadside Kiosks:

Kerala is famed for its “Thattukadas” or roadside kiosks where you can eat sumptuous dishes with relish. You don’t have to wait for your food; you enter, you order, you eat.

59. Go for Adventure Tours in Kerala:

Paragliding in Kerala

 With adventure tourism, you can join in adrenaline driven activities like rock climbing, paragliding, mountaineering and water sports too.  There are many amazing places in Kerala for indulging in these activities.

60. How About Watching a Malayalam Movie?

Kerala cafeKerala Cafe Movie Poster: Image by P R I T H V I R A J via flickr

Malayalam movies have heartwarming stories and most of them speak about the current society issues. Some of them are internationally admired and have won awards and recognitions.

61. Visit Jewish Synagogue at Parur (Paravur):

Jewish Synagogue at North Paravur

One of the oldest synagogue (recently restored) in the country is located in North Parur, Cochin (20 kilometers from Cochin city). This area had the largest populace of ‘Cochin Jews’ before they converted to Syrian Christians in the first century.

62. See the Dazzling Sunset at Fort Kochi

Sunset at Fort Kochi

No visitor to Kerala can go back without visiting Fort Kochi. You must spend an evening at the place and observe the amazing sunset; it is certainly refreshing and rejuvenating.

63. Trekking by the waterfalls:

Trekking through the WaterfallsTrekking Along the Waterfalls in Gavi Forests, Kerala: Image by -RejiK via flickr

If you really feel like having some risky adventures in Kerala, then go for trekking through the waterfalls. Kerala has many beautiful waterfalls cascading through rocky ridges. Not only is it a feast to the eyes, but it is also a different kind of adventure that you will remember forever. Get proper trekking gear suitable for water hiking and do hire a native guide for your trekking expedition.

64. Visiting the Idukki  Hydroelectric Power Station 

The power station is not open to public always but once or twice in a year. You need to special pass for visiting the power plant. But you can visit the Idukki dam which is the largest arch dam in Asia. It is constructed between two hills- Kuravanmala and Kurathimala.

65. Check Out the Beautiful Dams in Kerala

Thenmala Dam

Kerala has over 30 dams built across the 40 rivers crisscrossing the state. These dams are mainly constructed for electricity and irrigation purposes. Most of the dams and dam reservoirs are set in beautiful scenery with mountain ranges in the backdrop.

66. Touring Munnar:

Munnar Tea GardensMunnar : Image by Bimal K C via flickr

You must visit this exotic hill station filled with beautiful scenery and thriving tea estates. Panoramic views of the mountains and valleys, gushing waterfalls, beautiful green landscape – enjoy it all when you are staying in Munnar.

67. Hearing the Echo – at EchoPoint, Munnar

Like to hear a perfect echo of your voice? Then you must visit the Echo Point in Munnar and give it a try.

68. See the Rare Niligiri Tahr (Munnar)

Nilgiri Tahr Kid

This is a special kind of deer found abundantly only in this part of the world. You have to queue up to visit the Eravikulam National Park where they are found and go on a little trekking.  But these Tahrs are well worth the effort.

69. Handicraft Shopping:

Kerala HandicraftsKerala Handicrafts: Image by dietmut via flickr

Kerala is famous for its specially made handicrafts. I am sure you will love visiting these Kerala handicraft shops, as you will find lots of interesting artifacts, small curios, sculptures, mats, Kitchen utensils – and these you will see only in Kerala.

70. Drinking the Elaneer (Tender Coconut):

Drinking Tender CoconutDrinking Tender Coconut : Image by  karmadude via flickr

 This is the freshest coconut drink available. It is a refreshing drink and you can scrape the insides of the coconut (after you drink the juice) and savor the sweet flesh – that is the perfect recipe for beating fatigue.

71. How about trying a hand in fishing?

Fishing - kerala

Casting net along the shallow sea shore: Image by Rajeshnair via flickr

Kerala is famous for its fish bounty. Being a coastal state and having more than 40 rivers, Kerala backwater stretches and dams spread from one end to the other, Kerala is now a sought after fish and seafood destination. You can try fishing the traditional way by casting nets or using Chinese fishing nets set up all through the backwaters. You can ask the local fishermen for help. Fishing rods are also available…but that will sometimes try your patience! For the daring, you can accompany the fishing trawlers going to the deep sea for fishing. You might need to take special permission for that.

72. Visit Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple:

Sree Padmanabha swamy templeSree Padmanabha Swamy Temple: Image by bijoy mohan via flickr

It is one of the most famous Hindu temples in Thiruvananthapuram with a huge deity of a reclining Lord Vishnu. Seeing the Lord through the three windows of the main entrance will elevate you spiritually. Even if you cannot enter the temple, you must see and enjoy the sculptures that form a major part of the temple. There are pillars that depict all the incarnations of the Lord Vishnu and the pillars on the four corners gives off seven tunes, called ‘Saptaswarangal’ when tapped.  Don’t miss it.

73. Go to Napier Museum (Thiruvananthapuram) :

Located near the center of the city, Napier Museum consists of an art gallery and history museum coupled together. It contains an interesting collection of art and history representing the past of Kerala.

74. Pop in at Kanakakunnu Palace :

Kanakakunnu PalaceKanakakunnu Palace, Trivandrum: Image by Mujib via flickr

Located near the Napier Museum in Kanakakunnu Palace, you will enjoy a magnificent building that was built by the kings of Travancore. The sprawling grounds and the small hill surrounding the palace add to the charm.

75. Take a Stroll through the Trivandrum Zoo

Trivandrum zooMonkeys at Trivandrum Zoo: Image by CAR0LYN via flickr

One of the two zoos’ in the state, Trivandrum Zoo is a walk-through zoo which is landscaped and maintained to give animals a natural setting. Visitors can walk around the park leisurely at their own pace enjoying the exotic animals from around the world. This is located near to the Napier Museum. The other zoo in the state is in Trichur district and is smaller in size.

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76. Try Bananas:

Since Kerala has a variety of banana- red, yellow and green; you must try out the various dishes made from them. They are simply divine.

77. Participate in Fairs and Festivals:

Cherpu Pooyam - Poo Kavadi

Poo Kavadi, snap shot from a temple festival: Image by Abhi Viswam via flickr

There are so many fairs held in conjunction with church and temple festivals. The colorful array of shops induces you to buy some beautiful curios, bangles, balloons and the yummy local dishes. The colorful Kavadi processions, elephant pageants and the fireworks make these festivals very interesting!

78. Go to See at least One Wildlife Sanctuary 

Tiger at Wayanad Sanctuary

Kerala has 5 National Parks and 13 Wildlife Sanctuaries and all of them are in the midst of tropical evergreen forests. Kerala can be called the paradise for nature lovers. Watching the wildlife in the natural habitat is pure bliss. The surrounding scenery makes it all the more enticing.

79. Extended Wildlife Tours:

The huge repository of endemic species of flora and fauna calls for an extensive tour of the forests of Kerala. There are conducted week long tours for Wildlife enthusiasts and photographers to go deep into the forest. You will get specially trained guides and local people to help you as part of the package. [Only opt for Government approved package tours as special permission is needed for going deep into the forest]

80. Visiting a Nalukketu, Kerala Ancestral Home:

Chazhur Kovilakam Nalukettu

 Explore Nalukettu style Kerala Tharavadu (ancestral family home), and gaze at the amazing architecture. The inner courtyard, the wooden works and long portico makes it remarkable. The special way the tiles are laid in the roof makes the house feel cool always.

81. Go for a Spice Garden Tour:

Spice Garden in Kerala

Kerala Spices : Image by quami77 via flickr

Kerala is also often referred as ‘Land of spices’. There are huge spice gardens and plantations in different parts of the state, mostly in hilly regions. You can plan a spice garden tour to see how these spices are planted and nurtured. Take home some aromatic spices and treat your nostrils to the best.

82. Savoring the Payasam:

payasam         Badam Payasam: Image by rosemilkinabottle via flickr

Kerala is known for its sumptuous varieties of payasams, a dessert made with rice, sugar, milk, jaggery, wheat, dal, banana and so on. You can relish “pal (milk and raw rice) payasam”, “parippu (dal) payasam”, “palada pradhaman” (kheer), “pazham (banana) payasam”, “semiya” (vermicilli) payasam, “gothambu” (wheat) payasam and so on.

83. Explore the Bakel Fort at Kasargod

Bakel_Fort_KasaragodBakel Fort: Image by Vinayaraj via Wikipedia

This ancient time fort got famous after it got featured in some movies and albums especially after the film “Bombay” by Mani Ratnam in 1995. Bakel is the largest fort in Kerala and there is a beach adjacent to it. The fort is kind of protruding to the sea and that makes the scenery from the fort truly awesome!

84. Stopover at the Pre-historic Caves at Edakkal:

Candle-Light-Dinner-at-Edakkal-caveCandlelit Dinner at Edakkal Caves : Image by നിരക്ഷരൻ via Wikipedia

The Edakkal caves are pretty interesting for visitors, especially with its sense of deep history. The pictorial writings and the cave painting show evidence of early human settlement from Neolithic era. There is a resort [Edakkal Hermitage] built near the caves and you can enjoy a candle lit dinner right in one of the caves!

85. Pay a Visit to Kappad Beach:

This is the historic spot where the great Vasco De Gama arrived for the first time in 1498 with his three vessels. Kappad beach is located at about 11 kms from Kozhikode city. The scenic, sun basked beaches are ideal for sunbathing and swimming.

86. How About Trying Parrot Astrology?

The Fortune Teller

The Fortune Teller: Image by Prithwirajthesaha via flickr

Would you like to have your future told by occult prediction? If yes, then you must have them foretold by visiting this fascinating group of people who actually originated from Tamil Nadu, but continue to practice in certain regions of Kerala. You will see them in the beaches, exhibitions grounds and temple festivals. Sometimes you will see them in small booths set up near the temples.

87. Take a Dip and Wash Away Your Sins!

It is believed that taking a dip in the Sea at Papanasam  beach, Varkala can wash away one’s sins. Hence it got the name Papanasam which means ‘redemption of sins’ in Malayalam. Varkala has a cliff side beach too lying adjacent to Papanasam beach. It also has natural mineral water springs close by; go to Varkala and rejuvenate your body, mind and soul.

88. Visit Padmanabhapuram Palace:

Padmanabhapuram PalacePadmanabhapuram Palace Entrance: Image by Aviatorjk via Wikipedia

 A 16th century palace, this magnificent structure was the official residence of the Maharaja of Travancore then. It is close to Tamil Nadu in distance and is located more than 50 kilometers away from Thiruvananthapuram city. It evokes the grandeur of the once powerful kingdom of Travancore.

89. Pay a Visit to the Muziris Heritage Project Locations:

TabulaPeutingerianaMuziris 4th century Tabula Peutingeriana (Peutinger Map)

If Kerala history fascinates you, then you will be thrilled to visit Pattanam, near North Parur, a town that lived in glory centuries ago. The Government has initiated this project that will protect the monuments of a bygone era. You can visit this website to know more: http://www.keralatourism.org/muziris/introduction.php

90. Home Stays in Kerala:

Emerald Isle a kerala backwaters homestay

Emerald Isle a kerala backwaters homestay : Image by ellisonroberts.co.uk via flickr

It was a normal practice for people to stay in hotels and B&Bs when they are on vacation. Of late, the idea of home stays has been picking up everywhere in the world. You must stay in a vacation rental that has self-catering facilities while touring Kerala. It will bring you closer to the friendly locals and learn a lot about the culture of the land.

91. Watch the Enchanting Mohiniyattom

Mohiniyattam Mohiniyattam performance by Smt. Sunanda Nair at Kochi: Image by Bobinson K B via Wikipedia

Mohiniyattom can be called Kerala’s own classical dance form. It is a dance form meant to enchant the onlookers. It is believed to be originated in the 16th century. But it developed into a main stream art form only in the 19th century; specifically under the patronage of Swathi Thirunal, the Maharaja of the state of Travancore.

92. Want to Take a Bath in the Mud?

Head over to Kavil Bhavan Yoga & Naturopathy hospital at Nileshwaram, Kerala and ascertain the healing powers of mud. The mud is said to calm the senses and stimulate the nerve centers of the body.

93. Go for a Train Trip Across Kerala

Thenmala Railbridge

 If you really want to see the different shades of Kerala life, you need to go for a train ride. Train journey from the south end Trivandrum to the north end Kasargod will let you enjoy the Kerala greenery, mountains and hill ranges, rivers, backwaters, paddy fields..the crowded platforms, villages and townships.. and of course meet lots of people!

94. Visit a Flower Show

White Flower

Flower Show: Image by sijeesh via flickr

Flowers shows are held in all the major towns in Kerala. Most of them are conducted in association with the District Agri-Horticulture Society. You will find different varieties of plants, flowers, medicinal plants, Bonsai, decorative plants from different parts of the country and abroad. You will also get agricultural and plant care products here.

95. Explore the Sun-Kissed Beaches of Kerala

Kollam,_KeralaKollam Beach: Image by Surajram Kumaravel via Flickr

Arabian Sea borders the west side of Kerala. So naturally, the state is dotted with many beautiful beach stretches along the Arabian coast. Some are very popular like the Kovalam beach, Fort Kochi, Varkala and Cherai beach but there are a dozen more unexplored beaches. You can plan an exclusive beach tour while you are in Kerala…but be prepared for the hot sun!!!

96. Savor the Sweets

Kozhikode is famous for sweets and Haluvas. There is even a street in Kozhikode named Mithai Theruvu which means ‘Sweet Street’. Give yourself a treat with juicy Jelebies, Milk Pedas and Haluvas.

97.  Buy Traditional Gold Jewelry

Traditional Kerala Jewellery

Image by John Perivolaris via Flickr

Have you seen Kerala brides decked up in gold ornaments? It really doesn’t matter which religion or economic class one belong to, all women here love to dress up with gold jewelry. You will find a zillion jewelry stores..from small to big; from specialized in antique to kids all across the state.

98. Taste the Kerala Special Recipes and Dishes

Untitled

Malabar Biriyani: Image by  subithb via flickr

Malabar Biriyani, Kerala Duck Roast, Karimeen Pollichathu, Nadan Fish Curry in Coconut Milk, Thoran, Pachadi…so goes the list of Kerala special recipes. There will be local specials also according to where you are in Kerala. Taste at least a few during your stay here.

99. Pay a Visit to Parassinkkadavu Snake Park

Small Indian cobra @ Parassinikkadavu snake park

Small Indian cobra @ Parassinikkadavu snake park: Image by  Abhi Viswam via flickr

Parassinkkadavu Snake Park is located in Kannur district and is about 16 kms from the Kannur town. This snake park is founded with the vision to preserve and protect all species of snakes with special care for those which are slowly becoming extinct. The park is home to many varieties of snakes including Spectacled Cobra, King Cobra, vipers and non-venomous species  like the pythons.

100. Relish the Kerala Monsoon – Get Soaked in the Rain!!!

Monsoon  Kerala - Pookotte Lake

Kerala Monsoon: Image by Noushad Bangalore via flickr

Last but not the least, get yourself soaked in the rain!! Its pure bliss..You will simply love it.. In the hectic schedule of life, we tend to ignore its charm and beauty that had always captured the interest of poets and artists alike. If you are visiting Kerala in the months from June – August, do that.

I might have missed some more things that you can do in Kerala..if you know one, do share in the comments. And also share your expereince while trying our suggestions. Love to hear your feedback.

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Note: Some images are from our collection while some are by awesome photographers who shared them via Flickr and other websites. We have used these images following the Flickr guidelines on photo sharing on blogs. Due credit is given under each image. If any of the copyright holders have any objection, please shoot a email to sunu at paradise-kerala.com, I will get the image removed.

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Article written by

I am the Inbound Marketing and Creative Head for Paradise Holidays, Cochin a Kerala based tour operator. I love reading, exploring places and trying out new dishes!

17 Responses

  1. Alex Mathew
    Alex Mathew at | | Reply

    Dear Ms. Sunu Philip,
    Really an amazing article by all the activities that could be enjoyed who visit Kerala! Herewith utilising this opportunity to thank you once more for such a detailed article which promotes people to visit the places.
    Best Regards
    Alex Mathew (Doha-Qatar)
    Thamarassery, Kozhikode

  2. Aparna
    Aparna at | | Reply

    My first visit to kerala was when I was 8 years old .I can’t forget the moment. After a long time next week I planned to visit with my friends for that I booked our bus.I am very Excited to visit there.

    1. Ratheesh R.Nath
      Ratheesh R.Nath at | | Reply

      thank you Madam

  3. Mrinal Das
    Mrinal Das at | | Reply

    Very nice article. And informative too.

    Regards,
    Mrinal Das
    Guwahati

  4. Guest Relations
    Guest Relations at | | Reply

    Amazing article and very informative Ma’am !

    Thanks and do look us up when you visit or recommend Munnar to visitors

    Regds,
    Jyothi
    Guest Relations

  5. Mdhuset
    Mdhuset at | | Reply

    WOW just what I was looking for. Came here by searching for All
    About Kerala Travel

  6. siva
    siva at | | Reply

    Very nice information, thank you

  7. kunjan mishra
    kunjan mishra at | | Reply

    It’s simply great….I organise my kerala trip with same paradise holiday and hope will not miss anyone….

  8. GAURAV KUMAR
    GAURAV KUMAR at | | Reply

    I came across this article by sheer chance. It is such a wonderful article that i would like to read it again and again. Thanks a ton Sunu.

    — Gaurav Kumar
    New Delhi

  9. Ajish
    Ajish at | | Reply

    Silent Valley National Park is inevitable. There are tour operators who can arrange trekking inside the forest. It will be an experience worth paying for.

  10. PURAO JITENDRA D.
    PURAO JITENDRA D. at | | Reply

    Its really amazing, lets see this year i am planning my visit to kerala ( to in laws house) during 1st week of June. Hope to enjoy during the rainy season.

    regards,

    Jitendra P.

  11. Piya S
    Piya S at | | Reply

    Thank you Ma’am……. your article made me love Kerala more.

Please comment with your real name using good manners.

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