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Kerala – the pristine gem of South India

by Victoria

Kerala, a state on India’s tropical Malabar Coast, has nearly 600km of Arabian Sea shoreline. The multicultural state of Kerala along India’s southwest coast is a land of sandy beaches, sleepy waters, rolling tea plantations, pristine wildlife sanctuaries and colorful festivals. Let’s explore this mysterious beautiful land.

Aranmula, the village of metal mirrors

The village of Aranmula is known for its fine metallurgy. Aranmula Kannadi, a handcrafted metal mirror in the village, is said to bring prosperity to the house. It’s one of eight auspicious items often on display at important functions, like weddings.

Beaches of Kerala

Beaches along the Kerala coastline from top to bottom, each offering a place to swim or soak up the sun. The water of Varkala Beach is said to be able to remove impurities in the body and the soul. This is one of the only beaches in Kerala that has imposing cliffs.

Kozhikode beach

Walk along Kozhikode Beach, and you will likely find vendors selling tea, snacks, ice cream, fresh fruit and seafood. The beach gets bustling in the evening, when Keralites come to watch the sunset from the sand.

A land of waterfalls

Kerala’s hilly landscape and abundant rainfall have given it some of the most stunning waterfalls in India, a total of 27 of them. Many of them, like this waterfall in Gavi, are ideal for a picnic lunch.

Experience the backwaters of Kerala

Tourists from all over the world and India come to Kerala to explore its serene backwaters. Board a traditional house boat – a thatched, wooden barge once used to carry rice and spices. About 500 of these boats operate only in the backwaters of Alappuzha.

Lighthouse beach

A 118-foot tall striped candy lighthouse on a rocky beach in Kovalam. The Vizhinjam Lighthouse, built in 1972, ranks among the region’s most popular attractions. Visitors can climb the spiral staircase or take the elevator to the top for a panoramic coastal view.

Munnar hill station

The Munnar hills, 5,200 feet above sea level, were once a cool summer resort that dates back to pre-British Raj. The hill station is known for its tea hills and many resorts that are loved by couples while enjoying their honeymoon.

Nilgiri Hills 

Every 12 years, the misty hills of the Western Ghats burst into color as the famous Neelakurinji flowers begin to bloom. Nilgiri Hills (‘Blue Mountains’ in Malayalam) takes its name from these purple-blue flowers.

Nilgiri tahr, the endangered mountain goat of Kerala

South India’s Western Ghats are also home to the Nilgiri tahr, a species of mountain goat endemic to the region. These animals thrive in the wet and icy meadows and the steep cliffs of Eravikulam National Park, home to the largest surviving population.

The Snake Temple of Peralassery

At the Sri Subrahmanya Temple in Peralassery, a famous pilgrimage site in Kerala, devotees come to honor the snake form of Lord Subrahmanya, son of Shiva, with an offering of eggs. The temple is open to people of all faiths and is known for its solid image and pond of the staircase.

The Granary of Kerala

The fertile plains, river valleys and forested hills of Palakkad (Kerala’s granary) make it a popular picnic and hiking destination. From the top of the watchtower looking down at the Siruvani Reservoir, you can see all the ways to Tamil Nadu.

Top Station

Top Station is located 5,577 feet above sea level and ranked among the most beautiful spots in Kerala. The area is a popular destination for hiking and camping, and the view on a clear day extends to the nearby state of Tamil Nadu.

Vizhinjam Harbor

The fishing village of Vizhinjam will become one of the largest ports in Kerala. Today, the town is better known for its harbor full of fishing boats and onshore aquariums.

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