Kerala is a state on India’s tropical Malabar Coast. Its beauty is unparalleled anywhere in the region, and, compared to the frenetic pace of much of India, it’s a welcome laid-back change for any visitor. Here are the top 10 things to do in this captivating destination.
Take a Trip Down the Backwaters on a Houseboat
Meandering down the tranquil backwaters in Alleppey on a houseboat is an essential part of any trip to Kerala, and once on the boat, you’ll be able to relax and enjoy the lush green landscape. The houseboats come in a variety of sizes and standards, so there’s something to suit every budget and group size.
Trivandrum, the capital of Kerala, has plenty to see and do. Napier museum is a great place to learn about the history of Kerala, while the Natural History Museum features fascinating displays of stuffed animals and birds. And that’s just for a start – there’s much more Trivandrum tourist information available online if you need it.
Spend the Day at the Beach
Kerla’s beaches aren’t as developed and crowded as Goa’s but they’re just as gorgeous. Spend the day relaxing at one of the many beaches in the area – Kovalam beach near Trivandrum is particularly nice.
Watch a Kathakali Performance
This ancient form of dance-drama is traditional to Kerala. The actors wear colourful face make-up and extravagantly designed costumes to perform mainly using their eyes and facial muscles. Performances are staged at the Cochin Cultural Centre.
Have an Ayurvedic Treatment
Ayurveda has been practiced in India for more than five thousand years. It’s particularly popular in Kerala so sign yourself up for some Ayurvedic rejuvenation therapy while you’re here.
Do a Spice Tour
Take a tour of a spice plantations in Munnar, Thekkady or Wayanad. While you’re there enjoy the tastes of some black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon and vanilla.
Or a Tea Tour
If spices don’t float your boat, then maybe tea does. Munnar boasts one of the top tea plantations in India, and once there you can learn about how tea is processed as well having a little taste of it.
Explore Fort Kochi
The city of Kochi (or Cochin) has a rich and varied history that has greatly influenced the city and its architecture – the Arabs, British, Dutch, Chinese and Portuguese have all left their mark – but Fort Kochi in particular boasts some fabulous sites. When you’re done, there are many more things to see and do in Cochin itself.
Spend Time at a Traditional Village
You can take an organised tour to one of the small villages dotted about the region and learn about the inhabitants’ traditional way of living. With some tours you can even have a meal with a local family.
Watch the Snake Boat Races
Head to Alappuzha for the snake boat races. Held from July to September during the Onam festival, villages from all over the area get together to race their boats on the lakes and rivers, and it’s a lot of fun to watch.