Kerala Hill Stations
One of the most popular hill stations in India, once was the summer resort of the erstwhile British Government in South India is situated at the confluence of three mountain streams - Mudrapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundala located at 1600 Mts. above sea level. The visitor is greeted with miles and miles of unending tea plantations on entry into Munnar hill station. Among the exotic flora found in the forests and grasslands here is the Neelakurinji a flower which bathes the hills in blue colour once every twelve years.
Situated at a height of 1700 m Mattupetty is famous for its highly specialised dairy farm, the Indo-swiss live stock project. The Mattupetty lake and dam , just a short distance from the farm, is a very beautiful picnic spot. The sprawling Kundala tea plantations and the Kundala lake are other attractions in the vicinity.
Pothamedu offers an excellent view of the tea, coffee and cardamom plantations in Munnar. The rolling hills, the lush mountain and the breathtaking scenery here is ideal for trekking and long mountain walks.
The natural habitat of the Niligiri tahr Rajamala is 2695 m above sea level. Half the world's population of the rare mountain goat or tahr which is fast becoming extinct, is now found here. The Niligiri tahr in Rajamala are now to be found in small herds found in Eravikulam-Rajamala region. The total number of Niligiri Tahrs in Rajamala is estimated to be over 1300.
This scenic place gets its name from the natural echo phenominon here. Echo point is on the way to Top Station from Munnar.
Eravikulam National Park
The 97 sq. km. park is situated in the Devikulam Taluk and is home to the Nilgiri Tahr. The Anamudi peak (2695 m) is located in the Southern region of the park.
1700m above sea level, this is the highest point on the Munnar-Kodiakanal road. The rare Neelakurunji (strobilanthus) belongs to this region. Top Station (a viewing point) also offers a panoramic view of neighboring state of Tamil Nadu.
Kundala is a picturesque town on the way to Top Station. The Golf Course which belongs to Tata Tea Ltd. is located here. The Kundala artificial dam is another attraction. Aruvikkad Waterfall is also near Kundala.
Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary
Situated on the Tamil Nadu border, the Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary is spread across 90.44 sq km.
Kerala Backwater Destination
The land of the green and the peaceful Kerala offers an amazing array of the backwaters in Kerala. The breathtakingly beautiful destinations are the true storehouses of the nature at its best. The marvelous sunsets, the waxing moonlights, the shoals of ducks, the pulsating palms and the wonderful waves make the backwater destinations the most sought after in Kerala.
The glamorous Venice of east, Alappuzha with its lovely lakes, lagoons and the fresh water rivers will not fail to sweep you off your feet. The main attractions are boat races, houseboats, beaches, marine products and the coir industry.
Kumarakom on Lake Vembanad with its unparalleled boating, fishing and sightseeing opportunities makes a picturesque holiday spot in the backwaters of Kerala. The rich greens and the rural life are clubbed with the beautiful Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary. You may take a cruise along the lake to catch glimpses of the birds. What a way to spend summers with the ducks, cuckoos, Siberian stork etc. The ideally located Kumarakom is picture perfect village.
Kerala is blessed with a 600-km long coastline that extends its length to 11 of the 14 districts of Kerala. On Kerala's beaches, you can bathe in the glory of the sun or relax in the splendour of the sunset and refresh yourself with a sip of tender coconut milk. The exotic, palm-fringed beaches of Kerala are considered the finest and the most scenic beaches in the world. These beaches offer surf and sand like no other coastal place in India.
Alappuzha Beach (Alleppey Beach)
Alappuzha beach also known as Alleppey beach is one of the most popular spots of Alappuzha district. The dock, which extends into the sea here, is around 140 years old. With the Arabian Sea on the west and a vast network of lakes, lagoons and several freshwater rivers criss-crossing it, Alappuzha is a district of immense natural beauty.
On the coast along the Kerala shore line is a small village, called Kovalam. This sleepy town suddenly came on the tourist map when its fabulous beaches were discovered. Today beaches of Kovalam have become one of the most popular beach hangouts in India. Kovalam means a grove of coconut trees and truly the coconut trees along the beaches gives it a ravishing look. The palm-fringed bays in secluded coconut groves, promise a relaxed stay.
It is located in Vypin Island accessible by ferry or by road from mainland, Kochi. This calm beach is ideal for swimming. It has sea on the western side and backwater on east, which gives this tourist destination, a unique surrounding. Thick coconut grooves and Chinese fishing nets on the waterfront give it an added attraction. Dolphins can also be seen here occasionally.
At 2100 metres, the spectacular Chembra Peak located towards the southern part of Wayanad is the tallest summit in the region. Climbing this peak is a challenging mountaineering endeavour and would take a full day.
Neelimala View Point
Neelimala is an excellent venue for trekking with lots of stimulating trails. The summit of this hill affords a great view of the cascading Meenmutty falls and the beautiful valley in its foreground.
An interesting 2km jungle trek off the main Ooty road, Meenmutty is the largest and most spectacular waterfall in Wayanad. A unique feature is that water drops about 300 metres over three stages.
Chethalayam is one of Wayanad’s smaller waterfalls. It’s surroundings offer a number of vantage points for bird watching. It is also popular with trekking enthusiasts
Located deep within the forest in the Brahmagiri hills at an altitude of more than 1700mtrs, Pakshipathalam is a formation of large boulders, some as tall as two storey buildings! The deep caves found here are home to wide variety of birds, animals and distinctive species of plants. The journey involves an arduous 7km trek through thick forest commencing at Thirunelli. (Special permission required from the DFO – North Wayanad at Mananthavady).
Banasura Sagar Dam
Considered to be the largest earth dam in India, the Banasura project precincts are an ideal starting point for treks to the Banasura peak. A quaint feature is a series of islands that were formed when the reservoir submerged the surrounding areas
Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary – Thekkady
Periyar lake is one of the few artificial lakes in the world created inside a forest. You can spot a lot of wild life during your boating from the safety of the boat. If lucky you could even spot a tiger.
Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary – Muthanga
Spread over a vast area, Muthanga is part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Region. Located 18kms east of Sultan Bathery, it is a rain forest reserve connected to two major sanctuaries.
With numerous watering holes, Muthanga has a large population of pachyderms, and has been declared a Project Elephant site. Other animals species include Leopards, Gaur, Sambar, Cheetal, Barking Deer, Hanuman Langur and Slender Loris. The reserve is also home to a small population of Tigers. In addition, there is also a profusion of birds, butterflies and insects.
Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary – Tholpetty:
Situated along the northern ridge of Wayanad (bordering Coorg district of Karnataka) Tholpetty is much similar to Muthanga in terms of flora and fauna. The best season to visit both the sanctuaries is between Nov. and May.
Kerala Heritage: Kochi
A beautiful island lying close to Ernakulam and Willingdon Island. The Bolghatty Palace was built by the Dutch in 1744 which later became the seat of British Resident. The palace is now converted into a hotel. There is also a well laid golf link.
Cochin Harbour and Willingdon Island
Cochin, one of the finest natural harbours in the world, and the only all weather harbour on the west coast, south of Bombay, affords a safe anchorage to ships,
Willingdon Island is a man made one which was formed with materials dredged while deepening the Cochin Port and channel, It is the seat of the harbour and cochin Port Trust. The Southern Naval Command has its headquarters here. The seaport, naval airport and the railway terminus are all on this island.
Situated at Mattancherry, it is 8 kms, away from Ernakulam. Although called Dutch, it was built by the Portuguese and presented to the Maharaja of Cochin in 1555. It acquired the present name after1663 when the Dutch added some extension to the building and carried out some repairs. In the centre of the building is the coronation hall. 17th century murals depicting scenes from the Indian Epic, Ramayana can be seen here.
Lies 10 kms away ,from Ernakulam . The architectural style of the buildings and lay-out of the town mark out Fort Cochin from other cities and towns of Kerala. The buildings show the influence of European architecture. The Chief attraction of Fort Cochin is the St. Francis Church built by the Portuguese It is believed to be the first church built by Europeans in India. The body of Vasco Da Gama was buried here. Close to St. Francis Church is Santa Cruz Church. some beautiful paintings can be seen in the Roman Catholic Church.
The Jewish Synagogue at Mattanchery was built in 1568. The great Scrolls of the Old Testament, The copper plates containing the privileges granted by the cochin Ruler to the Jewish community and the exquisite Chinese hand-painted tiles at the Synagogue are of great interest.
Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary
This sanctuary is 12 km from Kothamangalam, which is on the Kochi-Munnar route.
This is a forest elephant care centre. Here you can see baby elephants rescued from the forests being cared for. Elephants are also trained here. Kodanadu is 15 km from Perumbavoor which is on the Kochi-Munnar route (via Aluva).
Fort Kochi Beach
The Fort Kochi beach is a place ideal for an evening stroll, Bathing and swimming are not recommended here, The colourful carnival at New Years Eve is a feature of this beach.
Hill Palace Museum, Tripunithura
Set on top of a hillock, this prestigious palace-turned-museum displays 13 categories of exhibits, including paintings, carvings and other royal antiquities donated by the Cochin and Travancore royal families and the Paliam Devaswom. The Heritage Museum, located on the rear side of the palace buildings familiarizes you with the traditional lifestyles of ancient Kerala. As part of the establishment of a mini zoo, a deer park with spotted deer, sambar and peacocks is run by the Society for the Preservation of Hill Palace Premises. The museum premises has also been converted into a botanical garden with exotic tropical trees from central America to Australia. Located 11 Kms east of Ernakulam, en route to Chottanikkara.
Museum of Kerala History, Edappally
Located along with the Art Complex at Edappally, it is a Sound and light show presenting thirty five scenes from the political, social, and cultural history of Kerala. Commentaries in English and Malayalam.
Kaladi is the birth place of Sreesankaracharya , the great Indian Philosopher. It is 13 kms. away from Aluva. Kaladi has got Sringeri Madham, Ramakrishna Asramam and the Sreesankara stupa.
Located 12 kms from the city is this unique amusement park offering a world of non-stop fun and adventure. Sprawling over 18.5.acres, the main attractions include caterpillar trains, a 500- seater theatre with a Musical fountain, the exciting family Fun Pool, the Nest housing a variety of exotic birds, and an array of water rides.