Famous for its natural beauty, Kerala is often called ‘God’s Own Country’. Sandwiched between the Arabian Sea and the Western Ghats, there are many reasons to visit Kerala, from its rich culture to its lush green hills, serene backwaters and pristine beaches.

Kerala is also known for its Ayurvedic treatments and delicious cuisine, as well as its many spice and tea plantations. Almost every corner of the state is remarkable in its own way. Here are 11 reasons why you should visit Kerala:

1It’s Many Plantations

Tea estates at Munnar

Kerala is famous for its spice, coffee and tea plantations. You can find these picturesque places spread across the state, at destinations like Munnar, Wayanad and Thekkady. Set amidst lush green hills, they offer picturesque vistas and the opportunity to taste a variety of tea and coffee flavours.

2The Serene Backwaters 

Kerala’s backwaters are a network of canals lined with palm trees. Serene and beautiful, they are also home to a unique range flora and fauna. You can cruise through the backwaters on a houseboat, or go kayaking or canoeing through them. The best places to explore the backwaters of Kerala are at Alleppey, Kumarakom, Kollam, Kasaragod and Kuttanad

3Ayurveda Treatments

The Ayurvedic massages and treatments of Kerala are famous all over the world. Literally translating to the “science of life,” Ayurveda is one of the oldest forms of traditional medicine and has been practised in India for thousands of years. Kick back and unwind with therapies that will help you relax, including massages, oils, yoga, and more.

4Diverse National Parks

Elephants at Periyar National Park

The state has over 25 wildlife sanctuaries and national parks. They are home to numerous species of wild animals and migratory birds, including elephants, langur monkeys and tigers. The Periyar Tiger Reserve, the Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary, Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, Mathikettan Shola National Park, and the Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary are just a few of these.

5Unique Culture

A Theyyam artist at Kannur

Kerala has a truly unique cultural heritage, including dance forms, folktales and art that have been well preserved. This includes the famous Kathakali, a 17th century dance form which features elaborate makeup and costumes, and Kalaripayattu, a traditional martial art. There is also Chakyarkoothu, a form of comedy satire, Mohiniyattam, a 16th-century classical dance, and Theyyam, a traditional form of worship that includes dance.

6A Long Historical Legacy

Santa Cruz Basilica in Kochi

The state is also full of ancient treasures that reflect its long history. Don’t miss Kochi, which is full of fascinating sites such as the Paradesi Synagogue in Jew Town with its Chinese tiles and Belgian chandeliers, the Dutch Palace (also known as Mattancherry Palace) with its mythological frescoes, the tomb of Vasco da Gama, and the Gothic-style Santa Cruz Basilica.

Thrissur has the Vadakkunnathan Temple, which holds the annual Thrissur Pooram, one of the grandest temple festivals in the state, as well as many other important sites like the St Thomas Syro-Malabar Church and Cheraman Juma Masjid. You can also visit the Guruvayur Sri Krishna Temple with its annual elephant festival, and prehistoric Edakkal Caves.

7The Richest Temple in the World

Among these historical treasures is the Padmanabhaswamy Kshetram in Thiruvananthapuram. It said to be the richest temple in the world and is dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu. You can also visit the many nearby temples nearby, such as Koyikkal Palace, Kanakakunnu Palace, Nanthancodu and more.

8Pristine Beaches

Beach at Kovalam

Kerala boasts numerous extraordinary and pristine beaches. Some of the best beaches can be found at Kovalam, Kannur, Varkala, Bekal, and Kumarakom. Whether you want to engage in adrenaline-pumping water sports or just stroll along the beach, Kerala’s the place for you.

9Lush Hill Stations

If you’d rather head to the cool hill station than the sunny beaches, there is plenty of choice in Kerala. Wayanad is known for its diverse forests along the Kabini River, as well as its coffee, rubber and spice plantations, while Munnar is famous for its tea gardens and tea museums. Thekkady is also known for its flora and fauna, while at Athirapally, you can see massive waterfalls.

10Kerala’s Delicious Food

Kerala is also known for its delicious food, which is also one of the best ways to explore its culture. This coastal state is known for its seafood, such as fish molee, prawn curry, as well as appam with stew, erissery, nadan kozhi varithathu, idiyappam, puttu, and kadala curry. You can also try the Kerala sadya, a traditional vegetarian meal served on a banana leaf, especially during festivals and weddings.

11Colourful Festivals

The snake boat race at Aranmula.

Kerala enjoys lots of vibrant festivities and celebrations during the year. These include the annual Kerala boat festival, or Vallamkali that takes place in Alappuzha each July, Onam, a 10-day harvest festival that occurs around September, and Theyyam, an 800-year-old ritual dance dedicated to the gods.

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