Hopefully this is a great starting point to get your trip to Kerala going.
Kerala, a state located on the South-West tip of India with 600km of shoreline from the Arabian Sea shoreline, is a must-visit location in India. It is famed for its coast, its multiple national reserves, animal sanctuaries, tea plantations, and most importantly, the best plantain chips. Kerala is a destination that you don’t want to miss. The state is about a 3-hour flight from New Delhi, depending on which city you land in, making it perfect for a quick trip.
HOW TO GET AROUND KERALA:
If you are wondering how to get around Kerala, the best options are walking, traveling via rickshaws, and taking motor boats depending on whether you are crossing Kerala’s many waterways. Either way you are in for a great adventure!
Eravikulam National Park
The Wildlife Warden Munnar PO, Idukki, Kerala, 685612, India
Kerala has a few popular national reserves, but none are as popular as Eravikulam. It was declared a national park in 1978, thereby becoming the first national park in Kerala. The park is a sanctuary for Nilgiri Tahr, which is an endangered mountain goat species. Around 700-800 Nilgiri Tahr species occupy the park, so make sure to keep an eye out for these majestic animals as well as the other views the park has to offer, such as the highest mountain peak in Southern India.
Thekkady is a district in Kerala that is a major tourist attraction as it is the location of Periyar National Park as well as other activities like rafting, hiking, and of course, viewing the wild animals in the park. Thekkady is also considered a major hub for spices and tea, and is 24 km away from Pattumalay Tea Factory, a well-recognized producer of orthodox teas. If you are on the lookout for tiger sightings and tea, Thekkady is the place for you!
Rahmathulla Hotel (a.k.a Kaikka’s)
Near TDM Hall, Kochi, Kochi (Cochin) India
This popular hotel restaurant located in the town of Kochi in Kerala is recognized for its extensive and tasty range of seafood. The restaurant is lovingly called Kaikka’s, after the man who came up with the original biryani recipe in the same location. Because of the loving history and prominent location, Kaikka’s is a sought after dinner or lunch spot for tourists and locals alike. Make sure to try the biryani- seeing as it is an iconic Kochi food and Kaikka would want us to!
The Rice Boat – The Vivanta
The Rice Boat- Vivanta By Taj Malabar, Willington Island, Kochi, Kerala, India
If you are looking for the ultimate dining experience and the freshest seafood, The Vivanta is the place for you. The restaurant itself stands atop a stationary rice boat, providing an enviable waterfront view. If you get a chance, try the tiger prawns or the white snapper in banana leaf- either way you can’t go wrong with any of the fresh seafood at this joint. With the rustic interior and the delicious scents of cooking, The Vivanta is sure to be one of your savored memories of Kerala.
You may be able to get wine and beer at most places, however most alcoholic beverages will have to be purchased from Government Beverage Shops in Kerala. This is due to their 2015 ban on alcohol, but more recently, Kerala has eased up on its ban, and now 5-Star Hotels with licenses can sell liquor. Stay tuned for the list of places to stay in Kerala below which all include bars/lounges that serve liquor.
Chalai, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India
Often recognized as Kerala’s busiest street market, the Chalai Bazaar should be first on your list for places to shop in Kerala. The never-ending road is filled with vendors selling fruit, jewelry, footwear, spices, fabric, and more. The bazaar is a great experience to get a full understanding of Kerala itself, as it is a beautiful mix of culture, tradition, and history, making it the perfect place to get some mementos.
Chambakkara Fish Market
Chambakkara – Kannadikadu Rd, Chambakkara, Upasana Nagar, Maradu, Kochi, Kerala 682304, India
Chambakkara is at the center of fish trade in Kerala, and therefore, an important and iconic site. The lively wholesale market is filled with trays of crushed ice and fresh seafood, and of course, that fresh fish scent. Even if seafood isn’t your thing, the fish market is such a part of the Kerala experience- it is simply a must when it comes to shopping or looking around.
Forte Kochi Heritage Hotel
1/373, Princess St, Fort Nagar, Fort Kochi, Kochi, Kerala 682001, India
Located in the buzzing seaside town of Fort Kochi, the Forte Kochi Heritage Hotel is located on Princess Street, one of the most iconic streets in Fort Kochi. The yellow hotel’s architecture is a nod to its Dutch, Portuguese, and British history, adding to its colonial-era feel. The hotel itself has beautiful and seamlessly designed rooms, an outdoor pool, and is just steps away from favored attractions in Fort Kochi, such as Vasco De Gama square and the Mahatma Gandhi Beach. The Hotel also has a bar and lounge, allowing for some drinks to enjoy the beautiful town of Fort Kochi.
Niraamaya Retreats Backwaters And Beyond, Kumarakom
Pallichira Road, Vayitharamattom, Kumarakom, Kerala 686563, India
This breathtaking waterfront hotel is the retreat of dreams and is ideal for those craving a relaxing vacation away. Nestled alongside Lake Vembanad, the hotel itself is located on 8 acres of tropical gardens and has 27 luxury villas ready for guests. The resort has paths snaking around the villas and the waterfront, making for a perfect trip to enjoy the nature in Kerala. The hotel also has a wellness spa, an outdoor pool, high-class restaurants, and again, a bar and lounge area. Make sure to check out this resort for the ultimate relaxing getaway.
This is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the things to do in Kerala, with so many towns and places to visit, see, eat, shop, and so much more. Hopefully our guide is a great starting point to get your trip to Kerala going, so you can experience all that the South of India has to offer.
Sophia lived in India for 2.5 years.