Kerala – a South Indian state in peninsular India is popularly called as the “God’s own country”. There are ample reasons for Kerala being called so. An equable climate, a long shoreline with serene beaches, tranquil stretches of emerald backwaters, lush green hill stations, exotic wildlife, sprawling plantation, cascading waterfalls, divine temples, historic monuments and many more makes Kerala one of the most sought after tourist destinations in Asia.
Though Kerala is ranked 22nd among Indian state according to size, but there are at least a dozen of incredibly beautiful different places in Kerala that are unique in their own way. Here is an effort to cover the best of Kerala in just 7 days.
Reach Kochi (also known as Cochin) by Rail or Air from any part of India. Kochi has an international airport by the name of Cochin International Airport (IATA: COK, ICAO: VOCI). The Ernakulam Junction (also known as Ernakulam South, code: ERS) is the largest railway station in the city of Kochi and is well connected with all the major Indian states.
From Kochi, travel towards the hill resort of Munnar at an altitude of 1600 m above sea level. Munnar is at a distance of roughly 130 Km from Kochi and can be reached in less than three and half hours of driving. En-route visit Cheyyappara Waterfalls. On the way to Munnar you will be mesmerized by the awesome view of tea gardens spread like a green carpet over hundreds of kilometers. Check into one of the many hotels according to your budget. Relax for the rest of the day and prepare yourself to explore the unending beauty of Munnar.
To know more about the breathtakingly beautiful hill resort of Munnar which is indeed a haven of peace and tranquility, click HERE.
Dedicate the entire day for sightseeing in Munnar. Though there are numerous place to cover in a single day, yet some of the best and most popular sightseeing spots of Munnar that must be included in your tour itinerary are: Mattupetty Lake & Dam, Eco-Point, Nyayamakad and Atukkad Waterfall, Tate Tea Museum and Pothamedu.
In the morning leave Munnar by 8 am and drive to Thekkady at a distance of about 110 Km. After having lunch visit spice plantations like cardamom and Pepper.
Thekkady is the location of the famous Periyar National Park, which has been declared a Tiger Reserve in 1978. The splendid artificial lake formed by the Mullaperiyar Dam across the Periyar River adds to the charm of the park. The best part of the Thekkady tour is cruising along the Priyar Lake and accessing the rich flora and fauna of the Periyar National Park.
Get on to a boat by 3 pm and you will definitely be enchanted by the herds of wild elephants that come down to drink in the lake. Tigers are sighted when the forest water holes dry up and these animals come and drink water from the lake. The one and half hour boat cruise will definitely be an experience of a lifetime.
In the evening you can opt to shop in the local market. It will be a great opportunity to shop for some locally grown fragrant spices. Take rest and relax in your hotel overnight.
The best thing would be to leave your Thekkady hotel by 7 am in the morning and proceed towards Alapuzha or Alleppey at distance of about 145 Km. Known to be the “Venice of East” Alleppey can be reached within 4 hours from Thekaddy.
On arrival check into a Traditional Houseboat of Kerala Style (Kettuvallam) and cruise lazily through the backwaters and explore the fascinating beauty of Kerala. If budget is not a constraint then opt for a Luxury Houseboat or else you can also pick a Deluxe Houseboat. As the cruise begins to meander slowly through the canals and backwaters you will have a taste of the traditional beauty and culture of Kerala.
These houseboats are virtually a floating cottage having a sleeping area with western-style toilets, a dining area and a sit out on the deck. The living-dining room is usually open on at least three sides providing a grand view of the surroundings. All these houseboats have a generator and most bedrooms are air-conditioned. You will also get to pamper yourself by the Kerala Cuisine on board. The houseboat will cruise along the backwaters all the night and after serving a breakfast you will be back at the same place where you start at Alleppey.
For a virtual tour experience of a Kerala Houseboat, click HERE.
Disembark from the houseboat latest by 9 am in the morning after having breakfast in the houseboat itself. Proceed towards Kovalam at a distance of about 160 Km. It will take a maximum of three and half hours to reach Kovalam.
Check into one of the many hotels at Kovalam. Kovalam – known to be the international beach destination of Kerala with shallow water for swimming and perfect for other water sports activities is one of the most popular of Indian beaches. After lunch enjoy the beach till the sun set in the Arabian Sea.
Kovalam first shot into fame during 1970s, when the town witnessed a heavy influx of hippies and since then, it became popular among international tourists. It still ranks high among international tourists who arrives mostly from Europe and Israel. To know more about Kovalam Tour click HERE.
Stays overnight at your hotel and don’t forget to try sea fishes cooked in Kerala Style.
After having your breakfast proceed to Thiruvananthapuram (also known as Trivandrum), at a distance of 17 Km from Kovalam beach. Thiruvananthapuram – the capital of Kerala have several popular and important sightseeing spots that are reckoned as must-visit sites.
It is advisable to begin with the ancient Hindu temple of Sree Padmanabhaswamy dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The temple which is a blend of the Keralian and Dravidian styles of architecture is one of the 108 sacred Vishnu temples or Divya Desams. Entries into Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple are restricted only to those who profess the Hindu faith. Devotees have to strictly follow the dress code. Dresses in accordance with the model dress code are available for rent at the temple entrance.
For a virtual tour of Padmanabhaswamy Temple and to know its rich history, click HERE.
Napier Museum & Art Gallery – situated in the heart of the city of Thiruvananthapuram must be the next place to visit. This Indo-Saracenic architectural masterpiece with with Gothic roof and minarets is in itself an exceptional piece of architecture set amidst green surroundings and platonic gardens. The museum is a treasure house of a rare collection of archaeological and historic artifacts, ancient ornaments, bronze idols, ivory carvings, chariots and paintings.
Return back to Kovalam hotel by evening. You can opt for a Keral Ayurvedic massage in the evening at any one of the numerous Ayurvedic Massage & Spa Centres at Kovalam. You can have the facility in your hotel also; as most of the Kovalam hotel offers this facility at a decent cost.
Getting rejuvenated have your dinner and retire early to start afresh for your home the next day.
After having your breakfast proceed towards Trivandrum International Airport or Trivandrum Central Railway Station, to take your flight or train for your journey towards your home with some unforgettable memories.
Filed Under: Tour Plan
About the Author: Hi! friends, travelling is my passion and my only hobby. High mountains to deep seas, lush green forests to barren deserts, holy places to sites of historical importance, - every beautiful place attracts me the same way. I want everyone to feel the same and so through my writing I intend to take you all to a virtual trip to all those lovely places that I have visited.