- Category: Destinations
This water locked district has emerged as one of the major tourist destination of the country and is famous for its unique backwaters. The entire district is endowed with immense natural beauty. The sandy strip of land with Arabian Sea to its west is woven by lagoons and an array of rivers, canals, and lakes ideal for boat cruise. The prominent rivers are Achankovil, Pamba and Manimala.The Vembanad lake covering an area of 204sq.km stretches from Alappuzha to Kochi and the Kayamkulam lake with an area of 59.57sq.km extends to both the districts of Alappuzha and Kollam, these lakes are widely used for the inland water transport of cargo and passengers in the region.It has been an important centre of Christianity, since 1st century, as it is said that the at Kothamanglam in Cherthala taluk, was one of the seven churches founded by St.Thomas, one of the 12 disciples of Jesus Christ.
Alappuzha has been an important trading and commercial centre since time immemorial. It is also a major centre of coir and carpet industry. The economy of the district is based on agriculture and marine products.
It is also referred as the “Venice of the East” and has emerged as a major tourist destination due to the amazing backwaters.Alappuzha is also famous for its boat races, houseboats, beaches, marine products and the coir industry.
The beautiful beach is popular among the locales as well as the visitors. The Vijaya Beach Park is an added attraction of the beach. The Sea view Park here has boating facilities and a swimming pool. There is also an old lighthouse.
Nehru Trophy Boat Race
The popular boat race is held on the second Saturday of August every year at the Vembanad lake and is the most important tourist event of Alappuzha.Boats sponsored by different villages compete fiercely in the competition.The highlight of this prestigious event is “Chundan Vallam”, the 130 feet long snake boats, with over 100 rowers, 4 helmsmen and 25cheer leaders, decorated with colorful silk umbrellas. Thousands of spectators from all over the world watch avidly from the banks. Tickets for the race are available on the day from numerous ticket stands on the way to the lake where race is held. The race is also held during the tourist season on the third day of the Great Elephant March in mid January, and is called as “Tourism Snake boat Race”.
Alappuzha –Kollam Backwater trip
It is organized by ATDC.The journey begins at 10.30am., and reaches Kollam at 6.00pm.The boat passes through exotic locations and gives a close view of the countryside.
Mullakkal Rajarajeswari Temple
It is dedicated to the Goddess Rajarajeswari.The nine day “Navrathri” festival celebrated twice a year is of special significance. Another important festival of the temple is “Thaipooyakavadi.
The pilgrim centre 14 km from Alappuzha is renowned for the Sri Krishna Temple. The temple is noted for splendid architecture and “Palpayasam”- sweet milk porridge offered to the deity.
This Christian pilgrim centre near Sherthallai is 22km. north of Alappuzha.The St.Andrews Church here was built by Portuguese missionaries. The annual feast of St.Sebastian is held here in the month of January.
The St.Mary’s Church is one of the oldest churches in Kerala. It is said to be one of the seven churches established by St.Thomas.The annual feast is held on the 3rd Sunday of October. The feast of St.Joseph is celebrated on March 19th.
The ancestral home of the blessed Kuriakose Elias Chavara lies 6km. from Alapuzzha.Thousands of devotees gather at this shrine and spiritual resort. It can be reached only by boat from Alappuzha.
Chettikulangra Bhagavathy Temple, Mavelikkara.
The shrine is known for Kettukazhcha festival, which attracts a large number of devotees. The festival is held in Feb/Mar. and colorful procession is taken out.
This church dedicated to St.George is of special significance, as it is said that prayers and offerings here help in healing all kinds of mental disorders and other ailments. The annual feast held from 5th-7th May, attracts devotees from all parts of South India. The church is just 24kms from Alappuzha.
The small village near Ambalapuzha is known for the black granite idol of Lord Buddha Known as Karmadi Kuttan.The idol dates back to 9th or 10th century.
The magnificent palace is situated 47kms.from Alappuzha on the way to Kollam.The palace is a master piece of Kerala architecture with gabled roofs, dormer windows and narrow corridors. A
Museum inside the palace, displays antique sculptures and paintings.
The region is famous as the “Rice Bowl of Kerala” .It is perhaps the only region in the world where farming is done below sea level. The boat trip to Changanacherry passes through this beautiful and fertile region.
It is 32kms.from Alappuzha near Haripad and famous for the ancient temple of Sree Nagaraja, the king of Serpents.Piligrims from all over the country assembles here during the two day annual festival.
QST and R Block Kayal
These regions are famous for farming over reclaimed land from the backwaters. The area is protected by dikes built all around and reminds visitor of the famous dikes of Netherlands. A cruise along the canals here is a quite a memorable experience.
The verdant island located in the Vembanad Lake is the first island resort of the State. The island is accessible only by boat from Kumarakom and Muhamma.The island attracts rare migratory birds from various parts of the world
- Category: Destinations
Kottayam district is popularly referred as the “Land of lakes, latex and letters”. It is one of the most industrially developed districts of the State. The district is also a large producer of rubber, coconut, tea, coffee and pepper. It has the distinction of being the highest literate district in the country and kottayam was the first total literate town in the country. The district is also known for large number of temples, churches and mosques. It is the beautiful backwater town is set on the foot hills of the Western Ghats. It is a stronghold of the Christian community and is dotted with ancient churches. It is also an important trading centre especially for cash crops like rubber, tea, pepper and cardamom.
Kottayam is also referred as the “Mecca of Publishing Industry” in the Kerala State. It is home to many prestigious newspapers , magazines and periodicals in Malayalam and English. Benjamin Bailey, a Christian Missionary in 1820 established the country’s first printing press in Vernacular (Malayalam)in Kottayam.It is also an ideal base to visit tourist centers like Piremeedu,Munnar, Idukki, Thekkady, Ernakulam and Madurai.
The breath taking beauty of the mangrove forest, the green sea of the paddy fields and the vast fantastic coconut groves benevolently accommodating eye pleasing and
thirst quenching rivulets, canals, chanelled between wild flora and mid lilies extend a warm welcome to every nature loving tourist. The resorts nearby offer comfortable accommodation and exclusive leisure options like an ayurvedic massage, yoga, meditation, boating, fishing , angling and swimming. Kumarakom is located 10km away from Kottayam on the Eastern Bank of Vembanad Lake.
Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary
The beautiful bird sanctuary is located 16km west of Kottayam town. The sanctuary set on the eastern bank of Vembanad Lake extends over 14 acres of lush greenery and blue waters. The birds seen here includes local birds like water fowl, cuckoo, owl, ducks, egret, heron, cormorant, moorhen, darter, Brahminy Kite and rare migratory birds like Siberian crane, Parrot, Teal, flycatcher. Best time to visit is between June and August. This is also an ideal site for enjoying the backwaters and boat cruise. Boats are available on hire around the lake.
The Vembanad lake
Kottayam is a vast network of rivers and canals which empty into the great expanse of water called the Vembanad Lake. The lake, an enchanting picnic spot and a fast developing backwater tourism destination, provides boating, fishing and sight-seeing experiences that are truly exhilarating. The Kumarakom Eco-Tourist Village offers houseboat cruises and holiday packages. The serene lake comes alive during Onam with a spectacular water regatta- the snake boat races. It is indeed amazing to watch oarsmen, at least a hundred in one boat, slice their way through the waters to the fast rhythm of their own full throated singing.
This enchanting pristine ten acre island on the backwaters is home to many rare varieties of migratory birds from different parts of the world. This island in the Vembanad lake is accessible only by boat from Kumarakom and Muhamma.From today onwards this Pathirammanal has to be raised up as a bio-park by the Toruism department of Kerala.
This spot extends to about 20 acres in area and is about 2000ft in altitude. The legend says that “The Pancha Pandavas”, the five Pandava brothers, sons of king Pandu and his spouse Kunthidevi spent certain number of days here during their tenure of exile.It is also believed that the name of the place was originally, “Anchupara” meaning five rocks and has later become to be known by the present name as time rolled by. However, some attribute the name to the temple dedicated to “Lord Ayyappa” here. Four sturdy pillars support the rock – roof of the temple. The mountain and every part of the nature here condition the wind into a pleasantly cool breeze. There is also a cave which can hold up to 15 persons.This is also a spot to admire sunset.
It is situated in the Western Ghats is 5 km north of Mundakkayan in Kottayam district. The majesty of the mountain ranges combined with the beauty of the forest and the artificial lake created by the check-dam of the Manimala river makes the spot linger in your mind.Amruthameda, famous for medicinal plants is nearby Koottickal is well connected by roads to the main cities.Erumeli, the famous pilgrim centre is only 12km south, while Sabarimala is 60km away. The waterfall at Vadakkemala, near Koottickal is another attraction.
Vagamon is about 18km from Erattupetta, 60km from Kottayam and 30km from Pala situated on the Idukki- Kottayam border at an elevation of 1100mtrs above sea level is a trekker’s paradise. This place is the breeding centre of “Kerala livestock Board”. This is again a typical Kerala hill station with bountiful tea- gardens and stimulating a sky scraping mountain with a small church on its peak and the Kurishumala Ashramam, a monastery atop another hill.
Paragliding is regarded as perhaps the most exhilarating from flying and the earlier and the simplest for of human flight. Located near the Indo Swiss Project at Kolahalamedu near Vagamon, the site has a ridge of 10 kilimeters and is 1156 meter above sea level. This site is one of the biggest in Asia. A number of training programmes in paragliding is available.
“The valley where leaves do not fall”is what the very name of the domain means as it is devoid of trees. The startlingly beautiful valleys of here spanning over thousands of acres contribute in great deal of the natural attractions of Kottayam. The four distinct mountains soaring to heights of around 3200ft, completely green deserve special mention. The valleys look entirely different when the gracious rains fill them up to form awesome lakes. This is one of the ideal sports to watch both Sunrise and Sunset. Thus the place offers dawn to dusk enchantment.
As the name suggests, the valley of this rocky mountain reflects the morning sun with a mirror like perfection. This is also the highest point in Illaveezhapoonchira. Just 3km from here is the Pazhakakanam Plateau nourished by the Kadapuzha River. Bamboo groves, meadows and wild flowers make this place exotic. An added attraction here is the Kazhukankulimali Waterfalls that playfully cascade down the mountain and greet the river below with a magnificent splash.
This waterfall lie a few kilometers away from Erattupetta. It is exactly 7km from Teekoy rubber estate. From here a private vehicle can take you further 2km after which the road is not motorable. To each the falls one has to trek through the estate over the rocky path. The waterfall is about 60mtrs in height falling into a 12mtr deep pool and joins the Teekoy river way down.
It is situated 7kms from the Mundakkayam-Kuttikanam stretch on the Kottayam –Kumili road lies Panchalimedu, at an attitude of about 2500 feet above the sea level. A three hour trek from Valliankavu which is connected by bus service from Kottayam takes you to the spot. Valliankavu, a tiny village 10kms east of Mundakkayam itself is worth a visit, for it is the site of the famous temple of Mala Araya community. According to legends, the
Pandavas stayed here and the pond beside a small temple is where Panchali, is said to have bathed.
Kesari Water Falls
The Kesari Falls otherwise known as Valanjamkanam Falls lies in between Kuttikanam and Murinjapuzha on the Kottayam- Kumili route.Valanjamkanam is a three hour journey from Kottayam by any bus to Kumily .Trek to Kuttikanam; 4km offers additional adventurous spirit and closeness to nature.
This consists of three hills, each of a peculiar shape, such as Kudakallu (Umbrella shaped rock) for one. Medicinal herbs like Neela Koduveli, believed to have super natural powers grown here. Another hill is the Konnu Kallu or “Hunch back rock”. Wide bridge called Nara-ka-palam (bridge to hell).From the hilltops, the Arabian Sea can be seen in the distant horizon as a thin blue line.
This palace stands tall as a genuine repository to a rare and a large collection of regal antiques, pristine artefacts, extraordinary furniture etc. A fabulous palanquin, a “Thoni” made out of a single piece of quality wood ad hoc for “ Ayurvedic” massages, a hanging light with arms for holding lamps, traditional palm leaf scriptures, decorated jewel boxes, sculptures of Lord Nataraja, the dancing form of Lord Siva, grain measures of the olden days, statues and armory are to name a few. As part of an annual ritual, a conch is taken on a procession. At a stone’s throw from the palace, there stands a temple identical to that of Madurai Sri Meenakshi. The wall sculptures tell stories from the Puranas. Another temple in the proximity is the “Sastha Temple” dedicated to Lord Ayyappa in which a rare row of stone wall lamps known as the “Chuttuvilakku” is famous.
This is the one of the highest waterfalls in Kerala gushing down from a height of 235feet. Aruvikachal is located in Poonjar Thekkekara village and can be accessed from Erattupetta. The waterfalls is located a couple of kilometers from Patampuzha junction. Adivaram, Ummikunnu, Puliyallu, Muttanallu, Parayambalam etc are some of the scienic spotsm scattered around Aruvikachal. The 3500ft high Mutukoramala offers spectacular views.
The word “ Ramapuram” means “ the abode of Lord Rama”. True to its name the village has its Chief deity Lord Sreerama.Ramapuram is unique in the sense that it houses the temples of Rama as well as his three brothers in its vicinity in a radius of just three kms- Lord Bhartha at Amanakara, Lakshmana at Kedapuram and Sathrughana at Methiri. Ramapuram, a beautiful and quiet village is located 15km from Pala town on the main road to Koothattukulam.This small village was the birth place of Ramaputrathu Warrier, the profounder of Vanchipattu.Ramapuram also is blessed with its old church and its famous missionaries –Parmekkal Thoma Kathanar and Daivadasan Thevarparambil Kunjachan.
Vennimala is located nearly 15km from the Kottayam town and can be accessed easily through the Kottayam-Kumili road at Manarcaud Junction. The major attractions at Vennimala are its age old Lord Sreerama and Lakshmana temple.
Located amidst shady rubber plantations, streams tinkle as they make their way through the rugged landscape and roars down cascading from a height of hundred feet. The beautiful picnic spot is located at Pallickathodu 25km from Kottayam town and hence easily accessible.
Alapara is a scienc place with forests all around. There are 2, 500 acre forest called Poothanpuzha kuti vanam in the vicinity. This forest spreads over the districts of Kottayam and Pathannamthitta.The forest harbors deer, wild boar, fox, phythoms, other small creatures and a variety of avifauna. There are nearly twenty small streams in the forest.
Pilgrim Centres of Kottayam
The place can be accessed from Kottayam through Pampadi.Matrumala is a hill top that offers stunning views of the entire surroundings. The place got its name as it has a small temple on its top dedicated to Goddess.
Situated 60km South – East of Kottayam, it is an important Hindu pilgrimage centre and located on the bank of the Manimala River.Piligrims going to Sabarimala alight here to worship at the Sastha Temple and offer prayers at an ancient mosque. The mosque is dedicated to Vavar, a companion of the deity Sree Ayyappa.
The Thacharickal Bhagawati temple is the only place in Kottayam district where the folk art of Padayani is performed.Alapara is surrounded by lush forests and is located 45km from Kottayam, 5km from Manimala junction and 10km from Erumeli. Other attractions are Sankupathalam waterfalls, Oottupara view point, caves and muniyaras.
The Valiya Palli ( St.Mary’s Church)
The Valia Palli built in 1550 AD for the Knanaya Orthodox Syrians is situated in Thazhathangadi, 2km from the town centre. It is famous for its 8th century Persian Cross with the Pahlavi inscription on it.
The Cheria Palli (St.Mary’s Church):
Located near the Valia Palli, the smaller church of Cheria Palli built in 1579AD has some murals and paintings depicting Biblical and other themes.
Thazhathangadi – Juma Masjid:
The famous ancient mosque at Thazhathangadi and Thalikotta Palace are another attraction to devotees.
St.Mary’s Church, Manarcaud
Situated 9km from Kottayam town, it is one of the most important churches of the Malankara Jacobite Syrian Christians. The Ettunoyaambu (8days fasting) is the major annual event when thousands of devotees from various places participate in the prayers and rituals.
St.Mary’s Church, Kudamaloor
This church, 800yrs old, was built by Chempakasseri Maharajah. The ritual offering here is a traditional water bag and rope used to draw water from the well. The Kudamaloor Vasudevapuram Temple is equally famous.
St.Thomas Church, Cherpungal
Believed to have been established by the apostle St.Thomas, this church was relocated to the southern banks of the Meenachil River with the cooperation of poet Kunchan Nambiar and his family. In 1107, the Valiapalli was built on the orginal site. Oil poured into lamps and kept before the image of Infant Jesus is the votive offering here- a ritual similar to the devotional practices of Hindus.
It is an important Christian pilgrimage centre- the place where the mortal remains of Sister Alphonsa was interned in a chapel next to the St.Mary’s Church. This 1000year old church features an attractive Grotto of Virgin Mary.
An important Syrian Christian Centre, the town of Mannanam, 8km from Kottayam, sites the St.Joseph’s Monastery, associated with the name of Fr.Kuriakose Elias of Chavara, one of the Saintly figures of the Syrian Catholic Church of Kerala. Among renowned institutions here is the St.Joseph’s Press. Established in 1844, this is one of the oldest printing presses in Kerala.It printed the Nasrani Deepika, one of Kerala’s oldest newspapers.
Vaikom, 40km from Kottayam is famed for the Siva temple which according to legend was constructed by Parasurama, the mythological creator of Kerala.In contemporary history Vaikom’s prominence derives from the Sathyagraha of 1925, blessed by Mahatma Gandhi and aimed at throwing open the temple’s doors to Harijans.
- Category: Destinations
Thiruvananthapuram also known as Trivandrum, is the head quarters of Kerala state & the Thiruvanathapuram District. The name ‘Thiruvananthapuram’ means the seat of the sacred snake-god Ananthan, on whom Vishnu, the God of protection, is believed to be reclining. Once Mahatma Gandhi referred this city as “Ever Green City of India”, besides its legislative importance, the district was the formerly ruled by the erstwhile royal family of Travancore and it is identified among travelers for its enthralling beaches, picnic spots and sites of historic significance.
This world famous beach is a personal pride of Thiruvananthapuram district; it was in the map of beach lovers the early 1930 itself. It is located 13 kms away from Thiruvanathapuram city & it is considered as one of the best bathing bay in the world. Kovalam consists of three neighboring crescent beaches. Light house beach is located on the southernmost is more popular than other two beaches. Kovalam is also considered as the second best beach destination in India after Goa in terms of tourist traffic.
Kovalam was a small, sleepy village. It lay in humble obscurity along the picturesque coast of Kerala. Then around 1930, this little village was unexpectedly shaken out of its lethargic slumber and thrust on the international tourist map. The vendors of holiday dreams along the sea had discovered the fabulous silver sands and palm-fringed shores of Kovalam. From then onwards, there was no looking back.
Today Kovalam is reckoned the most trendy beach retreat in India. A combination of three small beaches, Kovalam, meaning "a groove of coconut trees," is just 16 km from the state capital of Kerala - Thiruvananthapuram. The sheltered natural bay, the azure blue waters and the sumptuous spread of green palm groves make it a tropical paradise of sorts.
Earlier Kovalam was an anglers' paradise, but gradually transformed into a tourist spot of great interest. From sun bathing to swimming, Ayurvedic rejuvenation to yoga and meditation, herbal body toning massages to special cultural programmes and catamaram cruising, holidays in Kovalam is a tourist delight. The Kovalam lighthouse beach is where most visitors spend their time.
Catamaram cruises on the country raft is hugely popular in Kovalam. Many marine activities are possible at Kovalam. The local fishermen provide sunrise and sun set cruises in fishing boats. Angling for deep-sea fishing is highly catching up with tourists who come for vacation in Kovalam. Surfboards and boogie boards can also be hired on the beach.
As Ayurveda of Kerala is renowned, it is surprising that Kovalam's many hotels and resorts offer Ayurvedic massage and treatment. Yoga (Indian way of meditation) centers are also plenty in Kovalam. Some theatres perform the traditional Kerala art form - Kathakali, and ethnic martial art - Kalarippayattu.
Among innumerable beach resorts in Kovalam, the Kovalam Ashok Beach Resort, Surya Samudra Beach Garden, Somatheeram, Niki's Nest, Coconut-Bay Beach Resort, Uday Samudra Beach Resort, Hotel Samudra etc own private beaches are popular for their cleanliness and secluded location. Most of these private beaches are located near Vizhinjam at least 8 km far from Kovalam
A picturesque hill station in Kerala, Ponmudi is a mere one and a half hour's road journey from the beaches of Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum). And true to its meaning in Malayalam - golden crown - Ponmudi truly glitters amongst the hill resort of India.
On the way to Ponmudi, the thick tropical forest greets one at the foot of the Ponmudi hill range. The road passes under a canopy of thickly matted foliage. The forest recedes gradually giving way to neatly clipped tea bushes.
As one leaves the city behind, one enters the region of plantations - rubber, pepper, cardamom and tea. The change is abrupt. The tappers can be seen going about briskly gathering the milky fluid from rubber trees collected in coconut shells. Coconut thatch mats cover almost one half of the road, over which women spread black pepper for drying. One may come across a lone elephant ambling along carrying his mahout atop and his breakfast of coconut thatch in his trunk.
Tourists on holidays in Ponmudi can stroll through the many tea estates here, although they are not as big as those in the Munnar hills. Trekking to the north of Ponmudi Crest, one passes along a mini zoo on the edge of the forest. Entering the forest, the verdant shades of green numb the senses. As does the avian orchestra. The brilliant red southern trongon dot the trees like flowers. The air is full with the loud raucous chuckling of heavy billed Malabar hornbills. The shrill notes of the blue-black Malabar whistling thrush add to the cacophony. Even the rare long-tailed paradise flycatchers flit gracefully from tree to tree. It is like an open aviary.
Tourists planning to travel to Ponmudi can reach Ponmudi from Thiruvananthapuram, which is 61 km away. It is within easy driving distance from Kovalam.
Located only 8 km from the city, is a favorite spot of sunset lovers. The beach is adjacent to the Thiruvananthapuram Airport and Veli Tourist Village. An indoor recreation club, the matsya kanyaka (a gigantic, 35 m long sculpture of a mermaid) and a restaurant shaped like a starfish are some of the attractions here. Chacha Nehru Traffic Training Park here provides opportunity for children to learn the traffic rules.
This favorite picnic spot located on the way to Thiruvanathapuram International Airport. Veli Tourist Village is located where the Veli Lake meets the Arabian Sea and offers boating facilities. Children will enjoy climbing over the huge sculptures which dot the landscape.
Ponmudi is located about 63 Kms from Thiruvananthapuram city. Ponmudi is one of the significant & beautiful hill stations in Kerala. It has a height of over average 900 meters above sea level. It is a part of western Ghats mountain range that stretch parallel to the Arabian sea. The major tourist attraction of Ponmudi is “Golden Valley”, is a sneak peek and an access point to the river Kallar. Well rounded pebbles, thriving green trees, the clean & cool water, fishes & the absolute wilderness of the park will catch your eyes & senses rapidly.
The whole place will be interested to all who love to be in a place of tropical vegetation.
Kuthiramalika (Puthenmalika) Palace Museum:
The palace was built by Maharaja Swathi Thirunal Balarama Varma - the King of Travancore, who was a great poet, musician, social reformer and statesman. This rare specimen of workmanship in the traditional Travancore style of architecture also has exquisite wood carvings. The palace museum displays paintings and various priceless collections of the royal family and is located near the Padmanabha Swamy Temple. Museum can be visited between 08.30 am to 12.30 hours & 15.30 to 17.30.It is closed on Monday.
The Napier Museum & Sree Chithira Art Gallery
This 19th century indo-sarsenic building boast a natural air conditioning system and rare collection archaeological and historic artefacts, bronze idols, ancient ornaments, a temple chariot and ivory carvings. Sree Chithra Art Gallery is located near the Napier Museum, this art gallery displays noted paintings of Raja Ravi Varma, Svetlova and Nicholas Roerich and exquisite works from the Rajput, Mughal and Tanjore style of art in India. The collection also includes paintings from China, Japan, Tibet and Bali.
This splendid and well preserved wooden palace,palace is situated at Thuckalai Located 52 kms away from the city, on the way to Kanyakumari. It was the seat of the erstwhile rulers of Travancore, This is a glorious demonstration to the traditional Kerala school of architecture. The extraordinary murals, exquisite floral carvings and the black glossy granite floor have withstood the test of time.
This serene backwater stretch is located 10 kms away from Thriuvanathapuram city, enroute to Kovalam, is famous for its canoe ride
Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary
This sanctuary spread over 53 sq. km on the Western Ghats, is accessible from Vithurai, which is on the way to Ponmudi. With its rich flora and fauna, Peppara, dotted with hillocks, forests and eucalyptus plantations, is emerging as a great attraction for wildlife enthusiasts. It is located about 50 kms from the city.
Varakala is a small beach destination located 55 kms away from Thriuvanathapuram city & it is also famous for Hindu pilgrim centre. Varkala beach is also known as the Papanasham beach, is a long serene crystal clear sandy beach with a mysterious attraction. The background of this natural beauty is surrounded by the green cliffs will offer you some sacred calming mineral springs too. Papanasam is a perfect place to watch the sunset or relax gazing at the horizon. The area is covered with coconut palms and small restaurants that mushroom during the season. The 500-metre stretch is right below a beautiful sea cliff.
Neyyar Reservoir is one of the scenic picnic spot, located only 32 Kms from Thiruvananthapuram city. The reservoir offers excellent boating facilities.The forests around the reservoir are the adobe of wild elephants, gaur , bear Nilagiri Tahr. On the upper reaches of the Neyyar Reservoir there are two magnificent waterfalls Meenmutty waterfalls and the Kombaikani waterfalls both are reachable only thorough trekking in dense forest for 2 kilometers & four kilo meters respectively. One of the famous peak Agasthya kooodam is very near to neyyar dam.
- Category: Destinations
Pathanamthitta, the smallest district of Kerala, It is also known as pilgrim Capital of Kerala, the most prominent Sastha Temple of Lord Ayyappa of the Sabari Hills, attracts millions of devotees from all over India. More than 50% of the total geographic area of this district is dense forest. Pathanamthitta is also the homeland of “snake boat race” and “Padyani.” Even though snake boat races were practiced in nearby backwater districts also, the snake boat races of Aranmula in Pathanamthitta district conduct it as a religious ritual & a devotion to Lord Krishna rather than a contest. Even the design & appearance of the boats also absolutely unique compared to other places those who conduct snake boat races. “The Padayani” is a unique ritual art form in and around Pathanamthitta. It is dedicated to Goddess Bhadrakaali. The Padayani is an amasing combination of music, dance, painting and satire. Pathanmthitta also boast festivals & conventions for all religion that adds the important of this district as a pilgrim center, for instance Maramon Convention for Christians, Cherukolpuzha convention for Hindus & the Chandanakudam Festivals of Muslims also attract numerous people to this small district. These religious festivals also represent its rich cultural & communal harmony.
which hosts another important annual event called the Maramon Convention.
Aranmula is located on the banks of the river Pamba, Aranmula snake boat race is a absolute water pageant. It is also known as Uthratathi boat race because it is held on Uthrathi, the last day of Onam festival. Now, only 26 snake boats participate in this colorful water carnival, on the first day of the celebration an imposing effigy of Sree Krishna is taken out in procession on the lake with children dressed as nymphs and princesses. On the second day, snake boats decorated with silken parasols, carrying helmsmen, oarsmen and singer assemble near the temples early in the morning and then move away in pairs, creating a magnificent pageant.The Vinjana Kalavedi is a art & cultural training centre at Arunmula organise training in the traditional arts and crafts of Kerala. Kathakali, classical dance, classical music as well as Kalaripayattu (the martial art of Kerala) are taught here. Many foreign tourist come & study every year to have firsthand experience about Kerala culture. Aranmula is also known for the Vaasthu Vidya Gurukulam, the traditional way of constructing buildings. Aranmula is also well-known for its metal mirrors made of bell metal. It is believed that a divine visitation inspired a widow of this village to discover a mysterious blend of bronze which could be waxed bright into crystal clear mirror. The mystery of its production is a family heirloom handed down through generations. This noted handiwork stands out as a symbol of excellence in traditional metallic craft in Kerala.
Perumthenaruvi water falls in the river Pamba at Perumthenaruvi attract thousands of people. This is a beautiful natural waterfall and an ideal place for hang out.
Charalkunnu is a picturesque hill station from where one can have breathtaking view of the low lying areas including that of the sinuous river Pamba. There is a comfortable camp house which has both rooms and dormitories.
Kakki reservoir, the beautiful ambience of this place is a real visual treat for tourist. The splendid artificial lake offers exciting boating experience. The surrounding forest abounds in tigers, elephants, deers and monkeys.
Konni, located only 11 kilometers from district head courters, is a wonderful agricultural region rich in cash crops like rubber, pepper, coffee, ginger etc. It used to be a centre for training elephants. Konni is also known for its elephant rides and the gigantic wooden Elephant cage where elephants are tamed and trained for work in yester years.
- Category: Destinations
Palakkad about 160 kilometers away from Cochin, is blessed with great scenic splendor and abundant natural resources. It is the land of Pala Tree and Paddy fields. It is the hilly district devoid of any sea coast.. Palakkad was the gateway to Kerala from the country years back. Etymologically, Palakkad derives its name from the Pala (alsteria scholaris) tree and kadu(forest), as it is said that the area was once full of Pala trees. It has played a key role in the cultural history of Southern India. The district set in the foot of majestic Western Ghats is unique in its geographical position, historical background, and tourist attractions The colossal Western Ghats stretch over 960km, in length, their continuity is only broken at Palakkad, known as “Palakkad Gap” with a width of 32km. On the either side of the “Palakkad Gap” are the imposing NIlgiri hills and Anamalai Hills. The climate of the district is highly influenced by the “Palakkad Gap” as it enables the north-east winds to pass through it. This phenomenon gives the benefit of both south- west and north-east winds resulting in rainfall to the district and it has aptly earned the epitaph of “Granary of Kerala” or the “Rice Bowl of Kerala”. The “Palakkad Gap” has also contributed immensely in the commercial and cultural exchanges between the State and other parts of India.
Palakkad Fort was built by Hyder Ali in 1766. The majestic granite fort, in the heart of the town, It is one of the best preserved forts of the state and is looked after by the Department of Archaeological Survey of India. A temple of Lord Hanuman is adjacent to the main entrance of the Fort. A museum of Archaeology is also functioning inside the Fort. Fort is surrounded by a trench. A jogging track parallel to the trench is provided for jogging in the morning and evening hours. The entire area is beautifully landscaped.
There is also very attractive small garden named Vatika with facilities for children’s entertainment is situated near the parking area of the Fort. Jain temple of Jainimedu, situated on the weastern suburbs of Palakkad town, not far from the railway station, this historic 32 feet long, 20 feet wide granite temple displays images of the Jain thirtankras and its yaikshinis. The region around the temple known as Jainimedu is one of the few places in Kerala where the vestiges of Jainism have survived.
Malampuzha Garden: It is located 12km north of Palakkad town, on the lower hills of the Western Ghats. It is set amidst picturesque surroundings and beautiful picnic spots. The Malampuzha Dam, described as the ‘Temple of modern age” by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister of India. Beautiful rose gardens and amusement park for children have been set around the reservoir.”Yakshi”, the work of Kerala’s famous
Sculptor Kanai Kunhiraman is also displayed in the garden. Boating, fishing and various water spot facilities are also available here. Malampuzha is also known as the headquarters of the inland fisheries activities of Kerala. Dhoni located 15km from Palakkad . There is a waterfall on top of the Dhoni hills, which could be reached by a 3 hr long trek from the bottom of the hills. Trekking is the best way to explore the splender of this hilly terrain. Dhoni is famous for its farm house with exotic rare breeds of cattle.
Nelliyampathy: The pleasant hill resort is situated 32km south of Palakkad. The lush valleys in the region are full of valuable teak plantations with extraordinary height and girth. The orange estates at Nelliyampathy hills produce high quality oranges which are very popular in Southern India. Nellikota or Padagiri is the highest peak of the region. There is a picnic spot near Sithargundu estate which offers aerial view of district is absolutely breathtaking.
Silent Valley National Park: This 89.52 sq km national park is believed to be the sole surviving bit of evergreen forests in the Sahya Ranges. The peculiarity of the Silent Valley forest is that it is devoid even of the chiping of cicadas. Vehicular transport is possible only up to Mukkali, near by 24 km from the park. The rest of the way has to be covered on foot up to the source of Kunthipuzha which flows through the valley before merging into the Bharatapuzha. The river Kunthi descends from the Nilgiri hills above, an altitude of 2000 meters traverses the entire length of the valley and rushes down to the plains through a deep gorge. River Kunthi never turns brown; it is crystal clear, perennial and wild. The sanctuary has perhaps the countries last substantial stretch of evergreen rain forest. The key fauna includes elephant, tiger, lion tailed macaque etc.
Attapadi: Some blissful movements, a wonderful tribal experience is what Attapadi has in stock for a tourist. The villages of Agali, Sholayur and Puttur are located inside the remote jungles of Silent valley National park at a distance of about 50km from Palakkad. These small tribal hamlets nestled in the picturesque Western Ghats are one of the few areas are still frosen in the olden times. The natural beauty of these small Hamlets is further enhanced by the many frothy brooks that crisscross the mountainous terrains this is where one can truly experience the tribal life style untouched by urban developments. The inhabitants of the area meet their livelihood by hunting and gathering honey, fruits and herbs from the dense forests around, pretty much the same way their ancestors have don from times immortal.
Parambikulam Wild life Santuary: It lies 135 km from Palakkad via Pollachi and is one of the best wild life sanctuaries in the state. The sanctuary covers an area of 285 sq km around the Parambikulam, Thunacadavu and Peruvaripalam dams, forming a part of the neighboring Annamalai sanctuary in Tamil nadu. IT is home to varied wikld life species like Gaur(Bison), sambar, spotted deer, Nilagiri Langur, Lion tailed Macaque, sloth bear etc.
Kollengode: It is the abode of blacksmiths enshrines the pristine beauty of rural Palakkad. The Kollengode Palace, the Vishnu Temple and the poet P.Kunhiraman Nair Memorial are worth visiting. The Kollengode Palace has now been converted into a luxury hotel complete with an Ayurvedic Spa. The place is also home to the famous Indian writer & UN personality Mr. Shashi Taroor.
Thritala: The place is famous for its monuments and historic ruins. The Shiva temple and ruins of a mud fort on the Chalissery road are of considerable cultural importance. The Kattilmadam Temple, a small granite Buddhist monument on the Pattambi-Guruvayoor road is of great archaeological importance.
Pothundi reservoir lies 45 km from Palakkad and is famous for the the scenic location is a popular picnic site.
Chittur: It is located 15km south east of Palakkad,is known for the ‘Konganpada festival’ held every year on the 1st Monday after the dark lunar night in kumbhom (feb-mar).The festival is celebrated to commemorate the victory of nairs of kochi over the militia of Konganadu.”The Tunchath Acharya Madam”, located here is belied to have founted by Tuchath Ramanujan Ezhuthachan The father of Malayalam literature, Chittur is also known for Kora grass, mat making. The granite carving is a rare craft which can be seen in the chittur taluk.
JP Smritivanam and Deer Park sprawling across 100 acres of untamed wilderness is located inside the Walayar reserve forest range on the Tamilnadu Kerala border. The park is safe heaven for a variety of Deer and other wild animals. Elephant safaris are the best way to explore the remotest parts of the park and to catch the limits of he exotic wild life.
Monuments Article Count: 9
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