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Kerala is a popular tourist destination in India known for its scenic beauty, beaches, backwaters, cultural heritage, and traditional Ayurvedic therapies.
Kerala has 14 districts or administrative divisions with the major cities being Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum), Kochi and Kozhikode.
Stretching down half the length of Kerala state, the Kerala backwaters includes five large lakes linked by canals and fed by 38 rivers.
Tourism in Kerala
The best time to visit Kerala is during the months of October to April.
There are three airports in the state of Kerala which provide international and domestic connections: Thiruvananthapuram International Airport (TRV), Cochin International Airport (COK), and Calicut International Airport (CCJ).
The Government of Kerala state is headquartered in Thiruvananthapuram.
The Kerala Department of Tourism is located at Park View, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India
Kerala at a Glance
Flanked by the Arabian Sea in the West, the towering Western Ghats in the East and networked by 44 interconnected rivers, Kerala is blessed with a unique set of geographical features that have made it one of the most sought after tourist destinations in Asia.
With an overwhelming presence of water in the form of canals and backwaters, the district of Alappuzha has a distinct lifestyle.
Alappuzha (Alleppey) is often referred to as the 'Venice of the East' because of its vast network of lakes, lagoons and freshwater rivers.
The centrally located district of Ernakulam is considered something of a gateway for travellers and tourists wishing to visit Kerala.
Located on the coast of the Arabian Sea, Ernakulam is a booming business metropolis; a fascinating mixture of the old and the new.
Fort Cochin (Kochi) is attractive to tourists; thanks to its extraordinary history of foreign influence and settlement, reflected in a variety of architectural styles.
The air gateway to Kochi is the Cochin International Airport (COK) located at Nedumbassery, about 17 miles north of Kochi city.
Keeping in mind the sound infrastructure this region provides tourists, you can plan a visit to Kochi absolutely anytime of the year. However, the peak season to travel to Kochi is between October and April, when a hot and dry climate prevails.
The daytime temperature would average around 32 degrees Celsius, whereas, the night's would be around 20 degrees Celsius.
As Cochin is situated 10 degrees to the north of Equator, its climate is hot and humid throughout the year.
The period between June and September invariably experiences heavy showers because of the southwest monsoon; while the northwest monsoon causes drizzle during October to December.
If you want to avoid the rains, it might be best to visit Kochi between December and March.
Idukki's hilly terrain, including the highest point in South India, offers active visitors plenty of scope for trekking and other adventure sports.
Idukki is Keralas largest district; a landlocked region with numerous trekking trails and spectacular landscape that make it a dream destination for nature enthusiasts.
Kannur offers visitors a mix of beautiful beaches, historic sites, interesting folk arts and folk music, rituals, religious practices and festivities.
Kannur (Cannanore) is said to be the ancient port of Naura, from whose shores King Solomons ships collected timber to build the great temple of Jerusalem.
The 300-year-old Bekal Fort is one of the main attractions of Kasaragod.
Kasaragod, the northernmost district of Kerala has a 293 kilometre long coastline.
Home to Sasthamcotta, the largest fresh water lake in Kerala, Kollam is considered an ideal launch point to cruising on the Kerala backwaters.
The district of Kottayam is the place to head for if you wish to visit the high ranges in Central Kerala.
Kottayam is a picturesque state attracting tourists to its panoramic backwaters of Kumarakom, lush paddy fields, highlands and extensive rubber plantations.
It was in Kozhikode that Vasco da Gama, the Portuguese navigator, first came ashore; back in 1498.
A mighty seaport where Arab, Chinese and East African traders once converged, Kozhikode (Calicut) was previously the most important region of the Malabar Coast.
The hilly district of Malappuram has the mountain ranges of the Western Ghats to its east.
Malappuram, literally a land atop hills, has contributed much to the cultural heritage of Kerala.
Palakkad is one of the larger Kerala districts; a blend of forest, rivers, valleys and hills.
Palakkad (Palghat) is a vast expanse of verdant plains interspersed with hills, rivers, mountain streams and forests.
Although the smallest Kerala district, Pathanamthitta attracts millions of pilgrims to the shrine of Lord Ayappa in the Sabari Hills.
The hilly territory of Pathanamthitta is dotted with temples, rivers, mountain ranges and coconut groves; making it a popular place of pilgrim worship in Kerala.
Thiruvananthapuram is the capital city of Kerala.
There are direct trains from Thiruvananthapuram to all the main towns in Kerala as well as the major cities in India.
Some of the exquisite performing arts of Kerala can be learnt in Thrissur, as well as ancient Indian knowledge systems like Ayurveda.
Thrissur (Trichur) is the cultural capital of Kerala and synonymous with the spectacular Pooram Festival.
The northern district of Wayanad is the abode of Keralas tribal population.
Wayanad is one of the few districts in Kerala that has been able to retain its pristine nature.
Houseboat Tours on the Kerala Backwaters
Situated on the bank of the Lake Vembanad, Kumarakom is a fast developing backwater tourism hub in Kerala.
Kumarakom is home to the Vembanad Bird Sanctuary; formerly known as Bakers' Estate.
Before the explosion of vehicles on Kerala's roads most of the local goods were transported by boats on the waterways.
Visitors to the backwaters of Kerala can travel down from Kochi to Kumarakom, through the lake and narrow canals; under the shadow of tall, graceful coconut palms.
As far as Kerala Houseboat Cruise Rates go, you might find March to October slightly cheaper than November to February.
Many Kerala houseboats operated by local tour companies have eco-friendly features with comfortable sleeping quarters, shower cabinets and toilet.
The typical Kerala houseboat is made from wood and natural coconut fibre; by local craftsman, using conventional and traditional methods.
Kerala houseboat crew members (navigator, cook and service personnel) are trained local people who provide simplistic services to visiting tourists.
Many Kerala houseboat companies feed tourists on their cruises with home-grown vegetables, fruits, and serve the hungry visitors fresh fish caught in the lake.
Kerala Houseboat journeys include overnight trips and hourly cruises.
Offers houseboat cruises along the scenic backwater villages at Vembanad lake.
An intricate lacework of canals intersects this 17 acre waterfront property with 28 quaint cottages; some on stilts in the water.
The resort consists of 13 separate islands completely intersected by canals and interconnected by rustic bridges which provide the ideal setting for a romantic getaway.
Acclaimed as the finest luxury heritage resort in India, the Kumarakom Lake Resort nestles on the serene banks of Lake Vembanad.
Kerala Maps and Travel Guides
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