10 reasons why Versatile Kerala is a perfect destination for any kind of traveler

posted in: India, Asia, Beaches, Culture, Heritage, Kerala, Nature | 64

Some time back, I had indicated 12 types of travelers that are generally seen. While that was in a humorous vein, there remains the fact that there is some bit of each that we all exhibit. Every traveler has their own preference of destination that meets their needs. Some like to take it slow, some like a bit of adventure and then there are others who seek a photographer’s paradise or are enraptured by heritage. Thus, the choice of destination becomes a conflict, especially when you are planning to go in a group or as a couple. However, here is a Bet that I have for you! No matter what kind of traveler you are – Versatile Kerala – God’s Own Country is bound to appeal to you!

Versatile Kerala - something for every traveler
Versatile Kerala – something for every traveler

What makes me so sure that Versatile Kerala is bound to appeal to you? Well, I don’t just have one reason. I have 10 reasons. I bet that by the end of this post, you will message in and confirm that I was right –  Kerala is perfect for any traveler!

1) Beaches of Versatile Kerala

Kovalam beach in Kerala
Kovalam beach in Kerala

If you are looking for a relaxing holiday by a non-crowded beach, then Kerala is the place to be in. The gentle shores of the Kerala beaches are not just a soothing affair but also, a nice cultural one too. My favorite among the few that I have seen is Kovalam beach with its palm-fringed shore that assures that the place is aptly called what it is. (Kovalam means coconut grove). I have fond memories of flying a kite on the beach, indulging in some water fun here, trying out some of the watersports and even opting for a soothing Ayurvedic massage. The mornings here were memorable with lazy walks and seeing the fishermen set out for their day. And to top it all, the gorgeous sunsets that each of my visits treated me to.

Sunset on Kovalam Beach
Sunset on Kovalam Beach

Besides Kovalam, the beach enthusiasts can even head to Varkala beach enclosed within high hills that are dotted with colorful shops that appeal to the shopping enthusiasts as well. If there is a bit of history buff within you, then Bekal is another recommendation from my end with the heritage Bekal fort overlooking the lashing waves of the Arabian Sea. There are plenty more names of the Kerala beaches that I can mention but that merits a completely new post. For now, let’s move to reason no. 2 of what makes Kerala Versatile.

2) Placid Backwaters of Kerala

Houseboats along the Backwaters of Kerala
Houseboats along the Backwaters of Kerala

Besides the sobriquet of “God’s own Country”, the other popular phrase associated with Kerala, specifically, Alleppey is “Venice of the east”.  The reason for the same are the gorgeous, serene backwaters of Kerala. The 900 km wide stretch of these regions is bound to excite any visitor.  An idyllic honeymoon setting for young couples, a photographer’s paradise for the shutterbugs, a kayaking paradise for the adventure lovers, a foodie’s delight with its spread of freshwater cuisine, a birder’s heaven with this colorful winged beauties ….the list goes on. Among the popular destinations for backwaters of Kerala, I have been to only Alleppey and have totally loved it for reasons cited in this post. I sure would love trying out Kumarakom the next time I go there. Or Kochi or even the lesser known Ashtamudi and Kumbalgini.

2) Hills of Kerala

Hills of Versatile Kerala
Hills of Versatile Kerala

Be it any month of the year, the hills of Kerala greet you with their lush green color, enchanting waterfalls and crystal lakes. These can never be boring, for there is just so much to do. It is not just the nature lovers who will love the hills of Kerala, but also, the adrenaline seekers. From hiking trails to rappelling and rock climbing, each hill town has something unique to offer. Thekkady is one place that will be dear to me – with a winding drive that took me along the stunning views and gorgeous cascades. A weekend in Thekkady is quite a refreshing affair. I loved walking around the tiny town, hopping into its small shops and discovering the joys of staying in the hills.

Banasura Falls, Wayanad
Banasura Falls, Wayanad

Wayanad with its never-ending list of places to visit remains my favorite weekend getaway – 3 visits and I am not done. The reason for the same I have included in my earlier post that helps you find the best locations to stay in Wayanad. Munnar is yet another popular destination that I have recommended to my family and friends, especially the newlyweds. Then, there are some which I have yet to visit – Devikulam, Ponmudi and Idukki. Sigh!

4) Diverse Wildlife of Versatile Kerala

Dense tropical Kerala forests with its enchanting flora and fauna are bound to delight the nature enthusiasts. It is quite a jaw-dropping experience if you find large tuskers just along the road, trying to hail you down. I am not exaggerating on this one for it is one of my most memorable moments on the way to Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary. The tusker right in the middle of the road stunned me so much that I forgot to even click a picture of it. Talk of a show stopper.

Birds of Kerala
Birds of Kerala

As a naturalist, you would love to spot the tigers of Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary or the rare grizzled squirrel in the Chinnar wildlife sanctuary. If you are an ornithologist, you are definitely going to love Pakshipathalam in Wayanad  – for its adventurous hiking trail and the stunning views that are home to the most unusual birds. As a family traveler, your kids are likely to love the elephant the boat safaris that are available in the various Kerala wildlife sanctuaries. Are you sold on this reason no.4 to visit Versatile Kerala?

5) Colorful Culture of Kerala

Bharat Natyam Performance at Kovalam
Bharat Natyam Performance at Kovalam

If you are a connoisseur of fine arts, music and dance, then Kerala is going to be a delight for you. On every trip of mine through this versatile land, I was treated to some ancient art forms of Kerala. Witnessing the ancient war form of Kalaripayatu in Thekkady was something that still stays strong in my mind as does Kathakali. I particularly loved the elaborate costumes and the lively expressions of this dance form. Fresh on my mind is the lovely performance of Bharat Natyam that though not originally from Kerala, was an integral part of my Kerala tour through the Golden Chariot.

The colorful culture of Kerala is visible at every destination here and trust me, it is enough to make you fall in love with the place.

6) History & Heritage in Kerala

St Francis Church, Fort Kochi
St Francis Church, Fort Kochi

Rooted deep here are the earliest signs of inhabitation of humans. The Eddakal caves were fascinating for me, owing to this – as you can find signs of the stone-age carvings. A find that is bound to enthrall any history buff. Add to that the numerous temples and palaces in Kerala that tell you the tales of the glorious past of India. I sure want to see the world’s smallest coins in the Koyikkal palace  – a place that is eluding me for a long time now. The other place that I highly recommend to history buffs is visiting the Jew Town in Fort Kochi. Trust me, this is bound to be one cultural and foodie experience as well.

7) Food in Kerala

Food in Kerala
Food in Kerala                                                                                                Image Credits: Devika via Flickr under CC by SA 2.0

Even for a non-foodie like me, Kerala was a delight to my culinary senses. Be it for a  vegetarian or a seafood lover, there is just myriad of options that you can choose from. If you love the tangy and spicy flavors, team their traditional curries like Alleppey Fish Curry or the Ulli Theeyal (Shallot curry) with the boiled rice or brown rice. I love these with Idiyappam (Rice Noodles) However, if that is too strong for you, just go with the traditional vegetable stew and appams. My evergreen choice. Irrespective of where you are in Kerala, you are bound to enjoy it all,

8) Adventure in Versatile Kerala

Kayaking in Kerala
Kayaking in Kerala                           Picture Credits: Creative Commons by Disha Gadhiya via Flickr under CC by NC-ND – 2.0

There is just plenty for those thrill seekers in Kerala. If you are on the beach, the parasailing, water scooter, and banana boat rides are just unavoidable. Try some Kayaking on the backwaters or even the calmer seas. Head out for some mountain biking in the hills. Put on your trekking shoes for those lovely trails that take you to beautiful lakes like the heart-shaped Chembra lake in Wayanad. You can even try, rappelling at the various waterfalls in Kerala. And don’t miss the Speed boating at the Banasura lake.

9) Plantation Paradise in Kerala

Tea estates of Wayanad
Tea estates of Wayanad

Whether you love tea or coffee or even spices, Kerala has some amazing stays within these plantations that give you are perfect flavor of these. Staying in these plantation home-stays or resorts offer you an experience quite unlike a regular hotel. Waking up to the fresh sights and sounds of these natural surroundings is just a treat for any traveler – irrespective of whether you are looking for a relaxing holiday or indulging in your hobby as a photographer, a bonding space with your family or just a different experience for those looking to do offbeat. Try Wayanad for the Coffee estates or Munnar for its lovely tea gardens and Thekkady of course, being my pick for spice gardens.

10) Shopping in Versatile Kerala

Shopping at Fort Kochi
Shopping at Fort Kochi

I am sure by now you have spotted that this is a shopaholic’s dream. Colorful cotton clothes, traditional metal jewelry, brassware and decor items, spice packets, ayurvedic oils, coir art….Wow! There is just so much to see and buy. The best part is that no matter where you are in Kerala, these things are just so affordable. They make great gifts and memorabilia of your travel to this lovely state – Versatile Kerala.

Do I hear the trumpets blowing? Did I just win the bet that I started off at the beginning of this post? Versatile Kerala does appeal to you, doesn’t it?  Here is some inspiration with a few places in Kerala to get you started.





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64 Responses

  1. Crimson April

    Woah! Being a malayali, even I haven’t explored the state so well as you did. And I know how much effort goes into curating a post and selecting the best of the images. You are doing incredible work and I loved this post. Thanks for sharing dear 😀

  2. quirkywanderer

    Absolutely agree with you Ami! 🙂 the state is versatile and diverse. Love the temples too. They are ornate and just too massive with their traditional architecture, lamps and more:) love the backwaters, the green tea plantations and exotic wildlife. Truly god’s own country!

  3. travelerettenyc

    You have certainly convinced me to visit Kerala. I’m not a sportswoman, but aside from adventure travel, all aspects of what you posted appeal to me. I love relaxing on beaches, I love delicious and spicy food, I love history, and I love shopping. Plus I have a Jewish father, so I would really want to see Jew Town. Looks like Kerala has it all.

    • Ami

      Seems like you have a lot of reasons to get here. Yippee…I did win the bet 🙂

  4. vishvarsha

    So true! Kerela is diverse in all sense! Temples to churches, beautiful beaches to stunning backwaters, high hill with tea plantations to forsted hills and valleys of Periyar…it is just amazing 😀 Or atleast seems so from what I have heard and read till date!

  5. 100cobbledroads

    Now that you mention all these categories, it just drives home one point harder…how each of these apply equally well to our country as a whole! Something for every kind of traveller. So many people visiting India expect just a few of those.

  6. Sabine Krestel

    I am really looking forward to my India Trip now 😀 I am still deciding which places I want to see, because it is so much land and just not much time and I guess it is going to be a tough decision, but Kerala just landed on my check-it-out-some-more-list =) Thanks for sharing this post ^^

    • Ami

      Glad to help Sabine. If you need any other info on India, just write in. Cheers

    • Ami

      They are so refreshing Doreen. And you will definitely enjoy discovering them.

  7. Una-Minh

    Kerala is just wonderful! And incidentally, the swing you have in your images – I was there just in March! I was captivated by this beautiful country and I can’t wait to head back there again.

    • Ami

      Happy that you enjoyed the whole experience too. Hope you return back soon. Cheers

  8. Danik

    Claire here from the Curious Explorers and I did Kerala last year (Danik hasn’t) and I totally loved that area from hiking to checking out the food and culture. The accommodation in various resorts I stayed in was fantastic and I hope to take Danik back there again soon!

  9. Bhusha

    Kerala is an absolute stunner. No matter how many times I go to Kerala there is still so much to see. Its a beautiful and blessed with the bounty of Mother Nature. The architecture, esp with all those wooden sculptural detailing is gorgeous and the culture is so colorful as well!!!

  10. Ada

    This place looks so great! Hiking, taking a boat, amazing views, fabulous food, dancing, shopping… Kerala is now officially on my list when I visit India one day 🙂

  11. Shane Prather

    Kerala is so incredibly diverse in landscapes, you are right, something everyone will love! I would fall for the wildlife and the unique cuisine of the region I can almost guarantee. Can’t wait to visit and see for myself!

  12. Miriam Ernst

    Kerala looks and is absolutely amazing and as you write, I love vegetarian and sea food so I would probably love the food there!

  13. Sandy N Vyjay

    Kerala is truly versatile. You name it and it has it all. Be it the beaches or the hills or history or art or food. The beautiful landscapes and the rich culture draws travellers like magnet. That is why it is called ‘God’s own country’ 🙂

  14. gobeyondbounds

    We agree the God’s own country is an ideal destination for any kind of travelers. The tea estates of Munnar and the backwaters at Alleppey was an amazing experience we look forward to visiting this wonderful state again.

    • Ami

      Am sure this time you will find something else that will interest you even more!

  15. Gareth

    Versatility is something me and my girlfriend constantly have to consider when making our travel plans. We are both quite different in our tastes and consequently, we always need somewhere that can accommodate us both. Kerala looks kind of ideal for this given that it has adventuring and history for me, shopping and eating for her. Also, as a major cricket fan, it’s a city I’ve always wanted to explore

    • Ami

      Not so sure of cricket but tons of football here. Kerala works well for both of you given your diverse interests. Hope you get down to visiting it soon.

  16. onceuponateensite

    I’ve never been to Kerala but my mum lived there for sometime so I’ve heard about how beautiful it is. Your photographs are so picturesque, it definitely reaffirmed my notions about Kerala. It also is a great place to visit because it seems like it has a lot to do and see.

    • Ami

      Thank you for the compliments on my pics. The place does not really need any skill for photography. It is just naturally beautiful.

  17. asoulwindow

    Kerala is my favourite. No wonder I have been to Kerala backwaters and Fort Kochi 3 times. Once solo, once with family and once with a group. I would still love to see more of Kerala.

    • Ami

      Three visits and am sure you are not tired of it. It is just that kind of a place.

  18. Marge Gavan

    Before, the only thing I knew of Kerala is the Kerala Blog Express. I know many bloggers who want to be selected and join it. Reading through your post and seeing how beautiful the place is, I think I can now understand why travel bloggers want to win a spot. Now that houseboat looks very unique, never seen anything quite like it before.

    • Ami

      The houseboats here are quite a variety. The blog express does get popular owing to the destination. I hope with or without the Blogexpress you are able to make it here.

    • Ami

      Anytime is a good time but the best is just after monsoons. October to February.

  19. AllGudThings

    Yesterday only i was looking for the tickets to Kerala and today I got to read this post. Your post has given me more than enough reasons to convince my husband for Kerala. The beaches, backwaters, sunset, food everything is special there. I hope we get to travel there this year. Ami your pictures are awesome, esp the one of sunset and backwater.

    • Ami

      Fingers crossed for your trip. I do hope you make it there. And thank you Suruchi for the lovely compliments on my pics.

  20. neha

    It reminded me of my own trip to Kerala. Definitely it is very versatile. The mountains are beautiful and the backwaters unique. While the beaches are pristine. Oh..I so want to return here for another trip

    • Ami

      Am sure you will, considering how close it is to home. Kerala does tend to attract you over and over again.

  21. Reshma

    Having traveled to all of these places that you have mentioned, I can’t agree with you more on the versatility of Kerala. Kovalam is my personal favorite for beaches in Kerala. And Munnar can’t be beaten for the best hill station! Nicely put, Ami 🙂

  22. Tania Mukherjee

    Agree with each and every point of yours. Though I had been to Kerala I tasted the appam and vegetable stew here in Mumbai and simply loved it. In your article I found mention of some offbeat places as well. Now they are added to my list!

    • Ami

      Thank you Tania. I have only mentioned a few places. There are just tons of amazing places to visit in Kerala. Cheers

  23. Iza (@IzaAbao)

    I have read a lot of great feedback about traveling to Kerala. It is one of the places in India that is pleasant and beautiful. I like vegetarian and seafood dishes. I would love to try the foods that you have mentioned on your post. They sound delicious.

  24. Flo

    I’ve heard such amazing things about Kerala! The tea plantations and backwaters look breathtaking – I’d love to visit one day!

    • Ami

      They sure are amazing Flo. You should plan a trip soon. After the monsoons, they will be even more amazing!

  25. OurSweetAdventures

    The beaches seem very enjoyable and the water looks almost turquoise like the caribbean. The Hills of Kerala look like a photographers paradise. I think it would be incredible if you could walk in some of the plantations and pick your own tea leaves or help brew your own coffee. That would be incredible. Thank you for sharing

    • Ami

      You sure can do that at some of the home-stays. Brew your own cup. Kerala sure is amazing. Cheers

  26. Chiara Cisario

    I’ve heard so many good things about Kerala so I was glad your post confirmed that 🙂 It looks amazing too from your photography, really a great job!

    • Ami

      Thank you so much for the kind words. Kerala is indeed magical and I do hope you get around to going here.

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