It is not called God’s own country without reason. Who wouldn’t want to spend a few leisurely days in the lap of nature, amidst lush greenery, soaking in the aroma of spices and gliding over the incredible back-waters? Kerala-the very name conjures up images of a paradise, away from the hustle and bustle of city life and one that is synonymous with a rejuvenating experience.
Kerala tourism is incomplete without a sneak-peek into a few extraordinary destinations. But if you consider yourself to be one who doesn’t like the mundane, one who likes unique experiences, then this list of offbeat places to visit in Kerala is definitely the one to try!
1.Chembra Peak, Wayanad: If you are adventurous at heart and love to explore places on foot, then this just for you. Tag a friend along or do it just by yourself, the trek to the top is breathtaking. The icing on the cake is the Hridhayathadakam lake which is heart-shaped.
Air: You can take a flight to Karipur International Airport and take a bus or taxi. The distance is about 92 km.
Rail: Kozhikode is the nearest railway station which is 79 km away. You can then take State Buses or a taxi to reach Chembra Peak Base camp.
Road: You can either drive down from BangaloreKozhikodekode and via Kalpetta you can reach the Chembra base camp.
2. Ponmudi: A hill-station that offers a respite from the daily grind, easily accessible from Thiruvananthapuram, nestled amidst sloping tea-estates and surrounded by misty valleys, Ponmudi proves to be an excellent Kerala vacation getaway and is a must in your Kerala sightseeing itinerary.
Air: The nearest airport is Thiruvananthapuram(Trivandrum) which is about 56km(approx. 2 hours by taxi).
Rail: The nearest railhead is Trivandrum. From there you can take a taxi to Ponmudi, which is approx. 33 km away.
Road: You can also drive down from Kochi(6 hrs approx.) or Coimbatore(9 hrs approx.).
3. Silent Valley National Park: True to its name, it is like an untouched pearl, not yet fully explored by many. A vast wilderness, interspersed with cascading waterfalls and silently flowing rivers, this tropical forest offers a much need succor to stressed minds. Situated on the Nilgiri Hills, in Kerala’s Palakkad, this place is under consideration for UNESCO World Heritage site.
Air: The Nearest airport is Coimbatore, a distance of approx. 55 km from the national park.
Rail: The nearest railway station is at Palakkad. You can take a bus to Mukkali which is about 60 km away. You can also get down at Coimbatore and then travel to Mukkali which is a distance of about 65 km.
Road: The national park is well connected with state buses. You can either travel via Coimbatore or Kozhikode.
4. Marari Beach: Are you a beach bum? Is your idea of heaven is lazying by the beach with the salty breeze caressing your cheeks? This beach situated in the Alappuzha district is as picturesque as it can get.
Air: Kochi(Cochin) is the nearest airport. From there you can hire a taxi or take a bus to Marari which is approx. 60 km away.
Rail: Alleppey (16 km), Kottayam (42 km), and Cochin (55 km) are nearest railheads.
Road: Marari Beach is easily accessible from Alleppy, Cochin, and Kottayam.
5. Ilaveezha Poonchira: Ilaveezha Poonchira means ‘a flowery lake where no leaves fall’ in Malayalam and this is because of the absence of trees on the mountaintop. This place is a hidden gem near Kochi. Once there, you are bound to be left spellbound. This place comes alive, especially during the monsoons. The sunrise and sunsets are not to be missed.
Air: Cochin is the nearest airport, which is 230 km away.
Rail: The nearest railhead is Kottayam Railway Station which 60 km away.
Road: You can either take a bus or taxi from Kottayam(60 km) or take a bus from Thodupuzha(20 km).
6. Anamudi: Kerala has many wildlife sanctuaries and national parks. But if you are looking for one uncorrupted by the masses, then this place surrounded by unique flora and fauna is a must visit. Anamudi Peak is the highest peak in South India Not too far from Cochin, the natural beauty all around will leave you enchanted.
Air: Cochin is the nearest airport. You can take a cab from Cochin (115 km) which will take about 3 hours.
Rail: Aluva Railway Station is the nearest railhead which is about 115 km away. From there you can take a taxi.
Road: You can take a bus from Chennai, Bangalore, Coimbatore, Mysore to Munnar. From Munnar, you can take a cab. It takes about half an hour to reach Anamudi from Munnar.
7. Kuruvadweep: If your idea of an ideal holiday is discovering exotic species of flora and fauna, then this place is just perfect. This island near Kozhikode has a naturally filtered water source. Since this island is not too commercialized, you would find no shops. A leisurely ride on the Kabini river, amidst the glorious natural surroundings and wildlife, will fill with peace and calm.
Air: Kozhikode is the nearest airport which is about 90 km away. From there you can book a cab or bus to reach Manathavady.
Rail: Kozhikode is the nearest railhead about 100 km away. You can take a cab to Manathavady. The island is approx. 17 km from Manathavady by bus.
Road: You can either take a bus from Manathavady(17 km) or Kalpetta(30 km) to reach the island.
Kerala is not just a state, it is an experience as it has something for everyone. If you are craving for a refreshing vacation, a trip including these less explored destinations in Kerala will prove to be beyond your imagination. Far from the madding crowd, this place is indeed a slice of heaven.