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  • Experience the backwaters of Kerala

    Kerala is famous all over the world for its copious natural beauty and the intricate network of backwaters is its crowning glory. They are a chain of numerous natural and man-made canals, natural lakes, estuary and rivers. To enjoy this paradise you need to head to Alappuzha, Kumarakom or Kollam or Kochi. These are the perfect gateways to start your journey. The best way to enjoy Kerala backwaters is by hiring a houseboat. You could hire it for a day cruise or for night stay. As it the Backwater tourism is a year-round thing in Kerala you could come down for a tour at any time of the year. At the same time, we would also love to tell you that the period between October to February is the peak tourism season in Kerala as from March to May we have summer and from June to September it is monsoon season in Kerala.So if you want to enjoy the water world it is better to visit between October to February. But the houseboat rate will be comparatively lower in the other months (the perks of offseason).

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  • Top 7 honeymoon destinations in Kerala

    The honeymoon is the best time to get to enjoy some quality time with your spouse. Here are top 7 honeymoon destinations in Kerala that are scenic and at the same time offers you privacy.MunnarMunnar, undoubtedly the most famous hill station in Kerala, is nestled in the Western Ghats Mountains. The combination of beautiful never ending stretches of tea plantations, picturesque mountains, valleys, greenery, exotic flora and fauna and waterfalls make Munnar a great place to spend your honeymoon days. This tranquil land is one of the ideal places to enjoy each other's company. Munnar is about 110 km away from Kochi international airport and is accessible by road. The pleasant climate and the breathtaking views make Munnar one of the best hill stations in Kerala. The place also has many resorts and hotels that provide all the modern amenities. You could choose one according to your budget.BackwatersKerala is famous for its backwaters and you should not miss the opportunity to enjoy a houseboat cruise. Alappuzha and Kumarakom are the ideal places to enjoy the water world of Kerala. Both these places offer houseboats services and you could hire a houseboat either for a day or stay overnight. The boat will take you to the lake and you could enjoy the stunning sceneries that border the lagoons and canals. The pristine water, swaying coconut groves, lush green paddy fields, and the quiet hamlets all add to the great experience. Alappuzha is a perfect place for honeymoon couples who want to have a cheerful and relaxing time. Other than the backwaters, the bird sanctuary is a major attraction in Kumarakom. It is home to a wide variety of migratory birds. WayanadIt is known as the greenery of Kerala. The exotic hills, wildlife, green forests, scenic valleys and lakes make this a great honeymoon destination. There are many resorts in Wayanad that offers its patrons to stay in a tree house and thus experience closeness to Mother Nature. It will be a unique experience to stay in a completely eco hut that is perched atop a tree some hundreds of feet above the ground. You may have birds or squirrels as your neighbours. There are many great places for sightseeing, including Chembra Peak and its heart-shaped pond, Edakkal caves, many spectacular waterfalls and go for trekking through the forests. Calicut international airport is the nearest one. KovalamIt is not only the most popular beach destination in Kerala but also a great place to spend your honeymoon in Kerala. It consists of three crescent shaped beaches, which are lined with never ending groves of coconut trees. The three beaches - Lighthouse Beach, Hawah/Eve's Beach and Samudra Beach - are ideal for swimming as the waters are shallow. While you are here you can go for an Ayurvedic massage or rejuvenation therapy in one the resorts or parlours in and around Kovalam. Activities such as parasailing, snorkelling, water skiing, windsurfing and kayaking are also available in Kovalam. Kovalam is near to the capital city and transportation will not be a problem at all.Poovar IslandThe island that lies about 30 km off Thiruvananthapuram This beautiful island is sandwiched between the sea and the pristine backwaters. There are a number of luxurious resorts in and around Poovar. You even stay in a floating cottage with your soulmate and enjoy the stunning views of the sea and the backwaters. VagamonThis beautiful place that is located at an altitude of 1,100 ft is hardly hot even for a summer day. The beautiful pine forests of Vagamon have been part of many blockbuster movies. This hill station is a surrounded by three hills. The beautiful valleys, misty mountains and the picturesque landscapes make Vagamon a favourite among the honeymooners. Many rare varieties of orchids also grow in Vagamon. Many resorts are available in Vagamon and you can pick one according to your budget. Bekal BeachBekal is a historic as well as scenic place. It lies in the northern district of Kerala - Kasargod. The historic and famous Bekal Fort and the sound of the Arabian Sea crashing against the walls of this fort is a spectacular view (remember the song 'Uyire' from the Maniratnam movie 'Bombay'?). The beach is also a great place to spend your time as it is clean and the water is shallow and pristine. You could enjoy a swim here as the water is not that deep. Bekal Fort is the biggest fort in Kerala and is well preserved. Though it is a part of Kerala Mangalore airport in Karnataka is the nearest airport.

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  • Famous pilgrimage places in Kerala

    Kerala is not just famous for its natural beauty; the land is also famous for its rich culture and heritage. The rich and diverse cultural heritage of Kerala has helped the native people with various religious beliefs to live in harmony and lead a peaceful life. There are many temples, churches, mosques and other centers belonging to many religious groups in Kerala. Kerala has many famous pilgrimage places for all religions, though you could find a religious place, be it a church, temple or mosque, at every nook and corner of the state. Some of the most famous pilgrimage places in Kerala are listed below. Hindu pilgrimage places in Kerala Unlike other parts of the country, the temples in Kerala follow strict rules and some even have strict dress codes. Photography and videography are not allowed, cleanliness is a must and some don't allow non-Hindus inside. So check with the local people or the temple authorities while you are on a pilgrimage to the temples of Kerala. Sabarimala (Pathanamthitta)The temple located in the Western Ghats mountain ranges of Pathanamthitta District witness one of the largest annual pilgrimages in the world. The temple dedicated to Lord open only during the days of Mandalapooja (from mid November to December), Makaravilakku (mid January) and during Vishu festival (mid April), and the first five days of each Malayalam month. An important point to note is that women between the age group of 12 to 50 are not allowed to Sabarimala.The devotees have to follow certain religious rules before visiting the hill shrine. They are supposed to take 41 days vratham (fasting, a strict vegetarian diet, celibacy, teetotalism etc...) prior to the pilgrimage. The devotees are also required to wear plain black/dark blue/saffron colour clothes and wear a chain made of Rudraksha or Tulsi beads around their neck as a symbol of renunciation of material life. The pilgrims also have to trek about 5 km through the forest to reach the temple. Air ports: Kochi airport (160 km), Thiruvananthapuram (170 km).Railway stations: Chengannur (82 km), Kottayam (120 km) and Kollam (129 km). Guruvayoor (Thrissur)The temple dedicated to Lord Krishna attracts thousands of devotees every day and is famous for its mural paintings. Non-Hindus are not allowed into the temple and like many other temples in Kerala, men are only allowed to wear mundu (dhothi) without the shirt inside the temple, young girls and women can wear salwar kameez, long skirts, saree or mundu-neriyathu.Tourists could also visit the nearby Punathur Kotta, owned by the temple, which cares for about 65 domesticated elephants. Airport: Kochi (75 km).Railway stations: Guruvayoor but only a limited number of trains run. Thrissur (29 km). Sree Padmanabha Temple (Trivandrum)The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The uniqueness of the temple is that here the idol of Lord Vishnu is in an eternal yogic sleep posture on the serpent Adisheshan. The temple is famous for its treasure making it the wealthiest institution and place of worship in the world. Visitors have to strictly follow the dress code at this temple. Only traditional wears such as mundu-neriyathu, saree or long skirts for women and young girls and mundu (dhothi) without shirt for men and boys are permitted. Mobiles, cameras, bags are not allowed inside the temple.Transportation will not be an issue as the temple is located in the centre of the city and the airport and railway station are just minutes away from the temple.Parassinikadavu Muttappan Temple (Kannur)This unique temple is situated at the banks of the Valapattanam River. Unlike other temples in Kerala the temple follow the non-Brahminical form of worship, it is done on a ritualistic art form called Muttappan theyam. Fish, meat and toddy are offered to Muthappan.Airport: Karipur International Airport, Kozhikode, (110 km).Railway station: Kannur (16 km).Vaikom Temple (Kottayam)This temple dedicated to Lord Shiva has an important place in the history of Kerala. The Vaikom Satyagraha (1924- 25) was the first agitation in Kerala against Hindu upper-caste supremacy and to secure the freedom of movement for all sections of society through the public roads leading to the temple. The Vaikom Temple is considered as one of the oldest and biggest temples in Kerala with a courtyard of about eight acres of.Airport: Kochi (58 km)Railway stations: Ernakulam (33 km), Kottayam (40 km).Vadakkumnathan Temple (Thrissur)The temple is famous all around the world for the annual Thrissur Pooram which attracts many tourists from in and outside the country. The temple is a classic example of Kerala architecture and has many mural paintings.Airport: Kochi (54 km)Thrissur railway station is only minutes away from the temple. Christian pilgrimage places in Kerala Kerala was one of the first places in India where Christianity was spread. St Thomas, one of the 12 apostles of the Christ, who visited Kerala in 52 AD, established the roots of Christianity in the state. Palayur (Thrissur)It is one of the seven churches built by the Apostle. There are about 14 idols in the church that portray the life and work of St Thomas. The Palayoor Mahatheerthadanam (pilgrimage) held during the Lenten season attracts thousands of people to the church who come to the church carrying a wooden cross. Airport: Kochi (80 km)Railway station: Thrissur (25 km) Malayattoor (Ernakulam)It is an important pilgrimage centre for the Christians. This hilltop church is also related to the legends of St Thomas. Thousands of devotees climb the rocky mountain (some barefoot) carrying crosses to recreate the last journey of Jesus Christ. Pilgrims also consider the water at the nearby well to possess divine power to heal ailments.Airport: Kochi (15 km)Railway station: Angamaly (17 km), Aluva (24 km)Vallarpadom Church (Ernakulam)The church– Basilica of Our Lady of Ransom – is situated on a picturesque island on the Vembanad Lake. The church was said to be built by the Portuguese missionaries in the 16th century. The annual festival of Vallarpadath Amma, that lasts a more than a week, is held every year on September 24.Airport: Kochi (33 km)Railway station: Ernakulam (5 km)St Mary's Cathedral-Manarcad (Kottayam)It is an ancient Syrian Orthodox Church famous for the feast of St Mary, which attracts thousands of pilgrims from different places. It also has the status of a Universal Marian Pilgrim Centre. Airport: Kochi (84 km)Railway station: Kottayam (9 km)St Alphonsa shrine church & Pilgrim centre (Kottayam)The pilgrim centre is dedicated to St Alphonsa who lived in Bharananganam and it houses her tomb. The death anniversary of the saint on 28 July is an important day for the thousands of devotees who visit the shrine to pray. The personal belongings of the Saint are displayed in a museum adjacent to the chapel.Airport: Kochi (78 km)Railway station: Kottayam (32 km) Muslim pilgrimage places in Kerala Cheraman Juma Masjid (Kodungallor in Thrissur)This mosque is believed to be the second in the world and first mosque in India where Juma prayers were started. It was built in 629 AD by Arab propagator of Islam Malik Deenar. Unlike other mosques in the country the architecture of Cheraman Juma Masjid is constructed in traditional Kerala. The present Arab style minarets were added in the later period.Airport: Kochi (30 Km)Rail: Thrissur (38 km), Ernakulam (36 km)Beemapally Mosque (Trivandrum)The mosque and the Beemapally Dargah Shareef are famous for its annual festival Urs - 'Chandanakudam'. The Dargah houses the tombs of Syedunnisa Beema Beevi, a Muslim woman with divine powers, and her son Syedushuhadamaheen Abubacker. The urs festival is observed in remembrance of Beema Beevi and her son. The place is situated near the shoreline and the nearby market is famous for many imported goods and unique food. How to reach: The place is not far away from Trivandrum airport and railway station Malik Deenar Mosque (Kasargod)The historical mosque in Thalanagara was built by Malik Deenar. The place is also famous for the annual Malik Deenar Uroos. The mosque unlike others is constructed in typical Kerala style architecture and also contains the grave of Malik Ibn Mohammed; one of the descendants of Malik Deenar. How to reach: It is very near to Kasaragod railway station. Nearest airport is Mangalore International Airport (64 km in Karnataka) Other important pilgrimage places in Kerala GurudwaraKerala's one and only Gurudwara is also situated in Perumanoor, near Thevara, Kochi. It was earlier situated much close to the locality of the Cochin Shipyard. When the land was acquired for Shipyard, it was shifted to Perumanoor.How to reach: The Kochi airport and railway stations are nearby. Jewish Synagogues Paravur synagogue Built in 1615 the synagogue is located in the former Jewish Street of the Paravur region near Kodungallur. The synagogue is a brilliant combination of Jewish traditions and Kerala architecture.How to reach: Nearest railway stations are Aluva, (17 km) and Ernakulam (27 km).Airport: Kochi (20 km). Paradesi Synagogue (Kochi)It was constructed in 1567 and it shares a common wall with the Mattancherry Palace temple next to it. It also houses the Scrolls of the Law. How to reach: The Kochi airport and railway stations are nearby. Jainism Jain Derasar (Kozhikode)There are actually two temples in the complex which are said to be around thousands of years old. The temples have exquisitely painted interiors and elaborately carved porticos.Kozhikode railway station (3 km) Kochi airport (27 km)Puliyarmala Jain Temple (Wayanad)This 13th-century temple is dedicated to Ananthnath Swami, a Jain Tirthankara. It has been constructed in the traditional Dravidian style with ornate carvings and pillars. The temple is situated 6km from Kalpatta in Wayanad. There are a large number of Jain statues and sculptures and many relics there.It is two hour’s drive from Kozhikode airport.

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  • Ultimate tour planner for Kerala

    First thing first - make a final decision on the number of days you are planning to spend in Kerala. The places you could visit will depend on this decision. Once it is decided, especially the arrival and departure date contact the tour planner - GoKerala.in - who could provide you the Kerala tour package according to your budget. The tour planners will be able to help you pick the places you could visit in Kerala within this time period. It is better to decide upon the places you want to visit before you book the tickets. You wouldn't want to waste your time on travelling from your arrival point to the destination. So book your tickets accordingly. For e.g.: if you are planning to visit Munnar and places nearby then it is best to book your tickets to Kochi and if you are planning to visit the famed beaches of South Kerala then Trivandrum should be your arrival point. Likewise, if you are planning to enjoy the beauty of North Kerala then it is better to pick Kozhikode. Another important factor is to book return tickets from a place which is very near to your final destination. The best season to visit Kerala is from September to February. The monsoon has become weaker (we say weaker because even in these months you could expect an occasional shower, but we are sure that you will enjoy it), the climate is pleasant and lush greenery everywhere, courtesy of the monsoon. It is the perfect time to enjoy the enthralling beauty of Kerala. While you pick places to visit then select places which can be visited without wasting much time on travelling. If Munnar is the main destination on your list then you can also visit nearby places like Thekkady, Alappuzha (Kumarakom is also nearby), Kochi and if you want Athirappilly could also be made a part of your itinerary. If you try to include Kovalam and Wayanad in this plan then you will have to spend much time in travelling. So pick places accordingly. As mentioned above contact the Kerala tour operator - and they could help you find the packages that not only suit your budget but also within the time period you are planning to spend here. It will also be better if you mention them the type of Kerala tour you have in mind, whether it is a family vacation, honeymoon, adventure trip or you are planning a pilgrimage.

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