Kerala, called God’s own country, is a tropical paradise with golden beaches, lush forests, lofty mountains and enchanting backwaters. With Akbar Holidays, your Kerala trip will take you to the most magical places in this beautiful southern state, introducing you to its fascinating history, natural beauty and the warmth of its people.
Located in Southern India, Kerala is a narrow strip of coastal territory with the Western Ghats on one side and the Arabian Sea on the other. The state borders Tamil Nadu to the east and Karnataka to the north and is known for its backwaters, beaches, tea plantations, spices and dance traditions like Kathakali and Mohiniattam, all of which you will experience on your Kerala tour.
Because of the state’s diverse geography and culture, most Kerala Packages offer a myriad of experiences, each magical in its own way. You could spot tuskers in the Periyar Reserve, laze on a houseboat in the backwaters, get a rejuvenating Ayurvedic massage in Kovalam or sip on a hot cuppa in Munnar all on one Kerala tour.
The capital of Kerala is Thiruvananthapuram. Also called Trivandrum, it is often a part of many Kerala Packages. Called the Evergreen City of India by Mahatma Gandhi, the city is built on low, green hills by the seashore. It is one of the oldest cities in India and has a fascinating history that dates back to 1000 BC. Most Kerala Tour Packages begin their city tour of Trivandrum at the Sree Anantha Padmanabha Temple. One of the oldest temples of India, it is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and adorned with exquisite carvings, murals and mandaps. The deity in the temple is a reclining form of Lord Vishnu and is considered the Emperor of Travancore. Besides the temple, the Trivandrum leg of your Kerala tour must also include a trip to the ancient East Fort, the Ramanayar Palace museum that has an excellent collection of antiques that once belonged to the Travancore kings. You will have the opportunity to view thrones, paintings and personal belongings of Travancore royalty. We also recommend making the Kuthiramallikka Palace a part of your Kerala trip. Also known as the Puthen Palace, it was constructed by the famous musician King Swati Thirunal. The palace features several relics and antiques belonging to Maharaja and has a grand façade decorated with carved horses. Another attraction that is part of most Kerala packages is the Napier Museum that displays rare archaeological and historical artefacts such as bronze idols, ceramics, an impressive carved wooden cart, Buddhist statues, ivory carvings, chests, Balinese shadow puppets, various old coins and Hindu puja items. Also visit the Keralan Museum, a modern facility houses in a historical colonial building. The museum houses rock art, stone tools, pottery, bronze sculptures and folk art. Be sure to visit Indian Coffee House, a mainstay of most Kerala Tour Packages. The distinctive spiral-shaped brick structure was designed by the architect Laurie Baker, now widely considered as the father of sustainable cost-effective architecture. The restaurant has built in tables along a spiralling incline. Another unique feature is the absence of any windows in the entire building. However, it is surprisingly well ventilated and cool due to the use of jaalis throughout the building. As part of your Kerala trip do visit the stunning Kovalam Beach, one of the most beautiful in the country, and the Padmanabhapuram Palace, the former residence of the erstwhile Travancore kings and the world’s largest wooden palace. The palace has a grand Durbar Hall made of rosewood and glass and the oldest clock tower in South Asia. It houses a number of rare antiques, including a 600 year old spice bed, built out of a special wood treated in various spices and sandal wood.
Not far from the capital is the port city of Kollam. Frequented by Kerala tour packages for its proximity to the Ashtamudi Lake, the ancient town has been a major port from the first century AD. Kollam is a great place to experience a traditional backwater cruise. You could also visit plantations that produce pepper, cashews and coir as well as a centuries old Chinese settlement in the heart of the city.
Further north, you will find the Queen of the Arabian Sea, Kochi. The most cosmopolitan city in the city, it is the financial capital of Kerala and a part of many Kerala packages. The city was founded in 1341 by the kings of the Chera Dynasty. Modern day Kochi, is an amalgamation of nearly 700 years of history and diversity with influences from its trading partners including the Portuguese, Dutch, Arab, Chinese, and Japanese. During your Kerala trip to Kochi, see the Chinese fishing nets that were gifted by the Chinese Emperor Kubalagi to the king of Kochi in the 14th century. The nets serve as icons of Kochi and are a testimony to the relations between the ancient Chinese Empire and the Kingdom of Kochi. Also visit Jew Street and the Paradesi Synagogue that are part of most Kerala tour packages. The synagogue was constructed in 1568 by Jewish refugees from Jerusalem making it the oldest synagogue in the British Commonwealth. This is one of the very few functional synagogues in India and has a unique Hindu-Christian architecture and two bimahs. Jew Street is a heritage zone lined with several antique and handicraft shops that make for a great shopping experience. Another must see attraction in Kochi that should be part of your Kerala tour is the Dutch Palace. Constructed by the Portuguese in 1568 as a gift to Maharaja of Kochi, Veera Kerala Varma the palace is home to a large throne and coronation costumes and an extensive collection of royal chariots, swords and other artefacts. Visit the mural room for a magnificent depiction of the entire Ramayana and Mahabharata.
Popularly called Venice of East due to its network of canals, rivers, streams, lakes and backwaters, Alleppey is the most sought destination for backwater tourism. Officially known as Alappuzha, Alleppey owes its existence to the diwan Raja Kesavadas who founded the town in the second half of 18th century. Most Kerala Packages will include a stay in a traditional houseboat. Ranging from spartan to luxurious, these houseboats come with traditionally furnished bedrooms, sit-outs, kitchens and modern bath and toilet facilities offering a great way to observe everyday village life of people, stop for toddy with grilled prawns, watch birds, and relax in the middle of the lake. If you do take a Kerala trip in August, attend the Nehru Trophy Snake Boat Race, an exciting boat race on the Kerala backwaters.
One of India’s premier hill stations, Munnar should be an essential part of your Kerala tour. The hill station was established by the British and is known for the sprawling tea plantations and rolling hills of the region. One of the most beautiful places in Kerala and perhaps the country, Munnar is famous for its pleasant weather, stunning views and also the Atukkad Waterfalls, set in the midst of thick jungle and hills. Kerala tour packages often bring visitors to the region for the Neelakurinji bloom. The neelakurinji is a blue flower that blooms only every 12 years and is only found in Munnar. A rare event, the bloom is a highlight of most Kerala packages.
For wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers, Thekkady will be the next best thing to paradise. Frequented as a part of Kerala tour packages, the region is an enchanting mix of coffee plantations and dense forests. The highlight of the region is the Periyar reserve, a hotbed of tigers, elephants and other rare, endemic and endangered animals. Kerala tour packages often include safaris that will give you the unique opportunity to spot sambar deer, fruit bats, mongooses, wild dogs and Nilgiri martens.
Another mainstay of Kerala Packages is Wayanad. Located in northern Kerala in the Malabar region, this picturesque hill station is known waterfalls, caves, spice plantations and wildlife. One of the biggest attractions in this region is the Silent Valley National Park. Considered one of the most ecologically diverse areas on the planet, the park consists of tropical evergreen forest and shola grasslands. The flora and fauna that you will encounter with your Kerala tour packages will include lion tailed macaques, elephants, leopards, tigers, nilgiri thars and malabar giant squirrels.
With the right Kerala tour packages, you can see the best of this blessed state with its beaches, hills, backwaters, temples and palaces lending to an authentic Malayali experience. At Akbar Holidays, our Kerala Packages offer a breath of fresh air from the frenzied pace of urban life, a holiday in the true sense of the word.Read Less
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