Kickin’ Around in Kerala

Would you like to visit a place so beautiful that it’s nicknamed “God’s Country”? We’ll assume that’s a yes. Kerala, an Indian state bearing the aforementioned moniker, is a nature-lover’s paradise. Rolling with verdant hills, streaming with bathtub-water-warm backwaters, and swelling with nature reserves, it’s impossible to dislike this stunning state. So, brush up on your Malayalam, and book it to the beautiful places below!

Munnar Flower Vendor; Alleppey Backwaters

Munnar Flower Vendor; Alleppey Backwaters

1. Take a day to relish in relaxation by houseboating through the town of Alleppey’s  backwaters. On your odyssey, you’ll lounge on the padded benches of the fully furnished, thatch-covered boat, watching the locals wash in the river. You might also be spoiled by endless amounts of enviable edibles cooked up by the boat’s staff and served on a clean banana frond.

2. Don’t let the teeth-chatteringly bumpy jeep ride up Kolukkumalai Tea Estate‘s hairpinned road scare you away! This place, about an hour from the city Munnar, is well worth the visit! Boasting a fully functioning 1930s factory, this tea estate is the world’s highest orthodox-style producer of tea.

3. A short drive from Calicut (also known as Kozhikode), Kappad Beach is both a historic and heavenly place to visit. Removed from the typical tourist circuit, this is the beach where Vasco da Gama landed on his arrival in India. The clean, rock-strewn sands make a marvelous place to watch the acid orange-red sunset.

Temple, Munnar

Hindu Temple, Munnar

4. Rolling over 97 km², Eravikulam National Park is home to wayfaring wildlife, tantalizing trekking, and sumptuous scenery. See if you can’t spot an Atlas moth, one of the largest moths in the world, or a Nilgiri Tahr, a rare species of mountain goat, as you hike up the park’s soaring Anamudi peak!

5. When you’re near Wayanad, pack some light snacks, and head over to Pookode Lake to disport the late day away. Scramble around the playground if school kids aren’t occupying it, take a paddle boat out on the lake, or just enjoy a carefree stroll around the water’s edge. After you’ve filled your eyes with lotus flowers and your ears with birdsong, stop by the stands on the way out to buy some soaps, honey, or handicrafts.

What are your favorite places in India?

3 Responses to Kickin’ Around in Kerala

  1. Katie 03/16/2010 at 7:25 pm #

    I don’t know about my favorite place in India, but I do know I’d love going anywhere in that outfit!

  2. Blondie 03/18/2010 at 7:02 pm #

    People in India don’t dress like that! Tourists in India do! I liked Mammalapuram.

  3. Sia 03/18/2010 at 7:52 pm #

    Hey! I was born in India– southern India. And I would definitely love to wear that around on my summer visits there!

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