Thekkady, located in central Kerala, is a popular hill station and a wildlife centre. This town, which is an important plantation centre, conjures up images of elephants, unending chains of hills and spice scented plantations.In the Periyar Forest of Thekkady is one of the finest wildlife reserves of India and spread across the entire district are picturesque plantations and hill towns that hold immense opportunities for treks and mountain walks. The Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary offers a fairly good chance of seeing the great Indian tiger in its natural habitat.
Spread across an area of 777 sq km of which 360 sq km is thick ever green forest. In 1978 Periyar wildlife sanctuary was declared a Tiger reserves and from then Periyar has became most fascinating natural wildlife reserves in the world. The tourist attractions of Thekkady are its Spice Plantations and the Periyar National Park.
Munnar is located about 6,500 feet above the sea level along the western ghats on the eastern border of Kerala and Idukki district in Kerala. Munnar with its impeccable beauty is the most famous holiday destination in South India. In the green and serene Kamman Devan Hills lies the quiet and restful resort of Munnar. Munnar, the queen of hill stations is located at the confluence of three mountain streams namely, Mudrapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundala. There are various tropical plantations of tea, coffee, cardamom and other spices, dense forests and wildlife sanctuaries full with various types of flora and fauna. The major wildlife animals which are found in Munnar are the Nilgiri Tahrs (Mountain Goats), Langurs and Elephants.
Kollam or Quilon, an old sea port town on the Arabian coast , stands on the Ashtamudi lake. Kollam , the erstwhile Desinganadu, had a sustained commercial reputation from the days of the Phoenicians and the Romans.
Kollam has been known to the outside world, by the time honoured proverb, "Once you have seen Kollam you would no more need your illam (Home)". ,Kollam was one of the three revenue divisions in the state and famous in houseboat service.
Alappuzha is a district of immense natural beauty. With the Arabian sea on the west and a vast network of lakes, lagoons and fresh water rivers crisscrossing it. Referred to as the Venice of the east by tourists, across the world. It is ideal home to diverse animal and bird life. By virtue of its proximity to the sea, the Alappuzha has always enjoyed a unique place in the maritime history of Kerala.
The ' Venice of the East' is one of the best-known ports along the coast of Malabar. Built on the banks of a network of canals, it was a famous trade center of ancient times. The beach here is also worth watching, the Arthunkal beach in worthy of development as an international holiday resort. Watching rural life at close quarters - the many activities like; toddy tapping, fishing for small fry, coir-making, prawn farming, and scores of other sights by a boat trip in a country craft up and down the narrow canals in the coastal region. Alappuzha offers tourists good shopping options. Among the locally available products of Alappuzha are the coir products and carpets.
Besides Alappuzha is also famous for its pepper, coconut oil, areca nut, cardamom, sugar, etc. Several markets are available in Alappuzha, though the market of Kayamkulam is most important.
Kumarakom, the famous backwater tourist destination in Kerala. Kumarakom is undoubtedly the most invigorating, fascinating paradise in Kerala, God's own country. This rich green, sleepy little village of Kumarakom is located on the Vembanad lake amidst mangrove forests and coconut groves. Kumarakom is an enchanting picnic spot and provides boating, fishing and sightseeing experiences that are truly exhilarating.
The slender coconut palms standing here, there and everywhere, its never ending paddy fields, meandering lagoons and backwaters, mangroves nesting birds of a hundred varieties can peacefully calm and invigorate your mind. On the scenic Vembanad lake you will come across plenty of traditional country crafts or houseboats, boats and canoes. The fresh water of the lake runs into the mainland making a labyrinth of lagoons, brooks, canals and waterways. The backwater houses a variety of species of both fauna and flora and marine life.
The major tourist attraction in Kumarakom is the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary. The Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is a world famous bird sanctuary. This sanctuary is an ornithologist’s paradise. Some migratory birds migrate during the winter from across the world including the Siberian stork.
Varkala is a seaside tourist resort and spa. A small town 55km north of Thiruvananthapuram, it is also an important religious place for the Hindus. A long sandy beach, towering red laterite cliffs and soothing mineral springs put Varkala in the not-to-miss category.
The Papanasam Beach at Varkala is a quiet, secluded beach known for its white, silvery stretch of sand, mineral springs and rocky cliffs. The raw and unused stretch of beach is a loner's delight where one could swim, play cricket or volley ball and even manage to practice yoga. If you are lucky, you also get sight of a naughty dolphin.
Varkala is also an important Hindu centre of pilgrimage. The final resting place of Sree Narayana Guru, the great social reformer of Kerala, is near Varkala atop a hill named Sivagiri.
One of the oldest existing Palace built by the Dutch in India, Bolghatty Palace is located in the scenic island popularly known as Bolgatty island in Kochi, Kerala. In 1744AD, Dutch traders built this villa and it was later extended and lush green gardens were landscaped around it. The palace is a two-storeyed building with bath attached well-decorated bedchambers and a huge lounge wherein historical portraits are displayed.
The Bolgatty Island is a short but inspiring boat ride away from Kochi. The commercial capital of Kerala is also blessed with monuments of great historic relevance. One such monument is the Bolgatty Palace. Set amidst lush, tropical greenery, this prestigious heritage hotel answers your quest for a holiday of quiet enchantment.
Periyar beckons are the adventure seekers, nature lovers and the animal watchers alike. At the Periyar National Park you may spot the wild elephants, leopard, wild dog, barking deer, mouse deer, Nilgiri langur (a primate), bonnet macaque, sambhar, porcupines, squirrels, gaur (Indian bison), wild boar and sloth bear besides the tigers and the Nilgiri tahrs. Along with animals Periyar is home to monitor lizards, pythons, king cobras and flying lizards. Birds like darters, cormorants, ibises, gray herons, mynas, flycatchers, orioles, wood pigeons, kingfishers, kites, ospreys, thrushes, and parakeets add to the attraction of Periyar. The Periyar Widlife sanctuary is spread across 777 sq km, of which 360 sq km is thick evergreen forest, the Periyar Wiild Life Sanctuary was declared a Tiger Reserve in 1978. The sanctuary was established in 1895 and is one of the oldest wildlife sanctuaries in India. Periyar National Park is a Tiger Reserve, the greatest attractions of the park are the herds of wild elephants, who come to the Periyar Lake to frolic in the water. The Periyar National Park is the only wildlife sanctuary in India where you can have the unique experience of viewing wildlife at close quarters from the safety of a boat on the lake. You can also enjoy elephant rides in the Periyar National Park. The Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary also offers the unique opportunity to photograph wild animals at close quarters.
The Eravikulam National Park (15 kms from Munnar) is situated in the Devikulam Taluk of the Idukki District The 97 sq km park lies along the high ranges of the western coast in the Munnar Forest Division of Idukki district in Kerala. It is situated on the border of Kerala and Tamil Nadu in the north where it extends as the Annamalai National Park. This park was established to protect the Nilgiri Tahr also known as the Nilgiri Ibex. The birds found are imperial pigeon, grey jungle fowl etc. It was declared as a sanctuary in 1975. The park is divided into 3 regions - the core area, the buffer area and the tourism area.
The estimated population of Nilgiri tahr inside the park is about 750. Wild dog, leopard and tiger are the main predators.
The beautiful Chinnar Located at Devikulam taluk of Idukki district Kerala and it is rated amongst the finest wildlife sanctuaries of India, and is one of the best tourist spots in Kerala. Chinnar is a natural habitat for an amazing variety of flora and fauna including some rare and endangered wildlife species. The Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary lies in the rain shadow region of the Western Ghats, and so receives comparatively less rainfall in comparison to other parts of Kerala. The vegetations of Chinnar primarily comprises of thorny scrub forest, dry deciduous forest, high sholas and wet grasslands, which supports a wide variety of wildlife. Popularly regarded as the second habitat of the endangered Giant Grizzled Squirrel, the Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary also shelters Asiatic Elephants, Tigers, Sambars, Bonnets, Spotted Deer, Macaques, Indian Bisons and spectacled Cobras to name a few. The sanctuary is also rich in its avifauna and attracts a wide variety of exotic and colorful birds including Woodpeckers, Peacocks, Little Cormorants, Darters and Black Eagles etc.
Located 40 km from Mannarkkad, Silent valley is Extremely fragile, a unique preserve of tropical evergreen rain forests lying above the equator and the forest strip which causes the summer rains in Kerala. This is one of the best tourist spots in Kerala. The Silent Valley National Park has an area of 90 sq km is located in the north eastern corner of the district The core of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve is the Silent Valley National Park. Despite its name, the Silent Valley (the clamour of Cicadas is conspicuously absent here) echoes with the sounds of teeming wildlife. The denizens of this sprawling habitat of endangered virgin tropical forests include rare birds, deer and tiger. Perhaps, nowhere else can one also find such a representative collection of peninsular mammals, over a 100 species of butterflies and 400 species of moths and other fauna like the Ceylon Frog Moth, Great Indian Hornbill, the Nilgiri Laughing Thrush and the Lion-tailed Macaque. The local name for the park is Sairandhrivanam (the forest in the valley) which is also the last representative of tropical evergreen forests in India. The park which is remote has difficult terrain and is surrounded with Attappadi Reserve Forests in the east, and vested forests of the Palghat and Nilambur divisions in the west and south