Kerala is the best place to unwind yourself and just let yourself flow with the rhythm of nature, culture, tradition, art, and music. There are many things to do in Kerala and not enough days! So whenever you visit God’s Own Country, make sure you have taken out enough time to do each one of these things! So without any further ado, let's jump right into our picks for the top 9 things to do in Kerala.
An ideal place for tourists who are not yet acquainted with Kerala, this is a 'model' village that lets you experience and spend a day with the people in the village doing their everyday tasks. You get to see them fishing, crab farming, paddy cultivation, rope making, and you can even try your hand at these activities yourself!
Apart from these, you can also relish the local food, explore the flora and fauna, experience the local art forms, and much more!
This is supposed to be a quasi-authentic experience for the tourists, so think of it like a day spent in Westworld, but trust us, it’ll be refreshing and not terrifying!
Lined by the coastal region of about 550 km and embraced by the beautiful Arabian Sea, this beautiful state of Kerala has a lot to offer when it comes to beautiful beaches and picturesque sunrises and sunsets.
Easily the most famous beach in Kerala, Kovalam Beach is divided into three subparts: Hawa Beach, Lighthouse Beach, and Samudra Beach. While the Lighthouse Beach and Hawa Beach are often packed with tourists, Samudra Beach lies away from the hustle and bustle, a quiet, calm place if you want to have a one-on-one with nature. You can spend your day sunbathing, snorkeling, swimming, witnessing the beautiful sunset while laying down, and taking lots and lots of photographs!
Part of the Papanasham Beach, Varkala Beach is located at the foot of a small cliff that offers a beautiful panoramic view of the endless Arabian Sea. This beach is divided into two parts: North Cliff and South Cliff. If you’re interested in cafes and food joints, North Cliff is where you should be at. On the other hand, South Cliff is the place for a quiet beach holiday.
This secluded beach in Alappuzha has managed to evade the mainstream tourist’s eye. To be frank, there’s not a lot you can do in Marari Beach other than laze around the sands. But if you’re seeking a romantic beach getaway, this could just be the one for you. Make sure that you visit one of the many Ayurveda Panchakarma treatment centers around Marari Beach to coax the tension out of your knotted muscles!
Also read: Experience The Poovar Island In Kerala.
Kerala is famous for its simple and authentic food. Cooking is an art and the people here just know how to make it great. Adding just the right amount of spices to the simplest foods and creating something so tasty and healthy out of it; it’s nothing short of magical. So be ready to treat both your taste buds and your eyes while you're visiting!
This yummy dish is made by cooking rice and grated coconut in a mold to form rice cakes and served with Kadala Curry, a mix of black chickpeas cooked with shallots, coconut milk, spices, and sometimes paired with ripe bananas or grated coconut on the side.
A famous delicacy from Kerala, Karimeen (also known as pearl spot fish) is marinated in a mixture of lemon juice, red chilies, and other spices then wrapped and baked in plantain leaves which give it a beautiful aroma and a yummy flavor
This dessert is made with rice ada, milk, sugar, and ghee. This simple kheer is the traditional food made during the festival of Onam and other occasions. A Kerala Sadhya (feast) without payasam would be just...wrong.
Also read: Experiencing The Food In Kerala.
Wayanad is a secluded and exciting escape for all those who love being lost in the moment, adoring picturesque views, and living their best life! When you’re here, these are the things you must experience!
In Meppadi, you can stay in a treehouse amidst the lush green forests. Who wouldn't love waking up in a treehouse surrounded by beautiful trees and the music of a running stream nearby? This serene experience will let you bond with nature and unravel yourself through calm walks into the tropical forest and feasting on tasty all-natural and balanced meals.
Wayanad is famous for its coffee plantations. You can plan a stay in villas built in the middle of beautiful coffee plantations in Meenangadi. This natural asymmetrical beauty of wide, free lands covered in coffee plants is just the right experience that will help you regain your organic balance!
Wayanad is blessed with various waterfalls that are very scenic and beautiful. If you're into physical activities, this will be the thing that hits the spot for you. Water rappelling is similar to rock climbing but you'd be climbing down rocks to reach the ground while the water hits you. Sounds intimidating? Worry not! You will be tied up with protective gear so the chances of falling without support are less. This adventurous experience will refresh you inside out!
Also read: Things To Do In Tamil Nadu And Pondicherry.
Alleppey or Alappuzha is famous for its houseboat cruises and the beautiful Kerala backwaters, mystical canals, and lagoons. What we recommend below should definitely be on your list of things to do in Kerala:
There is nothing fancier than cruising in the beautiful backwaters of Kerala on a houseboat. This cruise will take you back in time and make you feel as though you've entered another dimension or another world. The scenic palm trees lining the shores and beautiful houses, flourishing landscapes, and diverse wildlife make this the perfect romantic getaway.
Snake boat races generally occur from July to September, especially during the Onam festival. Each boat is decorated and draped in beautiful garlands and flags. Witnessing the contestants paddle away furiously and listening to the tune of the Vanjippattu (boat song) makes for a thrilling activity to witness. Want a better view? You even get to rent a boat yourself to see the race up close.
Known as Punnamada Lake by the locals, this is the longest lake in India and the largest lake in Kerala. The lake covers an area of approximately 2033 sq km. The lake is rich with beautiful scenic views, lush green trees, and biodiversity. You can spend your day birdwatching or taking photographs of various beautiful spots near the lake.
This blissful hill station has a lot to offer to visitors. From picturesque views of the lush green hills, beautiful tree plantations, lots of places for hiking, waterfalls, biodiversity, and much more! It comes as no surprise that Munnar is considered among the most romantic destinations in India and if you keep coming back here, we get it. It’s mesmerizing.
If you love tea, go for a tea estate tour at Kolukkumalai. One of the highest and oldest tea plantations in India, Kolukkumalai is the perfect destination for you if you're into beautiful panoramic views of lush green hills, the beautiful aroma of tea, and blue skies. So visit this gem to get to know more about the traditional methods of tea plantation, production, and of course, tea tasting!
The biodiversity of Munnar is unmissable! Eravikulam National Park is abundant in flora and fauna. It is best known for being home to the endangered species of mountain goats Nilgiri Tahr. You can witness these beautiful animals in their natural habitat while visiting Munnar.
Munnar is blessed with many beautiful hilly areas where streams fall and make beautiful waterfalls. Meditate, swim, go sightseeing, birdwatching, or capture stunning pictures… there’s just a lot to do here! Some of the well known waterfalls in Munnar are Attukal, Chinnakanal, Thiivanam, Lakkam and many more!
Also read: Munnar Travel Guide!
As much for its coconut-fringed vistas, Kerala is known for its vibrant history, and a testament to that are the many forts dotted around the state. While a sizable number of the forts in Kerala didn’t survive the test of time well, the ones below are definitely worth a look!
Also called Tipu's Fort or Hanuman Kotta, Palakkad Fort is one of the most well-preserved forts in Kerala. This fort was built by Sultan Hyder Ali in 1766 CE. Palakkad Fort offers a beautiful view of the Palakkad town and the area around the fort also makes for a great place for your early morning jogs.
It is said to be established in the 17th century by Shivappa Nayaka of Nagar. Spread over 40 acres of land, this is the largest fort in Kerala. The fort has an adjoining beach where you can spend your time capturing beautiful sunsets. Not just these, there are many underground passageways within the fort too.
Built in 1503, this is said to be the oldest European fort in India. The locals call it Ayikkotta or Alikotta fort. Though it is still a beautiful piece of architecture, we think it’s a shame that the ruins of this beautiful fort are still left unprotected.
This can be a separate blog all on its own! The art culture of South India is rich beyond any explanations. Particularly in Kerala, you can experience a wide range of this. The beautiful dance forms and music of Kerala are famous worldwide for their vibrant costumes and drapery, loud makeup, and beautiful rhythm.
Some of the most beautiful dance forms you can enjoy while in Kerala are Kathakali, Mohiniyattam, Thirvathirakali, Kolkkali, Ottamthullal, Koodiyattam, Chakyar Koothu, Oppana, Margamkali, and Theyyam.
The music is just as versatile as the dance forms of Kerala! While the classical music of Kerala is a different world on its own, there is also a variety of folk music of Kerala to be explored! Some famous variants of folk music in Kerala are Kathakali Pattu, Mappila Pattu, Ottamthullal songs, Pulluvan Pattu, and Knanaya folk songs!
Also read: Experiencing Onam Festival In Kerala.
What Does The Word 'Kerala' Mean?
The word 'Kerala' means 'the land of coconuts'. Take one look at the landscape of Kerala, and you’ll know that it’s aptly named!
What Are The Most Famous Places To Shop In Kerala While Traveling?
Mattancherry Spice Market in Kochi, Mattupetty Dam Market in Munnar, local town market of Munnar, Broadway Street Market in Kochi, Kovalam fish market, Lulu Mall in Kochi, Connemara Market in Trivandrum are some of the most famous places to shop in Kerala while traveling.
How Many Days Are Enough To Explore Kerala?
If you only want to visit the famous tourist places in Kerala, such as Munnar, Thekkady, and Alleppey, 4 days are enough. If you want to explore the offbeat places and take nature tours, hikes, explore the local food and activities then you should set aside at least 10-12 days to complete your trip.
What Is The Nearest Airport To Kerala?
There are three major airports in Kerala. Cochin International Airport, Trivandrum International Airport, and Calicut International Airport.
Is It Safe To Travel Alone In Kerala?
For the most part, yes. Travel in Kerala during the daytime is perfectly safe but you should avoid venturing after nightfall to be on the safer side.
What Places Are The Major Attractions Of Kerala?
Wayanad, Cochin, Munnar, Kumarakom, Thekkady, Kozhikode, Vagamon, Kollam, Bekal, Ashtamundi, Idukki, Palakkad, Varkala, Thiruvananthapuram, Kannur, these are some major attractions in Kerala.
What Is The Famous Food In Kerala?
All the foodies who are traveling to Kerala won't get disappointed as Kerala has many delicious food options which you should definitely try out and they are as follows.
What Is Lungi Called In Kerala?
The actual name for a Lungi in Kerala is kaili or kaili muntu, this cloth is comfortable and in most of the houses you will see people wearing the lungi, it comes in different designs and colors.