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Kerala

Kerala is an exotic place located on the tropical Malabar Coast of southwestern India. It is blessed with enormous natural beauty. In the east is attached by Tamil Nadu and northeast side is borders with and Karnataka; to its west and south lie the Indian Ocean islands of Lakshadweep and the Maldives, respectively. Kerala envelops Mahé, a coastal exclave of the Union Territory of Pondicherry. Kerala is one of four states that comprise the linguistic-cultural region known as South India.

Kerala is an evergreen place which attracts thousands of tourists every year. It is land of hill stations, rivers, backwaters, breathtaking landscapes, lush green fields with lot of trees, exotic beaches, a purified world in Kerala, well educated & friendly people. It has various types of resorts & hotels, it also offers other romantic options like stay at the beautiful backwater on a luxury house boat. Kerala is a perfect holiday destination, coz it has so many travel possibilities which makes it a favorite spot for lesuire. Here you can enjoy so many adventurous water sports, relax yourself on a beach, have Ayurverdic massage to rejuvenate your body, mind & soul.
    
Main Cities / Towns

Trivandrum, the capital of Kerala

Trivandrum or Thiruvananthapuram, the capital of Kerala, is characterized by its undulating terrain of low coastal hills with wide, clean roads and busy commercial alleys. The city houses several Central and State Government offices, organizations and companies. it is also a major academic centre and is home to several famous and distinguished educational institutions including the Kerala University, and to many science and technology institutions, the most prominent being the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC). The city also boasts of the first Information Technology Park of its kind and the first Biotechnology Center, Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology (RGCB) of its kind in India. Situated near Kazhakoottam, Technopark is home to many of the world's leading technology companies

Tourist attraction in Trivandrum

Kovalam Beach -The biggest of all tourist attractions in Trivandrum is the beach of Kovalam. Kovalam lies only 16kms away from the city. Soft white sands, emerald sea and swaying palms make for an idyllic destination for those who love sun, sand and surf.

Padmanabha Swamy Temple - The temple is also one of the tourist attractions in Trivandrum. The presiding deity is lord Vishnu reclining on a large serpent that is 'Anantha'. Stone carvings and murals adorn the temple.

Kuthiramalika Palace Museum -
 Built by Maharaja Swathi Thirunal Balarama Varma - the King of Travancore, this palace houses exquisite architecture, woodcarvings, paintings and various priceless collections of the royal family.

Napier Museum - This 19th century structure displays a rare collection of archaeological artifacts, bronze idols, ancient ornaments, a temple chariot and ivory carvings. The Indo-Saracenic structure boasts of a natural air-conditioning system that bears testimony to the technological progress of that period.

Wildlife Sanctuary in Trivandrum

Declared a wildlife sanctuary in the year 1983, Peppara wildlife sanctuary is the hub of varied life forms and has a very unique and diverse eco-system. Located at distance of 50 kilometers from Trivandrum, Peppara wildlife sanctuary covers a vast area of 53 square kilometers. The Peppara national park, Kerala, is a beautiful park with hilly topography and merges partially with Palode Reserve and Kottoor Reserve. The sanctuary also has a dam built on the Karamana River and is called the Peppara dam.

One can find an amazing variety of wildlife in this sanctuary. The list of wild animals and birds can go on and on! However the wildlife mostly encountered over here are animals like panthers, wild boar, elephants, tigers, lion tailed macaque, gaur, sambar, barking deer, Nilgiri Langur, etc. Apart from the beasts, one can find many birds darting from one place to another and making the sanctuary lively with their noises.

The sanctuary is home to many species of birds out of which the water birds are sighted most of the times. These birds include species like kingfisher, egrets, wild ducks, cormorants, etc. There are many reptiles in the sanctuary too like cobras, pythons and other non-poisonous snakes. The sanctuary also has many species of butterflies and moths. The wildlife sanctuary is made up of three major forest belts namely, Southern hilltop tropical evergreen forests, West coast semi-evergreen forests and moist mixed deciduous forests. The sanctuary not only has wildlife but also has upto 13 tribal settlements.

 
ALLEPPY

Alappuzha (Malayalam), also known as Alleppey, is a town in Alappuzha District of Kerala state of southern India. A town with picturesque canals, backwaters, beaches, and lagoons, it was described as the List of places known as Venice of the East by Lord Curzon. It is the administrative headquarters of Alappuzha District. Alleppey has a wonderful past. Though the present town owes its existence to the sagacious Diwan Raja Kesavadas in the second half of 18th century, district of Alappuzha figures in classical Literature. Kuttanad, the rice bowl of Kerala with the unending stretch of paddy fields, small streams and canals with lush green coconut palms , was well known even from the early periods of the Sangam age. History says Alappuzha had trade relations with ancient Greece and Rome  in B.C and in the Middle Ages, as well as with other parts of India

Tourist attraction in Alleppy

Arthunkal - There is a famous church in Arthunkal known as the St. Andrews Church. This church was set up by the Portuguese in the year 1851. Every year in January, an elaborate feast is organized in the honor of St. Sebastian and thousands of devout Catholics come from all over the state and neighboring places to take part in the grand feastings.

Chettikulangara Bhagawathy Temple - This temple is very famous among the local people, as it is believed that the deity of the Bhagawathy temple has miraculous healing powers. In the months of February and March the temple is teaming with life as the festival of Bharani takes place during this time. The temple comes alive with activities and grand feasts.

Alleppey Boat Races - Alappuzha is famous for boat races and its annual water carnival festival. The most famous of them all is the Nehru Trophy Boat Race. It takes place at the Punnamada Lake and is supposed to be the biggest boat race in the world. India's former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru instituted this boat race. Each snake boat can accommodate around 150 people that include oarsmen, musicians and singers. The race is a magnificent treat to eyes and thousands of people come from Kerala and neighboring states to witness this gala event.

Pathiramanal - This Island on the backwaters is a favorite haunt of hundreds of rare migratory birds from different parts of the world. The island lies between Thaneermukkom and Kumarakom, and is accessible only by boat.

This area in Kerala is very famous for its backwaters and you can have very beautiful scenes of paddy fields. This is one of the places in the world where farming is done below sea level.This is a popular location in the Kerala tour.

Alleppey Beach - Alappuzha beach is one of the most popular spots in the district of Alappuzha. . The pier, which extends into the sea here, is over 137 years old. There is also an old lighthouse, which is greatly fascinating to the tourists of Kerala.

Krishnapuram Palace - Built by Marthanda Varma, it is at Karthikapally in Kayamkulam and is famous for its mural depicting the story of Gajendramoksham. In this 18-century museum you can see antique sculptures, paintings and bronzes.

CALICUT

Calicut is locally known as Kozhikode, it was the capital and an important trade centre of the former Malabar District. It is the third largest city of Kerala. This city is famous as the place where Zheng He of China first visited, then later Vasco da Gama in 1498. He landed in the remote beach of Kappad which is 18 km away from the city. The name of the fibre calico is derived from the name of this city. The main rivers are Mahe river, Murad river Korapuzha, Kallai river, Chaliyar. The city so beautiful and gifted by God and worth visiting.

Tourist attraction in Calicut

Kappad Beach - The beautiful rocky beach has an historical importance. Vasco da Gama landed at this beach in 1498, becoming the first European to reach India by the sea route around the southern cape of Africa. The beach is very famous.

Pookot Lake - The beautiful lake the best tourist spot in Calicut, it is surrounded by lush green mountains. The fresh water lake the cool breezes make it feels like heaven. you can also enjoy boat ride at this lovely lake.

Pazhassiraja Museum - The museum displays the acclaimed paintings of Kerala's cherished artists, Raja Ravi Varma (1848 - 1906) whose works brought international repute to the State and his uncle Raja Raja Varma. It also displays mural paintings, antique bronzes, ancient coins, models of temples, umbrella stones, dolmenoid cists (quadrangular burial chambers with capstones), and similar megalithic monuments.

Backwaters - The backwaters of Calicut is so enchanting and gorgeous. It a combination of beautiful lakes, rivers and canals. You can enjoy the backwater by staying at the house boat.

Thusharagiri Waterfalls - The gurgling waterfalls of Thusharagiri is another highlight of Western Ghats are simply pleasure for eyes. The best roar of the waterfalls can be enjoyed from September to November.

Beypore Beach - Located at the mouth of the Chaliyar River in Kozhikode district, Beypore, one of the prominent ports and fishing harbours of ancient Kerala was an important trade and maritime centre. Ancient Beypore was much sought after by merchants from Western Asia, for its ship building industry. The boat building yard here is famous for the construction of the Uru, the traditional Arabian trading vessel. The Beypore Beach has a bridge built nearly 2 kms into the sea. It is actually made up of huge stones piled together for nearly 2 kms making a pathway into the sea.

Kadalundi Bird Sanctuary - Kadalundi bird sanctuary, 19 km from Kozhikode is home to more than a hundred varieties of native birds and over 60 species of migratory birds flock here in large numbers. The sanctuary is also known for a wide variety of Fish, Mussels and Crabs. Birds like Terns, Gulls, Herons, Sandpipers, Whimbrels, and other migratory birds flock the place from the month of November and return only by the end of April.

Peruvannamuzhi Dam - Peruvannamuzhi is located about 60 km North East of the district headquarters. By boarding buses plying between Kozhikode and Peruvannamuzhi, you can directly reach Peruvannamuzhi Dam. In addition, frequent bus services are available from Perambra to Peruvannamuzhi dam.

Thali Temple - The Kozhikkode Thali temple is an ancient one, dating back to the days of the Zamorin rule. The term Thali refers to a Shiva temple; however, the temple complex also houses a shrine to Krishna. Legend has it that Parasurama, associated with several temples in Kerala, worshipped Shiva here. Several legends associated with feudal rivalry, curses and relief from curses are associated with this temple. In its glorious days, this temple celebrated the Revathi Pattattaanam festival for seven days in the malayala month of Tulaa where learning and scholarship was celebrated with feasting and awards. The composer of Narayaneeyam (Guruvayur) is said to have been a recepient of awards at this festival. The Zamorin is also asociated with the pomp and splendor of the now extinct Mahamakam festival at Tirunavayi.

Sultan Bathery - It is also known as Sulthan's Battery (pronounced in Malayalam as Sul-than Ba-the-ry’), 98 km from Calicut, was formerly known as Ganapathivattom. It derivers its present name from Tippu Sultan of Mysore who built a fort here in the 18th century.
 

COCHIN

The port city of Kochi has a very colorful and rich history. It was formerly known as Cochin and used to serve as an important trading center in the ancient times. The city occupies a very strategic position geographically, being flanked by the Western Ghats on the east and the Arabian Sea on the west. It has, thus, long been a real enticing destination for travelers, traders and seafarers. Slowly it gained the reputation of being a significant spice-trading center.

Tourist attraction in Cochin

Dutch Palace - The Dutch palace at Mattancherry, though actually built by the Portuguese was presented to the ruler of Cochin in AD 1555. In 1663 the Dutch carried out some rebuilding and repairs in it. The main attractions of the palace are its wall murals depicting the scenes from the Ramayana.

Fort Cochin - Founded in 1503, this Portuguese fort is in ruins now. With its European legacy, stubborn self-absorption and its air of genteel decay, it is a place where history still stalks the lonely streets. One of the fascinating sights of the coast in Kochi is the cantilevered Chinese fishing nets brought here by traders belonging to Kublai Khan’s court.

Jewish Synagogue -  At the heart the Jew Town near Mattancherry palace lies the synagogue of the white Jews. The synagogue has now become a fascinating mix of shops, warehouses and auction roomsn for spices. The Great Scrolls of the Old Testament; the Copper Plates recording the grants made by the Cochin rulers to the Jew are also displayed here.

St. Francis Church - St. Francis Church, the oldest European church in India, was built in the early 16th century. It was here that Vasco da Gama was first buried in 1562. It was only in 1578 that his remains were taken back by his son to Portugal.

Santa Cruz Basilica - The Santa Cruz Basilica, built in 1557 by the Portuguese, was used by the British in the 18th century as a warehouse. The Basilica, with its stunningly carved wooden panels and pulpit, was repaired in the early 20th century.

Hill Palace Museum - 12 km south east of Ernakulam, towards Kottayam, lies the Hill Palace museum at Tripunithura. The museum showcases a rich collections of the Cochin and Travancore royal families.

Willingdon Island - Headquarters of Southern Naval Command of India, Willingdon is manmade island having a seaport, railway terminus, airport, and a customs house. The regular ferry services on the lake around the island offers inexpensive backwater cruise. The island gets its name from Lord Willingdon, a British Viceroy to India. Some of the city’s best customs and trading centres and hotels are located here.

 

 

KOVALAM

Kovalam is a perfect destination for nature lovers and adventure lovers, it is also known as the "Pradise of South" It was discorved by Maharaja Travencore. Kovalam is world famous for its exotic beaches, water sports, relaxing resorts and the lovely people. Tourist just love to land there. It is located just 16 kms from Trivendrum, the capital of Kerala. The word Kovalam means a groove of coconut trees. The main Highlights are three beautiful beaches, various options of water sports, delicious sea food, boat criuses, the city tour and above all the rejuvenating auyervedic massage.
 

Tourist attraction in Kovalam

Padmanabhapuram Palace - The Padmanabhapuram Palace in Kovalam is near the Veli hills. Nestled at the foot of the Veli hills this palace is a remarkable artwork. It is a beautiful specimen of woodwork reflecting the Kerala architecture and it was the residential palace of the Travancore rulers.

Sankhumugham Beach - Sankhumugham Beach is the favorite haunt of sunset watchers. The fascinating sunsets or sunrise in this beach allures the tourists from all over. Golden sands and the crimson rays of the setting sun fascinate the tourists. This is one of the major tourist attractions of Kovalam.

Vizhinjam Lighthouse - In Kovalam there is a light house on the shores of Arabian Sea. Kovalam also has a beach called the Lighthouse Beach. If you can climb on the Vizhinjam Lighthouse then you can enjoy a captivating view of the beautiful village of Kovalam.

Varkala Beach - Situated 55 kms from Trivandrum, this is an important pilgrimage centre and the beach is lined with a row of shops which sells exquisite handicrafts. Varkala Beach offers you one of the most beautiful views of the Arabian Sea from high above the cliff.

Water Sports in Kovalam - Kovalam is the ideal place for swimming, kayaking, skiing and surfing .Indulge yourself in sunbath on the exotic beaches or just swim in the blue waters of Arabian Sea. Water sports in Kovalam are one of the major tourist attractions of Kovalam.

Agasthyakoodam - Agasthyakoodam, a prominent peak in the Sahyadri ranges is about 1900 meters above sea level rising up in the form of a sharp pointed cone. This peak can be approached on foot from Bonacadu (61 kms. from Thiruvananthapuram) and from Neyyar dam (32 kms).
 

MUNNAR

 

Munnar is an amazing hill station, famous for its incredibly attractive natural beauty. The main highlights are the awe inspiring environment, lush green tea gardens, beautiful lakes, thick forests and the friendly people. It is located in the eastern part of Kerala at the influence of three mountain streams, Mudrapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundala. It is surrounded by about 30 ravishing tea gardens. Munnar is situated at 1600 mts. above sea level, near Anaimudi, the highest peak of the Kerala Western Ghats. Situated at the influence of three mountain streams, Mudrapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundala. This hill station was once the summer resort of the colonial British government in South India. Expansive tea plantations, meandering lanes, trekking, paragliding, rope climbing and recreational facilities available here makes Munnar a perfect holiday destination.

 

Tourist attraction in Munnar

 

Kuthumkal Waterfalls - The Kuthumkal Waterfall is an important tourist attraction at Munnar. The foggy waterfall provides a picturesque view of the water, cascading down from scintillating heights. The utter beauty of the place attracts thousands of visitors every year.

Observatory Hills - The Observatory hill is located at Nedumkandam. It is called observatory hill because it is an ideal location for observing heavenly bodies and a perfect location for people who are interested in watching the heavenly bodies, due to a highly clear sky.

Mattupetty  - Mattupetty is known for its specialized diary farm which has over 100 varieties of cattle. You are allowed into three of the 11 cattle sheds of the farm. The Mattupetty lake and dam is also at a short distance from the farm and it is one of the popular picnic spots. Mattupetty is 13 km from Munnar. Kundala tea plantations and the Kundala lake are also located close to Mattupetty .

Pothamedu - Pothamedu offers an enchanting view of tea, coffee and cardamom plantations in Munnar. The hills and the mountains is ideal for trekking and mountain walks. Pothamedu is 6 km from Munnar.

Devikulam - Devikulam is a hill station located 7 km from Munnar which is known for its scenic beauty and flora and fauna. The Sita Devi Lake is ideal for picnic and fishing. The Sita Devi Lake is surrounded by lush green hills and attracts tourists not only because of its sacredness but also for the curative powers in its waters.

CSI Christ Church - The CSI Christ Church was built by the British in 1910 AD. The church is known for its stained glass windows. There are many brass plaques in the church in the memory of the tea planters.

THEKKADY

A great way to spend time in Thekkady is by going on Thekkady sight seeing tours. It is a great way to explore the popular tourist attractions in this place. This section that is named "Thekkady tours" will tell you more about the various tourist attractions of Thekkady and give you an idea of your tour to Thekkady.

Tourist attraction in Thekkady

 

Chellarkovil - Chellarkovil is a small village that is famous for its splendid panoramic views like lush landscapes and gurgling waterfalls. The village is also well known for its vast coconut groves.

Kumily - Located just outside the Periyar sanctuary, Kumily is a famous plantation town. This lovely town has extensive plantations of various Indian spices.

Kurisumala - Located on a high altitude, this beautiful place offers lot of opportunities for trekking, mountain climbing and other kinds of adventure sports. It also offers a bird's eye view of the Periyar sanctuary and Kumily.

Mangala Devi Temple - Located at a height of 1337 meters above sea level in the dense thickets, is the beautiful Mangala Devi Temple. This temple is built in the traditional Kerala style of architecture. This temple allows visitors only on the day of Chitra Pournami festival.

Pandikuzhi - This popular picnic spot is nestled between Tamil Nadu and Chellarkovil. One can try their hand at trekking and mountain climbing over here. The picturesque location also provides the perfect getaway for an avid photographer.

Pullumedu - Located along the Periyar River, this beautiful hill town is a delightful place to spend your vacations. This lovely place offers a splendid view of diverse flora and fauna. The place is accessible only by a jeep. One can also see the famous Sri Ayyappa Temple and the Sabarimala hill from here.

Ramakalmedu - The place is marked by lush green hills and enchanting mist. This place offers a great view of nearby villages and the fresh mountain air works wonders for your health.

Vandanmedu - Vandanmedu is famous for its extensive cardamom plantations and is the world's largest auction center for cardamom. One should take a walk through these lovely plantations to get that heady feeling.

Vandiperiyar - This town is famous for its pepper, coffee and tea plantations. The mighty Periyar River flows right through the center of this town thus providing natural irrigation. Vandiperiyar is a major trade center and also has many factories. The place also has widespread nurseries of roses, orchids and other exotic flowering plants

 

Situated high in the ranges of the Western Ghats, in God’s Own Country, Kerala, is the Periyar National Park also known as Thekkady Wildlife Sanctuary and Tiger Reserve. The Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, also know as the Thekkady Wildlife Sancruary at Thekkady in Kerala, is one of the 16 Project Tiger Reserves in India. The picturesque Periyar Lake at the heart of the sanctuary is one major attraction of the region. Formed with the building of a dam in 1895, this reservoir meanders around the contours of the wooded hills, providing a permanent source of water for the local wildlife. Though its a Tiger Reserve, tourists come here to view the Indian elephants moving freely all around with their complete family of adult and kid elephants. Famous for its pachyderm population (which is around 800 in number), Periyar Wildlife Reserve is probably one of the few places, where one can observe the elephants in their natural habitats.

Sightseeing at Periyar, Thekkady –

 

The Flora - The forests are tropical, a mixture of deciduous, semi-evergreen, and evergreen ‘sholas’, the last occurring in the moist valleys and characterised by tall trees and a closed canopy. The forests alternate with extensive patches of grasslands.

The Fauna - The fauna population of Periyar includes - elephants, bisons, antelopes, sambars, wild boars and if one is lucky, even tigers. Periyar is the best bet in India for observing and photographing elephants at close quarters. Besides, the birdlife comprises of darters, cormorants, kingfishers, great hornbills (the great Malabar hornbill) and racket-tailed drongoes.

The Reptiles - The reptilian population boasts of monitor lizards, that can be spotted basking in the sun, on the rocks along the lakeshore, especially in the cooler months. Pythons, king cobras, flying lizards, flying squirrels, flying snakes and to top it all, flying frogs are the other inhabitants of this amazing sanctuary.

Park Trips - Boat cruises make the best option to check out the wilds of Periyar Sanctuary. Today the Periyar lake offers an excellent boating spot for tourists. Although it is unusual to see many animals from the boats, still you spot a family of Elephants, Wild Boar, and Sambar Deer by the water's edge.

Best Season to visit - The best time to visit Periyar is between October and April.

KOLLAM

Kollam is a beautiful place and has many places that are worth visiting. The list of tourist attractions in Kollam is unending and you will never be left pondering with the question of what to see in Kollam. We have a compiled a list of popular tourist attractions in this section of "Kollam tours". So read on further and know more about Kollam sight seeing tours.

Tourist attraction in Kollam

Kollam Backwaters - Kollam is famous for its beautiful backwaters and a boat ride through the meandering lagoons and rivers is sure to be a mind-blowing experience.

Adventure Park - This delightful amusement park is located near the Kollam bus stand and never fails to amuse kids and adults alike.

Ariankavu Pilgrimage - This popular pilgrim center is located at some distance from Kollam, yet is worth the visit. The temple holds its annual festival in December and is a grand spectacle to watch out for.

Mahatma Gandhi Beach - This beautiful beach is located just 2 kilometers from Kollam and is a fascinating place for taking long walks along the seashore. The sea is calm over here, which makes it ideal for bathing, and swimming.

Palaruvi Waterfalls - The Palaruvi waterfalls are a series of beautiful rapids, cascading through steep heights and falling down below to make a shallow pool. The water over here is almost white in color giving an impression that it is milk instead of water.

Thangassery Beach - Located at a distance of 5 kilometers from Kollam, this scenic beach is an ideal spot to laze around and has the ruins of an old fort, which gives it a mystical look.

Kollam Wildlife Sanctuary

Shenduruni Wildlife Sanctuary (66 km from town on the Kollam-Shencotta road) : Main attractions: Elephatns, tigers, leopards, bears, lion tailed macques.

Acces -  Nearest Airport: Thiruvananthapuram (72 Kms) Nearest Railhead : Thenmala, connected with Chennai, Mumbai, Delhi, Kashmir. Motorable Road connected with Kollam Town and Thiruvananthapuram city.

Pathanapuram taluk, 66 km from Kollam town on the Kollam - Shencotta road. The Shenduruny forest was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1984. The Name Shenduruny comes from an endemic species of tree called Chenkuruny (gluta travancoria), mainly confined to this region. The artificial lake formed by the parappar dam built across the shenduruny and kulathupuzha rivers occupies the central region of the sanctuary.

KOTTAYAM

Tourist Attractions in Kottayam project, details, links, information, news and data are included in this page. We have worked a lot to collect all informations related Tourist Attractions in Kottayam project. All informations, programs, projects, details and data related Tourist Attractions in Kottayam project is collected from other sites and journals. Tourist Attractions in Kottayam project will gives both knowledge and entertainment to the user. Anybody can use Tourist Attractions in Kottayam project at any time. The informations and data in Tourist Attractions in Kottayam project are more robust and reliable.Main tourist centers in Kottayam are listed below.

Tourist attraction in Kottayam

Bharananganam
- Bharananganam is an important pilgrimage center for the Christians. It is located next to the St. Mary's Church. The church is a thousand years old and has a well-carved cavern of Virgin Mary.

Cheryapalli - Built in the year 1579, this church is dedicated to St. Mary. The church has some beautiful paintings of the Biblical era.

Mannanam - This place is a famous Christian center. The famous St. Joseph's monastery is located over here. A famous saintly figure of Kerala known as Father Kuriakose Elias of Chavara (1805 -1871) lived here. Mannanam is the place where one of the oldest printing presses of India was established. Some of Kerala's oldest newspapers were printed over here.

Thirunakkara Mahadev Temple - Located in the heart of Kottayam, this temple is built in the typical Kerala style. The architecture and murals are stunningly beautiful. The temple is packed by a large number of devotees who come to attend the annual festival in the month of March.

Valiyapalli Church - One of the largest churches in Kottayam, the Valiyapalli church was built in the year 1550. This church was built for the Knanaya Orthodox Syrians and is renowned for its ancient Persian cross dating back to the 8th century and also the Pahalavi inscription on the cross.

Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary

 

16 Kottayam town small village to Kumarakom, which has a beautiful bird sanctuary on the banks of the Vembanad Lake and is an ideal place for backwater cruises. The 14-acre sanctuary is an ornithologist's paradise and a favourite haunt of migratory birds like Siberian stork, Egret darter, Heron and Teal. There are also different varieties of local birds like waterfowl, wild duck, cuckoo, owl, water ducketc. The sanctuary is open from 10.00 am to 6.00 pm and the best months to bird watch are between June and August. Close to the sanctuary, in the beautifully wooded ground near the backwaters, is coconut lagoon heritage resort, which is one of India's most discrete holiday destinations. Guests stay in genuine 'Tharawad' (traditional wooden) cottages and love this unique culture.

 

KOZHIKODE

This district with serene beaches, emerald green countryside, and historic sites is set with the Arabian Sea on the west and the Wayanad hills on the east. The most important region of Malabar in earlier times, Kozhikode was the capital of the powerful Zamorins and a major trade and commerce center as well. The city continues to be a center of flourishing domestic and international trade, being the marketing center for commodities like pepper coconut, coffee, rubber, lemon grass oil etc. Kozhikode found a place in World History with the discovery of sea route to Indian by the Portuguese navigator Vasco Da Gama , who landed at the Kappad sea shore in 1498. A monument is constructed here to commemorate the historical landing.

Tourist attraction in Kazhikode

Pookot Lake - The Pookot is a natural fresh water lake surrounded by meadows and trees on all sides and is a haven for peace-loving travelers. It is located half way from Kozhikode/ Calicut half an hour ahead of Kalpetta.

Ettumanoor Temple - Ettumanoor is a Hindu pilgrimage, famous for the legendary 16th century Shiva Temple. The Shiva temple is an example of Kerala's indigenous style of temple architecture, incorporating clear-cut woodcarvings and murals, including an exceptionally striking one of Shiva as Nataraja, where he crushed underfoot the evil spirit represented by a demon.

Krishnan Menon Museum - The Krishna Menon Museum has a section in honor of the great Indian leader V.K. Krishna Menon, whose personal belongings and souvenirs presented by leaders and friends are exhibited here.

Malabar Mahotsavam - Malabar Mahotsavam is a cultural show that showcases the centuries old rich cultural heritage of Kerala. The event is at Mananchira maidan in the heart of Kozhikode town from 13th to 16th January every year.

Pazhassi Raja Museum - The Pazhassiraja Museum, run by the State Archaeological Department is located at East Hill and displays ancient murals, old coins and antique bronzes as well as models of temples and megalithic monuments.

Thali Temple - Thali temple is located downtown Kozhikode and is an important temple of the former Zamorin Kingdom of Kozhikode. The Thali temple is famous for the 'Revathi Pattathanam', an annual competition of pedagogic skills.

Dolphin's Point - Just a few kilometers from the city center is the Dolphin's Point, where you can spot dolphins playing in the sea of an early morning. The long tree-lined beach, about 2 km away, is popular with the local people because of the Lions Club Park and the lighthouse.

Mananchira - Mananchira is the heart of the Kozhikode city and has important institutions like the Town Hall and the Public Library. One of Kozhikode's oldest institutions, the Commonwealth Trust's office is located here at Mananchira.

Thikkoti Lighthouse - The Thikkoti lighthouse is an important attraction of Kozhikode/Calicut and was built after a shipwreck, the remains of which can still be seen here.

SABARIMALA

Sabarimala,in Pathanamthitta district of Kerala, as a place of pilgrimage, is a nation-wide acclaimed destination.Sri Dharmasastha Temple is the most famous among all the Sastha Temples of India. It is believed that Sage Parasurama who uplifted Kerala from the sea by throwing his axe, installed the idol of Lord Ayyappa at Sabarimala for worship The pilgrimage begins in the month of November and ends in January. The temple attracts pilgrims not only from the southern states of India, but also from other parts of the country and abroad.

 

The unique feature of the Temple is that it is open to people of all castes and faiths and innumerable non-hindus conduct pilgrimages to Sabarimala. The secular aspect of the temple is best exemplified by the existence of the "Vavar Nada" in honour of a Muslim saint at the close proximity to the main temple at Sabarimala. The pilgrims enter the gateway of “Pathinettampadi” only after worship at this place. The pilgrims on their sojourn to Sabarimala also worship at Erumeli Sree Dharma Sastha Temple and conduct "Petta Thullal". They also worship in the mosque at Erumeli as a part of their pilgrimage.

 

Tourist attraction in Sabrimala

 

Sabarimala is a renowned pilgrim centre atop the rugged hills of the Western Ghats. This holy shrine is dedicated to Lord Ayyappa. The sanctum sanctoram nestles 914 m above sea level, amidst the virgin forest wilderness of the Western Ghats. The Village of Sabarimala is named after Shabari who did severe penance in order to meet Rama who granted her wish for her devotion and faith during her penance. Sabarimala Sri Dharmasastha Temple is the most famous and prominent among all the Sastha Temples. It is believed that "Parasurama Maharshi" who uplifted Kerala from the sea by throwing his axe, installed the idol of Ayyappa at Sabarimala to worship Lord Ayyappa. The pilgrimage begins in the month of November and ends in January. The temple attracts pilgrims not only from the southern states of India, but also from other parts of the country and abroad. The unique feature of the Temple is that it opens to people of all faiths and many non-hindus conduct pilgrimages to this temple. The secular aspect of the temple is best exemplified by the existence of the "Vavar Nada" in honour of a Muslim saint at the close proximity to the main temple (Ayyappa Swami Temple) at Sabarimala by the side of Holy Pathinettampady. The pilgrims worship in this place also. The pilgrims on their sojourn to Sabarimala worship at Erumeli Sree Dharma Sastha Temple and conduct "Petta Thullal". They also worship in the mosque at Erumeli as a part of their pilgrimage. Ayyappa cult gives much importance for the secularism and communal harmony and has turn out to be a model for the whole world. Another significant aspect of the pilgrimage is that all the pilgrims whether rich or poor, learned or illiterate holding position or not master or servant are all equal before LORD AYYAPPA and all address each other as AYYAPPA. The divine qualities like equality, fraternity, tolerance, humanity etc.. are shining well in the pilgrims.

 

The Glorious Sannidhanam - According to legend, the temple of Sabarimala and the deity of Ayyappa have always been regarded as the Pandalam Raja’s very own, and it is not considered proper to proceed to the temple without the king’s knowledge and permission. To make it easy for pilgrims to obtain the necessary permission, a representative of the king sits even today, with all the royal insignia, on a raised platform at the base of the Neelimala Hill. The pilgrims offer a token amount to the royal representative, and receive vibhuti from him.This marks the beginning of the steepest climb of the pilgrimage, the 3 km trek up the majestic Neelimala Hill, atop which sits Lord Ayyappa in all his glory. The pilgrims wind their way up the difficult trail in an unending stream, the hill reverberating with the constant chanting of thousands. At the first sight of the Patinettampadi, the holy eighteen steps, a full throated cry goes up from the devotees, “Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa!” It is the realisation of a mission.Built on a plateau about 40 feet high, the Ayyappan temple commands a lofty view of the mountains and valleys all around. The ancient temple has been rebuilt after a fire in 1950, consisting of a sanctum sanctorum with a copper-plated roof and four golden finials at the top, two mandapams, the belikalpura which houses the altar, and the flag-staff. Replacing the earlier stone image of the deity is a beautiful idol of Ayyappa in panchaloha, an alloy of five metals, about one and a half feet tall.

 

There are several explanations regarding the significance of the Patinettampadi, but in all of them, the emphasis is on the number 18. One popular belief is that the first 5 steps signify the five indriyas or senses, the next 8 the ragas, the next 3 the gunas, followed by vidya and avidya. Crossing these would take the devotee closer to self-realisation.Finally, at the eighteenth step, the devotee is at last face to face with the image of the Lord Ayyappa, or Dharma Sasta. A circumambulation brings him right in front of the sanctum sanctorum, and the pilgrim is filled with a sense of accomplishment and utter peace. But there is one more thing to be done – the ghee abhisheka, or bathing of the idol in ghee, which marks the culmination of the pilgrimage. The ghee-filled coconut which the pilgrim has carried in the front section of his irumudi is broken, and the ghee is offered to the deity. Another important abhisheka is of vibhuti, which is also brought by the devotee in his irumudi.

To the south-west of the main temple is the shrine of Lord Ganapati, known as Kannimula Ganapati. The special offering to this deity is Ganapati homan; and there used to be a large homakunda in front of the shrine, which burned constantly, fed by the coconut shells thrown by the devotees, after offering the ghee. As the coconut shells are consumed by the fire, the sins of the devotees are believed to be cleansed. Due to the growing crowds in the temple, the homakunda has now been shifted to a location below the temple. About a 100 metres away is the shrine of Malikappurathamma. En route to the shrine is the temple tank, Bhasma Kulam, in which hundreds of devotees take a holy bath in memory of the tapaswini Sabari who entered a fire to end her mortal life. It is after her that the peak is named Sabarimala. On account of the number of people who bathe in the tank, the water is frequently drained out and refilled with fresh water.

Situated on a small hillock, the Malikappurathamma temple houses the shrines of the Devi and Kaduthaswamy. Devotees also worship a trident and lamp here, and offer coconuts. The coconuts are not broken, however, but are just rolled on the ground around the temple. To the left of this temple are the shrines of the snake god and goddess, Nagaraja and Nagayakshi. Here, tribals beat on drums, play stringed instruments and sing sarppa pattu to protect devotees and their progeny from the harmful effects of snakebites. At the foot of the Patinettampadi are the two shrines of Kaduthaswamy and Karuppaswamy, who stand like dwarapalakas or guardians of the holy steps, to ensure that they are not polluted by those who tread on them without fulfilling the rigid austerities required of them. They are also believed to protect the devotees from the evil spirits of the forests. According to legend, Kadutha was a great warrior who helped the Pandalam king defeat the armies of Udayanan and other enemies. When the king came to Sabarimalai to reconstruct the temple, Kadutha came with him to protect him. Ultimately, he became so attached to Ayyappa that he decided to spend the rest of his days with his Lord.

 

Also near the Patinettampadi is the shrine of the Muslim Vavurswami. While there are several accounts of identity of Vavur, it is generally believed that he was a warrior who was defeated and subdued by Ayyappa, and later became a close associate. It is believed that Lord Ayyappa himself instructed the Pandalam king to build a mosque for Vavur at Erumuli and a shrine at Sabarimalai. The Vavur deity is believed to be as old as the original deity of Ayyappa himself, and records show that the shrine was renovated sometime in 1905. Here, the poojas are conducted by a Muslim priest. There is no distinguishable idol, but a carved stone slab that represents the deity. A green silken cloth is hung across one wall, and there is also an old sword. The special offering here is green pepper. Many devotees also bring a goat to offer to Vavurswami, mainly in the belief that pilgrims accompanied by a goat will reach the temple safely. These goats are later auctioned by the temple authorities. The layout of the Ayyappa temple is believed to have originated from the specific instructions of the Lord himself, who wanted Malikappurathamma, on his left a few yards from Sannidhanam, and his trusted lieutenants Vavur and Kadutha to be positioned as his guards at the foot of the holy 18 steps. 

The Great Makara Jyothi - The most anticipated event at Sabarimala is the Makara Jothi (usually on January 14th). Thiruvabaranam or the sacred jewels of the Lord (presented by Padalam King) arrives at Sabarimala in three boxes. On the arrival of the jewel boxes the whole mountain reverberates to the chanting of 'Saranam Ayyappa' by millions of devotees gathered there to watch the event.
The Thiruvabaranam box - still the private property of the Pandalam royal family, starts it journey two days before Makara Jothi day from Pandalam. The person who carries the box dances in a trance that can be believed only by who witnesses it. Thiruvabaranam travels through Valiakoikkal Sastha temple at Pandalam, Ayiroor Puthia Kavu Temple, Perunattil temple, Vlakkai, Nilaikkal Siva temple, Vellachimala, Pamba and Sabari Peedam before reaching at Sannidhanam around 6.00 PM on the Makara Jothi day. Every year a Garuda hovers and flies above the Thiruvabaranam boxes as if to guard them.On reaching the Sannidhanam the Melshanthi and Thandhri receive the sacred jewels amidst of thundering echoes of Sarana ghosham. The Thiruvabaranam box contains a diamond crown, golden bracelets, necklaces and a sword. The priests adorn the Lord with these and perform arathi. At the same moment a brilliant light of amazing magnificence appears in the northeastern side to the temple at opposite mountain in a place called Kantamala (the home of devas and rishis). It is believed that this brilliant flame of light is the arathi performed by the rishis and the devas. This event marks the culmination of the pilgrimage to Sabarimala.

KUMARAKOM

Kumarakom is a lovely town located on the banks of beautiful Vembanad lake, it lies in the Kuttanad region of Kerala. This place is bless by nature, with its untouched beauty and amazingly attractive backwaters, it attracts many tourists every year. Kumarakom is an ideal holiday destination for nature lovers, adventure lovers and backwaters by the luxury houseboat is a perfect retreat for the honeymooners. You can enjoy the boat cruise or can enjoy various waters sports and you can also can have a close look at the town's daily life & friendly people. The combination of green farms and crystal blue fresh water is simply pleasure for eyes. If you have done it all then make you way to the Kumarakom bird sanctuary the home to the beautiful migratory birds.

 

Tourist attraction in Kumarakom

Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary - This is the major tourist attraction of Kumarakom, which makes it more precious. it is simply as haven for an ornithologist. The lovely bird sanctuary is spread across 101 acres, located on the banks of Vembanad lake. You can witness the rare birds like the egrets, darters, herons, teal, bitterns, brahminy kites, marsh harries, waterfowl, cuckoo and wild ducks. Also Siberian storks migrate here every year.

Aruvikkuzhi Waterfalls - Don't miss the Aruvikkuzhi Waterfalls, a lovely picnic spot which is just 2 kms from kumarakom. The water falls from a 100 ft. mountain.

Vembanad Lake - Vembanad Lake forms an enchanting picnic spot and a fast developing backwater tourism destination. It is from here that many small rivers and canals originate. The lake provides facilities including boating and fishing and is a truly exhilarating experience.

Backwater Cruise - The backwaters of Kerala - an endless stretch of meandering waterways flanked on either side by tall and swaying palm trees, is one of the most fascinating Tourist Attractions in Kumarakom. Embark on an enchanting and peaceful cruise on these backwaters, and you will definitely enjoy an experience of a lifetime. A stay at any of the wonderful houseboats is also a must while holidaying at Kumarakom.

 

KAYAMKULAM

Kayamkulam is a small village on the western coast of India in the state of Kerala. Washed by the waters of the Arabian Sea, the place is almost equidistant from Alleppey and Quilon, both of which connect the Kerala backwaters. The place is connected by rail and road with other cities in the region as well as other parts of the country.
 
Tourist attraction in Kayamkulam

The famous temple dedicated to goddess Bhagavathy is about 5 km from Kayamkulam. Situated amidst vast paddy fields, it houses a huge traditional lamp made of granite and accommodating a thousand wicks, which are lit everyday.

The 18th-century Krishnapuram Palace built during the reign of the Travancore monarch Martand Varma is a double-storied structure that displays typical characteristics of Kerala architecture-gabled roofs, dormer windows, and narrow corridors. It houses one of the largest mural paintings in Kerala called the Gajendra Moksham. It measures 14 feet by 11 feet and is at the western end of the ground floor, a walking distance from the Palace Pool. There is also a museum of antique sculptures, paintings, and bronzes inside the palace.

Oachira Temple is the only idol-less temple in whole of Kerala. It is believed that Lord Shiva meditated under the gigantic Ficus tree still there. These trees are the points of worship in this temple apart from the Naga (cobra) idols nearby. One of the many rituals that this place has is the worship of bulls. They are decorated and can be seen in the premises of the temple in the abundance.

Kayamkulam is also famous for its backwaters and the lake. The wide opening of the lake into the Arabian Sea offers spectacular sunset view through the web of Chinese fishing nets to the tourists cruising in the houseboats.

There are some health resorts in Kayamkulam that specialize in Ayurvedic treatment and oil therapy.

Places around Kayamkulam

Alappuzha, the district headquarters, is situated some 50 km off Kayamkulam and connected with rail, road, and boats. The place is famous for the Mullakal Temple, its backwaters, and the annual Nehru Cup Snake Boat Race.

Quilon or Kollam is situated around 70 km off Kayamkulam. This place is famous for its backwaters, Ashtamudi Lake, Ayurvedic treatment, and art and craft fair.

KANNUR

A number of legends are associated with the name of Kannur or Cannanore the previous anglicized name of Kannur. According to one of the opinions, the word Kannur is believed to be derived from its ancient village Kanathur which survives even today as one of the wards of the Kannur Municipality. Another mythology assumed its name from the two words “Kannan” which means Lord Krishna and “Ur” which means place, so the combined meaning of the word is the place of Lord Krishna. At present the district of Kannur is making distinctions in many respects like fourth largest urban agglomeration in Kerala, one of the best ten cities of India to reside, popularly known as the city of looms, the city of performing art and beautiful virgin beaches.

Tourist Attraction in Kannur


Dharmadam Island -This beautiful island is located near the Muzhappilangad beach and is basically a Buddhist dominated region. This island was previously known as Dharmapattanam.

Jagannatha Festival - The Jagannatha festival is an eight-day long festival held in the Malayalam month of Kumbham, around February-March. It is one of the most important festivals of this region. The Jagannatha temple comes alive with festivities during this time.

Madayi Mosque - Malik Iben Dinar, who was a Muslim preacher, built this mosque in approximately 1124 A.D. It is a beautiful mosque and a popular tourist attraction. The mosque has a slab of white marble that was brought from Mecca by the founder who came here to disseminate the teachings of the Prophet.

Moppila Bay - This bay is a famous fishing harbor that is situated near St. Angelo's fort. The place has the latest fishing harbor, equipped with latest fishing technology. It has been built under the Indo-Norwegian treaty and is a joint collaboration between the two countries.

Arakkal Palace - The Arakkal Palace belonged to the only Muslim royal family of Kerala. The palace is of much historical significance and is a popular tourist attraction of Kannur.

Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary, Kannur

Established in the year 1984, Aralam wildlife sanctuary of Kannur is located at a distance of 60 kilometers from Kannur. It is spread over a small area of 55 square kilometers. Aralam national park is situated on the slopes of the Western Ghats. The elevation gradually increases from 50 meters to 1145 meters. The highest peak over here that rises to a height of 1145 meters is known as Katti Betta. The lush green slopes and the thick forest cover make it the perfect home for the numerous species of birds and animals that live here.

The sanctuary receives an annual rainfall of around 3000 mm. The best time to visit the place is October to June. The monsoons last from June to September. This beautiful sanctuary is situated near the Central State farm, which was established by the Government of India in the year 1971. This farm is spread over a vast area of 3060 hectares and is one of the main production centers of crossbred coconut seeds in India.

The sanctuary houses a wide variety of flora and fauna. Among the evergreen plants, one can find species like Calophyllum, Cullenia, Elatum and Vellapine among others. Among the semi-evergreen variety, one can find trees like Cinnamomum, Hopea, Mallotus, Zeylanicum and Philippinensis. The animal kingdom flourishes in animals like mouse deer, wild boars, elephants, Indian bison, leopards, jungle cats and various types of squirrels. Apart from the big animals, one can find many snakes and birds in this sanctuary
.

PATHANAMTHITTA

Pathanamthitta is a district in the state of Kerala that is famous for its natural beauty, fairs and festivals. A tour to Pathanamthitta gives you the wonderful chance to view nature at its very best. The vast stretches of forests, the meandering rivers and the rural topography combine to create an irresistible charm. Pathanamthitta is a small city which is a thickly forested region dotted with mountains and rivers and temples. Tour to Pathanamthitta is not only for the breathtaking views it offers but Pathanamthitta is also important as a pilgrimage center. Pathanamthitta is a beautiful place which draws a number of tourists for its religious shrines and the water sports and even its scenic beauty. The world famous Ayaapa Temple is located Sabrimala in Pathanamthitta.

Tourist attractions in Pathanamthitta


The various tourist attractions in Pathanamthitta are Omallur, Malayalapuzha, Kadamanitta, Konni, Sabarimala, Aranmula, Thiruvalla, Kaviyoor.

 

Omallur - The Rakthakanta Swamy temple and the annual cattle fair held in the Malayalam month of Meenam are the main attraction of Omallur. People from both within and outside the state participate in the fair.

Malayalapuzha - The goddess at the Bhagavathy Temple in Malayalapuzha is believed to grant boons to devotees and help them realize their dreams. The temple has beautiful wall paintings and artistic stone carvings.

Kadamanitta - The Kadamanitta Devi temple is famous for the ten day long Padayani performances held in connection with the annual festival in April - May.

Konni - Konni is an agricultural region, and rich in cash crops like rubber, pepper, coffee, ginger etc. It used to be a centre for training elephants. Konni is also known for its elephant rides and the Anakodu where elephants are tamed and trained for work.

 

Sabarimala - Sabarimala is one of the most famous pilgrimage centres in India. Sabarimala is situated on the mountain ranges of the Western Ghats at an altitude of 914 m above sea level and is accessible by foot from Pamba (4 km). The temple is dedicated to Sree Ayyappa who is regarded as the guardian of the mountaineers. This temple is open from November to mid January. Mandalapooja and Makaravilakku are the two main festivals which are celebrated during this season. The temple stays closed during the rest of the year except for the first five days of every Malayalam month and during Vishu. People of all castes and creeds are permitted inside the temple, except the women between 10 to 50 years of age

 

Aranmula -Aranmula is located about 50 kms from Kottayam. The Parthasarthi temple, dedicated to Sree Krishna on the banks of the holy river Pamba attracts large crowds of devotees. Aranmula is the place where the splendid Onam festival boat races take place. The famous Aranmula boat race is held on the last day of the week long Onam festival. These races are religious, based on a temple festival. Caparisoned elephants with beaded umbrellas, processions of decorated floats, and highly ornate boats make this a lovely event to witness. The Vijnana Kalavedi at Aranmula imparts training in the traditional arts like Kathakali, classical dances, classical music as well as Kalaripayattu. The foreign tourists stay here for long period to get a first hand knowledge of the culture of Kerala. The Parthasarthi temple here has fine murals from the 18th century. Aranmula is also famous for its metal mirrors, a unique craft which is not found anywhere else in the world.

Thiruvalla - Thiruvalla is the headquarters of the Malankara Marthoma Syrian Church. The Paliakara Church in Thiruvalla has some exquisite mural paintings. The Sree Vallabha temple in Thiruvalla is perhaps the only temple in Kerala where Kathakali is performed as a ritual offering everyday.

Kaviyoor - Kaviyoor is situated on the banks of the Manimala river, and famous for its temples. The Hanuman temple is situated on a small hillock and is built in the gable style of architecture peculiar to Kerala. The rock cut Shiva temple, half a kilometer away, is of great archaeological significance. This temple belongs to the 18th century AD, and bears close resemblance to the Pallava style of architecture. The stone engravings here are among the earliest specimens of stone sculpture in Kerala.

 

 

Mannadi - Mannadi is situated about 13 kms. from Adoor. At this place, the Veluthampi Dalawa, the famous freedom fighter of Travancore spent his last days. The ancient Bhagavathy temple here has some exquisite stone sculptures. The annual festival is held in February - March. The Kerala Institute of Folklore and Folk Arts functions here.

Perunthenaruvi Waterfalls - The Perunthenaruvi Waterfalls is situated about 36 kms. from Pathanamthitta. The Perunthenaruvi Waterfalls on the banks of the Pamba river is a favourite picnic spot for both dometic and foreign tourists.

Pandalam - As a holy town, Pandalam is perhaps second only to Sabarimala. Sree Ayyappa, the presiding deity of Sabarimala had his human sojourn as the son of the Raja of Pandalam. The Valiyakoikal temple near the palace on the banks of river Achenkovil was modeled on the Sabarimala shrine. Pilgrims usually stop here to worship before proceeding to Sabarimala. Three days prior to the Makaravilaku festival, the sacred ornaments of Sree Ayappa are taken in a procession from Pandalam to Sabarimala.

Parumala - The ormaperunnal (commemoration day) of Mar Gregorious Metropolitan, the declared saint of Malankara Orthodox Church is celebrated on the first and second day of every November.

Manjanikara Church - Mar Ignatius Elias III, the holy patriot of Anthiod while on his visit to India, died at this place in 1932. Later this place was developed into a pilgrim centre. The annual festival is held in the month of February.

Maramon - Maramon, near Kozhencherry is the venue of the largest religious convention of Christians from all over the world. It is attended by people from all communities. The convention which is usually held in February is addressed by religious thinkers and Christian scholars from all over the world. This is perhaps the largest Christian convention in Asia

 

TRICHUR

Aarattupuzha Pooram - The famous Ayyappa temple at Aarattupuzha is just 14 km from Trichur (Thrissur). The temple celebrates its annual pooram festival during March.

Kerala Kalamandalam - Kalamandalam is Kerala's leading training school for Kathakali dance drama and other indigenous performing arts. The revered poet Vallathol founded it in 1927 AD.

Peechi Vazhani Wildlife Sanctuary
The Peechi-Vazhani Sanctuary comprising of the dense, moist deciduous and semi-evergreen forests is situated in the catchment area of the Peechi and Vazhani dams. It is one of the important wildlife sanctuaries of Kerala.

Soochipara Waterfalls - Soochipara Waterfalls is located 22 km from Hotel Green Gates. On alighting the vehicle, one can reach the waterfalls after a 2-km walk into the dense equatorial forest of Wayanad.

Thriprayar Temple - Thriprayar Temple is located south of Trichur and is one of the important temples dedicated to Lord Rama. The exquisite woodcarvings, sculptures and Mural Paintings are an interesting sight.

Thrissur Pooram - Trichur (Thrissur) is best known for its huge Pooram Festival, which is the most colorful and spectacular temple festival of Kerala. Thrissur (Trichur) Pooram is held in the Malayalam month of Medam (April- May).

Archaeological Museum - Located on the Town Hall Road in Trichur, the archaeological museum is open from 10 am to 5 pm on all days except Mondays and National holidays

Art Museum, Trichur :- Located in the zoo compound, the art museum displays collections of metal sculptures, woodcarvings and ancient jewellery.

Peechi Dam - About 20 km east of Trichur, the Peechi offers boating facilities. There are frequent private buses from Trichur. Built across the Manali River, the dam is a vast catchment area of nearly 3200 acres with extensive botanical gardens and cascading fountains offer numerous inviting avenues for tourists.

St. Thomas Memorial - St. Thomas, the apostle, is said to have landed in Kodungalloor (formerly called Muziris) in 52 AD. The St. Thomas Church established by him houses ancient relics.

Shakthan Thampuran Palace - Also known as Palace Thoppu, the Shakthan Thampuran Palace campus covers an area of 6 acres. Here one can see three tombs including that of Shakthan Thampuran, the greatest ruler of the Cochin dynasty.

 

Fairs & Festivals in Kerala

The colorful mosaic of Kerala festivals and fairs is as diverse as the land, is an expression of the spirit of celebration, that is an essential part of the State. Observed with enthusiasm and gaiety, festivals are like gems, ornamenting the crown of Kerala tradition and culture. Round the year the fests keep Kerala life vibrant and interludes in the mundane affairs of life.

Every season turns up new festivals, each a true celebration of the bounties of nature. The festivals exhibits an eternal harmony of spirit. Packed with fun and excitement, festivals are occasions to clean and decorate houses, to get together with friends and relatives and to exchange gifts.


Aaranmula Boat Race - The Aaranmula Boat Race is staged each year in the scenic village of Aaranmula in August/ September. This river carnival is part of the Aaranmula Temple festival. Masses throng the shores of the River Pamba to watch an imposing cluster of snake boats called 'Palliyodams'.

Cochin Carnival - Cochin Carnival is a merry making feast observed during the last week of every year in Fort Kochi in Kerala. The carnival dates back to the Portuguese New Year revelry held here during the colonial days.

Muharram - Muharram is the opening month of the Hijra year. The 10th day of this month (May) is honoured by the Muslims of Kerala. As per belief, it was on this day that the Imam Hussain, the grandson of Prophet Mohammed, and his men were slain at Karbala.

Onam - Onam, the harvest festival is the most popular festival of Kerala. A festival that celebrates a happy blend of myth and reality, Onam is part of the cultural repertoire of every Malayalee.

Sabarimala Festival - The Sabarimala Temple festival is celebrated in honour of Lord Ayyapa who is revered by all in India. Sabarimala is a renowned pilgrim centre atop the rugged hills of the Western Ghats. This holy shrine is dedicated to Lord Ayappa. The main pilgrimage is undertaken between November and January.

Nehru Trophy Boat Race - Nehru Trophy Boat Race is the most famous of the boat races of Kerala. This annual regatta is held on the Punnamada Backwaters of Alappuzha district on the second Saturday of August.

Malabar Mahotsavam - Malabar Mahotsavam is a cultural extravaganza that showcases the centuries old rich cultural heritage of Kerala. The event is at Mananchira maidan (ground) in the heart of Kozhikode town from 13th to 16th January every year.

Swathi Festival - Swathi festival is a gala event of music organised by the Government of Kerala every year in the last week of January. The venue is the famous Kuthiramalika Palace. Thiruvananthapuram, where once upon a time the great poet-king of Travancore, Sri Swathi Thirunal, composed many of his verses.

Aarattu - Pallivetta (Royal Hunt) and Arattu (Holy Bath) are part of the rituals of the festivals of some of the major temples of Kerala. The speciality of the Arattu at the Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram is that the head of the royal family of erstwhile Travancore still provides escort to the procession of idols. The two annual ten-day festivals of the temple fall in October- November and March- April.

Jagannatha Festival - Jagannatha Festival is a colourful eight-day festival, which is held in the Malayalam month of Kumbham (February/ March) at the Jagannatha Temple at Madathiparambu, near Thalassery in Kannur.

Aattachamayam - The festival of Attachamayam is held on the Atham day of the Malayalam month of Chingam (August/ September), at the historical town of Tripunithura, near Kochi. It is a celebration of a legendary victory of the Raja of Kochi.

Indira Gandhi Boat Race - Indira Gandhi Boat Race is a grand fest on the rolling backwaters of Kochi. Conducted in the last week of December, it is a fitting finale to the Tourism Fair, which attracts travellers from all parts of the globe.

Thirunakara Festival - The Thirunakara Temple situated in the heart of Kottayam and dedicated to Lord Siva is also famous for the grandeur of its traditional architecture.

Vettukadu Perunal - The Madre De Teus Church, popularly known as Vettukadu church, is situated around 7 kms from Thiruvananthapuram. The annual festival of the church is celebrated over the ten days culminating in the last Sunday of the laturgical year. Various religious rites are carried out during the festival days.

Oachirakkali - The Oachira Temple is the venue of the famous Oachirakkali (Oachira dance) held in June, a sort of ancient choreographed mock battle. Unlike other temples, there is no shrine or idol at the oachira temple, located nearly 32 kms from Kollam.

 

Famous Dances in Kerla

 

Nisha Gandhi Dance Festival - Every year, from February 21st to 27th renowned classical dancers perform at the Nisangandhi, an open air theatre in Thiruvananthapuram city. Classical dances of almost all the states of India are staged during the festival. Mohiniyattam (Kerala), Bharatha Natyam (Tamil Nadu), Kutchippudi (Andhra Pradesh), Odissi (Orissa), Manipuri (Manipur) and Kathak (a north Indian Classical Dance) are the major dances performed.

Chavittunatakom - A sensual blend of wide-ranging cultures is tangible in Chavittunatakam. Literally means 'Stamping Drama', its history begins with advent of the Portuguese to the Malabar coast of Kerala.

 Kathakali - Kerala owes its transnational fame to this nearly 300 years old classical dance form which combines facets of ballet, opera, masque and the pantomime.

It is said to have evolved from other performing arts like Kootiyattam, Krishnanattam and Kalarippayattu. Kathakali explicates ideas and stories from the Indian epics and Puranas.

Kolkalli - Kolkalli is a folk art performed mainly by the agrarian classes. It is a highly rhythmic dance with the dancers wielding short sticks.

The rhythm of this dance is set by a harmonious synchronisation of the tapping of feet to the clapping of sticks.

Koothu -
Nangiar Koothu is an art performed by the Nangiars or the female members of the Chakkiar community.

This is a solo dance drama mainly centred on the legends of Krishna. Verses are sung and interpreted through mime and dance.

Kootiyattam - Kootiyattam is a dance traditionally enacted in temples. Kootiyattam is Kathakali's 2000 year old predecessor and is offered as a votive offering to the deity.

Kootiyattam literally means "acting together". This is the earliest classical dramatic art form of Kerala.

 Krishnanattom - A spectacle for both the scholar and the simple rustic. The visual effect is enhanced by varied and colourful facial make-up with larger-than-life-masks, made of light wood and cloth padding, for certain characters.

The characters who do not wear masks have specific facial colours applied within the frame of a white chutti.

The predominant colours used are dark green, flesh tint and deep rose. Most of the characters wear red vests and flowing 'Uthariyams'. The characters of Krishna, Arjuna and Garuda wear dark blue vests.

Thiruathirakkali - It is a dance performed by women for the everlasting marital bliss, on Thiruvathira day in the Malayalam month of Dhanu (December-January).

It is a part of the old custom followed in nair joint families.

The dance is a celebration of marital chastity and female energy, for this is what brought Kamadeva (cupid of Indian mythology) back to his life after he was reduced to ashes by the fire of lord Shiva.


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