Kerala

The enigmatic backwaters of Kerala are a 900 sq.km wide network of lakes, rivers, lagoons, and canals that both connect and divide the land, giving rise to an amphibious culture unique in the world.

Over and above the balmy backwaters, spotted with the gently rocking houseboats, endless rows of swaying coconut trees, sprawling paddy fields, vernacular architecture, deep cultural experience, and famed wellness and Ayurveda centres, Kerala is truly endowed.

Supplementing the liquid maze, the state has a rich history that the government is taking pains to conserve and protect. Must see destinations in Kerala include Kochi, Munnar, Thekaddy, Kumarakom and a visit to Kerala is incomplete without houseboat tour. Away from the hustle and bustle of city lives, many travellers are opting for Kerala honeymoon tours as well.

Places to visit:

Kochi:
Fort Kochi is famous for its cantilevered Chinese fishing nets. The desolate nets hung over the boats by the beach emit a forlorn and mysterious picture. The origin of these nets, are relatively unknown. The oldest church in India, St. Francis’s Church is a must see. The architecture of this town is redolent of Jewish and Portuguese influence. The Jewish Synagogue, built in 1568 is another major attraction. Located at the old part of the Mattancherry town, this is the oldest active synagogue.

Munnar:
Nestled in the laps of the lush green Western Ghats, this quaint hill-station is situated at an altitude of 6000ft. Surrounded by dams and lakes, this picturesque place is home to many endemic species. Munnar is renowned for its tea. The sloping, manicured tea gardens are an absolute treat to the eye. A visit to a tea factory is highly recommended.

Thekaddy:
Regarded as India’s largest wildlife sanctuary, the vegetation of Thekaddy is a combination of dense evergreen and moist deciduous forest. A boat cruise on the artificial lake made by the periyar dam, along the Periyar Tiger Reserve is simply breathtaking. Along with various species of birds, watching herds of elephant come to drink water from the lake is enchanting in its own way. One needs to be vigilant, as you never know when you get to see the elusive Royal Bengal Tiger.

Backwaters and Houseboat Cruise:
An amalgamation of lakes and lagoons, the backwaters of Kerala draw people from all over the world. It is a very common and pleasant sight to see Kettuvalams or houseboats plying on this liquid maze. A luxury houseboat experience in Kerala is worth experiencing.