Kerala Tourism has jumped leaps and bounds during the last 15 years. Kerala was visited by millions even before 15 years, but Thiruvananthapuram was the only one available International airport and thereby restricting the foreigners to be able to see only the surroundings of Thiruvananthapuram.
Now, Kerala can boast of having three international airports and can expect more connectivity by air, rail and sea. Tourists seldom visited the cities such as Kochi and Kozhikode since airports in these two cities were opened only during the last one-and-a-half decade. All the international tourists coming to Kerala on chartered flights revolved around Thiruvananthapuram having a feel that these are all to see in Kerala.
Kerala as everyone call it now as “God’s Own Country” is a very small state blessed with natural and serene scenic beauty. Having Arabian Sea on its western side, the lush green trees and paddy fields in the middle and mountains up to the height of 2700 meters above sea level, provides feast to the eyes and bodies of the tourists whether they are national or international. More than 40 rivers flowing from east to west to land in Arabian Sea provides Kerala state a fertile land with greenery all around. Long, serene, and shining beaches, beautiful backwaters, exotic waterfalls, unbelievable wildlife in close proximity, bird sanctuaries where we can see rare species of beautiful birds etc. make this land a heaven for the tourists.
Here I wish to mention only a few destinations where a tourist can reach easily by a hired car. According to my view, a first-time tourist should try to land at Kochi by air or rail. Once you land at Kochi, see the Kochi city first. Home stays at Kumbalangi, Chinese Nets at Fort Kochi, centuries-old churches existing in Fort Kochi, and Mattanchery areas, Ernakulam National Park, and enjoy a Kathakali or Kalarippayattu (ancient martial arts show) in the evening and enjoy a dish of your choice.
Our next destination is Alleppuzha also known as “Venice of the east”, a synonym earned since the area is surrounded by backwaters. You will be able to find hundreds of air-conditioned houseboats. There are tourists who would like to stay onboard these houseboats for weeks together. Seafood specialties available onboard these houseboats, paddy fields below the water level of backwaters, an island named Pathiramanal, a bird sanctuary in the vicinity etc.are a few specialties of this area. These house boats take you plying through the Vembanadu Lake. Those interested in special Kerala delicacies can have a look to the kitchen.
There are tourists who learn Kerala recipes from the special kitchens of these houseboats. There are honeymoon packages available, which you can avail contacting the tour operators. Also there are star hotels in the vicinity of Alappuzha and Kumarakom which provide anything from an Ayurvedic Spa to international dishes.
Munnar, Vagamon, Thekkady, Mattuppetty dam, Athirappally, Wayanad, Bakel Fort,Thattekkad bird sanctuary, some scenic stretches of waterfalls etc can be reached within two to five hours by a car from Alleppey. Plenty of home stays are also available in almost all the above tourist spots where you can interact with local villagers, taste local food, and have a feel of the culture.
Elephant bath is a special feature to be experienced near Alleppey. Elephants intake water in their tusks from the pool and sprays to your body. Here you have the opportunity to touch the elephant and can have a ride on it if you like to have.
Those who come to Kerala have much more in store for them in Alleppey houseboats and Munnar resorts. In the houseboats, they can cook themselves or learn little cooking with the help of expert Chefs available onboard.
Munnar in the Western Ghats are surrounded by small mountains, streams, tea plantations, spice gardens. An aroma of these ingredients make the natural breeze soothe the mind and body. Since this place is 6000 feet above sea level, the temperature level falls up to zero degree in winter. The temperature in this area varies from 0 to 25 degrees depending on various seasons.
Do not forget to take a camera with you while on tour to Kerala since you are bound to have incredible views of nature, birds and wildlife in very close proximity.