Popular with nick name “God’s own country,” it is surprising to share that in the 1980s, tourism in Kerala was not known to anybody, but after 1990s, Kerala tourism boomed. Today, it is one of the most visited states of India. Interestingly, Kerala is named as one of the "ten paradises of the world" and "50 must see destinations of a lifetime" by National Geographic's Traveller magazine. Its city Kochi ranked first in the total number of international and domestic tourists coming in the state. Likewise, its backwaters, beaches, hill stations, mountain ranges, wildlife etc. are the major attractions. In addition, Kerala’s ecotourism and Ayurvedic tourism became very popular since the 1990s.
Major Attractions in Kerala
Backwaters of Kerala: This is one of the most fascinating attractions in Kerala. Backwaters in Kerala is the most searched keyword in Kerala Tourism. Backwaters in Kerala is in fact a series of brackish lakes and lagoons, which is located along the Malabar Coast of Arabian Sea. Backwater tourism in Kerala is largely popular in and around Kollam, Alappuzha, and Kumarakom and the most fascinating part of backwaters is houseboat/Kettuvalam rides where one can also enjoy scenic landscapes all around the brackish water. However, tourists also love to see boat race in the backwaters of Kerala. Vembanad Lake is the largest lake in Kerala.
Important Monuments & Temples in Kerala
- Guruvayoor Temple: Located about 29 kms North-west of Thrissur, the temple is dedicated to Lord Krishna.
- Vadakkumnathan Temple: This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva.
- Chottanikkara Temple: Located nearby Kochi, the temple is dedicated to Goddess Bhagavathy.
- Sabarimala Temple: This temple is located in a beautiful landscape.
- St. Sebastian Church: Located 22 km north of Alappuzha, this Church is most popular in the state.
- Bekal Fort: It is located in Bekal.
- Napier Museum: This is most popular museum located in capital Thiruvananthapuram.
- Edakkal Caves: It is located in a beautiful landscape at Ambukuthi Hills, Wayanad.
- Alwaye Palace: it is located in beautiful landscape on the bank of Periyar River.
- Koyikkal Palace: This medieval period Palace located at the distance of about 18 km from Thiruvananthapuram.
- Bolghatty Palace: Though, this is originally constructed by Dutch during the year 1744, but now, it is popular as KTDC hotel.
- Mattanchery Palace: This palace is constructed by Portuguese. It is located in Ernakulam District.
- Hill Palace Museum: It is a heritage museum built in 1865.
Hill Stations of Kerala
- Major Beaches of Kerala
- Alappuzha Beach
- Kovalam Beach
- Thirumullavaram Beach
- Cherai Beach
- Dharmadam Island
- Shanghumukham Beach
- Vallikunnu Beach
- Varkala Beach
- Ezhimala Beach
- Fort Kochi Beach
- Bekal Beach
- Beypore Beach
- Kizhunna Ezhara Beach
- Marari Beach (Mararikulam)
- Kappad Beach
- Kappil Beach
- Somatheeram Beach
- Thangasseri Beach
- Padinharekara Beach
- Payyambalam Beach
- Pallikere Beach
National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries of Kerala
- Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve: It is an International known Biosphere Reserve located in the Nilgiri Hills of Western Ghats.
- Silent Valley National Park: It is located in the Kundali Hills and popular for the endangered species such as Lion-tailed Macaque, Gaur, Indian Sloth Bear etc.
- Periyar National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary: It is located in Idukki and Pathanamthitta Districts.
- Eravikulam National Park: The Park is located in Idukki District.
- Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary: It is located in southern region of Western Ghats.
- Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary: Located in Wayanad, it is an animal sanctuary.
- Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary: It is located in Idukki District.
- Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary: It is located in Palakkad District.
- Thattekad Bird Sanctuary: It is located in Kochi region of the state.
Major Cities of Kerala
- Kozhikode (Calicut)
- Alappuzha (Alleppey)
- Ernakulam (Cochin)
- Thekkady (Periyar)
- Kottayam (Kumarakom)