With palm trees flanking each lane, abundant sap greens, coconut vendors to vanquish our thirst, Kerala is infamously claimed as ‘God’s own Country’. It proposes itself as one of the creatively refreshing, experiential holiday destinations to the world wanderers in a profoundly beautiful nation of India.

The land, also called as Parasurama Kshetram, is an exquisite location and nature’s cradle for the visitors seeking to rejuvenate and bask in the sunny climate and soothing beaches. The state of Kerala today welcomes every stratum of the society, as it offers a broad range of accommodation and transport. Hence, it is the country from the god, to the people as well as for the people.

Following are the 10 hidden tourist spots of Kerala that you should reach out while visiting the state.

  1. CHERAI BEACH

Location: Vypeen Island, Cochin

Duration: Variable. Avoid Summers

I would have disappointed myself if I had ignored my friend’s suggestion to visit the serene and peaceful Cherai Beach. The beach is a little remote and does not occupy itself by commercial errands of food and commodities’ shops. We had woke up early that morning to board the first jetty, excitedly hoping to explore the coast. The ferry dropped us at Vypeen Island from Mattancherry Port of Fort Kochi. After tirelessly enquiring the directions for the beach, we came across a public bus conductor who wisely directed us to board an ST (State Transport) bus. Once alighted, we had to either walk or hire an auto rickshaw to reach the beach.

Cherai beach

 The shores of Cherai beach

crab

Surprisingly, I found a crab, too!

  1. TEA MUSEUM AND SUN DIAL

Location: Munnar

Duration: June to February

I visited the Tea Museum with my cousin and his wife in February 2015. It was a learning experience to know how they managed the nutritive growth of tea plantations. Besides the tea museum, Tatas also arrange facilities of residence, school, colonies, etc. to support the livelihood of the workers and employees there. Within the compound, a small territory displays an ancient time system called Sun Dial. It is an arrangement of calibrated metal bars on a stone that projects the time of the day by looking at the casted shadow on the stone.

watch

 I could not wait to compare the time system with my brother’s watch!

Tea Museum

The entrance of Tea Museum

  1. PUNARJANI TRADITIONAL VILLAGE

Location: Munnar

Duration: October to February

Having been curious about traditional art forms, I could not resist visiting the programme conducted by a group of artistes who have named themselves as Punarjani Traditional Village. There was half an hour performance of Kathakali, based on regional myths. The performance was followed by Kalleri Paiyettu — a martial art form performed using swords, shields, and daggers.

Punarjani Traditional Village

 One of the artistes of Punarjani Traditional Village makes some rhythmic movements

  1. PERIYAR TIGER RESERVE

Location: Thekkady

Duration: Preferably Winter–October to January

With hope and excitement to have a look at an Indian national animal – tiger, we entered the threshold of vast and wondrous Periyar Tiger Reserve. Although we enjoyed seeing deer, boars, and buffaloes, to our unfortunate disappointment, we could not spot a single tiger. Well, probably the tigers are busy playing with each other!

PERIYAR TIGER RESERVE

Herd of Deer at Periyar Tiger Reserve

Check out flights to Kerala

  1. FLORICULTURE CENTRE

Location: Enroute to Munnar after two hours from Kochi

Duration: Throughout the year. Monsoon would offer vivid and bright tones.

One of my friends told me not to skip the Floriculture centre, especially because she knew how I was fond of botanical gardens. Despite the reluctance from my other friends, we did stop our car at one of Kerala’s hidden spots. There were hundreds of species of flora at the centre — what a magnificent sight!

FLORICULTURE CENTRE

The myriad of bright hues at the Floriculture Centre

  1. VEMBANAD LAKE AND HOUSEBOAT

Location: Alleppey

Duration: Monsoon would offer vivid and bright tones.

Vembanad Lake is one of the longest Kerala lakes, and you can rent a houseboat to spend your night on the water. We were so impressed by the array of Keralan food offered that we licked the plates clean to the last bits of spices. This is indeed a must-visit tourist spot in Kerala!

VEMBANAD LAKE AND HOUSEBOAT

 The Houseboat at Vembanad Lake

VEMBANAD LAKE AND HOUSEBOAT

 Kerala food by Houseboat service

  1. CHINESE FISHING NET

Location: Fort Kochi

Duration: Throughout the year

It was a spectacular view of large fishing nets attached to long bamboos. The ropes attached to the other end are used by the fishermen to pull the nets, filled with aquatic fauna, out of the waters. We took the chance to try pulling the nets, but to no avail — all of our strength combined could not even do it!

  1. KOCHI MUZIRIS BIENNALE (KMB)

Location: Fort Kochi

Duration: The biennale begins every second year from 12 th December to last until mid-March.

I was spellbound to see the colourful hues changing as the scenic landscape transformed along the journey. The first edition of KMB was launched on 12th December 2012 (12/12/12), boasting various artworks of talented and prominent artists from all over the world. During this short tenure of KMB, the location converted itself into the most happening hub of Kerala districts.

KOCHI MUZIRIS BIENNALE

 Introduction Ceremony of Kochi Muziris Biennale, 2016

KOCHI MUZIRIS BIENNALE

 One of the installations at KMB, 2016

  1. DAVID HOUSE CAFE

Location: Fort Kochi

Duration: Throughout the year

I visited this year’s KMB by spending most of our time at David House Cafe due to the unbearable heat. David House is one of the exhibitive spots of KMB and the cafe is located at the back porch. We hogged onto freshly oven-baked pizzas and sipped refreshingly cool and quirky iced teas. Eventually, we enjoyed ourselves talking about artworks over tasty meals.

DAVID HOUSE CAFE

David House Cafe

David House Cafe

  1. JAYALAKSHMI STORE

Location: Ernakulam

Duration: Throughout the year

The store is not a hidden tourist spot, but certainly worth a mention as it satisfies our shopping craze. It has not only regional designs, but also tons of contemporary patterns. You could easily find souvenirs for your loved ones here!

JAYALAKSHMI STORE

 The large facade of the popular Jayalakshmi Store.

The rich culture and tradition of Kerala are incorporated in every element of life: food, architecture, landscape, clothes. Serving as an icing on the cake, the breathtaking Kerala coastal line will put you in awe. A wondrous journey to Kerala state awaits you!

Photographs: Amisha Amit Gada/ Urvi Chheda