Kerala

India’s most idyllic state, Kerala- better known as God’s Own Country – is today one of the most sought after tourist destinations in Asia. Secluded beaches, palm fringed backwaters, mist clad hill stations, lush tropical forests, waterfalls, exotic wildlife, monuments, art forms and festivals give it a distinctive charm. Kerala the heaven on earth due to its picturesque landscapes and alluring environ. Its enduring backwaters, palm trees, unending mountain range, heavenly hill stations etc provides a blissful leisure time and a cherishing memory to everyone who visits this ‘Gods Own Country’. One can see serene and adrenaline-pumping boat races; ancient culture in modern cities; delectable cuisine and colourful festivals…What else do one need to plan a holiday in Kerala?

Kerala has got her own historic importance. Legend has it that, long ago in the mists of time, Parasurama, the sixth incarnation of Lord Vishnu, threw his battle axe into the sea after slaying the kshatriya dynasty 21 times to expunge their power from earth. The area where the axe landed rose from the sea to form Kerala. It is here in Kerala that by the great explorer Vasco da Gama set his foot in 1498 with 170 men in three vessels, thus discovering a sea route to India. Welcome to the land of Kappad Beach still reverberating with the tune of history.
 

Climate

The climate of Kerala is of tropical kind. The maximum temperature during summer is 32 degree C and minimum temperature during winter season is 20 degree C. Due to close proximity to sea, the temperature of Kerala remains equable for most parts of the year. The state does not have a continuous dry spell and the summer lasts from April to June. Kerala receives most of the rain from Monsoons, which touch the state in June and remain there till September. Besides the South West Monsoons, Kerala also receives rain from the North Eastern Monsoons.

Winter season in Kerala begins from October and lasts till January. In winters, the temperature drops a bit but the weather is never too chilly in Kerala. In winters, the average temperature in Kerala remains around 21 degree centigrade. The presence of the Western Ghats on the eastern side of the state and across the path of the southwest monsoon creates an important climatic zone with abundant rainfall on the windward side and a dry belt on the leeward eastern side.
 

Kerala- Arts and Culture

God's own country, Kerala also prides itself for its repertoire of rich cultural heritage. Kerala holds a place of honour among the people of India who have enriched Indian Cultural Heritage and helped the cause of national integration. Kerala's culture is in fact, an integral part of Indian culture. Kerala is a great place to tour to during your holidays. The culture of Kerala is also a composite and cosmopolitan culture to which several people and races have made their significant contributions. Kerala's population comprises of a large number of the people from the Dravidians race, who also inhibit most of the southern part of India. Hinduism is the principal religion with considerable percentages of Muslims and Christians. The gradual evolution of composite and cosmopolitans’ culture led to the emergence of a spirit of tolerance and catholicity of outlook, which still persist among the people of Kerala. Thus during your tour to Kerala you get to be a part of the tradition and culture of the native people.

The cultural heritage of Kerala is also revealed in its varied dance forms, martial arts and cuisine. Kathakali is a 300-year-old dance form developed exclusively in Kerala combining the performing art forms of opera, ballet, masque, and pantomime. Other dance forms of Kerala are Krishnanattom, Mohiniyattom, Thullal, Koodiyattom, Kolkkali, Thiruvathirakali, Kakkarishi Natakom, Oppanna and Chavittunatakom. Panchavadyam, Nadanpattu, Omanathinkal Kidavo and many more music forms have evolved over the centuries in Kerala. There is a lot to explore while you are on a tour to Kerala, India.

Kerala is renowned for its varied martial arts. Amongst the many forms of martial arts of Kerala are Kalaripayattu, Parisa Kali, Velakanni, Valeru, Kunderu and Njaninmel Kali. Woodcarving is an important craft form that this state has developed. The craftsmen of Kerala can pick up the humblest and meanest bits of material and imbue them with magical mastery. You can shop for handcrafted titbits at the bazaars during your tour to Kerala, India.

Kerala's genius for adaptation and fusion of old traditions and new values in every sphere of human thought and endeavor is also evident in its cuisine. Kerala has a distinctive cuisine, very unusual and different from the rest of India. Cooking in Kerala is all about discoveries, aromas and colors. It's a melting pot of different ingredients sprinkled by the various communities down the ages. During your Kerala tour you can experiment with the myriad cuisine of Kerala, which are a gastronome's delight
 

Places to Visit

Thiruvanathapuram- The Capital City
Thiruvanathapuram is the state capital with an International Airport which makes it the Gateway Point to the God’s Own Country – Kerala State. Named after ‘Anantha’, the thousand-headed serpent of Hindu Mythology, this is an ancient city with trading links that brought it into close contact with the rest of the world. The seven hills over which the city is spread and the great variety of lovely old colonial and traditional Kerala buildings give Thiruvanathapuram a unique ambience.

Bounded on the east and north east by the mountain ranges of Western Ghats, in the south by the fertile rice bowl district of Kanyakumari and on the west by the Arabian sea, Thiruvanathapuram District has three major rivers, Neyyar, Karamana and Vamanapuram.
 
Access
Air: Indian Airlines and jet Airways operate domestic flights to different parts of the country. Trivandrum International Airport is 6km from the city.
Domestic Flights : (Direct) From /To: Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai.
International Flights : (Direct) from/ To: Colombo, Maldives, Dubai, Sharjah, Bahrain, Doha, Ras-al-Khaima, Kuwait, Riyadh and Singapore.
Rail: Thiruvanathapuram Central Railway Station at Thampanoor, connected by rail with all the main towns in Kerala as well as the major cities in India.
Road: Thiruvanathapuram is connected by road to several tourist centers and cities in India. Central Bus Station is at Thampanoor.
City Bus service :Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) and private bus operators. Bus Station is at East Fort.
Local Transport: Taxis, buses and auto rickshaws.
 
Tourist Destinations and Attractions
Sree Chitra Art Gallery
This art gallery is located near the Napier Museum. This is established in 1935. Art gallery has a rich collection of paintings of Raja Ravi Varma, Svetolva and Nicolas Roerich. It also has copies of paintings of Ajantha, Rajput, mughal and Tanjore schools besides some works from China, Japan, Tibet and Bali.

The Government Art Museum
Located in a park like complex with the Sree Chitra Art Gallery and the Zoological Gardens it was formerly known as ‘Napier Museum’. It was named after the former Madras Governor General, John Napier. It is a gem of architectural exuberance, combining traditional Kerala styles with good dose of Chinese and Mughal influences. It has an excellent collection of bronze images, historical ornaments, ivory carvings and temple chariots.

Kovalam
A beach paradise located 16km from the city. With boundless blue of the Arabian sea and unwinding miles of fine sand washed by a surf which roars and hisses at the feet of coconut palms, Kovalam is a sheltered natural bay. The setting has an illusionary quality about it. A sheet of silvery sand curves into an arc that is boarded on the other side by azure blue water and on the other by a never ending spread of palmgroves, you can sunbath on the silversands. Good food and good accomodation are available here.

Veli Tourist Village
Veli Tourist Village on the outskirts of Thiruvanathapuram is a delightful waterfront park. An ideal picnic spot, where the lake merges with the sea. The wading pool, gardens, exquisite sculptures, a floating bridge and a wide range of aqua sports. These things makes it an ultimate picnic spot.

Peppara Wild Life Sanctury
50km from Thiruvanathapuram, Peppara is nearby from Vithurai on Thiruvanathapuram – Ponmudi road. This sanctury with its rich flaura, fauna and unique birds is emerging as a big attraction to wild life enthusiasts. It is spread over an area of 53sq.km on the western ghats. This is dotted with large hills and numerous hillocks with forests and eucalyptus plantations. Elepahants, Sambar, Leopard and Lion tailed Macacque are commanly seen here.

Kuthira Malika
Puthenmalika is also known as Kuthiramalika. This palace was built during the time of H.H Maharaja Swathi Thirunal the king of Travancore who was also a great poets and muscian. This palace has wood carvings in the traditional Travancore style. The museum presently displays various painting collections of the royal family. It is on the south east side of Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple.

Papanasan Beach, Sivagiri-Varkala

The 2000 years old Sree Janardhana Swamy Temple and the Papanasam Beach are at Varkala which is 45km from Thiruvanathapuram City and 37 km from Kollam. It is believed that a dip in the holy water of Papanasam purges all the sins in lifetime. Sivagiri is also the final resting place of Sree Narayana Guru, the great social reformer. Varkala is an important Hindu Pilgrimage center and seaside resort.

Vishinjam

Lying just 17km from th estate capital, this is a historic spot, which was left unnoticed for a long time. The capital of Ay-vel Kings of 8th-9th century, the only things that has withstood time is a rock temple, assigned to the period of the Pallava Pandya architecture. The rock temple is just a littele off the main junction, and is a protected monument under the Archeological Survey of India.
 
Temples
Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple
The imposing seven storied tower makes it the most impressive land mark of the city. It is a famous temple in South india.This temple is one of the biggest temples in Trivandrum. There are strict regulations for visiting this place and here we can see the giant statue of Lord Vishnu lying over the snake and the whole statue can be seen only through three doors. The entire Lord Vishnu's body is covered with gold. Padmanaba Swamy Kshethram is a very good place to see for pilgrims. The stature it all along enjoyed as a ‘Maha Kshetra’ coupled with its role as historymaker operating through its continued royal links with the different dynasties in power, set this temple on a separate pedestal.

Enclosed within massive walls, the temple presents a fine blend of typical Kerala and Dravidian architectural styles. The famous Ottakkal Mandapa connected to the sanctum of Sree Padmanabha fashioned out of a massive single rock, the Kulasekhara Mandapa put by Dharma Raja which is pure poetry in stone sculpture, the architectural feat which is the massive Shivelippura finished in a record time of six months, the Pandavas in red stone on the Abhishravana Mandapa , the murals and metal work, all stand as lasting tribute to the glory of Padmanabha. The front eastern entrance is adorned by an imposing gopura with an abundance of sculptures. Adjacent to it is the Padma Teertha, famous temple tank, the most prominent among its Teerthas (some of which lie as far away as Varkala).

Attukal Bhagavathi Temple
 The Attukal Bhagavathy Temple is one of the ancient temples dedicated to the divine mother in Kerala. It is very close to the famous Sri Padmanabha Swamy temple in Trivandrum. It is popularly described as the Sabarimala of women, since women form the major portion of the Devi’s devotees. The Goddess in the temple of Attukal is worshipped as the Supreme Mother, creator of all living beings as well as their destroyer. All pilgrims who visit the Sri Padmanabha Swamy Temple make it a point to visit the shrine of the supreme Mother known as Attukalamma. When the world was riddled with demonic forces, the gods prayed to Vishnu to send some power to protect them and his maya took the incarnation of the Devi to annihilate evil and protect the good in the world in the present era of Kali. Attukal Bhgavathy is one such incarnation.

According to mythology, Attukal Bhagavathy is supposed to be the divinised form of "Kannaki", the famous heroine of Chilappatikaram, the sangham work of Tamil Literature written by Ilamkovadikal. Kovalan and Kannaki are the heroic characters of this famous work of literature. Kovalan was unjustly accused of stealing the queen’s anklets and executed. Kannaki in her wrath destroyed the ancient city of Madurai. It is said that on her way to Kodungalloor (another famous Devi shrine of Kerala) she went first to Kannyakumari and then stopped at Attukal. The ‘Pongala Mahotsavam’ is the most important festival at the Attukal Bhagavathy Temple. It is actually an offering of rice to the goddess cooked by women in the grounds adjoining the temple. Though this practice is prevalent in some parts of South Kerala and Tamil Nadu, nowhere has it gained the popularity that it has at Attukal. In fact it has gained world fame. Women bring rice and milk and sugar or just plain rice as well as fire wood and make little ovens in the grounds of the temple and cook the rice and offer it to the goddess. They undertake it in fulfillment of their vow. They vow that they will offer Pongala to the goddess if their desire is fulfilled.
 
Alappuzha- The Venice Of East
Alappuzha washed by the silvery waves of the Arabian Sea, occupied a significant place in th etourist map of Kerala. Interlocked with a large number of canals and bridges, this waterlocked district has immense untapped potential for backwater tourism. The bait about Alappuza is its famous snake boat races. The spectacular regattas are usually held between August and October, and involve long thin boats powered by up to 120 oarsmen. The most famous snake boat race is the Nehru Trophy Boat Race. The land of lush paddy fields, Kuttanad is called the rice bowl of Kerala and is one of the few places in the world where farming is done below sea level.

Alappuzha, a center of coir and carpet industries is an ideal place for backwater touring as well as for visits to the lovely church-filled town Kotayam, and the town of Aranmula where Onam water activities take place. Alappuzha is also a good jumping off base for trips to Munnar and Periyar.

Access
Air: The nearest international airport is at Nedumbassery, Eranakulam, 86km to the North. Trivandrum Ineternational airport is 150km to the South.
Rail: Alappuzha is linked by rail to cities like Cochin, Thiruvanathapuram, Chennai, Dhanbad and  Mumbai .
Road: Alappuzha is on the NH47 Highway and is connected to all important towns in South India.
Boat Services: Alappuzha is linked by boat service through the backwaters to Quilon, Chaganaserry, Kottayam, Cochin, Kumarakom and Kavalam.
 
Tourist Destinations and Attractions
Krishnapuram Palace
The 18th century Krishnapuram Palace built during the reign of the Travancore monarch, Marthanda Varma, is a double storied structure which 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, within a walking distance from the Palace pool. Inside is also a museum of antique sculptures, paintings and bronzes. Situated at Karthikapally in Kayamkulam, 47km from Alappuzha on the way to Kollam, Krishnapuram is easily accessible.

Pathiramanal

Pathiramanal is an enchanting small island in the Vembanadu Kayal. This is located between Thaneermukkom and Kumarakom. This little island which is popularly known as `sands of midnight` on the backwaters is a favorite visit of hundred of rare migratory birds from different parts of the world. There is one mythological story behind the naming of the place. This can be said as once upon a time a young Brahmin plunged into the Vembanadu Lake to perform his evening ablutions and the water made way for land to rise from below, thus creating the attracting island of Pathiramanal. This charming green island offers and ideal location for a break in the journey through the backwaters of Alappuza.

Karumadi
Buddhism has left a deep impact in Kerala’s culture which is apparent in several Buddhist monuments and ruins. The village of Karumadi too is mainly famous for the large black granite statue of Lord Buddha. And in spite of its rather humble settings, Karumadi is frequently visited by a large number of visitors.
Located at a distance of 3 km from Alleppey, this Black Granite idol of Lord Buddha is also called the Karumadi Kuttan. It serves as a reminder of Buddhist presence in the region which was at its peak during the 9th to 10th century. A shrine has been built around the statue to preserve it. Broken in half, legend has it that an elephant charged towards the statue, thereby breaking it in half.

Punnapra
Punnappra is a historical village in Alappuzha District, on Alappuzha-Kayamkulam road. This village has gown down in history as the scene of a bitter and heroic fighting between the communists and Travancore State Police in the Punnapra-Vayalar communist uprising of 1949. A monument called Punnapra-Vayalar Riot tomb was erected at Kaithavana, where this sad incident happened. Kaithavana is about 3 km from the Alappuzha.

Kuttanad     
Kuttanad – the land of charming green paddy fields and picturesque backwaters, attracting thousands of tourists to this place. Get on the boats and rub shoulders with a colorful and varied group of locals or take a ride into Kuttanad through lush green fields and watch coir workers soak, beat and weave coconut fibers into long ropes on spindles as you pass the endless stretch of coconut trees. Kuttanad. It is one of the major rice granaries of Kerala; where vast stretches of verdant paddy fields are interlaced with enchanting backwaters create some of the unforgettable sights. Kuttanad, the rice bowl of Kerala is all about an agrarian community, striking a chord of harmony with its physical setting. A unique feature of Kuttanad is that many of these fields are below sea level. Have a memorable holiday while on Kerala tours in Kuttanad with Kerala Backwater. Kuttanad is a backwater paradise and an ideal destination for a backwater cruise in Kerala.

Chavara Bhavan
Chavara Bhavan is 6km from Alappuzha accessible only by boat. It is the ancestral home of the blessed Kuriakose Elias Chavara. It is now a holy shrine and spiritual resort where thousands of devotees gather for prayers and receive favours and fell amply gratified.

House Boat
The Kettuvalloms (House Boats) of Kerala are giant country crafts, measuring up to 80feet in length. It took great skill and meticulousness to construct these giants by tying huge planks of jack wood together, without using a single nail. Today, these goods carriers have been adapted to make the most exciting tourism product in India, the luxuriously furnished houseboat. A Kettuvallom usually has one or two bath attached bedrooms, an open lounge, deck kitchenette and a crew comprising oarsman, a cook and guide.
 
Temples
Ambalapuzha Parthasarathi Temple
The Sri Krishna Temple at Ambalapuzha, 15km from Alappuzha is among Kerala’s more famous once boasting of typical temple architecture style of the state. It is equally famed for its Palpayasam- a sweet milk porridge offering to the deity. The temple’s main festival occurs in March/April. ‘Panthrandu Kalabham’ is also a main festival. It is also in this temple that ‘Pallipana’ is performed by the Velans once in every twelve years. It was in this temple that the 16th century poet Kunjan Nambiar staged his art Ottan Thullal, performance with high social satire.

Chettikulangara Bhagavathy Temple
This temple is on the Mavelikara, Kayamkulam road, 5km east of kayamkulam. The Kuthiyottam and Kettukazcha festival at this temple draws large crowds of devotees. Procession of tall decorated structures on Chriots, brightly decorated effigies of horses and bullocks and cultural performances make a spectacular pageant. Annual festival falls during February- March.

Mullakkal Rajarajeshwari Temple
This temple is located at the heart of Alleppey town. The presiding deity is Goddess Rajarajeseshwari. The temple celebrates two festivals every year. The nine-day ‘Navarathri’ festival is especially important. The last two days are most auspicious. Colourful processions participated by nine elephants are held in the evening. It is witnessed by thousands of devotees. Also several cultural programs are staged in the temple.

Another festival celebrated by the temple is a one day ‘Thaipooyakavadi’. About fifteen kavadis take part in this spectacular procession which is presented during the evening.

Sree Nagaraja Temple, Mannarsala
This beautiful temple dedicated to the ‘King of serpents’ is located near Haripad on the Alleppey- Quilon route on a panoramic site measuring about 16 acres of thick green forest. It is a place of worship visited by large number of devotees from all over India.

A two day festival is celebrated by the temple with much religious fervor. On the second day by noon, the ‘Ezhunnallathu’ (royal outing) ceremony is conducted when the idol of ‘Nagaraja’ is carried by the priests and taken round the temple in a procession. A large crowd of devotees with ‘Uruli’( bronze vessel) and colourful parasols participated in it. The entire jungle setting of the temple reverberates with the full-throated chanting in praise of the Serpent God.

Another festival celebrated here is ‘Sivarathri’ when special offerings and a colourful procession form the highlight. “Sarpam Pattu’ is also performed as part of the festival. This ritual involves drawing the figure of the Serpent God on the floor using vegetable colours. After offering poojas, the holy design ‘Kalam’ is wiped out.
 
Kottayam- Land of Letters, Latex and Lakes
Kottayam, provides some of Kerala’s finest natural scenes, sandwitched as it is between serene palm fringed backwaters on the west and western ghats on th east. It was the first town in India to attain total literacy, an event which triggered a mas movement to make Kearala the countries first totally literate state. The town is also the birth place of the publishing industry and the home of the forth estate in Kerala.

Kottayam is the Land of Latex because the district abounds in extensive rubber plantations which earned for its headquaters the sobriquet ‘Rubber Town’. Kottayam is also the home of Rubber Board, one of the counry’s primary commodities board. Kottayam lakes form the great expance of water called Vembanad into which a network of rivers and canals merge providing boating, fishing and sightseeing experiences that are unparallel.

Access
Air: The nearest international airport is at Nedumbassery, Eranakulam 90km to the North. Trivandrum Ineternational airport is 160km to the South.
Rail: Kottayam is linked by rail to major cities in India.
Road: Kottayam is connected to all important towns in South India.
Boat Services: Kottayam is linked by boat service through the backwaters to Alleppey, Nedumudi, Kumarakom and Kavalam.

Tourist Destinations and Attractions
Kumarakom
An unbelievably beautiful paradise of mangrove forests, emerald green paddy fields and coconuts groves interspersed with enchanting waterways and canals adorned with white lilies. Situated on the Vembanad Lake, in this small water world you will come across plenty of traditional country crafts, boats and canoes which will take you into the heart of the scenic lake. The resorts nearby offer comfortable accommodation and exclusive leisure options like Ayurvedic massage, yoga, meditation, boating, fishing, angling and swimming. Kumarakam is also famous for its bird sanctuary known for local varieties like the water fowl, cuckoo, owl and the water duck as well as migratory Siberian Stroks. The best months to bird watch are between June and August.

Ayyampara
Ayyampara (2000 feet above sea level) 43 km from Kottayam is a little known scenic spot of rocky plains where a 20 acre area of flat rock makes a natural granite stadium to enjoy the  sunset and the view of the town below. It is a good place for trekking.

Vagamon
Vagamon is about 18 km from Erattupetta, 60km from Kottayam and 30 km from Pala situated on the Idukki-Kottayam border, at an elevation of 1100 meters above sea level is a trekker’s paradise. It is a very ideal tourist spot surrounded by the greenery of tea gardens, beautiful meadows, deep puzzling valleys and dales. The enchanting hill station dotted with tea gardens will soon be one of India's foremost eco-tourism projects. Grass covered hills, velvet lawns and the cool mountain air make Vagamon a perfect holiday retreat. A curious blend of religious mysticism and European legacies, this hillside village is a haven of tranquility.

Kurishumala

The greatest attraction of the place is Kurishumala, a sky scraping mountain with a small church on its peak and the Kurishumala Ashramama, a monastery atop another hill. The Ashramam is a small community of ascetics who follow the Christian faith but combines with it the Indian spiritual traditions and Gandhian through. People of all faith are welcome to visit the place. On the eastern side of hill is Murugamala housing a rock cut temple dedicated to Murugan (Son of lord Siva).

Kannadippara

As the name suggests, the valley of this rocky mountain reflects the morning sun with a mirror like perfection. This is also the highest point in Ilaveezhapoonchira. Bamboo groves meadows and wild flowers make this place exotic. An added attraction here is the Kazhukankulimali waterfalls that playfully cascade down the mountain and greet the river below with a magnificent splash.

Temples and Places of Worship
Mahadeva Temple, Vaikom
The Vaikom Mahadevar temple is one of the most celebrated Shiva temples in South India. Vaikom is located at a distance of 33km south of Ernakulam and 40 km north of Kottayam. Offering of prathal or food is a form of worship here. In ancient times, feasts used to be cooked and offered to all devotees; Vaikom Mahadever is also referred to as Annadaana Prabhu. Vaikom Mahadevar manifests himself as Dakshinamurthy in the panthirathi pooja in the morning. He is worshipped as Kiraata Murthy during the Uchcha pooja at noon and as Satchitananda in the evening.
Legend has it that Khara (of the Khara Dhooshana demon duo) of Ramayana worshipped Shiva at Chidambaram and obtained from him three Shivalingams and journeyed holding one shivalingam on each hand and one in his mouth. He sojourned at Vaikom, and set the shivalingam on the ground and to his dismay realized that it had gotten rooted to the ground. Kharan therefore installed the other two shivalingams at Ettumanur and Kaduthuruthy. He entrusted the shivalingam at Vaikom to the care of Vyagrapadar. Vaikom therefore acquired the name Vyagrapuri which ultimately became Vaikom for short.

Legend has it that Shiva appeared in front of Vyagrapadar under a peepul tree, south of the eastern gateway on the morning of Ashtami in the dark fortnight in the month of Scorpio. This incident is commemorated in the annual Vaikattu Ashtami festival. It is believed that during Astami festival Mahadeva himself will be present at the ootupura to prepare the grand feast. Legend also has it that Parasurama, the incarnation of Vishnu built this temple and set up the worship protocol here. It is believed that the Tiruvilaiyaadal associated with the tamil saint poet Manikkavaacakar, where jackals were miraculously transformed into horses - occurred here.

Dakshina Mookambika Saraswathy Temple
Dakshina Moookambika Temple is situated at Panachikadu, 10km from Kotayam on the way to Changanacherry. This temple is one of the famous temples dedicated to goddess Saraswathy (Goddess of Learning).
           
The annual festival of the temple attracts thousands of devotees from all parts of Kerala is held during the nine days of ‘Navarathri’. The last three days are called ‘Durgashtami’, ‘Mahanavami’ and ‘Vijayadashami’ are believed to be the most sacred for worshiping Saraswathy, who is considered as the fountain head of fine arts and science and the symbol of supreme knowledge.

Bharanagnam

Bharanaganam is an important Christian pilgrim center. This is the place where the mortal remains of St. Alphonsa (1916-1946) were interned. The chapel is next to the St Mary’s church. This 1000 years old church features an attractive Grotto of Virgin Mary.

Munnar- The heavenly hill station
Munnar is a beautiful, peaceful hill station covered with unending expanse of tea plantations is 129km from Cochin, with an altitude ranging from 1600 to 1800 meters above sea level. Munnar boasts of the highest peak of South India – Anamudi 2695 meters high.

Munnar is the favorite summer resort of European settlers for centuries. The very name ‘Munnar’ means three rivers, and are actually three of them, three mountain streams, Muthirapuzha, Nallathanni, and Kundala, confluence at the heart of the town, meeting all the water requirements of the settlers and the visitors.

The misty nights and the sound of silence of this high altitude mountains and valleys blessed with Mother Nature’s riches flora and fauna make it a true paradise on earth. The satin smooth grass lands which are the abode of the rare species of wild goats known as Nilgiri Tahrs and herds of wild elephants grazing elegantly across the jungle slopes add to the splendor of this mesmerizing landscape.

Access

Air: Nearest international airport is at Nedumbassery, Eranakulam, 111 km North-West and Madurai 165km South-East.
Rail: The nearest railway stations are Aluva 116km, Eranakulam 130km, Kottayam 148km, and Madurai 162km.
Road: Munnar can be reached by motorable roads from most part of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala.

Tourist Destinations and Attractions
Eravikulam- Rajamalai Wildlife Sanctuary
Eravikulam is another wildlife sanctuary proclaimed as a National Park since it supports the largest population of Nilgiri Tahr existing in the world now. Anamudi peak, the highest point is located in the south region of this park. The park is 144km from Cochin and is accessible by road.

A wide variety of plant life is present here. The popularly known ‘Neelakurinji’ is one of the rare species that grows here. The Nilgiri Tahr is seen in the Highlands and rocky regions of this national park. Sambar, Barking Deer, Gaur, Giant Malabar Squirrel, Tiger, Panther, Wolf, Pigeon, Blackbird, Jungle Crow etc are also seen. Visitors are not allowed here during the monsoon season.

Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary

Thorny scrub jungles present nowhere else make this Sanctuary unique. There is a wide range of animals and a good number of birds in this sanctuary. Animals include elephant, gaur, sambar, porcupine, lion tailed macaque etc. Birds like jungle fowl, spotted dove, kerala laughing thrush etc are seen here. The sanctuary is situated on either side of the Marayoor-Udumapet road and is hence accessible by road.

Marayoor

Marayoor, as the name implies ‘The Hidden Village’ or a rain-shadow village lies on the eastern slopes of the Western Ghats. It is 40 kms from Munnar on the Udumalapet road, half way between Munnar and Udumalpet. Marayoor surrounded by tall Rocky Mountains. It is surrounded by Shola forests. It is a place not to be missed for its combination of ancient caves, sandalwood trees and souvenirs from ancient civilization and more. Marayur famous for its sandal forest is indeed the most fascinating place for nature enthusiast persons. Marayoor has a sandalwood factory owned by the Forest Department of Kerala, where attractive objects are crafted from the precious wood.

The other significant site here is a series of muniyaras (caves) dating back to the megalithic age. The muniyaras contain rock paintings of considerable archeological significance, also part of the pre-historic excavations at Marayoor. These are dolmenoid burial chambers consisting of four erect stones covered by a horizontal capstone. Other popular attractions at Marayoor include a children’s park that lies under a banayan tree extending over a hector of land, and the Thoovanam waterfall.

Devikulam
Devikulam is a small hill station situated 7km south-west of Munnar. Devikulam which literally means that ‘The Pond of Goddess’ According to legend Sita the consort of Lord Rama, once had a bath in this lake. It is a beautiful place surrounded by green valleys of tea plantations. Lake with its clear and pure waters and picturesque surroundings provide a charming picnic spot. The lake is also ideal for trout fishing. One can plan a trip to the fascinating Pallivasal Waterfalls which is nearer to Devikulam. Amidst lush greenery, the waterfall offers a cool respite to the discerning travelers.

Top Station

Top Station is yet another attraction of Munnar. This hill top is 32km south-east of Munnar and 1700 meters above sea level. From Top station, we get a panoramic view of Kambam in the neighboring state of Tamil Nadu. During the British rule, for transportation of tea and manpower, they had constructed a rope way as well as mini local rail line. This was later destroyed by natural calamities but the remains are still left.

Thekkady

Thekkady is a pleasant celestial delight on earth for those who love nature and its wild ostentatiousness. Thekkady is king of jungles. It is blessed with the nature in its purest form. The uninterrupted rows of lush green trees, chirping birds, velvety hills and stunningly beautiful landscape are what make Thekkady a hot tourism center. This enthralling land reminds one a colourful allusive painting. Thekkady is one of the most fascinating natural wildlife sanctuaries in Kerala. Its rich flora and fauna and vegetation are uniquely varied and this aura makes it different from any other wildlife sanctuaries in the world.

Access

Air: Nearest airport is at Madurai in Tamil Nadu, 140km East and Nedumbassery International Airport, Ernakulam, 174km North-West.
Rail: Nearest railway station is at Theni 60km East, and the major railway stations near are Kottayam (113km) West and Madurai (136km) east.
Road: Thekkady can be reached by motorable roads from most part of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala.

Tourist Destinations and Attractions
Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary
Thekkady is renowned for the Periayar Wildlife Sanctuary. The periyar wildlife sanctuary is declared as a Tiger reserve in 1978. The drive to here itself is enchanting as the road winds through tranquil countryside, rich plantations and thick jungles. The sanctuary offers a lovely and comfortable way to see the animals via boat rides on the man-made lake, which the wildlife area encircles. In additions to wildlife there are water and land birds galore here, and one can sometimes find dedicated birds watchers setting in for one or two weeks of serious observation.
           
The terrain is undulated with altitudes ranging from 100m to over 2000m. Kottamala is the highest peak here. The fauna of periyar is rich and varied. There are 63 species of mammals that include tiger, leopard, Asian elephant, gaur, sloth bear and wild dog. Periyar also harbours endangered species like lion-tailed macaque, Nilgiri langur, slender loris, Nilgiri tahr, Travancore small flying squirrel, brown palm civet and Salim Ali’s fruit bat. The mosaic of habitats support a rich bird life of 323 species, of which one third are migrants that they stay here from September through March. Periyar is also a viable habitat for the endangered great hornbill, the state bird of Kerala.

Over 74 percent of Periyar reserve is tropical evergreen and semi evergreen forests. Rest of the area comprise of deciduous forests, marshy and green lands. The mountain folds at higher elevation support the sub tropical montane forests called as Sholas.

Kumily
This plantation town is very near to Tamil Nadu border. This spice trade center is a picnic spot. This is an ideal location for trekking too. Thekkady is 4km from Kunmily. With the serene and wholesome environ with the faint aroma of fresh spices offers a rejuvenating effect.

Vandanamedu
Vandanamedu is located at 25km North of Kumily and is on the Kumily- Kattappana road. Vandanamedu is one of the biggest cardamom auction centers in the world. The nearest town is Kattappana.

Pullumedu

This is located at 43km from Thekkady and 26km from Periyar. Pullumedu is accessible only by jeep from Periyar. Pullumedu- literally means the hillock draped in greenery. The famous Sree Ayyappan Temple at Sabarimala and devine Makarajyothi illuminations are visible from here. This is a restricted forest zone, and special permission has to be obtained from the forest department to visit Pullumedu.
 
Ernakulam- Queen of Arabian Sea

The commercial capital of Kerala and the most cosmopolitan of the state’s cities, Cochin has long been eulogized in the tourist literature as the ‘Queen of Arabian Sea’. It has a fascinating blend of cultures.  From time immemorial, traders and travelers frequented the place. One of the finest natural harbours in the world is located here. Most of the city’s commercial centers and shopes are located in the mainland, the town called Ernakulam which also lends its name to the district.

The Chinese fishing nets swaying in the breeze over the backwaters, the Jewish Synagogue, Dutch Palace, Portuguese architecture and British influence all blend harmoniously with the basic thread of Kerala’s rich heritage.

Access
Air: Cochin International airport is at Nedumbassery, 30km North-East of Ernakulam City. Domestic flights are there to Mumbai, Chennai, Goa, Agarthi and Banglaore. International flights are there to Sharjah, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Dhahran, Bahrain, Riyadh and Muscat.
Rail: Cochin is connected by rail with many important cities. Ernakulam Junction is the main station (South Railway station). Other railway station is Ernakulam Town (North Station).
Road: Cochin is connected with many tourist places in India by road. The KSRTC Central Bus Station is near the Junction Railway Station. Private buses operate from High court Junction, Kaloor Junction and Railway station.
Sea: There are periodical service to Lakshadweep Island from Cochin harbour.
Ferry: The main Ferry Station is located 1km from Ernakulam south railway station. From here boats are available to all islands. Other jetty is near the high court.
Local Transport: Taxis, City buses and Auto rickshaws.

Tourist Destinations and Attractions
Mattancherry Palace
Built by the Portuguese and presented to the Cochin Raja in 1557 AD, it acquired the present name after 1663, when the Dutch carried out some extensions and repairs in the palace. In the center of the building is the coronation hall where the Cochin Rajas held their coronations. Today, it is a portrait gallery of Cochin Rajas. Adjacent rooms contain 17th century murals depicting scenes from Indian epic, The Ramayana.

Santha Cruz Basalica

Santha Cruz Basalica was built by Portuguse and  elevated to cathedral by Pope Paul IV in 1558. The British demolished it in 1795. A hundred years later, Bishop Dom Gomez Ferreria commissioned a new building in the same site. In 1984 the church was proclaimed to Basalica by Pope John Paul II.

St. Francis’ Church
This Protestant Church was built originally by the Portyuguese in 1503AD and it is believed to be the first church built by the Europeans in India. Vasco-da- Gama was buried here. Fourteen years later, his mortal remains were taken to Portugal.

Jewish Synagogue

Built in 1568 AD, the great scrolls of the Old Testment, the copper plates in which the grants of privilege made by the Cochin Rulers were recorded and the exquisite chinese handpainted tiles are of interest. Two hundread years old, no two tiles are alike. There are also several finely wrought gold and silver crowns gifted to the synagogue by various patrons. The 19th century, oil burning glass chandeliers hung from the ceiling were imported from Belgium.

Hill Palace Museum
Located at a distance of 13km from Ernakulam this museum diaplays th erstwhile wealth and prosperity of the royal family of Cochin, including the king’s throne and crown. Also on show are other trappings of royalty like majestic beds, paintings, carvings and simples of epigraphy.

Cherai Beach
Cherai Beach is an exceptional merge of the Beach and the backwaters. Cherai is amongst the marvelous beaches of Kerala. It is just 30 kms from Kochi, the economical and commercial capital of Kerala. It is located on the northern end of Vypin Island. The long clean and shallow golden beach of Cherai provides an enchanting experience to all who visits the place. The charming environ of Cherai induce tempting for swimming and sunbathing. This beach is an ideal location for this. Dolphins are sporadically seen here. It has the calm serene Backwaters on the other side and the land is packed with coconut trees which make this a very unique and precious gift of the Mother Nature. It is rightly called the “Princess of the Arabian Sea”. The scenic beauty and the traditional outlook evoke the visitors for enchanting holidays. What make Cherai Beach distinct from other beach hideaways are its unique ambience, harmony and poise.  

Muziris Port
Muziris - the ancient port city of kerala. It believed to be the oldest port of Kerala coast. Muziris is also said to be the landing harbor for ancient Roman traders in South India.  This site supposed to be close to the place where mighty river Periyar joins Arabian Sea. The place ‘Pattanam’ in North Paravur is considered to be the location of Muziris. Muziris is mentioned in Indian epics as Muchiripattanam. Muchiri- means cleft lip, and the coastline resembles one, especially the aerial view. The recent archaeological work done in the area has discovered wreckage of imported Roman amphora, mainly used for transporting wine and olive oil, Yemeni and West Asian pottery, besides Indian roulette ware.

Kerala Tourism had decided to develop Muziris as a Heritage site. The Muziris Heritage Site, developed in and around Kodungalloor and North Paravur on the coast, is focussed on the archaeological excavations at Pattanam. The excavations, on for three years, look for remains of the nearly 3,000-year-old maritime civilisation that thrived around the ancient port town of Muziris, which is believed to have been destroyed by the huge floods of AD 1341 in the Periyar.

Munikkal Guhalayam
Located atop a hill at Chengamanad, this is a place shrouded in mythology. It is believed that is a place shrouded in mythology. It is believed that sage Jangaman had lived here around 2000 years ago, and the place was initially known as Jangaman, which later changed to chenganamad. A famous lord Murugan temple is located on the spot where the sage is said to have meditated which was later consecrated by Chattambi Swamikal in 1898. The word ‘Munikkal Guhalayam’ literally means ‘sages rock cave’.

Festivals and Other Attractions
Athachamayam
Athachamayam is a spectacular procession that marks the beginning of the Onam festival. It is conducted at Thripunithura and Piravam. This procession is conducted in pomp and splendor. It displays a rare treasure house of folk and temple arts of Kerala performed by skilled artists, apart from caparisoned elephants and a variety of floats.

Cochin Carnival
This merry making feast is observed during the last week of every year at Fort Cochin. Its origin is traced to Portuguese New Year revelry here during the colonial days. It has evolved into an occasion for young people in the locality for merry making. It is notable for the unique games and competitions held during this time. Fort Cochin put on a festive look during these days with much illumination everywhere.

The highlight of the Carnival is the massive procession on New Year Day. It starts in the afternoon and continues till evening. A caparisoned tusker leads the processions.
 
Thrissur- The Cultural Capital of Kerala
Thrissur, the name derived from ‘Tiru-Shiva-Perur’ (the town with the name of Lord Shiva). Thrissur often heralded as the cultural capital of Kerala. The town is built around a hillock top. Its most prominent feature is the Vadakunnathan Temple, which has Lord Shiva as the presiding deity. Sakthan Tampuran, the famous ruler of Thrissur, believed to be the person who reconstructed Thrissur to the current form.

Access
Air: The nearest international airport is at Nedumabssery, Ernakulam, 60 km south away.
Rail: Thrissur, linked to most major towns inside and outside Kerala. It is near to the KSRTC Bus Station.
Road: Motoroable roads connect Thrissur to several important centers. KSRTC Bus Station is near the railway station and operates long distance and interstate services. There are two private bus terminals, one is on the KN Road, north side of the ground and other is Sakthan Thampuran bus stand, half kilometre away from the ground.

Tourist destinations and Attractions
Cheruthuruthy (Kerala Kalamandalam)
Kerala Kalamandalam is located 32km away near the Shoranur Railway Junction is Cheruthuruthy, home of the renowned repository of the tradition of the kathakali dance form. It is in this academy that the best of Kerala’s Kathakali performers get their rigorous training. The institution also offers training in music, drama, and other dance forms including Mohiniyattam, Barathanatyam, Koodiyattam and Ottam Thullal.

Punnathur Kotta
Punnathur kotta is located at a distance of 2km near to Guruvayur Temple. At Punnathur Kotta there, more than 62 elephants belonging to the temple are taken care. Nowhere else, so many elephants can see at one time. Visitors can have the pleasure of seeing the elephants at a close sight. This is an ideal place for the elephant lovers.

Anakkayam
Anakkayam is located roughly 20km from Chalakudy on the Sholayar Peringalkuthu route. It is famous for its lake with cool and placid waters. The place got its name from the herd of elephants, which used to visit the place quite often. In addition, there is another legend that the place got its name because some elephant had drowned in this lake. The place is breathtakingly beautiful with its rushing waters, chiseled rocks and the silent streams.

Thrissur Pooram, Vadakunnathan Temple
This is the most colourful temple festival of Kerala. Thrissur pooram attracts large masses of devotes and spectators from all parts of the state and even outside. Celebrated in Medam (April-May) it consists of processions of richly caparisoned elephants from various neighboring temples to the Vadakunnathan Temple. The most impressive processions are those from Krishna Temple, Thiruvambadi and the Devi temple at Paramekkavu, which is quite a significant event for its devotees. Sakthan Thampuran, the Maharaja of the erstwhile Kochi state, introduced this festival. Perhaps, there is no other festival in Kerala that draws such an unbelievable number of people to a single event.

 The pooram festival is also renowned for the magnificent display of fireworks. Two rival groups representing the two divisions of Thrissur, Paramekkavu and Thiruvambadi vying with each other in making the display of fireworks grander and more colourful celebrate the pooram festival. Each group is allowed to display a maximum of fifteen elephants and all efforts are made by each party to secure the best elephants in South India and the most artistic parasols, several kinds of which are raised on the elephants during the display. The marvellous as well as magical effect of the Panchavadyam, a combination of five percussion and wind instruments is to be felt and enjoyed.

Thrissur- The Cultural Capital of Kerala

Thrissur, the name derived from ‘Tiru-Shiva-Perur’ (the town with the name of Lord Shiva). Thrissur often heralded as the cultural capital of Kerala. The town is built around a hillock top. Its most prominent feature is the Vadakunnathan Temple, which has Lord Shiva as the presiding deity. Sakthan Tampuran, the famous ruler of Thrissur, believed to be the person who reconstructed Thrissur to the current form.

Access
Air: The nearest international airport is at Nedumabssery, Ernakulam, 60 km south away.
Rail: Thrissur, linked to most major towns inside and outside Kerala. It is near to the KSRTC Bus Station.
Road: Motoroable roads connect Thrissur to several important centers. KSRTC Bus Station is near the railway station and operates long distance and interstate services. There are two private bus terminals, one is on the KN Road, north side of the ground and other is Sakthan Thampuran bus stand, half kilometre away from the ground.

Tourist destinations and Attractions
Cheruthuruthy (Kerala Kalamandalam)
Kerala Kalamandalam is located 32km away near the Shoranur Railway Junction is Cheruthuruthy, home of the renowned repository of the tradition of the kathakali dance form. It is in this academy that the best of Kerala’s Kathakali performers get their rigorous training. The institution also offers training in music, drama, and other dance forms including Mohiniyattam, Barathanatyam, Koodiyattam and Ottam Thullal.

Punnathur Kotta
Punnathur kotta is located at a distance of 2km near to Guruvayur Temple. At Punnathur Kotta there, more than 62 elephants belonging to the temple are taken care. Nowhere else, so many elephants can see at one time. Visitors can have the pleasure of seeing the elephants at a close sight. This is an ideal place for the elephant lovers.

Anakkayam
Anakkayam is located roughly 20km from Chalakudy on the Sholayar Peringalkuthu route. It is famous for its lake with cool and placid waters. The place got its name from the herd of elephants, which used to visit the place quite often. In addition, there is another legend that the place got its name because some elephant had drowned in this lake. The place is breathtakingly beautiful with its rushing waters, chiseled rocks and the silent streams.

Thrissur Pooram, Vadakunnathan Temple
This is the most colourful temple festival of Kerala. Thrissur pooram attracts large masses of devotes and spectators from all parts of the state and even outside. Celebrated in Medam (April-May) it consists of processions of richly caparisoned elephants from various neighboring temples to the Vadakunnathan Temple. The most impressive processions are those from Krishna Temple, Thiruvambadi and the Devi temple at Paramekkavu, which is quite a significant event for its devotees. Sakthan Thampuran, the Maharaja of the erstwhile Kochi state, introduced this festival. Perhaps, there is no other festival in Kerala that draws such an unbelievable number of people to a single event.

The pooram festival is also renowned for the magnificent display of fireworks. Two rival groups representing the two divisions of Thrissur, Paramekkavu and Thiruvambadi vying with each other in making the display of fireworks grander and more colourful celebrate the pooram festival. Each group is allowed to display a maximum of fifteen elephants and all efforts are made by each party to secure the best elephants in South India and the most artistic parasols, several kinds of which are raised on the elephants during the display. The marvellous as well as magical effect of the Panchavadyam, a combination of five percussion and wind instruments is to be felt and enjoyed.
 
Wayanad
The name ‘Wayanad’ derived from the expression ‘Wayalnadu’ that means land of Paddy fields. Wayanad offers a climate of the hill station with a panorama of undulating hills and dales. The hills, which might have been thick forest once, are now plantations of coffee, tea and cardamom. There is luxurious greenery all around. On a clear day from the river border of Kabani, Wayanad will seem too be a fairyland with the deep blue mountains juxtaposed with the less blue sky and white vagrant speaks of clouds amidst them.

Wayanad has a small Jain community consisting of the Gounders who came from Karnataka. They have built beautiful temples all around the district. The Kurichiyars of Wayanad have a great martial tradition. They constituted the army of Pazhassi Raja who fought against the British forces in several battles. The descendants of those warriors are still expert archers.

Tourist destinations and Attractions
Chembra peak
Chembra Peak is the highest peak in Wayanad; at 2100m above sea level. Chembra is located near the town of Meppady and is 14 km west of Kalpetta. It is part of the Wayanad hill ranges in Western Ghats, adjoining the Nilgiri Hills in Tamilnadu and Vellarimala in Kozhikode district in Kerala. Chembra peak is accessible by foot from Meppady. District Tourism Promotion Council provides guides and trekking equipments on hire charges to the tourists. Permission from the forest office in Meppady is required for trekking up to the Chembra peak.

The charming exquisiteness of Wayanad which is visible from the top of Chembra is very challenging and thrilling. The blue eyed water in the lake at the top of the hill never dries up even in the peak of summer. All along the steep and slippery way to the top of the hill, the whispering of the flowing spring which sprouts from the top of the hill accompanies the tourist. If he is auspicious enough, on his way he may come across a passing wild beast, may be a leopard who may instantly conceal behind the bushes. Camping in the night with camp fire and sleeping bags at the top of the peak in shivering cold is perpetual experience.

Pakshipathalam
Pakshipathalam in Bramha Giri hills at Thirunelly is one of the adventure tourist spot. Solitude of Wayanad, the northern hill district of Kerala covered with moist deciduous forests and teaming with elephants, tigers, jungle cats, civets, bison and pea-censored, perched at a 1740 m above sea level is Pakshipathalam, a picturesque sleepy little place. Pakshipathalam, as the name suggests has a large population of birds. This hill station provides immense opportunities for bird watching.

To get it this place one has to go around 17km through wild forest. The deep rock caves shaped among the thick blocks of rocks at the northern top end of the Brahmagiri is the domicile of various birds and wild beasts. One has to obtain special permission from forest department to enter Pakshipathalam. DTPC (District Tourism Promotion Council) arranges vehicle, guides, camping apparatus etc. to the tourists on hire charges.

Meenmutty Water Fall
Wayanad is blessed with some of the best falls within the state of Kerala. Meenmutty Falls is located 29 km from Kalpetta in Wayanad District in the state of Kerala, India. It is a three-tiered waterfall with a height of 300 metres. Meenmutty Falls, the largest and most spectacular waterfall in the Wayanad District, is a 2 km hike though the jungle from the main Ooty Road. It is Kerala's second largest waterfall and one of the most unspoiled in its natural setting. Each of its three tiers requires a separate hike through a moist, deciduous forest. The path is quite dangerous and tiring but the waterfall makes the strain of the trek more than worth it.

Edakkal Caves
The fascinating prehistoric rock etchings found on the walls of these caves have drawn the serious attention of archeologists and historians worldwide. With at least three distinct sets of petroglyphs, the earliest thought to date back over 5000 years, it is assumed that the Edakkal caves had been inhabited at various stages in history. Edakkal Caves are two natural caves located 1000 metres high on Ambukutty Mala 25 km from Kalpetta in the Wayanad district of Kerala in India’s Western Ghats.

The name “Edakkal” literally means “a stone in between”, and this describes how the cave is formed by a heavy boulder straddling a fissure in the rock. Inside the cave is on two levels, the lower chamber measures about 18 feet long by 12 feet wide and 10 feet high and can be entered through an opening of 5 x 4 feet. A passage opposite the entrance leads upward to a small aperture in the roof through which one climbs up to the next storey whose interior is about 96 feet long, 22 feet wide, and 18 feet high. Light enters the cave through a big gap at the right-hand corner of the roof where the boulder does not touch the facing wall. Pictorial writings visible inside the caves are believed to be from neolithic man, evidence of the presence of a prehistoric civilization existing in this region. Such Stone Age carvings are very rare and these are the only known examples in southern India. It is the world's richest pictographic gallery of its kind.
The name Ambukuthimala is ascribed to the local legend which has it that the caves were formed by arrows fired by Lava and Kusha, the sons of Sri Rama, legendary hero of the Ramayana.Even today there are many who believe that Lord Rama killed Surpanakha, the sister of Ravana, in the narrow fissure at the southern end of Edakkal cave. Another local legend associates Kutti Chatan (the little devil of Malabar) with the goddess Mudiampilli, and until recently local people undertook an annual pilgrimage to the peak of the hill to perform a puja (ritual offering) in her honour.

Pazhassi Memorial
32km north east of Kalpetta, this tomb stands majestically as the memorial of “Veera Pazhassi Raja” who is precisely remembered as “The Lion of Kerala” who was influential in the famous “Guerilla” warfare against the East India Company. The Pullapally cave gains historic significance since it was here the Pazhassi Raja took refuge from the British. He was died on 1805 fighting against British here. There is an underground museum there where articles belonging to the Raja and his times are displayed. The Pazhassi Tomb at Mananthavady in Wayanad has been given a facelift with murals depicting the main events in the life of the Raja, who fought against the British East India Company.

Jain Temples at Wayanad
The ancient Jain temple at Panamaram is located at a distance of 29km from Sultan Bathery. It is supposed to have been built around twelfth century A.D. The temple was taken over, by Tippu sultan and used as the Battery for his army. It is now under the possession of Archaeology Department who repaired the temple in 1996. Though this temple surroundings had a large Jain population in ancient times, there are no Jains in this area now. On the pillars and on the walls of the temple are engraved with the images of Tirthankaras. One of the specialties of this temple is that no piece of wood is used for the construction of the temple even the roof of the temple is made of stones. The Wayanad Jain community conducts a Navakhalasha Panchamritha Abhisheka Pooja at this temple on the occasion of Mahaveer Jayanthi every year. There are significant Jain remnants in Wayanad. The temples at Bathery, Punchavayal and Puthanangadi are the best known of these. With their beautifully carved pillars now partly ruined.

Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary
Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary, also known as the Wayanad Sanctuary, is located in Wayanad, Kerala and is on the way from Mysore to Sulthan Bathery. The Sanctuary is spread over an area of around 344 square kilometres and one can find animals like sloth bears, sambhar, elephants, monkeys, tigers, reptiles, deer, panthers, etc. There are many species of rare birds in this sanctuary as well.
The Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary is most renowned for its project elephant site, where herds of elephants are seen roaming freely, frolicking in the mud and the water near the water holes. Various species of deer, monkeys, birds etc also inhabit this space. The trees and plants in the sanctuary are typical of the South Indian moist deciduous forests and West Coast semi-evergreen forests. An ideal destination to watch herds of wild elephants, the Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary is contiguous with the protected area network of the Nagarhole National Park and the Bandipur Tiger Reserve in the neighbouring State of Karnataka and Mudumalai of Tamilnadu. The sanctuary is also a part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. The Western Ghats, Nilgiri Sub-Cluster, including all of the sanctuary, is under consideration by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee for selection as a World Heritage Site.

The best months to visit the Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary are the months of June to October. An ideal hangout for those looking out for some adventure as well as nature enthusiasts!

Tholpetty Reserve
The Tholpetty (Beguri) Wildlife Sanctuary, a part of the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, is 15 km north of Mananthavady and connected to Muthanga in Wayanad and Nagarhole in Karnataka. Flanked by towering mountain ranges on all four sides, Tholpetty is spectacular and serene, with a floating population of 900-odd elephants. These moist deciduous forests are rich in bio-diversity and form an integral part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. The trees of this region have high medicinal value while numerous species of wild animals inhabit the region. It was here that the renowned Malabar king Pazhassi Raja fought the British

Sentinal Rock Water Fall
Sentinal water fall is located at Soochipara near Meppadi 22kms south to Kalpetta. A three step water fall of more than 200m in height with an incredible vista provides by water rafting, swimming, bathing, etc. The tree top huts at Soochipara will give exclusive vision of the valleys of Western Ghats. It is also an ideal place for rock climbing.

Kuruva Island
Kuruva Island is situated on the tributaries of the river kabani and is an amazing picnic spot. Its tranquil stillness and wide expanse of the evergreen forest leaves you astounding. This island is secluded but an array of rare species of birds, herbs and orchids are the sovereigns of Kuruva Island. Kuruva Island is 17 kms to the east of Mananthavady.

Kuruva Island is a vast island of 950 acres lavishly rich with green forest. It is very far from the turbulence of city life making it an exotic place for visitors to relax and enjoy the exquisiteness of the nature.

Banasura Sagar Dam
Banasura Sagar Dam, which impounds the Karamanathodu tributary of the Kabini River, is part of the Indian Banasurasagar Project consisting of a dam and a canal project started in 1979.The goal of the project is to support the Kakkayam Hydro electric power project and assure the demand for irrigation and drinking water in a region known to have water shortages in seasonal dry periods. The Banasura Sagar Dam is located 21 km from Kalpetta, in Wayanad in the Western Ghats. It is the largest earthen dam in India and the second largest in Asia, and an ideal starting point for hikes into the adjacent charming mountains. It is an essential tourist attraction. In the dam's reservoir there is a set of islands that were formed when the reservoir submerged the surrounding areas. The islands with the Banasura hills in the backdrop offer a extravagant view.
 
 
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