Best things to do in Kerala
(Kochi, Munnar, Thekkady & Alleppey)
Namaskaaram Guys (wanted to give malayalam touch…;) ),
Writing after a long time almost 6 months, was quite a lot occupied with stuffs here and there. Things to do in Kerala : This one is from our experience which we had in Kerala in November 2017, It was actually our first wedding anniversary trip and trust me, it was truly wonderful. People rightly say Kerala as “God’s Own Country”.
Curating best things to do in Kerala was not at all a difficult thing, actually there are lot more that you can do there rather limiting yourself to 10.
Kerala has 2 airports, Kochi & Trivandrum : This time we decided to cover Kochi side of Kerala in 6 nights & 7 days in which we visited 3 major areas Munnar, Thekkady & Alleppey.
So here we go, the list we prepared based on our experience, could be one of the best list about things to do in Kerala
Tea Estate Trek in Munnar
Actually, its a very easy trek but yes you have to trek/walk for 3-4 kms to enjoy this entire activity. It is really a great experience to see the local tea plantation after which we we got to know that all the 3 forms of tea (Green, White & Black Tea) used in India is produced from a single tea plant only. The first virgin leaf of the tea plant is used to produce White Tea, which is the costliest and highly antioxidant of them all. Then comes the Green Tea and at last black tea is prepared which is not antioxidant in nature.
The plantation looks very beautiful and mesmerised. I bet you would have a great time exploring them.
Spice Plantation Tour in Munnar
Spice plantation and production is another major product of Kerala, Almost all of the spices we use in our daily food are grown here. We saw Pepper, Turmeric, Chillis, Cardamom, Basil and many other herbs.
Some of the herbs have very great medicinal benefits as told by our local guide.
Cycling in Munnar
We travelled Munnar in November and it has very good weather at that time. If you know cycling, then it is one of the best things to do in Kerala or probably the best way to explore the local villages and local areas around your resort/hotel in the day time. Luckily, our hotel provided us 2 bikes and we really enjoyed riding them in the green hills of Munnar.
You can also do cycling tours in Munnar by contacting some local cycling tour operator. The cost for a cycling tour in Munnar would be somewhere around Rs. 600-700 per person for 2 hours.
You can also do Jeep Safari and Night Safari too. Although, we didn’t get any chance to do them, can’t comment. We asked about its rates and they are somewhere around :
Kolukkumalai Jeep safari : Approx Rs.3000 per Jeep
Night Safari by Jeep : Approx Rs.3000 per Jeep
Speed Boat Ride
Well, I would say if you are in Munnar then you should definitely visit Mattupetty Dam and enjoy a speed boat or high speed boat ride there. It is definitely a worth taking experience. Here are some of the activities and their approximate pricing that you can do at Mattupetty Dam.
Elephant Ride : Rs.400 per pax 15mins
Speed Boating : Rs.600 per person 15 to 20mins
High Speed Boating : Rs. 800 per person 15 to 20 mins
Mattupetty Dam Entrance : Rs.20 per person
Eco-Point Pedal Boating : Rs.250 pedal for 30 mins
Bird Watching & Walking in Forested Hills
Well, we are definitely nature lovers and bird watchers too. If you also like bird watching and seeing nature then Munnar is probably one of the best place for you. You can find a number of different and beautiful birds but you have to be patient & silent to get hold of them and enjoy their natural activities. We were lucky to click some of the pictures of these birds, which you can see below.
Another, one of the best things to do in Kerala or Munnar is just walk around the green forested hills. Trust me you will really feel refreshed enjoying the nature at its best.
Boat Safari in Periyar lake
Although, Periyar is known as a Tiger Reserve too but Tiger Sighting here is rare. This is because of multiple reasons actually one of the reason is the density of the forest. It is actually very dense and green therefore no Jeep Safaris are done inside the forest. Instead you can do a Boat Safari in the Periyar Lake, which might creates a chance to see some wildlife and different birds.
KTDC operates 1.5 to 2 hours of boating at Periyar Lake. As i said above, while boating, if you are lucky, you can have a unique experience of viewing wildlife at close from the safety of a boat at the lake. The probable animals to see are Bison, Gaur, Wild Elephants, Sambhar and a wide variety of birds.
Thekkady Boat Ticket can be booked online at : https://www.periyarfoundation.online/
Entry Timing : 0600 hrs – 1800 hrs
Boating Time : 0730, 0930, 1115, 1345 and 1530 hrs
Boating Charge : Around Rs. 250 per person.
Entry Charge : Indian National : Around Rs. 40/- Foreign National : Around Rs. 500/-
As I mentioned above, do not expect too much wildlife to be seen here. This place is more to enjoy the natural scenic beauty of Thekkady’s dense forests. You can visit many other Wildlife sanctuaries and National Parks if you truly want to see them.
Experience Local Things
This could be the best thing to do not only in Kerala but it should be done in each and every trip. We always make sure that we paint ourselves in the local colours of the state we are in and try to experience each and everything we can. Here is what we did in Kerala.
– Watch Folk Dance Performances
Kathakali is not at all the only dance that belongs to Kerala. Kerala has a rich variety of folk dances. They are highly developed and reflect the temperaments and moods of the localities in music and costume.
Nature silently and unobtrusively has moulded these dances just as the lives of the people who dance them.
You won’t believe till you actually see them, the facial expressions of the artists are worth to be seen and with the help of their facial expressions only, they will tell the whole story behind their performance.
– Local Food
South India, especially Kerala is the home of hundreds of spices. Imagine when they use these delicious traditional spices in their authentic dishes, they are 100% worth to be tried out.
We tried Fish Tikka, Kerala Fish Curry, Malabar Parathas, Chicken Chettinad. Also, for vegetarians do not miss to eat a full Kerala meal at Sarvana Bhavan in Munnar main market. They serve food on banana’s leaf which is altogether a different experience to have.
– Local Drink – Toddy
Enjoy the local drink, desi daru of Kerala. It is actually a drink made from fermenting the sap of pal or coconut trees. It is sour in taste and white in colour. You will find many Toddy Shops in Kerala if you want to try this drink. In Kochi, you can visit Mullapanthal Toddy Shop to get delicious food with freshly prepared Toddy.
– Try Cooking
Well because of my cooking love, sometimes I do like to try cooking if i get some opportunity. This time I got an opportunity in our resort (Greenwoods Resort) in Thekkady where we were staying, to do some cooking as it was one of the activity they offer to all of their guests. The chef taught us two popular dishes of Kerala (Kerala Fish Curry & Potatoes Mezhukkupuratti).
– Visit Churches
We visited some beautiful churches on our way from Munnar to Thekkady. Although they were closed at that time but their architecture and landscape was truly beautiful.
House Boat Ride & Backwaters
Kerala Trip without its famous Backwaters and House Boat rides is incomplete. Once we reached back to Kochi from Munnar & Thekkady, we planned our visit to Alleppey and its famous backwaters. We reached Alleppey after almost 1.5hrs from Kochi and quickly managed to find one House Boat for us to spend the rest of the day. However, we recommend to take House boat for at least 1 Night, due to less time we were only able to experience it for half day.
We got a very good AC houseboat for Rs. 5000/- for 5-6 hours. If you want to take it for one night, then it would cost you cheaper. You will be able to get good houseboats between Rs. 8000/- to Rs. 10000/- per night inclusive of all meals. You can now book these houseboats online too via makemytrip or cleartrip.
Houseboat in Kerala is a must having experience and I think it is actually topmost things to do in kerala, you will not feel it till you actually get it. Tasty food, breathtaking views and beautiful backwaters is something which made our houseboat experience truly memorable.
Beach Hopping – Cherai, Fort Kochi
Kerala has 2 sides, which makes it a complete holiday destination, once you are done with hills & backwaters, its time to visit the beautiful beaches of Kerala. Unlike North Goa, these beaches are quite, less crowded and offers you to spend some quality time relaxing with your loved ones. We went to Cherai beach on the first day and stayed there for 2-3 hours, after seeing the mesmerising sunset we came back to our hotel.
Next we visited Fort Kochi beach : We took a ferry from Ernakulam to Fort Kochi Beach. In this ferry you can take your vehicle with you too. We took our car and then landed on other side of the river to reach Fort Kochi Beach by car. This is also one of the best beach near Kochi which should not be missed.
Kerala Ayurvedic Massage & Spa
After all these activities on our last day of this trip before leaving for airport, we decided to have a relaxing session of Kerala’s Ayurvedic massage. You could find a lot of Ayurvedic massage centres in Kochi, but do some research on internet about their services & products they will use before finalising one. We took single session of Abhyangam from Ayurveda Sanctum. It was really a refreshing and relaxing session at the end of our trip.
Some of the tips which might be helpful based on our personal experience :
- Rent a vehicle, if you know driving. It saves money and gives you freedom to anywhere you want.
- Drive carefully, especially on Munnar roads as the govt. bus drivers are quite rash there.
- Plan your visits well as the distance between these 3 destinations is around 2-4 hours on an average.
- Wine & Beer shops are very limited in Kerala. In Munnar there is only one shop, which also has specific opening hours.
- You need at least 7-8 days to cover these 3 destination to have good time. Otherwise it will be quite hectic.
We stayed at :
Moselberg Riverside Cottages, Munnar
Greenwoods Resort, Thekkady
Taj Gateway Hotel, Ernakulam (Kochi)
More pictures from our Kerala Trip
Feel free to share your thoughts, comments or if you have any questions below and let us know what do you feel about our trip stories. We would be happy to answer them all.
Waiting for your comments.
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