Alleppey beach is nothing like the beaches you'll find in other coastal cities. Situated in the heart of the city, a mere one kilometer from the Railway Station, the Alleppey beach is a neat stretch of sand fringed on one side by the vast expanse of the Arabian Sea and on the other by tall palm trees.
The splendor of the sparkling water brought out under the radiance of the setting sun, makes for a memorable evening – whether you're with family, friends or spouse. Don't miss out on two other important attractions adjacent to the beach. Take the boat ride from the sea view park to feel closer to the marvel of the sea and for a bird's eye view, walk into the light house with a nominal entry fee. It may be just a tourist spot now, but the light house of Alleppey, in its hey days was of prime importance to this busy port town.
Anayirankal, a tourist place situated at a distance of 22 km from Munnar, is best known for its tea plantations, dam and lake. Anayirankal Lake and Dam attract hundreds of visitors who come here to grab the rare sight of elephant herds quenching their thirst from the lake.
Long stretches of forest and a vast expanse of tea plantation surround this region. Another chief attraction is the Tata Tea Plantations which allows travellers to take strolls enjoying the aroma of tea leaves.
Pothanmedu is situated closer to Anayirankal, and it would be smart to cover these two locations in one stretch. The lush green carpet of tea plants, serpentine roads and evergreen forests make this location a perfect getaway spot. There are several resorts with holidaying facilities in this region.
A day or two at these resorts would prove rejuvenating for those who want to get away from the maddening routines.
Agastya Mala Peak is also called the Agastyarkoodam. It is 1,868 m tall and is the tallest peak in Thiruvananthapuram. The Thamirabarani river originates from here and so do the Karamana river and the Neyyar river. It is a pilgrimage centre for the Hindus.
On top of the peak you will see a full-sized statue of Agastya on the backdrop of the exquisite landscape. You have to trek to reach the Agastya Mala Peak. But you have to approach the forest department of Kerala to trek up to the peak. Moreover, trekking is permitted only in the months of January and February.
Pilgrims also need permission from the Kerala government to visit the shrine. The way to the peak is covered with many herbs and medicinal plants. The place is also a home to many rare species of flora and fauna.
The Akkulam Lake lies about 10 km away from the city of Thiruvananthapuram. The lake with its scenic backdrop makes it an ideal spot for get-together like picnics and outings. It is also a popular backwater destination for tourists.
You can go for an enjoyable boat ride on Akkulam Lake. The breezy air and the ripples on the water will soothe your body and soul. The Akkulam Lake is, in fact, a part of the Veli Lake, where it joins with the sea.
The Akkulam Tourist Village lies on the bank of this lake. You can sojourn in this Tourist Village and take delight in numerous activities like swimming, water sports, etc.
Achencoil, a popular pilgrim centre as well as sightseeing destination of Kerala, is situated at a distance of about 60 km from Kollam. The region is best known for its thick forests, temples, and waterfalls.
The most popular pilgrim attraction of the area is the Achencoil Sastha Temple, where the presiding deity Lord Ayyappa. The temple attracts devotees and history lovers alike, for it contains an idol of Lord Sastha which is believed to have been installed prior to the Christian era.
The temple is frequented by people during the Mandala Pooja and Revathi festivals which fall in the months of December-January and January-February, respectively. The flower offering (known as Pushpabhishekam) at this temple makes it a standout among the other temples of South India.
Other popular tourist attractions of the region are Kubhavurutty Waterfalls and Manalar Falls. Situated along the way to Achencoil Sastha temple, these two waterfalls offer a visual treat as well as a resting place to the travellers.
The Anjengo Fort is a monument which was constructed by the Portuguese in 1695. It is located at Anjengo, a land placed between the roaring seas and the backwaters. It lies 15 km south of Varkala.
The fort occupies historical importance. It was originally made to store goods. Afterwards, the British captured this place and utilised it for Military purposes. Hence, this fort does not have an intimidating look like other forts in Kerala.
The most important feature of this fort is the masonry canal. The canal still exists but in a worn out condition. The fort also nests a few tombstones. The oldest of these belong to 1704 AD. It is said that the tombstones are of early inhabitants who lived in this fort.
You can see the fort between 9.00 am and 5.00 pm. The fort is open every day except Sundays and public holidays. The fort also offers panoramic views of the surrounding areas. Muthalipuzha Lake which flows around the fort makes it an apt place for contemplation.
Adventure Park, one of the most visited picnic spots of Kollam, is located 3 km away from the heart of the city and lies on the banks of Ashtamudi Lake. As an ideal location to hang out and indulge in leisurely activities, the park has gained wide popularity among the travellers who visit Kollam.
One of the most favourite activities to be carried out in this location is backwater cruising. Tourism Promotion Council of Kollam district organizes houseboat tours along this backwater belt. Apart from houseboats, travellers can hire other kinds of boats such as luxury boats, speed motor boats and power boats depending on their requirement.
Adventure Park is spread over an area of 48 acres and is situated in the premises of the Government Guest House. The park complex comprises of a children’s traffic park, a boat club and a hotel under the administration of Kerala Tourism Development Corporation. Paramparya Museum, which houses an excellent collection of paintings and mural art, is located close to the park.
Alumkadavu Boat Building Yard is a unique place where travellers can witness for themselves the art of boat building. Alumkadavu, small village situated about 23 km away from the city of Kollam, lies along the backwaters and has gained attention from all over the country for its boat building industry.
Kettuvallam is the specialty of Kerala backwater cruising and is widely used to promote backwater tourism. Though originally designed for cargo purposes, today such boats are equipped with all modern facilities such as bedrooms, balconies, rest areas, kitchen and other entertainment options. The boat builders of this village are known for their skills which are handed over from generation to generation.
It would surprise a visitor that no modern machinery is used by these builders who rely heavily on traditional principles of boat building. It would be a wonderful experience to watch planks of wood getting chiseled and crafted into wonderful vessels.
Ambalapuzha Sree Krishna Temple, an ancient symbol of heritage is said to have been constructed by the ruler of the land, Chembakasserry Pooradam Thirunal-Devanarayanan Thampuran around 790 AD. The presiding deity of Parthasarthi, is likened to his traditional warrior form with a whip in one hand and a conch in the other. While the Sankam (conch) is an oft-seen symbol associated with Lord Visnu and his many incarnations, Ambalapuzha Sree Krishna Temple is one of the few rarities with its presiding deity wielding a whip.
This temple has a mythological connection to the famous Guruvayurappan. It is believed that Guruvayurappan visits the temple every day, even to this day, to partake of the skillfully prepared milk porridge that is served for naivedyam. The temple hosts The Amabalapuzha Temple Festival every year in commemoration of the installation of the deity. Aaraattu festival is yet another annual festival celebrated here.
Ananthapura Temple is the only lake temple in Kerala. Folklore has it that this is the original seat, Moolasthana, of Anantha Padmanabha Swami. Here, in the temple lake lives a crocodile, and this venerable creature is believed to be the guard of the temple. It is also said that if one crocodile dies, another mysteriously takes its place.
The Ananthapura Temple was built in the 9th century. This temple is situated 30 km from Bekal. One important feature of the Ananthapura temple is that it can be visited by any visitor regardless of caste, ethnicity and religion. The temple has a Chuttambalam a (porch built around the main temple). The Temple Lake in which the Sanctum is located is a large building. It measures 302 sq ft, which is about 2 acres.
Amritapuri, a religious township and a pilgrim centre located at Vallikavu, is at a distance of about 30 km from Kollam. Vallikavu is a picturesque hamlet populated with fishermen community and is famed as the birthplace of Matha Amrithanandamayi. The place gathered worldwide attention for Matha Amrithanandamayi Ashram is headquartered here.
Matha Amrithanandamayi is a female guru who has millions of followers from across the globe. Houseboat tours are available from Kollam to Amritapuri, during which travellers can enjoy the scenic beauty of backwaters. The place is well connected by road as there are buses available from Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram.
Named after Matha Amrithanandamayi, Amritapuri is spread over several acres. The township consists of the ashram, many educational institutions and research centres (collectively known as Amritapuri Campus), a charitable hospital, a post office, canteens, bookshops and several other facilities. Visitors are provided with accommodation, and the tranquil ambience of Amritapuri is sure to charm the visitors.
Abraham's Spice Garden, located on the Thekkady-Kottayam route, is an aromatic garden for organic spices. This garden gives the travellers exhaustive information on the cultivation methods, medicinal value, Ayurvedic cure and scientific facts related to different spices. Apart from spices, medicinal herbs, fruits and flowers can also be sighted here.
Visitors can also familiarize themselves with various processes related to spice gardening such as planting, harvesting, preparing the extracts and drying. This exotic world of spices was started by Mr. Abraham in 1952 and offers a guided tour through the gardens.
Wide-ranging information on various spices is provided not just in Malayalam but in English, Hindi, Tamil, French and Italian as well. Abraham's Spice Garden charges an admission fee of 200 INR and visitors are given permission to interact with spice cultivators as well as agriculturists. This garden is a true amusement for those who are interested in organic farming. Visitors can buy spices and seeds from this garden.
Sankara Samadhi is the resting place of the great Advaita philosopher Sri Adi Sankara. It is a commonly held belief that Sri Sankara attained salvation in Thrissur in 820 AD at the age of 32. An unassuming temple has also been built in the vicinity with a small but captivating image of Sri Sankara for the benefit of hordes of devotees who come to visit the great teacher.
Located amidst a picturesque setting, the place has attuned itself to the spiritual aura of the Sri Sankara, as it were. Even if not a believer, the place could be visited to experience an uncanny presence that calms the nerves.
Analothbhava Matha Church is a very ancient church along the coast of a fishing village near Kovalam. The church is only 6 km away from the Kovalam beaches and offers a panoramic view of the area. The church leads a cozy existence amidst the thick and dense forests. During monsoons the place has an almost fairytale-like quality to it.
A short walk from the church will lead you to the white sand beaches and small villages where fishing is the only means of livelihood. An interesting fact about the beach close to the church is that it is the only beach in Kerala that remains unspoiled due to erosion of the sea. The beach is quite long and remains unaffected by the waters of the sea since the sea is at a receding point here.
People with a religious bent of mind can enjoy masses in the church on Sunday, Monday and Friday.
Adyanpara Falls, which is situated in the village of Kurmbalangod, is a splendid waterfalls that attracts a great number of tourists and nature lovers. It is located at a distance of about 12 km from the town of Nilambur and can be reached by taking the Nilambur-Ooty highway.
Adyanpara Falls is best known for its scenic surroundings, lush greenery and colossal rocks through which it gushes down. After cascading through the rocks the waterfall forms a small pool which is a popular tourist attraction. Travellers can enjoy taking a dip in the cool water and indulge in the tranquility the spot offers.
This waterfall originates from a famous mountain range of Vellarimala and after flowing for kilometres though rocks and dense forests before it joins River Chaliyar. Adyanpara Falls is about 300 ft high and is blessed with never-drying streams. Surrounded by evergreen forest, this waterfall offers a picturesque view and is a perfect spot for one day tours and family picnics.