Kalady, situated on the banks of River Periyar in Kerala, sits in the lap of many natural bounties. Famously known for being the birthplace of Sri Adi Shankara, Kalady has innumerable tourist attractions that contribute majorly to Kerala tourism. With umpteen number of temples and churches, Kalady makes an ideal sacred circuit for pious people. And all the famous Hindu temples are directly or indirectly connected to Adi Shankara.
Besides its religious prominence, Kalady also exhibits beautiful landscapes, lakes and rolling hills. And it has a pleasant weather throughout the year. Overall, a beautiful place that will leave you asking for more.
How To Reach Kalady
By air: Located 7 km away, Kochi Airport is the nearest airport to Kalady.
By train: Angamaly is the nearest railway station to Kalady, and it is well connected to other cities in India.
By road: There are frequent buses from other major cities of the country to Kalady.
Best Time To Visit Kalady
The best months to visit Kalady are July and September. The weather conditions will be pleasant, and the average temperature varies very little during these months. Moreover, Kalady comes alive with green landscapes, ever-flowing river and rolling hills during the monsoon season.
Places To Visit & Things To Do
1. Ramakrishna Ashram
The Sri Ramakrishna Advaita Ashram is a renowned ashram in India and was established in the year 1936 as a tribute to the visionary Sri Ramakrishna. Decked with images of Hindu Gods and visionaries of all religion and faiths, Ramakrishna Ashram is a place of harmony.
It also boasts a live marble monument of Sri Ramakrishna. Once you are done touring the ashram, you can relax and unwind at the stunning garden located in the premises of the ashram. You can travel to the ashram with your family to have a blessed day.
2. Elephant Training Centre
The elephant training centre is a significant tourist attraction in Kalady. Located about 10 km away from Kalady, Kodanad was built in the year 1965 as a centre to train and preserve elephants. Kodanad is also an animal rescue centre and home to a mini zoo. This location was chosen because it is set on the banks of River Periyar amid the fascinating ranges of Perumbavoor. Here the elephants are mostly trained to perform temple duties. However, many elephants are used for safari rides too.
You and your family can enjoy a safari tour on the world's biggest land mammals without any fear.
3. Sringeri Mutt
Home to many small temples, Sringeri Mutt, is a renowned ashram built at the place where the great philosopher, saint and visionary Adi Sankara's house once stood.
Truly dedicated to the great Adi Sankara, the Mutt has two important temples, one built as a tribute to Shankaracharya himself and the other temple was built to pay homage to Shankaracharya's almighty, Goddess Sharada. Sringeri Mutt has many small temples dedicated to Hindu Gods like Lord Ganesha and Lord Vishnu, to name a few. In addition to that, Mutt also has a temple dedicated to Adi Shankara's mother. A day spent in this holy paradise will surely give you a new take on life.
4. Keerthi Stambham
Pretty much every tourist attraction you see or witness in Kalady is dedicated to the great Adi Shankara. Another must-see monument is Keerthi Stambham or the Pillar of Fame. It is a tall monument located on the banks of River Periyar.
The large open structure is adorned with a lively idol of Adi Shankara at the summit. Many engravings on the pillars represent the stories of the saint's life. The sight is beautiful and deserves a visit with your family and friends.
5. Vamanamoorthy Temple
As the name suggests, this is a temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu and his incarnated form, Vamanamoorthy. Located in Thrikkakara, about 28 km away from Kalady, this temple boasts stunning architectural beauty with encryptions on it dating back to tenth and 13th century AD.
Vamanamoorthy Temple is closely associated with the story of King Mahabali, consequently playing a significant role in the inception of Kerala's state festival, Onam. Visit this angelic temple to know more about the history and culture of ancient Kerala.
PC: Hari Vishnu
6.St Thomas Church
Located 15 km away from Kalady, St Thomas Church or Malayatoor Church attracts a large number of Christian devotees from across India. Dedicated to St Thomas, this archaic church is one of the eight international shrines in the world, designated by the Vatican. St Thomas was the first to start a Christian community in Kerala.
Malayatoor Church is said to be the site where St Thomas first held his prayer when he landed in Kerala. It is the most popular and largest St Thomas Shrine in India. Don't miss this historical and marvellous church when you visit Kalady.
PC: Shijan Kaakkara