Kerala is one of the most popular tourist destinations in India. One might then wonder if there are any offbeat places in Kerala left to explore? Yes, there are! From pristine beaches to picturesque mountain views, there are many places in Kerala that remain untouched by commercialization and offer an authentic travel experience.
All of these places mentioned below are something that the people who are on a lookout for paths less taken easily fall in love with. Starting taking your notes for the best offbeat place you would want to visit in God’s Own Country!
Top 14 Of Offbeat Places In Kerala
Here are some of the most charming hidden wonders of Kerala that will leave you pleasantly surprised:
- Edakkal Caves, Wayanad – With A History As Old As Time
- Kappil Beach, Varkala – Beaches & Backwaters In One Destination
- Gavi, Periyar – Emerald Paradise Of Flora & Fauna
- Vagamon, Idukki – Picturesque Hills
- Muzhappilangad Beach, Kannur – Scenic Drive-In Beach
- Ashtamudi Lake, Kollam – Beauty Of The Backwaters
- Kolukkumalai Estate, Idukki – World’s Highest Tea Estate
- Soochipara Waterfalls, Wayanad – Pristine Marvels Of Nature
- Neeliyar Kottam, Kannur – Best Theyyam Performances
- Agasthyarkoodam, Trivandrum – Legendary Treks Of Kerala
- Vembanad Lake, Kumarakom – The Longest One
- Chembra Peak, Wayanad – Nature At Its Best
- Silent Valley National Park, Palakkad – Calming As Its Name
- Nelliyampathy, Palakkad – Spellbinding Affair
1. Edakkal Caves, Wayanad – With A History As Old As Time
Imagine trekking up to a cliff which overlooks the beautiful Western Ghats and popping into a cave that has carvings almost 8,000 years old?! You can do just this at one of the best offbeat places to visit in Kerala – Edakkal Caves at Wayanad. The caves are really a rock shelter that can be comparable to the Bhimbetka shelters in MP and have the only Stone age carvings in South India, dating back to 6,000 B.C. The climb up from the base to the cliff takes you through rocky paths eventually leading to a scenic view. It’s an experience of a lifetime!
How to get there: The caves are located in the Nenmeni area of Wayanad district, about 25 KM from Kalpetta, the district headquarters. The nearest railhead and airport is at Kozhikode (Calicut) about 95 KM away.
Best time to visit: Year-round
2. Kappil Beach, Varkala – Beaches & Backwaters In One Destination
The road winds down with the ocean on one side and the scenic backwaters dotted with coconut trees on the other side in Kappil. One of the most unexplored places in Kerala, Kappil Beach is often overshadowed by its nearby attraction, Varkala. You won’t find people for long stretches of the pristine beach which offers some of the prettiest sunsets on the Arabian Sea. On the other side is Edava Narayana Lake which has some of the best birdlife. The best way to visit Kappil is to drive down and you even can rent bikes from Varkala.
How to get there: The beach is near the Kappil village, about 7 KM away from Varkala. It also has a railway station and the nearest airport is at Thiruvananthapuram.
Best time to visit: November to February after the monsoons
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3. Gavi, Periyar – Emerald Paradise Of Flora & Fauna
Gavi is a true paradise; it is a beautiful forested area in the Periyar Tiger reserve surrounding the scenic Gavi Lake. The still waters of the lake are clear and reflect the rich emerald hues of the thick forest around it. The forest is home to more than 260 species of birds and teeming with wildlife. You can sight Bisons, Elephants, Lion-tailed macaques, and Malabar Giant Squirrels in the area. A nature lover’s delight, it is still one of the best unexplored places in Kerala.
How to get there: Gavi is about 40 KM from Kumily which is the base for the Periyar Tiger Reserve. The nearest railhead is Kottayam about 117 KM away and the nearest airport is Kochi 172 KM away.
Best time to visit: August to March
4. Vagamon, Idukki – Picturesque Hills
If you are looking for hill stations free of crowds then Vagamon is one of the best unknown places in Kerala that is perfect for you! Located in the Idukki district, it is often nicknamed the ‘Scotland of Asia’. The moniker refers to the rolling meadows high up in the mountains that are ideal for paragliding, which is becoming popular in Vagamon in recent times. Untouched by the commercialization of the nearby town, Munnar, Vagamon still offers a tranquil experience to visitors.
How to get there: The nearest railhead is Kottayam about 63 KM away and Kochi is the nearest airport 105 KM away.
Best time to visit: February and March are ideal for paragliding
5. Muzhappilangad Beach, Kannur – Scenic Drive-In Beach
Muzhappilangad Beach is a dream come true for anyone who loves driving. One of the longest drive-in beaches in the world, it is among the rare beaches in India where you can drive a car or a bike. That makes it one of the best road trip places in Kerala, especially in April when there is a vibrant beach festival that takes place here. The beach is not just perfect for beach stunts but is also a natural paradise where a lot of endangered birds can be sighted. The scenic beach makes for some perfect Instagram shots!
How to get there: The beach is about 15 KM away from Kannur which also has a railway station. The nearest airport is at Kozhikode about 90 KM away from Kannur.
Best time to visit: August to March
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6. Ashtamudi Lake, Kollam – Beauty Of The Backwaters
Kumarakom and Alleppey may be known for the legendary Kerala backwaters, but just a little distance away lies the Ashtamudi Lake which is undoubtedly one of the best offbeat places in Kerala. The large lake with eight waterways branching away from it boasts of a rich birdlife and is even a protected reserve for birds. The best way to experience the lake is by going on a boat ride in the traditional Kerala boats and letting the relaxed vibe take over.
How to get there: The nearest railhead is at Kollam about 11 KM away and the nearest airport is Thiruvananthapuram about 70 KM away.
Best time to visit: August to October
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7. Kolukkumalai Estate, Idukki – World’s Highest Tea Estate
If you are a traveler who likes to tick off all the ‘highest’ places in the world off your list, then Kolukkumalai should feature on it. Kolukkumalai Estate is the highest tea estate in the world and has a functioning tea factory at a height of 7,900 feet since the 1900s! The estate offers breathtaking views of the Nilgiris and is a nature lover’s delight. Apart from beauty, the waterfall also offers adventure as the jeep ride to it is surely a thrilling one, ensuring Kolukkumalai remains one of the most unexplored places in Kerala.
How to get there: Take a jeep from the town of Suryanelli which is about 23 KM from Munnar. The nearest railhead to Munnar is at Aluva about 114 KM away while the nearest airport is at Kochi about 130 KM away.
Best time to visit: Year-round
8. Soochipara Waterfalls, Wayanad – Pristine Marvels Of Nature
Soochipara Falls will make your heart leap with happiness! This waterfall is a testimony to tourism done right, the entire area is plastic-free which means you won’t come across those stray water bottles or wrappers while enjoying the waterfalls. It also helps that it is one of the best unknown places in Kerala and is tucked away in a beautiful valley in Wayanad. You have to go down a hilly trek with thick forests around to reach the thundering falls.
How to get there: The falls are about 23 KM from Kalpetta, the district headquarters of Wayanad. The nearest railhead and airport is Kozhikode 72 KM away.
Best time to visit: December to May
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9. Neeliyar Kottam, Kannur – Best Theyyam Performances
If you wish to engulf in one of the most spiritual and invigorating experiences of your life then you must visit Neeliyar Kottam around 15th January of any year. This is when the temple comes to life with the sound of ‘chenda’ drums and the boisterous Theyyam performance. Theyyam is a form of worship in North Kerala when devotees dress up in elaborate costumes to please the Gods. The temple in Neeliyar Kottam is devoted to the legend of Bhagavathy. It is one of best offbeat places in Kerala to experience a unique cultural event.
How to get there: The temple is at Mangattuparamba about 15 KM away from Kannur, which is also a railhead. The nearest airport is at Kozhikode about 92 KM away.
Best time to visit: During the temple festival around the third week of January
10. Agasthyarkoodam, Trivandrum – Legendary Treks Of Kerala
Going on a trek is possibly the best way to experience less crowded tourist places in Kerala. One of the best treks in Kerala is the Agasthyarkoodam trek, which summits at the top of Agasthyamalai. Legend says that Sage Agasthya meditated atop this mountain and why not, the views from the top are so beautiful that you might just want to settle in there! The trek is about 28 KM and can ideally be covered over a weekend. It is one of the offbeat places in Kerala.
How to get there: The trek starts from Bonacaud about 53 KM away from Thiruvananthapuram which has both a railway station and an airport.
Best time to visit: November to April. Trekkers must avoid monsoons.
11. Vembanad Lake, Kumarakom – The Longest One
Image Credits: Vinayaraj for Wikimedia Commons Vembanad Lake is located in Kumarakom and is one of the hidden gems in Kerala. An untouched and unexplored spot in the arms of God’s own country, the algae rich green waters of Vembanad are as pristine as they can get. It is the longest lake in India and the largest source of surface water. There is a saltwater barrier that prevents the intrusion of seawater and divides the lake into fresh water and brackish water. How to get there: The nearest railway station is Kottayam which is only 13 kilometers from the lake. Best time to visit: September to March
12. Chembra Peak, Wayanad – Nature At Its Best
Image Credits: Karkiabhijeet for Wikimedia Commons Chembra Peak is sitting in Wayanad and attracts all the nature and adventure enthusiasts who are visiting Kerala. It is the highest peak south of Himalayas with a beauty that goes beyond words. Located at a height of 2100 m above sea level, Chembra peak offers exciting trekking and hiking opportunities. However, it is important to get prior permission from the Meppadi forest before you begin on the expedition. Also, on the way, you will come across a heart shaped lake, which never dries up and is named ‘hridaya thadakam’. How to get there: Nearest railhead is at Kozhikode which is 79 km from Chembra Peak Base Camp. State Buses and cabs are the best way to reach Chembra Peak Base camp. Best time to visit: September to March
13. Silent Valley National Park, Palakkad – Calming As Its Name
Image Credits: Jaseem Hamza for Wikimedia Commons A part of the UNESCO World Heritage sites, the Silent Valley National Park is one of the best places that you can visit in Kerala. This hidden gem is located in the Nilgiri Hills and is paradise for wildlife lovers. Home to the endangered species of lion-tailed macaque, there are several species of birds, insects, and mammals that you can find here. The several thousand species of flora including flowering plants, orchids, ferns, lichens, liverworts, and algae that are distinctive only to the Western Ghats will leave you spell bound. How to get there: The entrance to Silent valley Park is 25 Kilometers from Mukkali along a jeep road . You have to get entrance tickets and Guide from the office at Mukkali to enter the park. Best time to visit: December to April
14. Nelliyampathy, Palakkad – Spellbinding Affair
Image Credits: wallpaperflare Nelliyampathy is located in Palakkad and is known for the cloud-caressed peaks that are settled at varying heights. They truly offer a sight to behold. The journey to Nelliyampathy is spellbinding as there are several viewpoints from where one can enjoy picturesque views of the landscapes. En-route there are spots showcasing bio farming. You can visit the farms and vast expanses of tea estates. The hills of Nelliyampathy are also well known for its orange cultivation. How to get there: Palakkad station lying nearly 60 km from Nelliyampathy serves as the nearest railway station. Best time to visit: September to February
We don’t know about you, but this list is giving us boundless wanderlust! Now don’t wait. Book your trip to Kerala right away and don’t forget to include these offbeat places in Kerala in your itinerary for a unique travel experience!
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Frequently Asked Questions About Offbeat Places In Kerala
A. The most beautiful place in Kerala is Munnar. It is one of the best honeymoon destinations in India. It is known for its booming backwater tourism industry and scenic attractions.
A. You can wear whatever you’re comfortable in. Having said that, do not go to temples and religious spots wearing shorts since it goes against Indian traditions. You will not be permitted inside, so make sure your knees and shoulders are covered up.
A. The best time to visit Kerala is from March to May. It is hot but not as humid as it is in other months. You can pursue some of the best things to do in Kerala around this time.
A. Kerala’s staple food is seafood. You will find fishes, prawns, mussels, lobsters, and crabs in abundance here. Owing to Kerala being a coastal state, you will also find a lot of dishes made of coconut. These dishes are usually accompanied by rice.
A. Apart from Malayalam, which is the main language spoken in Kerala, English is also widely spoken in that area.
A. The culture of Kerala is an amalgamation of Indian and Dravidian culture. Its rich, composite culture has been influenced by a lot of different factors.
A. The climate of Kerala is humid, tropical, and wet. It receives an annual rainfall of 3107 mm. Avoid visiting Kerala in the rainy season since it is prone to flooding.
A. Kerala is as safe for tourists as any other Indian state. Having said that, please make sure to take precautions that you would take anywhere where you’re traveling to for the first time.