God’s own country’ is full of scenic and breathtaking views. But aside from these, there is a tonne to do when you enter the mind-bogglingly green landscape of Kerala. A melange of culinary experiences, the beautiful beaches, the serene backwaters, and the massage are not the only things to do in Kerala. This place has a lot more to offer.
32 Top Things To Do In Kerala India
TravelTriangle has compiled a list of things to do in Kerala to make your holiday a memorable one. Which of these do you wish to try first?
1. Kodanad – Bathe Elephants
Can you imagine giving a bath to an elephant? Kodanad Elephant Sanctuary is a major attraction in Kerala. 42 kms from Kochi, visit there for some exciting activities like elephant bath, elephant safari and elephant feeding and watching baby elephants too. The rates vary from Rs 350-1500/person depending on the time and activities involved. It’s going to be delightful to watch cute baby elephants play around and spray water on each other!
Kerala Holiday Packages On TravelTriangle
A holiday in Kerala will fill you with memories. Witness pristine backwaters with comfortable houseboats, lush green hill stations, waterfalls, and plantations of tea and spice. Indulge in an ayurvedic massage or taste exotic cuisines. Book a Kerala holiday on TravelTriangle. Best prices guaranteed.
2. Alleppey – Stay In A Houseboat
Alleppey tops in the list of places to visit in Kerala. And when you’re there, don’t miss out on the experience of sailing in a houseboat. There are many things to do in Kerala houseboat, like looking at the lush green landscape and being served a freshly prepared meal as you travel through the tranquil backwaters, which is just as amazing as it is made out to be. The boat accommodates the whole family and includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. Prices vary from Rs 6500-11500 and it’s better to call in advance and reserve in order to grab a less expensive deal.
3. Munnar – Watch The Neelakurinji Bloom
Eravikulam National Park is one the most frequented tourist attractions in Kerala because of Neelakurinji, which bloom once in 12 years and this rare view is a fascinating experience. Also see the Nigiri Thar, an endangered mountain goat while going on a trek to the peak of the hill. Tickets are for Rs 55 per adult and the park is closed in February and March. If you’re wondering what to do in Kerala besides meandering through the tea estates and trying their flavours in a cup, this is the perfect solution for you!
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4. Kumbalangi Integrated Tourism Village – Enjoy Village Life
Have an authentic rural experience at Kumbalangi Integrated Tourism Village. Exploring the local paddy cultivation, canoeing in mangrove forests, fishing, crab farming are amongst the many things to do in the village. Many homestays are available in the village which can be booked by visitors. The village is 14 km from Ernakulam Railway Station. It will thus be super easy for you to get there by a car on hire or a bus.
5. Veli Tourist Village – Have A Meal
From all the places to visit on your trip to Kerala, exploring the Veli Lake and dining in the floating restaurant at the lake is an incredible experience. Paddleboat in the lake and check out the floating bridge that links the tourist village with the beach. Veli Tourist Village is located at a distance of 8 km from Thiruvananthapuram. You can simply hire a car, take a taxi, or ride in the bus to get to this serene little hamlet.
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6. Alappuzha – Go On Shikara Rides
About 4 hours from Thiruvananthapuram, Alappuzha offers some stunning views of the backwaters. Other than looking at the village life and the coconut trees, you will also see an array of birds. The double-deck boats give a 3-4 hour ride without the expense of a houseboat and costs Rs 600 per hour. Love birdwatching and shikara rides? You must indulge in this fun activity at least once on your Kerala tour.
7. Alappuzha – Watch The Snake Boat Race
Watching the colorful Snake Boat races in Alappuzha is one of the most amazing things to do in Alleppey, Kerala. Snake boat races are mostly held from July to September particularly during Onam festival. You can even rent a boat to look at the race from close-by and cheer for your favorite team as they all race by each other one by one. The closest station is Alleppey which is accessible from Ernakulam.
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8. Wayanad – Stay In A Treehouse
Number 8 on our list of things to do in Kerala is staying in a Tree House. Get closer to nature and experience the fun of staying in a Treehouse at Wayanad, Munnar, Athirapally or Thekkady. You can indulge in activities like rappelling, rock climbing, nature walks and mountain biking. The tarrifs for tree houses start from Rs 10000. Don’t miss out on this sweet opportunity to live your life-long dream of staying in a treehouse!
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9. Thekkady – Take A Spice Tour
Take a tour of the spice plantations or gardens in Munnar, Thekkady or Wayanad. Taste some authentic black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, and the exotic vanilla and explore the farms on a nature walk. Most hotels include these tours in their packages but you can visit on your own too, like Abraham’s Spice garden in Thekkady which costs only Rs 200 to enter. You can also buy spices you like at subsidized rates from the workshop located in the spice garden itself.
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10. Wayanad – Visit A Coffee Plantation
Drink your cuppa joe where it gets made. Stay at a coffee plantation resort or homestay and it would include all the activities like trekking, night safaris, campfire and plantation walks with rates starting from Rs 5000/night. Learn about the whole coffee making process from plucking the green coffee beans in the first step to finally getting that perfect brew in the last one.
11. Fort Kochi – Marvel At The Architecture
Fort Kochi is an amazing place to visit in Kerala. With the influence of Arabs, British, Dutch, Chinese, and Portuguese, Fort Kochi has a lot of eclectic architecture to gawk at. Explore the place on foot or on a bicycle including the Jewish synagogue, Indo Portuguese museum, Chinese fishing nets, Santa Cruz Basilica, and Fort Kochi Beach. You’ll be enthralled with your visit to this fort that is located right on the beach, a queer phenomenon not many beaches and forts in the world offer.
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12. Kochi – Watch Theyyam
One of the best things to do in Kerala is watching Theyyam. They are staged in various temples of North Kerala, usually in front of the village shrine. Watch this exceptional and beautiful dance form in the districts of Kannur and Kasargod or if you are lucky you can catch a performance in Kerala Museum at Kochi. Make sure you look up the dates of the events on Theyyam calendar online before you visit. Also, check the timings of the shows to make sure you don’t miss out on any performance during your trip.
13. Munnar – Try Varied Tea Flavors
This little haven is a marvelous place to visit while in Kerala. Load up some locally cultivated tea in Munnar, 3 hours from Kochi. Visit the Kannan Devan Plantation Museum to witness tea-processing and taste different teas. You can also hire a jeep from Suryanelli (25 kms from Munnar) to visit the Kolukkumalai Tea Estate and a 100-year-old factory. Jeep rates vary from Rs 1200-2000. You can try various types and flavors of tea while you’re here and carry home your favorite one from the museum’s very own shop.
14. Kumarakom – Go Bird Watching
For all the nature lovers, Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is must to be on your list of places to visit in Kerala. Spot rare migratory birds such as egret, heron, waterfowl, Siberian crane, while on a boat cruise. About 3 hours from Kochi, you can easily the destination by bus or taxis. Combine bird watching with a houseboat stay on Vembanad Lake to get the most out of the visit. November to February is the best time to visit this place as birds from various regions fly back to the Northern Hemisphere once their migration season is over, stopping at this marshy sanctum for respite.
15. Varkala Beach – Swim In The Arabian Sea
Bathe in the medicinal mineral water springs in Varkala Beach and the salty ocean water on this beautiful beach. 50 km from Trivandrum International Airport, Varkala is best visited between December and March. It’s among those very few beaches whose water has such therapeutic and healing properties.
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16. Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary – Take A Jeep Ride
For the most fascinating experience of the forest, Thekkady should be on the topmost list of places you are visiting in Kerala. About 190 km from Kochi, Thekkady is famous for its diverse forest cover, fauna, mammals and aquatic life. The Periyar jungle ride covers the views of the lovely Idukki town, Mullaperiyar Dam, the lush green vegetable farms, the sprawling vineyards and if you are lucky the endangered lion-tailed macaque. You can also combine this with an overnight camp in a tent or a treehouse. The cost for a day’s trip is Rs 1800/person. If not jeep, you can also explore the park via a ferry ride in the Periyar Lake, which is going to be just as delightful.
17. Athirapally Falls – Get Drenched
One of the many attractions in Kerala is the extraordinary, 80-feet tall, Athirapally Falls which are now called the Niagara Falls of India. 55 km from the Kochi International Airport, the waterfall is easily reachable by bus or taxis. The falls are most visited during the monsoons, from June to September when they’re flowing in full force and are an absolute marvel to look at. Just make sure you keep the surroundings neat and tidy during your visit.
18. Trivandrum – Eat Bananas
The variety of bananas found in Kerala are unparalleled in size, shape, and taste. Try the varieties from the local stores followed by their culinary counterparts including fried chips (upperi), steamed (puzhungiyathu) and fried in batter (pazhampori). In fact, Kerala’s fried banana chips are popular all over the country and make an excellent snack to have with tea or coffee.
19. Kovalam Beach – Watch The Sunset
Watch the beautiful sunset at the Kovalam beach, one of the finest beaches in Kerala. About 16 km from Thiruvananthapuram, the star attractions here are the Lighthouse Beach, Hawah Beach and the much quieter Samudra Beach. The landmark lighthouse can be visited every day between 3 PM to 5 PM. A visit to this place will tell you why it happens to be the favorite spot for all photographers!
20. Idukki – Bike Ride
The winding roads up and down the hills are a pleasure, best experienced on two wheels. From Kottayam, you can take three routes to many places in Idukki. One of the best is the route via Pala (Kottayam-Pala-Thodupuzha-Kulamavu) to see the marvelous Idukki Arach Dam. A bike ride on this route is sure to rejuvenate your senses and give you an unbeatably thrilling experience in the blissful Kerala weather.
21. Ernakulam – Take A Train Journey
If you’re wondering what to do in Kerala to experience a mix of nature and adventure, we got you the perfect answer! Take the scenic train ride on the Ernakulam-Kollam-Trivandrum route to witness the true natural beauty of the state of Kerala. You’ll be able to witness everything from the serene backwaters, pretty lakes, swaying coconut palms, to the enchanting tea gardens swishing past during your train ride.
Location: Ernakulam Town Railway Station
Ticket starting price: INR 140/-
22. Periyar Lake – Go Bamboo Rafting
The most famous forest reserve of Kerala has much more to offer than wildlife sighting and a ferry ride on the lake. The Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary offers the delightful experience of going bamboo rafting over the amber-hued Periyar Lake, which is undoubtedly one of the top things to do in Kerala, India for those looking for an offbeat experience. The ride shall take you through the sanctuary’s wilderness and give you a chance to have an up-close and personal encounter with Kerala’s flora and fauna, coupled with a little bit of hiking in the dense forest. You have a fair chance of spotting tigers and elephants at a close distance via the bamboo ride and the trek.
Location: Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary
Time duration: 3 to 4 hours
23. Varkala – Watch A Kathakali Performance
Kathakali is a traditional dance that is performed in the southern state of India. The dancers dress up in colorful costumes and portray ancient stories through postures and expressions. If you are tired with sightseeing then you can enjoy an enchanting night watching a Kathakali performance. It is believed that this dance form emanated from the rivalry between two kings.
24. Iringal Crafts Village – Admire The Local Art
Nestled on the banks of the River Chaliyar, Iringal Crafts Village is sprawled in an area of 20 acres. Craftsmen and artisans here are always happy to display their products and also sell it to tourists. You will find art created with coconut shells, banana fibre, and other local materials that can be easily found in Kerala.
25. Mananthavady – Go For A Kalaripayattu Bout
A form of martial arts, Kalaripayattu was invented in Kerala and is believed to be as old as 3000 years. The traditional form has degraded with passing years but is resurfacing in the form of fitness and dance routines. It is believed that Shaolin, the Chinese form of martial arts, was originated from Kalaripayattu. A show of the Kalaripayattu bout will take you through the history of Kerala.
26. Chingoli – Indulge Ayurveda Session
Any vacation to Kerala is incomplete without indulging in a rejuvenating Ayurvedic session as it is like gambling in Las Vegas. Kerala is full of Ayurveda resorts that offer a range of forms of natural treatment. Relive all your stress by getting a massage session in one of the resorts.
27. Kollam – Take A Canoe Ride
If you want to explore the untrodden paths of Kerala then head to Kollam that offers tourists to indulge in a canoe ride. Canoeing gives the opportunity to admire the countryside, many villages, and some scenic marvels that will leave you awestruck. Paddling your way in the emerald waters of Kerala with your partner is the best feeling ever that you might not want to miss.
28. Malappuram – Take Part In Bullock Race
Out of all the things to do in Kerala, Bullock Race comes on the top of the list as it is exhilarating for people who have never witnessed it before in their life. Every year, people from nearby districts go to Malappuram to witness the bullock race. This is a kind of fun gambling that you can opt for in Kerala.
29. Beypore – Watch Skilled Workers In Action
Situated near Calicut, Beypore is a small town in Kerala that is popular for its shipbuilding history and is believed to be around 1800 years old. You will be surprised to know that Arabia Dhows (Urus), huge ships, are made here and then transported to the Gulf. They are made so solid that for at least five decades they do not need major maintenance. Watch how skilled workers build these massive ships in Beypore by hands.
30. Vagamon – Paragliding Will Perk Up Your Adrenaline
Famous for its tranquility, Kerala is a place that offers mesmerizing views of the hills and greenery. If you want to catch a bird’s eye view of the whole state then opt for paragliding in Vagamon. Build up some courage and tick off this activity from your bucket list this year.
31. Ambukuthi Hills – Unearth The Edakkal Caves
Tucked in the Ambukuthi Hills, Edakkal Caves are a must-visit place near Wayanad. These natural caves are home to pictures and drawings from the Stone Age and some are believed to be 7000 years old. A stroll in these caves will definitely teleport you back to the ancient times.
32. Jew Street – Go For A Peaceful Saunter
Jew Street in Kochi takes you back to the colonial period when the Jewish community used to live there. Although most of the Jews went back to Israel, they left their reminiscence in food and culture in this part of Kochi. The street is a treat for book and coffee lovers as the cafes give the chance to its guests to sip on some coffee while getting lost in a book.
There are many more things to do, many more places to visit, to eat and explore a state so beautiful, but let’s leave something for your next trip to Kerala, shall we? Till then, put these all in your itinerary and get ready to have the best time of your life on your beautiful vacation in God’s Own Country!
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