8 Best Destinations in Kerala for a Magical Monsoon Experience – The Better India | Ad On Picture

With tranquil backwaters, lush hill ranges, spectacular waterfalls and beaches, Kerala is blessed with the best of nature. Known as “God’s Own Country”, the southern Indian state is undoubtedly one of the best destinations to experience nature at its best.

So if you are planning to visit Kerala during the monsoons, here are some of the best destinations to include in your itinerary.

1. Houseboats on Lake Ashtamudi

With 34 lakes, Kerala is a perfect place for those who love cruising the waters. The calm lakes are best visited during the monsoon season and offer the best viewing and experience.

Ashtamudi, the state’s second largest lake, is home to around 100 species of fish and over 60 species of birds. Here you can take a cruise on a houseboat, where you can observe scenic landscapes and coconut trees on the riverbank.

One can also enjoy delicious and authentic Kerala food with freshly caught fish served on the houseboats

Distance from Thiruvananthapuram: 80 km
Distance from Kochi: 128 km

2. Visit Varkala Cliff Beach

Varkala cliff beach | Photo Credit: Sushmitha Koneru (@sushmithachoudary on Instagram)

Kerala has a long coastline that stretches up to 589 km, so it abounds with picturesque beaches. Among these, Varkala Beach, also known as Papanasam Beach, is the only one in the state topped by a beautiful cliff.

Located on the outskirts of Thiruvananthapuram district, Varkala is one of the most desirable tourist destinations. The red stone cliff sits at an elevation of approximately 80 feet above sea level and offers stunning views of the golden sandy beach. The 2,000-year-old Janardhanaswamy Temple is near the cliff.

There are also several malls, restaurants and cafes on the cliff offering amazing food ranging from local seafood to international cuisine. The beach is clean and perfect for sun lovers. Don’t miss the sunset from the cliff either.

Apart from the beach, Varkala is also a famous place of pilgrimage with Sivagiri Mutt founded by the great religious reformer and philosopher Sree Narayana Guru located almost 5 km from the beach.

Distance from Thiruvananthapuram: 43 km
Distance from Kochi: 159 km

Photo Credit: Sushmitha Koneru (@sushmithachoudary on Instagram)

3. Wayanad Waterfalls

Located on the southern tip of the Deccan Plateau and in the north-eastern part of Kerala, Wayanad is often referred to as “Green Paradise”. Nestled in the majestic range of hills of the Western Ghats, the hill station is renowned for its magnificent natural beauty and lush greenery.

Full of wild forests, green meadows, misty hills, valleys and natural springs, Wayanad looks best during the rains, especially with beautiful waterfalls scattered across the region.

Some of the most popular include Soochipara, Meenmutty Falls, Kanthanpara, Chethalayam, Kadachikunnu, Palchuram and Thusharagiri Falls.

Distance from Kozhikode: 85 km
Distance from Kochi: 259 km

4. Lush Backwaters of Alleppey

Also known as the “Venice of the East”, Alleppey is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Kerala. With lush green landscapes, pristine rivers and beautiful freshwater lakes, it is indeed the epitome of natural beauty.

When it comes to Alleppey, the region’s calm backwaters steal the show. These are perfect for nature lovers, photographers and nature lovers or just those looking for a quiet retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Opt for a houseboat if you come here during the monsoon season and enjoy the lush coconut groves, golden paddy fields, Chinese fishing nets and small villages that line the banks of the backwaters. One can also witness and experience village life, visit local shops and enjoy local food.

Distance from Thiruvananthapuram: 148 km
Distance from Kochi: 53 km

5. Thekkady Tree Houses

Vanya tree house in Thekkady, Kerala.
Vanya tree house in Thekkady, Kerala.

Thekkady hill station is located at an altitude of 700 m above sea level in the Idukki district of Kerala. Nestled in the green lush forests of Western Ghats, it is a perfect destination for people who love nature, wildlife and adventure.

Important highlights here are the Periyar National Park and the Wildlife Sanctuary. A cruise through Periyar Lake not only allows one to experience the scenic beauty of the region, but also to see rare wildlife along the lake’s shores.

More than 60 species of animals such as Asian elephant, tiger, Indian bison, sambar deer, Indian wild dog, leopard etc. can be spotted. Over 200 bird species including the Malabar gray hornbill, Indian hornbill and white-bellied treepie are found in the national reserve.

It is therefore popular for tree houses. Stay in one like the Vanya Tree House to see numerous wild animals in their natural habitat.

Distance from Thiruvananthapuram: 202 km
Distance from Kochi: 155 km

6. Chai amidst the clouds at Munnar

Munnar is a heavenly hill station loved by tourists for its hiking trails, vast tea gardens, virgin forests, rolling hills, waterfalls and lush natural beauty. The region looks extremely beautiful during the monsoon as the rain enhances the greenery that envelops the entire region.

Once a British government summer resort, the hill station is also known for Neelakurinji, a rare plant that only blooms once every twelve years. Echo Point, Attukad Falls, Tata Tea Museum, Eravikulam National Park, Mattupetty Dam etc are some of the highlights in and around Munnar.

The sprawling and lush tea plantations are a must-see, where travelers can enjoy a steaming cup of tea while admiring the misty skies above and green paradise below.

Distance from Thiruvananthapuram: 277 km
Distance from Kochi: 131 km

7th Snake Boat Race in Champakulam

boat race, vallamkali, have always been part of the Kerala tradition. Held in different parts of the state each year, these events are great and all about celebrating teamwork.

The snake boat race is one of the most popular races and involves a traditional style long canoe measuring up to 100m long known as the chundan vallam.

Meanwhile, the Champakulam Boat Race, held in the Pamba River, marks the start of the boat racing season every year. The rowers sing vanchipattu, or boat songs as they row the decorated boats. It’s a spectacular experience watching the boats race to their destination and the cheering crowd on the shore.

Some other popular boat races in Kerala are Nehru Trophy Boat Race, Aranmula Boat Race, Payipad Boat Race, Thazhathangadi Boat Race, President’s Trophy Boat Race and Uthradam Thirunal Pamba Boat Race.

Distance from Thiruvananthapuram: 140 km
Distance from Kochi: 68 km

8. Malabar River Festival in Kozhikode

Malabar River Festival
Malabar River Festival | Photo credit: Mahesh (@soulandfuel on Instagram)

Organized by the Kerala Adventure Tourism Promotion Society, District Tourism Promotion Council and the Grama Panchayats of Kodenchery and Thiruvambady, the Malabar River Festival hosts the International Kayaking Competition.

The festival has been canceled for the past two years due to pandemic-related restrictions. But this year the eighth edition of the festival is scheduled to resume from August 12th to 14th. Kayakers from 20 different countries are expected to row in the waters of Iruvazhinji puzha and Chalipuzha near Kozhikode.

Those not taking part in the competition can also witness the adventurous event from the scenic location near the beautiful Thusharagiri Waterfalls.

Distance from Thiruvananthapuram: 414 km
Distance from Kochi: 221 km

Photo credit: Mahesh (@soulandfuel on Instagram)

Edited by Divya Sethu

Sources:
Thekkady Tourism published by India.com Munnar – Kerala Tourism’s dream destination.
Alleppey Backwaters by ekeralatourism.
Champakulam Moolam Boat Race 2022: Date, Time, History and Significant of Traditional Boat Race in Kerala published in News18 on July 12, 2022.
Champakkulam Boat Race by Kerala Tourism.
Kerala Hosts International Kayaking Competition – Malabar River Festival published by Outlook India on 27th June 2022.

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