Alappuzha Beach

Alappuzha_beach

Alappuzha Beach is a beach in Alappuzha town and a tourist attraction in KeralaIndia. Beach has an old pier which extend to sea is over 150 years old. Known as the Venice of the East, Alappuzha has always basked a major place in the maritime history of Kerala. Alappuzha (Alleppey) is a landmark between a network of rivers flowing into it and the Arabian Sea. Alleppey Beach is located on the coastal side of Alleppey. Alleppey beach stands 5th best beach after Kovalam, Varkala, Cherai and Marari beaches in Kerala. One can enjoy the mesmerizing views of sunrise and sunset. With its fine white sand and freshwater lakes and few buildings in its vicinity, a beach is a perfect place for pleasurable beach holidays.

Alappuzha_Beach It has secured a unique spot for itself in the maritime history of Kerala. The rice bowl of Kerala in the Kuttanad region also comes within the Alappuzha District. Another name for the Alappuzha Beach is Alleppey Beach. One of the must-do things in Alleppey is to board one of the many magnificent houseboats and go on a cruise of utter pleasure and romance. One can try adventurous activities at the beach like boating, or enjoy at children’s park with toy bicycles or trains. Hallowed with nature’s green beauty and scenery, Alappuzha is a wonderland of Kerala state. Alleppey beach consists of a long stretch of stores densely populated with the swaying palm groves. The shores, the sea, and the surrounding landscape offer a fascination to the beach, not to be found elsewhere.

Nearby Attraction:

Karumadikkuttan:

Karumadikkuttan_at_karumadi,_Alappuzha Karumadikkuttan is the name of a granite statue of lord Buddha located in Karumadi near Alleppey.  The Statue is, unfortunately, missing its entire left half but has now been conserved by the Kerala State Government. It’s actually a huge, black granite statue of Lord Buddha dating back to 10th century AD. The statue was recovered by the Archeological Society of India and is now kept in a protected enclosure near the Karumadi Canal. It is believed that the statue has some powers of severe healing and it is really sought after by the locals there is Karumadi. 

Marari Beach: 

Marari_Beach_Sunset_01 The stunning Marari Beach is located about 11 kilometers from Alleppey in the quaint, little town of Maraikulam. Marari Beach is a perfect location for holidaying with family or friends. This beach in Kerala is eternal with coconut palm trees and golden sands are famous for its Ayurvedic centers and stylish beach resorts. Watching sunrise and sunset here is quite a romantic experience that couples would love to enjoy. It is just the perfect place for spending quality time with family or to enjoy the honeymoon with your partner.

Backwaters of Kuttanad:

Kuttanad_landscapes-WikiJalayatra-ViswaPrabha-08 Known as the rice bowl of Kerala, Kuttanad is the only area where farming is done below sea level. It’s known far and wide for its huge spreads of green paddy fields against the backdrop of placid backwaters. The region is surrounded by the sea and the hills and offers a beautiful scenic vista to its guests. The entire length of Kuttanad is 150 km which covers a distance from Kollam to Kochi. You can enjoy this water body with the help of rice barges or houseboats. Inland waterways which flow above land level are an amazing feature of this region. Here, farming is done below the sea level, usually 4 to 10 feet, which is interesting for travelers who seek to learn more about Kerala’s tourism.

Krishnapuram Palace:

Krishnapuram_palace2 The 18th century Krishnapuram Palace built during the reign of the Travancore monarch, Marthanda Varma, is a double storied structure which displays typical characteristics of Kerala architecture-gabled roofs, dormer windows, narrow corridors. Inside this palace, you’ll find a museum of paintings, bronzes, and antique carvings. The palace is a major tourist attraction and also contains a small museum maintained by the Archeological department of Kerala.  This palace is an archeological museum whose best attraction is a 49 square meter single mural painting which is titled as Gajendra Moksham which means the salvation of elephant king.

Best Time To Visit:

November to February winter is the best season to visit Alleppey as the weather is mild and pleasant. The average temperature during this time is between 17 degrees to 32 degrees Celsius with minimal fluctuations.

How To Reach:

By Air: The nearest airport is Kochi International Airport (78 km), which is well connected to all major cities of India.

By Rail: Alleppey is connected to the major cities of Kerala like Cochin, Kottayam, Changanassery, and Chengannur. 

By Road: Kerala State Run Transport Corporation (KSRTC ) buses connect Alleppey to most major cities in Kerala. Tourists can reach Alappuzha by bus or local transportation.

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Varkala Beach

Varkala_beach_Kerala

Varkala Beach, also known as Papanasham Beach is a beach in Varkala, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India, along with the Arabian Sea, part of the Indian Ocean. Popular for its natural fisheries and springs, and the samadhi of Kerala’s saint Sree Narayana Guru, Varkala is a coastal town with pristine beaches, hills, lakes, forts, lighthouses, altogether making it a subtle bit of paradise in Kerala. 

Varkala_Beach_Paragliding Varkala beach is the only place in southern Kerala where cliffs are found adjacent to the Arabian Sea. Counted as one of the top ten seasonal beaches in the world by discovery channel, this beach has a stunning beauty of landscapes, brown sand, and sea.  These tertiary sedimentary formation cliffs are a unique geological feature on the otherwise flat Kerala coast are known among geologists as Varkala Formation and a geological monument as declared by the Geological Survey of India. It’s a perfect spot to relax with a laidback atmosphere. Popular for beach activities like swimming and sunbathing, this beach offers a striking sunset view. It can simply take your breath away with its long winding stretch of a cliff that expands over the Arabian Sea.

Varkala-beach-sunset Varkala Beach is also called Papanasam beach as it is believed that taking bath here wash away all sins. It is the ideal tourist spot surrounded by the greenery, beautiful meadows, deep puzzling valleys, and dales. The enchanting hill station dotted with tea gardens will soon be one of India’s foremost eco-tourism projects. It is considered to have medicinal and curative properties. A dip in the holy waters at this beach is believed to purge the body of impurities and the soul of all sins; hence the name ‘Papanasam beach’. Welcome to a land which would make you come back again and again.

Varkala beach offers many beach activities like sightseeing, sunbathing, windsurfing, parasailing, and soaking in the beauty of this calm beach resort. Varkala beach offers many beach activities like sightseeing, sunbathing, windsurfing, parasailing, and soaking in the beauty of this calm beach resort. Varkala has a lot of architecture too, to attract tourists such as the Janardhana Swamy Temple, Anjengo Fort, Vishnu temple and Sivagiri Mutt. 

Tourist Attraction:

Janardhana Swami Temple:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA This 2000-year old divine abode is one of the oldest temples in Kerala, situated just two kilometers away from Varkala railway station and a famous tourist spot. Its spectacular architecture attracts travelers from all over the world. It is so popular as it is the only shrine dedicated to Vishnu in the name of Janardhana in this part of the country, with the temples usually being dedicated to Krishna. There is an old banyan tree on the temple ground along with idols of Gods and Goddesses. Non-Hindus are not permitted to enter the inner sanctum but can hang around the temple. Janardhana Swamy temple is also famous for the festival known as “Arattu” which falls in the month of March or April.

Sivagiri Mutt:

Sivagiri Sivagiri Mutt is the headquarters of one of Kerala’s most important guru Shri Narayana Dharma.  Built on the top of Sivagiri Hill near Varkala, this ashram is only three kilometers away from Janardana Swami temple, well within walking distance. The Samadhi (the final resting place) of the Guru here attracts thousands of devotees every year during the Sivagiri Pilgrimage days – 30th December to 1st January.

Anjengo (Anchuthengu Fort)  Fort:

Anjango, Kerala, India Anjengo Fort also known as Anchuthengu Fort and the lighthouse are certainly worth a visit. Apart from the nature-lovers and the devout, the locality of Varkala has something to offer even to those fascinated with local history. Apart from the nature-lovers and the devout, the locality of Varkala has something to offer even to those fascinated with local history. Anjengo Fort is a National Heritage monument tagged with foreign connection-Dutch and Portugese; the fort shelters quite an old cemetary and burials inside.  The fort served an important purpose during the Anglo-Mysore war.  With its walls and ramparts still holding against the mighty Time, one can experience the magnetic pull of Kerala’s not so ancient history while taking a stroll across the expanse of this fort. 

Ponnumthuruthu island:

Varkala_beach_-_cliff_view Ponnumthuruthu, also known as Golden Island is located 20 km from Varkala. This island in the middle of a backwater lake is home to the Shiva-Parvati Hindu temple. According to legends, the Queens of Travancore Royal family used to hide their gold on the island to keep it safe, and hence the name. It’s also a major heritage center that has so many historical values. From the cliff, you can view the fresh water spring at the beach. Taking bath over here is very important as it is believed that it will clean away all your sins. 

Best Time To Visit:

Winter is the best time to travel to Varkala, From September to April. As Varkala is located to the south of Kerala it experiences a hot and humid climate most of the year while winters are pleasant and comparatively cooler. 

How To Reach:

By Air: The nearest airport is the Thiruvananthapuram Airport (50 km), Which is well connected to all major city of the India.

By Rail: Varkala has its own railway station and is well connected with major cities in South India and New Delhi.  

By Road: Buses are available from both Kochi and Trivandrum. KSRTC buses are frequent and the can be boarded from the respective main bus stands.

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Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary

Photos_from_Parambikulam_Tiger_Reserve_and_its_Pooppara_section_during_the_Butterfly_Survey_2016_(38)

Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the most scenic places in the Western Ghats and a biodiversity hotspot is a 391 square kilometers (151.0 sq mi) protected area in Chittur taluk in Palakkad district of Kerala state, South India. It is one of the biodiversity hotspots in the world supports diverse habitat types and endemism. The wildlife sanctuary, which had an area of 285 square kilometers (110 sq mi) was established in 1973. Previously it was known as Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary and it became the 38th Tiger Reserve and second of Kerala in 2010 February 19. This sanctuary is under the consideration of UNESCO to be declared as the World Heritage Site.

Tented_Niche_Accommodation_at_Parambikulam_Tiger_Reserve Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary is in the Sungam range of hills between the Anaimalai Hills and Nelliampathy Hills, is the home of four different tribes of indigenous peoples including the Kadar, Malasar, Muduvar and Mala Malasar settled in six colonies. The thick, opulent habitat of the sanctuary with ample water supplies make it an abode for wildlife and thereby for tourist who can have treasured memories of animal sightings and that of being in the lap of mother nature. Parambikulam Tiger Reserve is the most protected ecological piece of Annamalai subunit of Western Ghats, surrounded on all sides by protected areas and sanctuaries of Kerala and Tamil Nadu, the sanctuary is endowed with a peninsular flora and fauna which are excellently conserved due to a total protection and minimal human interferences. 

Geography :

The sanctuary is located between Longitude:76° 35’- 76° 50’ E, and Latitude:10° 20’ – 10° 26’ N. It is 135 kilometers (84 mi) from Palakkad town and adjacent to the Annamalai Wildlife Sanctuary to the east in Tamil Nadu. Much of the sanctuary is part of Anamalai hills with peaks up to 1,438m (Karimala Gopuram) in the southern boundary of the sanctuary, 1,120m (Vengoli malai) in the eastern boundary, 1,010m (Puliyarapadam) in the west and 1,290m (Pandaravarai peak) in the north.  The sanctuary has three man-made reservoirs; Parambikulam, Thunacadavu (Thunakkadavu) and Peruvaripallam, with a combined area of 20.66 km. The Thuvaiar water falls empty into one of the reservoirs. There are 7 major valleys and 3 major rivers, the Parambikulam, the Sholayar and the Thekkedy. The Karappara river and Kuriarkutty river also drain the area.

Flora and Fauna: 

images Morning_at_Parambikulam_Tiger_Reserve ctuaries are home to 32-36 tigers. About 39 species of mammals, 16 species of amphibians, 61 species of reptiles, 47 species of fish, over 1000 species of insects and 124 species of butterflies have been reported from the region. The presence of 250 species of birds offers fantastic bird watching opportunities. It is also home to 39 species of mammals, 16 species of amphibians, 268 species of birds, 61 species of reptiles, 47 species of fishes, 1049 species of insects and 124 species of butterflies making it the perfect destination for wildlife and nature enthusiasts.

The sanctuary has a variety of trees mainly teak, neem, sandalwood, and rosewood. Even the oldest ever teak tree, Kannimara Teak exists here. It is about 450 years old and has a girth of 6.8 meters (22 ft) and a height of 49.5 meters (162 ft). It won the Mahavriksha Puraskar given by the Indian Government.

Climate : 

The challenging hill ranges here are placed at an altitude of 300 to 1438 m above sea level and the place offers a good climate with temperatures ranging from 15 degree Celsius to 32 degree Celsius. The Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary gets the monsoon rains.  The average annual rainfall is 1600 mm. The place receives rainfall in the months of January, February, March and April. From November to April is a most preferred time for visiting this place.

How To Reach:

By Air: The nearest Airport is Coimbatore international airport (110km), which is well connected to all major city of India.

By Rail: The nearest railway station is Coimbatore railway station (96 km),  which is well connected to all major city of India.

By Road: The nearest town is Pollachi (47 km), Two daily buses connect the tiger reserve to Pollachi.

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Ponmudi

Ponmudi_Hills_Trivandrum

Ponmudi is one of the popular hill stations of Kerala located at a distance of 57 Km from Thiruvananthapuram, the capital city of Kerala. It is a part of the Western Ghats mountain range that runs parallel to the Arabian Sea. Along with a beautiful array of mountain flowers, exotic butterflies and small rivulets, Ponmudi offers excellent opportunities for trekking, filled with tea-plantations, lush green hills and valleys, waterfalls and streams, this quaint little town draws connoisseurs of mountain life. it is one of the highest hill stations in Thiruvananthapuram. Ponmudi is connected to Thiruvananthapuram by a narrow winding road which offers a scenic view all along the way. 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Ponmudi is situated 1100 meters above sea level. The first thing that travellers to Ponmudi notice is the thick tropical forests that carpets the foot of the hill range. No doubt, the salubrious atmosphere and the twisted trails across clear streams must have contributed to her health. The region is also dominated by spice as well as tea plantations and is dotted with waterfalls plus view points. There are 22 hairpin turns along this short route which makes the travel a definitely thrilling experience. Other attractions near Ponmudi include Golden Valley and a number of rivulets and rapids, some even across the road. The lush forest area has tropical vegetation. A variety of wildlife inhabit the hills. The Golden Valley offers vistas of the hills and access to the Kallar River. Flowing though a wilderness area, it has rounded pebbles, cool water, fish, and lush green trees. Ponmudi was founded by Rishi Parshuram, a prominent Indian mythological figure. Though a quaint place, it has a turbulent history. This land has been ruled by the Ays, Venads and Varmas, and was invaded by the Cholas and Mughals.

Ponmudi_ktdc The climate is invigorating and remains pleasant throughout, and the place serves as a base for trekking and hiking for adventure enthusiasts. The tea-gardens here are also famous. rk and wood and stone cottages coloured in bright hues while visiting here.Located about 1.5 km from the hill station, is the Ponmudi Falls. Around 3 km from the Ponmudi Resort, is the popular Deer Park. Ponmudi tourism picks up during August and September when the Aaranmula Temple Festival and Aaranmula Boat Race are held. This hill station is also the gateway to Varkala, an important pilgrimage site where the 2000-year-old Janardanswamy Temple is located.  For those who prefer casual strolls instead of trekking, Ponmudi would leave them impressed. A walk through the tea gardens is a feast for the eye and the senses.

Morning_at_Ponmudi Ponmudi is primarily divided into the Upper and the Lower Sanatorium. Kerala government has started an ecotourism project in the Upper Sanatorium area to promote tourism. This beautiful hill station offers a pleasing view and it has natural springs that help in keeping the valley lush green. The view down the valley from the cottages and resorts up the hill is breathtaking and it feels as though time has left this place untouched. The hill station is an important point of contact with the river Kallar. The river is known for its crystal clear water, fishes and lush trees surrounding it. Another main attraction in the region is Agasthyarkoodam, one of the highest peaks in the Western Ghats, with the highest peak at 1868 m. This peak is famous for its wilderness, and can be accessed only with the Forest Department’s permission.

Since Ponmudi experiences tropical weather usually, it remains pleasant almost throughout the year. As the temperature is mild tourists flock to this place during summer. It is a difficult time to visit during the rainy season as it experiences heavy rainfall. Visiting the place during the winter season is also advisable. Winter season lasts from the months of November to February. Anyway the period from March to May is the peak season.

How To Reach :

By Air : The nearest airport is the Trivandrum(67 km) International Airport. Which is well connected to all major city of India.

By Rail : The nearest Railway Station is Thiruvananthapuram (61 km). This station is connection with the important cities of the country through regular trains.

By Road : Ponmudi hill station is well connected to Thiruvananthapuram and Kerala by a wide network of roads. Buses ply from the main bus stand in Trivandrum and Nedumangad at periodic intervals.

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Periyar National Park

Periyar_National_Park_-_Ramprasad_T

Periyar Tiger Reserve, Thekkady, is an example of nature’s bounty with great scenic charm, rich bio diversity and providing veritable visitor satisfaction. Sprawled over an area of 925 km2. In this astounding location of Kerala, the Periyar National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary is considered as the most protected area for the elephants and the tigers. One of the most renowned national parks in South India, the Periyar National Park is set high at the Western Ghat ranges. is one of the 27 tiger reserves in India. Zealously guarded and efficiently managed reserve is a repository of rare, endemic and endangered flora and fauna and forms the major watershed of two important rivers of Kerala, the Periyar and Pamba. Formed with the building of a dam in 1895, this reservoir meanders around the contours of the wooded hills, providing a permanent source of water for the local wildlife. Though its a Tiger Reserve, tourists come here to view the Indian elephants in the act of ablution and playfulness by the Periyar lake. Apart from Elephants, the other animals to be seen in the Periyar sanctuary are Gaur, Wild Pigs, Sambar deer, Barking Deer, Mouse Deer, Dole or Indian Wild Dog and very rarely, a Tiger.

The Periyar Wild Life Sanctuary was declared a Tiger Reserve in 1978. This sanctuary offers the unique opportunity to watch and photograph wild elephants from close quarters. This lake is created with the construction of a dam in 1895. This lake strolls around the forested hills. For the local wildlife it is a lasting source of water. Though it is known across the region as a Tiger Reserve but visitors arrive here to see the playfulness of the Indian elephants while taking bath in the Periyar Lake.

Climate :

Periyar_Tiger_Reserve,_Periyar_Lake,_Kerala The temperature varies depending upon the altitude and it ranges between 15 °Celsius in December and January and 31 °Celsius in April and May. During the monsoon (July-August), it ranges from 19°C to 21°C. Annual precipitation is between 2000 and 3000 mm, about two thirds occurring during the southwest monsoon between June to September. The best season to visit Periyar wildlife sanctuary is from the months of October and June, Elephants in search of water come out during summer months of March to June and hence, for best wildlife viewing.

Flora :

Periyar_Tiger_Reserve The park is made up of tropical evergreen and moist deciduous forests, grasslands, stands of eucalyptus, and lake and river ecosystems. The research followed 49 species of mammals, 246 species of birds, 28 species of reptiles, 8 species of amphibians, 22 species of fishes and 112 species of butterflies. In the central part of the park, Moist-deciduous forests and Woody grasslands abound. The floral attractions of the park are approximately 2000 species, The tall trees of the forest rise upto a height of 130 to 140 feet! Primates of Four species can be obtained in this park such as Common Langur, lion-tailed macaque, the Nilgiri Langur and Bonnet Macaque. The medicinal gloriosa lily grows in the park. The endemic flora includes Habenaria periyarensis and Syzygium periyarensis.

Fauna :

Periyar_National_Park_-India-8 Set amidst Cardamom and Pandalam hills of western ghats in Kerala, Periyar National Park is home to some of the most exotic fauna in the world. There are 35 species of mammals recorded in the park, including many threatened species. It is an important tiger and elephant reserve. The most ferocious of these, undoubtedly is the Tiger. Many tourists visit Periyar just in order to get a glimpse of the Tiger that according to estimates number between 35 and 50. It is valuable for Indian elephant and also for a few of white tigers found here. Other mammals include the gaur, sambar, wild pig, Indian giant squirrel, Travancore flying squirrel, jungle cat, sloth bear, Nilgiri tahr, lion-tailed macaque, Nilgiri langur, Salim Ali’s fruit bat, stripe-necked mongoose, and Nilgiri marten. About 266 species of birds can be seen in the park, including Nilgiri wood pigeon, Blue-winged parakeet, Crimson-backed sunbird, Brahminy kite, white-bellied blue catcher, Malabar grey hornbill, Sri Lanka frogmouth, Rufous-bellied hawk eagle, Black baza and Spot-bellied eagle owl. A four-day survey was conducted on December 1–4, 2016, organised under the aegis of the Periyar Tiger Reserve (PTR) and found the presence of 13 new bird and 16 butterfly species that were undetected earlier. are about 40 species of fish in the local lakes and rivers include the Periyar latia, Periyar barb, Periyar trout, Channa barb and Travancore loach.

How To Reach :

By Air : Kochi (Cochin)(200-kms)  or Madurai(140-kms) in Tamil Nadu is the nearest airports from Periyar.

By Train : Kottayam is the nearest railway station from Periyar National Park which is only 114 Kms. away. Other nearest railway stations are Changanassery (120 Kms.), Madurai: (135 Kms.) and Ernakulam (190 Kms ) etc.

By Road : Periyar National Park is well connected to Major Cities and Places by road network. There are a number of government and privately operated vehicles that go to Periyar National Park at frequent intervals.

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Kozhikode

Kozhikode_City_Skyline_-_Planetorium_seen_at_a_distance

Kozhikode is a coastal city in the south Indian state of Kerala. Kozhikode, also known as Calicut, is a city in the state of Kerala in southern India on the Malabar Coast. Kozhikode, the most important region of Malabar in yesteryears, was the capital of the powerful Zamorins and once a renowned commercial center. Today Kozhikode is one of the best cities in Kerala. It was trading in spices like black pepper and cardamom with the Jews, Arabs, Phoenicians and the Chinese for centuries, and with the Dutch and Portuguese more than 500 years ago. With its long serene coastline, picturesque mountains, gorgeous waterfalls and lively forests, wild life sanctuaries and historical sites, Kozhikode unveils a visual treat to any visitor.

Kozhikode is the largest urban area in the state and 195th largest urban area in the world. The greater Calicut urban area in the Malabar coast is the part of the ninth biggest urban area in the world and the second biggest in India after the greater Kolkata urban area, which constitute of the northern Kerala region or the Malabar coast. 

History :

Braun_Calicut_Kozhikode_HAAB Kozhikode has a long and illustrious history—one of resplendent trade, poignant invasions and liberation struggles. Arab merchants traded with the region as early as 7th century, and Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama dropped anchor at Kozhikode on 20 May 1498, thus opening a trade route between Europe and Malabar, and the ruler of this area was called as the Zamorin.Today, lush green countryside’s, serene beaches, historic sites,wildlife sanctuaries, rivers, hills, a unique culture and a warm, friendly ambiance make Kozhikode a popular destination. Zamorin or Samoothri is a hereditary royal title used by the Eradi rulers of the medieval kingdom of Kozhikode. The Eradi headquarters was situated at Nediyiruppu, but they wanted a connection to the sea and so began their war against the King of Porlatiri that lasted 48 long yearsIt was dubbed the “City of Spices” for its role as the major trading point of eastern spices during the Middle ages and probably as early as Classical antiquity. Kozhikode was once the capital of an independent kingdom by the same name and later of the erstwhile Malabar District.

While the city has been known in history under different names, Malayalam speaking communities have traditionally called it Kozhikode. Arab merchants called it Qāliqūṭ. Tamils called it Kallikkottai while for the Chinese it was Kalifo. Although the city’s official name is Kozhikode, in English it is sometimes known by its anglicised version, Calicut.  Trade with several kingdoms of Asia, Africa and the middle- east made Kozhikode a popular trading centre. On 7 June 2012, Kozhikode was given the tag of “City of Sculptures”(Shilpa Nagaram) because of the various architectural sculptures located in various parts of the city.

Climate :

The district has a humid climate with a very hot season extending from March to May. A brief spell of pre-monsoon Mango showers hits the city sometime during April. However, the primary source of rain is the South-west monsoon that sets in the first week of June and continues until September. The average rainfall is about 326 mm.  The weather is milder from December and January until March when the skies are clear and the air is crisp. 

Tourist Attraction :

Kozhikode Beach :

Calicutbeach_choosetocount The beach is the most popular retreat for locals. In spite of beautification works and lax coastal management, it remains unexploited and visually pleasing. Two crumbling piers, more than a hundred years old, stand out into sea at the beach. Kozhikode beach also has a marine life aquarium that remains open the whole day. where the Portuguese explorer Vasco Da Gama landed on 20 May 1498. The beach also houses a lighthouse, Marine Water Aquarium and Lions Park. The beach is a perfect setting for tourists wanting to enjoy the sunrise or sunset. This place has played an important role as one of the most important trading ports in Indian history. The beach has paved stones and illumination. There is one Lions Park for the children and an acquarium. Kozhikode beach has always been a prominent place for conducting public meetings. The beach road was renamed ‘Gandhi Road’ in 1934 after Gandhi visited Calicut in 1934. 

At dawn, a walk along Dolphin’s Point will reward you with a sight of playful dolphins. Adding to its natural beauty is the old world charm retained by the old lighthouse and the two crumbling piers that run into the sea, each more than a hundred years old.  There is also a Lions Park and the Marine Water Aquarium. Other attractions are CVN Kalari Centre, Tali Temple, Mananchira Square etc. 

Kappad Beach :

Kappad_beach_kerala Beach is one of the most historical places of significance. Kappad Beach is very famous because of the fact that the great world explorer Vasco Da Gama first set foot on the Kappad Beach on his world famous journey is located 16 km to the north of Kozhikode along the Kannur road at Tiruvangoor. The beach is lined by swaying coconut trees and silver-colored sand glistens on the beach.One of the most popular beached in Calicut, it is also known as Kappakadavu beach. The beach is quite famed for its serene surrounding and abundant natural beauty. This was the start of economic relationship between Europeans and this part of India now called Kerala. Quench your thirst with the nature-flavored tender coconut water which is healthful. Tourists can reach Kappad by availing the backwaters that offers an enjoyable experience. They can reach the beach by taking a ride down the backwaters through the River Korappuzha. One of the prime attractions near the Kappad beach is an 800-yr old temple. In the vicinity, there are breathtaking backwaters, fishing hamlets and verdant scenery. People board ships to reach Lakshadweep from Beypore; there are cargoships also sailing from Beypore. Visit to the Kappad beach is one of the best things to in Calicut.

Beypore Beach :

Beypore_Beach,_Kozhikode,_Kerala At a distance of 10 Kms from Kozhikode Railway Station, Beypore Beach is located at the mouth of the Chaliyar River. Previously, it was known as ‘Sultan Pattanam’ during the reign of Tipu Sultan and as ‘Vaypura’ by the locals. Beypore Beach is famous for its Ship building yard more than 1500 years old. During the trading days of Arabs and Chinese, and later the Europeans, this was one of the most important fishing harbours. This village was also popular as a centre for shipbuilding, meeting the demands of the merchants from Western Asia and mainly constructed traditional ships like the Uru or Arabian trading vessel. Beypore had a beautiful beach and walkway that extends deep into the sea. A visit to this beach, away from the hustle-bustle of city life, is pretty refreshing. 

Backwaters :

backwaters_(2068040007) Kozhikode,alsoknown as Calicut is a small little town on the Malabar coast. As with most of Kerala, this place is also known for its backwaters. The Elathur canal & the Kallai river are popular spots for boating.The most exciting feature while on the backwaters however is of course the Kettuvallom. Among all the other backwaters in Kerala, Kozhikode one is perhaps the most laid back one. Simple lifestyle of the people of Calicut will win your heart over.  One can also go for a houseboat trip on the Valiyaparamba Backwaters. Bekal Boat stay organizes a range of cruises for tourists.  The backwaters in Kozhikode are very simple and beautiful and it definitely deserves a visit. It is easily one of the prime attractions of Kerala.

Thusharagiri Waterfall : 

Thusharagiri_waterfall Thusharagiri Fall cascades down as three waterfalls. For those who are lovers of Nature , a visit to Thusharagiri Waterfalls about 50 km away is gainful. The massive Thusharagiri Falls splash dense white waters because of which it gets its name meaning ‘a snow-capped mountain.’ It is a set of 5 beautiful cascades located in the hills of Western Ghats, the lower three are open for tourists. This is because the top two waterfalls are considered inaccessible.  Far from the mad crowd this  waterfall springs from the high hills among the green forests. It is a rich producer of rubber, various spices, areca nut, and various herbs. Of the five waterfalls here.

Tali Temple : 

Tali_Subramanya_Temple,_Chalappuram,_Kozhikode Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the Tali Temple is one of the oldest temples in the region. The Tali Siva temple was one of the two Brahmanical royal temples patronized by the Zamorin (the other being the Valayanaattu Kavu) and to this day remains one of the most important spiritual and cultural centres in Kozhikode. The temple is built using a combination of laterite and wood, which is a remarkable feature of the Kerala style of architecture. The wall of the sanctum sanctorum is adorned with intricate brass-relief which is quite fascinating. The sanctum contains the image of the momentous event of the Mahabharata battle. Everyday, five different religious ceremonies are performed in the Tali Temple. The temple organizes a seven day festival that centres on the religious icons of the temple.  The temple is well known for the ‘Revathi Pattathanam’, an annual competition of pedagogic skills. The annual festival is celebrated for 8 days in the month of April / May.

Mananchira Square : 

MananchiraSquare Mananchira Square is the palace tank of King Vikrama, one of the great rulers in the region. This forms the heart of the city. The name comes from the large pool of clear water bound by laterite stone steps built by Manavedan Raja  one of the earlier Zamorins. Its traditional architectural design is a sample of ancient splendor because of which it works as a great allure for visitors. Mananchira Square is surrounded by a manmade freshwater lake, which is fed by a natural spring and supplies water to the region till today. This historic place, adjacent to Manachira has been converted as a park with beautiful plants, artificial hill, shrubs, sculpture, an open-air theatre and a musical fountain. The entire complex is circled by 250 lamp posts designed in ‘colonial’ style. It was primarily the main courtyard of the Zamorin Rulers palace but presently, it has been converted into a beautiful park. The site gives an amazing view after dawn under the bright light of these 250 lamps.

Pazhassiraja Museum :

Pazhassi_Raja_Museum The Pazhassiraja Museum is situated in East Hill, at a distance of 5 km from the Kozhikhode town, has been named after the great Pazhassiraja Kerala Varma of the Padinjare Kovilakom of the Kottayam Royal Family. This museum displays old coins, mural paintings and monuments. Art Gallery has some excellent paintings, some by Raja Ravi Varma the old master painter. Managed by the Kerala State Archaeology Department, the museum as well as the art gallery, exhibits collection from the megalithic age and the Indus Valley Civilization. The museum is famous for its various archaeological remains such as antique bronzes, ancient paintings and the historical umbrella stones etc. The art gallery is located in the vicinity of the museum and exhibits a number of paintings of Kerala’s respected artists, including the Raja Ravi Varma, and Raja Varma, who were the connoisseurs of paintings and other performing arts.

How to Reach :

Kozhikode is also known as Calicut International Airport and is well connected to other major cities of the country via regular flights.  Trains and buses also available from all major city of indea.

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Bekal Fort

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Bekal Fort  is the largest fort in Kerala, situated at Bekal village in Kasaragod districtNorth Kerala and it is 67 km from Mangalore spreading over 40 acres. The 300-year-old Bekal Fort, shaped like a giant key-hole, is one of the largest and best-preserved forts in Kerala. An important features of this fort is the water-tank with its flight of steps. The fort has a tunnel opening towards the south and a magazine for keeping ammunition with broad steps leading to the Observation Tower. Bekal fort beach is among the rare world beaches which are enjoyable even after the dusk as electrically illuminated beach offers a photogenic view of paradise on the earth. 

Bekal is a perfect tourist spot, popular for its scenic beauty and this grabs the attention of visitors from different places. It’s a fascinating place to visit during the vacation as you can take the pleasure of nature and rejuvenate yourself. A set of 45 caves known as the Nityanandashram caves, forts, temples, mosques, the aqua park, etc., are its major attractions. The fort is a keyhole shaped lofty structure that stands still against the rocky shores of sea amusing its visitors with its finesse. The whole purpose of erecting this structure by Shivappa Nayaka of Bednore in year 1650 was purely of defense. The holes on the outer walls of the fort are specially designed to defend the fort effectively. The holes at top were meant for aiming at the farthest points; the holes below for striking when the enemy was nearer and the holes underneath facilitated attacking when the enemy was very near to the fort. This is remarkable evidence of technology in defense strategy. 

Bekal_Fort_Beach Considered to be built by Sivappa Nayaka in 1650, Bekal Fort has other version of its origin according to which the fort was in existence during the Kolathiri Rajas after the decline of Kolathiri and Vijayanagara Empire. Later it came under the rule of Ikkeri, Nayakas, who rebuilt the fort. The fort fell in to the hands of Hyder Ali in year 1763, also serving as an important military station of Tipu Sultan later when he had the great military expedition to capture Malabar. It was in 1799 that the Mysorean control came to an end and subsequently the fort came under the English East India

In 1992 the Government of India declared Bekal Fort as a special tourism area.In the year 1995 the government formed Bekal Tourism Development Corporation for transforming Bekal Fort into international tourism centre. Tourism promotion activities have been taking place of late in the areas surrounding the fort, under the Bekal Resorts Development Corporation (BRDC). The song ‘Uyire’ (Tamil) from the movieBombay (film) directed by Mani Ratnam has been shot at Bekal Fort. Many such films, music albums, and commercial advertisements are being shot at Bekal Fort.

Arabian_Sea_Bekal_fort Bekal beach remains enlightened during evening hours so that tourists can spend some time at the seashore after dusk. There is a fascinating walkway made for the visitors to view the scenic beauty of the coastal line and relish the panoramic view of the Bekal Fort. There are resting facilities like Multi- sheds and Eru madams where visitors can take rest and savor the sea breeze. A short ride in a Kettuvallam is also a wonderful idea, as it’s a traditional houseboat of Kerala that offer unrivaled experience of the backwaters. While discovering the clumps of green, past fleets of ducks and the little thatched houses, you’ll really feel the tranquility all around.

Tourist Attraction :

Ananthapura Temple : 

sree-ananthapuram-temple-kumbla Ananthapura Temple is a lake temple, which dates back to 9th century. The temple comprises of the Moolasthana of the Anantha Padmanabha Swami. The temple is situated in Kasargod district of Kerala and is connected to Sri Anantha Padmanabha Temple, Trivandrum. It’s a lovely temple surrounded by a lake. Ananthapura Lake Temple is built in the middle of a lake in the little village of Ananthapura.The temple is at 6 km of distance from Kumble. The most amazing part is that it is the only lake temple in Kerala. It is believed that this was the original seat of Ananthapadmanabha Swami who settled down here.

Valiyaparamba Backwaters :

Bekal-Fort-a-Seashore-view One of the most enchanting backwater stretches of Kerala, Valiyaparamba is just 19 km away from Bekal. There are four rivers giving shape to this network and idly meander through the land, between paddy fields and palm grooves, is one of the popular tourist locations in the destination. Valiyaparamba Backwaters serves as a major fishing centre in the region. This stretch of backwater is one of most scenic in Kerala.

Kappil Beach :

3817475317_2f61e58e30 Kappil Beach, one of the most beautiful tourist attractions, is located at a distance of about 5 km from Bekal in the Kasargod District. The beach bounded by plethora of picture perfect views will leave you absolutely spellbound. The beach is considered to be a popular weekend getaway for natives as well as tourists. Tourists can also visit the Kodi cliff, situated near the site to enjoy view of the Arabian Sea. To reach the Chandragiri River,  motor boats are available at the beach.

For someone who is interested in viewing cultural and religious places, they should visit Thrikkannad Shiva Temple, Ananthapura Lake Temple, Anantheshwara Vinayaka Temple, Mallikarjuna Temple, Madiyankulam Durga Temple, Bela Church, etc. You’ll find a perfect blend of serenity and holiness at these places, which can make you feel relax and cool. So, don’t ignore these places of worship while holidaying in Bekal.

How To Reach : 

By Air : The nearest airport is at Manglore (50 km), which is connected with all major cities of India.

By Rail : Kasargod and Kanhagad are the nearest important railway stations from Bekal, which are located at a distance of around 14 km and 16 km away. Once you arrive at either of the railway stations, you can hire a taxi to go to Bekal. The other nearby stations are in Kottikulam and Pallikere but they are stops only for local trains.

By Road : Nearest bus stand is Kasaragod.There are regular buses available from many cities Mangalore, Kochi, Kannur, Thrissur, etc.

Image copyright by ommons.wikimidia.org, keralapicnicspot.com, flickr.com

Muzhappilangad Beach

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Muzhappilangad Drive-in Beach is a beach in the state of Kerala in southwestern India. It is located parallel to National Highway 66(formerly National Highway 17) between Thalassery and Kannur. Kerala’s only drive-in beach, the Muzhappilangad beach which stretches across four kilometres of sand where one can drive down the entire length. This beach is the longest Drive-In Beach in India and is featured among the top 6 best beaches for driving in the world in BBC article for Autos. Approximately 100-200 m south of the beach there is a private island called Dharmadam Island. It is possible to walk to the island during low tide. The 7 kms long beach attracts its fair share of visitors, mostly those who want to enjoy a fine ride through the sandy shore line in their car or on motor bike.

Muzhappilangad_Beach_Sunset The main attraction of this Muzhappilangad beach is a beach festival is celebrated in the month of April. This festival attracts many people and young adventurous people try many driving stunts in cars like drifting and wheeling in bikes as this is a paradise for driving along the shore. The black rocks scattered here and there on the sea, barricades high currents. Thus the sea here looks like a peaceful swimming pool with coconut groves fencing the pool. Swimmers can have gala time in Muzhapilangad Beach. These rocks provide habitat for Blue mussel, a delicious seafood. Beach attracts bird-watchers from far off places as hundreds of birds flock here during various seasons. Since the late 90’s, the beach has seen a steady influx of European tourists during winter. A major share of foreign and domestic tourists are not aware of the potential of this elusive destination. It is a must see destination for Indians as well as foreign tourists. After the face lift of the beach there has been a huge improvement in the facilities available to the beach visitors including resorts, roads, etc. The beach is wide and the sand is firm enough to support smooth driving.

Muzhappilangad_beach_(6) Muzhappilangad_beach_(16) Adventure sports like paragliding, parasailing and microlite flights are possible at the Muzhappilangad Beach in Thalassery. Other attractions include water sports, power boating or a simple catamaran ride. Visitors and children can happily swim in these natural shallows without having to fear the powerful currents. You can soak up the sun while lying lazily on the rocks. Foodies, don’t fret! Muzhappilangad Beach is not just for adventure junkies; it is also a place to savour yummy food! Yes, the stretch of coast is known for Malabar Cuisine. So drive on the beach while munching on some

How To Reach :

By Air : Nearest Airport is Karipur International Airport, 100 km which is connected to major cities in India and cities abroad.

By Rail : Nearest Railway Station is Kannur, 15 km. Many express trains from major cities of the state ply on a daily basis to this rail head.

By Road : An excellent road transport system connects the town to all the major towns of South India. There are frequent bus services from Mangalore, Bangalore, Kochi, Trivandrum and Kozhikode.

Image Copyright by commons.wikimidia.org

Wayanad

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Featured here is the first of the four trails in the northern district of Wayanad as conceived and promoted by Wayanad Tourism Organization (WTO) an organization taking the lead role in fostering a culture of ‘responsible and sustainable tourism’ in Wayanad.

Of the four trails, we would like to introduce first the ‘Outdoor Trail’, which would cover the following locations in the District of Wayanad.

Attractions & Places to Visit and Explore in Wayanad

Chembra Peak

Chembara_Peak,_Wayanad,_Kerala,_India,_South_Asia At a height of 2100 metres, the towering Chembra Peak is located near Meppadi in the southern part of Wayanad. It is the tallest of peaks in the region and climbing this peak would test ones physical prowess. The climb up the Chembra Peak is an exhilarating experience, as each stage in the climb unfolds great expanses of Wayanad and the view gets wider as one goes up to its summit. Going up and coming down the peak would take a full day. Those who would like camp at the top are assured of an unforgettable experience.

Those who require camping gear may contact the District Tourism Promotion Council, located at Kalpetta in Wayanad.

Neelimala

Located in the southeastern part of Wayanad, and approachable from Kalpetta as well as Sulthan Bathery, Neelimala is a trekkers delight, with options for different trekking routes. At the top of Neelimala, the sight is a breathtaking one with a view to the Meenmutty falls located near by and the valley in the foreground.

Meenmutty Waterfalls

Located close to Neelimala the spectacular Meenmutty falls can be reached through a 2 km trekking route from the main road connecting Ootty and Wayanad. It is the largest of waterfalls in the district of Wayanad, and adds to ones curiosity with its three stage falls dropping from about 300 metres.

Chethalayam

Yet another waterfall that attracts visitors to Wayanad is the Chethalayam falls, located close to Sulthan Bathery in the northern part of Wayanad. This waterfall is smaller in size when compared to Meenmutty. The falls and the adjoining areas are ideal locales for trekking and a haunt for bird watchers.

Pakshipathalam

Pakshipathalam is located deep within the forest in the Brahmagiri hills at an altitude of more than 1700 metres. The region predominantly comprises large boulders, some of them really massive. The deep caves found here are home to a wide variety of birds, animals and distinctive species of plants. Pakshipathalam is located near Mananthavady and a visit to the region would require a 7 km trek through the forest, starting from Thirunelli. Visitors to Pakshipathalam are to seek permission from the DFO- North Wayanad.

Banasura Sagar Dam

banasura_sagar_dam20131104172855_373_2 The dam at Banasura Sagar is reckoned as the largest earth dam in India. The dam is located in the southwestern part of Wayanad district and is close to the Karalad Lake. The project area of the Banasura Sagar Dam also has the start point for treks to the Banasura Peak. An interesting feature is a set of islands that were formed when the reservoir submerged the surrounding areas.

While you take in the captivating sights, sounds and fragrance of Wayanad, you may also shop for some specialities of Wayanad like spices, coffee, tea, bamboo products, honey and herbal plants.

For more details on ‘Outdoor Trail’ in Wayanad, please get in touch with Wayanad Tourism Organization.

Contact details:
General Secretary
Wayanad Tourism Organisation
Vasudeva Edom, Pozhuthana PO,
Wayanad, Kerala, India.
Pin – 673575
Tel. +91-4936-255308, Fax.+91-4936-227341
E-mail: mail@wayanad.org

Getting there
Nearest railway station: Calicut Railway Station is 62 km away
Nearest airport: Calicut International Airport is about 65 km away

Athirappalli and Vazhachal Waterfalls

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The most famous waterfalls of Kerala, Athirappalli and Vazhachal are situated on the Chalakudy River, which originates from the upper reaches of the Western Ghats. At the entrance to the Sholayar ranges is the largest waterfall in Kerala, Athirapally, which stands tall at 80 feet. Just a short drive from Athirapally, the Vazhachal waterfall is close to dense green forests that are home to many endangered and endemic species of flora and fauna.

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The waterfalls are located on the edge of the Sholayar forest ranges are just 5 km apart. This is the only place in the Western Ghats where four endangered Hornbill species are seen. Athirappalli is about 63 km from Thrissur and Vazhachal about 68 km.

Getting there

Nearest railway station: Chalakudy, about 30 km away
Nearest airport: Cochin International Airport, about 53 km from Thrissur