Kerala, a small state located to the south west of India, is fondly known as God’s own country. You may have often heard this synonym being used for Kerala, rest assured it’s not without reason. Tall coconut trees swaying in the wind, leaving behind a rustle of whispers. White sandy beaches peaking glimpses from behind the curtain of the coconut trees, with occasional virgin beaches whose sands haven’t felt the touch of human feet. This postcard perfect picture is incomplete without the aroma of Karimeen and fresh Appams wafting through the air. Kerala is eternally beautiful, and there is never a wrong moment to book your flight tickets, but if you want to understand the true meaning of beauty, you have to visit it during the monsoon. The monsoon rains bring out Kerala’s beauty, inspiring every wanderer to become a poet or an artist. Tourist spots, there are many, but sometimes a place’s true essence and magic lies in the back alleys, the lesser known destinations. So for your hungry traveller’s soul, we have 5 perfect destinations in Kerala, that need to go on your to-do list.
Located 60 kms from Palakkad, the closest hint of civilization near this forest is the Nemmara town. Being slightly hard to access is what makes this place worth every effort. You have to make your way through a rocky road; a road very much belonging to the forests, with trees at every bend. A skilled jeep driver is what you’ll need to manoeuvre through the hurdling obstacles. But once you brave it and clear that step, the sight waiting for you on the other end is worth every bit of the risk. Dense forest with chirping birds being the only sound to interrupt your thoughts, peace finds a new definition here. You’ll find small cottages located in the forest, which you can rent out. Heaven on earth? Yeah, probably.
If Ponmudi sounds like a new name, that may be because you’ve heard of this place by its synonym the Golden Peak. If you haven’t, then let me tell you a little something about it. Located in the Thiruvananthapuram district of Kerala, Ponmudi is a hill station. At an altitude of 1100 m, it is part of the Western Ghats mountain range. Draped with a carpet of thick forest that runs till its foothills, this Golden Peak is blessed with beauty. The journey up the mountain, though tough, is beauty like you haven’t seen before. Your path may be of sharp bends and hairpin curves, with trees being your only companions. But it’s one of those places where the destination is so much more than the journey. The view from top of the peak is so spectacular, that even your wildest imagination won’t do justice to it. It’s not often you come across a sight where reality is better than imagination. In closing I’ll just say one thing, Ponmudi runs parallel to the Arabian sea.
Though Wayanad isn’t technically an offbeat destination, nor is it a lesser known place of Kerala, but I couldn’t help resist putting it on the list, simply because it’s elegant and beautiful. A Kerala list would be incomplete without the mention of Wayanad, and this is what earns it its privileged position on this list. Only state neighbouring both Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, its popularity as a tourist spot has been steadily on the rise, with more and more Kerala tour packages including Wayanad in their itinerary . We’ve all harboured the dream of living in a treehouse, and some of the resorts in Wayanad help fulfill that dream. If that isn’t reason enough, their refreshing morning and evening trails through the forest act as the cherry on top of the delicious Wayanad cake.
Thenmala is a small forest town located in the Kollam district of Kerala, 72 kms from Trivandrum. But there’s one thing that separates it from all the other forests of Kerala, and the hint to that lies in its name. ‘Then’ means honey and ‘mala’ means hills, so when literally translated, Thenmala means honey hills. Recently converted into an eco-tourism destination, it is known for it’s top quality, yup you guessed it right, honey! Not just for the sweet toothed, Thenmala is also a perfect place for adventure junkies, with activities such as biking, trekking, mountaineering. To top it all, it even has a deer rehabilitation centre near by. Being a small town, Thenmala gives off the vibe of being cut off from the rest of the world and being content within it’s own bubble. This is what makes it a good, albeit a slightly unusual honeymoon destination, one that you won’t find on many Honeymoon packages. Boating along the Kallada river, with nothing but the trees and your loved one by your side. What more is needed?
Located in the Kozhikode district of Kerala its history dates back to the time of Tipu Sultan. Beypore was an important port, which traded chiefly with the middle east and had direct route links to Mesopotamia. Being an important port means it has something else which is of importance to us. Beaches! In olden times it might have been an integral link of the maritime silk route, but today Beypore is known for it’s Beypore beach. Though you might think as much, the beach is not it’s biggest attraction. Its the 2 km long stone bridge that stretches till the horizon that attracts everyone. Standing at the edge of the bridge, with nothing but the sea surrounding you, as far as the eye can see. With the setting sun dipping beyond into the horizon. Need I say more?