10. Kerala

Tourism in Kerala:

Kerala is one of the most popular tourist destinations in world, which is situated on the tropical Malabar Coast of southwestern India. This coastal state is rich in distinctive traditions and culture, and lush unspoiled tropical beauty. It is famous especially for its ecotourism initiatives and also named as one of the ten paradises of the world by the National Geographic Traveler. It has unique culture and traditions, coupled with its varied demography.

It is often referred to as "God's Own Country" and it is the land of lagoons and palms ,the land of elephants and tigers. Tourists from all over the world travel to visit kerala to enjoy an Indian holiday on the beaches, backwaters and hills of Kerala. The cultural life of the people of Kerala is equally beautiful and is a major factor in attracting the tourists.

Thiruvananthapuram is the capital of Kerala, which was earlier called as Trivandrum and is known for its mild climate. Some of the tourist destinations aroud this city are, the Sri Ananthapadmanabhaswamy temple, the Sri Chitra Art gallery, palaces of the family of the Maharajas of Travancore, museums and the beautiful Kovalam beach not far away, make Trivandrum a pleasant Indian holiday destination.

Tourism Places in Kerala:

1. Eravikulam National: 

Eravikulam National Park is extended along 97 km². And it is located along the crest of the Western Ghats in the High Ranges of Idukki district, Kerala state of India.
Eravikulam National Park is administered by the Kerala Department of Forests and Wildlife, Munnar Wildlife Division, together with the nearby Mathikettan Shola National ParkAnamudi Shola National ParkPambadum Shola National ParkChinnar Wildlife Sanctuary and the Kurinjimala Sanctuary.

Kerala Government taken this area over in 1971 and declared as a Sanctuary in 1975. Then it was upgraded to a national park in 1978 in recognition of its unique ecological values.
The main part of this park consists of a high rolling hill plateau with a base elevation of about 2,000 mts. All most all of the knolls and peaks surge of this park were 100-300 mts. above it with some mountains reaching altitudes of over 2500mts. The terrain consists of high altitude grasslands interspersed with sholasAnamudi (2690 mts), the highest peak in India south of the Himalayas is also inside this park. Many perennial streams criss-cross the park. They merge to form tributaries of the Periyar river and Chalakudiyar River on the west and the east flowing Cauvery River in Tamil Nadu. Lakkom Waterfalls is in this region.
The average annual rainfall is about 3000mm. January-March are relatively dry months. The temperature goes down even below freezing point in winter.

In this park nearly 26 species of mammals have been recorded including the largest surviving population of Nilgiri Tahr (one type mammal), estimated at about 750 in number. The other ungulates available are GaurIndian Muntjac and Sambar Deer.Golden JackalJungle CatWild dogDholeleopard and tiger are the main predators. Some little known animals such as Nilgiri langurStripe-necked MongooseIndian PorcupineNilgiri Martensmall clawed otterRuddy Mongoose, and Dusky palm squirrel are also found. Elephants make seasonal visits.

Nearly 132 species of birds have been recorded which include endemics like Black-and-orange FlycatcherNilgiri PipitNilgiri Wood PigeonWhite Bellied ShortwingNilgiri Verditer Flycatcher and Kerala Laughingthrush.

Endemic butterflies confined to the shola-grass land ecosystem like the Red Disk Bushbrownand Palni Four wing are among the 101 species in the park.
In the park, nearly 19 species of amphibians have been recorded.

Private vehicles are not allowed within the park. You can park your vehicle in the parking area by paying a nominal fee and enter the buses. There are 6 mini-buses are operated by park staff as part of the visitor-management program as well as a pollution-control measure.

There are long queues in peak season for getting the buses. So you have to reach at least before 8:30 AM for a comfortable journey to the park. Tickets are issued till 4:30 PM every day.

Entry Fee:

For Indian nationals, Rs. 65 is charged per head (per Day) as an entry fee.
For Foreign nationals, Rs. 245 is charged per head (per Day) as an entry fee.
For video and movie cameras fee is Rs.2000/-day
Fee for ordinary cameras fee is Rs.25/-day

(Rs 45 towards the Mini-bus service, remaining amount used for the park infrastructure of this amount)
The ride of 30 mins on mini-bus takes you up of the hills along with a scenic view. The bus ride ends at a small a store of photo gallery and which is convenient to passengers. From there, visitors are encouraged to take a short trek of around 1.3 km (25-30 min.) to a vantage point. The trek has splendid views of the nearby hills and lets you observe the steep face of the mountain. Once you are back from the trek, return buses take you down the hill to the park entrance.

Littering is strictly banned inside the park. To protecting the park day and night, a well formed security wing is working. The park is accessible from two main airports that are, Kochi (Kerala) about 148 km away and Coimbatore (Tamil Nadu) about 175 km away. 13 km away from this park, Munnar is the nearest town which is well connected by roads from Kerala and Tamil Nadu. The nearest railway station is Aluva in Kerala (120 km from Munnar) and Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu (165 km).

How to Reach:

By road:  Eravikulam is about 13 km from Munnar. Munnar is the nearest connected to other cities in Kerala and Tamil Nadu by government and private run buses. Many tour providers arrange packaged bus tours to Munnar from Kochi. There are no  direct buses to Munnar, but plenty of busservices are available to Kochi and Kottayam.

By Train: The nearest railway station is Aluva, about 120 km from Munnar and Ernakulam, about 130 km from Munnar.  Aluva is a major train station and transport services to reach Munnar and is connected to major Indian cities like Chennai, Bengaluru, Mangalore, Delhi and Mumbai.
Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu (165 km) and Aluva (120 km) are the other nearest railheads

By Airs:  The nearest airports to Eravikulam are Madurai, about 142 km and Cochin International Airport, about 150 km. from the Cochin International Airport, one can fly to Singapore, Middle East and Malaysia and to most major Indian cities. 

From the Cochin Airport Taxi Society, there are number of pre-paid taxi services available to reach Munnar. Both AC and non AC cabs are also available. Taxis charge an additional premium of 15-25 per cent as night charges (7 PM-6 AM).

2. Kovalam

The Kovalam town is located along the Malabar Coast in the state of Kerala in South India. This is a most famous beach visited by Indian tourists and as well as international tourists all time of the year. It has most attractive three adjacent crescent beaches around it. It is 15 km for away from Thiruvananthapuram which is the capital city of Kerala state.

In the Malayalam the word ‘Kovalam’ in stands for ‘a groove of coconut trees’. Kovalam was a cluster of small fishing villages that belonged to the state of Travancore during the pre-Independence. The Kovalam history is very obscure. The town of Kovalam came to the lime light during the reign of the Maharaja of Travancore in the 1930s. He was so impressed by the beauty of the Kovalam. So that he spent a lot of his leisure time on the beaches of Kovalam. Not only that, he also invited his European friends over to this place and they made the place popular.

Kovalam is an internationally famous beach which has three adjacent crescent beaches nearby. It has been a renowned haunt of tourists, especially Europeans, since the 1930s. A massive rocky promontory on the beach has created a beautiful bay of calm waters ideal for sea bathing.

There are plenty and diverse leisure options were available at this beach. Some of them are Sunbathing, swimming, herbal body toning massages, special cultural programmes and catamaran cruising and many more. The tropical sun acts so fast that one can see the faint blush of coppery tan on the skin in a matter of minutes. Life on the beach begins late in the day and carries on well into the night. The beach complex includes a string of budget cottages, Ayurvedic health resorts, convention facilities, shopping zones, swimming pools, Yoga and Ayurvedic massage centres.

Things to do in Kovalam 

Kovalam consists of crescent shaped sandy beaches. The three beaches of Kovalam – Lighthouse BeachSamudra Beach, and Hawa Beach (Eve's beach) – are separated from each other by rocky shores. A shallow-water-stretch that extends to about 1 km from the land makes it ideal for swimming. All the beaches have steep coconut-palm fringed highlands and shining sandy beaches that contain a great amount of minerals like ilmenite and thoracite.
Kovalam is a food lover’s delight, especially seafood lovers. Almost all restaurants have a generous offering of seafood. The beach front restaurants on Lighthouse Beach have displays of fresh fish, lobster, crab, mussels, tiger prawns and others. Depending upon the customer’s selection, the fish is weighed and then cooked according to the desired style. However, service can be slow and the food a bit pricey.

Since Kovalam sees a lot of international tourists, the food menu in the restaurants is also quite varied. From German bakeries to the traditional Kerala-style restaurants, there’s something for every palette. There are some good options for vegetarians as well.  There is not much to shop for in Kovalam. The main beaches in the town have street shops that sell hats, sarongs and other beachwear. Tourists can also buy souvenirs from local shops or jewellery made by locals. A few bookstores in the main town sell international editions of books in various languages. 


Thiruvananthapuram, the capital city of Kerala, is just 16 km away from Kovalam and getting there is no hassle. But if you are on holiday it is better to stay in Kovalam and visit the city.

The City of Thiruvananthapuram has interesting places to see like the Napier Museum, the Sri Chitra Art Gallery, the Padmanabhaswamy Temple, Ponmudi hill station etc. SMSM Institute, a State owned handicrafts emporium, is the ideal place to pick up ethnic curios and other articles.

Best time to visit: September to March, though it is an all-year-round destination.

How to Reach:                                                                                                           

By Air : Trivandrum International airport  is the nearest airport which is about 11 km away from Kovalam. This airport is connected to all major airports in India and it is connected to many cities in India as well as abroad including Colombo, Singapore and many gulf cities. Taxi fare from Airport to Kovalam is about Rs 300.

By Train : The nearest rail station to Kovalam is Trivandrum Central (Thampanoor) railway station. It is about 15 km away from Kovalam. Trivandrum is well linked with all cities in India through rail. Taxi fare from Thampanoor to Kovalam is about Rs 300.

By Road : Kovalam is well linked by the city bus services from Trivandrum and other main junctions in the district. As the capital City of Kerala,  Thiruvananthapuram is easily accessible by road and also more number of tourist luxury buses are available from many cities like Bangalore, Chennai, Madurai and Nagarcoil . City bus charges less than Rs 10 from Trivandrum to Kovalam.

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