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Kerala - God's own country
 

National geographic traveler selects kerala as one of the 50 must see destinations of a life time.

Welcome to Kerala, God's Own Country. With the arabian sea on the west, the western ghats towering 500 - 2700m on the east, Kerala is networked by forty four rivers. The name Kerala means "land of coconuts". Kerala is covered with tranquil stretches of emerald backwaters, lush green hill stations and exotic wildlife, ayurvedic health resorts, enchanting art forms, magical festivals, historic and cultural monuments, an exotic cuisine… all of which offers a unique experience.

Kerala is one of the ten 'Paradises Found' by the National Geographic Traveler, for its diverse geography and overwhelming greenery. Kerela offers diverse options of tourism for travelers. Having over 600 kms of coast line, Kerala has some of the most beautiful beaches of India.

Backwaters

All along the coast of Kerala is an intricate network of innumerable Lagoons, Lakes, Canals, Estuaries and the Deltas of over forty rivers that drain into the Arabian Sea after criss-crossing the land several times at different places.

As a tourist, while you can find hill stations at all parts of the country, the dense, lush Backwaters of the state along the 600km long coastline of dazzling beaches unique to Kerala. These Backwaters are both the basis of a distinct lifestyle and fascinating sights. The boats cross shallow, palm-fringed lakes and travel along narrow shady canals, where Coir, Copra, and Cashews are loaded into the boats.

The largest backwater stretch in Kerala is the Vembanad Lake, which flows through three districts and opens out into the sea at the Kochi port. The Ashtamudi Lake (literally, having eight arms), which covers a major portion of Kollam district in the south, is the second largest and is considered the gateway to the Backwaters. Each district of Kerala is marked by the presence of the inviting Backwaters, which form a prominent part of the panoramic landscape of Kerala.


Periyar National Park

Located within the confines of the Western Ghats in the southern Indian state of Kerala, Periyar National Park and Tiger Reserve is one of the most captivating wildlife parks in the world. In 1895, the British undertook water resource management plans for the area and started work on a dam and an artificial lake under the auspices of Col. J. Pennycuick. The picturesque lake in the heart of the sanctuary was originally 26 sq km but now spans an area of 55 sq km. This perennial source of water, which initially led to the submersion of large tracts of forestland, slowly attracted wild animals. It eventually resulted in the adjoining forests being granted protection by the Maharaja of Travancore. Post-1975 Periyar finds itself in the enviable position of being a national park as well as a protected tiger reserve.

Periyar (also known as Thekkady) is a park where one can witness playful pachyderms, whose population is currently around 800. The population of tigers is also increasing appreciably. The terrain ranges from hilly to flat grassland areas at the edges of the lakes. The vegetation is of moist deciduous type.

Silent Valley National Park

Located in the Kundali Hills of the Western Ghats, the Silent Valley National Park holds a valuable reserve of rare plants and herbs. The park is rich in its wildlife, and elephants, lion-tailed macaques and tigers are the most common denizens of this park. Though smaller in size in comparison to the other national parks in India, what makes it different is the sylvan environment the region has, along with its high altitude peaks and several rivers that run through it. The park is surrounded with Attappadi Reserve Forests in the east, and vested forests of the Palghat and Nilambur divisions in the west and south. In the North, the park is an extension of the Nilgiri Forests. A visit to this park should be considered a memorable experience, as this is the last representative virgin tract of tropical evergreen forests in India.

The land of Kerala has a 600 km long shoreline dotted with some of the finest, most charming beaches of the world, coconut groves, natural harbors, lagoons and sheltered coves. The palm-lined beaches of kerala are renowned for the gentle surf and azure blue waters. To this add a delectable seafood cuisine, a smiling sun and frendly people to make an unforgetable holiday. Each year greater numbers of visitors arrive here in search of the tranquil, palm fringed beaches.

Alappuzha beach is one of the most popular beaches of Kerela located in the district of Alappuzha. The beach is located at roughly 5 kms from the Alappuzha railway station and has the Arabian Sea on the west and a large network of lakes, lagoons and several freshwater rivers intersections.

Also referred to as the Venice of the East by travelers from across the world, this Backwater Country is fairly rich in diverse animal and bird life. In recent years, Alappuzha has grown in importance as a Backwater Tourist Centre, attracting several thousands of foreign tourists every year who come here to enjoy the serene marine beauty of the state. Boat races, Houseboat Holidays, Beaches, Marine Products and Coir Industry are some of the major attractions offered by Alappuzha. For the entertainment of visitors there is a Vijaya Beach Park and an old lighthouse nearby.

Kovalam, today is arguably the most popular beach hangouts in India. Crystal clear blue waters of the Arabian Sea, miles of white sands washed away by the surf, the rocky promontories and coconut groves makes this beach nothing less than a paradise.

The beach offers not only swimming and sunbathing but also has handicrafts, jewellery and cloth shops spread along the waterfront. Sumptuous sea-food including lobsters available at the beachside restaurants just add the icing to the cake.

Kovalam beach houses a number of places to stay, ranging from up-market resorts, five star hotels to more affordable budget class hotels & restaurants. Besides, this place is fast developing as a Yoga and health center. One can have Ayurvedic massages and oil baths or learn the intricacies and dynamics of Yoga and meditation taught by experts.

The climate is equable and varies little from season to season. The temperature normally ranges from 80 to 90 F in the plains but drops to about 70 F in the highlands. The state gets its due share of both the southwest as well as the northeast monsoons, and the rainfull is heavy, averaging around 118 inches annually.
 

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