When I think of Kerala, living palm trees, coffee plantations, majestic hills, unspoiled nature reserves and endless stretches of rice paddies come to mind. It is no surprise that with such an abundant tourism supply, Kerala has become a popular tourist destination. Fortunately, Kerala still has hidden treasures that most tourists don't know about in Kerala. So keep reading further...
Get close to nature at Pakshipathalam Bird Sanctuary
Paksipatalam translates to "Bird's Lair" and there is a good reason for that. This rarely visited but stunning hill station is home to an untouched bird sanctuary. The main reason why this place is not so many visitors is that you can only get there on foot, 7 km from the town of Tirunelli. Situated along the Kerala-Karnataka border, the reserve is also one of the most untouched and unexplored areas in India.
Relax your eyes in Nelliyampathy
Nestled among pristine forests, coffee plantations and tea plantations in one of Kerala's most untouched areas, Nelliampati is a feast for the eyes. The mountain station has a rich flora and fauna, which is a must-see for all nature lovers, the best part of all the experience is getting there there. According to Indian mythology, this was Lord Rama's favorite resting place during his exile.
Sail along at Valiyaparamba Backwaters
No trip to Kerala is complete without exploring some of the region's famous waters; parts of a river where there is little or no flow. With so many operators offering tour packages that explore the backwaters of the state and so many tourists who are fascinated by them, it is difficult to find a quiet place where you can explore the backwaters of Kerala water without wiping off other tourists. Fortunately, not many people know about the Valiaparamba backwater and the beautiful boats that make it even more magnificent. Speaking of the deeper hidden waters in Kerala.
Discover yourself at the backwaters labyrinth of Ashtamudi
The backwaters of Ashtamudi lake in Kollam is one of the most beautiful and undiscovered hidden gems in Kerala. Ashtamudi backwaters is the second largest and deepest wetland ecosystem in the world. The entire structure is a "labyrinth" of 8 interconnected channels and numerous lagoons. The waters behind Ashtamudi are home to 50 species of avifauna, 40 species of birds and over 20 different species of butterflies.
Chill your heart out at Vagamon
If you want to experience the very best of the alluring beauty of the Kerala mountains, but away from the prying eyes of other tourists, you should definitely consider visiting the idyllic Vagamon Hill Station. Also, if you are visiting Kerala for the first time, you may experience terribly high humidity. This is another reason to visit Vagamon. Temperatures here rarely exceed 25 degrees Celsius, making this day trip ideal if you want to take a break from hot and humid days exploring beautiful meadows, enchanting tea plantations and more, charm and hidden waterfalls.
Hidden beaches of Neeleshwar
Deep in the north of Kerala, along the Arabian coast, lies a charming and peaceful town called Neeleshwar. Despite the recent development of tourism and several new wellness centres, this beautiful city remains one of Kerala's best kept secrets. Do visit this place to witness its beautiful beaches, fresh seafood and divine sunsets.
Mesmerising views of Ayyampuzha
Speaking of the hidden gems in Kerala, one cannot fail to mention the mountainous city of Ayyampuzha. From stunning waterfalls to tea plantations, rivers and scenic views, Ayampuzha has everything that makes Kerala special.
Explore the hidden waters of Thiruvallam
This seemingly ordinary canal went unnoticed by tourists until recently, when a group of young Indian tourists discovered that the canal leads to a serene stretch of river water surrounded by lush greenery, nice and beautiful landscapes. The Veli Lagoon is perhaps the most famous of these waters, but still little visited. Here you can rent a boat, go canoeing or travel to the nearby islands of Pozhikara and Edayar.
Love hiking - Visit Ponmudi
Located at 1100 meters above sea level, Ponmudi (Golden Peak) is one of the quietest hill stations in Kerala. Geographically, Ponmudi belongs to the Western Ghats and is a paradise for hikers. Deep in the forests of Ponmundi, you will find many surreal beautiful springs, lush greenery, streams and countless stunning waterfalls. In addition, Ponmundi is also known among the locals for its Ayurvedic healing treatments, the traditional medicine system originated in India.
Experience the best of rural tourism in Kerala at Gavi
If you are one of those people who find rural tourism boring, then Gavi will change your mind. This place is one of the best hidden gems in Kerala, and although it is very close to the Periyar Tiger Sanctuary, very few tourists know about Gari. Due to the proximity to the reserve, you can see many tigers, bears, deer and as well as Indians Gaurs. In addition, Gari has many beautiful hiking trails as well as many great camping sites. With so much to do and see, being bored with Gari is definitely not an option.
Visit the highest tea farm in the world at Kolukkumalai Estate
Have you ever wondered at what height you can grow and produce tea? Well, here's your chance to find out: the Kolukkumalai estate in Munnar, at 8,000 feet above sea level, is officially the tallest tea estate in the world. You can also go in search of waterfalls, as the area is famous for some of the most beautiful and unspoiled waterfalls in possibly the less explored part of Kerala.
Explore the forests of Ranipuram
If you are looking for a non-tourist destination in Kerala where you can get off the beaten track and walk a few miles without seeing anything but lush greenery, you must visit Ranipuram. This hill station is located 750 meters above sea level and has a very rich vegetation including the Shola forest, monsoon forest and grasslands. Like other hill stations on this list, Ranipuram is great for hiking, with most of its trail going through dense virgin forests.
Explore the hazy paradise of Ilaveej Punchir
Ilaveeja Punchira, surrounded by three spectacular hills, is one of the most beautiful valleys in Kerala. Unlike some of the other places on this list, you can walk through the valley for miles without seeing trees, but you can see many flowers. In fact, the name Ilaveezha Punchir means "a flowery lake where leaves do not fall." During the rainy season, when thick fog covers the valley, Ilaveeja Punchira turns into a real paradise, surprising most of the visitors and making them wonder if this is a real place or a dream.
Get to know the first planned ecotourism destination in Kerala
Almost all of the places we have mentioned on this list include getting off the beaten track and hiking through dense forests or seeing majestic waterfalls, but when visiting such places, you may not always have access to transportation. Thenmala a unqiue place to visit as compared to other places mentioned in this article. It is the first planned ecotourism destination in Kerala. In addition, there are many great activities for adults and children. Some of the more fun activities include butterfly hunting, biking, paragliding, dam visits, and playgrounds and adventure areas for children.
Enjoy Sunbathing at Poovar Island
If you are planning a trip to Kerala, you may have heard of Puvar Island. However, while Puvar Island is arguably the most popular destination on this list of Kerala's hidden gems, I haven't mentioned it yet as the local government has decided not to allow any commercial development. There are only a few resorts around, and much of the Gold Coast and blue waters are still untouched.
Witness the most amazing sunset in Kerala in Kakkathuruthu
I'll add my favorite sunset spot in Kerala to this list; Kakkaturutu island. I highly recommend visiting this island if you want to enjoy the best Kerala beaches without the influence of mass tourism, commercial development and numerous resorts. Fortunately, the development did not notice this beautiful island, and if you want to visit it, the only way to get to Kakkaturutu is to take one of the traditional boats on the shores of Lake Vembanad. There are no paved roads or bridges to the mainland on the island.
How many of these hidden gems do you know in Kerala? Where would you like to visit first if given the opportunity? Has this article changed your perception of Kerala? Write to us in the comments!
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