7 Spellbinding Winter Destinations in Kerala

The coastal state of Kerala is a dream destination for visitors, and thanks to its exotic locales, vibrant culture, scintillating backwaters, lush forests and scope for nature based activities, you have so much to enjoy here.

With the towering Western Ghats on the east and the mesmerizing Arabian Sea on the west, Kerala is a sight to behold, a vision to capture in memory for lifetime. Listed below are some of the best winter destinations in Kerala.

Vagamon

Image by dear_boby via Flickr

Vagamon is gaining momentum as a famed tourism destination for both national and international visitors. Paragliding is one of the favorite activities of people heading to this hill station destination filled with charming hillocks, cascading waterfalls and captivating valleys. Living in the resorts in Vagamon would open up opportunities for trekking in the plantations and cycling along the meandering roads.

Places to visit while at Vagamon — Kurisumala Ashram, Thangal Para, Murugan Mala, Pine forest, tea estates, rocky outcrop, green meadows and of course, plenty of waterfalls along the way. Other destinations nearby: Munnar, Peermade, Idukki, Thekkady.

Kalpetta (Chembra Peak)

Image by KRISHNA SRIVATSA NIMMARAJU via Flickr

Located 8 kilometers from Kalpetta in Wayanad, Chembra Peak is one of the best destinations for trekking enthusiasts. The height of the peak is 2100 meters and when you reach at the top, you can see the Nilgiri Hills and Vallarimala.

While hiking along the peak, you can catch a fulfilling glimpse of the heart shaped lake, known as the “hrydayathadakam” in the local language. Chembra peak’s nearby attractions are Banasura Sagar Dam, Chembra Peak, Kuruva Island, Pookode Lake, Edakkal Caves, Thrunelli Temple and Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary.

Kovalam

Kovalam Beach is in Thiruvananthapuram and is one of the most beautiful places in the world to enjoy a vacation. The sheer beauty of the turquoise water and breathtaking sights have been attracting a growing number of tourists. The beach offers diverse leisure activities with Ayurveda massages, cataraman cruising, sunbathing, and of course, swimming.

The city of Thiruvananthapuram is located just 17 kilometers away from the beach and offers its own horde of activities and sights. Staying at one of the beach cottages gives you the best views of the sea.

While you are visiting Kovalam, be sure to visit Edakallu, renowned for its breathtaking sunset views. You can also head to Vellayani Lake, located just 7 kilometers from Kovalam and well known for its boat races. Kurumkal Lighthouse is another famous tourism spot in Kovalam and you can visit it to have an uninterrupted view of the lighthouse beach.

Fort Kochi

The famed historic town of Fort Kochi is best explored on foot. There are many sights to behold, smells to experience, and colorful wares to see if you want to just shop around. Seeped in rich history, the town still bears witness to some of the most attractive historical buildings of all time.

Fort Immanuel, the bastion that represented the alliance between the Monarch of Portugal and the Maharaja of Cochin is one such architectural wonder. Do not miss the Thakur House, a perfect example of the stunning architecture prevalent during the colonial era.

David Hall, another building built by the East India Company is also famous among visitors. The Bastion Bungalow on Church Road attracts thousands of visitors every year, thanks to its lovely Indo-European styled architecture.

Kumarakom

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The tourism paradise of Kumarakom is a captivating backwater destination, where people go on enthralling boat rides along the Vembanad Lake and enjoy a visual treat of the multi-colored avian population. Vembanad Lake is not only popular for being the largest freshwater lake in the entire state, it is also known for offering the best kaleidoscope on the life of people in Kerala.

You can stay in one of the resorts, many of which are built in the typical colonial style architecture for which Kerala is famous. The backwaters in Kerala are a treasure, unique in their own way and stunningly beautiful, destined to give visitors a glimpse of the rich heritage the area is known for.

Devikulam

Image by Anu Kartha via Flickr

If you are visiting Munnar during your winter holidays, then you must visit Devikulam, an idyllic destination located just 8 kilometers away from the hill station. The hills and the surrounding areas are so picturesque that you will see the artist/photographer in you blooming. Everywhere you point your camera, you will be able to capture a subject worth photographing.

The absolute chill in the air, the lush greenery you can see for acres and acres, the eluding horizon with everything covered in mist, the sun that chases away the morning mist; you will find nature decked in all its glory, just for you.

Legend has it that the wife of Lord Rama, Sita had bathed in the lake on the hills, and hence the name, Devikulam (lake of the goddess). While visiting Devikulam, you can also visit Mattupetty Lake, Kundala Lake, Anayirangal Lake, Pallivasal waterfalls, Thoovanam waterfalls, Eravikulam National Park, Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary, Theni, Vandiperiyar, Marayur, Munnar and Idukki.

Poovar

Image by Sandeep Shukla via Flickr

The calm serene backwaters of Kerala have a tropical paradise known by the name of Poovar Lake. With endless golden sands and swaying coconut trees, you can pamper yourself to some of the best vacations enveloped in spectacular natural surroundings.

It was Raja Marthanda Varma, the Maharaja of Travancore who named this little piece of pure heaven as Poovar; perhaps mesmerized by the velvety red flowers that grew like a carpet along the shores of Neyyar Lake. When you go on a backwater cruise, it would be the perfect time to shut out all the noise of the urban city, and enjoy the true and natural beauty presented to you in shades of emerald, turquoise and blue.

If you’re heading to Kerala this winter, be sure to drop in at one of these famed winter destinations. You will not be disappointed!

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Originally published at Paradise Blog on December 9, 2015

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