Kerala beguiles with the sobriquet of ‘God’s own country’. The articulate mosaic of sun-kissed beaches, serene backwaters, lush foliage, exciting houseboats, etc. acts as a crowd-pulling magnet. But, the list doesn’t end here! There are some enthralling offbeat places in Kerala that await to be explored right now! Read on to know more about these lesser-known destinations that should be on your bucket list while planning your next vacation.
Here are the Top 12 Offbeat Places in Kerala
One of the must-visit offbeat destinations in Kerala, Nelliyampathy is a small, scenic yet lesser known place in Kerala. Nestled amidst the floating clouds at the Palakkad, the beautiful hill station can be reached after crossing the hairpin turns. Once here, you will be treated with salubrious weather, a pleasing aroma of coffee, tea and cardamom, a chain of mighty mountains and much more. From fascinating trekking peaks for adventure enthusiasts to romantic destinations for honeymooners, Nelliyampathy has it all.
Reasons to visit Nelliyampathy
- Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary – A nature’s bounty with varied flora and fauna
- Nelliyampathy Hills – Wonderful place to sight tea, orange, cardamom and coffee plantations
- Trekking – Follow the trekking trail and admire the stunning views en route
- Raja’s Cliff – A picturesque hill town
- Shopping – Buy natural and fresh organic items, wines, tea and coffee etc.
How to reach Nelliyampathy?
Nearest Airport – Coimbatore International Airport (67 km)
Nearest Railway – Palakkad Railway Station (60 km)
Ponmudi bejewels the Thiruvananthapuram district and ranks amongst the best offbeat destinations in Kerala. Surprising narrow roads with sharp twists and turns make the journey to this amazing destination even more thrilling. The scenic hill resort is dotted with small rivulets, colorful butterflies, striking waterfalls and attractive mountain flowers. Alternatively known as the ‘Golden Peak’, the quaint little town is a paradise for trekkers. Ponmudi is undoubtedly the best destination to plan a family vacation in Kerala.
Reasons to visit Ponmudi
- Trekking to Agasthyarkoodam, the highest peak in the area
- A walk through the Ponmudi crest and deer park
- Golden Valley – unravel the wilderness of the gorge
- Attend the Aranmula Boat Race
- Don’t miss the wildlife safari at the Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
How to reach Ponmudi?
Nearest Airport – Thiruvananthapuram International Airport (58.2 km)
Nearest Railway – Thiruvananthapuram Central railway station (55.4 km)
[Also Read: 10 Most Beautiful Hill Stations in Kerala]
Silent Valley National Park
Spread across the span of 236.7 square km, Silent Valley National Park ranks amongst the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Western Ghats. The second-largest park in Kerala is home to rare species of fauna and flora. Cradled in the Nilgiri Hills, the national park is rich in biodiversity. Kerala’s best-kept secret; it features evergreen sholas, exuberant waterfalls and wilderness that leaves you spellbound. Wild and unbeatably dense jungles proffer a lifetime experience to wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers.
Reasons to visit Silent Valley National Park
- Spot Lion Tailed Macaques
- Refreshing Nature Walks
- Excellent photography opportunities
- Locating the unique Cobra plant
- Identifying the rare species of birds like Ceylon Frogmouth
How to reach Silent Valley National Park?
Nearest Airport – Coimbatore International Airport (91 km)
Nearest Railway – Palakkad Railway Station (69 km)
Historical caves, enchanting waterfalls, eco-friendly resorts – Wayanad has it all! The hidden gem of Kerala offers a plethora of attractions to visitors. Imbued with the emerald green hue of the plush foliage, the area exhibits breathtaking beauty. Utterly tranquil and far from the hustle-bustle of the city life, the ‘Land of Paddy Fields’ is one of the less explored tourist destinations in Kerala. Positioned on the southern tip of the Deccan plateau, nature’s abode pleases with sights to behold.
Reasons to visit Wayanad
- Trek to Chembra Peak
- Stay at treehouse resorts
- Unveil the mysteries of the Edakkal Caves
- Discover the secrets of the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary
- Go for trekking and hiking at the Banasura Sagar Dam
- Reconnoiter an array of wonderful artifacts at the Wayanad Heritage Museum
How to reach Wayanad?
Nearest Airport – Calicut International Airport (61 km)
Nearest Railway – Kozhikode Railway Station (110 km)
The search for the Offbeat places in Kerala ends at the Thenmala. Situated in the Kollam district, the eco-tourism destination enchants with its natural resources. Enjoy strolling along the river banks, partaking in adventure activities, getting clicked with the waterfalls in the backdrop and much more. The town steals the limelight for providing honey of high quality. Appearing in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites under the Western Ghats, the ‘Honey Hill’, is home to some of the unusual spots.
Reasons to visit Thenmala
- Head towards Nakshatravanam – a repository of trees that are considered holy to the 27 constellations
- Plan a day trip to Deer Rehabilitation Centre
- Mountain biking
- Rock Climbing
- Spend evening while watching Musical Fountain
How to reach Thenmala?
Nearest Airport: Thiruvananthapuram International Airport (72 Km)
Nearest Railway Station: Kollam (66 Km)
[You may also read: Top 15 Ecotourism Destinations in Kerala]
One of the liveliest and bewitching backwaters in Kerala, Valiyaparamba backwater is formed by the confluence of four rivers. An ultimate place for tranquility seekers and nature lovers alike, the fascinating backwater is located in the Kasaragod district. Housing small archipelagos, Valiyaparamba is remarkable for fishing. Cruising along the small island in houseboats is one of the best things to do in Kerala. Besides exhibiting the rustic charm, the exotic backwater appeals in numerous other ways as well.
Reasons to visit Valiyaparamba backwaters
- Go for rafting through sparsely inhabited villages
- Enjoy boating through a narrow stretch of Valiyaparamba backwaters
- Take some time out for bird watching
- Visit the Bekal Fort
- The Malabar mangrove trail offers enthralling hiking opportunities
How to reach Valiyaparamba backwaters?
Nearest Airport: Calicut International Airport (175 km)
Nearest Railway Station: Payyanur (9 km)
The quest to the less-traveled roads of Kerala takes you to Vembanad Lake. Blessed with rich scenic beauty, the lake hosts ancient snake boat races on Onam. All the rivers and canals of Kottayam merge into the Vembanad Lake making it the second-largest lagoon in India. Considered as the heart of Kerala Backwater tourism, the lake features numerous kettuvallams offering houseboats rides to be cherished forever. A photography session in the lap of Mother Nature is a must.
Reasons to visit Vembanad Lake
- Attending the Snake Boat races during Onam
- Spending a day at leisure at the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary
- Witnessing the beautiful avian species
- Enjoying a houseboat ride
- Best sightseeing experience
How to reach Vembanad Lake?
Nearest Airport – Cochin International Airport (63 km)
Nearest Railway Station – Kottayam Railway Station (13 km)
[Explore the beautiful backwaters of Kerala with this package]
Cradled in the Alappuzha district, Marari Beach is a dream come true for anyone who wants to spend some time in seclusion. Fringed with coconut palm trees and featuring golden sand, the beach is one of the lesser-known places in Kerala. The tranquil beach derives its name from ‘Mararikulam’, a local fishing village. Titled as one of the best ‘hammock beaches’, Marari Beach is the place to be when you want a much-needed break from the crowd infested locales.
Reasons to visit Marari Beach
- Unwind and enjoy the calmness
- Partake in parasailing, water skiing and sea surfing
- Bow down at the Mararikulam Shiva Temple
- Visit the traditional coir making units
- See the working of the Chinese Fishing Nets
How to reach Marari Beach?
Nearest Airport – Cochin International Airport (44 km)
Nearest Railway Station – Alleppey Railway Station (14 km)
[Here are 15 Best Beach Resorts in Kerala]
Dating back to the 19th century, the Napier Museum is located in Thiruvananthapuram. The art and natural history museum preserve a unique collection of historic and archaeological artifacts, ancient ornaments, bronze idols and ivory carvings etc. The architectural style and unique ornamentation of the museum make it the iconic landmark of the city. A natural air-conditioning system is the center of attraction. Kerala’s rich cultural heritage and significance are best depicted in this Museum.
Reasons to visit the Napier Museum
- Don’t forget to see the sword of Velu Thampi Dalawa
- Explore the nearby attractions like Thiruvananthapuram Zoo
- Head towards the Kanakakunnu Palace
- Bow down at the Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple
- Take a tour of Neyyar Dam & Wildlife Sanctuary
How to reach Napier Museum?
Nearest Airport – Thiruvananthapuram Airport (9 km)
Nearest Railway Station – Thiruvananthapuram Central Railway Station (3 km)
A striking village named Gavi is located in the Pathanamthitta district. Far from the limelight, Gavi is a utopia for wildlife and nature admirers. The matchless natural beauty leaves the visitors beguiled. Being a part of the Periyar Tiger Reserve and Ranni Reserve Forest, the lesser-known destination of Kerala gives you a chance to spot bears, Nilgiri Martens, elephants and sambars. The salubrious weather even during the summer makes the place one of the best destinations to visit in Kerala.
Reasons to visit Gavi
- An exciting jeep safari through the dense forest to reach Gavi
- Spotting rare species of flora and fauna
- Don’t forget to see the two Gopher trees which are the only two of their kind
- Unravel different activities like bird watching and boating
- Trek to Sabarimala, a popular shrine
How to reach Gavi?
Nearest Airport – Madurai Airport (140 km)
Nearest Railway Station – Kottayam Railway Station (114 km)
Though less explored, Anamudi is every adventure enthusiast and wildlife lover’s dream destination. With evergreen forests spreading in the major part of the area, the highest peak in Kerala is a habitat of many rare species of flora and fauna. Standing high in the Eravikulam National Park, the peak can be reached by trekking. True to its meaning, Anamudi resembles an Elephant’s head.
Reasons to visit Anamudi
- Visit Anamudi Shola National Park
- Trekking to the highest peak in South India
- Plan a trip to Munnar
- Enjoy the sight of gushing rivers like Vaigai and Thamirabarani
- Lucky ones can see the blossoming of the Neelakurinji Flowers that blooms once in very twelve years
How to reach Anamudi?
Nearest Airport: Coimbatore Airport (150 km)
Nearest Railway Station: Pollachi (100 Km)
Love trekking? check-out Top 7 Trekking and Adventure Places in Kerala
A luring town, Poovar is spotted in the Thiruvananthapuram district. The village is adorned by a beach with the same name. The word Poovar is formed by combining two Malayalam words ‘Poo’ and ‘var’ meaning flower and river. Vast stretches of sparkling sand, refreshing breeze and calm ambiance will undoubtedly treat your senses. Pristine beaches and amazing backwaters add to the charm of the place.
Reasons to visit Poovar
- Explore the Poovar Beach
- Contemplate the Kovalam Beach
- Pay a visit to the Fishing Village
- Enjoy being at the Thirparappu Falls
- Take some time out for the shopping
How to reach Poovar?
Nearest Airport: Thiruvananthapuram International Airport (30 km)
Nearest Railway Station: Thiruvananthapuram Central (30 km)
So, now you know that they are so many hidden gems waiting to be explored. Plan a trip to the offbeat places of Kerala before it’s too late!
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