Kerala, which is more commonly known as God’s Own Country is located in the south of India. It offers a different perspective and way of life compared to the rest of India, making it a distinct state of India to explore for visitors.
Here I would like to share my thoughts, insights and perspective drawn from my experience travelling around Kerala and what I was able to discover on the trip.
One aspect of Kerala I connected with the most during my time in the state is the tourism slogan: “Human by Nature”.
Kerala connects its people and culture with its surrounding nature.
Kerala uses what they have on their doorstep to incorporate with their day to day lives, and you can experience this by travelling around the region.
From its tropical coast, palm-lined backwaters, mountains and tea fields to spice plantations and wildlife within the national parks, Kerala has it all.
Nature is on your doorstep in Kerala, and I urge you to look beyond the stunning landscapes and connect with the locals to enhance your travelling experience to Kerala.
Here I share with you my top 10 highlights of my Human by Nature experiences from my recent trip to Kerala, India.
1. Meet the local people of Kerala
My top highlight from visiting Kerala has to be meeting the local people.
Warm welcomes and hospitality are offered and well-received everywhere you go around Kerala.
A great way to connect with the local culture and discover what makes the state of Kerala human by nature.
The locals made my trip to Kerala a memorable one for sure.
2. Watch a sunset at the Chinese fishing nets along the waterways of Kochi
There is something rather majestic about going to the Chinese fishing nets in Kochi and watching the fishing nets being tossed out as the sun sparkles on top of the water. Perfect to experience at sunset and you can take a boat cruise back to your hotel to end your day.
3. Go wild in Wayanad
If you would like to connect to nature and experience the wildlife of Kerala, then Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary has to be your destination.
Sleep under the stars and surround yourself with the wilderness of Wayanad.
If you’re lucky, you might even spot some roaming wildlife, such as local elephant herds wandering around the park.
4. Visit Jatayu Earth’s Center to see the large mythical bird statue
The biggest bird statue in the world can be found on top of Jatayu Rock at the Jatayu Earth’s Center in Kerala.
You can take a cable car to the top of the rock and enjoy the fantastic panoramic view that looks out into the wilderness of the surrounding Kollam area.
The giant mythical bird statue is of a character Jatayu, which fell after Ravana clipped its wings in the epic Ramayana. Not to be missed on your trip to Kerala.
5. Stay by the coast of Kovalam and enjoy a sunset
As Kerala is located along the southern coast of India, why not make the most out of this fabulous location and go on a beach escape to Kovalam?
Here you will find a selection of resorts and sandy beaches to relax and enjoy.
It’s a perfect location for cocktails by the pool with incredible sea views, wonderful for enjoying a sunset in the evening.
Within walking distance, you can also visit Vizhinjam Lighthouse. Kovalam is also a perfect spot to try some scuba diving if that is more your thing.
6. Enjoy a Kerala sleeper train journey on the Maveli Express
India is famous for its unique train journeys and Kerala offers a sleeper service called the Maveli Express that travels along the coast of Kerala.
If you like to take your time and travel in the slow lane while seeing the rolling countryside pass from the comfort of your seat, then this train journey is for you.
I would recommend going for the A/C option ticket. It is also a good idea to pick up some local food at the train station from the vendors that can be found on the platform before you depart so you can enjoy your meal along your journey.
7. Go hiking to the foothills of Suryanelli
For those seeking adventure, escape to nature and enjoy an overnight tented stay with an early morning trek and sunrise which overlooks a tea plantation at the foothills of Suryanelli. It’s a beautiful hike to experience the outdoors of Kerala. A great way to have a fun overnight experience in Kerala.
8. Cruise the backwaters of Alleppey on a private houseboat
A great way to witness Human by Nature is to go on a houseboat for a night or two and travel along the backwaters of Alleppey.
Along the way you can experience the local way of life in Kerala as you pass locals fishing, cleaning, cooking and living along the backwaters.
You might even spot the local commuter boats go by which locals use to get to and from work or school throughout the day.
Life goes peacefully along the backwaters of Alleppey.
It’s a wonderfully relaxing journey through the palm trees and the calm waters, so sit back, relax and enjoy the trip.
9. Enjoy tea in Munnar at the Lockhart plantation
A trip to India isn’t complete without tasting a refreshing pot of tea.
In Munnar, you can visit the Lockhart Tea Factory where you can take a tour of the factory and learn about tea production.
End your day by taking a jeep tour up to the stunning tea fields and have a closer look at how tea is produced here in Kerala.
10. Try an Ela Sadya, a traditional local Kerala food experience
If you’re visiting Kerala, you have to experience an Ela Sadya. It’s a beautiful way to dine and try all the different cultural dishes that the region has to offer.
Traditionally an Ela Sadya is a combination of different dishes served on top of a banana leaf and is best consumed while using your hands.
Typically, an Ela Sadya is prepared and served during religious and ceremonial occasions such as weddings and festivals but can also be arranged as part of a cultural experience for visitors.
This lunch platter combination comes with a large portion of hot steamed rice served with a mixture of different local dishes on the side such banana chips, sambar stew, kichadi lentils, pulissery buttermilk curry, olan coconut stew and cabbage thoran. And usually, kheer or payasam is served at the end as a dessert dish.
The best way to connect with the locals is by food, and this social dining experience is one not to be missed in Kerala.
Thank you for reading my travel guide to Kerala
Thank you for passing by my blog, and I hope you found this article helpful.
I hope it helps you plan your trip to Kerala and you’re looking forward to visiting India soon. I wish you a great trip!
I had so much fun exploring Kerala on my trip around the south of India and hope that I can visit again once it’s safe to travel.
If you have any questions about your trip, feel free to message me, and I’ll be more than happy to help.
This article has been put together in collaboration with Kerala Tourism board and all thoughts expressed and photos used are my own. #HumanByNature.