Kerala

Thiruvananthapuram
The city gets its name from the word, Thiru-anantha-puram, meaning the city of Anantha or the abode of the sacred Serpent Anantha on which Lord Vishnu, the preserver of the Hindu trinity, reclines.
From around 1000 BC Thiruvananthapuram has been an ancient city with trading traditions. The rise of modern Thiruvananthapuram began with accession of Marthanda Varma in 1729 as the founding ruler of the princely state of Travancore. Thiruvananthapuram was made the capital of Travancore in 1745. The city developed into a major intellectual and artistic centre during this period. The golden age in the city's history was during the mid 19th century under the reign of Maharaja Swathi Thirunal and Maharaja Ayilyam Thirunal. This era witnessed the establishment of the first English school, the Oriental Research Institute , the General Hospital , the Observatory & Manuscripts Library and the University College . The first Lunatic Asylum in the state was also started during the same period. Sanskrit College, Ayurveda College, Law College and a second grade college for women were started by Moolam Thirunal during this era.
The begining of the 19th century was an age of tremendous political and social changes in the city. The Sree Moolam Assembly, established in 1904 was the first democratically elected legislative council in any Indian state. It was not under the direct control of the British Empire at any time, the city however featured prominently in India's freedom struggle. The Indian National Congress made a very active presence in the city. In 1938 a meeting of the Indian National Congress was held which was presided by Dr. Pattabhi Sitaramaiah
kuIn 1931 Chitra Thirunal Bala Rama Varma took over and witnessed many-sided progress. The promulgation of "Temple Entry Proclamation" (1936) was an act that underlined social emancipation. This era also saw the establishment of the Kerala University which was formerly known as University of Travancore in 1937.

With the establishment of Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station (TERLS) in 1962, Thiruvananthapuram became the cradle of India's ambitious space programme. The first Indian space rocket was developed and launched from the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) located in the outskirts of the city in 1963. Several establishments of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) were later established in Thiruvananthapuram.
A major milestone in the city's recent history was the establishment of Technopark,India's first IT park in 1995. Technopark has developed into the largest IT Park in India and third largest in Asia and is home to MNC giants like Infosys, TCS, Ernst & Young, UST Global etc; This placed Thiruvananthapuram on the IT map of India and it is today one of the most promising in the country in terms of competitiveness and capability.
Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum) is the captial of Kerala and also the headquaters of the trivandrum District.It is a beautiful seaside city built on seven hills. It is located on the west coast of India near the extreme south of the mainland spreading over a total of 2,192sq.km.
Mahatma Gandhi has referred trivandrum as "Evergreen city of India".
The city is the state capital and houses many central and state government offices, organizations and companies. Apart from being the political nerve centre of Kerala, it is also a major academic hub and is home to several educational institutions including the University of Kerala, and too many science and technology institutions, namely Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre , Technopark and IIST.

Munnar
Munnar, the famed hill station of south India, is a romantic locale where natural beauty is everywhere to visit, explore and to enjoy. Munnar is situated at the confluence of three mountain streams – Muthirapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundala - and the word 'Munnar' means three rivers in Malayalam.
Situated about 1600m above sea level, the hill station had been the summer resort of the British Government during the colonial era. Imprints of the colonial past stand tall in the Munnar town in the form of English country cottages. Virgin forests, savannah, rolling hills, scenic valleys, numerous streams, huge splashy waterfalls, sprawling tea plantations and winding walkways are all part of the great holiday experience on offer for a traveler to Munnar.

Munnar is also known for Neelakurinji, a rare plant which flowers only once in twelve years. The 'kurinji season' in Munnar is a magnificent sight when the hills and valleys get bathed in the blue of the Neelakurinji blooms.
Sprawling tea plantations, picture-book towns, winding lanes and holiday facilities make this a popular resort town. Among the exotic flora found in the forests and grasslands here is the Neelakurinji. This flower which bathes the hills in blue once in every twelve years, will bloom next in 2018. Munnar also has the highest peak in South India, Anamudi, which towers over 2,695 m. Anamudi is an ideal spot for trekking.
Let us now explore some of the options in and around Munnar that would provide travellers ample opportunities to enjoy the captivating hill station of Munnar.
Eravikulam National Park and the Nilgiri Tahr is considered to be the icon of tourism in Munnar. The national park is also famous for its Neelakurinji population. the place have the rush of tourist both domestic and international to sight the rare flowers. At this place, you can witness the highest peak in South India, Anamudi. A trekking to this peak will no doubt energise you. When you stand yourself on the top of this peak, you will feel that you are standing very close to the sky and very soon you can touch the sky. The lovely Devikulam Lake; Kolukkumalai (the highest tea plantation in the country); the waterfalls like Lakkam, Attukal, Nyayamakad, Chinnakkal, Kuthumkal, Cheeyapara, Valara and Thoovanam; the 'cattle village' or Mattupetty etc makes Munnar the abode of nature.
For shopaholics, this destination is a heaven - whether tea or spices. You can collect various spices from here like ginger, cardamom, pepper, cinnamon, coffee, clove, nutmeg etc. Don't miss the homemade chocolates here. Enjoy the white, dark, liqueur filled and chocolates with nuts. Munnar is blessed with lots of resorts and hotels, which will cater all your needs. Among these resorts you can also find affordable and cheap hotels, which suits you the most. All these hotels and resorts will offer you various packages like honeymoon packages, family packages etc and will help you to explore Munnar in a perfect way

Kumarakom
Kumarakom is a cluster of little islands on the Vembanad Lake in Kerala. Also known as the Queen of Vembanad, Kumarakom is the most famous Kerala Backwaters destination for traditional houseboat ride and it is among the most visited tourist places in Kerala state. This is also one of the ideal weekend getaways from Kochi & Trivandrum.
Kumarakom's soil is extremely fertile due to the proximity to water source, this has resulted in the growth of a wide variety of flora in Kumarakom, especially the mangrove and coconut trees. Kumarakom is an unbelievably beautiful paradise of mangrove forests, emerald green paddy fields and coconut groves. It is also famous for Ayurvedic massage, yoga, meditation, boating, fishing and swimming.
The name Kumarakom was derived from the deity of an old temple Kumaran. Arundhati Roy, author of the 1997 Booker Prize-winning The God of Small Things, was raised in the nearby Aymanam village. In order to protect the ecology of the place, the Kerala government has declared Kumarakom as a special tourism zone. Kumarakom is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna. Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is a noted bird sanctuary where many species of migratory birds visit. Egrets, darters, herons, teals, waterfowls, cuckoo, wild duck and migratory birds like the Siberian Stork visit here in flocks and are a fascinate the visitors. A two-hour rowing canoe trip is organized, and is best undertaken in the evening or early morning.

Vembanad Lake is one of the largest fresh water lakes in India. The major sightseeing option at Kumarakom is boat cruise in backwaters of Vembanad. There are Country boats and Houseboats for the boat cruise experience. A Houseboat cruise along the backwaters is really an amazing experience for every traveler to Kumarakom. Excellent marine and freshwater fish including tasty karimeen, shrimp, and prawns are available in the area. Kumarakom is the venue for Sree Narayana Jayanthi Boat Race held in September during Onam festival. More than 1000 oarsmen in boats of different sizes and shapes will participate in this event.
Cochin International Airport is the closest airport at a distance of 74 km to reach Kumarakom. Kottayam is the nearest railway station to Kumarakom (16 km). Kumarakom is also accessible by boat from Alappuzha.
Kumarakom is connected by frequent bus service from Kottayam. KSRTC bus service connects Kottayam to all cities in Kerala. Private run deluxe A/C buses connect Kottayam with major cities like Chennai, Mangalore, Bangalore and Trivandrum.
The best time to visit Kumarakom is from October-March while the peak season is September & November to February. Post monsoon is the best season for bird watching. Backwater cruising is prohibited during peak monsoons. It usually takes 1-2 days to explore the important places in Kumarakom.

Kovalam
Kovalam offers an excellent diversity with Kovalam beach to suit all desires and occasions. Three curve shaped beaches, alienated by stony outcroppings, from the major attraction of this coastal resort.
Backed by precipitously mounting headlands and covered by fertile coconut palms, the beaches, especially the southernmost part of lighthouse beach. It is also lined with a host of shops and shacks offering all kinds of services; creating an unmistakable resort atmosphere. Curio shops, hawkers of Kashmiri and Tibetan products, moneychangers and beachwear shops, between the surplus of restaurants and hotels, do brisk business during peak tourist season.
The sea port of Vizhinjam is about 3 km away and famous for its special varieties of fish, old Hindu temples, big churches and a mosque. The Proposed International Trans shipment Terminal at Vizhinjam is also close to Kovalam.
Kovalam was among the most famous traveler spots in India. It still has a high rank among tourists, who arrive mostly from Europe and Israel. Kovalam is finding a new implication in the light of several Ayurvedic salons, and healing and renaissance resorts which supply a wide variety of Ayurvedic treatments for tourists.
Kovalam beach is well known not only for its beauty, but also for the entertainment programs and sports conducted on the beach. One of the popular entertainments in Kovalam Beach is to enjoy beach bonfire with your friends or relatives. The beach fire rings and bonfires are usually enjoyed and promoted by local and foreign tourists.
You can smell the woods burning and hear the shouts of joy from different parts of the Kovalam beach in the evening. All have rings offered for free use on a first come first serve basis. The camp-like tradition lives on from generation to generation in this time honored celebration that brings families, friends and business associates together in a circle, huddled around the warm glowing flames to fend off the chilled night air of the Arabian Sea. The atmosphere and temperature in Kovalam is very good with soft winds creating a chill, especially in the evenings.

The busiest season at the beach usually runs from late May through early September. Free fire pits are greatly desired during this time, especially on weekends. It is not unusual for people to stake claim to a pit in the early afternoon, even when planning to use it later in the day.
Kovalam beach is well known for its beautiful sunset. Each and every day there will be something new to tell about the sunset in Kovalam due to its beauty. The variation of colors such as red, orange and yellow in the sun and sky draw new master piece art works in the sky on every new sunset. Kovalam beach with its amazing sunset beauty attracted photographers all around the world to capture the beauty of sun and sky.
By the sunset, Kovalam beach will be active with songs, dances and celebrations of different tourists. Apart from tourists, there were many local inhabitants who often visit the beach to spend their evenings with family and friends. It is also interesting to watch the fishers fishing in the sea by sunset through ancient traditional ways.
Since 1930 Kovalam was a prominent international tourist beach. Kovalam Beach is located at a distance of six kilometers from Thiruvananthapuram, the capital of Kerala. It is also known as the 'Paradise of South India'. Kovalam beach spread widely over four kilometers and its glory spread all over the world. Kovalam beach is the world famous beach of India.

Kochi
Kochi (colonial name Cochin) is a vibrant city situated on the south-west coast of the Indian peninsula in the breathtakingly scenic and prosperous state of Kerala, hailed as 'God's Own Country'. Its strategic importance over the centuries is underlined by the sobriquet Queen of the Arabian Sea. Informally, Cochin is also referred to as the Gateway to Kerala.
From time immemorial, the Arabs, British, Chinese, Dutch, and Portuguese have left indelible marks on the history and development of Cochin. Over the years, Cochin has emerged as the commercial and industrial capital of Kerala and is perhaps the second most important city on the west coast of India (after Mumbai/Bombay). Cochin is proud of its world class port and international airport that link it to many major cities worldwide.
Tea Plantation This lovely seaside city is flanked by the Western Ghats on the east and the Arabian Sea on the west. Its proximity to the equator, the sea and the mountains provide a rich experience of a moderate equatorial climate.
Strictly speaking, Cochin is a small town. But, Cochin has outgrown its original bounds and is now the general name given to much of the region adjoining the original town, which now includes Cochin, Fort Kochi, Mattanchery, Ernakulam and many other nearby towns and villages. Cochin is situated in Ernakulam district in the state of Kerala. Ernakulam is also the name of a town - the administrative capital of Ernakulam district - but, for all practical purposes Ernakulam and Cochin, generally, refer to the same place.
Kochi is the arguably the ideal starting point for exploring the unfathomable diversity and beauty of Kerala, rated in the top three tourist destinations by the World Travel & Tourism Council and featured in National Geographic Traveler's '50 greatest places of a lifetime'.

This site is an attempt to capture the beauty and vigour of this city and provide as much information as possible to people who wish to know more or visit Cochin. This site will use Cochin and Kochi interchangeably since they refer to the same place. Kochi is the original name of the city, while Cochin is the colonial name. Slightly larger version of some of the images can be found in the Cochin album or Kerala album . All hyperlinks marked with a will be loaded in a new browser window. Suggestions and comments on any relevant matter pertaining to this site or its content are always welcome.

Athirapally
At a distance of 32 km from Chalakudy, 73 km from Kochi, 59 km from Thrissur, 100 km from Munnar, 122 km from Kottayam, 170 km from Kozhikode, 174 km from Coimbatore & 269 km from Trivandrum, Athirapally Waterfalls are one of the best waterfalls in India and one of the most famous tourist places in Kerala & one of the popular weekend getaways from Kochi, Coimbatore & Munnar. These are magnificent waterfalls on Chalakudy River located at the entrance to Sholayar hill range in Thrissur district.
This waterfall drops from a height of 80 feet through several parallel streams offering a great scenic beauty. In monsoon season, the water gets strength and all the streams join together and appear like Niagara Falls. This is the biggest waterfalls in Kerala and well known for its scenic beauty.
One can reach top of Athirapally falls with about 15 minutes walk from the falls entrance. It offers spectacular views of the Sholayar hills and a unique view of the waterfalls from this spot. About 10-15 minutes trek down from top of the falls will take you to bottom of the falls where the greatest beauty of the waterfalls can be experienced. Swimming is possible in the stream at bottom of the Athirappilly falls.
Down from the waterfall, the stream continues as Chalakudy River which ultimately drains into Arabian Sea. This river is a bio diversity hotspot with 85 species of fresh water fish living in it. The Athirapally Forest is also the natural habitat of different species like the great hornbill, Malabar pied hornbill, Malabar grey hornbill, Indian grey hornbill, Asiatic elephant, tiger, leopard, bison, sambar and lion-tailed macaque.
The Vazhachal Waterfalls, Charpa Falls, Anakkayam, Sholayar Dam, Valparai and Malayattur Wildlife Sanctuary are the nearby places to visit in Athirapally. It also offers adventure activities like river rafting, trekking, etc.

Chalakudy (32 km) is the nearest junction to Athirapally and it is connected by bus with Thrissur (55 km), Kochi (73 km) and Palakkad (110 km). One can take public/private vehicle from Chalakudy to reach Athirapally. Cochin Airport is the nearest airport to Athirapally which is 40 km away. Kochi and Thrissur are two major railways junctions nearby. The nearest railway station is Chalakudy Railway Station at 32 km from Athirapally.

Alappuzha or Alleppey
Built in the 9th century AD, Alleppey, called Alappuzha lies on the edge of the great Ashtamudi Lake. With the Arabian Sea on the west and a vast labyrinth of lakes, lagoons and several freshwater rivers criss-crossing it, Alappuzha is a district of immense natural beauty.
Related to the Venice of the East by travellers from around the world, this Backwater Country is also home to diverse range of animals and birds. It has always been honored a unique place in the maritime history of Kerala for its proximity to the sea. Alleppey has earned fame in the commercial world as the world's premier supplier of coir.
Today, Alleppey has emerged as a Backwater Tourist Centre, beckoning thousands of foreign tourists each year. Alleppey is also famous for its Boat races, Houseboat Holidays, Beaches, Marine Products and Coir Industry. Every year, during August-September, Alleppey wakes up to the pulsating Nehru Cup Snake Boat Race, a water sport unique to Kerala.

ALLEPPEY
Alleppey is one of the most important tourist centers in the state, with a large network of inland canals earning it the sobriquet "Venice of the east". These large network of canals provide Alleppey its lifeline. Alleppey was one of the busiest centers of trade in the past with one of the best known ports along the malabar coast. Even today it retains its charm as the centre for Coir carpet industries and prawn farming. Alleppey the ideal headquarters for backwater tourism as well as for visits to the lovely church filled town of Kottayam, and the town of Aranmula, famous for its historic Aranmula Snake Boat Race which is an annual event.
Alleppey is also known for its spectacular snake - boat races held on the second Saturday of August, every year. This competition - the Nehru boat race takes its name from India's first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, who inaugurated in 1952. It is excitement all around as snake - boats , each manned by over a hundred oarsmen, cut through the waters like wind. The event is a tremendous success with tourists and the local population alike.
The boat cruise along the backwaters of Alleppey give one firsthand experience of the life style; toddy tapping, fishing for small fry, Coir-making, prawn farming etc., which remains more or less unchanged over the years.

Ambalapuzha
It is situated 14 kms. away from Alleppey. In its architectural features, the Sreekrishna Temple confirms the typical Kerala style. The temple is famous throughout Kerala for 'Palpayasam' a milk porridge of exceptional sweetness offered to the deity.

Karumadikkuttan
Situated 3 km east of Ambalapuzha, this village is known for its 10th century Karumadikkuttan statue, a black granite figure of the great Buddha, the founder of Buddhism. There are many interesting legends connected to this idol.

Champakulam
Champakulam - the water logged village is also the place of oldest angadi (market) known as Kalloorkkadu angadi. The St. Mary Forane Church built in 427 A D is another major attraction famous for its beautiful mural paintings for both tourists and believers. In Champakulam you can see Nadubhagum and Champakulam snake boats which take part in the annual snake boat races.

Wayanad
The name Wayanad is derived from the expression 'Wayalnadu' which means a land of paddy fields. the Kabini river system of Wayand is the perennial source of water to Cauvery. This district enjoys the beauty of delightful landscape. It is covered with thick forests varies between 700 and 2100m above sea level.
Replete with enchanting waterfalls, historical caves, comfortable resorts and home stays, this popular town is famous for its spice plantations and wildlife.
Among the prettiest areas of Kerala, Wayanad has a multitude of options for its visitors. Part of a forest reserve, Wayanad is located on the border of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. The entire region is completely green with hilly ranges and wildlife including Tholpetty in the North, Muthanga in the east bordering with Tamil Nadu, Kalpetta in the south, Mananthvadi in the north-west and Sultan Bathery (Sultan Battery) in the east. Walking through the sprawling spice plantations, taking that trek into the pre-historic caves and experiencing a resort holiday are one of the many thing you can do to get a taste of Wayanad. A great place to spot wild elephants, cool breeze, beautiful scenery, Wayanad is guaranteed to please your travel senses. Overall, a perfect weekend idea from cities of South India.
The Banasura Project in this district hold an exclusive earth dam which will be the largest in India and the second largest in the world.
This is also the land of tribals with the highest concentration of tribal population in Kerala. There are a number of ancient temples, rock caves relating to the stone-age era, churches, mosques and antique monuments.