India at a Glance
Kerala is an Indian state located on the Malabar coast of south-west India and is an important tourist destination in India, wedged between the Western Ghats on the East and the Arabian Sea on the West, The backwaters, beaches, Ayurvedic tourism and tropical greenery being the major attractions. National Geographic's Traveler magazine names Kerala as one of the "ten paradises of the world" and "50 must see destinations of a lifetime". Travel and Leisure names Kerala as "One of the 100 great trips for the 21st century". Kerala is unique because of its uniform climate, long shoreline of serene beaches, quiet emerald backwaters, lush green hill stations and exotic wildlife. From the beautiful waterfalls and sprawling plantations, to the enchanting art forms and magical festivals, Kerala is a indeed a destination of a lifetime. Kerala has also pioneered health and medical tourism in India and has attracted international attention in this segment. The idea of health tourism is mainly concentrated on Ayurveda. Ayurveda is not just about good physical health. It is a therapy that promises holistic wellness.
While travelling through the numerous forests and hill stations in Kerala, you will see some of the beautiful waterfalls. The water cascading down the rocky mountains surrounded by lush green forest, is a site you will never forget. Taking a trip in a houseboat along the palm-fringed Kerala canals, known as the backwaters, is one of the most tranquil and relaxing thing to do. You can even spend the night out on the middle of a lake.
Kerala's Periyar National Park is one of the most popular wildlife parks in southern India. It is open to tourists throughout the year, even during the monsoon season. The deep dense forests offer the adventure seekers a fine holiday. Bird watching, jungle safaris etc are the other activities perfect for adventure lovers. Kerala is famous for its numerous places of worship that hold year-round festivals and celebrations, be it a Hindu, a Christian or a Muslim festival. The state has important pilgrim centers that are visited by devotees all through the year.
One of India's most literate and socially advanced, the people of Kerala enjoy a unique cosmopolitan culture. This is attributed to Kerala's composite culture to which several lands and races from across the world have contributed significantly. This is reflected on the historic and cultural monuments.The most popular tourist attractions in Kerala are the beaches, backwaters and the hill stations. Major beaches are at Kovalam, Varkala, Kappad, Muzhappilangad and Bekal. Popular hill stations are at Munnar, Wayanad, Wagamon, Peermade, Nelliampathi and Ponmudi. The "backwaters" is an extensive network of interlocking rivers , lakes, and canals that center around Alleppey, Kumarakom, Kollam and Punnamada, where the annual Nehru Trophy Boat Race is held in August, every year.