I was absolutely thrilled when I heard that I was going to Kerala for my family vacation. I couldn’t wait until my college closed for the semester break. My dad had booked an amazing tour package to Kerala from Lelagoon Holidays which started off from our hometown, Hyderabad, which was actually a blessing. Finally, when the day came we did not have to go through any struggles as the travel experts from Lelagoon Holidays had made all the necessary arrangements for a comfortable travel experience. I was indeed mesmerized by my whole trip. I would definitely place Kerala amongst the most beautiful places in the world. Kerala in every aspect is true ‘God’s own country’. The luscious greenery, the coconut groves swaying to the wind, the pristine backwaters, the golden beaches and the dense forests rich in a variety of flora and fauna are sights that are owned by Kerala. You don’t get to see all of this under one roof, do you? Within a few days, we visited so many destinations and our guide told us that we probably visited the fewest places in Kerala, as the land is home to zillions of captivating spots. He said ‘The more you explore Kerala, the more places you find every single time’. Wow! How blessed is this land?! I happened to visit the capital city of Kerala, Trivandrum and another wonderful place named Kollam. Both the places were equally beautiful. It not only contained the quiet and serenity of the village life but also the glitz and glamour of the city. There were spellbinding waterfalls, intriguing temples, magnificent architectural structures, museums, zoos, and golden beaches. I loved each and every place that I visited. I had no complaints or criticisms to make. Kerala is literally perfect in every sense. I have listed out some of the best places in Kollam and Trivandrum. These places are extremely beautiful and interesting and you should definitely add them in tour package to Kerala.
Napier Museum and Zoo
Napier Museum and Zoo is an architectural wonder that towers up harmoniously with the greenery that surrounds it. The architecture which is a blend of both native and foreign style is quite commendable. Built in the colonial era, the museum houses a lot of artifacts, idols, sculptures, and ornaments. The complex also houses a zoological park which is much loved by the kids. The zoo is home to a variety of animals and birds. You could also get a chance to see some rare species of fauna here. Do add the Napier Museum and Zoo in your travel itinerary.
Situated in the capital city of the state, Meenmutty waterfall (also called Kombaikani Falls) is one of the most sought-after destinations in Thiruvananthapuram. The waterfall is a 45 minutes drive away from the Trivandrum city. The waterfall emerges from huge rocks and gushes out in such force that water gets sprinkled on your face even from a long distance. The waterfall is surrounded by a group of beautifully chiseled rocks and indigenous variety of plants. The waterfall is a great getaway from the bustle of daily life and you can indulge in the scenic beauty that Nature has created for us. Due to the serene and calm surrounding that Meenmutty offers, the destination is one of the favorite places of couples who wish for a quiet romantic time amidst the gushing waterfalls and the lush greenery. Within the last few years, the popularity of Meenmutty has reached new heights due to which this spot is included in almost all the honeymoon tour packages to Kerala.
The Dutch Quillon Lighthouse
The lighthouse has got many names, the Dutch Quillon being the most famous of them. The place is also known as Thangassery. The Dutch Quillon was completely controlled by the British in the pre-independence era. The lighthouse was built in the year 1902 by the then British Government and it is built in the most effective way that the lighthouse can be viewed as far as 13 miles from the sea. It is the second highest lighthouse in Kerala with a towering height of 144 feet. The lighthouse provides the most beautiful view of the sprawling sea. Close to the lighthouse lies another important destination in Kollam called the Portuguese Fort. You won’t get to see much of the fort as time has left only a few remains of the fort.
Thenmala Deer Park
Thenmala Deer Park is one of the most famous destinations in Kollam and tourists from far and wide come in search of this park. Thenmala Deer Park is built inside the famous Kallada Riverside Forest. The specialty of the park as its name suggests is that you can find different varieties of deer like Barking deer, Sambar Deer, Spotted deer, Lawn Deer, Axis deer etc. in this park. If you are lucky enough you will be able to spot a herd of deer. The park also houses a children’s park where families can spend some leisure time with their children. Make it a point to check out the tree house as well. The area is literally in the lap of Nature which is filled with dense vegetation, rubber and tea plantations. They also conduct various tourist activities in Thenmala like trekking, mountaineering, biking, boating, rope bridge and many more to keep the tourists entertained.
Kottukal Rock Cut CaveTemple
If you are searching for unique tourist destinations, then you should not miss the Kottukal RockCut CaveTemple. The temple is situated alongside the Thiruvananthapuram-Kottayam MC road and is the finest example of rock-cut architecture. Kottukal in Malayalam is Kothiya Kalu or carved rocks. The architecture is very ancient and unique and it is said to have been built in the 6th or 7th century. The temple has two caves. The deity in the larger cave is the Nandi Bull and in the smaller cave, it is Lord Hanuman. In between the two caves stands the idol of Lord Vigneshwara.
Kulathupuzha is located at a distance of 64km from the main city of Kollam. The Satha Temple in Kulathupuzha is one of the most famous temples in Kollam. This temple where the deity is considered to be Parashurama, the incarnate of Lord Vishnu is set at the banks of River Kulathupuzha. The temple is flooded with Vishnu devotees during the month of April and May as a grand festival called the Vishnu Mahotsavam takes place. If you are a Nature lover, then you should definitely visit the Eco-tourism center of Thenmala which also houses the Indo-Swiss dairy farms that are just 9kms away from Kulathupuzha.
When someone asks which is the largest fishing port in Kerala, tell them that it is Neendakara located in Kollam. The most common sight in Neendakara Port is a large number of motorized and non-motorized boats tethered to the waterfront. Being the largest fishing port, Neendakara is also one of the biggest seafood sources in the state as fish and other seafood is caught in abundance in the area. The bridge of Neendakara connects the port with Sakthikulangara, which is yet another major coastal area of Kollam. Another specialty of Neendakara is that one can watch the beautiful Ashtamudi Lake joins the Arabian Sea and it is indeed a ravishing sight to behold. You also get a chance to watch bedazzling sunsets in the Neendakara Port.
Ponmudi is one of the best offbeat destinations in Trivandrum where you can spend a quality time with your loved ones. This is one of the most beautiful destinations in the capital city of Kerala. The destination wasn’t much popular before but today it is gradually gaining immense popularity, especially among foreign tourists. Ponmudi is a serene hill station which is situated amidst the Western Ghats. The area is covered in luscious green meadows, lofty hills, colorful flowers, tea gardens and crisscrossing rivulets. If you love trekking, then this place is simply ideal for you. The famous Agasthyarkootam which is as tall as 1868 feet above sea level is located in the same area. Ponmudi is situated at a distance of 61km from the capital city of Kerala, Trivandrum. Do visit Ponmudi on your next trip to Kerala.
The most popular beach of Kerala, the hub of foreigners, Kovalam Beach is situated in the capital city of the state, Trivandrum. The Kovalam Beach is referred to the three beaches in the area, namely the Hawa Beach, the Light House Beach and the Samudra Beach. Of these, the Hawa Beach and the Light House Beach are the most popular beaches which are filled with tourists throughout the year. The Samudra Beach is comparatively less crowded and is much more peaceful as it remains untouched by tourism. The Kovalam Beach is considered to be the most developed beach in Kerala. A lot of tourist activities like snorkeling, beach cycling, catamaran rides etc. are conducted on the beach. You can get a nice tan and view the picturesque sunset of the beach which is quite famous.