Tourism in Kerala
Kerala, is a state of the country India, situated on the tropical Malabar Coast of southwestern in India. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. Simply called “God’s own country”as a tagline of Kerala. Kerala is famous especially for its ecotourism initiatives ,beautiful backwaters, Wild lifes and it’s culture. A unique culture and traditions are made Kerala as one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Tourism industry is the one of the major economy source of this state.
About 20 years before, Kerala was a relatively unknown tourist destination.Different kind of organizations are campaigns launched by the Govt.of Kerala for the ecotourism field in Kerala. Kerala Tourism , Tourism Development board etc.. are the few examples for those kind of Organizations in Kerala. They are truly promoting the Tourism industry. The tag line, God’s Own Country was taken for its tourism promotions and became a universal super brand. In 2010, Kerala attracted 660,000 foreigners from various parts of the world and still maintaining these arrivals from outer countries.
Kerala is an recognized Tourism destination for both domestic as well as foreign tourists. Kerala is well known for its beaches, backwaters, mountain ranges and wildlife sanctuaries. Other popular attractions in the state include the beaches at Kovalam, Kappad, Cherai and Varkala; backwater tourism riverfront resorts in various parts of Kerala, hill stations at Munnar, Wayanad, Nelliampathi, Vagamon and Ponmudi, national parks and wildlife sanctuaries at Periyar, Parambikulam and Eravikulam National Park. The “backwaters” region—an extensive network of interlocking rivers, lakes, and canals that centre on Ashtamudi Lake.Also see heavy tourist traffic. Lot of Heritage sites are also in Kerala, such as the Padmanabhapuram Palace, Hill Palace, and Mattancherry Palace etc..The city of Trivandrum ranks first in the total number of international and domestic tourists in Kerala. To further promote tourism in Kerala, the Grand Kerala Shopping Festival was started by the Government of Kerala in 2007. Since then it has been held every year during the December–January period.These kind of festivals are attracting the foreigners from outer countries.
Kerala Tourism successively adopted the tagline God’s Own Country in its advertisement campaigns. Hostile promotion in print and electronic media were able to invite a substantial investment in the hospitality industry. In 2000s, tourism had grown into a full–fledged, multibillion-dollar industry in the state.It was made a wide tourism revolution in the entire state. The state was able to create a place for itself in the world tourism industry. In the year 2003, Kerala, a previously unknown tourism destination, became the fastest growing tourism destination in the world. Today it is the most popular Tourism destination in India
Some of the major attractions are;
Beaches have an important role in the tourism development in Kerala. Many of the tourists are depending beaches for enjoy their leisure time with their families and dear ones.
Some of the famous beaches are, Kovalam beach near Thiruvananthapuram was among the first beaches in Kerala to attract tourists. Kovalam is today the most visited beach in the state.Other popularly visited beaches in the state include those at Kappad, Alappuzha, Marari Beach(Mararikulam, Alappuzha), Nattika (Thrissur), Vadanappilly beach (Thrissur), Cherai Beach, Beypore beach, Marari beach, Fort Kochi, and Varkala. The Muzhappilangad Beach at Kannur is the only drive-in beach in India. Marari beach was rated as one of the worlds top five HAMMOCK BEACH by National Geographic survey
2.Backwaters in Kerala
The backwaters in Kerala are a chain of saline lagoons and lakes lying parallel to the Arabian Sea coast which is also known as Malabar Coast. Houseboat or Kettuvallam rides in the backwaters are a major tourist attraction. Backwater tourism is centered mostly around Ashtamudi Lake, Kollam. Boat races held during festival seasons are also a major tourist attraction in the backwater regions.
Munnar Hill Station is the famous hills station in Kerala to attract tourists.One another hill station point is
Sithar Kundu View Point at Nelliyampathy, Palakkad Dist. Kerala.Eastern Kerala consists of land influenced upon by the Western Ghats.This region includes high mountains and deep-cut valleys. The wildest lands are covered with dense forests, while other regions lie under tea and coffee plantationsThe Western Ghats situated on average to 1500 m elevation above sea level. Some of the other popular hill stations in the region are;Vagamon, Paithalmala, Wayanad, Elapeedika, Peermade, Thekkady and Ponmudi.
These hill stations are alsoplays an important role in the tourism industry of kerala,India.
Silent Valley National Park in Palakkad is home to the largest population of lion-tailed monkey. They are among the world’s rarest and most threatened primates.The Konni Elephant Training Centre near Pathanamthitta,Elephant training center Kodanad near Famous river Periyar are the major elephant training centers in Kerala. These are ie;elephants are plays a vital role in the wild life attractions.Most of Kerala, whose native habitat consists of wet evergreen rainforests at lower elevations and highland deciduous and semi-evergreen forests in the east, is subject to a humid tropical climate. However, significant variations in terrain and elevation have resulted in a land whose biodiversity registers as among the world’s most significant. Most of Kerala’s significantly biodiverse tracts of wilderness lie in the evergreen forests of its easternmost districts. Kerala also hosts two of the world’s Ramsar Convention-listed wetlands: Lake Sasthamkotta and the Vembanad-Kol wetlands are noted as being wetlands of international importance. In turn, the forests play host to such major fauna as Asian elephant .Bengal tiger (Panthera tigris tigris), leopard (Panthera pardus), Nilgiri tahr (Nilgiritragus hylocrius), and grizzled giant squirrel (Ratufa macroura).More remote preserves, including Silent Valley National Park in the Kundali Hills, harbour endangered species such as the lion-tailed macaque Indian sloth bear and More common species include Indian porcupine , chital sambar ,gray langur, flying squirrel, swamp lynx, boar, a variety of catarrhine Old World monkey species, gray wolf and common palm civet Many reptiles, such as king cobra, viper, python, various turtles and crocodiles are to be found in Kerala—again, disproportionately in the east. Kerala’s avifauna include endemics like the Sri Lanka frogmouth Oriental bay owl, large frugivores like the great hornbill and Indian grey hornbill, as well as the more widespread birds such as peafowl, Indian cormorant, jungle and hill myna, Oriental darter, black-hooded oriole, greater racket-tailed and black drongoes, bulbul species of kingfisher and woodpecker, jungle fowl, Alexandrine parakeet, and assorted ducks and migratory birds. Additionally, freshwater fish such as kadu and brackishwater species such as Choottachi also are native to Kerala’s lakes and waterways.
- Athirappilly Falls
- Meenvallam falls
- Adyanpara Falls, near Nilambur
- Aruvikkuzhi, near Maramon, Kozhencherry in Pathanamthitta District
- Aruvikkuzhi, near Pallickathode, Kottayam District
- Athirappilly Falls 80 ft (24 m)
- Charpa Falls
- Cheeyappara Falls, near Adimali
- Chethalayam Falls, in Wayanad
- Kumbhavurutty Falls in Kollam district
- Lakkom Water Falls
- Madatharuvi Falls, near Ranny in Pathanamthitta District
- Marmala waterfall
- Meenmutty Falls, Thiruvananthapuram
- Meenmutty Falls 984 ft (300 m), in Wayanad
- Mulamkuzhi, near Malayattoor in Ernakulam District
- Panieli Poru waterfalls Ernakulam
- Palaruvi Falls, 300 ft (91 m) in Aryankavu near Punalur in Kollam district
- Pattathippara Falls
- Perunthenaruvi Falls
- Siruvani Waterfalls Palakkad
- Soochipara Falls 656 ft (200 m) / Sentinelrock falls, in Wayanad
- Thommankuthu Falls, near Thodupuzha
- Thusharagiri Falls
- Valara Falls, near Adimali
- Vazhachal Falls, near Athirappilly
- Vazhvanthol waterfalls Trivandrum
Another Tourist attraction of kerala is Light houses. Tangasseri Lighthouse in Kollam city. This is the tallest lighthouse in Kerala state whicis actually built by the British in 1902.+
Lighthouses are the main centre of attractions of Kerala beaches and coast line. There are 15 lighthouses in the entire state of Kerala. Districts of Kollam, Kannur, Kozhikode, Alappuzha, Thrissur and Thiruvananthapuram have more than one lighthouse.
Major Light houses are ;
- Vizhinjam lighthouse, Thiruvananthapuram
- Anjengo lighthouse, Thiruvananthapuram
- Tangasseri Lighthouse, Kollam (Tallest in the state)
- Kovilthottam Lighthouse, Kollam
- Alappuzha Lighthouse, Alappuzha
- Manakkodam Lighthouse, Alappuzha
- Cochin Lighthouse, Ernakulam
- Azhikode Lighthouse, Thrissur
- Chetwai Lighthouse, Thrissur
- Ponnani Lighthouse, Malappuram
- Beypore Lighthouse, Kozhikode
- Kozhikode lighthouse, Kozhikode (Defunct)
- Cannanore Lighthouse, Kannur
- Mount Dilly Lighthouse, Kannur
- Kasargode Lighthouse, Kasargod 7.Festivals
The major festival in Kerala is Onam.It is the traditional festival also. Kerala has a number of religious festivals. Thrissur Pooram, Attukal Pongala, Beema Palli Uroos, and Chettikulangara Bharani are the major temple festivals in Kerala. The Thrissur Pooram is conducted at the Vadakumnathan temple, Thrissur. The Chettikulangara Bharani is another major attraction. The festival is conducted at the Chettikulangara temple near Mavelikkara. The Sivarathri is also an important festival in Kerala. This festival is mainly celebrated in Aluva Temple and Padanilam Parabrahma Temple. Padanilam Temple is situated in Alappuzha district of Kerala, about 16 kilometres (9.9 mi) from Mavelikkara town. Malayattoor perunnal,Parumala Perunnal, Manarkadu Perunnal are the major festivals of Christians. Muslims also have many important festivals.
Some important festivals in Kerala are given below;, which is mainly attracting the tourists
Kerala is also known for the many events conducted by the Ministry of Tourism for tourist attractions. Kochi-Muziris Biennale, the first Biennale in India was conducted in Kochi from the month of December to March. During this time ,we can see a wide range of foreign arrival to kochi,Kerala. Mainly amzing arts,Paintings and different handicrafts skill of the people are exhibiting in this Niennale.The government contributed about 12-150 million on the event. An International Coir Fest is conducted annually that is aimed at developing the coir industry of Kerala and tourism.
2.Grand Kerala Shopping Festival
To further promote tourism in Kerala, the Government of Kerala started the Grand Kerala Shopping Festival in the year 2007. Since then it has become an annual shopping event being conducted in the December–January period. During this period stores and shops registered under the GKSF offer a wide range of discounts, VAT refunds, etc. Along with the guaranteed shopping experience, shoppers are provided with gift coupons for a fixed worth of purchase entering them into weekly and mega lucky draws. As compared to shopping festivals held in other countries, this Festival converts the entire state of Kerala into a giant shopping mall, incorporating not just the big players, but also the small and medium scale industries. Through this shopping festival, the Kerala Government intends to transform the State into a hub for international shopping experience and thereby launch “Shopping Tourism” in the state.
Medical tourism, promoted by traditional systems of medicine like Ayurveda and Siddha, is widely popular in the state, and draws increasing numbers of tourists. A combination of many factors has led to the increase in popularity of medical tourism: high costs of healthcare in industrialised nations, ease and affordability of international travel, improving technology and standards of care.
The government is now considering introduction of a grading system which would grade hospitals and clinics, thus helping tourists in selecting one for their treatments. Mainly Ayurveda treatments.
Nowadays lot of Ayurveda resorts and treatment centers are available in Kerala. Those are all major places for foreigners to take treatments, to rejuvenate their body and soul.
One of the famous Ayurvedic resort is Elephant pass Ayurveda & Yoga Retreat, Which is situated in the ecotourism village ,Kodanad near famous river Periyar and International pilgrim church Malayattoor. Malayattoor is the one of the best international pilgrim center to attract the foreigners.In this Resort mainly concentrating Ayurveda treatment and yoga sessions for the people those who are all from abroad as well as domestic.