1Gobble on Kerala’s diverse cuisine
There is a reason why travellers go gaga over food in Kerala. The cuisine of this Indian state is unique and is influenced by different ethnicities belonging to varied parts of the world. To try different dishes here is a must-do thing on your trip to Kerala, as it will surely take you on a joyous ride.
Must-try Keralan dishes: Puttu and Kadala Curry, Kerala Prawn Curry and Fish Molee
2Get an Ayurveda massage
There is more to Kerala than just scenic and historic beauty. It has now started to gain popularity as a holistic health destination. The many resorts and spas offer all kinds of Ayurvedic healing therapies to cure ailments and ease out all your stress knots. The various sought-after services and power of natural herbs will offer the ultimate refreshment to your mind, body and soul.
Best backwater destinations in Kerala: Alleppey, Kollam, Kumarakom, Kuttanad and Kasaragod
3Experience an authentic village life
Safeguarded from the havocs of industrialisation, there are many villages in Kerala that have been able to maintain their pristine charm. Soothing paddy fields, myriad of blooms and swaying coconut farms will undoubtedly add a rustic charisma to your trip in Kerala. The tribal settlements are rich in culture and the people are very warm, friendly and hospitable. You can learn about their low-key lifestyle and pick up qualities of having minimalistic urges in life.
Most scenic villages in Kerala: Vaikom, Pallakad, Kumarakom, Thrissur, Kovalam and Thekkady
4Keep a day only for shopping
On one side, you will spot the most quaint streets and ultimate calmness in Kerala and in contrast to that, you will find busy and bustling marketplaces in the state’s cities. Kerala is known for its unending range of products, right from spices to textiles and from antiques to essential oils. Visiting these markets also makes for a worthy experience to breathe in the local atmosphere.
Best things to buy from Kerala: Spices, Aroma oils and essential oils, Handicraft items, Kasavu Mundu and banana chips
5Visit all the possible palaces in Kerala
Boasting of a royal and a rich past, Kerala is home to some opulent palaces of the country and to see its grandeur should be on your list of best things to do on a Kerala tour package. Many of these heritage buildings have been converted to luxury hotels as well and you can also choose to spend a night or two to experience it closely.
Best palaces to visit in Kerala: The Kanakakunnu Palace, Hill Palace Kochi, The Mattancherry Palace, The Paliam Palace and The Krishnapuram Palace
6Visit the iconic temples of Kerala
Kerala is commonly known as the ‘Land of Gods’ for a reason. And that is because it is home to some of the most iconic temple structures in the world. They are a pulling factor for Kerala tourism. Many temples are ancient and date back to 2000 years. The architecture and stories behind their construction is so fascinating to hear.
Best temples to visit in Kerala: Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram, Ambalapuzha Sri Krishna Temple in Ambalapuzha, Sabarimala Sree Ayyappa Temple, Chottanikara Devi Temple in Ernakulum and Lokanarkavu Temple in Kozhikode
7See the beauty of the majestic forts
Forts of any place have eventful histories and have been the center of political and social activities in the bygone years. The majestic structures have a great story to tell about its warriors, rulers and the kingdom on whole. Many fortresses in Kerala overlook the Arabian Sea and visit to these are among the great things to do on a trip to Kerala.
Best forts in Kerala: Bekal Fort, Fort Kochi, Palakkad Fort, Thalassery fort, Chandragiri Fort and Anjuthengu Fort
8Watch a live folk dance performance
Folk dance performances in Kerala are a unique blend of music and acting along with dance, which tells stories from the Indian epics. The performers perfect the animated expressions, mimes with hand gestures and facial expressions with much practise and dedication. To watch a traditional dance form is among the most amazing things to do in Kerala.
Best Performance Art Forms to see in Kerala: Kathakali, Mohiniyaattam, Koodiyattam, Thirayattam and Chavittu Nadakam
9See the Chinese Fishing Nets
Kerala’s most popular and perhaps the most photographed sight is that of the Chinese fishing nets. These were familiarized to the fishermen of Kerala in the 14th century and they purchased them out from the court of the then Chinese monarch. They are constructed of bamboo and teak poles and their designs are unique and quite stunning.
Best places to see the Chinese Fishing Nets in Kerala: Kochi, Ernakulam, Kuzhuppilly and Kollam
10Opt for homestays
The quaint homestays in Kerala ensure a blissful time where the regions beauty and charm manifold. It never ceases to mesmerise and should certainly be on top of the things to do on your Kerala holiday trip. There are many certified homestay options that provide the best of both worlds- luxury and calmness of untouched nature. The rural charm lets you get in-depth knowledge about the culture and way of life of the locals as well.
Best homestays in Kerala: Hari Vihar in Calicut, Vismaya Villa in Vembanad, Ayisha Manzil in Kannur, Akkarakalam Memoirs in Alleppey and Marari Dreamz Homestay at the Marari Beach
11Attend the temple festivals
Temple festivals in Kerala are exotic and elaborate. Every festival is distinct and has its own set of legends and myths behind it. The presence of decorated elephants is something common across all the festivals and you will be allured with the presence of traditional drummers, musicians, fireworks and other rituals and customs.
Best Temple Festivals of Kerala: Thrissur Pooram, Attukal Pongala, Vallanghy Nenmara Vela, Peruvanam Pooram and Parippally Gajamela
12Watch a snake boat race
Boat races are an important part of the culture and tradition of the state of Kerala. A long canoe-style boat, which are 100 to 120 feet long are pulled in the waters and more than 100 rowers race it to the finish line. All the participating villages come alive with colourful boats and drums and singing of traditional songs. Witnessing a race in its pristine backwaters is a must-do thing in Kerala.
Best boat races to attend in Kerala: Champakkulam Moolam Boat Race, Nehru Trophy Boat Race, Uthradam Thirunal Pamba Boat Race, Payippad Boat Race, Aranmula Boat Race
13Learn more about Kerala from its museums
The best way to get first-hand knowledge about the cultural background of a place is via a visit to its museums. The museums in Kerala exhibit and preserve the way of living of the older generations and also the rich traditional arts and architecture masterpieces. There are various kinds of museums and each of these focus on different aspects of the place they are located in.
Best museums in Kerala: Arakkal Kettu Museum, Archaeological Museum Thrissur, Bay Island Driftwood Museum, Ethnological Museum and Kerala Folklore Museum
14Admire the local art
Kerala’s cultural heritage is rich and is depicted in its art and crafts. Seeing their handicrafts is among those things to not miss out on in Kerala. It accentuates a lot on the use of varied colours. You will find fascinating products such as shell and coir items, metal jewellery, carvings in rosewood and sandalwood etc. which showcase the skill and talent of local artisans.
Best places to see the local art: Iringal Crafts Village, Kerala Kalamandalam, Kashi Art Gallery, David Hall Art Gallery and Sree Chitra Art Gallery
15Unearth the many caves in Kerala
Besides eye-catching scenery, the best thing to do in Kerala is to explore its natural caves. These are an important heritage not only for this state but also for the country since they take you back in another era. They hold strong evidence of the prehistoric civilization of stone age. Many of the carvings and findings date back over 5000 years. You will also find numerous statues and sculptures of gods and goddesses here.
Best caves to explore in Kerala: Edakkal caves, Pakshipathalam Cave, Cave of Kotthavalam, Pandavan Rock Cave and Kotkatalkeller
So, how does living in a world filled with swaying palm trees, hill retreats, beautiful national parks, and thrilling opportunities sound to you? Is there any other place apart from Kerala that will let you rejuvenate and connect with your own self? We hope this list of amazing things to do in Kerala helps you make your holiday trip an unforgettable one.