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5 Beautiful Places You Don’t Want To Miss When Visiting Kerala

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5 Beautiful Places You Don’t Want To Miss When Visiting Kerala

Hundreds of thousands of people worldwide make the decision to visit Kerala each year, and the number continues to rise. Known as one of the most popular travel destinations by National Geographic, this paradise is without a doubt breathtaking and gives anyone a feeling of renewal and refreshment. Overlooking the Arabian Sea to the west and situated along the biodiverse Western Ghats mountain range in the east, Kerala is a rich and unique gem located in on the Indian coast. Traveling to this exotic and quintessentially advanced society must include visiting the following five hot spots:

1. Munnar

Mountain slopes are abound in this quaint, yet bustling hill station known as Munnar. This prevalent tourist destination is home to an organic farming culture surrounded by mountain slopes and dewy valleys. It boasts over 80,000 miles of lush green tea farmland, as the climate and topography provide the perfect climate for growth.

Visiting Munnar will give you a sense of relaxation as you feast your eyes on the tea gardens, waterfalls, emerald-green pastures, and eye-gazing mountains. The beauty of this town is accentuated with a colonial atmosphere complete with bungalows, streets lined with local shops, winding roads with breathtaking views, tea factories, and its own unique small-town culture.

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Tourist destinations for the adventure enthusiast, such as Eravikuam National Park, offer hiking trails, nature walks, and flora and fauna that will take your breath away. No wonder Munnar is the most popular resort town in southern India!

2. Kochi and Ernakulam

Kochi is the perfect place to begin your touring experience of Kerala, as this district is located at the beginning of many popular places to see. Also known as Cochin, this port destination is connected to the mainland district Ernakulam. For fast-paced tourists who love modern amenities, this is a mecca of individuals of many cultures and is commonly referred to as the Queen of the Arabian Sea. Commercialism abounds in Ernakulum, which is sometimes simply called Kochi, or Cochin.

Visiting this metropolis will most definitely be a modern-day experience with the hubs of technology, plenty of shopping, and a wide array of industry. Do to the busy atmosphere, Ernakulam is the place where business thrives and English is a popular language, especially within the business zones. It is a large city with plenty of resort hotels and a vast amount of restaurants, entertainment, and nightlife adventures. To get away from the hustle and bustle, visiting the quiet and scenic temples, churches, and white, sandy beaches in Kochi can give you an amazing amount of variety in this popular metropolitan city.

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3. Thiruvananthapuram

Kerala’s capital city of Thiruvananthapuram is the ideal combination of a peaceful atmosphere and full-on urban life. It is definitely one of the places you must visit when in India. Known as the City of Lord Anantha, this destination is rich in history with honorable temples and an extensive art culture. Many art lovers flock to Thiruvananthapuram to admire the museums, murals, and historical stone carvings.

Thiruvananthapuram is the largest city of Kerala, and even though it is so large, it is remarkable how all of the different types of individuals live amongst each other and work together. There are many different religions and cultures that are intertwined and, in fact, complement one another. A highly sophisticated amount of technology and modern-life are a key component of Thiruvananthapuram, with many businessmen and businesswomen making their mark in the world commerce market.

Being a large city does not keep the individuals seeking solitude at bay, as it also has many places to enjoy in terms of tourism, such as sightseeing heavenly museums like Kuthiramalika Palace and Napier Museums and temples, namely Thenmala Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple. Thiruvananthapuram also offers­­­­ cozy cottages and resort hotels with a plethora of lush amenities, as well as beachfront life on the coast.

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4. Allepuzha

Allepuzha, also known as Alleppey, is perfect for the backwater adventurist. Many tourists enjoy sightseeing serene landscape, waterfront attractions, and plenty of water life upon houseboats along the lagoons and canals. This Venice of the East is known for its gorgeous and peaceful chapels, mouthwatering cuisine, palaces and temples, such as the Arthunkal Church, Chettikulangara Bhagawathy Temple, and Krishnapuram Palace.

Vacationers enjoy this serene environment that envelops them as they find plenty of opportunities for meditation, rest, and simply getting away from their normal lifestyles. Touring the countryside on the old-world style houseboats is what many of the tourists long to do and do not hesitate to come back for, as the memories made in Allepey are one of a kind.

Allepey is well-known for the Nehru Trophy Boat Race on the famous Punnamada Lake, which occurs each year in August and is a highly sought-out boat race in the country of India. In December, for ten days, the Mullackal Chiraq, in celebration of the Mullackal Temple, draws visitors from afar to celebrate this season of festivity.

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5. Thekkady

Thekkady is one of the most amazing destinations in Kerala for water lovers. In addition to the boat rides on the enormous Thekkady Lake, this wildlife sanctuary will give you sights of animals like you have never seen before. The wildlife refuge boasts sambars, elephants, gaurs, lion-tailed macaques, and, of course, the Great Indian Tiger! This region welcomes a large amount of animal-loving tourists every year and the tourism department of Thekkady is top-notch in providing the best experiences for everyone.

With authentic cuisine, plenty of time for relaxing, and adventures for the outdoor enthusiasts, this popular spot is second to none. The forestry adorned with life is simply stunning and the cool climate makes it a comfortable place to be. Jeep safaris are quite popular, as nature is up-close and jaw-dropping with the animals of the wild nearby, as well as Jungle Patrols and hiking. Many people enjoy experiencing the lavish spice plantations, as they allow visitors to experience an aroma they will never forget. From waterfalls to elephant rides, travelers without hesitation make a repeat visit to this paradise.

When planning your next India getaway, considering the state of Kerala for your time away from your busy life. There are many places in this southern India state that will make every moment of your stay absolutely worth it. It will be a decision you won’t regret.

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Featured photo credit: Silver Blue via flickr.com

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Beth Hedrick

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Last Updated on January 13, 2022

10 Cheap And Amazing Honeymoon Ideas

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10 Cheap And Amazing Honeymoon Ideas

A honeymoon is important.  The wedding is over.  The months, or even years, of stress and planning are finally over.  It’s time for the two of you to relax, settle in, and start enjoying your time together as you embark on your first journey as a family.

To make the most of this time for the least amount of money, it’s important to focus on what you want out of a honeymoon.  This isn’t your typical list of touristy honeymoon locations everyone goes to.  Rather, it’s a list of cheap honeymoon experiences a couple can enjoy together, regardless of where it’s at.

1. Camping

A week long camping trip is a fantastic way to see how you mesh together as a couple.  You’re put in a low impact “survival” situation where it’s just the 2 of you and nature.  You have a chance to see how your new spouse handles themselves when left with the basics of life.  There are amazing national parks all over the United States where you can camp for a week for $20-30, disconnect from technology, and enjoy some of the natural wonders our nation has to offer.

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2. Staycation

You don’t have to go anywhere for a honeymoon.  In fact, the tradition of taking a honeymoon vacation is a relatively new one.  Prior to the 19th century, a honeymoon involved staying home together for a month to get to know each other physically.  Think of how blissful it could be to take a full month off work, disconnect from the outside world, and focus entirely on projects together.  You may not be wowing your friends and family with pictures of some exotic location, but they’ll be envious of your escape from the rat race nonetheless.

3. Island Getaway

People tend to overspend on their honeymoon vacations to Hawaii, Tahiti, etc.  Going to these places doesn’t have to be expensive.  You don’t need to stay in a 5 star resort when you’re on a Best Western budget.  You’re there to be in the atmosphere of the island, not a hotel room. Book a cheap flight and sleep in a hotel alternative, on the beach or in your car.  It’s the view in paradise that really matters.

4. Fancy Resort

Book an expensive resort, spa, or retreat in the city you live in.  While this may seem counterintuitive as a cheap destination, when you consider your savings on airfare and other travel costs, you can afford to be treated like royalty within your own city limits.  If you book a honeymoon package, you’ll end up with a lot of free amenities and extra attention.  There’s no need to fly halfway across the world to live the good life.

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5. Road Trip

The journey is often more fulfilling than the actual destination.  If you fly out to some exotic locale, you’ll be stuck on a plane for 8-30 hours.  Rent a luxury car, pick a handful of places you each have always wanted to visit, and go on an adventure.  You can keep food costs down by packing your own snacks, but it’s always a good idea to sample the local delicacies wherever you go, even if it’s only a few states over.

6. Charter a Boat

If the ocean is your thing, a week-long cruise can cost you $1500-$3000 per person, depending on the destination.  You also have to factor in travel costs to and from the cruise, alcohol, souvenirs, and on-shore excursions.  You’ll also be surrounded by people.  For the same price (and often much cheaper), you can charter your own boat and enjoy the experience in private.

7. Las Vegas/Atlantic City

If gambling is your thing, these are the places to do it.  Which one you choose depends on your preference, budget, and proximity.  The way to make this vacation cheaper is to gamble smart.  Stay away from low odd tables (i.e craps, roulette) and read up on the MIT blackjack strategies to beat the house.  If you do it right, you can win enough for a free trip (and gain a valuable team skill in the process).

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8. Themed Retreats

There are weeklong retreats all over the world where you can fully immerse yourselves as a couple into a hobby you’re both passionate about.  Go on a yoga/meditation retreat, a ranch, a vineyard/farm, a backpacking adventure, treasure hunt, or whatever you’re into.

9. Working Honeymoon

Your honeymoon doesn’t have to be a vacation.  For a truly memorable experience, dedicate a week to a charity or volunteer organization.  You can drive out to a campground to help restore it in the offseason.  Maybe you’ve always wanted to volunteer to help out your local animal shelter, plant trees, help the homeless, etc.  Use the time to do something together as a couple that will fulfill you spiritually while contributing to the community.  Just because you’re on a honeymoon doesn’t mean you can’t be productive.

10. Festivals, Fairs & Special Events

Every city, state, and country has festivals, fairs, and special events.  Find one you’re interested in.  If you time your wedding right, your honeymoon can be a trip to one of these festivals.  Burning Man, SXSW, Bonnaroo, the Renaissance Fair, regional harvest festivals, Mardi Gras, New Years Eve in Times Square, a movie premiere, or whatever you’re into.  If you plan your honeymoon at the right time in the right place, the possibilities are endless.

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Featured photo credit: Josue Michel via unsplash.com

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