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

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.

Featured photo credit: Silver Blue via flickr.com

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Beth Hedrick

Freelance Writer

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Last Updated on December 9, 2019

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

1. Get Rationally Optimistic

Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

The result: no more mental stress.

2. Unplug

Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

3. Easy on the Caffeine

Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

  • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
  • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
  • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

The result: mental stress will be gone!

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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