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Kozhikode, also known as Calicut, is one of the major cities in the beautiful state of Kerala. It was and

still is the most important city in the Malabar region. The city was the capital of the powerful and

mighty Zamorins for a long time, before India's Independence. Kozhikode is where the Europeans first

arrived in India. It is also a major tourist center.

Now let us see the major tourist attractions in and around Kozhikode.

Kappad beach: This beach is where Vasco da Gama, the Portuguese explorer, first landed in India,

which signaled the European invasion of the peninsula. There is a stone monument in the name of him

in this beautiful beach.

Pazhassiraja museum: Located in East Hill, this museum features lot of ancient murals and artifacts.

Run by the state Archaeological department, the museum also features megalithic and bronze age

artifacts too. The Art Gallery which is very near to the museum features the paintings of Raja Ravi

Varma.

Mananchira: Mananchira is situated right in the middle of the city, it can be called as the heart of the

city. There is a large pond and park here. Lot of people throng this area enjoying the evenings. The

Commonwealth Trust office, one of the oldest buildings in the city, is located nearby.

Beypore: Situated 11 kms away from the city, Beypore is famous for is 'Uru's which are cargo ships

made entirely of wood, in traditional style. It is an important trading centre.

Peruvannamuzhy: Located 60 km away from the city, Peruvannamuzhy has a beautiful dam and

reservoir. Lying close to the reservoir, there is a crocodile farm. There are speed boat rides through the

reservoir.

Thusharagiri: There are three waterfalls in Thusharagiri, 40 km away from the city. The waterfalls in

the middle of lush, green forest will take your breath away. It is also a good trekking spot.

Kozhikode Beach: It is a well preserved beach right in the city itself. There is a Dolphin Point nearby

where people can see dolphins playing at early mornings.

Vadakara: Vadakara is a mojor center of Kerala's own martial art, Kalarippayattu. There are many

ancient houses and temples nearby.

Finding places to stay during your trip to Kozhikode is not at all difficult. There are numerous hotels

and resorts with excellent accommodation facilities throughout the city. Kochi, the other major city of

Kerala, is just 200 kms away. The cuisine is excellent too.

‘Health is wealth’ there is no doubt about it.  Most materialistic things in life can always be retrieved with a little effort. However, if health is lost completely there is nothing much that can be done. Everything achieved, worldly possessions and wealth seem insignificant when we don’t possess the health to appreciate and enjoy the things achieved. Most of us when young forget about the importance of health and indulge ourselves in a lot of habits that may be, during the youth don’t seem to affect us but sure are life threatening with the growing age. The rest of the crowd that does not involve in bad habits does not serve the purpose of good health either, because laziness is their companion because of which they ignore the importance of good diet, exercise and life style.

Wellness both physical and mental is the key to emotional and spiritual wellbeing. It is the key to success because an active body and mind brings out the best results. So how was health maintained by our ancestors? We from our rich traditional heritage can infer that our ancestors were people who gave a lot of importance to physical and mental well being. They involved in a lot of practises that strengthened their body, soul and mind and had made these practises an important part of their life style. One such practise which is a blessing for us is the Yoga. Yoga as we all know comprises of various asanas or postures which focuses on the wellbeing of every part of the body. Meditation helps us gain focus and clarity in mind.

Another practise that was followed by our ancestors and is the next blessing for us is the Ayurveda. Ayurveda means the science of life. It is considered to have passed on to various generations of sages verbally and is considered to have been documented about 5000 years ago. The oldest known texts are Charaka Samhita and Sushruta Samhita. These texts talk about how the 5 elements of nature – earth, water, air, fire and space influence our body and how their levels can be maintained to ensure that we lead a healthy and peaceful life. Ayurveda has been followed by people in India for ages and has had good effect on their health and life style. Unlike Allopathy , that takes care of the incurred disease and helps to heal it, Ayurveda involves the understanding of the disease and identifying its root cause to ensure that it is prevented all together. It involves a series of treatments that include oral medicines, oil massages and various others. Ayurveda is clubbed with Yoga to ensure better results.

Kerala is famous for its ayurvedic treatments and the land of Kerala along with its climate helps in the effectiveness of the treatments rendered. Most people from abroad and from various states of India visit Kerala for these specialised treatments. “Mermaid Hotels” in Cochin is a great place that provides not just good hospitality but also various other features for health and wellness. Their spa treatment covers Ayurvedic massages and other therapies which would make your stay there a memorable one. So visit Kerala to enjoy its beauty and get your wellness in place.

Thekkady is a part of the Idukky district of Kerala. It is where the Periyar Tiger Reserve is located. It is on the Kerala and Tamil Nadu border and is famous for the reserve and its spices such cinnamon, black pepper, cardamom and clove. The sanctuary is famous for the moist deciduous forest and savanna grass lands. It spreads across 777km and about 360 Km of it is forest. You would find elephants, Sambars, tigers, Nilgiri Langurs and lion-tailed Macaques in the sanctuary.

The best part about this sanctuary is the artificial lake created by Mullaperiyar dam across the Periyar river.  It is not uncommon to see elephants, bisons and deers come down from the forest to drink water from the lake. There are also boat rides available for tourists who can enjoy the beauty of the tranquil lake and the surrounding hills that seem to engulf the place. I happened to visit this place during the monsoon season and while the boat went mid way tender showers of rain fell and the passing gale threw the drops into the boat. It was an amazing feeling to be amidst the lake with the cold breeze and rain drops on my face and when I opened my eyes the surrounding greenery made me over whelm with happiness. I was also fortunate to see otters playing with each other or may be trying to catch their meal in the lake during the boat ride.

The sanctuary also has the options of forest trekking for which permission needs to be taken from the forest department. But it is an exciting expedition because before you tread the forest you are equipped with leach socks that are ankle length which makes you feel adventurous and the real adventure begins when you cross the lake to reach the forest. There are rafts made of bamboo that lead you to the other end. The thought of crossing 50 to 100 meter deep lake standing on a bamboo raft did send cold shivers across my body but trekking the forest was an experience it was all worth for. Once you start walking in the forest with an armed forest guard you notice a variety of trees that are only found here and there are various kinds of mushrooms and lichens on most trees. I also got an opportunity to sight a flock of hornbills rush right above me. Their large wings flapping amidst the canopy of trees made it sound like that of a brewing storm.

The forest has over 1965 flowering plants including 171 grass species 143 species of orchids and 265 varieties of birds. The sanctuary is also a home for cobra, viper, krait and numerous non-venomous snakes. There are also a few watch towers in the Periyar forest reserve that are the best for viewing wild animals. So if you are a nature lover then this is an apt place for you to feel and be amidst Mother Nature. It is also one of the best places for clicking beautiful pictures and also sight wild animals.

There are numerous places that can be visited this season because of the advantage of it being winter now. The tropics can be best visited now, for it is neither too hot nor cold during this season. Kerala in south India would be the best choice for various reasons that include natural beauty, wild life, mountains, back waters and beaches. Depending upon ones interest level and need, Kerala can provide you accordingly. For example if you prefer hill stations for your holiday then you could visit places like Munaar, Idukky, Vayanaad etc.

Munaar in Kerala is situated at about 130 km from the Cochin airport and is considered to be honeymooner’s paradise. It is famous for its tea plantations that spread like a green carpet throughout the place. It also has Erivikulam national park where you could find various endemic species of animals and birds. So if you are nature lover and love to spend time in a hill station, Munnar is your destination.

Idukky and Vayanaad are other hill stations that are famous for the scenic beauty, beautiful resorts and nature endowed waterfalls that surprise you on your way up the hill.

If you are not a mountain person and prefer to stay in the land then the options are diverse again. The entire state of Kerala is amazingly green when compared to most other states of India. Coconut groves are seen almost everywhere and so are the back waters. Kerala is undoubtedly the queen of back waters. Places like kumorakkom and Alapuzha are flocked by tourists every year to enjoy the splendid beauty of the back waters. The houseboats here are a great attraction. They are compact houses that provide you with almost all the facilities and glide in the water which makes it seem ethereal. The best part of the house boat journey is the sunrise or the sun set when the water reflects the beauty of the burning ball of fire.

Beaches are another source of delight in Kerala. Being on the Malabar cost, every part of Kerala seems to be surrounded by beaches. The famous Kovalam beach is a great tourist destination and has boat rides and other services much to the delight of the tourists.  Apart from Kovalam beach, we have beaches like Varkala, Chavakkad, Kayamkulam  and various others. It is great to see the famous Chinese fishing nets used in Cochin. The Shankumugham beach is close to the Trivandrum airport and can be seen even before the flight lands.

Apart from the beaches Kerala also has many monuments and palaces like the hill palace in thripunithara, the boulghati palace and many others.  There are various good hotels in Kerala amongst which “Mermaid Hotels in Cochin is famous for its hospitality and other facilities like swimming pool, recreational space and spa. It is also a great place for business meetings and for conducting other functions. They also have their branch in Munnar which makes it easy for people who want to visit Munnar and the other places in the vicinity.

Kerala, a small state in the south of India is also popularly known as ‘God’s Own Country’. True to its name, it is one of the most beautiful places in India. Known for its diverse demography and pleasant climate, Kerala has become one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Apart from the panoramic locations, beautiful backwaters, sun kissed beaches, breathtaking hill stations and exotic wildlife sanctuaries, Kerala is also famous for the tradition and culture it upholds. Thousands of tourists flock to Kerala for Ayurvedic treatments and to experience the rich traditional rituals that the state hosts. One such aspect for which Kerala is again popular is the palaces it has.

Almost every district in Kerala is home to at least one historically important palace. For instance, while Ernakulam is famous for Hill Palace, Tripunithura, Bolgatty Palace and Mattanchery Palace, the capital city Thiruvananthapuram houses Koyikkal Palace and Padnabhapuram Palace. There are several other prominent palaces in the state like the Bekal Fort in Kasargod and Shakthan Thampuran Palace in Thrissur. What makes these palaces different from the rest of the country is its ancient history and the role each of them plays in the history of the state.

Apart from these historical artifacts, there are several other popular sites in Kerala. One of the main reasons why Kerala is a hotspot among tourists is the beautiful climate it experiences. It is one of the main attractions for newlyweds and honey- mooners. The winter season in Kerala is one of the best times to visit Kerala if you are looking for a romantic getaway. For a family vacation, any time of the year can be planned.

Kerala has something to offer for everybody. From honeymooners to students and historians – there is something for everyone. These days Kerala has become a hotspot for foodies as well. With a variety of delicious dishes in both vegetarian and non-vegetarian groups, Kerala has amazing cuisines to offer. So whether you are looking for a regular weekend getaway or a long vacation, Kerala ends up being the top on the list.

The cultural artifacts of the state are still preserved by the inhabitants which is why a tourist always gets to experience and the Kerala way of life every time they visit the state. Apart from these popular palaces that were mentioned above, there are several churches and temples in the state that are historically relevant.

The people of Kerala are awaiting the Onam festival that comes in the Chingam Month of Malayalam calendar. This year it is in the August month and the main day of the 10 day long festival falls on August 28th. It is the most celebrated festival in Kerala and the major reason why this festival becomes unique is the all people irrespective of the religion and caste celebrate Onam with equal vigour and happiness. Onam is celebrated in the remembrance of a king ruled Kerala named Mahabali. Kerala observe Onam as the state festival of Kerala and holiday is given to all the working men in public and private sector on the Thiruvonam day. The programs that happen in Kerala in association with the Onam celebration are beyond words to explain. You should visit Kerala during any Onam season to experience it in real. You can see the real ecstatic celebration of all the people together if you plan trip to Kerala in this August. You can stay at any park in Kerala and can witness the magic of Onam festival. If you land at Cochin which is located at central Kerala, youcan stay at Mermaid Hotel that offer extreme comfortable accommodation for you.

Vallam Kali, Puli Kali, ThumbiThulla, Onavillu and Attachamayam are some of the major activities in Kerala during the Onam season. But the major thing is the Pookkalam which is a floral carpet. Every people create floral carpets on all the 10 days of the festival in their residences. They make a special and big Pookkalam on the final day which is the Thiruvonam day. Floral carpet competitions are also carried out by different groups in local areas in Kerala. Vamanamoorthy Thrikkakara Temple at Cochin is believed to be the ancient capital of Mahabali and is directly linked to the mythology of Onam.

Onam Sadya is a special feast on the Onam day. It is served on the banana leaf and is a great experience to taste the OnamSadya. There will be boiled rice and many curries in the feast.Sambar, Thoran, Kaalan, Olan, Aviyal, Rasam etc. are some of the curries served with the sadya. Pickles, banana chips and Pappadam are also served. Dessert called Payasam is another attraction of the Onam Sadya. The people of Kerala wear new dress on the Onam day. It is called Onakkodi. It is widely said that the people of Kerala should celebrate Onam even though they are in any kind of troubles. Such important is this festival in Kerala. You can enjoy all these things if you make up a trip to Kerala this August. You can join the madly celebration of Kerala people to have the most colourful experience in life.

Are you planning a vacation and wondering where to visit? Let me suggest you to explore a state that has the highest literacy rate and highest sex ratio, a state that religiously upholds its cultural heritage and tradition and at the same time is opening its doors to modernity. Yes the suggested state is undoubtedly “Kerala” popularly known as “Gods own country”.  Kera actually means coconut and the first thing that you would notice when you land in Kerala are the coconut trees that spread across the state. As the flight descends you would notice that this place has the maximum amount of greenery when compared to most of the states in India that are running towards the achievement of modernisation.

Kerala’s fame ever since the bygone era has been for its spices. It was a prominent spice exporter and had attracted Vasco da Gama and many others which unfortunately or fortunately also lead to the colonisation of the entire nation. Kerala is famous for its temples, back waters, churches, agricultural lands, coconut groves, resorts, hill stations, tea plantations and a lot more. It is like a breath of fresh air for a person who visits it from the hustle and bustle of the city life. It is a land where the greenery takes your breath away and you would be awakened by the chirping of birds. The water channels and ponds teeming with aquatic life would encourage you to take a dip in the cool water and feel rejuvenated. It also has a number of beaches being on the Malabar Coast and each beach would have a story to tell.

It is believed that the land was formed by the sage Parashurama, an avatar of Lord Vishnu. The land was submerged in water and was recovered by him. However, the land was so full of salt that it was impossible for it to support vegetation and habitation. So Parashurama called the snake king Vasuki who with his poison had made the land fertile and thereby the land teemed with vegetation. Vasuki and other snakes after the incident were appointed the guardians of the land by Parashurama. True to the story the soil of Kerala to this day is fertile and it is evident from the lush green flora here. Kerala is a magical land with many mystical stories about it. Another famous story is that of the King Mahabali, who though descended from the Rakshasha clan (associated with demons) turned out to be an amazing king who loved and cared for his people. Mahabali had won the battle with the Devas (angels) and they were sent to exile. Lord Vishnu paying heed to the prayers of the Devas took the avtar of Vamana, a small boy who then pushed the king down to Pathala (hell). It is believed that the king visits his people once a year and the day is celebrated as Onam, which is a famous festival of Kerala. Interesting isn’t it?

So, that was a small glimpse of the land of spices and its mystical stories. A trip to Kerala would never make you regret your decision since it would only be more wonderful to see and experience in person than all the great stories you have heard about and find the best destination and comfort stay in kerala.

There are different road routes from Bangalore to Cochin that varies in distance from around 400 to 500 km and it will take about 10 hours to complete the journey. If you are on a car journey and you got enough time to visit some fabulous places on the way, then you can make your trip fantastic like never before. You can go for shopping at Bangalore City. You get wardrobes in cheaper rates. There are many must to visit places in Bangalore like Museums, Monuments, and Amusement Parks etc. After visiting all these places you can start the trip to Cochin.

You can make the journey through Mysore. It is the city of palaces and gardens. You can spend some hours at there. The visuals of Mysore will remain safe in your mind for the whole life time. Then you reach Theppekadu Elephant Camp. This is a fabulous place to visit. Then you reach Masanagudi. You can go for safari at Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary. It will be really exciting to gift you many wild memories. This is an advisable place on your road trip to Cochin. The safari timing is from 7am to 2pm.

Then you can continue drive to reach Ootty. It is one of the mostly visited tourist destinations in India. It is a place with fabulous natural sceneries and a lot of beautiful gardens to visit. The chilly pathways at Ootty are apt to make a honeymoon walk. You can also plan a stay at here. You should not miss a visit at Dodabetta Peak at here which stands at an altitude of 2637m. It is preferable to continue the drive through Kotagiri to see fabulous sceneries than choosing the Coonoor route.

Once you reach Coimbatore, you can make a small halt. You can see many tea plantations on the way to here. From here you reach Palakkad. If you plan a halt at here, you can visit places like Malambuzha Dam and Silent Valley National Park if time allows. Then you reach Thrissur where a serene atmosphere and warm people invite you. The Vadakumnathan Temple and the Zoo are the attractions at here. From there you reach Cochin which is a fabulous port city where lot of attraction wait for you like Wonderla amusement park, Hill Palace, Bolghatty Palace, Mattanchery Palace, Jewish Synagogue, Willington Island, Marine Drive and Lulu Shopping Mall etc.

You can choose another fabulous route through Mysore – Gudalur – Sultan Battery -Kalpetta- Calicut which is great to drive on with fantastic sceneries. But this route is much longer and it takes more time. You can see the valleys of Wayanad and taste the delicious Calicut cuisines if you prefer this route. After reaching Cochin, you can plan a stay and cover all the attractions at here. Mermaid Hotel is one of the best options for your accommodation at Cochin.

Cochin is a land of surprises and you won’t return with a half filled mind from this land.There are a lot of places to visit here and you’ll take some days to complete these majordestinations. The place is rich in cultural and natural wealth. The warm people and live cityinvites you to make your holidays a memorable one. The port city is one of the most crowdedplaces in India. And you will wonder how this busy city keeps the legacy of unique culturewith no compromises in this urbanized era. The architectural wonders in the city hold acolonial beauty and they gives the city a historical significance.

The Bolghatty Palace is a major attraction in the city. The heritage hotel run by KTDC isone of the most visited places in Cochin. The palace is an architectural symphony of the oldera. It is one of the oldest existing Dutch palaces outside Holland. The traditional art formof Kerala ‘Kadhakali’ is performed here daily for the guests. There is a swimming pool andAyurveda Centre here now. There is a Shiva Temple here exclusively for Hindu tourists.

Hill Palace at Tripunithura is the largest archaeological museum in Kerala. There are 49buildings in the palace complex and is a unique signature for the traditional architecturalstyle. There is a deer park, children’s park and pre-historic park near the palace. The museumexhibits the Cochin royal family belongings, paintings, sculptures etc.

The Mattanchery Synagogue is one of the oldest active Jewish synagogues in the world.The four building complex is built near to the Mattanchery palace temple. The floor of the synagogue consists of hundreds of Chinese hand-painted tiles each of which is unique. Thesynagogue has an 18th-century clock tower which remains as a real wonder for travellers.This is a must visit place in Cochin.

The Mattancherry Palace is another architectural wonder in Cochin. It is a Portuguesepalace featuring Kerala mural with Hindu temple art, portraits and exhibits of the KochiRajas. The palace is built in traditional Nalukettu style with a courtyard in the middle. Thereis a small temple in the middle of this Nalukettu. On the either sides of the palaces thereare two other temples. This palace exhibits elements with European architectural influencein traditional Kerala style. The flooring is done using a mixture of buried coconut shells,charcoal, lime, plant juices and egg whites..!! And the wonder is that it looks like blackmarble flooring. The palace is a real architectural wonder.

Malayattoor Church is one of the most visited Christian pilgrim centre in Kerala. AtKurishumudi you can see a Golden Cross, permanent footprint and the marks of knees of St.Thomas imprinted on the rock, and a miraculous water spring. The church exhibits beautifulcarvings and paintings depicting the life of Jesus Christ. The church has an ancient pond thatwas used for baptism purposes and a traditional pulpit which have historical significance.

Kerala is a land with rich natural wealth that which is the prior reason for the flow of limitlesstourists to here every year. The magnetic beauty of hill stations, rivers, lakes, wildlife etc.in Kerala is beyond words to glorify. You can’t just complete the trip to Kerala by coveringall major destinations in a single trip. It needs more than a week or two to visit at least themost famous places. Now this time, let’s plan a trip to grasp the charm of the most crowdedCochin City and most beautiful Thrissur District in a single go.Cochin is a place where the urban beauty meets architectural richness. The colonial buildingsin the city hold a unique charm. You can get flight to Cochin International Airport and canavail good and luxurious accommodations in any part of the city like Vytila, Kaloor etc.Mermaid Hotel Cochin offers a fully facilitated stay for you in decent rates. You can enjoythe beauty of the city from the rooms allotted to you. By making a proper plan, you can startthe trip.There are a lot of must visit places in Cochin. The Bolghatty Palace which is now a heritagehotel run by KTDC is a fabulous halt for couples and foreigners. You can enjoy thetraditional art form of Kerala, ‘Kadhakali’ from here. The Willington Island is another placeof interest in Cochin. The Tripunithura Hill Palace is the largest archaeological museumin Kerala. It showcases the royal belongings of Cochin Kings and many paintings etc. Thefamous Malayalam movie ‘Manichitrathazhu’ was shot here. There is a children’s park anddeer park near the museum.The Mattanchery Palace is a real architectural wonder. This Dutch palace exhibits the blendof traditional Kerala Nalukettu style with European style in building. The MattancherySynagogue is one of the oldest existing Jewish Synagogues in the world. The marvellouscreativity inside the Synagogue especially on walls, floor etc. are real wonders.For fun lovers, there is Wonderla amusement park in Cochin which is built in international standards. There are a lot of exciting water rides, wave pools and 3D shows etc. in the park.Kodanadu Elephant Kraal is a place where training is given to elephants. Marine DrivePathway and Cherai Beach are romantic places to visit.Thrissur is the cultural capital of Kerala. At Kalamandalam you can watch and learnmost of the traditional art forms and dance forms. Many foreign students study here.Vadakkumnathan Temple is a serene Hindu temple which is located in the centre of city andfamous for its calm ambience. The Athirappally Waterfall is a real mind blowing spot to visit.You can take number of fabulous photographs from here. The trip is not ending. There aremore wonderful places to visit here.