CENTRAL KERALA – 12 BUCKET LIST EXPERIENCES
Central Kerala is a paradise for nature lovers and animal enthusiasts, although most visitors in Kerala only visit for a few days. Even with a short trip, you can explore lots of options. There are many activities and things to do in Central Kerala that are enjoyable for couples, families, and children.
Apart from hiking and mountain treks, popular activities include a boat trip on Periyar Lake and a safari in the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. You may also watch the iconic boat races, which are equally as popular as the Alappuzha boat races. Here are the top 12 Bucket List Experiences for Central Kerala, that should definitely find a place on your 7 Day Kerala Travel Itinerary and Kerala Travel Bucket List.
PS – Thank you Kerala Travel Mart Society and Kerala Tourism for inviting me and giving me the opportunity of experiencing the beauty of God’s Own Country.
- Central Kerala – 12 Bucket List Experiences
- Kayak down Alleppey’s backwaters at sunrise
- Glamping in Munnar Among Tea Plantations
- Get the Houseboat experience in Kumarakom / Alleppey
- At Kolukkumalai, see the Sun enter a Lion’s mouth
- Stay at CGH – Coconut Lagoon in Kumarakom and take it slow
- Taste freshly brewed tea from the world’s highest organic tea farm and facility
- Visit Periyar Tiger Reserve to see wild animals on the riverside
- Visit India’s own Niagara Falls, Athirappilly Falls
- Watch Fishermen Use These Massive Chinese Fishing Nets
- Stay at a Plantation Resort – Carmelia Haven | Thekkady
- Reward yourself with an Ayurvedic oil-drip massage
- Learn more about the Kathakali Dancer’s 9 Facial Expressions
- Where to Stay in Central Kerala?
Central Kerala – 12 Bucket List Experiences
Kayak down Alleppey’s backwaters at sunrise
Alappuzha is known as the “Venice of the East” because of its canals that link to Kerala’s famed backwaters. But rather than hopping on a sampan and having someone row you along the backwaters, why not row yourself? That ended up being our chosen mode to experience Kerala’s lovely backwaters. You can also rent a boat kayak from Kerala Kayaking and paddle through the backwaters of Alleppey.
Glamping in Munnar Among Tea Plantations
Among Munnar’s tea gardens is a cluster of camps that welcomes visitors to spend time in nature, away from the rush and bustle of city life. The ideal escape from India’s busy city life, which might be a bit stressful for people who aren’t familiar with seeing vehicles and cows on the same road.
Get the Houseboat experience in Kumarakom / Alleppey
A Houseboat is a house that floats and floats on water like a boat. The size of these houseboats is amazing. Usually, these houseboats include 3-4 bedrooms with attached bathroom + a kitchen + a living room.
Here you can get houseboat experiences at extremely reasonable rates. Rental prices are based on the number of rooms and the type of cabin — A/C or non-A/C. There are also daily boat cruises offered for those travelling alone.
At Kolukkumalai, see the Sun enter a Lion’s mouth
Singamala, a natural rock formation in the shape of a lion’s mouth, can be seen at Kolukkumalai. Capture the moment of the rising sun which creates the shape lion’s mouth. Kolukkumalai also has the world’s highest tea plantation at the top of the mountains at Kolukkumalai and guarantees you beautiful 360° sunrise views.
Stay at CGH – Coconut Lagoon in Kumarakom and take it slow
One of the best properties you can stay in Kumarakom is without a doubt – Coconut Lagoon by CGH Earth . It is not just a resort, rather an experience in itself, which you will realise as you get on a private boat to reach the resort. The only way to reach Coconut Lagoon by CGH Earth is by boat, and you’ll get a glimpse of the life in the Kumarakom backwaters. Coconut Lagoon by CGH Earth, is one of the leading players when it comes to following Eco Friendly and Sustainable practices. Coconut Lagoon by CGH Earth is home to plenty of birds and is a bird lover’s paradise.
Coconut Lagoon by CGH Earth offers a plethora of experiences to the guests such as a Birdwatching walk in the mornings, Kanoe and Kayaking in the backwaters, Sunset Cruises. However, taking a walk around the property followed by just sitting and listening to the sounds of waves crashing, while seeing the sun go down, has been one of my fondest memories at Coconut Lagoon by CGH Earth.
Taste freshly brewed tea from the world’s highest organic tea farm and facility
Kolukkumalai is home to the world’s tallest tea plantation at 8000 feet above sea level. Because of the high altitude, tea leaves grown in Kolukkumalai are considered to have a unique fragrance and freshness.
You’ll also get an experience of the tea-making process, from harvesting, drying, cleaning, to packing the tea leaves, at the factory. You’ll see various women collecting tea leaves among the vast acres of tea plantation. They are polite and would happily let you take over the leaf-cutting for a short period.
Visit Periyar Tiger Reserve to see wild animals on the riverside
If you like nature and animals, you should go to the Periyar National Park. The national park, which is one of the Best National Parks in India, is claimed to have 40 tigers but it’s very hard to spot them. However, elephants, bison, deer, monkeys, otters, and many other wild birds can still be found inside the national park. Thekkady is referred as the Gateway to Periyar National Park, and this Thekkady Weekend Guide has all the answers, that you might be looking for, when it comes on the Things to do in Thekkady.
Visit India’s own Niagara Falls, Athirappilly Falls
Waterfalls are among the most amazing sights that Mother Nature has to offer. The Athirappilly Falls in Kerala is the most spectacular, and it has been titled “India’s Niagara Falls. Before monsoon season is the perfect time to visit.
Watch Fishermen Use These Massive Chinese Fishing Nets
If you Look on the internet “Kerala,” you’ll surely be overwhelmed with images of massive strange wooden contraptions known as “Chinese fishing nets.” Undoubtedly, these wooden contraptions are symbolic of Kochi, a coastal state.
You may also be asking why it is called “Chinese fishing nets” though it is located in India. Cheng Ho, a Chinese traveller of the Ming Dynasty, is supposed to have carried such shore-operated fishnets to India. The majority of the fishing activity takes place in the early morning, around 6 a.m., so get up early to observe how local fishermen bring in the freshest seafood.
Stay at a Plantation Resort – Carmelia Haven | Thekkady
Stay at Carmelia Haven – A Plantation Resort and take a walk in the sprawling Tea and Cardamom Plantation that surrounds the resort. Situated close to the village of Vandanmedu, a half hour drive from Thekkady along the Thekkady – Munnar road, the area is the world’s largest producer of premium quality cardamom.
Also check out the Treehouse that is one of the USP’s of Carmelia Haven. If time permits, do get pampered at The Ayurvedic Spa by undertaking any of the Ayurvedic Treatment Programmes.
Reward yourself with an Ayurvedic oil-drip massage
Many Western tourists visit India for Ayurvedic treatments, which are supposed to boost health. Ayurvedic massages, on the other hand, can be enjoyed after a long day of walking to relax tired calves or shoulders. Ayurvedic massages are available in almost every city in Kerala, and in Coconut Lagoon by CGH Earth and Carmelia Haven as well.
Learn more about the Kathakali Dancer’s 9 Facial Expressions
In Kerala, it’s easy to notice posters with green faces and exaggerated headgear. That is the famous makeup used by Kathakali performers. Kathakali is a kind of traditional Indian dance known for its elaborate and colourful make-up and costumes.
Before enjoying the performance, you can also take a 1-hour lesson at the Kerala Kathakali Centre. A senior Kathakali performer will explain the 9 Navarasam (face expression) and 24 Mudras (hand gestures).
Where to Stay in Central Kerala?
While you can check out the recommendations covered in Staycation in Kerala – 3 Boutique Properties , here are a few others :