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The Land Kerala is a dramatic, narrow, leaf-shaped strip of land, flanked by the formidable Western Ghats on the east, and the Arabian Sea on the west.A land of unabashed wealth,its people are amongst the most progressive and literate of the Indian populace. This tropical spice garden has lured the Arabs, Chinese and Europeans for many centuries. Christianity and Judaism entered the subcontinent through the legendary white sand beaches of Kerala.
The region is also home to India’s only virgin tropical rain forest – the Silent Valley National Park, supporting an overwhelming range of life forms, many of which are highly endangered, and endemic to this part of the planet. The backwaters are a time capsule; a glimpse of a lifestyle reminiscent of an era gone by.Climate
The climate of Kerala can be classified into roughly three categories – from March to May, when it is hot and humid, with March being the warmest month. This season is followed by the onset of the southwest monsoons that last till the end of October. The northeast monsoons take over the relay around this time and linger on till the month of February. The intensity of the northeast monsoons is more or less on the wane around December, leaving behind a spell of cool and comparatively dry weather.History
It is not known if the region was inhabited during Neolithic times. Dolmens belonging to this period have been unearthed from Idukki district. The Edakkal Caves in Wayanad have carvings dating back to the stone age. A cave near the Edakkal Caves in Thovarimala Ezhuthupara, Wayanad district, known locally as "Ezhuthupara" also carries pre-historic carvings dating back many millennia.
According to legend, Parasurama, an avatar of Mahavishnu, threw his battle axe into the sea; and from those waters, Kerala arose. Parashurama, surrounded by settlers, commanding Varuna to part the seas and reveal Kerala. Kerala finds mention in the annals of international trade from as early as 3000 BC, having established itself as the major spice trade centre of the world and traded with Sumer. Kerala and Tamil Nadu once shared a common language and culture; this common area was known as Tamilakam.
During the first century BC the region was ruled by the Chera Dynasty established by the Dravidian tribe Villavar, whose mother tongue and court language was the ancient Tamil. The capital of Cheras was Vanchi. The southern Kerala was ruled by the Pandyan Kingdom with their capital at Nelcynda. The merchants from China, West Asia and Roman Empire had trade links with Cheras. The Sangam literature from the period has descriptions of the Roman ships coming to Muziris, laden with gold as exchange for pepper. Kerala is represented as the eastern tip of the known world in Tabula Peutingeriana, the only known surviving map of the Roman cursus publicus.
The west Asian-semitic Jewish, Christian, and Muslim immigrants established Nasrani Mappila, Juda Mappila and Muslim Mappila communities. The Jews first arrived in Kerala in. The works of scholars and Eastern Christian writings state that Thomas the Apostle visited Muziris in Kerala in 52 CE to proselytize amongst Kerala's Jewish settlements and convert them to Christianity. However, the year of his arrival is widely disputed due to lack of credible historical evidence.Rivers
There are broadly 44 rivers and streams in Kerala. Though tinier in dimension, compared to the major rivers of the country, they drain a surprisingly large quantity of water and sediments into the Arabian Sea.
This is due to the heavy rainfall and physical relief of the terrain of Kerala, which slants from the Western Ghats to the plains to finally merge with the Arabian Sea. A distinct characteristic of the rivers in Kerala is that they flow in an almost straight course, further facilitating drainage.Periyar-The Longest River In Kerala
One of the important rivers in Kerala is the Periyar – the longest and the largest river in the state. The river is 244km long, and covers a drainage area of 5,398sq. km. Formed at a height of 1,853m, where a number of rivulets merge together in the Sivagiri Hills, the Periyar flows towards the north and later turns to the northwest, to finally lose itself in the backwaters at Munamban in Ernakulam District. Floods caused by the Periyar in 1341 completely destroyed the once important Cranganore Harbour. As a result, the Kochi Harbour gradually took over and became an important port in its own right. During Tipu Sultan’s incursion into Travancore through Aluva, the floods of 1789 forced him to retreat.
Alappuzha, formerly known as Alleppey, is one of the exotic backwater in Kerala. Caressed by the Arabian Sea and interlocked by a number of canals and bridges, this stunningly gorgeous 'Venice of the East' has more than the boat races, houseboats, beaches, marine products and the coir industry; Alappuzha is home to diverse animal and bird life. Also referred to as the rice bowl of Kerala, Alappuzha was separated out from the former districts of Kottayam and Quilon. It is bounded by Kochi and Kanayannur taluks on its north; Vaikom, Kottayam, Changanassery Thiruvalla, Kozhencherry and Adoor taluks on its east; Kannathur and Karunagappally taluks on its south and the exotic Lakshadweep of the Arabian Sea on its west.
Alappuzha is a not-to-be-missed tourist destination in Kerala. Apart from its exotic backwater locations, Alappuzha is famous for the annual Nehru Trophy Boat Race that takes place during the month of August-September in Punnamada Kayal. During this time the place becomes vibrant with festive and competitive spirit.
To get a feel of traditional and typical Keralan style of architecture, the two-storied Krishnapuram Temple, displays the best example. The largest mural painting, Gajendra Miksham, is displayed in a museum here. Typical temple architecture and culture of Kerala can be witnessed in Ambalapuzha Temple, where Lord Krishna is worshipped. During the festival period of March/April, the Keralan delicacy payasam can be savored.Alappuzha
Alappuzha is dotted with temples, highly revered not only in the state but throughout India. Situated in the heart of the town, Mullackal Temple, dedicated to goddess Rajarajeswari, is also a place worth visiting. Mannarasala Sree Nagaraja Temple, surrounded by thick-green forests, is a holy place where the king of serpents is worshiped.
Number of devotees from all over India and abroad visit this place every year. The Chettikulangara Bhagavathy Temple is believed to have miraculous powers and hence visited by number of pilgrims every year. Kottamkulangara Mahavishnu Temple and Devi Temple are the oldest temples of Alappuzha and are sites worth visiting, especially during the time of festivals. And a visit to St. Andrew's Church, established by the Portuguese missionaries, can give visitors to witness the feast of St. Sebastian.
Alappuzha City travel offers tourists good shopping options. Among the locally available products of Alappuzha are the coir products and carpets. The fine quality, variety and reasonable price tag make these products stay high in the demand list of tourists. Besides Alappuzha City is also famous for its pepper, coconut oil, areca nut, cardamon, sugar, etc. Several markets are available in Alappuzha City, though the market of Kayamkulam is most important.
The word Ernakulam was drawn from the Tamil word “Erayanarkulam” means the abode of Lord Shiva. Ernakulam district is one of the most developed districts of Kerala. It is formed by the two princely states of Travancore and Cochin and the British Malabar. Major portion of the district is from the Kochi kingdom. Ernakulam is the first district in the whole country to have recorded literacy of hundred percent.
The present Ernakulam District include Paravur, Aluva, Kochi, Kanayannoor, Muvattupuzha, Kunnathunadu, Kothamangalam Taluks which come under Fortkochi and Muvattupuzha Revenue Sub Division. Prior to the formation of Idukki District, Thodupuzha Taluk was also a part of Ernakulam District. Ernakulam District was formed on April 1st 1958.
The District is divided into three well defined parts - High land, Midland and the Lowland consisting of hills and forests, plains and the seaboard respectively.
The High land region is the hilly Eastern portion formed by a section of Western Ghats. The hilly taluks such as Muvattupuzha, Kothamangalm and Aluva are located in this region. The plain land having the natural facilities of drainage via backwaters and canals form the Mid land region. Major part of Kunnathunadu and eastern portion of Kanayannur taluk come under mid land region. The Low land region is formed by the Parur taluk which lies in the flat delta region of the Periyar River, the surrounding islands and the entire Kochi Taluk as well as the western part of Kanayannur. Around 20 percent of the total area is covered by the Low land region.Ernakulam History
From the time immemorial, the Arab, the Chinese, the Dutch, the British and the Portuguese seafarers followed the sea route to Kochi and left their impressions in the town.
It was during the reign of Unni Rama Koil I, the Portuguese captain Cabral, landed in Cochin. The Portuguese power was strengthened and Cochin rose to political prominence. During the reign of Vira Kerala Varma began the period of subordination of Cochin to the Dutch. Under an agreement on May 1678, the Paliath Achan as Prime Minister has to look after the affairs of the kingdom of Cochin under the guidance of the Dutch.
The Vettatnad faction was defeated by the Dutch. This period saw a commercial treaty between the Zamorin and the Dutch. This was a period of intense disappointment to the rulers of Cochin. The war between Calicut and Cochin continued for nine years during the rule of Rama Varma.By Air
The nearest international airport is located at Nedumbassery, about 20 km from the town.By Rail
Ernakulam is a major railhead of the Southern Railway. The main railway station is the Ernakulam Junction, while other railway stations are Ernakulam Town, Kochi Harbour Terminus.By Road
The KSRTC Central Bus Stand is near the Junction Railway Station. The state also operates interstate private bus services to Bangalore, Coimbatore, Mangalore, Chennai and Madurai.
Geographically known for its Mountainous Hills and Dense Forests, Idukki is a beautiful and the largest district of Kerala. It is always associated with the generation of Power. The Hydroelectric power projects of Idukki fulfill around 66% of the State's Power needs.
Idukki covers around 12.9 percent of the area of Kerala and only 3.7 percent of the population of Kerala. About 97 percent of the total area of the District is covered by rugged mountains and forests.
Fifty percent of Idukki’s area is covered by Reserved Forests. There is only a strip of Middle land around 3% in the western part of the district. Low land area is totally absent in the district.
Located in the middle part of Kerala, the District is bound on the East by Madurai District of Tamil Nadu State while on the West by Ernakulam and Kottayam Districts of Kerala. In the South it is bordered by the Pathanamthitta District, while on the North it is bound by Trichur and Coimbatore Districts of Kerala and Tamil Nadu States respectively. It lies between 9 degree 15' and 10 degree 21' of north latitude and 76 degree 37' and 77 degree 25' of east longitudes.Idukki History
The early history of the district has no clear evidence about the paleolithic age. The Megalithic period burials can be seen in the High ranges. It is believed that Kuzhumur, the capital during the Sangam age is the present Kumily in Peermade taluk. Between 800 A.D and 1102 A.D, the Kingdom of Vembolinad comprised of the High ranges including the present Devikulam , the Udumbanchola and the Peermade taluks. Major portions of Idukki district came under the rule of Poonjar Raja during 16th Century. The Idukki district forms a small part of the state of Kerala. In the year 1972, the district was formed out of Devikulam, Peerumedu and Udumbanchola taluks from Kottayam district and Thodupuzha taluk from Eranakulam district.By Air
The nearest airports are located at Madurai and Kochi which are about 200 and 110 kms respectively.By Rail
The nearest railway station is located at Theni which is about 60 kms and others are located at Kottayam, Madurai and Changancherry.By Road
Idukki can be easily reached from Kottayam, Munnar and Kumily. The National Highway NH 49 and State highways 13 and 33 passes through the district. There are also a number of places like Edamalakudy which are not accessible even by road.
The beach, water sports, the sea food.Best Hangouts
Ayurvedic massage parlours, yoga centers.Best Activity
Try the sea foods, available in the restaurant nearby, also try you hand in water sports.Nearby Tourist destinations
Trivandrum, Kollam, Varkala, Thekkady.About Kovalam
Kovalam beach is known as the "Paradise of the South". Kovalam is just 16 kms away from Trivandrum, Kerala's capital city. Kovalam is an evergreen and pleasant climatic beach resort. Kovalam is a dreamland for tourists all over the world. With high rock promontory and a calm bay of blue waters, this beach paradise creates a unique aquarelle on moonlit nights. Kovalam was brought to the public eye by the Maharaja of Travancore. Over the past three decades, the place has been well developed, and now figures prominently on the world tourism map. The warm and clean atmosphere by the coconut trees and the white sandbed are perfect for relaxing holidays, as the seabreeze gently plays with the waves. Fishermen at Kovalam Beach With composed climate, luring surroundings, azure sea, soft sand and solacing sun, Kovalam is the perfect destination for the people looking forward to relaxing and rejuvenating holidays.Kovalam The Nature Around
The nature around Kovalam is mind blowing. The coconut groves, the soothing breeze, the murmuring sea, the sun and the soft sand all adds to the charm of Kovalam, making it a paradise for the beach lovers.Accommodation
Accommodations are in plenty, ranging form luxury to budget category hotels and restaurants. They are the pleasant delight for the epicureans, for the vast menu catering to the taste buds of the people coming from all around. Besides, the surrounding atmosphere plays a vital role to hypnotize every single traveler.Activities
Swimming and bathing are very refreshing and exhilarating in the waves. And if you are not interested in all this, then just walk around and the gentle breeze blow around will completely intoxicate you. Ayurvedic massage parlours, yoga centers and water sport facilities, makes Kovalam a popular haven for tourists from all over the globe.Air
Nearest Airport is at Trivandrum (20 kms).Rail
Nearest rail head is Trivandrum Central. Trivandrum is connected by rail with many important cities.Road
Kovalam is connected by road with several tourist destinations within Kerala and India.
Kumarakom is the famous backwater tourist destination and most fascinating paradise in Kerala, located about 12 kms from Kottayam. Kumarakom is situated on the banks of the famous Vembanad Lake amidst mangrove forests and coconut groves and can be reached through a voyage from Alappuzha. Kumarakom is an enchanting picnic spot and provides.
Boating, fishing, houseboat cruises and sightseeing experiences to the tourists that are truly exhilarating. On the scenic Vembanad lake you will come across plenty of traditional country crafts or houseboats, boats and canoes. The backwater houses a variety of fauna, flora and marine life. Kumarakom enjoys a well balanced tropical climate. The temperature ranges between 16 to 38 degree Celsius. The best time to visit Kumarakom is from November to March.Tourist Attractions in Kumarakom
The main tourist attraction in Kumarakom is the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary. The Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is a world famous bird sanctuary and an ornithologist’s paradise. Some migratory birds migrate during the winter from across the world including the Siberian stork. The other tourist attractions in Kumarakom are Aruvikkuzhi Waterfalls, Pathiramanal and Elaveezha Poonchira.Vembanad Lake
The Vembanad Lake is located at Kumarakom, about 16 km from Kottayam. The Vembanad Lake is an enchanting picnic spot and a fast developing backwater tourist destination. It offers boating, fishing and sightseeing experiences to the tourists that are truly exhilarating. The Vembanad Lake with its majestic canals, streams and distributaries along its banks weave an intricate and enchantingly beautiful web. This serene lake comes alive during Onam festival with the spectacular snake boat races.Accommodation in Kumarakom
Kumarakom is also the home of various sprawling ethnic waterfront resorts. These resorts offer comfortable accommodation and exclusive leisure options like an Ayurvedic massage, yoga, meditation, boating, fishing, angling and swimming. The adventurous could indulge in water sports like windsailing and waterskiing.By Air
The nearest international airports are in Cochin, Kozhikode and Trivandrum in Kerala. There are regular flights to Mumbai (Bombay) and Chennai (Madras). From the Cochin International Airport it is about 85 km by road to the Muhamma boat Jetty. From the Trivandrum International Airport it is about 175 Km by road to the Muhamma boat jetty.By Rail
The nearest railway station is located in Kottayam, about 16 kms from Kumarakom. Kottayam is linked to all major cities in Kerala and India and numerous trains run on this route daily. Bombay, Chennai and Bangalore are well linked with Kottayam. You could also take the south bound train from Cochin, via the Alleppey route.By Road
Kumarakom is about 88 kms. from Kochi and 16 kms. from Kottayam.By Water
From Kollam, one can take take the regular ferry service to Alleppey - a long and delightful ride on Kerala's backwaters. From Alleppey, it's just a short ride to Kumarakom. There are many boat services offered at Kochi to Alleppey.
Kochi (colonial name Cochin) is a vibrant city situated on the south-west coast of the Indian peninsula in the breathtakingly scenic and prosperous state of Kerala, hailed as 'God's Own Country'. Its strategic importance over the centuries is underlined by the sobriquet Queen of the Arabian Sea. Informally, Cochin is also referred to as the Gateway to Kerala.
From time immemorial, the Arabs, British, Chinese, Dutch, and Portuguese have left indelible marks on the history and development of Cochin. Over the years, Cochin has emerged as the commercial and industrial capital of Kerala and is perhaps the second most important city on the west coast of India (after Mumbai/Bombay). Cochin is proud of its world class port and international airport that link it to many major cities worldwide.
Tea Plantation This lovely seaside city is flanked by the Western Ghats on the east and the Arabian Sea on the west. Its proximity to the equator, the sea and the mountains provide a rich experience of a moderate equatorial climate.
Strictly speaking, Cochin is a small town. But, Cochin has outgrown its original bounds and is now the general name given to much of the region adjoining the original town, which now includes Cochin, Fort Kochi, Mattanchery, Ernakulam and many other nearby towns and villages. Cochin is situated in Ernakulam district in the state of Kerala. Ernakulam is also the name of a town - the administrative capital of Ernakulam district - but, for all practical purposes Ernakulam and Cochin, generally, refer to the same place.
Kochi is the arguably the ideal starting point for exploring the unfathomable diversity and beauty of Kerala, rated in the top three tourist destinations by the World Travel & Tourism Council and featured in National Geographic Traveler's '50 greatest places of a lifetime'.