TOP 10 ATTRIBUTES WHICH MAKE KERALA-AN EXTRAORDINARY TOURIST DESTINATION

Holidaying in Kerala is a dream of all nature lovers. The coastal state is famous for its coconut trees-fringed beaches, crystal blue waters, pristine lakes, breath-taking hill stations, elaborate temple festivals and snake boat races etc. The pace of life in Kerala is moderate and thus makes it an ideal destination for leisure vacations. Every year an inadequate number of tourists visits the state to enchant its mesmerising beauty and also to watch exotic species of elephants wandering in dense forests and many more. Kerala is a perfect place for rejuvenating and relaxing. Don’t think that the state is meant only for adventure enthusiasts and green panthers. Along with backpackers honeymooners rush to the state to explore its flawless beauty. The coolheaded atmosphere and pleasant climate attract newlywed couples to spend the precious days of their life in the arms of Mother Nature. Do travellers always get confused about what to do when they reach Kerala? How to spend their tour days effectively? Which all places must be visited? Where to stay? And so on… there will be no end for these anxieties. To get rid of these tensions it is better to depend on travel partners. Dream holidays is one such tour organiser team which curates various types of packages to its customers according to their purposes. Tour packages for honeymoon couples are their latest and cheapest tour packages to Kerala. The package includes both up and down airfare of the journey. Don’t worry they are ready to customise their package as per travellers’ request. Below is the list of few important things that must be included in your itinerary.

  1. Houseboat Voyage

How could Kerala trip be complete without experiencing houseboat voyage? Have you ever imagined a voyage where you can relish scrumptious delicacies comprising plates of seafood and local traditional dishes and also different flavours of art forms? All these could be cherished under a single rooftop-houseboat. Houseboats were first constructed with an aim to exchange commodities and to encourage business and trade. Now it is being widely used to nurture tourism. You can splash waters on dear ones and can catch the first rays of the sunrise while sailing in the houseboat cruises. Where houses sail over backwaters, where every cruise is a marvellous experience. Chase your dream and avail the houseboat tour and enchant the splendid beauty of nature.

2. Tea Plantation/ Taste Tea

How romantic it would be to hold your loved one’s hand and stroll in the thriving green meadows by inhaling the scented air. Kerala is blessed with tea plantations and it is mainly seen in places like Munnar, Thekkady, Vagamon and Wayanad. The lush green gardens act as a blanket to the highlands and pyramidal valleys and it looks more beautiful in monsoon days. They also act as a splendid backdrop for lovely photographs. To understand more about tea plantations and the formation of tea powders you must definitely visit tea factories adjacent to it.

3. Spice Plantation

How could Indian food be complete without adding redolent spices? Even though the vast area of land in Kerala are occupied by the tea and coffee plantations, one could see the cultivation of various kinds of spices like cardamom, pepper, cloves, nutmeg, ginger and so on in small and large areas of high ranges. These exotic spices not only grabbed national and international tourist but also had lured Britishers to India. Travellers can enchant the mesmerising spices grasslands by availing tour packages to Kerala at a reasonable price.

4. Munnar Trekking

Munnar is a perfect destination for spending a marvellous tour with dear ones. Munnar is a haven for adventure enthusiasts and photography lovers. Munnar comprises of several small and high peaks. And among them, Chokramudi Peak is the highest peak and hiking it is really a challenging task. The trekking to the peak can be broadly classified into four sections:- the grass stroll, shola walk, steep climb and the dangerous terrain. Trekking begins with strolling in shola forest followed by striding in the thick grasslands and finally conquering the breathtaking terrain. Beginners can successfully complete level 1 without much difficult but later sections require immense courage and faith. You will remain amused by viewing foggy clouds, cool breeze after covering 7200 ft.

5. Beaches

Kerala is not only proud of its green plantations but for its salty sea waters and sun-toasted sandy beaches. Nestled along the beautiful coastline on the Arabian Sea, each of these beaches is marvellous in its appearance and ambience. You can drive your vehicle on Kerala’s only drive-in the beach at Muzhappilangad in Kannur, indulge yourself at an extravagant resort near Kovalam’s unspoiled crescent beaches or spend days cherishing Varkala’s tantalizing cliff-side setting Varkala. Submerge in Kerala’s history at Bekal Beach and Fort, as well as at Kappad Beach, the landing place of Portuguese Wayfinder Vasco da Gama’s ship in 1498. If you’re looking for contentment, traverse the unblemished beaches of Thiruvambadi, Cherai, Marari and Kappil.

6. Head into Periyar Jungle

One of the most popular national parks in South India, Periyar National Park in Kerala lies in the lush green lofty Western Ghats. The sanctuary lies near to the Lake Periyar, which initially was a water reservoir. The national park is known to be shelter to elephants, tigers, jungle cat, lion-tailed macaque, wild pig, stripe-necked mongoose, gaur, Golden Langur, Indian wild dog, Nilgiri langur, Bonnet Macaque, mouse deer, Indian bison, sambar, barking deer, etc. and the rare Nilgiri Tahr. It is also home to 112 kinds of butterflies as well as 265 species of birds. One could spot 22 species of fish, 28 types of reptiles and 9 species of amphibians. Floral species and varieties of plants are also found in large number here. Periyar Jungle is also known as Thekkady Wildlife Sanctuary and Periyar Tiger Reserve. The sanctuary was declared as Project Tiger Reserve in the year 1978. Trekking is a famous activity practised over here. The best ways to take a look at the sanctuary is through boat safaris, jeep safari and elephant safari. The ideal time to foe wildlife safari is during mornings.

Timings for safari

Boat Cruise:

Boat Safari in Periyar takes place for 30 minutes. The forest department of Kerala runs 2 boats and five trips are allowed on a daily basis whereas each trip is of about 90 minutes.

07:30 AM – 09:00 AM, 09:30 AM – 11:00 AM, 11: 05 AM – 12:45 PM, 01:45 PM – 03:15 PM, and 03.30 PM – 05:00 PM

Jeep Safari:

Day safari:- 06:30 AM – 03:00 PM & Night safari:- 11:00 PM – 03:00 AM

Elephant Safari:

06:00 AM to 05:00 PM (On a daily basis for 30 minutes)

Popular activities in Periyar Jungle:

Apart from various types of safaris, other major activities here are boa, angling, bullock cart ride to visit farmland, guided day trekking, border hikes, guided camping, and guided nature walk. Hike to the temple of Mangla Devi can also be done. One can also enjoy bathing and feeding of the elephants.

7. Visit Rural Village

The soul of real Kerala resides in the unsophisticated terrains of villages that stimulate fresh experiences on every visit. Village life of God’s Own Country is a harmony composed of strings of beauty coloured with countless traditions and cultures. Untouched and unexplored by the dark hands of industrialisation, the rural life of Kerala offers travellers a pristine and peaceful experience.

The concept of Village Life tourism sector was formulated with the aim of protecting the ancient native crafts, traditional jobs and the unique lifestyle of Kerala. Indirectly this tourism sector supports farmers, traditional artisans, small-scale entrepreneurs, and so forth. Far away from the hectic and stressed life of the city, the rural land decorated with placid backwaters, green-carpeted grain fields, swaying coconut palms, fishing hamlets and unique art forms is an auspicious experience to cherish forever.

Following are the important activities which can be seen while striding through the streets of a rural village:

  • Coir Making

Kerala in vernacular language means land of coconuts. The coir is made from coconut fibre extracted from the coconut husks. The husk consists of 20% to 30% fibre on which can be twirl into strong threads that can be used in making mats and handicrafts. The first step in making coir is to “ret” the husks of coconut by putting them in salt water and then covered with mud. From the retting mound, the husks are removed after nine months and taken to the threshing compounds where retted husks are then pounded and crushed with mallets or machetes by mostly females where husks are pulled off to collect fibres from them which are dried up for spinning. The dried coir is then spun by a spinner using gear at a wheel with a small spinning axle to create strong yarn thread that can be used in mats and handicrafts. Kerala village tour involves watching the process of creating the coir thread by two lady staffs in a wheel as coir making is the usual means of the lively hood in rural Kerala backwater villages.

  • Try Some Toddy

Toddy or Kallu is a sweet alcoholic beverage extracted from palm or coconut trees in Kerala. Toddy is tapped by tappers belonging to Hindu community known as Ezhava or Thiya (in Northern parts of Kerala). They climb the coconut trees or palm trees to extract fresh Madhura Kallu (sweet toddy) or fruits of the palm have to be cut in its bud and must be covered in pots for the whole night and by the next day, the pot will be full of white toddy.

8. Bird Watching in Kumarakom

Birding or bird watching is one of the best recreational activities of spotting various kinds of birds with the naked eye or with the help of binoculars. Kumarakom bird sanctuary situated in Kottayam district is the perfect place for dotting birds in Kerala. It is spread in an area of 14 acres of land. It is popularly known as ornithologists’ paradise. It is home to different species of birds such as cuckoo, cormorant, egret, moorhen, darter, owl, waterfowl, parrot, flycatcher, teal, lark and migratory birds such as brahminy kite, heron, Siberian crane etc. Migratory birds are mostly seen here during the migratory seasons -November to February.

9. Attend a Temple Festival

Have you ever thought what makes Kerala so beautiful and charming? Is it only the emerald mountains and sapphire waters? Along with them the unique ritual and cultural festivals of the state makes it more popular. The 14 districts of Kerala celebrate different kinds of temple festivals in different seasons and months. Even though the mode of celebration may be alike but their aim is the same – showing gratitude to the presiding god or goddess in the temple. Followed the deity lord the other main role is grabbed by the elephants. They are donated by devotees. Temple festivals are commonly known as pooram in colloquial language. While every year temple rituals are blushing in Kerala, the state’s temple festivals are a highpoint on everyone’s social calendars. You can expect overcrowded roads, processions of elephants with ornaments and flowers, traditional drummers and other troupe members, people dressed as gods, and the sky would be illuminated with fireworks on the days of festivals. The festivals are very noisy. Cultural programs, including classical music and dance performances, will also be held.

10. Watch Snake Boat Race

Kerala is blessed with serene backwaters, shallow rivers and pristine sandy beaches. Along with this, the state is an ideal destination for water sports and various adventurous activities. Among them is the snake boat race(Vallamkali) which captivates not only the tourist to visit the land but also grabs the locals from their workstations and home towns. Don’t think that in the snake boat race, the snakes will be swimming in water!!!. It is actually a competition of canoes between several groups in the locality and winner would be gifted with awesome and precious gifts from the eminent personalities of the state. The procession of canoes represent the picture of snakes crawling and therefore the boat race got that name. The famous boat races of Kerala are as follows:- Nehru trophy boat race, Aranmula boat race, Kallada/Jalotsavam boat race, Champakulam Moolam boat race, Payippad boat race and Sree Narayana Jayanti Vallam Kali.

Above are a few important tourist destinations and unavoidable events in Kerala. No doubt you will remain dumbstruck after visiting these unique and hot tourist spots. To be part of this magnificent state, grab the package and enchant the fascinating beauty of ‘God’s own country’ – Kerala.

A Handy Guide on Andaman Tour

Andaman tour

Elegant beaches, extremely clear water, and the significance in Indian history make the Andamans the perfect pick for a laid-back, engaging vacation, coupled with trekking, lazing around in the beaches and, indulging in some adventurous water activities. From the capital city of Port Blair to the serene white-sandy beaches of Neil and Havelock Islands and the limestone caves of Baratang islands, the Andamans has a lot to offer for tourists. As far as the true nature lovers are considered, beaches, forests, caves, mangroves, etc. make it as a place of retreat. You can simply spend some time with nature coupled with a little bit of adventure, history, and forests. Thus, it is a place suitable for all age groups. There is something that entertains people belonging to each age group. This is the major reason behind the Andaman being the favorite choice for families wishing to go on a tour.

What to do in Andaman?

1.       Diving

Andaman tour

The Andaman Islands are rich in vibrant aquatic life and there is no better way than snorkeling in the clear turquoise blue waters to enjoy its beauty. The colorful schools of fish and amazing corals in various shapes and sizes are something you should never miss on your trip to Andamans. Scuba diving is also a great way to get up close to the amazing aquatic flora and fauna of the Andaman coral reefs.

2.       Cellular Jail Memorial

Andaman tour

The tortures faced by the Indian freedom fighters haunt the walls of the Cellular Jail even today. The journey to the prison for their exile sentenced by the British was not only traumatizing but crossing the Kala Pani (dark water) also meant their (cast) varna is lost. Cellular jail is situated in Port Blair and it is the place where the British used to exile many freedom fighters and political prisoners. It’s open to tourists from Tuesday to Sunday. It is such a heart-touching moment for any Indian who is proud of his country. The light and sound show further depicts the tough life the freedom strugglers had to go through in the hands of the British. They were treated inhumanely and was made to do tough works that cannot be carried out by humans. It is must-see place in the itinerary as you will know the price they had to pay for the freedom we enjoy today.

3.       Trekking

Andaman tour

Madhuban is one of the best trekking routes in the country and the trek between Mount Harriet and Madhuban results in a huge tourist turnout. The trekking enthusiasts simply love the lush green forests and the exotic fauna in the region.  A ferry ride from Chatham Harbor, Port Blair is the first step you need to take in order to reach here.  Chatham, Bamboo Flat, Junglighat, Dundas Point, Viper Island, Hope Town, and Mithakari are connected to Port Blair by three major ferry routes. Ferries make around 45 trips a day from these towns. A ferry will take only a few minutes to take you to any of the trek points nearby.

4.       Watch Bioluminescence

Andaman tour

How about spotting the entire galaxies right below your feet! If you can be on a moonless night in Havelock, chances are high the phytoplankton in the sea waters will illuminate the oceans and beaches by lightening up.

5.       Swim in the Lagoon

Andaman tour

A well-known swimming area situated in the butler way is the Kalapathar lagoon. You enjoy your time swimming or simply strolling or going on a picnic in the sandy patches. If you want some more fun and get a better view of the stunning natural beauty of the surrounding, you can scramble through the cave in the cliff face.

6.       Rubber plantation walk

Andaman tour

A walk through the rubber plantations in Wandoor will feed your curiosity on the origination of erasers or other rubber goods. However, you will also get a chance to explore the spice plantations teeming with pepper, betel, clove and cinnamon trees.

7.       Climb up a Lighthouse

Andaman tour

The Little Andaman Lighthouse which is 41 meter high has around 200 steps and once you climb it you can behold the magnificent views of the forests and coastline in Andamans. It is situated 14 kilometers east of Hut Bay. Carrying a camera will allow you to capture some breathtakingly beautiful photographs or if you are an artist you can take a sketchbook with you.

8.       Bird Watching at Chidiya Tapu

Andaman tour

A trip to Chidiya Tapu must feature in your travel plan if you are an avid bird watcher.  25 kilometers from Port Blair is a tiny village, Chidiya Tapu that houses a variety of exotic birds including emerald doves, parakeets, and sea eagles.

9.       Have a look at the historical ruins of the Ross Island

Andaman tour

Ross Island was the ruling capital of the British when they occupied the Andamans. There exist the ruins of buildings built during those times and you can have a look at them.

10.   Turtle watching at Kalipur

Andaman tour

Beach: Kalipur Beach on Diglipur Island witness turtles coming every year to lay eggs. There are basically 4 types of turtles such as Olive Ridley turtles, Green Turtles, Hawk Bill turtles and Leather Back turtles. If you are coming in between October to march you will definitely find them scuttling about the beach.

What to eat in Andamans?

Andaman tour

Seafood: Being a coastal area, seafood is undoubtedly a highlight of Andaman and Port Blair is especially famous for it. New Lighthouse Restaurant serves the whole lobster which is a lip-smacking meal. Red snapper is another restaurant famous for serving the seafood platter. It is also common in the Andamans to get fresh fish fried from the morning’s catch in most of the islands.

Other options: Havelock is quite famous for delicious samosas. If you are looking for good foods at agreeable prices, there are a lot of small local restaurants in the Andamans that serve Indian thalis. However, Andamans is not limited to seafood and Indian thalis but also Italian, Thai and Continental cuisine. So don’t hesitate to pick Andamans as your destination even in case you are allergic or hates seafood.

When to go?

October – May: Chilly winters are never a part of the Andamans climate. The climate in Andamans stays pleasant for the most part of the year.  This time is the best for capturing the best sights of landscapes with foliage that are luscious and the sea so pristine, you will surely fall in love with the destination immediately. However, in winters the heat will be comparatively less and this makes it the best time to enjoy water sports and other water activities. Therefore, this is the time in which Andaman tourism packages are most in demand.

Andaman tour

January: January is the time to visit if you want to visit the culture and tradition of Andamans as a lot of trades and fairs happen in the city during this month. The best thing about visiting Andamans in January is that there is a 14 day-long festival that shows the various traditions followed by the tribal of the region. In addition, on the birthday of Subhash Chandra Bose, Subash Mela is conducted in the Andamans every year. Also, the diversity in culture and rural life of locals in Andamans is captured by the block mela.

May – October: This is the time of monsoon in the Andamans but still it retains a distinct beauty of its own during this season. Thus, you should never consider a reason for not visiting the Andamans.

How to get there?

Andaman tour

By flight: Kolkata or Chennai is the most popular airports to take flights to Andamans. Go Air and Spice jet are the most famous flight operators in this region.

By ship: Vishakhapatnam, Kolkata, and Chennai are the main ports from where ship service operates to Andaman. The voyage takes around 50 to 60 hours and the ship will be docked at the port for 2 to 3 days

How to get around?

Reaching Havelock: Reaching Havelock: Just 38 km away from Port Blair, Havelock has an elite camping facility near Radha Nagar beach. Between Port Blair and Havelock 2 to 3 ferries operate. A visit to Havelock island should definitely be in your travel plan as it comprises of some amazing beaches like Radha Nagar beach, Elephanta beach etc.

 Jeeps and Minivans: Airport pick up by car costs around Rs 500-800 and Rs.1500 is the cost for 1-day sightseeing, covering famous points. However, to reach Diglipur from Port Blair, the cost is around 10000. The fun stopovers on the way actually make the high cost worthy. You can in fact easily hire Scooters and motorbikes for covering short distances in and around Port Blair at about 400 per day. But in the tribal regions, there are certain prohibitions for the tourists to drive a vehicle. That is the case basically in Middle and North Andaman.

Bus: Diglipur, Baratang, Mayabunder and Rangat in the North, and Wandoor in the South are connected by buses from the Port Blair.

What to Pack?

Andaman tour

·         Soft cotton clothes are suitable in summers as the islands are tropical and you are prone to sweating. Light cardigans and jackets are suitable in winters to keep you safe from cool crisp winds in the evenings.

·         Dark sunglasses, umbrella, raincoat, and trekking shoes, sunscreen are irreplaceable when coming to the Andamans.

·         To prevent dehydration you should bring Basic medicines, anti-allergic medications, glucose supplements. Also always carry a bottle of water with you and also drinks like ORS with you to keep you hydrated from the inside.

·         Beach wears are a must when coming to the Andamans but modest. Immodest beachwear may earn unwanted stares from people around. If you have a plan for doing Scuba diving and snorkeling, kits are available at the beach for hire.

Your dream trip to the Andamans will be done efficiently by the tour operator. Andaman tour travel is one such famous tour operator who is efficient in coining tempting travel itineraries to Andamans. They have a well-known customer support team who will guide you until the last day of your holiday. In fact, getting a tour operator to do your holiday arrangements is especially useful in Andamans. This is because not even 2g internet has been launched in the Andamans and it would be difficult to do everything alone without having someone to guide you around in Andamans.