With incredible natural bounty and rich cultural heritage, Kerala offers immersive journeys for every kind of traveller. Here are some unique ways to experience the treasures of this tropical state.
Winter in the Malabar brings with it the rhythmic beating of drums, the captivating swirl of red skirts, and temples abuzz with the fervour of Theyyam performances.
An ancient ritualistic art form from North Kerala, Theyyam brings mythological stories to life. Elaborately costumed performers don grand headgear and face paint to channel powerful spirits and gods. A vibrant dance drama follows, with vigorous movements and music, chanting and stomping. Join the audience at a village shrine to watch a spectacular display of an age-old art form.
The aroma of fine tea wafts out of a charming 1930s tea factory with cozy wooden interiors. All around, the hills are carpeted in lush green tea estates. At 7,900 feet above sea level, this is the highest organic tea estate in the world.
Kolukkumalai is a breath-taking excursion from Munnar, all emerald hills and sweeping 360-degree views of mist-covered plains. In the factory, sip the finest local brews and see the traditional methods of tea processing. Take a leisurely stroll along lovely pathways set in the plantation. The best way to experience Kolukkumalai is to take a thrilling jeep ride along the narrow roads of this rugged little hill town.
In the foothills of the Western Ghats, a dense tropical forest is home to one of India’s richest bird habitats. More than 300 avian species inhabit this lush jungle. The rare Sri Lankan Frogmouth and Malabar grey Hornbills, White-bellied Blue Flycatchers and beautiful Racket-tailed Drongos - you’ll spot some stunning birds and hear some lovely calls in this wilderness.
The Thattekad Bird Sanctuary is one of Kerala’s better kept secrets. The foresight of India’s legendary bird man Dr. Salim Ali led to the creation of this protected area, which today thrives with life, both on the branches and on the ground. Keep an eye out for sloth bear, deer, and varieties of reptiles as well as you explore the sanctuary.
Narrow channels of water snake their way through coconut groves and mangrove forest. The landscape is a postcard in green and gold. These are Kerala’s famed backwaters, and Kumarakom stands at their heart.
Spend a day with the farmers of Kumarakom for a glimpse at life along the backwaters. This community-focused experience will take you into the heart of waterside villages, where you can try your hand at traditional coir making, see organic farming methods, and even visit a local farmer’s home. The countryside is lush and serene, full of migratory birds and fish-filled ponds. Go deep into the heart of rural Kerala for this immersive and responsible travel experience.