Must-see attractions in Kerala

  • Wayanad, Kerala, India

    Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary

    Northern Kerala

    Wayanad's ethereal 345-sq-km sanctuary is accessible only by two-hour jeep safari (₹680), on which you might spot langurs, chital deer, sambar, peacocks,…

  • Sightseeing cruise passing dead tree on lake at Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary in early morning.

    Periyar Tiger Reserve

    Periyar Tiger Reserve

    Bison, sambar, wild boar, langur, around 2000 elephants and 35 to 40 tigers wander the lushly green hills of South India’s most popular wildlife reserve,…

  • Synagogue, Jewtown, Cochin, India

    Pardesi Synagogue

    Kochi (Cochin)

    Originally built in 1568, Mattancherry's synagogue was partially destroyed by the Portuguese in 1662, and rebuilt two years later when the Dutch took…

  • Also known as Dutch Palace, the Mattancherry palace with its medieval charm is situated at Palace Road, Mattancherry, 10km from Ernakulam city, Kochi, Kerala, India. (Photo by: MyLoupe/UIG via Getty Images)

    Mattancherry Palace

    Kochi (Cochin)

    Mattancherry Palace was a generous gift presented to the Raja of Kochi, Veera Kerala Varma (1537–65), as a gesture of goodwill by the Portuguese in 1555…

  • Museum of History & Heritage

    Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum)

    Occupying a handsome 120-year-old heritage building within the Kerala Tourism complex, this intelligently presented museum traces Kerala's history and…

  • Napier Museum

    Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum)

    Housed in an 1880 wooden building designed by Robert Chisholm (a British architect whose Fair Isle–style version of the Keralite vernacular shows his…

  • Matha Amrithanandamayi Mission


    The incongruously salmon-pink Matha Amrithanandamayi Mission, 30km northwest of Kollam, is the famous ashram of one of India’s few female gurus,…

  • Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary


    This reserve on the 5-hectare site of a former rubber plantation on Vembanad Lake is the haunt of a variety of domestic and migratory birds. October to…

  • Chinese Fishing Nets

    Kochi (Cochin)

    The unofficial emblems of Kerala’s backwaters, and perhaps the most photographed, are the half-dozen giant cantilevered Chinese fishing nets on Fort…

  • Kerala Folklore Museum

    Kochi (Cochin)

    Created in Kerala style from ancient temples and beautiful old houses collected by its owner, an antique dealer, the family-run folklore museum houses a…


    Thirunelly Temple

    Northern Kerala

    Thought to be one of the oldest temples on the subcontinent, Thirunelly Temple huddles beneath the Brahmagiri Hills 15km southwest of Tholpetty. Non…

  • Ernakulam, Kerala, India, Indian Sub-Continent, Asia

    Hill Palace Museum

    Kochi (Cochin)

    Around 13km east of Ernakulam, this impressive 49-building palace complex was formerly the residence of the Kochi royal family. It now houses the…

  • prehistoric art, Edakkal Cave, Ambukutty Mala near Ambalavayal, Batheri, Wayanad, Kerala, India

    Edakkal Caves

    Northern Kerala

    These remote hilltop 'caves' – more accurately a small series of caverns – are celebrated for the ancient collection of petroglyphs in their top chamber,…

  • CRAEHJ Cannon, Fort St. Angelo, Kannur Fort or Kannur Kotta built by Francisco de Almeida, near Kannur or Cannanore, Kerala

    Fort St Angelo


    One of the earliest Portuguese settlements in India (constructed with permission from Kannur's rulers), the 1505 St Angelo Fort looms tall on a promontory…

  • CE6A5C Heritage Museum at Ambalavayal ; Wayanad ; Kerala ; India

    Wayanad Heritage Museum

    Northern Kerala

    In the village of Ambalavayal, 12km southwest from Sultanbatheri near the Edakkal Caves, this small but fascinating museum exhibits tools, weapons,…

  • Indo Portuguese Museum

    Indo-Portuguese Museum

    Kochi (Cochin)

    The heritage of one of India’s earliest Catholic communities – including vestments, silver processional crosses, altarpieces from the Kochi diocese and…

  • Parambikulam Tiger Reserve


    Encompassing 644 sq km of glorious Western Ghats terrain and wildlife, nestled behind three dams in a valley at altitudes of 300m to 1440m, Parambikulam…

  • Beautiful panoromic view of Bekal fort, Kerala.

    Bekal Fort

    Northern Kerala

    The huge laterite-brick Bekal Fort, built between 1645 and 1660, is the largest in Kerala and sits on Bekal’s rocky headland with fine views. It passed…

  • Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary


    A serene 25-sq-km park in the foothills of the Western Ghats, cut through by two rivers and two streams, Thattekkad shelters around 300 fluttering species…

  • Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary


    Rising to 1868m at Agasthya Peak and surrounding an idyllic lake created by the 1964 Neyyar Dam, 30km east of Trivandrum, this 128-sq-km sanctuary has a…

  • Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary


    This 90-sq-km sanctuary, 50km northeast of Munnar, protects deer, leopards, elephants, gaur, langurs and endangered, Nilgiri tahr and grizzled giant…

  • Eravikulam National Park


    Around 11km north of Munnar, Eravikulam's 97 sq km of grasslands and shola conceal the world's largest population of endangered, but almost tame, Nilgiri…

  • Anjengo Fort


    Fringed by colourful fishers' houses, 12km southeast of Varkala, this laterite-and-concrete fort was built by the British East India Company in 1695…

  • Krishnapuram Palace Museum


    Two kilometres south of Kayamkulam (35km north of Kollam), this restored mid-18th-century palace is one of the finest remaining examples of royal Keralan…

  • Janardhana Temple


    Varkala is a temple town and the Janardhana Temple, dedicated to Vishnu, is the main event – with its roots dating back to the 13th century, this…

  • St Francis Church

    Kochi (Cochin)

    Constructed in 1503 by Portuguese Franciscan friars, this is believed to be India’s oldest European-built church. The faded-yellow edifice that stands…

  • St Mary’s Syrian Knanaya Church


    Perched on a low-lying riverside hill 2km northwest of central Kottayam, this bright-white church was founded in 1550 by Syrian Knanaya Christians (the…

  • Puthe Maliga Palace Museum

    Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum)

    Overlooking the Shri Padmanabhaswamy Temple tank, the opulent 18th-century palace of the Travancore maharajas is a classically Keralan world of…

  • Thalasseri Fort


    The coastal town of Thalasseri (formerly Tellicherry), 20km southeast of Kannur, was a major cardamom and pepper export hub under the British East India…

  • Kappil Beach


    About 8km north of Varkala, this long, beautiful and (so far) undeveloped stretch of golden sand is also the beginning of a mini network of backwaters. A…

  • St Mary’s Orthodox Church


    Built by the Portuguese, 2km northwest of central Kottayam, the elegant 1579 Cheriapally (Little Church) fuses European baroque architecture with Keralan…

  • David Hall

    Kochi (Cochin)

    Opposite the parade ground, this beautiful restored bungalow is all that remains of three 17th-century Dutch-era houses built using materials from…

  • RKK Memorial Museum

    Alappuzha (Alleppey)

    In a grand building fronted by Greco-Roman columns, this intriguing museum houses a priceless, astonishing collection of crystal, porcelain, South Indian…

  • Ponnumthuruthu (Golden) Island


    Around 10km south of Varkala, this acacia-filled island in the middle of a backwater lake conceals a Shiva-Parvati Hindu temple also known as the Golden…

  • Mahadeva Temple


    The Shiva temple at Ettumanur, 12km north of Kottayam, has inscriptions dating from 1542, but parts of the building may be even older. It's noted for its…

  • Kashi Art Gallery

    Kochi (Cochin)

    The pioneer of Fort Cochin’s art revival, Kashi displays changing exhibitions of local artists in a creatively restored Dutch heritage house, attached to…

  • Chennamangalam Synagogue


    Around 5km northeast of North Paravur, this beautifully restored synagogue is one of Kerala's most ancient, established in 1420 (though rebuilt in 1614…

  • Miskhal Masjid

    Kozhikode (Calicut)

    Around 2km southwest of Mananchira Sq, this 650-year-old mosque is an attractive (mostly) wooden four-storey building supported by impressive wooden…

  • Lockhart Tea Factory


    One of several working local tea factories open to the public, Lockhart dates from 1879 and sits 10km southeast of Munnar. Guided factory tours explain…

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