ERNAKULAM / KOCHI
Kochi is one of the seven taluks of Ernakulam district in the state of Kerala. Kochi straddled by the backwaters, it is bordered by the Arabian Sea in the west and urbanised region in the east. Fort Kochi, Bolghatty Palace and the backwaters are major highlights of the city. The city also has a strong inclination towards the arts and tourists visiting Kochi can visit places like the Kerala Folklore Theatre where people can watch plays or even spend time at the museum. Also Kochi is known for its Ayurvedic centres.
Kumarakom an ideal place to experience the backwaters of Kerala, is actually a cluster of islands close to the city of Kottayam. It is situated near the Vembanad Lake. The tropical climate of Kumarakom makes it conducive to a lot of varied cultivation. The place abounds in tropical fruits like banana, mango and pineapple. There are also plenty of mangroves, coconut palms and paddy fields, along with plantations of coffee and cocoa. Kumarakom is perhaps the only place in India other than Kashmir, which is known for its houseboat experience.
Munnar is an idyllic tourist destination with rolling hills, grasslands, dense forests, brooks and rivulets, diverse flora and fauna, numerous waterfalls, lakes, tea plantations and walking trails. Some of the major attractions of the region are CSI Church - the landmark of Munnar, Eravikulam National Park, Attukal Waterfalls, Elephant Lake etc. Because of its scenic beauty and pleasant climate Munnar has become a popular destination for honeymoons as well as weekend getaways.
THEKKADY / PERIYAR
Thekkady is the place where the Periyar National Park is located, which is home to thick evergreen forests, deciduous forests and a host of animal species, viz. elephants, sambar, tigers, Nilgiri Langurs, etc. The Mullaiperiyar Dam has been built across the Periyar River here, resulting in the formation of an artificial lake, which adds to the scenic beauty of the place. Thekkady is also known for its natural spices which are found in abundance here in the form of clove, cardamom, cinnamon and black pepper.
Kovalam consists of crescent shaped sandy beaches. The three beaches of Kovalam - Lighthouse Beach, Samudra Beach, and Hawa Beach (Eve's beach) - are separated from each other by rocky shores. A shallow-water-stretch that extends to about 1 km from the land makes it ideal for swimming. All the beaches have steep coconut-palm fringed highlands and shining sandy beaches that contain a great amount of minerals like ilmenite and thoracite.
Thiruvananthapuram or Trivandrum is the capital of Kerala. Thiruvananthapuram also has historic monuments, backwaters, beaches and wildlife sanctuaries. Tourists visiting the city can also plan excursions to Tripparappu Waterfalls, Thiruvattar, Padmanabhapuram, Courtallam, Sabarimala, Thekkady, etc. Activities like river rafting, canoeing and trekking can be done.