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The state of Kerala has many developed tourist destinations in India.  Besides the enchanting greenery with its evergreen forests rich in flora and fauna, the rivers, backwaters and the mountains, Kerala is also a land of historic monuments, forts, palaces, temples, churches and mosques.

Thiruvananthapuram is famous for its ancient and historic temple of Shri. Padmanabha Swami (Vishnu) with its seven storeyed sculptural 'Gopuram' which is an exquisite specimen of South Indian architecture of the Dravidian style. The Kanakakunnu Palace, the Observatory, the Napier Museum, the Secretariat and the Victoria Jubilee Town Hall are among the beautiful architectural landmarks in the city. The Zoo and the Chithralayam Art Gallery attached to the Napier Museum form some of the tourist attractions in Thiruvananthapuram. Interesting places worth visiting in the neighbourhood of Thiruvananthapuram are the Kovalam Beach, Neyyar Dam and the Ponmudi hills a cool and picturesque resort situated at a height of about 1000 meters above the Sea level.


This Palace, the ancient seat of the Travancore rulers lies just off the Thiruvananthapuram-Kanyakumari Highway. The intricately designed corridors, the incredible smoothness of its floors and the aura of cool comfort which pervades the structure makes one marvel at the skill of its builders. The palace has a proliferation of 17th and 18th century paintings. Though now in Kanyakumari district of Tamilnadu, the palace is protected by the Archaeology Department of Kerala.


Cape Comerin or Kanyakumari the land's end of India, is situated 87 Kms. south of Thiruvananthapuram. Now Kanyakumari belongs to Tamilnadu state. The temple dedicated to the Goddess Kanyakumari, the Vivekananda Mandapam and the Gandhi Mandapam are the major attractions.


Situated 40 Kms north of Thiruvananthapuram along the sea coast, Anchuthengu is a place of historic importance. It was here that the first settlement of the English East India Company was established in 1695 A.D.


The historic town is only 71 Kms. from Thiruvananthapuram. The Ashtamudi Boat Club provides boating facilities. Kollam is a leading centre of Cashew, tile and ceramic industries. Achancoil and Aryankavu are the two pilgrim centres in Kollam. Konni is situated 18 miles north of Punalur. Wild elephants were once trapped and tamed here. Palaruvi, five Kms. from Aryankavu is a waterfall at an altitude of 300 feet.


Alappuzha is a commercial and industrial centre. Between the streches of Kollam-Alappuzha and Alappuzha-Kottayam lie some of the most fascinating visions of natural scenery in the world. The famous Nehru Trophy Boat Race is conducted in the Punnamada Kayal, an arm of Vembanad lake.


Kottayam is the headquarters of a number of ecclesiastical heads of Christian churches. The Valiapalli, an ancient church here, has some mural paintings of rare excellence. Kumarakam, one of the loveliest villages in Kerala, 16 Kms. by road from Kottayam is an idyllic spot on the lakeside and an ideal place for cruising. Udayaperoor, Udayanapuram, Vaikom and Ettumanoor are places of religious importance of both Hindus and Christians.


Periyar Wild Life sanctury holds the pride of place among the many tourist attractions of the state. Tourists can go about in a motor launch and watch herds of elephants, bison and other wild animals. Munnar, a picturesque hill resort, famous for its tea plantations lies here.


Kochi one of the finest natural harbours in the world, is the "Queen of the Arabian Sea". Mattancheri, nearby is famous for its Jewish Synagogue built in 1568. There are two important churches in Kochi, The St. Francis church, the oldest European church built by the Portuguese in 1510 where Vasco De Gama lies buried and the Santhacruz Cathedral with beautiful frescoes.

To the northwest of Ernakulam is the Bolgatti Island known for its enchanting beauty. At night, when the lamps are lit, the town and islands provide a gorgeous spectacle over the waters.

Aluva, 23 Kms from Ernakulam is on the banks of the river Periyar. It is an industrial centre.

Kalady, a tourist centre is famous as the birth place of Sree Sankara, the great Advaita Philosopher of the 8th Century A.D.


Thrissur was the capital of the Cochin State. It is famous for Vadakkumnathan Temple where Thrissur Pooram, the greatest temple pageantry is celebrated.

Kodungalloor is 32 Kms. from Ernakulam. It was the capital of Cheramanperumal. Famous temples like the Bhagavathi temple and Thiruvanchikulam temple are situated here. There is also a Mosque, which is said to be the oldest in India.

Twenty three Kms. to the northwest of Thrissur lies Peechi. There is also an irrigation project. It affords pleasant boating facilities.

Located at Cheruthuruthy, Kerala Kalamandalam the great arts academy started by the late Vallathol Narayana Menon, has been the Chief Centre of the renaissance of Kathakali dance.

Guruvayoor temple, the famous Hindu pilgrim centre is dedicated to Lord Krishna. According to tradition, the temple is the creation of Guru, the preceptor of the Deva and Vayu, the Lord of Winds. The installation and consecration of the idol, is believed to have been made by Guru and Vayu and hence the name Guruvayurappan.


The Malampuzha Dam with its pictureque surroundings is situated almost 5 miles from Palakkad. This is one of the biggest irrigation projects in Kerala. Palakkad Fort is historically important. Hyderali built the fort, as a garrison for his possessions in the south. Kalpathi is situated about 2 miles north from Palakkad town. In November a car festival is held to which nearly a lakh people come from far and near. Lakkidi, the birth place of Kunchan Nambiar, the originator of 'Thullal Prasthanam' in Malayalam is also situated here.


Kozhikode was the capital of the Zamorins who ruled over Malabar in medieval times. Kappad near Kozhikode is historically important. It was here that Vasco De Gama landed on 27th July 1498. Beypore is one of the leading minor ports in Kerala. The Vasti temple which belongs to the Jains is preserved as an ancient monument.


Situated about 128 Kms, northest of Kozhikode the Wayanad area with its tea and coffee plantations, provides several attractions for tourists.  Sulthan Bathery, was formerly known as Ganapathivattam, literally the circle or range of the God Ganapathy.  It is situated 60 miles from Kozhikode.  Tipu Sulthan erected a fort here and this place was a military centre during the Pazhassi revolt.  Edakkal Caves situated 4 miles from Sulthan Bathery contain interesting inscriptions and carvings of human and animal figures.


The St. Angelo's fort, built by the first Portuguese Viceroy in 1505 is a landmark here. The 12th century Mosque built by Malik Iban Dinar is at Madayi, a village 22 Km from Kannur.


The old, historic fort at Beykal is near Kasargod. The beach here is excellent.
Besides these tourist spots, Kerala has a good number of wild life sanctuaries and national parks, virtually a haven for a variety of flora and fauna. The Iravikulam National Park, the Silent Valley National Park, the Parambikulam Wild Life Sanctuary, Thattekadu Bird Sanctuary and Chinnar Wild Life Sanctuary are some of the major wild life preserves in Kerala.

Kerala is the only tourism destination selected for superbrand in India.The "National Geographic Traveller" in an assessment in the year 1999, identified 50 must-see places in the world. In India 2 spots have been identified, one is the Taj Mahal and the other is Kerala.


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