Hear about a 2-week itinerary for Kerala, India travel as the Amateur Traveler talks to Mariellen Ward from BreatheDreamGo.com and IndiaForBeginners.com about this popular tropical destination.
Mariellen says, “Kerala is a tropical state in South India known for white-sand beaches, languid backwaters, the Western Ghats mountain range, spice plantations, and Ayurveda. It’s got a rich, and unique culture — there’s nowhere else like it in India — and it’s a gentle place that makes for a great place to land on your first trip to India. You can visit all year ‘round as it’s lush in the monsoon season (June to September) and is an ideal tropical vacation destination for escaping from cold winters from November to March.”
- Cochin / Fort Kochi
- Kumarakom Backwaters
Mariellen starts us in the city with two names Cochin / Fort Kochi. Here while we are getting over our jetlag we will explore this historic city including Vasco da Gama Square named for the Portuguese navigator who found his way to India by sea. On the square, the Church of Saint Francis was where da Gama was originally buried before his remains were shipped home to his native Portugal.
You can also visit the Mattancherry Palace, or the Dutch Palace, with its murals of Indian mythology. The nearby Paradesi Synagogue was the center for Jewish life for Jewish traders whose roots go back in India to the 4th century.
From Cochin, we head to the Backwaters which are a series of waterways that cut into the agricultural land of the region. You can either rent a houseboat (Mariellen recommends you check it out before renting) or you can stay at one of the beautiful resorts in the area and do day trips on the Backwaters. Mariellen recommends the resort option because it offers more variety in activities.
We head inland to the hills of the Western Ghats which are known for their spices and tea plantations. Mariellen recommends a stay at the Coconut Lagoon in Thekkady which is adjacent to Periyar National Park where you might get to see a tiger.
Kerala also is known for its great beaches and Mariellen directs us to Marari Beach, Varkala Beach, Thiruvananthapuram, and Kovalam as options for a beach vacation. One of her favorites is Varkala Beach which has the town on the cliffs and the beaches below. There are lovely cafes and also the Janardanaswamy Temple which are worth a visit.
Kerala is also known for Ayurveda although an extensive Ayurveda treatment probably would need additional time on your itinerary.
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Best places to visit in Kerala, India
Kerala two-week itinerary
Brunton Boatyard – Heritage Hotel
Taj Malabar Resort & Spa, Cochin
Eighth Bastion – CGH Earth
Vasco da Gama
Vasco da Gama Square
Church of Saint Francis, Kochi
Kashi Art Cafe
Alleppey Backwaters (Alappuzha)
Spice Village Kerala
Periyar National Park
Marari Beach Resort
Kimberly says, Hi Chris! Love the show, long time listener. Just was listening to the latest podcast and it’s about where I’m from! Jessica did a great job of sharing the beauty of the coast. “Where the Forest meets the Sea” is an apt description of the coast but it also does happen to be the motto of where I was raised – Waldport! ?
This was a really great episode! I’m from the central Oregon coast and it was fun to hear about many places I grew up going to. I actually just posted some pics of a beautiful, sunny winter day on the beach. It’s very true – there are no bad days or time to visit the coast! ? – bunchofgingers
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