Kerala, India’s tropical paradise, invites travellers from across the globe to steal moments of solitude and revel in the lap of nature. The misty mountains of Munnar, backwaters of Alleppey, ancient houses and murals in Kochi, rejuvenating massages that harmonise your body, mind and soul sew up a perfect vacation. However, when holidaying with children, the vacation is fine-tuned to adventure and excitement to the likes of kids rather than relaxation and quietude. Notably, the region has everything required to make a Kerala family vacation just perfect!
Pristine sights of Alleppey
The sublime beauty of mountains, beaches, rivers and wilderness give a delightful experience. Kids have plenty of opportunities to explore the charm and depths of nature. The experience is educational and engaging for them as they get to spot wild animals roaming around in their natural habitats. While children are filled with excitement on seeing an elephant or a kingfisher afar, grown-ups have the opportunity to soak in the astounding beauty around them.
Thrilling joyrides in Thekkady
What could be more intriguing than the ride of the royals? In Thekkady, you can find professional mahouts to accompany your family while enjoying elephant safaris into the woods. Afterwards, go cruising the lakes and lagoons on a traditional rice boat in Alappuzha. Better still, spend a few days amidst water staying in these boats – they are complete with furnished bedrooms and kitchen, modern bathrooms and even balconies for angling. These traditional boats take you into the pristine and otherwise inaccessible portions of the state.
Wildlife expedition in Western Ghats
Nestled around the Western Ghat, Kerala boasts six national parks and a number of wildlife sanctuaries that give you opportunities to spot animals like elephants, tigers, deer, peacock, leopard, bison and some adorable endemic birds. A verdant miscellany of spice plants, rice paddies and various shrubs, Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary is a haven for a variety of birds and animals. Eravikulam National Park offers great sights as you trek through the rolling grasslands and wait to catch a glimpse of a tiger. Here, your kids can also observe the Nilgiri Tahr and Indian Bison at close quarters. If your family is interested in watching big cats in their natural habitat, Periyar Tiger Reserve in Thekkady is the place for you.
For some more excitement, take your family to an elephant training centre. In Kerala, elephants are considered the sons of the Western Ghat, hence are treated with respect and love. Kodanad, on the banks of the Periyar River, is home to one of the largest elephant training centres. Your children will cherish the experience of bathing and feeding baby elephants. Other than Kodanad, Muthanga in Wayanad district and Konni in Pathanamthitta district are also outstanding facilities where you can engage in various activities around elephants.
Beaches and backwater in Kovalam and Alleppey
From gigantic ocean waves and roaring rivers to calm and still backwater, Kerala is home to numerous water bodies, which means there is plenty of waterbound activities in store. Kovalam and Cherai beaches are ideal for wind surfing, parasailing and beach volleyball. You can lie back and bask in the glorious sun while kids frolic on the beach, running around, making sand castles and playing games.
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In Alleppey, Kozhikode and Aranmula, delight in a variety of boating experiences including canoeing and houseboat cruises. When in Kozhikode, don’t forget to visit the historic Kappad beach, where Vasco da Gama landed in 1498. A mesmerising scenery garnished with a lesson in world history will add to your Kerala holiday.
Cultural experience in Kerala
An expedition to ‘God’s Own Country’ is incomplete without soaking up some of its ancient culture. Explore the age-old churches and temples built across the state, enjoy a day in a laid-back fishing village, cheer the rowers during boat races around Onam festival, go deep sea fishing and revel in traditional arts like Kathakali, Oppana and Kutiyattam. For a distinct experience, you can pick tea together in the lush tea estates of Munnar and Idukki.
Binge on curries, biryanis, idlis, vadas and sambar throughout the vacation. Visit the roadside standing eateries for authentic Malabar cuisine. Alleppey fish curry, karimeen and payasam are must-try. Many restaurants serve various international dishes like tuna nicoise, Mughlai parantha and Spanish omelette.
Stretches of emerald backwater, verdant mountains, pristine beaches, incredible wildlife and delectable cuisine are sure to make your time on a Kerala tour absolutely amazing. See you there!