Kerala Tourist Places in Kerala, Places to Visit in Kerala
Protected by natural barriers on the east, Kerala has evolved largely unaffected by the strife wrought by countries foreign incursions in the rest of India. According to legend, the land was a gift of Parsurama, one of the ten avatars (incarnations) of Lord Vishnu. It is believed that he threw his battle axe into the sea to atone for his sin of slaying generation of Kshatriya. At this the sea receded, creating the land-mass, Kerala.
Historically evidence relating to its early history is scanty. The only work worth mention is Silappadikaram, attributed ti llango Adikal, a Tamil scholar of the Sangam Age. This work has been invaluable in tracing the origin of many rulers who held their sway over northern, central and southern Kerala, from the third to the fifth centuries AD.
The Kulasekhara period(800-1102) witnessed the growth of Hinduism and its predominance over Jainism and Buddhism. Sankracharya, the great Advaita philospher who spearheaded the renaissance of Hinduism, was a contemporary of Kulasekhara Alwar. The Bhakti movement also left a mark on this period, leading to the growth of the Shaiva and vaishnava cults. The natural outcome of this movement was the construction of many beautiful Hindu temples and the development of art and dance forms exclusive to Kerala. Today, these art forms, most of which were performed in temples, speak volumes of Kerala’s cultural past. Chakiyar Koothu, Koodiyattom and similar temple arts were originally presented in the Koothambalam of the temples. Kathakali, the pantomime dance0drama, draws its themes from the epics Ramayana and Mahabharata. Of late, subjects like Rani of Jhansi, Humanyun (the Mughal Emperor), Buddha and Jesus Christ have also been adapted to Kathakali on an experimental basis. Kerala is also famous for its martial art form- Kalaripayattu. Young men were trained in the art of combat and the use of weapons at Kalari institutions.
The long coastline, about 575 km, stung with many ports, has played a decisive role in shaping the history of Kerala. As far back as the 3 Bc, Egyptians, Phoenicians, Chinese and Babylonians had trade relations with Kerala. In early 17 AD, the Dutch, the French and the English too were lured to Kerala by her wealth of ivory , teak and spices like ginger, cinnamon, cardamom and pepper.
Christian, Judaism and Islam all found their way into Kerala. In 52 AD St. Thomas teh Apostle is believed to have landed here to spread the gospel of Christ. The followers of St. Thomas adhered to Syrian liturgy, but with the arrival of the Portuguese, Latin liturgy was also introduced in the Churches. Protestants was brought into Kerala by the Dutch and the British.
The Chinese fishing nets and the Jewish synagogue at Cochin, ancient churches at Malayattur. Fort Cochin and elsewhere, forts at Cannanore, Tellicherry, Anjengo and Pallipuram are all relics of diverse foreign influences.
Kerala’s progressive economy is agro based. Rubber and cashewnut, valuable foreign exchange earners, are cultivated on a large scale. Extensive rubber plantations on the foot-hills of the Western Ghats make Kerala the primary rubber producing state in India. The major cashew factories are located in the vicinity of Quilon. The midland and coastal regions have a luxuriant growth of coconut palms-the Kalpakavriksham. In Alleppey, the coir town, deft fingers transform coconut fibre into attractive mats, bags and wall hangings that are in great demand in India as well as abroad.
Today, the state of Kerala(38.86 sq. km.) has the highest literacy rate and the lowest birth rate among the states of India. Kerala has also been a pioneer in land and labour reforms.
Tourist places to visit in Kerala : –
Trivandrum, capital of the state of Kerala, is a beautiful seaside city built on seven hills. The city gets its name from the word, Thiru Ananthapuram, meaning the city of Anantha or the abode of sacred serpent Anantha, on which Lord Vishnu, the preserver of the Hindu trinity, reclines. The famous Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple, dedicated to Vishnu and a landmark in the city, was according to legend, built in stages to house an idol found in a forest by a devotee. It has, in many ways, dominated the fortunes of the town, quite apart from contributing to its name. In 1750 when it was the capital of Marthanda Varma, the most famous king of the state of Travancore, the entire state was dedicated to the deity of the temple. From then on, all the rights, of the ruler, and all his possessions, belonged to the deity and were held by the king and his successors as servant of the deity.
About 16 km from Trivandrum lies Kovalam Beach. Kovalam is a sheltered bay and is endowed with great natural beauty. Framed by a rugged promontory of rocks intruding into the sea on one side, the long, gently curved beach line is fringed heavily by swaying coconut palms. The clear waters here are ideal for swimming, surfing and skiing. One can even ride out into the sea on a catamaran. Luxury accommodation is available at the Kovalam Ashok Beach Resort situated hre, where facilities include Ayurvedic massage, yoga and water sports. Trivandrum is among top tourist places to visit in Kerala.
Tourist places to visit in Trivandrum are Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple, Zoological Park, Napier Museum and Sri Chitra Art Gallery.
Tourist Places to visit near Trivandrum or Thiruvanthapuram are kovalam, Aruvikkara, Neyyar Dam, Varkala, Padamanabhapuram Palace(Tamil Nadu), Ponmudi, Quilon, Suchindram Temple (Tamil Nadu), Kanyakumari(Tamil Nadu), Chavara.
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Cochin, a commercial city of the state of Kerala, has one of the best natural harbours in the country. It is set amidst lagoons and backwater with a romantic backdrop of swaying coconut palms.
Traders from the West came to Kerala as far back as 3 BC and took back with them species, ivory and teak. Much late, in the 14 AD, the portuguese, Dutch, French and British came to this region in the guise of merchants, some to stay on as colonial rulers.
The old Jewis Synagogue, the ancient churches of Malayattur and Fort Cochin and the Chinease fishing nets are evidence of the spirit of tolerance of this region as also of Cochin’s early contacts with countries as far away as China. Kochi is among top tourist places to visit in Kerala.
Tourist Places to visit in Kochi (Cochin) areWellingdon Island, Bolghatty Palace, Chinese Fishing Nets -Fort Kochi, Santa Cruz Baslica Church:- Fort Kochi, St. Francis Church Fort Kochi, Jewish Synagogue, Mattancherry Palace. Kochi (Cochin) is set amidst lagoons and backwater with a romantic backdrop of swaying coconut palms.
It is one of the most sacred and important pilgrim centres of Kerala, attracting thousands of pilgrims from all parts of the country. Its Chief attraction is a temple dedicated to Lord Krishna, known here as Guruvayurappa.
The history of the temple is shrouded in mystery. However, there is evidence that the temple existed in the 16th century and might date from period several centuries prior to it.
The name of this temple is linked to Melpattur Narayanan Bhattathiri, the author of Narayaneeyam, a Sanskrit work comprising 1000 slokas( couplets) of inimitable beauty.Guruvayur is among top tourist places to visit in Kerala.
Guruvayur Sree Krishna Swamy Temple
Guruvayur, with its temple dedicated to Sree Krishna, is one of the most popular pilgrim centres of India It is at this temple that Melpattur Narayan Bhattathiri composed his renowned Sanskrit devotional poem Narayaneeyam. Non- Hindus are not allowed inside the temple. The temple is among top tourist places to visit in Kerala.
Timing: 1300-1230 hrs. and 1700-2100 hrs.
Kalady, a pilgrim centre, is situated on the banks of the river Periyar. It is the birthplace of Sri Sankaracharaya, the great Indian philosopher who lived in the 8th century. There are two shrines in memory of Sri Sankaracharaya, one dedicated to him as Dakshinamurthy and the other to the goddess Sharada.There is an ancient Sri Krishna Temple close by, which was the family temple of Adi Sankaracharaya. Another temple known as the international Temple dedicated to Sri Ramakrishna Deva, was completed in April 1976. Kalady is among top tourist places to visit in Kerala.
Trichur, 78 km north of Cochin on National Highway 47, lies at the base of a hillock, crowned by the famous Vadakkumnathan (Shiva) Temple. This ormal capital of Cochin state was captured by Zamorin and later by Tipu Sultan in the second half of the 18th century.
The famous festival is celebrated at the Vadakkumnathan Temple every year during April-May. The Kerala Sahitya Academy and Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Academy are located in Trichur. Trichur is among top tourist places to visit in Kerala.
Eravikulam National Park is another famous top tourist places to visit in Kerala.
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