Kerala is God’s Own Country, and for all the right reasons. It is a haven for nature lovers and history enthusiasts. The mesmerising beauty and opportunities the state offers are unmatchable. There are numerous things to do in Kerala for you to have an engaging trip to the South of India. It is a gem to be explored with activities that take your breath away. It has numerous activities, ranging from the serene houseboat rides in Alleppey to the hills of Munnar that smell spicy. The state offers revitalising massages and health experiences, fully embracing Ayurvedic traditions. Kerala’s wildlife treasures are on display in Periyar National Park, which is rich in biodiversity. The historic beauty of Fort Kochi and Kathakali dance shows offer a touch of culture. It is a sensory extravaganza that combines nature, culture, and hospitality and boasts beautiful beaches like Varkala and Kovalam, tea estates in Munnar, and mouthwatering food.
16 Best Things to Do in Kerala, India
1. Stay in a Houseboat
Kerala is known for its extensive backwaters. They are of huge cultural and economic importance to the state and have been a significant part of Kerala’s tourism industry. With every inch of the state’s coastal area covered with the mystical backwater, a visit to them is a must. The most exciting part here is that you can stay over these vast expanses of water! Towns like Alleppey, Kumarakom, and Ashtamudi offer luxurious houseboat stays to tourists. The traditional houseboats are made of recycled coconut shreds and other local raw materials. Unlike the houseboats in Kashmir, the houseboats of Kerala also act as a transport medium and are luxurious accommodations. They give the impression of a cruise along the backwaters. The boats come with 5-star hotel-like facilities, suites, pantries, and more. It is one of the best things to do in Kerala for the luxury it offers as you travel from one town to another overnight.
2. Explore the Many Nature Parks of Kerala
Kerala boasts varied wildlife and natural habitats. The lush greenery is perfect for a variety of flora and fauna to make it their home. Eravikulam, Periyar, Chinnar, and Wayanad are some of the best wildlife sanctuaries in Kerala that are worth a visit. You can engage in jungle safaris, overnight stays and camping, photography, and wildlife spotting as you explore the many wildlife habitats Kerala has to offer.
3. Have Tea at the Tea Gardens
South India houses far-stretching lands of tea plantations. Some of the famous ones include the tea plantations of Munnar, Wayanad and Idukki. The experience of sipping a cup of hot Tea with Kerala snacks as you look over the vast fields of tea plants is unmatchable. The aromatic Tea with the aroma of spices wafting around you is something else, making it one of the most incredible things to do in Kerala.
4. Watch the Martial Art of Kalaripayattu
Kalaripayattu is a famous martial art in Kerala that you must have virtually seen in South Indian flicks. Rooted in 2000 B.C., it employs a variety of techniques, including blows, kicks, grappling, pre-established forms, weapons, and even healing techniques. You can witness an hour-long performance of Kalaripayattu at the Kadathanadan Kalari Centre in Thekaddy that showcases more than 27 weapons and forms of this art. It is a great way to experience the culture of Kerala first-hand, making it one of the most thrilling things to do in Kerala.
5. Watch Kathakali
We promise you won’t be able to take your eyes off the marvellous dance of Kathakali. The riot of colour with extensive and gracious facial expressions is a treat to the eyes. Kathakali is a dance-drama that tells a story through dance, costumes, and facial expressions – the art of storytelling is strongly portrayed here. In order to acquire the art of Kathakali, performers endure rigorous training that includes hours of eye exercises. See a show at the Kerala Kathakali Centre at the Cochin Cultural Centre.
6. Have an Ayurvedic Massage
Set out on a rejuvenating vacation among Kerala’s entrancing charm, where the age-old practice of Ayurveda unfurls like a fragrant tapestry. Ayurvedic massages have a mystical touch that offers a transformational experience amidst the many things to do in Kerala. Imagine yourself in an oasis of fragrant oils, expert hands guiding you towards calm, and the cares of life dissolving into happiness. The body and spirit are revitalised by the rhythmic strokes that reverberate with the whispers of history. Give in to the healing embrace and let Kerala’s Ayurveda reveal a health symphony that will leave you feeling rejuvenated and in balance, ready to discover everything that this precious state has to offer.
7. Bathe an Elephant at Kodanad Elephant Sanctuary
Imagine giving a bath to elephants, watching baby elephants spray water at each other, and riding the huge elephants of Kerala. The Kodanad Elephant Sanctuary provides all these experiences and more. Kodanad, which is only 42 kilometres from Kochi, provides a thrilling range of activities, like feeding, safari, and elephant bathing. See the allure of young elephants in their environment. Depending on the activities chosen and the time of day, prices range from Rs 350 to Rs 1500 per person. Take in the exceptional excitement of engaging with these magnificent animals and make memories that will always be linked to the captivating scenery that surrounds Kodanad.
8. Witness the Snake Boat Race
The world-famous snake boat race of Kerala is worth every penny. Take part in the exhilarating custom of snake boat racing, a display with a rich cultural history in Kerala. With their smooth navigation of Kuttanad’s enchanted backwaters, these long, canoe-style chundan vallams provide a special fusion of sport and tradition. Every village in the heart of the state takes great pride in having its own elaborately decorated snake boat, which represents a long history. See the colourful friendship as the villages get together every year for exuberant races that turn rivers and lakes into competitive grounds. The big races, along with a plethora of smaller ones, take place in and around Alleppey, giving Kerala’s monsoon season—which runs from June to September—an exciting new dimension. One of the nicest things to do in Kerala is to take part in the celebrations, which honour both tradition and the spirit of rivalry.
9. Relax on One of the Exuberant Beaches of Kerala
Kerala’s immaculate beaches are a refuge of peace undisturbed by tourists and commercialisation, making them stand apart from other popular tourist destinations in India. Some are remote and only reachable by boat, while others have lighthouses and other facilities. The well-liked Varkala Beach is set against a striking rock background and is lined with beach shacks and stores. Choose a cliff-side hideaway for expansive views, or head to Kovalam Beach, near Trivandrum, for exciting activities. Remember that Kovalam is one of the busiest seaside areas in the state despite its busy nature. Explore the charm of Kerala’s unspoiled coastline, where tranquillity is combined with spectacular scenery.
10. Visit the Palakkad Fort
When you visit Palakkad Fort, you may go back in time. Constructed by Hyder Ali of Mysore during the 18th century, this architectural marvel serves as a symbol of the area’s rich cultural legacy. Explore its well-kept bastions, courtyards, and walls, all of which tell stories of earlier times. Admire how the fort’s blend of European and native designs attests to its strategic importance. Discover the Govindaraja Perumal Temple and the Hanuman Temple inside its premises to enhance your spiritual trip. With a fusion of architectural wonder and historical charm, Palakkad Fort begs you to discover its enthralling stories.
11. Try the Tasty Kerala Cuisine
The delectable food of Kerala entices lovers of vegetarianism as well as non-vegetarianism. The vast and varied food scene of the state is evidence of its cultural influences. The genuine use of regionally cultivated spices, which produces a symphony of flavour that lingers on the mouth, is what distinguishes Keralan cuisine. The food is a culinary journey, a fusion of French, Arabian, and Malabari elements. Though the classic Sadhya is more vegetarian, seafood lovers can enjoy a seafood feast that includes lobster, prawns, crab, oysters, sardines, mussels, tuna, and mackerel. Keralan food is a sensory extravaganza with its vibrant flavours and fusions of cultures.
12. Go Kayaking in Dharmadam
Kayaking aficionados may enjoy a distinct and gorgeous environment in Dharmadam, which is situated in the Kannur. Discovering the calm backwaters and mangrove habitats that define this coastal area is possible by kayaking in Dharmadam, which is one of the best things to do in Kerala. Canoe across quaint waterways, take in the colourful array of avian life and savour the peace of the environment.
Dharmadam is the perfect place for novice and expert kayakers alike because of its serene waterways and breathtaking scenery. You may choose from guided kayaking trips, which frequently include training and equipment rental. You will probably see the stunning coastline scenery of Kerala as you paddle along the canals, making your kayaking adventure in the centre of this peaceful area one to remember.
13. Try Hiking in Wayanad
Venture out on an unforgettable journey amidst the verdant hills of Wayanad, a must-do activity on the list of things to do in Kerala. Hiking in Wayanad takes you through lush woods, plantations filled with spices, and breathtaking scenery. Beautiful views can be found on trails like Chembra Peak and Neelimala, while the verdant Thusharagiri Waterfalls path captivates with its spectacular cascades. Wayanad’s varied landscape and pleasant atmosphere make it a trekking paradise. Explore the fascinating paths, uncover secret passageways, come across colourful fauna, and experience the serenity of nature while capturing priceless moments in the centre of Kerala’s enchanted environment.
14. Try Toddy
Savour Toddy, the native alcoholic beverage of Kerala, to celebrate the region’s rich cultural and gastronomic heritage. Made from coconut palm sap, which is expertly gathered by tree-climbing tappers to gather nature’s abundance, toddy is a delectable treat with a rich cultural heritage in the state. When fermented, this sugary nectar takes on a pleasant new flavour—it becomes somewhat acidic with a noticeable bite. Savour this traditional beverage, lovingly referred to as “kallu,” at quaint thatched stores dotted around Kerala that are furnished with wooden benches. When paired with delicious regional cuisine, Toddy transforms into a multisensory celebration of Kerala’s distinct tastes and history.
15. Bamboo Rafting on Kerala Rivers
When it comes to things to do in Kerala, Wayanad provides a distinctive local adventure. Take a traditional bamboo raft ride on the peaceful Pozhuthana River. The rafts are made from bamboo that is grown locally in woods. The experience is a perfect fusion of culture and environment, made even more magical by the shallow, placid river. As an alternative, look for excitement close to Kuruva Island along the Kabini or Periyar rivers. Go whitewater river rafting in the midst of Kerala’s waterways for an exhilarating experience. Adventure seekers are invited to ride the currents in a lively journey of Kerala’s varied landscapes at Kannur, Chalipuzha, Iruvanjhipuzha, and the Paneli River near Boothathankettu.
16. Try the Kerala Banana Chips
Kerala banana chips are a crispy treat that captures the essence of the flavours of the state. They are a culinary treasure in the colourful tapestry of the state’s cuisine. These chips, which are made from locally produced Nendran bananas that are prized for their unique flavour and texture, are thinly sliced and deep-fried till golden. Kerala banana chips, seasoned with a dash of salt and spices, provide a well-balanced combination of sweetness and savoury delight. These chips, which are popular as a crunchy snack or side dish, showcase Kerala’s culinary prowess and cultural diversity, beckoning you to experience the genuine essence of the area with every crispy, delectable mouthful.
Kerala stands out as a masterwork in the vast fabric of travel encounters, crafting a story of enchantment and cultural diversity. The rainbow of things to do in Kerala creates a memorable recollection as we say goodbye to this enthralling place. Every action becomes a stroke on the canvas of discovery, from the calm houseboat rides through Alleppey’s backwaters to the pulsating rhythms of snakeboat racing. The scent of Ayurvedic treatments and the sounds of classic Kathakali performances cling to the traveller’s soul, giving a lasting impression. Tourists are invited to immerse themselves in the enchantment of Kerala, a location that is ageless and likely to leave an indelible impression on travellers due to its beautiful landscapes, cultural riches, and friendly hospitality.