Ecotourism in Kerala has emerged out of a need for responsible Kerala travel to natural areas in Kerala. Kerala’s natural landscape lends itself quite naturally to eco-tourism and green tourism. Eco-tourism, also known as Sustainable Tourism or Responsible Tourism is the latest buzz in the tourism sector and Kerala efficiently using the term “Eco-tourism” to give an extra edge to its Kerala tourism industry. While promoting the natural attractions in the state to tourists, Kerala tourism also realizes the importance of sustainable tourism and of balancing conservation and development. As such, Tourism Kerala has adopted the guideline for the development of eco tourism and identified eco tourism spots. Enchanting mountains, rolling hills, stunning waterfalls, abundant vegetation and diverse wildlife – it is no wonder that Kerala is a popular tourist destination and the ideal location for eco tourism. Kerala is in the forefront of this Endeavour – Eco tourism.
From nature trails, hiking, cycling, bird watching, photography, wildlife viewing, wilderness camps or wild life safaris are the activities that can be done as a part of Kerala Eco tourism. Eco-tourism’s main focus is on those areas which are rich in biodiversity and have unique cultural heritage.
Wild spaces of Kerala are a precious resource and that the only way to sustain them is through realizing their true value, so every Kerala traveler should travel with responsibility ,without harming the environment but at the same time enjoying the Kerala visit . Eco tourism encourages local people, tourists, government and private agencies or tour operators to protect natural treasures of the nation.
Kerala Backwater Cruise is becoming an indispensable entry in to the itinerary of Kerala travel. The backwaters of Kerala, that ranks above the Taj Mahal in the National Geographic Traveller’s best destinations of the world, offers the kind of unique experience compelling them to come back to its soothes time and again. Kerala tourism showcase the backwater tourism aspects to the global tourists and thus promoting responsible and environmental friendly Kerala tour.
The wide network of lagoons, lakes, canals, estuaries and of forty-four rivers, is a rare natural wonder one can’t find elsewhere. Backwaters are formed by a network of interconnected canals, rivers, lakes and inlets. Kerala backwaters are a mix of fresh and salt water forming a peculiar eco system. It contributes green hue to the surrounding landscape of Kerala backwaters . The charisma of backwaters along with the man-made islands which are famous for the numerous migratory birds, the native toddy that is served to its guests, the unique snake boat races, the coconut and coir, the lush green paddy fields, palm fringed canals, mirror still lagoons, picture perfect lake sides and the long sandy beaches make Kerala backwaters most popular.
Kerala houseboats or traditional Kettuvallams in the backwaters are prime attraction of Kerala. Without a Kerala Houseboat cruise, Kerala travel will not be completed. Kerala backwaters are developed and backwater tourism is given greater importance as it is a key revenue generator to Government . Backwater tourism generate greater economic benefits for local people & enhance their involvement in the development of tourism in Kerala.
Elephant tourism plays an important role in Kerala tourism sector. We offer you exclusive Kerala tour package to elephant camps. Tourists in large nos arrive at Elephant camps fascinated by baby elephant’s various stages of development at the Care centre. Elephant Safari or elephant ride is an essential part of Kerala travel. Elephants are considered as State animal and make kerala festivals more colorful and attractive.
Elephants have been an integral part of Kerala and considered and revered as good omen. These gentle mammals have the privilege to carry the idols of gods in temples. This tour takes you to a large gathering of herds of elephants which are kept in their natural environment. It gives a chance to view the daily life of elephants and their mahouts; elephants being trained, worked and fed; elephant riding .
Kodanad elephant training centre which is 45 Kms from Cochin is a must to see place. A well known place for lovers of elephants and nature! This elephant rescue centre is situated on the banks of River Periyar. Malayatoor church and Kodanad are located on the opposite banks of the Periyar river.
Punnathoorkotta – The elephant camp of the Guruvayoor temple, has the maximum number of domesticated elephants in the State. The elephants offered to Lord Guruvayurappa by devotees ,well kept at Punnathoorkotta. One can see elephants being trained, fed and groomed and the traditional method of restorative treatment given to them. There are water tanks inside the fort for bathing the elephants.
Konni Elephant Camp – situated 2km away from Pathanamthitta dist,Kerala.There is elephant museum which has a display of elephant skeleton, various devices used by mahouts to control elephants and a lot more related to elephants.
Kerala having rich cattle population and promises tremendous potential for cattle feed industry. Almost all the districts of the state are having projects for milk production and dairy products.
Dairy farming in Kerala is a very strong industry is all set to receive an enormous dose of technology. First hi-tech dairy farm has set up at Kulathupuzha, Kollam to encourage fodder cultivation and improve the production of cattle feed. Visitors get lecture on nutrition utilization, pasture development, supplementary feeding, metabolism monitoring and milk testing methods and any other subject relating to cattle farming in Kerala.
Several varieties of high-yielding cattle being reared in ”Mattupetty Dairy farm, at Munnar . This robotic dairy is run by the Indo-Swiss Livestock Project.
Mountain Village Tour
Anjunad Valley Tour is the first mountain village responsible tourism project in Kerala. It is aimed to benefit the unemployed youth of Anjunad Valley Villages. Gramapriya is an voluntary society of unemployed youth and environmental protection groups. They are in association with our company. We are providing complete technical services and promotion support to this local venture. The profit from this project is shared by the members and benefits directly to a Negroid Tribal group of this village.
Anjunad (Five Town County) Valley Tour
Anjunad is a cluster of five villages in a mountain plateau and its adjourned hillocks. Anjunad means a cluster of five villages, as it is known from ancient times. A group of ancient dwellers divided themselves into five groups and settled in different hillocks and named it Anjunad. It comprises Marayoor and Kanthallore revenue villages of Kerala State.
Geography of Anjunad is very interesting. In a span of 20 sqkms, the altitude varies from 500mts (Chinnar plateau) to 2100 mts. The undulated terrain with rocky hillocks are the features of the plateau, where as high peaks and grass lands are the features of the rest. It contains tropical dry forest to high altitude sholas. The temperature varies from 2 dc to 32 dc. This diverse nature of typography and climate causes high level of bio-diversity.
Land And People
Ancient mountain dwellers, the so called tribal people belonging to 3 different ethnic groups and migrants from Tamilnadu and Kerala constitute the demography of the area. The migration is believed to be started from 1000 BC onwards. The relics of an ancient civilization can be seen everywhere in this land. Majority of the people are farmers and labours. The tribal living inside forest is living on forest produces. The main cultivation is sugarcane. Lemon grass, rise, maze and a number of tropical and temperate vegetables are also grows here. People are also engaged in collecting forest produces like honey, gooseberry etc. Majority of the people are Hindus in a broad meaning.
Wildlife Of Anjunad
Marayoor is the one and only natural sandal wood forest in Kerala. It is also bordered by Chinnar wildlife sanctuary and Anamudi Chola National Park which give good chances of wildlife sighting such as elephants, leopard, wild gaur, deers, giant squirrels etc.
Marayoor is known widely for megalithic burials and pre-historic cave printings. There are hundreds of burial monuments in the valley and the adjourned hills. The belt traces up to Palani hills. The pre historic rock shelter paintings are found out in Marayoor and adjourned forests, supposed to be dated back to 9000 BC
The Village Tour
A minimum of 2 nights 3 days package is essential to enjoy the complete tour. But we can customize it from one day onwards. The tour is starting from Marayoor. We will arrange pick up from any destinations of Kerala and Tamilnadu. You can report in our base station at Marayoor Tourist Home and select desired duration. The Anjunad Valley tour consists of visit to ethnic farms like sugar cane, contour farms, lemon grass farms, vegetables and fruit farms etc, visit to tribal villages and spend an evening with them enjoying their folk dance, hiking through villages to experience mountain village life, visit to archeological sites like burial monuments, cave paintings, cave temple etc, hike through sandal wood forest, visit to Chinnar wildlife sanctuary, visit to waterfalls etc. You will be welcomed by the host from the village. The accommodation will be arranged as per selected package. It can be a budget hotel, luxury hotel, home stay or overnight camp in the forest. Your host will accompany you throughout the tour.
Trekking & Camping in Anjunad
Anjunad Valley is an ideal location for trekking and camping in Kerala. The leaning mountains of Western Ghats to the Deccan plateau forms many valleys, gorges, cliffs and gaps in a limited radius.
It offers wide ranges of trekking programmes such as soft trek, medium trek, hard trek and adventurous wildlife trekking. The duration of the trekking can be from day trek to 5 nights and 6 days long. Day Trek would be 3 hours to 8 hours time . It can be either village trek/mountain trek or wildlife trek.
Medium Trek : Consists of two days trekking and overnight camp.
Hard Trek : Consists trekking through villages, mountains and wildlife zone and overnight camps including tree house.
Anjunad Valley offers is home for more than 300 species of birds including 14 western ghats endemics. Since it is a transition zone the valley host rare species of birds like yellow throated bulbul, Palani laughing thresh, Nilgiri black bird etc and many winter visitors from North. We will arrange guided birding tours.
Educational and Study Tour
We organize educational and special interest tours for schools, colleges and faculties with special emphasis on subjects selected. Anjunad is an ideal location for special interest educational tours for history and archaeology, ethnology and anthropology, botany, zoology, etc. We will assign specialized guides to explore respective fields, arrange budget accommodation, food and transfers. We will also arrange projection of awareness films in our camps.
Agastyarkoodam or Agastya Mala is the second highest peak in Kerala. This forested peak, an ideal trekking destination in the Western Ghats is 70km away from Trivandrum. It is accessed only on foot as tourists has to trek 24 km from Bonacaud, base camp of Agastya Mala. The 1868 m peak is the abode of the Hindu sage Agastya, who is one among the Saptarishis. Many Kerala as well as Tamilnadu rivers originate from the hill. Some of them are Kallada River, Achankoil River, Karamana River, Neyyar River, Thamirabarani River and Manimuthar River.
Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve, covers 23 sq km, is an important tourist attraction here. It is repository of medicinal plants and rare herbs. A valuable and rare herb ‘Arogyapacha’ (plant of eternal health) is spotted here. Agastyarkoodam is being called as a bio diversity hotspot .The peak is home to many endangered mammals including the Lion-Tailed Macaques, Bengal Tiger, Nilgiri Marten, Malabar Spiny Dormouse, Great Pied Hornbills, and Sloth Bear.
Kerala eyes monsoon. Rising trend of monsoon tourism in Kerala!
Experience and celebrate the magic of monsoon in Kerala. Imagine a walk , get wet and dance in the rain. It is spectacular and ultimately a welcome change. Kerala Tourism has been promoting monsoon tourism and tries to woo the tourists from all over the world to romance the Kerala monsoon. Kerala tourism’s objective is to bring out the positive aspects of monsoon and encourage the tourism activities during monsoon season.
Monsoon tourism holidays let tourists rediscover the fact that why Kerala is God’s own country. It’s experiences should not be wasted indoors. Heavy downpours, even soft showers, cool breeze and lush landscape fill your mind with spirit, rejuvenate you and make oneself happy. Monsoon always rekindle the romance in the hearts of lovers.
Monsoon has greater influence on Kerala life, agriculture and vegetation. Following link provides the importance of monsoon in Kerala.
Kerala Wellness Tourism, especially Ayurveda treatments, backwaters and beaches have become popular draws for Kerala. The Kerala tourism is combining these three and other facets with the magic of the rains to promote Kerala as a Monsoon Tourism destination. Kerala tourism promotion department assessed the potential of Monsoon Tourism and aggressively started marketing Monsoon Holidays in Kerala.
According to Ayurveda, monsoon is the best time for taking Ayurveda treatments and rejuvenation therapies.
Monsoon at Kovalam – Kovalam is said to be the starting point of south-west monsoon. It is accompanied by the proclamation of thunder and lightning. The small raindrops’ touching the sand is a marvelous one. The arrival of the monsoon is the mild to harsh wind emanates from south-west direction in the sea that moves on to the land 7-8 hours before the coming of monsoon. The monsoon arrival at Kovalam is very popular and tourists from different countries arrive to Kovalam to enjoy the monsoon at its splendor. Many popular writers, news reporters including BBC come to kovalam to document the arrival of monsoon and they considered Kovalam as the best place to note the sight of the monsoon arrival.
Go through the monsoon theme destinations and experience the season of rainbows and raindrops.
Attukal Pongala is a ritual celebrated in Attukal Bhagavathy Temple every year. The Pongala Mahotsavam is the most important festival of the Temple. It is 10 days long festival comes to an end with special sacrificial offering namely Kuruthitharpanam at night. On the nineth day of festival, a large no of women from all religions, from within India and abroad gather in and around the temple premises to offer the Pongala which is cooked by themselves. Pongala is made by rice boiled with jaggery, coconut gratings, ghee with other ingredients in open in small earthen pots. On Pongala day, women are only allowed to enter the temple premises. Attukal Pongala is noted for the largest annual gathering of women in a single place on a single day in the world who come here to dedicate the sweet Pongala thus to please goddess. It is also known as Sabarimala of women.
Pongala Mahotsavam, 10 day programme, will start on March 1, Thursday and end on 10:30 AM on March 11. Preparations for the Pongala is going on faster pace in the Attukal temple. This year’s Attukal Pongala offering would be on February 19th ,2011.
Pongala 2018 ritual steps
Muhurtam to light up the fire is by 10.30hrs – afterwards women has to start ritual of cooking Pongala
Pongala offering to goddess by 14.30 hrs -The chief priest (Melsanthi ) will bless the Pongala by holy water (theertam) and flowers ,then it will become Prasadam. After that women can take back the sacred Pongala pots to their home. Attukal Pongala day is a public holiday for Trivandrum.
Last year more than 30 lakhs women participated in the Attukal Pongala festival. Attukal Bhagavathy Temple Trust and Government will make all arrangements and securities for the success of Attukkal Pongala.
- Temple is 2 km away from Central Railway Station, Trivandrum
- 11 km away from Trivandrum International Airport
Attukal Bhagavathy Temple
Attukal Bhagavathy Temple Trust
P.B.No. 5805. Manacaud P.O., Thiruvananthapuram – 695 009, Kerala, South India
SreePadmanabha Swamy Temple, is considered as an important landmark of Trivandrum city. It is also one of the seven Parasurama temples in Kerala. Main deity is Lord Vishnu in the Anananthasayanam posture. The city derived its name from the deity. Divine Padmanabha Swamy Temple is the one of the oldest one in Kerala and it is famous for its architecture. Any visitor is sure to be stunned by the exquisite workmanship and architectural elegance of this historic creation. The temple was renovated to the present state of grandeur by the King of Travancore, Maharaja Sri Anizham Tirunal Marthanda Varma in the eighteenth century. The Travancore kingdom was surrendered to Lord Padmanabha and the rulers became “Padmanabha daasas” means servant of Lord Padmanabha, Continued patronage of the royal family has made it possible for this structure to preserve its glory and dignity. Many customs inside the temple resembles to royal rites and traditions! Devotees are not allowed to enter into the inner sanctum when Travancore Royal family visit the temple for idol darshan.
For taking part in darshan and puja, devotees have to climb on a stone slab. Different parts of Vishnu’s idol – the face, the navel and the feet—can be seen from three different door like openings.
Famous festivals of the temple are Alpashi festival and Painkuny festival,both are being celebrated for 10 days.These festivals conclude with Aarat procession in the evening to Shanmugham beach and Travancore King accompanies the procession by foot.
The famous Swathi music festival is held every year during Navaratri festival in the temple. Laksha deepam, a unique festival,once in 6 yrs, celebrates in the temple by lighting up one lakh oil lamps in and around the temple premises. The next laksha deepam will be on January 2020.
Houseboat cruise on backwaters is an unavoidable part in Kerala tourism. Kerala houseboat cruise through curving and winding backwaters will give visitors an opportunity to explore the rustic village life like toddy tapping, to enjoy the scenic vista of nature and to have rendezvous with nature. Houseboat cruise is the major sightseeing option here and no one can think of complete Kerala travel without a houseboat experience.
Backwater destinations here are truly a hot spot for honeymoon couples in their Kerala tour as they can spend time in solitude and view the captivating sights of the nature. Cruise over the scenic backwaters will ultimately take them to the unforgettable wonderment’s and heavenly natural beauty. Intricate maze of backwaters stretches over 900 km nestled in pristinely beautiful environs and set amidst greenery, with enchanting views of coconut lagoons, paddy fields and banana plantations are prime attractions of Kerala backwater tourism.
The backwaters mainly covers four districts of the state – Kollam, Alleppey (alappuzha), Kottayam and Kochi ( Cochin ). The Vembanad lake, largest backwater stretch, flows through Alleppey (Alappuzha) and Kottayam districts opens out into the Arabian Sea at the Kochi Port. The Ashtamudi Lake, known as the gateway to the backwaters, gives longest cruise on backwaters from Kollam to Alleppey.
In earlier days, Kettuvallams were used primarily for transporting cargo in rural Kerala. Now these traditional houseboats with all modern luxurious facilities, are designed to offer utmost comfort to the tourists. It is huge, slow moving boat equipped with all modern facilities such as television sets, air conditioners, etc and have become an essential segment of leisure tourism in Kerala. Kettuvallams are built with huge wooden planks bundled and stitched together with coir rope without using a single nail. Exteriors of boats are painted with a protective coating of Cashew nut oil. It requires great skill , artfulness and expertise to build Kettuvallams. Evidently it is symbolic of heritage, cultural traditions and regional identity.
Skilled artisans transform Kettuvallams to modern tourism product comfortably furnished with bedrooms, living space, bathroom, kitchen and a sun deck. Commonly one bedroom to four bedroom houseboats are available.
Ethnic house boat which floats over the rippling water gives occupants an antique experience and a holiday with difference. A houseboat ride helps to understand and witness inaccessible rural lifestyle of Kerala villages.
The modernized kitchen in the houseboat provides hygienic, fresh and delicious traditional Kerala food. An array of best of Kerala delicacies, especially lip smacking seafood, is served on board amid a tranquil, home-like ambiance.
Houseboats are classified in three categories as Gold Star, Silver Star and Green Palm by Dept. of Tourism on the basis of Safety and service standards.
Kerala Houseboat Itineraries:
ALLEPPY TO ALLEPPY: Alleppey is famous for beaches, backwaters and houseboats and serve as starting and ending points of pristine backwater cruises. Alleppey is also called the hub of backwater tourism .This package starts & ends at Alleppey and the cruise will be in and around Alleppey (Alappuzha Travelers enjoy the breathtaking views and the glimpses of life along the banks. The paddy field, the coconut trees etc lined along the backwaters, the Chinese nets etc will make you delight. Large numbers of species of birds even migratory birds are found during cruise. Alleppey Backwaters are known for its marine life ie: it is home to a large variety of fish.
ALLEPPY TO KUMARAKOM: The cruise from Alleppey to Kumarakom will be one of the most beautiful and unforgettable hours in your life. Kumarakom is a unique backwater destination situated on the banks of Vembanad Lake, which is one of the largest fresh water lake. Ethnic house boat which floats over the famous Vembanadu Lake takes tourists into the unique world of water and wonderment and find it as a great, joyful and thrilling experience of lifetime.The visitors can have a small nearby village walk and can visit bird sanctuary ,which is a favorite haunt of migratory birds and an ornithologist’s paradise. Pathiramanal backwater island is situated on the backwaters of Vembanad lake, which attracts many due to its enchanting scenic beauty.
ALLEPPY TO THOTTAPPALLY: The houseboat floats through the river pampa, narrow canals and then for a brief visit to quiet and peaceful Chavara village, which is known as the sacred birthplace of blessed Kuriakose Elias Chavara. Houseboat pass through Champakulam – an amazing experience, which offers you, is the snake boat, which uses for the prestigious Nehru Trophy Boat Race, held every year around the time of Onam. Champakulam church is one of the oldest church in India which is established in AD 427 also attracts tourists .Then hoseboat heads towards into the Karumadi canal.