Vadakkumnathan Temple – A Manifestation of Lord Shiva

The state of Kerala is one of the top tourist destinations in India. It is known for its unique music, vibrant dances, magnificent temples, distinct festivals, snake-boat races, sandy beaches, delicious food and serene backwaters. More than 50 percent of its total population follows Hinduism, with Shiva and Vishnu being the two most revered deities. There are many amazing Hindu temples, which Kerala tour packages may be utilised to visit. Vadakkumnathan, Guruvayur, Sabarimala, Shree Poornathrayesa, Padmanabhaswamy, Kodungallur Bhagavathy, Chottanikkara and Rajarajeswara are some of the famous Hindu shrines in this South Indian state.

Vadakkumnathan Temple

 

Vadakkumnathan Temple

Vadakkumnathan Temple

The Vadakkumnathan Temple is in the city of Thrissur and is dedicated to Shiva – the transformer. A particular theory about its construction dates it back to around 7th century AD. Studies done by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) establish that the shrine is about 350 years old. However, locals believe that it is quite an ancient place and its origin is of mythical nature. The most popular legend described in the Brahmanda Purana says that it was built by Parashurama – an incarnation of Vishnu. He annihilated the warrior clan many times and to expiate for his sins, he prayed and donated all his land to sages. Another says that Varuna, the lord of the oceans, asked him to throw his winnow into the sea and as he did, a land appeared from the waters. To have it consecrated, Parashurama went to Kailash and asked Lord Shiva to come and live there. While on their way, the lord, his wife and Ganesha stopped at Thrissur. They then disappeared and all that was left was a shining Shiva Linga below a banyan tree. The emperor of the Cochin kingdom decided to shift the idol to a proper shrine, and so was it done by establishing this temple.

Structure

Occupying an area of about 9 acres, the temple complex stands on a hill in the centre of the city. Enclosed inside a high wall of stone are pyramidal towers or gopurams, facing the four cardinal directions. These towers are above the entrance gates, walking through which devotees enter a large compound. Its roof has three tiers and the structure is shaped like a pagoda. This perhaps reflects the influence of Buddhism in the state in those times. There are many shrines inside the complex and the biggest of them has the Shiva Linga. The linga is not visible as it is covered by a mound of ghee, poured during worships over the years. This 16 feet high mass of clarified butter is decorated with golden moons and serpent hoods. According to a local belief, it represent Mount Kailash, covered perpetually by snow.

Other deities worshipped here are the cowherd aspect of Krishna, Parashurama, Adi Shankaracharya, Nandi, Simhodara, Ayyappan and the hunter aspect of the main deity. The attraction is famous for painted walls, depicting the chief god performing the dance of death. Also located inside the premises is a museum housing ancient wall paintings, art pieces and woodcarvings. A theatre known as Koothambalam, where various plays and dances are performed, is also inside the complex. Visitors coming here may attend various festivals, such as Aaanayoottu, Shivaratri and the musical event during Thrissur Pooram.

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The Natural Beauty of Kerala Backwaters

Kollam and Alappuzha

 

Ferry services connect almost all the locations from the start to end of the bays. Kollam is the starting point of the journey of the backwater regions. It was the centre of trade in ancient times and has been praised for its beauty by popular travellers like Marco Polo and Ibn Battuta. Thangasseri Fort near Kollam is a historic site that can be visited by travellers. The Alumkadavu Backwaters are popular for their huge houseboats and dry docks. Then, comes Alappuzha, famous for diverse flora and fauna, boat races and a large network of canals. A number of tiny islands on the Vembanad Kayal form the picture-perfect Kumarakom village. Rare bird species can be seen at the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary located in this region.

 

Thiruvallam

 

Thiruvallam is among the most popular backwater destinations of the state that is located at a distance of just 6 km from the capital city Thiruvananthapuram. Tourists can enjoy different water sports at the Veli Lagoon near Thiruvallam. The canoe rides are becoming one of the major attractions for tourists from all over the world. Paravur Kayal is also part of backwater regions, which is connected to the Arabian Sea. The resort in the heart of the lake looks beautiful and is one of the best spots to intake the beauty of this place. A cluster of almost eight islands, Munroe Thuruth is surrounded by Sasthamkotta Lake, Kallada River and Ashtamudi Lake. It gives an insight of the routine life of locals in Kerala, which has not changed much over years. The vibrant landscape of Kasargod, stretched between Western Ghats and the sea, is a stunning sight to behold. Trips to Chandragiri, which houses a number of forts, can be planned from Kasaragod. To enjoy the picturesque view of waterways, tourists can head to Valiayaparamba.

 

The backwater regions are a paradise for sightseers and nature lovers. Serenity and peaceful environ is a perfect destination to take a break from hustle-bustle of daily life and honeymoon holiday packages can be booked in advance to spend that special time with partner. Apart from boat ride and canoeing in the water of these bays, travellers can enjoy by visiting the beatific hills of Munnar. The vegetation spread all across the mountains form a marvellous picture showcasing all shades of green.

Explore the Tropical Rainforests of Kerala

Kerala, located between the Arabian Sea on the west and the Western Ghats on the east, is one of the most stunning states in South India. Listed as one of the ten paradises on the Earth – by the National Geographic Traveller – it is rightly known as Gods Own Country. This small terrain holds diverse geographical features that make it a destination to be visited in a lifetime. The various tour packages to this place focus on eco-tourism so as to save its pristine beauty. From the palm-fringed beaches of Kovalam to the majestic hills of Munnar, Kerala has a lot to offer to visitors. The serenity of backwaters of Kumarakom and the enchanting forests of Thekkady are equally enticing.

The thick tropical rainforests of Kerala are home to a variety of rare and common fauna and flora. The Western Ghats – a UNESCO World Heritage Centre – is among the best biodiversity spots in the world and the forests of Kerala has about 90% of fauna. The fauna wealth of the state comprises mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, freshwater fishes and insects. The State Government has taken several measures to conserve and preserve the rapidly vanishing animal and insect species. A large number of national parks and wildlife sanctuaries have been established here, which has earned fame not only among domestic travellers but foreign tourists as well.

Silent Valley National Park

Sprawling over 237 sq km of total area, Silent Valley National Park is located in the Palakkad district. Robert Wight, a Scottish botanist, discovered  the area for the first time in AD 1847. A part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, this unique evergreen rainforest reserve is replete with rich biodiversity. Abode to a variety of fauna like tigers, leopards, elephants, wild bears, sambar deer and the Malabar squirrel, this area is among the most visited tourist destinations in Kerala. It also houses lion-tailed macaques and langurs that are critically endangered species.

 

The sight of several species of butterflies, moths and birds, including Ceylon frogmouth, Great Indian hornbill and laughing thrush, make this place a paradise for birdwatchers. Rarely can anyone find such a wide variety of flowering plants, including around 110 species of orchids. The park is drained by the Kunthi River that descends from the Nilgiri hills, from a height of 2000 metres. Passing through the entire length of the national park, this perennial river serves as a water source to the residing animals and birds. With these many natural marvels, this place is a boon for nature lovers, wildlife enthusiasts, field biologists and students of life sciences.

 

For a memorable trip to this breathtaking attraction, look for Kerala tour packagesthat include accommodation, transportation and meals. Visitors can undertake a trek from Mukkali to Sairandhri to explore the wilderness of this place. Alternatively, can opt for a Jeep safari and capture the serenity of this park.

Serene and Unspoilt Kappad and Beypore Beaches of Kozhikode

India has a vast stretch of coastline along its western and eastern borders. A variety of uncluttered seashores can be witnessed in the state of Gujarat and in the coastal areas of Odisha and West Bengal. As people move down towards the states adjoining Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea, these coasts get more serene. One such state that comprises some of the finest and well-maintained beaches of India is Kerala. The state is adjoined by the Western Ghats in the east and Arabian Sea in the west and comprises several beautiful seashores. This southern region of the country is renowned for its seaside vistas, drawing tourists from all over the world to behold the beauty of its pristine shores. The long coastline of this place is dotted with verdant forests and vegetation, which mainly includes tall coconut and palm trees. Frequent travelers suggest that vacationers planning holidays on the beach should visit this place and explore its majesty.

Kappad Beach

Legends suggest that Vasco da Gama, a Portuguese navigator, put his first steps on Kappad coast almost 500 years ago. The rich assortment of spices in this Malabar region was the foremost reason due to which many European merchants set up their ventures at the place and started trading for the same. Located near Kozhikode, this rock-studded stretch along the Arabian Sea is flocked by tourists from all over the world who come here to spend their leisure time and admire the picturesque view of the surroundings.

The British colonial rule in the region might be a thing of the past, but this shore has maintained its legacy of being one of the prime attractions of the state of Kerala. It is also called Kappadavu by locals and is considered as one of the most calm seashores of the state. The region still seems unexplored by tourists and quietude resides in its every corner. People can also experience divinity by visiting a temple near this site that is perched on top of a rock and is believed to be 800 years old.

Beypore Beach

Another such attraction to explore in Kozhikode is the town of Beypore, which is famous for its port (the oldest in Kerala). Its beach is considered to be an ideal place to take a stroll under the dimming lights during sunset, and ardent photographers have several opportunities to capture its panoramic view. Another highlight of the region is Pulimuttu – a rocky pier that is made by locally assembling stones and stretches over a km. Other attractions in the nearby places include boat ride experiences on the backwaters of Elathur and Kallai rivers. This location can be easily reached by availing a bus or private taxi. The best time to visit this place is between the months of October to March.

Holidaymakers planning a beach vacation can visit Kerala and explore these mesmerizing sites. Strolling on the smooth sands and looking at the pellucid water of the sea is a great experience. The rise and fall of huge waves are is a sight to behold that invokes a sense of playfulness in the heart of onlookers.

Museums and Monuments-Revisiting the History of Kerala

Kerala is a breathtakingly, beautiful tourist destination that is flocked by tourists from across the globe. Known for its scenic backwaters, serene beaches, picturesque hill stations, lush greenery and seafood, this state located in the southern part of India is an ideal retreat for holidaymakers and honeymooners. Alike other states of the country, this region also has a unique culture, lifestyle and rich history. Home to verdant tea gardens, coconut palms and several parks and sanctuaries, this place boasts of a rich flora and fauna. Many tourists, who plan their vacations, come to this destination as it is considered to be one of the best places to spend India holidays. Some of the top attractions of this state are the hill station of Munnar, backwaters of Kumarakom, Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, Wayanad and Kovalam Beach.

History of the Place

Caves of Edakkal

Caves of Edakkal

The history of this region can be traced back to thousands of years to the time of Stone Age. Historians believed that the pictorial writings that can be found in the caves of Edakkal date back to 5000 BC. They believe that as early as 3000 BC, this region had become a major spice trade hub, with connection to Mediterranean and Red Sea ports in the Arabian Sea. In those times, the ports of Kerala were the busiest in the world, in terms of trade and travel. The region was named Kerala can be ascertained from the rock inscription that was left by the Ashoka, the great Mauryan emperor. During, his time, it was known as Keralaputra, one among the four kingdoms of South India, namely the Satiyaputras, Pandyas and Cholas. These kingdoms shared a commonality in terms of language and culture.

Adi Shankara was born in the 8th century in the central part of the state and is known to have traveled across Asia and established many institutions based on the philosophy of Advaita Vedanta. The contact with European countries started in 1948, after Vasco Da Gama visited here. Thereafter, it was under several colonial rulers, with the last being the British. After India got its freedom from the British East India Company, Kerala was formed, but only in 1956, after the Kasaragod taluk, Malabar district and state of Cochin-Travancore were joined together. Since that time, the state has never looked back and has developed itself as a prosperous state, in terms of education, welfare and infrastructure.

Bekal Fort

Bekal Fort

Historical Edifices

Those who are interested in knowing more about the history of this region can visit the prominent historical structures, such as Gundert Bunglow, Koder House, Jewish Synagogue, Bekal Fort and Krishnapuram Palace.

Krishnapuram Palace

Krishnapuram Palace

In addition to these, they can visit the famous museums, including Archeological Museum, Bay Island Drift Museum and Government Museum. To explore the history of this region, plan a tour to this scenic place by opting for tour packages to Kerala, on offer by travel portals and travel agencies.

Where Tour Packages to Kerala Take You?

Kerala

Kerala

Kerala is a land of rich geographical beauty and diverse cultural heritage. The history of this place imbibes within itself a majestic as well as adventurous passage. It is the state that has a perfect amalgamation of past with present,  the traditional with contemporary customs and scientific with religious beliefs. These specialities make this place a perfect option to spend a family vacation or to go on an adventurous journey. Globetrotters can have a wonderful experience at this destination that has continued to sustain its traditional and cultural values. Kerala has a unique geographical feature with 44 brimming rivers along with Arabian Sea in the west and Western Ghats in the east. By availing tour packages to Kerala, tourists can explore this scenic location.

Tranquil Experience on Beaches

This state is famous for its serene beaches, where travellers can go for a leisure walk with their dear ones and can also indulge into recreational activities. One of the most-visited beaches over here is Kovalam Beach, which is located at a distance of 13 kilometres from Thiruvananthapuram. It is popular for its crystal clear blue waters, palms and coconut trees that are surrounded by lush landscape. Nearby this beach, there are several street markets from where globetrotters can enjoy tempting local food. Apart from this, there is a plethora of options for tourists to keep themselves entertained. They can avail ayurvedic massage for a relaxing experience as well as can participate in several adventurous activities, such as parasailing, diving and wind surfing.

Besides this, vacationers can spend time at the lagoon at Veli, which is situated on the outskirts of Thiruvananthapuram. Tourists can visit well-laden parks and spend time at the boat club located here. From row boating, pedal boating, picnicking and swimming, all can be enjoyed. This state has become a popular outing place for tourists for a long time.

Thirumullavaram Beach, is another secluded beach in Kerala, where tourists can enjoy a tranquil ambience. Situated 7 kilometres from Kollam, this beach boasts of golden sand, where vacationers can unwind either by sitting idle or sunbask. Apart from this, ayurvedic centres, offering massages and rejuvenation therapies are situated in vicinity of this beach.

Explore Valleys in Munnar

For tourists who want to explore the beauty of nature will find Munnar an ideal destination. Situated at an elevation of 5000 to 8000 feet above sea level, this hill station once served as the summer resort for the British. Lush greenery, tea plantations, streaming water bodies and scenic environs of this region delights visitors. There are also several attractions that can be visited in this hill station. One of the most-visited is the highest peak of South India, Anamudi, which has a height of 2695 metres. Travellers can go for trekking to this mountain and can witness the scenic view of sunrise and sunset. It is also famous for its rich and exotic flora. Entire land is covered with beautiful flowers, meadows, shrubs as well as tea and coffee plantations, which contribute to its picturesque view. Special honeymoon tours are also organised here, where newly-wedded couples can have a romantic time.

Palm-fringed beaches of Kovalam and Thirumullavaram, scenic beauty of Vagamon and Munnar hills, dense forests of  Silent Valley and Thekkady and the serenity of the pristine backwaters of Kuttanad and Kumarakom make this place an ideal destination to spend holidays.

Kerala Vacation Packages – A Trip Through Spectacular Natural Beauties

With the majestic Western Ghats to the east and the vast Arabian Sea bordering its west, Kerala has emerged as one of those travel destinations, which is visited time and again by nature-lovers. Having a network of over 40 rivers criss-crossing its landscapes, this spot boasts of astounding geographical features that have contributed a great deal to its tourism. An unusually long coastline, magnificent beaches, tranquil hill stations and vast, even tea plantations; this region has it all. The temperate climate, together with the abundance of natural resources, has made this place rich in fauna and flora. Kerala vacation packages take visitors through the fascinating inland of this state, which has plenty of attractions to offer. The best part of these scenic locations is that they are located in proximity to each other and enthusiasts can go from one spot to another in a matter of few hours.

Tourism

Apart from its varied landscapes and their beauty, this state is regarded as the most advanced in India. Having a literacy rate of 100 percent, it is also an important centre of excellence in the field of education, culture and medical facilities. This region offers the highest rates of life expectancy and lowest infant mortality in the nation. Apart from this, proper care has been taken to preserve and nurture the number of important sites of tourism in this region. The State Government has taken several steps to promote the several aspects of tourism. Comfortable accommodation facilities are available in plenty to welcome the visitors coming here to spend their family holidays.

Stunning Backwaters

There is hardly anything more popular in this area than the mesmerising backwaters, which are spread across the state and are the most visited spots by tourists. The term backwaters in general refer to saline water bodies like lakes or lagoons, which are fed by bigger water bodies like rivers or seas. This state, having a plethora of rivers, have vast areas covered with backwaters. Several cruise trips and tours on houseboats are organised on these crystal clear water bodies. A perfect way to relax on a weekend, the banks of these are dotted with lush green vegetation, which make the ambience of this region even more enjoyable. Apart from going on trips, other activities associated with the backwaters, which attract travellers are fishing in these lakes and birdwatching along their banks.

Variety of Wildlife

Due to the intense greenery in these area, several varieties of wildlife have made this region their niche grounds. Kerala boasts of inhabitants of diverse species, making it a home for several protected and endangered animals. Nature-lovers from far and wide flock this state to get a glimpse of the wild animals. Elephants, tigers, bison and several other rare varieties roam around the dense forests in large and small groups. There are a number of forest reserves and natural parks, wherein forest safari and excursions are organised. Apart from the animals, this area is also enriched with a variety of native and migratory birds. Together, this region offers an assortment of natural beauties, which the visitors can enjoy while on their trip.