The Enchanting journey through the God’s Own Country- Kerala!

Kerala has always fascinated us with its timeless beauty of backwaters and beaches, the undulating hills of tea and spice plantations and the enchanting lush green forests. A visit to the ‘Gods Own Country’ Kerala is a must for some laid back experience.

We had first visited Kerala for our job training in Trivandrum. It was only after 6 years that we came up with a plan to explore the beauty of the state on a family trip.

Munnar – Kolukkumalai tea estate

We drove all the way from Bangalore to the resort we booked in Chinnakanal village in Munnar. We reached late evening, had our dinner and decided to get a good night’s sleep to start afresh in the morning to explore the heavenly Munnar.

Next morning, we had our breakfast and hired a guide recommended by the resort manager for Munnar sightseeing.

The guide drove us in a private jeep suitable for the bumpy mud route through the Kolukkumalai tea estate which is one of the highest tea estates in the world. We drove for an hour or so through the never-ending expanse of stunning views, intricate patterns of plantations and tiny rivulets flowing through them.

Kerala Gods Own Country

Kerala Gods Own Country

We finally reached the summit of 7130 ft., which is the border between Tamilnadu and Kerala states with magnificent tea gardens on one side and rugged mountainous plains of Tamilnadu on other.

Kerala Gods Own Country

Kerala Gods Own Country

We started walking down from the highest point of the estate to arrive at the small tea factory. A guide walked us through the factory equipment and the processing of the handpicked leaves into packaged tea.

Kerala Gods Own Country

Kerala Gods Own Country

The factory tour ended with a hot cup of tea actually several cups. We could not resist ourselves from having more than one.

Munnar – Spice Garden

We next drove to the spice garden to check out some Kerala special spices. Kerala is known to produce a wide variety of quality spices. We walked through the garden and were amazed to see various spice plants and trees which we had never seen before.

Kerala Gods Own Country
Cardamom Plants
Kerala Gods Own Country
Cocoa

My Mother in Law bought lots of spices as she felt they were of very superior quality and we would not find such quality back home.

Munnar – Chinnakanal waterfalls

After spice shopping, we drove back to our resort stopping at Chinnakanal waterfalls on the way. The gushing waterfalls cascading through the hills surrounded by the verdurous plantations was a breathtaking sight to behold.

Kerala Gods Own Country

Kerala Gods Own Country

Alleppey Boat House

We had booked a boathouse in the backwaters of Kerala. The route to Alleppy from Munnar meandered through forests and villages overlooking the gorgeous vistas of clouds hovering over the green valleys.

Kerala Gods Own Country

We parked our car safe under the guidance of the boathouse owner and hopped onto the boat. We were all set for a laid back experience over the 45 km stretch of the Vembanad Lake. As the boat had only 2 rooms we had the boat all to ourselves.

Kerala Gods Own Country

Kerala Gods Own Country

We were hungry and the thought of Kerala cuisine had highly increased our appetite. The boatman asked us to choose from the few variety of veggies he had in store and also prepared Kerala special fish fry. Within an hour, the lunch was ready and we savored the traditional delicacies.

After lunch, we reclined onto the couches while our boat drifted past palm-fringed canals passing through several traditional villages, tiny islands with sprawling plantations and paddy fields lined with coconut trees.

Kerala Gods Own Country

Kerala Gods Own Country

While tourists relished this slice of nature, the locals were busy in their chores, kids canoeing, an old lady feeding the birds, men transporting goods, men fishing; rustic yet authentic experience.

Kerala Gods Own Country

Kerala Gods Own Country

Our boat stopped at local markets where we shopped seafood for dinner, we also bought some Kerala special banana chips and fresh coconut water with the sweet coconut malai. Our day ended with yet another menu of Kerala traditional food for dinner accompanied by a Bollywood movie; our boatman had a movie ready for us.

The atmosphere now had slowed down. It was dark and we could only see lights of the houses on the islands. Everyone seemed to be wrapping up for the day. Our boat moored up at a dock to spend the night, slowly several other boathouses too lined up behind us.

Next day morning we had some light breakfast while our boat sailed back to our start point. We bid farewell to Alleppy and drove towards our next destination

Atthirapally – Niagara of India

Atthirapally waterfalls popularly known as Niagara of India has been Mani Ratnam’s favorite and some of the best songs of Bollywood have been shot here which includes Aishwarya Rai in Guru, Namrata Shirodkar and Anil Kapoor in Pukar and Preity Zinta and Shahrukh Khan in Dil Se.
Situated in the middle of Kerala rain forests the falls can be viewed from the top where one can see the Chalakudy River rushing down into cascades or trek down through the narrow path leading to the bottom of the waterfall and behold the spectacular waterfalls roaring amidst the lush green forest.

Kerala Gods Own Country

An Unexpected Safari at Bandipur

After having a good time at the falls, we headed back to Bangalore. We were in a hurry to cross the Bandipur park gate which is closed 9 pm to 6 am in the morning. We were right there on time and entered the park, but elephants blocked our route. We waited there in the middle of the forest for around half an hour waiting for the elephants to clear the road, but the elephants were busy playing around. There were 2 to 3 adult elephants and 2 cute baby elephants. Worried for our safety we decided to return back to the entrance and wait till the dawn.

We spent the night in our car and headed back to Bangalore in the morning.

Driving through thousands of acres of fog-covered hills of tea plantations; The Beautiful Munnar.
Sailing through the 45km stretch of the freshwater lake in houseboat tasting the Kerala special fish curry and fish fry; The Marvelous Alleppey.
“Niagara of India” – The incredible Atthirapally waterfalls.
And an unexpected night safari when the elephants blocked our route in Bandipur on the way back to Mysore…

An awesome experience to cherish for the lifetime!!!

Did Kerala enchant you enough to plan a visit? Do let us know in comments.

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50 Comment

  1. I saw your post and was fascinated. We went to India last year and had Darjeeling on our list which I think is in the same area but had to put it off for another trip. We are hoping to combine this part of India with a trip to Nepal before leaving SE Asia in the fall.

  2. Sheri says: Reply

    This really does sound like an awesome experience for great memories. I love Elephants so much, so that must have been a sight! The last picture of the Atthirapally waterfalls is gorgeous.

  3. I had no idea there were so many stunning waterfalls in Kerala — and the area doesn’t look very crowded, is it? Your visit to the spice plantation must have been a feast for the senses too 🙂 These are the best pics I’ve seen of Kerala – I need to go!

  4. Tamz says: Reply

    Oh Kerala!!
    Loved this post. I am planning to do an entire India tour in October and November. Wondering how’d Kerala be during those months. I don’t wanna give a miss to Atthirapally falls in any case

    1. GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      Generally the weather is pleasant in Oct and Nov in Kerala. They are not the monsoon season hence you can rarely expect rains. Atthirapally is 1 hr from Cochin Airport just in case if you change your mind 🙂 You may also like to do some check on Navarathri and Diwali festival celebration in Kerala during these months if that interests you. Do let us know if you need more details 🙂 Happy Travelling!

  5. subhadrika sen says: Reply

    Hi, I liked your post. But since you have been there already could you include some hotels for overnight stay as well as their budget. It just makes it easier for someone who reads the blog and finds it as a guide to plan a trip. Thanks.

    1. GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      We write about our travel experiences of the places and attractions of different destinations. If you need some help on places of stay we can surely help you out. Let us know exactly about your itinerary of visit. Thanks!

  6. I have never heard of this place before! The waterfalls are so gorgeous and love the fact you call one the Niagara falls of India. One thing for sure is that the spice garden is like a feast or almost everyone who goes there.

  7. Fatima says: Reply

    Wow wow! These look lovely. I have many friends who are from Kerala and they often talk about the beauty of the place. I think your pictures have done much justice to it. Hehe 🙂

    Fatima | http://www.blogsbyfa.com

  8. Kerry says: Reply

    I must say, I’ve never heard of Kerala before, but its so nice to see so much natures green instead it being built on. If its as beautiful as your pictures, then you have done it justice. I bet you had an amazing time, can’t wait to see your next adventure 🙂

  9. Evanne says: Reply

    I would love to see those tea gardens in person – what an impressive view! And to happen on elephants! I’m sure that was an amazing sight if a little bit scary.

  10. I can’t believe you slept a night in your car just because of those elephants! That sounds super frustrating but seems like you made the best of it. I would LOVE to experience the fresh tea and spices – sounds like such a cool trip.

  11. What an awesome location! The tea factory is something I’d like to visit for sure.

  12. I had no idea about the Niagara of India, such a pretty waterfall! Great ideas for a visit. What were the prices for some of these activities? It is nice to have a reference point for cost.

    1. GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      We had visited 3 years back so there should be changes in prices, what exactly were you interested in? We can get you the details…

  13. I would love to see tea plantations! They in themselves provide amazing scenery. The trip to the falls looked beautiful. As for happening upon elephants – wow! I would be so overwhelmed witnessing such beauties in their natural habitat. I don;t think I could even be mad at hem for disrupting my route 🙂

  14. The chinnakanil waterfalls are beautiful; I feel like you could stand and watch it all day and just feel more at peace after . I used to go and watch waterfalls near where I used to live and it helped me feel calmer.

  15. KatR says: Reply

    Such beautiful countryside! I love the waterfalls! Waterfalls of any kind have always been a favorite of mine. The tea factory tour looks like it was very interesting!

  16. Rachel says: Reply

    Wow this looks fantastic! The drive into the plantation must have been so beautiful! It’s so awesome they let you sample the tea after the tour, as well. It’s crazy you had to sleep in the car overnight though!

  17. You really can’t beat those views. I just love how those hilly landscapes look with the mist in the background.

  18. Bella says: Reply

    What a beautiful place, I would love to experience all of this. These photos are so relaxing just looking at them – I can’t imagine actually being there.

  19. Karla says: Reply

    Such beautiful photos! Being from the Midwest in the United States myself, it seems very exotic!

  20. Carrie says: Reply

    Wow such gorgeous views! I would love to go to a tea factory! It would be such an fun and explorative place! Thanks for sharing your adventures!

  21. What a great place! I would love to visit this tea estate. I’m a heavy tea drinker 🙂

  22. Sara says: Reply

    I’m interesting in visiting the tea estate! Tea to me is what coffee is to others, so it would be fascinating to live that experience. Also the waterfall is gorgeous! I wasn’t aware that existed in India. The boat houses are cool, but I don’t know if I’d have the guts to stay on them.

    1. GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      Same here Sara.. We are tea fans too.. We insist you try boathouse it is definitely out of the world experience 😉

  23. Alison says: Reply

    I am so enchanted by this place! I want to go buy the spices and see the waterfalls and stay on the boat! It all looks amazing!

    1. GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      Thanks Alison. Do visit India we will plan all of those for you 😉

  24. Liana says: Reply

    This is so nice to hear about your tips regarding this place. I’ve never heard of it, but it’s quite impressive, and I definitely want to go to enjoy this absolutely incredible views! I can’t believe it was that hight! Good job! x

    http://tomboychronicle.com/

    1. GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      Thanks Liana, Kerala is beautiful and incredible enough to be called as ‘God’s Own Country’. We are sure you will love it.

  25. kayla says: Reply

    Each time I read a post on India I get more excited/ anxious about getting there asap! Though each time it also seems someone is mentioning a new destination which is making my bucketlist itinerary get out of control! But anything to do with tea usually gets priority 🙂

    1. GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      Then plan a trip to India soon Kayla we would be glad to host you and help through your travel. So when are you coming? 🙂

  26. Tina says: Reply

    Awww…. could you feel it? “Barso Re” – Atthirapally waterfalls just have been such a great experience! I am a big bollywood movie fan and I would love to see them at some stage myself! Thanks for sharing this information otherwise I wouldn’t have known about it. I think next destination for you guys should be Iceland with Kajol & Shahrukh 😀 – Do you guys know where they shoot Salaam Namaste ? “My Dill Goes Mhhh…?” I know it was in Australia – the house looked just stunning.

    1. GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      Wow.. Glad to meet you Tina… You know so much of Bollywood. Yes we have added Iceland to our bucketlist after SRK and Kajol in Dilwale and hope to make it some day 🙂 And yes Australia too.. Looks like you can help us spot some more bollywood shooting locations to add to our bucketlist 🙂

  27. In bandipur i tried forest safari arranged by forest dept. And i was lucky to see a hunting tiger

    1. GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      wow that sounds like a great adventure 🙂

  28. What a relaxing and unique trip that must have been! The waterfalls and lush fields are absolutely beautiful!

  29. Mutange says: Reply

    A good piece on traveling. Felt like I was the one who was travel. I love tea plantations.

  30. Anna says: Reply

    Kerala is beyond fascinating, it makes you really think of nature and it’s magic no man could create something so beautiful, from the tea plantation to the atthirapally waterfalls everything is stunning . I would love to visit one day.

  31. Liz says: Reply

    I can’t wait to make it to India!! And I love tea. I will have to save this post for my visit. Beautiful photos, I love the waterfalls!!

  32. This is an awesome post! I have never heard of Kerala, and didnt know that it is a tea estate. Love the beauty of the country side.

  33. Ming says: Reply

    What a lovely place you have been. It’s amazing that in one of your photos you almost reached the clouds. The waterfalls is also amazing. As well as the boathouse.

  34. Did you ever make it a little up north, around Nila and Wayanad? I worked for a travel company last year that offered some really fascinating cultural exchanges around the riverfront. If you ever find yourself in Kerala or Pondicherry again, do look up The Blue Yonder – I don’t work with them any more, but will vouch for their trips all day long. Great to read about your experience in Kerala – truly a magical place

  35. I really regret that I only explored Palakkad in Kerala! Your post inspired me to come back and visit Munar and the rain forest!

  36. shivansh chaudhary says: Reply

    Looks like y’all had a great time at Kerela The backwaters are amazing and we spent night on a boat house in Kerela, it was fun!

  37. Eloise says: Reply

    you make me want to go visit there! what an amazing experience! I love the landscaping : )

  38. Sarah says: Reply

    I’ve been looking into Kerala for a visit while doing some yoga out there!! It looks so relaxing- exactly what I need!

  39. Ann says: Reply

    Wow, wow, wow, wow, wow! That photo of Munnar is absolutely beautiful. Untouched nature is always worth the long journey. The waterfall also looks amazing, would love to visit. This seems like such a unique trip and Kerala seems like such a magical place!

  40. I would love to live on a boat in such surroundings. Some great photos.

  41. I love Kerala and would go back again ! I was chosen for the Kerala Blog Express Earlier this year.

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