Leisure & Getaways
Kerala “God’s own country” as we know it is a land of rich culture, overwhelming beauty and spiritual aura surrounding it. With it’s breathtaking greenery it has been named one of the paradises of the world. The elegant Kathakali dance form, soul enriching Ayurveda, and literacy peaking to great heights are not the only highlights of the state. Kerala is indeed rich in its heritage which spreads across the entire state, from century old architectures to monuments telling us tales of the dynasties that left their footprints on it. Not only the cultural remains but this state in the coastal line also has the coolest beaches and known for the exotic food it serves on the table. Taking a tour of the state we have jotted down the best of the heritage Kerala owns that will speak for this paradise.
More known as the Dutch Palace, the historic palace was built by the Portugese as a gift to Raja Veera Kerala Varma. The Palace is beautified by the magnificent mural paintings. The Royal Bed Chamber has paintings that portray the Ramayana. The story of Kumarasambhavam is depicted by the paintings on the groud floor. Not only is this a historic place but it is also a museum with statues of Kochi kings and an antique collection of the royal belongings including Dutch maps, costumes, furniture, and weaponry.
Where: Mattancherry, Kochi, Kerala
300 years ago, Bekal Fort in the Kasaragod district is one of the largest forts in Kerala. It spreads across over 40 acres, built in the 1650 AD by one called Shivappa Nayaka. It has been very well preserved, gloriously speaking of its history. It is surrounded by the beauty of the Arabian Sea which can be viewed from the observation tower which also gives a peak to the nearby towns. This is where once the enemies’ movements were tracked from. This fort was most likely built for defense against the enemies in the past and the holes in the walls and the zigzag pathways are existing evidence to that.
Where: Kasaragod Road, PO Bekal Fort, Beside Bekal Fort Railway Station Dist, Bekal, Kerala
Thalassery Fort was built in the 18th century by the British East India Company. It is situated on a rocky cliff of the Thalassery beach in the Kannur district. The square shaped fort has captivating walls which can be sighted even from a distance. The fort consists of underground chambers, a lighthouse, tunnels and every corner of the fort tells a story. The fort is beautifully surrounded by greeneries which makes it a perfect place to take a walk or relax and have a good time with your folks. It is located close to the very famous St. Rosary Church.
Where: Thalassery New Bus Stand, Near, Kanyakumari - Panvel Highway, Pilakool, Thalassery, Kerala
Krishnapuram Palace is located in Kayamkulam in Alappuzha district of Kerala. This Kerala styled architectural fort was once abode of the Maharaja of Travancore, Marthanda Varma. The palace remarkably depicts the ancient age in a very detailed manner. The museum is filled with extraordinary masterpieces from the past along with several Kerala-like paintings. The large pond in the fort is one of its major attraction points. It has been assumed that the fort has underground routes kept in secret for escape during enemy attacks.
Where: Oachira Rd, near Krishnapuram, Kayamkulam, Kerala
Anjengo Fort sits between the Anchuthengu beach and backwaters and it is also known as Anchethengu Fort. This fort is historical as it marks the first establishment of the East India Company in the year 1696 after the permission given by Queen of Attingal in 1694. The fort was used by the company for war supply storage during the Anglo-Mysore was. The fort also was used as a signaling station for ships that came in from England. This fort has been a part of the eventful colonial rule. The architecture of the fort is fascinating which makes it one of the most sought-after historical places.
Where: Anchuthengu, Kerala
Poonjar Palace is in the district Kottayam. It has witnessed the significant past of the state. The temple nearby the palace is adorned with paintings depicting tales of the Puranas. The palace is known for the unique furniture and antiques that is holds in its possession including weapons, palm leaf engravings, and statues. The palace has a famous sculpture of Nataraja, a palanquin and a thoni (wooden tub) for Ayurvedic massages.
Where: PHC Rd, Panachippara, Poonjar, Kerala
The Edakkal Caves dates back the Stone Age. The work of the interiors is believed to be of the era between 5000 BC to 1000 BC. The caves are a trek uphill of about 1.5 kms. The route is surrounded by coffee plantation. The path is well cemented and maintained and there are stalls lined up on the way. The caves are 1200 meters above the sea level. The distance from the start to the end of the cave is a 45 minutes’ walk. These caves are of utmost significance both historically and archaeologically. The interior stone work is exquisite. These caves were discovered in 1890, during a hunting trip to Wayanad by Fred Fawcett who was the Superintendent of Police of Malabar district. The formation of the caves has several legends behind it, one of them is of Kutti Chathan and Goddess Mudiampilly. Therefore, many locals go on a pilgrim to honor the Goddess. There is a telescope available near the caves which help gives a view of the valley surrounding the caves.
Where: Nenmeni, Kerala
The Thrikkakkudi Rock-Cut Temple is a small cave that has a three-feet long Shivalinga. It is a definite must-visit for the worshippers of Lord Shiva. It is a highly preserved monument with its incredible architecture from ancient times. The magnificent beauty in all its glory speaks of the rich cultural inherits of Kerala. It is situated on the banks on Manimala River. The major attraction of this temple is that the Shivalinga along with the sculptured of Lord Ganesha and Maharshi and the cave chamber are all carved out from a single rock.
Where: Pathanamthitta, Thiruvalla, Kerala
This church lies inside Fort Kochi and is the oldest European church in India. It stands as the testimonial to the Colonial struggle in the country and is of high historical importance. The Portuguese explorer Vasco Da Gama was first buried here for 14 years before being moved to Lisbon. His gravestone along with that of the Portuguese and the Dutch can be found here. A cenotaph for people of Kochi who died in World War 1 can also be seen here.
Where: Head Post Office, Saint Francis Church Road Opp, Fort Kochi, Kochi, Kerala
A testimony to Kerala’s timeless history, Palakkad Fort is one of the most glorious fortresses! Standing as one of the most well-preserved historical monuments in God’s Own Country, this fort created history after it was invaded Tipu Sultan; the ruler of Mysore. Tipu's Fort, also known as (Palakkad Fort, is a beautifully maintained edifice in Palakkad which was an important military base in the past. Rebuilt by Hyder Ali in the 18th century, it was under the Mysore rulers until the British took control of the place. It would then be used for providing government services during this era.Named after Hyder's son Tipu Sultan, it is an important historical destination today.
Where: Palakkad-Koduvayur, Thathamangalam-Meenakshipuram Highway, Kenathuparambu, Kunathurmedu, Palakkad, Kerala
One of the famous places that has a lead role in history is Padmnabhapuram palace, situated in the south side and at the capital of Kerala, Trivandrum. This well preserved wooden palace welcomes tourists and an abundant group of archaeologists with its exquisite floral carvings, black glossy granite floor and magnificent 18th century murals. The palace holds secret underground passage and colored mica windows. This palace showcases the richness of Travancore dynasty which ruled the southern part of Kerala. This palace is currently not in Kerala but 64 km away from Thiruvananthapuram city.
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