7 Cities In Kerala To Visit For The Best Cultural Experiences

Beyond the beaches and hill stations, cities in Kerala offer rich and diverse experiences that’ll make you love the state even more.

Published On Oct 23, 2023 | Updated On Mar 07, 2024

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God’s own country, Kerala is full of scenic beaches, lush green hills, and often overlooked culturally rich towns and cities. Not just the touristy parts of the state, cities in Kerala also offer vivid experiences that’ll shape your visit to Kerala. Whether it is experiencing Chinese fishing nets in Kochi, or watching a Mohiniyattam performance in Trivandrum, these small mundane but interesting things make Kerala the tourist haven it is.

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Kochi, often known as Cochin, is a charming city in the state of Kerala on India's southwest coast. Often referred to as the ‘Queen of the Arabian Sea’, this thriving port city offers an amazing fusion of dynamic culture and captivating natural beauty. As the hub of Kerala's economy, industry, and finance, it is the tourism destination of choice for visitors to the state. Kochi is a nature lover’s paradise with its long seashore, stunning beaches, and amazing backwaters.

It is a great vacation spot for people of all interests and inclinations because of its vast tea plantations, several spice estates, beautiful vegetation, striking architecture, and historic temples. With a long history and venerable customs that are inextricably linked to modernity and an urban lifestyle, Kochi is a fantastic destination for many reasons.

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Alappuzha, a town in southern Kerala, is situated on the banks of the Laccadive Sea and is referred to as the Venetian Capital of Kerala. A body of water around Sri Lanka, the Maldives, and India is called the Laccadive Sea. Alleppey, another name for Alappuzha, is well-known for its beaches, houseboat tours, and boat racing. The city is proud of its reputation as one of India's top tourist destinations because of its backwaters. Try the houseboat trip through the peaceful network of canals and lagoons known as the Kerala backwaters while you're here. A peaceful and pleasurable sunset vista at Alappuzha Beach will lift your spirits. In addition to taking in the atmosphere of the city, there is a ton to do and see here.

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Thrissur is one of those uncommon places that provides a traveller with all they may want in a vacation spot. Thrissur is a city full of ancient sites, parks, places of religion, and breathtaking natural beauty. Called the Golden City of India, Thrissur is the cultural centre of Kerala. Thrissur, which means ‘The City with Lord Shiva's Name’, is believed to be the abbreviation for Thrishivaperur, which is well-known for the numerous festivities held there. You will be captivated by Thrissur's breathtaking scenery. The city, which is in South India, has very hot summers, but it is also the time of year when the well-known eight-day Puram festival is held, drawing visitors from all over the world.

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Kerala's capital, Thiruvananthapuram, is known as the ‘Evergreen city of India’. The city is home to stunning beaches, lengthy shorelines surrounded with palm trees, winding backwaters, and historical buildings. Thiruvananthapuram is one of the most popular pilgrimage destinations in India because of its ancient temples, which are recognized for their exquisite architecture in addition to their natural and historical value. Among the city's main attractions is the Sri Padmanabhaswamy temple. Every year, a sizable number of devotees come to the temple. It is well-known for its magnificent architecture as well as its religious and historical significance.

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The city of Kottayam is a land of unique characteristics, bordered on the east by the majestic and tall Western Ghats and on the west by the Vembanad Lake and the paddy fields of Kuttanad. Kottayam is a must-visit due to its beautiful locations, which include the Marmala Waterfall, Kattikkayam Waterfalls, Elaveezhapoonchira (viewpoint), and Kottayam Cheriapally (St. Mary's Orthodox Syrian Church).

This Kerala city is also often known as the ‘City Of Letters’ as many of the very first Malayam newspapers were started in, and are headquartered in Kottayam, including the renowned Malayala Manorama.

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Situated on the banks of the Nila River, Palakkad is one of the rarer, inland cities in very coastal Kerala. The city is believed to have been named after ‘Pala’ meaning Blackboad tree, and ‘Katu’ meaning forest. The lush green sanctuaries and wildlife reserves around the city very well justify it too.

When in the city, do explore the stunning 18th century Palakkad Fort that houses a much revered Hanuman Temple on the premises. Palakkad also has many places of religious significance and each year celebrates Kalpathi Ratholsavam, a 10-day fest featuring 6 chariots. The bigger one carries the main deity Lord Shiva, and two smaller ones carry his sons Ganapathy and Murugan. These main chariots are then followed by three more, each carrying the deities from villages nearby.

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Kozhikode, sometimes referred to as Calicut, is a popular seaside city in Kerala, India, and a major tourist attraction. Kozhikode is a great option if you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the metropolis. This graceful city is genuinely a heaven on Earth, with its amazing beauty, vibrant culture, and rich history. There are a ton of thrilling things to do in the city that will keep you occupied for many hours. With its historic structures, retail centres, nightclubs, religious places, street food, upscale dining establishments, serene beaches, and spice gardens, the city offers something for everyone.


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