Top 3 Hidden Gems in Kerala

Kerala is famous for its exotic locales. But there's more to "God's own country" than meets the eye. Check out these hidden gems of Kerala
A beach in Kerala. Photo Credit Shutterstock
A beach in Kerala. Photo Credit Shutterstock

Kerala is Edenic in its beauty and has mesmerised tourists for years, owing to a unique set of geographical features that bless this place with breathtaking views. Azure blue backwaters, coconut trees swaying in the sea salt-stricken wind and calming houseboat rides await you here. As popular as this tropical paradise is, here are five lesser-known hidden gems in Kerala to consider visiting soon.

Agasthyarkoodam, Trivandrum 

Trekking through Kerala is probably one of the best ways to avoid the thronging crowds, and as such, this three-day forest trail in one of the highest peaks in Kerala is not an experience to be missed. Within the Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary lies the Agasthyarkoodam Peak and its associated trek&rsquos first day starts from Bonacaud Picket Station and ends at the Athirumala Base Camp on the first day, the second day needs trekkers to reach the Agasthyakoodam Peak and come back to the base camp. The last day requires you to be back at Bonacaud Picket station. An easily missable trek owing to the limited 100 passes per day that are available from the Forest Department&rsquos website, the Agasthyakoodam trail is considered special also because of the legend of sage Agasthya, one of the Saptrishis who is said to have meditated on this peak and offer penance in this place. Enjoy the food and accommodation the Forest Department provides, seek the great sage&rsquos wisdom and blessings and experience a memorable trek here.

Muzhappilangad Beach, Kannur

This beach holds the distinction of being India&rsquos only drive-in beach where you can drive your vehicle and do so without breaking any rules or stipulations. Muzhappilangad Beach is Asia&rsquos longest drive-in beach. It is widely considered one of the best beaches to drive in, featuring a luxurious four-kilometre-long stretch of sand alongside the picturesque views of the Malabar Coast where you can drive. If adventure pulls the strings of your heart, come here in the month of April for the Muzhappilangad Beach Festival, where you will get to see some of the most daring and most incredible car and bike stunts. If driving on the beach does not interest you, visit the place simply for the Malabar cuisine served by the famous beach shacks all along the shore. We recommend you visit the beach during the low tide. Mainly for the drive-in experience but also because during the low tide, you can walk over to Dharmadam Island from Dharmadam Beach, just a short distance from Muzhappilangad Beach. Dharmadam Island is just 100-200 m away. 

Gavi, Periyar 

Gavi is a beautiful destination in the Periyar Tiger Reserve in Kerala, India. It takes a two-hour journey by jeep from Kumily to reach picturesque Gavi, which is blanketed by the greenery of tea plantations. Advance booking with the Kerala Forest Development Corporation is appreciated, as entry passes must be obtained from the forest check post en route at Vallakkadavu. Gavi is surrounded by lush greenery, wildlife, and stunning landscapes and offers many activities for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts. Here, embark upon a jeep safari taking you on adrenaline-pumping journeys through the dense forests of Gavi, snaking around beautiful places like Mundakkayam and Kuttikkanam. Take a pleasant boat ride along the Gavi reservoir or visit the Gavi Forest Museum, which offers rich knowledge about the biodiversity of the Western Ghats. The eco-tourism project has also included several activities for visitors, including outdoor camping, elephant safaris, wildlife watching, bird-watching, stays atop tree huts, visits to Paradise Cove at Ninnumulli, boating in Gavi and Kochupampa lakes, stays at the eco-lodge overlooking Gavi Lake, leisurely walks through spice gardens, visits to cardamom factories and so on.

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