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Self-proclaimed to be 'God's own country', the coastal state of Kerala in south west India at least has some justification for the boast. A region brimming with highlights, within this sunkissed strip of fertile land visitors will find exquisite ancient Hindu temples and a rich legacy of European colonial architecture. Here too are uncrowded and unspoilt white sand beaches and warm seas and a host of traditional and welcoming villages, towns and cities each with its own charm and character and surrounded by some of India's most breath-taking scenery from mountain ranges and rainforests to rice paddies and inland lakes and waterways.

Archaeological findings suggest that Kerala has been inhabited since prehistoric times, and from the earliest eras of civilization the area was renowned for its abundant spices and the prosperous trade that grew from their export. Numerous ancient Indian empires, dynasties and kingdoms fought for, won and lost Kerala in the centuries leading up to the arrival of the first European colonists, the Portuguese, in the late fifteenth century. Each of these successive occupiers, including the Dutch and British that followed the Portuguese, helped to shape and enrich Kerala's culture and history, creating the remarkable and compelling destination that exists today.

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Our guide to Kerala
Local sites to see


Kerala's ancient capital city is a beguiling mix of attractions both modern and historic. There are temples, palaces and a fort to admire, numerous museums and galleries and, when it's time to relax, the beautiful golden-sanded Veli beach on which to soak up the sun.

Silent Valley / Indira Gandhi National Park

This vast, beautiful and ecologically diverse National Park is a paradise for both birdwatchers and wildlife spotters who may encounter a number of rare and endangerd species including the magnificent Bengal tiger.


Formerly known as Cochin, this vibrant and cosmopolitan sea port is a compelling melting pot of colonial history, liberally studded with ancient temples, public parks and gardens, stunning architecture, museums, galleries and cultural entertainment. A commercial powerhouse, Kochi also offers some of the best shopping opportunities in Kerala.


A traditional fishing village, Kovalam has become world-famous for its three stunningly picturesque beaches: Lighthouse Beach, Hawah Beach and Samudra Beach which together form a seventeen-kilometre stretch of idyllic sands.


Built by the British as a summer resort and refuge from high temperatures, Munnar is a town set among rolling green hills at an altitude roughly 1,700 metres above sea level. Many tea plantations can be found around Munnar and the town also provides easy access to Eravikulam National Park.

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