Its network of canals and streams have long attracted visitors to the Kullanad and Alapuzha regions of Kerala. Best experienced on one of those iconic kettuvalloms—traditional rice boats transformed into floating luxury hotels. Gliding down the limpid waters, and simply watching the swaying palms and village life as you glide past can be mesmerising. Time seems to stand still, and the cares of the world wither away. A typical itinerary can entail stopovers at palaces and temples, museums and markets. The Kochi airport is 64kms from the Alappuzha backwaters.
Tales of Kerala’s links with the spice trade in the ancient world still offer a compelling window into India’s maritime history. The legacy of the lost port of Muziris, which vanished without trace almost 3,000 years ago, is being revived, when a chance monsoon deluge at Pattanam village laid bare remnants of this lost world. Not only spices, but gold and precious gems, textiles and other sundry items left these shores on sailing ships to the lucrative markets of Greece and Rome. Today the Muziris Heritage Porject is working apace to revive, conserve and showcase its cultural heritage. The Cochi International Airport is about 20kms away.
A world of deep silences, pristine forestlands and rich wildlife, Periyar is one of India’s most intriguing wilderness areas. Though much of it closed to tourist activity, you may still enjoy dipping into parts of its magical spaces. The Periyar National Park here is open all year round—thus allowing visitors to share the many moods of this vast landscape. A favoured haunt of the Asiatic elephant, Periyar is the place to explore their world. You can survey this world on elephant-back, by boat safari or on a trek through the jungle. You can also participate in some of the eco-tourism activities on offer. The Kochi Airport is about 140kms from Periyar.