As Kerala recovers from one of the worst floods in living memory, one needs to find solace in the best way possible – by travelling across the state and enjoying the sights and sounds that truly make this state God’s Own Country. One can easily rent a car Kochi and enjoy some impromptu drive across the verdant countryside, vibrant coastlines and pristine wildernesses. Here are some top destinations to rediscover the allure of Kerala.
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The lofty heights of Munnar can soothe even the weariest of souls. The journey from Kochi is an epic charter across dramatic landscapes as one gradually climbs from the sultry coasts into the mist-laden mountains. There are times when the entire countryside turns a delicate blue during the blooming of the Neelakurunji flower. The tea country of Munnar is perfect for nature walks and photography. Eravikulam National Park is home to one of India’s natural treasures – the Nilgiri Tahr, an endangered wild goat species. Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy the cool climes and dramatic terrain of Munnar – hiking and camping are popular activities.
Thekaddy is a gateway to the diverse wildlife of Kerala. The town is a 160-km drive through the heart of the state. The showpiece here is the Periyar National Park, home to species like the Asiatic elephant, the Bengal tiger, Indian bisons, flying squirrels and many other rare and endemic species. Apart from exciting safaris, vistors to Thekaddy can also visit the scenic tea estates of Pattumalay and catch a glimpse of the famous Velankanni Matha Church.
A 140-km trip south along the coast, Kollam is a popular seaside escapade. Exquisite beaches and tranquil backwaters are some of the attractions of this town, which also boasts an immense and multi-layered history. The Palaruvi waterfall is a recommended inland attraction – a most impressive sight during and immediately after the monsoons. Lord Subramaniam Temple in nearby Mayyanad is an important cultural and regional centre and the region around Kollam is also home to many old churches showcasing various styles of European architecture.
Also known as Calicut, Kozhikode has a very long and interesting history. For many centuries it was part of the spice trade routes that shaped the world. The city has a mix of colonial influences – the Portuguese, the English, the French and the Dutch have all been in Kozhikode. Attrractions of the city include the Beypore and Kozhikode beaches, the 700-year-old Thali Temple and the nearby Kadalundi Bird Sanctuary. The drive from Kochi is a pleasant 182-km drive north along the mesmerizing Arabian Sea coast.
Informed travellers are choosing the self driving car option over regular cabs as it allows for more freedom and privacy. App-based platforms like Zoomcar allow travellers to choose from a wide range of vehicles – from hatchbacks and sedans to SUVs and affordable rates ensure an uncompromised experience. 24/7 on-road support also make the self drive option a wise one, especially for longer trips across the state.
Kerala is a gift that keeps on giving – a land of persevering people and warm hospitality. As the seasons change, this is the perfect time to find the beauty of the state in its most iconic destinations.
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