Kerala is well known for its backwaters, palm-lined beaches, and hill stations. But in reality, Kerala is more than just that. There are numerous places in our state that are quite underrated by both tourists and locals. Here are few among many hidden gems in Kerala that are waiting to be discovered.
Keralamkundu or Karuvarakundu, located in the buffer zone of the Silent valley in Malappuram district, is one of the most under-appreciated waterfalls in the state. It is one of those places that does justice to the tropical vibes of Malabar. If you like the idea of swimming in a natural pool, then you’ll love this place. You’ll have to climb down for about 3 km to reach the pool and watch out for slippery rocks. And while trekking is said to be part of the adventure, you can get there by road too.
Valiyaparamba/ Nileshwar backwaters
Located 30 km from Bakel, Valiyaparamba in Kasaragod is perhaps the most scenic backwater stretch in the state. Fed by four rivers and dotted with numerous islands, Valiyaparamba has beautiful backwaters untouched by large-scale tourism. Surrounded by backwaters on three sides and the Arabian Sea on the other, Valiyaparamba fishing village is an island. A traditional raft or ‘kettuvallam’ offers a panoramic view of the coconut groves on this island.
If you have the bones for adventure, then this is the perfect destination for you! This is the highest peak in Wayanad (2,1000m), and adjoins the Nilgiri hills in Tamil Nadu and Vallarimala in Kozhikode. Located near a small town called Meppadi, you have to take prior permission from Meppadi forest office to trek here. It will take about 3 hours to reach the summit. There is a heart-shaped lake called ‘Hridaya Thadakam’ on the way, considered to be one of the main attractions of the journey. From atop the peak, you can see the whole of Wayanad!
Once known as Madathu Mala, Ranipuram is a hill station situated in Vellarikundu taluk of Kasargod. It is one of the last undiscovered hill stations in Kerala. Fondly called the ‘queen of grass’, Ranipuram is home to a wide range of flora and fauna. It’s a true representation of the beauty of Kasargod. We often forget this gem amidst the glory of other hill stations in our state.
This is a monolith located on top of Illickal Mala in Meenachil taluk of Kottayam district. One will have to trek about a km to reach the peak. The view of the sunset from the peak in the evenings of full moon days can be absolutely stunning – the moon can be seen rising up like another sun, while its orange counterpart sets. Although a bit dangerous, the best time to visit is during the monsoons as the hills get covered by a milky mist. That’s a sight that should not be missed!
Alappuzha, known for houseboats and backwaters, is home to our next hidden gem – Pathiramanal. This breathtaking island, and the surrounding Vembanad lake, is a haven for hundreds of migratory birds from around the globe. It is the perfect destination for birdwatchers as it offers a wide variety of birds to observe. Sprawled over 10 acres of land, it is a half an hour trip by motorboat from Alappuzha. A visit to Pathiramanal is an ideal way to enjoy your holidays amidst the emerald green backwaters and coconut trees.
Dharmadam Island Beach
This is an island located 100m away from the Dharmadam beach in Kannur. What makes this place special is that you can walk to the island through the sea when the tide is low (usually in the evenings). The island is uninhabited and is covered by a canopy of coconut palms and dense bushes. It is surrounded by the mainland river on three sides and the sea on the other. This should be on your bucket list; I mean, where else can you walk through the sea and on to an island?!
That was our list. Are there other hidden gems that you’d like to share with us? Let us know in the comments section.