Kerala, one of the most beautiful destinations in South India, is resplendent with incredible “things to do” opportune spots. While the places in Kerala are destined to take your breath away, there are some tourist spots that demand utmost care while you travel.
In this article, we have listed some of the most beautiful places in the state, followed by short reminders on how you should be careful while visiting them
1. Silent Valley
Image by Lijo Lawrance via Wikimedia
Blessed with rich wildlife and exotic flora in the rich core of Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, Silent Valley National Park won national and international fame due to its sheer beauty and silence. The original name of this forest is actually Sairandhrivanam, and the British named it the Silent Valley, because of the lack of noise (or rather the absence of the noisy cicadas). Silent Valley is also known for its abundance of lion-tailed macaques.
There are a few things you need to be careful about when you are visiting the national park. Be careful of forest fires while visiting the park during the dry season because a tiny, lit match can set the entire forest alight. Remember not to smoke while travelling/trekking within the confines of the forest. Even a careful flick of the match through the window of your car can turn disastrous.
It is also believed that the area is under the Maoist influence. In order to be on the safe side, be careful not to venture out on your own. Enjoy the beauty of the forest and marvel at the natural habitat of its residents, but listen to the advice of your guide too.
2. Kollam Beach
Image by Surajram Kumaravel via Wikimedia
The Kollam Beach, also known as the Mahatma Gandhi Beach in Kollam, is one of the must-visit beaches in Kerala, and with its horde of beach activities, it is always filled with flocks of tourists. Chinese fishing nets and traditional boats bobbing on the surface of the beach add to the beauty.
However, the beauty comes with a price. There are killer waves at Kollam Beach, so be wise and don’t try any tricks that you would regret later on. The waves are known to be really furious, and can really pull you away and trap you. There have been several incidents where people were washed away by the angry waves.
So, if you want to enjoy the waters, go ahead by all means, but listen to the lifeguards because they know the spots that would be safe for you.
3. Trichur Forest
Image by Pranchiyettan via Wikimedia
Get ready to be spooked. The Trichur Forest is always at its stunning best, but at night, it takes a different turn and turns haunted. Yes, you heard that right. Trekkers and campers have reportedly seen the apparition of a young boy in the night, but couldn’t find evidence of anyone during the day. The boy sits on a rock staring ahead, doing nothing. There is nothing scary because the “spirit” hasn’t harmed anyone, but if you are uncomfortable being around haunted places, then don’t spend the night camping in the forest.
Image by Niranjan via Wikimedia
Ranipuram is a lovely, green-capped hill station in Kasargode district of Kerala, located at about 750 meters above sea level. Tourists are attracted to Manimala, the highest trekking point at the hill station. The beauty of the place is enhanced by the multitude of medicinal plants, acres and acres of moors and meadows, and different types of orchids.
Tourists come here to enjoy picnics, a little peace and quiet, and of course trekking, rock climbing, wildlife and bird watching. Ranipuram shares its borders with Thalacauvery wildlife sanctuary of Karnataka, and tourists fondly call it the Ooty of Kerala.
There is a cave that tourists frequent at Ranipuram, but that’s also where the dangerous part comes in. Unless you are a careful and experienced trekker, you could lose your way. Some tourists even move to uncharted areas, making it more dangerous for them. There is wildlife in the area, and you cannot predict their behaviour, so it is better to be on the safe side and remain on the route.
5. Bonacaud Region of Trivandrum
Image by Suniltg via Wikimedia
The Bonacaud Region of Trivandrum is just 40 kilometres from Trivandrum city and is popular as the base station of Agasthyakoodam peak of the Agasthya Hills. Tourists interested in hiking and trekking activities head to the hills to enjoy a fascinating view of the Peppara Dam from atop the hills. It is an experience in itself. Bonacaud is an enticing place, spread over 2500 acres of hills, plains, valleys and forests with magnificent tea estates adorning them all.
Going for a trek here could turn tricky if there is wildlife along the route, especially elephants. The Forest Office checkpost has the discretion to allow or deny passes for the trek, so that’s something you cannot plan in advance. However, you can enjoy going for long drives along the pristine paths, relish the mist and dew on the leaves and marvel at the magnificent Bona falls.
If you are interested in the paranormal, then you would want to visit the ramshackle mansion, also in the Bonacaud region. It is believed to be haunted by a young boy’s spirit, and people have claimed to see the apparition at the doorway, and sounds of glass breaking in the bungalow. According to stories, the children of the bungalow’s owners died under mysterious circumstances in the bungalow. Post this incident, the owners, who were residents of London left for good. This happened during the British rule.
6. Lakkidi Gateway
Image by Sudharshan Solairaj via Wikimedia
The splendour of Lakkidi viewpoint in Wayanad district of Kerala is beyond words. Writers and poets have often endeavoured to sing praises of this paradisiacal beauty, but have not yet been quite successful. However, beneath all that beauty lies a sad story bordered on the paranormal. The belief is that while navigating the narrow hairpin bends, you will be able to witness a Ficus tree (at the 9th hairpin bend).
This tree has a soul bound to it with chains. Legend has it that it’s the soul of a young man who showed the British engineers a way to navigate through the forests to build roads. Once the roads were built, they murdered the young man. The angry soul roamed the hairpin bends and caused disturbances. Finally, a priest chained the poor soul to a chain to protect the travellers in the area. Though the soul has been chained, the tree with its chains does look spooky.
These are a few of the visually splendid and adventurously active destinations in Kerala. As the destinations get adventurous, they get dangerous too, so the best bet would be to remain careful, listen to the advice of your tour operator and then everything would be good.
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