If you are among those who think of Kerala as just a land of backwaters and houseboats, pristine forests and wildlife, awesome cuisine and Ayurveda, then you are in for a huge surprise. Let us show you a side of Kerala that you perhaps do not know exists. Kerala is also a hub for thrill seekers, and enthusiasts come here for a dose of adventure. Biking, climbing, trekking, camping, water sports, and paragliding are among the few interesting things to do, here.
Kerala is definitely worth a visit if adventure excites you. The state is very much connected with the major cities of the country via road, rail, and air.
The Kerala State Govt transports are accessible even to get the remotest areas. Other than this, few private means of transport, rickshaws, and cabs are also available. Nowadays, rental cars are also widely preferred by people, particularly tourists to explore more places at their convenience. Renting a car in Kerala is now easy with the help of reputed car rental agencies like IndusGo, Zoomcar, Revv, etc.
Get ready, as we walk you through some adventure activities in Kerala.
With a huge coastline of exotic beaches, still lakes, calm rivers, and the backwaters, Kerala is perfectly suited for a variety of water sports. There are enough opportunities to engage in water sports activities like scuba diving, snorkeling, kayaking and surfing, and parasailing. Thrill seekers can go on catamaran rides and enjoy bamboo rafting adventures. Kneeboarding, water skiing, speed boat rides, game fishing, banana boat rides, and rafting, bumper ride, river crossing, and wave runner are some of the other activities to indulge in.
Kerala has some beautiful cycling trails, especially in Munnar, Wayanad, and Idukki. Trails that traverse through coffee plantations, across dirt paths and rocky terrain. The weather in Kerala is conducive to cycling, around the year, but try winter, if you want to stay dry, as you pedal your way across Kerala’s beautiful interiors.
And if you want a long-haul adventure, then the stretches between Chalakudy and Valparai, Devikulam and Munnar, Kottayam and Vagamon and Alappuzha and Changanassery offer the best cycling routes, through scenic surroundings and wonderful weather.
Paragliding is among the most favored adventure sports activity, around the globe, and remains popular in Kerala too. Take a trip to Vagamon in Kottayam or to Varkala in Trivandrum to soar in the sky, and an experience of a lifetime. Paragliding can also be done in Chithirapuram in Munnar.
All these sites offer spectacular views of green hills and deep valleys. The cost appears steep, but it really is not that expensive, considering that it includes the cost of training at the hands of professional paragliders, use of world-class equipment, with safety measures in place and the actual paragliding experience.
Swim in the Arabian Sea
With a 580 km long coastline that stretches all along its western border, Kerala provides ample opportunities for a dip in the blue waters of the Arabian sea. The coastline is as picturesque as it can get, with white sandy beaches, warm tropical sun, shaded by the swaying palms and gentle waves crashing on it. Apart from the awesome sunset, a swim in the water can be quite gratifying. Plan your beach visit between December and March, when the sea is calm and the weather pleasant and the waters warm. Beaches in Kerala are safe and the ones that come highly recommended are the Varkala Beach, the Marari Beach and the Kovalam Beach.
Blessed with verdant forests, Kerala is home to a diverse variety of wildlife. The Forest Department regulates wildlife safaris, in the protected forests, where animals can be spotted in their natural habitat.
Enjoy a night safari, into the deep dense jungles, at Chinnar in Munnar or a day safari at any of the other wildlife sanctuaries in the state. We would suggest the Muthanga Wildlife Safari, Neyyar Safari Park, Periyar Tiger Reserve, and the Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary name a few. These are places where you can see big cats like tigers and lions, as well as other wild animals such as the Indian bison, varieties of deer, wild boar, fox, flying squirrels and different types of monkeys and of course exotic birds, trees and flowers.
Bamboo rafting is unique to Kerala and involves indigenously crafted rafts, made, using bamboo. Bamboo rafting is best enjoyed on the lake nestled in the midst of a lush forest, of the Periyar Tiger Reserve, Thekkady. Bamboo rafts are rowed by hand and do not pollute the atmosphere, unlike motorboats. They are also soundless, hence do not disturb the animals.
A bamboo rafting experience can be the most thrilling. The rafts are rustic in appearance but comfortable. They smoothly cut through the calm waters, and enter deep into the lake, from where it is possible to spot wild animals that come to the lake’s brink for a drink of water. Tigers, elephants, Indian bison, sambar and other deer and a lot of birds, some native, other migratory, depending on the time of the year, can be spotted from the middle of the lake.
Kerala has a huge elephant population, in the wild. But, these gigantic, creatures have also been tamed. You’d be surprised at how docile and friendly an elephant can be. Ride atop an elephant as you explore the dense forests. Elephant safaris are common, in fact, elephant rides through plantations in Thekkady and other regions are quite the touristy thing to do. Wayanad and Munnar are other places where an elephant ride can be enjoyed.
Kollam, Alappuzha, and Kumarakom are ideal for kayaking. The crystal-clear backwaters provide the perfect backdrop for a beautiful adventure. Glide over the waters, through dense vegetation. It is scenic as well as adventurous. The landscape is painted in shades of green, and the flora and fauna are an additional plus.
Trekking up steep hills, through thick forests is one of the most pleasurable activities that thrill seekers indulge in, when in Kerala. The place has some of the most challenging and picturesque trekking trails in the country. Wayanad, in particular, is a popular destination for trekking.
The Thusharagiri Waterfalls Trek takes you into the deep forests, to reach the amazing spectacle – the mesmerizing waterfalls. The Kalladi Forest trek traverses through thick jungles. You saunter between trees that have stood there for centuries. Hear the loud calls of the birds and the chatter of the monkeys. Breathe in the purest of air and trek along.
Head to the Chembra peak, if you want to challenge yourself. It is the tallest peak in Wayanad and promises an exhilarating trek. The Banasura Hills trek is equally exciting. It is the second highest peak in the region and a favorite among avid trekkers. Pakshipathalam Trek is moderately challenging and good for newbies to this kind of adventure. Brahmagiri trek is fairly difficult and gives all the thrills expected of a good trek.
All adventure activities in Kerala can be enjoyed in the lap of nature. The picture-perfect settings are idyllic for adventure activities. Kerala has an alluring charm of the splendid Western Ghats, and azure waters entwined with virgin forests. You will love all the adventure Kerala has to offer.
Note: This post is written in collaboration with IndiaTravelBlog.com