Top Offbeat Places To Visit in Kerala

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Kerala is not just God’s Own Country but also one of India’s favourite holiday destinations.  The picturesque state has been branded in a manner that would convince any traveler to visit the state at least once any time during the year. And in keeping with this branding, it only follows that there would be numerous tourist places in Kerala. Fort Kochi, Munnar, The Backwaters are places you have heard of numerous times and probably have even visited. However, this heavily exposed elephant + coconut tree haven does have its share of the unexplored.

Best Offbeat Places in Kerala

1. Athirapally Falls

Athirapally Falls

Located in the Sholayar region in Kerala, the Athirapally Waterfalls are a marvel unto themselves. The falls are located amidst the Athirapally Forests; the region is rich in biodiversity and boasts of breath-taking flora and fauna. The shooting of a couple of movies near the falls has resulted in a steady tourist flow, nonetheless, if you find the right spot and the right forest trail you will have nature all to yourself. Best time to visit the Kerala falls is during the monsoon season.

2. A Tharavad

A Tharavad

Tharavad is not a place, but a system of sorts. Traditionally, a Tharavad is a joint-family system practiced by the Nair clan in Kerala. In terms of Kerala tourism, Tharavads are homestays where one lives in the home/farmhouse of a family and experiences the village life of Kerala. All Tharavad homes are characterized by antique furniture, unique woodwork and such old world architectural charms. On the whole, a Tharavad experience is less touristy and more homely.

3. Marari Beach

Marari Beach

Located close to Kumarakom - one of the best tourist places in Kerala - is the lesser known Mararikulum.  The area and the adjoining Marari Beach have yet to witness the explosion of tourists. The sand is clear, the water clean and the vibe relaxing. For when you want to run away from the crowd and be one with your thoughts, head to Mararikulum.

4. Wayanad


This lush green, historical region is probably one of Kerala’s best kept secrets. Here, you can explore the Edakkal Caves that were first discovered by a Britisher during his hunting trip in 1890. The caves are a testimony to the existence of the Stone Age civilization in Wayanad. On your way to the Edakkal Caves, you can stop at the Chembra Peak, touted to be the loftiest peak in Wayanad. If adventure is what you seek, then you can trek all the way to the peak too.

Sometimes I wish I was Shandler – quirky like Sheldon and sarcastic + funny like Chandler. But then, I am me. The girl who needs her life to be a collage of small joys, brain-tickling conversations and as impulsive as it is cautious.

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  • Rajesh Thakur

    Nice post. I have been to Chembra Peak and it is a must-see for everyone. The view while trekking and at the top is magnificent. Wayanad itself is a very nice area and should be part of any list that speaks of places to visit in Kerala. I have heard a lot about Edakkal caves but haven’t visited it yet. Must add it to my to-do list, I see.

  • Sanjeev Kumar

    Thanks for sharing. I am going to Kerala in May and shall try to visit Marari beach :)

  • Vikram

    As the author mentions, Athirapally Falls is one of Kerala’s best waterfalls. It is also probably Mani Ratnam’s favourite locale as he has shot a number of movie scenes there, including Roja and Raavan. Yet, not a lot of people outside of Kerala seemed to have heard of it. Kudos to the author for putting it up as top offbeat places to visit in Kerala.

  • Pingback: 5 off-the-beaten-track Places in Kerala | World Wide Travel Advisor

  • Ajay Rao

    Nice post Hilonee I think the backwaters are so overrated, there is so many other places, to explore in God’s own country. I always try to find places which are not on the must-visit lists.

  • Rajat

    Kerala looks like such a green place, especially in the Wayanad photo, with all the forests at the back of house. Makes me want to go.

  • Jhanavi Sareen

    Would you happen to know about some more not-so-popular beaches in Kerala. I’m a complete beach-bum and am thinking of doing a solely beach holiday around Kerala. Any suggestions? Thanks!

    • Nishi Jain

      Jhanavi, that’s a nice vacation idea. There are plenty of beaches in Kerala that are less frequented by tourists. Here are a few options:
      -Padinjarekara Beach is stunning.
      -Go to Kizhunna Ezhara Beach, located 11 km away from Kannu.
      -Beach near Malappuram
      -Kanwatheertha Beach, three kilometres from Manjeswaram
      -Kappil Beach
      -Chithari Beach
      -Kolavi Beach, Payyoli

  • ajay rathor

    I would love to stay in a tharavad!

  • arihantpathak

    Kerala is one of the best place for spending your vacation in the lap of nature . The greenery of this state is the major attraction . There many temples are heritage of The India making proud for it .