5 Top-Rated Offbeat Places in Kerala (2021)
Kerala is one of the most spectacularly beautiful tourist destinations in India. With its serene backwaters, lush greenery, majestic Western Ghats, golden sandy beaches, and delicious cuisine, who wouldn’t want to visit Kerala? In recent years, there has a massive influx of tourists into Kerala, and for those people who do not like crowded tourist attractions, there are many offbeat places to visit in Kerala where there is a lesser crowd, and you can explore the area in solitude. Here are some offbeat travel destinations in Kerala for those who want to take the road less traveled.
5 Top-Rated Offbeat Places in Kerala
1. Gavi in Periyar
One of the most secluded and offbeat destinations in Kerala is Gavi, located in the Periyar Tiger Reserve. Gavi is as close to a real paradise you can get. This is a breathtakingly beautiful area located in the Periyar Tiger Reserve and surrounding the Gavi Lake.
In fact, such is the great beauty of Gavi that it is often known as the emerald paradise of flora and fauna. The still waters of the lake are a rich emerald color as they reflect the crystal emerald hues of the dense forest around it. This forest is home to over 260 species of animals and birds. If you are lucky, you can catch sight of bison, elephants, the Malabar giant squirrels, and lion-tailed macaques while in Gavi.
Gavi is a nature lover’s paradise, and it remains one of the most well-preserved and unexplored places in Kerala.
Gavi is located 40 kilometers from Kumily, which is the base location for the Periyar Tiger Reserve. The railway station of Kottayam is 117 kilometers away, while the nearest airport to Gavi is the Kochi Airport, around 172 kilometers away.
The best time to visit Gavi is between August to March.
2. Kappil Beach in Varkala
The beaches of Kerala are famous worldwide for their pristine beauty. What is even better is when you can visit a beach and the backwaters in one location itself. This unique place is at the Kappil Beach in Varkala.
The Kappil Beach is one of the most unexplored and scenic destinations in Kerala. As the road winds down the Kappil Beach, there is the ocean on one side and the serene backwaters on the other side. Coconut trees line the backwaters, and even though the nearby Varkala Beach usually overshadows this lesser-known beach, the Kappil Beach is well worth the visit, especially if you are looking to explore an offbeat destination.
You are unlikely to find a crowd thronging the long stretch of this pristine golden beach. The Kappil beach offers some of the best views of the sunset as it sets over the Arabian Sea. On the other side of the beach, there is the Edava Narayana Lake, which has one of the best birdlife in this area and is a delight for bird watchers.
The beach is located near the Kappil Village, just 7 kilometers from Varkala. Thiruvananthapuram is the nearest airport. The best way to reach Kappil Beach is to drive down. It is possible to rent bikes or cars at Varkala.
The best time to visit Kappil Beach is between November to February, just after the monsoon season ends.
3. Vagamon in Idukki
If you want to visit an offbeat hill station in Kerala that is free from the thronging tourist crowd, then Vagamon is the best place for you. Situated in the Idukki district of Kerala, Vagamon is a quaint little hill station that is also nicknamed as the Scotland of Asia. The moniker itself should give you a great idea about the beauty of this place. It is referred to as Scotland because of its rolling meadows that reach high up in the mountains.
Compared to the nearby town of Munnar, Vagamon still remains untouched by commercialization and is a relatively unknown place that does not see many tourists.
However, Vagamon offers perhaps the most scenic views of this part of Kerala. This place is also ideal for adventure lovers as the sport of paragliding has become very popular in the mountains here in recent times.
If you want a tranquil and restful hill station experience in Kerala, then head to Vagamon. You can reach Vagamon from the railway station at Kottayam, which is around 63 kilometers away, and the Kochi Airport is approximately 105 kilometers away. It is easy to rent a cab from either the railway station or the airport to take you to Vagamon.
If you want to try out paragliding, then the best time to visit Vagamon is between February and March.
4. Ashtamudi Lake in Kollam
This offbeat beauty of the backwaters is one of the most scenic places in Kerala. While Alleppey and Kumarakom are typically famous for the legendary brackish Kerala backwaters, the Ashtamudi Lake, which is located just a little distance from these backwaters, is what steals the show when it comes to natural beauty and scenic locales.
This large lake has eight waterways that branch away from it. The lake is famous for the gathering of massive birdlife that draws many birdwatchers to this offbeat spot.
Over the years, the Ashtamudi Lake has become a protected reserve for birds.
The best way to have an ethereal experience of the lake is to take a boat ride in a traditional Kerala boat and enjoy the blissful view all around.
The nearest railway station from the lake is the Kollam Railway Station, located around 11 kilometers away, and the closest airport is Thiruvananthapuram is about 70 kilometers away.
The best time to visit Ashtamudi Lake is from August to October when the weather remains pleasant.
5. Kolukkumalai Estate in Idukki
One of the most exotic and offbeat places to visit in Kerala is the Kolukkumalai Estate, the world’s highest tea estate. Not only is this the highest tea estate in the world, but it actually still has a fully functioning tea factory at the height of nearly 8,000 feet, and that too since the 1900s.
A visit to this tea estate will also let you experience some of the most breathtaking views of the Nilgiris and is a true nature lover’s delight. There is also a waterfall nearby that is a must-see.
To reach the Kolukkumalai Estate, you can hire a jeep from the Suryanelli town, which is approximately 23 kilometers away from Munnar.
The weather here remains pleasant all year round, allowing you to visit at any time of the year.