Situated on the southwestern tip of India, Kerala is home to a population of more than 30 million people (predominantly Malayali). Widely considered the cleanest and least corrupt state in the country, the region is a very popular tourist destination for locals and international travelers alike.
If you’re hoping to escape the crowds while traveling in Kerala, there are great hiking and trekking trails and routes throughout the region, particularly around Anamudi in the Blue Mountains of the Western Ghats.
Among the many delightful spots worth visiting are the state’s beautiful and pristine beaches. Varkala Beach in Thiruvananthapuram and Kovalam Beach near Trivandrum are particularly good options for tourists seeking natural springs and cliff diving (at the former) and a vibrant social scene (the latter).
With more than 44 rivers and countless pools, lagoons, canals, waterfalls and other backwaters, Kerala is exceptionally idyllic; particularly when you consider that it’s located in the heart of the world’s second-most populous country.
If you’d like to combine a little culture with your recreation, head to Bekal Fort Beach, located roughly 10 miles (16 kilometers) south of Kasaragod on the national highway. It is both the largest and best-preserved fort in Kerala with a lovely beach nearby.
Perhaps the best way to experience the mesmerizing maze of waterways in the backwaters of Kerala is to witness the annual Vallam Kali boat races. The most prominent of which is the race for the Nehru Trophy Vallam Kalli that is held on the second Saturday of each August.