Here are some weekend paradises near Kochi for a quick getaway this Xmas-New year holidays

Here are some weekend paradises near Kochi

Kochi derives its name from the Malayalam word Kochazhi meaning “small lagoon”. Kochi, or Cochin is one of Kerala’s most popular tourist cities and rightfully so! Known as the Queen of the Arabian Sea, Kochi also has some of the world’s most pristine natural harbours.

From the backwaters to the Marine Drive, there is so much to do and experience in Kochi alone, that one can never get enough of the city. For frequent visitors to Kochi, and for those living in Kochi, we’ve prepared a list of places for you to explore around paradise city.

Here are our recommendations for weekend getaways from Kochi:

1. Munnar

Located about 127 kilometres away from Kochi is the emerald green town of Munnar. Beckoning travellers from around the globe, this city is known for its tea and coffee plantations. While there’s lots to do and see in Munnar, a visit to a tea plantation and its museum tops the list of musts! We have it on good record that the best way to see the city is through one of its fun autorickshaw or taxi tours! The picturesque town on the hills is also home to numerous waterfalls and the Eravikulam National Park that houses many a rare animal species and is definitely worth a visit.

2. Alappuzha

A short 53 kilometres away from the bustling city of Kochi is this quiet and serene town of Alappuzha - home to the famous backwaters of India. This peaceful town is perfect for a relaxing weekend getaway…you can even rent a house boat to enjoy the tranquil surroundings. We recommend visiting one of the many temples that the town is dotted with and also the Royal Krishnapuram Palace, built during the reign of the Travancore Kingdom. The Marai Beach and the paddy fields are other famous tourist destination of Alappuza.

3. Thrissur

The oldest city in Kerala, Thrissur is 83 kilometres away from Kochi. Legend has it that the city was created by an incarnation of lord Vishnu named Lord Parasurama. The city houses spell-bindingly temples, like the Vadakkumnathan Temple, dedicated to lord Shiva. Other things to do in Thrissur include visiting the elephant sanctuary of Punnathur Kotta, which currently has 59 elephants! Another ‘must’, is a visit to the Shakthan Thampuran Palace; beautifully built in Dutch architectural style, the palace is today a museum of old antiques and relics.

4. Thekkady

Situated about 159kilometers away from Kochi is the city of the world famous Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. Thekkady is the ideal weekend getaway location, there’s tons to do and enjoy! You can start by taking a fun boat ride on the Periyar Lake or go for a thrilling bamboo rafting experience in the adjacent sanctuary. A visit to the ancient Mangaladevi Temple, allows you to truly relish the beauty of Southern India and especially the Eastern Ghats. Chellarkovil with its waterfalls and plains, is a mesmerizingly beautiful town a little ahead of Thekkady!

Periyar river, Thekkady, Idukki
Periyar river, Thekkady, Idukki. Photo: Shutterstock/Ashishman Kar

5. Vagamon

Around 106 km ahead of Kochi is the adventurous town of Vagamon! The gorgeous woods of the Vagamon Pine Forests have provided the scenic backdrop many a times for the silver screen, and are a must visit for movie buffs. There are plenty of adventure sports to indulge in here too. The untouched beauty of the Marmala waterfalls are a nature lover’s treat. The Thangalapara, which is widely recognized as a spiritual haven, is famous for being the resting place of the respected Sufi Saint, Hasrath Sheikh Fariduddin Baba; is also a sight to behold and an absolute must see when in Vagamon.

6. Idukki

Often considered the second largest district in the region, this beautiful hill station is about 108 kilometres away from Kochi. To every traveller's utter delight, Idukki is home to many wildlife sanctuaries of which the Thodupuzha and Udumpanchola taluks are situated at an altitude of 450-750ft above sea level! Known as the spice garden of Kerala, the spice plantations here, beckon many travellers too. The stunning uphill hiking routes are every thrill seeker’s dream come true. The majestic Idukki dam built across the Periyar lake standing at 550ft is one of the highest arches for a dam in Asia and is a scenic delight!

7. Gavi

This quiet and serene natural paradise located 171 kilometres away from Kochi is the perfect destination for a weekend getaway, especially if peace and tranquillity is what you seek. Spanning over a large portion of the Periyar Tiger Reserve, you actually need a permit to enter Gavi, but once there, the sights are magical! You can camp a night in tents amidst the wilderness of the sanctuary. The ideal time to plan for this is between the cooler months from November to March. Other activities to enjoy include canoeing and boating in the reservoir, and hiking to Chenthamara. The night safaris here are extremely enjoyable too!

8. Kollam

This erstwhile prominent trade town is 138kilometers away from Kochi. There’s so much to do in Kollam that we’d suggest visiting it over a long weekend! You can start by seeing the iconic Jatayu’s Earth centre- which offers the best views of the city and is a super fun adventure park with a rock themed park that houses cable cars and 6D cinema halls too! Making Kollam a great place to enjoy with the whole family. The rejuvenating and stunning Palaruvi waterfalls are another must visit when in Kollam.

Each of these locales offer beauty, fun and adventure that you and your family can enjoy over the span of a weekend. Which of these have you visited? Do tell us, we’d love to know!

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