Discover 14 Hidden Gems in Kerala You Probably Had No Idea Existed in 2023!

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Kerala, a captivating tourist destination in India, has always been a popular choice among travelers. However, if you are seeking lesser-known places to explore, fear not! Kerala still has plenty of hidden gems waiting to be discovered. These untouched locales offer an authentic and unique travel experience, ranging from pristine beaches to breathtaking mountain vistas.

Kolukkumalai, Idukki, offbeat places in Kerala cover

Prepare yourself to uncover the top 14 offbeat destinations in God’s Own Country. Each of these places possesses a captivating charm that will capture the hearts of those who yearn to veer off the beaten path. Take note of these extraordinary places and choose the best one suited to your taste.

Discover the Enchanting Offbeat Places in Kerala

Prepare to be pleasantly surprised by these hidden wonders, showcasing the true essence of Kerala:

  • Edakkal Caves, Wayanad – Where History Comes Alive
  • Kappil Beach, Varkala – The Perfect Fusion of Beaches and Backwaters
  • Gavi, Periyar – An Emerald Paradise of Abundant Flora and Fauna
  • Vagamon, Idukki – A Picturesque Haven Nestled Amidst Hills
  • Muzhappilangad Beach, Kannur – A Scenic Drive-In Beach
  • Ashtamudi Lake, Kollam – Embrace the Splendor of the Backwaters
  • Kolukkumalai Estate, Idukki – Home to the World’s Highest Tea Estate
  • Soochipara Waterfalls, Wayanad – Pristine Marvels in the Lap of Nature
  • Neeliyar Kottam, Kannur – Witness the Best Theyyam Performances
  • Agasthyarkoodam, Trivandrum – Embark on Legendary Treks in Kerala
  • Vembanad Lake, Kumarakom – Dive into the Serenity of the Longest Lake
  • Chembra Peak, Wayanad – Nature’s Splendor at Its Peak
  • Silent Valley National Park, Palakkad – Rediscover Tranquility
  • Nelliyampathy, Palakkad – Surrender to a Spellbinding Affair

1. Edakkal Caves, Wayanad – Where History Comes Alive

Just imagine trekking up a cliff that offers a breathtaking view of the majestic Western Ghats. And what if, nestled within this cliff, you discover a cave adorned with ancient carvings dating back 8,000 years? Well, this remarkable experience awaits you at one of Kerala’s finest offbeat destinations – the Edakkal Caves in Wayanad. These caves are more than just rock shelters; they are a living testament to the Stone Age, with carvings that date back to 6,000 B.C. As you ascend from the base to the cliff, weaving through rocky pathways, you’ll be rewarded with a mesmerizing panoramic vista. This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime adventure!

Edakkal Caves, Wayanad

How to reach: The caves are situated in the Nenmeni area of Wayanad district, approximately 25 KM from Kalpetta, the district headquarters. The nearest railway station and airport are located in Kozhikode (Calicut), which is about 95 KM away.

Remember, Kerala has more to offer than meets the eye. Venture off the beaten path and let these offbeat destinations unravel the essence of this magnificent state.

Optimal timing for a visit: All year round

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2. Kappil Beach, Varkala – A Fusion of Beaches and Backwaters

Photographic Inspiration

Embracing the scenic shoreline on one side and the captivating backwaters adorned with coconut trees on the other, journey through the undulating road of Kappil. This hidden gem in Kerala is a paradise waiting to be explored, constantly overshadowed by its renowned neighbor, Varkala. Undisturbed by long stretches of untouched beaches, Kappil Beach offers breathtaking sunsets over the Arabian Sea. The Edava Narayana Lake, situated on the opposing side, plays host to a magnificent variety of avian inhabitants. Opt for a scenic drive or rent a bike from Varkala to embark on the best way to reach Kappil.

Kappil Beach, Varkala

Directions: Located near the village of Kappil, approximately 7 KM away from Varkala, the beach boasts its own railway station. The nearest airport is Thiruvananthapuram.

Peak season: November to February, post-monsoon

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3. Gavi, Periyar – A Verdant Paradise for Botanical and Faunal Wonders

Photographic Insight

Gavi stands as a testament to an idyllic haven, a lush forested realm within the embrace of the Periyar Tiger Reserve, surrounding the mesmerizing Gavi Lake. The calm waters of this lake mirror the resplendent emerald shades that adorn the dense forest. The enchanting wilderness is home to over 260 species of avifauna and an abundance of wildlife. Bisons, elephants, lion-tailed macaques, and Malabar giant squirrels can be spotted roaming these lands. A true sanctuary for nature enthusiasts, Gavi remains one of the most unexplored destinations in Kerala.

Gavi, Periyar

Directions: Located approximately 40 KM from Kumily, which serves as the base for the Periyar Tiger Reserve, Gavi can be reached via the Kottayam railhead, situated 117 KM away. The nearest airport is the mesmerizing city of Kochi, located 172 KM from Gavi.

Peak season: August to March

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4. Vagamon, Idukki – Captivating Hillside Escapades

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If you are looking for hill stations free of crowds then Vagamon is one of the best unknown places in Kerala that is perfect for you! Located in the Idukki district, it is often nicknamed the ‘Scotland of Asia’. The moniker refers to the rolling meadows high up in the mountains that are ideal for paragliding, which is becoming popular in Vagamon in recent times. Untouched by the commercialization of the nearby town, Munnar, Vagamon still offers a tranquil experience to visitors.

How to get there: The nearest railhead is Kottayam about 63 KM away and Kochi is the nearest airport 105 KM away.

Best time to visit: February and March are ideal for paragliding

Vagamon, Idukki

5. Muzhappilangad Beach, Kannur – Scenic Drive-In Beach

Muzhappilangad Beach is a dream come true for anyone who loves driving. One of the longest drive-in beaches in the world, it is among the rare beaches in India where you can drive a car or a bike. That makes it one of the best road trip places in Kerala, especially in April when there is a vibrant beach festival that takes place here. The beach is not just perfect for beach stunts but is also a natural paradise where a lot of endangered birds can be sighted. The scenic beach makes for some perfect Instagram shots!

How to get there: The beach is about 15 KM away from Kannur which also has a railway station. The nearest airport is at Kozhikode about 90 KM away from Kannur.

Best time to visit: August to March

Muzhappilangad Beach, Kannur

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Rephrased Text:

If you are seeking mountain retreats far from the bustling masses, then Vagamon is a hidden gem in Kerala that will satisfy your desires. Situated in the Idukki district, it is often referred to as the ‘Asia’s Scotland’. This moniker is a tribute to the undulating pastures perched high in the mountains, which have recently gained popularity for paragliding activities. Unlike the commercialized neighboring town of Munnar, Vagamon still offers a serene experience to its visitors.

How to reach: The closest railway station is Kottayam, approximately 63 KM away, while the nearest airport is Kochi, about 105 KM away.

Best time to visit: February and March offer the ideal conditions for paragliding.

5. Muzhappilangad Beach, Kannur – Majestic Drive-In Beach

For those who revel in the pleasure of driving, Muzhappilangad Beach is a vision come true. It is one of the longest drive-in beaches globally and ranks among the rare coastal paradises in India where cars and motorcycles can cruise along the shore. This makes it an extraordinary destination for road trips in Kerala, particularly during April when it hosts a vibrant beach festival. Apart from its appeal for beach stunts, this beach also serves as a natural haven where numerous endangered bird species can be spotted. Its breathtaking landscape offers the perfect backdrop for stunning Instagram photographs!


How to reach: The beach is situated approximately 15 KM from Kannur, which is also home to a railway station. The nearest airport is Kozhikode, about 90 KM away from Kannur.

Ashtamudi Lake, Kollam

Best time to visit: August to March

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6. The Mesmerizing Ashtamudi Lake in Kollam

While Kumarakom and Alleppey are famous for the renowned Kerala backwaters, there is a hidden gem just a short distance away – Ashtamudi Lake. This stunning lake, with its eight branching waterways, is considered one of the most incredible and less explored places in Kerala. It is a haven for diverse bird species and is even designated as a protected reserve for these majestic creatures. To truly immerse yourself in its beauty, embark on a traditional Kerala boat ride and let the serene ambiance envelop you.

Kolukkumalai Estate, Idukki

How to Reach: The nearest railhead is located in Kollam, approximately 11 KM away, and the closest airport is Thiruvananthapuram, around 70 KM away.

Optimal Time to Visit: August to October

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7. Kolukkumalai Estate, Idukki – A Tea Wonderland at the Top of the World

If you are an avid traveler who craves venturing to the highest destinations on earth, then Kolukkumalai should definitely be on your list. Situated at a breathtaking altitude of 7,900 feet, Kolukkumalai Estate proudly claims the title of the highest tea estate worldwide. With a working tea factory that has been in operation since the 1900s, this estate offers not only panoramic vistas of the Nilgiris but also a haven for nature enthusiasts. Additionally, the thrilling jeep ride to the tea estate adds an element of excitement, ensuring that Kolukkumalai remains one of the most unexplored and captivating places in Kerala.

Soochipara Waterfalls, Wayanad

How to Arrive: Take a jeep from the town of Suryanelli, which is approximately 23 KM away from Munnar. The closest railhead to Munnar can be found in Aluva, approximately 114 KM away, while the nearest airport is in Kochi, roughly 130 KM away.

Perfect Time to Explore: Throughout the year

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8. Marvelous Soochipara Waterfalls in Wayanad

Source of the Breathtaking Image

Prepare yourself for an overwhelming sense of joy as you witness the majestic Soochipara Falls! This stunning waterfall showcases the wonders of responsible tourism, as the entire area is completely free of plastic. Gone are the days of encountering stray water bottles or wrappers while mesmerized by the beauty of the falls. Located in a picturesque valley in Wayanad, Soochipara Falls remains one of the most underrated and pristine destinations in Kerala. To reach these cascading wonders, you must embark on a thrilling trek through hilly terrain surrounded by lush forests.

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