Kerala the southernmost state of the Indian union is popularly called the 'God's own country' or the 'Spice garden of India'. Kerala is emerging as the favorite holiday destination for tourists both within the country and abroad. The exotic sea beaches, varied cultural heritage, festivals, temples, multi cuisine food, backwaters, wild life and museums are attracting the tourists from worldwide to make this place their favorite tourist destination. Tourism is a major contributor to the state revenue. The state is committed to provide social security to the people visiting the state. The tourism department maintains its principle of ecologically sustained tourism showcasing the local culture, traditions simultaneously considering the comforts of the tourists.

Some of the major tourist attractions of the state are:

Backwaters: This is a rare site which you can find only in Kerala. Backwaters are the lagoons that lie parallel to the Arabian Sea. Kettuvallam ride which is the local name for Houseboats are the major tourist attraction. The destinations like Kollam, Alappuzha and Kumarakom are famous for backwaters. The annual boat races held during the 'Onam' festival attracts many tourists.

Hill Stations: The Munnar has emerged as the favorite destination for honey moon couples. Some of the other hill stations in the state are Ponmudi, Nelliyampathi and Wayanad. The pleasant climate is a driving factor.

Kerala Beaches: Kerala has some of the finest beaches. Kovalam Beach in Thiruvananthapuram, Varkala Beach, Cherai Beach and Alappuzha Beach are some the prominent beaches.

Wildlife: The Periyar wild life sanctuary and the Parambikulam wild life sanctuary in Palakkad is the main attractions for wildlife enthusiasts. Facilities of safari and accommodations in the Jungle amidst nature are the added delights.

Festivals: Onam is the main festival which comes in the month of Aug-Sep. It's an ideal time to visit the state both climate wise and occasion wise. 'Vishu' another festival is the New Year day for people of Kerala which falls in the month of April. Apart from these there are some religious festivals like Thrissur Pooram, Attukal Pongala, Christmas and Ramzan.

Ayurveda: Medical tourism has made the state a prominent destination. Ayurveda and naturopathy treatments are being increasingly liked by people worldwide due to minimum side effects. Treatments for some of the diseases are best in Ayurveda and this is attracting lot of people annually.

Dance forms: Kathakali, Mohiniyattam, Koodiyatom, Theyyam, Thullal, Padayani, Oppana, Thiruvathira Kali, Krishnattam Kali, Panchavadhyam, Sinkari Melam are the popular dance and music forms. The Kalamandalm schools teach these dance forms. Many foreigners also learn these dance forms. Kalaripayuttu is the oldest known martial art of the state which is taught in Kalari by a learned Guru.

Temples:The state has numerous temples, the Sabarimala Ayyappa temple attracts millions of tourists from the country in the months of Dec-Jan. Makara Sankaranthi is the main festival of the temple. Other popular temples are the Guruvayur Sree Krishna Temple, Padmanabha Swamy Temple in Thriuvananthapuram, Kadampuzha Devi Temple, Chottanikkkara and Vadakkumnatha Temple in Thrissur.

Food: The different varieties of sea foods, vegetarian 'Sadhya' or the feast during Onam provide the tourists an opportunity to savor the various delicacies of the state.

Make Kerala your next tourist destination to experience all these attractions.

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