Kerala is sandwiched between the Lakshadweep Sea and the Western Ghats, is a narrow, fertile strip of land on the southwest coast of India. The landscape of Kerala is a gift of the sea and the mountains. Overwhelmed by Kerala's scenic splendor, a tourist once exclaimed, "The God that made Kerala had green thumbs!" It is in this tranquil land of Kerala, embellished with green that one can find an ideal getaway - an escape unwinding miles of find golden sands with the boundless blue of the Arabian Sea. No doubt then that Kerala with its beautiful landscape, intriguing customs, high-intensity cultural life and an educated public so often dressed in white has highlighted its name on the itinerary of many tourists in various parts of the world..
The word Keralam is found in the Ashoka inscriptions of the third century B.C. It is formed from Chera (the Kera/Chera people) and alam (land) meaning "the land of Cheras.
Kerala is one of the most romantic, beautiful natural attractions of the world. It can attract a traveler with vast expanse of beaches, green shades of palm trees, lowlands, and sky scraping mountains, placid lakes and some of the most picture- perfect locations of the world. The distinctive features of Kerala are ayurveda, backwaters, beach tourism and short distances. The natural beauty packed with beaches, jungles, mountains and backwaters, Kerala is a hot destination for health tourism. With age-old resources of Ayurveda, the visitors can rejuvenate their body, mind and soul.
Popular Touristic attractions in the state include the beaches at Kovalam, Cherai , Mararikulam , Kannur and Varkala; the hill stations of Munnar, Nelliampathi, Ponmudi ,Thekkady and Wayanad; and national parks and wildlife sanctuaries at Periyar and Eravikulam National Park. The "backwaters" region, which comprises an extensive network of interlocking rivers, lakes, and canals that centre on Alleppey, Kollam, Kumarakom, and Punnamada (where the annual Nehru Trophy Boat Race is held in August), also see heavy tourist traffic. Heritage sites, such as the Padmanabhapuram Palace and the Mattancherry Palace, are also visited. Cities such as Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram are popular centres for their shopping and traditional theatrical performances. During early summer, the Thrissur Pooram is conducted, attracting foreign tourists who are largely drawn by the festival's elephants and celebrants.
Thiruvananthapuram, the state capital has many tourist attractions such as Sri Padmanabhaswamy temple, Puthe Maliga Palace Museum, Velli Turist Park, CVN Kalari Sangam, Natural History Museum, Zoological Garden and Science and Technology Museum. Ponmudi, a small hill resort is just 61 Kms from Thiruvananthapuram and on the way, one can see Neyyar dam and Neyyar Wildlife Sanctury. Kovalam, a picture perfect tiny beach is a certain charm and popular with travelers looking for rest from their hectic life. The places worth visiting in and near Kovalam are Vizhinjam, Pulinkudi & Chwara, Samudra Beach and Pozhikkara beach and Varkala Beach resort. The other places to visit in Kerala are Kollam, Alappuzha, Kottayam, Ettumanur, Munnar, Kochi, Thrissur, Kozhikode, mahe, Thalasseri and Bekal.