Rains, rivers, rafting and riverside picnic spots have always held a prime position in Kerala tourism of India. Riverside picnic spots in Kerala attract domestic and international tourists in thousands. There is a series of places to visit in Ernakulam, a district of Kerala that are popular picnic spots. They can delight any travel enthusiasts.
Having had a look at the classical and modern side of the district, let us traverse through the green and wild side of it. Proximity to the Nedumbassery International Airport and other means of transportation make visiting picnic spots in Ernakulum a cool affair. Ernakulum is watered and nourished by the spiral presence of Periyar River. You need to take a special note of it on scooting away. All the picnic spots we are going to stop by are made enchanting by the river.
Thattekad Bird Sanctuary
If you start at 6.00 AM from the Nedumbassery International Airport/Angamaly railway station you can be at Thattekad by 8.00 AM. You have countless options of restaurants on the way to have your breakfast. Home to around 250 species of birds, it is the first bird sanctuary in Kerala. Climatic condition, good monsoon, the closeness of Periyar River, dense jungle combined together, make it the perfect haven for birds.
A ride on the elephant back accompanied by mahouts, can promise a better view of some of the rare birds. You can cover the area in four hours, observing domestic and migratory birds. Photography is allowed, you need to pay for it. There are homestays and hotels in the vicinity if you wish to spend more time. Else, let’s spring to next spot.
Thundam is one of the quietest and prettiest places to visit in Ernakulum, perfect for a picnic with family and friends. A spot located deep inside the forest area, caressed by Edamalayar River flowing from Periyar. Be there to marvel at nature, enjoy boat riding, trekking and bird-watching. From Thattekad, it is only 10 KMs to this mesmerizing spot. Ensure you have permission from the forest guards or accompanied by them on moving in.
By evening you can sip your tea/coffee at the picturesque location of Edamalayar Dam. It is one of the prominent water reservoirs in Kerala. In around 40 minutes’ drive from Thundam, you can be at this charming picnic spot.
The Dam is phenomenal for its fascinating natural scenery. It is said to be fashioned by Bhoothams (ghosts). Apparently, the ecotourism location forms the best of picnic spots in Ernakulum to enjoy a relaxed evening with family. Fishing, boating and trekking can keep you engaged at this popular picnic spot in the district. It is nearly 10 KMs drive from Edamalayar Dam. The dam is one of the most popular places to visit in Ernakulam.
In about 30 minutes’ drive from Bhoothathankettu, you can reach Kothamangalam Town. The town is known for the Jacobite Syrian Church established in the 1400s. It being a major town in the locality, it is best to spend the night at one of the many hotels in the region.
Morning drive to Inchthotti, a small village nearly 20 KMs away from Kothamangalam is sure to kick start your day. Situated at the backdrop of green hills and mountains, the serene waters in the lake is a view to cherish. The major attraction is the suspension bridge which is one of the longest hanging bridges in Kerala. If you have never tried kayaking, you are certain to enjoy it here in the less crowded ambience. Apart from the local roadside shops, you will not find any posh hotels or shops in the region. It is one of the tranquil places to visit in Ernakulam, an ideal picnic spot.
Do you love elephants? You must drive 25 KMs to Kodanadu from Inchthotti to witness the experience. It is a popular elephant training centre in the district. There are a few other animals that the public can observe. The picturesque location at the bank of Periyar River is one of the favourite picnic spots among family.
A dangerously beautiful spot it must be said. Located on the Periyar River, Paniyeli Poru is a very popular picnic spot among adventure lovers. Wild convergence of waters and rocky beds in the river throw caution to the visitors. Located 9 km away from Kodanadu, it is a worth visiting spot for sure.
Malayatoor Mountain is believed to have been visited by St. Thomas, an Apostle of Jesus. The Shrine on the mountain top honouring the saint is an international pilgrimage centre. It is located near to Paniyeli Port. And if you don’t mind climbing the hill, it is a great place to visit. The annual feast falls between March-April, attracts faithful in thousands. The star-lit lake at the valley on the festive season is a spectacle to watch. The shrine is one of the divine religious places to visit in Ernakulam.
Nearly 5 KMs away from the shrine is Mahogony Thottam which is a riverside picnic spot. It is a serene location to enjoy swimming in shallow waters of Periyar and to spend quiet hours. People come bringing packed food to sit together and eat.
Kalady town is the next major destination to stop by. The town is popular for being the birthplace of Adi Sankara. He was saint and philosopher of the 8th century. Sringeri Mutt Shrine built in his memory is a tourist attraction. The Keerthi Sthambam and Ramakrishna Ashramam are two other key attractions of the place, built in his memory.
Ezhattumugham is a riverside tourist place, just 15 KMs away from Kalady town. The tourist village is a favourite picnic spot among nature lovers.
Located around 25 KMs away from Kalady town is Wonderla, an amazing amusement park. With over 50 rides and games, this place is sure to exhilarate you irrespective of your age. You can be enjoyably occupied for around five hours. It is one of the happening places to visit in Ernakulam, full of entertainment and fun.
From Wonderla it takes nearly 30 minutes’ drive to reach the Nedumbassery Airport.
Few Tips for the places to visit in Ernakulam
- Most of these spots are in forest areas or close to rivers; you are advised to have a local guide with you.
- All these picnic spots are part of ecotourism. They are plastic-free zones. It is advisable not to litter the places with plastics.
- Plan your trip between November-February.
Design Credits : Nijo
A Travel enthusiast and Foodie, craving to explore the intricate beauty of nature and its gift of delectable treats. Pens down his thoughts and experiences to present a delightful journey for his readers