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Kerala Pilgrimage

Kottayam, Kerala

Siva Temple, Thalikkotta
The Siva Temple is situated in Thalikkotta, about 2 kms. from Kottayam. This temple is the place of worship of the erstwhile Thekkumkoor royal family. The annual festival are ten day Festival in April-May and Siarathri in January-February.

St. Mary’s Church, Cheriapalli
St. Mary’s Church is situated in Cheriapalli, about 2 kms. from

Siva Temple, Thalikkotta, Kerala

Kottayam. This church was built in 1579 by Thekkumkoor Maharaja. This church displays outstanding architecture which is a blend of Kerala and Portuguese styles. The walls are adorned with beautiful murals made in oriental and western styles on biblical and non biblical themes.


Thazhathangadi Valiapalli
Thazhathangadi Valiapalli was built in 1550 AD, about 2 kms. from west of Kottayam town. This church belongs to the Knanaya Orthodox Syrian Community. The Persian cross, believed to be one of the seven cross brought here by St. Thomas, and the Pahlavi inscriptions of this church are famous.

Thirunakkara Mahadevar Temple

Thirunakkara Mahadevar Temple is situated in the heart of Kottayam town. This 500 year old temple was built by the Thekkumkoor Maharajah. This temple is built in the Kerala style of architecture and has colorful murals on its walls which are worth exploring. The Koothambalam, the special building in the temple premises used for cultural purposes, is one of the best in Kerala.

Dharmasastha Temple, Pakkil

The Dharmasastha Temple is situated in Pakkil, about 3 kms. from Kottayam town. The Dharmasastha Temple is one of the eight temples established by Parasurama, the legendary founder of Kerala. The annual festival is Sankranti Vanibhyam, a fair of household articles which is celebrated in June-July.

Mahadevar Temple, Ettumanoor

The Mahadevar Temple is situated in Ettumanoor, about 12 kms. north of Kottayam town. The Mahadevar Temple is famous for its murals, especially the painting of Nataraja in the gopuram and ezharaponnana (the seven and half elephants finished in gold). the annual festival is Ezharaponnana ezhunallathu which is celebrated for 10 days in February-March.

Shiva Temple, Vaikom

Shiva Temple is situated in Vaikom, about 40 kms. from Kottayam town. Shiva Temple is associated with the legendary Parasurama. This temple is a typical example of the Kerala style of temple architecture. This temple is more popularly known as the Kasi of the South. This temple is famous for its elephant pageants and traditional art performances. The annual festival of this temple is Vaikathashtami which is celebrated in November-December.

St. Thomas Church, Cherpungal

St. Thomas Church is situated in Cherpungal. St. Thomas Church is believed to have been established by the apostle St.Thomas. This church was relocated to the southern banks of the Meenachil River with the cooperation of poet Kunchan Nambiar and his family. In 1107, the Valiapalli was built on the original site. Oil is poured into lamps and kept before the image of infant Jesus. This ritual is similar to the devotional practices of Hindus.

Pazhayapalli, Changanacherry

Pazhayapalli is the 950 year old mosque and one of the most famous mosque in Central Travancore. Pazhayapalli is situated in Changanacherry, about 21 kms. from Kottayam. The annual festival, Thangal adiyanthiram, is well known and marked by a grand community feast. Meat and two tones of rice, offered by the devotees, is used to prepare biryani for the community feast on this day. The Chandanakuddam festival at the mosque is one of the largest crowd pulling events in Changanacherry town.

Saraswathi Temple, Panachikkad

Saraswathi Temple is situated in Panachikkad. Saraswathi Temple, also known as the Mookambika Temple of the South, holds the Saraswathi (goddess of learning and the arts) pooja every year in October-November. Children are initiated into the world of letters at the Vidyarambham ceremony held here.

Kozhikode, Kerala

Tali Temple
Tali Temple was built in the 14th century by Swamy Thirumulpad, the Zamorin. Revathy Pattathanam, the annual cultural and intellectual festival is held in this temple. The Tali Temple is a fine example of the total integration that exists between wood and laterite, and which is a remarkable feature of the Kerala style of architecture.


The stone inscriptions found in the Muccunti Mosque at Kuttichira reveals an interesting aspect in the history of the Zamorins of Kozhikode and their patronage of Islam in Kerala. The architecture of this mosque and other old mosques bears great resemblance to the typical Hindu temple complex with pillars, ventilators and huge tanks, as well as decorative features such as stylized floral carvings and geometric designs.


Mannur Temple
Mannur Temple was built like the Siva Temple at Tiruvannur. This exquisitely carved laterite structure is more than two centuries old. It is believed that Sree Parashuraman begin his Siva Linga pratistha at Tiruvannaur and completes it here every noon. The noon pujas here are considered very special. The annual Sivaratri festival is celebrated in a big way.

Varakkal Devi Temple

The Varakkal Devi Temple is considered to be the 108th and the last Devi temple built by Sree  Parasurama, the legendary founder of Kerala. It is believed that Parasurama ploughed this area in order to make the goddess appear. The Vavu Bali is the main festival in the temple where thousands of people gather here to perform the ancestral activities. On this day, the sea can be seen as surprisingly calm as if facilitating the religious observances.

Malappuram, Kerala

Pazhayangadi Mosque
Pazhayangadi Mosque is situated 18 kms. east of Manjeri, on the way to Malappuram. The three day long Valia Nercha feast at this 500 year old Muslim pilgrim centre is celebrated in February-March and is a local cultural event.

Trikandiyur Shiva Temple

The idol at this ancient temple is said to have been installed by Parasurama, the legendary creator of Kerala. The temple is located near the town of Tirur and attracts devotees from far and wide.

Malappuram, Kerala Pilgrimage


Thirunavaya is situated on the banks of the river Bharathapuzha and is a place of great historical importance. This place was one of the venues for Mamangam, a grand assembly of the rulers of Kerala, that is held once in every 12 years. This extravagant festival was conducted for the last time in 1755. Today, the annual Sarvodaya Mela is held in Thirunavaya. The Thirunavaya Navamukunda Temple is also a famous pilgrim centre. During Karkidakavavu, people gather on the banks of the Bharathapuzha river to perform the pithrukriya for the departed souls.


Thirumandhamkunnu Temple
Thirumandhamkunnu Temple is dedicated to the goddess Durga. This is an important pilgrimage centre in Malappuram. The Pooram festival is celebrated here in the month of April that attracts large number of devotees. A unique custom here is the arrival of Vellatbiru in the Pooram ground to give audience to the Malayankutty, the headman of the Pana tribal community. Kalampatu is an important offering here. Mangalya pooja, Rigvda laksharachana and Chandattam are other important poojas.

Jama-at Mosque

The Jama-at Mosque is an important pilgrimage centre of the Muslims in Kerala. Nercha, the four day annual festival is celebrated at the mosque in April. Adjoining the mosque is the mausoleum of the Malappuram Shabeeds (martyrs) whose brave exploits have been immortalized in the Mappila ballads.

Sree Kadampuzha Bhagavathy Temple

Sree Kadampuzha Bhagavathy Temple is dedicated to Kirathaparvathi. There is no idol in this temple. Poojas are performed at a hole (about 6 cm in diameter) into which the goddess is said to have disappeared after showing her presence to Adi Sankaracharya. One of the important feature is the Poomoodal, offering of flowers of thecchi (Ixora indica). Mutturakkal is another offering made by breaking coconuts.

Palakkad, Kerala

Thrithala is known for its monuments and historic ruins. The Siva Temple and the ruins of a mud fort near Thrithala on the Chalissery road are the famous cultural monuments. The Kattilmadam Temple, a small granite Buddhist monument on the Pattambi-Guruvayoor road, is of great archaeological importance. This temple belongs to the 9th or 10th century AD. The Paakkanaar memorial, that honours the Pariah saint, stands near Thrithala Koottanad road. This is also the native place of renowned writer and social reformer, V T Bhattathiripad.

Jain Temple of Jainimedu

The Jain Temple of Jainimedu is situated on the Western suburbs of the Palakkad town. This historic 32 feet long, 20 feet wide granite temple displays images of the Jain Tirthankaras and Yakshinis. The region around the temple, known as Jainimedu, is one of the few places in Kerala where the vestiges of Jainism have survived. It is in a Jain house here, where the famous poet Kumaranasan wrote his monumental famous poem 'Veenapoovu' which means the 'Fallen Flower'.

Ongallur Taliyil Shiva Temple

Ongallur Taliyil Shiva Temple is situated near Pattambi in Palakkad. This temple has some of the most intricate laterite sculptures in Kerala.


It is believed that the waters of the Thenari natural spring, located in front of the old Sree Ram Temple here, is as sacred as the water of the Ganges. Legend goes that when Lord Rama and Sita were on exile. One day Sita felt thirsty and there was no water nearby. Lord Rama used his bow and arrow made a spring to quench Sita's thirst.

Thiruvegappura Sankaranarayan Temple

The Thiruvegappura Sankaranarayan Temple in Palakkad district dates back to the 14th century, while its Koothambalam (Temple Theater) was probably added in the 15th or 16th century.

Pathanamthitta, Kerala

The Rakthakanta Swamy temple and the annual cattle fair held in the Malayalam month of Meenam are the main attraction of Omallur. People from both within and outside the state participate in the fair.


Sabarimala is one of the most famous pilgrimage centres in India. Sabarimala is situated on the mountain ranges of the Western Ghats at an altitude of 914 m above sea level and is accessible by foot from Pamba (4 km). The temple is dedicated to Sree Ayyappa who is regarded as the guardian of the mountaineers. This temple is open from November to mid January. Mandalapooja and Makaravilakku are the two main festivals which are celebrated during this season. The

Sabrimala Temple

temple stays closed during the rest of the year except for the first five days of every Malayalam month and during Vishu. People of all castes and creeds are permitted inside the temple, except the women between 10 to 50 years of age.


Aranmula is the picturesque Hindu pilgrimage centre on the banks of Pamba river, famous for its rich culture and heritage. Aranmula is the place where the splendid Onam festival boat races take place. The famous Aranmula boat race is held every year in the month of Chingam (Aug.-Sept.), commemorating the consecration of the 5 feet idol of the presiding deity and said to be endowed with the form of Hari (Lord Vishnu) and spirit of Lord Shiva. The Parthasarthi temple, dedicated to Sree Krishna on the banks of the holy river Pamba attracts large crowds of devotees. It was declared as a Heritage (INTACH) and is believed to be the only place in the world to manufacture the traditional non-refractive metal mirrors called as Aranmula Metal Mirrors. These mirrors were supposed to be used in Italy and Crete in 2000 and 3000 BC.


Thiruvalla is the headquarters of the Malankara Marthoma Syrian Church. The Paliakara Church in Thiruvalla has some exquisite mural paintings. The Sree Vallabha temple in Thiruvalla is perhaps the only temple in Kerala where Kathakali is performed as a ritual offering everyday.


Kaviyoor is situated on the banks of the Manimala river, and famous for its temples. The Hanuman temple is situated on a small hillock and is built in the gable style of architecture peculiar to Kerala. The rock cut Shiva temple, half a kilometre away, is of great archaeological significance. This temple belongs to the 18th century AD, and bears close resemblance to the Pallava style of architecture. The stone engravings here are among the earliest specimens of stone sculpture in Kerala.


As a holy town, Pandalam is perhaps second only to Sabarimala. Sree Ayyappa, the presiding deity of Sabarimala had his human sojourn as the son of the Raja of Pandalam. The Valiyakoikal temple near the palace on the banks of river Achenkovil was mdelled on the Sabarimala shrine. Pilgrims usually stop here to worship before proceeding to Sabarimala. Three days prior to the Makaravilaku festival, the sacred ornaments of Sree Ayappa are taken in a procession from Pandalam to Sabarimala.

Manjanikara Church

Mar Ignatius Elias III, the holy patriot of Anthiod while on his visit to India, died at this place in 1932. Later this place was developed into a pilgrim centre. The annual festival is held in the month of February.


Maramon, near Kozhencherry is the venue of the largest religious convention of Christians from all over the world. It is attended by people from all communities. The convention wwhich is usually held in February is addressed by religious thinkers and Christian scholars from all over the world. This is perhaps the largest Christian convention in Asia.

Thekkady, Kerala

Mangala Devi Temple
Mangala Devi Temple is hidden in the dense woods at the top of a peak 1337 m above sea level. The ancient temple is built in the traditional Kerala style of architecture. Visitors are allowed here only on the Chithra Pournami festival day. The peak commands a panoramic view of the eastern slopes of the ghats and some hill villages of Tamil Nadu.

Thrissur, Kerala

Kodungallur is a seaport town situated about 50 kms from Kochi on the west coast of India. St. Thomas was supposed to have landed at Kodungallur, here in 52 A.D. The St. Thomas Church established by him here houses ancient relics. Cheraman Juma Masjid is located about 2 kms. from Kodungallur town and resembles a Hindu temple. This mosque was built in 629 AD and the first mosque in India and second in the world where Juma prayers were started. The other places of interest are Cheramanparambu, the anient Portuguese fort and Thiruvanchikulam Temple.

Vadakkumnathan Temple

The Vadakkumnathan Temple is one of the oldest temples in Thrissur. The Vadakkumnathan Temple is a classic example of the Kerala style of architecture and has many decorative murals and pieces of art. The world famous Pooram festival is also celebrated here annually in April-May. The fireworks at the Pooram festival are a spectacular sight. The non-Hindus can't visit the temple.


Guruvayoor is one of the most sacred and important pilgrim centres of Kerala. The main attraction in Guruvayoor is the Sree Krishna Temple. This historic temple is shrouded in mystery. According to local people, the temple is the creation of Guru, the perceptor of the Gods and Vayu, the God of winds. The eastern nada is the main entrance to the shrine. In the Chuttambalam (outer enclosure) is the

Guruvayoor Temple

tall 33.5 m high gold plated Dhwajastambham (flag-post). There is also a 7 m high Dipastambham (pillar of lamps), whose thirteen circular receptacles provide a truly gorgeous spectacle when lit. The square Sreekovil is the sacred sanctum sanctorum of the temple that houses the main deity. Within the main temple there are also the images of Lord Ganesh, Lord Ayyappa and Edathedattu Kavil Bhagavathy. Only Hindus can visit the temple. The temple has the largest fleet of about 50 elephants. They are taken around the town in a grand procession during the festivals.


Irinjalakuda Koodal Manikyam Temple
Irinjalakuda Koodal Manikyam Temple is situated 10 km away from Irinjalakuda railway station. This ancient temple is dedicated to the Lord Bharata, the brother of Sri Rama. Its is perhaps the only temple in India where Lord Bharata is the main deity. The colourful eleven day annual festival with a pageant of thirteen caparisoned elephants is held in April in this temple. This festival marks the end of the Hindu temple festival season in Kerala.

Matha Mariam Big Church

Matha Mariam Big Church is also known as Valiapally. This grand church was built in 1815 and the oldest church in the town. This church is known for its exquisite carvings and carries the whole of Christianity in Thrissur. It is a must visit place in the town. Lourdes Cathedral and Church of Our Lady of Dolores are other important churches of the town.

Trivandrum, Kerala

Sree Padmanabha Swami Temple
The most famous temple of Trivandrum is the beautiful Sree Padmanabha Swami temple, that is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. This temple is located inside the East fort. This temple is perfect blend of Kerala and Dravidian styles of sculpture and architecture. It is known for its mural paintings and stone carvings. This temple is one of the 108 sacred Vishnu temples in India. In this temple, the Lord Vishnu reclines on Anantha, the serpent. Only Hindus in traditional attire can enter this temple.


Padmanabha Swami Temple, Trivandrum

Vizhinjam Rock cut Cave Temple
In the Vizhinjam Rock cut Cave Temple, there are rock cut sculptures of the 18th century. The granite cave here encloses a one-celled shrine with a loose sculpture of Vinanadhara Dakshinamurthi. The outer wall of the cave temple depicts half complete relics of the Hindu God Shiva with goddess Parvathi.


Varkala is an important Hindu centre of pilgrimage. The final refuge of the Sree Narayan Guru, the great social reformer is located near Varkala, on the top of hill, called Sivagiri. According to the myths, the sage Narada was approached by a group of mendicants who confessed to have been sinned. The Narada threw his valkkalam (cloth made of the bark of a tree) into the air, and the place where it landed was known as Varkala. The mendicants were directed by the Narada to offer their prayers in the newly created place by the seashore. The place where they prayed for redemption was known as the Papanasham (redemption from sins) Beach. The main attractions here are the 2000 year old Sree Janardhana Swamy Temple.

Wayanad, Kerala

The Glass Temple
The Glass temple is located on the slope of Vellarimala, about 20 kms away from Kalpetta. This temple is dedicated to Parswanatha Swamy of the Jains. The mirrors inside the temple walls reflect images of the icons in the temple’s sanctum sanctorum.

Thirunelly Temple

The Thirunelly Temple is situated 32 km northeast of

Glass Temple, Wayanad

Mananthavady in the Wayanad district of Kerala. It is surrounded by Kambamala, Karimala and Varadiga, and an excellent example of temple architecture. The shrine is shielded with 30 granite columns and the ground is paved with huge square pieces of granite. The crystal clear waters of the Papanasini River running downhill adds the enchantment to the place.


Valliyurkavu Bhagavathy Temple
The Valliyurkavu Bhagavathy temple is dedicated to goddess Durga. The two week long festival, celebrated in the month of February is one of the major festival which is visited by hundreds of tribes.


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