10 Best Historical Places & Monuments in Kerala
The mention of 'Kerala' may immediately bring the images of the quaint backwaters, the pristine beaches lined with coconut trees, or the lush green meadows to your mind. However, Kerala has much more to offer. Since the southern wonder was ruled by the British, Dutch, and the Portuguese, it has traces of the colonial era and many fascinating tales behind the various monuments.
If you have a knack for exploring the unexplored or if you are a history buff, here are ten famous historical places in Kerala that you can include in your must-visit list on your next tour to God's own country
A quiet and sleepy fishing town in the southwestern part of main Kochi, Fort Kochi exudes colonial charm at every turn. The remnants of the colonial buildings, magnificent churches, and architecture will traverse you to the colonial era.
Apart from being one of the important historical places in Kerala, the town is home to many famous monuments in Kerala. The one that deserves special mention is the Paradesi Synagogue. It is the oldest synagogue in the Commonwealth, and the inside of the building has some of the most exquisite antiques on display, and the walls are covered with hand-painted tiles that will leave you in awe.
Located just about 23 km from Fort Kochi is the Club Mahindra Cherai Resort. You can book your stay here, a perfect base to enjoy exploring the beauty of this historical place and indulge in a plethora of unforgettable experiences on days when you don't want to venture out.
Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the Thirkkakudi Temple is located in the Thiruvalla taluka about one kilometre from Kaviyoor village. It is of archaeological importance because of its uncanny similarity to the Pallava-style architecture. Dating back to the 8th Century AD, the temple houses a three-feet long sculpture of Lord Shiva, and it attracts several devotees from all over India who come here to offer their prayers.
It is one of the important heritage sites in Kerala that attracts many historians from all over the world who visit this rock-cut temple to revel in its spiritual and divine vibe and know the history of the stone carvings.
Mattancherry Place, popularly known as the Dutch Palace, is now converted into a museum that houses the belongings of the yesteryear rulers or the Rajas of Kochi. It is one of the fascinating monuments located in Kochi, Kerala where you can learn the glorious history of the state through artefacts.
A simple-looking palace from the outside and painted in full white, it is built in the typical Kerala-style mansion, which is reserved only for the nobles. The palace has four separate wings with a courtyard at the centre. Take a step inside the palace, and you will surely feel the vibe of the glorious royals of the past that lived here through the various portraits that adorn the walls.
Standing strong and undeterred for more than three centuries, Bekal Fort is one of the largest and most preserved forts located in Kasaragod, Kerala. It is surrounded by a beach and offers an enchanting view of the Arabian sea from the high observation tower, which was built by Tipu Sultan.
With regards to origin, it is believed that Shivappa Nayaka built the fort in 1650. However, according to some theories, Bekal Fort, one of the historical monuments in Kerala, was in existence during the Kolathiri Rajas after the fall of the Vijayanagara Empire and later came under the rule of Hyder Ali in 1763 before being taken over by the East India Company.
The British used the fort purely for defence purposes. Later, in I992, the Government of India declared the fort a special tourism area.
Known for their exquisite carvings on the wall, the prehistoric Edakkal Caves are two naturally occurring caves located in the Wayanad District, Kerala. The massive caves measuring 96 and 22 feet lie about 1200 above sea level.
The caves are extremely popular among nature and adventure lovers. Because of its precarious location, you must trek up the hill for about two hours to reach the cave's entrance. Once you reach the top, you will be greeted by exquisite carvings on the stones that date back to the Neolithic era, which is about 5000 BC to 10000 BC old.
After a long trek and revelling in the beauty of the caves, you can peacefully retreat at the Vythiri Village, one of the affiliate Club Mahindra Resorts in Kerala. Located on a quiet hillside, the resort ensures that you enjoy every comfort you need on your vacation.
The Palakkad Fort is one of the most beautiful, historical, and well-preserved monuments in Kerala. Built by Hyder Ali in 1766, the high wall of this mighty fort is surrounded by lush green gardens on all sides. When you get closer to the fort, you will be awestruck by its brilliant architecture, a testimony to the immaculate French craftsmanship.
Earlier, the entrance to the square-shaped fort was through a drawbridge, which is now replaced by a permanent one. While you may get wonderfully lost exploring the fort and its glorious history, you also must visit the ground adjacent to it, which was once used as a stable for the horses and elephants of the Tipu Sultan's army.
Owing to its rich history and grand architecture, today, this fort in the Palakkad district is a protected monument under the Archaeological Survey of India.
The Peralassery Subrahmanya Temple, located about 15 km from Kannur in Peralassery town, is a historic site in Kerala which is also of religious and spiritual importance. Legend has it that when Lord Ram and Lord Laxman were on their way to Sri Lanka to free Goddess Sita from the clutches of Ravana, they stopped at this temple and left a bangle. If you are in Kannur, make sure to visit the temple to awaken your spiritual senses.
The Poonajar Palace is a majestic palace adorned with a collection of different types of antiques and furniture, including jewellery boxes, grain measurer, and chandeliers. Located in Meenachil Taluka, inside the palace, you can see a sculpture of Lord Nataraja, a palanquin, and a thoni for Ayurvedic massages crafted out of a single piece of wood. It is one of the best historic places in Kerala that you must not miss.
Previously known as Ganapativatom, Sulthan Bathery, located in the Wayanad district, is a peaceful and quiet town. The place came to prominence after the great ruler of Mysore, Tipu Sultan, invaded the region. Today, apart from its historical significance, the pleasant weather and the beautiful topography of the region that is laced with hills, valleys, and plains, make it one of the most visited tourist places in Wayanad.
Some of the major attractions in this historical town are the prehistoric caves, the sparkling streams, and the jungle trails where you can go on a walking or trekking expedition to get up close with nature.
Talk about historical buildings in Kerala, and Matri Dei Cathedral deserves a place in the top 10 list. Its history dates to 1513 AD and is one of the oldest churches in the Malabar region. Built in Roman-style architecture, the church houses a 200-year-old Portrait of St. Mary and is referred to as the mother of God Cathedral. The church located in Kozhikode district is of religious importance for the locals and the Christian community in Kerala.
So, you have a list of the best historical places and monuments in Kerala. Pack your bags and start ticking off the places from your list. And while you do so, don't forget to get lost in the fantastic tales and the history of the sites.