KeralaA charming state on the tropical Malabar Coast of southwestern India, Kerala borders the states of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka to its east and northeast and the Indian Ocean islands of Lakshadweep and the Maldives to its west and south respectively. A major hit among tourists all over the world in modern times, the state has contributed immensely to the country’s economy as Kerala tourism has been particularly on the upward trend for the past few years. Backwaters and wetlands; hills and mountains; forts and monuments – Kerala has it all. Kerala cruises are perhaps the most entertaining activities in this state. It is almost like you mention Kerala and you visualize the houseboats on green waters past tall trees, bushes, thickets and shrubs. Cruises in the Alleppey, Kuttanad, Kollam and Kochi are the major options for adventure lovers. One of the prime tourist attractions in Kerala, the backwater cruises in Kerala are dream experiences on houseboats or kettuvalloms that are specially designed with open lounge, one or two bedrooms with attached bathrooms and a kitchenette. Apart from the backwaters, Kerala brings to your mind some of the most elegant forms of art – the classical dances, Bharatnatyam, Kathakali and Mohiniyattam. These dances are some of the cultural representations that present India as a classic country. A recital of any of these genres during your tour to Kerala will be really rewarding. Exploring the temples and monuments of Kerala is another major tourist attraction in this state. Bekal Fort, Edakkal Caves, Guruvayoor Temple and Napier Museum are some of the places of interest that deserve visits by the tourists. Some of the wildlife reserves are among the must visits in Kerala. Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary occupies the region on either side of the Marayoor - Udumalped road, and is home to endangered giant grizzled squirrel of India, Marayoor sandal forest and the beautiful Thoovanam waterfalls. Eravikulam National Park to the north of Munnar was established primarily to protect the Nilgiri Tahr. Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary in the Idduki district is spread over Thodupuzha and Udumpanchola taluks. Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary on the banks of the Vembanad Lake is a bird lover’s paradise. You cannot end the tour to Kerala without sampling the famous Keralite cuisine. The tastes of Malabar Biriyani, Puttu, idlis, Thorans, Avials, Appams and rasam will have you craving for more. Last but not the least, Ayurveda treatments are some of the greatest lures in Kerala tourism. Evolved around 600 BC in India, this medical form, over years, has been a specialty, helping one rejuvenate bodily as well as mentally. Undergo a session of Ayurveda services at any of the resorts and you will feel yourself all new and recharged.