Best historical spots to visit in Kerala

Best historical spots to visit in Kerala

It is not surprising that Kerala has a history that spans over thousands of years, having seen everything from ancient civilizations to colonial influences. Prominently known for its spice trade dating as far back as 3000 BC, Kerala was known as the land of the Chera dynasty in its rich past. Interestingly, many also believe its name comes from the Malayalam words 'Kera' and 'Alam', which together mean 'land of coconuts'.  

If you are a history buff, you will find plenty of historical spots to visit in Kerala that will take you back in time and give you a glimpse of its glorious past. From the richest temple in the world to caves with the oldest rock art in India, Kerala has many historical wonders waiting to be uncovered by avid travellers.

Here are some of the best historical spots to visit in Kerala:

Padmanabhaswamy Temple

No trip to Kerala is complete without paying homage to the world's richest temple – the famous Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram, a mere 10 km from Kovalam. It is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, worshipped here as Padmanabha, meaning "one with a lotus in his navel". The temple ranks amongst 108 Divya Desams, the holy abodes of Vishnu, and has a history of over 1000 years attached to it. Its unique architectural style combines the Kerala and Dravidian styles. It has a massive gopura (tower) at the entrance, a stone corridor around the sanctum sanctorum, and several mandapams (halls) and shrines within the complex that will surely mesmerize you.

Mattancherry Palace

How about dipping your feet into Kerala's colonial past? The Mattancherry Palace is a good place to start. The Portuguese built this palace in 1555, and it was later renovated by the Dutch in 1663. It is also known as the Dutch Palace, showcasing both cultures' art and architecture. The palace has a museum that displays paintings, weapons, furniture, and other artefacts from the royal families of Kochi.

Padmanabhapuram Palace 

Kerala has a long-established connection with royalty, best reflected in its palaces. The most prominent of them is the Padmanabhapuram Palace, which was the seat of power of the Travancore kingdom from 1550 to 1750. It is one of the finest examples of traditional Malayali architecture, with intricate woodwork, carvings, murals, and paintings. The palace has a hall of a thousand pillars, a clock tower, a secret passage, and a four-storeyed library.

Bekal Fort

Relive the environs of Kerala's glorious battles of the past when visiting Bekal Fort. It is the largest and best-preserved fort in Kerala, dating back to the 17th century and built by Shivappa Nayaka of Keladi. He became Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan's captive later. The fort is circular, with bastions, tunnels, observation towers, and a moat. The fort offers a panoramic view of the Arabian Sea and the surrounding landscape.

Edakkal Caves 

These caves are in the Wayanad district of Kerala and contain some of India's oldest rock art. The caves have two chambers, with petroglyphs dating back to the Neolithic period (6000 BCE to 3000 BCE) that depict human figures, animals, symbols, and geometric patterns in them.

Astonishing, right? The magic of Kerala's historical heritage continues to mesmerize people worldwide. Once your trip back in time is over for the day, the best place to relax in utmost luxury is a 5-star beach resort, such as the famous The Leela Kovalam – A Raviz Hotel and The Leela Ashtamudi, A Raviz Hotel. Unwind in the best way possible so that you are ready to explore even more of Kerala's hidden historical gems the next day!