Cherai Beach, a picturesque beach, located on the north-end of the Vypeen Island is ideal for swimming. Lined with luscious green coconut groves and paddy fields, this sandy beach is a unique combination of the sea and the backwaters, studded with seashells of various hues and shapes. Dolphines are occasionally seen here. Thick coconut groves and Chinese fishing nets on the waterfront are added attractions.
The exquisite Varaha temple of Cherai was constructed in 1869. Azheekal Sree Varaha Venkateswara temple is the only “Somporanakshetra of Naga’ type in South India with all seven avaaranas. This is also the only temple in India where both the deities of Sree Varaha and Sree Venkateswara, incarnations of lord Vishnu, are installed side by side and worshipped as a single Moorthy (God). The temple is well known for its wood carving, the Silver Pallake, the ceiling of the eastern Gopuram, and the temple tank known as “Sreevarahapuskarani”, which are unique in their artistic excellence and beauty.
Just a stone’s throw from the main beach lays the enchanting Lake Poyil, a unique place where the sea and the backwaters are divided by a narrow corridor of land. Waking at dawn to appreciate this stunning scenery, with the sun rising, the morning mist evaporating from the tranquil waters, and traditional fisherman casting their nets, is well worth the effort. Another delightful way to experience the lake is from the water. With Oceano Boating offering a wonderful cruise, and pedal boats and rowboats for hire, this is a superb way to enjoy Cherai’s scenery. You might also want to practice your angling skills and experience the thrill of catching your own fish.
Pallipuram church was built by the Portuguese in 1507 and houses an exquisite picture of Ave Mary positioned above the altar, which originated in Portugal. Surprisingly, the church survived the Dutch slaughter of Catholics and the Dutch even built a chapel and priest house for the church. Cherai cultural life would be incomplete without the festival at Pallipuram church, which takes place for 15 days and still captures the atmosphere and excitement of when it first took place
Gowreeswara Temple also known as South Pazhani, is an important Hindu pilgrimage centre in Kerala which was built in 1912. It was dedicated to Lord Muruga (Karthikeya), the God of War, whose vehicle is a peacock, whilst the idol was installed by the great Sree Narayana Guru. The temple is renowned for its legendary festival, which is a spectacular cultural and religious event. The trumpeting of more than 25 elephants, beautifully dressed woman in their finest silk sarees, people gathered around waving their hands to the magical sound of Panchavadya playing on the lawn, and the thrilling evening firework display, combine to evoke a feeling of time-honoured tradition.
(The oldest European monument in India) Built in 1503 by the Portuguese and also known as “Aya Kotta”, this fort is the oldest European monument in India. It was constructed as an outpost to safeguard the ancient port of Muziris. The Dutch captured the fort in 1661, in 1789 it was sold to the King of Thiruvathamkoor, and in 1795 it came under the ownership of the British East India Company. The three-story hexagonal structure is a very well-preserved Portuguese bastion. The fort was repaired between1596 and 1605 with a facade added in pure Manuelino style, possibly the only such building in India