Things to Remember While Planning a Kerala Trip
Kerala is a Place that you can’t resist while planning a holiday trip. The never ending scenic beauty of this land has remained a wonder for every traveler visit here. A well planned trip to Kerala will never disappoint you. For a hassle free Kerala trip keep these points in your mind while planning a trip to Kerala. I hope these points will help you in planning your Kerala tour.
- Kerala requires a lot of time to explore fully so make sure about the number of days you can spend for your Kerala tour before finalizing the destinations.
- Travel light:-the lightest you pack your luggage, the more of comfortable you feel .Travelling light might give you extra space in your bags for the items you tend to buy in “GODS OWN COUNTRY”
- Climate: – Always check the climate of Kerala before you plan your visit. Kerala has a tropical climate and so is warm throughout the year except the destinations like Munnar,Thekkady and Wayanad .But these places like Munnar,Thekkady are less advisable during monsoons, Always try to wear light cotton clothes while visiting Kerala. There are several beaches & lakes so be prepared with your swimming Gear and do not forget to bring your sunglasses, hats, umbrellas & sunscreen lotions.
- Best season to visit Kerala is from October to April. Weather during these season is pleasant and mild.
CLIMATE OF KERALA
Kerala is blessed with pleasant climate .The Average Temperature of Kerala is between 18° C to 32° C.
Winters in Kerala are from October to February. this period of time is the most suitable months for Kerala holidays. Winter in Kerala is different from other parts of the country. It is not that much cold like rest of the India. It is the best time to visit beaches and enjoy the backwaters
Summers in Kerala are from March to May during these time weather is little hot and humid. But hill stations like Munnar and Thekkady having pleasant weather and it is best time to visit hill stations
Monsoon in Kerala is from June to September. This period of time is best for Ayurvedic treatment. Hill stations are not preferred during monsoons
|AVERAGE TEMPREATURE OF KERALA||MIN||MAX|
|SUMMER SEASON||32° C||36° C|
|WINTER SEASON||18° C||28° C|
|MONSOON SEASON||19° C||30° C|
HOW TO REACH KEARLA
Kerala is easily accessible well connected by all Major system of transport.
Three International Airports in Kerala are Cochin (also known as Kochi) Trivandrum (also Known as Thiruvanthapuram) and Calicut (also known as Kozhikode). If your travel Itinerary Include destinations like Cochin,Munnar,Alleppey and Kumarakom then it is advisable to book your onward and return Journey from Cochin . If you have enough of days for your Kerala holidays and your Kerala Holiday includes Cochin, Munnar, Alleppey, Kovalam, Trivandrum and Kanyakumari then we would like to suggest you to book your onward journey up to Cochin and Return Trip from Thiruvanthapuram. Kozhikode Airport is suitable only for Travelers visiting Wayanad.
AIRPORTS WITH CONTACT NUMBER AND CODE
Cochin International Airport(COK)
Trivandrum International Airport(TRV)
Calicut International Airport (CCJ)
Airport Authority of India (South India)
Customer care desk- 1800227722
Mobile – 08025548888
Contact numbers of Major Airlines
Air India :-1800 180 1407 / 1800 22 7722
Indigo Airlines :-099103 83838
Spice Jet :-098718 03333
Jet :-1800 22 3020** / 3989 3333*
Go AIr :- 092232 22111
Vistara :-1860 108 9999
BY TRAIN TO KERALA
Kerala is well connected by rail networks from all over the country. There are more than 200 railway stations in Kerala. While planning your Kerala trip we would like to suggest you to book your train ticket up to Ernakulum. Cochin/Kochi is a part of Ernakulum District of Kerala State.
Railway Inquiry Number: 131
Reservation Office: 132
Ernakulum Station Codes
Ernakulum north- ERN
Ernakulum South- ERS
BY ROAD TO KERALA
Kerala is Directly connected from both Karnataka and Tamilnadu by National Highway 47,17,19 an extensive system of road connected Kerala to rest of the Country.
Kerala Highway alert Number: +91 9846100100
What to carry during your Trip to Kerala
We would like to suggest you to pack your baggage with following items for your trip to Kerala.
- Umbrella: – Carry an umbrella during your Kerala Holidays as it will protect you from the Blazing sun and sudden heavy rain.
- Torch:-It is better to carry a torch if you are planning a trekking trip
- Mosquito Repellent :- Don’t forget to carry your mosquito repellent cream because when it rains it attracts a lot of mosquitoes
- Clothes: – Light cotton clothes are recommended for your Kerala tour. But if you are travelling to hill stations like Munnar and Thekkady then it is better to carry woolen clothes along with other clothes. Heavy woolen clothes are not required in Kerala.
- Shoes: – It is better to carry a pair of Slippers along with Normal Shoes especially during Monsoon Season.
PLACES YOU MUST VISIT DURING YOUR KERALA TRIP
Most probably Cochin will be the first place you will be landing in Kerala. Cochin has a lot of sightseeing places which includes Marine drive, Chinese fishing net, Fort Cochin, Dutch palace, Jewish synagogue, Cherrai beach etc. If your Kerala Travel itinerary is short then it is better to move straight to Munnar if your first destination is Munnar
MAJOR ATTRACTIONS IN COCHIN
Cochin Marine Drive
One of the beautiful walk ways in the Heart of the City facing backwaters. It is a famous hangout of the locals. best time to visit is evening after Sun Set. Marine Drive offers options for Boat Trips to nearby islands and Back water Canal Tour.
Marine Drive Backwater Canal Tour Timings
Full Day Tour 8:15 Am to 5:30 Pm
Half Day Tour 8:15 Am to 1:00 Pm
Sun Set Tour (Seasonal) 5.30 Pm to 7.00 Pm
Marine Drive Backwater Canal Ticket Fare
INR 850/- Person for Full Day Tour
INR 600/-Person for Half Day Tour
INR 300/- Person for Sun Set Tour
Chinese fishing net
In this place you can see the unusual way of fishing. You can click pictures of sunset from here.
Known as a swimming friendly beach as waves are not strong and shallow. The Cherrai beach combines backwaters and beach a very rare combination.
Athirapally Vazhachal waterfalls
it is the most famous and largest water fall in Kerala and the only place where you can find the four South Indian species of hornbills.
Distance from Different paces to Cochin
- Cochin to Munnar : 127km/4.30 Hours
- Cochin to Thekkady: 174km/5 Hours
- Cochin to Alleppey: 57km/2 Hours
- Cochin to Kovalam: 218km/5 Hours
- Cochin to Athirapally Waterfall : 72Km/2 Hours
- Cochin to Cherrai Beach : 40 Km/1 Hours
Munnar is a must see place if you are visiting Kerala. Munnar is a hill station and one of the most beautiful places in Kerala that I ever seen. If you have plans to visit Munnar stay at least for 2 nights, you can enjoy Waterfalls, rolling hill and more than a dozen of places to see near Munnar. Most of the hotels provide NON A/C rooms in Munnar So if your trip is in summer (March – May) and require A/C Accommodation it is better to inform your travel agent in advance. Driving in hill station require some special skills so never hire taxi from airport or railway stations. Tourist Drivers in Kerala are educate, humble and keep their vehicles
Clean. Most of the cabs are owned by drivers themselves and they expect a polite behavior from you.
Places to visit in Munnar
I. Eravikulam national park: watch the Nilgiri thaws (rare species of mountain goats,) here you can find a rare tropical plant called Neelakurinji which blooms only once in 12 years.
ENTRY FEES FOR ERAVIUKULAM NATIONAL PARK
Indian – 83/- (Children – 65/-)
Foreign Nationals – 360/-
TIMINGS FOR ERAVIKULAM NATIONAL PARK
8:00 AM to 4:30 PM
ERAVIKULAM PARK CLOSED FROM FEBRUARY TO MARCH DUE TO THE CALVING PERIOD OF THAWS
- Mattupetty Dam: It is famous for its still water which reflects the tea garden around. It is easily accessible from Munnar town. If you are an adventure lover you have a chance to trek to shola forest from here.
- Cheeyappara Water Falls: It is a beautiful waterfall. It is on the way from Cochin to munnar you can click good pictures here.
- Anamudi: It is the highest peak in south India. It can be seen from Eravikulam national park. It is best place to click pictures and view of the tea estates is awesome.
- Devikulam: It is a Hill station with a awesome scenic beauty like all other destinations in Munnar and a paradise for trekkers. If you are not fond of trekking this is the place that you can avoid.
- Attukal waterfalls: This is a seasonal waterfall .It is best to stop here for photos towards your Munnar journey otherwise this place doesn’t worth a visit.
- Rose gardens: Wonderful place with different types of flowers. The best part is all flowers are defined by signs. Recommend for family tourists and children. Not a Must visit place if you are short of time.
Timings – Opening & Closing for Rose Garden: All the days of a week
Monday – Sunday: 9.00 AM – 6.00 PM
Open on all Public Holidays
Thekkady is the best place to visit if you are interested in wildlife & ecotourism activities. It is better to visit Thekkady along with Munnar. I would like to suggest to avoid Thekkady if you are on a short trip to Kerala. There is a boat ride in Thekkady which takes you around the Periyar wildlife sanctuary through the Periyar Lake. The ride takes 2 Hours and you could see wild elephants, deer’s and monkeys etc. But don’t take this ride expecting Tigers and other rare animals. Life Jacket is compulsory and I have heard people complaining about the smelly life jackets given to them for the ride. Photography is allowed during the trip but remember you will be at least 40- 60 meters away from the animals.
SOME IMPORTANT POINTS YOU SHOULD KEEP IN MIND DURING THE BOAT RIDE IN THEKKADY
- Boats are operated by 2 Departments, KTDC and Kerala Forest Department. Boats of Forest Department carry 60 Passengers and the capacity of KTDC boats is 120 on each ride.
- The ticket counters opens at 6:00 am but for bookings you have to reach there at least before an hour because most of the time there is a very long queue for the tickets.
- The tickets can be pre booked online from Forest Department and KTDC Websites(Kerala Tourism Development Corporation) but charges are higher for online bookings.
- Before entering the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary you have to buy the entry tickets. And this entry fee is Separate from the Boat ride tickets. Remember you may have to produce your entry tickets while purchasing the tickets for boat ride. Staff may match number of Entry tickets with the number of Boat ride tickets you want to buy. So make sure that you have purchased the entry tickets for each Person.
- Sitting on the side seats will be good during the boat ride as you can see the wild elephants and click the pictures without any disturbance from fellow travelers.
- It is best to carry a high resolution camera during boat ride to click photographs of wild animals.
PERIYAR WILDLIFE SANCTUARY ENTRY TIMMINGS
6:00 AM TO 6:00 PM All days of the week
Periyar wildlife sanctuary Entrance Fees
INR 33/- For Indians
INR 450/- For foreigners
INR 50/- For Vehicle Parking
Thekkady Boat Ride Timings
- 9:30 Am
KTDC BOAT RIDE CHARGES IN THEKKADY
RS 150/ at Ticket Counter
Rs 500/- for online Pre booking through KTDC
FOREST DEPARTMENT BOAT RIDE CHARGES IN THEKKADY
Rs 225/- at Ticket counter
Rs 75/- for kids from 5 to 11 years
Rs 249/- for online pre booking through Forest Department
Camera fee in Periyar wildlife sanctuary
INR 100 per person for still cameras
INR 250 per person for video cameras
Distance from Different places to Thekkady
- Cochin to Thekkady : 174km/5 Hours
- Munnar to Thekkady : 85 km/2.30 Hours
- Alleppey to Thekkady : 139 km/3 Hours
- Kovalam to Thekkady : 218 km/4.30 Hours
Alleppey is famous for Kerala style house boat Journey .A houseboat cruise is a different experience and you shouldn’t miss this. House boat gives an unique experience than staying in hotels but if you are short of time you can adopt for a day trip in House Boat which is for 4 hours. Alleppey has good hotels and resorts too. Overnight stay in houseboat is an unforgettable experience.
KUMARAKOM is famous for houseboats and bird sanctuary. In Kumarakom you can find more number of luxuary resorts .if you want to avoid the noise of a city then I would like to suggest Kumarakom instead of Alleppey.
Distance from Different places to Alleppey
- Distance from Cochin to Alleppey : 57 km/2 Hours
- Distance from Munnar to Alleppey : 160km /4 Hours
- Distance from Thekkady to Alleppey : 138 Km/ 2.50 Hours
- Distance from Kovalam to Alleppey : 161 km/3 Hours
- Distance from Kumarakom to Alleppey: 32 km/45 Minutes
If you are Planning a visit to Trivandrum,it is better to stay in Kovalam. The Main attractions in Kovalam are its beaches. From Kovalam you can go for a sightseeing of Trivandrum. Tourist Attractions In Trivandrum are Museums, art gallery, Zoo and Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple famous for its treasures (some traditional dress codes are required to be followed here by both men and women. Men should wear dhotis and tie their angavastram around there waist. Women are expected to wear saree.Half Saree or Skirt is the dress code for girls .All these are available on rent at Temple premises)
Poovar beach is famous for its estuary, where backwater and sea meet. You can plan a day trip from Kovalam to Poovar or stay for one night at Poovar if time permits
VARKALA BEACH also known as Papanasham Beach is one of the best beaches in India. A place that you must visit during your trip to Kerala.
Distance from Different places to Kovalm
- Trivandrum to Kovalam : 17km/ 30 min
- Cochin to Kovalam : 218km/5 Hours
- Munnar to Kovalam : 282 km/6.30 Hours
- Thekkady to Kovalam : 219 km/4.30 Hours
- Alleppey to Kovalam: 161 km/3 Hours
- kanyakumari to Kovalam : 82 k/1.40 Hours
- Poovar Beach to Kovalam: 17 km /32 min
- Varkala Beach to Kovalam :32 km/1 Hours
Kanyakumari is in Tamilnadu is one of the most exotic tourist destinations to visit in south India. If you are travelling up to Trivandrum then I recommended to visit this place. To watch the vibrant Sunset and Sunrise you have to stay for one night at Kanyakumari. Vivekananda rock is the main attraction of Kanyakumari.
Distance from Different places to Kanyakumari
- Trivandrum to Kanyakumari : 90 km/2 Hours
- Cochin to Kanyakumari : 294 km/6 Hours
- Munnar to Kanyakumari : 336 km/6.45 Hours
- Thekkady to Kanyakumari :349 km/6 Hours
- Alleppey to Kanyakumari: 237 km/4.45 Hours
- Kovalam to Kanyakumari : 82 km/1.45 Hours
Wayanad is a part of North Kerala. Approximately 300 Km from Cochin. A 03 Night stay is required to see all sightseeing places in Wayanad. This Tourist Destination is situated far from other famous tourist destinations of Kerala so I suggest you not to combine your Kerala Travel Itinerary with Wayanad and Munnar,Alleppey etc.
Main Attractions in Wayanad
Banasura Sagar Dam:
Distance from Different places to Wayanad
Cochin to Wayanad: 267 Km/5.30 Hours
Munnar to Wayanad: 357 Km/7.30 Hours
Thekkady to Wayanad: 395 Km/8 hours
Alleppey to Wayanad: 312 Km/6 Hours
Thiruvanthyapuram to Wayanad: 461 km/8 Hours
VEHICLES TO SELECT IN KERALA
Choosing of vehicle is to be based on your comfort level and the number of people travelling together. Indica, Indigo, Benz, Audi etc are good for 1 to 3 Persons. For 4 to 7 People are travelling together tavera/ Toyoto Innova is advisable. If more than 7 people are travelling you can choose Tempo Traveler. If Tempo Traveler is your requirement please understand it is available with 12, 14, 17, 19, seats with Normal and Push Back 2×1 Seats. For groups 27, 35 and 49 seat Coaches are available
WHAT TO SHOP IN KERALA
Shopping is an important part of travelling especially when you are visiting truly exotic destination like Kerala. During your Kerala holidays you come across a wide range of souvenir items that reflects Kerala’s culture, history, Art & Socio-religious aspect. Below mentioned Items are some of the attractive and unique handmade products like Aranmula Kannadi (metal mirror), Mural paintings, Kasavu saree (sari with golden brocade), Nettor petti (Traditional Jewellery box), Nettipatham (Caparison of Elephant), Kathakali models, coir products and many other items
Religion in Kerala is a mixture of different faiths, while visiting Kerala you may respect the culture and heritage of the state. In temples mosques and church you should keep footwear outside. Most of the temples allow non-Hindus too. Some temples follow some strict dress codes also.
Out of the 33.9 Million People in Kerala About 56% of Kerala population are Hindus, 24% Muslims and 19% Christians and remaining 1 % constitute Jain, Sikhs, Buddhists and Jews. But people of Kerala live in religious harmony and not much bothered about their religious status.
Kerala is a land where festivals never end, They Unfold the rich & varied culture of the God’s own country by combining mirth & joy. These are some of the most popular festivals of Kerala like onam, Thrissur pooram, Theyyam festival and the famous boat race.
PEOPLE OF KERALA:-
Knowledge of local customs and way of life will help you to interact with People of Kerala. People are very friendly and down to earth. Kerala is only state in India which has the highest literacy rate. Most people are conversant in English.
CUISINES OF KERALA:-
Like every other states of India Kerala too have its own traditional cuisines. The cuisines of Kerala include varieties of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. Kerala is also known as land of spices. The food is generally spicy but if you are not fond of spices you can try out various dishes like Appams, Idlli’s etc. If you are non-vegetarian the sea food specialties are something that you can’t afford to miss. Many Restaurants in Kerala offer North Indian, Gujarati and Jain foods as well
AYURVEDIC TREATMENT IN KEARLA
Kerala is very famous for its ayurvedic treatment and medicines. If you are planning any sort of ayurvedic treatment Kerala is a best place for that. The two renowned ayurvedic centers in kerala are kottakalarya vaidya shala near Kozhikode and vaidyarathnam thaikkattussari oushadashala near Thrissur with many other popular ayurvedic centers. But there are many unauthorized ayurvedic centers are also there so make sure that you have chosen the Authorized Centre for consultation and treatment.
SAFETY PRECAUTIONS WHILE TRAVELLING IN KERALA
There are many tips to keep in mind while travelling in Kerala like health precautions, safety measures etc…..
- Always use purified water. Drinking & eating from roadside vendors is not advisable. Avoid Cut fruits.
- Carry Mosquito repellent cream during Monsoon Season
- Try to get all your vaccinations at least before 4 weeks of your travel date.
- Don’t accept food items from strangers while travelling by Train/public Transport.
- You are not allowed to touch/ take pictures of idols in temples of Kerala
- There are some Seasonal diseases in Kerala during Monsoon like Dengue, cholera, Water infection etc…
- Avoid wearing Provocative or Revealing clothes in Public Places during your trip to Kerala.
- Public display of affection is not recommended in Kerala and other parts of India
- Usually Elephants don’t harm you but I suggest you not to touch/feed them in the absence of their Mahout (Master of Elephant).