Kerala in South India is so beautiful that it is titled the ‘God’s Own Country’. Flaunting exotic flora and fauna, the experience of bliss is what lures travelers from far ends of the world. From elegant houseboats, backwaters, misty hills, spice, tea and coffee plantations, pristine seashores, Ayurvedic treatments, the state is worth exploring. While some travelers spend time at the tranquil beaches of Kovalam or Kozhikode, others prefer to walk around the beautiful hill stations like Munnar and Thekkady.
The capital of Kerala, Cochin is a city soaked in ancient history and vibrant culture. Its colonial landmarks draw a lot of attention from tourists, so do the bustling markets of Cochin. The backwaters of Kumarakom, Alappuzha, and Cochin witness a flow of visitors all around the year. The houseboats on the palm-fringed backwaters offer solitude to honeymoon couples. Families with kids have a great time at the most famous attractions in Kerala and beaches in Kerala.
Apart from the typical tourist delights, Kerala is further home to some of the most religious places in India. The Guruvayur Sree Krishna Temple in Kerala sees a massive number of devotees every year from all over the world. So, whatever your purpose might be - family vacation, honeymoon, adventure, or backpacking, Kerala has everything you are looking for!
Languages Spoken in Kerala
Malayalam is the official language of Kerala. Tamil, Tulu, Kannada, Hindi, and English are other spoken languages.
Where is Kerala located?
Kerala is located on the southwestern Malabar coast of India. It is placed between the Arabian Sea in the West and the Western Ghats (Sahyadris) in the East. The neighboring states of Kerala are Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
Why should you visit Kerala?
Kerala is a beautiful state with a network of lagoons and lakes, interconnected by canals, rivers, and bays, and the peaceful stretch of the backwaters of Kerala make it worth a visit. You can explore Kerala’s abundant wildlife, delectable cuisine, serene beaches, quaint hill stations, and get a pick into their rich culture.
If you're a nature enthusiast, there are some of the best national parks in Kerala. The most famous being the Periyar National Park. The pleasant monsoon and winter weather, scenic beauty, rolling valleys, and serene backwaters, make Kerala one of the most popular destinations in India. Visit Kerala during monsoons to rejuvenate your mind and soul with Ayurvedic treatment in Kerala.
This comprehensive Kerala travel guide is designed to help you plan your trip to Kerala and explore it like a local. Know things to do, places to visit, local cuisine, wildlife sanctuaries, adventure sports, hill stations, and more.
Beaches in Kerala
Kovalam Beach, Varkala Beach, Marari Beach, Alappuzha Beach, Bekal Beach, Cherai Beach, Kannur Beach, Kozhikode Beach
Munnar, Wayanad, Kumily, Idukki, Peermade, Devikulam
Kumarakom Backwaters, Alleppey Backwaters, Kozhikode Backwaters, Kasargod Backwaters, Backwater stretch of Ashtamudi, Kochi Backwaters, Trivandrum Backwaters
Wildlife in Kerala
Eravikulam National Park, Silent Valley National Park, Periyar National Park, Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary, Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary, Periyar Tiger Reserve
Ayurveda in Kerala
Kovalam, Kollam, Thrissur, Palakkad, Alapuzzha, Kozhikode, Cochin, Malappuram, Thekkady, Varkala
Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple, St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha, Cheraman Juma Masjid
Waterfalls in Kerala
Adyanpara Waterfalls, Attukad Waterfalls, Kalakkayam Waterfalls, Meenmutty Waterfalls, Cheeyappara and Valara Waterfalls, Aruvikuzhy Waterfalls
Mattancherry Palace, Bekal Fort, Jewish Synagogue, Krishnapuram Palace, Bolgatty Palace, Hill Palace Museum
Trekking, Camping, Paragliding, Cycling & Biking, Rafting, and other water sports
Spice Market, Connemara Market, Asparagus, Hindustan Spices and Herbals, Pulickatti Handicrafts, LuLu Mall, Centre Square Mall
Avial, Erissery, Kaalan, Koottu Curry, Olan, Parippu, Chiratta Puttu & CheruPayar, Kappa Puttu or Tapioca Puttu, Lamb with Tapioca Ularthiyathu
How to Reach Kerala
Kerala is well connected with the major states of India. You can easily reach Kerala via air, rail, or road.
Kerala has three airports, Trivandrum International Airport, Cochin International Airport, and Calicut International Airport. They can be easily reached from major parts of India and local transport can be hired to reach the desired location.
The state of Kerala has around 178 railway stations and is well connected with major destinations like New Delhi, Kolkata, and Chennai. The five major Kerala railway stations are Trichur, Trivandrum Central, Calicut, Ernakulam Junction, and Trivandrum Kochuveli.
Kerala is well connected via national highways such as NH 17, NH 47, and NH 49. These highways unite Kerala with other major states of India and are directly connected with Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. KRTC (Kerala State Road Transport Corporation) bus service can be used to reach Kerala.
How to get around Kerala
You can use taxis, cabs, state buses, motorbikes, cycles, and trains, to travel to places in Kerala. There are many trains that operate between Kochi and Kozhikode with beautiful views of the coast. Also, there are over 6,000 buses that move tourists throughout the state with a number of schedules and stopping points.
Best time to visit Kerala
The winter season i.e. from October to February is the best time to visit Kerala as the weather during this time is pleasant and comfortable for outdoor activities. Heavy rainfall happens from June to August, so it is the best time for Ayurvedic treatment. You can, therefore, select the season, depending on your needs.
- Summer (March to May)
Summers in Kerala are quite hot and humid. The evenings are pleasant and one can think of visiting Kerala in the summers. It is a good time to enjoy beach activities at Kovalam, Varkala, etc. The ThrissurPooram festival is also celebrated in late April or early May every year.
- Monsoon (June to September)
Kerala receives heavy rainfall in the monsoon that enhances the beauty of the whole state. It is also a great time for Ayurvedic treatments. Visit Idukki, Kovalam, and Wayanad to experience lush greenery.
- Winters (October to February)
Winter is the peak season in Kerala. It is ideal for planning a vacation and enjoying beautiful hill stations and riding a houseboat on Kerala backwaters. The weather remains pleasant and allows you to enjoy tourist places in Kerala more.
Places to Visit in Kerala
The serene beaches, quaint hill stations, ayurvedic treatments, adventure activities, abundant flora and fauna, backwaters, and pilgrimage sites are great attributes you get to experience in Kerala.
There are a lot of places to visit in Kerala that include hill stations like Wayanad, Munnar, Alleppey, Kovalam, Cochin, Idukki, and various national parks, wildlife and bird sanctuaries.
Things to do in Kerala
Lush green slopes with unbeatable appeal lure travelers from near and far. Kerala offers unending opportunities for adventure and relaxation. Visiting pilgrimage spots, relaxing at the beaches, indulging in water sports, rejuvenating mind and soul with yoga and meditation, witnessing rich wildlife, partaking in Kerala festivals, and more are the most eventful things to do in Kerala.
Whatever you are looking for - relaxation, adventure, solace, unique experiences, etc., you will find it in Kerala.
Where to Stay
There are numerous hotels and resorts available in different categories and tariff plans. From luxury to cost-effective accommodation, you can get a place to stay in Kerala according to your preference. The amenities and delectable meals offered at hotels here are worth your stay.
What to Eat in Kerala
Foreign influence on Kerala’s cuisine can be seen through its variety of lip-smacking dishes. When in Kerala, here are some things to eat in Kerala - Puttu and kadala curry, Sadhya (served on Onam), Appam with stew, Karimeen pollichathu, Malabar Parotta with Kerala beef curry, and Palada payasam.
Festivals and Fairs in Kerala
The festivals and fairs of Kerala unite the state together removing all barriers and celebrate every moment with vigor and enthusiasm. Some of the famous festivals are Onam (Aug/Sep), Vishu (first day of Malayam Calendar), Thrissur Pooram (April/May), Eid-ul-Fitr (Month of Shawaal - Muslim Calendar), Theyyam (Dec/Apr), Boat Race Festival (June/Sep).
Nightlife in Kerala
From luxury to cost-effective ones, Kerala has a lot of bars and lounges to chill till the wee hours of the night. Some of the best places to enjoy the nightlife in Kerala are Rex Bar in Hotel Aida, Hi Spirits, Velocity Bar and Restaurant, Ava Lounge, and Oakwood Bar.
Is it safe to visit Kerala?
Yes, it is completely safe for tourists to visit Kerala. Moreover, It is one of the safest destinations in India to travel to with family, friends, beloved, or as a group. So pack your bags and travel to Kerala to refresh your mind and soothe your eyes.
How to save money on a Kerala trip?
- Plan a visit to Kerala during the low season.
- Book your flights in advance and take an early or a late flight.
- Travel through local bus and train.
- Stay at budget places like hostels and eat in small restaurants.
- Explore off-the-beaten-track to save some pennies.
- Go on a backpacking tour.
- Avoid unnecessary shopping.
- Visit places like museums, temples, etc. that are free of cost.
Kerala Travel Tips:
- Be prepared for unpleasant beaches and flooding during the rainy season.
- Do not get confused between names, most places have two names like Alappuzha is also called Alleppey.
- You can ask the locals for help, they are very friendly.
- To avoid traveling for long hours after departure, pick your arrival airports wisely.
- If any important document gets stolen or lost, immediately inform local police stations. Your documents can be misused.
- Don’t wear revealing clothing in Kerala especially at pilgrimage sites. Take off your shoes before entering the temples.
- English is spoken widely but in smaller areas, people only speak local languages. Learn local phrases.
- Go with a registered tour guide, if needed. Local guides can charge you extra with inauthentic information.
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