17 Things To Know Before Travelling to Kerala, India
1. Destination Overview of Kerala:
Kerala is a state on the southwestern Malabar Coast of India. It was formed on 1 November 1956, following passage of the States Reorganisation Act, by combining Malayalam-speaking regions. Spread over 38,863 km2 (15,005 sq mi), Kerala is the twenty-second largest Indian state by area. It is bordered by Karnataka to the north and northeast, Tamil Nadu to the east and south, and the Lakshadweep Sea and Arabian Sea to the west. The region is known for its palm-lined beaches and backwaters, a network of canals. Kerala is also known for its diverse culture, art forms, Ayurveda treatments, and cuisine.
2. Top Activities to do in Kerala:
• Visit backwaters of Alleppey, Kumarakom, and Kollam.
• Go for a houseboat cruise.
• Enjoy the sunset at Kovalam Beach.
• Visit the hill stations of Munnar and Wayanad.
• Take a pilgrimage tour to Guruvayur Temple.
• Go on a shopping spree in Kochi.
• Explore the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary.
• Visit the Kollam and Varkala Beaches.
• Experience the culture of Thrissur.
• Take a trek to the Chembra Peak.
3. Best Places To Stay in Kerala:
• Luxury Places: Vivanta by Taj, Kumarakom Lake Resort, Marari Beach Resort.
• Mid Range: The Raviz Resort and Spa, The Casino Hotel, Le Meridien.
• Budget Friendly: Sterling Holiday Resorts, Abad Turtle Beach, Coconut Lagoon.
4. How to Travel to Kerala?:
Kerala has three major international airports, located in Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi, and Kozhikode. The best way to get around Kerala is by train. There are plenty of buses available in Kerala, both government-run and private, that run to most major cities and towns in the state. Taking a taxi is a safe and convenient way to get around.
5. Must Try Local Food and Drink in Kerala:
• Appam and Stew (February to April)
• Puttu and Kadala Curry (all year)
• Karimeen Pollichathu (June to September)
• Sadya (all year)
• Muringakka Thoran (all year)
• Pazhampori (all year)
• Banana Chips (all year)
• Tapioca (all year)
• Coconut Water (all year)
6. Best Places to Eat in Kerala:
• The Dining Room at Vivanta by Taj, Trivandrum.
• Sreepadman, Thiruvananthapuram.
• Fort House Restaurant, Kochi.
• Roots, Kochi.
• The Fisherman’s Wharf, Kochi.
• Kayees, Alleppey.
• Sea View, Varkala.
• Specialty Restaurant, Thekkady.
• Kayal, Kumarakom.
• Sree Krishna Bhavan, Thrissur.
7. Weather and Climate:
Kerala has a tropical climate, with hot and humid weather throughout the year. The best time to visit Kerala is from October to February when the weather is pleasant and the skies are clear. The months from March to May are hot and humid, and it is best to avoid travelling during these months. The monsoon season is from June to September, and the rains can make travelling difficult.
8. Local Customs and Etiquette in Kerala:
Kerala has its own unique culture and customs. It is important to be respectful of the local customs and traditions. It is advisable to dress modestly, especially when visiting religious sites. Shoes must be removed when entering a temple or mosque. Alcohol is generally not served in public places, and public displays of affection are frowned upon.
9. Popular Scams in Kerala:
Be wary of touts offering cheap accommodation and travel deals. Also, be aware of pickpockets in crowded areas. Avoid buying jewellery and other items from unlicensed street vendors. Always check your change and pay in exact change whenever possible. Do not carry large amounts of cash with you and be aware of your surroundings at all times.
10. Suggested Trip Duration:
The suggested trip duration for a first time traveller to Kerala is 8-10 days.
11. Total Estimated Budget Per Person:
Stay: Rs.3000-7000 per night
Food: Rs.400-800 per day
Activities: Rs.200-500 per activity.
Tickets: Rs.500-1500 per ticket.
12. NearBy Cities:
• Thiruvananthapuram (50 km)
• Alleppey (90 km)
• Kochi (120 km)
• Munnar (150 km)
• Kollam (175 km)
• Thrissur (215 km)
• Wayanad (250 km)
• Kozhikode (280 km)
13. Local Language and Communication in Kerala:
Malayalam is the official language of Kerala. English is widely spoken, especially in tourist areas. English-speaking guides are available at most tourist sites for a fee.
14. Accepted Currency and Money:
The Indian rupee (INR) is the accepted currency in Kerala. Credit cards and debit cards are accepted at most hotels, restaurants, and shops. ATMs are widely available, even in smaller towns. Tipping is not expected but is appreciated.
15. Health and Medical Information:
It is recommended that travellers get vaccinated against Hepatitis A, Typhoid, and Tetanus before visiting Kerala. It is also advised to take out a comprehensive travel insurance policy. Medical facilities are available in most major cities and towns.
16. Packing Tips for Kerala:
It is advisable to pack light, comfortable clothing and shoes, as the weather is hot and humid. Sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat are essential for protection from the sun. An umbrella or raincoat is also recommended for the monsoon season.
17. To sum up:
Kerala is the ideal destination for a tropical holiday, with its palm-lined beaches, backwaters, and diverse culture.