Kerala, a land of rich culture, amazing traditions, vivid customs, and a state that holds abundant wildlife. There is so much that this coastal state offers to people in need of a perfect holiday. The everlastingly beautiful Kerala is a part of South India, popularly known as “God’s Own Country.’ People from distant nations visit this verdant land to catch a glimpse of the unique traditions and culture, mesmerizing temples, tranquil backwaters, and of course the unspoiled tropical beauty of Kerala.
If you are planning to explore the scenic landscape of Kerala, you will be happy to know that the state embraces some of the most exotic beaches, beautiful hillstations, enthralling wildlife, and delightful Ayurvedic therapies and Spa. It is blessed with stunning mountains, lush vegetation, and exotic wildlife, which together makes it a sought after tourist destinations in Asia.
Kerala faces the Arabian Sea in the West and the Western Ghats in the East and it connects 44 rivers that flow amidst the sprawling plantations of the state. All these factors together have ranked Kerala among the top tourist destinations of the world. A place like Kerala can never disappoint you. if you are planning to holiday in Kerala then get ready to behold the captivating sight of the state in the most amazing manner.
Check out this extensive guide to learn about how to plan a trip to Kerala. It includes general advice on planning your Kerala vacation, tips on the ideal time to visit the place, tipping details, local transportation, and communication, and much more.
Take the services of an established tour operator. When travelling to a new location, though you can save some money by booking the hotel or flight yourselves, do that only if you know the place well (beforehand) or you have some relatives or friends staying there. Tour operators can select the best hotels, houseboat, and cab services for you and can also give you a good bargain for your money. Since they are expert in their profession they know which all hotels are nicely located and provide better services over the other. They can also plan out an itinerary that covers all the must-see and popular attractions (of course, this depends on your duration of travel) and also suits your personal needs.
Decide when to go to Kerala. The best time to visit, even though Kerala experiences pleasant weather throughout the year, would be in the months of October to March. These months are usually the peak season for Kerala visit.
When it comes to clothing, be comfortable. Regarding what to wear in Kerala, there is as such no restriction or rules. However, cottons are the ideal option because of the hot and humid weather. Just remember that there may be thieves there and so keeping all your valuables safe is a vital factor, to think about. Also, do not forget to take your sunglasses, hats and lots of sunscreen! If you are going to some hilly areas, like Munnar, keeping few woolen clothes will be wise. Munnar is also a cold area so be sure to pack one or two extra layers!
Choose your desired mode of transportation. In Kerala, you will have no problems in finding the most affordable and readily available means of transportation round the clock. Your travel agent would usually be arranging an all exclusive car for you. It would be included in the package. However, in case, you are on your own, one can find taxis and cabs all over Kerala. You can ask the hotel you are staying in to arrange a cab for you. Not only taxis, one can also hire a self-driven vehicle and go around the city. If you want a cheaper option, the easiest one is bus, while auto-rickshaws, trains and even boats are also affordable. It is advisable to check rates in advance when you opt to travel on an auto-rickshaw or cab to avoid any problems and confusions later. A bit of bargaining is allowed. If possible, check the rates with some authority beforehand.
When visiting any place as a tourist, consider hiring a guide for sightseeing. You can always ask your travel agent to arrange a tourist guide for you. Usually your cab driver would act as a guide also, since these package-tour drivers are normally well conversed in languages such as English and other local languages. Some even speak French, Spanish and German. Do not be fully at the mercy of the guide. Be alert. Ask for information and other help if required.
BanksBanks are open for transaction from 10:00 – 15:30 hrs on weekdays and from 10:00 – 12:00 hrs on Saturdays.
Credit CardsMain hotels, restaurants and shopping centres honour major credit cards.
Time(Hours fast (+), slow (-) on IST)USA: -10.30, Germany: – 4.30, Canada: – 10.30, France: – 4.30, Australia: + 4.30, Spain: – 4.30, UAE: – 1.30, UK: – 5:30.
Best time to VisitHigh season: September-MayMonsoon Rejuvenation programmes: June-August
Travel KitCotton outfits; hats, sunglasses, sunscreen lotion etc.
DrugsHeavy penalties including imprisonment for possession of narcotic drugs.
AyurvedaGo only to those Ayurveda centres that are classified/approved by the Department of Tourism. Click here to see the list
FoodAll standard restaurants offer a variety of cuisines including Continental, Chinese, Indian and typical Kerala food.
Emergency NumbersPolice control room: 100Fire station: 101Ambulance: 102, 108
Police HelplineWhile traveling on Highways (Highway Alert Number): 9846 100 100While traveling in Trains (Railway Alert Number): 9846 200 100Website: www.keralapolice.org
Temple CodesSome temples do not permit entry to non-Hindus. Strict dress codes are followed in most of the temples. Footwear is banned inside the temple premises.
NudityNudity is not allowed in any Kerala beach.
SmokingSmoking is banned in public places.
Footwear in HousesVisitors to most Kerala houses leave their footwear outside before entering the house.
Demonstrativeness in PublicBehaviour, demonstrating affection in public like hugging or kissing is not an accepted practice in Kerala.
Wildlife SanctuariesTo visit a wildlife sanctuary, prior permission has to be taken from the authority concerned of the sanctuary.Website: India travel advice
Knowing a little Malayalam (which is the main language along with a few other minor ones) will always help as some people are not well-versed in English.