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Kerala Tourism And Travel Guide
21° C / 69.8° F
October to March
4 to 7 Days
Cochin International Airport
Also known as God’s Own Country, the south Indian state is blessed with rivers, fertile land, and a rich history unique to the region. Kerala is home to a diverse atmosphere, topographically and culturally. From the Western Ghats and hill stations, to its elaborate coastal towns, and its famous lakes and backwaters, tourism in Kerala has a lot to offer to the wandering soul. Outlined below is a travel guide to Kerala, one that is made especially to help you navigate this land of backwaters at a glance.
How To Reach
An important trade centre, Kerala has many well established Road, Rail and Air routes that you can take to reach the state. Interestingly, the state also has a number of water routes available too!
Almost every part of Kerala is connected by railways, except for the Ghats section (hilly terrain). Southern Railways has it's own charm and the vertically spanned state of Kerala is thoroughly meshed with railway lines ensuring easy inter-state connectivity. The tickets aren't too expensive either.
Kerala has good and well-maintained roads. The state has 11 National highways and about 70 state highways crisscrossing the terrain. An added advantage is the scenic beauty that runs along the roadways. There are many bus services from different states to Kerala and within the state there is another network of state government buses.
Best Time To Visit
Due to its diverse terrain, different parts of Kerala experience different weather conditions, but all in all the whole state is characterised by tropical climatic conditions. In the summers it can get pretty hot and humid, especially along the coasts; this however, would be a great time to visit the hill stations of Ponmudi, Munnar, Wayanad, etc.
During the monsoon season it tends to get a little too wet, but this is not much of a hindrance, as Kerala in the rains is genuinely beautiful and worth witnessing. Winter is the best time to visit Kerala and the temperatures are just perfect for a lovely vacation.
Things To Do
Kerala has a unique culture. You will find the rural areas still holding on to their age old customs, at the same time the urban areas are catching up with other modern metro cities. There's something on offer for all types of travellers in Kerala.
Kerala, with its ancient Indian history and unique literary, architectural and cultural heritage, has a lot to offer to culture lovers. Explore the cultural heritage of a land which was ruled by some of the great dynasties that reigned in the region.
Palaces and Forts:
Visit the stunning Bekal Fort, The Mattancherry Palace, Krishnapuram Palace, Koyikkal Palace, Kilimanur Palace and Fort Immanuel and be stunned by Kerala's historical heritage.
With multitudes of rivers, backwaters and exotic house boats, Kerala is filled with opportunities to spend time in the lap of nature. Some must visit places are Munnar and its vast tea estates, Wayanad and its tea and coffee estates, the Alappuzha backwaters and house boats, Kannur beaches, Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, Kovalam beaches, Palakkad and its forests, the list goes on.
Every nook and corner of Kerala is dotted with restaurants with local delicacies to try. At breakfast you should try the appam and the number of curry options that come with it, or puttu, also called bamboo cake, which is a favourite among Malayalis. You must also try out the different Tapioca preparations and the different fish curries and fries that are coastal specialties. Of course, you cannot miss all the tender coconut vendors lining the roads; if there is one cure to the Kerala heat, it’s this miracle drink. Also, if you're in Calicut, try some of the best Malabar style Biryani (pictured above) at Paragon restaurant.
When it comes to shopping in Kerala make sure you have a big shopping bag - from spices to honey to tea and coffee, everything that makes food taste good can be bought here!
Spices: You will be able to buy most spices at any market in Kerala but when it comes to being organic and really fragrant, Kumily is the place to go. It happens to be a beautiful hill station too.
Tea and Coffee: The tea and coffee grown along the slopes of the Western Ghats have a spectacularly strong flavour and incidentally if you strike a good bargain, it can have spectacularly cheap rates! The best places to buy them are at Munnar and Wayanad.
Also, while you are in Kerala, different regions offer different specialties, sometimes you find shops selling knives that were cast out of old swords, and sometimes you run into stores selling oils and essences, or Ayurvedic medicines. Keep an eye out for some really quaint offerings in Kerala.