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Kerala / India

Destination Guide Kerala / India

Kerala, aptly known as “God’s Own Country,” is a marvel in the southern tip of India, offering an enchanting experience for all kinds of travelers. Whether you’re a solo adventurer, part of a family, a couple, or traveling with friends, Kerala’s diverse offerings cater to every taste.

Highlights & Must-See Attractions

  • Backwaters of Alleppey: Glide through the serene backwaters on a traditional houseboat, where you can experience the tranquil beauty of the region. The lush landscapes and aquatic life are a sight to behold.
  • Munnar Tea Gardens: Munnar’s rolling hills, covered in a blanket of green tea plantations, are not just a treat for the eyes but also offer a retreat. Don’t miss the tea museum and tasting sessions.
  • Kathakali Performances: Witness the traditional dance-drama known for its vibrant costumes and intricate makeup in Kochi or Trivandrum.
  • Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary: Ideal for nature lovers and families, this sanctuary in Thekkady is home to elephants, tigers, and a variety of flora and fauna.
  • Kovalam Beaches: For those seeking sun and surf, the beaches of Kovalam offer golden sands and palm-lined shores.

Our lesser-known favourites

  1. Theyyam Rituals in North Kerala: Experience Theyyam, a fascinating ritual dance that’s a mix of culture and spirituality.
  2. Village Life Experience: Visit a local village to understand Kerala’s rural life. Participate in traditional fishing, coir-making, and savor authentic Kerala meals.
  3. Wayanad Wildlife: Explore the less-trodden paths of Wayanad, which offer beautiful trekking trails and wildlife encounters.
  4. Spice Plantations: Homestays in or visits to spice plantations along the coast or in the hilly areas ensure a different understanding of the spices that Indian food is famous for and how and why they’re used.
  5. Elephant Festival: Known around the world for this fastival, Thrissur comes alive in April-May when these elephants are given pride of place. There are also many ethical elephant orphanages to give you a chance to interact with baby elephants.

Did you know?

  • Kerala has the highest literacy rate in India.
  • It’s the land of spices and played a significant role in the global spice trade.
  • The state has its own martial art form called ‘Kalaripayattu’.

Food and Cuisine

  • Best known export is the Porotta, a bigger and flakier version of the North Indian Paratha, this is often eaten with spicy curries after being scrunched up
  • Also, a big hit in the region is Tapioca, a yam-like tuber that is used to make curries, chips and even dough
  • You can’t end a visit to Kerala without sampling their Seafood – from curries with raw mango to coconut, to spicy fried fish and squid, from deeply fragrant stews to the local version of biryani; you will be left spoilt for choice
  • During Onam, which is their biggest festival, enjoy the Sadhya. This is a meal delivered on a banana leaf and will include at least 26 varieties of vegetarian dishes.

Practical Information

  • Best Season to Visit: The ideal time is from September to April when the weather is pleasant. Monsoon (June to August) offers a unique experience for those who enjoy rain-drenched landscapes.
  • Temperature: Ranges from 24°C to 33°C throughout the year, with an average humidity of over 80%.
  • Visa Requirements: Most visitors can apply for an e-Visa for tourism purposes. Make sure you go through the government website for your online application!
  • Access from Dubai and Abu Dhabi

Direct flights are available from Dubai and Abu Dhabi to various cities in Kerala like Kochi, Trivandrum, and Kozhikode. The flight duration is approximately 4 hours, making it a convenient destination for a quick getaway or an extended vacation.

In conclusion, Kerala is a blend of breathtaking landscapes, rich culture, and culinary delights. It’s a destination that promises a plethora of experiences, making it a must-visit for any travel enthusiast. The warmth of its people and the serenity of its environment beckon travelers for an unforgettable journey.

Getting ready for departure

  • Local Currency: Indian Rupee (INR), check the current change here. Credit cards are widely accepted, but carrying some cash is advisable for rural areas. You can exchange USD on arrival or withdraw from an ATM at the airport.
  • Culture & Dress Code: Kerala’s culture is a blend of traditional Indian and colonial influences. Dressing modestly is recommended, especially in rural and religious sites. Take lightweight and breathable clothing. Best are long-sleeved shirts and pants to protect against the sun and mosquitoes during evening outings. And carry a rain jacket or poncho, especially if traveling during the monsoon season (June to September).
  • Language: Malayalam is the local language, but English is commonly understood.
  • Electronics: You can find 3 types of plugs in India: C, D and M. Best is to carry an universal adaptor.
  • Local emergency numbers: 1079

Don’t hesitate to download our Ultimate Packing List to make sure you don’t miss any essentials.

And if you want to bring souvenirs, think of coconut items like oil, coconut coir items like loofahs, coconut shell home decor, spices like cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, nutmeg and pepper. Tea and coffee directly from the plantations are a definite buy. Kathakali dance masks are also a big hit !

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