Kerala Tourism Guide

Known as the “God’s Own Country”, Kerala is surely one of the most beautiful places in India. Kerala or Keralam is a Malayalee word made up of two parts; ‘Kera’ meaning coconut and ‘alam’ meaning land. The land of coconut trees is a destination that has something for every kind of traveller. Whether you want to sail the glistening backwaters or lose yourself in the mystical coastal greenery, Kerala is an ultimate tourist destination to experience bliss and serenity. 

There’s something immensely alluring about God’s Own Country, Kerala. Just the thought of being there teleports one straight into the heart of it all, mind, body, and soul. Then when you set foot in it, it’s a thousand times more charming than your imagination could ever perceive. Inarguably one of India’s most insanely beautiful states, Kerala is a tranquil world away from all the frenzied worlds. Here, for every calming beach, there is a roar of the jungle. For every languid houseboat cruise, a thrilling snake-boat race. For every picturesque, nonchalant hill station, there is a culturally evocative city. For every aromatic spice field, a fragrant tea garden. For every therapeutic massage, the highs of toddy. And for every modest village, an equally vibrant festival. That’s Kerala for you, a land dealing in polar opposites in its own distinct, chilled-out way to put you in a state of trance.

Quick Overview

Kerala Tourism: Quick Overview
Kerala Tourism Information Links
Official Language in Kerala Malayalam  
Kerala also Known as God's own country  
Currency in Kerala Indian Rupee (INR)  
Time Zone (GMT+5:30) (IST)  
Area 38,863 Square Kilometer  
Kerala Best known for Ecotourism, Handicrafts and Oils  
Best Time for Kerala Tourism Throughout the Year Read More
Things to Do in Kerala Elephant Bathing, Snake Boat Races And Skydiving Read More
Places to Visit in Kerala Munnar, The Hilly Trip And Thiruvananthapuram Read More

Wedged between the Arabian Sea and the Western Ghats, Kerala, a state on the Malabar Coast of India, is a tropical paradise sanctified from above with verdant natural beauty and contrasting ecology. Palm-lined beaches, thrilling wildlife tours, breathtaking backwaters, resplendent hills adorned with tea, coffee, and spice plantations and spicy cuisine are just some of the many things you experience while traveling through this diverse state spread across an area of 38,863 km². While Malayalam is Keralites’ official language, English is widely spoken, owing to but limited in, one of India’s Highest Literacy Rates. A welcoming climate throughout the year, generous hosts, and connectivity that runs wide and with ease undoubtedly make Kerala one of the best tourist destinations anywhere in the world.

Kerala Geography

A 600-km long coastal streak along the expansive Arabian Sea, dotted with plenty of golden beaches to the west and the mystical Western Ghats to the east, a beautiful network of pristine backwaters and hill stations, with wildlife reserves nestled in between—Kerala is a geographical and topographical marvel. Add to that some of the most majestic waterfalls in the country and exotic wildlife, and you’ve got yourself a tourist destination that is as hard to resist as it is to get over.

Delving deeper, nearly 30% of Kerala’s region is a forest-covered treasure trove. It hosts 14 Wildlife Sanctuaries, 6 National Parks, and 2 Tiger Reserves. These are home to a wide variety of exotic and rare flora and fauna, including some endangered species like the Bengal Tiger, Lion-Tailed Macaque, Indian Sloth-Bear,  Indian Bison, and Nilgiri Tahr and over 500 species of birds. It’s a sheer thrill to embark on a boat safari with dense jungle on both sides and animals making guest appearances on the banks of the river.

Kerala is surrounded by the Western Ghats that cradle majestic tea, coffee and spice plantations on one side. The other side is hemmed with a 600km Arabian sea shoreline. If you want to experience the best of both worlds, Kerala is the place for you. Head to this south Indian state to conquer the rugged mountains and relax on the sunny beaches.

Kerala is also home to some indigenous wildlife such as elephants, monkeys and tigers. The Eravikulam, Periyar and Wayanad national parks are well-known for housing various wild animals. Kerala tourism allows travellers to venture into these national parks and sanctuaries and commune with nature. 

Climate in Kerala

Being a tropical state, Kerala is humid throughout the year. For the ones who don’t mind some sweat, Kerala is open to them throughout the year. If you want to avoid the humidity and warm climate, December to February is the best time to take the kerala tour. This is also the best time to visit Kerala when most tourists flock to this southern heaven.

The heat and the humidity start getting intense from the month of March. Monsoon clouds usually show up by the end of May or from the first week of June. The monsoons usually retreat by October. Travellers with a passion for monsoon adventures usually like to trek during the onset of monsoons, or in October. 

Though summer is not the most popular season for Kerala tourism, the locals enjoy the warm season with a number of traditional festivals such as Maha Shivratri and Vishu. Maha Shivratri is the moonless night in March when lord Shiva’s worshippers pray all night. Vishu is a festival of lights and fireworks celebrated in mid-April. All in all, decide about your Kerala tour depending on which hue of Kerala’s climate you’d like to experience.

Among the many things Kerala is known and loved for, the most pleasing one is its equable climate throughout the year, driving tourism in Kerala with a flourishing effect. Even though summer, which begins around March and gives way to the monsoon by late May, is relatively hot and humid, it is quite manageable, with evenings being super pleasant. Monsoon in Kerala usually lasts till late October and elevates its tropical vistas in different shades of green to another level. There’s only a slight dip in temperature during the winter, which commences around November and stays till late February. However, the temperature often plummets to 10-degree Celsius in the highland regions like Munnar, Wayanad, Thekkady, and the likes.

Kerala Culture

Kerala’s culture is influenced by three major religions of the state – Hinduism, Islam and Christianity. The state livens up during all the major festivals celebrated by the people of these three faiths. If you are the artsy traveller, Kerala’s art and culture will nurture your artistic soul. Witness magnificent Kathakali and Mohiniattam performances when in Kerala and cherish the true cultural heritage of this land. Kathakali is the Indian classical dance form that depicts Indian epics and is recognised by UNESCO as the Intangible Cultural Heritage. Mohiniattam is a graceful and feminine dance form and emotes a play through music and dance. Whether you are fond of dance or not, you are sure to lose yourself in these enticing and mesmerising dance performances.

Kerala proudly upholds its local sounds and music. Music aficionados can head to a Carnatic music session and groove to the hypnotic tunes of Tanpura and Nadaswaram. Apart from music and dance, Kerala culture is also enriched with lively festivals. Onam is the most renowned and the biggest of all the festivals. It’s the harvest festival celebrated in the month of August or September. To experience Kerala in all its glory, join the Onam celebrations and relish the festive food and enjoy the spectacular ‘pulikali’ performance (the dance of the tigers). 

Known as the Spice Coast of India, nations from across the globe have left their imprints on the State of Kerala, making it what it is now, a sizzling cultural melting pot. From Dutch, Portuguese, Romans, Arabs, French, British, Chinese to the Greeks, everybody has had a role to play in one way or the other in shaping the Kerala of today. The influence is apparent in the state’s many cosmopolitan cities, expansive forts, ancient caves and royal palaces, rock-cut temples, and churches and cathedrals. It’s a mark of Kerala’s resilience and openness to adapt to and adopt every cultural challenge while keeping its age-old traditions intact and moving forward as an ambassador of the ancient-meets-modern. All of it is visibly and experientially evident in its rich literature, glorious history, ingenious art forms, distinct present-day traditions, many vibrant festivals and dances, and Nirvana-inducing cuisines.

Why Visit Kerala?

God’s own country will never disappoint you as you won’t experience anything less than paradise. Kerala tourism will surprise you with several options to explore this tropical bliss in different ways. Float along on the backwaters of Alleppey, Periyar and Munnar and experience cloud nine while you take in the gorgeous sights and nature sounds on these backwaters. The best way to explore the backwaters is to sail on a quaint Kerala house boat. For the ones who find serenity in the woods, trek through Wayanad’s lush green jungles. You can join various trekking groups and camp in the green woods under the stars with a group of fellow trekkers.

This peaceful land won’t disappoint the adrenaline junkies either. There are many water sports one can enjoy in Kerala such as kayaking and river rafting. If you are a traveller who would like to check out off-beat tourist places in Kerala, then go on a cycling tour from Munnar and observe life up close. Kerala tourism will also offer you a chance to rejuvenate and reconnect, with Ayurveda rejuvenation tours. These tours often consist of Ayurvedic therapies, food and yoga.   

Kerala Tourism Tips

If you plan that long-overdue trip to and across Kerala, here are a few travel tips you should note to ensure it all goes smoothly.

1)Check the latest travel guidelines issued by the state with respect to COVID-19.

2)Follow COVID-appropriate behavior. It goes without saying that responsible travel is the need of the hour.

3)Smoking is banned in public places.

4)Nudity is not allowed at any beach in Kerala.

5)Avoid public display of affection like hugging or kissing.

6)Carry cotton clothes, hats or caps, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Add rainwear to the luggage if planning to visit during the monsoon.

7)If you plan to visit or stay at Ayurveda Centres, choose only those that are approved by the Department of Tourism.

8)Temple Code: Footwear is banned inside the temple. Some temples do not allow entry to non-Hindus, and there is a strict dress-code protocol that needs to be followed before entering one.

9)When visiting someone’s home, leave your footwear outside. It is common practice.

10)While English is extensively spoken across the state, it would be wise to learn a few local words and phrases to get through easily.

11)Most hotels, resorts, restaurants, and major shopping centers accept major credit and debit cards.

12)Prior permission needs to be taken before entering a wildlife sanctuary or national park from the concerned authority of the respective sanctuary or park.

13)When residing in a forested area, do not venture out after dark.

14)Get to know and respect the culture of the state.

15)There is no limit on foreign currency that a visitor can bring and can be exchanged easily at any of the many exchange centers.

16)Banks are open on weekdays and on the first and third Saturday of the month. The second and fourth Saturdays are bank holidays. Transaction timings are usually 10 am to 3.30 pm.

17)Possession of narcotic drugs is a punishable offense.

18)Take a printout of the route charts and keep it with you.

19)Keep these Emergency Numbers handy:

  • Police control room: 100
  • Fire station: 101
  • Ambulance: 102, 108
  • Highway Alert Number: 9846100100
  • Railway Alert Number: 9846200100

 

Language Spoken

Malayalam

Currency used:

Indian Rupee

SEP-FEB 25oC
MAR-AUG 30oC

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Kerala Tourism Tips

To make the most of your Kerala trip, here are a few do's and don’ts. 

Do’s

1. Carry light luggage and clothes that dry easily if you are travelling in monsoon.

2. While shopping, keep some room for the local coffee and spices.

3. If you are going on trekking tours, carry warm clothes and good shoes as the climate in hilly regions is cool throughout the year.

4. Book your accommodation well in advance to get the best deals. 

5. Try to abide by the local dressing etiquettes when visiting any tourist place in Kerala that is of religious significance.  

6. If you are going for an Ayurveda rejuvenation trip, make sure that you book places that are recognized by Kerala tourism department.

Don’ts

1. Do not travel or step out after 7 pm in Munnar and Thekkady. Visibility is affected by the fog and wild animals often come out of the forest.

2. Do not purchase anything from unauthorised sellers.

3. Do not travel to remote or village areas at night.

SOTC offers you a wide array of Kerala Tour Packages that will help you explore Kerala. Make your choice and book one today.

More about Kerala Tourism

Things to Do in Kerala Best Time to Visit Kerala How to Reach Kerala Places to Visit in Kerala Food in Kerala Festivals & Events in Kerala Kerala Tourism Packages

Popular Tourist Places in Kerala

Munnar Thekkady Vagamon Lakkidi Vythiri Peermedu Thiruvananthapuram Ernakulam Kozhikode

Popular Tourist Activities in Kerala

Elephant Bathing Dine on a Lake at Veli Enjoy an Authentic Meal on a Banana Leaf Riding the Backwaters in Alappuzha Snake Boat Races Snake Park

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