Travel Info and Tips


Kerala - An abode to splendid culture, Serene Landscapes and Aromatic spices!!!

Did you know Kerala is one of the most toured states in the country and with each year the ratio of incoming tourists is realizing new margins? Kerala has everything in stock that nature has gifted to us and unlike most other parts of India, Kerala has truly nurtured and preserved its ethnicity and lived up to the title it has been bestowed with - God’s own Country.

The people of Kerala are one of the friendliest, literate and most advanced societies in India. It is the state with utmost literacy rate (93.91%) and one of the most progressed states in terms of social welfare, lowest infant mortality and uppermost life expectancy ratio. Many aspects Kerala is comparable to those of many developed countries.


If one has to summarise the enthralling features of Kerala in to a nutshell, then they would be

  • Mesmerizing land of backwaters
  • Significant land of Ayurveda practices
  • Kerala id regarded as the spice capital of the world
  • Splurging sunny beaches
  • Striking hill Stations and wild Life
  • Flawless tradition, culture and heritage
  • Smouldering cuisines

Breath-taking Backwaters and Panoramic Landscapes

Kerala is synonymous to breath taking backwaters and blue lagoons, beautiful hill stations, sunny beaches and lively villages. It is a convergence of scenic hill stations and lush valleys which magnify the beauty of this quaint state. The coastline of Kerala is strewn with glazed beaches and glorious water bodies. The state observes a tranquil climate which contributes to sprawling plantations and healthy paddy fields. The state enjoys a much diversified geography and topography. Kerala is bordered by the Arabian Sea in the west, Western Ghats scaling up to 2700 m in the east and channelled by 44 networks of rivers in other two zones.


The aroma of Spices

Kerala is one of the most exquisite states located in the southern part of India. It is denoted as the Spice Capital of the world which of course contributes to the fact that Kerala Cuisines are deliciously irresistible. Sadya, the typical Malayalam meal served along with 18 or more different kinds of vegetable dishes speaks about their love for food and hospitality.

The main trade of Kerala is exporting spices, dating back to 3000 years and hence the name Spice Coast of India emerged. Pepper though owns the majority of spice trading; the other prominent spices include cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, turmeric and mace. Traders from across the world like Greeks, Arabs, Romans, Portuguese, French and Chinese came to Kerala to import spices. The state’s gastronomy, architecture and literature have left intricate reminiscences of these lands


Goodness of Ayurveda

Kerala is also known to be the land of Ayurveda. The ancients of the state whole heartedly practiced Ayurveda which contained innumerable medicinal values. Today, you will find people flocking from all over the world to Kerala in hopes of including Ayurveda therapy in their lifestyle to improve health and mind. Ayurveda practices have many rejuvenating effects as well.

Watch video of an Ayurvedic therapy- Udwartana


Flawless Tradition, Culture and Heritage

The state has few unique traditional art forms that depict the unscathed ethics of India altogether. Few of the art forms worth mentioning here are Kathakali, Kalaripayattu, Theyyam, Mohiniattam and Pulikali.

Watch video of a traditional & ritual dance form - Theyyam

Theyyam is a ritual dance form of Kerala that embodies myth, dance, drama, music, art and architecture.

One of the biggest cultural festival in the state, Thrissur Pooram is known for processions of majestically caparisoned elephants, changing of sequinned parasols and fireworks display and is a festival attended by lakhs of people from different parts of the state.


Apart from the notable features, the state of Kerala also boasts to treasure supreme literacy ratio, best of Indian festivals, charismatic historical monuments and friendliest of locals. Panchavayadam is one of the notable arts that form the soul of a typical temple festival. It is a kind of live Orchestra performed with only five instruments. Also, Kerala’s heart lies in its enchanting Boat Races known as Vallam Kali. Every year thousands of villagers, especially from the Kuttanadu region, gather and create a merry atmosphere to take part in their canoe race.

Unique Geographical Proximity

With its unique geographical features such as mesmerising backwaters, hill stations, Ayurveda health holidays, smouldering cuisines coupled with continued preservation of flawless tradition, culture and heritage, Kerala can be the best sought-after tourist places in Asia. What makes Kerala one of the best tourist destinations is the fact that all these experiences are geographically so close to each other so that you can enjoy almost all these experiences in a short period of time.

It is a traveller’s dream with charming destinations welcoming you in every 2-3 hours, a superior tourist advantage found nowhere else in Asia. Due to this aspect Kerala offers a vibrant experience, followed one after the another, to its tourists and unlike any other destinations, Kerala can be enjoyed even with just few days in hand.

The Language:

The local mother tongue is Malayalam. Most of the locals understand Basic English, Hindi and Tamil though their slang significantly differs from the other regions which of course depend at the pace you talk. However, if you communicate in a slow and stable pace with pauses in between every word, they will be quick to grasp your conversation. Travelling to Kerala will never be a hindrance communication wise as all the road maps as well as the shop bills and boards are written in English. Nonetheless, written statements can be used as a last resort to communicate your questions with them.

Currency:

Kerala’s economy is operated with (INR) Indian Currency, Rupee. The rate of USD exchange has always proven to be profitable pertaining to tourism business. However, there’s no limit to foreign currency entrance in Kerala. Foreigners can bring-in or transact any value of traveller cheques.

The denominations of Indian Rupee notes are 1000, 500, 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5. Each rupee is furthermore split into 100 paisa. The coins are available in 50 paisa, 1s, 2s, 5s, and 10. While travelling, it is advised to be handy with coins as they will be come to your aid in exchange of bus tickets, buying local meals, giving tips etc. Unlike the Dollar notes, Indian Rupee notes come in different size which is an added benefit. However, for your information, traveller’s cheques might not be acceptable in remote areas.Therefore, ensure to carry 1000s and 500s for your safety. 

Banking and Transactions:

Kerala state is facilitated with many private and public sector banks where you can exchange or encash foreign currencies and cheques. Also, each important junction of all cities of the state has ATM kiosks incorporated from which you can withdraw cash easily. All major restaurants in city area, hotels, malls and other shopping centres accept national and international credit cards. However, the interiors of Kerala may not receive bank cards; hence the best way to travel around Kerala without facing any hitches is by having some amount of cash in hand.

Visa, Master, Maestro cards are accepted by Kerala ATMs and the maximum cash withdrawal limit is Rs.10, 000 to Rs.50, 000, depending upon the bank. However you can make multiple withdrawals from different ATM kiosks. Almost all the ATM kiosks are under security surveillance and are open 24/7. The operating hours of the banks are between 10 AM to 4 PM with transaction processes accepted till 3 PM only.

Operating Days: Mondays to Fridays (10 AM to 4 PM)/ Saturdays – 10 AM to Noon / 2 nd and 4 th Saturdays and Sundays closed. Closed on National/Public Holidays.

Major Banks in the State:

  1. State Bank of India (515 branches, Nationalised)
  2. Federal Bank (629 Branches, based in Kerala)
  3. State Bank of Travancore (838 Branches)
  4. Canara Bank (443 Branches, Nationalised)
  5. HDFC (Private, 196 Branches)
  6. South Indian Bank (472 Branches )
  7. Catholic Syrian Bank (288 Branches, based in Kerala)
  8. IDBI (296 branches, Private)

Mobile/ Cell Phone Network:

The best network provider, circling all major and minor hill stations and far off remote areas, is BSNL, a state owned Telecommunication Company. Otherwise, Airtel, Idea and Vodafone Networks with 3G/4G facilities also have a major share of network coverage in the main cities and town.

Electricity:

The unit of power which is let out in the state of Kerala is 220V AC, 50 Hz. This information provided is for you to carry necessary gadgets or convertors that will support your gadget’s power input during your vacation period.

Helplines:

Police Helplines:

  1. Highway: If you want to reach the Police Patrol while travelling on the highway, please contact + 91 98461 00100
  2. Train: If you are in need of Police Assistance during your train journey, then please contact +91 98462 00100

Emergency Numbers:

  1. Police Control Room: 100
  2. Fire & Rescue Services: 101
  3. Ambulance: 102, 108

Climate and Season

Temperature: Ranging from 25° C to 36° C | Tropical Climatic Region | Heavy Seasons: Winter, Summer, North East Monsoon and South West Monsoon.

Even though India enjoys all four seasons thoroughly, the state of Kerala mostly experiences monsoon and the summer. However, the climate is pleasing and just perfect for most time of the year. Like all other Indian states, Kerala also observes a tropical temperature with humid wet lands influenced by rainforests. The Western Ghats forbids the dry winds blowing up north from entering the low and mid lands. Also, Kerala is bestowed with abundant rainfall measuring up to an average of 3000 mm per year. The region enjoys seasonal monsoon during the months of June to Aug and Oct to November, whereas the summer season falls in between February and May. During the winters, the highlands of Kerala, which actually are the dwelling to most of Kerala’s tourist locales, enjoys a beautiful temperature of 20° C.

To the tourists out there, you should be aware that Kerala has something new to offer in each of its season. The beauty each climatic change bestows on the landscapes is exotic and must be enthralled in. But what’s more important for you to understand is which climate is most suitable according to your preferences.

To find out best time to visit Kerala please check this link Best Time to Visit Kerala

Time Zone:

The state of Kerala follows Indian Standard Time (IST) whereas the current time zone offset equivalents to UTC +5:30 hours. The state does not follow any Day Light Saving Time and the IANA time zone calculator is for Kolkata.

IST Time Calculator [slow (-) and fast (+)]

  1. USA: - 10:30
  2. Germany: -4:30
  3. Australia: +4:30
  4. Spain: -4:30
  5. France: -4:30
  6. Canada: -10:30
  7. UAE: -1:30
  8. UK: - 5:30

Important Cities

1. Trivandrum / Thiruvananthapuram

Trivandrum is the capital city of Kerala. The quaint city is an impeccable tourist and commercial centre depicting never ending stretches of idyllic backwaters, cultured forests nurturing a large species of flora and fauna, extended coastlines, many family picnic spots and ancient monuments.

Major Attractions: Kovalam, Poovar, Sri Padhmanabhaswami Temple, Ponmudi hillstation, Agasthyakootam forest, Kuthiramalika Palace Museum, Veli tourist village

2. Cochin / Kochi

Cochin is a major hub for all the three routes and an International Ship Harbour as well. Cochin can be easily reached from Bangalore, Karnataka with a mere 10 hour journey. For ages, Kochi was the only international Harbour that welcomed sailors from across the world. Cochin is a mixture of conventional technologies and unconventional raw beauty of ethnic Kerala. So many foreign invasions have actually redefined the city into a prime tourist destination.

Major Attractions: Fort Cochin, Dutch Palace, Santa Cruz Basilica, Aranmula Temple, Indo Portuguese Museum, St. Francis Church etc.

3. Kozhikode

Also, known to many people as Calicut, is one of the major Sea Ports of Kerala and was the centre of trade and commerce during the Zamorin Kingdom. The renowned Portuguese Sailor Vasco Da Gama in 1498 discovered the sea route to India and landed on Kappad Sea Shore here, hence contributes to be an eminent historical importance.The city is alive with busy city, scenic landscapes, beaches and rivers.

Major Attractions: Kozhikode beach, Kappad beach, Manamchira square, Kallai, Pazhassirajah Museum, etc.

4. Thrissur

This city is depicted as the cultural centre of Kerala containing vast architectures and archaeological elements. Famous Thrissur Pooram happens in the heart of Thrissur town. Thrissur has a significant history known for its administrative parts in reigning period of Tipu Sultan of Mysore, Zamorin from Kozhikode, The Dutch Empire and the Europeans conquerors. Thrissur is also accredited for its effervescent Thrissur Pooram Orchestra Festival.

Major Attractions: Athirapally Falls, Kerala Nataka Academy, Kerala Kala Mandapam, Aarattupuzha Pooram, Art Museum, Thrippayar temple etc.

5. Kottayam

Kottayam owns the largest rubber plantation and is the first town to attain 100% literacy. Apart from these commendable credits, Kottayam is a picture of picturesque landscapes, backwaters and mangroves, historical churches, slumping paddy fields and fascinating Vembanad lake in the west and Western Ghats in the east.

Major attraction: Vaikom temple, St. Mary’s Forane Church, St. Joseph’s Monastery at Mannaman, Elaveezha Poonchira, Ettumannoor temple, Bharanangam church etc.

6. Kollam

Kollam is known for its extensive cultivation of Cashew nuts and is one of the superior producers of the fruits in India. It is also a place to relax and lay back in its serene backwaters of the lake Ashtamudi. Kollam coastline is the oldest port in Kerala which was used for importing and trading spices earlier.

Major Attractions: Kollam beach, Ashtamudi backwaters Pallaruvi Falls, Sri Maha Ganpathy temple, Thevally palace, Thangassery lighthouse etc.

Airports

Thiruvananthapuram International Airport (TRV – ICAO: VOTV)

Trivandrum International Airport is the first Airport established in Kerala. It is located at approximately 3.7 Km from the City Centre and is 6 Km from the Trivandrum Railway Station and 16 Km from the Kovalam beach. The airport has two terminals. Terminal 1 operates only Domestic flights sans Air India whereas Terminal 2 operates all International and Domestic flights by Air India.

Please follow the link to know more about TRV – ICAO: VOTV

http://www.trivandrumairport.com/

Cochin International Airport (COK – ICAO: VOCI)

It is the largest airport of Kerala. The airport sees an uproar of travellers and passengers each day making it the busiest airport of the state and 4 th in India in terms international flight traffic. The Airport is situated at Nedumbaserry, 30 Km from the town of Cochin. It is the only airport in the world to become fully solar powered. This was accredited in August 2015.

Please follow the link to know more about COK – ICAO: VOCI http://cial.aero/

Calicut International Airport (CCJ – ICAO: VOCL)

The airport is also known as Karipur airport serving both towns of Kozhikode and Malappuram. The airport was inaugurated in the year 1988 and was internationalised in 2006. It is the 13 th busiest airport in India and attracts a vast number of tourists each year. The airport is 25 Km and 30 Km from Malappuram and Kozhikode districts respectively.

Please follow the link to know more about CCJ – ICAO: VOCL

http://www.kozhikodeairport.com/