Kerala – The garden of Eden.
Tranquil backwaters. Manicured tea estates. Enchanting forests. Beguiling mountains. Just some of the many images Kerala conjures in our minds. A palette of emerald, turquoise, and chestnut - Kerala is nothing short of a Van Gogh masterpiece. The state is home to lovely cities, each with its own charm and special purpose. Ideal for a little romance, a little fun at the beach, heavenly trails, and solitude galore! Teeming with history, and a gripping back story, Kerala will creep its way into your mind as it did with your heart.
|Kerala: A Quick View of the state|
|Dial Code||471 (Thiruvananthapuram)|
|Population||37.312 million (as of 2018)|
|Currency||Indian Rupee (INR)|
|Time Zone||UTC+05:30 (IST)|
|Area||38,863 square km|
Highlights of Kerala: Explore, Engage, Experience.
Kerala’s very own Venice – Alapuzha, is a charming town blessed with a repertoire of canals, backwaters, lagoons, and beaches. Alapuzha lighthouse glistens like a candy cane, with red and white stripes spearing 30m into the air. A climb up its teak spiral staircase will lead to a mesmerizing view of the city. Alapuzha beach, not only offers its visitors a stunning panorama of ivory-sapphire landscapes but is home to the fascinating sand art festival that attracts international artists galore. You can even walk across a 150-year-old pier that extends into the sea’s belly, or tour in one of its quaint house boats. It is the perfect place to be, during twilight. Krishnapuram Palace is an old Kerala style museum endowed with a gabled roof, dormer windows, and a narrow corridor. The western end of the ground floor houses a 154 square feet mural called Gajendra Moksham. Wouldn’t you like to check this one out?
Lime green mountains, speckled with chocolate rocks, and emerald trees – this is what Wayanad’s majestic peaks look like from a distance. Lyrically speaking, there is no mountain high enough, no valley low enough, and no river wide enough that will keep you from this stunning hilly district. Visit Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, that spans 344 km of luxuriant forests and jewelled flora. When sunlight trickles through the trees, it is a magical sight to behold. Here, you can spot heroes of both ends of the food chain – the royal tiger, and the graceful deer. Trek up to Banasura Hill, which is one of the tallest peaks in the western Ghats. Your journey through turquoise-harlequin expanses will be equal in splendour to the misty views from the summit.
Kerala’s financial capital, and bustling port city – Kochi, is a symphony of local and foreign influences. Visit the original burial ground of the great explorer, Vasco Da Gama, at St. Francis Church. Take in quintessential port culture, by observing The Chinese fishing nets - a gift from former Chinese Emperor Kublai Khan. Take a historical tour through the city’s numerous museums - Hill Palace Museum, Indo-Portuguese museum, and Kerala Folklore museum. And then, there is always Kochi’s golden beaches - perfect for an evening of relaxation. Cherai beach offers everything one needs for a little ‘me time’ – swaying palms and soft glittery sand. Indulge your appetite for all things Kerala at Oceanos, a lovely seafood restaurant that offers traditional Kerala cuisine. We recommend the Seafood Avial (cooked in crushed coconut masala), Thiru Kochi Mango Fish Curry, and Portuguese style Seafood Cataplana (cooked with garlic, onion and wine).
You will discover that Varkala is the only place in southern Kerala to have hills lying adjacent to the sea. A playground for backpackers, this picturesque city fosters a quirky culture. Here, little shops sell patterned clothes and silver jewellery. And, restaurants offer succulent seafood and lively music. You must walk along the shores of Varkala beach. It is believed that the warm water has mystical properties that wash away all sins. Visit the impressive Anuchuthengu Fort. Built in 1696, it served as a signalling station for ships arriving from London. It stands stern and tall, amidst an array of colourful fishermen huts. For a little spiritual contemplation, head to Janardanaswamy Temple. Dedicated to one of Lord Vishnu’s avatars, this 2000-year-old temple is a fine example of Dravidian architecture.
The perfect cup of tea requires the right balance of tea leaves, milk and sugar. Munnar’s brilliant beaming hills are laden with jade tea estates that stretch beyond the eye. Lockhart Tea Museum is one of the oldest tea plantations in the region. Established by Baron John Von Rosenberg, it produces 20 million kg of tea annually. While there, you can observe the many stages of tea processing, and look at some of the older machinery used. While traversing through Munnar, you must glimpse Mattupetty dam, Anamudi, and Pothamedu point. They offer sceneries right out of a fairy-tale.
Interesting facts about Kerala: Golden nuggets for the mind.
Behold, the spice coast of India. Situated on the southwestern Malabar coast of India, is the lush state of Kerala. Kerala shares its border with Karnataka in the north, Tamil Nadu in the south and the east, and the confluence of the Lakshadweep Sea and Arabian sea to the west.
Timings: Best time to visit.
October to February is an ideal time to pack your bags and head to Kerala. The weather is pleasant, due to a significant drop in temperatures. June to August experiences heavy rainfall but is the perfect time for Ayurvedic treatments. Hence, you should select the season, depending upon your needs.
How to get to Kerala: Your transport itinerary.
By Road – Whether you avail of a bus, taxi, or car, Kerala is well connected to the rest of the country, and directly connected to Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. You can opt from National Highways 17, 47, and 49. The drive is undoubtedly picturesque.
By Air – Cochin International airport is well connected to all the major cities in India, as well as the world. The main city centre is a mere 29km away from the airport.
History: Past Glories.
Pre-historical archaeological findings suggest the existence of the Neolithic, Mesolithic, Megalithic, and Palaeolithic periods, along with the glorious Indus Valley Civilization. During the ancient period, Kerala’s rich spice trade attracted the Babylonians, Assyrians, and Egyptians. The first ruling dynasty during this time was that of the Cheras. It was not long before southern European, western Asian, and middle eastern colonies started developing. Early medieval period witnessed the rise and fall of several kingdoms such as - Kulasekhara Dynasty, Venad Kingdom and Samuthiri kingdom. By the end of the 18th century, the state of Kerala was completely annexed by the British. It was in 1956, through the States Reorganisation Act, that the state of Kerala as we now know it was formed.
The more you know about Kerala’s past, the better prepared you are to enjoy its many delightful sites. Take a look at our recommended list!
Taking a trip on the houseboat along the tranquil backwaters as the refreshing breeze caresses your face complemented by the breathtaking views while you relish some finger-licking seafood. Head out to God’s own Country, Kerala! This south Indian state takes you on an extravagant trip over the mountains, paddy fields, backwaters, hill stations, coffee plantations, waterfalls, and all things sweet. With its tropical climate that favors the beautiful palm-fringed beaches, glistening backwaters, and the emerald-blue Arabian sea; Kerala is one of the most beautiful destinations in India.
While in Kerala, you can travel from beautiful beaches to green hills. You can relax on the golden sands of the beaches while you hear the silences of the beach. You can witness the splendor and traditions of the temple festivals in Thrissur and also indulge in a fun boat race in Allapuzha. You can savor authentic vegetarian food and the spicy seafood. You can breathe in the aroma of the spice plantations in Munnar and the coffee plantations in Wayanad.
Tourism in Kerala is not only confined to lush green plantations, ayurvedic treatments, tea gardens, and houseboats. It also enchants the adventure seekers with its abundant wildlife, historic temples, warm beaches, bejeweled elephants, scrumptious dishes, smoothly draped white sarees with gold borders, and the cities that are adorned with lavish European architecture giving the state a multi-cultural vibe! There is almost everything you can experience in Kerala and get yourself to a euphoric high!
'God's own country,' after all.
Geography: Wedged between Lakshadweep Sea and the Western Ghats, Kerala is one of the places in India with the best coastlines. It has a coast of 590 km, and the state can be divided into three regions based on the climatic variations. All the cities in Kerala have their own significance. Kovalam beach, Alleppey, and Varkala have some of the fascinating beaches of Kerala; whereas on the other side there are hill stations like Idukki, Ponmudi, and Munnar which give you breathtaking views. However, Alleppey and Munnar are mostly preferred by the tourists because of the blend of tradition and modernity they bear.
History: As explained in Hindu mythological texts, the lands of Kerala were recovered from the sea by Parasurama; the sixth avatar of Lord Vishnu. Many marine fossils have been found in an area near Changanacherry, supporting the mythology. Other than this, there were many excavations of the Indus Valley Civilization located in and around the regions of Kerala.
Population: Kerala is a home to 2.76% of India's population. Most of the population is concentrated near the coastal regions, followed by the crucial places in the state. Around 32 million people are Malayali; followed by Tamilians. This state is known to have the highest literacy rate and the lowest birth rate in the entire country of India.
Language: Malayalam is the official language used to communicate in Kerala. However, about 90% of the people in Kerala are literates, and hence you can converse with them in English making it one of the assets of Kerala Tourism. Malayalam is a South Dravidian language and possesses an independently written script.
Currency: Indian Rupee (INR) is the official currency that circulates in Kerala. The coin denominations are 1, 2, 5 and 10 while the note denominations are 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 2000.
Kerala is entirely developed as a tourist destination; however the money required to travel here would depend on the luxury you want to choose and your mode of travel. You can absolutely spend less than INR 1000 per day for a stay, transport, food, and drinks; nevertheless, it would be advisable to pay about INR 2000 per day to make your stay much comfortable. It would cost you extra when you consider on taking the Ayurvedic massages, boat rides, etc. because they are a bit high on the cost end.
Overall, it is going to cost you INR 15000-20000 per week approximately if you stay in decent places and opt for all the varied experiences Kerala has to offer. Coming to the availability of ATMs and the usage of cards; Tourism in Kerala has brought a requirement of quick cash access to the state, and hence you can find ATM kiosks at any center excluding a few hill stations; where you might have to walk a few miles to see one. However, almost all of the restaurants accept cards.
Kerala Tourism is one of the best sources of revenue for the state. People from across the seas come to experience this sheer beauty! This Kerala tourism guide will help you know in deep about the things you can experience in Kerala and all the essential things you need to know before you travel to Kerala to make your visit much comfortable.
We had the most amazing time in our travel to Kerala. We experienced so many things there and never thought nature woud look so beautiful. Munnar is the most loved place in Kerala and we got to experience it in real. I loved every minute of our trip and cant wait to plan another with Thomas Cook.
I had been to Kerala with my family and it was one of the most memorable trips ever right from rejuvenating spas, glistening backwaters and abundant wildlife. The lush green jungles along with scenic landscape was so mesmersing, also the beautiful wooden boats and breathtaking beaches. We had a complete blast there and I would happily love to use your services again in future.
My wife wanted to explore the lush backwaters of Kerala for our honeymoon trip. The majestic island life was all we needed to know each other better. Thomas Cook offered an extensive itinerary that included Kocchi, Alleppey, Kovalam and Munnar. The team organized tea plantation tours in Munnar and a trip to Eravikulam National Park. It was a fun and enthralling experience.
Cruising on Kerala backwaters during the houseboat ride in Alleppey was a wonderful experience. I was thankful to no one but the efficient team of Thomas Cook who made everything possible. From Elephant Safari in Periyar National Park to Kalari and Kathakali sessions in Cochin, our Kerala tour package was amazing in every way.
Thomas Cook is always ready for a new challenge and give their travellers an experience to remember. Among the number of times we have travelled with Thomas Cook, we have found their 10 night package for Kerala the most amazing. Whether it is exploring Alleppey or taking us to the best beaches of Kovalam, Thomas Cook made sure that our itinerary is the best.