God’s Own Country”
Kerala- home to the languid backwaters, leafy coastlines, sprawling tea gardens, and coconut vendors who are spotted at every corner to vanquish your thirst, is also famously known as ‘God’s Own Country’. It is a tiny sliver of paradise that is also one of the best tropical tourist destinations one can look for. Whether you want to bask in the sun and sand of the palm tree-lined Kovalam beach or want to take a hike to Munnar hill station, or even if you’re going to walk down the bustling streets of Kochi, Kerala has everything on offer to take your pick from!
The land of literate and simple citizens, Kerala amuses you with its spectacular dance forms, music and handicrafts. Considered to be one among the ten paradises of the world, Kerala is known for long palm tree beaches, beautiful rivers, pious inland waterbodies and a calm, green atmosphere. Apart from lush green and lovely hills of Wayanad and Idukki, beaches like Kovalam and Varkala and backwater destinations including Alleppey and Kumarakom are among few of the highlights of Kerala. Surrounded by coconut trees, the long coastline provides ample opportunity for fishing. Kerala’s backwaters, wildlife sanctuaries, mountain ranges and beaches will give you an ecstatic pleasure, and the serenity is sure to refresh your mind and body.
Best Time To Visit
Though Kerala is a year-round destination, the best season to visit Kerala depends on which place in Kerala you’re visiting. While some places are most enjoyable during the monsoons, others are best visited during the winter season. Overall, the best time to visit Kerala is during September to March, when the weather is pleasant, making it easy for tourists to explore the myriad facets of the state – the hill stations, beaches and backwaters.
The best time to visit backwaters in Kerala is the winter season, which is from November through February. It is when the weather in Kerala is pleasant for local sightseeing and boat excursions in the backwaters. Being the peak tourist season, winter is also the best time to visit Kerala with family for a memorable holiday. On the other hand, the hill stations in Kerala like Munnar receive thousands of visitors in the summer season, from April to June. It is not advisable to visit Kerala in monsoon season.
Whatever you seek – adventure or peace and tranquility, your Kerala trip will offer you all such experiences and more. Such is the beauty of a journey to Kerala! Honeymooners, families, solo travelers and friends traveling in a group are sure to find their own slice of heaven in Kerala, thereby each coming up with their own version of the best time to go to Kerala.
All in all, the best season to visit Kerala depends on what you wish to experience in Kerala, and where. Just adjust your itinerary as per the season, and you can cover as many destinations as you like within a short time frame.
Summer Season in Kerala
Summers in Kerala are from March to May, and this is when the weather is hot and humid in most parts of the state. The humidity makes it hard to enjoy sightseeing, although it does get cooler in the evenings. Hill stations remain cool during summers as well, so one can surely visit places like Munnar, Thekkady, or Wayanad during the summers. Places such as Kochi, Alleppey, and Kumarakom, on the other hand, turn too humid and uncomfortable for being outdoors. But that doesn’t deter tourists from taking advantage of the lower off-season prices.
Monsoon Season in Kerala
Monsoons, from the months of June to August, are perfect for visiting most parts of Kerala, including the backwaters, beaches, and hill stations. In monsoons, one can enjoy a refreshing climate as well as witness the lush green landscapes of the state in full bloom. The monsoon season is also ideal for indulging in Ayurvedic therapies and spa it offers respite from the humidity and the wet and cold weather helps ignite a sense of rejuvenation. What’s better than being surrounded by lush greenery and the feeling of stress and tiredness leaving your body in waves under the expert hands of a specialized masseuse!
Winter Season in Kerala
December marks the start of winters in Kerala with milder temperature till February. The winter season is perfect for visiting the backwaters and the beaches since humidity is lower and the weather is cool and pleasant. Winters make the hill stations slightly cooler than general. In winters, places such as Munnar and Thekkady offer beautiful views of mist clad mountain tops and foggy tea gardens, a mesmerizing sight for those with a penchant for nature walks. In fact, winters are the best time to visit Kerala for honeymoon.
How To Reach
God’s own land is always welcoming and inviting people from all across the globe. With its gorgeous coast line, this is the ideal place you want to enjoy the beach! Here are some options and suggestions that will help you decide on how to reach Kerala, by air (since the state has many state-of-the-art airports), by rail, by road or using the scenic waterways.
Are you an air bound traveler? Well, Kerala has an airport tucked away in every other corner. So you can fly right up to your end destination there. You can fly in to Kerala from off shores through the Kochi, Calicut (Kozikhode) and Thiruvananthapuram international airports. Up to 25 international air carriers service air routes to Kerala, so you can plenty of options and flexibility. Within India, Kerala is connected by direct flights from the following cities : Chennai, Delhi, Agatti, Mangalore, Mumbai, Bangalore and Goa.
Rail transport on the other hand is what people mostly prefer to travel by. Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram are extremely popular and are bustling with lots of activities. You can avail regular train services from the southern parts of the country. For cities like Delhi and Mumbai, the rail services are direct but not too frequent. Since these are popular routes, it’s best to make early reservations and is also cost-effective. Keep in mind that most trains to Kerala have their end destinations at either Thiruvananthapuram or Ernakulam. For last minute bookings Tatkal is a great bet! The chances of getting a seat are better and bookings are available up to a day before the train’s departure. If you want to add some glamour to your tour, get on the Golden Chariot which takes you for a South Indian Rail tour across Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
Another way to travel is by road using the National Highway to Kerala which connects the state to the rest of the country. Bombay travelers can get on the NH17 and land up in Kochi. The other National Highways to Kerala include NH47, NH212, NH49, NH220, NH208 and NH213. However, this is more popular with the people staying close by to Kerala, mostly from Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. You could instead just book a night journey on private or government serviced buses. Air conditioned Volvos make for the most comfortable experience!
Kochi happens to be one of India’s major docks which make way for domestic cruises. A terminal for international cruises in underway and will soon open a great travel route for tourists.
Travelling within Kerala
Once in Kerala, the best way out of the airports is by cab and perhaps the most preferred way to travel within the city. It gives you a chance to appreciate the gorgeous scenery around, and take in the mesmerizing coastal line. Interestingly, helicopter taxis are also available to transport people from the airport to the main city. However, this isn’t very convenient to travel frequently within the city. If you’re not too keen on taxis or auto rickshaws, you could also rent a car to travel around. Although expensive, moving around by car can be more convenient. Bus and inter-city train networks are also available and do a great job of connecting people. Timetables can be easily found and services can be arranged quickly.
When you’re in a coastal area, you can also use the ferry service. It’s probably the most convenient and most used mode of transportation. A perfect choice for connecting short distances!
Best Places To Visit
Places To Visit In Munnar
01. TATA Tea Museum
02. Eravikulam National Park
03. Mattupetty Dam
05. Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary
06. Top Station
07. Attukad Waterfalls
08. Fort Kochi
09. Cherai Beach
10Kodanad Elephant Training Centre
11Santa Cruz Basilica
12Wonderla Amusement Park
13Hill Palace of Tripunithara
14Marine Drive, Kochi
15. Alleppey Beach
16. Krishnapuram Palace
17. Marari Beach
18. Alleppey Lighthouse
19. Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary
20Kumarakom BeachImage Credit : trinityairtravel.com
21Vembanad LakeImage Credit : keralaenchanting
28Chimmony Wildlife Sanctuary
31Paramekkavu Bhagavathy Temple
37Banasura Sagar DamImage Credit : Bharath Shankar – Flickr
38Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary
40Bekal Fort, KasargodImage Credit : Wikipedia
41KottayamImage Credit : Arian Zwegers – Flickr
42KollamImage Credit : keralatourism.org
45Periyar National Park
Best Things To Do
1. Watch a Kathakali Performance – and Get Mesmerized
Kathakali, Kerala’s soul, is a beautiful dance form in which dancers decked up in colorful costumes tell you enchanting stories of the land with nothing but their expressions and postures. Watch a Kathakali performance in Kerala, which usually takes place at night, and be enthralled by stories of passion, lust, and power. This centuries-old dance form is believed to have originated from a rivalry between two kings of the region.
2. Visit the Iringal Crafts Village – For a Cultural Experience
Located near Kozhikode, on the banks of River Chaliyar is Iringal Crafts Village. The village is spread across 20 acres of land, where local artisans and craftsmen are encouraged to show their skills and sell their products to visiting tourists. You can pick up some beautiful works of art here made from coir, banana fibre, bamboo, coconut shells and other local materials found in abundance in Kerala. But it does not end at that. If you are curious about art yourself, you can attend art workshops here and learn to make a few art pieces yourself.
3. Watch a Kalaripayattu Bout- An Exciting Experience
Kalaripayattu is a form of martial arts which originated in Kerala. It is believed to be more than 3000 years old. Shaolin, the Chinese form of martial arts, is believed to have originated from Kalaripayattu too. Much like other martial arts forms, this art form too was taught in isolation in ancient times The art form lost much of its significance in modern times. However, it is slowly making a comeback in the form of dances and fitness routines. There are about 500 schools in Kerala which train people in this magnificent form of martial arts. When in Kerala, watch a Kalaripayattu bout. You will be mesmerized by the forms and athletic moves of the fighters.
4. Explore Sandalwood Forests at Marayoor- Nature’s Delight
Situated 40 km from Munnar, in Idukki district, is Marayoor, or Marayur. It is famous for its natural sandalwood forests, and its rock paintings which date back to pre-historic era. There are caves to be explored and a children’s park as well for some fun and frolic. Get down at Ernakulam station and take a taxi to Marayoor for a different kind of Kerala experience.
5. Take an Elephant Ride- And Feel Like a King
Kerala is known for its procession of elephants decked up in beautiful colors. But even more exciting than that is a ride atop one of the elephants in Kerala. You can explore the countryside with an elephant ride by the banks of Bharathapuzha River, you can ride deep into forests for an exciting wildlife safari, or you can choose to explore the many plantations of Kerala atop an elephant- there are quite a few choices to choose from.
6. Watch a Theyyam Performance- A Beautiful Form of Art
Theyyam is a form of God, a corrupt one at that, as believed by the people of Kerala. A Theyyam performance involves invoking the God and seeking His blessings. It is a popular art form of Malabar, which also stands for equality between the lower and upper castes of Hindus. It is an open-theatre like performance in which a lot of hymns and praises are sung, and like other art forms of Kerala, this one too involves some colorful costumes and beautiful dance postures.
7. Bamboo Rafting in Periyar- For an Adventurous Experience
Periyar wildlife sanctuary is one of the most popular forests reserves of Kerala. You could either take a jungle safari through the reserve or take a bamboo rafting ride in Periyar Lake. Bamboo rafting in Periyar lasts for about 3-4 hours and takes you through the many delights of one of the best wildlife sanctuaries in Kerala . You get to explore the flora and fauna of the region, and indulge in a bit of hiking as well. If you keep close to the banks of the lake, you have a good chance of spotting tigers, elephants and other majestic animals of the wild.
8. Ayurveda Massage- A Heavenly Bliss
Ayurveda in Kerala is akin to gambling in Las Vegas, you just cannot miss it when visiting the destination. Ayurveda resorts dot the landscape of Kerala, offering various forms of natural treatment and rejuvenation. Take a break and get an Ayurveda massage from the experts when in Kerala. The experience is nothing short of divinity.
9. Sail Down Alleppey Backwaters- A Romantic Experience
The backwaters of Alleppey are like the soul of Kerala. You can take a houseboat cruise on the backwaters of Alleppey, which is one the best houseboat experiences in Kerala, travelling through the narrow canals, and enjoying the lush greenery. It is a romantic experience, irrespective of whether you are with your partner, friends, or all alone.
10. Sip Tender Coconut Plucked from a Coconut Tree- And Get Refreshed
You just cannot separate Kerala from coconut. This gift of nature is everywhere to be seen in Kerala, from housing to clothing, art forms, food and more. There is nothing like sipping a tender coconut plucked straight from the tree. It literally refreshes you from inside out, and the lush surroundings of Kerala just add to the experience.
11. Go Fishing with Chinese Fish Nets- A Different Kind of Tourist Attraction
You may have tried angling in beautiful lakes, idling on a sunny afternoon. However, fishing with Chinese fishnets is a completely different experience. Visit Kochi and try fishing with these huge installations. Chinese fish nets are believed to have been introduced to Kochi by a Chinese ruler. They form an important part of the livelihood of people of Kochi and make for a great tourist attraction as well.
12. Cheer a Snake Boat Race- It is Better Than a Cricket Match!
Every year, in the months of August and September, the calm backwaters of Kerala come alive with the energy and enthusiasm of snake boat races. Thousands throng the backwaters to cheer their favorite team on to the finish line. The 130 feet long snake boats are packed with hundred rowers each, who row in unison at frantic speeds. Visit Kerala during the months of August and September, and pick your favorite team to cheer. Champakulam and Jawahar Thayangari are two of the most popular teams in the snake boat races of Kerala.
13. Marvel at Elephant Pageants- Beauty in the Beast
Beasts can be the beauty as well, and elephant pageants in Kerala are a perfect example of that. Thrissur and Palakkad in Kerala host several elephant pageants throughout the year, the Thypooya Mahotsavam in January being the highlight. Watch beautiful decked up elephants strut their stuff in style during these pageants.
14. Spend a Day with an Elephant in Kerala- It isn’t Confined to Just Movies
Elephants are an important part of the culture of Kerala. There are about 700 captive elephants in Kerala, mostly in the Trichur region. Elephants play a part in important religious ceremonies in Kerala, apart from serving as a pride for people. You can spend a day with an elephant in Kerala, watch the mahouts bathe then, and scrub them with coconut. The elephants of Kerala are usually calm creatures which do not mind you getting close to them.
15. Athirapally Waterfalls- Rich in Biodiversity
A part of Sholayar region of Kerala, close to Kochi, Athirapally forests is home of the magnificent Athirapally waterfalls. The waterfalls can be seen in full flow right after the monsoon season. It is a biodiversity region as well, home to several species of flora and fauna. Take a trek to the waterfalls and you could spot some exotic species of Kerala wildlife, including the lion-tailed macaque, Great Indian Hornbill, and Cochin Forest Cane Turtle.
16. Stay in a Houseboat- Romanticism Personified
There are several beach side resorts and hotels in Kerala, but nothing can beat a stay on a houseboat. In contrast to the houseboat stays of Kashmir, you get to stay on the backwaters of Kerala and enjoy the lush greenery, and the tranquil surroundings. It is an awesome experience for bird watchers as well, as backwaters of Kerala are home to some exotic species of birds.
17. Ride a Canoe- And Explore the Remote Parts of Kerala
If you are interested in the remote villages of Kerala, one of the best things to do in Kerala is to ride a canoe. Canoeing in Kerala takes you to the countryside of Kerala and gives you an opportunity to explore the lives of people in villages, apart from some really scenic delights. Canoeing in Kerala can be a romantic experience as you paddle your way through the backwaters with your special someone and should be a part of you honeymoon trip to Kerala.
18. Elephant Ride at Periyar- A “Gigantic” Experience
Periyar wildlife reserve is a well known habitat for various mammals and species of birds. The majestic tiger is the most popular resident of Periyar wildlife reserve. Take an elephant ride through the forest reserve, which takes you to the interiors of the forest, making for a really adventurous experience. You feel like a king as you get atop these gigantic but calm creatures.
19. Watch Birds- And Get Amazed at the Beauty of Nature
The lush green surroundings of Kerala are ideal habitat for a large variety of birds. It comes as no surprise then that there are more than 500 different species of birds to be spotted in Kerala. If you are a bird lover, you can spend hours watching birds in Kerala. Some of the best destinations in Kerala to go bird watching are Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary, Periyar, and Thattekad Bird Sanctuary.
20. Watch a Bullock Race- Truly Animalistic
It’s rustic, it’s dirty and it’s fun. Of the many exhilarating experiences of Kerala is bullock race. Ever year, Malapurram district of Malabar plays host to the bullock race, which attracts several people from the neighboring districts and areas. Put your bet on the bull you like the most and watch it put every possible effort to finish first. It cannot get more animalistic than that.
21. Stay in a Tree House- For a Rustic Experience
Most of us have seen it in cartoons and imagined ourselves living in one. In Kerala, you can actually do that. Stay in a tree house when in Kerala, which is made from eco-friendly materials like bamboo etc. Set atop a tree, high above the ground, you have birds for company and lush views of forests when you open the windows.
22. Walk the Cobbled Streets of Fort Kochi- Back to Colonial Times
Slow down the pace of life and spend time walking the cobbled streets and narrow lanes of Fort Kochi. It is a city of historical significance, with a distinct colonial flavor about it. Explore the heritage of the place, and when you feel tired, stop by one of the many cafes and lounges that line the streets of Kochi, sip a hot cup of coffee while watching the sea, and let time just pass by.
23. Take a Train Ride- Ernakulam-Kollam-Trivandrum– As Scenic as it Gets
If you want to have a beautiful overview of the state of Kerala, there is nothing better than a train ride from Ernakullam to Trivandrum via Kollam. You get to see the backwaters, the beautiful lakes of Kerala and coconut palms swaying in the distance on this enchanting train ride.
24. Arabian Dhow at Beypore- Skilled Craftsmanship
Beypore is a small town located close to Calicut in Kerala. The town is known for its shipbuilding history, which is believed to be as old as 1800 years old. It is here that Arabian Dhows, or Uru, are made and then supplied to the Gulf. The Urus is massive ship which last for almost five decades with minimal repair and maintenance. Take a tour of Beypore and watch the skilled workers in action, making Arabian Dhows. These ships are made entirely by hand and there is no metal used, except the steel nails which are used to hold the boat together.
25. Visit Kuttanad- The Lowest Altitude Destination of India
You may have travelled to places at great heights and watched in amazement the beauty of nature. But how about taking a trip to a destination which lies a little below sea level? Kuttanad is a town which lies about 1 to 2 meters below sea level. It is known for its rice paddy fields, and its many quaint villages. Take a tour of Kuttanad and watch the many rivers that flow through the region.
26. Explore a Tharavad- An Intimate Heritage Experience
Tharavads are heritage homestays in Kerala. If you want to experience life in the old times, complete with antique furniture, intricate woodwork etc, stay in a Tharavad in Kerala. These heritage homestays stand out for their hospitality and a really warm experience they give their guests.
27. Paragliding in Munnar- For an Adrenaline Rush
If you thought Kerala is all about tranquility and calmness, you are missing out on quite a lot. While in Kerala, you can fly over the majestic hills of Munnar with paragliding. You don’t need any training for this exhilarating experience. All you need is some courage and trust your paragliding pilot. Sailing over the hills and having a bird’s eye view of the lush green plantations is a mesmerizing experience.
28. Visit the Vembanad Lake- One of the Most Beautiful that Kerala has
Located close to Kottayam in Kumarakom is the Vembanad Lake, the largest lake of Kerala. It is a beautiful lake and a popular picnic spot. You can take a backwater cruise in the lake, go boating, or spend your evenings fishing by the lake. Either way, it is a splendid experience.
29. Visit the Mattancherry Palace- A Historical Landmark of Kerala
If you love history and heritage, one of the best things to do in Kerala is to take a trip to Mattancherry Palace, which is located close to Ernakulam. The palace dates back to 1557, with renovation done by the Dutch in 1663. It is built like a typical Kerala mansion, with murals that tell stories of the ancient times. There are several artifacts on display too which date back to the royal era. You can take a boat ride from Ernakulam town to Mattancherry Palace.
30. Watch Thullal- And Get Enthralled
There are several cultural and heritage art forms in Kerala, one of which is Thullal. Like most other art forms, Thullal is dedicated to the Gods to seek their blessings. The ceremony is supposed to bring happiness and prosperity. Devotional hymns and sung and girls can be seen dancing to traditional Kerala music. As the ceremony reaches its culmination, you can feel the performers entering a state of trance. The entire ceremony is mesmerizing, with all the senses coming together, almost in unison with the surroundings around you.
31. Visit Bekal Fort, Kasargod- A Historical Treasure
One of the most well-preserved forts of Kerala is the Bekal Fort, located close to Kasargod. Back in the old times, the fort was a strategic position because of its proximity to the state of Karnataka. Today, it stands as a testimony to the past, telling tales of rulers and the people that they ruled. Several excavations have been done at this historic site, revealing religious structures and other artifacts offering a peek into the ancient times.
32. Trek to Chembra Peak, Wayanad- For Mesmerizing Views
If you love trekking, you would enjoy taking a trek to Chembra peak in Wayanad. It is the highest peak in Wayanad. The trek is relatively simpler, and it takes you through some lush greenery of Wayanad. The top of the peak offers some amazing views of the valley below. But the highlight of the trek is the mist which engulfs the mountain most times of the year.
33. Visit the Edakkal Caves, Wayanad- A Trip Back to Stone Age
Located in Ambukuthi Hills, close to Wayanad, are the Edakkal Caves. These are natural caves which have pictorial drawings dating back to the Stone Age. Some of the drawings in these caves are believed to be as old as 7000 years old. A tour of these caves is an enchanting experience which tells us a lot about our ancestors.
34. Watch Mohiniyattam- A Celebration of Feminine Love
Out of the many cultural dance forms of Kerala is Mohiniyattam. It is a dance form which celebrates the feminine form of life. Watch beautiful dancers show feminine love in many forms and let them enthrall you. The dance form dates back to 16th century, when it was performed only in temples or royal courts. You will be mesmerized with all the facial expressions and the mudras of this dance form.
35. Take a Stroll on Jew Street, Kochi- An Eclectic Experience
Out of all the colonial charms of Kochi is the Jew Street. As the name suggests, it was once a bustling Jewish community. Although most Jews have shifted back to Israel, you cannot miss the distinct Jewish flavor in this part of Kochi. There are quite a few cafes on this street where you can pick up a book and get lost in time.
36. Uriyadi- Celebrate Janamashtami the Kerala way
Uriyadi is akin to the way Janamashtami is celebrated in Mumbai. Pots are hung on high wires and young boys try to break the pots and take home the winnings. But there is a slight twist involved. On the other side of the fence are people with a rope in hand, meant to protect the pots. Watch the Uriyadi festival in action at the time of Janamashtmi in Kerala. It is a cultural experience, and fun too.
37. Visit the Parassinikkadavu Snake Park- As Close as You can Get to King Cobra
The crawling reptiles may seem creepy to most of us, but they are still fascinating, especially when they are kept in glass houses they cannot get out of. For a slightly different and a slightly adventurous experience, one of the best things to do in Kerala is visit the Parassinikkadavu Snake Park located in Kannur District. Various venomous and non-venomous snakes are preserved in the park, including the mighty King Cobra.
38. Cycling in Munnar- A Fantastic Eco-Tour
One of the best ways to explore the lush greenery of Munnar is to take a cycling tour of the region. Hire a cycle and explore the many plantations of Munnar, and get a peek into the rural lifestyle of Kerala. It is an environment friendly way of exploring the beauty of Kerala, and a tantalizing one too.
39. Get High on Toddy
Toddy is an intoxicating coconut drink and an important part of Kerala’s traditions. When in Kerala, take a swig of Toddy and let it work its magic. It is a slow acting liquor which is very sweet in taste. You don’t want to have too much of it at once, unless you are trying to forget your wife!
40. Munnar Tea Garden Tour- A Refreshing Tour
If you thought only Darjeeling is associated with tea in India, think again. Munnar in Kerala is an important part of India’s tea trade. There are about 30 odd tea estates in Munnar, producing high quality tea. Take a tour of a Munnar tea garden, learn about the various kinds of teas, and spend some time in the midst of nature, literally.
41. Experience Thrissur Pooram- A Colorful Religious Festival
One of the most colorful things to do in Kerala is witness Thrissur Pooram. It is a religious festival which takes place in the month of April in Thrissur. You can see scores of people offering their prayers to Lord Shiva, decked up in colorful clothes, and reveling in the atmosphere. The highlight of the festival is some of the best dressed elephants, and beautiful umbrella showing competition.
42. Kayaking in Backwaters- For an Adventurous Backwater Experience
If you are looking for something more adventurous to do than just a backwater cruise in Kerala, take a kayaking tour of the backwaters. Row your way through the narrow canals and explore the varied flora and fauna of the region. Work up a sweat and take a tour of the many villages too which are situated by the backwaters.
43. Relax on Varkala Beach- One of the Most Pristine of Kerala
Varkala Beach is a quaint beach located on the boundary of Thiruvananthapuram. You can lounge on the beach and see the waves crash against the rocks, or you could explore the Vishnu Temple here, which is believed to be about 2000 years old. Don’t forget to take a dip in the water here, as it is supposed to absolve you of all the sins.
44. Explore Marari Beach- For Rejuvenation and Relaxation
Marari Beach is a little known beach, and a beautiful one at that, located close to Alleppey. The beach offers a reclusive experience, away from the maddening crowd of the city. While you are here, you can explore the fishing village of Mararikulam too and learn about the local lifestyle of the people.
45. Take a Jungle Safari Through Periyar- An Exhilarating Experience in the Wild
A tour of Kerala isn’t complete without an experience of the wild kind. While in Kerala, take a jungle safari through Periyar wildlife sanctuary. The forest reserve is noted for its elephant and tiger population. It is also known for its wide variety of birds, making it a haven for birdwatchers as well.
46. Explore the Backwaters of Kumarakom- You will be Enchanted
The backwaters of Alleppey are enchanting, and the backwaters of Kumarakom are even more so. When in Kerala, you just cannot miss out on exploring the calmness of tranquility of Kumarakom. It is not without reason that Kumarakom is one of the most popular tourist destinations of Kerala.
47. Stay in Vythiri Tree House- Really Close to Nature
One of the best-known destinations for honeymoon trip in Kerala is Vythiri resort. But even if you are all alone, a stay in a tree house at the resort is a magical experience. The tree houses here are plush, and yet very rustic. They are eco-friendly as well, made from locally available materials. They even use solar energy and spring water for power needs.
48. Onam Festival- A Cultural Extravaganza
Onam festival takes place sometime in the months of August and September. It is a 10 day long festival, and the most important one in Kerala, which signifies the homecoming of King Mahabali. You can see some exhilarating snake boat races during this time, witness some colorful dances, and explore the tradition and culture of Kerala.
49. Parunthumpara Trek- An Exotic Experience
One of the lesser known treks in Kerala, but nevertheless a magnificent one, is the Parunthumpara Trek, or the eagle rock trek. The trek takes you to a viewpoint close to Peermade in Idukki district. The viewpoint offers breathtaking views of deep trenches, lush valleys and the Trishanku Hills as well.
50. Nelliyampathy- Kerala’s Best Kept Secret
Surrounded by lush tea and coffee plantations is Nelliyampathy in Kerala, located close to Palakkad. You can enjoy cool mountain breeze and views of the mountains at this hill station, or take a tour of the many plantations. There are some enchanting trekking trails to be explored too in Nelliyampathy.
51. Kalamachal- Away from the Crowds
Situated on the banks of Vamanapuram River, in Thiruvananthapuram district is Kalamachal. It is a scenic hill station with lush greenery and calm surroundings. If you are looking for nothing but relaxation in Kerala, Kalamachal could be a good place to spend your time. It is a little known destination in Kerala, and perfect for those who want to spend their time away from the crowds.
Best Places To Eat
Almost all Mallu dishes are prepared in coconut and various spices giving a sharp pungency in the flavour that is further heightened with a hint of tamarind. The use of coconut gives richness to the dishes and also absorbs the tongue teasing hot flavours.
Being a coastal state, sea food is also found in abundance, which is cooked in various different styles. So, let’s find out where you ought to head for the local favourites in Kerala:
1. Shala Restaurant
Literally, Ma ke haath ka khaana! The very USP of this place is home cooked food by the local housewives. So, you can expect delicious home cooked food in a lovely set up. It’s a small place and it shouldn’t come as a surprise if you see a long queue waiting outside to get a table here.
Speciality: Malabar prawn curry, kingfish steak, and the vegetarian special (which changes daily)
Location: Peter Celli Street, Fort Kochi, Kochi
2. Rahmathullah Hotel
Don’t go by the looks of this little place because if you want to have the best biryani in Kerala you’ll have to bear with it! Kayee’s Rahmathullah Hotel has been serving since 1948 and everyday people from all across line up here to have a taste of their delectable biryani.
Speciality: Biryani, Fridays you get fish Biryani and on Tuesdays, prawn. On all the other days chicken and mutton is available.
Location: Aanavaadal, Fort Kochi, Mattancherry, Kochi
Ratings: 5 star
3. Kethal’s Chicken
Forget KFC, its KCF or Kethal’s Chicken Fry that you must try! Operating since 1949, this is an amazing place that’s been serving Kerala’s favourite fried chicken.
Speciality: Chapppathi and chicken fry with lime juice sprinkled on it
Location: Rahmaniya Lane, Chalai Bazar,Trivandrum
Ratings: 4 stars
4. Rapsy Restaurant
While on a backpack trip with a tight budget, Rapsy Restaurant is your answer to delicious food at cheap rates. Prices for Rapsy’s famous paratha or biryani starts at just Rs. 50!
Speciality: Spanish omelette, Israeli shakshuka (eggs with tomatoes and spices) and Mexican salsa.
Location: Main Bazaar, Munnar
Ratings: 4 stars
5. Grand Pavilion
The Grand Pavilion is one of the oldest and most popular eatery in Kochi. If you can get past the crowd and find yourself a table in here, you are in for a gourmet’s delight.
Speciality: Syrian food, the Karimeen Pollichathu (fried pear spot fish), Seafood, Biriyani, and authentic Keralan dishes
Location: Ernakulam, Kochi
Ratings: 5 stars
The nearby beach adorned with the huge Chinese fishing nets ensures a steady supply of fresh fishes and other sea food at Menorah. No wonder they serve the best sea food in town!
Speciality: Jewish food and sea food
Location: Koder House, Fort Cochin, Kochi
Ratings: 3.5 stars
7. Hotel Annapoorna
All the vegans out there may rejoice! Hotel Annapoorna is a pure veg restaurant serving the best Mallu breakfast and other traditional food.
Speciality: Puttu, Masala Dosa, Idli (all veggie favourites, just name it)
Location: Perumbavoor, Kerala
Ratings: 4.5 stars
8. Dal Roti
Are you missing your tandoori chicken, roti and dal makhni? Well, if you want a break from the coconutty, spicy and tangy local flavours of Kerala, step in to Dal Roti.
Speciality: North Indian food, Kathi rolls
Location: Fort Kochi, Kochi
Ratings: 4 stars
Cafes, Shacks and a Continental Breakfast
Oh, don’t you worry; you won’t be deprived of a fine Continental meal here in Kerala. The fact that it’s a diverse state with a variety of international influences can be clearly seen in their food.
Let’s look at some of the best places for continental food in Kerala:
9. Beatles Restaurant
Just like the name, the place is equally amazing. Overlooking the breathtaking Lighthouse beach, this restaurant invites a huge number of tourists who come here for laid back time out. The tiger prawns served here are to die for!
Speciality: Burgers, Seafood and continental breakfast
Location: Lighthouse Beach, Kovalam
Ratings: 4 stars
10. Indian Coffee House
A flamboyant, spirally red brick tower, in the central station road of Trivandrum attracts flocks from all corners of the town. It’s the oldest and the biggest chain of restaurant in all of Kerala- The Indian Coffee House. A refreshing cup of filter coffee with a side of dosa or idli is just the way to begin the day in Trivandrum!
Speciality: Coffee and snacks
Location: Central Station Road, Trivandrum
Ratings: 4 stars
11. Kashi Art Café
Food or no food, Kashi Art Café is a must visit in Kochi. The casual vibe and the artsy setting of the place has turned it into an attraction in itself. However, the food here is also terrific!
Speciality: Western breakfast and coffee
Location: Fort Kochi, Kochi
Ratings: 4.5 stars
12. Le Sante Café
Come here to hog on the best burgers in the town! Located in the heart of Kozhikkode town, Le Sante Café is awesome for hangout and a quick bite.
Speciality: Burgers, Waffles, ice-creams and desserts
Location: NIT Mukkam Road, Kozhikode
Ratings: 4.5 stars
13. German Bakery (Waves)
The most popular hangout in town, the German Bakery has the best breakfast menu. You can spend hours on the on an airy, sunburnt-orange balcony sipping coffee and nibbling on their delectable food.
Speciality: Curries, seafood, tofu and pizzas
Location: Lighthouse Beach, Kovalam
Ratings: 3.5 stars
Best Places To Stay
Of all the places to stay in Kerala, here are the most luxurious 5-star hotels where you can enjoy ultimate peace, privacy, and comfort. Take a look!
1. Old Harbour Hotel
Undoubtedly one of the best hotels in Kerala, this Kochi hotel is an oasis of tranquillity where you can forget your worries for a while and relax in its wonderful colonial style ambience. Nothing is too much trouble for the helpful and welcoming staff. The quaint rooms, beautiful pool, authentic spa treatments and stunning views of the iconic Chinese fishing nets make the perfect recipe for a holiday to remember. Everything from eco friendly toiletry pots to antique phone and rose petals on the bed is carefully thought of. Evening dinners in the garden to the sound of traditional music are nothing short of magical.
Address: 1/328 Tower Road,Fort Kochi, 682001 Cochin, India
Price/night: Double room with garden view @ INR 25000
Tripadvisor rating: 5/5
2. Niraamaya Retreats Surya Samudra
With its romantic seaside setting, a private beach and beautiful sea-facing infinity pool Niraamaya is undoubtedly one of the finest luxury hotels in Kerala near the beach. You could spend languid days ambling around coconut trees, soaking in pampering spa treatments and attending soothing yoga sessions on a platform overlooking the sea. The spacious cottage style rooms are fitted with terracotta roofs, wooden pillars and tiled floors, invoking a dreamy luxurious feel. The speciality restaurant offers gourmet seafood grills, and you can witness perfect sunsets at the Madira bar while sipping sundowners.
Address: Pulinkudi Mullur PO, 695521 Kovalam, India
Price/night: Garden view rooms from 12000 INR and sea view rooms at 19000
3. The Leela
Perched on a cliff, this gem amongst Kerala hotels offers spectacular views of the Arabian Sea and Kovalam shoreline. Everything about The Leela spells luxury, comfort and magnificence. You can walk to the beach for a dip, visit the lighthouse or just soak in the views from the infinity pool and enjoy your drinks at the Sky Bar. It is also one of the most sought after 5-star hotels in Kerala for organizing grand memorable weddings for your loved ones.
Address: Kovalam Beach, 695527 Kovalam, India
Price/night: Superior double with beach view starts at 19000 INR
4. Brunton Boatyard
This restored Victorian boatyard exuding colonial grandeur and charm is one of the top picks for Kerala hotels by travellers. The decor is a perfect blend of Portuguese and English elements, adding to the understated elegance. A tranquil oasis ensconced in lush greenery, this magnificent property offers unmatched views of the Arabian Sea: you may even spot dolphins and sea otters from your room balcony! It is ideally located to explore the Fort Kochi area and the complimentary sunset cruise in the private boat is a delight.
Address: Calwati Road, Fort Cochin, 682001 Cochin, India
Price/night: Sea view rooms from 11000 INR
Tripadvisor rating: 4.5/5
5. The Panoramic Gateway
When scenic mountains views are complimented by a dip in the heated rooftop pool, you know you’ve made the right choice in booking one of the best luxury hotels in Kerala, India. There are two separate pools so that families and couples can relax in privacy while feasting their eyes on the sweeping views of Munnar valley. The rejuvenating spa massage is recommended.
Address: Chithirapuram,Munnar,Idukki District Kerala,Pin 685565, 685565 Munnar, India
Price/night: Deluxe double from 10000 INR
Tripadvisor rating: 4.5/5
6. Spice Tree Munnar
This is one of the ideal Kerala hotels for switching off from the hustle-bustle of the outside world and getting lost in the luxurious rooms and soothing hill views while listening to bird song. The yoga, nature walks, cooking and tea tasting sessions ensure you wouldn’t want to leave this amazing property and go anywhere else. There’s a free coffee bar down the hill where you can sip tea and coffee while treating your senses to the sights of bountiful nature all around. The infinity pool overlooking the hill is another spot to let yourself sway in tranquil bliss.
Address: Nadukkurissu, Muttukad-Periakanal Road, 685618 Chinnakanal, India
Price/night: Classic double room with spa bath at 10500 INR
Tripadvisor rating: 5/5
7. Chandy’s Windy Woods
One of the top hotels in Kerala, this one bowls you over with breathtaking views of the mystical Munnar tea plantations which are just a stone’s throw away. The luxurious and spacious rooms along with the artificial waterfall and in-house trekking make you want to spend your days The chef not only takes personal interest in pampering your taste buds but also conducts interesting cooking classes for the food enthusiasts.
Address: Meencut P.O. Chithirapuram, 685565 Munnar, India
Price/night: Deluxe double room with mountain view starts at 9000 INR
Tripadvisor rating: 5/5
8. Fragrant Nature Munnar
One of the top hotels in Kerala, Fragrant Munnar is the perfect blend of luxury and comfort in the lap of nature. Each tastefully decorated elegant room offers lovely views of the lush green mountains. The in house cafe allows you to indulge in some decadent cakes while sipping awesome coffee or blissful cinnamon tea. A restaurant with a view and a well-equipped gym are more reasons for Fragrant Nature being amongst the coveted Kerala hotels. They also organise delightful guided treks explaining the local flora and fauna of the region.
Address: Baison Valley Road, Pothamedu,, 685612 Munnar, India
Price/night: doubles from 9000 INR
Tripadvisor rating: 4.5/5
Budget Friendly 5 star And Luxury Hotels In Kerala
Just like its luxurious hotels, Kerala has also got a lot of budget-friendly 5-star hotels that will offer you luxury without burning a hole in your pocket. Have a look!
9. Hycinth By Sparsa
This western style hotel in the heart of Trivandrum is amongst the popular Kerala hotels due to the comfort and convenience it offers. The rooftop swimming pool is one of the highlights of this modern hotel and is a huge hit with the guests. It is located very close to the popular Padmanabhaswamy temple and the Napier zoo. Spacious rooms and excellent food are other reasons to book your stay here.
Address: Manorama Road,Thampanoor, Trivandrum, 695001 Trivandrum, India
Price/night: 7500/- for Club Double Room
Tripadvisor rating: 4.5/5
10. Vivanta By Taj
Your search for Taj hotels in Kerala that offer luxury without pinching your pockets ends here. Living up to the brand name, the hotel offers spacious well appointed rooms, swimming pool, bar and health club. The hospitality, service and friendliness of the staff will make you want to revisit this centrally located 5 star hotel in Kerala. The large banquet hall is well suited for weddings and conferences.
Address: C V Raman Pillai Road Thycaud , 695014 Trivandrum, India
Price/night: superior double room from 7000 INR
Tripadvisor rating: 4.5/5
11. Kochi Marriott Hotel
Expect nothing less than the quintessential Marriott hospitality at this centrally located 5 star hotel in Kerala. This is a very modern hotel with spacious well equipped rooms, a lovely pool and all other amenities for a restful break. Its proximity to the hugely popular Lulu shopping mall is one of the highlights of this top rated hotel. In fact the hotel also provides a shuttle car to/from the mall for the convenience of the guests.
Address: Lulu International Shopping Mall, 682024 Cochin, India
Price/night: Deluxe King or Queen rooms from 6500 INR
Tripadvisor rating: 4.5/5
12. Elixir Hills Munnar
This relatively new entrant to the list of top rated Kerala hotels wins your heart from the moment you step in, with the tranquil ambience, their unique welcome drink and exceptionally caring staff. Located in a beautiful setting in the lap of nature, the luxurious property is surrounded by lush forests and waterfalls. The presidential suite comes with a Jacuzzi and a lovely balcony with breathtaking views. You could enjoy a romantic candle light dinner or spend some relaxed moments in the wonderful coffee shop.
Address: Near Letchmi Tea Estate Mankulam, Munnar, 685612 Munnar, India
Price/night: Deluxe suite from 5500 INR
Tripadvisor rating: 4.5/5
13. Poetree Sarovar Portico
Be prepared to be pampered from the time you walk into this beautiful Thekkady hotel spread over 9 acres of land in the midst of pristine forests and wilderness. It is one of the best budget hotels in Kerala to unwind and relax in a splendid natural setting. Each sun-drenched room has l[plush interiors, elegant furnishings and a private deck with spectacular views of the verdant hills and the serene Periyar lake.
Address: Ottakathalamedu, Amaravathy P.O. Kumily, Thekkady
Price/night: Club room from 6200 INR
Tripadvisor rating: 4.5/5
14. The Raviz Calicut
The top rated hotel in Calicut, The Raviz is amongst the most budget friendly 5 star hotels in Kerala. There is a spa, wellness centre and massage parlour where you can indulge in pampering treatments while you relax in this modern business hotel. Excellent rooms with all amenities and a lavish breakfast spread are other highlights of this property.
Address: 5/3410, RP Mall, Mavoor Road, Kozhikode, 673004 Kozhikode, India
Price/night: Premium double rom from 5700 INR
Tripadvisor rating: 4.5/5
15. The Trident Cochin
The lovely pool area, impeccable interiors and the ever smiling faces of each of the staff members are the first things you notice at this elegant 5 star hotel in Kerala located on Willingdon island. Trident hospitality is sure to sweep you off your feet with every little thoughtful gesture. Complimentary cooking classes and not-to-be-missed traditional massages offered by the in house spa add to the memorable experience of your stay here.
Address: Bristow Road, Willingdon Island, 682003 Cochin, India
Price/night: Superior double room from 4500 INR
Tripadvisor rating: 4.5/5
16. Ramada Alleppey
Located 2 hours drive away from the Cochin International Airport (82 km), Ramada Alleppey is a gorgeous 5-star classified resort hotel in the ‘Venice of the East’, Alleppey. This comfortable and luxurious hotel sits overlooking the breathtaking backwaters of the Punnamada Lake. Beautifully illuminated rooms with the view of the water body located in the front simply make your stay experience extremely soothing. The hotel features modern day amenities including pool, restaurant, bar and lounge, fitness center with a gym, and spa. The rooms feature a minibar.
Address: Nehru Trophy, Finishing Point, Punnamada, 688001 Alleppey, India
Price/night: 5,800 INR
Tripadvisor rating: 4.1/5
17. Forte Kochi
Located on the popular Princess Street of Fort Kochi, Forte Kochi is a heritage hotel that was built in the 1860s. The hotel was originally built by the Dutch and was a part of the palatial home of an eminent Jew family. Each room of this building reflected the traditional Dutch architectural style, so it was later rebuilt in accordance with the architectural style of the glorious colonial period in Kerala. The hotel has 27 luxurious rooms that are elaborately decorated and feature a minibar too. The hotel has a restaurant and a pool. You would also enjoy the complimentary breakfast during your stay.
Address: 1/373. Princes Street Fort Kochi, 682001 Cochin, India
Price/night: 7,900 INR
Tripadvisor rating: 4.7/5
18. The Gateway Hotel Beach Road
The Gateway Hotel Beach Road in Calicut is a well thought accommodation service for travelers. Located not much far from the Calicut city centre, the hotel is easily accessible. Calicut or Kozhikode being a city that is historically and culturally rich, one really needs to explore the city for a real experience. The location of the hotel also enables you to step out into the historic city and discover at your time and pace. The best part is that after a long exhiliriating day, you have a comfortable abode to return to. The lush green surroundings of the hotel and the modern facilities including pool, restaurant, bar and lounge, free parking, fitness centre with a gym and spa, would never let your staycation be anything less than perfect.
Address: P.T.Usha Road, 673032 Kozhikode, India
Price/night: 7,300 INR
Tripadvisor rating: 4.4/5
19. The South Park Hotel
Located in the heart of the capital city, Fortune Hotel The South Park is one of the best 5 star hotels in Kerala for business travelers. The rooms feature a mini bar and a smartly furnished desk area where you can comfortably sit and work on your laptops. The rooms are clean, well planned and spacious. The hotel rooms also have sufficient seating area. The South Park Hotel provides facilities including restaurant, bar and lounge, free parking, fitness centre with gym and spa. The room tariff is inclusive of breakfast.
Address: M. G. Road, Palayam, 695034 Trivandrum, India
Price/night: 3,100 INR
Tripadvisor rating: 4.1/5
20. Radisson Blu Kochi
Located at the Kochi city centre, the Radisson Blu Kochi is an example of true luxury and comfort stay. The chic interiors of the rooms and the unique service culture of the hotel makes your simply unforgettable. Along with soundproof rooms and suites the hotel features an on-site spa, an open rooftop swimming pool, Gymnasium, well equipped Banquet Halls, and a Business Centre. These amenities guarentee a relaxing and productive stay in the city. Radisson Blu Kochi lie in close proximity to the transportation hubs, popular shopping areas and other tourist hotspots, making these places easily accessible for its guests.
Address: S.A Road, Elamkulam Junction, Kadavantara, Ernakulam, 682020 Cochin, India
Price/night: 5,100 INR
Tripadvisor rating: 4.3/5
Shopping In Kerala
No vacation is complete without a heartfelt retail therapy. And Kerala is no exception. The graceful dresses, works of art, aromatic spices, beverages, and oil – there are ample options to fill the bags with while shopping in Kerala. Here is a quick rundown on where & what to shop in Kerala. Have a look before you plan a holiday in Kerala.
What To Shop In Kerala?
Kerala is not just an scenic tourist place, but it is also an amazing shopping destination. Here are the things that you must buy on yur Kerala holiday for the best shopping in kerala experience:
1. Tea And Coffee
Bagging tea and coffee is an important part of shopping in Kerala at Munnar. The Nilgiri Tea grown in various parts of Kerala and Kerala Kapi & Monsooned Malabar Coffee are rich in aroma, taste, and color. These can be obtained from local shops or certified counters of the tea & coffee estates.
Where to find Tea Estates: Munnar, Kolukkumalai, Wayanad, and Vagamon
Where to find Coffee Estates: Wayanad, Gavi, Nenmara, Idukki, and Peermade
Nothing beats Kerala in its variety & quality of spices and the expansive spice plantations. Be it fresh black pepper, cloves, turmeric, cardamom, cinnamon, or star anise, the richness & aroma of these spices is something to die for. If you are shopping in Kerala for spices, head to the locals shops in Kumily (near Thekkady) and around Fort Kochi.
Where to find spice plantations: Munnar, Kumily, Periyar, and Thekkady
3. Banana Chips And Cashew Nuts
Locally known as Nenthra-kaya Upperi, banana chips are amongst the most popular items to shop in Kerala. They have a huge fandom in not just South but even in North of India. In some of the shops, you get the privilege of watching how they are actually prepared. Another best consumable product that you can buy from Kerala is cashew nuts, that are available here at quality and price. You can visit the cashew farms for experience or simply buy them from the shops. Both are available in abundance at local stalls, especially in and around Fort Kochi. Don’t forget to taste and bargain if you are planning to buy in bulk.
4. Kasavu Mundu And Dresses
Kasavu Mundu is the traditional textile of Kerala. It is a pure handmade cotton cloth with typical zari border. Though these are Malayalee custom dresses, nowadays people generally wear during ceremonies, temple visits, and weddings. Prices may vary with the difference in the handwork, the material, and the place from where it is bought. There are branded outlets as well as local shops for some steal deal.
Coconut and Coir Products: Kerala, the land of coconut, is an ideal place to pick coconut and coir products. These include rugs, carpets, mats, and some amazing cool souvenirs made of coconut husk.
Kathakali Mask: One should not leave Kerala without buying a Kathakali souvenir. Be it a wall hanging mask or a fridge magnet, this is one of most alluring shopping attractions in Kerala.
Nettur Casket and Chundan Vallam & Uru Models: Some of the fascinating wooden chests of the world are made in Kerala. Kerala is globally popular for snake boat races and you must definitely pick a Chundan Vallam or Urus (model boats) as souvenirs for gifting someone or decorating your own household.
Nettipattam: Well-decorated elephants can be seen during festivals, ceremonies, and marriages. Nettipattam, the decorative ornament used for elephants, can also be used as wall hanging or décor.
Nilavilakku: Nilavilakku or traditional Malayali oil lamp is another important handicraft of Kerala. It is considered as one of the significant items for traditional home décor.
6. Aroma Oils
Kerala is a place that boasts of best of the practices of Ayurveda science. Healing spa therapies, beauty treatments, and rejuvenating massages are popular in Kerala. Almost every resort has individual spa centers. A wide range of essential aromatic oils needed for various therapeutic treatments is available in Kerala at the best competitive rates. These aromatic oils have a soothing effect on body and mind. You can also take a few to gift to your friends.
To inspire the womanhood in you, check out the fascinating and super cool jewelry (both artificial and gold) available in various cities. The gold ones reflect traditional Malayalam spirit while the junk jewelry and amazing in design and pattern.
Famous Markets In Kerala
Now that you know what all thing to buy while shopping in Kerala, here are some of the most popular markets from where you can buy these things:
1. Spice Market – Kochi
The Spice Market in Kochi is one of the extremely popular shopping places in Kerala. It is lined up with local stores dealing with wide variety of spices. The strong aroma & vibrant colors of spices and the bustling market attract tourists round the year.
Famous for: Wide variety of spices like hand-picked ginger, cloves, cardamom, turmeric, and pepper or black gold.
Timings: 10 am – 9:30 pm
Also in Kochi: Anokhi for Contemporary Crafted Textiles, Tribes India for tribal items (Paintings, shawls, and figurines), and Niraamaya for Ayurvedic clothing & textiles
2. Connemara Market – Trivandrum
Connemara Market, also known as Palayam Market, is a popular shopping destination in Trivandrum. The marketplace is dotted with local unbranded shops that sell vegetables, groceries, household items, coir products, and garments.
Famous for: Fish, live goats, fabric, clothes, spices and mistletoe and wine (during Christmas)
Timings: 7 am onwards
Also in Trivandrum:
- Chalai Market: Popularly known as Kerala’s busiest street market, Chalai Bazaar is another prime shopping destination in Trivandrum. While locals come here to pick their daily vegetable & grocery stocks, tourists explore this market for garments and beverages.
- Sarwaa: Sarwaa is another must-visit shop in Trivandrum. It is an extensive outlet with a splendid collection of different ethnic brands of knick-knacks, handicrafts, ornaments, rustic motifs, junk jewelries, and mural painting on bamboo frames.
3. Asparagus – Varkala
Asparagus is a one-of-its-kind eco-shop in Varkala that deals with all kinds of Kerala handloom, Kerala handicrafts, organic and khadi cotton and spices.
Famous for: Kalamkari, Ayur-vastra, and spices like cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, vanilla, turmeric, & coffee powder
Timings: 10 am – 5:30 pm
Also in Varkala: The Art of India is another handicraft shop, known for moderately priced handicrafts, jewelry, pashmina, and carpets.
4. Hindustan Spices And Herbals – Idukki
One of the primary hubs for spice shopping in Kerala, Hindustan Spices & Herbals is a one-stop solution for all kinds of spices and medicinal herbs with therapeutic value.
Timings: 10 am – 6 pm
5. Pulickatti Handicrafts – Alappuzha
Located near the boat jetty, Pulickatti is a fantastic and reasonably priced shop for souvenirs and artifacts.
Famous for: Wooden and metal handicrafts
Famous Shopping Malls In Kerala
Kerala has a variety of sopping places, from street markets to bazaars from shopping complexes to shopping mall. Here are some of the most popular shopping malls in Kerala:
6. LuLu Mall – Kochi
Spread over sprawling 17 acres, Lulu Mall is a major attraction of Kochi and one of the most popular shopping destinations in Kerala. With more than 215 branded shops, bustling food court, movie theaters, ice skating, and bowling alleys, this majestic looking mall pulls tourists around the year.
Timings: 9 am – 10 pm
7. Centre Square Mall – Kochi
Another up-market mall in Kochi, the Centre Square is one of the popular shopping places in Kochi. This 5-storey mall has big brand players, happening food court, activity centers, & movie screens attract local people as well as travelers for a fantastic shopping experience.
Timings: 10 am – 10 pm
8. Oberon Mall – Kochi
Opened in 2009, this Oberon Mall is a lifestyle center with top listed domestic & global brands in retail, food, and recreation. With close to 100 stores & kiosks, this glamorous shopping place in Kerala houses some of the leading brands in fashion accessories, white goods, fine dining, and international Spa. However, this mall is more famous for having the first multiplex theater in Kerala.
Timings: 10 am – 10 pm
9. R P Mall – Kollam
Formerly known as the K Mall, RP Mall is the pioneering lifestyle venture from the renowned Malabar developers. This sprawling 2,10,000 sq.ft mall has 5 bustling floors. It houses leading names in fashion, jewelry, salon, food court, wedding studio, and cinemas.
Timings: 11 am – 10 pm
10. Focus Mall – Kozhikode
Located in the heart of Calicut city, Focus Mall is a popular shopping hub here. Its prime location, graceful design, and plethora of facilities pull tourists throughout the year. With escalators to shopping areas, see-through capsule elevators, ample parking space, and numerous branded shops, Focus Mall assures impressive footfall every day.
Timings: 10 am – 11 pm
Bonus: The Grand Kerala Shopping Festival
The phenomenal & revolutionary shopping festival in Kerala is organized by Kerala Tourism, in coordination with the Industries & Commerce Department, Finance Department, and local Self Government Departments. This annual shopping fiesta is an integral part of the experience of shopping in Kerala. Along with international brands, this shopping festival in Kerala also provides exciting offers, fun-filled competitions, exciting prizes, and loads of surprise deals.
Note: Keep checking their website for dates and further announcements.