Kerala is blessed with a heartwarming climate and picturesque sceneries. The breathtaking beauty of Munnar, the mesmerizing forests of Thekkady and Wayanad, comfortable beaches of Kovalam and Cherai, the pleasant atmosphere of Kochi and the serene lush green backwaters in Alleppey and Kumarakom, Kerala is heaven for both wanderlust seekers and peace lovers. If you haven’t explored ‘God’s Own Country’ yet, plan your trip now either with your family, friends and or solo and Kerala will help you relax and rejuvenate.
1.Best time to book Kerala tour packages from Karnataka
Kerala and Karnataka are neighboring states and have a similar type of climatic conditions except in winter. While in Karnataka winter starts in January and lasts till February, in Kerala winter starts from November ends till March. Hence, the best time to visit Kerala from Karnataka is in the winter months. The winter in Kerala is comfortable and is also called Peak Season in Kerala.
The other two seasons in Kerala is the Off Season in the months of April and May and is also called the offseason, and Monsoon Season from June to August, which is also called Ayurvedic Season. Kerala can be enjoyed in any of the three seasons, but if visiting Kerala during the winter season one must make sure to book their travel and accommodations in advance.
2.How to travel to Kerala from Karnataka
Kerala is well connected to Karnataka by road, rail and flight.
Road– The distance between the two states is approximately 675km. The route you take by road will depend on which part of Kerala you wish to visit. Kerala is connected, by road, with all parts of the nations via National Highways 17, 47 and 49. While traveling from Karnataka the most preferred route is going through Tamil Nadu and reaching Kerala. Another route is through Nagarahole and Bandipur national parks and reaching Mananthavady in Kerala. If you are traveling from Bangalore in Karnataka or nearby areas then the best route will be Bangalore – Mysore – Hampapura – HD Kote – Bavali – Kattikulam – Mananthavady – Boys Town – Periya – Nedumpoyil – Kannavam – Koothuparamba – Kannur. There are also buses available from Bangalore and Mysore for Kerala.
Rail– There are a number of direct trains from Bangalore station in Karnataka to Ernakulam Junction and Thiruvananthapuram Stations. Express trains, AC Superfast trains, and Humsafar Express all run between the two states. The fastest train being Banaswadi – Kochuveli Humsafar Express(16320) which runs on Fridays and Sundays and takes 9h 28m approximately to reach Ernakulam Junction.
Flight– Kerala has three airports, Thiruvananthapuram International Airport, Kochi International Airport, and Calicut International Airport. Flights are an ideal means of transportation when you wish to reduce your travel time and spend more time at your destination. There are a number of non-stop flights from Bangalore to Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi. Air Asia, IndiGo, Spicejet all offer services between the two places.
3. Things to do in Kerala
Here are a couple of things that must be in your itinerary when vacationing in Kerala.
Backwater cruising in houseboats– Exploring the backwater is one of the most sought after experiences in the Backwater Capital of India. People love to hire a traditional houseboat and sail through the serene trails of backwater. Resorts and hotels in Alleppey have their own houseboats offering overnight trips and sunset cruises. The houseboats travel about 40-50km in a day. There are a number of routes you can choose from. You can either do a round-trip or one way trip. You can take routes like Alleppey-Kottayam or Alleppey-Kuttanad, Alleppey-Kumarakom, Alleppey-Alumkadavu. The prices range from Rs. 5,000 for overnight hire, Rs. 10,000 or more for without air-conditioning and prices can go up to Rs. 18,000 and more for a luxury houseboat for a large family. Other places where you can enjoy the backwater trails are Kollam, Kumarakom, Kuttanad, and Kasaragod.
Village Tour– Visiting Kerala’s tourist villages are a must. You can either visit Kovalam villages famous coir manufacturing, coconut leaf weaving, and fish markets. Kumbalangi Integrated Tourism Village in Kochi offers tourists a chance to engage with the locals and experience the village life, you can also stay in the home stays in the area. You will come across nature untouched by industrialization. You can meet people who are still leading a traditional style of life making a living out of cultivation and fishing.
Shikara Ride– Nature lovers and Bird watchers must take a tour of the backwater in a Shikara. The double-decker boat allows you to relax and sail through the picturesque backwater trails while watching the array of birds life.
Spice Tour– Spice plantations in Munnar, Thekkady, and Wayanad is worth a visit, especially for a foodie or a spice lover. You can see how the authentic Kerala spices are grown. If it is in your luck you may even get to taste the famous black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, and the exotic vanilla of Kerala.
Visit a coffee plantation– Kerala accounts for 96.70% Robusta coffee production along with the 3.30% share of Arabica coffee compared to 70.03% of Robusta and 29.97% of Arabica production of our country. A special feature of the coffee plantation that you will notice in Kerala is that the coffee plants here are grown under the shade of tall shady trees. In Wayanad more than 33% of district’s area is under coffee plantation. Wayanad with its high hilly areas as a tourist attraction, is called the green paradise and coffee county of Kerala Here you see the entire process of making coffee, from plucking the correct beans to getting that amazing brew.
Visit to Fort Kochi– The place of first European Township in India has many things to marvel at, especially for the history lovers. One can enjoy the essence of History in the architecture of the place. The Chinese fishing nets which have been in use from years are beautiful to look at, you can see them in action in the months of monsoon. You can visit the famous Vasco da Gama square or admire the Dutch influence in the architecture of Mattancherry Palace or visit the Jew Town, a narrow street between Mattancherry Palace and the Paradesi Synagogue or take a tour in the sunset cruise. You will never grow bored of the beauty of Fort Kochi. Stepping foot in charming seaside area will transport you to another time which people seldom want to leave.
Kathakali Performance– Kathakali, the classical dance form of Kerala is a sort of a dance drama in Malayalam. The dancers, men or women, wear painted faces and dance to communicate stories from Indian Epics using animated expressions and mime. The best place to catch a live kathakali performance is in Kochi either in temple festivals that take place during winters or the shorter tourist oriented shows that take place all year round. The best place in Kochi to see a Kathakali performance is in Kerala Kathakali Center near Santa Cruz Basilica in Fort Kochi.
Watch Theyyam– Theyyam is a ritual art which is thousands of years old. There are 400 different kinds of Theyyam in Kerala. During Theyyam season hundreds of Theyyam performances are hosted in front of the village shrine or small temples in North Kerala. You can see Theyyam performances from October to May. In November and December which is the peak season to see Theyyam in Kerala, there are multiple performances a day in temples all over the northern region. You can visit the districts of Kannur and Bekal or Kerala Museum at Kochi to see this dance in action. You should look up the dates in Theyyam calendar online to make sure when to visit to watch the spiritual dance in action.
Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary– Located in Thekkady Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is famous as an elephant and tiger reserve. Pamba and Periyar are two rivers that run through the park which helps the flora and fauna to thrive. Thousands of tourists flock to the region for safari, bamboo rafting and other activities. Here you can also have a glimpse of the Idukki village, Mullaperiyar Dam and lush green vegetable farms.
4. Festivals to look forward to
Cultural fiesta in Kerala continue for the whole year, here is a list of festivals you can choose to attend.
Cochin Carnival (December-1st January)
Kumarakom Boat Race (September-October)
Aranmula Boat Race and Attachamayam( August-September)