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Travel Guide: Things you need to know about Kerala, India

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Sunset in Kerala
Sunset in Kerala

Things you need to know about Kerala, India

If you were to imagine an Eden, Kerala may be a good place to start. Located in the southwestern coast of India between the Arabian Sea and Western Ghat mountains, it has many beaches, lush forests, and numerous rivers. Kerala means “land of coconuts,” and the local cuisine and culture is definitely a reflection of that abundance. Here are some things you need to know about Kerala if you are planning to visit it any time soon.

about Kerala
A Lady from Kerala – about Kerala

Homestays are common

Homestays are similar to bed-and-breakfast places, where you can live among the locals instead of a hotel. Homestays in Kerala are easy to find online, and you can choose several locations for your home base.


Looking for a Place to Stay? Visit Agoda for a wide range of accommodation options with great hotel deals and best price guarantee.
Fishing Village in Kerala
Fishing Village in Kerala

The Kerala people are generally accommodating, and you can be sure of a welcome. Fort Kochi may be the most convenient location for you, as there are numerous places to stay there. The best time to go is from September to May, which is the high season when the monsoons will not ruin your trip.

Jew Town in Kochi
Jew Town in Kochi

Top places to visit

  • Varkala – a beach resort with a very laid back vibe
  • Cochin – Kodanad Elephant Training Centre, Athirappilly Water Falls
  • Kumarakom – bird sanctuary
  • Poovar – coastal village
  • Wayanad – forests and caves
  • Thekkady – forest
  • Padmanabhapuram Palace, Princess Street, Mattancherry, Bekal Fort – historical sites
Ayurvedic Medicine by www.avacare.in
Ayurvedic Medicine by www.avacare.in

Ayurvedic medicine

Kerala is a top destination for medical tourism, due mainly to its reputation for excellent Ayurvedic medicine. You will find many Ayurveda centers offering health services. However, you should only go to those approved by the Department of Tourism to ensure the quality of treatment.

Performing Arts in Kerala
Performing Arts in Kerala

Visiting temples

Temple in Kerala
Temple in Kerala

There are many temples (Kshetrams) in Kerala, but non-Hindus may not enter most of them. You may be able to get on the grounds, but not inside. In the few temples that do allow tourists inside, you must follow these rules:

  • Remove your footwear before crossing the threshold
  • Do not take any photos or videos without asking first
  • Do not take a photo of the idols (Vigraham) EVER
  • Men must take off their vests and shirts
  • Smoking and alcohol is strictly forbidden
Tea Plantation in Kerala
Tea Plantation in Kerala

Wildlife

One of the main attractions of  Kerala is its abundance of wildlife. That said, you must be prepared for all types of wildlife, including insects, snakes, frogs, and elephants. Bring a good supply of mosquito repellent, be careful where you step, and do not approach an elephant if the master (Paappan) is not around.

Food in Kerala
Food in Kerala

The food

The cuisine of Kerala is very heavy on spices and coconuts. If you are not used to such rich flavors, eat with caution, and always have something to help with an upset stomach or indigestion. IT is also a good idea to stock up on bottled water as you may not be used to the mineral content in the local water supply.

Sunset in Kerala
Sunset in Kerala

Money

You may bring in as much currency as you like into Kerala, and there are banks open from 10 am to 3:30 PM on weekdays. Many commercial establishments accept major credit cards, but if you go to the remote areas, you need to be ready with cash. Make sure you always have small bills to pay for rickshaws and the like. Bargain your heart out when buying from local merchants; they are masters at it, and do not mind haggling. Kerala boasts 100% primary literacy rate due to its Athulyam literacy program, and most people understand English, although you may have a hard time understanding them.

Houseboats in Kerala
Houseboats in Kerala

Conclusion

Kerala is vey tourist oriented and is tolerant of other cultures. However, you should be sensitive to cultural differences if you want to enjoy your stay. Be mindful of the tips above, and refrain from public displays of affection.

Discover Kerala, Checkout various Kerala Tour Packages online to help you plan your trip to this beautiful destination.

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