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South India - Kerala


With foreign influences as disparate as Chinese and Portuguese, Arab and Dutch, Kerala is the spice coast of India. Edged by a thread of unbroken beachline, the state’s heart is composed of intensely green paddy fields and a unique network of rivers and lagoons. Upland Kerala, relatively little visited, is composed of hills thickly wooded with teak and rubber. It is here that Kerala’s most precious spices are grown in carefully nurtured plantations: cardamom, pepper and nutmeg. Trivandrum, the state capital, an international airport, has an exceptionally fine museum set in an amusement park. 16 km away is Kovalam, one of the most popular beaches in the country. Many visitors stay at Kovalam, driving into Trivandrum for sightseeing trips, rather than the other way round. Sri Padmanabhaswamy temple in Trivandrum, and Padmanabhapuram Palace, a short drive away, are important monuments. Cochin, with a fine natural harbour, has been Kerala’s center of maritime trade for innumerable centuries. Along the harbour, rows of antediluvian Chinese fishing nets indicate Kerala’s trade with China, just as buildings along the water’s edge testify to the erstwhile presence of Dutch and Portuguese colonisers. Jewtown, complete with an immaculately preserved synagogue, has a flavour all its own, while Tripunathura, at the other end of the city, has many traditional houses with central courtyards. Kerala’s multitude of faiths – Islam, Judaism, and a host of sects of Christianity and Hinduism – all coexist harmoniously in a state that is known for its Marxist inclinations! Kerala’s traditions of dance forms, which originated from temple worship, can be witnessed at regularly held performances. Lecture-demonstrations of the most spectacular of these – Kathakali – are held daily at many centres in Cochin. Teyyam, at once an act of worship and visual feast; temple festivals complete with caparisoned elephants; Kalaripayata, the indigenous art of self defence; all are a part of Kerala’s remarkable heritage of performing arts, and can be witnessed at various centres in Cochin and Trivandrum. A five hour drive from Cochin leads into thickly forested hills, past rubber and spice plantations, and into southern India’s tea growing district headquartered at the charmingly old world Munnar. From Kottayam to Alleppey is a world of palm fringed waterways, a route which is covered by motor launch. Elderly sailboats, long barges transporting tons of coconuts and tiny skiffs used to transport children to school are common sights on these backwaters.


Trivandrum, the capital of the state of Kerala, is a beautiful seaside city built on seven hills. The city gets its name from the word, Thiru Ananthapuram meaning the city of Ananth or the abode of the sacred serpent Anantha, on which Lord Vishnu, the preserver of the Hindu trinity, reclines.


Area :
Altitude : Sea level.
Temperature (deg C): Summer - Max.36.2, Min.20.6; Winter - Max.35, Min.18.
Rainfall : 170 cms (May to November).
Clothings :
Languages Spoken :
Best Season : October to March.
STD Code :


  • Air : Trivandrum is connected by Air-India and Indian Airlines flights with Bombay, Madras, Cochin, Delhi & Colombo.
    Fare : Calcutta - Madras Rs.4078/- (C), Rs.3273/- (Y).
    Madras - Trivandrum Rs.1996/- (C), Rs.1611/- (Y).
    Other private Airlines such as Goaway, East West, Continental Airways  operate flight to Trivandrum from Bombay & Goa.

  • Rail : Trivandrum is directly connected by rail to Calcutta as well as all the  major cities in India.
    Fare : Calcutta - Trivandrum Rs.1502 (AC-2A), Rs.1312 (I), Rs.370 (II)

  • Road : Trivandrum is connected by road to several tourist centres in India as: Calicut 448 kms, Cochin 223 kms, Kanyakumari 87 kms, Madurai 417 kms, Periyar 272 kms, Ponmudi 61 kms, Quilon 73 kms, Varkala 55 kms.

  • Bus : Regular bus services connect Trivandrum to various places in Kerala as well as to Madras, Madurai Kanyakumari etc.

(Operated by Kerala Tourism Development Corporation)

  • City Tour : Timings 0800-1900 hrs (Daily); Fare : Rs.50/-

  • Kannyakumari Tour: Timings 0730-2100 hrs (Daily); Fare : Rs.100/-

  • Thekkady Tour : Timings Dep 0630 hrs (Every Saturday except last Saturday of the month) and Return 2100 hrs (next day);
    Fare: Rs.150/-
    Booking (1,2 & 3) K.T.D.C Tourist Reception Centre, Tel: 75031.


Padmanabhaswamy Temple, Zoological Park,Napier Museum, Sri Chitra Art Gallery, Science & Technology Museum, Veli Lagoon, Shanmugham Beach, Aruvikkara Dam and Neyyar Dam, SMSM Institute.

Kovalam 16 km, Kanniyakumari 87 km, Padmanabhapuram Palace 54 km, Ponmudi 61 km Quilon 72 km, Suchindram Temple 99 km, Thekkady (Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary)  272 km, Varkala 55 km.


  • Govt. of India Tourist Office Counter, Trivandrum Airport Tel: 71198.

  • Kerala Tourism Development corporation, Touist Reception Centre, Thampanoor, Trivandrum- 695001, Tel: 75031

  • Tourist Information Centre, Govt. of Kerala, Park View, Trivandrum Tel:(0471) 61132.

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16 kms away from Trivandrum, a sheltered bay endowed with unusual beauty. This natural bay is a safe sea-pool free from high waves and surge. And the beach resort here is of international standard.

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Alleppey situated in south of Cochin, is the centre for backwater cruises in Kerala. It has a large network of canals which passes through the town, provinces its lifeline & has a long sandy beach. It is also the centre of the famous coir products of Kerala. Nehru Trophy Boat Race - the most colourful snake-boat race in Kerala - is held here on the second Saturday of August every year.


Altitude : Sea Level.
Temperature (deg C): Summer- Max 35, Min 22.5; Winter- Max 32, Min 22.
Rainfall : 254 cms.
Best Season : October to May.
STD Code : 0477.


  • Air : Nearest Airport, Cochin (64 kms), is connected by Indian Airlines flights with Bombay, Delhi, Madras, Goa, Bangalore and Trivandrum. East West Airlines also connects Cochin with Bombay.
    Fare : Calcutta-Bangalore-Cochin Rs.7092 (US$ 260).

  • Rail : Nearest railhead, Cochin (64 kms), is connected to major cities in India.
    Fare (approx): Calcutta-Cochin Rs.3550 (AC-I), Rs.2025 (AC-2A), Rs.1550 (I), Rs.375 (Sleeper).

  • Road : Alleppey is connected by road to all the important cities in south India, as Cochin- 64 kms, Calicut- 289 kms, Trivandrum- 159 kms, Quilon- 85 kms, Haripad- 33 kms, Thekkady- 253 kms, Kottayam- 130 kms.

  • Bus Services : Alleppey is connected by bus with Quilon, Trivandrum, Kanyakumari, Cochin, Trichur, Guruvayoor, Calicut, Palghat etc.

  • Local Transport : Coaches,Tourist taxis,Metered taxis & Auto Rickshaws available.


Backwater Cruise

Alleppey is the gateway to the inland water ways of Kerala. Cruise through small canals pasing paddy fields, villages and small water lodged town-ships to enjoy the scenic beauty and to get a glimpse of the unspoiled rural life of Kerala. Backwater boat cruises are conducted by Alleppey Tourism Development Co-operative Society. The important ones are given below:-

Place Distance Journey Time Rates
1) Alleppey-Kottayam 29 kms 3 & 1/2 hours Rs.75
2) Alleppey-Ernakulam (Alternate days) 74 kms 7 to 8 hours Rs.125
3) Alleppey-Quilon (Only one trip) 85 kms 8 hours Rs.150
4) Alleppey-Champakulam 16 kms 1 & 1/2 hours Rs.50


Ambalapuzha (14 kms), Hariped (33 kms).


  • District Information Officer, Collectorate, Alleppey. Tel: (0477) 2549.

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Quillon (Kollam)

The present day Quilon is famous for its varied modern industries, Cashewnut Processing & Research, fisheries etc. for the tourists coming from Trivandrum, Quilon is the beginning of the magnificient backwaters of Kerala.

Altitude : Sea level.
Temperature (deg C): Summer- Max 35, Min 25; Winter- Max 33.5, Min 24.
Rainfall : 279 cms.
Best Season : October to March.


  • Air : The nearest Airport Trivandrum (71 kms) is connected by Indian Airlines flights with Bombay, Bangalore, Cochin, Delhi, Madras, Male & Colombo. East West Airlines also connects Trivandrum with Bombay.

  • Rail : Quilon Junction is connected to major cities in India.

  • Road : Quilon is connected by road with Chavara (16 kms), Trivandrum (71 kms), Varkala (37 km), Alleppey (85 km), Kottayam (110 km), Thekkady (198 km), Ernakulam (152 km), Kundara (13 km), Trichur (229 km), Palghat (308 km), Calicut (374 km), Cannanore (461 km), Kasaragod (575 km) etc.

  • Bus Services : Quilon is connected by buses to Trivandrum, Thekkady, Cochin, Calicut, Trichur, Kottayam, Kanyakumari, Tuticorin etc.


Thangassery Light House :
Massive light house. Visitors are allowed to go to the top of the light House.
Visiting Hours : 1530 hrs to 1730 hrs. every day.

Quilon like Alleppey is also surrounded by beautiful coconut palms presenting a panoramic view cruising on this lake is very interesting. Motor boats, pedal Boats & rowing boats can be hired from Ashtamudi Boat club Quilon, Tel: 2519 or Quilon Promotion Council, Guest House Compound, Tel: 76456.


Chavara 16 km, Kundara 13 km, Courtallam (Health Resort) (104 km), Alleppey (85 km).


  • Manager, Govt. Guest House, Quilon. Tel: 76456.

  • Manager, Quilon Tourism Promotion Council. Tel: 76456.

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Kottayam situated in South of Cochin is a cultural Centre with beautiful Old churches. Though a busy commercial city, on its west, it has beautiful backwaters & on its eastern parts it is full of greenary.


Area : 15.54 sq. km
Altitude : Sea level
Temparature : Max Min Summer : 35 Deg 22.5 Deg Winter : 32 Deg 22 Deg
Rainfall : 176 cms
Season : October to March


  • Air : Nearest Airport is Cochin 76 km. connected by Indian Airlines & East West Airlines with Bombay.
    Fare : Bombay-Cochin Rs.2210/-

  • Rail : Kottayam is well connected by rail with other cities in India.
    Fare : Bombay-Kottayam Ist class Rs.950/- IInd class Rs.272/-

  • Road : Kottayam is connected by road with all important cities in South India. It is: 76 km from Cochin, 248 km from Madurai, 267 km from Kanyakumari, 114 km from Thekkady, 180 km from Trivandrum.

  • Bus Services : Kottayam is connected by buses to Cochin, Quilon, Trivandrum, Alleppey, Thekkady, Madurai, Trichur


Valiya Pally, Thazhathangadi Mosque. Kumarakam : 10 km away from Kottayam, here is a lovely Vembanad Lake Where tourists can enjoy the beautiful backwater trips operated by the State Water Transport Department. The important ones are given below:-

1. Komarakam - Mohama 7 km 1/2 hrs. Rs.10/-
2. Kottayam - Alleppey 30 km 2 1/2 hrs. Rs.50/-
3. Kumarakam - Alleppey 1/2 hrs. Rs.5/-


Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary (Thekkady) (114 km.), Ettumanoor (13 km.), Vaikkom (48 km).


  • District Information Officer, District Collectorate, Kottayam. Tel : 3048.

  • Department of Tourism, Government of Kerala, C/O Kairali, Nirmal Building, Nariman Point, Bombay - 400 021, Tel: 2026817.

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Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary

The Periyar wildlife Sanctuary at Thekkady is an important tourist attraction. It is situated on the Periyar lake in the hills of Western ghats and is the finest sanctuary for viewing & photographing Indian wild elephants.

Altitude : 900 m to 2000 metres
Temperature (deg C): Summer- Max 29, Min 18; Winter- Max 21, Min 15.5.
Rainfall : 203 cms (June to October)
Best Season : September to May


  • Air : Nearest airport is Madurai, 140 kms connected by Indian Airlines flights with Madras, Trichy & Bangalore. Vayudoot services also connects Madurai with Madras & Pondicherry.

  • Rail : Nearest railhead is Bodinayakanur 67 kms but however Kottayam (114 kms) is the convenient railhead.

  • Road : By road Periyar to Cochin 190 kms, Idikki 66 kms, Kodaikanal 160 kms, Madurai 145 kms, Munnar 113 kms, Trivandrum 272 kms, Kottayam 114 kms.

  • Bus : Regular buses connect Periyar to Cochin, Trivandrum, Kottayam & Madurai.


Indian Wild Elephants, Sambar, Barking Deer, Wild Boar, Tigers,  Panthers, Wild Gogs, Bison, Spotted deer, Leopard, Musk deer.


Wildlife can be seen in its natural habitat by cruising on the lake in motorboats. Elephant rides & motorboats can be arranged through:-

1) The Manager, Aranya Niwas Hotel, Thekkady.
2) Assistant Wildlife Preservation Officer, Thekkady,
approximate rates for boat cruises Rs.7/- per head, Photography Fee, Mo

NOTE:- Permission for video, TV & Cinema Shooting can be obtained from:-
Chief Conservator of Forests & Wildlife, Vazhuthacaud, Trivandrum - 695014, Tel: 62217.


The following picnic spots are approachable by motor launch or bridge path in the forest Arubi creek 16 kms, Crusoe Island 19 kms, Manakkavala 10 kms, Mullakudy 29 km Pavarasu 19 kms, Periyar Dam 12 kms, Thannikudy 38 kms, Peermade 40 kms.
Permission from the Superintendent P.W.D., Periyar Dam, Thekkady is necessaryto see the Periyar Dam. No entrance fee.


  • Wildlife Preservation Officer, Thekkady Manager, Aranya Nivas, Thekkady. Tel: Kumily 23.

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Cochin (Kochi)

Cochin,the commercial hub of Kerala, is a town of great historical importance. It has a fine natural harbour around which the city has grown. The Fort Cochin area, where the Portuguese settled in the 16th century, has been declared as Heritage Zone.

Climate : Summer Max 35 deg Min 22 deg Winter Max 32 deg Min 20 deg
Rainfall : 254 cm (June to October)
Season : Octomber to March


  • Air : Cochin is connected by Indian Airlines to Delhi, Bombay, Madras, Goa, Bangalore and Trivandrum.

  • Rail : Cochin/Ernakulam is connected by rail to all the major cities in India.

  • Road : Cochin is connected with Alleppey 64 km, Bangalore 565 km, Kanniyakumari 309 km, Kodaikanal 444 km, Madras 694 km, Madurai 324 km, Thekkady 190 km and Trivandrum 223 km.

  • Sea : (A) The Kerala Inland Water Transport Corporation operates regular back- water boat services to Alleppey (7 hrs) and Quilon (8 hrs).
    (B) SPORTS-Cochin operates tours to Lakshadweep Islands from Mid-Sept. to Mid-May.

  • Bus Service : Cochin is connected by regular bus services with all major cities in South India.

(Operated by Kerala Tourism Development Corporation)

  • Boat Cruise-cum-Sight-Seeing Tour Timings:- 0900-1230 hrs & 1400-1730 hrs (Daily) Fare: Rs.30/-

  • Thekkady Tour Timings:- Dep: 0730 hrs (every Saturday) & Returns 2000 hrs (next day) Fare: Rs.175/-


Dutch Palace, Jewish Synagogue, St.Francis Church, Bolghatty, Gunda and Willingdon Islands, Kerala History Museum, Hill Palace Museum, Parishath Taamburan Museum, Chinese Fishing Nets, Santacruz Cathedral (Basilica).


Alwaye 21 km, Kalady 45 km, Alleppey 64 km, Trichur 80 km, Kottayam 76 km, Guruvayur 109 km, Munnar 136 km, Idikki 138 km, Palghat 163 km, Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary (Thekkady) 190 km, Sabarimala 209 km, Calicut (Kozhikode) 218 km.


  • S.P.O.R.T.S. (Lakshadweep Office), Harbour Road, Willingdon Island, Cochin, Tel:340387

  • Foreigners Regional Registration Office, Port Registration Office, Willingdon Island, Cochin- 682003

  • The Cochin Cultural Centre xxxv/1521, Sangamon, Mannikath Road, Ernakulam, Tel:368153 which organises a variety of cultural shows.


  • Govt. of India Tourist Office, Willingdon Island, Cochin-82009, Tel: 340352

  • Kerala Tourism Development Corporaton, Tourist Reception Centre, Shanmugam Road, Ernakulam- 682001, Tel: 353234

  • Department of Tourism, Park View, Tiruvananthapuram-695 033. Tel:(0471) 61132, 65081. Fax:(0471) 62279.

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Trichur (Thrissur)

Trichur, 78 kms north of Cochin on National Highway 47 lies at the base of a hillock, crowned by the famous Vadkkumnathan (Shiva) temple. This former capital of Cochin state was captured by Zamorin and later by Tipu Sultan inthe second half of the 18th Century. The famous pooram festival is celebrated at the Vadakkumnathan Temple every year during April-May. The Kerala Sahitya Academy and Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Academy are located in Trichur.

Altitude : Sea level.
Temperature (deg C) : Summer- Max 35, Min 22.5; Winter- Max 32.3, Min 20.
Rainfall : 254 cms.
Best Season : October to March.


  • Air : The nearest airport is Cochin 78 kms connected by Indian Airlines with Bangalore, Bombay, Delhi, Goa, Madras, Trivandrum.

  • Rail : Trichur is a Railway station directly connected with Bombay.

  • Road : Trichur is connected by road with many tourist centres in south India. Cochin- 78 km, Coimbatore- 114 km, Kalady- 55 km, Kanyakumari- 376 km, Madras- 720 km, Palghat- 67 km, Palani- 229 km, Rameswaram- 222 km, Udhagamandalam (Ooty)- 202 km etc.

  • Bus Service : Trichur is connected by Kerala State Road Transport Corporation and private bus services to various places in Kerala. It is also connected by direct buses to Palani, Madurai, Bangalore, Mysore, Erode, Madras etc.


Vadakkumnathan Temple
This temple is a classic example of the Kerala Style of architecture. The temple contains the sacred shrines of Paramashiva, Parvathy, Sankaranayana, Ganapathi, Sri Rama and Sri Krishna. The central shrines and Koothambalam exhibit exquisite vigettes carved in wood. Legend goes that this temple was founded by Parasurama. Trichur Pooram, the grandest temple pageantry in Kerala is celebrated here in April every year. Non Hindus are not allowed inside the temple.
Timings: 0400 to 1030 hrs and 1700 hrs to 2030 hrs.

Town Hall
An imposing building with a Chitralayam or a picture gallery where mural paintings from all parts of Kerala are exhibited.

Near Art Museum. Tel:21110. Timing : Daily 1500 hrs to 1715 hrs.Closed on Mondays and holidays(State). Entry Fee: Adult Rs.1/-, Child 50 ps. Camera fee Rs.5/-. Filming: Prior Permission to be abtained from the Director of Museums & Zoo, Govt. of Kerala, Trivandrum.

Near Nehru Park. Timings: Daily 1500 hrs to 2000 hrs.

State Museum, Chembukkavu, Tel:20566. Timings: 1000 hrs and 1700 hrs. Closed on Mondays. Entry free

Art Museum, Zoo compound. Good collection of wood carvings, metal sculptures and ancient jewellery. Timing: Daily 1000 hrs to 1700 hrs. Closed on Mondays.


Guruvayoor (32 km), Cheruthuruthy (29 km), Peechi Dam (23 km), Tiruvilwamala  Temple (29 km), Cranganore (Kodungallor) (36 km), Triprayar (25 km),Irinjalakuda (21 km).

KALADY : (55 km) Kalady, a pilgrim Centre, is situated on the banks of the river Periyar. It is the birth place of Sri Sankaracharya, the great Indian Philosopher who lived in the 8th Century. There are two Shrines in memory of Sri Sankaracharya, one dedicated to him as Dakshinamurthy & the other to the goddess Sharada. Their is an ancient Sri Krishna Temple close by, which was the family temple of Adi Sankaracharya. Another temple known as the International Temple dedicated to Sri Ramakrishna Deva, was completed in April 1976.


  • Govt. Guest House, Palace Road, Trichur. Tel:20300.

  • Tourist Information Office, Opp. Town Hall, Trissur (D.T.P.C)

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Guruvayur is one of the most sacred and important pilgrim contres of Kerala, attracting thousands of pilgrims from all parts of the Countury. Its chief attraction is a temple dedicated to Lord Krishna known as 'Guruvayurappan'.

Altitude : Sea level
Temperature (deg C) : Summer- Max 35, Min 22.5; Winter- Max 32.3, Min 20.
Rainfall : 254 cm
Season : October to March


  • Air : The nearest airport Cochin 100 kms, is connected by Indian Airlines with Bangalore, Bombay, Delhi, Goa, Madras, Trivandrum.

  • Rail : Nearest rail head is Trichur 29 kms from Guruvayur.

  • Road : Guruvayoor is connected by road with Cochin-100 kms, Coimbatore-142 kms, Trichur (29 kms), Kalady (65 kms), Palghat (95 km), Malampuzha (109 km), Palani (247 kms), Trivandrum (294 kms), Ootacamund (230 kms) etc.

  • Bus service : Kerala State Road Transport Corporation and private bus services connect Guruvayur with many of the major places in Kerala. It is also connected by direct bus services with Palani, Madurai, Ooty, Coimbatore, Dindigul etc.

  • Local Transport : Tourist taxis, taxis, Autorickshaws are available.


Guruvayur Shree Krishna Temple :
Guruvayur, with its temple dedicated to Shree Krishna, is one of the most popular pilgrim centres of India. It is at this temple that Melpattur Narayana Bhattathiri composed his renowned Sanskrit devotional poem Narayaneeyam. Timings: 0300 to 1230 hours and 1700 to 2100 hours. Non-Hindus are not allowed inside the temple.

Punnathur Kotta :
4 kms. 44 elephants belong to the Guruvayur Krishna Temple are fenced and fed in the Punnathur Kotta. Visitors can watch.


  • Administrator, Guruvayur Devaswom, Tel: 6365 Centre

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  Information provided by Department of Tourism. Ministry of Tourism and Culture. Government of India.

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