View Map

Overview

Squished between the Western Ghats and the Arabian Sea on India's southwestern tip, Kerala is a lush littoral state best known for its languid backwaters. Floating in a houseboat through the intricate network of waterways and lagoons, vividly described by Arundhati Roy in "The God of Small Things," is about as romantic as it gets. The abundance of water and cool highlands provide ideal conditions for growing the spices that have attracted traders for centuries. Tours of the spice plantations can easily be arranged in Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, where you can also undertake a range of guided hikes.

In atmospheric and relaxed ...

Squished between the Western Ghats and the Arabian Sea on India's southwestern tip, Kerala is a lush littoral state best known for its languid backwaters. Floating in a houseboat through the intricate network of waterways and lagoons, vividly described by Arundhati Roy in "The God of Small Things," is about as romantic as it gets. The abundance of water and cool highlands provide ideal conditions for growing the spices that have attracted traders for centuries. Tours of the spice plantations can easily be arranged in Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, where you can also undertake a range of guided hikes.

In atmospheric and relaxed Kochi (Cochin), you'll find India's oldest church, a beautiful 16th-century synagogue and the Portuguese-built Mattancherry Palace. The city is also one of the best places to view the unique art of kathkali, story plays performed by elaborately painted and costumed performers. The Malabar Coast provides many picture-perfect beaches, chief among which are those at Varkala, which has a dramatic cliff-top location and less development than package-resorty Kovalam. Unwind here with an ayurvedic massage, the ultimate relaxation therapy based on 2000-year-old principles.

Simon Richmond
About the Expert

Simon Richmond has written Rough Guides to Malaysia and Japan; Lonely Planet guides to India and Russia; and adventure travel guides for Frommer's on Australia, India, South America, and Southeast Asia.

view full overview

Simon Richmond for Triporati

Compare Flight, Car Rental, and Hotel Rates

Note: A new window will open for each site you select.

Note: A new window will open for each site you select.

Note: A new window will open for each site you select.

Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Kerala is a state on the tropical Malabar Coast of southwestern India.
  • Language: Hindu, English
  • Currency: Indian Rupee (INR)
  • Research: Wikipedia | Wikitravel
  • Weather: Rainfall | Daylight
  • Current Time:

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    October to March