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Southern India

Southern India

Sun-kissed beaches, serene backwaters, emerald green tea plantations and abundant wildlife are just some of Kerala's captivating charms.

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Southern India is completely different from the north - particularly in the state of Kerala in the far south. Kerala is a land of coconut-fringed, white beaches; nature reserves where elephant and tiger still roam; rainforests replete with sparkling waterfalls, and verdant tea and spice plantations covering the hillsides in a carpet of emerald green. There are colonial forts and historic buildings to explore that give a flavour of the days of the British Raj, whilst Hindu influences are most notable in the mesmerising Kathkali dances and multi-hued temples.

The best way to discover the many delights of Kerala is on our Gentle Walking & Wildlife Kerala holiday which includes walks in three of the region's most important wildlife reserves, an overnight riceboat cruise on the Backwaters of Kerala and time to discover traditional Keralan life.

Key Facts

  • Capital of Kerala: Thiruvanathapuram
  • Population of Kerala: 34.8m (2012)
  • Size of Kerala: 38,863 km sq
  • Currency: Indian Rupee
  • Power supply: 220-240v
  • Sockets: Two pin sockets or Indian three-round pin variety, which are larger than European size
  • Language: Malayalam
  • Time difference: GMT +5.5 hours
  • Visas: British nationals require a visa to visit India which must be obtained in advance.
  • Religion: Buddhist (official) 69.1%, Muslim 7.6%, Hindu 7.1%, Christian 6.2%, unspecified 10% (2001 census provisional data)
  • Popular dishes: Rice and fish curries are the most popular Keralan dishes often featuring coconut as one of the main ingredients.
  • Popular drinks: Chai (tea) is the most popular drink in the region although coffee is also widely drunk in Kerala. Masala Chai is a tasty version of traditional tea made with ginger, pepper and cardamoms.
  • Did you know: The traditional rice barges of Kerala are made from planks of angelin wood, lashed together using cotton and coir ropes soaked in resin - the hull is then waterproofed with cashew oil. No nails or other artificial materials are used in their construction.
  • FCDO advice: FCDO advice for India


When is the best time to travel to Kerala, Southern India?

Our temperature and rainfall charts will give you a guide to the climate in Kerala, Southern India.

It is hot in Kerala all year round but the best time to visit Kerala is between December and February. At this time the skies are clear and humidity is at its lowest. The temperatures build up during spring, before the monsoon arrives in earnest in June. A second lighter monsoon (the 'retreating' monsoon), arrives in October.

If you can't make the dates of our group departures, then take a private departure on dates to suit you, or we can create a Tailor Made holiday to Southern India, especially for you and your family or friends.

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