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Kerala Information

Travel and Local Information Guide

Kerala is an Indian state located on the Malabar coast of south-west India. It was formed on 1 November 1956 by the States Reorganisation Act by combining various Malayalam speaking regions.

The state has an area of 38,863 km2 and is bordered by Karnataka to the north and northeast, Tamil Nadu to the east and south, and the Arabian Sea on the west. Thiruvananthapuram is the state capital. Kochi and Kozhikode are other major cities. According to a survey by The Economic Times, five out of ten best cities to live in India are located in Kerala.

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Getting around

There are plenty of yellow taxis and auto rickshaws available in most of the bigger cities. In some cases ferries are needed to help you hop from one island to the next, this is especially true of Kochi. The state is fairly well connected by trains and has a few major airports, including three international ones at Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum), Kohikode, and Nedumbassery (Kochi).

Intercity buses also are fairly common, run by both state and private operators. While the government buses run on a tight schedule, if you are looking for a comfortable ride try some of the air conditioned private buses instead.

Weather

Kerala might be known as God’s Own Country, but the weather leaves much to be desired. Try not to go in the summer as the heat can actually be quite oppressive for anyone coming from somewhat cooler climes. Totally avoid the state during the monsoons as you will not be able to get any sightseeing done.

This means that winter is the best time to visit Kerela. Tourist season begins in end October and lasts till February. While the weather is said to be tropical, the heat can get pretty bad, so remember to keep drinking water. Also keep the sunscreen handy.

Good to know

Helpful locals are usually more than happy to guide you on your way around. Friendly smiling faces are all around. Don’t get upset if a man pulls up the cloth around his legs to fold it in half around his knees. It is actually showing you a sign of respect. The cloth is known as a lungi or dhoti.

Kerala has the highest literacy rate in the country at 91%. This means that most people understand and speak English, making communicating very easy for you.

When making arrangements for transportation or accommodation, always try and get a look at what is being offered before you decide to pay. A little bit of haggling is expected so don’t feel shy to ask them to reduce the rates a bit.

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