For the last five days starting from 22nd June 2017 there were heavy rains in Kerala. Many dams in the hilly areas are nearing full capacity. If this is the case then the dams may release the excess water. This may cause flood like situation downstream. Tourists are therefore requested to be very cautious. Tourists are advised to stay away from river banks as there may be sudden increase in water level due to release of water from dams. Heavy rains can also cause landslides in the hilly areas. Tourists are also advised to avoid travelling at night to hill stations.
Even though weather conditions in Kerala are not favorable during rainy season, there are tourists who visit Kerala during this time also. For people who love rains a trip to Kerala will be a worthwhile experience. During the monsoon season many hills can be seen fully covered with mist. Many small waterfalls are formed during the rainy season. Most of these small waterfalls are seen only during the monsoon rains. When the rains stop these small streams pouring downwards cannot be seen. Also the entire landscape will be lush green unlike in the summer season.
During this season many people also undergo ayurveda treatments. Herbal remedies and treatments are available in many ayurveda centers during this period. Many of them provide ayurveda package for tourists. The advantage of this package is that tourists can undergo herbal treatments and also visit nearby tourist places during this period.
In spite of the unfavorable weather conditions, rooms are available at cheaper rates than during the peak tourist season. House boat rates are also less during this period. As this period is the off peak season, there is a possibility of bargaining. This will enable tourists to get rental accommodation at cheaper rates, thus keeping the cost down.
Kerala tourism during monsoons is considerably less compared to the normal tourist season. The monsoon season starts in the beginning of June and ends in mid –September. This season is the major rainy season of Kerala. During this period Kerala receives the major share of its rainfall. Many tourists hesitate to visit Kerala during the rainy season. It remains cloudy most of the day with rain pouring many times during day and night. But it does not rain continuously. In between there could also be sunshine and there are also times when it does not shower. Tourists could utilize this opportunity during the day when it does not rain.
Many tourists from the Middle East visit Kerala during this period. The hot and humid weather in this region forces many people in the area to visit cooler places. The main advantage of visiting Kerala during this period is that the accommodation rate in hotels is low. In addition there are also tax exemptions by government for tourists during monsoon season.
The monsoon season is also a period for ayurveda treatments. Kerala is famous for its herbal medicines also known as ayurveda. Most of the herbal rejuvenation medicines are applied during this period. Special ayurveda packages are available for tourists during this period. The ayurveda treatments may last several days or sometimes several weeks.
The temperature during monsoons is also comparatively cooler than summer. So tourists may not experience any discomfort during this period. Some of the important places to visit during monsoons are Alleppey, Thekkady, Kumarakom, Munnar etc. However, one should expect caution while visiting hill stations. Always check the weather conditions before travelling to hill stations. If there are heavy rains it is better to avoid the hill stations as there are possibilities of landslides.
The most important thing you should carry while visiting Kerala during monsoon is an umbrella.
Thommankuthu waterfalls is located near Thodupuzha town in Idukki district of Kerala. The water flows from the top of a hill, where it originates. As the water flow cascades downhill several waterfalls are formed at different places. There are about seven waterfalls on the way. If you are willing to go trekking upstream you will come across all the seven waterfalls on the way. There are guides who will accompany you take you for trekking to all the waterfalls. Extra charges have to be paid for that. There are no access roads to all these spots. You will have to go by foot to all these places covering a distance of about 12-14 km. But if you just want to see the last waterfall then it is only walk able distance from the entrance gate.
Thomankuthu waterfalls can be reached by road. There is a road connecting Thodupuzha town and Thommankuthu. It is possible to reach there by car or bus. Vehicles can reach till the entrance gate. There is also a car park in front of the entrance gate. There is also an entrance fee to enter the place. The area is located within the forest. The place is an ideal place for nature lovers. Many tall trees and big rocks are seen here. It is one of the best places for spending a weekend far away from the noisy city life. It is also a place to relax and experience the natural surroundings. All the seven waterfalls are located within the forest and trekking uphill through the thick forest will be memorable experience.
The nearest railway station is Aluva and the nearest airport is Kochi. The place is located about 66km from Aluva railway station and Kochi airport. By road it is possible to reach there by 1hour and fifteen minutes. There are no accommodation facilities at Thommankuthu as this area is a forest area. It is best to find accommodation at Thodupuzha town.
Thattekkad bird sanctuary is located about 52km from Ernakulam city. This bird sanctuary is situated on the banks of the river Periyar. The bird sanctuary is also known as Salim Ali Bird sanctuary. It was named after the famous ornithologist of India, whose name was Salim Ali. The newly renovated Thattekkad bird sanctuary has a butterfly park. Various flowering plants have been planted here to provide an atmosphere for butterflies to thrive. This bird sanctuary is located in one of the most bio-diverse regions in India. There is also boating facility where tourists can travel through boat to enjoy the natural beauty of the place. A few of the Kerala tour packages taking tourists to Munnar also include Thattekkad bird sanctuary. For bird watching enthusiast the place has many things to offer. A bird museum located within the sanctuary plenty of information about birds. Today as one of the most widely known bird watching location in Kerala, the place attracts many tourists from all over the world. The best time to watch birds is during morning and evening. During October to January the place attracts migratory bird. These migratory birds coming from as far as Siberia come here to spend a few months to escape the severe winter in northern hemisphere. The sanctuary itself is located within the forest. The route to Thattekkad passes through forest. The drive through the forest is also a refreshing experience. The evergreen forest surrounding the sanctuary provides a relaxing atmosphere to all those passing through the area. Many rare birds such as Hornbill and other rare species of birds were spotted here. In addition to birds some rare animals such as mountain squirrel can be seen on the trees. Although there are other wild animals such as elephants within the sanctuary, tourists are restricted from entering the location.
Bhoothathankettu is a tourist spot situated in Ernakulam district of Kerala. The major attraction is the Boothathankettu dam across the river Periyar. The place is located 12 km. from Kothamangalam town, which is about 40 km from Kochi city. Many people visit this place during weekends and it is an ideal location to spend in the evening. This place is located far away from the busy city. The fresh air and the beautiful landscape make this place suitable for relaxing. People find this tourist spot a quiet place far away from the noise of city life. There is a boat service which will take visitors on a ride through the Periyar river. There is also a children’s park located close to the dam. Many children can be seen playing in the swing. There is a watch tower near the dam. From this watch tower one can get a spectacular view of the Periyar river. They can also get a nice view of the surrounding forest also.
Kochi Muziris Biennale is an event held in Kerala for artists. This is a platform where artists can exhibit their art work. The exhibition is held during the tourist season in Kerala. The exhibition venue includes different parts of Kochi city. Here artist from India and different parts of the world can exhibit their art work. The art work consists of a wide range of artistic creations. These exhibitions are held in places of historic significance. As a result tourists who visit these places can also see the artworks. In addition to tourists a large number of artists also visit this event making the event very colorful. The event is managed by Biennale foundation, which is a non-profit organization along with funding from Government of Kerala. The event has been very successful in attracting many people. The local population also participated with full cooperation. The event contributed to the added monetary benefits to the local population. As this is the third time that the event is being held, in future this event may receive more funds and therefore the event may become more wide spread & colorful.
Kerala tourism was initially affected by the demonetization of about 85% of the currency in circulation in the beginning of november 2016. India is now moving towards a digital economy, where cashless transaction will be the norm. Kerala tourism and digital economy will also see many changes. During the early stages of demonetization there was an intial setback for tourism in Kerala. Now more people in the tourism sector started moving towards digital transactions.
New year celebrations in Kerala attract many tourists from different parts of the world. Visitors from other parts of India also visit during this period for new year celebrations in Kerala. The most popular tourist spot for celebrating new year is Fort Kochi. The streets of Fort Kochi is completely decorated with illumination during this period. As we travel through the streets of Fort Kochi one can sense the celebration mood of the area. At Fort Kochi beach one can see the a huge effigy locally called Papanji. Burning of this Papanji during the new year is part of the celebration.
Cochin Carnival is another event in Fort Kochi, which is part of new year celebration. The carnival is big attraction for children. Many stalls and games are present during this period. Many tourist also visit St. Francis church during this period. The importance of this church is that Portuguese explorer Vasco Da Gama was first buried here.
A very large crowd can be seen during new years day eve. They come various place, in fact from different parts of the world. Police and security have taken strict measures this time to see that all people can be safe.
Kerala Tourist Season
Kerala tourist season normally starts from September and ends in March. This is considered the best time to visit Kerala. The season normally begins after the end of monsoon rains. The tourist season continues till the beginning of summer season. The most important attractions for tourists are the houseboats and backwaters, hill stations and beaches. The largest number of tourist arrivals occurs during the festival seasons. During Onam, which is the state festival of Kerala, there are many tourists arriving from different parts of Kerala. Hotels are almost fully occupied during this period. As a result the rental charges during this period will be relatively high. During Hindu festivals of Pooja and Depavali holidays also hotels are almost fully occupied. There are many tourists coming from other parts of India during this period. Around Christmas and beginning of the New Year also there is a huge inflow of tourist. Tourists from Kerala, rest of India and international tourists arrive during the period. Hotel occupancy is also very high during Christmas and New Year. Hotels charge peak rate during these peak seasons. Apart from the peak holiday season hotel occupancy during the normal tourist season is moderate.
The summer season normally starts from mid march till end of May. This is the period when the summer heat is at its maximum. This will be very uncomfortable for tourists. The low lying parts of Kerala, experiences the maximum heat. However, in the hill stations of Kerala, summer heat is less. So if tourists want to visit Kerala during summer, the weather in the hill stations is not so severe.
The number of tourist arrivals during monsoon season is also less. Rooms are available at off peak rates. Tourists are eligible for tax exemptions on accommodation during this period. But this season is the best time for ayurveda treatments. Most of the ayurvedic rejuvenation and massages are done during this period.
Kerala boat Races are held in rivers and lakes in Kerala. The most popular boats during the competition are the snake boats. These boats are very long and have an appearance similar to snake. These boats are rowed by about 100 men. The rowing of boat in a synchronous manner is the success behind the victory in boat races.
Snake boats were first constructed about 600 years ago by the ancient rulers of Kerala. They were used mainly in battles or to solve disputes between local rulers.
Most of the boat races are held around the harvest festivals of Onam. The boat races consist of several categories of boats. The boats vary in size and shape. In Kerala boat races are held for each category separately. The most prominent among the boat races are the snake boats.