How to book a
tour to Kerala ?
I do not want the tour as mentioned in the website how do I
make my own tour ?
am visiting Kerala for the first time how should I prepare
How advance should be my travel booking ?
How to experience Kerala at it's best ?
Can I buy an Air Ticket through you also ?
How will I be picked up from the Airport or Railway Station in
Can I book the hotels only with you and not the complete tour
What to you recommend about hotel reservations. What else
should I keep in mind while staying at the
hotels in Kerala ?
If I only want to take the vehicle during my tour and not the
complete tour, then what do you suggest ?
Which Vaccination is required before visiting Kerala in India
How do I get medication in Kerala in case of necessity
How can I come in contact with local people during our travel
in Kerala ?
What is the best time to visit Kerala ?
Are the Visa and passports required before visiting Kerala ?
Which currency is used in Kerala ?
Can I pay in Euro, US Dollars or through credit cards in
What are the timings of the post office and other
administrative offices in Kerala ?
Is there any thing important while visiting temples and
mosques in Kerala ?
What should I wear while on my tour to Kerala ?
What is Saree and how to wear it ?
I want to visit the wildlife sanctuaries and national parks in
Kerala. Give me some information about them ?
Are there any restrictions for the Photography in Kerala ? Is
there anything I need to consider while doing photography in Kerala ?
How safe is traveling in Kerala ?
How is shopping in Kerala ? Can you provide me some tips for
safe and smart shopping in Kerala ?
What shopping I can do in Kerala ?
How much should I give as tipping while traveling in Kerala ?
Are there any restrictions on the export of articles from
I want to know more about Kerala Tours Why should I book the
tour through Kerala Tours ?
What is the guarantee that I would be provided the services
which I asked for during my tour ? Or how safe is my tour with Kerala Tours ?
Where is the office of Kerala Tours located ?
Does your company provide any sort of insurance ?
How do we settle the payment? Is there an advance deposit
How can I make the payment ?
What type of information is required in order to confirm the
I want to learn the native language of Kerala. What do you
Do people understand English and other foreign languages in
I want to visit the tea and spice plantations in Kerala ? What
do you advice ?
From where I could get information about the distances between
the two cities ?
Can I drive in Kerala ?
What are the different greetings used in Kerala ?
What are the general do’s and don’ts for greeting in Kerala ?
How do Indians welcome their guests ?
How can I identify people from various religions ?
What about the public facilities in Kerala ?
What caution should one tourist take – when it comes to legal
matter and safety ?
What precautions should I take regarding my health while in
What is the general meal plan in Kerala ? What kind of food is
served in the restaurants in Kerala ?
What are the special dishes one should try on the trip to
What is advisable to eat and drink in Kerala ?
What is the special drink of Kerala ?
Give me general information about local transport available in
Can you tell me something about train journey in Kerala ? As a
foreign traveler what should I do to make my rail journey in Kerala safe and comfortable ?
I want to spent my honeymoon in Kerala ? What are the various
What is the major source of entertainment of people in Kerala
I want to learn the dances of Kerala. What are the different
dances of Kerala ?
I want to take up an Ayurveda treatment in Kerala. What are
the various Ayurveda treatments ?
I am an enthusiastic adventurous tourist ? What are the
various options for me in Kerala ?
1. How to book a tour
to Kerala ?
Firstly we suggest you to visit
"Kerala Tours" Page on the
website, which include various tours of Kerala. Then select
one of the tour. If you intend to make any changes like having
a day more or less then in that case you need to inform us so
that we make your itinerary accordingly. You can use our
online tour booking form or send us an e mail at:
2. If I do not want the
tour as mentioned in the website how do I make my own tour ?
If you don’t want those tours which are mentioned on the
website then in such a case you need to fill up the “Enquiry
Form” mentioned on our website. In this form you have to
specify the places you want to visit, date of arrival and
departure, number of people who are traveling, the hotel
category and any other special choice. After having these
details from your end we will plan a tour for you and contact
you very next day with all the details.
3. I am visiting Kerala
for the first time how should I prepare myself ?
For the general information please visit the page “Kerala
Information”. You may also put up your questions to us
regarding any matter if you do not find the answers on our
website. Apart from that we suggest you to do some background
reading before visiting Kerala, so that your visit becomes a
great experience. During your tour we will also provide you a
tourist Guide at the different cities in the language of your
choice who will let you know anything you want to know about
4. How advance should
be my travel booking ?
Your travel bookings should be made 8 months well in advance,
especially if you are traveling between December to June and
October to March (high tourist season). As Travel
infrastructure in Kerala has its limitation in comparison to
the high season demand therefore we highly recommend to book
your tour in advance.
5. How to experience
Kerala at it's best ?
While planning your trip we suggest you to consider the
festivals which would be taking place in Kerala during your
trip. Upon receiving the information from you we will combine
your trip with the Festivals in Kerala which will make your
trip a great experience. For any further information on
Festivals please visit our
Kerala Festivals page. On this page
you will find the dates of the festivals taking place in Kerala. Our guides will also tell you about the cultural
activities that would be taking place during the festivals.
6. Can I buy an Air
Ticket through you also ?
Yes, you can buy an Air Ticket through us but to be fair we
advice you to book your air ticket in your country as air
tickets are normally expensive if booked in Kerala in India to
be sent to your country. However even if Air tickets are
cheaper here and you happen to change you schedule in that
case it is better to have to tickets issued at the port of
departure. After having booked your Air tickets you can inform
us the arrival time and the flight Number to enable us to pick
you up from the airport to start with the tour.
7. How will I be picked
up from the Airport or Railway Station in Kerala ?
You will be picked up from the airport or railway station in
Kerala wherever you arrive by Kerala Tours representative.
Our representative will be holding a name board with your name
written on it at the arrival hall of the airport or railway
station. If you are coming as a group then the name of the
group will be mentioned on the name board. On that name board
the arrival date, time, place and flight or train number will
also be mentioned. You are requested not to leave the airport
or railway station until you meet our representative. If by
chance you were not able to find each other then you would
also be provided the mobile and telephone number of the
representative so that you can find each other at the
particular location at the airport.
8. Can I book the
hotels only with you and not the complete tour ?
Yes, Kerala Tours is having special rates with many hotels all
over the Kerala. We are sure that we will be able to offer you
the hotels for your budget in the destination wanted by you.
As far as the hotels are concerned we have hotels of every
category in Kerala. Do inform us what kind of hotels you are
looking for. We also make arrangements for big conferences and
incentive spa and Ayurveda Packages. Some of the hotels in
Kerala also organize theme evenings where centuries old art
forms like Kathakali and Mohiniyattam are performed as well as
explained. For more information on the hotels you can visit
our website. This site provides information about various
categories of hotels available in Kerala. All the hotels that
we use in the tour itinerary are mentioned there. If you want
to book a particular hotel then a booking form is supplied
with the hotel details. You can fill up that particular
booking form and send to us or email us at
9. What to you
recommend about hotel reservations. What else should I keep in
mind while staying at the hotels in Kerala ?
It is advisable to reserve well in advance for the hotels in
Kerala. All the hotels have air-conditioning and private baths
and offer all the modern amenities like phone, computer, and
fax machines. Pay your hotel bill either in cash (rupees) or
with a credit card. If you are paying in cash, have with you
the receipt of your foreign money into rupees. The hotel clerk
may ask to see this to make sure that you haven’t changed
money on the black market. Kerala Tours is specialized in
hotel bookings which are very good value for your money.
Contact us with dates, destinations and wished categories and
our Team would be glad to help you.
10. If I only want to
take the vehicle during my tour and not the complete tour,
then what do you suggest ?
If you want to make arrangements only for the transport then
we provide any type of vehicle you require for your tour. With
the vehicle you would be provided one experienced and reliable
English speaking driver. The car would be at your disposal
throughout the tour. The cost of the vehicle includes all the
expenses, fuel, driver’s fees, toll taxes and parking.
11. Which Vaccination
is required before visiting Kerala in India ?
Before visiting Kerala in India, the Yellow Fever Vaccination
Certificate is required if a tourist is coming from the Yellow
Fever endemic countries. This certificate conforms to the
International Health Regulation. The citizens and travelers
coming from the United States, Canada or United Kingdom, do
not require any vaccination certificate or inoculations. It is
highly recommended to get a precautionary measure vaccination
against Hepatitis B, if you plan to stay longer in Kerala. To
avoid Malaria and Dengue, carry mosquito repellents, nets or
take a course of anti Malaria tablets.
12. How do I get
medication in Kerala in case of necessity ?
It is advised that you bring your own medicines. Most of the
medications in Kerala are available but you may not find it
under the same brand name as in your own country. If
necessarily of consulting a doctor be assure that we will
assist you in this matter. Private hospitals with high
standard and qualified doctors are available in Kerala in
13. How can I come in
contact with local people during our travel in Kerala ?
Indians are hospitable and friendly people, Do not consider
staring at you as unfriendly. Most of the Indians have not
been abroad and therefore foreign tourists are for them a
subject of curiosity. Most of the people to whom you will talk
will be friendly. Always speak to the people you feel like
taking too. Avoid people who are too eager to help you or want
you to buy something from them. If you want to enrich your
visit to Kerala by visiting the South Indian Family or want to
stay with the family, ask the team of Kerala Tours. We will be
happy to make these arrangements for you.
14. What is the best
time to visit Kerala ?
The best time to visit Kerala is from December to May. During
monsoons, the Ayurveda rejuvenation programme can be taken up
from June to November.
15. Are the Visa and
passports required before visiting Kerala ?
All foreign nationals, including children, require a visa and
passport before visiting Kerala. For visiting Kerala, please
consult the concerned embassies in your area. For
clarifications, please contact the Indian High Commission.
16. Which currency is
used in Kerala ?
The units of Indian currency are the Rupee and Paisa (100
Paisa equal 1 Rupee). Paper money is in denominations of
Rupees 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000. Coins are in
denominations of Rupees 1, 2 and 5. There are no restrictions
on the amount of foreign currency or travelers’ checks that
can be brought by the tourists in Kerala. However a
Declaration form need to be filled (only for the amount which
is more than USD 10,000) on the arrival at the Indian airport.
By filling up this form you can also get your money exchanged
back in the original currency without any problem. The Money
should be exchanged only through authorized money changers.
You may ask our guides and they will tell you the right center
or place to get the money exchanged. Please note that no
Indian currency can be imported or exported, except for
travelers checks. Travelers checks can be changed into rupees
at any bank in India. Be aware that it can take several hours
to cash travelers checks in small towns. Try to deal with
large banks in large cities. Don’t accept large denomination
notes, because they will be difficult to change, and don’t
accept damaged or torn notes, because merchants will refuse
them, especially in small towns. Keep a supply of small
change. Very often taxi drivers and vendors will say that they
don’t have change.
17. Can I pay in Euro,
US Dollars or through credit cards in Kerala ?
All the major currencies including Euro, US Dollars and Pounds
are accepted in Kerala. All the major credit cards like Visa,
Master Card and American Express are also accepted in the main
hotels, restaurants and shopping centres in Kerala.
18. What are the timings of the post office
and other administrative offices in Kerala ?
The post offices and banks are open from 1000 to 1630 hrs from
Monday to Friday and from 0930 to 1230 hrs on Saturdays. The
administrative offices are open from Monday to Friday from
0930 to 1700 hrs and 0930 to 1230 hrs on Saturdays. All the
offices and banks are closed on holidays.
19. Is there any thing
important while visiting temples and mosques in Kerala ?
Do remember to remove your shoes and sandals while visiting
temple, mosques and churches. Also some temples do not allow
leather shoes, belts or handbags in their premises. When
visiting temples, women should cover their body with short or
long sleeves tops and a long skirt or pants. Women should not
wear sleeveless dresses or blouses. They need not cover their
face or head. Men should wear long pants and a short-sleeved
shirt. The people go to the temple to worship, doing offerings
on the statues of the gods and receiving a blessing –
sometimes a mark on the forehead. It is customary to leave a
small amount of money for the priest after receiving a
blessing. Hindu custom dictates that women should not go into
temples if they are menstruating. Also be alert for signs
indicating that non-Hindus may not visit the inner sanctum of
the temple and may see only its outer precincts. If there is
no sign, ask a priest. If you are visiting a temple and are
offered a portion of sweet or fresh coconut or banana, it’s
prasad or sacred food, offered to the gods. Since it’s a great
honor to be offered, never refuse it, rather accept it and eat
it. If you don’t want it, take it and give it to someone else.
In Muslim mosques, do remember that men and women sit in
separate areas. You need to cover your head while visiting the
main chamber in the mosque. It is compulsory for both men and
women to cover their head when visiting Sikh Gurudwaras.
Before photographing the inner chamber of sacred temples, be
sure to get permission. It is not permitted to have the
picture of main deity in some temples. Kerala Tours Guides
will assist you more on about the behaviour and general
customs within the temple premises.
20. What should I wear
while on my tour to Kerala ?
As a Westerner, feel free to wear anything, as long it is not
very revealing like extremely tight jeans, low-cut blouses. It
is extremely important for women to keep their legs covered as
much as possible by wearing long skirts or pants. Shorts are
never acceptable, except at beach resorts. Be sure to wear a
hat. It is essential protection against the sun. Men should
not, however, wear turbans. Cotton outfits, hats, sun glasses
and sun screen lotion should be carried while on your tour to
21. What is Saree and
how to wear it ?
Saree is considered as most elegant Indian dress for women. In
Kerala, most of the women wear a Kerala saree. It is a six
feet long piece of material of fine white cotton edged with
golden zari, tucked into a slip, pleated, and worn over a very
short blouse. The saree tends to pull out of the slip, and the
shawl part tends to fall. This saree lends an extraordinary
elegance to the person wearing it. Each masterpiece is
specially woven on a traditional handloom. The western women
should feel free to wear saree, but be aware that they are
difficult to put on. If you want to try wearing a saree, ask
for the help of an woman, an acquaintance, a hotel
chambermaid, or even a shopkeeper. They are usually happy to
help for arranging sarees.
22. I want to visit
the wildlife sanctuaries and national parks in Kerala. Give me
some information about them ?
The various wildlife sanctuaries and national parks in Kerala
are the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, Eravikulam National Park.
At the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary in Thekkady, you and your
friends can ride majestically into the scenic jungle on an
elephant. You can also watch the wildlife at close quarters
from the safety of a boat at the Kumarakom and Periyar. Herds
of wild elephants bathing in the lake, the Indian bison
digging his horns into an unaffected tree, the cormorant
darting into the waters are a treat for the amateur
photographer. Half of the world population of the endangered
Nilgiri Tahr lives in the Eravikulam National Park in Munnar.
Friendly as they are, you can also pat them or pose for
pictures with them. In the bird sanctuaries, you can watch the
egrets, herons, Siberian stork, darters, teals and hundreds of
other migratory birds. The best time to visit the wildlife
sanctuaries and national parks in Kerala are from October to
March. The best time to watch the wildlife is in the early
morning and evening. For more information on the wildlife
sanctuaries and national parks in Kerala, please visit the "Kerala
Wildlife" page on our website.
23. Are there any
restrictions for the Photography in Kerala ? Is there anything
I need to consider while doing photography in Kerala ?
Kerala offers you great photographing options and it is a
great fun while photographing in Kerala as you will have
enough sunlight most of the time. We suggest you to bring
enough films with you to catch the endless beauty of Kerala.
In some of the monuments and wildlife sanctuaries you have to
pay the fees for the photography. Our guide will suggest you
where it is worth to photograph and where not. At some of the
locations photography is not allowed. Do not photograph these
objects otherwise your film can be confiscated. Always take
permission before photographing people. Lower class people are
especially sensitive and suspicious as to why they are being
photographed. Never photograph airports, railways, railway
stations, big bridges, or a military area. It’s good not to
photograph Muslim women, women bathing, cremations, slums, or
24. How safe is
traveling in Kerala ?
Kerala is comparatively a safe state to travel. Crime rate
against foreigners remain low. However specially to our female
guests we recommend not be alone on the road after late
evening just to be on the safer side. In case you need any
help you can call the police at 100 and Ambulance at 102.
25. How is shopping in
Kerala ? Can you provide me some tips for safe and smart
shopping in Kerala ?
Kerala is a shoppers paradise. There are various shopping
places in Kerala. However, we recommend you to shop from the
government approved emporiums. You can bargain everywhere
except in government craft emporiums, government textile
shops, pharmacies, bookstores, or Western-style grocery
stores. Even if a price is written on an object, ask the price
and bargain from there. Decide what you are willing to spend
for an item. Make this your last offer in a bargaining
session. If the shop owner is willing to sell at your price,
he will sell you the item without much argument. It is better
to buy large and expensive items, such as rugs or jewellery,
only from reputable dealers recommended by Indian
acquaintances, hotels or your guide and driver. Most of the
large stores also ship your purchase. Although, for
convenience and to avoid postal delays, it is advisable to
carry your purchased items with you or book it as baggage.
26. What shopping I
can do in Kerala ?
Kerala's handicraft centres have an extraordinary collection
of wood, coir, shell and sandalwood souvenirs, trinkets and
jewellery. Wood carved Kathakali models, Kathakali masks,
rosewood elephants, miniature models of snake boats, baskets,
trays and furniture made of cane, coconut shell cups, vases,
spoons, bead curtains, bell metal lamps, sculptures, jewellery
boxes, incense burners, betel boxes, nut crackers, screw pine
articles, lacquerware, terracotta, wooden toys, dolls and
intricate gold jewellery are the perfect showpieces for your
drawing rooms and ideal gifts for friends.
27. How much should I
give as tipping while traveling in Kerala ?
Tipping is expected by most of the people involved in the
tourism in Kerala. In big hotels service charges are included
in the bills so tipping is not necessary otherwise 10% of the
amount of the billing is normally provided as tipping. If you
are traveling with a group the tipping can be reduced to 5% of
the total bill. For the porters in the hotels Rs.20 for a
single baggage and in the case of a group Rs.10 per baggage is
customary. For tour guides and escorts we recommend 1 to 2 USD
per day per person and same is also for the driver
accompanying you during your Kerala tour. However the
mentioned amounts are just to give travelers an idea. There is
no “must” or “compulsion” of tipping in Kerala. We advice you
to measure the quality of services of particular person or
establishment before thinking of tipping !
28. Are there any
restrictions on the export of articles from Kerala ?
The Government has put restrictions on the export of the wild
animals from the country. It has also put ban on the export of
the articles made from the wild animals like skins, belts,
furs, ivory, rhino horns, trophies, etc. Except peacock
feathers and handicrafts made from them and various items and
shavings of Antler, Cheetals and Sambars are not banned,
subject to conditions. Export of exotic birds is also not
allowed. However, the items made exclusively out of imported
timber are exempted subject to conditions. Also, export of
sandalwood in any form like logs, timber, roots bark, chip,
powder, dust flakes, pulp and charcoal, excluding finished
handicrafts and machine-finished products is prohibited.
Export of furs of domestic animals, hides and skins is also
prohibited except the Lamb fur. Antiques which include
sculpture, painting or other works of art and craft,
illustrative works of science and religion and of historical
interest which are more than hundred years old may not be
exported from India. Manuscripts or other documents of
scientific, historical, literary or aesthetic older than
seventy five years also can not be exported out of India.
Recently Airport taxes are being collected at the time of
issuing the tickets to India. Please always confirm with your
Airline if the taxes are to paid at the airport at the time of
departure from India.
29. I want to know
more about Kerala Tours ! Why should I book the tour through
Kerala Tours ?
Kerala Tours is a recognized tour operator and holiday planner
in Kerala. We not only organize tours in Kerala, but also in
other parts of India, Nepal and Bhutan. We not only organize
the tours as they are printed in the itinerary but also work
out any special tailor made itinerary in any area of the
Indian subcontinent. We also organize special Ayurveda
rejuvenation packages, Yoga training camps in Kerala. We also
organize special interest tours for women only. Kerala Tours
is associated with a team of Tour Escorts and Guides who are
fluent in different languages having long experience and are
highly qualified and have also spent many years abroad. To
know more about Kerala Tours and its team please refer to
or email us at
30. What is the
guarantee that I would be provided the services which I asked
for during my tour? Or how safe is my tour with Kerala Tours ?
Kerala Tours provide you a guarantee in the form of
certificate which means that your traveling is safe with us.
The certificate is attested by the Notary Public. In that
certificate it is specified that Kerala Tours undertakes the
guarantee that it would provide all the services as decided
according to the mutual agreement between you and them.
31. Where is the
office of Kerala Tours located ?
The central office of Kerala Tours is located in Jaipur, the
capital of Rajasthan. Jaipur is located about 270 kms from
Delhi. The office is located in the Raja Park area of Jaipur,
which is the famous shopping area in Jaipur.
32. Does your company
provide any sort of insurance ?
No, our company does not provide any sort of medical
insurance. It is advisable that you get the insurance from
your country only.
33. How do we settle
the payment? Is there an advance deposit required ?
We need 10% of the total tour cost as an advance at the time
of the confirmation of the tour. This is to be sure that your
booking is genuine and we can go ahead with the reservations.
The rest of the due amount can be paid before your arrival in
Kerala. On special request you can also make the payment after
your arrival. This can be agreed upon as per the type of tour
and the amount we have to pay in advance to the hotels and our
other associate offices for making the reservations.
34. How can I make the
There are various payment options by which you can make
payment to Kerala Tours. You can make payment by cash, bank
transfer, online credit card payment, Paypal, Cheque,
Travelers checks and demand draft. If you have booked the tour
through our associate offices then you can make the payment to
them and get the confirmation from us. If you wish to use
another option of payment suitable to you, then we would
assist you. Please send us your queries and specify the
country of your residence.
35. What type of
information is required in order to confirm the booking ?
In order to confirm the booking with us we
require some of the information like
A. > Passport no.
B. > Date of passport issue
C. > Validity of passport
D. > Passport issued at
E. > Date of Birth
F. > Your complete name as in the passport
G. > Complete address
H. > Your Nationality
I. > Your Visa Number, if you already have the
J. > Your telephone Number
K. > Your mobile number if any
L. > Your arrival Date, Airline number and time
M. > Your departure date, Airline number and time
You can fill up all these information and send it to us so
that we will confirm your hotel booking. At the time of check
in at the hotel, you need to please handover a copy of such
details at the hotel reception so that you do not have to fill
up the information forms of the hotel and it also saves the
36. I want to learn
the native language of Kerala. What do you advice ?
The main language which is spoken in Kerala is Malayalam. If
you want to learn Malayalam which is the native language of
Kerala then we offer some special Malayalam courses in Kerala
with the help of experienced teachers. The courses are of
different time duration that can be designed as per your
interest and availability of the teacher. The offered
Malayalam Language lessons are given by private teachers thus
making the course an individual course for you. Our teachers
have experiences in teaching foreign students whose native
language is not Malayalam. If you want to learn Malayalam or
any other languages and want to have any further more
information then please email us at
37. Do people
understand English and other foreign languages in Kerala ?
English is widely spoken and understood at almost all tourist
centers. But we highly recommend you to take qualified and
government recognized guides during your sightseeing in Kerala.
We are associated with Guides in Kerala who also speak German,
French, Spanish, Japanese, Italian or Russian. Tour guides
will help you not only in your sightseeing, but also help you
understand Kerala better and give you useful tips for your
Journey to Kerala !
38. I want to visit
the tea and spice plantations in Kerala ? What do you advice ?
In Kerala, you can take a walk through the green carpeted tea
hills and a strong aroma will lead you into tea factories over
a hundred years old. Here you can also taste and pick up the
finest tea in the country. Kerala is also known as the Spice
Coast of India. Kerala is famous in the world due to total
monopoly over spices. It is a matter of pride for the tiny
state of Kerala that the bulk of this trade is still from
Kerala. Some spices that have made Kerala a spice state are
Pepper, Cardamom, Clove, Cinnamon, Nutmeg. From Kerala, you
can also buy the chest and special gift vouchers full of
exotic spices. For more information about the spice
plantations in Kerala, please visit the page
39. From where I could
get information about the distances between the two cities ?
If you want to know about the distances between the two
cities, then we have a Distance calculator on the different
Kerala cities page on the website. With the distance
calculator, you can know about the approximate distances
between the two cities.
40. Can I drive in
Though it is permissible to drive in Kerala but we strongly
recommend you not to drive as the condition of roads and
traffic rules do not match with Western countries. Driving
here is on the left, as in Japan, Hong Kong, and Britain.
There are cyclists, buses, trucks, rickshaws, camels, cows,
goats, pigs, countless pedestrians on roads. Chances are more
to meet with an accident if you drive on your own. It is
always advisable to hire a driver as they are trained and
familiar with local traffic sense. For more information on
hiring a driver contact our team of Kerala Tours.
41. What are the
different greetings used in Kerala ?
Kerala is a land of diversity thus you will notice that
different people use different greetings. Like, Hindus say
“Namaskaram or Namasthe”, Muslims say, “Salaam al-eikum” (Sah-lahm
ah-lay-kuhm) and the Sikhs say “Sat Sri Akal” (Saht shree ah-kahl).
42. What are the
general do’s and don’ts for greeting in Kerala ?
The general greeting is “Namasthe” (nah-mahs-tay) or “Namaskaram”.
You can do this for “Good morning”, “Good afternoon” or “Good
evening”. While saying Namasthe or Namaskaram hold your palms
together at chin level and nod (never bow) your head. In major
cities, men usually shake hands, while women use the more
traditional greeting. In general, you can shake hands with men
and can say Namaste to women. Ji is used following a name as a
sign of respect, e.g., Gandhi-ji. Note that a Hindu may greet
a man by adding “sahib” (“sir” or “master”) to the name (Mr.Jones-sahib)
and woman by adding “ji”(Miss Jones-ji) as a sign of respect.
Don’t use first names unless you know someone very well. Use
“Mr.”, “Mrs.,” or “Miss". Use titles such as “Professor” and
“Doctor,” and use “Sir” or “Madam” with a superior/elders.
Only people of the same sex can hug one another.
43. How do Indians
welcome their guests ?
Indians follow very traditional style to welcome their honored
guests. The garlands of flowers are used in formal occasions,
such as in the inauguration of building or company, in the
receptions of a distinguished visitor, or at the end of a
concert. The garlands are draped around the neck of the
honored person. If you are a receiver of a garland, wear the
flowers for a few minutes, then remove the garland and give it
to someone else or else hold on to it. Never leave it behind,
except at the foot of a statue in a temple.
44. How can I identify
people from various religions ?
Kerala has people from varied religions it is sometimes
difficult to tell Hindus from Muslims from Sikhs - with so
many people in Western dress. You can identify them by their
names like; Muslims have as part of their name “Muham-med”,“Ali”,
“Khan” or “Hussein” Muslim women have “Jan” or “Begum” at the
end of their name. Common Hindu names are “Krishna”, “Gopal”,
“Vijay”, “Rajendra” and “Prakash”. Religious Sikhs can be
identified by the turbans that they wear and their first name
is usually followed by “Singh” if man and “Kaur” if woman.
45. What about the
public facilities in Kerala ?
The public facilities are rarely good, including all the major
cities. You will find Western style toilets in all the
standard hotels and restaurants. Be prepared to find them not
so clean as you are used to in your country. Indian trains
usually have both Indian and Western-style toilets. You will
find public bathrooms and toilets in hotels, restaurants,
railway stations, bus stations and some shops in big cities.
There is usually a picture on the door to indicate which
bathroom is for which sex. In some places, there may be a row
of stalls with Indian-style “squat” toilets and one that is
Western – style. But in small cities or towns where the
tourist flow is less facilities are rather poor. Keep toilet
paper or tissues, paper soaps or liquid soaps with you for
46. What caution
should one tourist take – when it comes to legal matter and
Don’t bring guns or pornography into India. Be prepared to
declare radios, cameras, and other electronic equipment on a
special form. Customs will check to make sure that you take
those items out with you when you leave the country. Be aware
that the police can be very arbitrary. In case of a small
theft, it’s better to forget it than to go to the police.
Report any significant theft to the police so that you can
have a statement for your insurance company. It’s very
unlikely that you will recover the stolen goods. To minimize
the possible loss of money, never carry a large amount in cash
wish you. ATM's, are meanwhile available in all big and small
cities at the bank premises.
47. What precautions
should I take regarding my health while in India?
Always take some toilet paper rolls with you since toilet
paper may be difficult to obtain outside large cities. Soap,
toothpaste, and toiletries are readily available. Tampons are
more difficult to find than sanitary napkins, so women who use
tampons should bring a supply. Wash you hand as often as you
can, avoid eating uncooked and cold food, especially from the
street vendors, drink only mineral water. One should take care
that the bottles are sealed. Never buy ice cream from a street
vendor as stomach may not like the water or milk used in
making the ice cream. At the initial start of your tour for
first few days avoid spicy food. You can always tell the
waiters at the restaurants that you would like to have less
spicy food. Avoid mild made drinks unless for first few days
at least ! In case of any emergency ask your guide or driver
to take you to a doctor. Indian doctors are well experienced
and medicines are easily available.
48. What is the
general meal plan in Kerala ? What kind of food is served in
the restaurants in Kerala ?
The general meal plan in Kerala consist of three main meals in
a day with one or two added tea-coffee breaks. The main meals
are breakfast, lunch and dinner. All standard restaurants and
hotels in Kerala offer a variety of cuisines including
Continental, Chinese, Indian and typical Kerala. Though the
meal pattern is same, the food served in the meals varies in
different regions of Kerala. Vallayappam, Upma, Iddli, Puttu,
Masala dosas, appams are the different dishes in Kerala. The
crisp lacy appam is served with meat or vegetable stew. Kerala
has a wide range of crunchy snacks like Ethakka(banana) chips,
Chakka Vattal(Jackfruit chips), Pappadam, Kuzhalappam,
Achappam, Cheeda and Churuttu.
49. What are the
special dishes one should try on the trip to Kerala ?
Kerala offers many palatable dishes like sambar (a lentil
puree cooked with vegetable and spices), uttappam (a rice and
coconut pancake fermented with toddy and baked in a clay pot),
payasam (a sweet made from milk and cereals), boiled rice, hot
red fish curry with steamed tapioca or boiled rice. Along the
Malabar coast and in Vasco da Gama Square in Fort Kochi, you
can select your favourite from an inviting display of juicy
sear fish, sardines, prawns, red snappers, etc. In Kerala, you
can also taste the Sadhya. Sadhya is the multi-course feast of
rice, 12-15 vegetarian dishes, spicy pickles, crunchy banana
chips, crispy pappadams, plaintains and payasam, the dessert.
This meal is served on a plaintain leaf and eaten with the
fingers. For more information on the Kerala Cuisine, please
visit the page
Kerala Cuisine on the website.
50. What is advisable
to eat and drink in Kerala ?
We advice our guests to drink bottled water, bottled drinks.
The water in the hotels can be used for cleaning the tooth and
body but avoid drinking this water. The mineral water is
available in sealed bottles which is purified and quite safe
to drink. It is not advisable to drink water from slow moving
streams, lakes or dams. Avoid eating spicy food. It
is suggested to stick to only cooked foods and to eat fresh
fruits after removing their skin. After taking the above
precautions you will realize that Kerala has a wonderful
cuisine and rarely any other place meet such varieties.
51. What is the
special drink of Kerala ?
In Kerala, you can refresh yourself with a sip of cool tender
coconut, the nature's refreshing nectar and a scoop of its
soft white flesh. The fresh Madhura Kallu (sweet toddy
extracted from the coconut palm) can also be taken in the
Kerala way with exotic Karimeen Pollichathu (baked fresh water
fish) or spicy pickles.
52. Give me general
information about local transport available in Kerala ?
Various means of local transport in Kerala ranges from
cycle-rickshaws to auto-rickshaws, taxis and buses. Local
buses are usually over crowded and should be avoided.
Auto-rickshaw and taxis are easily available and can be used
if necessary. You can ask at information desks at the airport
or in hotels to get an idea of the fare. At major airports,
there are prepaid booths, where you can pay and then you will
be given a receipt to be given to the driver. In small towns,
you can look for a cycle-rickshaw, a three-wheel bicycle with
seats for two passengers behind the driver. On a pleasant
evening, traverse the scenic mud roads of Kerala at the
unhurried pace of a bullock cart. The tinkling bells and
roll-over-from-side-to-side motion of the cart will place you
into a lazy environment.
53. Can you tell me
something about train journey in Kerala ? As a foreign
traveler what should I do to make my rail journey in Kerala
safe and comfortable ?
A train journey is considered as an interesting way if you
want to explore the natural beauty and village life in Kerala.
From trains you can watch the landscape unfold like pages of a
colourful picture book, or acquaint yourself with your fellow
travelers who make interesting profiles. Rail journey in
Kerala can be a memorable experience for you if you reserve
your seat well in advance, to avoid any inconvenience later
on. Reservations can be made up to six months in advance.
Before getting in line to arrange for your sleeper, fill out a
sleeper reservation form, which you will find in the counters
around the reservation hall. Your ticket will indicate your
compartment and berth seat number. Allow plenty of time before
departing to find your seat. Sleeper and seat numbers are
displayed on lists posted on the platform and outside each
carriage, along with passenger's name. For further Information
and booking contact the Team of Kerala Tours.
54. I want to spent my
honeymoon in Kerala ? What are the various options ?
In Kerala, you can enjoy your honeymoon amidst the sprawling
tea plantations, picture book towns, sprawling beaches,
cascading waterfalls and winding lanes of the mist clad hill
stations in Kerala. The dense tropical jungles in the hill
stations houses some of the most exotic bird and wildlife
sanctuaries in the country. In Munnar also, you can enjoy your
romantic evening beside the crystal clear lake. Here, you can
go for a walk hand-in-hand, undisturbed or lie down on the
most comfortable of grass beds. The crystal clear waters
cascade down the mountains of Kerala, gurgling, whispering,
laughing and cleansing everything in their way. You can also
spend your honeymoon on the Kerala's islands or lagoons and
experience special moments, spectacular sunsets, balmy
backwaters, succulent seafood at Bolgatty, Pathiramanal,
Poovar. These paradises can be reached only by a ferry or
boat. During your honeymoon in Kerala, you can also stay in
the exotic houseboat and embark on an enchanting journey
across backwaters on a kettuvallom, fully furnished
traditional house boats. While your eyes explore the rustic
life that floats by, treat your palate to backwater delicacies
prepared by your personal chef.
55. what is the major
source of entertainment of people in Kerala ?
In Kerala, the people entertain themselves with the classical
dance performances, music, plays and various cultural events
which keeps them occupied in the evening. Kathakali,
Mohiniyattam, Theyyam, Thiruvathira are the major classical
dances of Kerala. In these dances, a story is unveiled through
the eyes, fingers, feet and myriad expressions of the artist.
The Kerala's rich repertoire of percussion music and
instruments is famous all over the world. Panchavadyam is an
orchestra of 5 native instruments of Suddha Maddalam, Komb,
Edakka, elathalam and Timila. This traditional temple music
accompanying elephant pageants builds up the festive spirit
and never fails to leave its listeners entranced. Yakshagana
Bombeyattu (puppetry) is the art form of Kasaeagod. Colourful
puppets in huge headgears, elaborate facial make-up and lud
attires dancing to throbbing music will keep you entertained.
The people find these things quite relaxing after a long days
work. Kalaripayattu, the martial art form of Kerala, is the
oldest and most scientific in the world. In this art, you can
watch the agile bodies gleaming in oil and armed with weapons
practise their feats - Chattam(jumping), Ottam(running),
Marichil(sommersault) to stunning perfection.
56. I want to learn
the dances of Kerala. What are the different dances of Kerala
Kathakali, Mohiniyattam, Theyyam, Thiruvathira are the major
classical dances of Kerala. Thiruvathira, a traditional dance
performed by the women has simple steps and a single rule that
the performers should be clad in a Kerala saree. You can also
join them as they sing and move elegantly around a ceremonial
lamp(vilakku) or a floral decoration(pookalam). Mohiniyattam
or the dance of the enchantress reflects the graceful nature
of the land. the sensuous, graceful movements of the dancer,
clad in gold and off white costumes, will remind you of palms
swaying in the gentle breeze and sweepin waves. Kathakali, the
four centuries old classical art orm, is usually staged at
night. Elaborate costumes, ornaments and multi-coloured facial
amke up give the artists a super human appearance which leaves
you spellbound. Theyyam is the oldest ritual art form of
Kerala. Look on in awe as Theyyam performers invoke the temple
deity Bhagavathy with their frenzied dancing and throbbing
temple music in the countryards of the village temples.
Thullal, an exotic art form, and the rhythmic sounds of music
accompanying it will keep you in a constant state of
merriment. Humour, satire and social criticism are its
hallmarks. This art form was formulated overnight by the
renowned poet, Kunjan Nambiar. For more information on Arts in Kerala, please visit the
Kerala Arts Page on
57. I want to take up
an Ayurveda treatment in Kerala. What are the various Ayurveda
Kerala’s equable climate, natural forest wealth of herbs and
medicinal plants, and the cool monsoon season from June to
November are best suited for Ayurveda’s curative and
restorative programmes. The Ayurvedic massage by specially
trained masseurs, medicated baths, herbal diets, yoga and
meditation can be done in the Ayurveda resorts in Kerala that
will recharge, refresh, revitalise, replenish your health and
body. The mud therapy can be taken at the Kavil Bhavan Yoga
and Cultural Centre at Nileswaram, Kasaragod. You can also
relax your mind with yoga at the special ashrams in Trivandrum
and Nileswaram. Sessions are conducted by spiritual gurus and
experts in the field. The Ayurveda Resorts have the finest
Ayurveda Centre with a team of dedicated doctors and
experienced men and women therapists. Some of the treatments
which are provided in the Ayurveda Centre are Rasayana
Chikitsa, Kayakalpa Chikitsa, Body Sudation, Body Slimming,
Herbal Steam Bath, Beauty Care, Panchakarma treatment, Dhara,
Sirodhara, Pizhichil, Najvarakizhi, Elakizhi, Shirovasthi,
Kativasthi, Snehapanam, Udwarthanam and Tharpanam and yoga and
meditation. For more information on Ayurveda treatments and
resorts in Kerala, please visit the
Kerala Ayurveda Page on
58. I am an
enthusiastic adventurous tourist ? What are the various
options for me in Kerala ?
An adventure sports lover will rarely find time to stay idle
in Kerala. In Kerala, the beaches provide with unlimited
water sporting options of wind surfing, rafting, sailing, power
boating, swimming and a simple catamaran ride. In Thekkady,
you can go for the tiger trail, which is an adventurous trek
into the dense jungles with the expert guides. you can cook in
the jungle, sleep in the tents and wake up to the sounds of
wilderness. If you are a nature lover, then you can treat your
eyes to exotic orchids, anthuria, sandalwood trees, etc. in
the forests. One of the rare flower is the Neelakurinji, which
bathes the mountains of Munnar in blue once every twelve
years. It is expected to bloom next in 2006 AD.