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Visiting Pristine Kerala

A lot has been said about Kerala. Green and serene, a paradise, God's own country, an ethereal vision or a poet's inspiration & a treasure of infinite beauty. Lush plantations rise from the sea and sweep the entire state in verdant glory. Kerala on the south-western coast of India is a land unmatched in beauty. It offers exotic beaches, backwaters, mountains, wild life and top of it, a rich heritage and culture.

Kerala - God's own Country. An enchantingly beautiful state nestled between the lofty Western Ghats on one side, the Arabian Sea on the other and plenty of rivers, lagoons, winding backwaters and lush green vegetation in between. Kerala offers you nature on a laptop with beautiful beaches, winding backwaters, lush green forests, sloping Tea Plantations, blue lagoons and Lakes, magnificent mountain peaks, the hill stations, picturesque valleys and the backwaters

Kerala is considered to be the most educated state in India, where people are very simple, friendly and courteous. However, Kerala is still routed in tradition and one will find this in ample form all over the state.

The following details are meant to offer advice and guidance for people visiting Kerala

Q- What is the best time to visit Kerala?
Normally October to April as the weather is really good in these months. If visiting for Ayurveda treatments, then it is preferable to go during the Monsoon period which is May to September, as the hotel rates are lower during this period.

Q - What should I wear while visiting Kerala ?
Anything comfortable like cotton outfits, hats, sunglasses, etc. It is advisable to go for loose long pants as you might want to be protected from mosquito bites in early evenings. Overall informals are fine but not too revealing.

Q- How much cash should I carry and is it safe ?
There is no limit to the amount of foreign currency a visitor can bring. However, it is safe if most of it is in Travellers Cheques and credit cards, which can be changed at authorised Money Exchange Centers or Banks. Banks are normally open for transaction from 10.00 to 14.00 hrs on all days except Sundays (10.00 to 12.00 hrs).

Q- What about swimming in rivers, lakes, beaches ?
Nudity is considered very offensive in Kerala and is not accepted anywhere. Swimming or bathing in rivers or lakes is normally allowed, however it would be wise to ask someone. Beaches are no problem. Acceptable swimwear would be shorts or swimwear for men & women in swimsuits, but definitely no bikinis.

Q- In such an orthodox society, how does one behave in public ?
Show of affection publicly is frowned upon. Demonstrating affection in public like hugging or kissing is not an accepted practice in Kerala.

Q- Can we take photographs of tourist places and people ?
Sure. Taking photographs of tourist places is absolutely fine, although if it's temples, then you may first check out to see if its allowed. Most Keralites don't mind being photographed, but some do. Ask first, especially if photographing ceremonies or older people.

Q- What about visiting temples and religious places?
Most temples and religious places of worship in Kerala have the following code of conduct.

* Footwear inside the temple and entry into the sanctum sanctorum is banned in all the temples
* Shirts for men and pants are banned from some temples and allowed in some others. Where they are banned, men have to be in mundus and women, in saris, half-saris or long skirts. .
* Other customs and codes of conduct and dress in temples across the State vary from each other.
* Some temples do not permit entry to non-Hindus, while some do.

Q- What about eating out in Restaurants and tips ?
All standard restaurants offer a variety of cuisines including Continental, Chinese, Indian and typical Kerala fare. Tipping is normal, 10% usually. It is advisable to ask for bottled mineral water at all places otherwise go for the Herbal tea in different colours, that is served at most places.
It is not advisable to drink water from slow moving streams, lakes or dams.

Q- I wish to go for an Ayurveda treatment course. Any ideas ?
There are lots of so called Ayurveda Centers in Kerala. Please check these out and make sure that you go to an authorised centre. It is very important to ensure this so that you get proper treatment and not just a glorified massage.

Q- It is possible to visit some wild life sanctuaries in Kerala ?
To visit a wildlife sanctuary, prior permission has to be taken from the concerned authority of the sanctuary. For further enquiries, contact: The Chief Conservator of Forests, Thiruvananthapuram 695014. Ph: ++ 91-471-322217 . The best alternative is to arrange your tour through a reputed travel agent, who will arrange for all the necessary permissions.

Q- What about drugs ?
Stay away from them or else you can get into big trouble. Heavy punishments including imprisonment is imposed for possession of narcotic drugs.

Q - What if I get into some problem ? What do I do?
Depending upon your predicament, call the following emergency numbers straight away.
Police control room: 100
Fire station: 101
Ambulance: 101
Or best, contact your country's consulate in Kerala.

For list of Tour operators organizing tours to Kerala, please visit our Tour operators section. Click Here.

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