INFORMATION

Visa: To visit India it is necessary to obtain a visa before arrival in the country. Tourist visas are available for a 3 or 6 month period and can be for single or multiple entries. Please allow sufficient time to obtain your visa, especially during high season in India which runs from December to February. You can also apply for an evisa which is a 60 day double entry visa, see the link to obtain an evisa: www.indianvisaonline.gov.in

Temperatures and Average Rainfall: Winter starts with the end of the monsoon from the end of November until mid to end of February. The temperatures start climbing toward the end of February which marks the beginning of summer and continue until the end of May.

The Southwest monsoon is the main rainy season of Kerala. This season begins at the end of May or early June with the outset of the southwest monsoon winds and lasts till the end of September. The North east monsoon is during the months of October and November and sometimes lasts till December.

What to bring?

Comfortable, loose cotton clothing, for the coastal areas and warm clothing for the mountains, as well as comfortable shoes with a good sole. Sun glasses, sun hat, (sun screen and insecticide is readily available here). A small first aid kit, although chemists here are well stocked. It is advisable that women do not show legs and shoulders in public, especially outside of the tourist areas and in temples. To enter any temple you must remove your shoes.

Flights

Trivandrum is an International airport that has frequent connections to Europe via the Golf countries.

Qatar Airways
Emirates airways
Gulf Air
Oman Air
Kuwait Airways
Etihad Airways

KERALA GENERAL INFORMATION

Kerala

Situated in the far south on the south east coast. It's known as the most literate state, with a literacy rate of over 90%. It covers 38,863 square kilometres and has nearly 32 million population. Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum) is the capital, although Kochi (Ernakulam) is the largest city in Kerala, and official language is Malayalum, as well as English. Its also known as the green state, due to its natural beauty, clean air and its greenness, this is way the Keralites call it "Gods own Country".

Geography

Kerala’s extensive coast which runs along the Arabian Sea, the Ghats and the states of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka all border Kerala. The state is divided into three regions: the highlands or mountain areas, the midlands or hills and the lowlands or coastal areas. The state has over 44 rivers which run through it, some as small as little streams that only come alive during the monsoon period.

Politics

It's a state where the communists have predominated. In 1957 the communist party won the state elections and Kerala became the first communist state in India freely elected

Beaches

Some of the best beaches in India can be found in Kerala. It has over 900 km of coastal line, with fine sandy beaches and coconut trees. Some of the best beaches in Kerala are found in Varkala, from small isolated white sandy bays with coconut trees to large open space beaches. The Arabian sea can be dangerous during certain times of the year, we advise swimmers take precaution. The main beaches in Varkala have a lifeguard and a beach cleaning service.

Backwaters

The backwaters form an internal network of canals which cover over 1900 kilometres. Traditional Keralan boats (Kettavullam), converted into luxurious floating houses will take you along the tranquil waters of the backwaters, which is a truly unique Keralan experience.

Ayurveda

Kerala, renowned as the birth place of the Ayurveda medicine (alternative medicine practiced by most of the Indian population) offers two Ayurvedic health options: recreation and therapeutic. Ayurveda is the worlds oldest alternative medicine, and because of this it has been named "The Mother of all Cures". Focused on mind and body with a yoga spiritual tradition.

Kathakali

Kathakali is a highly stylized classical Indian dance drama noted for its attractive make-up of characters, their elaborate costumes, detailed gestures and well-defined body movements presented in tune with complementary percussion. It originated in Kerala during the 17th century AD and has been updated over the years with improved looks, refined gestures and added themes besides more ornate singing and precise drumming

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