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Best Time to Visit Kerala, India

Famous for its serene backwaters, ayurvedic treatments, rich culture and mouth-watering cuisine - Kerala is one of the most popular tourist destinations in India. But this Southern state experiences different seasons which impact weather, festivals, and activities. So when is the ideal time to plan a Kerala trip?

This comprehensive guide will help you decide the best time to visit Kerala along with top things to do during different seasons.

Best Time to Visit Kerala

Kerala's Weather and Seasons

Kerala enjoys a moderate tropical climate year-round. However, it experiences three distinct seasons:

  • Summer season (March - May)

  • Monsoon (June - August)

  • Winter (September - February)

Let's look at Kerala's weather during the different seasons:

Summer (March to May)

Summers are hot and humid with temperatures ranging from 27°C to 40°C across Kerala. It is also the peak tourist season.

  • Hot and humid weather

  • Temperature between 27°C to 40°C

  • Peak tourist season leads to higher prices

  • Occasional thunderstorms and rainfall likely

Monsoon (June to August)

Southwest Monsoon brings heavy rainfall ranging from 325 cm to 427 cm across Kerala.

  • Torrential rain with potential flooding

  • High humidity makes the weather uncomfortable

  • Landslides and roadblocks possible in hilly areas

  • Ayurvedic treatments most effective this season

  • Fewer tourists lead to hotel deals

Winter (September to February)

Winter season is pleasant with temperatures ranging between 17°C to 32°C. Nights can be cooler inland.

  • Comfortable weather, great for sightseeing

  • Temperatures from 17°C to 32°C

  • Peak period for tourism from December to February

  • Best time for festivals like Onam and Christmas

  • Trekking in cooler hill stations

Best Time to Visit Kerala

Here are the details on the ideal months and seasons to plan your trip to Kerala:

October to February (Winter)

Winters in Kerala is arguably the best time to visit for an enjoyable holiday. The comfortable weather allows you to make the most of Kerala's attractions.

  • Day temperatures are pleasant between 29°C - 32°C

  • Explore places like Munnar, Kochi and Alleppey

  • Go for nature walks and trekking in cooler hills

  • Ideal weather for backwater boat cruises

  • Take part in festivals like Onam and Christmas

  • Peak tourism time leads to higher prices

The months from December to February see both domestic and international tourists flocking to Kerala. So make sure to book hotels well in advance if traveling during peak winter.

June to August (Monsoon)

While Kerala looks lush green and vibrant during the monsoon season, incessant rainfall can hamper travel plans. But it has its own uniqueness:

  • Witness Kerala's raw natural beauty during rains

  • Ayurvedic treatments most rejuvenating this season

  • Less tourists, so hotels and flights offer deals

  • Enjoy empty beaches and hill stations

  • Risk of landslides and floods in some areas

  • Wildlife safaris in Periyar more rewarding

If you don't mind rains and navigating unpredictable weather, the monsoon offers a budget-friendly off-season option. Though not for the faint-hearted or luxury travellers.

Top Things To Do In Kerala

Kerala offers wonderful experiences across all seasons. Here are top attractions and activities you must include in your holiday itinerary:

Visit Backwater in Kerala (Year-round)

A houseboat cruise along the serene backwaters near Alleppey is a quintessential Kerala experience. Float by emerald green paddy fields, rustic villages, and coconut groves. Kumarakom and Kollam are other popular backwater cruise destinations.

Yoga and Ayurveda (Monsoon and Winter)

Rejuvenate your mind and body with yoga, meditation, ayurvedic massages and spa treatments. Kovalam is the ideal place to relax by the beach and try authentic Ayurveda therapies.

Munnar Tea Gardens (Winter and Monsoon)

Visit sprawling tea plantations blanketed in mist in the hills of Munnar. Walk through the estates, learn tea plucking, and visit factories to see production processes.

Wildlife Safaris (Monsoon and Winter)

Do an early morning jeep safari at Thekkady's Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary to spot elephants, tigers, deer and exotic birds. Winter and monsoons are best for animal sightings.

Beach Relaxation (Winter)

Soak in the tropical sun and swim in blue waters at Kerala's gorgeous beaches like Kovalam, Cherai, Marari and Bekal. Bekal is great for scenic seaside forts and Kappad Beach offers historic charm. Winters are best for beach stays.

Houseboat Race (August)

Catch the exciting Nehru Trophy Boat Race held on Punnamada Lake, Alappuzha every August. Hundreds of oarsmen race traditional Chundan Vallam houseboats in sync to the fast rhythm of drums.

Theyyam Festival (December to March)

Watch vibrant Theyyam festivals celebrated annually at Kannur, featuring elaborate costumes, face painting, drumming and ritual dances. The festivals represent ancient legends and folklore.

Onam Celebrations (August to September)

Onam is Kerala's biggest cultural festival celebrated for 10 days in August/September. Festivities include elephant parades, folk dances, snake boat races, feasts served on banana leaves and beautiful flower carpets called pookalam.

Christmas Celebrations (December)

With one of the oldest Christian communities in India, Christmas is celebrated in grand style across Kerala. Churches light up for X’mas, shops line up cakes and gifts while festive meals are relished.

How to Reach Kerala?

You can travel to Kerala conveniently by air, rail or road:

By Air - There are airports at Kochi, Kozhikode, Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam and Kannur with good connectivity.

By Train - Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram and Ernakulam Junction are major railway stations well connected across India.

By Road - A network of national highways connect Kerala to nearby states. You can also reach by interstate buses.

Tips for Visiting Kerala

Follow these tips for a smooth Kerala holiday:

  • Carry light cottons and sunscreens during summer and monsoon rains. Wools and jackets for winters.

  • Drink lots of fluids and wear hats/scarves to prevent heat strokes in summers.

  • Book hotels in Munnar, Thekkady, Vagamon etc well in advance for winters.

  • Look for monsoon discounts on hotels and flights. But check for cancellations too.

  • Avoid swimming in the sea during the monsoons due to rough waves.

  • Keep cash handy especially in rural areas and carry small change.

Plan a Kerala Holiday in the Best Season

Kerala is beautiful throughout the year with its varied topography, culture and experiences across seasons. For ideal weather, fewer crowds and costs visit between October to February. Monsoons enhance nature’s beauty but bring risks of disruptions too.

Prioritize your interests, be flexible and pack right to enjoy Kerala whenever you visit. The backwaters, beaches, hills, and traditions will captivate you in every season!

So when are you visiting God's Own Country for a magical holiday?


Which time not to visit Kerala?

It's best to avoid visiting Kerala during the peak monsoon months of July and August as heavy rainfall can hamper travel plans and lead to transport disruptions.

How many days in Kerala is enough?

Around 7-10 days are ideal to explore Kerala at a comfortable pace. You can cover popular destinations like Munnar, Alleppey, Kovalam and Kochi in this duration.

Which is the rainiest month in Kerala?

July receives the highest rainfall in Kerala averaging over 300 cm across the state followed by June which gets over 250 cm of torrential monsoon showers.

Are 5 days enough for Kerala?

While 5 days is a short duration, you can cover Kochi, Munnar and Alleppey including backwaters in 5 days for a quick trip to Kerala's highlights.

Is it safe to travel Kerala in rainy season?

Monsoon travel in Kerala is generally safe if you take precautions, avoid flooded areas, and check Kerala weather updates regularly. Landslides can sometimes block highways.

Best time to visit kerala backwaters?

The ideal time to visit Kerala's serene backwaters is during the winter months from October to February when the weather is pleasant for leisurely houseboat cruises.


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