We are listing few of the important things to be considered before or while travelling to India.
Best time to visit
Kerala enjoys balmy weather almost all through the year; it is neither too cold in the winter months nor too hot in summer. The best time to visit is August - March, when the air is bracing, and on some mornings there is a light mist. Light woolens may be required in the hills in the evenings and early mornings. The warmer months are March-May and September-October, when the flowers are out and nature is at her best. Mid-May to August is the monsoon period, and one can expect a wet time. In addition, June is also a windy month.. April to August is good time for Ayurvedic treatments. Domestic tourists travel during this timeframe as it falls during the summer holidays for schools.
Cotton outfits, hats, sunglasses, sunscreen lotion plus an umbrella, which will come in handy throughout the year are advisable. Further to confirmation of travel, we would be sending you a detailed checklist for travel.
All standard restaurants offer a variety of cuisines including North Indian, Continental, Chinese and typical Kerala fare. Vegetarian food is also widely available throughout the state.
Tap water is purified and quite safe to drink across Kerala. It is not advisable to drink water from slow moving streams, lakes or dams. Mineral water is available throughout Kerala.
Airports in Kerala
Trivandrum (Capital of Kerala)
The airport is around 6 km from the city center and 15 km from the Kovalam Beach. Trivandrum is well connected to the domestic airports in India.
The new International Airport at Nedumbassery, 25 Kms North East of Cochin is one of the recent additions. The airport is well connected with national and international airports.
The Karipur airport is 26 Kms away from the city centre. The airport is well connected to national and international airports. There are domestic flights from Mumbai, Chennai and Coimbatore. There are also many international flights from Middle East directly to Karipur.
::::::::::::Additional Information for International Tourists::::::::::
Citizens of all countries require a valid national passport and a valid visa granted by missions abroad for entering India. Tourist visas are currently valid for 120 days stay in India. Visitors must obtain visas at an Indian Embassy or Consulate abroad prior to entering the country, as there are no provisions for visas upon arrival. In an effort to prevent international child abduction, many governments have initiated additional screening procedures at entry/exit points. These often include documentary evidence of relationship and notarized written consent for the child's travel from the absent parent(s) or legal guardian. Having such documentation on hand may facilitate entry/departure.
Safety & Security
Visitors should be alert of suspicious packages in public places and avoid crowds, political demonstrations, and other manifestations of civil unrest. Travelers should also exercise care when hiring transportation and/or guides and use only well known travel agents to book trips. Adequate to excellent medical care is available in the major cities in Kerala.
Banks are open for transaction from 10.00 to 14.00 hrs IST on all days except Sundays (10.00 to 12.00 hrs) IST. Foreign Exchange comprising foreign currency notes / coins, traveler cheques, drafts drawn on banks in India or Bank letters of credit can be brought into India without limit. However, if the total amount of foreign currency notes / coins or traveler cheques brought into India at one time exceeds US$10,000/- or its equivalent, it is required to be declared by the holder to the Indian customs authorities on arrival by filling out a currency declaration form (CDF). A copy of the CDF duly certified by the customs will be handed over to the individual. This declaration helps easy conversion of foreign currency into Indian currency by the tourists and also re-conversion of their unspent balances of Indian rupees into Foreign Currency at the time of departure from India. Banks' CDFs are available at the Airport / Seaport customs. The rates for purchase and sale of Pound Sterling and US Dollar currency notes and foreign currency travellers cheques, where applicable, are quoted by authorised dealers/money changers within the floor and ceiling rates worked out daily in accordance with guidelines prescribed by the Reserve Bank of India. For other currencies, check banks' quoted rates based on market conditions.
Large establishments, including hotels, shops and airlines, generally accept major credit cards.
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 cheques a tourist may import, provided a Declaration form is completed on arrival. This will facilitate the exchange of imported currency as well as the export of unspent currency on departure. Cash, bank notes and travelers cheques up to US $ 10,000 or equivalent need not be declared at the time of entry. Any money in the form of travelers cheques, drafts, bills, cheques, etc., which tourists wish to convert into Indian currency should be exchanged only through authorized money- changers. Tourists are warned that changing money through unauthorized persons is not only illegal but also involves the risk of receiving counterfeit currency. Please note that no Indian currency whatsoever can be imported or exported, except for Rupee travelers cheques.
Mobile connections in Kerala continue to increase and the phone connections in the State have crossed the one million mark.
Major mobile connections available are,
1.BSNL (Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited)
2.ESCOTEL (now called IDEA).
5. RIM (Reliance India Mobile)
Pre-paid and Post paid cards are available in every shop in the state.
* One Lakh is an Indian term for One Hundred Thousand.
India and Kerala time zone is GMT +5:30 hrs
International Air Travel - Reaching Kerala and India
Just about all major international airlines fly into India. According to the classification of Airports Authority of India, India has 6 major international airports - Delhi, Mumbai (Bombay), Kolkata (Calcutta), Chennai (Madras), Trivandrum and the newly upgraded Bangalore airport. These airports cater to around 85% of international air traffic in India. Trivandrum, Cochin and Calicut are airports for directly reaching Kerala. All the three airports in Kerala are well connected with other national airports.There are direct flights from Middle East region to all the three airports in Kerala. The following are the other International airports in India offering connections to Kerala.
The Indira Gandhi International Airport is situated around 20 km from the city center. The normal time taken to reach the airport from the city center is around 20-25 minutes.
The Sahar International Airport is situated around 30 km from the city airport. This airport handles the maximum number of international flights to and from India. It takes around 1 to 2 hours to reach the airport from the city center.
The Aringar Anna International Airport is situated at Trisoolam in Meenambakkam, 12 km from the city center. It takes around 30 minutes to cover the distance between the city center and the airport.
Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport is located at Dum Dum, about 20 km from the city center. It takes around 30-60 minutes to cover this distance, depending on the traffic situation.
Bangalore airport is situated at Airport Road. The airport is within city limits and has connections directly to many international airports.