A road trip through Kerala and TamilNadu is a must if you are travelling through India. from India’s incredible culture to beautiful nature and amazing wildlife, these two states are simply incredible.
In this post, I will show you some of the highlights of a road trip, including the best tourist places in Kerala and Tamilnadu. I will also show you lots of amazing pictures and what a road trip through these two states entails.
Best tourist places in Kerala and Tamilnadu
Underneath I will take you along the road trip we took, it took us from Bangalore to Mamallapuram. The reason we ended in Mamallapuram is that I worked there for a couple of months. Most people will end their trip in Chennai as that is a larger city.
DAY 1-2 BANGALORE
We started our trip in Bangalore, this city is officially known as Bengaluru and is the capital of the Indian state of Karnataka. It has a population of over ten million (Almost as much as the entire population of the Netherlands)
Here we went to a fruit market and my family got to overcome their jetlag. (I had already been in India for a couple of weeks)
DAY 3 TRAVELING TO MYSORE
The best part of doing a road trip in India is seeing all the antics that are going on one and beside the road. The country is pretty well known for being a tad chaotic on the road and as a western, it never failed to amuse and bevel us how they do it.
Firstly, how can you pack so many pots and pans on a motorcycle? (I like big pots and I can not lie 😉 I am sure I would not even be able to pack that many in a car. Well done sir.
Now this lady is walking/herding her goats on the only main street of this village. Very safe? hmmm no not really. As you can see the road is not that wide so there is hardly any room for overtaking. We were stuck behind her for a while until she reached her home (there was a bit of traffic from the other side, so nothing we could do) Happy to report that all goats and human, made it home safely as well.
Alongside the road there are also heaps of little food stands with homemade food. This one sold roasted peanuts. As a tourist, I recommend you do not buy/eat these as you’ll probably get sick.
We saw this little cow in this large truck somewhere in country India. I guess it works and the cows didn’t seem too bothered. So who are we to judge.
Again lots of people walking alongside or on the road/ something you will see regular and somehow it works. I find it quite stressful but these people know what they are doing and it gets them home each day.
DAY 4 MYSORE TO MUDUMALAI
In Mudumalai, we did an amazing jeep safari. We drove to the local forest to look for elephants and tigers. We found some elephants but missed out on spotting wild tigers. But that’s probably a good thing… right?
DAY 5 MUDUMALAI TO WAYANAD
We drove to Wayanad (90 kilometers) with this picturesque backdrop along the way. The Western Ghats and mountains at an altitude of about 2000 meters above sea level. The entire route is filled with tropical rainforest, dense hills, rolling paddy fields, spice plantations, and gorgeous valleys.
DAY 6 WAYANAD TO COCHIN
Everywhere along the road, you will see food stalls and local markets where locals try to make a living. They sell their homegrown fruit and vegetables and anything else that they can. (Again: be careful with what you eat)
DAY 7 CHOCHIN
Here we went to see the Jewish Synagogue in what is called Jew Town, St. Francis church which is the oldest European Chruch in India, the Sant Cruz Basille built in 1557 by the Portuguese, the Dutch Palace, the spice market and the 15th-century Chinese fishing nets.
During sunset these fishing nets where stunning. I don’t know if you can tell, but I love a good sunset, just check out my Instagram, it is filled with sunset and sunrise pictures.
DAY 8 CHOCHIN TO ALLEPPEY – THE LAND OF THE BACKWATERS
We traveled to Allepeppy in the morning and checked into our own private houseboat in the afternoon. From there we were taken on a cruise through the narrow canals of the legendary Punnamada Lake and onward to Virgin Village. In the village, we got to experience some local traditions and way of living.
For more information on Kerela and the houseboat check out my separate blog post.
DAY 9 ALLEPPEY TO PERIYAR
Periya is an area that is known for its undulating hills, spice plantations, and elephant sightings.
As you can see, we found some haha. This little girl was a such a cute and gentle giant.
DAY 10 AT PERIYAR – ELEPHANT SAFARI
The elephant wildlife sanctuary is located in Thekkady, Kerala. It is very famous among tourists as an elephant and tiger reserve. The park covers 357 square miles of land. Two main rivers, Pamba, and Periyar run through the park which helps the flora and fauna to thrive in this region.
We went to Elephant Junction and spend about 2 hours with these magnificent animals. We washed them ourselves, but unfortunately, the pictures where taken by someone else on our video camera, so they are bad quality (not blog proof)
After this, we visited a (super colorful) spice plantation and a local market. Want to have a full sensory experience of color, texture, smell then a spice market is THE place to go.
DAY 11 PERIYAR TO MADURAI
Mostly just a ‘boring’ travel day.
DAY 12 MADURAI SIGHTSEEING
Madurai is the oldest city in TamilNadu and here you can find the Gandhi Museum. The institute housed a 300-yeas old palace which is dedicated to Gandhiji and promotes study and appreciation of the mahatma’s teaching.
You can find an amazing picture gallery, personal memorabilia of Mahatma, a library and an exhibition of South India handcrafts and village industries.
DAY 13 MADURAI TO TANJORE
In Tanjore, we visited the world-famous ‘Brihadeshwatr temple’. The temple was built by the Cholas and has a unique style of architecture. The most exciting is that the temple does not have a shadow falling on the ground at any time of the day, instead, it falls on its own ‘body’.
DAY 14 TANJORE TO PONDICHERRY
This town is a former French enclave. Its French legacy is preserved in its French Quarter, with tree-lined streets, mustard-colored colonial villas, and chic boutiques.
DAY 15 PONDICHERRY TO MAMALLAPURAM
At Mamallapuram, we visited the famous heritage monuments of the Shore Temple, The Arjuna’s Penance, Five Rathas and many other cave temples.
We also visited Krishna’s Butterball.
Krishna’s Butterball is an unusual tourist attraction in Mahabalipuram, mostly known for its famous stone carvings. The “butterball” is a giant balancing rock, approximately 6 meters high and 5 meters wide and weighs around 250 tons, sat on a smooth slope, seemingly defying all laws of physics.
This was the end of our trip. My parents flew back home and I stayed a few more weeks to finish up my internship in Mahabali.
I loved this trip and it showed me another side of the country that I had not yet seen. Because I was pretty much only working I did not really experience the happier and relaxed site of India. By doing this trip I was able to see that side and enjoy it.
|Language||Hindi, but a lot of the population also speaks English very decently.|
|Capital city||New Delhi|
|Electricity||In India, the power sockets are of type C, D and M. The standard voltage is 230 V and the standard frequency is 50 Hz.|
|Currency||Indian Rupee (₹)|
|Tipping||On totals ranging from 300 to 1000 INR, you can tip anywhere from 7 to 10%. On-bill amounts above 1000 INR, tipping 5 to 7% is sufficient. Restaurants in Delhi and Mumbai often charge a ‘service charge’, not to be confused with ‘service tax’ (which is a government-levied tax).|
|Weather (southern India)||Summer or pre-monsoon season, lasting from April to June (April to July in northwestern India). In western and southern regions, the hottest month is April; for northern regions of India, May is the hottest month. Temperatures average around 32–40 °C (90–104 °F) in most of the interior.|
WORDS YOU SHOULD KNOW
Underneath are some words in Hindi that you could try. Most people do speak English, but it is always polite to know a few basic words in their native language.
- Hello/hi: NA-MA-SKAR or NA-MA-STE
- Thank you: DHAN-YA-VAD or SHU-KHRI-YA
- Bye: NA-MA-SKAR or NA-MA-STE (same as hello)
- Please: KRIPAYA
- It is nice to meet you: AAP SE MIL KE KHU-SHI HUI
- Help! BACHAO (BA-CHOW)
best time to visit Kerala and Tamilnadu
The best time to visit tropical South India is during the winter months, but even then there are some distinct regional variations. The peak season is from December to February when the climate is at its mostly pleasant. Kerala is its least humid at this time, it is dry and daytime temperatures range from 22 to 30’C.
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