Best time to visit India – Kerala
What is the best time to go to Kerala?
India’s concept of seasons and its climate are very distinct. The summer months are April, May, October and November where there is barely any rainfall and unbearable heat. The winters are mostly pleasant with moderate temperatures and from June to September and the best time to visit Kerala for Holidays. While the monsoon covers the entire country in humidity and rain. So, it’s important to check what the best time to visit Kerala is so you get the most out of the beaches, backwaters, festivals, and plush landscape. Get in touch with us to find more about the climate and festivals in Kerala, or if you already want to start planning your trip!
The vibrant colours will surely catch your eyes at any time during the year
Weather in Kerala around the year
Kerala has a tropical climate, so be prepared for typical humid to wet weather conditions. The annual average of rainfall is higher than in most of India, so expect rain occasionally. As it is nearby to the equator, the Kerala weather should be much hotter. However, the Western Ghats, the high Indian mountain ranges along the coast, prevent the warm winds so that it never gets above 35°C. Temperatures though don’t vary much, and hill stations like Munnar are cooler than coastal/major cities like Kochi and Trivandrum.
Munnar, and hill stations like it, are painted with a broad stroke of luscious green, especially in the Monsoon
THE WINTER MONTHS IN KERALA: COOL BUT NOT CALM
Winter starts by the end of November and ends in late February or beginning of March. The temperatures rarely rise above 30°C and it barely rains. The mountainous regions like Wayanad, Munnar and Thekkady can get quite cold, so pack some warmer clothes for the morning and evening. This is definitely the best time to visit Kerala, and so it’s the main season for tourism. There’s going to be crowds at some of the sights, but it’s worth it with the climate you’re getting, there are more international tourists in winter than in the rest of the year. However, Kerala is a popular destination for domestic tourists, especially honeymooners all year around.
The tea plantations are a worthwhile visit when in Kerala, so check them out at the best time to visit Kerala
THE NOT-SO-HOT SUMMER MONTHS
While other popular places like get extremely hot in the summer months from March till the end of May, Kerala is slightly different because of its geography. The Western Ghats stop the hot winds and the Arabian Sea offers a constant cold breeze along the coast, so the heat is quite moderate. If it rains, it’s paired with thunder and lightning and flooding may happen, but the water dries up quickly. There is very high humidity so physical activities are exhausting. If you prefer smaller crowds at sights, mountain treks and national parks and additionally stay at top-end accommodations for reduced prices, summer is the perfect time for you.
The popular backwaters are in season all year around but in the summer months of April and May you might not be able to explore as much of the river and lake landscape as the water levels are too low to explore all areas.
While empty, there’s something about empty beaches that can be very appealing
MONSOON SEASON: THE RAGING RAIN IN KERALA
End of May or at the beginning of June, the monsoon hits Kerala intensely. The region gets 85% of its annual rainfall from June until September, and since the Western Ghats get hit first by the clouds in Kerala, precipitation and humidity are extremely high here. The luscious green of Kerala comes out even more during monsoon, but you have to withstand the rains. If you enjoy tropical climates and would rather explore nature in this type of weather, the monsoon in Kerala is quite beautiful. If the rains too heavy though, you might be stuck indoors. On nature treks you’ll encounter some blood-sucking leeches but not to worry, locals know how to prevent and handle those situations. Prepare to be flexible, as the rains (landslides and flooding) will sometimes cause blockages and delays in terms of transport.
South India also faces another monsoon from October to November, and occasionally even until mid-December. The North East Monsoon, as the winds come from the northeast toward the seaside, don’t bring as much water as the earlier South West Monsoon. However, it can come in strong and heavy downpurs, thunder and lightning. It also gets as hot as the summer months form March to May. Indians love the rainy season, so during the monsoon they will travel to the region around the Western Ghats.
Between May and September, the beaches are empty. The current is too strong for swimming and the wind and weather don’t allow you to sunbathe either. Many places close down for multiple months.
The Athirapally Falls in the Thrissur district are the exact kind of thing waiting for you in Kerala – Credit: Muffinn
The best festivals in Kerala to visit around the year
Due to its interesting history of colonisation and trade, Kerala is home to many religions: Hinduism, Christianity, Judaism and Islam. There are many spiritual and cultural festivals to celebrate but the biggest and most exotic are the Hindu festivals. Consider these festivals when looking at the best time to visit Kerala.
The temple festivals in Kerala are as colourful and impressive as the temples themselves. Mostly in the Ernakulam and Thrissur districts, the Poorams in April and May are famous for loud and exciting processions. These processions will also include heavily decorated elephants.
In July, August and September, you’ll witness traditional snake boat races in the backwaters and rivers. Nowadays, it might be politicised, but it’s still fun to watch.
These magnificent decorated elephants will keep you speechless during the festival – Credit: Shankar S
Onam is the traditional harvest festival of Kerala, a 10-day celebration in September. It’s the biggest fest for locals so everybody decorates houses, prepares feasts and plays games. The best part is the Onam Pulikkali Tiger Play, where people dress up as tigers and their hunters dance to traditional music. Extremely fun to observe!
It also honours spiritual and cultural diversity by celebrating Christian and Islamic feasts and traditions. People invite individuals from different communities and exchange traditions multiculturally. Kerala serves as a role model in religious freedom in a country divided by religion after India’s independence. Because of this, there’s at least one big festival celebrated inside this relatively small state.
While traditionally only men could join, women have been participating for this incredible sight – Credit: Bobinson K B
If religious festivals aren’t your thing, the Kochi-Muziris Biennale might be. The contemporary art festival is every winter from December to March in Fort Kochi. One can find art exhibitions of all mediums all around the city in galleries and open spaces.
If you interested in travelling to Kerala, plan your trip with us now.
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