Yes, you read that right! I covered Munnar, Kochi, Thekkady, and Alleppey – 5 days in Kerala under 12k including flights from Mumbai to Kochi, internal travel, stay, entrance tickets, and food!
A tropical state known for its palm-lined beaches facing the Arabian Sea, backwaters, and a network of canals is situated in southern India, Kerala in the Western Ghats support tea, coffee, and spice plantations.
Kerela literally translates into ‘The Land of Coconut’ and rightly called God’s Own Country by the Tourism Board, boasts of pristine greenery and is bestowed with rains for almost 300 days a year!
This was my first visit to Kerala in 2016 with my mom and nana. This God’s Own Country has always summoned me wanting for more since 2016!
When can you explore Kerala? Languages spoken?
Kerala is a destination that can be traveled in Summers and Winters i.e. anytime from October to May. However, carry an umbrella irrespective of the month since it rains ~300 days in Kerala.
I would recommend avoiding the monsoon season – June to September since the roads might be closed due to excessive flooding.
The locals speak Malayalam and most of them do speak English. However, in case of difficulty, you can always use the keywords, charades and smile for any help.
How to reach Kerala?
Flight: Kochi is Kerala’s one of the domestic and international airports. It is also one of the only airports in India that run completely on solar energy.
Trains: You can alternatively book a train from IRCTC from your city to Kochi / any of the cities.
Internal Travel for 5 days in Kerala
We covered Kochi, Allepy, Thekaddy, and Munnar by hiring a driver cum guide – Mr Aneesh (+91 9447195688 – Do check his credentials and reviews on Facebook by searching “Aneesh Kumar Cab Services – South India – esp Kerala”).
I strongly recommend booking him while traveling because we 3 (only ladies) were paranoid since we were alone for the first time in a different land. He didn’t let us feel scared at all in the new area and speaks English too! He told us many tales about wonderful Kerala throughout the trip and we were calm, all thanks to him.
There are also public buses and trains available for the internal commute.
My 5 days in Kerala under INR 12,000 were:
DAY 1: KOCHI TO MUNNAR
We took an early morning flight to Kochi from Mumbai and landed at 12 noon post which we left for Munnar.
Invading the Tea Plantations
A trip to Kerala is almost synonym with Tea plantations, isn’t it? Munnar is filled with the pristine views of tea plantations and these views will take your breath away everytime you see them!
Cheeyappara & Vallara waterfalls
En route, we halted at Cheeyappara & Vallara waterfalls. There were fruit sellers around the corner and I have had the best pineapples ever! Do not miss having them.
The time required – 15 min. Entry fee: No
This place had abundant plants and trees! We spent 3 hours alone with the guide learning about various medicinal plants.
The time required – 2-3 hours. Entry fee: INR 100.
We proceeded towards our hotel – Nest Hotel in Munnar. I highly recommend this hotel since it has a beautiful view, amenities, a brilliant breakfast spread, and just no WiFi.
DAY 2: MUNNAR
We got up to a mesmerizing view at 6 am (15°C) of the hotel and around. After breakfast and checking out, we left for Eravikulam National park.
Eravikulam National park
- Before purchasing the entrance tickets you need to buy reservation tickets (INR 50 per person) and need valid proof / personal ID to get them
- The entrance ticket’s office is a kilometre before the park. Mr. Aneesh knows the timings (the office opens at 9 am) and the area at the back of his hand.
Once you reach the park, you will have to stand in the queue for a bus which will take you on top of the mountain. After getting down you will have to walk for a kilometer or two.
All of us then saw a sanctuary of the endangered mountain goat of South India, the Nilgiri Tahr. Sooner you reach the better – birds and animals will be awake and out and more visible to the naked eye.
A biological phenomenon of the mass blooming of the Neelakurinji flower takes place once in twelve years. Neela means blue in Malayalam language and Kurinji the local name of the flower. A lifetime rare sight of the Kurinji flowers covering the slopes and ravines of Munnar in a blanket of blue.
The last blooming had occurred in 2006 and the next will happen in 2030!
Time required – 2-3 hours. Entry fee: INR 90 for a ticket for one + INR 50 (reservation ticket)
Next, we left for a tea-plant factory. We watched a 20 minute documentary on how tea business evolved in Kerala. Later we saw the active machines in process involved in the process of making tea granules.
The time required – 1 hour. Entry fee: INR 100
We stopped at Rose Garden when the afternoon temperature was around 20-25°C . There were a variety of flowers here and a place not to be missed! The time required – 1 hour. Entry fee: INR 30.
Our next stop at the Echo Point, we heard people screaming together to hear their echo back!
Mom and I went ahead for boating (INR 300 for 2 people) while my nana rested on a bench in the park.
This experience was one of the best for me in Kerala! You feel so small inside this beautiful humongous nature!
The time required – 1 hour. Entry fee: INR 5.
This exotic land has fresh flowers, Muthirappuzha river, lush green landscape, migratory waterbirds, and mountain butterflies.
I highly recommend visiting the park during sunset to catch the pink skies!
DAY 3: THEKKADY
We began our journey from Munnar to Thekkady of ~4-5 hours. This being day 3 of 5 days in Kerala, our next stop was a boat ride in Periyar Lake.
Booking a seat for the Boat Ride-
There are two options to book the seat on the boat – Either online here ( read this even if you’ll be purchasing tickets manually) or via the Ticket Counter at the Boating place.
We booked the tickets online because I had read a lot of reviews that there is a long queue for the tickets and I didn’t want to waste time.
The boat timings are –07:30 am to 09:30 am, 11:30 am to 12:30 am, 01:30 pm to 02:30 pm and 03:30 pm to 05:30 pm.
You have to stand in a queue for the tickets. The procedure is to fill the form with your details and submit it along with the money to buy the actual ticket.
One form can be used to fill details of 2 persons, and only one form per person is provided. So for example, if you are a group of 4, make sure 2 people stand in the queue.
Ticket Costs are – INR 40 per adult, INR 25 for Digital / Still Camera and INR 200 for Camcorder
Sooner you reach the better – birds and animals will be awake and out and more visible to the naked eye.
This ancient art form is said to be the very first in the world! Luckily, Keralites still practice this and it would be a sight to behold of how agile, swift, and flexible a human body can be.
We reached our hotel Kumili Gate to call in a night.
DAY 4: ALLEPPY
We left from Thekkady around 8 in the morning and reached Alleppy around 12noon.
After an authentic vegetarian Keral-ite lunch, we proceeded for a Shikara ride (INR 1200 for 1 hour) instead of a stay in houseboat to cut down the cost.
You will find a lot of vendors at the creek and you can finalize one there itself.
While cruising the backwaters, the rower stopped for some time for us to cherish some fresh tender coconut water and his pet kite!
We had a really good time on the shikara and also because it started raining after 30 minutes! Can you imagine the magic of rains in backwater? Well, you have to experience it!
DAY 5: KOCHI
We had deliberately taken a night flight to fly out of Kochi so we could get a day to explore Kochi.
We saw Chinese fishing nets, Jewish Synagogue (closed on Saturdays), Dutch Palace (INR 5 for the entry – it has the history of Kerala and Indian mythology – it was extremely interesting), and St Francis Church (Vasco Da Gama was buried here).
Read: Kochi in 48 hours
Costs for 5 days in Kerala INR 12,000/-
The cost for the three of us and boiled down to INR 12,000 per person including ALL the following expenses:
- Flights –Mumbai to Kochi return – INR 5,000 per person
- Accommodation in 3 hotels- complimentary breakfast x 4 , Lunch x 5 and dinner x 4
- Local shopping
- Entrance costs at all the locations.
- Cab – pick up at Kochi airport on day 1 and drop at the airport on the day 5 – INR 10,000 (year 2016)
- Shikara ride at Alleppy.
All the rates are mentioned in the blog are as on October 2016.
Other blogs you might enjoy reading:
- Experiencing Kerela’s oldest rituals- Theyyam. Read here.
- A weekend in Kochi. Read here.
- 3 days in Wayanad, Kerala. Read here.
I hope this blog “5 days in Kerala INR 12,000/-” helps you plan your travel easily.