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In And Around Kerala

Kerala is pretty easy to reach, owing to the fact that you can access it in any number of ways. Even easier to reach is the flat southern areas as the mountains in the north are relatively remote. Kerala is unique in that you can glimpse vast uninterrupted semi-urban and urban areas from either side whether on road or rail. Transition from one village to another is hence difficult to discern. As a result, transport is easy to score.

By Train

Trains are a reliable mode of transport within the state. Most are long distance trains which pause at numerous stations in Kerala. You can catch passenger trains as well, which connect the prominent cities such as Trivandrum, Palakkad, Kochi, Alapuzha, Kottayam, Kollam, Kozhikode, Thrissur and Kannur.

Similar to the provision in local trains of Mumbai, railways here have set up MEMU services, between Kochi-Thrissur-Palakkad and Kochi-Kollam sector, uniting little suburban stations lying on the route.

By Road

Roads are the most preferred mode of transport. They cover almost the entire city. The NH 66 remains very busy since it ties Kochi with Trivandrum. NH 544 is also full of activity throughout the day as it connects Kochi and Coimbatore, further extending to Bangalore and Chennai. Travelling across the MC Road will introduce you to the most picturesque areas of the state.


Travelling via cars is advisable to only those who are looking for some adventure. Heavy traffic confined on narrow pathways, with driving discipline scarcely present, makes it unsafe to drive on your own. Almost all highways in the state are two-way, without any median.

Foreigners, especially those from the west, do not usually go for car rentals. This is mainly due to the car rental agencies refusing to supply them with self-drive cars. While renting a car, people are required to provide a security cheque or bank guarantee letter equivalent to the car’s value.

Chauffeur-driven cars can be rented by visitors on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Theses rentals do not require any security deposit. Almost all of the towns have multiple companies providing car rental services.


Tourist taxis are pretty easy to get in Kerala. Then most popular taxi is the country’s symbolic HM Ambassador. Tata Indica and Toyota SUV models have been getting popular as well. The taxis do not follow any meter system. A few of the companies offer cabs which have GPS facility. The vehicles do not sport any Cab Top Sign.

By Bus

Buses are very popular transportation mode for those who like to travel on a budget. The state has a very well organized public bus system which is run both by private companies and government-owned Kerala State Road Transport Corp. The Transport Department is in charge of determining the fares, which are constant across the whole state depending on the type of buses. Usually, non air-conditioned buses are of four classes:

  • Ordinary (ORD)- This is a basic, no-frills service which covers short and medium routes and stops at all legal stops covered in its authorized route.
  • Fast Passenger (FP) - This is a better service which covers large areas, stopping at only limited points at the main towns or villages.
  • Super Fast (SF) – Also referred to as Express Service, this links only the prominent district headquarters and towns.
  • Deluxe Express (LF) - This is also called Super Express in some areas. It is a strictly point-to-point service which connects the main cities with technical stoppages.

In addition to theses, KSRTC provided air-conditioned luxury bus services called as either Hitech or Garuda services. These operate limitedly among the major cities.

By Autorickshaw

Also known as autos, these are comfortable vehicles suited to travel within very short distances. The law dictates every auto driver to start the meter before every journey. However, most drivers do not abide by this. You should ask the auto driver to turn on the meter before the start of your journey, or negotiate the price he’ll take for his services, in order to avoid petty arguments when you reach. The common behavior of these drivers differs from place to place.

By Ferry

Kerala is known for its wide-ranging collection of water bodies such as rivers, lagoons and backwaters. This makes travel via ferry a popular choice. In some areas, ferries are a far more convenient mode of transport than road. Most places lying in the Alapuzha-Kuttanad region are interlinked through habitual ferry services.
The types of ferries vary from the conventional wooden boats to the recent ones built with fiber-glass. Expect them to be up to the neck during peak hours of evening and morning.

Kerala Shipping and Inland Navigation Corporation (KSINC) provides ferry services linking the towns placed on the coast.  If you are interested in exploring the famous backwaters of Kerala at Kumarakom, Alapuzha and Allepey, you can make your way aboard hired houseboats, locally called Kettuvalloms.

By Air

Air-taxi and helicopter services can be availed from Kochi and Trivandrum. These connect the two major metros with the District Headquarters, even though they don’t come cheap. Heli-tours and heli-taxis have lately started operating from Kozhikode and Malappuram. Pre-booking needs to be done.

Scheduled air connections such as those operated by leading domestic brands like Spicejet, Indigo, Air India Express, Jet Airways etc connect Kozhikode, Trivandrum and Kochi airports.

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