Southern Spice - Family holiday in Kerala

Family adventure holiday in Kerala and the Western Ghats







From $1,780 Land only

Book this holiday

Holiday Overview


  • Cruising the Kerala Backwaters with your family
  • Tea Plantation walk and have an elephant ride
  • Wildlife spotting at Periyar Nature Reserve
  • Free time on the beach at Kovalam

Located on the Malabar Coast, at the southern tip of the Indian Subcontinent, Kerala is a magical place, well-loved by travellers. Our family adventure begins in Kochi (Cochin), known as the Queen of the Arabian Sea, where our sightseeing tour includes a visit to the harbour area with its huge ‘Chinese' fishing nets. Here, too, we can attend a performance of the unique costumed dance form known as Kathakali. We visit an elephant training camp before driving up to the hill-station of Munnar in the Cardamom Hills and have a couple of days to explore amongst tea plantations and shola forest. Driving across the Western Ghats, we will visit the tiger reserve at Periyar and enjoy wildlife spotting in this beautiful park, both from a boat on the lake and on foot. There will also be the chance to take a ride on elephant-back, and we have a cooking session with the chef on local dishes. Descending to the famous Keralan 'backwaters' we have an overnight cruise on a splendid houseboat. The holiday ends with 2 days for relaxation at Kovalam, a charming and very laid back beach resort. This holiday offers an endless visual feast and will entertain and amaze the whole family.

Is this holiday for you?

Suitable for children from 6yrs old

This family adventure holiday in Southern India offers a colourful mixture of touring and sightseeing with a range of activities suitable for  families. There are just 1 or 2 days when we have included the option to do some walking; in the tea plantations around Munnar, in the Eravikulam National Park in the Western Ghats and at Periyar Tiger Reserve. These walks are likely to last no more than about 3 hours and the pace is leisurely, with lots of opportunities to stop, rest and admire the scenery. The holiday also includes a city tour of Kochi, a number of half-day drives, a ride on elephant-back, a houseboat cruise in the backwaters and at least 2 days at leisure. Families and children should be able to swim as there are a few boat rides and opportunities for swimming.

Brief Itinerary

View in full
  • Meet at the group hotel in Kochi (Cochin). A single transfer from Mumbai Airport is provided.
  • Sightseeing of Kochi, including the Mattanchery Palace, the Fort, and the chinese fishing nets.
  • Visit the Elephant training camp at Guruvayur.
  • Transfer to Munnar in the mountains. Visit Eravikulam National Park for wildlife viewing.
  • Boat ride to see elephants in the park. Tea factory visit and walk through estate.
  • Transfer to Thekkady. Spice gardens tour and elephant ride.
  • Walk in the Periyar Tiger Reserve. Optional boat ride in the park. Cooking demo.
  • Drive to Alleppey, board houseboat. Cruise through backwaters.
  • Disembark boat, drive to Kovalam on the beach.
  • Free day at the palm tree lined beach, Kovalam.
  • A further free day at the palm tree lined beach, Kovalam.
  • Departure day. A single transfer to Trivandrum Airport is provided.
Mon 19 Oct - Fri 30 Oct Code FSS /06/15/ Adult$1,780 Child$1,620 Status Guaranteed Book now
Sun 20 Dec - Thu 31 Dec Code FSS /6A/15/ Adult$1,860 Child$1,700 Status Available Book now
Tue 22 Dec - Sat 02 Jan Code FSS /07/15/ Adult$1,860 Child$1,700 Status Guaranteed Book now
Mon 08 Feb - Fri 19 Feb Code FSS /01/16/ Adult$1,780 Child$1,620 Status Available Book now
Mon 28 Mar - Fri 08 Apr Code FSS /02/16/ Adult$1,780 Child$1,620 Status Available Book now
Mon 04 Apr - Fri 15 Apr Code FSS /03/16/ Adult$1,780 Child$1,620 Status Available Book now
Mon 25 Jul - Fri 05 Aug Code FSS /04/16/ Adult$1,700 Child$1,620 Status Guaranteed Book now
Mon 15 Aug - Fri 26 Aug Code FSS /05/16/ Adult$1,700 Child$1,620 Status Available Book now
Mon 17 Oct - Fri 28 Oct Code FSS /06/16/ Adult$1,780 Child$1,620 Status Available Book now
Wed 21 Dec - Sun 01 Jan Code FSS /07/16/ Adult$1,860 Child$1,700 Status Guaranteed Book now
Mon 13 Feb - Fri 24 Feb Code FSS /01/17/ Adult$1,860 Child$1,700 Status Available Book now
Mon 27 Mar - Fri 07 Apr Code FSS /02/17/ Adult$1,860 Child$1,700 Status Available Book now
Fri 07 Apr - Tue 18 Apr Code FSS /03/17/ Adult$1,860 Child$1,700 Status Available Book now
The LAND ONLY dates and prices are for the itinerary joining in Kochi (Cochin). For clients making their own flight arrangements, Kochi (Cochin) Airport is the most convenient for transfers to the group hotel. The return flight is from Trivandrum. Please refer to 'Joining Arrangements and Transfers' in the trip dossier for further details.

Flights SHOULD NOT be booked until you have received your booking confirmation and the trip is showing 'Guaranteed to Run' or 'Limited'.

BOOK WITH KE CONFIDENCE - No surcharge guarantee*

* Against Land Only services.

Map & Itinerary

The Route

  • airport
  • point
  • trip direction
  • transfer

Holiday Itinerary

  • Meet at the group hotel in Kochi (Cochin). A single transfer from Mumbai Airport is provided.

    Meet at the group hotel in Kochi (Cochin). KE land only package services start with a single group transfer from Kochi Airport in the morning. After a couple of hours rest, you can start your holiday with a stroll along the seafront or simply take it easy in the pleasant hotel gardens. There is also an optional sunset boat cruise in the backwaters near Mattancherry.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals ld

  • Sightseeing of Kochi, including the Mattanchery Palace, the Fort, and the chinese fishing nets.

    Kochi is a wonderful and colourful city, built on a maze of canals and waterways. After breakfast, we set off on a sightseeing tour of the city including a visit to the Mattanchery Palace, built by the Portuguese in 1557 as a gift for the Raja of Kochi in exchange for trading rights. It was later rebuilt by the Dutch. Close by is a Jewish Synagogue which we also visit. Moving around to the seaward side of the peninsula of Fort Kochi, we will be able to see St. Francis Church, the oldest European church in India, where the Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama was buried in 1524. In this area, the Kochi seafront is at its most exciting, with colourful stalls, selling trinkets, jewellery, puppets and ice-cream. Here, too, there is a picturesque row of enormous 'Chinese' fishing nets, introduced by traders in the 14th century. They are lowered into the sea every 10 minutes or so, each of them operated by a team of 5 or 6 fishermen. Rows of sleek fishing boats also line the beach and there is a fish market selling the catch. We return to our hotel for dinner and then in the early evening, we have the option to go to a local theatre to see a performance of the traditional Keralan dance form known as Kathakali, which involves beautifully attired, masked and made-up dancers.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

  • Visit the Elephant training camp at Guruvayur.

    A transfer up the coast takes us to the town of Guruvayur and here we visit the Elephant training camp. This is a super chance to get really close to the elephants. Here they training the elephants to get used to the crowds in major festivals and processions to temples. With luck we will be able to see them being washed by the Mahouts.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

  • Transfer to Munnar in the mountains. Visit Eravikulam National Park for wildlife viewing.

    Today we transfer away from the coast and up into the hills of the Western Ghats, climbing around 1800m during our drive. We pass through tea and cardamom plantations and roads lined with eucalyptus trees, we travel for approximately 5 hours to reach the town of Munnar, once a 'hill-station' and summer resort of the British Government in South India. The town retains something of its former colonial charm with neat bungalows with manicured gardens that would not be out of place in a Sussex village. The first thing we notice after the heat of Kochi is the cool mountain air, saturated with the fragrance of fresh spices and the ubiquitous tea. After checking in at our hotel, we take a trip out into the hills to the north, to the Eravikulam National Park. Located on the slopes of Anamudi (2695m), the highest peak of the Western Ghats, this pocket-size national park was set up to protect the Nilgiri tahr, a stocky and endangered, mountain goat. There are many species of animals and birds here and we will take a short walk with a local ranger through an accessible part of the park - another opportunity to enjoy the picturesque landscapes of the Western Ghats. In February & March the Eravikulam National Park is closed. Instead we visit the beautiful Thattekad Bird Sanctuary. This is one of the most important bird sanctuaries in India covering an evergreen low-land forested area between 2 river branches.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

  • Boat ride to see elephants in the park. Tea factory visit and walk through estate.

    This morning we have an optional scenic boat ride at the Mattapudy Dam an area known for seeing visiting Elephants. After this we continue to the tea factory. The various processes of tea-making usually take place in different buildings - withering (drying), sifting, rolling, oxidation, drying, grading, packing. Within a day or so of being picked, the tea can be packed and ready for market. It is interesting and educational to see these processes being carried out and there will certainly be the chance, for those that wish, to sample the finished product. Munnar is surrounded by tea estates that climb the rolling hills of the Western Ghats. After our tour of the tea factory we transfer for just 15 minutes or so into the Lakshmi Hills and to the start of our tea estate walk. This is a great opportunity to stretch our legs on the 4WD drive tracks and tea-pickers' trails that connect the various patches of vibrant green tea bushes. Interspersed amongst the plantations are patches of native grassland and stands of rough 'shola' forest, home to many species of birds and animals. Our walk will take us through the ordered villages of the estate workers and, hopefully, we will also come across colourful groups of tea-pickers working in the 'fields'.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

  • Transfer to Thekkady. Spice gardens tour and elephant ride.

    Today, we drive south through the beautiful plantation country of the Western Ghats. Our morning-long drive takes us through tranquil countryside and plantations of rubber, pepper, tea, coffee and cardamom. Arriving in Thekkady on the edge of the Periyar Tiger Reserve, we check in at our hotel. After lunch we have a guided tour of the nearby spice gardens where we learn all about which plants the spices come from. Then we have included an elephant ride to bring the day to an end. Swimming: At the hotel pool.

    • Accommodation Hotel with swimming pool

    • Meals bld

  • Walk in the Periyar Tiger Reserve. Optional boat ride in the park. Cooking demo.

    In the early morning we have a walk in the wildlife sanctuary. A beautiful time of day to see the wildlife and enjoy the peace of the park. In the afternoon we have the option to explore the reserve area by boat. The construction of the Mullaperiyar Dam across the Periyar river at Thekkady in 1895 submerged large tracts of land and created a huge lake, which now forms the centrepiece of the Periyar Tiger Reserve. The optional leisurely cruise around the lake by motor boat, will be accompanied by a forest service guide who will point out any interesting birds and animals. We are very likely to see, for example, elephants, sambar deer and wild boar, which come down to the lake to drink. We return to our hotel and may have time to have a marshal arts class or enjoy an Ayurveda massage (both optional). In the evening we have dinner with a local family who will also give us a cookery demonstration/class. Swimming: At the hotel pool.

    • Accommodation Hotel with swimming pool

    • Meals bld

  • Drive to Alleppey, board houseboat. Cruise through backwaters.

    We drive out of the hills today and back towards the coast. Heading due west, we drop down into the hot and humid lowlands and, after 3-4 hours we arrive at the houseboat jetties at Alleppey. Here, we board a houseboat for a cruise on the famous backwaters, the unique web of lakes, lagoons, palm fringed canals and rivers that link the villages of this region. Previously the 'heavy goods vehicle' of the backwaters and known as kettuvallams, the converted, modern-day houseboats are air conditioned with twin berth cabins, showers and a veranda area at the front for sitting and watching the world go by. As we float serenely through this unique waterscape we can watch children going to school by boat, tody (coconut milk) tappers at work, and the everyday life of the villagers. Cruising the backwaters is a wonderful experience - both relaxing and stimulating as well as a great way of viewing local life. It's also a great way to spot the wonderful bird-life of the region - swallows skim the water surface, whilst kingfishers, cormorants and the snake-bird. We eventually moor up for the night in Vembanadu Lake and go to sleep, rocked by the gentle lapping of the waters.

    • Accommodation Houseboat

    • Meals bld

  • Disembark boat, drive to Kovalam on the beach.

    After breakfast on the houseboat, we cruise back to Alleppey. Here, we meet our transport and drive south through a number of small towns and villages, with glimpses through the palm trees of Indian Ocean beaches on our right hand side. We reach our hotel accommodation in the small seaside resort of Kovalam at lunchtime. Time for some total relaxation. Kovalam has a number of pleasant beaches, where fishermen set huge nets by boat and gradually pull these back onto the beach, before sharing the catch. There are also lots of small cafes along the seafront. Swimming: At the hotel pool.

    • Accommodation Hotel with swimming pool

    • Meals bld

  • Free day at the palm tree lined beach, Kovalam.

    We have a couple of free days at the beach to take it easy, with the option to relax on the beach and swim in the warm sea. Swimming: At the hotel pool.

    • Accommodation Hotel with swimming pool

    • Meals bld

  • A further free day at the palm tree lined beach, Kovalam.

    Another day at the beach. The name Kovalam derives from the Tamil word for coconut groves and it's easy to see why they chose this name. There is plenty of time for some exploration as well. The main beach at Kovalam is marked by a prominent red and white striped lighthouse and this pretty area is worth seeking out. We also have the opportunity to visit a local school. Swimming: At the hotel pool.

    • Accommodation Hotel with swimming pool

    • Meals bld

  • Departure day. A single transfer to Trivandrum Airport is provided.

    KE Land Only group package services end after breakfast. A single group transfer will be provided to Trivandrum Airport, which is just a short drive up the coast from our Kovalam hotel.

    • Meals b

Holiday Information

  • An English speaking local guide throughout the tour
  • Single timed airport transfer at Kochi and Trivandrum Airports are provided
  • All overland transport and guided sightseeing tours using air-conditioned vehicles
  • All accommodation as described in the trip dossier
  • Sightseeing tour of Kochi
  • Elephant ride in Thekkady
  • Tea Factory visit
  • Cookery demonstration
  • Meals as per the Meal Plan

  • Travel insurance
  • Indian Visa
  • Tips for guides and trek staff
  • Optional activities
  • Miscellaneous expenses - drinks and souvenirs etc.

For each holiday there is a minimum number of participants required to enable it to go ahead. Once the minimum number is reached, the trip status will change from 'Available' to 'Guaranteed to run'. You can check the trip status for each departure in ‘Dates and Prices’ table. Other than in exceptional circumstances, we will not cancel a trip once it has achieved this guaranteed to run status and so you are free to proceed with your international flight booking and other travel arrangements.

On day 1 of the Land Only itinerary a single timed transfer from Kochi (Cochin) airport to the group hotel in Kochi is provided. At the end of the trip, on the last day of the Land Only itinerary a single timed transfer will be provided to the airport in Trivandrum.

Clients must provide their flight details and should inform the KE office if they do not wish to use the complimentary airport transfer on arrival or departure. Private transfers are available if your fights arrive/depart at different times.

Hotel contact details and an emergency number will be provided with your booking confirmation.

During the holiday the group will spend two nights on arrival at a hotel in Kochi (Cochin). There is 1 night in at hotel at Guruvayur, 2 hotel nights in Munnar, 2 hotel nights with swimming pool in Thekkady close to the Periyar National Park, 1 night on a houseboat on the Kerala backwaters and 3 nights at a beach resort in Kovalam with swimming pool and situated next to the beach. All hotel accommodation is at 'Indian' 3 or 4 star standard. On the houseboat, accommodation will be in twin berth cabins with electricity, air conditioning, and shared toilet and shower.

Children of 11yrs and under will share with parents in a triple for a family of 3, or for a family of 4 have a double with 2 extra beds or 2 rooms. Children over 12 yrs will share with parents in a triple for a family of 3, or have 2 rooms for a family of 4. We will do everything to ensure that you are happy with your rooming allocation.

Additional hotel nights are available pre and post the holiday. Hotels are subject to availability and prices may vary.

View the gallery below for images of the style of accommodation used

Part of the experience of a trip to South India is the truly amazing food on offer. South Indian food is very different to the dishes we are familiar with from Indian restaurants which usually serve Northern Indian or Bangladeshi cuisine. South Indian food is predominantly vegetarian, and a meal typically consists of several dishes, some highly spiced and others delicately flavoured, and this is always served along with rice and dhal (lentils). In most places that we stay it will also be possible to order more familiar northern dishes as well as western options.

All meals included from lunch on day 1 to breakfast on day 12.

We recommend the average family (mum, dad and 2 kids) will need approximately £300 (or equivalent in USD or Euros) for miscellaneous expenses, including tips to local staff (allow approximately £50) and soft drinks, etc. It is not necessary to purchase local currency (Indian Rupees) before you travel. We recommend taking your spending money in the form of cash. Sterling and US dollars are readily exchanged in Kochi. Credit cards can be used to purchase some goods in major towns and are particularly useful for more expensive souvenirs. Optional activity prices (all prices are subject to change at any time): Boat ride at Mattapudy Dam £18 for upto 5 people on the boat, or private speed boat for £8 per person. Sunset Cruise near Mattancherry £30-35 for the boat, depending on group size and availability. Marshal Arts entrance £3

The group will be accompanied throughout the tour by a professional, English-speaking local tour leader. The group will also have the services of English speaking guides for the local tours and a driver.

For your tour guide we recommend that you give a tip if you feel that their services have met your satisfaction. As a rough guide we suggest a tip to your tour leader the equivalent of £10 - 15 per family member (with perhaps a little more for small groups of five or less). You may also wish to tip your driver(s) but we would suggest this should not be greater than half the amount you give to your tour guide. In hotels you should give a tip of around 20 rupees (25p) to hotel porters.

There is no baggage limit on this holiday other than that set by your international carrier but we do ask you to limit your luggage to one trek bag and one small daypack per family member.

KE Trek Bag / Free Gift

All KE clients will receive a FREE KE trek bag.  These have been specially made to stand up to the rigours of adventure travel.  Your KE bag will be posted to you when your trip is guaranteed to run or on receipt of your booking if the trip is already guaranteed.  If you have travelled with us before and already have a KE trek bag you can select an alternative free gift in the booking process.

All nationalities need to obtain a visa for entry into India. You must have a machine-readable passport with at least 6 months validity at the time of your arrival in India and your passport must have at least two blank pages.


e-Tourist Visa Application

If you require a Single-Entry visa for a visit of up to 30 days, we recommend that you use the e-Tourist Visa Application process which has been available to UK nationals since 15 August, 2015. You should make your application at

Most nationalities, including travellers from the UK, USA and many European countries can apply for their Indian Visa online through the e-Tourist Visa system.

The e-Tourist Visa is valid for entry through 16 designated Airports: Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Bengaluru, Chennai, Cochin, Delhi, Gaya, Goa, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai, Tiruchirapalli, Trivandrum, Varanasi.

This visa is cheaper than the Regular Indian Visa and does not require that you send your passport to your nearest India Visa Application Centre (IVAC).

Please note: If you travel on an e-Tourist Visa, your passport will be stamped and your biometric data (fingerprinting and retinal scan) will be processed on arrival in India.

You must make your application a minimum of 4 days before your arrival and a maximum of 30 days before your arrival in India. You must also remember to print a copy of the e-Tourist Visa and take it with you to India for processing on arrival.

The validity of the e-Tourist Visa is 30 days from the date of arrival in India.

The e-Tourist Visa fee is $60.

Instructions for making the application are provided at the above link, including details and specifications of the passport and passport photo scans that you need to provide.


Filling out the application form
Where you are asked to state ‘Places to be visited in India’, please write “Delhi” or the port of entry as the destination you are travelling to in India. Please do not mention any restricted areas such as Sikkim or Ladakh as this may result in delays to the issue of your visa. Answer ‘no’ to the question about visiting Sikkim. Note that when applying online, most of the questions have ‘required fields’ (denoted by a red asterisk). This means that you will not be allowed to submit the form without filling in these fields. If the question is not applicable to you, please type ‘NA’ into these fields.

For ‘Sponsor’ use KE Adventure Travel; first UK referee use KE Adventure Travel; Second UK referee use a friend or relative. For the first Indian referee please use the name and address of our Ground Agent as listed on your Booking Confirmation. For ‘address in India’ and also for second referee in India, please use the name and address of the group hotel as listed on your Booking Confirmation.

If you need help with your e-Tourist Visa Application
A visa processing company such as Travcour can help with your application. Travcour charge £20 to process your application and a further £9 (for postage) if you want them also to handle the scanning of your passport and photo.

We do keep our information up to date but be advised visa requirements and charges are subject to change.

The following checklist should help you with your packing. As a general rule, you should always try to keep the weight of your equipment to a minimum.

You must bring the following items:

  • Strong shoes
  • Trainers/ sneakers or sandals
  • Socks
  • Underwear
  • Trekking trousers
  • Lightweight waterproof jacket
  • Lightweight waterproof overtrousers / rainpants
  • Shorts*
  • Swimwear
  • T-shirts and casual shirts
  • Loose-fitting, long-sleeved shirt
  • Fleece jacket or warm jumper
  • Sunhat with wide brim
  • Warm hat
  • Eyewear – Sunglasses
  • Daypack c.20 to 30 litres (depending on how much of the kids' stuff you need to carry)
  • Sun protection (including total bloc for lips, nose etc.)
  • Water bottles 2 x 1 Litre (2 x quart)
  • Selection of dry bags (to keep trek bag contents dry)
  • Washbag and toiletries
  • Small towel
  • Antibacterial handwash
  • Wet wipes
  • Headtorch / headlamp with spare batteries
  • Basic First Aid Kit – Antiseptic cream, throat lozenges, diarrhoea treatment (Immodium), painkillers, plasters (band-aids), and blister treatment, Insect repellent (DEET), antihistamine cream and tablets, and re-hydration salts (Dioralite). Glucose tablets and multi-vitamin tablets are a good idea.

The following items are optional:

  • Spare laces
  • Travel clothes
  • Pocket-knife (note: always pack sharp objects in hold baggage)
  • Repair kit – (eg. needle, thread, duct tape)
  • Small padlock (to lock your KE trek bag)
  • Camera, media, spare batteries
  • Toys / games / books / kite etc.
  • *Notes: Please be culturally sensitive. In many places in India shorts, tank tops and figure-hugging clothing is inappropriate wear. Although for children it is not usually an issue.

We recommend you check if you require an adaptor for your electrical items at:

Know before you go

As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign & Commonwealth Offices ‘Know before you go’ campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas, and we recommend that all KE travellers take a look at the FCO Travel Advice for their chosen destination on the official FCO website: North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: for essential travel advice and tips.

KE treat the safety and security of all clients as the most important aspect of any trip we organise. We would not run any trip that we did not consider reasonably safe.  Should the FCO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

Our family adventures are specifically aimed at families who are experienced travellers and who are used to the outdoor environment. Although children will quickly adapt to new and unusual surroundings, they will be less happy if mum and dad are completely phased by the experience. There are certain things that you should expect on your family adventure. New sights and sounds… Arriving in a new country will involve an element of 'Culture Shock'. This is what we travel for, after all - there would be no point in going to these places if they were exactly the same as home. New sights and sounds and smells abound. The local people may appear strange at first and may have very different customs and behaviour. Many countries particularly in the developing world, are more open to interaction with strangers than we are used to at home and will usually strike up conversations quite readily. In the more out of the way places they will probably be intrigued to see Western children in their local market-place or village and may approach you and your family. This is all part of the fun of adventure travel and as long as parents are relaxed about this the kids are usually fine and will quickly make friends with children of their own age. Hotels and overland transport… We choose hotels which will provide comfortable accommodation and which reflect the character of the area we are visiting. Some of these hotels away from the major cities will not be up to Western standards. Similarly, although we insist upon the very best available overland transport, some of this transport may be less comfortable than you would expect to find in Europe or North America. Hygiene and children’s’ health… We use reputable hotels with excellent standards of hygiene. However, general standards of hygiene are not always quite as good in the developing world and the avoidance of sickness is a priority for everyone. It is important that you do not drink tap water and you should be careful when choosing to eat fruits or salads. In general, food that is hot and freshly prepared is safe everywhere. Children may be more prone to non-serious traveller’s sickness than adults – this sort of tummy upset is easily picked up on the hands and children may need extra encouragement to wash their hands before mealtimes. Thankfully, children are also normally quick to recover from these minor tummy troubles.

Due to its long coastline and the mountains of the Western Ghats, Kerala experiences more rainfall but less dramatic season changes and than other South Indian states. During July, August and October temperatures on the coast will be in the range 29 - 32ºC and around 22ºC in the hills. At this time of the year it is possible to encounter some heavy rain in the late afternoon and is the wettest time of the year. During the April departure all areas are usually dry but it can be quite hot and humid on the coast, with temperatures in the mid thirties Celsius, with a cooler climate in the hills of around 24ºC. The winter months, from the latter part of November to the middle of February, have the least rainfall. Temperatures on the plain at this time range from 18 – 28ºC and in the hills typical daytime temperatures are 20ºC with chilly evenings around 10ºC.

Your Child’s Health Abroad. Matthew Ellis and Jane Wilson-Howarth, (Bradt publications). Travel With Children. Maureen Wheeler (Lonely Planet). India. Lonely Planet guidebook.

Kerala and Lakshadweep Islands Road Map and Guide 1:530,000

The map presents the state at 1:530,000 with colouring showing its division into districts. Road network gives driving distances on main roads. Railway lines are included and local airports are marked. Symbols mark places of tourist interest: hill stations, forts, national or wildlife parks and bird sanctuaries, beaches, caves, etc. Street plans show Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum) and Kochi-Ernakulam (Cochin) indicating various facilities and sights. Also provided is an inset showing the Lakshadweep islands at 1:1,500,000, a distance table and a district-by-district chart showing area, population, literacy and places of interest.

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