I am planning a trip to India for the month of August. I know this is the monsoon season but I have no choice.I am going with a girlfriend whoose life dream is to travel to India. She has never been to Asia.We hope to find a place where we can see a lot but don't want the hassle of spending lots of time on trains and buses. Where would you recommend we go? Her first choice was Kerala whereas my choice is Tamil Nadu. Any advice would be great.
Both Kerala and Tamil Nadu are adjacent to each other... and it is possible to plan ur trip in such a way that u can touch both the states.
For example kanyakumari (tamil nadu) and trivandrum are very close. Likewise, madurai to tekkady, munar. Tamilnadu is known for its temples... kerala for its overall greenery. the nilgiris mountain range stretches between kerala , tamil nadu and karnataka - so u can reach it from anywhere.
how long is your trip?
Thanks for your reply. My trip will last for only 1 month, too short I know. My main worry is the weather in those states? I have been to Tamil Nadu but it was 8 years ago and not in the monsoon season.
Also which would be the best place to fly in to? 8 years ago I was coming from Sri Lanka. This time we will be coming from Europe and Japan.
Weather wont be a problem at all in august.. Tamil Nadu, there is virtually no rain in August as it experiences rain in winter i.e. Dec-Feb. As far as Kerala is concerned rains will be heavy in August but u can enjoy the backwaters in the rains.....rates for houseboats are substantially down.
Hey thanks for the advise.Could you tell me more about the backwaters and the houseboats?. I have not been to Kerala but I have read about the boatrace festival.The festival is in August so, now I am thinking it would be good to go to Kerala for that, as it is next to Tamil Nadu, plus the houseboats are intriguing me.
Suggest you to spend first half of your total stay in Tamilnadu first.Balance half you can spend in Kerala. Mid May to end Aug is the rainy season in Kerala and it pours very heavily. and as the month goes by, it slowly tapers off.
YOu will visiting Kerala during off season and so you can expect lower tariffs in hotels and in house boats. You should visit Alleppey where you can see house boats of different types and with different price ranges. The price starts with 5000 rupees for 22 hours stay with all meals and accommodation included during season. You can negotiate depending up on price they quote. Suggest you to check the houseboats you like and take it on hire. The house boat has bedroom, bath/toilet, a reception area and has elecricity. No tv /no phone/no newspapers! tehy take you round a lake and in small canals both in the evenings and mornings and bring you back to the starting place.
You can also do back water canal trip by normal ordinary boats in Alleppey.
If you are coming from Japan then shortest route would be Japan-bangkok/KualaLumpur/ singapore- (Chennai) -Trivandrum . From Trivandrum to alleppey by train or by car/bus.
From Europe, fly into Trivandrum via dubai or mumbai or Chennai. There are flights to trivandrum from Mumbai/chennai.
or Europe - Colombo- trivandrum.
Other places to be seen in Kerala: trivandrum, kumarakom.cochin, Munnar, thekkady etc.
Iam sure you will have a good trip.
citybell has rightly suggested a lot about the houseboats i.e the price and facilities offered on board. To add to that if u dont want a private boat, the best way to enjoy the backwaters in Kerala is to take a passenger ferry from Kollam to Alleppy. It takes 8 hrs to cover the distance of 90kms with a stoppage for lunch passing through the beautiful backwaters. the rate is around $7 per person.
while in Kerala i would advise u to concentrate on Triangle of Munnar, Thekkady and Alleppy. Munnar is one of the most beautiful hill stations of india, thekkady is a wild life tiger reserve with the beautiful Periyar lake in the middle and then Alleppy is the place for backwater cruises which is often called as the "Venice of the East". Each of these places are separated by a road travel of around 6 hrs. Let me know if u need more information
looks like ur questions have been answered... if u are flying in from Europe- u can directly land in Chennai. You have direct flights from London/ frankfurt/dubai/singapore (to name a few)...
Especially if u intend to spend the first half in tamilnadu...
Within Tamil Nadu - mahabalipuram is a nice visit. pondycherry and auroville are also fantastic stops. If u want a taste of village scenery - u can do a 6-8 hour drive to tanjore... the madurai temple is also not be missed..
Thiruvannamalai is not known for its temple architecturre or anything, but is a beautiful place. People climb up the hill at night to see the diety. And more than that, the ashram over there is well -known ... u cud chk that out if u are keen!
I just wanna thank you all for your valuable help and advise.My friend and I are getting very excited about our trip now. This site is great and I will surely recommend it to any fellow travellers.I am sure to come back as the time gets closer to take off.
If you are thinking of travelling in Japan and need advise,just ask.
Just like to add my experience:
went to India in August and it was great weather, bit humid occasionally and a few downpours but they were always good fun! plus theres less tourists at this time which may or may not be a good thing depending on your attitude to travelling