In 2016, I spent a whirlwind week experiencing some of the finest cultural Kerala highlights. That trip was solo travel and focused mostly on festival extravaganzas of the sunny southern state. My timing could not have been better and I landed in Kochi right in the middle of the annual Onam celebrations. Usually taking place every year around August to September, Onam celebrates the homecoming of the legendary King Mahabali – who reigned over a golden age in Kerala. It is also a harvest festival where people make intricate flower carpets in front of their houses, buy new clothes, and celebrate with snake boat races, costumed parades, and an elaborate nine-course banquet. That itinerary was a combination of public transport especially trains, taxi rides, and I crossed over to Tamil Nadu from Kerala. Presenting my 1 week cultural Kerala itinerary. This one is for keeps, especially if you are focusing on festivals.

Vallam Kali or Kerala Snake Boat Race

Highlights of my 1 week cultural Kerala Itinerary

  • Arrival into Kochi (overnight stay at Bastian Homestay)….2N
  • Taxi to Thrissur (1 h 34 min (86.1 km) via NH544) for Pulikali Tiger Dance
  • Relaxing day at Fort Kochi exploring Jew Town, Synagogue, etc.
  • Evening cultural show of Mohiniattam, Kathakali, and Kalaripattu at Greenix
  • Taxi to Alleppey from Kochi (1 h 1 min (53.0 km) via NH 66, overnight stay at Rama Varma District Club at Alleypey)….2N
  • Lunch at Toddy Shop
  • Vallam Kali or Kerala Snake Boat Race
  • Morning nonmotorized houseboat and dugout canoe ride in Alleppey backwaters
  • Train to Palakkad from Alleppey (Around 5 hours, stay at Hotel KPM Regency)…3N
  • Visiting the Malampuzha Dam, Tipu Sultan Fort, and Kalpathy Heritage Village
  • Day trip to Nelliyampathy Hills

Bus Ride to Trichy in Tamil Nadu

Meal at a toddy shop is a cultural kerala experience

Lunch at Kerala toddy shop

2016 Cultural Kerala itinerary Travel Facts

    • Start Point – Kochi, Kerala
    • Finish Point – Palakkad, Kerala
    • States Covered – Kerala
    • Duration – 07 – 10 Days
    • Theme – Solo Travel, Culture, Nature
    • Suitability – For all ages as well as for travelers with restricted mobility

Optional Add-ons – Ayurvedic Treatments at Palakkad, Stay at Nelliyampathy Hills, Silent Valley National Park, Hiking in Dhoni Hills, Visit Parambikulam Tiger Reserve

Overnight Stay Points on this Kerala Itinerary

Kochi, Alleppey, Palakkad

Follow the rest of the Kerala series