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Travel in India/Kerala Weather November, Restaurants in Kerala, Restaurants in Cochin, Kumarakom, Alleppey, Calicut

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Question
Hi, I am from Delhi. I have planned my honeymoon during the second week of Nov-09 in Kerala beaches and houseboats including Munnar. Would like to know about weather conditions in Kerala during that time and  what kind of clothes should I carry with me ( e.g. rain coat sweaters etc.).
Another thing I have heard is that kerala is quiet expensive. Can you please give me some rough estimate on our meals considering
1) North India food
2) Veg food
3) 7 days 6 nights
4) Lunch and Dinner.

Thanks lot

Answer
HI
Thanks for the question.

Though, I understand your question is only about restaurants and weather, I have slightly expanded it. Excuse me for that.

Kerala Weather:
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Kindly see the weather statistics for Trivandrum for the month of November.


Temperature  Daily Minimum - 23.1
Temperature  Daily Maximum  - 30.3
Mean Total Rainfall(mm) - 184.5
Mean Number of Rainy Days - 8.6
Mean Number of days with Hail - 0.0
Mean Number of days with Thunder - 10.6
Mean Number of days with Fog - 0.4
Mean Number of days with Squall - 0.0

As we all know, Kerala has two main rain seasons- South West Monsoon (Edavappathi - mid-Edavam - Rain in the Edavam Malayalam Month)and North East Monsoon (Thulavarsham - The Rain in the month of Thulam) it also gets rain during summer Which is popularly known as Venal Mazha (Summer-Rain )

The period October -November is the period of North East Monsoon in Kerala. Normally you get rain on most of the evenings. Right now there is heavy rain in many parts of Kerala. By the end of November, the intensity of the rain may come down. One feature is that the days may be humid and hot. As by the end of November, technically Kerala enters the Winter season, some parts of Kerala especially high-ranges could be cold during the night.

Avg Precipitation (in inches) during the first 20 days of November in Kerala
  
Nov 1   - 0.27    
Nov 2   - 0.27       
Nov 3   - 0.27       
Nov 4   - 0.27       
Nov 5   - 0.27       
Nov 6   - 0.27       
Nov 7   - 0.27       
Nov 8   - 0.27       
Nov 9   - 0.27    
Nov 10   - 0.26       
Nov 11   - 0.26       
Nov 12   - 0.26       
Nov 13   - 0.26      
Nov 14   - 0.26       
Nov 15   - 0.26       
Nov 16   - 0.25       
Nov 17   - 0.25       
Nov 18   - 0.25    
Nov 19   - 0.24       
Nov 20   - 0.24

But one good thing about November is that the average number of days when you have rain-fall is only 8-9 according to the above chart. But let me remind you, there is a lot of fluctuation and it could rain almost all days, we can not be sure. But unlike in June end and JUly, it may not rain 48 hours continuously...


Clothes to Wear in Kerala, Munnar, Alleppey, and Beaches:
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You have an entirely different climate in Munnar, which is a High-range. Even after 3 O'clock in the evening, you may feel relatively cold climate there. It is strongly recommended to carry woolen clothes to protect you during the night. It could be very very cold in the night in Munnar.

Alleppey is a coastal area, and it is very humid. Though, temperature could be relatively low, compared to Delhi Summer, it is more humid, and you would be sweating all the time. Wear Cotton clothes. Remember one or two generations back, many Keralites preferred not to wear a shirt during the summer. (Including women!). Please keep this in mind while choosing the type of clothes, during outdoor travel under hot sun.

Always carry an umbrella. And in the beaches, umbrella wont be of much use because of wind. Raincoat? Hmm.. Okay, if you really want, carry a good quality one... Really water-proof.. But I dont really recommend it. There is nothing you can do outdoor, when it is raining. Secondly, I dont expect continuous heavy rain in November. There would be a pattern for rain. If it rain in the evening, you can expect rain in the next evening. If there is no rain today after noon, you dont need to worry much about raining tomorrow after noon.

While in beaches, you can wear slippers. And while trekking in the high-ranges, you may need a trekking shoe or at least  sports shoes (at least some other sandals). Most people love to play in the beaches with waves. And it is almost certain you will get wet. And soon the clothes will get dried in the wind. Wear clothes accordingly, also keeping in mind, cultural preferences. It is easy to suggest to wear minimum clothes in the beaches. But not to Indians. Avoid wearing leather shoes/sandals. Remember the song- Water water everywhere!... Dont wear clothes which will prevent you from swimming, even if you dont plan swimming, while in houseboats or while boating in the lakes.. As indicated earlier, you will be sweating during the day time. If you plan to Hindu temples and Muslim Mosques, they may ask you to remove shirt and you may have to remove foot-wears before entering the places of worship. Most Keralites like wearing simple dress. Dress simple, so that you wont be treated as an outsider. Tourism industry is about how to rip off the "foreigners"... Try to be a local person to save your pocket.

HouseBoats in Kerala
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There are two or three famous places where people go for House-Boats. 1) Kumarakom (in Kottayam Dist), 2) Alleppey 3) Others including Cochin. But for the real experience of House-boat living you need to go to either Alleppey or Kumarakam backwaters.

Some agencies organize cheap house-boat travel for a few hours in Cochin. Though in general terms it is considered expensive, due to the fall in demand, house-boat tariff has fallen down recently. You can get good House-boat stay for less than Rs. 10000 or 8000 (roughly). Remember HoueBoat prices starts from Apporox. 3000 - 4000 Rupees. However, some of them could be of low-quality service. However, for Rs. 4000 to 7000 you can get a good HouseBoat Service. Houseboats are expensive partly because many visitors are naive and are ready to pay exorbitant rates. Some of these House-boat providers (and commission based agencies which take booking) increase the Price if they sense that customers are ready to pay. For the last one year, the demand is low and it is better you book Houseboat well in advance by contacting more agencies and negotiating with many service providers at a time.


Food - Cuisines and Restaurants in Kerala - North Indian and South Indian
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If I am not seriously mistaken, 99% (or more) Keralites eat non-veg food. They are cooked mostly using coconut oil and slightly spicy. (yet less spicy compared to Andhra Dishes). Most of the restaurants have non-veg dishes and there would be only very few restaurants which are exclusively vegetarian. One more important point - Just like Hindus in the North Eastern states almost all Hindus from Kerala eat Beef, not to talk about Christian, Muslims and others. Kerala is a consumer state, hence, almost all consumer items, vegetable and food items are costly here. Nevertheless, they are cheaper compared to big metros. Kerala does not produce its food grains, vegetables etc and transport them from the nearby states. Naturally food is expensive compared to agriculture based states. But cheaper compared to other Metros like Bangalore.

You can find restaurants serving North-Indian food in cities like Cochin and Ernakulam. However most other towns, you may find it difficult to find restaurants serving North INdian meals. There are any number of fast-food restaurants in almost all small towns. And in many cities like Calicut (Kozhikkode, you can find restaurants where South Indian Vegetarian food is served with Vegetable soup etc.

Most Local restaurants use boiled rice for meals. However, in almost all bigger towns you can find a few restaurants which serve Meals with row rice.

For a good (Thali) meals in most of Kerala town, it would cost approx. Rs. 25/- or so (which is local price) If you need good ambiance, then the price could be approx. Rs.45/- (Which is "high standard")

Some of the expensive Restaurants charge you Rs. 50/- or more.(costly)

Some of the restaurants in Tourist places charge you Rs. 75/- 100/- or more.(which is ridiculously expensive) If you try to find a North Indian Restaurant in Munnar, you may end up paying more.

I would strongly suggest you not to go in search for North Indian restaurants, unless you really can not adjust. Try South Indian Veg food and some other cuisines. You will be happy for three reasons- You wont get frustrated searching for a North Indian restaurant in the mid-sun. Second, you will enjoy other Souh Indian dishes. Third you pay less.

Some of the restaurants in Cochin / Ernakulam Area:

1) Indian Coffee House, Ernakulam-  Cannon Shed Road near Main Jetty.
2) Indian Coffee House,  At Jose Junction on Durbar Hall Road.
3) The Travancore Restaurant- Road to Marine Drive , close to the KTDC office - Veg
4) Dwarka, MG road, Oppo: the Kottakal Ayurveda Pharma, Veg.
5) Sharma Resturant, Marine drive, Kochi - Veg
6) Punjabi Dhaba, Behind Menaka Mobile market, Marine Drive - Punjabi cuisine - Veg
7) Gujarati Bhavan, MG Road, Reebok Showroom - Here Gujrati Cuisine Veg
8) Tandoor Resturant (Woodland's Junction, MG Road) - Veg & Non Veg.
9) Woodlands,  M G Road -   Veg.
10) Mirch Masala - TD Road, Cochin - Veg
11) Sulabh, DH road, off M G Road-  Veg.  South Indian Udipi-style
12) North Indian Sweet House, Nr Kasaba Police Stn Chittoor Road, Cochin
13) Parvez Restaurant, Chikkamba Road
14) Mahal Rstaurant, Near Railwaystation
15) The Fort House, Calvathi Road, Fort Cochin.
16) Rahamthulla Hotel.
17) Rice Boats, Taj Malabar Hotel, Willingdon Island, Near Port Trust HQ.
18) Seagull, Calvathi Road, Fort Cochin.
19) Vaishali Resturant - MG Road
20) Ceylon Bake House, M G Road, next to Kera Bhavan.
21) Copper Chimney, M G Road, Ravipuram area
22) Fry's Village Restaurant,  Chittoor road, Next to Mymoon Theatre.

23) Renaissance, M G road, With Bar, Chinesse
24) Tharavad, Willingdon Island,  With Bar
25) Utsav, Taj Residency, Marine Drive, Oppo: the KTDC office, With Bar
26) Waterfront Cafe  Taj Malabar Hotel, Willingdon Island, near the Port Trust HQ,with Bar
27) Avenue Regent, MG road. With Bar.
28) Pandhal, M G road, Wih Bar

Calicut -

Hotel Jaya Mayflower
Komal Restaurant Kalladi Road - NOn Veg
Rangoon Hotel - Non- Veg with Beef
Roof Garden Restaurant - Near Station
The Taj Residency - Multi Cuisine
Hotel Maharani -  Multi Cuisine with Bar
Alakapuri Guest House - South & North Indian
KTDC's Malabar Mansion
Delma Tourist Home - North Indian & Chinese
The Calicut Tower- MAS Restaurant - Non Veg.


Munnar -
Bamboo Hut, G.H. Road.
Poopada
Sarvana Restaurant - Veg
Gurus - South Indian
Mahavir Jain Restaurant  - North Indian (expensive)
The Greens and the Blues - Multi Cuisine
Food Court at Munnar Inn
Silverspoon Restaurant - Multi Cuisine
TreeTop Restaurant,
CampNoelRestaurant, Pazhathottam, Munnar - Multi Cuisine
Sri velavan stores, G.H.Road,Munnar.
Patel Gujarati Restraunt, (Near Post Office). Gujarati and Marwari.
Happy land.
Purohit Restaurant, Inside Hotel Dhanyasree,  Chilling Plant Road, North Indian & South Indian



Alappuzha-
Indian Coffee House, Mullakal Road, Alappuzha
Chakara Restaurant - Alapuzha Bazar (expensive)
Aryas Vegetarian Restaurant, Palace Road, Alapuzzha.
Thaff Restaurant, Alappuzha
Arun at Komala Hotel
Aryaas - Mullakal Kollam Road
Annapoorna Restaurant, Boat Jetti Road, Veg.
Hotel Rajas -  Non-veg
Sree Durga Bhawan - Udupi Hotel, Veg.
Vijaya, Jetty Road, Veg
Hotel Raiban
Vembanad Restaurant A/C
Hot Kitchen - Veg
Kream Korner -    Mullackal Road.
Kream Korner - Cullan Road

Kumarakam

Lakshmi Hotel- Kottayam-Kumarakom Road- South Indian with North Indian Dishes- Veg & Non Veg - Not very expensive
Ettukettu at Kumarakom Lake Resort -  multi-cuisine
The Vembanad Seafood Bar - Kumarakom Lake Resort
Cordon Bleu - Backwater Ripples Hotel - multi-cuisine
Abad  - Whispering Palms Lake Resort -  multi-cuisine
Baker's Dining Room - Taj Garden Retreat, Kumarakom
Lime Tree -  Radisson Plaza Resort & Spa - Karottukayal, Kumarakom
Laguna Bass - Radisson Plaza Resort & Spa Karottukayal, Kumarakom - Non Veg
Marquees - Radisson Plaza Resort & Spa
Trunk Call Bar - Radisson Plaza Resort & Spa


I dont think you may have to spend more than 60 rupees average for your meals. You may spend more at tourist hubs and perhaps less at other places. In that case the food expenses  may not exceed Rs. 350/- per day (for a couple). You may pay minimum Rs.200/- per day and highest 450/- per day. Hence your over all food expense while you are in Kerala could be anything
between 7 X 200 = 1400/- (Including breakfast). or 7 X  450 = 3150/-(Including breakfast)
Rs. 3150 - This is also taking into consideration that you are on a honeymoon trip.
For most backpackers, daily food expense wont exceed Rs. 120/- (For breakfast, lunch and dinner). That is the normal food expense per person each day, if you eat in decent restaurants.

Beaches in Kerala
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Alappuzha (Alleppey)
Marari (Mararikkulam), Alappuzha.
Cherai in Ernakulam, Vypin
Fort Kochi, Cochin
Kappad (Kappakadavu) in Kozhikkode or Calicut,
Kovalam Trivandrum
Muzhappilangad Near Thalassery (Tellichery), Cannanore (Kannur) Dist
Dharmadam beach near Island,Thalassery
Payyambalam Kannur
Meenkunnu Beach (extension of Payyambalam), Kannur
Shangumughom Trivandrum or Thiruvananthapuram
Veli beachside lagoon, Near Shanghumugham, Triavandrum
Varkala Near Trivandrum on the way to Kollam or Quilon
Bekal Fort Beach Kasargod
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Refer:

1) http://www.rediff.com/travel/1996/cofood.htm
2) http://weather.msn.com/daily_averages.aspx?wealocations=wc:INXX0125&q=Trivandrum...
3) http://www.imd.gov.in/city_weather/index.htm   
4) http://en.allexperts.com/q/Travel-India-192/2009/5/Weather-Comparision-Kerala-Go...  

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