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Are you planning a trip to South India and are you now thinking about the best route? Clearly, Tamil Nadu and Kerala are both delightful on a trip through the south. Why not combine both. In this article we explain to you how you can best get from Chennai (Tamil Nadu's capital) to Kerala.
The state of Tamil Nadu offers you a lot of sights and is perfect for a trip, Chennai probably not. As big as the city is, there isn't much to do or see here. That's not to say Chennai isn't worth a visit, but you won't miss a thing if you skip it. As the capital of Tamil Nadu, Chennai is a great hub to reach other places.
There are several ways to get from Chennai on the east coast to Kerala in the west. If Chennai is just a stopover to get to Kerala, there are many direct connections to get there. However, if you also want to see Tamil Nadu with its impressive temples and historic cities, then it is a good idea to travel on from Madurai in southwest Tamil Nadu to Kerala!
Let yourself be by one Article by a guest blogger for your trip to Tamil Nadu to inspire!
The colorful and imposing Meenakshi Amman Temple in Madurai makes your South India trip complete
With a flight to Kerala
Of course, the fastest way to travel on a trip to South India is by plane There are daily direct flights between Chennai and Kerala airports. In Kerala you can either Cochin, Trivandrum or Calicut approach. While this is the quickest and easiest way to get to Kerala, we recommend a sustainable option.
Let Fort Cochin inspire you! (Credit: Ankur Khanna - Unsplash)
By car to Kerala
We cannot stress it enough: Tamil Nadu has a lot of exciting sights to offer, and on top of that, incredibly nice people and the best food on your South India trip! So why not take a road trip and get to Kerala through Tamil Nadu?
Of Chennai you can drive south along the coast, where your first stop (only 50 km away) Mahabalipuram with its famous temples right on the beach. From there it could go on Pondicherry where you can enjoy French flair with a fresh sea breeze. A visit to the Aurobindo Ashram, from which the world-famous spiritual planned town of Auroville was founded, is also an obvious choice.
After you have seen the temples, churches and the nice French-looking cafes, you continue to important sites of Indian culture and history. On the way to Madurai you will get in line impressive temples, like in Tiruchirappalli (Trichy) or Thanjavur (Tanjore). These cities are only an hour apart and it is 5-6 hours from Pondicherry.
You can spend a night in one of the cities before moving on to Madurai. This takes about 4 hours. In Madurai you will be greeted by a charm from the old days. For some it is the Athens of the East, for others the city that never sleeps. The main attraction here is the Meenakshi Temple. He is one of the few on your South India trip who is still active and attracts many pilgrims every day. Watch the hustle and bustle in the temple and soak up the spiritual atmosphere!
This is from Madurai pleasantly cool Hill Station Munnar (already in Kerala) not far anymore, only 4 hours. After the many historical temples of Tamil Nadu, Munnar is exactly the right destination for relaxation. In the midst of the green mountains, you can enjoy nature to the fullest while hiking and a little homemade chocolate from Munnar as a snack.
With the temples and cultural sites, Tamil Nadu offers a contrast to Kerala, which is shaped by nature - perfect to connect the two states on a trip to South India. From Madurai you will get to Kerala quickly.
The Brihadeshwara Temple in Thanjavur can easily rival the Taj Mahal in the north of the country in terms of its architectural masterpiece (Credit: svlla)
By train to Kerala
If you take the direct train from Chennai to Trivandrum (Chennai-Trivandrum SF Express), you will miss a lot of great places in between, in both Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Therefore, we recommend that you only take a train if you are on your way to Varkala. This train runs daily.
Otherwise you can too take a train from Madurai in southwest Tamil Nadu to Ernakulam. The Chennai Egmore-Guruvayur Express is ideal for this. This train also runs daily. It leaves Chennai at 7:40 a.m., stops in Madurai at 4:40 p.m., and arrives in Ernakulam at 3:25 a.m. Maybe you want to make a stopover in Madurai and only continue to Kerala the next day.
Traveling by train is an experience that is part of every trip to South India! (Credit: Amanjal Hemal)
In summary, getting from Chennai to Kerala is by no means difficult, it just takes a long time. We therefore recommend that you first explore Tamil Nadu and then the way to Kerala is not that far anymore. There are many trains and buses for this. If you want to go fast, there are a lot of train connections to choose from.
If you don't really know how to best plan your South India trip or how to book the tickets for flight, train or bus, then write to us and we will help you both with the planning and with the booking!
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