Munnar to Kovalam in 8000 INR: How to Backpack Like a Boss Around Kerala

Tripoto

My Kerala trip shall always stay close to my heart because I hadn't planned for this 2-weeks trip. I had planned for a 3-day weekend trip to Munnar but then I ended up staying 2 weeks in this amazing state and it was one of my most memorable trips.

It was also my second solo trip where I met a digital nomad on the way and learned how this can be a great way to travel too. With just 3 pair of clothes and my backpack, I travelled around Kerala in just 8000 INR!

Yes, you heard me right. And this is how you can do it too.

Route

Photo of Munnar to Kovalam in 8000 INR: How to Backpack Like a Boss Around Kerala 1/2 by Rachita Saxena
Kerala. Picture Credits: Rachita Saxena

I commenced my trip from Bangalore and headed to Ernakulam in order to reach Munnar. From Munnar, I moved on to Alleppey and stayed a couple of days there.

Then, I headed to Varkala to spend some time on this paradise and then headed to Kovalam, another popular Kerala beach town. From Kovalam, I headed to Thiruvananthapuram, making my way back to Ernakulam.

I stayed a night in Fort Kochi and then headed back to Bangalore.

This is the route that I followed on my 2-weeks Kerala trip:

Bangalore - Ernakulam - Munnar - Alleppey - Kumarakom - Alleppey - Varkala - Kovalam - Thiruvananthapuram - Ernakulam - Fort Kochi - Ernakulam - Bangalore

Best Time to Visit Kerala

Although people say that the winter time is the best time to visit Kerala, I personally feel that you can visit this state anytime of the year.

I planned my trip during May when it is said to be hot and humid and the worst time to visit Kerala but I ended up having a lot of fun here during this season as well. Also, I could enjoy off-season prices and didn't have to struggle with hordes of tourists on the way.

So, if you want to avoid high prices and lots of tourists, visit Kerala in the summer or monsoon months. Otherwise you can plan a visit in the winter months to enjoy a cool climate here.

Kerala Itinerary for 2-Weeks

Photo of Munnar to Kovalam in 8000 INR: How to Backpack Like a Boss Around Kerala 2/2 by Rachita Saxena
Kovalam. Picture Credits: Rachita Saxena

You can use this Kerala itinerary to cover some main cities and hill stations like Munnar, Kochi, Varkala, Alleppey, etc.

Day 1

I started my journey from Bangalore and took an evening train which reached Ernakulam 4 in the morning. Since I was traveling on a long weekend, I didn't get any ticket and had to take a general ticket.

This was my first time in General and the ticket was cheap (185 INR) but I couldn't sleep as I was standing for half of the journey. After 11 hours of journey, I finally reached Ernakulam Railway Station in the morning.

After reaching Ernakulam Railway Station, I walked out of the gate to catch an early morning bus to Munnar. The first bus to Munnar leaves at 5.30 a.m. so I still had an hour with me.

Thankfully, the bus which leaves for Munnar is right outside the railway station so I didn't have to walk much. There were cabs also waiting but the bus cost me just 100 INR so I opted for it.

Day 2

I reached Munnar around 2 p.m. in the afternoon and then I made my way to the Lakkam Waterfalls where I was staying. So, I took a bus which crossed the waterfalls and Eravikulam National Park on the way.

I spent the evening exploring my immediate area, away from the main city and watched the sunset in the tea plantation which was close to me.

Where to Stay: I stayed in a hostel which I booked from booking.com. You will find many budget-friendly options on booking.com which will cost 250 - 400 INR per night.

Day 3

Next day, I started early on my Munnar exploration and took a bus to the main city which costs me about 50 INR. From there, I took a bus to the Top Station Viewpoint and on my way back, stopped at places like Mattupetty Dam, Tea Gardens, and a few colorful villages as well.

I tried the bakery and the restaurants in the market area then and in the evening, I took the bus back to my hostel on the Lakkam waterfall side.

Day 4

On my last day in Munnar, I headed to the Lakkam waterfall first and then spent some time here. Next, I headed to the main city and enjoyed a breakfast at one of the small joints here. And that's when I decided that I won't be ending my journey here and that I will go ahead to Alleppey now. So, I got a bus to Ernakulam from Munnar which took around 3-4 hours to reach.

Munnar Tea Plantations. Picture Credits: Rachita Saxena

Photo of Munnar, Kerala, India by Rachita Saxena

From there, we changed the bus for Alleppey and reached Alleppey bus station by 6 p.m. in the evening. The total bus cost for this journey was approximately 150 INR.

Once I reached Alleppey, I explored the area and went in search for my hostel. After an hour, I finally found the place and then me and my travel companion rested for the night after the entire day of traveling.

Where to Stay: There are many hostels, guest houses, and hotels in Alleppey for stay. You can find a room after reaching there or by reserving on booking.com

Day 5

In the morning, I woke up early to watch the sunrise near the backwaters and walked to explore a little of the place. I came across a lot of houseboats while exploring which gave me the idea to spend a night on the houseboat.

After all, what is a trip to the backwater land without experience a night on the houseboat! So, with that in mind, I asked around the prices and then finally booked a room on a houseboat through booking.com

In the afternoon, I came back to my room as it was really hot and rested for a while. And then I headed back to the market in the evening and watched a beautiful sunset from the Boat Jetty point.

Day 6

In the morning, after seeing the sunrise and enjoy a nice Kerala breakfast, I headed to the starting point of your houseboat which was Thanneermukkom. This place was 45 minutes away from Alleppey and there was a local bus for 20 INR which took us to this place.

The cost of the houseboat for 2 people was 2600 INR which was a good deal as it included all the meals and the stay for the night on the houseboat. So, our houseboat started at 2 p.m. and made way to the Kumarakom side.

Around 4-5 p.m., we reached Kumarakom where we anchored for the night. We got down from the houseboat and made way to the sunset point here. And what an absolutely beautiful sunset it was! We stayed at the place for a while and then once it became dark, we headed back to the houseboat.

Day 7

Next morning, we had an authentic Kerala breakfast in the houseboat in which they served Puttu, appam, etc. And then, we sailed back to the shore and reached around 11 a.m. for the checkout.

From here, again, we took the local bus to Alleppey which cost about 20 INR and reached Alleppey by 12 p.m.

In Alleppey, I rested for a while and then in the evening, I walked to the Alleppey lighthouse (Yes, I literally walked from Jetty Boat Point to the lighthouse). The lighthouse is kinda deserted but it offers an amazing panoramic view of the Alleppey beach and the Arabian Sea.

From here, the beach is another 10 minutes walk and is a little slopey and the waves are really rough here. So, be careful when playing in the ocean here otherwise you might get swept off with the strong tide.

Day 8

On the next day, I relaxed a little and just roamed around, exploring the nooks and corners here. Then, in the evening, I went on the Shikhara ride which cost 200 INR per person for an hour.

The shikhara ride was certainly a highlight of my trip because they take you throught the backwater canals and waterways and you can just lay down on the deck and enjoy the view.

The whole scene was completely mesmerising. And then I witnessed a sunset from the shikhara which made the experience even more beautiful.

Trust me, if you are going to Alleppey then you have to go on a shikhara/canoe ride here.

Day 9

It has already been 9 days for my trip but I was still not ready to go back so I decided I will head further to Varkala. So, I took an early morning local bus from Alleppey to Krishnapuram Palace.

Krishnapuram Palace is an old palace built by Anizham Thirunal Marthanda Varma of the Travancore kingdom. The palace is built in a Kerala architecture style with narrow corridors, gabled roof, etc. and offers a nice insight into the history of Kerala.

One can enter here for an entry fee of 50 INR and spend as long as they like. After spending 45 minutes here, I took a bus to Varkala main road which took me around 2 hours more.

From here, I had to take another local bus going towards the beach so I reached the beach by 2 p.m. It took me around 4-5 hours from Alleppey and cost me 120 INR to reach Varkala.

Once I reached Varkala, I went to my hostel and rested for a while. In the evening, I walked to the beachside and explored the shops and cafes on the way.

It was a little stormy so it became dark soon but the sunset colors were really gorgeous here. And the Varkala beach is quiet peaceful and a total contradiction of the other popular beaches in South India so it was a nice change.

Where to Stay: There are many hostels here which you can get for 150 - 300 INR per night. If you aren't interested in those, then there are many resorts and hotels as well but these would be a little costly.

Day 10

Next morning, I woke up early to watch the sunrise and then spent the better half of the morning on the beach. After that, I headed to a cafe to enjoy a breakfast with the view.

Later, I did some shopping at one of the beachside shopping stalls and bought a couple of clothes for a really cheap price. Then, I headed to the Varkala cliff to enjoy the view.

In the evening, I headed to the other side of the cliff and explored the temples and the markets nearby. Overall, Varkala is a small coastal town but it is a good getaway for some peaceful and quiet time.

Day 11

Finally, I left Varkala early morning to catch a train to the Trivandrum railway station. There are early morning buses going from the beach which drop you at the railway station for 10 INR and barely take 20 minutes to reach.

From Varkala, there are several trains going throughout the day to Trivandrum and I took a general ticket as it was a short journey. I reached Trivandrum after 1-2 hours and then from here, I took a bus to Kovalam.

For the bus, you will need to leave the railway station and walk about 1 km before you reach the bus stop from where you will get a bus to Kovalam. It took around 45 minutes and 20 INR to reach the Kovalam beach.

Here, I was staying at another hostel which was just 5 minutes away from the Kovalam Lighthouse beach. There are a couple of beaches here but personally, I liked the lighthouse beach the best.

Kovalam. Picture Credits: Rachita Saxena

Photo of Kovalam, Kerala, India by Rachita Saxena

Here, I enjoyed a good Kerala fish thali for 80 INR and then explore the beach and the nearby area.

The evening was truly magical as I watched the sunset here and just walked around, exploring the shops and cafes. In all honestly, I think the sunsets in Kerala are the most beautiful across all India so you should never miss out on them.

There were also sunbeds here where you could relax for a while for 50-100 INR per hour.

Where to Stay: I stayed in Hotel Vedanta Wake Up near the Lighthouse beach but I think this place is closed now. You can find several stay options on Booking.com for Kovalam as well.

Day 12

The next day, I started early so that I could climb the lighthouse and the enjoy the view and then leave for Trivandrum. So, I went to the lighthouse and climbed the unending stairs but the view from the top was completely worth it.

Then, I enjoyed a nice breakfast in one of the beachside cafes and splurged a little before heading back.

Again, I took a bus to the Trivandrum Railway station as I had my train for Ernakulam from here.

However, once I reached Trivandrum, I did take a bus to the Valiathura pier as I had read that the sunsets here are beautiful. So, I took a bus for 20 INR and reached the Valiathura beach and then spent an hour or two here.

After the sunset, I took another bus back to the railway station and then waited for my train to Ernakulam. It took me around 4-5 hours in train to reach Ernakulam and I had reached the place by 4 a.m. in the morning.

Day 13

From the Ernakulam railway station, I took the bus to Fort Kochi and reached in about 1.5 - 2 hours.

After reaching Fort Kochi, I slept for a while and then got dressed to explore this place. I went to the Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica, Fort Kochi beach, and the Street art area.

The entire place can be explored on foot so I spent around 4-5 hours doing that and ended my day on the beach, witnessing another sunset.

Fort Kochi. Picture Credits: Rachita Saxena

Photo of Fort Kochi, Kochi, Kerala, India by Rachita Saxena

Where to Stay: There are several hostels in Fort Kochi including Zostel so you won't have trouble in finding a place. You can book them online or once you reach there.

Day 14

In the morning, I started to explore the other part of Fort Kochi on foot. I spent time at the Jewish Synagogue, Mattancherry Palace, Jew Street, and admired the numerous street arts on the way.

Then, I made my way back to my hostel so that I could take the bus to Ernakulam and leave back for Bangalore.

In Ernakulam, I didn't stay for long, just a couple of hours. So, I just walked near the Marine Drive here and tried the famous Kulakki Sharbat here.

Ernakulam. Picture Credits: Rachita Saxena

Photo of Ernakulam, Kerala, India by Rachita Saxena

But if you have more time then you can also visit the Athirappily waterfall nearby which is said to be really gorgeous.

Finally, I took the local bus from Ernakulam to Bangalore which took around 12 hours to reach and cost approximately 650 INR.

Be the first one to comment
Related to this article
Weekend Getaways from Bengaluru,Weekend Getaways from Bangalore urban,Places to Stay in Bangalore urban,Places to Visit in Bangalore urban,Things to Do in Bangalore urban,Bangalore urban Travel Guide,Places to Visit in Karnataka,Places to Stay in Karnataka,Things to Do in Karnataka,Karnataka Travel Guide,Things to Do in India,Places to Stay in India,Places to Visit in India,India Travel Guide,Weekend Getaways from Ernakulam,Places to Visit in Ernakulam,Places to Stay in Ernakulam,Things to Do in Ernakulam,Ernakulam Travel Guide,Places to Visit in Kerala,Places to Stay in Kerala,Things to Do in Kerala,Kerala Travel Guide,Weekend Getaways from Munnar,Places to Visit in Munnar,Places to Stay in Munnar,Things to Do in Munnar,Munnar Travel Guide,Weekend Getaways from Idukki,Places to Visit in Idukki,Places to Stay in Idukki,Things to Do in Idukki,Idukki Travel Guide,Weekend Getaways from Alappuzha,Places to Visit in Alappuzha,Places to Stay in Alappuzha,Things to Do in Alappuzha,Alappuzha Travel Guide,Weekend Getaways from Kumarakom,Places to Visit in Kumarakom,Places to Stay in Kumarakom,Things to Do in Kumarakom,Kumarakom Travel Guide,Weekend Getaways from Kottayam,Places to Visit in Kottayam,Places to Stay in Kottayam,Things to Do in Kottayam,Kottayam Travel Guide,Weekend Getaways from Varkala,Places to Visit in Varkala,Places to Stay in Varkala,Things to Do in Varkala,Varkala Travel Guide,Weekend Getaways from Thiruvananthapuram,Places to Visit in Thiruvananthapuram,Places to Stay in Thiruvananthapuram,Things to Do in Thiruvananthapuram,Thiruvananthapuram Travel Guide,Weekend Getaways from Kovalam,Places to Visit in Kovalam,Places to Stay in Kovalam,Things to Do in Kovalam,Kovalam Travel Guide,Places to Stay in Kochi,Places to Visit in Kochi,Weekend Getaways from Kochi,Places to Visit in Kochi,Things to Do in Kochi,Kochi Travel Guide,Places to Stay in Kochi,Things to Do in Kochi,Kochi Travel Guide,