Sports in Alappuzha (Alleppey)

Nehru Trophy Boat Race

The most renowned and fiercely contested of Kerala’s boat-race regattas, held annually on the second Saturday of August since 1954. Thousands of people, many aboard houseboats, gather around the starting and...

Religious in Kerala


Kerala’s biggest cultural celebration, when the entire state celebrates the golden age of mythical King Mahabali for 10 days.

Art in Kochi (Cochin)

Kochi–Muziris Biennale

Kochi–Muziris Biennale

Into its fourth edition (2018), this major contemporary biennial arts festival is one of the largest of its kind in Asia. Over 90 Indian and international artists bring their creativity to workshops, talks and...

Carnival in Kochi (Cochin)

Cochin Carnival

Fort Cochin's biggest bash, a 10-day festival culminating on New Year's Eve. Street parades, colourful costumes, embellished elephants (which won't appeal to all), music, folk dancing and lots of fun.

Religious in Kochi (Cochin)

Ernakulathappan Utsavam

Eight days of festivities culminating in fireworks, music and a parade of 15 splendidly decorated elephants (which won't please everyone).

Cultural in Kollam (Quilon)

Kollam Pooram

A 10-day Kollam festival with nightly Kathakali performances and a procession of 30 to 40 ornamented elephants.

Religious in Thrissur (Trichur)

Thrissur Pooram

The largest and most colourful of Kerala’s temple festivals, with huge processions of caparisoned elephants around the Vadakkunathan Kshetram Temple.Animal-rights campaigns against Thrissur Pooram have started to...

Sports in Kottayam

Aranmula Boat Race

One of Kerala's biggest snake-boat races, held during Onam around 40km southeast of Kottayam, this water regatta recreates a ritualistic journey in honour of Krishna.

Religious in Kollam (Quilon)

Bharni Utsavam

Held 6km northeast of Kayamkulam (35km north of Kollam) during the Malayalam month of Kumbham, this one-day festival is dedicated to the popular Keralan goddess Bhagavathy. It’s famous for its Kootiattam...

Religious in Thrissur (Trichur)

Thaipooya Mahotsavam

Celebrated in Koorkkanchery, just south of Thrissur, this festival stars a procession of kavadiyattam (ritualistic dance), in which dancers carry tall, ornate, vibrantly coloured structures called kavadis.

Cultural in Kottayam

Thirunakkara Utsavam

All-night Kathakali dancing on the third and fourth nights of this 10-day festival held at a 500-year-old temple; processions of elephants mark the finale (and may not appeal to all).

Religious in Thrissur (Trichur)

Uthralikavu Pooram

The climactic day of this week-long festival sees 20 adorned elephants (which won't appeal to all) circling the shrine at the Uthralikavu Temple, 20km northeast of Thrissur.