Kerala Transportation: How to Get in & Get around

Being an important tourist spot of the world, the Kerala transportation system has evolved into a vibrant network of trains, buses and flights to accommodate vacationers. Along with that, an internal system of autorickshaw, cabs, and ferries helps tourists to travel within the state effortlessly.

Flight

Although there are four international airports in Kerala, currently three are operational. The Calicut International Airport (CCJ) is currently closed for maintenance post August 7, 2020. Other remaining international airports of Kerala are:

Name
City
IATA
Available Flights from
Trivandrum International Airport
Thiruvananthapuram
TVR
Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Singapore, Doha, Chennai, Bangalore
Cochin International Airport
Kochi
COK
Dubai, Bangalore, Chennai, Kuwait, Doha, Kolkata, Mumbai, Delhi
Kannur International Airport
Kannur
CNN
Sharjah, Delhi, Kozhikode, Thiruvananthapuram


Apart from that, Kollam Airport in Kollam also serves the domestic crowd.

The international carries arriving at Kerala include Air Arabia, Emirates, Etihad, Gulf Air, Bahrain, Kuwait Airways, Maldivian, Malindo Air, Oman Air, Qatar Airways, Scoot, SpiceJet, and Sri Lankan Airlines while the domestic carriers include Indigo, AirAsia India, GoAir, Air India, Vistara and SpiceJet.


Railways

One of the preferred modes of transport for traveling to Kerala are the Indian railways. The extensive railway networks, connecting the different parts of the state to the rest of the country is one of the most budget friendly option for Kerala transportation.

There are 14 districts (administrative divisions) in Kerala, which are connected to each other via more than 80 railway stations within the state, among which the most important railway stations within the state are Ernakulam South/Junction (ERS), Trivandrum Central (TVC), and Shoranur Junction (SRR).

The other important railway stations within the state are:

Station Code
Railway Station
District
TCR
Thrissur
Thrissur
QLN
Kollam Junction
Kollam
PGT
Palakkad Junction
Palakkd
ERN
Ernakulam Town (North)
Ernakulam
CLT
Kozhikode
Kozhikode
CAN
Kannur
Kannur
AFK
Angamaly
Ernakulam
TIR
Tirur
Malappuram
PUU
Punalur
Kollam
CNGR
Chengannur
Alappuzha
KTYM
Kottayam
Kottayam
AWY
Aluva
Ernakulam
ALLP
Alappuzha
Alappuzha
KCVL
Kochuveli
Thiruvananthapuram
KYJ
Kayankulam Jn
Alappuzha
KTU
Kuttippuram
Malappuram
VAK
Varkala
Thiruvananthapuram
NIL
Nilambur Road
Malappuram
BDJ
Vadakara
Kozhikode
KPY
Karunagappalli
Kollam
GUV
Guruvayur
Thrissur
PGI
Parappanangadi
Malappuram
TLY
Thalassery
Kannur
QLD
Quilandy
Kozhikode
KZE
Kanhangad
Kasaragod


Apart from these, there are numerous small and big stations connecting the state from end to end. The Kerala transportation via local trains is comfortable and convenient for both tourists and Keralites. Tickets for trains are cheaper, and train ride offers a breathtaking view of the dramatic landscape of the state.

Tourists interested in traveling via train can book the ticket via IRCTC. The official ticket and train information portal of the Indian Railways is convenient to navigate and book the tickets. Tickets for the trains connecting two cities in different states need to be booked in advance – almost 120 days prior to travel. However, with tatkal services immediate booking of the railway tickets are possible. However, these tickets are subjected to availability and include added service charges.

Read more about How to Buy the Train Tickets in India


Roadways

One of the major backbones of interstate Kerala transportation is its buses. Often preferred for short and long distances, these buses are arguably the fastest means of transport in Kerala. The intrastate transport is handled by Kerala Urban Road Transport Corporation (KURTC) and Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC). Surprisingly, the minimum charges of these buses can range between INR 7 to 50 based on the type of carrier, and timing of travel. Recently, low floored air-conditioned buses have been introduced in certain routes. The fare for these buses might be higher than the traditional carriers.

The interstate transport is handled by KRSTC and some private bus operators. Almost all the major Southern India cities are well-connected to Kerala via a good network of roads and quality serviceable buses. Passengers can choose between air-conditioned/non-air-conditioned sleeper, non-sleeper, semi-sleeper buses. The tickets for these buses range from INR 1,800 to 2,500, depending on the facility provided by the operators.


Auto-rickshaws

The autorickshaws are the most opted mode of Kerala transportation within the cities. Often preferred for short or long-distance city travel, these vehicles are often unmetered or the meter will malfunction. Before stepping into the rickshaw, learn about the cost of the trip and bargain on the fare before stepping into the auto.

Some app-based auto carriers have come forward, offering fare prices on the trip. But these carriers are not available in most of the cities. The base fare of auto for a trip could INR 20. After that, the fare increases by INR 13 per kilometer.

Read more about Autorickshaws / Tuk-tuk in India


Cruises and Ferries

Kerala has a network of waterways connecting the backwaters of the state. The motorboat services, or canoes are often selected by locals or tourists to travel between the two points in the Alappuzha district. The tickets can cost around INR 450 or higher based on the distance covered.