What to do in the beautiful Indian state of Kerala after it prohibits alcohol

The government of India’s Southwestern state of Kerala has passed a law that would enforce almost total prohibition causing the shuttering of over 700 bars and shops. Although local bar owners have appealed to the Indian high court which has temporarily blocked the law’s implementation, it looks like Kerala could become the third state after Gujarat and Nagaland to more or less completely ban alcohol. 

But don’t let prohibition turn you off Kerala. It’s packed full of adventures. Below you'll find just a few ideas. And if you need a drink at the end of an adventurous day, you won’t have too much trouble finding a “special” one.

Hunt for tigers!


Well, don’t actually hunt them. But try to spot them at one of Kerala’s nature reserves such as Periyar. Chances are you won’t see a tiger. Even the people that work on the reserves very rarely do. But by the end of your visit, you’ll likely have some elephant and monkey friends.

Ditch your terrestrial home for a house boat

house boat kerala

An interconnected waterway of five lakes, thirty-eight rivers and a host of canals, Kerala’s backwaters span over 900 kilometres. The best way to see them is to float gently down the stream on a merry houseboat. Life is but a dream! 


eat kerala food

You may not be able to accompany your meal with a cocktail, but the food will still tantalize! Kerala has a rich gastronomic culture and history and provides a perfect mixture of vegetarian dishes with fresh meat and fish all cooked with the state’s abundant herbs and spices. 

Relax with ayurvedic treatment

kerala massage relaxation

Kerala is a medical tourism destination where people come to receive this traditional Indian treatment. But you don’t have to be ill. Ayurvedic massages will relax you just as much as a cold G&T!

Ride an elephant

ride an elephant

On second thought, don’t. Indian elephants are endangered and although they are an integral part of the culture in Kerala, there are over 700 in captivity both at temples and by individual owners that rent them out for a profit. We recommend a “look but don’t touch” policy. 

Jump off a cliff in Varkala

varkala cliff

Just kidding. Jumping would hurt. But enjoy the view from the top and be sure to head down the cliffs to the beach.

Drink some tea at a tea plantation

tea plantation

Venture up into the mountain range and UNESCO protected heritage site known as the Western Ghats to land in tea central. The town of Munnar is renowned for the beauty of the rolling green slopes of the tea plantations in the surrounding hills.

And finally, have some “special tea”

special tea

Kerala may be on the brink of total prohibition but the locals are already well versed in sidestepping the law. If it’s a cold beer you’re craving to ward off the heat, just ask for “special tea”. Your beer will arrive in a tea pot accompanied by coffee mugs in an attempt to hide your rebellious act.