Kerala in September: weather and travel tips

Joanne Owen

written by
Joanne Owen

updated 02.02.2024

Thinking of visiting Kerala? Good choice! Located between the lush mountains of the Western Ghats and a coastal plain of rivers, lagoons and canals, this region of India is a uniquely rewarding destination, and especially so in September. Read on for our hot take on the weather in Kerala in September. Spoiler alert: the south-west monsoon has passed, and it is hot.

What’s the weather like in Kerala in September?

Hitting the sweet-spot between the southwest monsoon (June to August) and the northeast monsoon (October to November), the weather in Kerala in September is hot, but not prohibitively humid.

Importantly, September also sees Kerala experience much less rainfall than during the months that surround it. 

Keen to visit Kerala? Browse our customisable India itineraries to kickstart your dream trip.

Varkala South Cliff beach © Shutterstock

With the passing of the monsoon, the weather in Kerala in September is better for blissing out on beaches © Shutterstock

Air and sea temperatures in Kerala in September

The weather in Kerala in September sees an average daily maximum of 30°C, and an average daily minimum of 24°C.

As for the sea temperature, this will be around 27°C — ideal for enjoying Kerala's best beaches.

Average rainfall in Kerala in September

When it comes to the average rainfall in Kerala in September, note this varies from area to area. For example, Pūvār has an average of 145 mm, while in Maraiyūr you can still expect up to 336 mm.

For context, the average rainfall across Kerala in August is 156mm, which is significantly less than the region sees in June (341mm) and October (268mm).

Meanwhile, in March Kerala experiences a moderate average of 40mm of rainfall through the month.

Unsure about when to visit? Arm yourself with info on when to go to India around the year.

The Hawah Beach at Kovalam in Kerala, India © Shutterstock

Hawah Beach, Kovalam, Kerala © Shutterstock

Is September a good time to visit Kerala?

In a word: yes! September is a good time to visit Kerala. While some rain is inevitable, the heaviest rains of the monsoon have passed (note heavier rain will return in October). 

As a result, you’ll get to experience the area in all its lush, green vibrancy. At the same time, September sits outside the peak high season — all the better for exploring said lush, green vibrancy with fewer crowds (more on that later).

September is also a good time to visit Kerala to experience some unforgettable festivals, and to enjoy a break that blends beaches and temples with boat trips on the backwaters and walks on the wild side. 

Palaruvi Waterfalls Located near Kollam, Kerala, India © Shutterstock

Palaruvi Waterfalls, near Kollam, Kerala, India © Shutterstock

What about the crowds and cost?

As mentioned above, September sits outside Kerala’s peak tourist season that runs from December to February. 

Indeed, freshly emerged from the monsoon, September sees pretty low tourist numbers.

For that reason, you’re also likely to find that the price of accommodation, tours and services are cheaper in September.

Beach of Mararikulam, Village in Kerala, India © Shutterstock

Mararikulam, Kerala, India © Shutterstock

Ready for your dream trip to Kerala?

In the market for an unforgettable Kerala adventure? Browse our customisable India itineraries before booking your trip.

With local experts on hand to advise and handle the booking process, they take the hassle out of planning. Read on for a few inspirational itinerary ideas:

  • Kerala: God’s Own Country: spanning 11 unforgettable days, this itinerary takes in the lush greenery of tea plantations, colourful spice markets and plantations, a houseboat trip on the Kerala backwaters, before winding up with days on leisure on the beach.
  • Magical Kerala: from being enchanted by the intense tropical greenery of the Kerala backwaters and enjoying a relaxing cruise on a converted rice barge, to visiting fragrant spice plantations and spotting local wildlife, this 7-day itinerary is chef’s-kiss captivating.
  • Unmissable India: taking in a wealth of India’s cultural treasures  — exquisite forts and temples, fabulous food and atmospheric cities — as you journey through the Golden Triangle, this immersive adventure will see you wind up in the lush southern backwaters of Kerala.

Tea plantations in Munnar, Kerala, India © Shutterstock

Festivals and events in Kerala in September

In good news for culture vultures, visiting Kerala in September means you can look forward to a few notable festivals and events.

Onam festival

Celebrated in the 1st month (Chingam) of the Malayalam Calendar, the incredible Onam festival usually starts in mid-August and continues until mid-September. 

In 2024, Thiruvonam, the main day of Onam, will fall on 15th September, but be sure to check dates before planning your trip around it.

As for what to expect, this major festival is held in honour of the coming of King Mahabali, and sees the region enlivened by boat races, dancing, music performances and feasting.

Aranmula Uthrattathi

Held during Onam, the Aranmula Boat festival is the oldest river boat festival in Kerala. 

It takes place annually at Aranmula, near Sri Parthasarady Temple, and celebrates the day Lord Krishna crossed the Pampa river.

The highlight of the event is a grand procession and race of ornately decorated snake boats, known as "Palliyodams," on the Pampa River. This is accompanied by traditional music and Vanchipattu (boat songs).

In 2024, Aranmula Uthrattathi is set to take place on 24th September.

Kerala drive a snake boat at the annual boat race event in Kerala, India © Shutterstock

Nehru Trophy Snake Boat Race © Shutterstock

Tips for travelling to Kerala in September

Read on for a few easily implementable tips that might just make your September trip to Kerala all the more rewarding. 

What to pack for Kerala in September

Given the average temperature in Kerala in September, you’ll want to pack lots of lightweight, breathable clothing.

And, given the likelihood of experiencing some rain, you should also bring a light rain coat and shoes that'll enable you to explore and hike in wet weather conditions. 

Oh, and if you’re planning to visit temples, be sure to take more modest clothes to cover up with.

Tour temples

With September falling before Kerala’s peak season, make the most of there being fewer crowds by exploring some of Kerala’s most amazing temples.

Top tip: don’t miss visiting the awe-inspiring Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple in Thiruvananthapuram, or the Mannarasala Nagaraja temple in Alappuzha.

Embrace walking on wilder side

September sees Kerala sitting even prettier as a result of the rains experienced from June-August.

That’s especially true if you take time to visit the best waterfalls in Kerala. During this month, the waters are wilder, and the landscapes greener — which is really saying something given that this region is known for its lushness. 


Kerala houseboat © Shutterstock

Planning your September trip to Kerala

Before booking your trip to Kerala, take a look at our customisable India itineraries for pre-trip inspiration, and read The Rough Guide to South India and Kerala.

Alternatively, talk to one of our local experts to forgo all the faff of planning and booking. 

Travelling further afield? Get yourself The Rough Guide to India and read up on the best things to do in India.

Joanne Owen

written by
Joanne Owen

updated 02.02.2024

Joanne is a Pembrokeshire-born writer with a passion for the nature, cultures and histories of the Caribbean region, especially Dominica. Also passionate about inspiring a love of adventure in young people, she’s the author of several books for children and young adults, hosts international writing workshops, and has written articles on the Caribbean and inspirational community initiatives for Rough Guides. Follow her @JoanneOwen on Twitter and @joanneowenwrites on Instagram.

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