Unless you have your own car to drive yourself, the best option to visit Sabarimala from Kochi is to hire a taxi. If you are coming from outside Kerala, you can reach Kochi airport, Aluva railway station or Ernakulam/Vyttila bus stand and then hire a taxi.
When you hire a taxi from Ernakulam/Kochi, the taxi can drop either at Pamba or at Nilakkal. However, after dropping at Pamba, the taxis are not allowed to park or wait at Pamba. They have to return to Nillakkal and part there. While returning from Sabarimala, you have to reach Pamba and then take a local bus to Nilakkal to board your taxi.
Taxi between Nilakkal and Pamba
There will be frequent bus services between Nilakkal and Pamba. Even though Pamba is the nearest station to Sabarimala, many people prefer to get dropped at Nilakkal and then take the public bus transport to go to Pamba and return. While you have the option to get dropped at Pamba in the taxi itself, there is no option to get picked up from Pamba. While returning, your only option is to take a bus to Nilakkal and meet your taxi driver there.
Taxi rates from Ernakulam railway stations and Kochi airport to Pamba, Nilakkal and Sabarimala
Even though you can hire a self-drive cab from Kochi to go to Sabarimala, considering the parking issues and other traffic situations, it is better to hire a taxi with a driver. The cost of the taxi depends on the type of car you hire, the agency from which you get the taxi, the distance you have to travel etc.
Here is a typical rate card for a taxi between Kochi/Ernakulam and Nilakkal:
Cochin airport to Nilakkal, Nilakkal to Cochin airport: Rs 7500 – Innova
Cochin airport to Pamba, Return from Nilakkal to Cochin airport: Rs 8500 – Innova
Cochin airport to Nilakkal, Nilakkal to Cochin Airport Rs 6000 – Maruti DZire Sedan
Cochin airport to Pamba, Nilakkal to Cochin airport: Rs 6500 – Maruti DZire Sedan
Private taxi owners may offer you a discounted rate. You can call joseph, one of our trusted drivers to find out the cheapest taxi rates to Sabarimala: Contact no: 8089472721,8089372721.
Discounted Taxi rates offered by Joseph:
Cochin airport to Nilakkal, Nilakkal to Cochin airport: Rs 6650 – Innova
Cochin airport to Pamba, Return from Nilakkal to Cochin airport: Rs 7400 – Innova
Cochin airport to Nilakkal, Nilakkal to Cochin Airport Rs 4950 – Maruti DZire Sedan
Cochin airport to Pamba, Nilakkal to Cochin airport: Rs 5650 – Maruti DZire Sedan
Joseph can pick you up from any location in and around Ernakulam / Kochi. He lives pretty close to Kochi Airport, Aluva Railway station, Ernakulam railway station, Vyttila bus stand and can reach any of these locations within 30 minutes from his home.
Which is better option to go to Sabarimala – Bus, Taxi, Train or Self-drive rental car?
Pamba is the nearest bus station to Sabarimala. The hill-climbing by the devotees starts from Pamba station. During the pilgrimage season, Kerala government-controlled KSRTC operates several buses to Pamba from all cities in Kerala. If you are comfortable travelling by bus, then you can save taxi charges and reach very close to the base station of Sabarimala by the bus itself.
If you want to be more comfortable and like to avoid public transport, then your best options are self-drive rental cars or driver operated taxi cabs. If you are coming from other states, then you can arrive in Kerala by flight (Cochin International Airport) or Train (Ernakulam, Kottayam, Chengannoor stations) and then hire a cab. Self-drive cars may be slightly cheaper than driver-operated cabs but you may face parking issues at Pamba. Even though the cars can reach up to Pamba to drop off passengers, the car cannot be parked there. The driver has to take the car back to Nilakkal and park there. This makes self-drive cars a little inconvenient. The driver operated cars come in handy in this case. If you hire a cab and driver, he will drop you off at Pamba and then park the car at Nilakkal. While returning from Sabarimala, you will have to take the public bus from Pamba to Nilakkal and board your car from there.
We have given detailed information about the taxi fare for different types of cars from Kochi and Ernakulam to Nilakkal and Pamba to visit Sabarimala. If you are looking for a taxi to go to Sabarimala, I hope the information shared in this article would be useful to you.