Top 8 Must Visit Tourist Attractions in South India
Going to southern India is a rather various experience from the more well-trodden north, but, as these highlights show, there are numerous factors to make the trip.
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You do not have to be an experienced traveler to think that there's a lot more to India than the Taj Mahal. One area that's less often on individuals’ pail lists is southern India. It might not be as frequently visited as other parts of India; however it has a rich culture and history that provide it an abundance of interest and beauty. If you've never been to India before and you're a bit worried about it, you're in luck: southern India offers travelers a more relaxing experience than the chaotic cities of the north, making it ideal for a novice visitor. In this post, we present you to individuals, food and sightseeing highlights of this unfishable part of India.
Five states make up southern India: Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. A number of languages are spoken, the primary ones being Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam. In contrast to the European-influenced culture of the north of India, the predominant culture in the south is Dravidian, with several faiths peacefully coexisting. South Indian females wear the sari, and men wear a sarong-like garment. The people are easygoing, grounded and cheerful, and typically inviting to travelers.
One of the delights of a journey to southern India is the food. Meals are typically served on banana leaves, which is a pleasurable experience in itself. There are culinary variations in between various states, but broadly speaking there's a vegetarian focus, with a great deal of rice and lentils (daals), local vegetables and fruits such as the tamarind, and naturally plenty of spices, chillies and coconut. Southern Indian cooking is some of the hottest in the country, particularly local dishes from Tamil Nadu. Caffeine addicts will be pleased to discover that coffee is hugely popular throughout southern India. If you're consisting of the coast on your travel itinerary, anticipate magnificent seafood.
Likewise known as Kochi, the excellent trading port of Cochin is situated on the west coast and is jam-packed loaded with interesting things to see. From a 400-year-old synagogue to the heady aromas of its spice trading streets, Cochin is a location where history appears to come to life. Its trading past has provided it a remarkable mix of cultural influences from as far away as Holland and Portugal. Do not leave without a walk around its wonderful waterfront, where you'll see Chinese-style fishing internet suspended above the waters of its attractive harbour - a particularly remarkable sight at sunset.
The temples of Tamil Nadu
Southern India's biggest and most spectacular temples are to be found in Tamil Nadu. Particularly worthwhile of a go to is Kanchipuram, understood as the "city of a thousand temples", though really a village. This previous capital of the Pallava kingdom is a significant site of expedition, and has temples that date from Medieval times. Mahabalipuram (likewise referred to as Mamallapuram) is another location to include to your itinerary; its complex of magnificently sculpted shrines, sculptures and caverns are UNESCO-protected and are exceptional examples of Dravidian architecture.
The historic seaside town of Pondicherry is a former French colony that keeps much of its colonial appeal. It was capital of India's French colonies in the 17th century, and you'll see a lot of French influences blending with the local Tamil design in the city's architecture. This is the ideal place to sample the local coffee, stroll the streets and delight in an environment best referred to as east meets west. The other thing that makes Pondicherry worth a see is its well-known Sri Aurobindo Ashram, a spiritual community that uses tours and meditation to tourists.
Periyar National Park
Those with an interest in wildlife will enjoy the chance to see a few of southern India's threatened types at the Periyar National Park in Kerala. Situated in the evocatively-named Cardamom Hills, this National Park is the home of big populations of elephants and tigers, in addition to bison, leopards and many other types of jungle wildlife.
Another location for temple enthusiasts: Madurai, among the oldest cities in southern India (it's been around since the 4th century BC), has Dravidian temples that are major websites of trip. The most well-known temple, and the primary destination for many visitors to Madurai, is Sri Meenakshi, which is adorned with vibrant pictures of deities, animals and other legendary figures.
Chennai is the city formerly understood as Madras. While there aren't as numerous famous sights to see here as in some of India's other significant cities, its appeal lies in its friendly individuals and creative and religious heritage. Marina Beach is a highlight; at 12km long, it's the best place for a night walk by the sea after a day checking out the city's museums and temples.
The backwaters of Kerala
The state of Kerala is popular for its serene backwaters, which are best valued by boat. This network of canals, rivers and lakes is a place to delight in a slower speed of life after the sound and chaos of city India. A couple of days on the water, paying attention to the birdsong and wandering past stunning riverside villages, will leave you feeling invigorated and calm.
When to go
With its tropical environment, southern India can get very hot and clammy throughout the summertime months. For this reason, the best time to go is in the winter season, with peak season falling in between December and February. Even then the temperatures are on the hot side of enjoyable, varying from about 22 to 30 degrees Celsius, but humidity is lower, that makes all the difference. If you're moving towards the hills, these higher areas will be cooler and you'll need a layer or 2 for the mornings and evenings.
If we've handled to whet your cravings for southern India, see this fascinating part of the world on our Secrets of Southern India tour.
For more information on South India Tours contact Swan Tours one of the leading travel agents in Delhi India.