South India Information

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South India Information

South India is different in texture, in its taste, sounds, smells and colours. Everything is richer and yet more simple, if you can grasp that essential Indian paradox. It is traditional and seeped in a quiet Dravidian heritage and culture that has remained remarkably unaffected despite a very ancient trade through its splendid Sea-ports, and contact with foreign people and cultures - the Arabs, Romans and Chinese. You cannot but help appreciate the simple integrity yet extraordinary richness of the region, with its changing landscape of the high Deccan Plateau, the rugged but forested hills and coastal Ghats, the lush green fields of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, the surreal beauty of the Kerala backwaters, the long stretches of beach stepping out of thick Coconut palms and bamboo plantations. Serene, gentle and quite beautiful. While you will find the distinctive temples in the Dravidian style of architecture in most of the Southern states, Tanjore, Madurai and Chennai in Tamil Nadu are home to some of the classic examples of intricately carved and beautifully detailed landscapes. Tamil Nadu is pre-dominant in any temple tour itinerary in India, it capital city Chennai is also a bustling modern metropolitan. All of South India is famous for exquisite and colourful Sarees, but it is Kancheepuram which is home to the traditional and exquisite Kanjeevaram Silks that are almost synonymous with Indian women. The blue mountains - the Nilgiris - with the hill stations of Conoor and Ooty attract domestic and overseas travellers. Kerala has become one of the most popular global travel destinations boasting of a unique and charming Malabar and Travancore heritage, ayurvedic spas and resorts world famous now as well being and healing retreats that offer unmatched luxury while retaining all aspects of the local culture. Kochi is the main city hub with layers of history and quaint markets, and from there travellers move South stopping at spa resorts and taking overnight trips down the calm and unique backwaters in Kettuvalams (the original rice-boats) fitted for modern comfort; then down to the quaint small towns, to the Kovalam beach resort and to Tiruvanthapuram, the temple town. Further South is Indira Point, the southern-most tip of India. Karnataka has a cool mix of new economy Bangalore which has made impressive modern strides that sparked off the IT era in India, the historic city of Mysore around which lies the cultural trail of Halebid, Belur and Hasan. Hampi, Bidar, Bijapur and Badami, ruins of rich civilization and dynasty from an age long gone by, are on less-trodden but equally interesting paths to the north of the state. Andhra Pradesh with its royal capital of Hyderabad, the industrial seaport of Visakhapatnam along an unimaginably sparkling coast and its amazingly popular pilgrimage centers at Tirupathi and Puttaparthi. Hyderabad is soon becoming India's technological capital in sharp contrast to the glorious old palaces, monuments, mausoleums, museums and forts. The lavish lifestyle and jewels of the Nizam are as legendary as the delicious Hyderabadi Biryani and the Quawalis that are performed. The cuisine varies from place to place and stuns the palate with its flavors. The region is generally hot most of the year with the monsoons bringing some relief from the heat from July to September. The best times to visit is from October to March.