In my previous post, I discussed why everyone should visit India once in their lifetime. Today, I want to let you guys know about the places to visit in Southern India.
Surrounded by three major water bodies i.e., the Bay of Bengal, The Arabian Sea and The Indian Ocean, this triangular piece of land constitutes the Southern part of India. This is where the land meets the sea!
While southern India is mostly thought of as the place with palm leaves and idlis and dosas, that isn’t all there is! This is the place where you can lie down on the beach while the cool breeze from the sea and the sounds of waves tranquilize you. This is place where you experience picturesque beauty of nature and let serenity take over you. This is where you find a glimpse of ancient Indian culture and modern India at the same place!
There is a lot more to this place that you just can’t afford to miss!
1. The Beaches & Islands
Chennai Marina Beach – Photo by Miran Rijavec, CC BY 2.0
Southern India is adorned with beaches on literally all sides. Goa is one of the most famous destinations in the world for its beaches. Almost every state in Southern India has a number of beaches known for the thrilling and adventurous water sports, the vast expanse of scenic beauty, the sunbathing and the parties! Beaches like “the golden sand beach” or Yarda beach that is surrounded by waters of Bay of Bengal and hills on all three sides in Andhra Pradesh, or the Palolem Beach in Goa, or the Lighthouse Beach in Kerala are some of the beaches that provide a perfect vacation spot!
The gorgeous Lakshadweep Islands fall within the boundaries of Southern India. These are relatively less populated areas that provide the much needed get away from the city life.
2. The Food
South Indian cuisine is a blend of a variety of cuisines offered by different states. While, the food in Tamil Nadu and Kerala is mostly rice based and while, dishes like dosas, idlis and sambhar form the staple diet of the people, these places are also popular for some sea food delicacies. Chettinad cuisine that belongs to Tamil Nadu is particularly famous throughout the country. This includes some spicy dishes as opposed to the traditional cuisine!
Hyderabad in Andhra Pradesh is immensely famous for its exquisite biryanis and delicious kebabs flavored with exotic spices and nuts. Andhra food is probably the hottest and spiciest of all Indian meals. This is the cuisine that will keep your hunger hormones pumping!
Another favourite of South India is the famous Filter Coffee! It is a sweet milky coffee made from dark roasted coffee beans and one of the ‘most wanted’ coffees throughout the country.
This is the place where all the ancient history nerds would love to go! Southern India is full of historical caves, monuments and temples that speak volumes about ancient Indian culture and take you on a journey to ancient and medieval times. For instance, you can see actual pictorial writings from the Neolithic period carved on the walls of Edakkal caves in Wayanad district of Kerela or you can witness the 500 year old mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier in the Basilica of Bom Jesus located in Goa. The famous Charminar is situated in the city of Hyderabad.
Temples of southern India have immense historical significance. Some of the major Indian classical dance forms such as Bharata Natyam and Kathakali originated in the temples of south India. Tirupati, the temple of Lord Venkateshwar is one of the most visited and wealthiest temples in the world. The town of Kumbakonam located near Tanjore has as many as eighteen temples! Some of the most famous temples here include the Sarangapani temple of Lord Vishnu and the Airatesvara temple known for their beautiful architecture.
These aren’t the traditional religious festivals, but some of the unique events organized in the states that are worth attending during certain times of the year! The boat race festivals are some of the most popular events organized in Kerala. It is a form of canoe racing wherein people hop onto the paddled longboats and row all the way to victory! Another attraction is the Cochin carnival festival organized in Cochin during last week of December. One of the most popular music festivals, Sunburn are also organized at the time of New Year at the beaches of Goa.
The lush green farms, dark intense forests and the ever so beautiful waterfalls are a treat for the eyes accustomed to watching clouds hide behind skyscrapers and southern India is just the place for that! The famous Dudhsagar falls in Goa are situated deep into the forest and provide a perfect opportunity to get up close with nature as you go on a jungle safari all the way up to the falls! Kodaikanal is a breathtakingly beautiful hill station located in Tamil Nadu that offers a calm and peaceful shelter in the lap of Mother Nature. The Kudremukh mountain range located in Karnataka is a picturesque hillside destination that also includes a national park and a waterfall. Now that is a Triple treat! Get closer to nature to get in touch with your inner self.
From the thrill and adventure at beaches, to the delicious cuisines and the rich heritage, south India offers much more than just the coconut trees on a beach-side. It is a perfect vacation spot to spend time with friends and family and experience the beauty of Indian culture from yet another perspective. Delve into to the diversity! Such is the magnificence of southern India!
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Rohit Agarwal is an explorer who likes to learn about different cultures and traditions. Although he has traveled to several tourist destinations, he believes that every traveler should visit India once in their lifetime. He is a blogger at http://www.transindiatravels.com and has compiled various stories related to tourism.