Travel to South India: tapestries of a thousand colors
India is a country full of contrasts where the south is a separate world compared to the north. An even more exuberant and tropical counterpoint where the following attractions to see on your trip to South India meet.
Munnar plantations. © Kerala Tourism
When a country acquires the status of subcontinent, the palette of contrasts becomes almost infinite. This is the case of an Indian giant divided into a north and south as mimicked as different.
While the north is molded by more monumental enclaves and colder climates, the south succumbs to a sun and seas of palm trees where the rich culture of the ancient Dravidian peoples combine with the European influences arrived five hundred years ago.
While Kerala and Tamil Nadu consolidate their pure southern condition with their colorful temples and jungle channels, the states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana or Karnataka , one of the most promising states in India, also swell this route through the main attractions which See on your trip to South India .
1) Karnataka in South India
The slogan of Karnataka says the saying “One state, many worlds”, in reference to the different contrasts that are enshrined in this land of ancient empires and technological centers that evokes the best union between antiquity and modernity of all India .
From palatial cities like Mysore to that Hindu Silicon Valley known as Bangalore , many of the attractions of this state revolve around Hampi , a lavish complex of 350 temples where you can delve into the secrets of Ancient India. But let’s not go ahead and enjoy everything there is to see in Karnataka :
Between the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries, the Vijayanagara empire occupied an area of up to 26 square kilometers around the Tungabhadra River where the construction of various temples began to be erected, which for centuries fascinated visitors such as the Persians or the Portuguese. More than five hundred years later, Hampi continues to be the perfect skeleton of a historical India in the form of sculptures such as the famous El Carro , stepped wells that housed ancient rituals or enclaves such as the famous Vittala temple . As icing, nothing better than perching on the famous Matangi Hill to contemplate the contrasts of this unique land.
Known as the City of Palaces and an incense that perfumes all its streets, Mysore invites you to travel through that elegant and monumental South India where you can enter at least once in your life. From the one known as Amba Vilas Palace , ambassador of a golden opulence, to its Gothic-style palace or the Chamundeshwari temple , Mysore is a delight for the senses.
Considered as a perfect resting place for locals and foreigners, Coorg is an area trapped between the lush valleys of Karnataka where numerous contrasts meet. Try to spot the tiger in the Nagarhole National Park , inspire the freshness of the Abbey Falls or, especially, look out over the Raja’s Seat , the most important viewpoint of this land of pilgrimages and coffee plantations.
While Hampi and Mysore evoke the past of South India, Bangalore represents the future: that of technological complexes, co-working spaces and ambitious infrastructure. An entire smart city in which to immerse yourself through its parks, botanical gardens and cosmopolitan neighborhoods such as the retro Maalleshwaram to appreciate the charm of that other more western India.
2) Kerala in South India
Known by its people as “Land of God” or “place of coconuts”, Keralenses locals are not wrong. This piece of land overlooking the Malabar Sea is not only able to feed its own ecosystem forged after thousands of years, but its relaxed character and warmth result in a huge green tapestry that begins in the famous backwaters , extends to the Periyar reserve and reaches the Munnar tea plantations . A paradise made up of the following places to see in Kerala:
Become one of the great ports of India , Cochin was the first glimpse of India to be discovered by Europeans, more specifically by some Portuguese who in 1503 landed at the place that made the spices known to the rest of the world . A city divided into different islands where you can see the colonial contrast of Portuguese, Dutch and British, the art gallery of Fort Kochin, its old town , or Chinese networks that shine in the sun as a great icon of this mythical place to be included in any Visit to Kerala .
The known as Kerala backwaters make up a network of up to 2000 kilometers of lagoons, rivers and canals where man has learned to live without the need for cars and roads. An aquatic jungle of local villages, flocks of ducks and Portuguese hermitages whose heart, Alleppey, becomes the best starting point when enjoying a ride in kettuvalam, old rice boats converted today into boat-hotels ideal for diving into One of the most fascinating experiences in the world.
Periyar National Park
Also known as Thekkady , Periyar is a Kerala reserve that borders Tamil Nadu and unfolds around the homonymous lake, not far from the spicy town of Kumily . Famous for the Tiger Project that sponsors the repopulation of the Bengal tiger in the area, Periyar becomes one of the best places to see when traveling to South India and go on a safari and marvel at its many species of flora and fauna.
India is one of the largest tea exporters in the world and part of this merit is due to plantations such as Munnar, an area located in the inner Kerala at 1600 meters above sea level . Extension of the western Ghats that run along the entire west coast of India, in Munnar, fragrant tea gardens littered by the confluence of three rivers.
Varkala still breathes that picturesque atmosphere in the form of hippy shops, wide beaches, majestic cliffs and palm trees, many palm trees. Located an hour north of the capital of Trivandrum , it displays a unique relaxing corner on your trip to South India to complement with other small coastal paradises.
If in your case you are looking for other beaches in Kerala , another option is Kovalam , famous for its famous lighthouse and its proximity to a corner increasingly photographed by visitors: the mosques that contrast with the hundreds of colored boats in the area of Vizhinjam .
The northernmost point of all India , Kanyakumari is famous for its mix of Indian influences and a Comorin Cape in which converge the Sea of Bengal, the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean . A magical setting to discover especially from a Sunset View Pointthat reveals the golden color of the clouds wrapping the great icon of this place: the statue of Thruvalluvar built in honor of one of the great Tamil poets of history.
3) Tamil Nadu in South India
Epicenter of a Tamil culture that has perpetuated a set of poetry, temples and gastronomy for centuries, Tamil Nadu is considered one of the most varied and exciting states in India . Place where they coexist from French or British influences to a unique Hindu charm, this Indian-inspired paradise is an almost obligatory visit destination as you pass through India. Discover what to see in Tamil Nadu :
When you walk through the streets of a certain city of Tamil Nadu, the feeling of being in a French Riviera villa takes shape through its pastel-colored houses, its walls devoured by bougainvillea or that bicycle that runs down the street towards the sea. Shortly after we found that we are in that little piece of Indian France that results in an exquisite place to get lost and that once inspired the famous movie Life of Pi .
Once known as Madras , the capital of Tamil Nadu and urban center of South India continues to surprise the visitor during each trip. A set of Anglican churches, promenades like Marina Beach and cultural mosaics that sigh the nuances of the rich history of Tamil culture. All this, not to mention the attractive component that Chennai represents for business tourism .
One of the most important monumental complexes in South India lies 60 kilometers from Chennai . A set of structures erected by the Pallava dynasty in the seventh century AD that includes from the temples of Pancha Rathas to the one known as Descent of the Ganges , a bas-relief of elephants and other exotic elements that transport us completely to another time.
Meenakshi Amman Temple
Dedicated to Meenakshi, consort of the god Shiva, this set of temples located in the city of Madurai is one of the most colorful examples of dravidic architecture . A complex divided into 14 gopuram or sacred thresholds, lined with up to 1500 figures that draw the entrance to a fascinating temple vaults in the form of mandalas and pillars full of bas-reliefs.
4) Telangana in South India
Result of a division of the nearby state of Andhra Pradesh in 1972, Telangana is a territory that encompasses different tourist attractions to be discovered by the most experienced visitor. Waterfalls, palaces and modern cities that revolve around a capital like Hyderabad full of contrasts. Know what to see in Telangana :
Known as the Pearl City, Hyderabad is the perfect example of an architectural jewel where you can succumb to different contrasts. Drop by the Ramoji Film City, one of the largest film studios in the world , the Golconda Fort , which with its 87 bastions that nothing has to envy to the historical constructions of North India but, especially, a stumbling charmine of four minarets considered by many as the “Arc de Triomphe of the East” and located in the heart of a simply fascinating Old City of Hyderabad .
5) Andhra Pradesh in South India
Although Andhra Pradesh does not have so many tourist attractions, this state is especially popular among solidarity visitors, since here, specifically in the Anantapur area, the Vicente Ferrer Foundation has been managing hospitals, sponsoring children and creating a future for thousands since 1969 of people. A nucleus that will attract all those travelers aware of the cause and who want to combine such an experience with other routes to link with the different states of South India.
Would you like to travel to South India during your next trip to India ?