“South India” is not just a single term made of two words. There are wise men around who had great experiences and intellect to see the difference in all the Indian states that comprise to make one South India. Four states that fall in distinction to make South India a whole entity starkly different compared to its northern counterpart are: Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh along with the group of islands located both in the Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal.
For all the differences they exhibit in themselves, they are still viewed as one, just as we club vastly different Rajasthan and West Bengal with other states to constitute one North India.
To touch both aspects of Indian geography and culture, one has to make sure he visits the whole of India. However, even for that one has to start from somewhere. If it is the southern part a travel enthusiast is looking at, here is a list to get started with holidays in South India. Every other thing will follow and seem to be falling in the place it always meant to be.
There is history in Hampi, Nature in Bannerghatta National Park and Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary, Sea and Sand in Gokarna, Udupi, Kollur, etc, and it goes on.
It is a UNESCO World heritage site just as the other one in Hampi. On the river bank of Malaprabha, these 8th century CE monuments stand telling stories of Chalukyas. Some of the temples display the architecture of North style, others in Dravinian style and rest as a blend of these two.
Unexplored, this hill station of Karnataka can be a real treat for those who would not mind some time in solitude. Free from the buzz which could be seen in the hill stations of the north like Nainital, Shimla, etc. Kudremukh may turn out to be pristine beyond imagination.
Shola Grasslands and forests in the Kudremukh National Park, Western Ghats, Karnataka. Photo by Karunakar Rayker.
Known for its spices, beaches, backwaters, dances, etc. Kerala just grows on mind.
3. Padmanabhapuram Palace
Although Kerala is also identified as having Neolithic and monolithic structures, this monument is pretty recent compared to the Stone Age. Located in Thucklai, the place is 63 km away from Thiruvananthapuram. Murals, underground passages, black floor with an unidentifiable shine, etc. are some of the attractions of this piece from history.
Entrance view of Padmanabapuram palace.
People might not be much aware about the culture of this state but that doesn’t stop them watching the Thissur Pooram with all the gold-caparisoned elephants organised at Thekkinkadu Maidan in front of Vadakkunnathan Temple.
The tea plantations hidden in the misty clouds are worth noting. Munnar is loved by all the honeymooners and tourists that come there. Do not forget the highest peak of south India and Eravikulam National Park located nearby.
Though in the south, it is immensely dissimilar from the two discussed above. For a novice travel enthusiast, there is a lot to explore.
For the lovers of archaeological sites in India, this could come as a great surprise. The excavations in the area brought out urns carved with Tamil Brahmi from a past era. There is a museum in the area where all the digs can be studied.
7. The Chola Temples
A UNESCO World Heritage site, there are many temples constructed by various kings of the empire. Brihadisvara Temple, Brihadisvara Temple and Airavatesvara Temple are the main ones.
Hill stations of Tamil Nadu are among the most visited ones; surprisingly Kodaikanal is still unspoilt and attracts the visitors who have already had enough of commercial hill stations. Kodaikanal Lake, Berijam Lake and Silver cascade are among the attractions to love.
The state of legendary Nawabs of India is considered to be among the best hosts in India. Known for its present status as IT Hub of India in the city of Hyderabad, the state has many tourist attractions.
9. Golkonda Fort
Among many places to visit, this one could give tourists a great insight on the facts of a bygone era. Located in Deccan Plateau, the fort exhibits mosques, armories, chambers of queens and princesses, fortification walls with eight gates of striking names and more.
10. Borra Caves
If one knows about Anathagiri, he knows about the caves as well. Located in the district Vishakhapatnam, both the hills and the caves are a prominent tourist attraction. Geography lovers come here for speleothems inside the cave.
With a small glimpse of these four states, a traveler is ready to plunge for more as he keeps on looking for newer additions to his list of places in the South India travel package.
Share your wish list to see in southern region of India, would you?