Southern India

India bristles with an eclectic mélange of ethnic groups; an intoxicating cultural cocktail for the traveller.


Sitting snugly between the Western Ghats on one side and the Arabian sea on the other, kerala has amazing natural beauty. There is everything here that can make a holiday perfect - warm beatiful beaches, aromatic tea gardens, misty mountains, lush green jungles and bewitching backwaters. A peaceful tranquil holiday or adventure that really gets the adrenalin going... The ever increasing awareness of the wonders of Ayurveda, has only increased the number of visitors. Tourists come from across the globe to try the world-famous massages and treatments. Added to all these is a welcoming warmth from the locals. An open mind to new influences and ideas and great sense of pride in their homeland, Keralites make perfect hosts. All this has made Kerala one of the 10 paradises of the world. Come and see yourself why white this is to be on the elite list.
Bedecked in dazzling finery, elephants are also the stars of the show in Mysore’s Dussarah celebrations. The royal city is the jewel in Karnataka’s crown, home to a spectacular palace and an atmospheric fresh produce and spice market. Hoysala temples of Belur dating from the 12th century and enormous Jain sculptures of Gomateshvara, not to mention the wildlife havens of Bandipur and Nagarhole National Parks, home to elusive tigers. Bangalore, the international entry point is the IT powerhouse of India, a modern, energetic city best savoured for its restaurants and shops. Ancient architectural gems are abundant, including the World Heritage–listed monuments of Hampi and Pattadakal. Practically untouched beaches and devout temple towns dot Karnataka’s quiet tropical coast, while in the cool highlands of Coorg you can trek between lush coffee and spice plantations along paths trampled by migrating elephants.If you’re looking for variety in your Indian travel experience, Karnataka fits the bill nicely.
Tamil Nadu is endearingly distinctive in its own way, with tones of culture, ethnicity, naturalness and beauty. It has itself opening up to the fancy and passion of any kind of a traveller, an explorer with a keen eye for all aspects of travel or a traveller with a relaxed outlook. Long coastlines and forested mountains form stunning backdrops to this, the cradle of Dravidian civilisation. Manifestations of its ancient culture are everywhere, from vast temple compounds with steeply stepped, riotously coloured gopurams (gateway towers) to beautifully detailed rock carvings, and classical music and dance that are both complex and compelling. Ancient temples of Kanchipuram, Chidambaram, Kumbakonam, Trichy , Thanjavur (Tanjore), Madurai, Kanyakumari and Rameswaram – stand tall and proud announcing the greatness of the Dravidian architecture. The state’s national parks and reserves remain important refuges for much of India’s wildlife including elephants, several species of rare monkeys and Gaurs. The historic hill stations in the Nilgris- Ooty, Coonoor, Kotagiri and Kodaikanal are a fathomless fancy for travellers invitingly beckoning with their natural beauty and salubrious climate. Tamilnadu is Enchanting !
But Andhra’s a place with subtle charms, quiet traditions and a long history of spiritual scholarship and religious harmony. The city’s rich Islamic history announces itself in Hyderabad’s huge, lavish mosques, its opulent palaces and the stately Qutb Shahi tombs – but also, more softly, in a tiny spiral staircase in the Charminar and in the sounds of Urdu floating through the air. Ruins of Buddhist stupas and monasteries defy impermanence around the state, especially at Amaravathi and Nagarjunakonda. The stunning Eastern Ghats near Visakhapatnam only emerge after hours on a broad-gauge line. A family workshop filled with exquisite traditional paintings appears after a meander through Sri Kalahasti. And the most famous wait of all, through a long, holy maze filled with pilgrims at Tirumala, is rewarded with a glimpse of Lord Venkateshwara, who, if you’re lucky, will grant you a wish.