For people of North India, anything south of the States of Maharashtra, and Madhya Pradesh classifies as South India. South India is a land of diverse cultures, predominantly Dravidian, yet retaining more of Sanskrit influences than the North. The six states of Goa, Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh make up the South of India. The region is as varied in geography and climate as it is in culture and cuisines with historic landmarks and natural scenic places of beauty spread from the East Coast to the West with Kanyakumari at the far bottom tip of India, the crowning point, a place to watch the Sun set in the Ocean. You must try the famous Hyderabadi Biryani while staying at the Taj Falaknuma Heritage Hotel. I have so many suggestions for advice where to stay and what to do. Call me to chat about your personalised bespoke tour of South India.
Kerala – Capital city Thiruvananthapuram
Kerala’s history is closely linked with its commerce, which until recent times revolved around its spice trade. Celebrated as the Spice Coast of India, ancient Kerala played host to travellers and traders from across the world including the Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Chinese, Portuguese, Dutch, French and the British. Almost all of them have left their imprint on this land in some form or the other – architecture, cuisine, literature. With the Arabian Sea in the west, the Western Ghats towering 500-2700 m in the east and networked by forty-four rivers, Kerala enjoys diverse geographical features. From tall mountains and deep valleys to endless backwaters and an extensive coastline, Kerala has it all. Bestowed with a pleasant and equable climate throughout the year, Kerala is a tropical land with the coast running down its entire length and the Western Ghats forming a protective barrier against the dry winds from up north.
Goa – Captial city Panaji
The former Portuguese enclave of Goa, one of India’s gems, has been popular with tourists for many years with its magnificent palm-fringed beaches and renowned “travellers’ scene”. It has much more to offer than sun, sand and sea. Goa has a character quite distinct from the rest of India, and the people are fun-loving and relaxed, having retained some of the gaiety of the Portuguese. In Old Goa, one can see the magnificent church, Basilica of Bom Jesus, built in 16th century famous for its houses the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier. The Se Cathedral is a magnificent edifice famous for its bells of which the Golden Bell is one of the largest in Goa and one of the best in the world.
Tamil Nadu – Capital City Chennai
Steeped in history and tradition, the cradle of the Dravidian culture. Relatively untouched by foreign invaders, much of the ancient temples survive. Known as the temple state and home to Madurai and the Meenakshi Temple. In this state, your will also find the old French enclave of Pondicherry. Just north of here lies the shore temples of Mamallapuram. The temples of Tamil Nadu have their origin in religious worship and even today continue to colour daily life. Visit Kanchipuram, one of the Hindu’ seven sacred cities in India and also famous for silk production.
Karnataka – Capital City Bangalore
Karnataka a land blessed with many fascinating worlds. Discover ageless monuments, world heritage sites, lush green forests, amazing wildlife, spectacular waterfalls, romantic hill stations, timeless temples, pristine beaches, exhilarating adventure sports and vibrant art & culture. As you traverse through the length and breadth of Karnataka, be spellbound by every facet of this amazing land. Nowhere else in India can you find such a profusion of stone architecture. The magnificent world heritage sites at Hampi and Pattadakal, the exquisite temples at Belur, Halebid and Somnathpur, the cave temples at Badami and Aihole and much more. Then there is Karnataka’s coastline stretching 320km dotted with unspoilt beaches and scores of temples, some unknown, unsung and undiscovered.
Telangana – Capital City Hyderabad
The name Telangana refers to the word Trilinga Desa, earned due to the presence of three ancient Shiva Temples at Kaleshwaram, Srisailam, and Draksharamam. A more historical reasoning is that during the reign of Nizams, the region was known as Telugu Angana to differentiate it from the areas where Marathi was spoken. The Kannada and Marathi speaking areas of Hyderabad state were merged with Karnataka and Maharashtra respectively while Telugu-speaking region of Telangana was merged with Andhra state with Hyderabad as the capital of united Andhra Pradesh state in 1956. Although there was resentment against the merger, there was a period of calm. After the promises made to respect the rights of Telangana had been not fulfilled, a separate Telangana agitation was launched in 1969. Following subsequent Gentleman’s agreement and again a period of broken promises and injustice, Telangana movement was given a final push by Shri. KCR in 2001 with the formation of TRS. Finally, due to the whole-hearted efforts of Telangana society and political parties, the Government of India agreed to a creation of a separate Telangana state in July 2013 and Telangana came into effect on June 2, 2014, as ‘Telangana state’, the 29th state of Indian Union
Andhra Pradesh – Capital city Vijayawada
Situated on the southeastern coast of India. Andhra Pradesh has the second-longest coastline of 972 km among all the states in India. Like much of India, the history of Andhra Pradesh goes back millennia, with the earliest mention of the Andhra Kingdom in ancient Sanskrit epics dating to the first century B.C. Andhra Pradesh has an extensive history, and there are hundreds of relics of its varied past, with fantastic monuments.