Your first journey to the South is sure to include the backwaters, maybe relaxing on your own private houseboat, you must also include a visit to the tea plantation of Munnar and don’t forget those mesmerising temples and enchanting caves of Mamallapuram or Kanchipuram, the city of 1000 temples. For something special, visit the city of palaces, known for its wide boulevards, fabulous markets and relaxed lifestyle. Explore the local bazaar to buy colourful bangles which come in beautifully decorated cardboard boxes. The south sounds great, but if things feel a bit placid, all you have to do is visit the Bandipur Safari Lodge for a Mowgli-like encounter with the tiger. They also throw in the long-tailed paradise flycatcher birds, elephants and sambar deer for added effect.
Ooty and Coonoor welcome you to a pleasant atmosphere, giving you a much-needed respite from the scorching Indian heat, introducing you to traditional colonial-style getaways, rejuvenating your love for tea. The scenery is stunning, and the tea plantations are so perfect that they leave you transfixed, wondering how such pieces of paradise manage to coexist in a country that often gets a rap for its pollution, chaos and population. It is at this very moment you truly fall in love with India, for this magical land is perhaps the only place in the world that manages to find beauty in chaos.