India is a goldmine of tourism because of its amazing diversity that is entrenched in its history, geography, people and their cultures. It is an ancient civilization with a rich cultural heritage that has enthralled and embraced people from all across the world over the centuries.
A significant portion of this great treasure lies in the land, enveloped by the Bay of Bengal, the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean on three different sides in the southern part of India. With its scenic hill stations, serene backwaters, rich wildlife, ancient temples, adventure spots and unspoiled beaches; South India provides one of the best vacations that you can expect to have, anywhere else in the world.
South India can be considered relatively safer as compared to some other parts of India. Lockouts, riot and political instability are not a frequent factor in this part of the world. However, just like any known holiday destination in the country, it is infested with middlemen, opportunistic guides and petty criminals. You need to have awareness and common sense to ensure you don’t get robbed. We would advise women travelers to keep to their family or partner and choose busy holiday spots in the evening. If required, Karnataka State Tourism Development can assist you with authorized guides and taxi operators during your vacation.
The weather in South India is tropical to the core or in other words, very hot and humid. You need to remain energized and hydrated to enjoy your vacation. While cold drinks are an unhealthy option, it can be a great idea to try a few local drinks like fresh coconut water, Nannari Sherbet, Ragi Ganji, butter-milk and also sweet, milky tea. It’s always advisable to keep handy a syrupy lemon juice, mixed with a little salt.
The local population in South India has always been highly educated and hence English is widely followed. Apart from this, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam are spoken in this region. However, with the arrival of more and more tourists, the local population has also learned to follow Hindi to a certain extent.
South India is a place that takes pride in being immersed in tradition and the same is reflected in their attire and cuisine. The traditional attire of women is saree and you should not be surprised to see a lot of them wearing it daily even to work, shopping malls, hill stations or beaches. Even the men prefer dressing up in the traditional manner of Shirt and Dhoti. You would also find people in north Indian or western outfits; however, at a glance, the attire would largely seem homogeneous. If you have an inclination to listen to regional music while on vacation, you could be introduced to Carnatic music. Bollywood numbers are also popular; however folk and Carnatic music are wonderfully blended even in their modern songs.
The cuisine of southern India is by and large similar across all the five states, as most of the places are tropical and coastal areas. Rice, Coconut, pickles and local spices form an essential component in most of their vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. You would also find restaurants serving north Indian dishes, however, the preparation could be predominantly spicy. Most of the premier hotels and restaurants in South India have collaboration with Karnataka State Tourism Development to ensure you are always offered the best food.
Southern India has had a rich history in the ancient and medieval period that’s symbolized by its architectural style, also known as Dravida style. For a traveler interested in ruins or history, we would recommend places like Mahabalipuram, Hampi, Badami, Rameshwaram, Madurai, Pattadakal, Halebidu, Lakkundi, amongst others. For a student of art, Tanjore, Mattancherry Dravidian paintings, Raja Ravi Vama paintings and mural paintings of Travancore are the places that still carry the flavor of ancient times. If you are travelling with any ladies, sarees and handlooms of Kanchipuram and Pochampally are a must on your shopping list.
As mentioned in the above paragraphs, South India is a place that can always offer more than you have asked for. Hence, it is impossible to compare or cover all destinations of different genres. To make your choice easier, Karnataka State Tourism Development has compiled a list of different kinds of destinations to enjoy in South India under various categories.
With the presence of so many destinations designed for family vacation, honeymoon, historical visit, pilgrimage, leisure trip and adventure trip, we can offer all kinds of tours for all our audiences. We at Karnataka State Tourism Development would strive to deliver a perfect tour of South India, tailor-made for your specific interests and expectations.