A Glance at Southern India
Tamil Nadu : The Temple Paradise
The exotic land of Tamil Nadu is characterized by the presence of Point Calimere and Mududmalai at the Eastern and Western tips of the State. There are many amazing beaches (Marina, Mahabalipuram, Rameshwaram, Covelong,Kanyakumari), intricately carved temples, sanctuaries with exotic flora and fauna and culturally rich festivals in the state. Tamil Nadu is specifically much loved by art lovers and spiritualists. Madurai or the city with 1000 temples is one of the must visit places in Tamil Nadu. Ooty and Kodaikanal are very beautiful hill stations in the state while Mahabalipuram is famous for its exquisite rock carvings.
If you are a nature lover then plan a tour to Mundanthurai Tiger Sanctuary, Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary, Anamalai Wildlife Sanctuary and Calimere Wildlife Park in Tamil Nadu.
Shopping in Tamil Nadu promises to be a grand celebratory experience. Here is what to browse through.
• Chennai is famous for its finely spun silk in vibrant colors and myriad patterns. The numerous Poompuhar (Tamil nadu emporium) and the Gram Udyog Bhavans have their outlets all over Chennai.
• Madurai is a textile hub which is famous for Kanjeevaram sarees and Cotton suits.
• Tanjore is world famous for its bronze Nataraja statuettes , thanjavur plates with copper ornamentary and other bronze artifacts
• Mahabalipuram offers exquisite jewelry, granite sculptures of Hindu Mythology and gorgeous woodcarvings.
Food in Tamil Nadu can be divided into 3 major strains; Chettinadu, Konga Nadu and Nanjil Nadu.
Chettinadu cuisine is popular because of the uses of spices that are freshly ground and emanate an unmistakable aroma. Rice is one of staple dishes along with Paal Paniyarama, idiyaapam, melagu perattal, kozhi varuval etc Popular non vegetarian Chettinad cuisines are Kozhi (chicken fry), Melagu (pepper chicken) etc.
Nanjil Cuisine is characterized by lots of use of coconut and coastal fish. Some of the food specialties are avail, Kappa, meen curry, erriserry and spicy beef curry (Tamil nadu is one of the few places where beef is freely consumed).
Kongu Nadu delicacies are mostly vegetarian and include delicacies like oppittu, Poo Vadai, Kambu Koozhu, Parotta, Kari Doasi (meat dosa) etc.
Andhra Pradesh : The Indian Kohinoor
The dazzling state of Andhra Pradesh is charecterised by the two rivers Krishna and Godavari which supply water to the whole area. Andhra Pradesh has a gorgeous 980 km coastline and is divided into three areas Telengana, Rayalaseema and Coastal Pradesh. The rich cultural heritage of the state and the climatic conditions make it a favorite destination for all tourists. The Indian Tourism department has labeled Andhra Pradesh as the Kohinoor of India.
Visit the stunning beaches of Vishakapatanam, the beautiful Araku Valley and numerous beautiful temples. Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh is a very famous religious destination while Srisailam Malikarjuneswar temple is another renowned religious destination. The Shiva temple at Amaravati and Vishnu Temple at Yadagiriguta are two other stunning architectural creations. The brilliance of the exquisite carvings inside the 1000 pillar temple at Warrangal will mesmerize your senses.
If you are interested in studying and knowing more about Buddhism then the areas of Dhulikatta, Bavikonda, Amravati, Nagarjuna etc are great cultural hubs of Buddhism.
The cuisine of Andhra Pradesh is inspired by the rich Nawabi culture and royal heritage of the state. The food is spicy and tangy and involves the use of chilly, tamarind and coconut. Some delicious dishes you should definitely sample on your Andhra Pradesh visit are tamarind rice, gongura chutney, Poppadam, avakkai pickle, spicy egg plant curry, tangy Rasam and a variety of curds. If you love non vegetarian dishes then sample the Kodilguru (Andhra Chicken Fry), Gongura Mutton Curry and Kodipulusu (chicken curry) etc. Hyderabad Britani is one of the famous dishes in India and you must sample this.
Shopping in Andhra Pradesh promises to be an awesome experience with stunning jewelry, artistic handicrafts, amazing silver work, brass carvings and beautiful weaves that are found in the traditional state emporiums.
If you are visiting Hyderabad then do not forget to shop for the beautiful pearl sets found there which are unique to that region.
There are many famous festivals in Andhra Pradesh like Makar Sankranti, 3 day long Harvest Festival, Deccan Festival, Rayalaseema Food and Dance Extravaganza.
Now that you have gained some basic knowledge about the features of South Indian States you are sure to enjoy your visit more!!!
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