Famous Destination for Travelers in South India
South India is well known for its amazing diversity and natural beauty. Whether you are a nature lover or an art lover or a shopaholic; South India will mesmerize you with its offerings. There are many good tour operators in India who can organize a south Indian special tour for you. It is suggested that you take at least 7 to 10 days time to explore each state in the South as all of them have their unique highlights and defining features. Here is a short guide on what to see in the 2 major states of South India.
Karnataka: The land of Silks
Karnataka is best known for its crowning jewel; the global IT hub Bengaluru/ Bangalore to the international tourist. However there are a few unmissable facets of this state that should absolutely not be missed on a visit there.
Mysore of the most beautiful cities in Karnataka and possibly in India is one of the neatest cities you will find in India. Indeed its symmetrical architecture and pristine appearance are reminiscent of the European cities. Mysore is full of verdant greenery and has surprisingly low traffic rates. The city offers the opportunity of travel in a horse taxi which takes you around all the primary sights of the city. The Mysore Palace is a splendid piece of architecture which looks beautiful by day but absolutely stunning when it is decked up with lights at night.
There is an exhibition center in the heart of the city which is great for shopping and gorging on delectable South Indian cuisine. A visit to Karnataka is incomplete without sampling a traditional Kannnadiga meal comprising of Kosambari, Raita, Pickle, Palya, Gojju, Payasam, Thove, Chitrana and Rice. If you are really interested in food then explore the different strains of cuisine like Udipi , Navayath, Malenadu and Manglore etc.
Shopping in Karnataka can be a never ending bewitching affair…here is what to shop for
- Once in Karnataka do not miss out on their richly textured Mysore Silk Sarees with beautiful patterns woven into them with golden threads.
- Rosewood furniture and fragrant sachets of pure sandalwood are some of the other notable items.
- If you travel to Udipi do buy the mythological cast metal figures while in Mangalore mini figurines of Bell Metal are very famous.
- If the rich sheen of Bronze fascinates you then visit Nagamangala and Bidar.
- Gulegudda is an on stop shopping paradise as you can shop for traditional Lambani jewelry, Ikat sarees and exquisite Ikkat paintings.
Kerela : God’s Own Country
The exquisite beauty of Kerela has earned it the name of “God’s Own Country”. Kerela is one of the most beautiful states in India and offers an incredible variety of experiences. Start experiencing the gorgeous beaches like Kovalam and move on to see the meeting of 3 oceans at the furthest Southern tip of India; Kanyakumari. Hire a houseboat and sail along the beautiful Allepy backwaters where the luscious greenery and the amazing fauna will mesmerize you. End up in the pretty fishing city Kochi with its quaint markets and numerous seafood restaurants. Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the most versatile wildlife conservation projects in India and do not miss the wildlife spotting option there. Go on a spice tour in Thekkady and come back with bags of Cardammom , Cinnamon and other Southern Spices.
Keralean food is characterized by coconut, tamarind and spices that give it a flavorful pungency. Some dishes you should not miss while sampling Keralean cuisine are Avial (vegetables cooked in chilly and coconut paste), KottuCurry (potatoes in red chilli and onion), Rasam (the inspiration behind European Mulligatawny Soup, Appam (soft pancakes) with chicken curry and Puttu (steamed rice cakes) with spicy gram curry. Do carry back packets of Banana, Tapioca and Jackfruit Chips for folks back at home.
Kerela can again be classified as a Shopper’s paradise and there are a few exotic items that you should definitely choose from during your trip here.
- Coir products made of coconut fiber are a Keralean specialty and you can pick up attractive doormats, table mats and coasters made from Coir here.
- Artifacts like masks, bowls, ladles, cups and other souvenirs are artistically carved out of Coconut shells and sold at very reasonable prices in the markets of Kerela.
- If you want to take back some really exotic stuff back home then choose the Nettipattam or the glittering golden ornament decorating the head of traditional Keralite elephants.
- Mural paintings depicting exquisitely detailed legends can be purchased from the State Emporiums in Kerela (you will find one in every city)
- Lastly do not forget to pick up dazzlingly beautiful white and gold Kerela silk sarees which are also known as the Kasavu Sari is an absolute must buy.