by: Rohit Agarwal
South India lies on a peninsular piece of land that is amidst three major water bodies. It encompasses the states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Goa and breathtakingly beautiful, the Lakshadweep Islands.
It is the land of coconut adorned dishes, tongue twister languages and well of course, (the south Indian superstar) Rajnikanth. This is the place where you can ride along the rocky road of Western and Eastern Ghats, or be mesmerized by the serenity of an island or experience the most beautiful sunsets on the horizons on Goa’s beaches. While enclosing such diverse geographical features, south India is also the birthplace of Indian classical dance and music and contributes equally well in shaping the diverse Indian culture!
Here are the top five travel destinations of south India that will give you a glimpse of the diversity that this land offers:
To experience the bliss of the sun, sand and beach, there is no better place than Goa. It is a tourist paradise! This place represents an amalgamation of Indian and Portuguese culture thus imparting it an exotic lifestyle. While, Goa is mostly famous for its sun-soaked beaches, there are also many exquisite architectural marvels that are worth visiting. Some of the oldest churches in the country are located in Goa. The famous church, Basilica of Bom Jesus holds the 500 year old dead body of St. Francis Xavier.
The month of December is the best time to visit Goa. Every nook and corner is decorated with beautiful colors and lights to celebrate the festival of Christmas and welcome the New Year. Some of the country’s biggest music festivals are held in Goa during this time.
2. Lakshadweep Islands
This is the piece of land where you are surrounded by crystal clear blue water extending up to infinity. Experience pure bliss and let peace take over you. Lakshadweep consists of a group of 36 islands located in the Laccadive Sea. Endowed with exquisite diversity of flora and fauna and sun-kissed beaches, Lakshadweep islands provide a perfect getaway from the rushed lifestyle of the city. A variety of adventure sports including scuba diving, snorkeling and jungle treks are offered by the state.
3. Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu
Kanyakumari lies at the southernmost point of India and it is where the three seas surrounding the peninsular piece of land finally meet. This place contains multi-coloured beaches lining the sea shore, majestic hills and patches of red cliffs. This place, apart from being famous for its beaches and hills, has immense spiritual significance. Swami Vivekananda came down south to devote his life as a Sanyasin. Kanyakumari has some of the oldest temples and is notable for pilgrimage.
4. Kochi, Kerala
Also known as the “queen of the Arabian sea”, Kochi offers a variety of tourist destinations. Lifestyle of Kochi is influenced by a fascinating blend of Arabian, Chinese, British, Dutch, Portuguese and Western Culture. Kochi is admired for its exotic beaches, enchanting backwaters and splendid scenic beauty. Kochi is also famous for its churches such as the St. Francis Church which is believed to be the oldest European built church in India and old colonial buildings such as Jew town which is famous for spice trade. Thus this is the place that will leave you mesmerised by its scenic beauty and architectural magnificence. Meanwhile, you could also catch a Kathakali performance!
5. Bangalore, Karnataka
Bangalore, also known as “the silicon valley” of India, is a city mostly populated by computer geeks. Some of the major I.T. giants call this city home. But that’s not it; Bangalore is rich in religious and spiritual cultures and is home to many of India’s spiritual gurus. The city offers some of the beautiful places to hang out with friends and family. For instance, the Cubbon Park is adorned with exotic species of plants and also houses an aquarium. Ulsoor Lake is spread over an area of 125 acres and offers a wide expanse of scenic beauty. Crazy waters amusement park is another place to experience thrill and excitement.
Thus, southern India is full of places that take you on a ride through the diverse cultures, architectural splendours, rocky terrains and sun-kissed beaches! Each place has a unique blend of these things that will captivate you.
Rohit is a wanderer who likes to explore new places. An architect by profession and a blogger by passion, he likes to write stories about travel related experiences.