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South India: The Green India

Elephant in South India

 

South India is a different India. A tropical India of green plantations, rolling hills, meandering rivers and vibrant traditions. In ancient times different dynasties ruled the region and they all left their marks in old palaces and impressive temples. Dutch, Portuguese, French, Jewish and Arab merchants anchored in the ports for trading and exported spices and tea to all parts of the world. 

Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu... all 3 states have their own character, but they have one thing in common: the amazing hospitality of their inhabitants. South India is easy-going, and different cultural and religious groups live in harmony together 

South India is the perfect match for travellers looking for a holiday combining culture, soft adventure, mouthwatering cuisine and a bit of relaxing. Endless beaches, picturesque hillstations, famous National Parks, old colonial towns, astonishing temples, amazing boutique hotels... There is something for everyone !

What to do in South India ?

South India is a very diverse region, basically formed by three States: Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Through the region a mountain range (the Western Ghats) runs from North to South. This natural barrier divides Tamil Nadu and Kerala, and most of the famous tea plantations are found on the slopes of these mountains. The Western Ghats are a good spot for hiking and outdoor-activities.

There are several National Parks, each with its own indigineous fauna and flora. Exploring the parks by jeep, by foot or by boat can be an exhilarating experience for families with children or for naturlovers interested in birding and wildlifephotography.

The coastal areas have about 7000km of coastline. some beaches are very rocky, some are palmfringed with white sand. Although parts of the coastline are heavy developped, there still are many rather unspoilt places to enjoy. 

Important cultural highligts are especially found in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka with cities like Madurai and Mysore, though more recent history can be found as well in the colonial towns Kochin and Pondicherry in Kerala.

South India offers a lot of 'Couleur Locale' with typical fishing- and farmingvillages, old craftsmanship, religious festivals and colourful people from different etnic groups.

The cuisine its totally different from the rest of India: lots of fish, fresh tropical fruits and cocomilk is used to prepare elaborate dishes. Having a cooking lesson with one of the famous South Indian chefs, is no doubt an experience to remember.

South India  (and especially Kerala) is the country of Ayurveda, an old Indian holistic healing tradition, that became more and more popular overseas in recent years. There are lots of possibilities to get acquainted with Ayurveda, to receive an Ayurvedic treatment or to simply just enjoy a relaxing Ayurvedic massage in a specialised centre.

Travel to South India

There a many international airports in South India. Chennai, Bangalore and Kochin are the main entry points, though a lot of people still fly in through Mumbai and take a domestic flight down south. There are some smaller international airports like Mangalore, Kannur and Khozikode that can be useful depending on your itinerary. Some European and almost all Gulf-based airlines (Etihad, Qatar Airways, Emirates,...)  serve Chennai, Bangalore and Kochin. 

Travelling around is mostly done with a private car and driver. You can make plenty of photostops in villages and scenic spots. Longer distances can sometimes be covered by a (overnight) train ride or even with a short domestic flight

Best time to travel to South India

South India is best visited between October and March - April. It is relatively dry, temperatures are not too hot. In the Western Ghats it even can get chilly at night. 

The summer months are very hot and wet due to the monsoonrains, but if you don't mind a heavy afternoon shower, you can enjoy a lush and green South India. Some activities like wildlife-spotting and backwater-trips might be affected by the rains however.

 

South India with Asia Travel Design

The southern part of India is one of our favourite spots to go for a relax and easygoing holiday. A bit of culture mixed with some relaxing, a game drive or a jungle walk, a leisurely bikeride or a gentle hike.... everything is possible in South India.

Over the years we stayed in beautiful small boutique resorts that we are happy to share with you.

Contact us with your plans and we'll be happy to make a personal itinerary.

 

We design South India tours for single travellers, couples, families and small groups. All tours are carefully designed around your personal interests, desired hotelstandards and available time.