What are the highlights of South India?

Travel Forums Asia What are the highlights of South India?

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1. Posted by glovecat (Budding Member 2 posts) 17y Star this if you like it!

Hey everyone,
I'm planning on spending 6 weeks in the south of india from 3rd Jan 07. What would you recommend as unmissable sights/journeys/experiences? I'm into music, dance, art, nature, eco-centres, organic gardening, second-hand saris (!), etc. I'd be really grateful to hear of (and possibly learn from) your experiences, I really want to make it a very special (but not overly expensive!) trip.
Emily (29 yr old travelling with her funky mum)

2. Posted by arunchs (Budding Member 6 posts) 17y Star this if you like it!

Hampi for history, culture and its very special environment. Not to miss.

Mysore and surroundings for history, palaces, nature

Coorg and Wayanad for its natural beauty.

Kerala backwaters.

Temples of TamilNadu - Madurai, Tanjore, etc.

3. Posted by Degolasse (Travel Guru 824 posts) 17y Star this if you like it!

arunchs' suggestions are defienlty good. Hampi and the Kerelan backwaters are definelty not to be missed.
Mysore is also a great town for its market and palace, and if you have any interst in temples, then Madurai is also a must.

I would also add that Cochin is a great town where you can catch a Kathakali performance and would check off your music, dance and art likes. Pondicherry in Tamil Nadu is also a nice place to spend a couple days and has a slightly different culture with its old french influence.

4. Posted by Ahila (Inactive 1529 posts) 17y Star this if you like it!

Just a couple of suggestions based on those I like and also those I plan to visit:
(1) Chennai: Valluvar Kottam in Nungampakkam; Paris Lane/ Road (I think it comes under T Nagar) for saris and other wares at very good prices (this piece of info based on living in Chennai 20 yrs ago and not sure whether this is accurate now)
(2) Kancheepuram (close to Chennai): capital of Pallava dynasty, now famous for its temples and sarees.
(3) Mamallapuram or Mahabalipuram (close to Chennai as well): the rock temples and containing Arjuna's Penance in stone.

For music and dance performances, check out this... A whole list of places having concerts mainly in Dec/ Jan is given under Music and Dance.

Apart from the above, I agree that Madurai is a must visit. Ooty and Kodaikanal for a brief rest amongst the hills but the Kerala backwaters and the houseboat experience is definitely not to be missed and there are equally nice hills there so, Kerala would be the definite place for some relaxing time, while Tamil Nadu would be more of the Hindu pilgrimage (temples, sarees)

Do try to also visit Mysore Palace, the largest palace in India.

Have fun travelling!

[ Edit: Edited on Dec 13, 2006, at 3:26 PM by Ahila ]

5. Posted by Sophiehdm (Budding Member 32 posts) 17y Star this if you like it!

I think China is a good choice. China has Great Wall, Summer Palace, Forbidden City in Beijing, Terra Cotta Army in Xian, Li River in Guilin, and so on. If you like, you also can enjoy the Chinese New Year here.

6. Posted by Travel_N (Inactive 161 posts) 17y Star this if you like it!

hi emily!
if u are into dance and music, it i s a good time to be in tamilnadu. If i am not wrong, sometime in jan or feb, there is a dance festival in mahablaipuram or mamallapuram. Hampi also has a festival, but i think it is over. Also, this is the "carnatic music season" , so u will find lots of concerts and dance performances - which u can try out.

Kancheepuram, tanjore, trichy, madurai are all good for temples, each with a story to its fame.

Why do u want to buy second hand sarees??? i dont think anyone deals in second hand stuff. But u will find a lot of beautiful sarees starting from ranges as low as Rs. 200. As ahila said, T.Nagar in chennai is a good place - u will also get to see how crowded a place can ever get.preferably, see if u can take an indian with u!

I think pondicherry is also a must visit place. Atleast, i found the french part of it quite alluring even if the only thing i did was have pizza in a pizza hut which was in colonial french building and have chai at La coromandel, a fance named road side tea stall... u can also stay in auroville (make reservations earlier) which is also a "backpacker" place!

AS for nature, u will find that the nilgiris range runs in the area adjoining TN, Kerala and Karnataka. So you could pick up 2 or 3 hill station in any of the states. If u have more time - covr more! Valparai in TN is a tea estate which is all pretty. but any place in this region will be nice!

and when ur here, if u want help or ny info pm me! have a great time

7. Posted by Travinfo (Budding Member 32 posts) 17y Star this if you like it!

hey lots of beaches, lots of cultural activities and historical places.

6 weeks stay i guess, its good time.. and dont forget to visit pondicherry .. i had been there last time , had great time..

8. Posted by baiju (Budding Member 7 posts) 17y Star this if you like it!

Welcome to south India, in 6 weeks you can cover lot of places in South India.
For music, dance, and art and culture - i refer you

Mahabalipuram, Tajore, Madurai - rich with ancient temples and culture. if you are lucky you will get to see some music and dance concerts,

Kanchipuram - its the renowned place or Silk- you can watch the making of the sarees by visiting the homes-its the main work of the people in Kanchipuram - household indutry, people are very friendly and will show you how things are working.

For art dont miss Kerala Kalamandalam in Kerala - dance and music college - which is very famous for classical forms of arts. There are programs like spent a day with masters at the institution.

For nature and eco centers - dont leave Munnar, hill station rich with tea plantations, Thekkady - the periyar tiger reserve, Alleppey the place for backwaters - you can ride through the small canals in country boats and watch beautiful coconut lagoons, paddy field and people living on the shores.

For organic gardens try Thekkady there are many spice pantations - rich with pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, vanila, ginger, nutmeg etc etc...

also there are many off beaten paths and beautiful palces you can cover with in this time.

have a nice journey
Thank you


9. Posted by blackmagic (Budding Member 8 posts) 17y Star this if you like it!

hi there, I have an offer for you to have free accommodation if you would be willing to work as an eco advocate in Kuzhupilly village. Your accommodation would be provided by 'Kuzhupilly beach house'.

10. Posted by random0786 (Budding Member 34 posts) 17y Star this if you like it!

Lots of places to visit in south india.

Beaches: You can enjoy Chennai, Mahabalipuram, Pondycherry, Chidambaram, Pichambaram (Mangrove Forest), Tranquebar, Rameshwaram, Kanyakumari.

Temples: Mysore, Madurai, Kanyakumari, Kanchipuram etc.

Trekking/Hillstation: Coorg, Hampi, Kodaikanal, Tada, Topslip, Munnar etc.

The places ate not very far and are in same line.

You can have a camp in banglore and chennai and see all this places in few days. The transportation also is not very expensive.

Messege me if you need any other help.