South India DestinationsSouth India, a region of overwhelming grandeur and pristine beauty, is the region of India that includes the entire Indian Peninsula, south oft he Vindhya ranges. The Narmada and Mahanadi rivers from the northern boundaries of the region, while the Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal surround the peninsula in the west south and east respectively. The southern most point of the region (and of main land India) is Kanyakumari.
Chennai is located near the 13th north parallel and 80 degree longitude. The city stretches its 19 km length along the Coromandel coast and extends inland about 9 km at its widest. Its irregular shape covers about 172 sq km. It is a fairly low-lying strip of land, its highest point being only 60 m above sea level.
The beautiful beach city located on a rocky outcrop between the beach and a lagoon is going to be a life time experience. Mahabalipuram is a blessed combination of history, good beaches and hassle-free tourism. It is known for its group of pleasing rathas and the dramatically carved relief depicting Arjuna’s Penance. The magnificent Shore Temple, built by king Rajasimha in the 7th century. The Varaha Cave another major attraction which is one of the many rock-cut caves in Mahabalipuram.
Situated on the Coromandel coast, about 160 kms south of Chennai, lies the Union Territory of Pondicherry. The French ruled this territory for 300 years, and today, it stands as a living monument of the French culture in India. It is bound on the east by the Bay of Bengal and on the other three sides by the South Arcot District of Tamil Nadu.
Thanjavur was the ancient capital of the Chola Kings whose origins, like those of the Pallavas, Pandyas and Cheras with whom they shared the tips of the Indian Peninsula, go back to the beginning of the Christian era. Power struggles between these groups were a constant feature of their early history, with one or other gaining the ascendancy at various times
Tiruchirappalli now called Trichy is situated on the banks of the Cauvery river. Trichy, the fourth largest city in the state was a citadel of the early Cholas which later fell to the Pallavas. But the Pallavas never really managed to retain control of this strategic city and lost it to the Pandyas several times.
Madurai is one of the oldest cities of India, with a history dating all the way back to the Sangam period of the pre Christian era. The glory of Madurai returned in a diminished form in the earlier part of this millennium; it later on came under the rule of the Vijayanagar kingdom after its ransack by the ravaging armies of Delhi (Malik Kafur). During the 16th and 18th centuries, Madurai was ruled by the Nayak Emperors, the foremost of whom was Tirumalai Nayakar.
There are no words that can completely describe the beauty of Kanyakumari and it remains one of the most popular tourist destinations of south India. Located in the southernmost point of the Indian mainland, it is a magnificent place of natural beauty where you can see the deep blue waters of the ocean meeting the horizon. This southernmost town of Tamil Nadu is an important attraction for the tourists. Before you set out on a tour, you should have enough information about Kanyakumari that would help you explore the town conveniently.
Cochin, the commercial capital of Kerala, served by an international airport, fine communication facilities, excellent accommodation, modern amenities and a lot of attractive tourist places gives a breathtaking experience for its visitors and settlers. The district took its form on 1st April 1958, by carving out the areas of erstwhile Travancore, Kochi & Malabar kingdoms. The word Ernakulam was derived from a Tamil word ‘Erayanarkulam’ which means Lord Shiva’s abode.
Kumarakom is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna. Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is a noted bird sanctuary where many species of migratory birds visit. The Vembanad Lake, the largest backwater in Kerala, is habitat for many marine and freshwater fish species and it teems with ‘Karimeen’ (Pearl Spotted Fish), shrimp (chemmeen in the local language) and prawns. The bird sanctuary extends over 14 acres (57,000 m²), and came into existence following preservation efforts from the government. It is a major tourist attraction.
Alleppey is one of the most important tourist centers in the state, with a large network of inland canals earning it the sobriquet “Venice of the east”. These large network of canals provide Alleppey its lifeline. Alleppey was one of the busiest centers of trade in the past with one of the best known ports along the malabar coast. Even today it retains its charm as the centre for Coir carpet industries and prawn farming. Alleppey the ideal headquarters for backwater tourism as well as for visits to the lovely church filled town of Kottayam, and the town of Aranmula, famous for its historic Aranmula Snake Boat Race which is an annual event.
Thirty years ago, Kovalam was a picture perfect tropical beach; a traditional fishing village providing fresh fish, fruits and toddy (coconut beer). Today this tiny beach is the focus of a multi-million dollar business, drawing thousands of tourists for a week dose of ozone, UV and a refreshing Indian Experience. Kovalam was brought to the public eye by the Maharaja of Travancore. Over the past three decades, the place has been well developed, and now figures prominently on the world tourism map.
Munnar is nestled in the undulating mountain ranges of the southern Western Ghats and is unrivalled among the tourist destinations of Kerala. Its inescapable natural beauty lures scores of tourists each and every year from not only India but also from abroad. The major highlights of Munnar are its remarkable ambiance, lush green tea gardens, mesmerizing lakes, dense forests and a cool salubrious climate. Munnar is located at the confluence of three mountain streams, Mudrapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundala.
Thekkady is best known for its wildlife, is a must-see for all visitors to Kerala. The Periyar Lake lies at the heart of the sanctuary, which is a veritable paradise for all wildlife lovers. Situated within the boundaries of the Western Ghats in the southern Indian state of Kerala, Periyar National Park and Tiger Reserve is one of the most captivating wildlife parks in the world.