A South India Tour
Collected by Kristin Zibell, AFAR Local Expert
The North of India gets a lot of travel press due to Delhi, the Taj and Rajastan, but the subcontinent's South has megapolises, ancient temples, castles, languid jungles, and beaches!
1/387, Princess Street, Fort Nagar, Fort Kochi, Fort Nagar, Fort Kochi, Kochi, Kerala 682001, India
India boasts many traditional regional dance forms, but kathakali, with its elaborate, colorful costumes and masks is undoubtedly one of the most distinctive. With roots going back to ancient Hindu temple plays (some think as far back as the 2nd...
Santoshima Farm, Gollahalli Gate, Nelamangala-Doddaballapur Road, Nelamangala, B, Karnataka, 562163, India
Two hours into the villages out of Bangalore, set on pristine greens, with rich flora, monkeys resting in citrus trees and a sandalwood laced breeze, is paradise. It's a completely holistic approach to well-being. Morning vinyasa begins each day...
SH 74, Chikkaballapura Taluk, Nandi, Karnataka 562103, India
The Bhoganandishwara Temple in the Nandi Hills, is a fascinating day-trip from Bangalore. This small temple in rural Karnataka, seems a world away from bustling Bangalore.The temple celebrates the Hindu bull (Nandi) who was Lord Shiva's mount,...
Church Road, Pallathuruthy, Kainakary South, Kerala 688505, India
The word that keeps coming to mind when I remember my trip through the Kerala backwaters in India is "languid." I took three kinds of boat rides through these tropical waterways in south India: canoe, motorboat, and house boat. The canoe was my...
Kavanattinkara, Kumarakom, Kerala 686563, India
If you are looking for tropical paradise, look no farther than the Vivanta by Taj resort in Kumarakom. Located in the Kerala Backwaters, this resort is nestled beside a bird sanctuary on the Vembanadu lake. With private bungalows complete with...
Parade Road, Fort Kochi, Kochi, Kerala 682001, India
The first of Fort Cochin's slew of heritage hotels, Malabar House has been in operation since 1996, though its history dates all the way back to 1755, when it was commissioned by a Dutchman. Today it's one of the most sought-after places to stay...
Povely Building, Kalady Malayattoor Road, Thalayattumpilli, Vadakkumbhagom, Kerala 683574, India
The ‘Backwaters of Kerala’ is an institution in itself – the islands, spread across the city of Kochi aka Cochin, have rich treasures to unearth. When your guide takes you through the tour of islands on a houseboat, it’s not just an excursion but...
Beach Road, Kovalam, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala 695527, India
Mollify and unwind with a variety of delicious cocktails at the Leela Kovalam Resort in Kovalam, India. Relaxing beverages can be hard to come by in India. However, there is no better place to enjoy one than during happy hour at this ultra...
Neyyar Dam, Trivandrum, Kerala 695572, India
"On December 12, 1999, I sit with the other yogis outside the temple before the rising of the sun. Our designated seats are divided according to the deity associated with our mantra. Mine was Vishnu, Preserver of the Universe. I wear my new white...
Sayyaji Rao Rd, Agrahara, Chamrajpura, Mysuru, Karnataka 570001, India
The Mysore Palace is an amazing piece of architecture. In fact it is India's second most famous tourist attraction after the Taj Mahal according to Wikipedia! The palace is a definitely a "must see" on any trip to South India. It is worth every...
Sayyaji Rao Rd, Devaraja Mohalla, Shivarampet, Mysuru, Karnataka 570001, India
The markets of India are amazing places! Indians will think you are crazy for wanting to go there as a sightseer because the markets are often hectic and crowded, but markets are something I seek out in every country and city I visit. There is not...
20-4-236, Motigalli, Khilwat, Hyderabad, Telangana 500002, India
I'm a sucker for sparkly lighting, and after I caught my breath, the Chowmahalla Palace took my chandelier envy to new heights. Completed in 1869 during the period of the Nizams, the complex is unique in its style and elegance. The Belgian crystal...
Char Kaman, Ghansi Bazaar, Hyderabad, Telangana 500002, India
Charminar, which literally translates to "four towers," is a really important Islamic monument for Hyderabad and an extremely popular tourist destination. At the top of the building, you're exposed to a panoramic view of the city with pedestrians,...
Paigah Tombs, Owaisi Nagar, Hasnabad, Santosh Nagar, Hyderabad, Telangana 500059
One of Hyderabad's lesser-known gems: the Paigah Tombs are intricate, ornate, and often deserted. Members of the noble Paigah class are buried here, and a visit is peaceful and haunting — and beautiful. A photographer's dream.
Payikad, Kanam P.O., Manimala, Kanam, Vazhoor, Kerala 686515, India
On the windy way up to the mountainous landscapes of Cardamom Hills, a stopover at Serenity at Kanam Estate is a must. This glorious redesigned 1920s bungalow is nestled deep in a belt of rubber plantations and fragrant spice gardens. Each of the...
No.2/6A, Calvathy Road, Fort Kochi, Kochi, Kerala 682001, India
For the most magical dining experience and authentic cuisine, visit Fort House Restaurant in Kochi, India! Hundreds of tea lights dangle from the tree limbs and light up the pathway ascending upon a beautiful waterfront. Depending on your...