India’s far south is reputed to be the most ‘Indian’ part of the country. Though it shares the rest of the subcontinent’s most general cultural features, it has been the least touched by invaders from Central Asia, and neither Islam nor the great empires of the north have had a preponderant influence on the region, which produced its own powerful monarchs. This has resulted in over 2000 years of continuous cultural history, producing some of the oldest literary languages as well as distinctive music, dance, cuisine and, above all, sublime temples which have been spared the iconoclasm of the north. The influence of the British, French and Portuguese is conspicuous as is the south west coast’s Jewish heritage.
Temple towns and markets of Tamil Nadu
Hampi, one of the world’s greatest archaeological sites
Wildlife and Birding at Nagarhole and Bandipur national parks
Badami, Aihole & Pattadakal – the cradle of Indian temple architecture
Backwaters of Kerala
Goa – beaches, sleepy villages and Portuguese mansions
Pondicherry – France in India
Chettinad – magnificent mansions, peppery cuisine and antique markets
The Malabar coast
Coffee Plantations in Chikmaglur
Spice gardens in Thekkady
Western Ghats mountains – one of the world’s 34 Biodiversity Hotspots
Exceptional and diverse cuisine
The weather in South India is tropical. The average day time temperature in the peninsula is 33°C with little variation throughout the year, although the conditions from late December to late February are milder. The highlands of the Western Ghats are very pleasant and often much relief away from the plains. The monsoon predominates in all areas between June and August.
Best time to visit: October – April