South India is a charismatic melange of untouched beauty. Famed as the God’s own country, it shall catapult you to a mind-boggling heritage and traditions in a widespread expanse bordered by the Arabian Sea. Studded with flamboyant temples, sprawling coffee and spice plantations, pristine backwaters, drool-worthy coconut-laced cuisine, quaint hill stations, birthplace of martial-art grace (Kalaripayattu), India’s land end (Kanyakumari) and so much more, it’s a delectable cocktail for you to savor during your perfect vacation to India.
If you are a travel enthusiast and culture, history, traditions with natural beauty gets your adrenaline pumping, South India calls you to explore its richness at its best. The best time to visit here would be during the winter months as the weather is perfect for exploring its attractions best.
South India is a wonderland that has won many hearts around the world and if you haven’t explored it yet, it should be the next thing on your cards because it’s simply WOW! It’s time you plan a memorable visit to South India today.
If you are heads up for South India, we suggest that you check out our South India tours here and choose the perfect travel itinerary that matches your interest.
Kerala, one of the four South Indian States of India is dubbed as ‘God's Own Country' and not without a reason. It is a blessed and beautiful land, a tropical paradise. Because of proximity to the seas, it has ample backwaters, making it the Venice of the East. A cruise on a houseboat on these backwaters in lush green surroundings with cuisine developed especially for the guests by expert Chefs with boatmen's unique songs playing in the background, is an unparalleled and unforgettable experience.
South India is the hub of ancient Indian therapies of Ayurveda, massages and Yoga for rejuvenation of the mind and body. Yoga and massage therapies in the quiet, pollution free atmosphere are assured to take you to a realm of bliss.
Religion is interwoven in the very fabric of South India. This region abounds in impressive temples, which are no less than glorious stories in stone. The State of Tamil Nadu has the most magnificent temples that flaunt their stunning architectural brilliance. Some of these marvels are the 1005 years old gigantic Brihadeshwara temple, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the marvelous Meenakshi temple, which was one of the topmost nominees for the New Seven Wonders of the World, the great 7th century, the Kapaleeshwarar temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and his consort Parvati, where they are eternally feted by bronze statues of 63 saints, the 8th century Shore Temple on the Bay of Bengal, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and innumerable others. However, Pondicherry (better known as Pondicherry), a Union Territory of India located on the Bay of Bengal is a different league altogether. This small pocket was under French dominion for around 300 years and this pedestrian friendly and pollution free town still bears the stamp of French architecture and culture. It is on the way to become a UNESCO World Heritage City. However, holding its own eastern mystic charm with equal aplomb is the Aurobindo Ashram founded by Sri Aurobindo, the erstwhile philosopher, yogi, spiritual guru and freedom fighter of India. The Ashram is permeated by a strange serenity which truly fulfils its charter to be “a place of constant progress and a bridge between the past and the present”.
South India has its own share of beautiful hill stations, which abound in natural beauty. Located either on the Western G or the Nilgiri hills, these hill stations are a treat for mountain lovers with their lush green hills, picturesque coffee& spice plantations, crystal clear streams& waterfalls, and rich wildlife. Ooty and Kodaikanal in Tamil Nadu, Coorg in Karnataka, Wayanad, and Munnar in Kerala are epics of mountain beauty in the South. You will feel transported to a mesmerizing wonderland, from which you might feel reluctant to exit.
While you explore South India’s beauty, the party capital of India- Goa is also a popular attraction located close to the southern region. It is a popular getaway for seafood lovers and party animals. Stretched the South Western coastal State of India, it is famously known for Sun, Sand, Sea, and fun quotient. This State was ruled by the Portuguese for a long time and the effect of Western culture can be seen on all facets of life here. Goa is the hub of foreign tourists, mainly owing to its relaxed and happy way of life, its more than 50 beaches, and its happening nightlife. Beach parties and water sports like kayaking, wakeboarding, windsurfing, scuba diving, parasailing, speed boating, and snorkeling are some of the pleasures that you can indulge in, while in Goa.
South India is home to various harvest festivals and Pongal is one of them. It follows a ritual where pots of boiling rice are kept on wood fire until the rice overflows that is believed to be a sign of abundance, good luck and prosperity. Thus, this four-day long tradtional festival was named Pongal meaning ‘spilling over’. The four days of Pongal include Bogi, Surya Pongal, Mattu Pongal and Kaanum Pongal. Each day observes unique traditions, rituals and customs including worship of Sun God and feeding Pongal to cattle. Almost every home of Tamil Nadu participates in this festival to offer their thanksgiving to Mother Nature and cattle worship. So if you want to explore the popular traditions of South India, you can join in the next Pongal celebrations here.
Pongal Festival in Tamil Nadu: Jan 15, 2023 - Jan 18, 2023
This festival is symbolic of the onset of harvesting season and end of monsoon season. It is the most celebrated festival enjoyed by all the communities and is thus the national festival of Kerala. It spans for duration of ten days in which people of all ages celebrate in unison. Before Onam takes off again, you can get a hang of how to say Onashamsakal meaning ‘Happy Onam’. Also, the onam boat race is organized during this festival that showcases a thrilling competition between oarsmen rowing the traditional boats. The Kummati Kali dance and the tiger dance performances is yet another attraction you shouldn’t miss! This festival offers the real essence of Kerala’s traditions and culture and paints the state with the brightest colours one can imagine.
Onam Festival: Aug 28, 2023 - Aug 31, 2023
Hampi Festival is a three-day festival celebrated with great enthusiasm in the city of Hampi. It displays a boutique of music, dance performances, puppet shows, stunning fireworks in the ambiance of UNESCO World Heritage Site- the Hampi Group of temples. This heritage site is believed to host this festival since the rule of Vijaynagar empire for three centuries. This three-day festivity is a popular initiative by the Government of Karnataka to uplift the magnificence of this historical site. Its major attractions like the captivating Sound and Light Show, gorgeous Elephant march and interesting art and crafts shall keep your gripped through the festival. Dating back to the reign of Vijayanagara empire, this event serves as a platform for renowned artists from around the country to showcase their talent.
Hampi Festival in Karnataka: 27 to 29 January 2023
The Dasara festival around the country but it is celebrated in Mysore with a giant difference! It is only in Mysore that this festival spans for a 10-day period and is hosted at the most prominent places of this city. While this day observes locals dressed in vibrant attires, streets decorated with flowers and colourful decorations and a couple of stalls as you walk through. You shall be overwhelmed by the creatively decorated elephants, horses and camels walking altogether in the traditional procession. In the evening, it is an enchanting spectacle to witness as the royal Mysore Palace is illuminated with thousands of bulbs that shall keep you amazed through the night. These effigies are symbolic of the three demons of the Hindu epic Ramayana. Thus, it signifies the victory of good over evil.
Dasara in Mysore: Oct 24, 2023
The Indira Gandhi Boat Race Festival is all about watercraft racing competitions between sixteen specifically-designed boats that resemble a snake. Also known as a snake boat, it is capable to hold 100-125 oarsmen, 25 singers and four helmsmen at a time. This spectacular water sport festival is all about pulsating boat races hosted at the Cochin backwaters. The energy of the oarsmen shall give you goosebumps for which tourists from around the world attend this festival. Also, the locals leave no stone unturned to cheer up the sportive spirit of the oarsmen. This heart-pumping display of the physical agility of oarsmen in Kerala is commendable and worth a string of video captures. This is one of the most popular boat races in Kerala where the winners are rewarded with a trophy inspired by the late Prime Minister of India- Indira Gandhi.
Indira Gandhi Boat Race in Kerala: Aug 12th - 2023
The Pooram festival is absolutely a heroic show stopper celebrated in the God’s Own Country- Kerala. It is a resplendent manifestation where richly-decked elephants, gorgeous parasols, and percussion music to create a magical spectacle. In this festival, the kudamatoom ceremony is a keenly watched event by locals and tourists. Also, a mesmerizing performance of the traditional instruments called the ‘Ilanjithara Melam’ (called the world’s largest live musical orchestra) creates an environment of euphoria. Even till now, the exclusive sights of decorated elephants, sound of drumbreats and the cultural diversity keeps this festival’s spirits going high every year. This magnificent event has amazed locals and tourists since past three centuries and shall continue to delight everyone in the future as well.
Pooram Festival in Thrissur: 1st May, 2023