Grand Tour Southern India
Bengaluru (also called Bangalore) is the capital of India’s southern Karnataka state. The center of India’s high-tech industry, the city is also known for its parks and nightlife. By Cubbon Park, Vidhana Soudha is a Neo-Dravidian legislative building. Former royal residences include 19th-century Bangalore Palace, modeled after England’s Windsor Castle, and Tipu Sultan’s Summer Palace, an 18th-century teak structure.
Hassan is a city and the district headquarters of Hassan district in the Indian state of Karnataka. The town is situated 935 m above sea level with weather similar to Bangalore. It is named after the Hasanamba temple.
Mysore (or Mysuru), a city in India’s southwestern Karnataka state, was the capital of the Kingdom of Mysore from 1399 to 1947. In its center is opulent Mysore Palace, seat of the former ruling Wodeyar dynasty. The palace blends Hindu, Islamic, Gothic and Rajput styles. Mysore is also home to the centuries-old Devaraja Market, filled with spices, silk and sandalwood.
Chennai is the largest city in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, and located on the south-eastern Coromandel Coast off the Bay of Bengal, this vibrant metropolis serves as a gateway to the culture of South India. The city is a major hub of cultural, commercial and education in South India. The city of Chennai has also been endowed with the rich heritage of art and culture. Carnatic Music and Bharatanatyam are two of the best and biggest cultural exports of Chennai or broadly, the Tamil culture. The annual cultural event of Madras Music Season, where respected artistes pour in from all over the city to perform, is a chance when you can soak in the absolute magic of rich musical heritage of South India. Besides, the city offers a kaleidoscopic view to the rich South Indian drama, architecture, sculpture, arts and crafts.
Mahabalipuram, is a town in Kancheepuram district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, 58 km south of the city of Chennai. It is an ancient historic town and was a bustling seaport during the time of Periplus (1st century CE) and Ptolemy (140 CE), from where ancient Indian traders sailed to countries of South East Asia.
Thanjavur, formerly Tanjore, is a city in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Thanjavur is an important center of South Indian religion, art, and architecture. Most of the Great Living Chola Temples, which are UNESCO World Heritage Monuments, are located in and around Thanjavur. The foremost among these, the Brihadeeswara Temple, is located in the centre of the city. Thanjavur is also home to Tanjore painting, a painting style unique to the region.
Madurai is an energetic, ancient city on the Vaigai River in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Its skyline is dominated by the 14 colorful gopurams (gateway towers) of Meenakshi Amman Temple. Covered in bright carvings of Hindu gods, the Dravidian-style temple is a major pilgrimage site. Millions attend the processions and ceremonies of April’s Chithirai Festival celebrating Meenakshi and Lord Vishnu.
Thekkady is located near to Kerala-Tamil Nadu border. The sanctuary is famous for its dense evergreen, semi-evergreen, moist deciduous forests and savanna grass lands. It is home to herds of elephants, sambar, tigers, gaur, lion-tailed macaques and Nilgiri langurs
Kumarakom is a village on Vembanad Lake in the backwaters of Kerala, southern India. It’s laced with canals, where houseboats ply the waters. Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is home to many species including cuckoos and Siberian storks. Nearby, the Bay Island Driftwood Museum displays wooden sculptures. In the lake, Pathiramanal Island is a haven for rare migratory birds. Ancient Thazhathangady Mosque is east of Kumarakom.
Cochin is a city in southwest India’s coastal Kerala state. It has been a port since 1341, when a flood carved out its harbor and opened it to Arab, Chinese and European merchants. Sites reflecting those influences include Fort Kochi, a settlement with tiled colonial bungalows and diverse houses of worship. Cantilevered Chinese fishing nets, typical of Kochi, have been in use for centuries.