If you ask me how many times I have visited southern India, I would probably answer that I have lost the count. I spent four years there during my graduation and it was then that I fell in love with it. It was indeed
love at first sight and it has kept me interested like no other lover. We keep missing each other terribly and every time I go back it feels like re-uniting with an old lover. Things change here and there a bit but the smell of the place remains the same. The smell of filter-coffee, spices, sea and of pure love.
When Active Holiday asked me to choose a trip I couldn’t resist myself and chose the trip to Southern India. The reason is simple I want to keep going back to the South, whenever I get a chance. And this trip offers probably the best of southern India. There are many other reasons to go back, the most important being its difference from the North, It gives a freshness to my traveling soul every time I head towards south. What keeps me amused the most are the people, who are movie crazy fans and can talk about movies for hour and hours. I can still see people on the road wearing lungis instead of jeans and women wearing silk saris with flowers adorning their hair. It’s amazing to see how they have kept their culture alive in their day to day lives. I prefer to treat my taste buds to south Indian breakfast over any other global cuisine- the dosas, idlis, pongal or upma in combination with coconut chutney, Sambhar and the ‘Gunpowder’. Don’t even get me started on how much I love Chettinad Chicken and more. Being a Travel Photographer I appreciate the architectural grandeur of the temples, palaces and coastal regions of the South. I love the warmness of people and weather and when it gets too cold in North, it is always a good idea to travel to South to experience the luxury in Kerala Resorts or become the citizen of Auroville the Utopian township in Pondicherry and experience living with the minimal possession.
Southern India trip has something to offer to everyone. You may soak yourself in the the French culture in Pondicherry or can wake up in the luxurious house boats sailing in the backwaters in Kerala or relish a cup of tea in the tea-gardens of Ooty. You may enjoy the rich biodiversity in Periyar or Mudumalai National Park or choose to relive the ancient mythologies in the old temples of Madurai or feel ‘royal’ in Mysore. And if you are really missing the chilled winds in the hot summer, you may explore the quaint hill stations of Tamilnadu- Yercaud or Kodai, where you can easily survive as a budget traveler. If you are interested in culture, the best time to travel is during the festivals, the zeal of festivals here is contagious and always leaves me mesmerized – Snake boat race, Theyyyam, the bullock race and Pongal. The villages lit up to relive those folk tales of past and celebrate it with the present.
I think what my words couldn’t express; my photographs might and as they say a picture is worth a thousand words, portraying my love for the South through these pictures taken in the last few trips.
Oh how I wish to discover more and more of South India, the untouched scenery, the rustic stays, and the green paddy fields. I have written this post for Active Holiday , an International adventure tour company that specializes in guided and self-guided adventure holidays. It has something to offer to everyone so choose one for yourself that suits your itching feet.