India is a country that is not indifferent and can hardly be described in words, even in pictures. It is necessary for one to travel, live and feel in person to get the idea. It is a country that changes people. It is not a cliché, but it’s true.
If you really want to travel around India, you must have a certain predisposition to adventure for the reason that as you will imagine public transport is not very comfortable and well organized, but, yes, they reach almost everywhere. My only advice is to go as long as you can because the country is huge while the transport is slow and especially because the body and head need some time to adjust to India. In my case, I think I started to adapt to the country in the last 2-3 weeks of being there. I was there for 4 months and went from south to north traveling mainly by buses and trains. Here are some of the tourist places in South India I liked most in my little adventure in the world’s largest democracy.
Taste Tea Fresh in Munnar
Munnar is undoubtedly the most romantic mountainous area of southern India, where the smell of tea in the air permeates everything. The region is known for its large plantations, where we can see how tea is collected and processed, and you can taste fresh tea directly from the plantations. There is even a tea museum in the town. As if that were not enough, this breathtaking green landscape with its hills is caressed by blankets of fog and forests filled with exotic plants and wildlife.
Burn the Tongue with a Curry Fish
One of the pleasures of a trip to South India is the exquisite regional cuisine made from coconut, spices and rice and/or lentils. The food is often served in banana leaves and eaten with hands. The curries of fish or shellfish in coastal areas of South India have happen to be the best in the world. You must accompany the meal with a cup of aromatic coffee, typical of South India.
Delight with Human Spectacle
In South India, one is never alone. At any time of the day, it is always filled with people, providing extraordinarily rich, full of color scenes of life, making is a real paradise for photographers. Since it is so, you should know that the people of Southern India have a reputation for being very friendly to tourists. The predominant culture in southern India is Dravidian with many different religious beliefs to coexist peacefully.
You must know that there are fewer high-level hotels as compared to the North. There are good hotels in Chennai, Bangalore, Bombay and the Backwaters. Elsewhere there are reasonable hotels, sometimes quite good, but some places are often hard to find.
As an added attraction in some hotels, it should be noted that there are ayurvedic spas. There are those, especially in the region of Periyar and the Backwaters and consist of sessions that combine water and massage techniques inspired by the natural practices of yoga and Hindu tradition. They include, in addition to massage, herbal treatments, oils, baths, special meals and they have become very trendy among tourists.
Just as the international hotels are scarce in the South than in the North, international cuisine can also be less easy to find in this region. Usually the dishes served in South India are hot and spicy. On many occasions, you may be served with a plate of pasta or a pizza to get away from the rigors of spices. But it should be noted that if some food does not suit you of the local cuisine, it can sometimes be difficult to find a more accurate alternative to the Western palate.
For those accustomed to the Mediterranean diet, it should be noted that the wine is very expensive, even the national production. The beer, however, is good and available at a good price.
South India is a very safe region. The tourists can unwind in complete tranquility and stroll along its route without any problems. Of course, in agglomerations you may encounter a pickpocket. As a precautionary measure and as everywhere else it is advisable not to flaunt jewelry or valuables.
What to carry in your backpack?
You should have a minimum kit with anti-diarrheal, skin disinfectant, gauze, bandages and scissors and an ordinary painkiller. A sunscreen should also go along with a hat and sunglasses. You must have an insect repellent to the skin if you intend to make a walk through a natural area or places.
Socks may be useful for different reasons, especial to improve circulation during long airplane flights and alleviate discomfort to endure long journeys and sitting in the chair without moving. Normal socks can be worn on almost all temples where the faithful are forced to remove their shoes.
You can also keep a small binoculars when you visit a natural reserve as it will help to enjoy the show.
There are plenty of tourist places in South India, so take adequate time to spend your vacation in this wonderful region.