South India is the area including the five southern Indian states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Telangana, as well as the three union territories of Andaman and Nicobar islands, Lakshadweep and Puducherry. South India is bounded by the Bay of Bengal in the east, the Arabian Sea in the west and the Indian Ocean in the south. The majority of the people in South India speak one of the four major Dravidian languages: Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, and Malayalam.
#1 Andhra Pradesh
- Andhra Pradesh is the 4th largest State of India. The Capital of the state was Hyderabad which is also the largest city. However, due to the announcement of recently formed Telangana State, Hyderabad will be a part and capital of Telangana.
- The native language “Telugu” is often associated with the Early Cholas.
- The State of Andhra Pradesh is well promoted by their tourism department and is well known for its rich natural resources, temples, and rivers.
- The state of Andhra also shares a part of the coastal areas of the Bay of Bengal. The rich cultural heritage, ancient architecture and historical importance have made Andhra Pradesh one of the the top tourist destinations in India.
- Originally known as the princely State of Mysore, Karnataka is located in the South-Western region of India.
- Close to the Arabian Sea and the Laccadive Sea, Karnataka is known for its beautiful yet unpopulated beaches and rich cultures.
- The land has also seen the region of the ancient Kingdoms of the south such as the Chola, Chera, Vijaynagar, Sathavahanas, Maurya, Hoysala and many more right upto the Mighty Tipu Sultan and subsequently the British.
- Kannada is the amin language spoken here and picking up a few local words can often be very helpful while travelling.
- The state is famous for its natural, cultural and architectural heritage and there are plenty of places one can visit on his/her trip to Karnataka.
- Kerala is situated on the tropical Malabar Coast of southwestern India, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country.
- Named as one of the ten paradises of the world by National Geographic Traveler, Kerala is famous especially for its ecotourism initiatives and beautiful backwaters.
- Eastern Kerala consists of land encroached upon by the Western Ghats; the region thus includes high mountains, gorges, and deep-cut valleys. The wildest lands are covered with dense forests, while other regions lie under tea and coffee plantations.
- It produces an immense number of spices, and has a large number of waterfalls and light houses.
#4 Tamil Nadu
- Tamil is the oldest living language in the world. Tamil was declared a classical language by UNESCO. Tamil is the only language that is also personified as a god. Tamil Nadu has a temple for ‘Tamil Thai’ (‘Thai’ means mother) located at Karaikudi.
- Tamil Nadu is also known for a wide variety of delicious food both for the vegetarians as well as the non-vegetarians. Traditional food of the State includes cripsy paper roast served with hot coconut chiteny and sambar, Uthappam with toppings, Paniyaram etc… Idly sambar is the most nutritious Indian breakfast.
- Tamil Nadu is known for its magnificient festivals celebrated in great joy with family. Pongal – festival of farmers, bulls, animals and worshipping the ultimate deity, the Sun. Tamil New Year, Karthigai Deepam, Vinayakar Chathruthi etc are the other festivals celebrated in the State.
- Tamil Nadu has a very rich history and several monuments from ancient time along with largest collection of heritage buildings in India. Some of the most famous historic buildings and national monuments of state also includes Vivekananda House,Madras War Cemetery, Kamarajar Mani Mantapa Monument,Freemasons Hall Chennai,Sittanavasal Cave,Kamaraj Memorial House and Thanjavur Palace.
- The state of Telangana is to be a newly christened state of India on the 2nd of June 2014.
- The region was a part of the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. It contains 10 districts, many of which are important towns of Andhra Pradesh including its very own capital, Hyderabad.
- The main language spoken is Telugu, and the word Telangana itself was meant to distinguish Telugu speaking region from the Marathawada region.
- The state is rich with historic and cultural heritage and the climate is hot n dry.
- The place has a majority of historic monuments and temples which were once a part of the State of Andhra Pradesh.
THREE UNION TERRITORIES
Andaman and Nicobar islands
Long fabled among travelers for its gorgeous beaches, underwater wonders and primeval location in the middle of nowhere, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands are still the ideal place to get away from it all. The archipelago has around 572 islands of which only 36 are open to tourists. The island population is an interesting mix of south Indian and Southeast Asian settlers, as well as Negrito ethnic groups on some islands whose arrival here still has anthropologists baffled.
- The name Andaman is presumed to be derived from Hanuman, who was known to the Malays as Handuman. The name Nicobar seems to be a corruption of the South Indian term ‘Nakkavaram’ (Land of the Naked) as indicated in the great Tanjore inscription of AD 1050.
- The most widely spoken language on the islands is Bengali followed by Hindi, Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam. Andaman Creole Hindi is also widely used as a trade language in the Andaman islands.
- Andaman and Nicobar Islands have India’s best nesting beaches for three species of marine turtles – Hawksbill, Green turtle and world’s largest sea turtle, the Leatherback (Dermocheleys Coriacea). The nesting population of Leatherback turtles in Nicobar is one of the few colonies that exceeds 1,000 individuals in the Indo-Pacific, and is hence of global importance.
- Commercial fishing has been banned around the Andaman Islands for more than 4 decades. It is believed that in these waters, fish now die of old age. The turquoise waters surrounding these emerald island teem with an abundance of dolphins, whales, dugongs, sea turtles, sailfish, sea anemones, and other marine life.
- Lakshadweep, in the Arabian Sea, is a part of the Indian subcontinent and is recognised as the smallest union territory of India. Lakshadweep means “hundred thousand islands” in Malayalam and Sanskrit.
- The whole of Lakshadweep is nothing but a set of small islands situated near each other. It comprises a total of twelve coral atolls, five banks, three coral reefs, and several islets. The location is near the Kerala coast and falls under the jurisdiction of Kerala state and Kerala High Court.
- The union territory was formed on November 1, 1956. The state animal is the butterfly fish, and the state bird is the sooty tern. The state tree is bread fruit. The languages spoken here are Malayalam, Hindi, Mahi and Tamil.
- It is a famous tourist destination and has many state of the art hotels. Tall green coconut palms offer spectacular beauty and turn this land into a tropical paradise. The calm waters of the lagoons are home for an exotic underwater marine life that amazes viewers with a play of colors and underwater antics.
Pondicherry are known for preserving the remnants of French heritage with Indian culture and offering a jolly good time to tourists. From its beaches to historical monuments and from its temples to churches, Pondicherry is an interesting tourist destination in India. The laid-back charm of Pondicherry is clearly visible when you visit the quaint French part of the town while tourists will also cherish the authentic Indian feel that the city brings through its culture and people.
- Auroville :- Coveted as the “City of Dawn”, Auroville Ashram is a futuristic township that is the brainchild of the Mother, the spiritual collaborator of Sri Aurobindo. Auroville aims to unite humans from all walks of life and from all parts of the world against barriers like caste, creed, status, and religion and to let them live in harmony with one another.
- Rock Beach :- The Rock beach with golden sands in one of the topmost photogenic places to visit in Pondicherry with friends and family. The beach is well-kept and spectacular that you can spend hours gazing at the beautiful sight of the undulating waves touching the rocky shores.
#1 A Nation Turned State!
India became independent in the year 1947. But till 1974, Sikkim was recognized as an independent nation. In 1975, the Prime Minister of Sikkim appealed to Indian Parliament to change the status of Sikkim so that it could become the State of India. Finally, on 16 May 1975, Sikkim officially became the 22nd State of India.
#2 Enjoy the Natural Spa!
The numerous natural hot springs of Sikkim acts as a natural spa. Some of the most famous natural hot springs are Yumthang Hot Spring, Yume Samdong hot spring, Taram hot spring, Reshi hot spring, Borong hot spring and Ralong hot spring.
#3 Green Lake
Green Lake is still an unexplored and unhindered destination in Sikkim. It serves as a base to the those willing to climb Mount Kanchenjunga and Zemu glacier.
Starting from Thangu village, the trek to Green lake passes through the magnificent Kanchenjunga National Park and also brings forth the scenery of the confluence of the Zemu Chu and Lachen Chu which are two very significant rivers of the region.
From Gangtok, if someone drive to Lachen via Mangan and then Thangu to start the trek that time keep your eyes open for wildlife, especially for the rarely found Red Panda in the region.
Embark on a journey to explore a lesser-known quaint village amidst the high mountains of Eastern Himalayas in South Sikkim. Ravangla is a village at an elevation of around 8000 feet above sea level with breathtaking landscapes painted by Kanchenjunga and its sister peaks of Kabru, Pandim, Siniolchu.
Rayong sunrise viewpoint, Temi Tea Garden, Relang hot spring and Ralang monasteries are few local attractions that can interest a traveler. The winding roads which take you to these places and Ravangla are very scenic too.
Perched atop a height of 10,000 feet, surrounded by rugged lower Himalayan mountains lies Zuluk, a small hamlet that redefines natural beauty. Situated close to to the Indo-Tibetan border is this picturesque village with a big troop of Military settled and guarding.
Zuluk serves as the base of places in the East Sikkim like Nathang Valley, Tsomgo lake, Kupup, etc., and used to be a former trade route between Tibet and Kalimpong via Jelep-la.
Located around 91 kilometers from Gangtok, visiting Zuluk needs permission. From herds of yaks to deer, wild dogs, Himalayan bears to exotic birds like Monal Pheasant Kalij Pheasant, Blood Pheasant, and Snow Pheasant, etc.; Zuluk wildlife sanctuary is a wildlife enthusiast’s delight.
#6 Teesta River
Teesta river is the main river of the state of Sikkim and divides its region from that of the state of West Bengal. Covering a total course of 309 km before meeting the mighty Brahmaputra, the river passes through the cities of Rangpo, Jalpaiguri and Kalimpong, where it has a high importance as the main source of living.
Originating from a high altitude lake in the North Sikkim and the Teesta Kangse Glacier at the height of 7068m, the river is also a great source of adventure as there are a number of locations where you can enjoy rafting in the river.
#7 Taste Of Sikkim Restaurant, Ravangla
Restaurants aren’t often considered as tourist attractions, but, when it comes to places to visit in Sikkim, the Taste Of Sikkim Restaurant surely is one. It’s one of the best places to be in the market area when you are hungry.
It might sound strange, but the Taste of Sikkim Restaurant becomes even more wonderful when there’s no electricity and you eat in the candlelit tables. The experience of the always-smiling staff serving you the best momos, soup, and noodles is really soothing. It also has an open door policy for local musicians.
#8 Let’s have a local kick!
Chaang is a fermented cereal based mild alcoholic beverage. It is the most famous drink of Sikkim and is consumed during social activities. The most interesting part of this drink is the way in which it is served. It is served in a long cylindrical vessel made of bamboo which is known as tongba. When consumed in its most potent form, this drink gives a mild kick to its drinker.
#9 Baba Harbhajan Singh temple
There are many temples which have been dedicated to various Gods and Goddesses. But rarely is any temple erected in honor of a human being. This honor has been preferred upon the Indian army soldier Major “Baba” Harbhajan Singh who is hailed as the “Hero of Nathula.” It is believed that his spirit protects all the soldiers who serve their country while serving at the inhospitable high altitude terrain of Eastern Himalayas.
#10 Rumtek Monastery
Rumtek Monastery is located in Rumtek which is 23 kilometers from Gangtok. The Rumtek Monastery is the seat of Gyalwa Karmapa which is the head of 900 – year old Karma Kagyu lineage. The most interesting art object in this monastery is the ‘Black Hat’ which is studded with rubies, golds, diamonds and other precious stones.