India is a country with diverse background and has lot of things to offer in terms of tourism. From the mighty Himalayas in the North to the vast Indian Ocean in the South, From Sand Dunes of Thar Desert in the West to Mangrove Forests of Sundarbans in the East, it has many-many things in its kitty for a traveler. You visit any state and you will find the beauty of nature, arts and skills of local people, fusion of cultures, mouth-watering cuisines etc everywhere. and we have only one life to explore and experience this country 🙁 .
I traveled extensively in India from Jammu and Kashmir in the North to Karnataka in the South…from Rajasthan in the West to West Bengal in the East..visited many places, clicked a lot of pictures and experienced lot of cultural differences. But, there are still many places waiting to be explore, there are many pictures waiting to be clicked. I never been to North-East India or to the Southern Part of India.. so, a strong desire always remains inside to travel all those unexplored places.
During the college life, when I started backpacking, I explored places those are very popular like Mumbai, Jaipur, Pushkar, Amritsar, Dehradun, Sri Nagar, Gulmarg etc at very fast pace..but with the gain of continuous knowledge through the travels, that habit changed and I inclined towards the travel at slow pace and preferably to off-beaten places. Thus, in last 4 years, I covered destinations like Badami, Pattadakal, Sri Sailam, Ajanta, Ellora, Chittorgarh, Ranakpur, Lahul and Spiti, Valley of Flowers, Kalpa, Chitkul etc. Well, I also traveled to popular destinations like Shimla, Udaipur, Jaipur, Hyderabad besides visiting some places abroad.
Since, I work in Delhi and my job is transferable in nature, I have a different strategy for my travel. I wish to cover this country state by state, district by district or you can say inch by inch. I know today I am in Delhi and may be after 2-3 years I will be in the Southern or may be in the North-Eastern State. I wish to cover destinations closer to my job place and this way I wish to cover the entire country. That is why throughout the year, I generally travel to the destinations in the Northern State.
I almost travel every month or every second month, but the destinations remain in the North only. This is the main reason that despite of extensive travel, I never been to the states like Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Sikkim , Gujarat etc. I have a strong desire to visit the southern part of India, especially Kodaikanal, Ooty and Kanya Kumari in Tamil Nadu, Silent Valley, Munnar and Cochin in Kerala and Coorg in Karnataka. This post is an introduction of the major tourist sites in the southern part of India. I already visited some of the places listed in this post, but many are still in the waiting list.
Andhra Pradesh: The first state I ever visited in this part of the country… Andhra Pradesh is a fusion of North India and South India. It has a major IT hub of the country in Hyderabad, most visited temple of the country in Tirupati, mighty forts like Golkunda and iconic structures like Charminar in Hyderabad. Vishakapattanam on the eastern part is a major center of shipping industry and attracts lot of tourists because of its beautiful beaches and landscapes. Sri Sailam is a major pilgrimage center due to the temple of Mallikarjunaswamy , that counts among the twelve Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva and nearby Nallamala Forests is famous as one of the biggest tiger reserve in the country. Just because of the tourists inflow to the Tirumala Temple at Tirupati, this state is considered as the top tourist destinations of India.
Karnataka: Because of the world heritage sites scattered in the town of Hampi and Pattadakal Temple Complex, this is one of my favorite state of India. Karnataka is a mixture of ancient monuments, age-old temples, rock-caves, beautiful beaches, breathtaking waterfalls and lot of other amazing things. There are the ancient sites like Bijapur, Aihole and Badami, Grand Palaces like Mysore, One of the most beautiful garden in India, Vrindavan Garden, one of the most beautiful beach in India at Gokarna, One of the highest waterfall in Asia, Jog Falls, places full of natural beauty like Coorg and national parks like Bandipur, attracting tourists from all over the world. and with all these, the state is also famous for its IT and Electronics Industry and its capital city Bengaluru is considered as the Silicon Valley of India.
Goa: This smallest state of India is the most popular destination among the youths in India. Goa remained under the rule of Portugal for over 450 years and it portraits a very different picture from the rest of the country to a foreign traveler. Tourism in Goa mainly revolves around its beautiful beaches and water sports in the Arabian Sea. The unique combination of sun, sand and sea, makes these beaches as one of the most romantic destinations in India.
Tamil Nadu: The southernmost state of India, Tamil Nadu is famous for its heritage sites, amazing temples, picturesque hill stations, beautiful beaches, national parks and unique culture. Tourism in Tamil Nadu is mainly focused around the beautiful hill stations of Ooty and Kodaikanal in Nilgiri Mountains. Nilgiri Mountain Railways is a part of the Mountain Railways of India in UNESCO World Heritage List. Other World Heritage sites in the state are the Great Living Chola Temples near Tanjavur and the Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram. The state is a major pilgrimage centers with legendary temples situated in various cities like Madurai, Kanchipuram, Rameshwaram, Kanyakumari etc. Rameshwaram is also counts among the twelve Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva and a part of the Char Dham Yatra for a Hindu. I am yet to set my footprints in this state. 🙁
Kerala: God’s own country is truly a paradise on the earth. The beautiful beaches along the Arabian Sea coast, natural greenery in the Silent Valley and the chain of brackish lagoons popularly known as backwaters of Kerala…all make this state an awesome place to visit. Whenever I see a picture of Munnar, Kochi or Silent Valley, a strong desire jumps inside to visit this state. But plans are still making and breaking and I am yet to visit this paradise. 🙁
Puducherry: Almost made a plan to visit this small union territory of India in the beginning of 2009, but went to Hampi instead. Since then, never had a chance to visit this farmer French colony. My first introduction to Puducherry or Pondicherry came with the lesson on Shri Aurobindo in my text books during the schooldays. Shri Aurobindo Ghose spent his last years here in Puducherry and now Shri Aurobindo Ashram and Auroville (City of Dawn) is a major tourist center attracting worldwide visitors seeking spiritual salvation. Puducherry is often dubbed as the Europe of India and offers a unique mixture of different culture from India as well as from Europe.
This beautiful part of the country may remain away from me , but as my traveling life moves ahead, I hope to visit all these places one by one in coming days. Till then, I am happy with the visual delight by seeing the pictures of these places in the blogs of fellow bloggers. 🙂