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Southern India Overview
- 2013-01-01 - 2013-12-31
Travel to the cultural and scenic highlights of southern India
Lush and tropical, southern India is inspiring and delightful. Beneath the green shade of a coastal paradise, meet with locals in their fishing villages and tribal homes. Join them in the bazaars, on buses and boats or even on pilgrimage in Madurai. From iconic cultural sights like the Maharaja's Palace in Mysore to French-infused Pondicherry and the vast landscape of Periyar - southern India's spirituality, friendly people and wild animal sanctuaries make it a fascinating part of the country to explore.
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As a centre for the spice trade for centuries, cosmopolitan Kochi has an intriguing mix of cultural influences from both the Indian continent and overseas.
One of India's more famous hill stations, Ootacamund has spectacular views, a wonderful food market and a cool 'toy' train into the Nilgiri mountains.
Set against the mist-covered peaks of the enchanting Nilgiri Mountains, Mudumalai National Park is one of the best game sanctuaries in India to observe diverse wildlife in close proximity.
The peaceful city of Mysore has a score of lovely parks, grand buildings, well-regarded yoga centres and an incredible palace, the product of its Wodeyar Dynasty heritage.
Mamallapuram (also Mahabalipuram) is a town with ancient origins. It has nice beaches, good restaurants and the intricately carved Shore Temple, still standing from the 9th century.
A former French colony, Pondicherry (now Puducherry) has a distinct French feel while retaining its Indian roots, making it one of India's more surprising and delightful cities.
With incredible temple complexes and a recorded history going back to the 3rd century BC, Madurai has some wonderful buildings and heritage sites to discover.
Periyar is an area of Kerala famed for its spice plantations and wildlife sanctuary, which is home to tigers and elephants, among other creatures, and beautiful scenery.
Swaying palm trees, lush rice paddies, winding waterways, Ayurvedic massage and welcoming locals all await on this amazing Kerala Backwaters homestay.
Kochi is a fascinating city made up of a number of islands and peninsulas, and its numerous attractions are best seen by rickshaw or boat.
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