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Hidden South India

11th February 2024

South India is a world away from the frenetic atmosphere of the North. In addition to the well known tourist hot spots – the Chinese fishing nets in Kochi, the Kerala backwaters, and the majestic temples of Madurai and Tanjure, there are many peaceful off the beaten track places to explore in South India. 

​​​​​​​Here we look at some of our favourites.

First up are the Chimmony & Ponmudi Wildlife Sanctuaries in Kerala: Soak yourself in the green embrace of these interconnected sanctuaries. Spot rare birds, trek through shola forests, and listen to the symphony of cicadas. Be on the lookout for elusive Nilgiri langurs and playful otters in this biodiversity hotspot.

Next is Pollachi in Tamil Nadu. This completely unspoiled town offers a glimpse into rural South India. Explore spice plantations, visit the Anamalai Tiger Reserve, and bury yourself in the vibrant local culture. Hike through the Anamalai Hills, witness the beauty of the Valparai tea estates, and savor the region’s unique cuisine. It’s a real delight.

Then Tharangambadi (Tranquebar) again in Tamil Nadu: you can step back in time at Tharangambadi, a charming Danish colonial town on the Coromandel Coast. Wander through pastel-coloured houses, explore the imposing Fort Dansborg, and soak in the unique blend of Danish and Indian heritage.

Now we move on to Nagarhole National Park in Karnataka. Here you  embark on a wildlife safari in this sprawling national park, home to majestic tigers, playful elephants, and diverse birdlife. Jeep through verdant forests, spot leopards basking on rocks, and witness the vibrant tapestry of nature unfold before you. A great place to relax.

Next is Thalassery in Kerala. Discover the “City of Seven Hills,” a haven for history buffs and foodies. Explore colonial-era buildings, indulge in the unique Thalassery cuisine with its distinct French influences, and wander along the scenic coastline, watching vibrant fishing boats dot the horizon.

Onto the Badami Caves & Pattadakal Temples in Karnataka: you can delve into the rich cultural heritage of Karnataka with these two UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Marvel at the intricate rock-cut Badami Caves, depicting Hindu and Jain deities, and explore the majestic Pattadakal temples, showcasing the evolution of early Chalukya architecture. A really interesting intriguing place.

Finally you must visit Munnar in Kerala: lose yourself in the rolling hills and verdant tea plantations of Munnar, a hill station renowned for its breathtaking beauty. Hike through mist-laden mountains, visit the Eravikulam National Park for a chance to spot the endangered Nilgiri Tahr, and enjoy a cup of freshly brewed tea amidst the cool mountain air!

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