The Indian South is a land of myths, mysteries and magnificent structures. It is a colourful delight of nature and culture, from the beaches and backwaters of the Keralan coast, to the temples of Tamil Nadu and the sandalwood forests of Karnataka. But most of all, with its exquisite hotels and delicious cuisine, it is a perfect place for a truly relaxing holiday.
The East India Company established a trading post at Chennai (Madras) in the 17th century and from here began their southern journey. But they weren’t the first to arrive from the West; the Dutch, the French and the Portuguese – Vasco da Gama died in Cochin in 1524 – were already established in the region as the Malabar Coast became a fundamental stepping stone in the race to bring spices to Europe.
And it is perhaps Kerala – the land of the coconut (as the name denotes) – that draws the traveller most. This tropical paradise – so different from the frenetic mayhem of the north – has been certified by the National Geographic as one of the 50 must-see destinations in a lifetime. And for good reason. The serene beaches, lush vegetation, mellow mountains, spice-perfumed air, exquisite hotels and an amiable culture that embraces Hinduism, Christianity, Islam, Jainism and Judaism gives Kerala its unique identity. To drift along the backwaters in an old rice barge is one of life’s highlights you will never forget.
Whether you wish to sample the long and varied history of the old Cochin Port or the ancient and intricate temples at Hassan and Madurai; the spice gardens and fish markets of the Malabar Coast or the magnificent palace at Mysore; the tranquil palm fringed canals of the famous backwaters; the history of the Raj, Colonel Wellesley and Tippu Sultan or the fascinating Kathakali dance and Kabalyam martial art; and the breathtaking scenery of the hills and tea plantations of Ooty and Munnar or the wildlife forests at Periyar and Mudumalai, South India encompasses scenic beauty, exquisite architecture, excellent cuisine, diverse arts and crafts, and a dense and magical culture.
Wild Frontiers runs wonderfully balanced group itineraries to South India and tailor-made holidays throughout the year. Speak to our experts to find out the best South Indian experiences and accommodations for you.