From complexly carved temples to the most exotic seashores; from an assortment of languages to a spectacular gastronomical journey, the southern half of our country is magical more than anything else. For travelers the Deccan Plateau is also a hub of traditional Indian art, architecture and music is its soul in several aspects.
Check out the itinerary for a week-long trip to South India that is truly so much more than just destination-hopping.
Everything You Need To Know If You Are a First Timer to South India
Your first destination in this tour would be Bangalore. Almost all major Indian (and international) cities have regular flights in and out of Bangalore and the train connections are equally good. Just make sure you book your tickets in advance.
Start the day with a visit to the Bangalore Palace
Explore the impossibly beautiful interiors of the Bangalore Palace. The palace was constructed in 1862 and is presently owned by the royal family for Mysore. It surely makes for just the right spot to understand the roots and heritage of Karnataka.
Take a short drive to the Nandi Hills
The majestic Nandi hills are located just an hour’s drive away from the city of Bangalore and makes for an amazing day trip destination for the locals. The view of the mist-covered hills as you drive along the winding roads is a pure bliss for any visitor.
Experience the Bangalore night life at the best brewery of the city.
Going pub-hopping is absolutely imperative when in Bangalore. One of the best among the countless breweries in the city is Arbor Brewing Company India. It is located in the Allied Grande Plaza at Magrath Road, Ashok Nagar.
Next stop on the trail is the city of Gardens, Mysore
Mysore is a 3 hour drive from Bangalore and you should ideally book a cab from a reliable company. Regular trains and buses also connect the two cities and are cheaper options.
Take a stroll around the majestic Mysore Palace
When in Mysore, it is impossible to not visit the majestic Mysore Palace and allow its grandeur to overwhelm you. One of the most talked about places to visit in south India.
Transfer from Mysore to Bandipur
Take a short drive from Mysore to the Bandipur National Park located in Gundlupet taluq of Chamarajanagar district. The national park lies 75 km away from Mysore and you’ll find yourself at the heart of the wilderness after a short morning drive from the city.
Enjoy a jungle safari in the wilderness of Bandipur
This tiger reserve is located in almost an 874 sq. km land area with thriving flora and fauna. It’s an amazing escape for the wildlife enthusiasts who find themselves in the heart of the wild.
Travel to the queen of the hills, Ooty
Several state transport buses stop at the Forest Reception office at Bandipur. This 50 km route can be covered in less than 2 hours. Alternatively, you could hire a cab and drive up to Ooty.
Spend the evening at the beautiful Emerald Lake
Get a rest and prepare yourself to spend an evening at the Emerald Village in the Nilgiri District. Get your basket ready because the picturesque Emerald Lake serves as the perfect picnic spot.
End the lake tour of Ooty at Bhavani Lake
Private vehicles are not allowed beyond the check post to the Upper Bhavani Lake and the forest department buses can take visitors ahead to this rather offbeat spot in Ooty.
Reach the southernmost hill station of India at Koidaikanal
Koidaikanal is the last stop on this trail along the picturesque trail of destinations in south India. Spend a day travelling to this hill station in the southernmost state of India. Volvo bus services as well as state transport facilities are available to cover this 6 hour drive to Kodaikanal from Ooty.
Take a day trip to the nearby village of Vattakanal
Your last stop on this incredible trail around south India ends at the hippie village of Vattakanal. The village lies at the very end of the historical hippie trail in India. Trek to the dolphin nose point and find the calm at this spot away from the city.
Your journey ends at Kodaikanal. The nearest airport to Kodaikanal is Madurai. Regular buses are available from Kodaikanal to Madurai at all hours. Madurai also connects flights and trains to major cities across India for a comfortable journey back home.