This National Tourism Day 2022 on January 25, as per the theme "Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav." travel the best parts of our nation with your loved ones and reclaim your post-lockdown freedom in the pursuit of travel. Yet, you may ask "where to start my adventure?" And our answer to you is "Southern India!"
The scenic and unmatched charm of India, especially south India, increases a million times if it is toured during the most suitable time. Although south India is one beautiful quarter of India that can be visited year-round, the region adds more appeal to its beauty during the winter season. A lot happens in south India during winters! Moreover, the winter season signifies the beginning of the festive season.
We have put across two-week travel guide for you to experience the true flavour of south India. This brief fortnight guide offers a great balance of well-planned itinerary and suggestions to explore south India on your own.
From coffee plantations and serene Kerala backwaters to archaic temples and exploring the wild for tigers, have your camera handy as you endure the highlights of southern India. Choose any two-weeks during winters and spend a fortnight travelling across the best parts of south India to truly understand the title "Incredible India."
Commuting by railroad, bus, rickshaw, and houseboats will bring you closer to the locals and is an enthralling alternative to gain insight into the architectural marvels of Tamil Nadu and tranquil backwaters of Kerala.
No place in the world can be explored entirely in a day. However, a day or two is sufficient enough to embrace the culture and vibes of the visiting place. So, a fortnight is the right amount of time to discover and explore places.
A brief yet a useful plan is laid ahead for the travellers who want to cover much of south India in limited time this season. The complete circular tour will involve 42 of pure travelling, covering 1,700 km of landmass; exploring seven stunning destinations; to finish one epic journey. You can add or negate activities for your convenience. However, the idea is to complete the trip in 14 days. So, it is best to follow the path that is already taken.
Day 1-2 -Kochi
The Cochin International Aiport is in the heart of the city, and regular flights fly to Kochi from other major cities in India. So it is the best place to start your fortnight tour across south India. First and foremost, indulge in some delicious local cuisine for lunch, following which, you can explore Fort Kochi. In the evening, visit Kerala Kathakali Centre to enjoy a performance of Kathakali, a form of traditional dance from Kerala. These shows are conducted in the air-conditioned gallery Kerala Kathakali Centre every day from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm.
Spend another day to visit other tourist attractions - Jewish Synagogue, Willingdon Island, Marine Drive and Kalady, to name a few. However, ensure you catch a train the night to get to Kalpetta on the third day of your journey.
Day 3-4 - Kalpetta
Take a day train tailgated by an 8-hour scenic journey to reach Nilambur Road, in the Wayanad district. Kalpetta doesn't have a railway station. However, you can avail a bus from Nilambur Road to Kalpette, which is a 3-hour drive.
You can take a break for a couple of hours to shrug off tiredness. Following, you can hike the nature trails through the forested regions in Kalpetta on the third day. If that's not enticing enough, partake in a wildlife drive in search of elephants and bison on the fourth day. Provided you complete the safari, catch a local or tourist bus to Mysore in the evening.
Day 4-5 - Mysore
It is just a couple of hours drive from Kalpetta and is located about 125 km away. When you reach the outskirts, hire a bike or a car to settle in for the drive to the ancient city of Mysore. You will have ample time to explore the lively town of Mysore. The Mysore Palace, Chamundi Temple, Mysore zoo are a few must-visit attractions in Mysore. And ensure you catch the sight of the shining Mysore Palace at night. Mamallapuram is the next destination to conquer.
Day 6-7 - Mamallapuram aka Mahabalipuram
A 9-hour train journey to Chennai from Mysore will offer you enough time to relax. Once you are in Chennai, you can avail a short bus ride to Mamallapuram, also known as Mahabalipuram. Following you can visit the Shore Temple and other archaic monuments. Provided with ample free time, you can explore Mamallapuram in 2 days.
Day 8-9 - Puducherry aka Pondicherry
An hour's short trip from Mamallapuram will lead you to a serene beach paradise, Puducherry, more famously known as Pondicherry. Explore the city, indulge in the authentic cuisine and take a dive in the quiet beaches. Don't forget to visit the French colony.
There are many ashrams in Puducherry, and you can spend a night at the well-maintained ashrams for free of cost. Nevertheless, while you are at the ashram make some spare time to learn about Sri Aurobindo Ghose and Puducherry's history.
Madurai - It is located about 330 km away from Puducherry, and it takes about 6 hours to reach the heart of the city. Madurai is one of the oldest cities in the world and offers umpteen number of tourist attractions. So, hop on a cycle-rickshaw for a tour of the town and visit other tourist attractions along the way.
Indulge in the local cuisine, watch a Kollywood movie or strike a conversation with the locals to know more about the oldest city in India. The next destination is Thekkady.
Day 12 - Thekkady
You can avail the bus service to visit Thekkady. And it is about 140 km from Madurai. Spice plantations in the Cardamom Hills is a must-visit site in Thekkady. A guided tour of spice plantations will shine more light on the age-old history of this small quaint village. Besides, its natural wonders, Thekkady is also known for its authentic local cuisine. A day is sufficient enough to explore Thekkady. So, as the twilight arrives, set your journey to Alleppey.
Day 13-14 - Alleppey
There are frequent buses from Thekkady to Alleppey. A four-hour drive amid lush green rolling hills will surely make time fly by. Spend a day at the local homestay for better backwater experience. Sit back and re-live your memories by going through all the captured pictures along the journey. Pat yourself on the back for executing the travel plans and head back to Kochi to complete your successful travel journey in two-weeks.