Choose your superlative, it applies to South India…beautiful…tranquil…unforgettable…tasty, you name it and you’ll find it in South India. A world removed from the crowds and harassment of tourist areas in North India this is the perfect getaway or closure to a visit to India. Once you’ve seen the highlights of the North such as the Taj Mahal, Leh/Ladakh, and Rajasthan board an overnight train and wake up in the blissful south.
Mumbai is the New York City of India, it\'s full of dreamers, wannabe Bollywood stars, hard laborers and one of Asia\'s biggest slums. We were happy to find it wasn\'t a crazy frantic city like Delhi. Instead we found it pretty laid back, easy to navigate and it offered great food. LOCAVORista even took a shot at Bollywood fame!
The World Heritage sites of Ellora and Ajanta are amazing examples of Indian rock-cut architecture. The Ajanta Caves are all Buddhist while Ellora has Hindu and Jain caves as well. What separates these from other cave dwellings is that the temples are carved from single pieces of rock, work that took centuries in some cases. Both sites are worth a visit and can easily be accessed by nearby Jalgoan and Aurangabad.
Varkala is \"Easy India\" in a nutshell. It\'s is a great place to escape the honking horns, litter and harassment of Indian cities. Located along gorgeous beaches of the Arabian Sea, the North Cliff area is unforgettable, sitting high above the swelling sea. Every visitor will find themselves admiring the ocean view with a mojito in hand.
Hampi is a quiet little village on the banks of the Tungabhadra River. The main attraction are the ruins of one of India\'s largest Hindu empires dating back to the 16th century. However, even more impressive than the UNESCO World Heritage Site ruins is the boulder strewn landscape. The large rocks are offset by the green palm groves and huge banana plantations offering a different landscape than anywhere else in India.
Kochi is a major port city on the west coast of India in the state of Kerala. Beginning as a spice trading center in the 14th century, even today it is a wonderful place to enjoy seafood dinners, restock your spice cabinet, and relax. The mix of Portuguese and Dutch architecture, many of them restored into hotels, will delight.
Like Quebec to the rest of Canada, Pondicherry has a proud French history that separates it from the country it now resides in. As a port city on the Bay of Bengal, it has blended the best of the cultures that have passed through it\'s ports with delicious French foods, clean and orderly streets, and tropical colonial buildings reminiscent of Malaysia. Enjoying our first steaks in nearly six months followed by creme brulée was a highlight of our Indian adventure.
One of Goa\'s most spectacular crescent beach\'s is undeniably the sandy shoreline of Palolem. There are no clubs or raucous bars, instead you\'ll find a quiet getaway. The perfect place to hideout and rest away from the crazy crowds and busy streets of the rest of India. We visited in monsoon season, which didn\'t provide the best weather, but we could lay on the beach hassle free as vendors weren\'t yet out.