India's southern territories offer visitors some of the most mind-blowing experiences, no matter what kind of expectation you might have from a holiday.
Hyderabad: Culinary Pursuits Par Excellence
An excellent place to start our journey is the historic city of Hyderabad, a legend for its many cultural diversions. After all, it was ruled by the Nizams, who were considered amongst the wealthiest rulers in India; they were also great culture buffs.
So let's talk about food, always a popular subject on holiday. Be adventurous because Hyderabad, a UNESCO creative city of gastronomy, has a unique culinary heritage that caters to all tastes— from delicious biryanis to yummy meat curries to exotic desserts. You can even explore this impressive line-up in its eat streets. And then you have the Andhra specialities. From the fiery curries to bland idlis, dosa and vadas —there's everything that an adventurous palate will love to explore. Visit a local family to get the full measure of an everyday Andhra meal.
Bangalore— City of Gardens Extraordinaire
This hi-tech IT hub still holds on to its old moorings in its laidback avatar as the City of Gardens. Despite its frenetic pace, the Silicon Valley of India has large botanical expanses where one can get to lose oneself in the world of Nature. At the heart of the city lies Lalbagh, once the pleasure garden of a sultan. The Mysore royals, who were great lovers of Nature, transformed it by a European horticulturist into a vast botanical park with a wealth of ancient trees and plants. The city's green heritage is beautifully supported by Cubbon Park, where you will discover more of the city's prized botanical splendour along with its colonial past—richly documented in its array of churches, bungalows and public buildings.
Chennai – Classical pursuits
The state of Tamil Nadu has long been the custodian of some of South India's most compelling cultural traditions. Visitors have an excellent opportunity to explore these in the state capital Chennai. One of the unique experiences you will take home is of the Hindustani classical dance form of Bharatnatyam. With the mentoring of a local expert, you will learn how to interpret the dancer's stylized eye, foot and hand movements. Be daring and let a choreographer lead you through some dance routines intrinsic to popular South Indian films. You will love it!
Mysore— Regal Repast
This once royal city still wears its regal past lightly. Travel across the Mysore with a knowledgeable local, and you will unearth many interesting things hidden in plain sight for the first-time visitor. An easy ramble takes you past places like Town Hall, the Clock Tower, and Statue Square, but the highpoint has to be the Mysore Palace, amongst India's most visited living places. Only part of the gorgeous palace is open for public viewing, which in itself is mind-blowing. The Wodeyar royals have been great patrons of the arts and crafts and festivities, all richly evident in the palace itself. One of the most thrilling events is the Dasara Festivities, which the palace started on a very lavish scale.
Having enjoyed a slice of South India which will undoubtedly have left you charmed, impressed, don't be surprised to find yourself hungry to discover more.