Our 5 unique experiences in South India
We have visited many places in South India so far. However, some of these were one of a kind. If I were to recall the most unique experiences that we had so far, the 5 that would come to the top are what comprise this post. Each one of them was a unique experience that left a lasting impact on our memories. However, each one of these is unique in a different way. So, here goes our list of 5 unique places, that gave us memorable travel experiences in South India.
Auroville is an experimental township in Pondicherry. It is built on the unique concept of ultimate human peace and harmony. The concept of Auroville is to create a place where people of all nationalities can stay together in harmony. Not only is this township built on a self-sustaining model, it even provides employment to lots of people from nearby
villages. The township has schools, medical facilities, market, entertainment centers and anything else that we think indispensable for a modern life. However, one of the main attractions of Auroville is Matri mandir (literally meaning the temple of the mother). Matrimandir is a huge meditation center wherein one can go and meditate in an absolute calm environment.
The ancient world of Hampi, Karnataka
Hampi is a UNESCO world heritage town located near Hospet town in North Karnataka, South India. It is charismatic even in its ruined state, attracting thousands of visitors every year. It has a vast stretch of ancient ruins of the Vijayanagara empire from around 1500 AD. The ruins consist of ancient temples, palaces, ancient markets, street houses, royal platforms, pavilions and many others. There are more than 500 structures to admire.
The whole kingdom of Hampi is located on the backdrop of hills. Thungabhadra river runs amidst the kingdom. Sunsets in Hampi are one of the most beautiful sites to behold. The perfect backdrop of hills gives a perfect sunset view; bringing a perfect end to a memorable day. A walk along the coast of river Tungabhadra is another memory to hold close to the heart. When we went to Hampi, we stayed at Royal Orchid, which was an absolute delight. We had a 3 days trip to Hampi and we absolutely loved it. This place is one of a kind.
Coakers walk, Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu
Kodaikanal is a beautiful hill station in the state of Tamil Nadu in South India. Coaker’s walk is a walkway (path/pavement) along the edge of the Nilgiri hills in Kodaikanal. It is a 2km stretch of a narrow walkway where only pedestrians are admitted and no vehicles are allowed. This place is an absolute delight. As one walks down this pavement, the scenery that greets the eyes is marvelous. It gives a delightful panoramic view of the vast stretch of valleys of Nilgiris with the hills standing guard at the other end of the valley. There are benches put along the edge for people to sit and sink in the beautiful view of nature in front of their eyes. One can relax here and soak into the panorama. One can also spot street food vendors, small handicraft sellers and ice cream sellers with small outlets along the path. Buy an ice cream or a hot coffee and sit on one of the benches here. Let the clouds glide through your body while you see the valley slowly getting covered into a mist. Watch the mist clear after some time and the huge stretch of valley reemerge in front of your eyes!! There are numerous places to stay near Coakers walk, one of our favorite spots to stay when in Kodaikanal.
Backwaters of Alleppey, Kerala
Alleppey is a small town in the southern state of Kerala. It is best known for its backwaters. Backwaters are a unique formation of interconnected canals and lagoons of almost calm water, just before the sea. It is fondly called the ‘Venice of the East’ pertaining to the water bodies and the interconnected canals. There are more than 500 houseboats of different sizes that roam over these canals and provide tourists with a floating accommodation. One can book a houseboat for one or more nights and cruise through these backwaters, watching the calm water, the beautiful sunrise and sunsets, the paddy fields and the hotels and houses on the sides of the canals. Enjoying a fresh and authentic Kerala meal prepared right on the boat is another delight in itself. We had our breakfast, lunch and dinner on the open deck. Particularly dinner was an absolute delight, with a perfect romantic backdrop. The boat was slowly swinging in the water. We could see our own reflection and that of numerous twinkling small lights on the boat, right into the water; the atmosphere was calm and soothing – absolute delight!!! Kerala backwaters was definitely one of our unique experiences.
Veerbhadra Temple, Lepakshi, Andhra Pradesh
Veerbhadra temple is an ancient temple located in Andhra Pradesh, very near to Karnataka border. It is built in the Vijayanagara architectural style. The temple has intricate carvings and paintings all over. There are different interesting spots in the temple that have interesting legends and mythological stories associated with them. Do talk to the priest of the temple if you happen to go there. He is more than delighted to point you to the different interesting spots. You can spot an incomplete marriage hall where Shiva and Parvati were supposed to be married, a hanging pillar which doesn’t touch the grounds, a huge foot mark which is supposed to be of Deity Sita and many other interesting spots.
The fact that this place is an offbeat destination makes it even more interesting. When we happened to visit here on a Sunday morning, there were hardly any other fellow tourists around. There was no rush of any kind. We roamed around the whole place taking our time to admire the intricacies. We even sat in a couple of spots in between, soaking into the calmness, and offered our prayers at different mini temples and zones made inside the temple. It was like discovering a gem into our neighborhood!! This was definitely one of our unique experiences.
Did you enjoy reading our unique experiences? Do share with us your unique experiences in the comments below.
This is a guest post by Neha. She and her husband Abhishek are travel enthusiasts & travel bloggers by passion and software engineer by profession. Neha is the planner and the writer. Abhishek is the executor and the photographer. They plan their family trips at the beginning of each year, putting good use to all holidays and extended weekends available. Post the vacation, they share their experience through their travelogue Revolving Compass. When they are not able to travel physically, they travel virtually reading blogs of fellow travelers (and that happens daily!)
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