South India

South India is the area encompassing India's states of Andhra, Telengana, Karnataka, Tamilnadu, Kerala and the islands of Lakshwadeep and Andaman and Nicobar. Each state has its own language and its own cuisine, the people have distinct customs which again vary within the state. The basic culture of south is essentially Dravidian culture, quite different from North India's Indo - East European culture. Flying direct from north to south India, you understand why the country is often described as a ‘subcontinent’. In the south, the climate is more noticeably tropical; the light more intense; the greens that little bit greener; and the pace of life a notch less frenetic.

South India's Dravidian architecture is quite different from the rest of India. The most obvious, and often striking, feature is the gopuram perched on every temple entrance, a stepped, steeply rising pyramid carved with layer upon layer upon layer of fantastically detailed and brightly painted statues. Important historical temples include Mamallapuram(7-9th century) and Hampi(14-16th century),Jewish synagogue in Kochi, while the busiest active pilgrimage sites today are Tirupati,by some measures the entire world's busiest, and Madurai, which has been operating continually for over 2,500 years. South Indian food is quite different from that elsewhere in the country, being mostly rice-based. A South Indian specialty is the banana leaf meal.