Located in the Indian peninsula, Andhra Pradesh, the ‘Rice Bowl of India’, is also renowned for its colourful Banjara needlecraft, Bidri craft (silver inlay on metal), bronze idols, Budithi brassware, Pembarthi metal crafts, Durgi stone crafts, Kondapalli toys and Dharmavaram & Mangalagiri sarees. The region’s Kalamkari fabrics are famous for their vivid colours printed with vegetable dyes.
PLACES TO VISIT: Hyderabad (Charminar, Golconda Fort, Qutub Shahi Tombs, Taramati Baradari, Mecca Masjid, Salar Jung Museum, Legislative Assembly, Archaeological Museum, Nizam’s Silver Jubilee Museum, Falaknuma Palace, Chow Mohalla, Shilparamam, Osmansagar and Hussainsagar Lakes, Mahavir Harina Vanasthali National Park), Nagarjunasagar (Nagarjunasagar Dam, Nagarjunakonda, Buddhist Museum, Anupa, Ethipothala Waterfalls), Puttaparthy (Prasanthi Nilayam), Penukonda Fort (Anantpur), Lepakshi, Tirupati (Sri Venkateswara Temple in Tirumala, Padmavathy Temple, Kapilatheertham, Govindaraja Swamy Temple, Chandragiri Fort, Kanipakam, Kalyani Dam, Kailasanathakonda, Nagalapuram and several other temples), Visakhapatnam (Rushikonda, Bhemunipatnam and Ramakrishna Beaches, Dolphin’s Nose, Buddhist Sites, Borra Caves, Submarine Museum), Warangal (Thousand Pillars Temple, Warangal Fort, Ramappa Temple & Lake, Khush Mahal, Pakhal Wildlife Sanctuary and Lake etc.), Sri Kalahasti Srisailam
CAPITAL – Hyderabad | WEBSITE – http://www.aptourism.in
Karnataka or ‘Karu Nadu’, meaning elevated land, has antiquity that dates back to the Paleolithic era. Renowned for its art, music and literature, Karnataka has contributed significantly to both forms of Indian classical music, the Carnatic and Hindustani, and it has a rich historical heritage. Look for exquisite Mysore silk sarees, Sandalwood handicrafts (in State emporiums) and Rosewood handicrafts. Bengaluru is one of the most tech-savvy cities in the country and is positioned as the software centre of the world. The Dussera festival at Mysore is a major event.
PLACES TO VISIT: Bengaluru (Vidhan Soudha, Tipu’s Palace, Government Museum, Bangalore Palace, Lalbagh Botanical Garden, Indira Gandhi Musical Foundation, Cubbon Park, Bull Temple, Doda Ganesh Temple), Aihole (rock-cut temples), Badami (cave temples), Belur (Hoysala Temples), Bijapur (Gol Gumbaz, Ibrahim Rauza), Gulbarga (Chor Gumbaz, Fort, Juma Masjid, Dargah of Khwaja Banda Nawaz etc.), Hampi (King’s Palace, Lotus Mahal, Queen’s Bath etc.), Halebid & Somnathpur (Hoysala Temples), Mysore (Mysore Palace, Rail Museum, St. Philomena’s Church, Chamundi Hills, Srirangapattanam, Shivansamudra Falls, Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary, Brindavan Gardens, zoo), Pattadakal (monuments), Shravanabelagola (Gomateshwara). There are beautiful waterfalls at Jog, Gokak, Unchalli and Magod.
CAPITAL – Bengaluru | WEBSITE – http://www.karnatakatourism.org
Known as ‘God’s Own Country’, Kerala is situated on the lush and tropical Malabar Coast and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in India. Kerala is especially known for its ecotourism initiatives, spices and native performing arts like Koodiyattam, Kathakali, Kaliyattam, Thullal, Theyyam, Chavittunadakam, Mohiniyattam, Padayani and the famous martial art. The Thrissur Pooram and Boat races are major events.
PLACES TO VISIT: Thiruvananthapuram (Akkulam & Veli Tourist Villages, East Fort, Kovalam Beach, Koyikkal & Kuthiramalika Palaces, Natural History Museum, Padmanabha Swamy Temple, Padmanabhapuram Palace, Neyyar & Peppara Wildlife Sanctuaries), Alapuzha (Backwater Cruises, Chakkulathukavu Bhagavathy Temple, Chettikulangara Bhagavathy Temple, Krishnapuram Palace, Kuttanad, Edathua Church), Ernakulam (Chennamangalam Synagogue, Cherai Beach, Fort, Hill Palace Museum, Kaladi, Kodanad, Jew Town etc.), Idukki (Chinnar, Periyar & Idukki Wildlife Sanctuaries), Munnar, Eravikulam National Park, Kannur (St. Angelo Fort, Thalasseri Fort), Kasaragod (Bekal Fort, Chandragiri), Kollam (Shenduruny Wildlife Sanctuary, Police Museum, Thangasseri Fort), Kottayam, Kozhikode (Thusharagiri Falls, Peruvannamuzhi Dam), Palakkad (Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary, Malampuzha Dam), Sabrimala, Thrissur (Guruvayur, Peechi-Vazhani Wildlife Sanctuary), Wayanad (Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, Edakkal Caves)
CAPITAL – Thiruvananthapuram | WEBSITE – http://www.keralatourism.org
Enchanting Tamil Nadu – a land of innumerable and incomparable temples of Dravidian architecture, exotic hill stations, serene beaches, multi-religious pilgrimage sites. Look for its renowned arts and crafts such as Tanjore paintings, musical instruments, stone and embellished jewellery, brass and copper metalware, pottery, woodcraft and stone sculpture carvings. Major events and festivals include Pongal (harvest festival), Chithirai Festival, Karthigai Deepam, Chennai Music and Dance Festival, Chennai Sangamam etc.
PLACES TO VISIT : Chennai (Fort St. George, Marina Beach, Elliot Beach etc.), Chidambaram (Nataraja Temple, Ayappan Temple), Coimbatore (Siruvani Falls, Velliangiri Hills etc.), Cuddalore (Lignite Mines, Port Novo, Bhuvanagiri), Dharmapuri (Hogenakkal Falls), Erode (Kodiveri Dam), Kanchipuram (Kailasanathar Temple, Ekambareswarar Temple and several others), Kanyakumari (Southern-most tip of India), Kodaikanal (Lake, Bryant’s Park, and scenic beauty), Krishnagiri (Krishnagiri Dam), Madurai (Meenakshi Temple, Thirumalai Nayak Mahal etc.), Mamallapuram (Rock cut cave temples), Nagapattinam (Nagore, Velankanni Church, excavations at Poompuhar etc.), Namakkal (Kolli Hills), Pudukkottai, Rameswaram (Sri Ramanathaswamy Temple), Salem (Mettur Dam), Sivagangai, Thanjavur (Sri Brahadeeswarar Temple, Palace etc.), Theni, Thiruchirapalli (Rock Fort etc.), Tirunelveli, Thiruvannamalai (Ramana Ashram etc.), Thuthu Kudi, Udhagamandalam (Heritage Train, Ooty Lake), Velankanni (Shrine of Our Lady of Health), Vellore (Sripuram Golden Mahalaxmi Temple near Vellore, Fort, Museum etc.), Virudunagar, Yercaud (Killiyur Falls, Lake).
CAPITAL – Chennai | WEBSITE – http://www.tamilnadutourism.org
LAKSHADWEEP is a group of islands 200 to 300 km off the coast of Kerala in the Arabian Sea. It is known for adventure sports such as Scuba diving, pedal boating, Kayaking, Canoeing and Snorkeling.
PLACES TO VISIT Marine museum, Light House and many others.
CAPITAL – Kavaratti | WEBSITE – http://lakshadweeptourism.nic.in
PUDUCHERRY – Known as French Riviera of the East, it has some beautiful beaches and a spectacular coastline drive from Chennai.
PLACES TO VISIT: Auroville, Aurobindo Ashram, Arikamedu Archaeological excavation, Manakula Vinayagar Temple, Sri Gokilambal Thirukameswara Temple and many others.
WEBSITE – HTTP://TOURISM.PONDICHERRY.GOV.IN