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Karnataka And Tamil Nadu: The Hidden Gems In South India

16th October 2023 | 5 Views

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So, you want to travel to the land down under. Great choice indeed if anyone asks me. Winter is here and so its’s the preferable time to explore the beautiful states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Though, I think I will leap at any chance at any time to visit these absolutely gorgeous states. Even after countless visits and staying here for almost two months, I haven’t had my fill of these beautiful gems.

Bangalore

Bangalore

You begin your travel tale at the high-tech city of Bangalore, famous for its share of parks, royal palaces, shopping and the cool happening nightlife. Join in one of the city tours that will take you to numerous parks, museums, art galleries, royal residences and summer palaces.

Mysore

Mysore

Hoping you aren’t suffering from the hangover from last night, get ready for some of the most picturesque landscapes as you traverse the state of Karnataka. Our pit stop is the erstwhile capital, Mysore, located at the foothills of the Chamundi Hills. The opulent Mysore Palace, seat of the former ruling Wodeyar dynasty is a wonder to behold with a blend of Hindu, Islamic, Gothic and Rajput styles. Do take a guided tour of the palace. Explore every nook and cranny of the palace and listen to tales of royal times, feats and feasts, successions and battles from your guide. Make sure to watch the late evening light and music show. Hold your breath as time stands still and the entire palace glows amidst twinkling lights. Next morning, visit Brindavan gardens, one of the best terrace gardens in India with its illuminated fountains, botanical park and boating trips. 

Coorg

Coorg

A three-hour drive ahead, you will be surrounded by coffee plantations, thick rainforests, and trumpets of elephants. You have now entered into the pristine hill station of Karnataka, the quaint town of Coorg or Madikeri. Explore the Kodagu architecture and indulge in the rich local cuisine. Raja’s seat is undeniably one of the most popular spots here and offers unparalleled views of the valley below. Step inside the Madikeri fort, erstwhile stronghold of Tipu Sultana and now housing the city’s municipal headquarters. The ethereal Namdroling Monastery with three 60 feet gold-plated statues, of the Buddha of Long Life, Guru Rinpoche, and Lord Buddha Shakyamuni, calls with its promise of serenity. While the elephants at the Dubare Elephant Camp invite you to a joyful session of playing with them as they bathe by the river. A coffee plantation tour is a must-experience where you can smell freshly-plucked coffee beans, myriad spices, and vanilla pods.

Ooty

Ooty

Further ahead, the toy train chugs along the tracks and as you take in the scent of Eucalyptus trees, you know you have arrived in Udhagamandalam or the more popular Ooty. The cool breeze from Nilgiris as fog clings on their peaks and the lush foliage enthuse your senses. Enjoy a boat trip in Ooty lake or stroll through the famed rose gardens and botanical gardens or visit Pyakara falls. Miles of tea estates greet you as you roam around in the town. The tinsel town looks straight out of a colorful children’s book on a bright sunny day. No visit to Ooty is complete without visiting its neighbor, Coonoor with its own splendid charm. You can also choose to visit Ooty from Coimbatore, the nearest airport if you are not too keen on a road trip spanning six to seven hours from Coorg. 

Kodaikanal

Kodaikanal

To the south of Coimbatore at a distance of 250 km lies the hill station of Kodaikanal, known as the perfect monsoon destination in India, meaning “The Gift of the Forest”. Set amongst granite cliffs, woodland valleys, lakes, waterfalls, and verdant hills, the place is indeed a gift. The mist caresses your senses while you sip on a cup of piping hot tea on one of the small tea shops along the road. Coaker’s walk, Bear shola falls, Pillar Rocks, Dolphin’s Nose, and Guna caves are must-visit attractions. Get ready for some great photo shoots in the pine forests or cycle your way around the man-made, star-shaped Kodaikanal Lake.

Serenity, adventure, fun, and refuge. These places have it all and have always left me longing for more.

And I will be back again. Maybe, we will cross each other next time.

Kavita Farswan

@KavitaFarswan

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