If you live in a hot part of the country, Bangalore's good weather will immediately put you into a good mood. While the centre of the city has remained as it was during the British Raj, the area encircling it is on a constant boom with a vibrant student culture, popular pubs and a major electronic and industrial lifestyle. As a tourist, you can go see the Bangalore Castle. Modelled on the lines of the Windsor Castle, the one on Bangalore is a great example of the Tudor architectural style. It has beautiful gardens and the wooden carvings. The glass house at Lal Bagh and its botanical garden is a good place to relax while taking a walk. Cubbon park is one of the primary reasons why Bangalore was formerly nicknamed as the Garden City. The picturesque greenery in the middle of the city is stupefying. You can visit the Peninsular Gneiss to witness the oldest granite formations and also the look at the city from an elevated land. For a perfect end to the day, grab a beer at Toit or Peco’s. Follow it up with a grand meal at Koshy’s or Ebony, or the hundreds of other quirky restaurants in the city.
Located off the coast of Bay of Bengal is Tamil Nadu’s capital and India’s fourth largest city. Formerly known as Madras, the metropolis is the main transportation hub for southern India. Travel to Chennai for the unique exhibit of architecture from the British Raj, peaceful pilgrimage sites and a delectable South Indian cuisine. Tourists can start their day with a walk by the beautiful Marina Beach, teeming with fishermen and their boats, and makeshift bazaars fringing the shore. Among the other places to visit in Chennai, start with the characterful neighbourhood of Mylapore that houses the vibrant Kapaleeshwarar Temple. Then head to Rajaji Salai’s Fort in St George that once was home to the British East India Company. The Government Museum inside the imposing Pantheon complex of the colonial era is a popular attraction. The state museum is decked with bronze antiques dating back to the 7th century Pallava era. Surfing along the Covelong beach and walking through the bustling bazaars of George Town are a few of the most common things to do in Chennai. Also, don’t leave here without getting yourself an authentic South Indian thali from the illustrious Saravana Bhavan.
A fascinating blend of the Hindu and Muslim cultures, every frame of Hyderabad - the joint capital of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, pulsates with vivid heritage. The metropolitan section of the city comprises of the hilltop Golconda, the modern city of Secunderabad and the old city of Hyderabad which are separated by an artificial lake - Hussain Sagar. On the western end lies the Hi-Tech city or the cyber hub of the city. One of the main attractions of the old Hyderabad city are its frantic bazaars swarming with chai and spice traders. This is a major contributing factor to Hyderabad’s tourism. Among the other places to visit in the city, the iconic Charminar built in 1591 to commemorate Hyderabad’s founding, the opulent Chowmahalla palace and one of the world’s largest mosques - the Mecca Masjid are the most popular. The art enthusiasts could head to the Kalakriti and Birla art galleries. As one of the must-dos in the city, plan a day trip to the Ramoji Film City (Telangana’s film industry - Tollywood). Also, no trip to Hyderabad city will ever be complete without the delectable trifecta of Irani chai, Osmania biscuits and the quintessential biryani.
Hampi (Hampe) is a village and temple town recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, listed as the Group of Monuments at Hampi in northern Karnataka, India. It is situated within the ruins of the city of Vijayanagara, the former capital of the Vijayanagara Empire. Predating the city of Vijayanagara, Hampi continues to be an important religious centre, housing the Virupaksha Temple and several other monuments belonging to the old city. Hampi is situated on the banks of the Tungabhadra River. It is 353 km from Bangalore. The extant monuments of Vijayanagara or Hampi can be divided into Religious, Civil & Military buildings. The Jain temples on Hemakuta hill, the two Devi shrines and some other structures in the Virupaksha temple complex predate the Vijayanagara Empire. Hampi tourism has special importance for the Hanuman devotees, as mythical Kishkinda, the monkey kingdom was located here. You can see plenty of motifs and carvings of Hanuman all around the sites of which some are brilliantly colourful.
Known all over the country for the sacred Sri Venkateswara Temple, Tirupati is located in the Chittoor District of Andhra Pradesh. The temple is actually located in Tirumala along with a number of other temples, though Sri Venkateshwara Temple or Tirupati Balaji is the main attraction for visitors. Tirumala is always bustling with energy owing to the many tourists as well as the number of festivals celebrated here. Legend has it that one should visit Sri Varahaswami temple before visiting Sri Venkateswaraswami. Varahaswami owned the seven hills and agreed to give them to Sri Venkateswaraswami with the demand that he too should be worshipped. And for this, Sri Venkateswaraswami asked his pilgrims to visit the Sri Varahaswami temple before visiting him. For first timers there are a few things you should keep in mind including appropriate clothing, no alcohol and carrying extra locks for your rooms as well as vehicles. Before visiting the temple, you'll need darshan tickets, which are available at various TTD counters across the country. A beautiful place with immense spiritual energy, Tirupati is a must visit.
Tiruvannamalai in Tamil Nadu is considered to be one of the most holy cities in the state. The famous Annamalaiyar Temple located here is a Hindu temple dedicated to the deity Shiva. Lord Shiva is worshipped in the incarnations of the five natural elements and in Tiruvannamalai it is the element of fire known as Lord Arunachaleshwar. The temple is on the foothills of the Arunachal Hills and every full moon devotees come here to perform the sacred Girivalam ritual. The city also has a number of ashrams, mostly revolving around the deity worshipped in this temple. If you are looking for some peace and spiritual comfort, this small city is sure to surprise you.