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.
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.
Home to UNESCO World Heritage-listed temples, dreamy sunsets and spiritually-uplifting energy, Mahabalipuram is perhaps one of the most visited places in Tamil Nadu. Locally known as Mamallapuram, this was once the capital of the Pallava Empire. From exciting water sports to classic statuettes, the place is a delight for voyagers. Feel the shore underneath your feet at the Mahabalipuram beach and indulge in some super fun beach activities such as wind surfing and sea diving. The temples here have a special feature in common, they are built in the form of chariots with open air sanctoriums. The Shore Temple, standing strong like a marvellous rock-cut stone and overlooking the sea is known as the last creation of the Pallava kings. Another wonder in Mahabalipuram is the Panch Rathas, the five monuments that were etched out of a single rock in the 7th century. Pack your travel bags to explore the incredible Indian history by discovering the ageless stories of temples and their incredible architecture. You can get a bus from Koyembedu in Chennai or Pondicherry.
Think serene springs, juicy mangoes and mouthwatering deserts and Vijayawada is the name that will come to mind. The name Vijayawada literally means 'the place of victory' and it has the biggest railway junction in the south. Vijayawada is also very important in religious terms. The Kanaka Durga Temple has magnificent architectural wealth and will leave you spellbound. Amravati, a town at a distance of about 33 kilometres from Vijayawada, is a growing tourist destination. It has a stupa that is perhaps bigger than the one at Sanchi. There are also some great examples of rock-cut architecture at the Undavalli Caves. A visit to Vijayawada is not only inspiring but also educating. It is famous for its heritage and grand history. Treat yourself to some good food and delicious sweets, and do not forget to buy at least four to five kilograms of juicy mangoes – an intrinsic part of the experience of Vijayawada.