The LiveJournal Guide to Southern India

So, I don’t think I’ve gotten around to mentioning that next month, kniedzw and I are skipping off to India — specifically, Bangalore. His company is sending him there for two weeks of work, so we’ve bought me a ticket and extended his trip an extra week and a half, and will be running around sightseeing for a while.

Our timing coincides very fortuitously with Diwali, so we’ll be hanging around Bangalore for the festival. After that and a bit of local sightseeing, though, we’re interested in spending roughly five days Somewhere Else. Ergo I throw this open to you, O Internets: if you know southern India at all, where do you recommend we go? Mumbai? Goa? We like places of historical interest, temples, that kind of thing, but we’re skipping the big-name things in the north like the Taj Mahal because we’d rather see a tiny fraction of one region than an even tinier fraction of the whole country.

This is the first trip to India for both of us, so any and all advice is appreciated.

0 Responses to “The LiveJournal Guide to Southern India”

  1. aliettedb

    Ooh, Southern India is lovely. I did a jaunt through Kerala, Karnataka and a bit of Tamil Nadu a few years back: here’s what we visited.

    Mumbai is a big Indian city but has a lot of nice stuff–very good Museum, some nice Victorian architecture, and an impressive temple to Shiva (the Elephanta caves, which are a short boat ride away).

    North of Mumbai are Ellora and Ajanta, two sets of Buddhist caves that are tremendous (I can’t remember precisely, but I think it’s 3 hours by train from Mumbai).

    Hampi is a wonderful city in the jungle with lots of old temples.

    Kochin is a nice place with some good historical stuff (it’s got the oldest synagogue in India). Just don’t go wandering at night; apparently it gets quite rough…

    When I went there five years ago, we did a boat trip in the Kerala Backwaters (, which is lovely. We went from Kollam to Alapuzzha (or vice versa): it’s an eight-hour boat ride, very relaxing and going through scenic areas.

    Mysore has a fun (if slightly tacky) palace that looks like a cross between Disney and a Maharajah’s palace. And you can go into the Nilgiri montains for more beautiful scenery (we went to Udagamandalam-Ooty, which is a holiday station, and went on a lovely and quaint train ride on the way back–can’t remember, but I think it goes south).

    (I haven’t been to the rest of Tamil Nadu; I’m told Mahabalipuram is awesome, lots of nice temples, and Pondichery is worth seeing, though very much colonial French)

    • aliettedb

      (it goes without saying, but if you have any questions feel free to email me, I’ll be glad to answer)

    • shveta_thakrar

      How exciting!

      My relatives live in Mumbai, so I’ve seen it from their point of view, meaning no sightseeing. But enjoy!

      I second the recommendation about Ajanta Ellora. Some amazing carvings there.

      One day, you’ll definitely have to see the Taj Mahal. Amazing. 🙂

      • Marie Brennan

        Re: How exciting!

        Yeah, I’m complete crap at telling people what to do in Dallas. I have no idea how to be a sightseer in that city.

        Given that my husband’s company has a permanent office in Bangalore, there are decent odds he’ll be sent back there at some point in the next few years, so yeah — we may make a second trip for the north, to see the Taj Mahal, etc.

    • Marie Brennan

      That’s very helpful, thanks. I may e-mail you with specific questions once we have a better idea of what we’re doing.

  2. squishymeister

    Don’t know nothin about no India…but I feel obliged to mention that Tony would probably appreciate you bringing him back an Indian.

    • Marie Brennan

      We’ve already failed to bring him back a Londoner, an Italian, a Greek, and a Turk, so I suspect he will have to live with disappointment yet again. 🙂

  3. kendokamel

    You should get in touch with . Not only is he a really cool guy (and amazing nature photographer), but he’s originally FROM Bangalore, and could probably give you some great advice as to what to see.

  4. Marie Brennan

    May do. I don’t know her personally, so I’d feel a bit odd questioning her randomly, but I’ll keep it in mind.

  5. Anonymous

    Thanks Petrov!!!!

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