South India is a known as a land of heritage and tradition, of majestic temples with towering gopurams, of beautiful beaches and swaying palm trees, of monsoon rains lashing the coast and green paddy fields rippling in the breeze. The four states that constitute South India are Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala. South India has several distinct geographic regions. A narrow coastal belt runs along both the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal Coast. Two mountain ranges, the Eastern and Western Ghats run along the Eastern and Western sides of the Indian Peninsula. Andhra Pradesh in the northern part of the peninsula is situated on the Deccan Plateau. The coastal belts have fine sandy beaches and there are many resorts that cater to tourists on tours of India, along the Kerala coast.
A state rich in varied cultures, Andhra Pradesh is a meeting of many different influences. Part of the mighty Vijayanagara Empire which ended in the mid 16th century A.D., Andhra Pradesh was then ruled by Muslim rulers who formed independent states. The largest of these was ruled by the Nizams of Hyderabad. Their Islamic architecture can be seen in the Charminar and the Golconda Fort in Hyderabad. Andhra Pradesh is also home to an important Buddhist site at Nagarjunasagar, which you'll see on your India travel itinerary.
Previously part of the Vijayanagar Empire, the beautiful temples of which can still be seen at Hampi, Karnataka is a mixture of cultures. The Islamic rulers of states such as Bidar, have left behind grand monuments such as the Gol Gumbaz. The palaces of the Maharajas of Mysore and the forts of Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan are proud historical monuments. The coffee growing district of Coorg is known for its scenic beauty and adventure tourism. Bangalore the capital of Karnataka, India is the center of India's software industry and is known for its moderate climate and beautiful gardens, which you'll enjoy seeing on your India tours.
In the South East of India, Tamil Nadu is a land with a rich cultural heritage. Many ruling dynasties including the Cholas, Pallavas, Cheras and Pandyas have ruled over Tamil Nadu. Their cultural legacy can be seen in the magnificent temples of Madurai, Kanchipuram, Mahabalipuram and Rameshwaram. Kanyakumari, the southernmost point of the Indian peninsula is also in Tamil Nadu. You can feel the waters of the Bay of Bengal, Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean wash over your feet as you stand on the beach in Kanyakumari, in Tamil Nadu, India, on India tours.
Situated in Southwest India, Kerala is described as "God's Own Country." Its beautiful beaches, serene backwaters, exotic hotels and beach resorts, age-old Ayurveda therapies, beautiful cities of Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum) and Kochi (Cochin), hill ranges in Munnar and Wynad and wildlife sanctuaries at Periyar and Silent Valley, make Kerala one of the "fifty places to visit in a lifetime" according to National Geographic Traveler. Tourists in India, are sure to be enchanted by the snake boat races, decorated elephants, and traditional Kathakali and Mohiniattam performances of God's Own Country - Kerala, India, on their India travels.