States & Cities of South India holiday highlights

Karnataka
Bengaluru (Bangalore) is an eclectic mix of historic, hipster and high octane. The ‘Garden City’ is Karnataka’s capital and home to India’s flourishing tech industry, shopping, nightlife and pubs. Visit the 240-acre Botanical Garden and 19th-Century Palace modelled on Windsor Castle. Mysuru (Mysore) has regal roots – the ‘City of Palaces’ is the former capital of the Hindu Wodeyar dynasty which ruled the Kingdom of Mysore from 1399 to 1950, and home to a Royal Palace. Coorg, the ‘Coffee Cup of India’, is a rural district in the rolling Western Ghats. It’s famous for its hill station and silver-tinted waterfalls like Abbey Falls, plus wildlife including the Asian elephant. Between the Mysuru and Coorg districts you’ll find Nagarhole National Park, covering 248 square miles of forest, valleys, swamps and waterways. Head here for the chance to spot everything from tigers to elephants and Indian bison to sloth bears.

Tamil Nadu
The capital, Chennai overlooks the Bay of Bengal and is known as the ‘Gateway to South India’. Discover its blend of British colonial influence and Tamil culture – from the historic bastion, Fort St George to the city’s colourful Hindu temples. Madurai is nicknamed ‘the Athens of the east’ and is Tamil Nadu’s oldest city, dating back over 2500 years. It’s a popular pilgrimage site and home to Meenakshi, a high-rise temple clad with reams of statues. Puducherry (Pondicherry) was a French colonial settlement until 1954 and has distinctive European-style architecture.

When to visit
Summer (March to May) gets hot – we recommend visiting in winter (November to February). Monsoon season is June to September. Bengaluru and Mysuru have a moderate climate; year-round temperatures in Chennai, Madurai and Puducherry reach 29°C. Coorg is suitable for trekking in summer due to its elevation. Visit Nagarhole National Park in April and May for the best chance of spotting wildlife.

States & Cities of South India key facts

Time difference

GMT +5½ hours

Currency

Rupee

Flying time to destination

Accessible from Chennai and Bangalore airports which are both a 10-hour flight from the UK.

Language

Hindi, English and a number of other regional languages

Passport & visas

A visa is needed for travel to India. British passport holders are able to apply for an E-Visa. The E-Visa needs to be applied for online in advance of travel and travellers must possess a machine readable passport. Please call for more information.