Now, finally, the decision has been made for your long-awaited trip to India, but you can not decide between North and South India? Here we give you an overview of the advantages of each region.
India is overwhelming in its diversity. North and South is rich in cultural wonders, culinary delights and sublime natural beauties. In the north, the Himalayas tower into the spheres, while the south surrounds the Indian Ocean. Are you luring the royal Rajasthan, or the serenity of the backwaters of Kerala? Creamy Butter Chicken, or the fluffy Idli and Dosa ? Each experience is equally appealing, colorful and irresistible.
North or South India? The fun of the agony of choice
There is no limit to the variety of activities and sights in India. How can one decide between north India and south India? Our India travel guide is designed to help you find the right answers. Here you can learn more about the extraordinary culture, cuisine and nature in southern and northern India.
High North or Relaxed South: What are your preferences?
If you thought North India was not much more than the Golden Triangle of Delhi , Agra and Jaipur, then it was far from it! Rather, it is a veritable goldmine of cultural history, reaching far back into Hinduism and the Mughal Empire. This is the India they know from their dreams: mysterious fortresses, men with mustaches, painted elephants and big glasses of Lassi, the popular refreshment drink made from yoghurt.
Let’s start in Delhi – the capital of India, known for its rich cultural heritage and gastronomic specialties. Drive down the Yamuna Expressway to Agra for a tour of the Taj Mahal. This beautiful song of love is the final resting place of Mumtaz Mahal, the wife of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, who had it built in her memory.
Now off to Rajasthan , the Land of the Maharajas, where the spirit of folklore, romance and heroism still blows through the mighty fortresses. Stroll through the blue and pink cities of Jaipur and Jodhpur. Off the beaten track, head into rural Rajasthan, which tempts you with delicacies from Indian cuisine and magical nights in royal palaces.
Travel to Amritsar, Punjab, and enter the Golden Temple , a religious epicenter and architectural wonder. Experience spirituality at the ghats (riverbanks) of the holy Ganges in Varanasi, If you are in the mood for boisterous festivities, then during the Holi Festival in Vrindavan you will enter into a dazzling intoxication of millions of colors. Architecture lovers should not miss the sensual carvings in the Temples of Khajuraho – lust and passion are not a sin there!
India’s south is no less seductive and enchanted with gilded deities in sumptuous temples, with cultural monuments and Ayurvedic treatments. And yet there is a distinct identity that distinguishes the South in mind, language and regional cultures from the North. Here, the men wear the traditional lungi, or wrap skirts, while the women decorate themselves with sumptuous saris made of silk and flowers.
Mountains of flowers and flowers, long rows of Hindu pendants and grandiose architecture welcome visitors to Chennai and the temple city of Madurai . The rock-cut temples of Hampi , art and sculpture in Belur, and the lesser-known cave temples are considered centuries-old masterpieces.
In Kochi on the west coast, historic church buildings nestle against colonial splendor buildings, which now serve the visitors as neat boutique hotels. After gaining insights into the churches of Goa, and thus into the past, which is rooted in the roots of Portuguese rule, we show you Goa’s most beautiful beaches . On the east coast lies the former French enclave of Pondicherry , where the small town of Auroville was created according to the ideal of a community of equality and peace.
In the evening, enjoy an operatic Kathakali performance that is famous for the elaborate costumes and masks of the dancers. Enjoy Karnatic music as well as Kalaripayattu, one of the oldest martial arts in India, on your private South India tour . Crown your India vacation with a trip to Kanyakumari, the southern tip of India, over whose boundless ocean the sun bids farewell to the moon.
Forces of nature and exotic wildlife
The North of India, with its cold winters, hot summers and temperate monsoons, is a mecca for mountain lovers and adventurous people. From idyllic mountain stations and trekking in the highest heights of the Himalayas , to national parks teeming with exotic animals, to glorious glittering in the majestic mountains of Ladakh , to rafting in the white waters of Rishikesh – all this is provided by Northern India.
In the Ranthambore National Park, one of India’s most famous tiger reserves, follow in the footsteps of the Bengali King Tiger . If you do not believe in fairyland so far, why not take a trip to the Valley of Flowers, the Valley of Flowers in Uttarakhand – the sight could shake you to its very foundations!
The first thing you’ll notice on your tour of southern India is the humid, warm climate that looks more tropical than the north. South India is home to a fascinating wildlife. In addition to picturesque coastal beaches, there are the tranquil backwaters of Kerala , which you can explore by boat and witness the leisurely village life in the south of the country. In Alleppey, the luxurious houseboat tour is a must, taking you through the palm-fringed waterways of Kerala, also known as God’s Own Country : God’s Own Land.
Let yourself be pampered with Ayurvedic massages and treatments in the resorts along the coast of Kerala or in the hill stations surrounded by spice and tea plantations . Do not miss the excursion to the Nagarhole National Park , a paradise for elephants and tigers. Dive in front of Havelock Island in the Andaman Islands or dare bamboo rafting in Periyar.
Butter Chicken or Dosa?
Do you love the aromatic desserts enriched with ghee (clarified butter) as well as the rich, nutty sauces, which are typical of North Indian cuisine ? Or are you a fan of tropical flavor variations such as coconut, lime, chilli and pepper, as traditionally conjured up in the south? Anyway, we’ll make sure you can sample the tastiest dishes India has for you.
The North Indian cuisine is known for its creamy, slightly spicy sauce , served with a variety of breads such as paratha, Naan, Kulcha and Tandoori Roti. Dried fruits, nuts and dairy products such as milk, cream, clarified butter and yoghurt are often used for desserts as well as savory dishes. Rice is considered an occasional treat and is usually served in the form of Pulao or Biryani .
The basis of South Indian cuisine is rice, which is also cultivated in large parts of the region. It is cooked, steamed and served in many forms such as Idli , fermented rice cakes, and Dosa , the typical Indian pancake. The curries are often rich in chilies, tamarind, curry leaves, many spices and creamy coconut milk that tries to tame the fiery sharpness of chilies. The coconut is also used in all its facets in sweet and salty foods, whether dried, grated, chopped or pressed.
South Indian dishes are traditionally served on banana leaves and are celebrated over several courses. The coastal town of Karnataka is a paradise for seafood lovers, while Pondicherry’s cuisine is heavily influenced by French cuisine. Meat lovers is the famous Pandi curry from Coorg and the roast beef to heart as in Kerala is prepared. No matter if North or South, the Indian cuisine is full of surprises and arouses desire for more!
So let’s get back to the initial question: where do you experience your best India tour? In the north or in the south? Ultimately, this is a purely personal decision, depending on a variety of individual benefits and desires.
But let’s be honest: if you already start your trip to India with the understanding that in principle no trip to India can be long enough, then the decision will be easier for you – you will definitely want to come back to discover more!