From the frozen summits of the Himalayas to the colorful tropical scenery of Kerala, India holds endless landscapes and lifestyles within its borders. Despite the country's’ multiplicity of ethnicities and local traditions, Indians are intrinsically characterized by their th great faith and a strong love for life.
Each corner of India resonates with different beats of the song of history, from the great Vedic Civilization to the British Raj and the pillars of modern India. Life in India seems adapt the changing of time, blending all its heritage with the convulse pulse of modernity. Chaotic, charming and contradictory, the country forms a very unique mixture of flavours and rhythms. A trip to India is a dive in the history of humanity. India is too broad and complex to be visited on a single trip. Focusing on one or two regions will help tourist to explore in depth the wonders of the area, making the trip a more meaningful and inspiring experience.
One of the routes not to miss goes along the most southern coastline of the country. With dramatic landscapes and iconic monuments, one will need around 20 days to cover this route totally.
1 Starting in Chennai, one of the sights not to miss is the old colonial Fort of Saint George. This military basis, built during the XVII century by the British East India Company, is one of the reminders of the presence of Britain in the country.
2 The next stop is Mamallapuram. Its magnificent set of temples, dating back to the VII century are one of India’s jewels.
3 Following our route we find the town of Puducherry, which shows the charm of the lingering France’s former colony. 4 Thanjavur, around two hours away, holds the incredible Brihadishwara temple, offering an incredible opportunity to explore the largest example of the XII century Tamil architecture. 5 The next stop is Tiruchirapalli. Enjoy the aesthetic pleasure of gazing from the summit of Trichy’s exuberant rock fort to the largest temple complex in India. 6 Heading south, we come across Madurai, a city heir of the oldest civilizations in the world. Besides its many prominent monuments, Madurai is a central spot to relax during your trip. 7 Periyar will bring you the opportunity to visit the Wildlife Sanctuary, one of the best places to see elephants in the wild. 8 Not far away we find the city of Alleppey, the main colonial trading port of India. 9 This route finishes at the vibrant Fort Cochin, situated in Kerala´s historic harbour. The town is filled with heritage hotels, artsy cafes and visitors, making Fort Cochin the ideal end point for a tour of India’s southern coast.
In order to travel to India you are required to possess a working passport, a valid visa and an onward or return ticket. An Indian visa can be obtained on arrival for some nationalities, but it is advisable to apply for a visa beforehand, in order to avoid bureaucratic issues. The basic tourist visa for India is valid for 30 days and has a cost of US$60. In order to apply for an Indian visa, you must upload a passport sized photograph and a copy of your passport valid for at least six months beyond your intended arrival in India. If you wish to stay longer than 30 days, you must contact your closest Indian embassy or consulate, as every country follows different visa regulations and procedures for long stay visas. Once you have applied, either for a short tourist permit or for a longer stay document, you can check the status of your Indian visa application on this official link.