Kerala is famed for its warm and welcoming people and where the pace of life can be as languid as the backwaters, while South India is renowned for its Hindu art and architecture.
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The backwaters of Kerala
Kerala is rightly famous for its lush backwaters, enticing cuisine and languid pace of life but the forested hills and narrow waterways can also be enjoyed by those seeking some gentle activity.
Alternatively, for those seeking respite from the summer heat of Kerala, the southern states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, have long been a haven, which is in addition to their splendid art and architecture.
Bordered by the Indian Ocean and the spice growing Cardamon Hills to the east, Kerala is a beautiful and fertile paradise.
Between the hills and coast are the lush backwaters, a network of waterways providing a source of fish for food, water for farming and a communication route for villagers. The result is a tropical land inhabited by a warm, welcoming people who ensure that the weariest of travellers unwind and slip into the local rhythm and pace of life.
An altogether more boisterous area than neighbouring Kerala, Tamil Nadu retains many of its Hindu art and architecture: there are vivid depictions of the 300 million Hindu gods and goddesses in its temples and the religion here is all-pervasive. More recent colonial influences remain in Chennai and the tea-growing hill districts.
The modern city of Bangalore in Karnataka makes an ideal starting point for touring south India. Nearby, the city of Mysore was home to the legendary Muslim warrior king Tipu Sultan while the jungle of the Western Ghats provides excellent opportunities for viewing wildlife.
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