It's time to end your year with a bang. Amidst all the best things happening in the month, it's the holidays that are the most appealing. Far away from the frosty winter cold of Northern India and into the arms of the welcoming warm locations of Southern India, loosen your sweaters and jackets this December. Bask in the glorious sun or even better, take a swim in the sapphire colored Arabian Sea at the Lakshadweep Islands. Or maybe, a visit to the gorgeous temples of Madurai and the elegant ruins of Hampi beckon. Nonetheless, an adventure-filled December through Southern India awaits.
Madurai, Tamil Nadu
An ideal spot to visit during December, Madurai is recognised for its cultural, historical, and architectural significance. Named the "Athens of the East", the city is over 2000 years old and is home to the glamorous Meenakshi Temple. Easily the most popular temple, its extraordinary forms of sculptures depicting mythological stories that reverberate through Tamil homes. While the Meenakshi Temple is the prominent feature of the city, the Koodal Azhagar Temple and the St.Mary's Cathedral also deserve a visit. Remember to live it up in this Tamilian city by enjoying delicious Chettinad cuisines. To know more about the best places to eat and other sites to see, press here.
A UNESCO World Heritage site, the ruins in Hampi pertaining to the era of the Vijaynagar Kingdom captivate from travelers from all over the world. Its monolithic sculptures reflect the intricate Hindu style of architecture. The 15th century Virupaksha Temple is a prime example of such. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the temple rises upto 50 Meters in height and is one of the oldest places in the city. The Zenana Enclosure which encapsulates a terrific blend of Indo-Islamic form of architecture is loved for the spectacularly carved lotus flower on its ceiling. If you have had enough of temples, shop for some culture at the Hampi Bazaar. The ancient city is a thrill for architecture enthusiasts with its supreme locations. You can find out more about the ruined city here.
Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu
India's southern-most city, Kanyakumari was on everybody's lips when Shah Rukh Khan sang the catchy song, "Kashmir Main Tu Kanyakumari" in his movie Chennai Express. Known for its temples, churches, and museums, the Tamilian beauty is also known for its flamboyant beaches. Bask in the sun while capturing the sight of the Arabian Sea meeting the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean signalling the end of the Indian subcontinent. There are many things that Kanyakumari is known such as the Vivekanand Rock Memorial, but this city is much more than just that. Discover what else you can do in Kanyakumari here.
Nature lovers who are craving to see lush greens with the winter colds surging through North India, Alleppey is your place to visit. There is no better place to visit in December than Alleppey which is blooming with greenery. A dream of a destination, the luxury houseboat cruise has to top your list. Take a day on the boat and enjoy the luscious verdant trees as your boat passes through the serene waters. Even better, take a trip to Marari beach and take in the unforgettable sunset. Or maybe, you'd rather fancy a refreshing swim at Pozhiyoram Beach. Alleppey doesn't stop giving, check out what else you can indulge in here.
Known for its beautiful coral reefs, the islands of Lakshadweep are just a few kilometers away from the shores of India. A beautiful tropical destination, you can indulge in activities like kayaking, kite-surfing, snorkeling and wind-surfing. Snorkeling is a personal favorite as it gives you chance to observe the exotic marine life of the islands. The islands of the Lakshadweep are its highlights - Bangaram Island for instance is the perfect destination for honeymooners and adventure-seeking aficionados. The Kavaratti Island for another boasts of the beautiful Desalination Plant and the fascinating Marine museum. There are two ways to get to Lakshadweep, either by air or sea and both involve you getting to Kochi first. Find out more about how to get there and what else to explore here.
In love with French culture? Well, a trip to the lively location of Pondicherry is your go to place. Preserving the remnants of French heritage, Pondicherry is an inch-perfect amalgamation of India and France. It's museums and french-styled colonies are a delight to the eye. The Rock Beach, the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Ousteri Lake are some of the breathtaking destinations that this tranquil town has to offer. Auroville, a township in Pondicherry named after Sir Aurobindo, is a treasured location for those wanting to learn about India and its deeply ingrained connection with spirituality. Find out what you can and cannot miss out on in Pondicherry here.