Goa or Kerala? Or Tamil Nadu?

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Dec 17th, 2009, 09:58 PM
  #1
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Goa or Kerala? Or Tamil Nadu?

I realise this is a vague topic, but I'm delighted that I'll have a few days to spend in one of the above places, after visiting Delhi and Udiapur in February. I have the feeling that you Fodor's India experts will be able to give me more personal feedback than the books and web sites I'm browsing.

I'm looking for a pretty, relatively peaceful, interesting and friendly place to finish the trip. I'm attracted to beaches and swimming, Hindu temples and historic Christian churches, heritage hotels, maybe a quieter way to meet people in a village or two, a taste of French or Portuguese colonial history and architecture, beauty, peace.

The pictures of Pondicherry and Old Goa look enticing. I can't decide.

Any and all input is welcome. Thanks!
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Dec 17th, 2009, 10:07 PM
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P.S. I'll be travelling with my daughter who speaks Hindi and has lived in India for some years. We'll be flying from Udiapur to (wherever I decide) then back to Delhi to catch a flight. Timelline is 4-6 days.
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Dec 17th, 2009, 11:33 PM
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I think you may want to ask your daughter her views, as she knows you best (in fact she is the only one who knows you at all) and she may also know all three places as well as others that may work for you.

That being said, I don’t think you would be disappointed with any of those areas. I think you would find Tamil Nadu to be less touristed than Goa, esp. in February which is high tourist season. It probably is also going to be less touristed than Kerala (and Kerala will also be less touristed than Goa). If you want Hindu temples, you are, IMO, going to be better off in Tamil Nadu than in Goa which is the most Christian of all the Indian states. Kerala has a good number of Christians too (you will of course find Hindu temples in Goa, but the really large ones are in Tamil Nadu, e.g. Madurai, although it would be possible to see Madurai as part of a trip to Kerala). Of course Kerala also has a tiny number of Jews left, which is interesting as well. The drive from Chennai down the coast to Pondicherry is really lovely, and then you can go inland to Madurai. (Or vice versa, as there is air service between Madurai and Chennai and you can connect from there to elsewhere in India, or perhaps get a flight toward the US from Chennai.) But of course a few days on a houseboat in the backwaters of Kerala is not to be sniffed at, and there are some lovely churches in that area too. Goa is more developed as a resort destination, but would offer a larger range of hotels and more restaurant choices and shopping, so that may be a consideration for you. Goa also has excellent food (but that is true of many regions, although Goan seafood is especially wonderful, IMO).

You might want to put the names in a hat and pick, as really, any of them would be interesting and would seem to offer what you are looking for.
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Dec 18th, 2009, 12:02 AM
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Excellent advice above all the way around. All good places...ask your daughter what she prefers.

Since good beaches is first on your list, i am assuming that that is most important to you. For that Goa has no equal, and you will also get your choice of excellent seafood in Goa. Plus Portuguese architecture and some churches.

You can add Madurai (Meenakshi temple)...fly from Goa to Madurai to save time. Or go to the Kerala backwaters...very scenic and interesting...do an overnight in a houseboat.
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Dec 18th, 2009, 10:47 AM
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Thank you both, this is helpful! (Daughter loves all three and my problem is I wish I could see all three.)
Am leaning towards Kerala. Thank you!
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Dec 18th, 2009, 12:50 PM
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I loved Kerala - a couple of nights on the backwaters, and then Christmas in Kochi, with services in an Anglican church and the Catholic cathedral, plus a visit to the synagogue. I stayed in the Malabar House hotel - definitely a splurge for me, but worth it. But if you really want beaches I suppose Goa would win, but do plan to spend time in Panaji as well as at the beach. (For my TRs on India, see wilhelmswords.com/asia2001 )
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Dec 18th, 2009, 09:13 PM
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Dec 19th, 2009, 10:02 AM
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Wow, Thursdaysd! Your web site is fascinating. Is there an entry about Kochi? I loved the "Christmas in Kolkata" page. What a great thing to do with your life!

Am leaning towards Kerala.
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Dec 19th, 2009, 10:15 AM
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Thanks Morning - Kochi is in the "Cruising in Kerala" page in the Asia2001 section.
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Dec 31st, 2009, 02:39 PM
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If you have the time, you can really have it all. Start in Chennai, you can visit Mahabalipuram and Pondicherry from there. Thanjavur, Madurai are other must visit places in Tamil nadu. Jallikattu (bull fight) is conducted in the Madurai region during Jan-Feb. Kerala is near Tamil nadu and can be reached by train/flight from Madurai. From Kerala there are trains/flight to Goa.
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Dec 31st, 2009, 03:03 PM
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Check this virtual tour of Tamil nadu places - http://www.tamilnadutourism.org/virtualtour/index.html
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