South India

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Feb 2nd, 2009, 05:42 PM
  #1
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South India

We have been watching the PBS program - The Story of India and are so very much missing India.
We have visited the North (and love it) but after this terrific program the South is calling us. I've always thought I'd like to do the houseboat in Kerala but the temples of Thanjavurthe look right up our alley. Am I asking too much thinking we could do both? We can have 2 weeks in September.
Any thoughts and/or ideas are greatly appreciated! Thanks!
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Feb 3rd, 2009, 02:39 AM
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Is that the correct spelling - Thanjavurthe? Do you mean Thanjavur, sometimes called Tanjore? The temples there are wonderful, as you say!

I think two weeks could be fine with the first 5-6 days spent in Kochi and the backwaters; then I wouldn't restrict myself to Thanjavur, I'd want to visit Madurai and Trichy (Tiruchirappalli) as well. I did just that starting from Kochi and ending up in Chennai. Can't remember exactly how long it took but the distances aren't enormous - no journey is overnight for example - more like 5-6 hours and less for Thanjavur to Trichy. All doable by bus or train.

Cheers.
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Feb 3rd, 2009, 07:11 AM
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Thanks. I think I was so excited about going to India I quickly posted without checking spelling. You got it right.
Have you done the houseboat trip? It sounds so beautiful but to be honest I think I might get antsy. My husband is adamant and that's fine cuz I'm thrilled to be going but I want to know how many nights are best.
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Feb 3rd, 2009, 03:28 PM
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How many nights to spend on the houseboat depends on how bored you think you might get on a boat (although the scenery is pretty fascinating, and quite close), and how you are with hot nights - unless you get a houseboat with AC. I found two nights enough.

If you're going to finish in Chennai, maybe you can fit in Pondicherry I didn't, although I did see Mahabalipuram, but hope to go back and see it sometime.
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Feb 4th, 2009, 01:11 AM
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No, I didn't do the houseboat thing. I wanted to see the backwaters so I took a regular ferry from Alleppey to Kottayam. Takes 3-4 hours if I remember rightly and is an excellent opportunity to see life on and alongside the water, as well as getting you from A to B.

A houseboat would be fun but I don't know how much they move around and therefore how much you actually get to see.
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Feb 4th, 2009, 06:38 AM
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afterall - on my boat we moved round quite a bit. I booked it in the middle of a trip, so didn't do any planing aside from the reservation, but with forward planning I imagine they would go wherever you wanted.
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Feb 4th, 2009, 07:00 AM
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Thanks, to both of you! Do you know of any trip reports (could not find any) and/or fiction books that take place in South India?

Thanks, again!
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Feb 4th, 2009, 07:13 AM
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impacked - you're welcome. My India trip reports, including a couple on South India, are at www.wilhelmswords.com/asia2001 - end of the trip. I loved the south - you'll have a great time!
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Feb 4th, 2009, 09:16 AM
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I really enjoyed the South, as well; my trip report is here:
http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...7&tid=35147706 and there is a photo link included. I didn't do the houseboats (although I would have liked to very much!) but got the impression that, for most people, two nights would be sufficient. Have you checked out www.indiamike.com ? It's an absolute wealth of information.
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Feb 4th, 2009, 01:09 PM
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My family is from Mysore, South India and my father has been taking me around South India forever. There are millions of temples everywhere, so pick one with artistic value - otherwise you might get overwhelmed!!! Also, check the weather - September in some places is the end of monsoon season. Here are some ideas:

Mysore

Srirangapatna - this is outside Mysore and is a monument to Tipu Sultan, who fought the British

Kanyakumari ( a sacred place at the tip of India, between Kerala and Tamil Nadu)

Hampi (ruins of the Vijayanagar empire)(you can take a night train from Bangalore or Mysore)

Bandipur - wildlife reserve in Karnataka

Mahabalipuram

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Feb 6th, 2009, 03:53 PM
  #11
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I've been away for a few days and was so happy to read a few more responses. Thank you so much. I've just printed your travel logs (I'm so old fashion and enjoy reading on paper more than a computer.

Puttakka, are your suggestions because of possible bad weather or your favorites? Many Thanks.
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Feb 6th, 2009, 05:00 PM
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Those are my favorites regardless of the weather. I must admit, though, we usually go in January.
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Feb 13th, 2009, 02:10 AM
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A book? ... oh, you're in for a treat. I highly recommend "The God of Small Things" by Arundhati Roy.

Just wonderful!!
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Feb 15th, 2009, 04:33 AM
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Defi stay at the www.cghearth.com hotels - absolutely gorgeous. They also have houseboats.
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Feb 15th, 2009, 12:16 PM
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Thanks, for the book referral - I'm off to Amazon right now.

CGH properities look BEAUTIFUL - but maybe a little too upmarket for us.

Thank you!
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