Top 5 Experiences in Southern India

Posted by Crooked Compass

The southern states of India are a world away from the chaos and hustle and bustle of the larger cities to the north. It's as if time slows down here, life is relaxed and it is almost like things run to 'island time' despite the fact you are not on an island.

Here are some of the lesser known experiences in Southern India we think you should add to your list.

5. Experience the mystical sand dunes of Talakkad

Talakkad is the stuff that legends are made of. A historical site located in Chamarajanagar, Karnataka, near the banks of the Kaveri River, Talakkad once possessed the pride of thirty temples that now lie buried under sand. Of the temples that have been shrouded under dust with time, the five lingams of the Pathaleshwara, Maruleshwara, Arkeshwara, Vaidyanatheswara and Mallikarjuna temples are considered to represent the five faces of Shiva - the God of Annihilation in Hindu mythology. The Panchalinga Darshana Fair is held every 12 years in honour of these five Shiva temples. The fair was last held in 2009.

Talakad historical site
Talakad historical site

4. Explore Mathur

An idyllic village on the banks of the beautiful Tunga River, Mathur is one of the lesser-known beauties of Karnataka. As if that weren't enough, Mathur also has the distinction of its residents using the ancient Indian language of Sanskrit for their day-to-day communication! The Gamaka art, a form of singing and storytelling in Sanskrit exclusive to Karnataka, is still preserved and protected thanks to the living use of Sanskrit - the language that is often called the language of the Gods. The Someshwara Temple , Rama Mandira and Lakshmikeshava Temple are some of the must-sees to explore while you visit here.

Mathur Karnataka
Mathur Karnataka

3. Visit the Magnificent floating pillar of Lepakshi

An important archaeological site, Lepakshi is a famous temple dedicated to the Lord Veerabhadra - an incarnation of Lord Shiva. Famous for its breathtaking architecture and painting, Lepakshi is situated in the Ananthapur district of Andhra Pradesh. The highlights include frescoes of the Ramayana and the Mahabharata that are depicted on the ceilings of the temple. Rendered in the Lepakshi style, these paintings are unique to say the least. The carvings on the pillars are also bound to hold your attention, as will the incredible fact that a single pillar is believed to have been holding the weight of the entire temple on itself!

Lepakshi Temple
Lepakshi Temple

2. Visit Chembra Lake in Wayanad

A heart-shaped lake atop of a beautiful hill - how romantic can things get? To find out, head out to Chembra Peak, the highest peak in Wayanad, Kerala at 6900ft above sea level. Chembra is also part of the Wayanad Hill Rranges in the Western Ghats mountain range. To literally get high on love, Chembra Lake is the place to experience!

The heart shaped lake of Chembra Lake. Photo credit: Vikas Jain
The heart shaped waters of Chembra Lake. Photo credit: Vikas Jain

1. Ethipthala Falls in Andhra Pradesh

A 70 foot high river cascade, a gushing waterfall that is a combination of three rivulets. The word 'Etithapothal' is a combination of two Sanskrit words - ethi or yethi which means monks and thapothal meaning penance. A scenic experience that is quite unparalleled, the place also boasts a crocodile breeding centre in the lagoon formed by the falls. The Ranganatha and Dattatreya Temples that are in the vicinity are definitely worth a visit.

Ethipothala Falls
Ethipothala Falls. Photo credit: Panoramio

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