About South India
Islamic architecture - South India
Bijapur the treasurehouse of south India is three and a half hours by bus or train from Sholapur to the south. Even with such a legacy Bijapur only has simple hotels like Hotel Mayura. From Bijapur to Gulbarga is four-and-a-half hours by road where Hotel Pariwar is not too bad. Hiring a rickshaw for the day is advisable in Gulbarga and Bijapur. Bidar is 3 hours away by bus. Hyderabad is a metropolitan city and hence has a range of hotels from luxury to budget. Go to Palampet and back by taxi (1 hour 20 minutes.) Here Hotel Kandhari is a good place to stay at. Hire an auto-rickshaw and visit the tombs nearby. It is a four-hour road journey, to Hyderabad. Take a rickshaw to Golconda.
Hyderabad to Warangal is 3 hours by bus or train. Stay at Hotel Chalukya near Kazipet station; visit Warangal and Hanumakonda by auto-rickshaw. Go to Palampet by taxi (1 hour, 20 minutes). Warangal to Vijayawada is 4 hours by train. Hotel Kaveri International is a good place to stay at. Transport here is not up to the mark so hire a taxi for four days.
Visit Undavali, Amaravati and Chezarla, but stay in Nagarjunasagar. Travel to Nagarjunakonda by boat, then visit Srisailam and stay at Nandyal. Hire a taxi for 4 days. After going through Satyavolu and Bhairavakonda stay in Allagudda. Ahobilam and back and then on to Tadpatri by taxi a total of 1100 km. Better take the train from Hyderabad to Kurnool (6 hours) and stay in Hotel Raja Vihar. Visit Alampur by taxi from here (40 minutes). Take a bus to Tadpatri and the train to Hospet via Guntakal.
Badami is three hours south of Bijapur by rail or road. Stay at Badami Court and take a taxi to Mahakuta, Pattadakal and Aihole, on a day’s trip. Then take the train to Gadag and stay in Hotel Durga Vihar. Visit Kukkanur, Ittagi, Lakkundi, and Dambal by taxi. It takes two-and-a-half hours to get from Gadag to Hospet. Here, try the Malligi Tourist Home. Hampi is half an hour away, but it is a vast place and it will take at least two days to cover it adequately. It is better to take an auto-rickshaw or bicycle and walk when you get to the riverbank. Instead of going from Gadag to Hospet you can go via Haveri, Ikkeri and Kuruvatti. Since a day’s trip is tedious, stay the night in Sagar or Harihar.
Go to Bangalore by train and take a vacation in this large and cool city. Seeing Nandi, Lepakshi and Penukonda at a stretch, may be a bit of a strain as it is a distance of 350 km, but an overnight journey by taxi is possible. Mysore is 3 hours by bus or train. Here, Metropole Hotel is recommended or alternatively there is the high budget Lalitha Mahal Palace Hotel. Srirangapatnam is 30 minutes from Mysore by bus or taxi.
Somnathpur is 1 hour by taxi. Hassan, the base for the Hoysala Temples is three hours away. Medium class, Hassan Ashok Hotel is good. Shravanabelgola is one-and-a-half hours by bus, while Kambadahalli is 30 minutes away. Belur and Halebid can be reached by bus, but covering Kaddavalli and Berawadi too, by taxi (110 km) is more enjoyable. Hassan to Mangalore by train is four hours. Buses are convenient and Hotel Moti Mahal is recommended, but there are many hotels here. Visit Mudabidri and Karkala. Sringeri is 2 hours away. Cover all these places in two trips. Mangalore to Batkal is three-and-half hours. Further down south, begins the tour of Kerala.
Since Kerala is a long state, sandwiched by the Arabian Sea in the west and the Western Ghats in the east, a tour of the state is a straight route. Calicut is five hours by train from Mangalore with Hotel Malabar Palace a good place to stay at. Thrissur is three hours away you can stay at the palatial Ramanilayam government guest house or at the medium budget Hotel Yatri Nivas. When visiting the Vadakkunathan Temple enter from the south gate, before noon. Take a taxi and visit Peruvanam. It is two hours to Cochin and Ernakulam by bus or train. Here, Hotel Presidency is recommended or Palace Hotel in Bolgatti islands, reservations for which can be made at the tourist reception centre in Ernakulam. Vaikom is one hour, away, Kaviyur is thirty minutes, Quilon by bus or train from Thiruvalla is two hours. Most Kerala temples are closed from 11 am. to 5 pm, so go as early as possible.
Take the bus from Thiruvalla to Alleppey, stay overnight and take the backwater trip to Quilon. Here, Alleppey Prince Hotel is good. In Quilon, you can stay at the tourist bungalow. Both are a short distance away from the city. Trivandrum is an hour and a half by train and has many good hotels like the Mascot Hotel near the Art Gallery. Kazakuttam can be visited by taxi. Padmanabhapuram is in Tamil Nadu, but can be visited from Trivandrum (45 minutes).
Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu is one of the four metropolitan cities in India. It has an International Airport. There are many flights from Bombay and Delhi. Start the trip from Mahabalipuram, which is 2 hours from Chennai. There are many seaside cottages, and the ruins can be visited on a bicycle. Tirukkalikundram is en route. Stay in Baboo Surya Hotel in Kanchipuram. Note that all the temples here are closed from 12 noon to 4:30 pm. Vellore is 2½ hours by bus. Stay in the River View Hotel. Thiruvannamalai is 2 hours south by bus. Hotels here are a problem but try Hotel Trishul. Take a taxi to Pondicherry and visit Gingee and Panamalai on the way. The total distance is 120 km. Stay at Hotel Mass in Pondicherry. Take an auto-rickshaw to Auroville, where there is a visitor\'s centre.
Pondicherry to Chidambaram is 2 hours by bus. Stay in the simple Hotel Tamil Nadu. Kumbakonam is 2 hours by bus or train, while Tanjore is 3 hours. Stay in Hotel Parisutham.Visit Gangaikondacholapuram from Kumbakonam by taxi,(1 hour). There are buses to Trichy and Kumbakonam from Thanjavur. Madurai is 3½ hours by bus from Trichy. There are three good hotels on the other side of the river and hence a little inconvenient. The simple Hotel Tamil Nadu is closer to the temples and hence convenient. Rameswaram is an overnight trip, which takes 4 hours by bus and 5½ hours by train. Madurai to Trivandrum is 7 hours. To visit Garudamalai go to Kovilpatti and take a taxi there and back (40 minutes).