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7 Facts You Never Knew About Southern India

A boat on the water.

When you think of India, the creamy peaks of the Taj Mahal are probably conjured in your mind, but there’s much, much more to India than that. In fact, the South of India is totally different to the North and has many unique features and a more coastal (and chill) vibe.

Forget the chaos of Mumbai, this is what Southern India can offer you…

Southern India Is Home To 9 UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Out of 36 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India, Southern India gets to have a sweet brag about having nine of them. The most famous are the two temple sites at Tamil Nadu, the Chola temples and the Monuments at Mahabalipuram.

Monuments at Mahabalipuram

More Than 17 Breakfast Dishes Are Ethnic To The Area

If you’re a breakfast lover, Southern India is the place for you. Over 17 breakfast dishes originated here including dosa, idly, upma, uttapam and pongal. Phew! You might need to schedule in brunch to try them all.


dosa, a southern indian breakfast

The first known Southern Indian literature dates back to over two thousand years

The earliest literature of South India was an ancient Tamil script called Sangams, and thanks to many monuments and archives lasting through the ages, modern South Indian writers are able to pull on the ancient material and have won many translation awards because of it.

Sangams, an ancient tamil script

Southern India Boasts The Title Of ‘Richest Temple in the World’

Southern Indian temples are basically one giant MTV style ‘Welcome To My Crib’. Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala is valued at a whopping $22.3 billion and is known as the ‘Richest Temple in the World’.

Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala

India has has an exclusive elephants only spa

Sometimes even elephants need some R&R and at Punnathoor Cotta Elephant Yard Rejuvenation Centre in Kerala, the big grey beauties can get massages, baths and a feed. The sanctuary aims to promote responsible interactions with elephants while protecting them.

Elephant Yard Rejuvenation Centre in Kerala

75% of India’s Coconut Production Comes From The South

Next time you’re sipping on some coconut water, give a toast to Southern Indian. 3/4 of all coconuts come from the South compared to only Maharashtra, West Bengal and Odisha producing coconuts in the North.

coconuts in india

Southern India Has The Most Ayurveda Schools Anywhere In The World

The ancient practice of Ayurveda medicine began in India 3000 years ago and it’s still going strong to this day. Especially in the South where countless ashrams and schools teach and practice the mind and body healing techniques.


Meditating in India

BONUS FACT: Contiki Now Goes To Southern India!

We only launched our Northern India trip, Eternal India, in 2016, but we heard you guys say you wanted more so we delivered! Introducing Southern Spice, our new trip that will take you through the hot spots of South India. 11 days of relaxing bliss, stopping at Chennai, Pondicherry, Kumbakonam, Madurai, Periyar, Kerala Backwaters and Chochin.