Once the capital of Karnataka, the old-world charm of Mysore and its rich culture lures tourists. Mysore is at its best during the festive season of Dasara when the palace gets decked in lights, and the King’s procession, with bedecked elephants, ornate decoration and plenty of festivities takes place.
The Mysore Palace with its vast landscaped grounds, opulent decor – replete with colorful mirror-work, rosewood interiors and fine collection of artillery, is the best attraction in town.
When you’ve had your fill of gazing at the well-preserved marvels of the Palace, go on to visit other attractions like the swanky Brindavan Gardens, Somnathpur, the Jagan Mohan Palace, the Mysore Zoo and the Hill Temple of Chamundi.
A 3 hour drive on the scenic East Coast Road from Chennai will take you to Pondicherry, a Union Territory of India which was under French rule till as recently as 1954. The town still retains its French influence, making it irresistible to visit. While one half of the city basks in French splendour with delightful French bakeries and Boulevards, the other half is entirely South Indian. And this mix is precisely what gives Pondicherry its unique flavour.
Explore the Pondicherry Beach and walk around the French Quarters with its broad tree-lined avenues. You can also stroll across the canal to an entirely different world — the Indian part of Pondicherry.
Apart from the beach and the quaint French shops, Pondicherry is famous for its Ashram and the Manakula Vinayaka Temple. The Ashram and its recent development, Auroville, have worldwide followers because they are known for the peace and tranquillity.
Hop on a flight to Kochi from Chennai and travel by road or train for about an hour to reach the mesmerising town of Alappuzha.
With its majestic Vembanad Lake, scenic canals leading to lush rice fields, and serene beach, this romantic city has plenty to offer. Its intricate network of backwaters can only be traversed by canoes, giving Alappuzha the title the “Venice of the East”. Alappuzha greets its visitors with cooling climate, excellent coastal cuisine and a bounty of natural sights.
Book a houseboat to take you around the canals to the rice fields and find out how magic is created at the “rice bowl of India”. You should also experience the village life in Alappuzha in one of the many villages along the backwaters. There are also mock boat race performances where the villagers rehearse for the most important local event here: the snake boat race. Usually held in the festive season of Onam, the boat race is a colourful gala with painted boats, muscled rowers, cheering spectators and ample food options.
A drive from Kochi or Coimbatore Munnar, a hill station with vistas that inspire picture postcards and screen-savers. Definitely fitting for a romantic getaway, Munnar has plenty of luxurious resorts like the Spice Tree Munnar and the Tea County Resort that will take you to a different world.
The Attukad waterfalls, Mattupetti Dam, the Indo-Swiss farm, Top station, the Rajamalai National Park and the Kundala Lake are among the key attractions to visit here.
Visit the Tea Gardens of Munnar to know first-hand how tea is made from the tea leaves. If you’re looking for a romantic retreat from Chennai during summer, Munnar would be your best bet.
Kanyakumari, also known Cape Comorin, is at the very tip of India. It is here that the three seas — the Bay of Bengal, the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean — meet.
The nearest airport to Kanyakumari is in Thiruvananthapuram Kanyakumari is a 3-hour drive away. If you are not into super hot weather, you can visit Kanyakumari between September to February for a more cooling climate.
Kanyakumari is known for its gorgeous sunrise and sunset over the sea, but it has so much more than that. It is a home to fascinating sites such as the Vivekananda Rock Memorial, the recently built Thiruvalluvar Statue, the Padmanabhapuram Palace, and of course, the beach.
Stay at Sparsa Resort or the Gopinivas Grand to make the most of your holiday