There are many cities in South India. Below is a list of the nine most notable. Other cities are listed on their specific regional page.
- Bangalore - The Garden City, Pub City, Silicon Valley of India, Land of Silk, Gold, Sandal, Incense etc.
- Chennai (Madras) -The largest city of South India,The City of Temples, Home of famous Marina Beach, Automobile Capital of India
- Kochi (Cochin) - The Queen of the Arabian Sea
- Coimbatore - Manchester of South India
- Hyderabad - Pearl city of India, and part of Silicon Plateau with Bangalore
- Madurai - City famous for its Meenakshi Amman Temple. It was among the nominees for the new list of 7 wonders of the world for its architecture.
- Mysore - Twin city of Bangalore. Famous for the Royal Palace, Brindavan Gardens.
- Pondicherry - French Enclave in India. Commonly known as "Peaceful Pondicherry"
- Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum) - Padmanabhaswami temple. It is the capital of Kerala State.
The main language of Tamil Nadu is Tamil. In Chennai and all most tourist sites people fluently speak English.But some may not know. You may easily recognize who may know English. Beware of speaking in Hindi in Chennai, people at times find it offensive.
The main language of Andhra Pradesh is Telugu. Some sections of Hyderabadis speak a mixture of Hindi and Urdu. Here, due to the recent IT boom, English and Hindi are easily understood. Infact, you cannot find a Hyderabadi who cannot speak Hindi (ofcourse "Hyderabadi" Hindi).
The main language of Karnataka is Kannada. In most of Bangalore and most tourist sites, people will speak English - from a smattering of words to complete fluency. If you drift outside major areas, some people may speak no English, or be too uncertain of their English to speak with you.
However, Kannada is by no means the only language of the state. The district of Kodagu (Coorg) has its own language (Coorgi). Tulu and Konkani are spoken along the coast. Marathi and Tamil speakers are numerous along the borders with Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, respectively. If you would like to try a few words of Tamil, many appreciate your effort
- vanakkam("va-na-kkam") -means both hello and goodbye.
- thanneer("tha-neer") -means water
- enakku venum("enakku venum")-means "I need"
If you would like to try a few words of Kannada, many Kannadigas will appreciate the effort
- namaskaara ("num-uh-skah-ra") - means both hello and goodbye, just as namaste in the north.
- beku ("bay - koo") - means "I want" or "I need". An example of use would be "dosa beku" or "niru beku"
- beda ("bay - duh") - means "I don't want" or "I don't need". An example would be "niru beda".
- niru ("nee - roo") - water
South Indian food is quite different from that elsewhere in the country, being mostly rice-based. They also make greater use of pulses. The typical meal is sambhar (a watery curry) with rice, or avial (mixed vegetables) with rice. There are regional variations too — the coastal regions make greater use of coconut and fish. In the coast, it is common to use grated coconut in everything and use coconut oil for cooking, while someone from the interior could be surprised to learn that coconut oil, can in fact, be used for cooking. The South also has some great breakfast dishes like idli (a steamed cake of lentils and rice), dosa, a thin, crispy pancake often stuffed with spiced potatoes to make masala dosa, vada, a savoury Indian donut, and uttapam, fried idli with onions and other vegetables mixed in. All of these can be eaten with dahi, plain yogurt, and chutney, a condiment that can be made from practically anything. South Indian cuisine is predominantly vegetarian, though Chettinad, Andhra and Kerala cuisines use meat heavily and are a lot more spicier. Coffee tends to replace tea in the south.
This page was last edited at 15:53, on 11 January 2009 by Anonymous user(s) of Wikitravel. Based on work by Jani Patokallio, Peter Fitzgerald, Rajeev, Wandering, Mike Sharp, Ravikiran Rao, Ravi Putcha and Andrew Haggard, Wikitravel user(s) Episteme and WindHorse, Anonymous user(s) of Wikitravel and others.