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India: Exploring the great north/south divide
On my way to India, I never really thought too much about there being a noticeable north/south divide in the Asian country. The UK is renowned for the distinct differences between the two areas, but I was surprised to find a similar situation in India.
Many tourists tend to head for the north, with Delhi and Agra perhaps the most renowned places among foreigners. Who can blame them? Here you have the bustling and utterly fascinating urban sprawl that is Delhi. A place that is full of noise and culture, where vans and lorries drive side-by-side with rickshaws and elephants. Of course, plenty of Britons also head to Agra to see the magnificent Taj Mahal - arguably one of the finest pieces of architecture anywhere in the world.
While I love the excitement and novelty of the north, I would urge all adventure holidaymakers not to forget about the beautiful south. It really is the polar opposite of the northern territory, but it is no less enthralling. Southern areas such as Tanjore and Madurai are perhaps geared towards the more relaxed tourists, who like to spend their days walking around tranquil wildlife parks or exploring the plethora of stunning temples.
For those who find Delhi too cramped and hectic, the lush palm-lined rivers, serene lakes and unspoilt coastline in the south could be the perfect retreat. For me, spending time in the old port of Cochin was undoubtedly a highlight. Watching the locals use traditional boats to do their daily fishing and walking around the rustic colonial buildings was every bit as good as spending a few days in Delhi - obviously for very different reasons.
India surprised me. I entered thinking that once I had seen one part, I had seen it all, but this was incredibly naïve. It is a massive country with a huge population. I always recognised the north/south divide that exists in the UK, but the juxtaposition between the two regions is far more striking in India. And both are equally brilliant in their own different way.
Other blogs for this trip
- Insider's view: An Indian Summer
- Family Adventure Holiday Experiences from Cathy, Mark and Tom
- Text messages home from India (Tiger Trails and Taj)
- Experience Rick Stein's India with The Adventure Company
- 5 tips for packing the perfect rucksack for an adventure
- My family trip to North India
- Tigers & the Taj Mahal by Honey - aged 10
- Africa isn't the only place that does safaris
- India blog - Tiger Trails and Taj Mahal
- Top Ten India Tips
- Q&A with a globe trotting teenage
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- Turkey is my ultimate activity holiday hotspot
- India's stunning architecture left me amazed
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- Our Sri Lankan elephant safari was awe-inspiring
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