"A passage to India" Top 5 Page for this destination India by MichaelFalk1969

India Travel Guide: 29,741 reviews and 83,934 photos

The story of my South India journey 12/08 - 2/09

As I write these lines down, I have just finished one of the best and most memorable journeys in my life. I went to South India from the 28th of December 2008 to the 20th of February 2009 and had the the chance to visit the states of Kerala, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu. I always had in mind to go to India sometime since I read the "Jungle Books" decades ago, but had only a vague conception on what it would be like then. As I found out, the slogan "Incredible India" is perfectly justified. There is probably not one country in the world that has as many surprises in store for an open-minded visitor like India. South India has amazing natural sceneries, historical and colonial heritage, buzzing temples, and some of the friendliest people in the world.

My account is based on the travel diary I kept, which turned out to be the most useful posession in my backpack. It is almost impossible to memorize all that happens, the interesting things you see, the people you meet, the memories that accumulate, if you don´t keep track on a day to day basis. You can find my South India story in the eight travelogues I have dedicated to the journey. I left them more or less unchanged since my return in order to give an authentic (even if sometimes superficial) picture.

I have long considered which picture to use as an intro pic, but this orange seller from the Mysore fruit market has won the competition. It captures best the beauty, colour and grace that so many scenes from everyday-life here posess. Of course, not all is well here: there is pollution, too much traffic, poverty, as we all know from the media, but believe me, this sure is not the whole picture. There is much, much more to India than that. If you are inclined to find out, please read my diary, which starts here: ...

The preparations are finished ...

"Namaste !!!

Though I have yet to set foot on Indian soil, I have decided to create a travelblog that shall serve as my travel diary when I`m in South India, from 28th of December 2008 to February 2009. The main preparations are finished, I`ve got the backpack, read the guide books, finished my packing list, got the rabies shots, worked out my itinerary, found some nice homestays for the first leg of my journey, even booked some trains on the internet in advance. Above all, I`ve got no specific expectations on how this trip will be like and I am open to surprises.

18th December
Only two working days left till the holiday starts. Today I got a complimentary fortune cookie for lunch, and the message on the hidden paperslip was: "You like travelling and contacts". A very good omen for my journey ! I am a firm believer in the wisdom of fortune cookies.

19th December
Last day at work before my India journey. Leaving my office at about 8 p.m., it was quite a strange feeling to know I will not return here for the next two months. Felt a bit like retirement, if only temporary.

Also, I reserved the last accomodation I needed for my trip and there`s nothing more to prepare than packing my backpack. That`s a good thing, because I noticed I already memorized whole passages from the Lonely Planet Guide Book. Time to get started.

20th December 2008
Need a haircut and decided that I will get one in India. Probably much cheaper than in Germany, he can't do worse than the last one, and my wife promised she will still love me regardless of the result.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:scenery, markets, nature, palaces, temples, hospitality ...
  • Cons:they have big spiders here (brr...), littering, pollution in the cities, traffic
  • In a nutshell:a world in one country ...
  • Last visit to India: Feb 2009
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (90)

Comments (17)

  • davidjo's Profile Photo
    Dec 13, 2013 at 9:46 PM

    Just went through your Indian tips and i missed so much in that area, but it is impossible to see all!!! I stayed in 15 different places between Goa and Kovalum and we only have 3 in common!!

  • davidjo's Profile Photo
    Dec 13, 2013 at 9:37 PM

    Spent 7 months in India and as you know you can see something new and amazing each day!!!

  • Rupanworld's Profile Photo
    Nov 27, 2011 at 6:24 PM

    Very nice tips and pages Michael...Thanks! will be back

  • hunterV's Profile Photo
    Apr 27, 2010 at 10:23 AM

    ~ Hello, Michael! Thanks for your interesting stories and advice... I wish I could travel there too.... It's a very attractive and spiritual place...

  • Dec 20, 2009 at 9:39 AM

    Do you think 2 days is a good idea at Vanilla county?

  • PALLINA's Profile Photo
    Nov 29, 2009 at 12:02 PM

    Great tips and stunning pictures. Excellent job!

  • angiebabe's Profile Photo
    Apr 28, 2009 at 1:59 AM

    Hi back to see a bit more - interesting&surely helpful travel tips when/if Im there one day!In yr price guide perhaps add yr exhange rate with euro/$US? Great photos too thanks.slowly making my new Africa/Burundi/Ethiopia pgs!

  • jumpingnorman's Profile Photo
    Apr 17, 2009 at 7:50 PM

    Wonderful pages on India!!! You are the man! My favorite pic is this picture of creatures coming out of the water...and also the intro pic -- we have the same kind of citrus in the Philippines....Congrats for organizing such great pages! Norman :)

  • SLLiew's Profile Photo
    Apr 12, 2009 at 11:04 PM

    Wow.. great photography and excellent detailed helpful information. Yes, I get confused when they turned their heads left-right when in agreement. Insightful tourist traps. Cheers, SL :)

  • ukirsari's Profile Photo
    Mar 20, 2009 at 8:02 AM

    wowww, cool. your pictures with khrisna butterball and elephant's trunks looks amazing :) a real worth trip!!

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