India is a vast country with varied cultures across. South India has a unique culture of itself that can be experienced. It gives an insight into the lives of the people of that region. The states included in this region will be Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka. The various
aspects have been listed below
The food has a unique taste to it as it has coconut in it and is also cooked in coconut oil at times, there is extensive use of coconut milk too. But the food is generally to hot and spicy. Filter coffee of this region is very famous, the aroma is heavenly. Chettinad dishes are spicy, while malabari dishes are mainly non-vegetarian. You must try out the fish items. And do not forget to try out the rich and royal dishes from Nizam style cooking. Briyani and kebabs are a must try. A few snack items such as dosa, idli and bonda are anytime items. And chutney is a specialty you will long for even when you get back home.
The classical music of South India can be dated back to 15th century. It has been unaltered since then. The most commonly known form is called Kriti, it is a combination of melody (raga) and rhythm (tabla). There are leading schools of music in Chennai where Chennai Music Festival is held in the month of December
Bharatanatyam is the most popular dance form of the South India. The origin is believed to be in the Tanjore district of tamil Nadu. It was performed in the temples mostly in the yesteryears. There are many other forms of dance in south India too, they all colorful specific dresses and jewellery.
It is a dramatic presentation in the form of dance. This form is native to Kerala. They have big masks and faces are painted. The attire too has a unique style which makes it fluffy and colorful. Eyes are generally colored red. And the face is green or yellow. The eye movement of the dancer is a must to notice. The body moves are swift and soft, they need hours of regular practice. The body of the performers are very flexible by doing yoga and rigorous exercise. Cochin has a dedicated centre for learning this art form.
Kalaripayattu is a martial art form being practiced from the ancient times. It has got better with the passing times but the technique is unaltered. This is possibly the oldest martial art of the world. It is older that the Chinese art form too. it involves kicking, grappling and weapon usage too. There are special healing methods for the performers as they do get hurt even during the practice sessions.
There are special herbs and oils used in the ayurveda in India. It is basically a healing treatment being followed from 5000 years. There are many ayurveda centers in the state of Kerala. It is interesting to note that many tourists come here just for this special treatment. This helps not just your skin rejuvenate but your soul is refreshed and relaxed too. Tourism is flourishing around this sector. You too can take out some time to enjoy this activity when in South India. Another new attraction is the introduction of couple treatment for you to enjoy some relaxing moments with your loved ones.
There are many festivals unique to the culture of this part of India. A few of them are Onam, Pongal, Dassara etc. these are a celebration of good over evil. To take blessings from gods and goddesses. There are colorful attires worn by the people and special food is cooked for this occasion. You can see a typical decoration called rangoli on the entrance of houses and offices. Also there are large processions including decorated elephants and lights along with loud drum beats. The environment is magnificent in itself and you too can not resist but enjoy. Pulikali is a special occasion when men dress up and get painted as tigers and present a special dance form. You will not find this art form anywhere else in the world. The art form takes years of practice and finesse.
Read More - Top South India Festivals
The architecture of the temples is very different that other parts of India. This style is called the Dravidian style. The temples have towering high and statues of gods and goddesses are made on them. The colorful buildings are generally made on a hill top or a plateau to over look the surrounding area and can be seen from far. The temples are thronged by devotees all the year round. The statues in these temples are built or mostly covered with gold. The kings and queens used to be very spiritual and devoted a lot of time towards religion.
Silk sarees are very popular among the people of this area. They can be seen wearing colorful sarees even in daily life. While the traditional dress for men is dhoti. You can purchase pure silk sarees from big emporiums in the large cities offering great variety of them. Mysore silk, kanchivaram silk and many more forms are famous. But in the recent years pure cotton to has become common due to the extensive heat in the summers. You can buy something for yourself.
There has been known poetry dated back to 200 years. You can also get translated versions of most of the stories and poems. There is such much to be learnt from the dravidian culture and time. The kings and queens were very learned and used to encourage studies. You can notice that this part of India is the most literate and you too can enrich yourself and take back a few books from here.
There are many different languages that have been derived from the original dravidian format. Telugu. Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam are the mostly used languages in this region. They all have a different way of writing too.
Approx 80% population in these states is Hindus. Their main deity being lord Shiva or Lord Vishno. Religious activities are a very important activity in the life of a common man. They pray daily and visit regularly to the temples. Festivals are celebrated with a lot of enthusiasm and fervor.
Read More - About Top South India Temples
Art and craft
other than weaving fine silk sarees they are master of many fine arts. There is extensive use of wood and stones to create master pieces of art. The paintings of this area are unique and there is presentation of god and stories related to god in these paintings. Dolls and pottery are very pretty too. The bamboo work is not just economical but very nature friendly products can be found. This bamboo craft has boosted in the recent years due to awareness among people towards use of bio-degradable products.
Now that you have an idea regarding the culture of South India you must find time and visit the places to get a personal experience. It is a great feeling to be among the people of South India as they are helpful and polite. Also you will get enriched in the knowledge through the way of experience.