TAMIL NADU, INDIA

Wanderlust Travel Magazine (UK) - - Masterclass / Q&A -

BEST TIME TO VISIT: This trop­i­cal South­ern­most state sees lit­tle vari­a­tion in tem­per­a­ture through­out the year. The best time for sight­see­ing is from Novem­ber to March, af­ter mon­soon sea­son, when the tem­per­a­ture is con­sis­tently cool and ideal for all day ex­plor­ing.

WHERE TO GO: Tech­ni­cally it’s a union state sur­rounded by Tamil Nadu, but Puducherry’s in­trigu­ing blend of mus­tard colo­nial vil­las and bo­hemian bou­tiques has a truly unique vibe. The al­lure of its serene beauty and quirky eater­ies have earned this al­ter­na­tive coastal lo­ca­tion the nick­name ‘The Paris of the South’.

WHAT TO EAT: Tamil cui­sine is dis­tinctly lighter and spicier than its North In­dian cousin, with turmeric and ta­marind be­ing fun­da­men­tal flavours in many dishes. Crispy and de­li­cious pan­cake-like dosas are the quin­tes­sen­tial Tamil dish, but zingy le­mon rice topped with crunchy peanuts makes for a mouth­wa­ter­ing snack. Be sure to try a tra­di­tional ilai sap­padu, a veg­e­tar­ian feast which en­com­passes six tastes (sweet, sour, bit­ter, salty, pun­gent and as­trin­gent) and is served on a ba­nana leaf.

WHY NOT TRY: Surf­ing. You can def­i­nitely catch some waves in Ma­ha­balipu­ram. The sport’s pop­u­lar­ity has grown and a pri­vate les­son at a lo­cal surf school costs as lit­tle as £10. You can even hire a board for just £2.80, so it doesn’t mat­ter if you’re a pro or a to­tal wipe out.

Laura Bal­dock, Mar­ket­ing Executive and India ex­pert at Ex­o­dus Trav­els, on South-east India’s lit­tle-trav­elled state...

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