A trip to India is never an ordinary expedition. Whether you’re visiting Mumbai for work or hitting the beaches of Goa with friends, there are so many places to explore, new dishes to try, and interesting people to meet. But India is a massive country and there’s even more to discover when you go off the beaten path. Indeed, this charming, unique country has a lot more to offer than the Taj Mahal (although that’s pretty magnificent too).
Come with us and explore Tiruchirappalli, Lucknow and Kochi, three Indian cities with long histories and diverse cultures. Then Scoot there yourself from KL, Ipoh, Langkawi, Penang, Kuching or Kuantan (from 2 February 2018) from a little as RM335.
Tiruchirappalli, or Trichy, is a historic city in the heart of Tamil Nadu, on the southern tip of India. Located about 322 km from Chennai, the city traces its roots back to the 3rd century BC. Slightly more recently, it played a key part in the fight for Indian independence from Britain through strikes and non-violent protests.
So what can intrepid travelers like yourself expect in Trichy? Discover traditional Tamil style architecture with the intricately designed Hindu temple Sri Ranganathaswamy. The colorful temple dedicated to Vishnu dates back over a thousand years. Walk amongst gopurams that have stood majestically for centuries. These monumental towers adorning the gatehouses of Hindu temples are carved in ornate designs. Hidden in the outer areas of this spacious temple are shops, restaurants, an art museum, a hall of 1,000-pillars, and one of Asia’s tallest temple towers, the Rajagopuram.
Make another stop at The Rock Fort Temple, an 83 meter-high temple with a 400-step climb to the top. Legend has it that this rock is even older than the Himalayas. Climb up to the Ucchi Pillayar Temple on top of the fort for epic views over the whole city.
When you’re ready to take a break from sightseeing, pop into a local restaurant for a hot-off-the-pan dosa served on a banana leaf. The most recognizable food of South India, the humble dosa, is a familiar sight here in KL, but you can’t beat the ones offered up on every street corner in Trichy. Act like a local and use your hands to tear the dosa and scoop curry and rice. When in Trichy!
Trichy is hot all year long (also familiar here in KL!) so feel free to embark on your trip any time of year. Sep-Nov is the rainy season, but if you ask us, there’s something romantic about the afternoon downpours and lush greenery.
Lucknow is another hidden gem of India, often overlooked by travelers. Located all the way in the north of the country, the sleepy capital of Uttar Pradesh is ready and waiting to be explored by anyone with an adventurous spirit.
Although time-worn, the grandiose buildings found around Lucknow are still impressive, harking back to a different era. Architecture and history buffs will find this city truly amazing.
Stroll through the British Raj–era ruins at the British Residency and be transported back to the 1800s. Don’t worry, you can escape right back to modernity! But first, take your time exploring this gigantic structure, built around 1780. Little has been done to the buildings since the fight for Indian independence – you can still see where cannon fire destroyed some walls.
Explore the labyrinth of Bara Imambara, an elaborate shrine complex built in 1784 by Shia Muslims. Enter through narrow pathways, walk through ancient rooms and find yourself at one of the many rooftop balconies. Getting lost never felt so peaceful.
This multicultural city has always been a center for art and culture in Northern India. Get a taste of local culture at the Picture Gallery, a charming little art museum housing life-sized portraits of historical figures in impressive traditional outfits. Don’t leave Lucknow without eating your fill of amazing Nawabi-style cuisine: spicy biryani, smokey kebabs, and fluffy naan bread.
Weather is warm all year long, but the temperature dips in winter time (Jan-Feb). This is also the time of the annual Lucknow Mahotsav festival, a celebration of arts and culture.
Tucked in the southwest coast, this major port city will make you forget for a split second that you’re in India. The “Queen of the Arabian Sea” has been the significant trade center for centuries. European, Arab, and Chinese merchants have been trading here since 1341. With such a melting pot of cultures, it’s no wonder that there are a diverse assortment of religious relics nestled among the colonial buildings.
Visit Cherai Beach, a 10 km stretch of fine sand and gentle waves. Never imagined hitting the beaches of India? Neither did we, until now! This beach is the most popular in the state, thanks to the beautiful combination of ocean, lagoons and backwaters all in one area. If you’re lucky you might even spot wild dolphins on the horizon.
Stop at scenic Fort Kochi and take pictures with the giant Chinese fishing nets hovering over the water. These big nets have been used for centuries, but lately they’ve become a bit of a tourist attraction. Stop at Kashi Art Cafe, a breezy gallery space just a couple blocks from the fishing nets. Grab yourself a masala chai and enjoy the view!
Traveling through Kochi is like taking a journey through the different eras of Indian history, from the Chinese fishing nets to the oldest Jewish synagogue in India, St. Francis Church, to Portuguese architecture, to British colonial buildings. But you’ll have to come and experience it for yourself!
Are you ready for an unforgettable trip to India? Scoot there from KL, Ipoh, Langkawi, Penang Kuching or Kuantan at unbeatable prices from RM335. Reserve your seats on the Best Low Cost Airline (Asia/Pacific), as rated by AirlineRating.com four years in a row. Book here.
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