Experiencing South Indian Culture and Heritage
by Eguaogie Eghosa Jan 04, 2022 Views (1.5K)
This article is meant to bring you the rich experience and variety of South India Heritage and Culture. Unique and spectacular architecture that sings stories of the past, athletic and mesmerising Kathakali dancing, and the captivating cadences of Carnatic music. Here are the 10 most fascinating things about South India Culture and Heritage.

1. Architecture
South India is known for its amazing architecture, which you'll notice whether you're visiting one of the seven World Heritage Sites or strolling through towns and villages.

Ancient temples, huge towers, sculptures, and early cave temples carved from sandstone can be found wherever you go in South India, taking you on an intriguing journey through the past. They share stories of culture, legacy, and tradition, and demonstrate how people lived in the past, and they are steeped in history.

Admire the incredible craftsmanship on display, which changes in style as you travel around, influenced by various reigning dynasties over time.

It's a fantastic excuse to visit South India again and again, with over 30,000 old temples and numerous additional shrines and memorials.

2. Cuisine
South Indian cuisine varies by location, but it is generally composed of fresh fruits, vegetables, and spices, which produce brilliant colours and authentic flavours that are balanced by rice and lentils. If you're attending a formal occasion, don't be surprised if your meal is served on a plantain leaf instead of a plate!

You'll be able to try new flavours prepared from a variety of local ingredients, such as aromatic curries, delectable seafood, coconut, pickles, south Indian coffee, Pongal, rice, sambhar, spices, and vadai.

If you have the opportunity, try Sadya, a vegetarian feast of red rice, side dishes, savouries, pickles, and desserts offered at various points throughout the meal. Delicious!

3. Festivals
A festival in South India offers incredible colours, rituals, history, and magic.

Karnataka Karaga (March/April) - A nine-day event with stunning processions and rituals honouring Hindu mythology.

Chithirai Thiruvizha holds in April - The world's longest festival, a month-long celebration of Madurai, is officially the world's longest event.
Mysore Dasara (September/October) – This festival commemorates the triumph of good over evil by lighting up the Mysore Palace with 100,000 bulbs.

Kerala Thrissur Pooram (April/May) - A Shiva-themed celebration including craft fairs, processions, and fireworks.

Onam (August/September) is Kerala's national celebration, which includes boat races, elephant parades, and flower-covered carpets.

In this cultural spectacular, the streets are filled with colours, happiness, puppet shows, fireworks, and processions.

Pongal in Tamil Nadu (January) is a four-day harvest holiday in Tamil Nadu, akin to Thanksgiving in the United States.

4. Dancing
South Indian dance is stunning, consisting of a range of intricate dance forms that tell stories and convey emotion in a whirl of bright colours accompanied by traditional music.

5. Music
Carnatic music is the traditional music of southern India, with a sound that is varied, unique, and enthralling. It is based on Hindu traditions and emphasizes the concept of the song, with instruments replicating the human voice.

Carnatic music is improvised, retelling thousands of melodies passed down from generation to generation, therefore musical scores are unlikely to be used.

Each region of South India has its unique variation of melodic structures (râga) and rhythmic patterns (tâla). Musicians inherited a repertory from their teacher, which they will develop with the help of other tutors, family, and friends.

6. Art and craft
South India is a mecca for art and craft, offering a wide choice of wonderfully crafted souvenirs for friends, family, and even oneself!

Wood and stone carving, metalware, dolls, paintings, pottery, handwoven silk and cotton, bamboo work, weaving, and embroidery are just a few of the incredible arts and crafts on display.

7. Clothing
South Indian attire is not only beautiful to look at, but it also represents a part of the culture. South Indian women customarily wear a saree (or sari), a draping, an unstitched gown that emphasizes the wearer's figure. To give reverence to Indian philosophy, the navel of the Supreme Being is thought to be the wellspring of creativity and life.

South Indian males wear either a colourful lungi or a white dhoti, forms of sarongs embroidered with traditional batik patterns unless they are in a formal or religious context.

8. Religion
Many people from various religious schools of thought live in South India, and the culture is refreshingly progressive and accepting in this regard.

The Shaivite and Vaishnavite schools of Hinduism are practised by nearly 80% of the population. Islam is practised by roughly 11% of the population, primarily on the Malabar Coast, whereas Christianity is practised by around 8% of the population in the south.

Kerala is home to one of the world's oldest Jewish communities, with origins in the Malabar coast during King Solomon's reign.

There are numerous religious festivities in architecture, sculpture, and arts and crafts, not to mention vivid festivals honouring deities, saints, and gods.

9. Languages
It's understandable that when you move from town to town in South India, you'll hear a variety of dialects and accents. In South India, the four major Dravidian languages are spoken by the bulk of the population.

10. Cinema
With a film industry worth approximately $42 billion and the largest per capita movie consumption in India, the silver screen is an ever-expanding area of culture in South India.

The industry has covered all genres since the first silent film in 1916, from thrillers and tragedies to good old-fashioned love romances. South Indian cinema has influenced politics, with actors such as C.N.Annadurai and M.G.Ramachandran becoming Chief Ministers.

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