Land of the great Dravidian culture, South India is a store house of culture and tradition.
South India or the peninsular India is surrounded by Arabian Sea on the west, Bay of Bengal on the East and Indian Ocean to the south. Apart from several languages and arts, the land also boasts of numerous great dance forms like kathakali, Kuchpudi, Yakshagana, Bharatanatyam, Koodiyattam and many more. A number of South Indian towns are known for their magnificent architecture and sculpture.
South Indians venerate the beauty of the body and motherhood as the embodiment of the eternal universe. Its dramatic dances, clothing and exquisite sculptures, all reflect this policy.The feminine grace is used skillfully and enhanced in the elaborate dance forms of South India such as Mohiniaattam, which means the dance of the enchantress and Bharathanatyam that expresses the celebration of beauty and the universe.
The philosophy of many South Indians is 'Natyashastra', the treatise on Dance composed by the sage Bharatha, which states that the body is your world. The South Indian culture is celebrated in the elaborate dance forms of South India such as the Bharatanatyam. The Bharatanatyam is the celebration of the eternal universe through the celebration of the beauty of the body.
It is evidenced further by the tradional garb. The saree is an unstitched draping cloth that not only enhances the curvaceous shape of the women but also only partially covers the midriff exposing the stomach and the navel. The philosophy behind it was that the navel of the Supreme Being is the source of life and creativity. Traditionally, South Indian sculptors would start their work from the navel of the divinities that were kept unclothed by the saree that was placed right at the centre of the sculpture.
The rich and artistic South Indian literature and philosophy has always been close to the Nature along with its blessings and rhythms. In most of the South Indian literary works, women are considered very powerful, especially the feminine powers of a married woman are considered to be very auspicious, protecting and empowering her husband and children.
The beaches of South India are known for their exotic beauty. Great seas and oceans cover Deccan India from three sides with Bay of Bengal at its east, Arabian Sea at its west and great Indian Ocean washing off its feet in the south. With such a long rugged coastline, it offers a number of memorable beaches that make one of the most favored tourist hotspots of India.
South Indian cuisine is often rice based. Rice is combined with lentils to make wonderful dosas, idlis, vadas and uttapams. These items are delicious besides being nourishing and digestible (due to the fermenting process). They are combined with sambar (dal), rasam (tamarind dal), dry and curried vegetable and pachadi (yogurt). Their rice preparations are also masterpieces like the biryani from Hyderabad, lemon rice and rice seasoned with coconut peanuts, tamarind, chilies, curry leaves, urad dal and fenugreek seedsSouth Indian chutneys are made of tamarind, coconut, peanuts, dal, fenugreek seeds, and cilantro. Meals are followed by coffee. South Indian dals and curries are more soupy than North Indian dals and curries.
Generally Tamil (a traditional style of South Indian Cuisine) recommends that you incldue six tatses in each meal you eat. The six tates are:
- Sweet (Milk, butter, sweet cream, wheat, ghee (clarified butter), rice, honey)
- Sour (Limes and lemons, citrus fruits, yogurt, mango, tamarind)
- Salty (Salt or pickles)
- Bitter (Bitter gourd, greens of many kinds, turmeric, fenugreek)
- Pungent (Chili peppers, ginger, black pepper, clove, mustard)
- Astringent (Beans, lentils, turmeric, vegetables like cauliflower and cabbage, cilantro)
The South Indian food is a brilliant blend of flavors, colors, seasoning, nutritional balance, fragrance, taste, and visual appeal.