Brought to you by Pilot Productions - producers of addictive travel and adventure TV shows that take you to unforgettable destinations around the planet. Globe Trekker is the ultimate intrepid traveller's guide to exploring our wonderful world.

Presenter : Justine Shapiro

South India

Justine Shapiro travels through South India, an enchanting land of Hindu Temples, hill forts, pigeon English and vegetarianism which has become a favourite destination for your backpackers.

image: justine shapiro Beginning in Madras, the capital of Tamil Nadu, Justine ventures into a restaurant where three thousand local people eat lunch every day. Each day they all dine on the same dish – a vegetarian speciality called Thali. A local helps her master the art of eating with her fingers.

Travelling south to the typical market town of Gingee, Justine hitches a ride on a bullock cart to the nearby Hindu temple at Tiravanamali, where she encounters the elephant god,Ganesh. Ganesh’s blessing is said to bring good fortune and wisdom.

Further south is the temple city of Madurai, one of south India’s oldest cities. Justine joins the locals in one of the town’s 50 cinemas before witnessing the colourful Hindu Float festival.

An overnight train takes Justine west to Quilonin the state of Kerala. The sun-drenched coast is pockmarked with little bays and beaches, such as Varkala. Varkala has become a popular destination for seasoned India travellers who are venturing further south now that the old hippie hangout of Goa has been overrun by package tourists. From here Justine travels to an elephant sanctuary where she helps bath the elephants.

Justine takes a boat trip through the backwaters of Kerala – a system of lakes and waterways that lies just below sea level and covers a 350 square miles. The maze of canals leads to anWomen selling oranges at the market town of Gingee Ashram where Justine visits one of India’s very few female gurus, Amma, who has hugged over 10 million people from all around the world. The hugging is known as darshen and it’s meant to produce a beneficial spiritual current.

On the final leg of her trip, Justine leaves mainland India and heads west to the idyllic Lakshadweep Islands in the Arabian Sea, where she washes off the toils of the road and basks on the golden sands.

Places Mentioned - India

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