Mumbai is big. It's full of dreamers and hard-labourers, actors and
gangsters, stray dogs and exotic birds, artists and servants and
fisherfolk and crorepatis (millionaires) and lots and lots of other
people. It has the most prolific film industry, one of Asia's biggest
slums and the largest tropical forest in an urban zone.
Hyderabad, City of pearls, is like an elderly, impeccably dressed
princess whose time has past. Once the seat of the powerful and
wealthy Qutb Shahi and Asaf Jahi dynasties, the city has seen
centuries of great prosperity and innovation. Today, the 'old city' is
full of centuries-old Islamic monuments and even older charms.
The historic headquarters of the Wodeyar maharajas, Mysore is a
city that bowls you over with its fascinating regal heritage. That
apart, it's one of the most flamboyant places you could visit in South
India, known for its bustling markets, magnificent monuments and
Ah, ooty. It might be a bit bustling for some tastes, but most
travellers quickly fall in love with this pine-clad retreat, where
trekkers congregate in front of roaring fires before setting out into
the surrounding green dream. Even the typical chaos of India
becomes somehow subdued in the shadow of the hills.
Serene Kochi has been drawing traders and explorers to its shores
for over 600 years, and today stands as a living homage to a vibrant
past unlike any other. Nowhere in India could you find such a
melange: giant fishing nets from China, a 400-year old synagogue,
ancient mosques, Portuguese houses built half a millennium ago, all
mixed in with the crumbling residuum of the British Raj.
Lonely Planet Guide to South India - 5th edition Sept 2009