India is a land of innumerable colors, cultures, and traditions. However, the South Indian culture with its vibrancy and purity makes a striking mark! Bound by coastal regions, with the Arabian Sea to the west, the Bay of Bengal in the east, and the Indian Ocean in the south, peninsular India will be discussed thoroughly in this article! So, buckle on and take on this route called “Dakshinapatha”!
Dakshinapatha To God’s Own Land
Though, Kerala is usually referred to as ‘God’s own land’, but this phrase could very well fit for entire Southern India. Entire South of India is blessed with natural beauty. Adding on to this beauty is the cultural diversity that makes its own mark.
The clothes, food, and dance all have survived ages of influence and suppression. Here, Indian Classical Music, specifically Carnatic Music is very popular! Classical dance forms with elaborate use of facial expressions, hand gestures, and beautiful, colorful dresses grab special attention. Some of these dance forms are- Bharatnatyam, Kathakali, Mohiniattam, etc.
The literature of the region and the languages spoken here, both have traveled centuries! Surprisingly, a lot of the Dravidian languages are some of the oldest languages in the world!
Ahhh…culture cannot fill our stomachs…Or can it?
The South Indian cuisine is famous worldwide! With the usage of rice and lentils, it becomes a perfect balanced diet. Coconut is used in different forms all across the Indian coastal lines! The spices adding beautiful flavors and aromas are a distinguishing feature of the cuisine!
Precisely, you could even plan a lot of trips to South India! Southern India is also blessed with amazing natural beauty. However, the architectural marvels also make a sight to behold! The Kailasanathar Temple in Tamil Nadu, Bhoga Nandeeshwara Temple in Karnataka, Golconda Fort in Hyderabad, Veerabhadra Temple in Andhra Pradesh, and Sun Temple, and Jagannath Puri in Orissa are few to name! Built over centuries by different dynasties, these are an awe to the modern-day architects too!
Are You Enjoying your Dakshinapatha Journey..? I hope Yes! So, continue reading…
The Unconquered Territories: A Rich and Glorious History Of Dakshin
South India successfully remained unconquered for most parts of history! Even Ashoka, one of the greatest kings had to give up his dreams of conquering the southern part of India.
Though the recorded history of South India is considered to be around 4000 years old, the land has prospered for longer than we can imagine! The history of the southern part of our country goes to the times of Lord Ram, and even before that to the times of Prahalad and Mahabali! Hence South India, in a lot of Hindu texts, has received mention and it was a land of the Gods.
In ancient history, various dynasties rose and fell in Peninsular India. Cholas, Pandyas, Pallavas are a some to name! Also, this phase in the entire timeline can be called the golden time for the region as science, astronomy, religion, architecture, and literature all received significant attention and growth!
The coming of Mughals to India did leave an impact on Northern India, but South India comparatively remained aloof from the invasion and the South Indian Culture remained more or less unaffected from the Mughal Impact!
The Colonial Period saw a greater impact on the Southern part of India. Due to the coastal areas on all sides and the attraction of the European Colonial Powers to spices, South India was at the center of their attention!
After the independence of the country, South India was divided based on cultural subdivisions!
- Southern part of India is Home to 9 UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Dakshin Serving the National Causes
Talking of South India and not talking of the ‘literacy rate’ would be unfair! Southern India today is the best example of the co-existence of culture and scientific advancements! While Bengaluru is already the Silicon Valley of India, Chennai is rising into one! The ISRO, headquartered in Bengaluru has been bringing a lot of wealth to India. It was through the remarkable efforts of Indian Scientists in Exploring the marvels of Space. Also there is absolutely no argument for the generous number of scientists South India has produced!
The Dakshin has also contributed to the national cause by the enormous GDP contributions it makes! The Travel and Tourism Industry paves the way! The Southern Travel Industry has risen to great heights in recent years! It’s a pilgrimage for not just Indians but people all across the globe!
The Flourishing South Indian Movie Industry plays a vital role in this! The South Indian Movie Industry includes Tollywood(Telugu), Kollywood(Tamil), Mollywood(Malayalam), etc. Bahubali 2 starring the South Indian superstars Prabhas and Anushka hit the big billion and broke almost all the records! Not just financially grossing, but the industry has also produced gems like Asuran, Palasa 1978, Keshu, and Joker are a few to name!
The source of the Indian Blue Revolution is also accredited largely to South India!
But, the best part of all of this is that there still exists a beautiful harmony between traditions and technology.
- Did You Know:
- Tamil Nadu is the second largest state in economy. It takes the place after Maharashtra.
- South India is the largest producer of spices in India!
Don’t stop! There’s more! Continue reading!
Shining Stars From South: Attracting The World Towards the Dakshinapatha
The Blessed Territories have produced gems in both the fields- science &technology and arts & humanities. The list is endless. Still, mentioning some of them would be extremely necessary. MS Swaminathan- father of Indian Green Revolution, Indra Nooyi- CEO Pepsico, CV Raman, AR Rehman- Mozart of Madras, Missile man of India- Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, Vishwanath Anand, Sundar Pichai, RK Narayan- the great cartoonist, Srinivasa Ramanujan- the man who knew infinity, Rajnikanth, Narayan Karthikeyan, is just from Tamil Nadu! Shocking right?
Well, there are many people from the other states too- ‘the udanpari’ PT Usha, Arundhati Roy, Dr. Verghese Kurien- father of white revolution in India, Prakash Padukone, Anil Kumble, Pt. Bhimsen Joshi, Field Marshal Cariappa, Dutee Chand, Late Ranganath Misra, Sudarshan Patnaik, and the list will continue endlessly..!
- Did You Know:
- ‘The Man Who Knew Infinity’ is a 2015 Hollywood movie based on life of Ramanujan.
- AR Rehman wanted to be a Computer Engineer. Later his interest shifted to music. Many say that the computer engineering world’s loss is the music world’s gain!
The Dakshinapatha Dilemmas: Problems Unmanaged
The Dakshin offers so much not just to the nation but to the world! However, there are many issues that have been left unhandled for decades, and obviously, new issues arise every day! Right from the anti-Hindi movements that go a long way back, south India at times seems cut-off from the north, east, and west! So, here’s a closer look at those problems-
- The Kaveri River Water Dispute
The sharing of water of river Kaveri has always been a cause of conflict. The two Indian South Indian States involved in this are Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. Karnataka claims the river water. Also, it says that the pre-independence agreement was made in favor of the Madras Residency!
- In case you don’t know, this dispute happens to be a big reason for the aggressive South Indian Derby! Be it Chennai Super Kings vs Royal Challengers Bangalore in IPL or Bengaluru Bulls vs Tamil Thalaivas in PKL, or any other domestic competition!
2. Political Disparity from rest of India
The South Indian States also show strong involvement in politics. Puducherry, Andaman & Nicobar are the Union Territories directly under the Central Government. While the other states have their own state governments.
South India shows some aloofness from the rest of India when it comes to political powers. Though the two large political parties INC and BJP have tried hard, it is still a dream for them to rule over the Dakshin singlehandedly!
3.Many dangerous games involving Bloodshed
Due to its rich cultural heritage and faith in traditions, South India is also home to some dangerous and life-threatening games. Jalikattu is one such sport that is life-threatening for humans as well as dangerous for the bulls! It has remained a hot topic in the national media in recent times!
- Did You Know:
- Seals dated between 2500 to 1800 BC, found from Mohenjodaro showed reference to Jalikattu.
- This sport called, Eru thazuval meaning “Embracing the Bull”.
There are many other problems that keep arising. The Covid-19 pandemic has given way to many unexpected situations! Zika-virus cases were also reported from South India!
Towards the End of this Dakshinapatha Journey
In this article, we drew an elaborate sketch of the Southern territories of India! We need to look at many issues. So, should we frame some possible solutions!
With the best literacy rate in India, South India has to take more responsibility in managing its problems! The river dispute that seems unending needs to be paid attention to! The Central Government needs to take the initiative for the same. It is all about bringing both the states to the talk table. As far as politics is concerned, it is genuine for people to choose people from around them, especially when leaders like Jayalalitha and Navin Patnaik can be chosen. These leaders proved that the heart of the people belongs to anyone who works for them!
Traditions and technology may go hand in hand. But, if changes need to be made, they must be made! The education of people regarding the same is needed.
With the coming of Covid-19, the financial sector has suffered worldwide. Southern India is no exception! A lot of efforts need to be made to strike off these issues.
The beauty of South India will continue to shine bright. Also, it will remain as one of the biggest sources of knowledge and enlightenment, not just for India, but for the entire world!