Tourist Places to Visit in South India

Tourist Places to Visit in South India

Blessed with backwater towns and misty tea plantations, South India is a land of wonder for travelers from across the globe. Surrounded by the vastness of the Indian Ocean on one side and punctuated with mountains on the other two cardinal directions, the landscape offers variety to explorers. The tranquil ambiance of the region is ideal for a tropical vacation while giving you a chance to explore the rich culture of this part of India.

Numerous interesting tourist destinations in South India cater to all types of travelers. You can visit South India to bask in the glory of its beautiful beaches or relax in the lap of nature at Alleppey.

History lovers can deep dive into the mystery of Hampi while adventure seekers can enjoy activities such as trekking, camping, rafting, and surfing. The region has beautiful hill stations where you can rejuvenate. You can also visit the numerous temples to seek blessings and marvel at their architectural brilliance.

Pondicherry

Pondicherry / Puducherry - Tourist Destination in South India
Pondicherry / Puducherry, Tourist Destination in South India (courtesy: photoloordanu)

Puducherry or Pondicherry is a Union Territory that borders southern Tamil Nadu. It is fondly referred to as Pondy and is also reputed as one of India’s most picturesque townships. The town has an old-world feel with French architecture as it was a French colony in South Asia. 

Travelers can enjoy the scenic beauty of Pondy while sipping coffee. There are many popular tourist places to visit in Pondicherry. A stroll through the streets of the French Quarter in Pondicherry is heartwarming. The area is also known as White Town and is dotted with charming mustard-yellow colonial structures that exude a fairytale charm.

You can walk into cozy cafes and chic boutiques amidst the bougainvillea-laden walls to enjoy delectable dishes. The perfect way to enjoy the laid-back lifestyle of Pondy is to dig in crepes filled with chocolate sauce or fresh fruit compote and topped off with sweetened cream.

For a calmer experience, you can seek inner peace at Auroville and the Sri Aurobindo Ashram. You can add some thrill to your trip by indulging in water sports at Paradise Beach and Karaikal Beach. You can try boating, jet skiing, backwater sailing, and overnight camping.

Hampi, Karnataka

Hampi Tourist Place in South India
Hampi, Karnataka Tourist Place in South India (courtesy: nikolayloubet)

The popular UNESCO World Heritage Site of South India, Hampi is a historical delight for travelers. Surrounded by 500 ancient monuments and captivating remains of the Vijayanagar Empire in Karnataka state, it is a place for history buffs and spiritual seekers. It is easy to get lost among the ruins as there is so much to explore. 

From temples that date back 1,000 years ago right up until today’s modern-day markets selling homegrown fruits and spices – there is no shortage of things to explore in Hampi. You can visit the Anjaneya Hill (birthplace of Lord Hanuman), Vijaya Vittala Temple (Chariot Temple), and enjoy a coracle ride.

Bouldering and rock climbing are popular activities to try in Hampi. You can even enjoy the most mesmerizing view of the ancient city by climbing up Matanga Hill.

You can also take a ferry ride across the Tungabhadra River to reach the relatively unexplored Hippie Island. The island is ideal for backpackers who want to laze around the banks of the river and enjoy jamming sessions at Sunset Point.

Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh

Tirupati Tourist Place in South India
Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh, Tourist Place in South India (courtesy: nareshswamy)

Located in the Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh, Tirupati is a well-known pilgrimage center in South India. The temple town is visited by tourists from across the globe. Located amidst the seven hills of the Tirumala range, Tirupati is abundant in spirituality and natural beauty. 

The main temple of the town, Tirumala Temple is dedicated to Lord Venkateshwara which the Lord chose as his abode. The Sri Venkateswara Temple is a sacred Hindu pilgrimage site that echoes with the continuous chanting of ‘Om Namo Venkatesaya’ by the pilgrims.

Tirupati is also home to numerous waterfalls which are considered holy. Kapila Theertham, Talakona Waterfall, and Papavinasam Theertham are natural wonders you must explore. Another natural marvel is the natural rock formation called Silathoranam. It is an important archaeological and heritage spot in India, frequently visited by devotees.

Madurai, Tamil Nadu

Madurai Tourist Destination in South India
Madurai, Tamilnadu, Tourist Destination in South India (courtesy: naren)

Madurai has been the cultural capital of Tamil Nadu since times immemorial. The city is home to some of the world’s ancient temples which date back centuries ago. Ruled by Pandya kings for the most part in its history, the city is home to pristine temples. 

The Meenakshi Amman Temple is dedicated to Goddess Meenakshi with her consort Sundareshwar. It is one of the prominent temples in South India. The spiritual ambiance and architectural brilliance of this temple are a delight to behold.

The Thiruparankundram temple is another must-visit spot in Madurai. Located on a hillock approximately 8 km outside of Madurai, this temple is dedicated to Lord Muruga and holds cultural significance as well.

Another architectural masterpiece is the Thirumalai Nayak Palace. To add some adventure to your trip you can hike up to the Jain caves nestled among the Samanar Hills. The Puthu Mandapam shopping area is the perfect place to buy souvenirs such as jewelry, fashion accessories, handicrafts, and traditional artwork.

Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu

Mahabalipuram Tourist Place in South India
Mahabalipuram, Tamilnadu, Tourist Place in South India (courtesy: abhishekkoli)

Before being renamed Mamallapuram, this port city on the Coromandel Coast in Tamil Nadu used to be called Mahabalipuram. It is known for its intricately carved temples and rock-cut caves that were built centuries ago by ancient kings. 

Mahabalipuram, one of the most visited destinations in Tamilnadu is strewn with beautiful rock-cut monuments and numerous monoliths. The heritage encompassed by the city draws architects, history enthusiasts, and travelers from around the world to the port city. Best way to visit the city is by opting for a one day tour to Mahabalipuram from Chennai in a private cab.

This beautiful town lures tourists with its serenity and pleasant atmosphere in an impressive natural setting. You can visit the white sandy beaches dotted by Casuarina trees at Mahabalipuram Beach, Sadras, Wide Beach, and Covelong Beach. 

Some of the famous tourist spots in Mahabalipuram include the UNESCO world heritage site Group of Monuments like Shore Temple or Five Rathas, Krishna Mandapam, Arjuna’s Penance, and Cavern Temples.

You can also spend some time at the Crocodile Farm witnessing a wide variety of these reptiles. Fishing safari and beachside camping are popular offbeat activities to enjoy at Mahabalipuram.

Hyderabad, Telangana

Hyderabad, Telangana
Hyderabad, Telangana, South India (courtesy: shubhamsharma)

Hyderabad is a city full of contrasts. The old-world charm of Hyderabad can be experienced in the Old City. From stately mosques to noisy bazaars the city is lined with historical monuments.  Alongside the ancient architecture, you can see the swanky new office buildings and malls of this upcoming IT hub. The laid-back attitude and the cultural vibrance make Hyderabad worth visiting. You can enjoy glimpses into its rich past with inherent promises for an even better future just waiting around every corner.

There are many tourist places to see in Hyderabad, such as the iconic Charminar. This structure is made entirely out of limestone and granite with four minarets on each side facing different streets. The area is home to shops and stalls that sell authentic Hyderabad pearls and delicious Hyderabadi Biryani. The place is known around India as a food lover’s paradise. You can enjoy great local food at affordable prices. Popular Hyderabadi dishes are Pathar ka Gosht, Haleem, Nahari, Mirchi ka Salan, Falooda, Irani Chai, and Double ka Meetha.

Hyderabad is gaining popularity as a commercial hub. The HiTech City or Cyberabad area of Hyderabad teems with grand malls, pulsating clubs, and chic restaurants. It is bustling with energy while being surrounded by offices of large corporate houses and multinational companies.

Drenched in old traditions alongside new modernizations, Banjara Hills has been popular among locals for decades. The market in the area is a one-stop destination for all your needs. Though they are practically one now, Hyderabad and Secunderabad still retain their historic title as the Twin Cities.

You can dig up the history of Hyderabad at Golconda Fort, Chowmahalla Palace, and Purani Haveli. The culture and heritage of Nizams of Hyderabad have been well preserved at the Salar Jung Museum. Durgam Cheruvu, Hussain Sagar, Osman Sagar, and Saroornagar Lake offer respite from the scorching heat of the city. You can explore the natural charm of Hyderabad at Lumbini Park, NTR Garden, Krishna Kanth Park, Indira Park, or Hyderabad Botanical Garden. There are several other parks in the city to spend a day relaxing with family and friends.

Laad Bazaar, Shilparamam, Begum Bazaar, and Medina Market are popular shopping destinations in Hyderabad. These are perfect to buy pearls, lac bangles, Bidriware, Kalamkari, Pochampally Sarees, Banjara Embroidery, Attar, and other local items. Inorbit Mall, Forum Sujana Mall, and GVK One are perfect for an upbeat shopping experience.

Vizag, Andhra Pradesh

Beaches in Vizag, Andhra Pradesh,South India
Vizag, Andhra Pradesh,South India (courtesy: vasudev)

The gorgeous and inviting port city of Vizag is among the most popular tourist places to visit in South India. With its beautiful landscapes, this destination draws thousands of tourists each year to explore its natural abundance. There are many scenic tourist attractions to see in Vizag.

Vizag is idyllically set between the Eastern Ghats mountains on one side and the Bay of Bengal sea coastlines on the other. Whether your taste runs towards bustling metropolises or quiet villages, the city offers glimpses of both. The tropical vibe at the pristine beaches of Vizag is unbeatable. Beachfront accommodations allow you to enjoy the picturesque views from the comfort of your room. Property rental options are also available for those looking for longer vacations away from their technology-filled lives.

The beaches in Visakhapatnam offer a lot of activities and water sports to keep tourists entertained. You can take a one day sightseeing tour of Vizag and explore the beautiful shores of RK Beach, Rushikonda Beach, and Bheemili Beach. You can enjoy authentic local delicacies and street food at the various eateries on the beaches of Vizag. There are so many adventure sports you can try in the area, from parasailing to jet skiing and scuba diving. 

Vizag is also one of the most powerful Naval bases in India. You can visit the Submarine Museum built inside an actual submarine, INS Kurusura. Victory at Sea War Memorial dedicated to the Naval forces is also situated near the museum. The natural abundance of the region can be explored at the Araku Valley. You can visit the Borra Caves, Dolphin’s Nose, Indira Gandhi Zoological Park, and VUDA Park to spend some time amidst nature. Simhachalam temple and Bojjannakonda rock-cut caves hold immense religious importance.

Chikmagalur, Karnataka

Chikmagalur Tourist Destination to Visit in Karnataka, India
Chikmagalur, Karnataka, South India (courtesy: mayankagarwal)

Chikmagalur is known as the ‘Coffee Land of Karnataka’ as it is the largest producer of coffee in the country. The name of this beautiful hill town translates to ‘younger daughter’s town’ as it was presented to the younger daughter of the Chief’s family. 

The serenity of this location is enhanced by the aroma of coffee and tranquilizing views of the natural surroundings. The lush landscape of Chikmagalur attracts tourists from across the world. Majestic Mullayanagiri ranges have been an attraction for centuries and are also home to numerous temples including the Sharadamba Temple, Vidyashankara temple, Kodanda Ramaswamy Temple, and Amruteshwar temple. 

Chikmagalur offers a unique experience for those who want to walk through tea and coffee plantations. The town brings in tourists from all over the world because it has such beautiful weather around the year. There are many interesting sightseeing places to explore in Chikmagalur. You will fall in love with the beauty of this region at its glistening waterfalls that will leave you speechless. Jhari Waterfall, Hanuman Gundi Falls, and Shankar Falls are a few examples of breathtakingly beautiful scenery.

Gokarna, Karnataka

Gokarna Tourist Destination to Visit in Karnataka, India
Gokarna, Karnataka, South India (courtesy: danieldara)

Gokarna is a beautiful city located in the scenic region of Uttara Kannada. The town is home to an ancient temple known as Mahabaleshwar housing the revered Hindu deity Lord Shiva. The old-world charm of this town makes it one of the best tourist destinations to visit in South India. Maha Ganapati Temple, Mahabaleshwar temple, Koti Tirtha, Bhadrakali Temple, and Kumta are prominent religious destinations in Gokarna. 

There are several beaches and pilgrimage sites in Gokarna that offer great views, while also being resonant with tourists from around the globe looking for an authentic Indian experience. River Aghanashini runs through the heart of the city. Paradise Beach, Om Beach, Half Moon Beach, and Kudle Beach attract tourists with their tranquility and picturesque views. 
The pristine beaches of Gokarna provide the perfect setting for water sports like surfing, scuba diving, and snorkeling. You can indulge in these fun activities during the monsoon season from September to December. Winters also boast an elegant climate where you can enjoy the lush green surroundings.

Ooty, Tamilnadu

Ooty - Tamilnadu, Hill Stations in South India
Ooty, Tamilnadu, South India (courtesy: karthikeyags)

Ooty is a misty hill town offering a sense of peace, serenity, and rejuvenation. The natural beauty of the region is simply unparalleled. The lush green hillsides graced by magnificent tea plantations form a picturesque landscape. Queen of Hills is an apt description of the beauty of Ooty. 

Located in India’s Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, Ooty is known for its exquisite ecosystem. It is the most popular hill station to visit in Tamilnadu. You can explore the natural charm of Ooty at Doddabetta Peak, Tiger Hill, Bison Valley, Cairn Hill, and Ketti Valley. The flora of the region is conserved at the Ooty Botanical Gardens. Other prominent tourist places in Ooty are Rose Garden, Sim’s Park, Children’s Park, and Wenlock Downs.

Lakes in Ooty offer a great picnic spot in the lap of nature. Ooty Lake, Emerald Lake, Avalanche Lake, Kamraj Sagar Lake, Pykara Lake, and Upper Bhavani Lake are the perfect spot to relax. The natural abundance of Ooty can also be experienced at Kalhatti Falls, Catherine Falls, Katari Falls, Halasana Waterfalls, and Pykara Falls.

Coorg, Karnataka

Coorg (Madikeri) Best Destination to Visit in Karnataka, India
Coorg, Karnataka, South India (courtesy: ravigopalkesari)

Popularly known as ‘The Scotland of India’, Coorg is a hidden treasure trove for nature lovers. It offers breathtaking views and luxurious accommodations amidst the misty hills of Karnataka. The enchanting hill station lives up to its name by combining history and nature in an idyllic setting matched by mouth-watering cuisine.

Located along western ghats, Coorg offers astounding views of lush green plantations. Abbey Falls, Iruppu Falls, and Mallali Falls make Coorg one of the top tourist places to visit in South India.  You can explore the scintillating beauty and rich culture of the hill station by trekking along its many trails. There are many prominent sightseeing attractions to see in Coorg. Some of the popular trekking spots in Coorg are Tadiandamol Peak, Pushpagiri, Galibeedu-Subramanya, and Kotebetta Peak. 

Some parts of the region are inhabited by a local clan, the Kodavas. They are widely known for their hospitality. You can enjoy guided tours to get an insight into their life. More glimpses of local history are preserved at the Madikeri Fort and Nalknad Palace.

You can have a great time on your vacation by booking nature tours and walks through the coffee and spice plantations of Coorg. Amidst the tranquillity of the hill station, you can also enjoy blood-pumping adventure activities like nature camping, rafting, jeep safari, quad biking, and rock climbing. You can also attend the popular festivals of the region like Keil Poldu (worshipping weapons), Cauvery Shankaramana (returning river goddess), and Huttari (harvest).

Wayanad, Kerala

Wayanad, Kerala, South India
Wayanad, Kerala, South India (courtesy: nabnas)

Wayanad is a place of wonders and chaos, where the cool temperature never changes throughout the year. The orchards here are unmatched in all of India for their diversity. The entire region is strewn with the aroma of spices like cardamom, black pepper, star anise, fenugreek, and cumin. Misty mountains looming over lush green pastures offer the most mesmerising views for nature lovers and photographers.

Wayanad is a haven with immense greenery and the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary is a natural reserve protecting the flora and fauna of the region. The mighty mountains, dense woods, and gushing rivers also offer a number of adventure and trekking opportunities like mountaineering, rock climbing, rappelling, and camping. It is a popular weekend getaway from Bangalore

You can trek to India’s largest Earth Dam, Banasura Dam, or choose to trek up to the Chembra Peak to watch the sunset behind mountains. You can also explore the Neolithic age at Edakkal Caves or relax at the Chembra Peak. There are many more tourist attractions to visit in Wayanad.

Discover the religious beliefs of the locals by seeking blessings at the Thirunelli Temple, Karinthandan temple, or even Ancient Jain Temples. The natural beauty of Wayanad is like threads that can be woven into an enthralling tapestry to create a collection of the most thrilling and greatest moments of your life.

Bangalore, Karnataka

Bangalore Palace - Things to do in Bengaluru
Bengaluru, Karntaka, South India

Bengaluru, formerly known as Bangalore is the capital of Karnataka and is located on Deccan Plateau. The city has a fine mix of traditional and modern lifestyles along with a well-preserved culture. It is popular as the ‘Silicon Valley of India’ because of the many IT developments happening here. 

Bangalore is a city that’s full of life, with endless opportunities for exploration. From hanging out at its quaint cafés to pub-hopping in a chic neighbourhood, the city offers several ways to keep you engaged during your vacation. The natural beauty of the area can be witnessed at its gardens such as Cubbon Park, Indira Gandhi Musical Fountain Park, Lumbini garden, and Bugle Rock Park.

The city of Bengaluru is home to some incredible natural landscapes that offer an exciting opportunity for those looking for adventure. Hiking through Nandi Hills, Savandurga, and Narayanagiri, you will be rewarded with breathtaking views of the beautiful landscape. You can also try camping amidst nature for a surreal experience.

The popular tourist spots in Bangalore are Innovative Film City, Tipu Sultan’s Summer Palace, Bangalore palace, and Vidhana Soudha. Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium and Visvesvaraya Industrial and Technological Museum are interesting places to visit with family and kids. Church Street, MG Road, and UB City Mall are a few places for shoppers to indulge. The nightlife of Bengaluru is bound to leave you starry-eyed. Skyye Lounge, Big Brewsky, Xtreme Sports Bar, and High Ultra Lounge are some of the best party spots in the city.

Mysore, Karnataka

Mysore, Karnataka, South India
Mysore, Karnataka, South India (courtesy: soumitrasengupta)

Mysore or Mysuru is a city located on the foothills of Chamundi Hills. Renowned as the ‘City of Palaces’, Mysore is well known for its heritage and culture. It is among the popular tourist places to visit in South India and has some impressive monuments that have been listed among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India

The Jaganmohan Palace, Brindavan Gardens, and the Lalitha Mahal Palace are some of the most popular attractions in Mysore. Mysore has a long and rich history that can be traced back to as early as the 3rd century BCE. The city was ruled by several dynasties over the centuries and each of them has left its mark on the cityscape.

The Wodeyars were the last ruling dynasty of Mysore and their contributions have had a lasting impact on the city. Amba Vilas Palace or Mysore Palace is one such attraction that lures millions from across the globe every year to view its majestic beauty. Mysore Dasara festival is celebrated with much fanfare at the palace.  

You can seek blessings of the almighty at the several temples and churches in Mysore. 

Chamundeshwari Temple, Somanathapura Temple, Srikanteswara Temple, St. Philomena’s Church, and Nanjangud are highly revered by devotees. Mysore is also home to the Ashtanga Yoga Institute and Mysore Mandala Yoga Shala. The pristine city atmosphere makes it perfect to practice yoga and meditate.

Mysore is also known for its delicious food, especially the famous Mysore Masala Dosa and traditional Silk sarees. You can also pick sandalwood handicrafts and items as memoirs from your trip to Mysore. It is one of the most popular destinations to visit near Bangalore for the weekend.

Chennai, Tamilnadu

Chennai, Tamilnadu, South India
Chennai, Tamilnadu, South India (courtesy: janardhanabalaji)

Chennai fascinates travellers with its rich history and captivates them with its cosmopolitan vibe. Counted among India’s most vibrant metropolises, it is the capital city of Tamil Nadu. There are many popular sightseeing places to visit in Chennai. Dotted with stunning temples, the streets of this lively city are buzzing with activity throughout the day. Shopping arcades offer the best of brands from across the globe, while beaches add to the beauty of this thriving town.

Located on the coast of Southeastern coast of the country, Chennai is one of the most popular tourist destinations to visit in South India. The city is also home to a thriving technology industry which makes it an Asian IT park with more than 1000 operational companies. The city of Chennai is worth a visit for its temples steeped in south-Indian culture, British-era museums, and monuments. The Marina Beach is the world’s second-largest urban beach while Elliot’s Beach and VGP Golden Beach are perfect to watch the sunset over the Bay of Bengal.

Visit the beautiful temples of Chennai to experience spiritual bliss. Marundeeswarar Temple, Ashtalakshmi Temple, Kapaleeswarar Temple, and Vadapalani Murugan Temple are the prominent temples in the city. You can enjoy trekking along the various trails in and around the city. Mamallapuram Lighthouse, Krishnagiri Fort, Nagalapuram, Yealgiri, Tada Falls, Gingee Fort, Parvathamalai Mountain, and Talakona Waterfalls are prominent trekking spots. Scuba Diving, paragliding, rock climbing, surfing, and paramotoring are thrilling activities that offer an adrenaline rush.

Authentic South Indian cuisine comprising Idli, Dosa, Appam, Sambhar, Chettinad Chicken, Sweet Pongal, and Payasam can be enjoyed at Chennai. Thyagaraya Nagar, Sowcarpet, George Town, Panagal Park, and Anna Nagar are the best markets in Chennai. You can buy Tanjore paintings, silk sarees, pure pearls, handicrafts, and artefacts as souvenirs. Mysore Pak is a melt-in-the-mouth local delicacy. 

Kodaikanal, Tamilnadu

Best Places to Visit in Kodaikanal
Kodaikanal, Tamilnadu, South India (courtesy: 007roy)

A gorgeous and magnificent hill station in Tamilnadu, Kodaikanal, is among the most visited tourist places in South India. The scenic beauty of the forest blanketed mountains leaves visitors awestruck. Popular as ‘The Princess of Hill Stations’, the hilltown attracts tourists throughout the year. Enchanting waterfalls and rolling slopes of the Palani Hills create an environment perfect for honeymooners and nature lovers in search of peace.

You can explore the natural beauty of Kodaikanal at Bear Shola Falls, Kodaikanal Lake, Green Valley Viewpoint, Thalaiyar Falls, and Pillar Rocks. Devil’s Kitchen at the Guna Caves is a natural and unique heritage site. Trekking is a popular activity to enjoy the natural abundance of the region. Dolphin’s Nose & Echo Rock, Pillar Rock, Pambar Falls, Caps Fly Valley, and Vellagavi – Kumbakkarai Falls are popular trekking spots in Kodaikanal

Perumal Peak is the highest peak of the Perumalai Hills offering the most astounding views of the Western Ghats. Silver Cascade Falls is a popular picnic spot known for its celestial flow of silvery waters. Another amazing tourist spot in Kodaikanal is Fairy Falls where you can spend a day relaxing amidst nature.

Munnar, Kerala

Munnar Kerala - Best Honeymoon Destination in South India
Munnar, Kerala, South India (courtesy: surinravi)

Munnar is a serene and picturesque hill station in Kerala known as the ‘Kashmir of South India’. Home to some amazing flora and fauna like the Neelakurinji as well as Nilgiri Tahr, this quaint town offers pristine valleys surrounded by lush forests. You can enjoy the diverse beauty of the Western Ghats in this region.

The mountains have been popular as a summer retreat since colonial times due to their appealing scenery. Visitors can enjoy scenic views of the surroundings in the hope of spotting rare animals around Teebane Valley Forest. Eravikulam National Park, one of the famous tourist attractions in Munnar is home to lion-tailed macaque, Atlas moth, Nilgiri langur, and Nilgiri marten. It is a UNESCO world heritage site renowned for its natural excellence and diversity.

The beauty of Munnar attracts thousands to its scenic views every year. Three rivers, namely Mattupetti, Periavaru, and Nallathanni flow through the region making it popular among adventure lovers. Visitors can enjoy pristine lakes as well as rugged terrains that offer outdoor fun away from the bustle of the city.

Tourists come to Munnar from all over the world for its natural beauty. It is one of the prominent honeymoon destinations in South India. The town is nestled between hills and offers great opportunities for nature photographers. A pristine waterfall named Atukkad Waterfall is an ideal spot for romantic escapades. Another spectacular destination in this area is Photopoint. Surrounded by sparkling streams and calm woods, it offers the perfect backdrop for picturesque clicks with your loved ones. You can spend memorable moments and capture them forever at these exquisitely gorgeous places in Munnar. 

The most popular activities in Munnar are trekking and camping. Apart from this, you can stay at a treehouse or visit the tea plantations for an unforgettable experience. A safari tour of Eravikulam National Park is a must-try for wildlife enthusiasts. Shikara ride on Kundala Lake adds fun to your time in Munnar. Mattupetty Dam is the perfect spot for a picnic with family members.

Kochi, Kerala

Kochi, Kerala, South India
Kochi, Kerala, South India (courtesy: ankurkhanna)

Kochi, also known as Cochin is a port city located on India’s southwest coast. The British built this city as an important port for foreign trade. Kochi is blessed with natural abundance making it a place to be visited for relaxing amidst nature. The beautiful city sits on the shores of the Arabian Sea. Blessed with a moderate climate, Cochin provides visitors with an unforgettable experience drenched in the authentic South Indian culture.

The bustling metropolis of Kochi is among one of the top places to visit in South India. Lush green Kerala forests, ancient temples, and grand palaces make the city a best-rated location among the destinations listed by the World Travel & Tourism Council. The soothing natural beauty of its backwaters makes the city popular among travellers. 

Kochi also offers some of the best beaches in South India. Cherai Beach, Marine Drive, Fort Kochi Beach, Veeranpuzha Beach, and Puthenthode Beach are popular beaches in Kochi. The unique colonial vibe combined with cool winds from the Arabian Sea soothes your nerves as you cycle across this beautiful city. Nature lovers can enjoy bird watching at the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary or go snorkelling at Thiruvankulam.

The history and heritage of the region have been preserved at the Kerala Folklore Museum, Antique Museum, Parikshith Thampuran Museum, and Indian Naval Museum. Kathakali Centre, one of the popular tourist places to see Kochi, is the best place to enjoy the local dance form while you can buy souvenirs at Princess Street. Therapeutic massages and Ayurvedic treatments are also offered at various centers across the city.

Trivandrum, Kerala

Padmanabha Swamy Temple, Trivandrum, Kerala
Trivandrum, Kerala, South India (courtesy: santoshjanardhanan)

Trivandrum, also known as Thiruvananthapuram is a land with seven hills and beautiful coastal regions. Owing to its natural beauty it is also known as ‘The Evergreen City’. Rainbow mist covers the Sahyadri Ranges that are decorated with flowers. Tourists are attracted to the breathtaking sights of butterflies and clear skies. 

The city of Trivandrum is a metropolis where history and art coexist. With lots to offer in terms of both natural beauty as well cultural heritage, this beach destination in Kerala will leave you coming back for more.

There are charming beaches with alluring temples or historical monuments across the city. Shanghumukham Beach, Veli Beach, Shanghumugham Beach, and Puthenthope Beach are the best places to explore the natural beauty of the city. You can seek blessings at the ancient temples of Trivandrum like Padmanabhaswamy Temple, Attukal Bhagavathy Temple, Karikkakom Sree Chamundi Devi Temple, and Pazhavangadi Ganapathy Temple.

Kanakakunnu Palace and Kuthira Malika Palace are the perfect tourist spots in Trivandrum to dig up the history of the place. From the temples on top of hills to old houses with steep roofs, the old world charm of Trivandrum adds to the beauty of this place. A visit to Neyyar wildlife sanctuary will be a memorable experience for wildlife lovers. Neyyar Dam can be visited for boating and fishing activities.

Thekkady, Kerala

Thekkady, Kerala, South India
Thekkady, Kerala, South India (courtesy: vineethkartha)

Thekkady is a paradise for nature lovers, with its lush forests and abundant wildlife. It is among the most beautiful wildlife destinations to visit in South India. The town has an ideal climate making it a popular place among tourists visiting Kerala – God’s own country. 

Thekkady offers a laid-back vacation with the opportunity to enjoy the scintillating backdrops and scenic landscapes. Thekkady or Periyar Lake is home to lush greenery and wide varieties of wildlife. Green Park Ayurvedic & Spices Plantation is the perfect spot for nature lovers. You can walk through the numerous cardamom plants growing here along with tea bushes.

The Periyar Tiger Reserve is one of the best places you can go to observe wildlife and catch a glimpse of magnificent tigers. Enjoy jungle safaris to spot elephants, sambhars, and a variety of animals. Thekkady is a popular destination in South India for tourists looking to enjoy the lush green forests and pristine waterfalls. One of the most iconic attractions of Thekkady is the Mangla Devi Temple. Other places worth visiting during your trip include plantation settlements near Odamade, Murukkady, and Vellaramkunnu.

Tourists can enjoy many different adventure activities including trekking, bamboo rafting, and jeep safaris. One of the best ways to explore this vast region is on an elephant safari where you will get exclusive views of the region.

Alleppey, Kerala

Alleppey, Kerala, South India
Alleppey, Kerala, South India (courtesy: gauravkumar)

Alappuzha (Alleppey) is the perfect destination for anyone who likes exploring new places and learning about the culture. It is a charming town that offers plenty of tourism opportunities, such as backwaters lined by thatched homes. You can enjoy the natural abundance from the houseboats that remain afloat on massive lakes. The word Kettuvallam refers to these old-fashioned boats made for spice traders. Back then it helped them navigate their way through rivers without getting wet. The same is now used as houseboats found throughout central Kerala’s networked waterways. 

Houseboats are a great way to enjoy the backwaters as they are equipped with all amenities for an enjoyable stay including air conditioning, cosy living spaces, and even kitchens. You can sit out on a deck and watch nature unfold before you in its unspoiled beauty. 

A perfect place for tourists would be Alappuzha which offers both beaches as well as other attractions like old ruins from Portuguese times. Maari Beach, Pathiramanal, Vembanad Lake, and Punnapra Beach are serene getaways in Alleppey for a relaxing holiday. Other than these there are many prominent sightseeing places in Alleppey.

St. Mary’s Forane Church,  St. George Forane Church, St. Andrew’s Basilica, Bay Island Driftwood Museum, and Revi Karunakaran Museum are prominent tourist spots in Alleppey, the tropical town of Kerala. You can rejuvenate your senses with an authentic spa and massage therapy while enjoying the lush views. 

Sakleshpur, Karnataka

Sakleshpur, Karnataka, South India
Sakleshpur, Karnataka, South India (courtesy: mohamedmeqathmani)

Located in the heights of Western Ghats, Sakleshpur is a small town located in the state of Karnataka. India’s best coffee plantations surround this small town. With an economy based on these crops, the town is recently developing itself as a tourist destination. It has recently gained a spot in the best places to visit in South India. The city has gathered much fame because of its natural beauty and unmatched experiences.

The city of Sakleshpur has a bounty of beautiful places to see, both manmade and nature’s gifts. A prime example is the ages-old Manjarabad Fort which was constructed in the form of a star. Hemavathi Dam is one among many Sakleshpur tourist attractions that offer amazing views for those who love taking pictures alongside their natural surroundings. It is a great picnic spot with activities such as swimming, kayaking, banana-boat riding, boating, and rope crossing.

The 600-year old Sakleshwara temple that sits on the river Hemavathi’s banks is a piece of fine craftsmanship and it is famed for the annual rath yatra. Bisle View Point offers astounding panoramic views of the region. It is one of the best scenic hill stations to visit in Karnataka. You can enjoy trekking at Pandavar Gudda and Junekal Gudda, the hills are covered with rainforests.

Dandeli, Karnataka

Dandeli, Karnataka, South India
Dandeli, Karnataka, South India (courtesy: amruthranjan)

Dandeli is famed as the adventure capital of South India, making it one of the best places to visit in the region. Located in the rugged Western Ghats, this tourist place in Karnataka offers peace and tranquillity with its spectacular views throughout the year. 

At 1551 ft above sea level it is higher than most other places in the region. It offers unmatched opportunities for fun-filled activities such as hiking, biking on mountain roads, walking through tea plantations and coffee groves. Dandeli is the ideal place for couples as they enjoy the views cuddling up by a fireplace.

Home to an abundance of natural beauty, Dandeli offers the best views of the Western Ghats. The lush green forests and unparalleled hiking opportunities keep both nature and adventure lovers engaged. Ulavi Temple holds historical significance while ancient caves like Kavla which is another most visited tourist attraction in Dandeli offer fascinating tales from centuries past. Dandeli is a place where you can go for an exhilarating adventure trip. It offers water sports like surfing on Kali River, stopping by DWS to see wildlife sanctuaries home to bears and tigers, along with hiking through mountainsides.

Madikeri, Karnataka

Madikeri, Karnataka, South India
Madikeri, Karnataka, South India (courtesy: ravigopalkesari)

Madikeri is a hidden gem in Karnataka, located between Mysore and Mangalore with many tourist attractions that are sure to delight any traveller. The town is renowned as ‘Karnataka’s Coffee Capital’. With misty hills blanketed with lush forests adorned with waterfalls, Madikeri is a favourite honeymoon destination in Karnataka among couples. Abbey Falls, Chingara Falls, and Chelavara Falls are enchanting spots for nature lovers.

Omkareshwara temple, Bhagamandala temple, and Namdroling Monastery are perfect pilgrim spots in Karnataka for religious enthusiasts. Breathtaking views of the Western Ghats can be enjoyed from the Mandalpatti vantage point. Raja’s Seat is another viewpoint offering splendid views of the surroundings.

Madikeri is a beautiful town that blooms all year round with the perfect time for vacation being during monsoons. The natural glory of the town is at its peak during this season. Additionally, around these times waterfalls like Abbey Falls glitter beautifully against dark skies while tropical flowers tempt your senses.

You can indulge in the unforgettable experience of walking through coffee estates and spice plantations. Berry picking and coffee tasting are also a part of some excursion packages. The region also offers a horde of activities like trekking, canyoning, and rappelling. Galibeedu trek is the most popular among all kinds of trekkers including first-timers.

Mangalore, Karnataka

Mangalore, Karnataka, South India
Mangalore, Karnataka, South India (sampathmenon)

The town of Mangalore, also known as Mangaluru is located in Karnataka. It is famous for its serene beaches, magnificent temples, and picturesque sunsets. It is one of the most visited beach destinations in Karnataka. The coastal town is an upcoming center of education, commerce, and healthcare. The climate is tropical, with the weather being hot and humid in summer and pleasantly cool in winter.

The Mangalore Port is one of the oldest ports in India and a major center for trade. It handles the export and import of goods worth billions of rupees every year. The city has some good educational institutions including Mangalore University. There are plenty of tourist spots in Mangalore including the beaches at Panambur Beach, Tannirbhavi Beach, Surathkal Beach, Sasihithlu Beach, Ullal Beach, and Someshwara Beach. Water sports like snorkelling, fishing, banana boat rides, windsurfing, speed boating, kayaking, and canoeing can be enjoyed in Mangalore.

Beyond exploring the gorgeous coastlines, you can also visit the ancient temples of Mangalore. Kadri Manjunath Temple, Mangaladevi Temple, Kudroli Temple, Shri Sharavu Mahaganapathi Temple, Polali Rajarajeshwari Temple, and Kateel Shri Durgaparameshwari Temple are highly revered pilgrimages in the town.

With a vast coastline and countless beaches, Mangalore is an ideal destination for those looking to explore the beautiful waters of South India. Delicious local food items including freshly prepared seafood and other authentic dishes from the region are a must-try for a mouthwatering experience. Neer Dosa, Mangalorean fish curry, Rasam, Cashew Upkari, and Kane are widely available local delicacies. Make your evenings even better as you enjoy ice cream while watching the sunset over the pristine waters of the Arabian Sea.

Kovalam, Kerala

Kovalam Beach, Kerala - Popular Beaches of South India
Kovalam, Kerala, South India (courtesy: aabidsakir)

Kovalam is a small town located by the beautiful Arabian Sea. It is a quaint coastal town in Thiruvananthapuram. This place is one of the most visited tourist places in South India due to its stunning beaches. Offering an incredible view and wonderful breeze, these beaches are a respite from the bustle of city life. Hawah Beach, Lighthouse Beach, Samudra Beach, Chowara Beach, Vizhinjam Beach, and Pozhikkara Beach are popular beaches of Kovalam.

The ancient city of Kovalam has been attracting visitors since the 1920s. Kovalam has many popular sightseeing places to see. The place became more popular when Regent Maharani of Travancore, Sethu Lakshmi Bayi constructed her first beach resort. The royal resort is known as Halcyon Castle. It came into the limelight during the 1970s when Hippies from Ceylon came to Kovalam.

The vibrant holiday destination offers several water sports including parasailing, windsurfing, snorkelling, and backwater cruising. However, if you want a more relaxed stay during your vacation then head over to Veli Tourist Village. The beautiful resort offers a refreshing picnic with several recreational activities. You can enjoy delicious food items including local fish which is specially prepared using ancient recipes passed down through generations. 

Kovalam is a popular destination for tourists looking to unwind and enjoy the many indulgences that this ancient city has to offer. Alongside ayurvedic treatments, wellness therapies, and massages,  you can also book yoga classes to relieve stress. Shopping at local markets is another therapy for shopaholics. Plenty of spices, handicrafts, and wooden statues made by local artisans are available as souvenirs in the market.

Periyar, Kerala

Periyar National Park, Kerala, Monsoon Place in India
Periyar, Kerala, South India (courtesy: janhavibhujabal)

Periyar is a picturesque wildlife destination in the outlying suburbs of Kerala. It is surrounded by small, captivating cottages amidst spice gardens that give you an ethnic feel with their distinguishing features. They offer a peaceful setting amidst lush greenery for those who visit this beautiful town. It offers you an escape from the everyday noise as you enjoy a luxurious stay amidst nature on a calm holiday or weekend getaway. 

The Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is a place where you can get up close and personal with some of India’s most majestic creatures. This 777 sq km sanctuary has been called “the most charming natural haven” for its lush forests adorned with deep lakes and teeming riversides covered by the greenery around the year. Home to a wide variety of plants and animals, the forests boast of many rare species.

Visit the Vandiperiyar River to witness its beauty. It provides sustenance for various tea and coffee plantations across the region. You can enjoy walking through these plantations and exploring their history. There are several factories that produce these beverages, making Periyar an ideal spot for tourists to taste the unique flavours.

Kasaragod, Kerala

Kasargod, Kerala, South India
Kasargod, Kerala, South India (courtesy: princet)

Kasaragod is a hidden gem in the Western Ghats that offers tourists a thrilling holiday experience. Located just an hour away from Kerala’s capital city, Kasargod shines as the best tourist place to visit in South India. The tropical town captures nature’s beauty with its green hills and coconut gardens while also being surrounded by unspoiled beaches.

The city has many historic structures and religious sites like the Nellikunnu Mosque and Malik Deenar Mosque. Sri Anantha Padmanabha Temple, Nileswaram, Manjeshwar, Mallikarjuna Temple, and Srimad Anantheshwara Vinayaka Temple are prominent Hindu pilgrimages. You can also witness the local art forms such as Yakshagana or Gombeyaata to explore the traditional culture of Kasargod. You can witness festivals like Sarvajanika Ganeshotsava and Mallikarjuna temple festival during your stay here.

Kasaragod is a beautiful destination with an old-world charm. Maipady Palace of the Kumbala kings, Chandragiri Fort, and Hosdurg Fort of the Ikkeri dynasty are the best places to see in Kasargod to dig up the history of the region. The fort at Bekal is not only the largest and best-preserved but also a historical landmark of Kasargod. The fine beachfront with its natural scenery make it one of South India’s most exciting places to visit. Kasargod serves authentic South Indian cuisine. Banana chips, Fish fry, and Payasam are must-try local delicacies.

Coimbatore, Tamilnadu

Adiyogi, Coimbatore, Tamilnadu, South India
Adiyogi, Coimbatore, Tamilnadu, South India (courtesy: atinfinity)

The state of Tamil Nadu is a land full of beautiful temples and historical sites, one such place being Coimbatore. You may know the city by its other nickname Kovai. Coimbatore is a city that offers endless amounts of activities to its visitors. The green hills, broad ghats, and beautiful waterfalls make it one of the most pleasant tourist places to visit in South India.

The city of Coimbatore has everything you need to make your vacation perfect. From ancient temples to classy new buildings and breathtaking mountains it offers a plethora of sightseeing opportunities. 

Coimbatore is home to an awe-inspiring 112 feet tall statue of Lord Shiva, known as the Adiyogi. Located at ISHA center it is a very popular tourist spot and stands as an architectural masterpiece that represents self-transformation. The statue holds a place in the Guinness Book Of World Records for its size. It is an example of how our spiritual beliefs can lead us on paths toward inner peace. 

If you are looking for an adrenaline-pumping adventure, trekking in Coimbatore is the perfect activity for you. Some popular treks are Dhoni Hills, Perumal Peak, Vellari Mala, and Thalaiyar Falls. These trails offer breathtaking views of the surroundings and an exciting explorative experience.

Chittoor, Andhra Pradesh

Chittor, Andhra Pradesh, South India
Chittor, Andhra Pradesh, South India (courtesy: manikhyammahi)

Chittoor is one of the most populated places in the state of Andhra Pradesh. It is situated in the valley of the River Ponni and is known for its markets that overflow from local produce such as sugarcane and grains alongside peanuts. It houses some big oilseed industries and rice mills which contribute significantly to the national economy. It is also home to many hatcheries. Jaggery from Aragonda is famous all over the country. Chittoor has a lot of mango orchards and also produces hatchery for fish, which are important industries in this region.

Chittoor is a picturesque destination in Andhra Pradesh that offers a serene ambiance for a refreshing holiday. The sacred land houses many old temples and churches. The town’s layout creates an interesting look, with winding roads leading up to bulky buildings decorated by vibrant flowers or elaborate carvings, taking you back in time. Srikalahasti Temple and Kanipakam Vinayaka Temple are highly revered among Hindu devotees in the region.

Some major attractions of Chittoor include Tada Falls, Nagalapuram Falls, Horsley Hills, Kailasakona waterfall, Rishi Valley School,  Swami Pushkarini Lake, Sri Subrahmanya Temple, Parasurameswara Temple, Sahasra Linga Temple, and the Kaigal Waterfalls. You can visit the Kaundinya Wildlife Sanctuary to spot animals like elephants and deer or spend time at one of many parks such as Bans Water Park. You can have fun with your family and friends on the exciting rides at the park while enjoying nature’s beauty. Enthralling activities like swimming and archery can be enjoyed at Horsley hills. Trekkers can enjoy a challenging expedition to Nagari Hills.

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