The Southern half of India has a distinctive essence and doused in a riot of rich cultures and colors. With a well preserved cultural heritage, each state in South India has a galore of tourist attractions to offer. The elaborate and intricate temple designs, heritage sites, sculptures, misty hills, wildlife sanctuaries, palm-lined canals, and sandy beaches make the Southern half of India truly a tourist’s paradise. Gear up with all your travel equipment and craft your travel itinerary to explore all the astonishing places to visit in South India.
1. Munnar — A Perfect Summer Escape
A lush green paradise dotted with spice plantations, sprawling tea gardens and endless treat of breath-taking waterfalls and lakes. Yes! such a fairytale place exists on this planet in the name of Munnar. Spend a lovely night at a hill cottage facing the mist-laden hills, wake-up to the chirping birds and walk through the clouds when you are at this astonishing hill station of Kerala.
Places to visit: Attukal Waterfalls, Anamudi, Pothamedu View Point, Echo Point, Eravikulam National Park
Things to do: Spend some riveting moments at the Elephant Park, feeding, bathing and watching the playful creatures
2. Devikulam — A Cool Holiday in the Sweltering Summers
Places to visit: Pillar Rocks Viewpoint, Guna Caves, Silver Cascade Falls, Sacred Heart College Museum, Wax Museum
Things to do: Devikulam has everything from beautiful waterfalls to sparkling lakes – the Bear Shola Falls, Berijam Lake and Devikulam Lake, visit Shenbaganur Museum to learn about the history and architecture of Devikulam , visit the famous temple in Devikulam which is Kurinji Andavar Temple to seek blessings from Lord Murugan, rent a boat and cruise in the serene lakes to for a incredible experience.
3. Coorg — Scotland of India
Flaunting the tropical wonders of the Western Ghat of Karnataka, this Scotland of India is a regnant summer refuge with ligneous slopes, rich biodiversity, mesmerizing cascades, as well as its a treasure of inimitable heritage. Coorg posses a heart-warming expansion of spice and coffee plantations. One of the perfect places to visit in South India for a wildlife enthusiast. Explore the nature's most beautiful wildlife reserves of Nagarhole, Dubare, and Pushpagiri.
Places to visit: Tadiandamol Peak, Brahmagiri Hill, Iruppu Falls, Golden Temple, coffee estate
Things to do: Coorg hosts mind-blowing adventures, ranging from camping, trekking and rock climbing to microlight flying and white-water rafting
4. Kodaikanal — The Princess of Hill Stations
Kodaikanal is to Bangaloreans what Darjeeling is to Kolkatans or what Nainital is to Delhiites. Waterfalls, valleys, meadows, grasslands, forests, and lakes of the quaint hill station of Tamil Nadu make it one of the best places to visit in South India and a perfect summer holiday destination from the peninsula. From cycle rides to yoga, boat rides to treks Kodaikanal has a lot of adventures activity within its heart to offer to its tourists.
Places to visit: Kodaikanal Lake, Bryant Park, Coaker’s Walk, Pillar Rocks, Dolphin’s Nose rock, Shembaganur Museum of Natural History, and Bear Shola Falls
Things to do: Experience Brocken Spectre at Coakers’ Walk, ride a rowboat or pedalo at Kodaikanal Boat Club, cycle around the Kodai Lake, take a trek to Kukkal Caves, and practice yoga at the Kodaikanal Yoga Centre
5. Ooty — One of few toy-train cities in India
One of the much-acclaimed scenic hot-spot in Tamil Nadu to spend your holidays in South India. Situated in the Nilgiri Blue Mountains hills, the hill station is often called the Queen of Hills. The famous toy train takes you through the nearby lush hills. The little hill station also offers a lot of places to visit and adventure activities to its visitors.
Places to visit: Doddabetta Peak, Ooty Lake, Emerald Lake, tribal Toda huts, Deer Park, Upper Bhawani Lake, Avalanche Lake, St Stephen’s Church, and Kalhatty Waterfalls
Things to do: Ride the Nilgiri Toy Train, horse riding, boating in Ooty Lake, mountain biking in the Blue Mountains, and hang gliding at Kalahatti (20 km from Ooty)
6. Pondicherry — A Laidback Holiday Specialist
A French colonial and Union Territory town Pondicherry is an absolute beach destination enclosed by the southeastern Tamil Nadu state where its rich heritage and quaint French bakeries are the star attraction. It has preserved its French legacy in its French Quarter, with tree-lined streets, chic boutiques, and mustard-colored colonial villas.
Places to Visit: Pondicherry Beach, Promenade, Pondicherry Museum, Park Monument, French War Memorial, Chunnambar Boathouse, Pondicherry Botanical Garden
Things to do: Enjoy a beautiful Sunrise, Take a boat ride to the Paradise Beach Island, Experience the divine dawn and go birdwatching, Go Scuba Diving for an underwater date with colorful corals, Sunbathe on a sun-kissed day
7. Coonoor — Beckons a Pleasant Summer Holiday
Picturesque enchantments, splendid buildings, kitty cottages with astonishing views of nature Coonoor has many hidden gems within its lap to offer its visitors. Away from the hustle-bustle of the mad city life, Coonoor is an ultimate retreat and a serene destination to spent some quality time.
Places to Visit: Doddabetta, Sim's Park, Coonoor, Nilgiri Mountain Railway, Catherine Falls, Dolphin Nose View Point, Tiger Hill
Things to do: St. Catherine’s falls is a popular attraction in Coonoor, for a magnificent view of the falls visit the top of Dolphin’s nose, yet another place to visit in Coonoor is the Droog Fort which was used by the Tipu Sultan, for Golf lovers, Wellington Golf Course will fulfill your sporting spirit
8. Yercaud — Holiday Perfect at Tamil Nadu's Perfect
Situated in the gorgeous Shevaroy Hills in the Eastern Ghats of Tamil Nadu, Yercaud is a great trekking destination to explore. It's a calm and picturesque hill station with an extensive widespread of orange groves, coffee and spice plantations all across the hill town. Not only among the most beautiful places to visit in South India, Yercaud is gradually becoming a tourist hotspot.
Places to Visit: Shevaroy Hills, Kiliyur Falls, Lady's Seat, Kiliyur Falls, Gents Seat, TreeTop Adventure, Children's Seat
Things to do: Go on a hike to Kiliyur Falls to witness the majestic views of the lush green rolling hills and take a soothing bath under the falls, go on a refreshing walks on through the hills, pay a visit to the beautiful Shervaroyan temple, Japanese Park, Pagoda Point, The Grange, Anna Park, and White Elephant Tooth Rock, take a long drive for panoramic views of spice and tea plantations
9. Alleppey — Venice of India
Cannot afford to visit Venice? Visit the Venice of the East at Alleppey commonly known as Alappuzha. Notably famous for its remarkable backwater, the city of Alleppey in Kerala is also known for its mesmerizing beaches, lagoons, ancient temples, and Ayurveda wellness centers. Dotting the coastline of the Arabian Sea, Alleppey is the oldest planned backwater town of Kerala. The backwaters coupled with houseboats and the tropical village life makes Alleppey worth a visit.
Places to Visit: Kerala Backwaters, Alappuzha Beach, Andhakaranazhi Beach, Kayamkulam Lake, Kakkathuruthu Island, Pandavan Rock.
Things to do: Take a Boat Tours, Rejuvenate with Ayurveda and Spa pampering, Relish some spiritualism at the temples and churches around, Shop at Alleppey’s famous markets, Witness the practicing sessions of Snake Boat Races, Swim through the sunsets at Pozhiyoram beach, Splurge on the authentic seafood.
10. Kanyakumari — The Land of Three Seas
Located at the confluence of Bay of Bengal, Indian Ocean, and the Arabian Sea, Kanyakumari is the place where two seas meet an ocean. The city enjoys a unique identity for hosting astounding sunrise as well as sunset views from its beach.
Places to Visit: Kanyakumari Beach, Sunset View Point, Courtallam Falls, Gandhi Memorial, Our Lady of Ransom Church, Bhagavathy Amman Temple, Kanyakumari Wax Museum.
Things to do: Enjoy a ferry ride to visit Vivekananda Rock and explore various other attractions like Our Lady of Ransom Church, Padmanabhapuram Palace, Tsunami Monument, Thiruvalluvar Statue and Kanyakumari Devi Temple. Relax at the beaches and enjoy the authentic South Indian vegetarian cuisines.
11. Horsley Hills — Romancing With The Hills
A dainty metropolis situated at an altitude of 1265 meters, famous amongst the newlyweds & families alike is one of the well-known hill inns in Andhra Pradesh. Blessed with thick verdure of diverse species of plants, unadulterated air and mighty rocks Horsley Hills is a picture-perfect fairy-tale attraction.
Places To Visit: Gali Bandalu / Wind Rocks, Kalyani - Eucalyptus Tree, Horsley Hills Zoo, Chennakesava Temple - Sompalle, Gangotri Lake
Things To Do: Trekking, Hiking, Rappelling and Zorbing
The Royal Palace of Mysore is a world World Heritage-listed site and is a stamp of royalty in Karnataka. Not only that, but the hilltop guardian temple of Goddess Chamundehswari or the sprawling canvas of Brindavan Gardens add Mysore to the list of most visited places in India by foreigners. Mansions, churches, art galleries and museums and the smallest things like the Mysore silk fabric make the place a rich tourist place.
Places To Visit: Chamundeshwari Temple, Mysore Palace, Brindavan Gardens, St. Philomena’s Cathedral, Karanji Lake
Things To Do: Silk Saree Shopping, Wildlife Spotting in Mysore Zoo, Explore the railway museum, Camping in Masinagudi, Mysore Cycle Tour
Kochi is a paradise for people who are in love with the sea, you'll be amazed by the scenic beauty of this mesmerizing vacay destinations. It's one of the best tourist places in India which will leave you awestruck by the panoramic beauty of the stretched seas and nature. Pay a religious tribute at the churches, visit the backwaters for an unforgettable boat ride. Don't forget to visit the Mattancherry Palace to explore one of the most precious historical places in Kochi.
Places To Visit: Subhash Park, Kuzhupilly Beach, Dutch Cemetry, Willingdon Island, Jeevamatha Church, Fort Kochi
Things To Do: Ferry Rides, Eco tour to Kumbalangi, Explore the Elephant Training Centre and Visit the Willington Island to witness beautiful sunsets.
Skip the trip to Goa and head right to Gokarna instead. Walk alongside the seashore, the best being Kudle or Om beaches, revel in the sea breeze and guzzle a few cold beers with your loved one. For a greater secluded experience, you can get away to close by Halfmoon and Paradise beaches. Acquire a cottage close to the beach and you could even watch the sunset or the dawn together.
Places To Visit: Om Beach, Mahabaleshwar Temple, Paradise Beach, Half Moon Beach, Umamaheshwar Temple
Things To Do: Fishing, A religious tour to temples, Hiking at Paradise Beach, Shopping at Gokarna Market, A dip in Arabian Sea
One of the UNESCO World Heritage Site positioned in the city of Hospet, Hampi posses a glorious past and reinforcing present. Located within the ruins of Vijayanagara, the capital of Vijayanagar Empire, Hampi draws millions of visitors every year. Every time you visit Hampi, it will sense like a stone age from the past buried in the present. Things you can revel in Hampi are captivating riverside cottages (available at an economical price), wood-fired pizzas, hammocks to laze around and even riverside picnic spots. Lease yourself a vehicle, hold your partner tight, and burst off exploring the monumental ruins of the Vijayanagara kingdom that Hampi is known for. They date back to the first half of the fifteenth century which make them not only the most secluded and grand ruins of India but also one of the best tourist places in India.
Places To Visit: Vijaya Vittala Temple, Hanuman Temple, Queen's Bath, Virupaksha Temple, Matanga Hill
Things To Do: Witness sunset from Matanga Hill, Pay a spiritual tribute at the beautiful temples, Cycle around to explore the ruins and mystical architecture of Hampi
If you want to go for boat safaris, trekking, bamboo rafting, elephant rides, spice plantation tours, border hiking, bullock cart rides or other activities, then Thekkady is the place for you. Thekkady is rich in wildlife and nature because it is a Tiger Reserve. The Periyar National Park which is established around Lake Periyar is home to tigers, lion-tailed macaque, Malabar giant squirrel and several other animals. It is on every foreigner in India's travel list because this place will get you up-close and intimates you to get with nature.
Places To Visit: Elephant Junction, Periyar National Park, Periyar Tiger Reserve, Mangala Devi Temple, Chellarkovil Viewpoint
Things To Do: Boat Rides, Explore Wildlife at the national park and tiger reserve, Explore ayuvedia gardens and spice gardens, Visit the Kerala Ayurveda Museum
Dandeli is a scenic town in northern Karnataka that is a popular retreat for adventure lovers and wildlife enthusiasts. The region offers the best opportunities for water rafting, picnic, and pilgrimage tours. A significant number of people visit during Diwali, Dussehra and Ganesh Chaturthi.
Places To Visit: The main attraction in this town is the Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary that is well known for its picturesque setting, safari tours, and the deciduous forest. The main wildlife species found here are tiger, leopard, and elephants. Dandeli Nature Camp, Dandelappa Temple, Shivaji Fort, Mollungi Falls, Shirole Peak, River Kali
Things To Do: White River Rafting, Explore Wildlife Species, Angling, Bird Watching
The Mangalore city is most often proclaimed as the heart of Karnataka and is situated between the blue waters of the Arabian Sea and the green exalted hills of the Western Ghats. Some water sports activities, dolphin-spotting, and the lazy beach are what you may look forward to at Mangalore. We recommend you propose a weekend of beach-hopping and experience the sun and sand together with your soul mate. Honestly speaking, Mangalore is one of the great places to visit near Bangalore.
Places To Visit: Kadri Majnunath Temple, Kudroli Gokarnath Temple, Panambur Beach, Tannirbhavi Beach, Milagres Church
Things To Do: Explore nature at Butterfly park, Surf at Ashram, Spiritual Tribute at St. Aloysius College Chapel, Binge on Scrumptious Sea Food
Discover the succulent coffee plantations and pleasant climate. Chikmagalur is noted for adventurous hiking trips along with your date, in case you are up for some enthralling adventures. Another eminent enchantment that Chikmagalur is known for is its Planters' Life and Bababudan Giri ranges. It is amongst the best-underexplored places to visit near Bangalore. The hill station, it's picturesque landscape and greenery has earned a lot of attention from tourists. The literal meaning of the Chikmagalur is the “Land of Younger Daughter”. Chikmagalur constitutes of beautiful mountain regions, rugged terrains unified with lowlands. This is the destination one must explore.
Places To Visit: Mahatma Gandhi Park, Kudremukh , Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary, Kalhatti Falls, Hebbe Falls, Kemmagundi
Things To Do: Trekking, Sightseeing and Sunset points, Camping, Explore coffee plantations, Explore Tiger Reserves
You must be feeling spoilt for choices. Pick up any of these places and you would never be disappointed.
Q. What are some beach destinations in South India?
A. Kovalam, Varkala, Gokarna Karnataka, Mamallapuram, Kochi, Chennai, Mangalore, Karwar Karnataka, Kappil Thiruvananthapuram
Q. Which is the best place for trekking in South India?
A. Nilgiri — Tamilnadu, Coorg — Karnataka, Peermede — Kerala, Ananthagiri Hills — Andhra Pradesh, Kodachadri — Karnataka, Munnar — Kerala, Chembra Peak — Kerala, Paithalmala — Kerala