South India comprises of five Indian States- Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Telangana. It also includes three union territories Puducherry, Lakshwadeep and Andaman & Nicobar Islands. South India shape is like an inverted triangle surrounded by the Arabian Sea on West, the Bay of Bengal on east and the Vindhya and Satpura ranges on the north. This region has a tropical climate and majorly depends on monsoons for rainfall.
Entire South India has its unique traditions, literature, story and art, and for a tourist, the region is a treasury of unique, memorable and enriching experiences. Here is our list of places to visit in South India (State Wise) that tourists should visit.
Places To Visit In South India- States
Kerala is flanked by the Arabian Sea in the west, towering in the west by the Ghats in the east, and interconnected by 44 interconnected rivers. The long coastline with calm beaches, tranquil stretches of emerald backwaters, grassy hills and exotic wildlife are just some of the wonders awaiting you as you cross over. Visit these places in Kerala-
Varkala– Located 50 km northwest of Trivandrum the capital city of Kerala. Varkala, a peaceful and quiet hamlet, lies on the outskirts of Trivandrum district. Varkala has many sightseer options that include a lovely beach, a 2000-year-old Vishnu Temple and the Ashramam – Sivagiri Mutt a little distance from the beach. Varkala still a fabulous place and it’s easy to escape the crowds further north or south where the beaches are cleaner and quieter.
Alappuzha-Also known as “Venice of the East”, Alappuzha an essential place in the maritime antiquity of Kerala. At present, this place well-known for its boat races, backwater holidays, beaches. Alappuzha Beach is a well-liked picnic spot. While you are in this place, you should experience the one-night houseboat cruise. There are two routes one takes you to the lake, and the other takes you to the paddy fields. We recommend you all to take the paddy fields route because that is marvellous. You will experience the local life of Alappuzha, which will be a memorable one.
The Periyar Tiger Reserve -Slow ripple in the water informs you that you are not alone. The kingfisher swept from a distance, and as your gaze turned to the water, a small herd of muddy baby elephants went playfully ashore, watching curiously the spectators who looked at them in amazement from their boats. Bison and deer graze in patches because occasional packs of wild dogs can be seen at the edge of the trees and carefully guard the entire forest. Ancient tree trunks come out of the water, patrolling a time when people on the world map were just a tiny spot. This is the Periyar Tiger Reserve, among the last protected areas on the planet where people can still get close, and a personal look at the forest continues around his day.
Dhoni- Pearls in the wind-A hidden jewel is known only to those who frequently visit Palakkad, Dhoni is one of the hottest picnic destinations in the State and is an enthralling story in itself. A picnicker’s dream come true, the exhaustive three-hour trek that this place encourages you is one of the most delightful hikes that the entire State has to offer.
Nilambur-Some paths and trails can escape the naked eye, yet have dutifully preserved and maintained in nature’s very own loving embrace for over a millennium. We topple upon them while exploring other destinations, but these are the places that define the very fragrance of the journey. These are pit stops which attract travellers. In the green haven of Nilambur, we come across the majestic Nedumkayam Rainforest, a jewel that tourists nowadays wants to explore.
Munnar-The Queen of the Hills is not a moniker that given out lightly, but Munnar claimed it seamlessly like a pureblood monarch. This hill station is today atop every global traveller’s bucket list, standing as the ultimate culmination of natural beauty gently shaped into an international tourist hotbed.
Karnataka is bordered by the Arabian Sea to the west, Goa to the northwest, Maharashtra to the north, Telangana to the northeast, Andhra Pradesh to the east, Tamil Nadu to the southeast and Kerala to the south. Karnataka is the 4th most famous tourist country in India. Bouquet of attractions can offer you. It extends from Belgaum in the north to Bangalore in the south; From beautiful landscapes to rich cultural heritage, tranquil beaches and fabulous food, Karnataka is genuinely a world in itself!
Travellers should visit these following places:-
Hampi-The UNESCO World Heritage Site, located along the Tungabhadra River, is easily accessible and a place to visit, as Hampi, the capital of the Vijayanagara Empire, known for its rich history. The beauty of this place is the more you go around, the more it brings adventures, knowledge and takes you through an unplanned historical tour that is most definitely worth it. Hampi is the perfect combination of a backpacker’s paradise, surrounded by the three hills Anjaneya, Malyavanta and Matanga hills, and a peaceful pilgrim location.
Madikeri-Rich coffee plantations and breath of cold, fresh air along hilly terrain Madikeri, the seat of Kodagu (also known as Coorg). Also known as Scotland India, Madikeri is about 120 km from Mysore and is a visual treatment for the eyes. It is the perfect place for hiking, camping, exploring and tripping over the more beauty of nature. Coorg is known for cardamom, a black and especially rich coffee plantation, so if you are looking for one of them, then Coorg, also known as “The Hidden Jewel of South India” is for you. Coorg is the “coffee bowl” in the country as it represents almost 40 per cent of the country’s total coffee production. Sightseer can visit the nearby places Abbey Falls, Raja’s Seat, The Golden Temple, The Omkareshwar Temple and Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary.
Pattadakal -Once the goal of the kings, Pattadakal was where the kingdoms were granted to heirs. The place is known as the official coronation destination, the temples of Pattadakal, which translate into the coronation (Patta) stone (kallu), have a collection of temples that bent on North Indian and South Indian styles of temple architecture. With statues and details intact, these temples tell their stories with clarity; stories so compelling that they resonate for centuries.
Gokarna -With pristine beaches and breathtaking landscapes, Gokarna is a Hindu pilgrimage town in Karnataka and a newly found centre for beach and hippie lovers. Located on the coast of Karwar, Gokarna is a small town in Karnataka, known mainly for two reasons – its beaches and temples. Gokarna may be different for different people. Every year, hordes of tourists visit Gokarn to seek sacredness and salvation on the one hand and relaxation on the other.
Situated in the south-east of the country, it is the seventh-largest state in India, including an area of 160,205 km2 (61,855 sq mi). The state has 974 km long coastline. It’s home to Tirupati which is one of the world’s most-visited holy site. Andhra Pradesh is known as “The Rice Bowl of India.” From beaches to forests and from temples to caves, Andhra Pradesh has it all. Whether you’re seeing for a holy retreat with your family, a peaceful getaway with your spouse, or an enjoyable vacation for everybody, there’s an ideal holiday destination for everybody.
Vizag-Popularly known as the East Coast Jewel, this port city and financial capital offer you beaches, Olive Ridley turtles, Buddhist sites and wildlife. Combine heritage and adventure in Visakhapatnam. Beaches, wildlife and nature, come together as one. Enjoy the excitement of water sports at Rushikonda and Ramakrishna Beach or descend to Chaparai Falls in the Araku Valley.
Vijayawada-When you mention the locals of Vijayawada, they will talk about beautiful springs, sweets and juicy mangoes. Also known Bezawada, the city located on the banks of the Krishna River and overlooks the Bay of Bengal. Indrakeeladri Hill forms the spectacular backdrop of the town in the west. The city’s name translates to “Victory Point” and holds a prominent position in South India as it is home to the largest railway junction in the region.
Tirupati-Located in the district of Chittoor, Andhra Pradesh, Tirupati is a name known to all Indians. One of the most famous pilgrimage centres in the country, Sri Venkateshwara Temple, known as Tirupati Temple, is a place worth visiting. His majesty and grace cross religious boundaries will appeal to everyone. It is also known to be one of the wealthiest holy shrines in the world.
Nellore -A land of diverse experiences No matter what you’re looking for, you’re bound to discover it by Nellore. Blessed with shrines that flow out of pure devotion, magnificent forts reflecting the glorious past, rivers bearing the stories of ancient civilizations, and the vast Bay of Bengal. Nellore is a versatile neighborhood that will amaze you with hidden treasures. The land of Nellore is sacred to many old temples that reside inside. The stories of these temples woven in Indian mythicism, and they bring a lot of curiosity to the devotees.
Telangana situated Indian Peninsula on the high Deccan Plateau. It is the 11th largest state and the 12th most populous state in India with a geographic area of 112,077 square kilometres. On June 2, 2014, the state separated and formed the 29th State with Hyderabad as its historic permanent capital. Its other capitals include Warangal, Nizamabad and Karimnagar. Maharashtra border Telangana into the north, Chhattisgarh to the east, Karnataka to the west and Andhra Pradesh to the east and south.
Warangal- The place takes you back to the time of kings and queens with its beautiful ancient sites and extraordinary natural beauty. Warangal is considered the fifth largest city in this state. The legends have it that it was known as Oruguallu mainly due to the existence of a vast hillock which seemed to have been carved out entirely off one stone. Warangal will take you back to the era of kings and queens with beautiful historical sites. The natural beauties of Warangal are no less impressive, and Lake Parkhall and nature reserves are also worth a visit.
Hyderabad -The real melting pot of old and new Hyderabad, known as Nawab City, a city that exudes its charm of the old world and still co-exists with the rapidly growing onslaught of commercialization in perfect harmony. Submerged in history, Hyderabad is home to ancient mosques and bazaars that are lined in parallel along new elegant office buildings and shopping centers, and these are the contrasts – these insights into the city’s rich past with the inherent promises of an even better future – that’s precisely what Hyderabad does a town worth a visit.
Nagarjunasagar– A site of magnificent human-made marvel flanked by somewhat enchanting panoramic vistas of the lush green surrounding. Lying in the Nalgonda District of Andhra Pradesh, the most famous landmark of the town is world’s tallest masonry dam Nagarjunasagar dam built over Krishna River.
Bhadrachalam– A refreshing place to visit, with examples from Ramayana, the famous palace, the vibrant river and the mystical terrain and surroundings. The majestic Godavari River is wound with its vast stretch of sand throughout the city and is considered very holy. It can also host several activities that make the river a pleasant experience. One can visit Sri Sitaramachandra Swamy Temple and Abhaya Anjaneya Temple.
Tamil Nadu is located in the southernmost part of the Indian subcontinent and bordered by the Union’s territory of Puducherry and the South Indian States of Kerala, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. Towards north Tamil Nadu bordered by the Eastern Ghats, the Nilgiri Mountains, Meghamalai Hills and Kerala, in the east by the Bay of Bengal, the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait in the southeast and the Indian Ocean in the south. List of places vacationist should visit:-
Kanyakumari-Approximately 705 km from State Capital, Chennai. It is a “rocky land” in the Indian Ocean, Tamil Nadu, located on the southern tip of the Indian subcontinent. Many call it KOODAL, which means situated at the confluence of the three oceanic bays of Bengal, the Arabian Sea, and the Indian Ocean. Kanyakumari is popular because it is the only place on Earth where one can witness the Sunrise and the Sunset from the ocean.
Mamallapuram-Also known as Mahabalipuram, a town in Chengalpattu district in the southeastern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It was earlier a busy seaport, now a well-known beachside tourism centre with a group of Tamil masterpieces, recently being declared as UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Ooty-The Blue Mountains have always been shrouded in mysticism, and Ooty is no exception. For mountain lover, the very idea of travelling to a city known as the Queen of the Hills is as engaging as any other. Ooty, also known as Udagamandalam, is a mountain station in Tamil Nadu that serves as a trendy tourist destination for anyone looking for a picturesque spot to relax and unwind. Located in the middle of the Nilgiri Hills at an altitude of 2340 meters above sea level, Ooty has a favourable climate all year round.
Places To Visit In South India - Union Territories
The Andaman and Nicobar islands
The Andaman and the Nicobar Islands is one of the nine union territories of India, and Port Blair is the capital of this beautiful union territory. Approximately 572 islands this union territory has with an area of 8230 square kilometres. This union territory, located in the east of the Indian mainland geographically, float in splendid isolation in the Bay of Bengal.
Cellular Jail-The jail, also known as the “Kala Pani”, is an old colonial prison in Port Blair, the capital of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The Cellular Jail built by the British during colonial rule in India and mainly used to exile political prisoners where they were subjected to many offences in the hands of the British. Construction of the Cellular jail began in 1896 and was completed in 1906, after which several Indian freedom fighters such as Batukeshwar Dutt, Yogendra Shukla and Vinayak Damodar Savarkar were imprisoned here during the struggle for India’s independence.
Havelock Island -Havelock Island is one of the largest and most famous islands in Andaman and Nicobar. Located on a massive area of 113.93 square km, it lies 57 km northeast of the capital Port Blair. Havelock Island is a paradise of silky white sandy beaches, crystal blue waters, vibrant corals and lush forests. There is no beauty on this small island because the renowned and very loved beaches of Radhanagar and Vijaynagar are also right on its southern coast. Havelock Island is also famous among those who want to dive, snorkel and the deep sea.
Ross Island -Located just 2 km east of Port Blair, is the Ross Island; an island that was once an governmental seat of the British, but today it is just an uninhabited island that is only recognized for its beauty and pictorial views. After the earthquake that hit Ross Island in 1941, the British left the island and moved their town to Port Blair. The island failed to overcome the grief of this sudden withdrawal and eventually disintegrated and neglected. In the ruins of the church, the swimming pool and the chief commissioner’s house, with its extensive gardens and magnificent, you can see a trace of a prosperous past.
Lakshadweep (means a ‘hundred thousand islands)’, has few of the most attractive and exotic islands and beaches of India. The smallest Union Territory of India, ‘Lakshadweep’ is a group of beautiful islands, located some 400km off India’s west coast into the Arabian Sea. However, only 36 islands are having a total area of 32 sq. Kilometres. It’s made up of 12 atolls, 3 reefs and 5 submerged banks. Ten Islands are inhabited. Perhaps the charm of Lakshadweep islands lies in their remoteness.
Minicoy Island -One of the 36 small islands of the Lakshadweep Islands group, Minicoy, also known as Maliku in the local language, is one of India’s best-kept secrets. It is located amidst a vast area of the Arabian Sea, merely 340 km from the shores of Kochi. The small island covers a total area of 4,801 square km and is known for its energetic coral reefs, charming beaches with white sand and the freshwater of the endless ocean. Minicoy Island is the second-largest island of Lakshadweep and is one of the few inhabited islands of the group. It is known for its luxurious beach resorts, which are an ideal destination for travellers seeking peace.
Karvatti Island– One of the most exquisite gems from the Lakshadweep group of islands. The capital of Lakshadweep is yet another island famous for its marvellous sea views and the natural white-sand beaches. The beaches are full with the swinging coconut trees, and once you take a swim inside the vast expanse, you can observe the abundant marine life of the island. The island also known for enthralling water sports.
The Union Territory of Puducherry includes four seaside regions, namely Puducherry, Karaikal, Mahe and Yanam. Puducherry and Karaikal are situated on the East Coast of Tamil Nadu, Yanam in Andhra Pradesh and Mahe on the West Coast in Kerala.
The city of Puducherry is the Capital of this Union Territory. It lies on the east coast about 162 km south of Chennai (Madras) located on the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal. Puducherry, far from the hustle and bustle of major cities, is a peaceful town on the south coast of India.
Auroville Beach – Also known as Auro Beach – as the name suggests, is near Auroville. It is located on the right side of the box office, opposite the road leading to Auroville. Located about 12 km from the capital Puducherry, its shallow water and small waves make it a fitting place for swimming. It’s a pretty attractive destination and may get overcrowded on weekends, while it is relatively less on weekdays.
Sri Aurobindo Ashram-Located on the Rue de la Marine and is one of the well-known and most prosperous ashrams in India. Devotees from India and around the globe flock to here for spiritual salvation. His religious principles represent the synthesis of yoga and modern science. The public is open daily from 8:00 to 1200 and 1400-1800 hours. Children under the age of 3 are not allowed in the ashram, and photography is permitted only with the permission of the Ashram authorities.
Ashram founded by Aurobindo Ghosh (Sri Aurobindo) in 1926, one of India’s most celebrated philosopher poets, who originally came to Ponda to escape the persecution by the British. Only after arriving in Puducherry did he immerse himself in the spiritual realm and discover the power of yoga. His philosophy was deeply rooted in yoga, and his writings inspired many followers.