The tourist places in South India are as enchanting as they are mysterious, offering splendid landscape views and cultural experiences for the traveller in you. It comprises of the states of Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Tamil Nadu. South India is a whole package of hill stations, architectural wonders, mesmerising beaches, and quaint religious destinations. To help you plan your next vacation, we give you the top 10 tourist places in South India. Believe us it is so difficult to choose just 10 because the whole of the Southern Tip of India should be on your ‘must visit’ list!
10 Best Tourist Places In South India
Like I said before, South India has many awesome destinations that should be on every traveller’s bucket list. We have managed to highlight the top 10 that you must visit to experience the magnificent South. South India has emerged as a hot summer destination for national and international tourists as well. This summer, pack your bags to explore the quaint south and escape the crowded North Indian hill stations.
1. Hampi, Karnataka
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, an ancient village in east-central Karnataka, Hampi is a treasure for the traveller who basks in the glory of ruins. The last capital of one of the greatest Hindu Empires, Vijaynagar, Hampi is an enchanting and captivating ruins site standing on the banks of the river Tungabhadra. This quaint little heritage town is known worldwide for its mesmerising architectural ruins dating back to the 14th century. Whether it’s the magnificent temples, intermingled rock formations, monoliths or old forts, Hampi has something for you in everything.
Hampi does not have an airport of its own, and the nearest airport is in Hubli. The nearest town is Hospet, and you can quickly get a train to Hospet. The Kariganuru railway station is just 10 km away from Hampi. It gets quite hot in Hampi during the summers, so plan a visit between August and March to enjoy it thoroughly. The place is well connected by bus and train. You can book a bus ticket using our Abhibus coupon and deals page.
2. Kerala Backwaters
Kerala backwaters are perhaps the most distinctive tourist place in South India. For a traveller who intends to soak in nature in its purest and blissful form. A ride in a houseboat from Kumarakaon to Alleppey and then relaxing on the Alappuzha Beach is a once in a lifetime experience. The waters are lazy, almost still, grazed by palm trees, laced with canals and lagoons running parallel to the Arabian Sea. A night at the houseboat with lip-smacking local cuisine prepared with fresh fish and the sight of pristine waters truly serves as food for the soul.
You can reach ‘Gods own country’ by air and landing in Kochi. From there take a road trip to Kumarakaon. You can also take the train as Kerala is well connected. The best time to visit would be from October to May.
3. Madurai, Tamil Nadu
A prime heritage city of Tamil Nadu, Madurai has an immense cultural and educational importance in the state. It is also one of the important industrial towns. With several historical monuments, Madurai also attracts pilgrims from all over the country. Two of the most prominent temples in Madurai are Meenakshi Amman Temple and Tirumalai Nayak Palace that give splendid glimpses of the rich traditional Dravidian architecture with stunning and intricate designs. It is also referred to as the ‘Athens of the East’ as it is situated on the banks of River Vaigai. Tread on foot in the old town for an enriching historical experience that you will remember for a lifetime.
Direct trains are available to Madurai from many cities in India. Madurai is also well connected with other cities of India via flights. 464 km from Chennai, you can also hop on buses to reach Madurai. Plan your trip between October and May as it gets quite hot in Summers.
4. Pondicherry (Puducherry)
Pondicherry is a union territory on the east coast of Tamil Nadu. The place is famously referred to as ‘the French Rivieria of the East’. It was under French colonial establishment until 1954. It also offers a journey to the history with the touch of French influences to both history buffs and architecture lovers. French culture and allure come live in Puducherry with the brightly painted houses, large boulevards, French-inspired street names, churches and historical structures in colonial architecture, cobbled streets and delicious French-inspired foods. Bask on the Promenade, dine in French restaurants or soak up the pristine beach views, Puducherry has a lot to offer.
The nearest airport is in Chennai and Pondicherry is well connected with trains from various cities in India. Many people flock the town for the famous Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Auroville. This small coastal town is suitable for a 2-3 day weekend trip.
5. Ooty, Tamil Nadu
If the hill stations of the North are off your list now, then try taking a summer break in Ooty, (also known as Udhagamandalam and short for Ootacamund) in Tamil Nadu. The mystical Blue Mountains of the Nilgiris, alluring tea gardens, serene waterfalls and an expansive lake covering 65 acres are a paradise for a nature lover. The Toy Train of Ooty is famous for the panoramic views of this hill station in the South. The historic Nilgiri Mountain Railways is also a UNESCO world heritage site with as many as 16 tunnels and many bridges. Trek to the Doddabetta Peak for awesome scenic views from the top. Because it is an all year round destination, plan a visit to this picturesque hill station in South India whenever you feel like taking a break.
You can take the flight to Coimbatore and then drive for a little above 2 hours to reach Ooty. It is a 6 hours drive to Ooty from Bangalore. Coimbatore Railway Station and Tiruppur Railway Station are the nearest airports.
6. Gokarna, Karnataka
Beaches are our favorites, aren’t they? But Goa is so crowded, and most of the regular tourists have already been to Goa. Have you heard about the magnificent and yet secluded Gokarna beaches in Karnataka (Uttara Kannada)? The pristine ‘Om’ Beach’ is famous for its Om shaped beachline when looked from the hilltop. For a relaxing, slow-paced beach holiday that will leave you refreshed and head to this unusual tourist place in South India. We are sure you won’t regret it. The laidback serene beaches are also home to some stunning temples like Mahabaleshwar Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva.
Plan your holiday in Gokarna from October to March. You can take a flight to the nearest Dabolim Airport or a train to Ankola Railway Station.
7. Munnar, Kerala
Another popular summer destination in South India, Munnar is home to deep valleys, beautiful green hills, tea and coffee plantations, and breathtaking waterfalls. Munnar was established in the late 19th century is the former resort of the British Raj elite. It is also home to many endangered species like the Nilgiri Thar and the Neelakurinji. It also has many protected areas for conserving forests and wildlife. The natural beauty of Munnar will take your heart away, and it should be on your list of must-see places in South India. Get a feel of local Kerala culture and food and enjoy being close to nature with scenic views. Don’t miss on the handmade chocolates and do shop for some exquisite varieties of teas and spices!
While the weather in Munnar is excellent all year through, it outshines with great scenic views after the Monsoons. If planning to go by Air, Kochi, and Madurai will be nearest while Ernakulam Railway Station is the closest if traveling to Munnar by train.
8. Coorg, Karnataka
Coorg is the English version of Karnataka’s Kodagu region and well known for its great tea and coffee gardens and scenic views of alluring mountains. Great weather, fascinating waterfalls, mountains, and clouds all make Coorg a great tourist destination in South India. You can indulge in activities like boating, trekking, camping, and rafting. Soak up the sun in a comfortable homestay sipping cups of freshly brewed coffee with a book to read amidst natural scenic views and a cool breeze.
Mysore is nearest to Coorg whether you travel by air or by train. It is a popular weekend destination of the South so make sure you have the bookings made earlier to avoid surprises!
9. Mysore, Karnataka
The royal heritage of Mysore is well known across the world, and the city’s main attraction has to be the Mysore Palace. Mysore is home to many small and big palaces, heritage buildings, temples, and gardens. One of the grandest palaces in the whole of India, Mysore should be on your bucket list to take a walk down the history. It also houses a Zoo that is one of the best in India, and sandalwood shopping from the town is a must. The light show at the beautiful Brindavan Gardens and the Karanji Lake also make attractive tourist attractions in Mysore.
Mysore has an airport as well as a railway station. It is just about 140 kilometers from Bangalore and a popular weekend destination. October to May are the best months to visit this heritage city.
10. Rameshwaram and Dhanushkodi, Tamil Nadu
Famous as pilgrimage destinations of South India, Rameshwaram and Dhanushkodi in Tamil Nadu offer more than spiritual satisfaction. The Ramanathaswamy Temple is an architectural marvel in itself. Hindus hold beliefs that bathing in the pristine waters of Agni Theertham will wash their sins. Rameshwaram is also home to a few beaches characterised by gentle waves and utmost cleanliness. Parallel, Dhanushkodi presents the ruins of the town that was wiped away during the 1964 Rameswaram cyclone. It has a lot of significance in Hindu mythology. The Ram Setu is believed to have been built from here, these the Southernmost destinations in India. Sri Lanka is a mere 30 km away!
Air, railways, and road are well connected with this little town with the nearest airport in Madurai. Tuticorin airport is also about 145 km away. The tourist, as well as the religious destination of South India, can be visited all year round expect in peak summers.
We hope the above list of best places to visit in South India has compelled you to pack your bags and plan a trip to South India. These top tourist places of South India will leave you refreshed and relaxed. It will also provide you with glimpses of our rich cultural and traditional South India.