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Best Tourist Places in South India

Discussion in 'South India' started by Power Ranger, Jul 1, 2016.

  1. Power Ranger

    Power Ranger New Member

    My husband has been transferred to Hyderabad from Delhi a few months ago and eventually our whole family has relocated to Hyderabad earlier this month.

    We are avid travellers. We like to go for short vacations once in every 2-3 months. Hyderabad is going to be our home for the next 2 years at the very least. We would like to visit all popular tourist places in South India during this period.

    I know there are lots of interesting places in the Southern region, but I am not sure which are the ones that are truly worth paying a visit to. We are interested in all types of destinations including, but not limited to hill stations, beaches, caves, forests, waterfalls, lakes, historical sites and religious places. So I am looking for inputs to compile a list of best tourist places to visit in South India.

  2. Debapriya Deb

    Debapriya Deb Active Member

    Yes, there are many interesting tourist places to visit in South India. While the coastal region is known for its beautiful beaches, there are a number of amazing hill stations along the Western Ghats and Nilgiri mountain ranges. When it comes to religious places, the ancient temples of South India are well-known all over the world. South India also has some famous heritage sites that are known for their amazing architecture and grandeur. Some of the most beautiful waterfalls in India are located in the Southern states, while it is also home to a few highly rated wildlife sanctuaries. To sum things up, there's something for every tourist in South India. No matter what your preferences are, you can be assured to find a perfect holiday spot to suit your unique taste.

    Listed below are the most popular and must visit tourist places in South India. In order to give you a clearer picture, I have clubbed them into 4 buckets - one for each of the 4 South Indian states.

    Bucket #1: Tourist Places in Tamil Nadu:

    Hill Stations:

    1. Ooty - 'Queen of Hill Stations' needs no introduction. Situated in the Nilgiri region, it is arguably the most popular hill station in South India.
    2. Kodaikanal - Another popular hill station in Tamil Nadu. Less commercialized than Ooty.
    3. Valparai - It was an unknown entity a few years back, but now it has turned into a favorite vacation destination for the tourists from Bangalore and Chennai.
    4. Yercaud - Known as the 'Poor man's Ooty'. Surrounded by coffee plantations, it is an excellent choice for a short trip.
    5. Yelagiri - A lovely little destination with a quiet ambience. Mostly preferred by offbeat tourists.
    6. Coonnor - Sister of Ooty. Both Ooty and Coonoor can be covered in a single trip.
    7. Kotagiri - Another little hill station in the Nilgiris. Surrounded by beautiful tea estates.
    8. Glenmorgan - Strictly an offbeat destination. Besides hills, lakes and waterfalls, wildlife safari in Madumalai Tiger Reserve is an added bonus.


    1. Kanyakumari - The 'Mother' of all beach destinations in India. One of the most visited tourist places in India.
    2. Pondicherry - A huge favorite with the beach lovers. It is also a hub for spiritual tourism in India.
    3. Rameshwaram - Besides the beaches, it is one of the sacred Char Dhams according to Hindu beliefs. Equally popular among casual tourists and pilgrims.
    4. Tharangambadi - A low-profile beach destination and a historic town.
    5. Velankanni - Home to the famed Nagapattinam beach. Velankanni Cathedral is regarded as one of the most beautiful churches in India.
    6. Mahabalipuram - Famous for the 6th century Shore temple. Besides, the little town has two pristine beaches.
    7. Pulicat - Has a stunning beach where one can indulge in a variety of water sports activities. This coastal town is also famous for its bird sanctuary.


    1. Madurai - Famous for the Meenakshi Temple. An important pilgrimage site in South India.
    2. Pichavaram - Second largest mangrove forest in the world after Sunderbans. A bird-watcher's paradise.
    3. Thanjavur - A heritage site known for beautiful temples belonging to the Chola period.
    4. Hogenakkal - One of the most gorgeous waterfalls in South India.

    Bucket #2: Tourist Places in Kerala:

    Hill Stations:

    1. Munnar - Perhaps the most beautiful hill station in South India.
    2. Wayanad - A popular hill station with lots of adventure options. It's a popular trekking site as well.
    3. Ponmudi - An offbeat hill station surrounded by rolling grass hills.
    4. Vagamon - Nothing spectacular, but a nice little hill station with a pleasant weather and trekking opportunities.
    5. Thekkady - Boat cruises along the colossal Periyar Lake is a mind-blowing experience, while the Periyar Tiger Reserve is one of the best places in India to spot the Royal Bengal Tiger.


    1. Kovalam - One of the most happening beaches in South India.
    2. Trivandrum - One of the most visited beach destinations in Kerala.
    3. Varkala - Another famous beach with loads of water sports activities.
    4. Alappuzha - Backwaters and beaches - a great combo!
    5. Kochi - A historic town and a popular beach destination.
    6. Neeleshwar - An offbeat beach destination in North Kerala.
    7. Kasaragod - Beaches + Backwaters + Historical Sites - a tempting prospect no doubt.
    8. Kannur - Famous for its drive-in beach.


    1. Guruvayur - A pilgrimage site for Hinduism followers. Famous for the Sri Krishna Temple.
    2. Parambikulam - A famous wildlife reserve in Kerala.
    3. Sabarimala - Another important religious site for Hindus.

    Bucket #3: Tourist Places in Karnataka

    Hill Stations:

    1. Coorg - A favorite honeymoon destination for South Indian couples. Also known as the 'Adventure Capital of Karnataka'. Microlite flying, river rafting, quad biking, kayaking and trekking are a few of the popular tourist activities in Coorg.
    2. Chikmagalur - A charming hill station surrounded by coffee plantations. This place is known for its beautiful waterfalls and lakes.
    3. Kemmanagundi - Situated in close proximity to Chikmagalur. Can be covered in a single trip.
    4. BR Hills - A hill station and a wildlife reserve. Ideal for trekking.
    5. Agumbe - Known for its spectacular waterfalls and offbeat trekking trails.


    1. Mangalore - Home to several beautiful beaches.
    2. Udupi - Malpe beach and Maravanthe beach are two of the most scenic beaches in Karnataka. Udupi is also a popular pilgrimage center.
    3. Gokarna - The 'Mini Goa' of Karnataka. A backpacker's paradise.
    4. Byndoor - A small beach hamlet with a few stunning beaches.
    5. Belekeri - A unique combination of beaches on the backdrop of hills. Favored by the offbeat tourists.
    6. Karwar - Even Rabindranath Tagore was impressed by Karwar's pristine beaches. So I am sure, you too will find them interesting.


    1. Mysore - A famous historical place and the second largest city of Karnataka. Mysore Palace, Srirangapattanam, Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary, Chamundeshwari Temple and Vrindavan Gardens are a few of the popular tourist attractions in Mysore.
    2. Hampi - The medieval capital of Vijayanagar Empire. Arguably the finest rock carved temples of ancient India are found here.
    3. Bijapur - A popular historical place with monuments dating back to 12th century.
    4. Shivanasamudra - Famous for the twin waterfalls formed by Cauvery river. An ideal day trip destination from Bangalore.
    5. Dandeli - Fond of adventure? Do visit Dandeli. Trekking, white water rafting, outdoor camping, kayaking, rappelling, mountain biking and wildlife safari are the major attractions here.
    6. Bandipur - Ranked as one of the most well-maintained national parks in India.

    Bucket #4: Tourist Places in Andhra Pradesh and Telengana

    Hill Stations:

    1. Lambasingi Hills - The only hill station in South India where you can experience snowfall.
    2. Horsley Hills - A small hill station surrounded by verdant forests. There are many trekking trails to explore.
    3. Araku Valley - A picturesque destination situated along the Eastern Ghats mountain ranges.


    1. Nellore - A coastal township with a number of beautiful beaches. At the same time, it's a pilgrimage center for Hinduism followers.
    2. Vizag - The port city has some lovely beaches to explore. Can be clubbed with a trip to Araku Valley.


    1. Tirupati - A Hindu pilgrimage site famous for the Tirupati Balaji temple.
    2. Lepakshi - An important historical place where you can witness the famed Vijayanagar style architecture from the 15th-16th centuries.

    So these are the prominent tourist destinations in South India. I am sure, the other members would come up with a few more suggestions which I might have missed out. I hope the information provided above would be helpful for you to compile the list of best tourist places in South India.

    briannagodess likes this.