From Alleppey To Alappuzha - The Houseboats Of Kerala

India is a land of tremendous diversity. Once you leave the hills and plains of the North, you come across the temples and plateaus of the South. South India is a potpourri of history, culture, faith, and natural beauty and one of the most unbelievable places in India. Once you step into this world, you’ll be enthralled with the staggering experiences this part of the country can offer.

Here’s a list of the amazing experiences that South India offers which makes it one of the best places for a holiday in India:

Situated in the Deccan Plateau with the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal surrounding it on either side, South India is a magical land to explore. It’s flanked by the Eastern Ghats and the Western Ghats on the east and west respectively. Apart from the plateaus, several important rivers such as the Godavari, Krishna, Kaveri, and Tungabhadra flow through this region. This is why some of the best places to visit in South India are situated in the lap of nature.

South India tourism is not just about natural beauty. The urban cities in South India shine with their own individuality and are also some of the best places to visit in South India. Cities such as Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Mysore, Coimbatore, and Visakhapatnam, are an interesting mix of erstwhile history and contemporary globalisation

South India also abounds in several ecological regions such as the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve and various animal and bird sanctuaries such as the Periyar, Pulicat and the Ranganathittu sanctuaries. So if you want to infuse some adventure in your South India tour, then you should try and explore the rich wildlife in South India.

South India is the centre of the rich Dravidian culture. Being ruled by several dynasties such as the Cheras, Cholas, Pandyas, Rashtrakutas, Satavahanas, Chalukyas, and Vijaynagara, the tourist places in South India are a perfect reflection of the richness of the culture left by the rulers. The traditional South Indian sari and the dhoti are the typical attire of South Indians which you will find the locals wearing wherever you go.

One of the most famous forms of music that you can find in South India is Carnatic music, which is also played in most temples across the region. Several major dance forms such as Bharatnatyam, Kuchipudi, Mohiniattam, and Kathakali originate in this region. There are several South India tourist places where you can experience the unique art and culture of South India.

A visit to South India is incomplete without getting a taste of its unique cuisine. Rice is one of the staple foods of the region with fish being a common item in the coastal areas. There is also a predominance of coconut and various spices. Some of the famous dishes you can taste here are idli, dosa, pongal, sambar, rasam, poriyal and uthappam.

Most of the best tourist places in South India have a splendid Dravidian architecture to their credit. Some of the iconic aspects of South Indian architecture are the towering gopurams or pyramids, the huge mantapas or porches, and a sacred Pushkarini or tank.

There are four major states that make up the magical beauty of South India tourism – Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh. Here are the unique aspects of each state that make them the ideal holiday destinations in South India:



Also termed as God’s Own Country, Kerala is truly a paradise that blends the beauty of lush plantations, evergreen forests, and vast paddy fields. It’s also the site for serene backwaters that make for ideal honeymoon destinations. It also packs in a number of exotic experiences such as houseboat rides, Ayurvedic massages, wildlife safaris, heritage hotspots, and overwhelming cuisines.

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Tamil Nadu seems like a travel back in time because of the mesmerising temple architecture left by the mighty rulers. The historical towns of Madurai and Tanjore are perfect places to reconnect with the rich history of the land. Another great city is Chennai which witnesses the confluence of contemporary culture and traditional heritage.



The state of Karnataka boasts of diverse beauty encompassing beautiful coastal stretches, natural forests, and culturally rich cities. There is an adventurous side to explore in Karnataka with Bandipur and Nagarhole. Coorg offers the beauty of extending green plantations and the quiet charm of a hill station. The bustling city of Bangalore matches modernity with heritage with old bookshops and swanky pubs.



The underexplored state of Andhra Pradesh is a hub of spirituality and heritage. There are the revered Balaji Temple and Tirupathi that encourages a lot of pilgrimage tourism from around the country. The wonderful Islamic architecture at Hyderabad can also make for an interesting experience.

The South India tourist places list is endless since the region blends in culture, heritage, adventure, cuisine, art, and architecture. In the next section, we discuss the best places to visit in South India.



One of the best tourist attractions in South India is the backwaters. There is no better place to experience the backwaters than in Alleppey. Also known as the “Backwater Capital of India”, Alleppey or Allapuzha is one of the most coveted destinations in Kerala. Set against the turquoise waters of the Vembanad Lake, it’s one of the best tourist places in South India to enjoy houseboat cruises. The lush coconut groves, green paddy fields, and the pristine lagoons earn it the name “Venice of the East”. Be it a romantic holiday or a peaceful getaway, Alleppey is surely to be an enchanting experience.

How to Reach Alleppey

Road: You can get regular buses to Alleppey from all major cities.

Rail: Alleppey is also well-connected through railway stations in Trivandrum and Cochin.

Air: The nearest airport receiving both domestic and international flights is Cochin, 100 kms away from Alleppey.

Best Time to Visit Alleppey

If you want to enjoy pleasant weather, then plan a trip to Alleppey from December to February. The green beauty of Alleppey, however, blooms the best in the monsoons. During the rains, it becomes one of the best places to visit in June in South India.

Best Places to Visit in Alleppey

Alleppey has a lit of some of the best places in South India. Here they are:

  • Alleppey Beach
  • Vembanad Lake
  • Krishnapuram Palace
  • Kuttanad


If you want to experience the wonderful charm of the Western Ghats, a trip to the Western Ghats is a must. Situated on the top from 700-2100m, it is one of the most picturesque places to visit in the Deccan plateau. Not only is it one of the best trekking places in South India, but it’s also ideal for holiday goers and honeymooners. It’s also one of the ideal places to explore the diverse wildlife of Kerala.

How to Reach Wayanad

Road: Wayanad has a good network connection of roads on which regular buses ply.

Rail: The nearest railway station is Nilambur Road, 51 kms away.

Air:You can reach Wayanad through air from the Calicut or the Mysore Airport.

Best Time to Visit Wayanad

It’s one of the best places to visit in South India during the summer since it’s a hill station. If you want to enjoy the pleasant winter chill, then you can visit Wayanad in winter. It takes a completely different look in monsoon although it may be risky to trek during this period.

Best Places to Visit in Wayanad

Once in Wayanad, here are the places to see:

  • Chembra Peak
  • Kuruva Island
  • Soochippara Waterfalls
  • Pookot Lake
  • Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Meenmutty Waterfalls


Another scenic hill station on the list is Munnar. This hilly paradise is located at around 1,600m above sea level and is truly a paradise in itself. It’s one of the best places to experience the majestic beauty of the Western Ghats. On one hand, there are the lush tea plantations and on the other is the sundry flora and fauna to attract you. It was rightly the summer capital of the British before and can be one of the must-see places on your list too.

How to Reach Munnar

Road: All major cities have good road network leading to Munnar which is a scenic drive.

Rail: The Alluva and Madurai train stations are the nearest to Munnar.

Air:Cochin Airport is the nearest airport to Munnar receiving both domestic and international traffic.

Best Time to Visit Munnar

Munnar is definitely one of the best places to visit in South India in May being a hill station. The winter months (December to February) bring in the mist which adds a different level of beauty to the place. The monsoons rejuvenate the natural beauty of Munnar.

Best Places to Visit in Munnar

The best tourist places in Munnar are:

  • Anaimudi Peak
  • Mattupetty Dam
  • Tea Museum
  • Eravikulam National Park


Think of a quiet, coastal town by the Arabian Sea with a confluence of old-world charm and blissful modernity and you’ll be close to describing Cochin. Also called Kochi, this cultural wonder is known as the “Queen of the Arabian Sea”. This port city is also a mixed bag of stunning heritage. The entire city echoes with the spellbinding culture left by the Portuguese, Dutch, and the British. Being an important trade centre, Cochin also witnessed a wave of various cultural influences from Syria, Arab, and China. Its cosmopolitan character, rich history and culture, and spectacular beauty earned it the rating of the ’50 Greatest Places to Visit in a Lifetime’ by National Geographic Traveller Magazine.

How to Reach Cochin

Road: Cochin is well connected by road to all major cities and regular buses are available.

Rail: The closest stations to Cochin are Ernakulam Town and Ernakulam Junction.

Air:Cochin has its own international airport connecting all major destinations.

Best Time to Visit Cochin

Cochin is one of the best places to visit in December in South India which is when honeymooners, adventure lovers, and leisure travellers visit the place. Due to its coastal location, it’s also never too hot in Cochin. So summers may also be a good time to visit. Cochin. During monsoons, Cochin takes a completely different form and can make for an interesting experience.

Best Places to Visit in Cochin

Some of the iconic places to visit in Cochin are:

  • Fort Kochi
  • Santa Cruz Basilica
  • Dutch Palace
  • Hill Palace
  • Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary
  • Vasco House
  • Bolghatty Palace


One of the charming hill stations to explore in Kerala is Thekkady. It’s a treasure trove of natural beauty for those who want some peace and repose. This green hilly paradise can attract thrill-seekers, honeymooning couples, and backpackers alike. This unspoiled piece of land is surrounded by thick forests, home to some of the most exotic species of flora and fauna.

How to Reach Thekkady

Road: Thekkady is a scenic road trip away from major cities such as Bangalore, Chennai, and Mysore.

Rail: Kottayam Railway Station, situated at a distance of 114 kms, is the nearest railway connection.

Air:The closest airport to Thekkady is the Madurai Airport.

Best Time to Visit Thekkady

Thekkady is another one of the best places to visit in summer in South India as it’s an attractive hill station. The town takes on a calm and pleasant charm during winters. But the lush beauty of the place blooms only during the monsoons.

Best Places to Visit in Thekkady

Some of the ideal sightseeing options in Thekkady are:

  • Periyar National Park
  • Pullumedu
  • Murikkady
  • Kumily
  • Mangala Devi Temple



The third-largest city in Tamil Nadu and one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world, this South India tourist place is located on the banks of the Vaigai river. There are several names given to this town – City of Junctions (Koodal nagaram), City of Jasmine (Malligai maanagar), Temple City (Koil maanagar), City That Never Sleeps (Thoonga nagaram) and City of Four Junctions (Naanmada koodal). It’s one of the best historical places in South India if you’re interested in delving into the glorious past.

How to Reach Madurai

Road: Madurai is well connected by road to all major cities.

Rail:There are several trains connecting to Madurai from major cities, the nearest being Chennai.

Air:The nearest domestic airport is Madurai and the nearest international airport is Chennai.

Best Time to Visit Madurai

Having a hot and dry climate, Madurai is one of the best places to visit in South India in December. The temples and architecture in the town won’t be fun to explore in the monsoons or summers

Best Places to Visit in Madurai

Some of the best sightseeing options in Madurai are:

  • Meenakshi Amman Temple
  • Thirumalai Nayakar Mahal
  • Vaigai Dam
  • Alagar Koil
  • Gandhi Museum


One of the most historic towns of Tamil Nadu, Mahabalipuram was an old port city which was an important centre for the Pallava Kingdom. It also contains some of the best architectural relics which has made it to the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites. It’s an archaeologist’s delight with some striking stone carvings. One of the iconic places that makes Mahabalipuram so popular is the Shore Temple. This grand temple is made by carving huge chunks of granite rocks. Its scenic location makes it an irresistible addition to your South India itinerary

What made this iconic place even more special was an official visit by the Chinese President Xi Jinping with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Apart from the picturesque brilliance, the Chinese connection of this coastal town was one of the reasons for choosing this as a destination for the meet. The name Mamallapuram, another name for Mahabalipuram, is derived from the word Mamallan, which means brave warrior, a name often used for the ruler King Narasimhavarman I of the Pallava dynasty. He is believed to have had extremely good trade and defence relationships with China. Research even says that Mamallapuram had several commercial ties with China. This can be gathered from the Chinese coins found in Mamallapuram. Looking back at ancient texts, the Chinese traveller Hiuen Tsang had also mentioned this historic town in his travel records.

The President visited some of the iconic places such as Arjuna’s Penance and Krishna’s Butter Ball. He showed a keen interest in the architectural and historical importance of these monuments. Thus Mahabalipuram can be an exciting place for Chinese travellers to visit to explore the ancient connection between these two historical lands.

How to Reach Mahabalipuram

Road: The drive to Mahabalipuram is extremely beautiful. Buses connect it to all major cities.

Rail:The nearest railway station to Mahabalipuram is Chengalpattu, 22 kms away

Air:The nearest airport to Mahabalipuram is Chennai which receives both domestic and international flights.

Best Time to Visit Mahabalipuram

Having a humid climate, summers may not be an ideal time to visit Mahabalipuram. October to March is the best time to visit this destination.

Best Places to Visit in Mahabalipuram

Some of the best places to visit in Mahabalipuram are:

  • Shore Temple
  • Mahabalipuram Beach
  • Five Rathas
  • Arjuna’s Penance
  • Tiger Caves
  • Crocodile Bank
  • Krishna’s Butter Ball


Set on the picturesque Western Ghats, this gem is also referred to as the “Princess of Hill stations. It offers you a potpourri of sights such as hills, waterfalls, and greenery. It’s one of the best tourist destinations in South India to unwind before going back to your city life. With the bounties of nature that this hill station offers, it’s an ideal place for honeymooning couples, adventure lovers, and leisure seekers.

How to Reach Kodaikanal

Road: Major roadways connect Kodaikanal to all cities.

Rail:The nearest railway station to Kodaikanal is Kodai road.

Air:Madurai Airport, 120 kms away, is the nearest airport with regular flights.

Best Time to Visit Kodaikanal

The winter months are the ideal time to visit Kodaikanal because of the pleasant weather. If you travel in January, you can also catch the Pongal festival. Since it’s a hill station, it’s one of the ideal places to visit in summer in South India. During monsoons, nature comes alive but it may be risky to trek.

Best Places to Visit in Kodaikanal

There are several sightseeing options in Kodaikanal such as:

  • Kodai Lake
  • Green Valley
  • Devil’s Kitchen
  • Pillar Rocks
  • Dolphin’s Nose
  • Thalaiyar Falls


Think of sprawling hills, lush valleys, and beautiful lakes, and you won’t be far from describing Ooty. It’s not just like that Ooty is known to be the “Queen of Hills”. The mist-covered hills, the extending tea plantations, and the cosy bungalows will surely make you fall in love with the place. There are several green trails around the hills which are ideal for hikes and offer grand views of the landscape. One of the major attractions is the Nilgiri Mountain Railways. It originates from Mettupalyam and travels until Ooty. Established by the British in the 19th century, today the railway is presently a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s one of the scenic train routes in the country and is sure to be one of the most cherished experiences in your life. The journey covers tea plantations, forest-covered hills, streams, and rocky terrains.

How to Reach Ooty

Road: Ooty is connected to all major cities via buses and road travel is also nice.

Rail:Mettupalayam, 40 kms away, is the nearest railway station.

Air: The nearest domestic airport to Ooty is Coimbatore while Bangalore is the nearest international airport.

Best Time to Visit Ooty

Being a hill station, summers are one of the best times to experience Ooty. The period from March to May is ideal for experiencing this beautiful hill station.

Best Places to Visit in Ooty

The best places to see in Ooty are:

  • Ooty Lake
  • Ooty Botanical Garden
  • Emerald Lake
  • Dolphin’s Nose
  • Ooty Tiger Hill


Being one of the iconic points of the Char Dham yatra, Rameshwaram is has a distinct connection to mythology and is an extremely revered destination. Located at the southern tip of the country, Rameswaram has a lot of places, from temples to beaches. It’s an important site in mythology since this is where Lord Rama built the famous Rama Setu (present Adam’s Bridge) to reach Lanka to save his wife Sita from demon Lord Ravana

How to Reach Rameshwaram

Road: Rameswaram can be reached via road from all major cities.

Rail:Rameswaram has its own railway station which is connected to all the major stations in South India.

Air:The closest airports to Rameswaram is Tuticorin Airport and Madurai Airport, 142 and 149 kms away.

Best Time to Visit Rameshwaram

Since it has a tropical climate, it’s one of the best places for a holiday in India. The ideal time to visit is during winter when the temperatures are pleasant. The monsoons, although humid, can bring a welcome change in the landscape

Best Places to Visit in Rameshwaram

Some of the iconic sights in Rameswaram are:

  • Rameshwaram Temple
  • Dhanushkodi Beach
  • Agnitheertham
  • Pamban Bridge
  • Five-faced Hanuman Temple


One of the must-visit places in South India is Pondicherry with its quiet French charm and serene seaside beauty. The picture-perfect alleys, authentic French architecture, beautiful boulevards, and tasteful beaches, Pondicherry is truly one of the best tourist spots in South India. The presence of Auroville, a peaceful place for meditation, adds a spiritual dimension to Pondicherry

How to Reach Pondicherry

Road: There are regular buses connecting Pondicherry to all major cities.

Rail:The nearest railway station to Pondicherry is Villupuram, 35 kms away.

Air:The nearest airports are Pondicherry and Chennai.

Best Time to Visit Pondicherry

Summers are generally hot but monsoons add a different beauty to Pondicherry. The winters are the best time to explore and take in the unhurried beauty of Pondicherry

Best Places to Visit in Pondicherry

Pondicherry has plenty of sightseeing options:

  • Paradise Beach
  • Aurobindo Ashram
  • Auroville
  • Serenity Beach
  • Arikamedu
  • Promenade Beach


Kanyakumari is one of the top tourist places in South India and can mesmerise you with its confluence of nature and architecture. While on the one hand, there is the grand confluence of the three oceans, on the other is the grandeur of the ancient temples.

How to Reach Kanyakumari

Road: Good roadways and regular buses connect Kanyakumari to major cities.

Rail:Kanyakumari Junction is the nearest railway station to Kanyakumari with one of the popular trains being Kanyakumari Express.

Air:The nearest airport to Kanyakumari is Trivandrum International Airport, 67 kms away.

Best Time to Visit Kanyakumari

The calm and pleasant weather makes October to February the ideal time to visit Kanyakumari. It’s also one of the best times to observe the various festivals. The summers are good for enjoying the various kinds of water sports.

Best Places to Visit in Kanyakumari

Some of the iconic places to see in Kanyakumari are:

  • Vivekananda Rock Memorial
  • Thirparappu Falls
  • Thiruvalluvar Statue
  • Kumari Amman Temple
  • Kanyakumari Beach



The capital city of the largest state in South India by area, Karnataka, Bangalore is the perfect blend of history and modernity. Also known as Green City and the Garden City, Bangalore has several gardens and parks. Apart from the rich history of Kempegowda and Tipu Sultan, it’s also the IT hub of India.

How to Reach Bangalore

Road: Bangalore has national highways connecting it to major cities in India.

Rail:There are two railway stations in Bangalore that connect the city to all major stations.

Air:The international airport at Bangalore receive flights from all over the world.

Best Time to Visit Bangalore

Bangalore has a pleasant climate throughout the year, however, October to February is the best time to visit. Summers are not too hot while monsoons experience mild to heavy rainfall.

Best Places to Visit in Bangalore

Some of the best sightseeing options in Bangalore are:

  • Bangalore Palace
  • Cubbon Park
  • Lalbagh Botanical Garden
  • Bannerghatta National Park
  • Ulsoor Lake
  • Nandi Hills


The royal city of Mysore is one of the best South India tour places because of its rich history, spirituality, and culture. It’s also known as the city of Mahashasura because this is where the demon was killed by Goddess Chamundeshwari on top of Chamundi Hills. The royal palace at Mysore has since then been worshipped as the palace deity. It’s also the site of the rule of Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan

How to Reach Mysore

Road: Mysore has plenty of buses from Bangalore and is connected by road to all major cities.

Rail:Mysore has its own railway station that receives trains from all major places

Air:The nearest airport to Mysore is Bangalore Airport.

Best Time to Visit Mysore

It’s difficult to explore in the heat of summers so it’s best to travel to Mysore during the monsoons and winter.

Best Places to Visit in Mysore

Some of the sightseeing options in Mysore are:

  • Mysore Palace
  • Brindavan Gardens
  • Mysore Zoo
  • Chamundeshwari Temple
  • St. Philomena’s Church


Kabini is an integral part of the Nagarhole National Park and is an ideal place for adventure lovers. The diverse landscape includes forests, valleys, and rivers. It was previously the hunting grounds for the Mysore rulers. It’s home to a wide range of wildlife and flora. Kabini is an ideal place for wildlife enthusiasts since it’s one of the best wildlife sanctuaries in India. Located on the banks of the Kabini river, the Kabini Wildlife Sanctuary boasts of some diverse wildlife such as elephants, one of the main attractions, leopard, panther, sambhar, bison, spotted deer, crocodile, and around 250 species of birds. Choosing a safari in this naturally spectacular landscape is a treat in itself with the added adventure of spotting the various wildlife in the area.

How to Reach Kabini

Road: There are regular buses from Mysore and Bangalore to Kabini.

Rail:The nearest railway station to Kabini is Mysore Junction.

Air:Bangalore International Airport is the nearest airport to Kabini.

Best Time to Visit Kabini

It’s one of the best summer destinations in South India since that’s when the wildlife sighting is significant. Camping and hiking are also ideal making it one of the best summer vacation places in South India. It’s not advisable to visit during the monsoons since it receives a lot of rainfall.

Best Places to Visit in Kabini

Some of the iconic places to see in Kanyakumari are:

  • Jungle Safari
  • Elephant Safari
  • Kabini Dam
  • Nagarhole National Park


One of the most enchanting hill stations in Karnataka is Coorg. Located very near to Bangalore and Mysore, it has ample treasures of waterfalls, valleys, viewpoints, and plantations. It’s an ideal hill station for honeymooners, pleasure-seekers and adventure lovers.

How to Reach Coorg

Road: Coorg is a scenic drive away from Bangalore with regular buses plying between them.

Rail:The nearest railway station is Mysore Junction.

Air:Mangalore Airport is the nearest having flights from all major destinations.

Best Time to Visit Coorg

Coorg is one of the ideal places to visit in South India in May since the weather is extremely pleasant. October to February is also a great time and is perfect for sightseeing and other activities.

Best Places to Visit in Coorg

Some of the iconic places to see in Kanyakumari are:

  • Abbey Falls
  • Raja’s Seat
  • Thalacauvery
  • Golden Temple
  • Madikeri Fort
  • Dubbare Elephant Camp


One of the best beach towns in India, Gokarna is very near to Bangalore. It’s known for its spectacular beaches and leisurely pace. It also has a spiritual side to it with a lot of Hindu temples making it an important pilgrimage site.

How to Reach Gokarna

Road: There are regular buses to Gokarna from all major cities.

Rail:Ankola, 20 kms away, has the nearest railway station.

Air:Dabolim Airport in Goa is the nearest airport receiving both domestic and international flights.

Best Time to Visit Gokarna

October to March is the ideal time to visit Gokarna since the humidity is extremely less. You should avoid the rainy season since it has fewer people and options. Summers are extremely hot to visit.

Best Places to Visit in Gokarna

The best places to see in Gokarna are:

  • Om Beach
  • Kudle Beach
  • Mahabaleshwara Temple
  • Gokarna Beach
  • Koti Tirtha

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