South India is the area encompassing the Indian states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Telangana as well as the union territories of Andaman and Nicobar, Lakshadweep and Puducherry. Covering the southern part of the peninsular Deccan Plateau, South India is bounded by the Bay of Bengal in the east, the Arabian Sea in the west and the Indian Ocean in the south. The geography of the region is diverse with two mountain ranges – the Western and Eastern Ghats, bordering the plateau heartland. Godavari, Krishna, Kaveri, Tungabhadra and Vaigai rivers are important non-perennial sources of water. Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Coimbatore, Kochi, Visakhapatnam, Thiruvananthapuram , Mysuru, Vijayawada, Madurai, Mangalore, Tiruchirapalli are some of the major cities.
Widely known for being the “Scotland of the South”, Coorg is an enchanting hill station located not so far from Bangalore. The view of the grey clouds subtly blending with the greenery of the hills is a sight worth seeing. Ever tried waterfall rappelling? If not, now is the time! An exciting challenge to overcome, with the water flowing down with force, in a moist climate, hear your heartbeat in your ears. Over the sound of the waterfall. There is no better place for this than Coorg, which easily makes it to the list of best places to visit in South India.
in the country thanks to the abundance of natural beauty, be it the waterfalls, the lakes, the lush greenery or the magnificent view of the Palani hills. Enjoy the eternally pleasant weather of the area as you trek to Green Valley View or Dolphin’s nose, where you can admire the scenic panoramas of this natural wonderland, or immerse yourself in the serenity of Kodai Lake or Berjarim Lake.
Home to the massive Periyar National Park, the quaint village of Thekkady is sure to capture your heart with its innocent charm and abundance of natural beauty. Spot tigers, as well as other wild animals frolic at the country’s largest tiger reserve, engage in the adventurous sport of Bamboo rafting or marvel at the wondrous ecology of the Periyar lake and its surrounding greenery.
A picturesque plateau nestled in the hills of the Western Ghats, Wayanad is one of the prettiest areas of the attractive state of Kerala. Part of the massive Nilgiris Biosphere Reserve, this charming town is loaded with enchanting waterfalls, historical caves, vast spice plantations and exotic wildlife, making it a must visit for anyone looking to explore the untouched beauty of the enchanted Western Ghats.
5. Andaman and Nicobar Islands
At the shoestring budget of a student, get the best snorkelling and scuba diving experience on these groups of islands that house large varieties of marine life that will brush by your ears while you stay amazed at how blue the water is. Experience the wonders of the aquatic world in their pristine form. If you thought the best beaches in India were in Goa, check Andaman and Nicobar out! You will be simply amazed to see the clear azure waters and the white sandy shores of the Andaman beaches. Snorkelling and scuba diving in this place would be an experience of a lifetime.
A small holy town situated on the Western Coast of India, Gokarna is known for it’s untouched beaches and is great for a relaxing holiday. A day or two of sunbathing on the beaches, flat on your stomach, sipping a cooler. If that is your idea of a vacation, or if what you simply need is a break from your hectic schedule of planned visits to sights in and around Karnataka, Gokarna is the place for you. A toned-down version of Goa, we suggest you take your beach hat, some sunscreen and a volleyball for a great time!
7. Alappuzha (Alleppey)
Known as the “Venice of the East”, Alleppey with its backwaters and floating houseboats, is one of the most beautiful places to visit in South India. The backwaters of Kerala are a breathtaking sight, particularly at the break of dawn. Surf on its gentle waters, or live in one of the houseboats. Or maybe just let the hammocks tied to the coconut trees cradle you to sleep. This is one of the most soothing places to visit in South India and a perfect way to round up your trip.
Hampi is one of those laid-back places with grandiose historical beauty that transports you back in time. A must visit place in South India, this places offer a wide range of activities as well. Once a part of the ancient south Indian kingdom of Vijayanagar, it’s a UNESCO World heritage site and also a very important historical and religious centre. The Virupaksha temple is an important temple which is visited by Hindus from all over the country. So jump over the ruins, take crazy pictures, read up on them or just feel the magnitude of the kingdom that once existed here. It’s truly magical.
A world away from where you are, Pondicherry welcomes you to a totally different atmosphere, with its colourfully painted houses in French architecture and relaxed attitude. Something that you breathe in and absorb. Also known as Puducherry, it makes for a great backpacking haunt. It is a popular tourist destination in South India owing to its colonial-era buildings, churches and temples, and of course, the famous beaches. It is also one of the few places to visit in South India which is preferred by mainstream and offbeat travellers alike.