South India (comprised of Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Tamil Nadu) really has a distinct culture that sets it apart from the rest of the country
Not only that, each state has managed to retain its own distinct identity. Intricate temple architecture, historical ruins, palm-fringed canals, spirituality, and beach will provide you with a varied and interesting trip
This article highlights the top tourist places to visit in South India. There are so many great destinations that it’s difficult to select only a few!
Nandi Hills, best tourist places in Karnataka
“Hillcks borrowed from heaven”
Nandi Hills Tourism
It is often said that ‘the best places are off the beaten path’, and Nandi Hills is a clear testimony to that. Located around 60 kilometers away from Bangalore, Nandi Hills is one such tourist spot that has gradually been discovered by visitors over the years and has now become a well-known weekend getaway. Situated at a height of 4851 feet above sea level, you can see a convoy of weekenders from Bangalore during early hours catching the glimpse of sunrise.
Once used as the summer retreat of Tipu Sultan, Nandi Hills is scattered with shrines and monument, and is surrounded by mesmerizing views, making this place no less than a hidden paradise. Nandi Hills finds its place in history as being reminiscent of the reign of Tipu Sultan, and the Tipu Sultan trail is a famous historic attraction of this place. The most well-known spot in this trail is Tipu’s Drop, a 600-meter-high cliff which was used during Tipu’s reign to hurl prisoners down to their demise.
Lambasingi, best tourist places in Andra Pradesh
South India is loved for many things – be it its rich Dravidian history, the breathtaking coasts or its delectable cuisine! But one thing that is never associated with south India is snow. When we think of snowfall, we promptly think about Gulmarg, Nainital and Manali. But South India isn’t always dry and humid! There’s a small village in Andhra Pradesh, Lambasingi, where you can catch a sprinkling of snow
Lambasingi – The Kashmir of Andhra Pradesh
With quaint valleys and chilling temperatures, Lambasingiis the only place in the southern region that sees snowfall. Perched at an altitude of 1000 meters above sea level, this misty hill station in Visakhapatnam’s Chintapalli town is also fondly known as the ‘Kashmir of Andhra Pradesh’. Another name for Lambasingi isKorraBayalu, which in translation means “if someone stays out in the open at night, by morning they would freeze like a stick!”
Throughout the year, the tiny village is covered with an ethereal white mist that swirls and moves with the wind, but in the winter (from November to January), the temperature in Lambasingi goes as low as zero degree Celsius, with bouts of snowfall intermittently.
Apart from being the only place in the southern region that sees snow, Lambasingi is also home to an isolated tribal community that works at the pepper and coffee plantations. The vast expanse across which these plantations are spread is a sight to behold!
Rajamahendravaram, best tourist places in Andhra Pradesh
Rajahmundry was founded in the 11th century by Raja Raja Narendra. It is the cultural capital of Andhra Pradesh and the city is the birthplace of Nannayya, a Telugu poet.
Telugu, is the major language. Almost everyone can understand a few words in English and it should be sufficient for basic conversations and transactions. Local people under the age of 30 years may be able to converse in fluent English as that language has been taught in the schools for many years.
Places to Visit near Rajamahendravaram ;-
- Cotton Museum(Sir Arthur Cotton Museum)
- Damerla Ramarao International Art Gallery, Between Godavari Railway Station and Gokavaram Bus Stand. Art gallery of a famous artist Damerla Ramarao now managed by State Government of Andhra Pradesh. (updated Sep 2015 | edit)
- ISKCON Temple, Tyagaraja Nagar
- ONGC base complex(Kendriya Vidyalaya ONGC)
- River Bay Waterpark
- SriVeerabhadraSwamyTemple, Pattiseema. On a hill known as DevakutaParvatha in the middle of the Godavari river. Pattiseema is 120 km from Eluru and is picturesquely located on a hillock known as DevakutaParvatha in the middle of the river Godavari. In mythology, Veerabhadra was born out of the lock of Shiva’s hair during his tandava performance on sighting his wife getting burnt in the fire of the yagna being conducted by Daksha, his father-in-law. You have to cross the river onboard a crude motorboat to reach the temple
Alappuzha, best tourist places in kerala
“Backwaters, Beaches and Lagoons-Venice of the East”
Officially called Alappuzha, Alleppey is a city in the South Indian state of Kerala. Bordering the Laccadive Sea, it is known for its wide network of interlinking, palm-fringed canals called backwaters and rejuvenating Ayurvedic resorts.
Alleppey is also popular for its Houseboat cruises that pass through the serene backwaters, where you can catch glimpses of green paddy fields, choir making activities, beautiful avifauna and witness the life of locals in Kerala. Towards the shore lies the Alleppey beach in the Arabian Sea, a beautiful example of the gems you’d find along the Malabar Coast. The appeal of this beach is only amplified by the history attached to it, and a walk down the 137-year old pier is a must. Be sure to catch a traditional snake boat race in the months of August and September and try out some toddy (palm wine) at a local toddy shop for adding a touch of authenticity to your travel experience in Allepey.
Kodaikannal, best tourist places in Tamilnadu
“The Princess of Hill Stations”
Located in the state of Tamil Nadu, Kodaikanal is one of the most famous honeymoon destinations in India. When you think of Kodaikanal, you think of a wonderful climate, cliffs covered in mist, cloud-capped mountains and beautiful lakes and valleys, and once you visit this hill station, you will find that every bit of what you have imagined it to be is true. Nestled amidst the rolling slopes of the Palani Hills in Tamil Nadu, Kodaikanal stands at an altitude of 7200 feet above sea level and has a cool, pleasant climate all year round. Kodaikanal means the gift of the forests.
Famously known as the Princess of Hill Stations, Kodaikanal offers the perfect mix of culture and nature to tourists, and its perfectly manicured slopes, scenic waterfalls, rolling hills and clear lakes all come together to create the perfect setting for an ideal mountain getaway. Kodaikanal is a place you can go to take a break from the rigors of daily city life, and this hill station lets you sit back and connect with nature as you head out on biking or trekking trails or take a stroll through the huge forests surrounding the town.
Coorg, best tourist places in Karnataka
“The Scotland of India“
Located amidst imposing mountains in Karnataka with a perpetually misty landscape, Coorg is the place to be for all nature lovers. This popular coffee producing hill station is not only popular for its beautiful green hills and the streams cutting right through them. It also stands as a popular destination because of its culture and people. The Kodavas, a local clan specializing in martial arts, are especially notable for their keen hospitality.
Coorg, officially known as Kodagu, is the most affluent hill station in Karnataka. It is well known for its breathtakingly exotic scenery and lush greenery. Forest covered hills, spice and coffee plantations only add to the landscape. Madikeri is the region’s center point with all transportation for getting around starting from here. On a visit to Coorg, cover the beautiful towns like Virajpet, Kushalnagar, Gonikoppal, Pollibetta, and Somwarpet, and experience the beautiful concept of “homestays” to make your experience more memorable!
Tirumala, Andhra Pradesh
“Devotional Destination of India”
Lord Venkateswara Temple at Tirumala (Tirupati) is one of the most famous temples in India. With more than 35 million pilgrims visiting the temple every year, it is one of the most-visited holy places and also one of the richest temples in the world. Built on the Venkata Hill, which is a part of the famous Seshachalam Hills, Tirupati Temple is considered as one of the holiest shrines by the Hindus. According to a legend, Lord Vishnu assumed the form of Sri Venkateswara to save mankind from the adversities of Kali Yuga.
There are many legends associated with the origin of this age-old temple. The larger than life statue of the main deity is said to have formed on its own, making it one of the eight ‘SwayambhuKshetras’ (self-manifested image) of Lord Vishnu. Many ancient texts, including the Rig Veda mention the existence and prominence of the temple. Written texts, which are dated back to the Mauryan and Gupta era, refer to the temple as ‘AadhiVarahaKshetra’. In fact, many other texts and theories link the history of Tirupati Temple to Lord Varaha, one of the ten avatars of Lord Vishnu. According to a legend, Lord Varaha created the entire Seshachalam Hills so that Adisesha, the seven-headed snake on which Vishnu rests, could rest on earth. Interestingly, Seshachalam Hills has seven peaks, which are said to be the representation of the heads of Adisesha.
Being the world’s richest temple, it creates job opportunities for thousands and is the only source of income to many.
Gokarna, places to visit in Karnataka
“Land of palm trees, blue seas and golden sands“
Gokarna is a city located in Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka, and is etymologically translated to ‘cow’s ear.’ According to popular mythological belief, it is the place where Lord Shiva emerged from the incarnation of Mother Earth in the form of a cow. Interspersed with ancient temples, the town is home to one of the oldest temples since time immemorial known as Mahabaleshwar, enshrined with Lord Shiva. The town is about 59 km from Karwar, 483 km from Bengaluru, and 238 km from
Mangalore. Furthermore, the rustic outlook of the town has attracted the attention of a lot of travelers and foreigners. There are several beaches, pilgrimage sights, and waterfalls that are reverberating tourist attractions.
However, due to the recent tourist influx, the town attracts both adrenaline seekers and those looking for spiritual solace. It is the town of golden beaches named after the way they are shaped like Om Beach and Half Moon Beach. Paradise Beach does no injustice to its name! The tall palm trees, serene waves of the ocean gushing towards the rocks, and the evenings spent watching the sun melting into the ocean add a surrealistic appeal to the place.
The serene beaches pose as perfect sites for watersport activities like surfing, scuba diving, snorkeling, parasailing, and jet skiing. The best time to visit the place is post-monsoon, from September to December. Winters in Gokarna are flamboyant, with a mildly cold climate and lush green surroundings. Summers in Gokarna is hot and humid
Hyderabad, places to visit in Telangana
“The City of Nizams“
A city of contrasts, Hyderabad exudes an old-world charm of its own with the Old City (Charminar side), Hitech City (Cyberabad) and the other areas lying between the old and the new. The capital and the largest city of Telangana, Hyderabad is home to stately mosques and noisy bazaars lined parallelly alongside swanky new office buildings and malls, and it is these very contrasts – these glimpses into the city’s rich past with inherent promises of an even better future –that make Hyderabad a city worth visiting. Maybe even more than once.
The city of pearls and biryani, Hyderabad is home to one of the most iconic landmarks – the Charminar. Translating to ‘four minarets’, the grand edifice is built entirely out of limestone and granite, with four minarets on four sides, each of them facing a different street. The Charminar stands in a labyrinth of lanes crammed with shops, markets, stalls, and shoppers – one of the best places to shop for the authentic pearls and relish the tasty biryanis, skewer kebabs and haleem (the smorgasbord of food that Hyderabad is known for).
The other side of Hyderabad – HiTech City or Cyberabad – is a stark contrast to the Old City. The area teems with grand malls, pulsating clubs, sleek restaurants and hi-rise buildings of the every-growing multinationals. Between the old and new lie, the popular city areas of Banjara Hills and Jubilee Hills flanked on the northeast by Secunderabad. Hyderabad and Secunderabad together are still referred to as the “twin cities”, though they are practically one now..
Hyderabad pulsates with a spectacular mix of people and traditions. Make a journey through this mind-stirring metropolis and be ready to be amazed, frustrated, confounded and thrilled, all at once!
Rameshwaram – places to visit in Tamil Nadu
“The Bridge on the Indian Ocean”
Rameshwaram is one of the holiest places in India and is located on a beautiful island. It is separated by a small Pamban channel from Sri Lanka.
According to Hindu mythology, this is the place where Lord Rama created a bridge across the sea to Sri Lanka.
Rameshwaram is located on a beautiful island on the lower side of India. Lord Shiva too is worshipped in this place. Renowned for its magnificent prakaras with massive sculptured pillars on either side, The Ramanathaswamy Temple houses the longest corridor in the world.
Agniteertham is famous for its sacred waters and Pilgrims perform poojas in honor of their ancestors at this seashore. The Five-faced Hanuman Temple holds the floating stone which was used to build the bridge between India and Sri Lanka.