As one of the most populated and diverse countries in the world, India has so much to offer travellers of all kinds. Its huge sprawling land mass spans from the Himalayan mountain ranges in the north to its southern coast looking out over Sri Lanka and the Indian Ocean.
In between, there are experiences, places and people like nowhere else on the planet. In this article, we’ll take you through some of the best locations to visit in south India.
Regarded as the southern capital of India, Chennai is a bustling city on the country’s east coast. It’s a place of culture, and history and surprisingly has one of the largest natural urban beaches in the world – Marina Beach.
It’s a good spot to start or finish your tour to India and has plenty of options for day trips, including Mahabalipuram which boasts fascinating ancient rock temples and much more.
If you’re looking for a stunning coastal region, Kerala has nearly 600km of it along the Arabian Sea. It’s as near to a tropical paradise as you’ll get in India, with palm-lined beaches, dense jungle, wildlife sanctuaries and mountain ranges to complement the ocean views.
Kerala’s Backwaters are a picture-perfect network of lagoons and canals which you can explore by boat, or there’s Kochi which is a coastal city showcasing remnants of colonial times.
This is one of the oldest cities in India and is famed for its iconic temples. Gopurams stand out on the skyline and are fascinating to see and explore. The Meenakshi Amman temple complex is extensive and well worth a visit.
Nearby are famous hills and caves that are historically significant as places of refuge for the Jain Saints. Lively street markets and delectable food are other things you can expect from this ancient city.
For a taste of life in rural India, Ooty is a secluded town accessible by the famous Blue Mountain Railway. The area is known most for its tea plantations and there’s plenty of history around these to enjoy on your visit.
You can try the local tea, enjoy a boat ride on Ooty Lake or wander around the colonial-style buildings that take you back in time.
One of the most popular coastal spots in all of India. Goa is perfect for beach and party lovers, whether you want a relaxed holiday or a fun-filled adventure. There’s plenty to keep you entertained inland as well as on the beach.
The majestic and awe-inspiring Dudhsagar Falls is certainly worth the trip inland, a waterfall more than 300m high and 30m wide. It’s a photo opportunity you don’t want to miss.
If you’re looking to escape India’s hustle and bustle, Gandikota is a village and fort that certainly packs a mighty punch. It’s regarded as the Grand Canyon of India because of the River Penna that flows through magnificent gorges.
The fort was once the centre of power for various dynasties in south India, creating a captivating story behind the temples and buildings that remain.
There’s so much to see and do in southern India. It’s not an issue of filling your time, but having enough time to do it all! Plan your trip wisely and enjoy the spectacles this great region has to offer.