Are you thinking of traveling to India?
In this post you have all the information about the 7 best destinations in South India that you can’t miss on your next trip to this beautiful country.
South India is magical.
- Can you imagine sailing in the backwaters of Kerala at sunset?
- Or visiting some of the most beautiful temples in India in Mudarai or Thanjavur?
In cities like Chennai, Mudarai, Hampi or Mysore you will discover first-hand ancestral traditions and places with the most beautiful hidden gems in India.
Índice / Table of Contents
Must-Visit Destinations in South India
Here is a list of the best places to visit in South India:
If you don’t mind the heat, Chennai is a wonderful place to visit (although the best time to visit Chennai is from November to February). It’s the capital of Tamil Nadu, also known as the southern capital of India and has a rich cultural history.
Enjoy Marina Beach, one of the biggest natural urban beaches in Asia. Windsurfing, fishing and beach volleyball are some of the activities you can practice on this beach. And don’t miss out the local eateries for a quick snack while you’re there!
The Theosophy Society – Adyar is the best place for birdwatchers, as you can find many migratory birds here and only one of the oldest trees in the world that is 450 years old.
If you are looking for a day trip from Chennai, Mahabalipuram is an important tourist spot in South India that attracts many international tourists with its collection of ancient rock temples, Beach Temple and more.
If you are interested in bird watching or fishing, Pulicat Lake is a good destination. Other places of interest include Guindy National Park, Covelong Village, Valluvar Kottam Temple, Valluvar Kottam, National Art Gallery and Nagar Beach.
Located on the banks of the River Vaigai, Madurai is one of the oldest cities in the country and a treasure full of culture. One of the reasons why Madurai is one of the most visited destinations in South India is because of the Meenakshi Amman Temple.
How to get to Mudarai? The best option is looking for flights from Chennai to Madurai, that will only take you 1,30 hours.
Mudarai is famous for its fabulous temples, the “Gopurams”, that stand out on the horizon. Some of the most famous temples are Meenakshi Amman Temple, Thirupparankundram Temple, Koodal Azhagar Temple and Pazhamudhir SOLAI. If you like trekking, you’ll love Samanár Hills.
Mudarai is also home to several caves used by the Jain Saints during the 1st announcement. You can also take a hike to the hills or explore the caves.
Besides, the city is known for its lively local markets where you can’t miss out tasting the delicious street food, specially at the Madurai Idli Shop, the Amma Mess and Konar Mess.
The state of Kerala is one of the must places to visit if looking for the best destinations in South India. It’s located on the opposite side of New Delhi. In fact, you could only travel to Kerala on your India trip and would have a lot of things to do.
Imagine Palm trees, paradisiacal beaches, beautiful waterfalls, gorgeous mountains… That’s Kerala. Kerala is also a popular holiday destination in South India due to its well-reputed places for Ayurvedic holidays and wellness centers.
If traveling to Kerala, browsing the Backwaters is a must. It’s a chain of lagoons that unites 5 lakes and whose landscapes are impressive.
If looking for more things to do in Kerela, Kochi is a great idea. It’s a coastal city and the center has colonial-style houses and huge fishing nets that are fixed on the shore. The best thing to do there is wander around Kochi in a small boat through the canals.
Also a visit to Alleppey is worth it, famous for backwaters and beaches, temples and the tropical village life.
Mysore totally different from other cities in South India. The streets are wide, the architecture is beautiful at first sight and the city is relatively clean, with less traffic and more green areas.
A must thing to do in the city is visit the Mysore Palace.
It’s one of the most spectacular royal buildings in India with impressive architecture, paintings and sculptures. During the day you can visit the inside (for a fee) and at night you can see the illuminated palace from the outside.
Mysore is also rich in tradition with a deep atmospheric bazaar of spices and sandalwood.
If you’re planning on visiting Mysore and surroundings, check out this Karnataka itinerary.
Mamallapuram (o Mahabalipuram)
Mahabalipuram, located just 60 km south of Chennai along the Bay of Bengal, is a small town on the coast full of historical monuments that have been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
It’s famous for its carved temples and rock-cut caves. Don’t miss the Five Rathas and the Shore Temple, next to the beach.
Mahabalipuram offers sandy beaches, a peaceful atmosphere and impressive surroundings, which make it a must visit destination in South India.
Visit the nearby Kovalam and Sadras, the fishing villages that have become exotic beach resorts and an absolute must visit in Mahabalipuram for a family vacation.
Other places to visit in Mahabalipuram are the slope of the Ganges, the Museum of the shell of India, Temple of the cave of Varaha and the Crocodile Bank (home to alligators and other species of crocodiles).
Kanyakumari is the southernmost city in India. Thanks to its location it is one of the few places where the sun rises and sets over the sea.
In front of the coast you can see the stone memorial to Vivekananda, a spiritual master who introduced Hinduism into the western world.
Kanyakumari is a very popular destination among local people but there are hardly any foreigners. So it’s the perfect destination if looking for something local and off the beaten path.
The perfect mix of local culture is reflected in art, architecture and even in the local cuisine of Kanyakumari.
Don’t miss the Kumari Amman temple and the Vattakottai fort; and take time to relax at Sanguthurai Beach or Sothavilai Beach.
A UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the pilgrimage destinations in India, the town of Hampi was once the last capital of Vijayanagar, one of the largest Hindu empires in the history of India.
The ruins of the ancient temple complexes of the Vijayanagara Empire, dating from the 14th Century, extend for over 25 km/10 miles and comprise more than 500 monuments.
Hampi is commonly visited from Goa, as there are a several transportation options from there.
After reading this post, you don’t have any excuse to visit one of the most beautiful destinations in South India!
Don’t forget Travel Insurance if traveling to India
I always travel with insurance, even if I travel inside my own country.
No matter how well you plan and research a trip, there are always things that happen beyond your control. I had to use it several times and it saved my trip!
Don’t have insurance yet? You can get a free quote here:
Have you been to any of these South India destinations? Do you know other activities in South India? Share below!
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