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South India is known for its culture, traditional values, glistening beaches, and scenic landscapes that captivate travelers. With the eastern and western ghats being the verdant guardians of this region, one can witness the abundance of exotic flora and fauna. From the backwaters of Alleppey to the panoramic plantations of Munnar, the elegant temple cities of Odisha, and the ancient towns of Madurai and Thanjavur, there are countless escapes worth exploring in South India. Here we have enlisted the best places to visit in South India to enjoy sightseeing and indulge in enthralling adventures.

15 Places To Visit in South India

While planning a vacay to South India, check out this list and decide where you should be heading. All these places to visit in South India have so much to offer for all age groups.

1. GandiKota

Gandikota Places In South India

Positioned at the bank of Penner River, Gandikota is a small village in Kadapa District, Andhra Pradesh. While being one of the most peaceful places to visit in South India, GandiKota offers a perfect refuge for those seeking a break from the hustle & bustle of city life. You can explore the ancient Belum Caves and water activities at the Owk Reservoir. Mylavaram Dam, Raghunatha Swamy Temple, Jamia Masjid, Gandikota Fort, and Pennar Gorge are the iconic tourist attractions in Gandikota. 

Ideal duration: 3-4 days
Best time to visit: September to February
How to reach:

  • By rail: The closest railway station is 26 km away at Muddarunu in the Cuddapah district. One can take a bus to the nearest town Jammalamadugu.
  • By air: You can take a flight to Bengaluru International Airport. From here, it takes 6 hours to reach Gandikota. There is also Tirupati airport which takes 4.5 hours to reach this destination.

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2. Belum Caves

Belum Caves South India

With a length measuring 3229 m, Belum Caves are the second largest caves in the Indian subcontinent. One of the most popular places to visit in South India, the caves are formed with black limestone and have long passages, chambers, and freshwater galleries. Furthermore, the deepest point of caves is 120 feet from the entrance level. So, if you are a history or architecture connoisseur, plan a visit to Belum Caves and explore its uniqueness. 

Ideal duration: 2 to 3 hours
Best time to visit: October to February
How to reach:

  • By air: The nearest airport to reach the caves is Cuddapah or Kadapa Airport from where you can board a taxi or a bus that will take around 2.5 hours to reach.
  • By rail: The nearest railway station is Tadipatri just 30 km away from the cave. Buses, cabs, and autos are easily available at the station to reach caves. 

3. Skandagiri Hills

Skandagiri Hills South India

Also known as Kalavara Durga, Skandagiri is a mountain located 70 km away from Bengaluru city. It is. If you wish to witness the best of South India, then a visit to Skandagiri Hills is a must as the location gives you breathtaking views at an altitude of 1350 m. Apart from this, you can enjoy witnessing the old fortress and pay a visit to the abandoned Shiva temple. So, if peace and nature’s bliss are all that you are seeking, Skandagiri Hills should be on your itinerary.

Ideal duration: 1 day
Best time to visit: November to January.
How to reach: You can reach the point with a day-long hike from Bangalore. With a moderate to high difficulty level, the total hiking distance is 8 km.

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4. Dhanushkodi

Dhanushkodi In Tamil Nadu

Dhanushkodi is a hamlet on the South Eastern tip of Pamban Island, hit by a disastrous cyclone in 1964.  Once a town, equipped with all facilities, Dhanushkodi in Rameshwaram is now just a sandy shoreline with the Bay of Bengal on one side and the Indian Ocean on another side. According to Hindu mythology, Lord Rama, with his fellow companions, built the famous bridge known as Dhanushkodi Ram Setu or Adam’s Bridge. 

Ideal duration: 1-2 days
Best time to visit: October to February
How to reach: 

  • By air: Madurai Airport is the nearest airport to Dhanushkodi which is around 167 km away from it. You can easily hire a cab to reach your destination
  • By rail: You can board a train to Rameswaram railway station which lies around 18 km from Dhanushkodi

5. St Mary Island

St. Mary Island South India

Located only 6 km from the coast of Karnataka, St. Mary Island is a less explored tourist place in South India. A group of 4 islands, namely Daryabahadurgarh Island, North Island, South Island, and Coconut Island. St. Mary was formed by Sub-volcanic, subaerial activity around 88 million years ago when Madagascar was in India. What makes the island captivating are the white sand beaches, exotic wildlife, and rock monoliths. Furthermore, the crystallized basalt rock formations and awe-inspiring sunset views will make your experience a memorable one. 

Ideal duration: 2-3 days
Best time to visit: October to January
How to reach: 

  • By Ferry: The island is 6.4 km away from the coast, and you can reach the island by ferry services.
  • By air: You can get to the nearest airport at Mangalore which is 58 km from Malpe. There are frequent buses and taxis available for Malpe.
  • By rail: The nearest railway station is Udupi which is 4 km away from Malpe.

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6. Coorg


Image Courtesy: Srichakra Pranav for Wikimedia Commons

Known for its spellbinding beauty and lush green landscapes, Coorg is one of the best places to see in South India. Located in Karnataka, Coorg is famous for its tea and coffee plantation. The destination is home to numerous tourist attractions, including Abbey Falls, Madikeri Fort, and Iruppu Falls. Besides this, if you are an adventurer, make sure to engage in trekking, camping, jeep safari, hiking, quad biking, and more.

Ideal duration: 3 to 4 days
Best time to visit: October to March
How to reach:

  • By air: Mangalore is the nearest domestic airport and Kempegowda is the nearest International Airport.
  • By rail: Mysore Junction is the nearest railhead where numerous taxis and buses are available.

7. Kodaikanal


Image Courtesy: Silvershocky for Wikimedia Commons

Kodaikanal is a gorgeous city located in the heart of the Dindigul district in Tamil Nadu. Famed as Princess of Hill Stations, Kodaikanal is an ideal destination for those looking for a break from city life. From hiking to birdwatching, there are numerous activities that you can enjoy in Kodaikanal apart from exploring its fascinating spots. To witness the best of the place, make sure to visit attractions like Silver Cascade Falls, Thalaiyar Falls, Kodaikanal Lake, Bryant Park, Green Valley View, Dolphin’s Nose, Berijam Lake, Pambar Falls, and more. So, get ready to enjoy the lap of nature while visiting Kodaikanal, which is undoubtedly one of the incredible places to visit in South India.

Ideal duration: 2 to 3 days
Best time to visit: September to May
How to reach:

  • By air: Madurai is the nearest airport to Kodaikanal which is around 120 km away from it.
  • By rail: Located between Dindigul and Madurai, Kodai railway station is the nearest railway station to Kodaikanal.

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8. Thekkady


Image Courtesy: Jigyasu for Wikimedia Commons

A plantation town nestled on the Kerala-Tamil Nadu border, Thekkady makes an ultimate place to treat your inner adventurer. Among the best places to visit in Kerala, the destination is best known for its dense forests, intriguing wildlife, and savanna grasslands that grab vacationers’ attention throughout the year. While planning a visit here, get ready to try boating, bamboo rafting, hiking, jungle night patrol, and more. Make sure to visit the spice plantations in this town and shop for some traditional spices. Besides this, Periyar National Park is just a kilometre away, where you can go for a jungle safari as well.

Ideal duration: 2 to 3 days
Best time to visit: October to February
How to reach:

  • By air: Madurai is the nearest airport which is around 151 km away from it
  • By rail: The railway station of Kottayam is the nearest station which lies 114 km from Thekkady

9. Wayanad


Image Courtesy: Karkiabhijeet for Wikimedia Commons

Adorned with riveting waterfalls, majestic caves, rich spice plantations, and numerous such elements, Wayanad has got it all to make your vacation a memorable affair. Attractions like Chembra Peak, Banasura Sagar Dam, Edakkal Caves, Kuruva Island, Pookode Lake, and Tholpetty Wildlife Sanctuary will take you closer to nature. Furthermore, hiking, trekking, bamboo rafting, and shopping are some of the best things to do in Wayanad that you can incorporate into your itinerary.

Ideal duration: 3 to 4 days
Best time to visit: October to May
How to reach:

  • By air: Kozhikode International Airport (CCJ) is the nearest airport which is 98.0 km away from the destination
  • By rail: Kozhikode Railway Station is the nearest station from Wayanad which is around 86.3 km away

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10. Andaman and Nicobar Islands

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

Image Courtesy: Debnathpapai for Wikimedia Commons

An amalgamation of scintillating islands, Andaman is one of the best places to visit in South India for travellers of all age groups. Turquoise beaches with shimmering white sand welcome vacationers throughout the year. Brimming with various tourist attractions like Cellular Jail National Memorial, Radhanagar Beach, Havelock Island, Mount Harriet, And Madhuban, and Rajiv Gandhi Water Sports Complex, Andaman will surely impress you.

Ideal duration: 4 to 5 days
Best time to visit: November to mid-May
How to reach:

  • By air: You can reach Andamas only by air. Veer Savarkar International Airport in Port Blair is the nearest airport from where you can get ferries or taxis to reach your destination.

11. Gokarna


Image Courtesy: Happy shopper for Wikimedia Commons

Ideally positioned on the western coast of Karnataka, Gokarna is a quaint temple town that embellishes picturesque beaches and lush greenery. If you are looking for a tranquil spot, Gokarna is the perfect place for you. Known for the Mahabaleshwar Temple and Maha Ganapati Temple, Gokarna is an excellent option for those planning to explore religious places on their trip. You can visit Half Moon Beach, Gokarna Main Beach, and Om Beach for a perfect beach experience.

Ideal duration: 2 to 3 days
Best time to visit: October to March
How To reach:

  • By air: The nearest airport is Dabolim in Goa which is around a 3-hour drive
  • By rail: Gokarna Road railway station is the nearest railway station that is around 20 km away from it

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12. Alappuzha


Image Courtesy: Navaneeth Krishnan S for Wikimedia Commons

Famed as Alleppey, Alappuzha is an incredible city that entices vacationers with houseboat stays, ancient temples, and spectacular paddy fields. With a myriad of tourist attractions like Alappuzha Beach, Marari Beach, Ambalappuzha Sri Krishna Temple, St. Mary Forane Church, and Alleppey Lighthouse, this city offers one to witness the best temples, churches, and beaches in Kerala. Don’t forget to visit popular restaurants to try some lip-smacking local delicacies.

Ideal duration: 3 to 4 days
Best  time to visit: October and February
How to reach:

  • By air: Located around 76 km away from Alappuzha, Kochi Airport (COK) is the nearest airport.
  • By train: Alappuzha railway station is the nearest station that is 3 km away from it.

13. Hampi


Image Courtesy: Prashmob for Wikimedia Commons

Hampi, the famous UNESCO World Heritage site, is an eminent pilgrimage center for Hindus. This peaceful escape is ideal for history lovers and intrigues vacationers with monolithic sculptures, ancient ruins, impeccable temples, and awe-inspiring monuments. You can explore famous temples like Virupaksha Temple, Vitthala Temple, Monkey Temple, and Lakshmi Narasimha Temple.

Ideal duration: 2 to 3 days
Best time to visit: October to February
How to reach:

  • By air: Hubli Airport (144 km away) and Belgaum Airport (215 km away) are two major domestic airports near Hampi.
  • By rail: Hospet Junction, is the nearest railway station and with just half an hour ride, you can reach the destination.

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14. Munnar


Image Courtesy: Srinivas Pradhyumna for Wikimedia Commons

Munnar is the emerald hill station of Kerala that adorns an abundance of tea plantations. The peaceful destination has glistening waterfalls and pleasant weather throughout the year. You can make your vacation extraordinary by staying at a treehouse or heading out for Tea Estate tours. Apart from this, the lush green hills in Munnar are perfect for a thrilling trek or an adventurous camp stay. Visit Eravikulam National Park, known for Nilgiri Tahr, if you love spotting wild beings. 

Ideal duration: September to November, January to March
Best time to visit: 3 to 4 days
How to reach:

  • By air: The nearest airport is the Cochin International Airport located.
  • By rail: The nearest railway station is Kochi and Ernakulam.

15. Goa


Image Courtesy: Tanya Dedyukhina for Wikimedia Commons

A paradise for all beach and party lovers, Goa is one of the most famous places to see in South India. From fabulous beaches to crazy parties, Goa offers all that fun that one expects on a vacay. Relish local seafood and check cashews, funky jewellery, clothes, and local alcohol. Those seeking peace can visit the stunning churches in Goa. To give an extra edge to your vacay, you must stay at a beach resort and wake up to picturesque landscapes every day. 

Ideal duration: 3 to 4 days
Best time to visit: November to February
How to reach:

  • By air: Dabolim International Airport is the major airport in Goa where taxis are easily available.
  • By rail: Madgaon Railway Station and Thivim Railway Station are the main railway heads.

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The mentioned are some of the best places to visit in South India. Whether you like beaches, greenery, mountains, or ancient sites, the Southern region features all. So, if a reposeful journey is all that you are looking for, plan a trip to South India soon and explore the hidden and alluring gems.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Places to Visit in South India

Which are the best tourist places in South India?

There are numerous destinations in South India where couples and families can enjoy. Some of the best ones include - 1. GandiKota 2. Belum Caves 3. Munnar 4. Wayanad 5. Thekkady 6. Alappuzha 7. Hampi 8. Andaman Islands 9. Goa

What is famous about South India?

The South Indian region is famous for its temples, scintillating beaches, scenic locations, monuments, ancient ruins and museums that captivates vacationers from all over the globe. Apart from this, it is also famous for silk sarees & materials, traditional paintings, aromatic oils, and spices as well.

Can I plan a visit to South Indian destinations during the current Covid situation?

Yes, the destinations are now welcoming vacationers with certain restrictions. Hence, you can plan a vacation while abiding by all the government protocols. Stay masked at all times when going out, sanitize your hands at certain intervals, and maintain a required social distance.

Which are the coldest places in South India?

If you are looking for some cold destinations in South India, you can plan a vacay to Ooty, Munnar, Idukki, Coonoor, Devikulam, and Yercaud.

Is there any place in South India where the snowfall takes place?

Yes, Lambasingi is a small village in Andhra Pradesh where you can witness snowfall. Notably, the best time to visit this place is between November to January.

Which are the best things to do in Munnar?

When in Munnar, you can make the most of your vacay while enjoying these things: 1. Enjoy tea estate tours in Kolukkumalai 2. Spot wildlife at Eravikulam National Park 3. Indulge in the adventure at Fun Forest Adventure Park 4. Enjoy a shikara ride on Kundala Lake 5. Watch Kathakali performance at Punarjani Traditional Village

What is the best time to visit the Andaman Islands?

The best time to visit the Andaman Islands is between October and May which constitutes the summer and winter season in Andaman. This is the best season to visit Andaman as the weather is pleasant, just perfect for sightseeing, water sports, and beach excursion.

Which are the best South Indian delicacies one must try?

The following are the best recipes to try in South India: 1. Masala Dosa 2. Gonguru Mamsam 3. Hyderabadi Biryani 4. Medu Vada 5. Paal Payasam 6. Konju Varutharaccha Curry 7. Coorgi Gawti Chicken

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