5 best places to visit in Southern India

Those who've been to the southern part of India before wouldn't fail to appreciate the gem that the states are; each of the four states having their own unique identity and flair that attracts tourists worldwide. A vacation to this part of the country is equivalent to a beautiful journey of mysticism and divinity, replete with serene beaches and cool hills to bear the unforgiving wrath of summer, spectacular forts that tattletale history of brave men, beautiful falls and forests that are a sight to behold, and more; never mind the rich, authentic south-Indian cuisine that is loved by people across the country and abroad. 

One doesn't need more reasons to pack their bags and head for a tour to this state famous for its distinctive culture and hospitable people that cannot be found elsewhere. 

Marina Beach

1. Chennai, Tamil Nadu

One simply doesn't visit Tamil Nadu and miss the capital. In fact, Chennai is the other name of Tamil Nadu. As the capital of the state and home to many pristine churches and temples, and magnificent beaches. Chennai lets you have a glimpse of South India and its lifestyle at one place. Chennai can easily be described in a single word: Art.  

Culture, History, and Art, Chennai is the home to all. 
One shouldn't miss the following places:
- Marina Beach (Best place to chill in the evening.)
- Santhome Cathedral (Another name for beauty.)
- Luz Church (Very old church.)
- Kapaleeshwarar Temple (One simply doesn't come heart of the city, Mylapore, and not visit this temple. It's a norm.)
- DakshinaChitra (Art gallery for people who appreciate all forms of art.)
- Anna Centenary Library (Perfect place for people who enjoy reading! It's by far the best library in the country. )

Best time of the year: November - February; this place experience harsh summers so it would be a really bad idea to hit Chennai any other month of the year. And December is the month of the cultural fests that you shouldn't miss. 


2. Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu

Arguably one of the best honeymoon destinations in South India, Kodaikanal which is adorned with dense evergreen forests, huge rocks, and stunning waterfalls, makes perfect romantic tourist place to visit with your loved one. Kodaikanal is a city near Palani in the hills of the Dindigul district in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. In Tamil, the name, Kodaikanal, means 'The Gift of the Forest.' The scenic beauty of the town captures the attention of tourists from different parts of the country and abroad. 

Never miss the following places when you're in Kodaikanal,
- Kodaikanal Lake (Picturesque man-made lake, also the heart of the very town.)
- Coaker's Walk 
- Pillar Rocks Viewpoint (Whichever hill station is complete without a cliffside destination offering sweeping views of the mountains & unique pillar-shaped rocks?)

Best time of the year: March - June, and December - February.

3. Coorg, Karnataka

The top tourist destination of Karnataka, Coorg (also called Kodagu), isn't called Scotland of the South for nothing. If one has dreamt of doing waterfall rappelling, then this is the destination where you can make your dreams come true! The view of the mist subtly mingling with the green spread of the hills is a sight to behold. The scenic view of evergreen forest spread over the hills like a thick blanket and the grey clouds that hang over the region that leaves enchanting look over the town. Coorg ranks high on the list of hill stations in the country because of the abundance of natural beauty, be it the magnificent waterfalls, the lush greenery or the magnificent view from the hilltop overlooking the small town that is Kodagu.  

Make sure you add these places in your list so that next time you visit Coorg, you don't miss out on the best of it:

- Abbey Falls (You wouldn't want to refrain hiking your way up.)
-  Brahmagiri Peak (One of many picturesque places, but it has plenty of wildlife too!)
- Raja's seat (Sunset can't become a more incomparable moment.)
- Bylakuppe (Where history and culture exists.)

Best time of the year: October - April, but March is recommended to enjoy its mesmerizing beauty at its best. 

4. Andaman and Nicobar Islands

You'll find the bluest waters you've ever seen in the country here and nowhere else. These groups of islands houses large varieties of marine life that will brush past you while you wonder about the clearness of the azure waters. White sandy shores and green islands complete the best holiday package you can ever get to spend your summers, all on budget. Snorkeling and scuba diving are the highlights of this place, something you must not miss when visiting these islands. 

Out of a total of 256 islands, here's what you should totally hit:

- Havelock Island (If you're up for water adventures like scuba diving and sea walking.)
- Port Blair (Dolphin watching is possible here.)
- Limestone caves, Port Blair (Caves...)
- Mangrove Kayaking, Havelock Island (where 2.5 hour journey involves exploring silent waters and the rich diversity of the Mangroves)
- Radhanagar Beach (For much-needed relaxation under the shade.)
- Kalapani Cellular Cell, Atlanta Point (one of the darkest sections in the historical backdrop of India, dating back to 1857.)

Best time of the year: October - February 


5.  Alappuzha, Kerala

Alappuzha or Alleppey, also known as the 'Venice of the East', is one of the most beautiful places to visit in South India, and particularly Kerala. It is a city on the Laccadive Sea in the southern Indian state of Kerala. Kerala has always attracted tourists all across the country for its culture and scenic beauty and Alleppey is just another splendid nature's paradise that the state has got to offer, something about which appeals the tourists for its rustic, breathtaking backwaters and floating houseboat cruises. You watch as another houseboat float by in the distance, but as the dawn breaks, you get caught by the serene beauty of the backwaters and that will make you realize there is no better way to round the trip than this.

What else?

- Alappuzha Beach (Because there's more than just Venice-like experience you can have here.)
- Ambalappuzha Sri Krishna Temple (Kerala and no Krishna? That's not possible. This temple is referred to as 'Dwarka of the South' by its visitors.)
- Kuttanad (To take a closer look at village life. Also, finger-licking delicacies.)

Best time of the year: November - March

South India is divine and has a charm to it that cannot be compared with any other; it is a perfect destination for anyone who- admires nature's artwork, wishes to learn unique cultures, observes the wildlife happen, watch history unfold, and believe in the higher being. It is home to many wonders and mysteries that are a part of our beautiful country and is an experience one shouldn't miss out on. 

Vaishnavi Raghavan

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5 best places to visit in Southern India 5 best places to visit in Southern India Reviewed by EMN on April 12, 2019 Rating: 5

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