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South India

Top 30 places to visit in South India

India is a vast country with so many places to see and things to do. With countless amazing places to visit all over India, South India is definitely a top pick. From the stunning temples of Tamil Nadu to the beautiful beaches of Kerala, there’s something for everyone in South India. And with so much to see and do, it can take time to narrow it down. But don’t worry; we’ve got you covered.

Here are the top 30 places to visit in South India in 2023

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places to visit in South India in 2023
Parven Kumar

Vicky Thakur

Hey, I’m Vicky, welcome to my little corner of www.travelshunt.com. and I guess this is the place where I tell you about how I’m fixated on investigating the world, meeting astonishing individuals, and getting as lost as conceivable with my camera.

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1. Meenakshi Temple

The Meenakshi temple is one of the most popular tourist destinations in South India. This temple is located in Madurai, Tamil Nadu and is dedicated to the goddess Meenakshi. The temple complex is one of the largest in India and has been a major pilgrimage site for centuries. The Meenakshi temple is known for its beautiful architecture and sculptures. The temple’s main attraction is the 1000-pillared hall, built in the 17th century.

2. Backwaters of Kerela

Kerala is a land of immense natural beauty. The state is blessed with a network of 44 rivers, lagoons, and inlets that make up the Kerala backwaters. These backwaters are a unique ecosystem home to a diverse array of plant and animal life. 

The backwaters are best explored by taking a leisurely cruise on a traditional houseboat. These boats are fitted with all the amenities to make your stay comfortable, including a sun deck, bedroom, and kitchen. As you drift along the serene waters, you’ll see firsthand the stunning scenery and wildlife that the Kerala backwaters offer.

3. Statue of Unity

The Statue of Unity is the tallest in the world, standing at a whopping 182 meters. Located in Gujarat, this monument was built to honor Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, who was instrumental in the unification of India. The best time to visit the Statue of Unity is during the day when you can get a perfect view of it.

4. Kanyakumari

The southernmost tip of India, Kanyakumari, is a popular tourist destination for its beautiful beaches and temples. The town is also known for its many Hindu shrines and monuments and for being the site of the Gandhi Memorial. Visitors can also enjoy views of the nearby islands of Sri Lanka and Indonesia from the beach.

5. Madurai

The city is famous for its temples and some of the country’s most important religious sites. Madurai is also a major cultural and educational center with several institutions. Some of Madurai’s most popular tourist attractions include the Meenakshi Amman Temple, Koodal Azhagar Temple, Thirumalai Nayakkar Palace, and Gandhi Museum.

6. Coorg

Coorg, also known as Kodagu, is a district in the state of Karnataka in southern India. The town of Madikeri is the district headquarters. Coorg is renowned for its natural beauty and is a popular tourist destination. It is home to several tourist attractions, including Abbey Falls, Raja’s Seat, Talakaveri, Dubare Elephant Camp, and Nagarahole National Park. Abbey Falls is one of Coorg’s most popular tourist destinations. Raja’s Seat is another popular attraction in Madikeri. Talakaveri, located in the Brahmagiri Hills, is the source of the River Cauvery. It is also home to a temple dedicated to the goddess Cauvery. Nagarahole National Park is one of India’s premier tiger reserves and is home to various wildlife, including tigers, leopards, elephants, deer, and wild boar.

7. Chikmagalur

Chikmagalur is a beautiful hill station in Karnataka, India. The name Chikmagalur means “The town of the younger daughter” in the local language, Kannada. The region around Chikmagalur is rich in coffee plantations and is known for its scenic beauty. 

There are many tourist attractions in and around Chikmagalur, such as the Mullayanagiri hills, which offer a stunning view of the surrounding area; the Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary, where you can see elephants and other wildlife; and the Manikyadhara Falls, which are a must-see for any visitor to the region.

8. Gokarna

Gokarna is a Hindu pilgrimage town located in Karnataka, India. Visitors come to Gokarna to pay homage to the Mahabaleshwara Temple, which is said to be one of the seven holiest temples in India. The town is also a popular beach destination, with beautiful beaches like Om Beach and Kudle Beach. Visitors can also enjoy hiking and bird watching in the nearby forests.

9. Cochin

If you’re looking for a Kerala experience a little bit more off the beaten path, head to Kochi (formerly Cochin). This city is far less touristy than Munnar and Kumarakom, but it still has plenty to offer visitors. Start your exploration of Kochi at Fort Kochi, a colonial-era fort with a rich history. 

Then, check out some of the city’s churches, including the Santa Cruz Cathedral and St. Francis Church. Remember to wander through the Spice Market and see how much of Kerala’s spices are grown and exported.

10. Hampi

Hampi is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in central Karnataka, India. It is a group of monuments and ruins scattered around the town of Hospet. The most notable ruins are the Virupaksha Temple, an active Hindu temple complex built in the 7th century; the Hampi Bazaar, a long street lined with market stalls and temples; and the Vittala Temple complex, which includes the famous Stone Chariot.

Other notable places to visit in Hampi include the Elephant Stables, where you can see elephants being trained; the Lotus Mahal, a beautiful palace ruin; and the Queen’s Bath, an ornate bathing pool.

11. Alleppey

Alleppey is a beautiful town located in the state of Kerala, India. The town is situated on the banks of the River Pamba and is known for its picturesque backwaters. Alleppey is also referred to as the Venice of the East due to its large network of canals. 

The town is home to several temples, churches, and mosques.

Visitors can also enjoy a ride on a houseboat through the backwaters or participate in Ayurvedic treatments. Some top places in Alleppey are Alappuzha Beach, Sri Krishna Temple, and Mullakkal Rajarajeswari Temple.

12. Thekkady

Thekkady is a picturesque town in Kerala, India, situated on the edge of the Western Ghats mountain range. It is renowned for its natural beauty and wildlife and is home to the Periyar Tiger Reserve. Thekkady is an ideal destination for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts. 

The Periyar Tiger Reserve offers ample opportunities to see tigers and other animals in their natural habitat. The town also has numerous trekking trails through the mountains and forests.

13. Kannur

Kannur, a small town in Kerala, is one of the top places to visit in South India. The town is known for its fishing industry and beautiful beaches. Kannur also has several historical monuments and temples that are worth visiting. If you are looking for a place to relax and enjoy the beauty of nature, then Kannur is the perfect destination. It is famous as the City of Looms and Lores due to its flourishing handloom industry and folk art called Theyyam.

14. Periyar

Periyar is one of the most popular tourist destinations in South India. Located in Kerala, Periyar is known for its beautiful scenery, friendly people, and flavorful food. Visitors to Periyar can enjoy various activities such as hiking, bird watching, and boating. 

There are also several Elephant Sanctuaries where visitors can interact with these amazing animals. If you’re looking for a place to relax and unwind, Periyar is the perfect destination. With its stunning scenery and laid-back atmosphere, you’ll surely enjoy your time here.

15. Pondicherry

Pondicherry is one of the top tourist destinations in South India. A former French colony, Pondicherry is a charming town with a unique blend of French and Indian cultures. The town is dotted with colonial-style buildings, churches, temples, and statues. There are also many beautiful beaches in Pondicherry where you can relax and enjoy the stunning views.

16. Kodaikanal

Kodaikanal is one of the most popular tourist destinations in South India. Situated in the picturesque Western Ghats, Kodaikanal is known for its natural beauty and serene atmosphere. The town offers a variety of tourist attractions, including lakes, waterfalls, trekking trails, and viewpoints. Kodaikanal Lake is the town’s centerpiece and is a popular spot for boating and fishing. 

Popular viewpoints include Dolphin’s Nose, Coaker’s Walk, and Solar Observatory. Kodaikanal is also home to several waterfalls, including Silver Cascade, Fairy Falls, Bear Shola Falls, and Thoovanam Falls.

17. Coimbatore

If you are planning to visit South India in 2023, Coimbatore should be on your list! This city is in Tamil Nadu and is known for its lush greenery, temples, and textile industry. When it comes to temples, the Sri Lakshmi Narayana Perumal Temple and the Marudamalai Murugan Temple are must-visits. For those interested in history, the Gedee Car Museum and the collections at the Coimbatore Regional Museum are worth checking out.

18. Coonoor

Coonoor is a small town located in the Nilgiri district of Tamil Nadu. It is situated at an altitude of 1,850 meters (6,070 ft) above sea level. Coonoor is known for its cool and pleasant climate and is a popular hill station in South India. It is surrounded by tea plantations and has several tourist attractions such as Dodabetta Peak, Sim’s Park, Lamb’s Rock, Dolphin’s Nose, and Catherine Falls.

19. Visakhapatnam

It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Andhra Pradesh and attracts visitors from all over India and abroad. Here are some of the top places to visit in Vizag: 

  1. Ramakrishna Beach: This is one of the most popular beaches in Vizag and is very close to the city center. 
  2. Kailasagiri Hill: It offers panoramic views of Vizag city and its harbor. There are also several temples and monuments on the hill, making it a popular spot for tourists and locals alike. 
  3. INS Kurusura Submarine Museum: This unique museum allows visitors to see firsthand what an Indian Navy submarine looks like from the inside. 
  4. Borra Caves: These are located in the Ananthagiri Hills and are one of the busiest tourist spots in Vizag. The caves are large and have several

20. Chitoor

Chitoor is a small town in the Indian state of Karnataka. The town is known for its temples and architecture and its many festivals. Temples in Chitoor include the Lakshmi Narasimha Temple, dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu, and Sri Rama Temple, one of the town’s largest temples. The town is also home to the Chittoor Museum, which houses a collection of artifacts from the town’s history.

21. Tirupati

Tirupati is one of the most popular pilgrimage destinations in India. Every year, millions of pilgrims visit the temple town to seek the blessings of Lord Venkateswara. The temple complex comprises four main temples – the Sri Venkateswara Temple, Sri Kapileswara Temple, Sri Varahaswamy Temple and Sri Govindaraja Temple – and several other shrines and sub-temples.

22. Hyderabad

Hyderabad, the capital of Telangana, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in South India. The city is known for its rich history, stunning architecture, and mouth-watering cuisine. 

Here are some of the top places to see and things to do in Hyderabad: 

  1. Visit the historic Charminar. 
  2. Shop till you drop at the world-famous Laad Bazaar. 
  3. Go on a food trail and savor Hyderabadi biryani and haleem. 
  4. Take a stroll through the beautiful Golconda Fort. 
  5. Pay your respects at the Salar Jung Museum. 
  6. Shop for pearls and bangles at Begum Bazaar.

23. Wayanad

Wayanad is a mountainous district in the Indian state of Kerala. The district is home to some of the country’s most beautiful natural scenery, including waterfalls, forests, and wildlife sanctuaries. Wayanad is also home to the Edakkal Caves, a fascinating archaeological site with rock art dating back to the Neolithic era.

24. Varkala

Varkala is a beautiful coastal town in the Indian state of Kerala. The town is located on the Arabian Sea coast and is known for its beaches, temples, and cliffs. Some of the popular beaches in Varkala include Papanasam Beach, Hawah Beach, and Janardhanaswamy Beach. The town is also home to the Sivagiri Mutt, a pilgrimage site for followers of the social reformer Sri Narayana Guru. 

Other notable tourist attractions in Varkala include the Varkala Tunnel, the Kaduvayil Juma Masjid, and the Janardhanaswamy Temple. The town is also a popular gateway to the backwaters of Kerala.

25. Mahabalipuram

Devised by the Pallavas in the 7th century, Mahabalipuram is a UNESCO World Heritage site. This seaside town is renowned for its temples and carved sculptures, which demonstrate the skill of the ancient Tamil civilization. A stroll through the town will reveal numerous temples, including the Shore Temple, which was built in 700 AD and is one of the oldest stone temples in India. 

The Five Rathas, or Pancha Pandava Rathas, are another highlight and depict the five Pandava brothers from the Hindu epic Mahabharata. Visitors can also enjoy the town’s beautiful beaches, such as Paradise Beach and Tiger Cave Beach.

26. Pondicherry

Pondicherry, a Union Territory of India, is one of the top tourist destinations in South India. The town, which was once a French colony, is known for its colonial architecture, beautiful beaches, and tranquil backwaters. Pondicherry is located on the Bay of Bengal, and its Capital city is Chennai. Some top places to visit in Pondicherry are the Auroville Ashram, Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Paradise Beach, Matrimandir, and the Manakula Vinayagar Temple.

27. Warangal

Warangal is a city in the Indian state of Telangana. The city’s most prominent landmark is its majestic 13th-century fort, which stands atop a hill overlooking the city. The fort was built by Ganapati Deva, a ruler of the Kakatiya dynasty, and has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

Other notable landmarks include the Ramappa Temple, built in the 12th century; the Thousand Pillar Temple, which dates back to the 11th century; and Lake Warangal, an artificial lake that is a popular spot for picnics and recreational activities.

28. Mysore

The second largest city in Karnataka, Mysore, is known for its grand palaces, beautiful gardens, and upscale shopping districts. The city is also a major center of Indian classical music and dance. We must remember the famous Mysore Palace as an important tourist destination that enthralls travelers in every way.

29. Ooty

Ooty is a hill station in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. It is located in the Nilgiri Hills and is known for its cooler climate and scenic beauty. Ooty is a popular tourist destination, and there are many things to see and do in the area. Some top places to visit in Ooty include the Botanical Gardens, Doddabetta Peak, Ooty Lake, the Rose Garden etc.

30. Munnar

Munnar is a town located in the Indian state of Kerala. Munnar is known for its picturesque landscapes and tea plantations. It is also home to several endangered species of animals, including the Nilgiri tahr and the Neelakurinji flower.

Munnar was once the summer resort of the British Raj officers. Today, Munnar is a popular destination for domestic and international tourists.

Conclusion

After reading this article, we hope you are inspired to start planning your trip to South India. With so many amazing places to see and things to do, it is truly a destination that has something for everyone. Whether you are interested in exploring the region’s rich history and culture or want to relax on some of the beautiful beaches, South India has it all. So what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip today!

Parven Kumar

Vicky Thakur

Travel Blogger