10 Best Places to Visit in South India
South India is a land of diversity, beauty, and culture. It offers a range of destinations that can suit every traveler’s taste and budget. Whether you are looking for serene hill stations, pristine beaches, ancient temples, or exotic wildlife, you will find it all in South India. In this article, we will explore 10 of the best places to visit in South India to make you fall in love with this region.
About South India
South India is a region of India that comprises the five southern states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Telangana, as well as the three union territories of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, and Puducherry. South India has a rich and diverse history, culture, language, and geography that sets it apart from the rest of the country.
The History of South India
The history of South India spans over four thousand years and witnessed the rise and fall of various dynasties and empires. Some of the prominent ones include the Chola, Chera, Pandya, Satavahana, Rashtrakuta, Chalukya, Pallava, Kakatiya, Hoysala, Vijayanagara, Bahmani, Nayak, Maratha, Mysore, Travancore, and Hyderabad. South India also played a key role in the trade and cultural exchanges with ancient civilizations such as Egypt, Greece, Rome, China, and Southeast Asia. Additionally, South India also got influences from various religions such as Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Islam, Christianity, and Sikhism.
South India Culture
South India’s culture boasts richness and diversity in various aspects. Those include literature, music, dance, art, architecture, cuisine, clothing, and festivals.
Notable Literary Works
Some of the notable literary works from South India are the Sangam literature in Tamil (c. 600 BCE to 300 CE), the Ramayana in Telugu by Kamban (c. 12th century CE), the Mahabharata in Kannada by Kumara Vyasa (c. 15th century CE), and the Kathakali in Malayalam by Unnayi Warrier (c. 17th century CE).
Famous Musical Forms
Some of the famous musical forms from South India are Carnatic music (classical), film music (popular), and folk music (regional). Some of the popular dance forms from South India are Bharatanatyam (Tamil Nadu), Kuchipudi (Andhra Pradesh), Kathakali (Kerala), Yakshagana (Karnataka), and Theyyam (Kerala).
Distinctive Art Forms
Some of the distinctive art forms from South India are Tanjore painting (Tamil Nadu), Mysore painting (Karnataka), Kalamkari painting (Andhra Pradesh), mural painting (Kerala), and Bidriware metalwork (Karnataka).
Remarkable Architectural Styles
Some of the remarkable architectural styles from South India are Dravidian architecture (temples), Indo-Saracenic architecture (palaces), Kerala architecture (houses), and Chettinad architecture (mansions).
Some of the delicious cuisines from South India are dosa (rice pancake), idli (rice cake), sambar (lentil stew), rasam (spicy soup), vada (fried snack), appam (rice crepe), puttu (steamed rice flour), biryani (rice dish with meat or vegetables), payasam (rice pudding), and filter coffee.
Some of the traditional clothing from South India are sari for women and dhoti or lungi for men.
Languages Spoken in South India
The majority of the people in South India speak at least one of the four major Dravidian languages: Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, and Malayalam. These languages have a long history and literature and are among the six classical languages of India. Some states and union territories also recognize a minority language, such as Urdu in Telangana, Tulu in Karnataka, Konkani in Goa, Tamil, and French in Puducherry. Apart from these languages, there are also many other languages that various communities speak in South India such as Gondi, Irula, Kurukh, Badaga, etc.
South India Time Zone
South India follows the Indian Standard Time (IST) which is UTC+05:30. This means that South India is five hours and thirty minutes ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) or Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). There is no observed daylight saving time in South India or any other part of India.
10 Best Places to Visit in South India
In addition to major cities like Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad, South India has many other tourist attractions. From hill stations to villages overlooking the Western Ghats, let’s follow The Broad Life to explore the best places in South India.
1. Alappuzha, Kerala State
If you are looking for a place that offers the charm of the Venice of the East, then Alappuzha in Kerala is the perfect choice for you. Alappuzha, also known as Alleppey, is a city and the administrative headquarters of Alappuzha district in Kerala, India. It is situated on a narrow strip of land between the Arabian Sea and the Vembanad Lake, the largest lake in Kerala.
Alappuzha has a rich and varied history dates back to the colonial era. It was one of the first British settlements in India and a major commercial and military center. Moreover, it was the center of social and political movements such as the Punnapra-Vayalar uprising, the coir workers’ strike, and the literacy campaign. Alappuzha was also awarded the cleanest city in India by the Centre for Science and Environment in 2016.
1.2. Places to Visit in Alappuzha
Alappuzha is famous for its backwaters and houseboats. It is the hub of Kerala’s backwaters, home to a vast network of waterways, over a thousand houseboats, and an important coir industry. You can enjoy a relaxing and rejuvenating experience on a houseboat cruise along the canals, lagoons, and paddy fields of Alappuzha. Besides that, you can witness the village life, the birdlife, and the sunset along the banks. You can also visit some of the attractions such as:
1.2.1. Alappuzha Beach
This is a famous beach that offers a scenic view of the Arabian Sea and the Alappuzha Lighthouse. You can also see the remains of an old pier that was built in 1862 by Captain Hugh Crawford. You can enjoy some of the activities such as swimming, surfing, parasailing, etc.
1.2.2. Krishnapuram Palace
This is a historical palace that was built by Marthanda Varma, the king of Travancore, in the 18th century. It is an example of Kerala architecture with gabled roofs, narrow corridors, and dormer windows. You can also see some of the artifacts such as paintings, sculptures, coins, weapons, etc. inside the palace. The most famous attraction is the mural painting of Gajendra Moksham, which depicts Lord Vishnu saving an elephant from a crocodile.
1.2.3. Marari Beach
This is a serene and secluded beach that is located about 11 km from Alappuzha. It is named after Mararikulam, a fishing village near the beach. You can enjoy the golden sand, the coconut palms, and the clear water of this beach. You can also stay in some resorts or homestays near the beach.
1.2.4. Ambalappuzha Sri Krishna Temple
This ancient temple is dedicated to Lord Krishna, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. It is famous for its Palpayasam, a sweet pudding made of rice and milk that is offered to the deity. It is also renowned for its mural paintings that depict scenes from Hindu epics such as Mahabharata and Ramayana.
Alappuzha is a place that will enchant you with its backwaters and houseboats. It is a place that will make you feel relaxed and refreshed. It is one of the best places in South India that you should visit at least once in your lifetime…
2. Kumarakom, Kerala State
If you are looking for a place that offers the bliss of the backwaters, then Kumarakom in Kerala is the perfect choice. Kumarakom is a cluster of little islands on the eastern banks of the Vembanad Lake, the largest lake in Kerala. It is part of the Kuttanad region, which is noteworthy as the rice bowl of Kerala.
2.1. History of Kumarakom
Kumarakom has a rich and varied history that dates back to ancient times. It was part of the Kingdom of Thekkumkur until it was conquered by Marthanda Varma, the king of Travancore, in the 18th century. Later, it was developed by an English farmer named Alfred George Baker, who reclaimed the wetlands and cultivated various crops. He also built a bungalow called Baker’s House, which is now a heritage hotel.
2.2. Places to Visit in Kumarakom
Kumarakom is famous for its backwaters and bird sanctuary. It is one of Kerala’s most popular tourist destinations and offers many leisure options. You can enjoy some of the attractions such as:
2.2.1. Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary
This is a paradise for bird lovers and ornithologists. It is spread across 14 acres and hosts many species of migratory and resident birds. You can see egrets, herons, darters, teals, waterfowls, cuckoos, wild ducks, and even the rare Siberian stork here. You can also take a boat ride or a walk along the trails to observe the birds.
2.2.2. Kumarakom Houseboats
This is a unique and memorable way to experience the backwaters of Kumarakom. You can stay in a traditional houseboat or a luxury houseboat and cruise along the canals, lagoons, and paddy fields of Kumarakom. You can also enjoy the scenic views, the village life, and the delicious cuisine on board.
2.2.3. Vembanad Lake
In fact, this is the largest lake in Kerala and one of the largest freshwater lakes in India. It is a biodiversity hotspot and supports many aquatic plants and animals. You can enjoy boating, fishing, kayaking, or canoeing on this lake. You can also witness some festivals such as the Onam and Nehru Trophy Boat Race on this lake.
2.2.4. Aruvikkuzhi Waterfall
This is a beautiful waterfall that cascades from a height of 30 meters into a pool. It is about 18 km from Kumarakom and is surrounded by rubber plantations and greenery. You can enjoy trekking, picnicking, or photography here.
Kumarakom has a tropical climate throughout the year. It has two monsoons – southwest and northeast – that bring heavy rainfall to the region. The best time to visit Kumarakom is from November to March when the weather is pleasant and dry.
Kumarakom is a place that will enchant you with its backwaters and bird sanctuary. It is a place that will make you feel relaxed and refreshed.
3. Wayanad, Kerala State
If you are looking for a place that offers the thrill of the hills, then Wayanad in Kerala is the perfect choice for you. Wayanad is a district in the northeast of Kerala, with administrative headquarters in the town of Kalpetta. It is the only plateau in Kerala and forms a part of the Western Ghats. It has altitudes ranging from 700 to 2100 meters and covers an area of 2132 sq km2.
Wayanad has a rich and varied history that dates back to prehistoric times. It has evidence of human habitation from the Neolithic era, as seen in the Edakkal Caves, which have rock art and inscriptions from different periods. It was also part of the ancient kingdoms of Kottayam, Kurumbranad, Vennimala, and Pazhassi. Later, it was annexed by the British East India Company in 1799 and became part of the Malabar district. In addition, it was the scene of many tribal revolts against British rules, such as the Kurichya Rebellion of 1812 and the Pazhassi Revolt of 1805.
3.2. Wayanad Attractions
Wayanad is famous for its wildlife and nature. It has three wildlife sanctuaries – Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary, and Tholpetty Wildlife Sanctuary – which are part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. It has a rich biodiversity of flora and fauna, including elephants, tigers, leopards, bears, deer, monkeys, birds, butterflies, orchids, spices, etc. You can enjoy some of the attractions such as:
3.2.1. Chembra Peak
This is the highest peak in Wayanad and one of the highest peaks in the Western Ghats. It offers a panoramic view of the surrounding hills and valleys. You can also see a heart-shaped lake on the way to the summit, which is believed to be perennial.
3.2.2. Banasura Sagar Dam
This is the largest earth dam in India and the second largest in Asia. It is built across the Karamanathodu River, a tributary of the Kabini River. It forms a huge reservoir that provides hydroelectric power and irrigation to the region. You can also enjoy boating, trekking, or camping here.
3.2.3. Pookode Lake
This is a natural freshwater lake that is surrounded by evergreen forests and hills. It has the shape of India’s map and is home to many aquatic species such as blue lotus, freshwater fish, etc. You can also visit a freshwater aquarium, a children’s park, a handicrafts emporium, etc. near the lake.
3.2.4. Soochipara Falls
This is a spectacular waterfall that plunges from a height of 200 meters into a pool. It is also known as Sentinel Rock Waterfalls because of its shape. You can enjoy swimming, rock climbing, or rappelling here.
3.3. Wayanad Climate
Wayanad has a pleasant climate throughout the year. It has two seasons – summer and winter – with moderate rainfall in between. The average temperature ranges from 18 to 29 degrees Celsius. The best time to visit Wayanad is from October to May when the weather is dry and cool.
Wayanad is a place that will thrill you with its wildlife and nature. It is a place that will make you feel adventurous and refreshed. It is truly one of the best places in South India that you should visit at least once in your lifetime…
4. Gokarna Town, Karnataka State
In contrast with the hustle and bustle of neighboring Goa, Gokarna Town in Karnataka is the perfect choice if you are looking for a place that offers the serenity of the coast and the spirituality of the temples. Gokarna is a small temple town located on the Arabian Sea coast in the Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka. It has a population of around 25,000 and is about 460 km from Bangalore.
4.1. Gokarna History
Gokarna means “cow’s ear” in Sanskrit. It is believed that Lord Shiva emerged from the ear of a cow here, after being banished from Mount Kailash by his wife Parvati. It is also believed that Ravana, the demon king of Lanka, obtained the Atmalinga, a powerful symbol of Shiva, from him and brought it to Gokarna. However, he was tricked by Lord Ganesha and Vishnu into placing it on the ground, where it became immovable.
Gokarna has been a center of pilgrimage and worship for centuries. It is one of the seven sacred places of salvation (Sapta Moksha Puris) in Hinduism. It is also known as the “Kashi of the South” or the “Varanasi of the South” because of its similarity to the holy city of Varanasi.
4.2. Gokarna Attractions
Gokarna is famous for its temples and beaches. It has four main temples – Mahabaleshwara Temple, Maha Ganapati Temple, Bhadrakali Temple, and Koti Tirtha – which are dedicated to different aspects of Shiva and his consort. It also has many ashrams and maths (monasteries) where one can learn yoga, meditation, and Vedanta.
Gokarna also has some of the most pristine and scenic beaches in India. It has five main beaches – Gokarna Beach, Kudle Beach, Om Beach, Half Moon Beach, and Paradise Beach – which are named after their shapes or features. These beaches are popular among backpackers, hippies, and adventure seekers who come here for sunbathing, swimming, surfing, trekking, camping, etc.
4.3. Climate in Gokarna
Gokarna has a tropical climate throughout the year. It has two seasons – summer and winter – with moderate rainfall in between. The average temperature ranges from 22 to 32 degrees Celsius. The best time to visit Gokarna is from October to March when the weather is pleasant and dry.
Gokarna is a place that will enchant you with its coast and temples. It is a place that will make you feel peaceful and blissful. Therefore, you should visit this place at least once in your lifetime.
5. Badami Town, Karnataka State
If you are looking for a place that offers the splendor of the ancient monuments and the beauty of the natural scenery, then Badami Town in Karnataka is the perfect choice for you. Badami is a town and a taluka in the Bagalkot district of Karnataka, India. It was the capital of the Badami Chalukyas from 540 to 757 CE. It is one of the best places to visit in South India for its rock-cut cave temples, structural temples, forts, inscriptions, and paintings.
5.1. Badami History
Badami was formerly known as Vatapi or Vatapipura. It derives its name from a mythological demon named Vatapi, who was killed by a sage named Agastya. In fact, it was founded by Pulakeshin I, the first ruler of the Chalukya dynasty, who made it his capital. It was a flourishing center of art, culture, and politics for over two centuries. The place witnessed the rise and fall of many dynasties such as the Pallavas, the Rashtrakutas, the Kalyani Chalukyas, the Hoysalas, the Vijayanagara Empire, the Adil Shahis, the Marathas, and the British.
5.2. Famous Places in Badami
Badami is famous for its cave temples and other monuments that showcase the architectural and artistic excellence of the Chalukyan era. Indeed, it has four main cave temples that are carved out of sandstone hills on the banks of Agastya Lake. These caves are dedicated to different deities such as Shiva, Vishnu, and Jain Tirthankaras. They have exquisite sculptures, pillars, ceilings, and paintings that depict various scenes from Hindu mythology and history.
Badami also has some other attractions such as:
5.2.1. Badami Fort
This is a hilltop fort that was built by Pulakeshin II, the most famous ruler of the Chalukya dynasty. It has two parts – the upper fort and the lower fort. The upper fort has a watchtower, a granary, and a temple dedicated to Shiva. The lower fort has a temple dedicated to Durga and a museum that displays some artifacts from the Chalukyan period.
5.2.2. Bhutanatha Temple
This is a group of two temples that are located on the eastern shore of Agastya Lake. They are dedicated to Bhutanatha, a form of Shiva. The first temple was built in the 7th century by the Badami Chalukyas and has a simple style. The second temple was built in the 11th century by the Kalyani Chalukyas and has a more ornate style. They have beautiful carvings and sculptures that reflect the fusion of different cultures and religions.
5.2.3. Banashankari Temple
This is an ancient temple that is located about 5 km from Badami. It is dedicated to Banashankari or Shakambari, a form of Parvati. It was built in the 7th century by the Badami Chalukyas and later renovated by the Marathas and the Peshwas. The temple has a unique style that combines Nagara and Dravidian elements. It has a square sanctum, a pyramidal tower, and an open hall with carved pillars. Particularly, it is famous for its annual festival called Banashankari Jatre which attracts thousands of devotees and tourists.
5.3. Badami Weather
Badami has a semi-arid climate with hot summers and mild winters. Its average temperature ranges from 15 to 38oC. The monsoon season lasts from June to September and brings moderate rainfall to the region. The best time to visit Badami is from October to March when the weather is pleasant and dry.
Badami is a place that will mesmerize you with its ancient monuments and natural scenery. It is a place that will make you feel awe-struck and inspired. It is a place that you should visit at least once in your lifetime if you are looking for the best places to visit in South India…
6. Thalassery City, Kerala State
If you are looking for a place that offers history, culture, and cuisine, then Thalassery City in Kerala is the perfect choice for you. Thalassery, also known as Tellicherry, is a city on the Malabar Coast of Kerala, India. It is the second-largest city of North Malabar and one of the oldest municipalities in Kerala. Its name means “the town of the headland” in Malayalam.
6.1. Thalassery History
Thalassery has a rich and varied history dates back to the colonial era. Actually, the city was one of the first British settlements in India and a major commercial and military center. It was also the center of the Malabar Rebellion of 1921, which was a revolt against British rule and the feudal system. Thalassery also witnessed many social and cultural reforms such as the establishment of schools, newspapers, libraries, clubs, etc.
6.2. Thalassery is Famous for
Thalassery is famous for its culture and heritage. It is famous as the “City of Three C’s: Cricket, Cake, and Circus”. Indeed, it is the place where cricket was first played in India by Sir Arthur Wellesley in the late 18th century. The city is also the place where cake was first baked in India by Mambally Bapu in the early 19th century. Also, it is the place where the circus was first performed in India by Keeleri Kunhikannan in the late 19th century.
Besides that, Thalassery is famous for its cuisine and delicacies. It is outstanding for its distinctive biryani, which is made with khyma rice, chicken, spices, and fried onions. Also, the city has special snacks such as Unnakkaya (banana fritters), Kozhikal (tapioca fries), Muttamala (egg garland), etc. It is also well-known for its sweets such as Kalathappam (rice cake), Thari unda (semolina balls), Halwa (flour pudding), etc.
Thalassery is not only a place of history, culture, and cuisine but also a place of nature and beauty. You can visit some of the attractions such as:
6.2.1. Thalassery Fort
This is a historic fort built by the British East India Company in 1708. It is a symbol of the colonial legacy and the resistance against it. You can see the bastions, cannons, secret tunnels, lighthouses, etc. inside the fort.
6.2.2. Dharmadam Island
This is a small island covered with coconut palms and greenery. It is located 100 meters away from the mainland and can be reached by boat or by walking during low tide. You can enjoy the scenic view of the Arabian Sea and the Malabar Coast from here.
6.2.3. Jagannath Temple
This is an ancient temple dedicated to Lord Jagannath, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. It is one of the prominent temples of North Kerala and attracts many devotees and tourists. You can see the colorful idols of Jagannath, Balabhadra, and Subhadra inside the temple.
6.2.4. Overbury’s Folly
This is a seaside park located on a hill adjacent to Thalassery Stadium. It was built by E.N. Overbury, a British official, in 1879 as a picnic spot. You can enjoy the view of the sea, the pier, and the fishing boats from here.
Thalassery is a place that will fascinate you with its history, culture, and cuisine. It is a place that will make you feel nostalgic and delighted. It is one of the best places in South India that you should visit at least once in your lifetime.
7. Chikmagalur, Karnataka State
If you are looking for a place that offers coffee, adventure, and serenity, then Chikmagalur in Karnataka is the ideal choice for you. Chikmagalur, also known as Chikkamagaluru, is a scenic town in the Chikmagalur district of Karnataka. Its name means “the younger daughter’s town” in Kannada. It is also well-known as the “coffee land of Karnataka” as it is the place where coffee was first cultivated in India.
7.1. Chikmagalur History
Chikmagalur has a rich and varied history that dates back to the Hoysala dynasty. It was also part of the kingdoms of Vijayanagara, Mysore, and Hyderabad at different periods of time. The place witnessed many historical events such as the Battle of Belur, the Revolt of 1830, and the Freedom Movement.
7.2. Chikmagalur Attractions
Chikmagalur is blessed with many natural attractions that make it a popular tourist destination in South India. Some of the places that you can visit in Chikmagalur are:
This is the highest peak in Karnataka and one of the highest peaks in the Western Ghats. It offers a panoramic view of the surrounding hills and valleys. You can also visit the Shiva temple at the summit or go trekking camping, or biking.
7.2.2. Baba Budangiri
This is another prominent peak in Chikmagalur and a sacred place for both Hindus and Muslims. It is named after the Sufi saint Baba Budan who brought coffee seeds from Yemen and planted them here. You can also see the Dattatreya Peetha, a shrine dedicated to Dattatreya, an incarnation of the Hindu trinity.
7.2.3. Hebbe Falls
This is a beautiful waterfall that cascades from a height of 168 meters into two stages: Dodda Hebbe (Big Falls) and Chikka Hebbe (Small Falls). You can reach the falls by trekking through the dense forest or by taking a jeep ride. You can also enjoy a refreshing dip in the pool at the base of the falls.
7.2.4. Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary
This is a protected area that covers an area of 492 sq km and is home to many animals such as tigers, leopards, elephants, gaurs, deer, wild dogs, sloth bears, etc. It also has a rich variety of flora and fauna. You can enjoy safari rides, boating, fishing, birdwatching, or trekking here.
This is a holy town that is famous for its Sharada Peetha, one of the four major monasteries established by Adi Shankara, the founder of Advaita Vedanta philosophy. You can visit the Sri Sharadamba Temple, which houses an idol of Goddess Saraswati made of sandalwood. Additionally, you can see the Vidyashankara Temple, which is an architectural marvel with 12 pillars representing the 12 zodiac signs.
Chikmagalur is not only a place of natural beauty but also a place of culture and heritage. You can experience traditional art forms such as Yakshagana, Dollu Kunitha, Veeragase, etc. in Chikmagalur. Moreover, you can taste some of the delicious cuisines such as Akki roti (rice bread), Kadubu (steamed dumplings), Neer dosa (thin rice crepes), Koli saaru (chicken curry), Halasina hannina kadubu (jackfruit dumplings), etc. in Chikmagalur.
Chikmagalur is a place that will delight you with its coffee aroma, adventure activities, and serene atmosphere. It is a place that will make you feel refreshed and rejuvenated. So, it is one of the places in South India that you should visit at least once in your lifetime.
8. Tharangambadi, Tamil Nadu State
If you are looking for a place that offers the charm of the colonial heritage and the tranquility of the beach, then Tharangambadi in Tamil Nadu is the perfect choice for you. Tharangambadi, also known as Tranquebar, is a small town in the Nagapattinam district of Tamil Nadu, India. It is situated on the Coromandel Coast, about 13 km north of Karaikal. In particular, it is one of the best places to visit in South India for its Danish legacy, cultural diversity, and scenic beauty.
8.1. Tharangambadi History
Tharangambadi means “land of the singing waves” in Tamil. It has a history that dates back to the 10th century when it was part of the Chola empire. Later, it was ruled by the Pandyas, the Vijayanagara Empire, and the Thanjavur Nayaks. It was also a center of trade and commerce, attracting merchants from different parts of India and abroad.
Tharangambadi became a Danish colony in 1620, when a Danish admiral named Ove Gjedde signed a treaty with Raghunatha Nayak, the king of Thanjavur, and established a trading post here. He also built a fort called Fort Dansborg, which became the seat of the Danish governor and other officials. Tharangambadi remained under Danish control until 1845 when it was sold to the British East India Company. It was also a hub of missionary activities, especially by the Lutheran missionaries who established schools, churches, printing presses, and hospitals here.
8.2. Tharangambadi Famous for
Tharangambadi is famous for its Danish monuments and other attractions that reflect its multicultural past and present. It has some of the attractions such as:
8.2.1. Fort Dansborg
This is the most prominent landmark of Tharangambadi and one of the oldest European forts in India. It was built by Ove Gjedde in 1620 and served as the headquarters of the Danish East India Company. The fort has a rectangular shape with bastions at each corner and a moat around it. Today, it houses a museum that displays some artifacts from the Danish period such as coins, weapons, pottery, paintings, etc.
8.2.2. New Jerusalem Church
This is one of the oldest Protestant churches in India and one of the first Lutheran churches in Asia. Bartholomäus Ziegenbalg, one of the first Lutheran missionaries to India, built the church in 1718. It has a simple style with white walls and red roofs. It has a pulpit, an altar, an organ, and a cemetery where Ziegenbalg and other missionaries are buried.
8.2.3. Masilamani Nathar Temple
This is an ancient Hindu temple that was built by Maravarman Kulasekara Pandyan I in 1306. It is dedicated to Shiva and his consort Parvati. The temple has a Dravidian style with a pyramidal tower over the sanctum. It has some carvings and sculptures that depict various gods and goddesses. It is located near the beach and has been partly eroded by the sea and the tsunami of 2004.
8.2.4. Tharangambadi Beach
This is a serene and secluded beach that offers a scenic view of the Arabian Sea and Fort Dansborg. Tharangambadi Beach has golden sand, coconut palms, and clear water. Especially, it is ideal for swimming, sunbathing, fishing, or surfing. It also hosts some festivals such as Pongal and Karthigai Deepam.
8.3. Tharangambadi Weather
Tharangambadi has a tropical climate throughout the year. It has two seasons – summer and winter – with moderate rainfall in between. The average temperature ranges from 24 to 34oC. The best time to visit Tharangambadi is from October to March when the weather is pleasant and dry.
Tharangambadi is a place that will enchant you with its colonial heritage and beach beauty. It is a place that will make you feel nostalgic and relaxed. It is a place that you should visit at least once in your lifetime if you are looking for places to visit in South India…
9. Kollam, Kerala State
If you are looking for a place that offers a diversity of culture and the serenity of nature, then Kollam in Kerala is the perfect choice for you. Kollam, also known as Quilon, is a city and a district on the southwestern coast of Kerala, India. In fact, it is the fourth largest city in Kerala and is special for its cashew industry, coir production, and marine exports. It is one of the best places to visit in South India for its backwaters, beaches, temples, churches, and festivals.
9.1. History of Kollam
Kollam has a history that dates back to ancient times. It was one of the oldest ports on the Malabar Coast and a major center of trade and commerce. Indeed, it was visited by many famous travelers and traders such as Marco Polo, Ibn Battuta, Zheng He, Vasco da Gama, and others. It was also part of many kingdoms and empires such as the Cheras, the Pandyas, the Cholas, the Venad Swaroopam, the Travancore State, and the British Raj. Also, Kollam was a hub of Christian missionary activities, especially by the Portuguese and the Dutch.
9.2. Kollam is Famous for
Kollam is famous for its attractions that showcase its cultural and natural heritage. It has some of the attractions such as:
9.2.1. Ashtamudi Lake
This is the second-largest lake in Kerala and one of the most scenic backwaters in India. It has eight branches or arms that give it its name (ashta means eight and mudi means confluence). It covers an area of about 200 sq km and hosts many islands, canals, lagoons, and wetlands. You can enjoy boating, fishing, birdwatching, or houseboat cruising on this lake.
9.2.2. Thangassery Beach
This is a beautiful beach that offers a panoramic view of the Arabian Sea and the Thangassery Lighthouse. It is located about 5 km from Kollam city. The beach has a history of being a Portuguese and Dutch settlement. You can also see some remnants of old forts, churches, and factories along the beach.
9.2.3. Jatayu Earth’s Centre
This is a unique attraction that features a giant sculpture of Jatayu, a mythical bird from the epic Ramayana. It is located about 38 km from Kollam city on a hilltop in Chadayamangalam village. Particularly, it is the world’s largest bird sculpture with a length of about 61 meters, a height of 21 meters, and a width of 46 meters. You can also enjoy some adventure activities such as zip-lining, rappelling, rock climbing, etc. at this center.
9.2.4. Palaruvi Waterfalls
This is a spectacular waterfall that cascades from a height of about 90 meters into a pool. It is located about 75 km from Kollam city in Aryankavu village. It is surrounded by dense forests and hills and has medicinal properties. You can enjoy swimming, trekking, or picnicking at this waterfall.
9.3. Kollam Climate Today
Kollam has a tropical climate throughout the year. It has two seasons – summer and winter – with heavy rainfall in between. The average temperature ranges from 22 to 34oC. The best time to visit Kollam is from October to February when the weather is pleasant and dry.
Kollam is a place that will enchant you with its culture and nature. It is a place that will make you feel diverse and serene. Definitely, it is a place that you should visit at least once in your lifetime if you are looking for the best places to visit in South India…
10. Idukki District, Kerala State
If you are looking for a place that offers scenic beauty, adventure, and tranquility, then Idukki District in Kerala is the perfect choice for you. In fact, Idukki is the largest district in Kerala and covers about 97% of its area with mountains and forests. It is also the second-largest district in India in terms of area. Idukki derives its name from the Malayalam word ‘idukku’ which means narrow gauge. This refers to the narrow valleys between the hills that characterize the landscape of this district.
10.1. Idukki History
Idukki has a rich and varied history dates back to the ancient Chera dynasty. It was also part of the kingdoms of Travancore, Cochin, and Mysore at different periods of time. The place witnessed many historical events such as the Mysorean invasion, the Kuravanji revolt, and the Malabar rebellion. Idukki also played a significant role in the freedom struggle of India.
10.2. Best Places to Visit in Idukki
Idukki has many natural attractions that make it a popular tourist destination in South India. Some of the places that you can visit in Idukki are:
10.2.1. Idukki Dam
In particular, this is the largest arch dam in Asia and one of the highest dams in India. It is built across the Periyar River and forms a huge reservoir that provides hydroelectric power to Kerala. The dam also offers a spectacular view of the surrounding hills and valleys.
This is one of the most famous hill stations in Kerala. The place is well-known for its tea plantations, waterfalls, lakes, and wildlife. Munnar is also home to the rare Neelakurinji flower that blooms once in 12 years and covers the hills with a blue carpet.
This is the location of the Periyar National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary. Extremely, it is one of the largest and most diverse wildlife reserves in India. You can spot elephants, tigers, leopards, bison, deer, monkeys, and many other animals and birds here. You can also enjoy boating on the Periyar Lake or go trekking, bamboo rafting, or jungle camping.
This is another hill station in Idukki that is remarkable for its green meadows, pine forests, waterfalls, and misty valleys. Vagamon is also a popular destination for adventure sports such as paragliding, rock climbing, and mountaineering.
10.2.5. Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary
This is a protected area that covers an area of 77 sq km and lies adjacent to the Idukki reservoir. It is home to many animals such as elephants, sambar, gaur, wild dogs, jungle cats, civets, mongoose, and snakes. It also has a rich variety of flora and fauna.
Idukki is not only a place of natural beauty but also a place of culture and heritage. You can experience traditional art forms such as Kathakali, Mohiniyattam, Thiruvathirakali, Koodiyattam, etc. in Idukki. In addition, you can visit some of the ancient temples such as Thrikkakara Temple, Mangala Devi Temple, and Sree Krishna Temple, etc. in Idukki.
Idukki is a place that will enchant you with its scenic beauty, cultural diversity, and historical significance. It is a place that will make you feel closer to nature and yourself. It is truly one of the best places in South India that you should visit at least once in your lifetime.
Why You Should Visit South India Soon
South India is a treasure trove of natural wonders, historical monuments, and cultural delights. It has something for everyone, from adventure seekers to spiritual seekers, from foodies to history buffs. By visiting South India, you will not only experience the charm and hospitality of its people but also discover the rich and diverse heritage of this part of India. So, what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and book your tickets to South India today!
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