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The Southern region of India, though loosely called “Madras” by ignorant people, is diverse- as much in traditions and culture as in geography. There is a lot more to South Indian than beautiful silk sarees and sarongs. South India comprises of Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Lakshwadeep, Andaman & Nicobar- and what’s more, each state has managed to maintain it’s own distinct identity through the ages. The heritage and beauty of South India calls tourists from not only India, but from all parts of the world. Delicious cuisines, intricate architecture, beautiful beaches, and dreamy hills of South India make it a place that tourists love coming back to. 

Among the various places that you can visit in South India- Kovalam, Madhurai, Ooty, etc, we bring to you a few selected ones. 

Check out our list of the most beautiful places in South India that you can visit, because Life is way better when you’re on vacation! 

1. Gokarna


While the world heads to Goa for weekends, birthdays, honeymoons and new year parties, tucked away from the hustle-bustle is the beautiful Gokarna. It is knows for it’s untouched beaches and relaxing atmosphere. This has everything that makes it a favourite vacation spot for all age-groups. Kulde beach in Gokarna hosts a hippie flea market in peak season that attracts many international tourists. You can easily explore the place on foot or by autos. Gokarna also has many temples and the festival of Shivratri is celebrated with much grandeur. This place does not see much traffic, which is why it is relatively cleaner and more peaceful. Come to think of it, Gokarna is what Goa would have been before it became such a (crowded) popular holiday spot. Although liquor is officially banned because of the religious significance of the place, you won’t have trouble finding a beer if you take the help of a localite. 

Best time to visit- October until March .
Must visit- Om beach, Namaste Café, Half-moon beach. 

Know everything about Gokarna here

2. Alleppey

With its floating houseboats and emerald colured backwaters, Alleppey, located in Kerala, is called “Venice of the East”. This place houses historical, cultural, and scenic attractions. The houseboat ride is a perfect way to escape into the beauty of nature. The paddy fields, backwaters, tall palm trees, and the hammocks that cradle you to sleep offer Kerala to you in it’s authentic sense. And not only these, you can also visit ayurvedic wellness centres to help you calm your body and mind. The backwaters are a perfect place to see Kerala’s traditional snake boats, known as chundan vallam. The proximity to the Arabian Sea gives tourists a chance to taste the best of sea food. Fish curries, lobster and crab dishes of this region are to die for! 

Best time to visit- December to February, June to September. 
Must visit- Kayamkulam lake, Pandavan Rock, Krishnapuram Palace. 

Have a look at our travel guide for Kerela

3. Papikondalu or Papi Hills

Located in Rajamundry in Andhra Pradesh, Papikondalu is a gorgeous place to visit. The best part is that you have to take a boat called Launches from Rajamundry to reach Papikondalu! Boats are available from Bhadrachalam and Kunavaram as well.  Papikondalu gives you the perfect blend of water and hills, and rejuvenates your body and soul. The twists and turns of the Godavari river coupled with hills is every tourist’s dream. Get a taste of the local fish cooked in bamboo shoots to experience the real Papi hills. This is a great option to cut off from the world (literally,because the network is problematic) and just “chill.” The nearest airport to reach this place is in Hyderabad. Kunavaram is the shortest route to reach Papikondalu, can be reached by road from Hyderabad. 

Best time to visit- October to January.
Must visit- The entire island is explorable in 2 days.

4. Kanyakumari


Lying at the southern tip of the Indian subcontinent, Kanyakumari is the place where Indian ocean, Bay of Bengal and Arabian sea meet. One can actually see the difference in colors of these three water bodies at their confluence.  The sunset and sunrise view from Kanyakumari is unbeatable. In fact, on warm evenings, one can actually see the sunset and sunrise happening together. Also, the multicoloured sand on the beaches of Kanyakumari is a unique feature. It was once referred to as “Alexandria of the east”, and was called “Cape Comorin” during the British Raj. Kanyakumari was a great centre for art, architecture, and also trade. Islam, Christianity and Jainism have greatly inspired the architecture of this place. The Chaitra Purnima festival, and Annual festival of the Roman Catholic church are popular festivals that are celebrated in Kanyakumari. 

Best time to visit- October to March.
Must visit- Vivekananda rock, Thiruvallur statue, Suchindrum. 

5. Badami:

This place will definitely leave you spellbound. This place is famous for ruins of the Chalukya empire and its cave temples. The Bhootnath temple located here offers a beautiful view at the time of sunset, and is very popular among photographers. Chalukya form of architecture ecan be seen in every temple here. It is a quiet and picturesque place. You should absolutely visit Badami is you are visiting Hampi and while you’re at it, also go on to visit Pattadakal and Aihole. 

Best time to visit- October to March.
Must visit- Agasthya lake, temples. 

6. Pondicherry:

This union territory on the east coast of Tamil Nadu will take you through the lanes and roads of an 18th century French colony. This is the perfect destination is you want to truly enjoy seaside. You can also take meditation sessions and therapeutic massages. The peace of this place will instantly make you fall in love with it! You can also rent a cycle and tour the city. French antique furniture is a common thing that you will fin din the local market, and you can easily get some at an affordable rate if you know how to bargain well. It is the perfect example of French culture mingling with Indian heritage. There are a number of French bakeries where you can treat your taste buds. The city also has many beach side promenades where you can relax. And when you are done with serenity, head to Zero House for a paarrttaayy! 

Best time to visit- November to February.
Must visit- White town promenade, Universal beach, Auroville, Immaculate cathedra, Aurovile beach. 

Written by Saanica Wahal

Currently waltzing through life at Indian Institute of Mass Communication(IIMC) Delhi while studying advertising and public relations, Saanica is passionate about animals, shayari, and Octobers.
Her educational background in psychology and Journalism has helped her to have a broad base from which she approaches different genres that she likes writing on, namely travel, lifestyle, food, philosophy. She in an avid traveler and reader, and has worked in the fields of social media marketing, artist management, and event planning.

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