There is just one time in your life, when you have time, energy and money (okay, not heaps, but bundles at least? small bundles?) to spend and in these times, you’re all pumped up. C’mon world. Bring it on. Here are 20 places to visit in South India, for when you are young. Listen up adventure squad and quiet time maniacs, there’s something here for all of you
1. Fishing at Bheemeshwari
Bheemeshwari is a popular destination in the south, known for it’s fishing camps and wildlife sanctuary. A host of adventure activities that include Kayaking, river rafting, trekking and rope walking await you at Bheemeshwari Adventure camp, Karnataka, which also allows night stays at the jungle lodges, where you can wake up to sounds of over 200 species of exotic birds and an amazing variety of animals. The camp is most well known for Mahseer fishing, the largest game fish known to man. Enough of watching people fish, how about giving it a shot yourself?
2. Quad bike expeditions in Goa
Goa is THE must visit tourist place in South India the go to when you want that perfect balance of fun, adventure and a relaxed environment. With numerous beaches and an inexhaustible number of restaurants serving the freshest and the yummiest of sea food, could your vacation GET any better? Also, there are plenty of places for shopping in Goa as well. Something’s always happening in Goa, regular gigs at the local pubs, food festivals, and the most awaited, Sunburn music festival. One Explore rocky terrains and get brushed on the cheek by leaves as you take the quad bike expedition along a route that runs 3 kilometres.
3.Scuba diving and Snorkelling in Andaman and Nicobar islands
At the shoestring budget of a student, get the best snorkelling and scuba diving experience on these groups of islands that house large varieties of marine life that will brush by your ears while you stay amazed at how blue the water is. Experience the wonders of the aquatic world in their pristine form. If you thought the best beaches in India were in Goa, check Andaman and Nicobar out! You will be simply amazed to see the clear azure waters and the white sandy shores of the Andaman beaches. Snorkelling and scuba diving in this place would be an experience of a lifetime.
4. Do nothing at Gokarna
A small holy town situated on the Western Coast of India, Gokarna is known for it’s untouched beaches and is great for a relaxing holiday. A day or two of sunbathing on the beaches, flat on your stomach, sipping a cooler. If that is your idea of a vacation, or if what you simply need is a break from your hectic schedule of planed visits to sights in and around Karnataka, Gokarna is the place for you. A toned down version of Goa, tak ealong you beach hat, some sunscreen and a volleyball for a great time!
5. Camping and white water river rafting at Dandeli
Dandeli wildlife sanctuary is a great tourist place in South India for you wild, dirt loving travellers. It is blessed with dense deciduous forests, wide variety of wild animals and the Dandeli river to boot. A popular weekend holiday destination in Karnataka, this places is a preferred destination for coracle boating, trekking and rafting. The scenic beauty of the place coupled with the adventure sports activities makes it an ideal holiday spot. Go white water river rafting with friends, and relax in the lush rain-forest to make your trip to south India memorable.
6. Elephants, waterfall rappelling, ultralight flying and more at Coorg
Widely known for being the “Scotland of the South”, Coorg is an enchanting hill station located not so far from Bangalore. The views of the grey clouds subtly blending with the greenery of the hills is a sight worth seeing. Ever tried waterfall rappelling? If not, now is the time! An exciting challenge to overcome, with the water flowing down with force, in a moist climate, hear your heart beat in your ears. Over the sound of the waterfall. There is no better place for this than Coorg, which easily makes it to the list of best places to visit in South India.
7. The backwaters at Aalapuzha (Alleppey)
Known as the “Venice of the East”, Alleppey with its backwaters and floating houseboats, is one of the most beautiful places to visit in South India. The back waters at Kerala are a breath taking sight, particularly at the break of dawn. Surf on its gentle waters, or live in one of the house boats. Or maybe just let the hammocks tied on the coconut trees cradle you to sleep. This is one of the most soothing places to visit in South India and a perfect way to round up your trip.
8. Ruins at Hampi
Hampi is one of those laid back places with grandiose historical beauty that transports you back in time. A must visit place in South India, this places offer a wide range of activities as well. Once a part of the ancient south Indian kingdom of Vijayanagar, it’s a UNESCO World heritage site and also a very important historical and religious centre. The Virupaksha temple is an important temple which is visited by Hindus from all over the country. So jump over the ruins, take crazy pictures, read up on them or just feel the magnitude of the kingdom that once existed here. It’s truly magical.
9. Enjoy French architecture at Pondicherry
A world away from where you are, Pondicherry welcomes you to a totally different atomosphere, with its colourfully painted houses in French architecture and relaxed attitude. Soemething that you breathe in and absorb. Also known as Puducherry, it make for a great backpacking haunt. It is a popular tourist destination in South India owing to it’s colonial era buildings, churches and temples, and of course, the famous beaches. It is also one of the few places to visit in South India which is preferred by mainstream and offbeat travellers alike.
10. Scrumptious seafood delicacies on a cliff by the beach at Varkala, Kerala
A beautiful experience in itself, you taste the food even better when all your other senses are treated to the fresh sea wind and the sight of the never ending ocean. A complete and ideal tourist destination in South India, Varkala is Famous for its springs, fisheries, lighthouses, beaches, lake and much more. An important Vishnu temple known as the Janardhanaswamy Temple is present here which is said to be more than 2000 years old. An asharam known as the Shivagiri Mutt, founded by the well known Hindu reformer Sree Narayana Guru, is also located close by.
11. Roam amidst the tea gardens in Munnar
Located in God’s own country – Kerala, Munnar is undoubtedly the most romantic hill station in South India. A great place to drive to, you know you’ve reached Munnar when you smell tea in the air. It’s literally everywhere, and you will go back smelling like a teabag. The entire area is a collection of small hillocks that are trek friendly, with lakes, and water falls and large expanses of dense, green forests maintained by the forest department. The green countryside is bound to take your breath away. Have a look at the sandalwood forest as well while you are touring this place in South India.
12. Gawk at the magnificent peaks at Yercaud, Tamil Nadu
Yeracud, located in Tamil Nadu, is a popular hill station in South India. The land of seven forests, the peaks at Yercaud will leave you clicking away. You can never have enough. Also known as the poor man’s Ooty, this is one of the places to visit in South India that is comparatively less known, but with no compromise on the scenic beauty. It’s dotted with waterfalls and greenery all over. The remnants of the Colonial Era is visible in the colonial buildings still standing here. There are plenty of caves and coffee estates to roam in, and be sure to visit the silk farm as well.
13. Enjoy the light sprays of water at Jog waterfalls, Karnataka
Located in the Shimoga district of Karnataka, are the Shimoga falls which are popularly known as the Jog falls and one of the best places to visit in South India. A favorite of people travelling to South India, the Jog waterfalls are the second highest plunge waterfalls of India. Majestic in appearance and a treat for the eye, there are a wide range of activities in and around the place that tourists can indulge in. During the monsoon season, the already bustling waterfall becomes even more alive, and the surrounding greenery only adds to the beauty and magnificence of these waterfalls. Rainbows are also a very common sight here during the monsoons.
14. Mingle with the elephants in Gavi, Kerala
Kerala’s favourite elephants greet you into this forest thickly populated by tropical flora and fauna. Many types of plans and animals can be found over here. Some of the rarest animal species include the great pied hornbill, Nilgiri Tahr and the Lion tailed macaque. A little unknown and offbeat, Gavi offers a wide range of activities like trekking, camping, boating, safaris etc. One can also visit the spice gardens and factories nearby. It’s slowly emerging as a popular destination in South India for Eco tourism, owing to the untouched natural surroundings of this place.
15. The Caves at Siddara Betta, Karnataka
A nice place to trek to, Siddara betta is a perfect Tourist place in South India go if you want to spend time with your friends and not have other people around. It is said that a lot of holy men regularly come here to meditate for long spans of time. I’d like to call it an introvert’s trekking choice. It’s also a popular religious site as well, and so many pilgrims pay a visit to this place every now and then. Natur elovers will love this place as the forests nearby are a great place to do some birdwatching. If you’re lucky, you might get a glimpse of the very rare Yellow Throated Bulbul.
16. Experience the Natural Bliss of Ooty
The name says it all, you know what’s coming. Take the toy train from Mettupalayam, go boating, and breathe in the Nilgiri hills after climbing up the Dodabetta peak. No matter how many times you go to Ooty, it never fails to amaze you. This charming place in South India is a complete package to delight your senses. Also, having a romantic ambience, it’s one of the most popular honeymoon destinations in South India. Honeymooners from all over the country visit this lovely place throughout the year. There are several things to do here as well, such as trekking and angling. Oh, and don’t forget to visit the tea gardens.
17. Party in Bangalore
Head to Bangalore for the coolest parties in the south! It is the hub of the Indian IT revolution and is popularly known as the Silicon Valley of India. Thus, Bangalore draws a very young and hip demography to it’s limits. This place has one of the best pub culture in the country although most of the pubs and bars are known to shut down by 12. There are numerous places dotting the entire town where people can let their hair down. But the best thing about Bangalore is hands down it’s weather, which is what all the other metro cities in the country lack. One of the best places to visit in South India for all the youngsters!
Blessed with rich wildlife, attractive jungle and a scenic lake, Nagarhole is one of Karnataka’s best wildlife getaways and an important place to visit in South India. Despite sharing the same wildlife with the neighboring Bandipur national park, it receives fewer visitors due to it being lesser known, making it all the more appealing. It is home to a large number of flora and fauna species, such as the tiger, tleopard, wild elephant, dhole (Indian wild dog), and gaur (Indian bison). Other species present are chital spotted deer, muntjac (barking deer), mouse deer, four-horned antelope, wild boar, sloth bear, hyena, mongoose, civet, otter, and more
19. Food in Mysore
It’s the time you can eat what you want, and the best place in South India for our favourite idlis and dosas is none other than Mysore! Head to this beautiful city for delicious ghee based sweets like the Mysore pak (Something I can’t get enough of). Spend the evening walking by the lit up Mysore palace and eating at the roadside stalls. Msyore is also one of South India’s most popular tourist destinations. It has a rich historical and cultural significance which can be seen in the splendid Mysore palace and other places.
Keep stomach happy. Check.
Something most travel guides wouldn’t guide you to, the Thrissur pooram (held in the month of April every year) is a sight to behold in itself. the Thrissur pooram is a competition between the two most famous temples in the city, that are situauted in the same circle, opposite to each other. This is a unique place to visit in South India and promises to be a lot of fun. The festival sees a larger than life turn out of people, who all gather to watch the competition. The most fun to watch is the head gear changing competition on the elephants, and it is amazing to watch how fast they change, and with such innovation. Thrissur is the cultural hub for a lot of other festivals and you can catch great gigs around the place, like Electronic dance music shows at Fort Kochi.
South India travel. Worth it ? Aboslutely.
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