Historical Places in South India For A Heritage Tour

Art & Culture

Historical Places in South India

Historical places in South India are major attractions in almost every city and town in India. Starting from the metropolitan cities such as Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai to smaller towns such as Hampi and Mysore, South India is replete with rich and vast history. Numerous wars and British colonization have left monuments which stand tall telling the stories for the rest of time.

Here is the list of 30 Historical Places in South India For A Heritage Tour

1. Mysore, Karnataka - A glimpse of Southern India

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Known For : Mysore Palace Brindavan Gardens Somanathapura Temple

Famously known as The City of Palaces, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that Mysore is one of the most significant historical places in South India in the country. It is replete with the history of its dazzling royal heritage, intricate architecture, its famed silk sarees, yoga, and sandalwood, to name just a few. Located in the foothills of the Chamundi Hills, Mysore is the third most populated city in the state of Karnataka, and its rich cultural heritage draws millions of tourists all year round.

Best Time: Throughout the year

2. Hampi, Karnataka - The abode of bygone ruins, rusty colors and fascinating landscape

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Known For : Virupaksha Temple, Hampi Vithala Temple Lotus Palace

Hampi, the city of ruins, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Situated in the shadowed depth of hills and valleys in the state of Karnataka, this is a historical place in South India that is a delight for travellers. Surrounded by 500 ancient monuments, beautiful temples, bustling street markets, bastions, treasury building and captivating remains of Vijayanagar Empire, Hampi is a backpacker's delight. Hampi is an open museum with 100+ locations to explore and a favourite way to see the city from the perspective of its history.

Best Time: October to March

3. Halebid, Karnataka

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Known For : Belur Hoysaleswara Temple Yagachi Dam

Formerly known as Dwarasamudra, Halebid (or Halebidu) is located in the Hassan district of Karnataka state.  Halebid is a historical place in South India with a glorious past adorned with a strikingly beautiful collection of temples, shrines and sculptures. It is also known as the Gem of Indian architecture owing to its sterling Hoysala architecture, its magnificent temple complexes and some stunning Jain sites. Once the regal capital of Hoysala empire, the city is in ruins now. But it still attracts tourists in droves, thanks to its rich heritage, striking art and architecture.

Best Time: October to March

View hotels starting from ₹ 1,099

4. Bijapur, Karnataka - Historical place in South India with the stunning Gol Gumbaj

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Known For : Gol Gumbaz Ibrahim Rauza Jamia Masjid

Renowned world over for having the largest dome in the country i. e. the Gol Gumbaz, Bijapur is one of the most important historical places in South India. Bijapur is also an important commercial district in the state of Karnataka. Built around 10th-11th century by the Kalyani Chalukyas, Bijapur was known as Vijayapura in those times. Vijaypura literally means the City of Victory. Ibrahim Rauza is another important monument of Bijapur and is also known as the Taj Mahal of the Deccan. Among other important attractions, there are various mosques including Jumma Masjid, palaces citadels.

Best Time: October to March

View hotels starting from ₹ 445

5. Bangalore, Karnataka - Garden city of India

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Known For : Bangalore Palace Cubbon Park MG Road, Bangalore

Having evolved gradually from being the Garden City to the Silicon Valley of India, Bengaluru is the third largest and one of the most livable cities in India. Bangalore is loved for its pleasant weather, beautiful parks and lakes all around the town.

Best Time: Throughout the year

6. Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh - A handpicked history

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Known For : Yaganti Belum Caves Rollapadu Wildlife Sanctuary

A place of much historical value with beautiful surrounding areas, Kurnool, is a small town in Andhra Pradesh where much of history left its imprints.

Best Time: December to February

7. Warangal, Andhra Pradesh

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Known For : Pakhal Lake Thousand Pillar Temple Ramappa Temple

Warangal takes you back to the era of kings and queens with its beautiful historical places in South India and an impressive natural beauty with Parkhal Lake being worth checking out.

Best Time: September to Apr

8. Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh - The City of Nizams

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Known For : Charminar Golconda Fort Ramoji Film City

A veritable melting pot of the old and the new, Hyderabad, also known as the City of the Nawabs, is a city that exudes an old-world charm of its own while still coexisting with the rapidly growing onslaught of commercialization in perfect harmony. Dotting with numerous historical places in South India, Hyderabad is home to old mosques and bazaars lined parallelly alongside swanky new office buildings and malls, and it is these very contrasts – these glimpses into the city’s rich past with inherent promises of an even better future – this is what exactly makes Hyderabad a city worth visiting. Maybe even more than once.

Best Time: September to March

9. Kochi, Kerala - Queen of Arabian Sea

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Known For : Mattancherry Palace Fort Kochi Jewish Synagogue

Strategically located between the Western Ghats on the east and the Arabian sea on the west, the city of Cochin has been an important commercial trading centre since ancient times. It was called the spice trade centre of India and entertained a wide network of trading with the Arabs. The city was ruled by Europe, Dutch and British forces. After India’s independence and the slew of economic reforms that followed in the 1990s, Kochi grew in commercial significance while retaining the several historical places in South India that it holds.

Best Time: July to April

View packages starting from ₹ 5,591

10. Nrityagram, Karnataka

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Nrityagram is a dance village is located near Hesarghatta in Bangalore rural district. It lies at a distance of only 35 kilometres away from Bangalore. The village was conceptualized by the well known Odissi dancer Protima Bedi to make it an an exquisite cultural and historical place in South India.

Best Time: February to Apr, October to December

View packages starting from ₹ 5,000

11. Thrissur, Kerala - A Keralan Festival

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Known For : Athirapally Falls Charpa Falls Vadakummnathan temple

Officially known as the cultural capital of Kerala, Thrissur is famous for fostering classical Keralan performing arts, religious sites and the renowned Onam festival, Thrissur Pooram festival and Vadakkumnathan Temple.

Best Time: Throughout the year

View packages starting from ₹ 9,541

12. Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh - The Place Of Victory

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Known For : Bhavani Island Kanaka Durga Temple Undavalli Caves

The ancient name of Vijayawada is Bezawada and the city flourished during the Vishnukunda dynasty in the 5th and 6th centuries, under the rule of King Madhava Varma. Earlier, the city was also a part of the large Kalinga Empire which had been conquered by the great King Asoka. Later on, the city passed onto Mughal hands in the 17th century, followed by the Dutch and British. The city hosted many meetings of the Congress under Mahatma Gandhi, thus playing a crucial role in India’s freedom struggle and now contains multiple historical places of South India in its midst.

Best Time: September to March

13. Pattadakal, Karnataka - A fusion in architecture

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Known For : Virupaksha Temple, Pattadakal Kashiviswanatha Temple Jain Temple

Pattadakal is a tiny village, also known as Raktapura or Pattadakallu, houses a series of ten magnificent stone temples which date back to the 7th and 8th century. Out of these ten, nine are Hindu temples and one is a Jain temple. Lying close to the Badami and Aihole, it is a protected site, managed by ASI (Archaeological Survey of India). These grand, imposing structures were inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. All these historical places in South India are majestic in their sheer size and detailed architecture, reflective of a blend of North Indian Nagara and South Indian Dravidian construction styles.

Best Time: October to March

14. Kozhikode, Kerala - A colonial city of trade and tourism

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Known For : Backwaters in Kozhikode Kozhippara Falls Thusharagiri Waterfall

Formerly known as Calicut, Kozhikode was the Capital of Malabar during the Zamorin rule 500 years ago and is famous for its centuries-old trade in cotton and spices with Jews, Arabs, Phoenicians and Chinese. In the year 1498, Vasco da Gama arrived in the city of Kappad of Kozhikode and this kindled the bilateral trade relationship with Portuguese. Numerous historical places in South India stand in Kozhikode including the Mananchira square and Pazhassiraja Museum.

Best Time: October to March

View packages starting from ₹ 16,000

15. Thalassery, Kerala

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Known For : Mahe, Thalaserry Dharmadan Thuruth Thalassery Fort

Fondly known as Tellichery, Thalassery is a coastal town of Kerala nestled at the shore of Arabian Sea and immersed in the vibrant culture. Steeped in rich history and heritage, this town was one of the earliest British settlements in the state.

Best Time: October to March

View packages starting from ₹ 135,000

16. Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu

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Known For : Shore Temple Mahabalipuram Beach Five Rathas

Famous for its intricately carved temples and rock-cut caves, Mamallapuram or Mahabalipuram as it is famously known, is a historically important and well-loved tourist location situated on the Coromandel Coast along the Bay of Bengal, in the state of Tamil Nadu.

Best Time: November to February

17. Pondicherry - The French Riviera of the East

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Known For : Paradise Beach, Pondicherry Aurobindo Ashram Auroville

Pondicherry, also known as Puducherry and commonly referred as just Pondy, is one of the seven Union Territories of India. is often famously referred to as the French Riviera of the East, and it is indeed one of the most charming and mesmerising places to visit in South India. Located in the state of Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry is a little town tucked away on the south-east coastline of India, and it is a destination that promises travellers sanctity and serenity, in the real sense of the terms.

Best Time: October to March

View packages starting from ₹ 6,768

18. Nalgonda, Andhra Pradesh

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Known For : Nandikonda Mattapalli Panagal (Panagallu)

Nalgonda is a city with deep rooted rich history and equally intriguing cultural heritage. With its roots going back to Paleolithic Age proved by enough evidence excavated from Yeleswaram, Nalgonda also displays the hints of Neolithic culture with further unearthing of sling stones and other such objects.

Best Time: November to February

19. Nagarjunakonda, Andhra Pradesh

3.6 /5

Known For : Nagarjunakonda Caves/ Museum Dhamma Nagajjuna Kaman Bazaar

Nagarjunakonda or Nagajuna Hills is located 150 km from Hyderabad, near the Nagarjuna Sagar Reservoir in the Nalgonda District of Andhra Pradesh. Excavations have revealed that Buddhist civilizations existed here almost 1800 years ago, scriptures and artifacts have been found to give evidence of this fact.

Best Time: October to March

View packages starting from ₹ 5,000

20. Andaman & Nicobar - Blue seas, virgin islands and colonial past

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Known For : Scuba Diving In Andaman Havelock Island Radhanagar Beach

Lagoons of crystal clear water and scenic beaches topped with a little bit of history make Andaman and Nicobar one of the most perfect choices for an enjoyable, laid-back holiday where you can go on long treks, laze around in the backwaters of the island, or if you’re feeling a little more adventurous, even go for a bit of deep sea diving. From the pristine, untouched beaches of Neil and Havelock Islands to the bustling town of Port Blair, the Andamans have something to offer to every tourist.

Best Time: October to Jun

View packages starting from ₹ 8,850

21. Thanjevur, Tamil Nadu

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Known For : Brahadeshwara Temple Gangaikonda Cholapuram Shiva Ganga Garden

Also known as Tanjore or the city of temples, Thanjavur has a lot of cultural value and is known for its famous Tanjore paintings, antiques and handicrafts, textiles and saris , its Carnatic music and musical instruments and of course the temples.

Best Time: October to March

View packages starting from ₹ 8,000

22. Chennai, Tamil Nadu - A magnificent past and an early metropolitan dream

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Known For : Marina Beach Government Museum, Chennai MGR Film City

Formerly known as Madras, Chennai is the fourth largest city in the country, and it is one of the most popular tourist attractions in South India. A city that has a rich cultural history, Chennai perfectly balances its heritage with its thriving modern lifestyle. A metropolis with a heart, Chennai’s skyline is famous for its towering skyscrapers which form a scenic vista along the coast, but the heart of Chennai still remains in the multitude of old temples and churches dotting various parts of the city. Steeped in rich South-Indian culture, Chennai is a city that has a plethora of dimensions that one can explore, and regardless of where you go, the city has an old-world charm to it that refuses to be overshadowed.

Best Time: October to March

23. Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh - A gem of South India

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Known For : Kailasagiri Katiki Waterfalls Kambalakonda Wildlife Sanctuary

Visakhapatnam, also commonly known as Vizag, is one of the oldest port cities in the country. If you’re a history lover, the Borra Caves are one of the best tourist attractions that Vizag has to offer for you. Nestled amidst the Ananthagiri Hills in Araku Valley, the Borra Caves are thousands of years old and are the biggest among all the caves found in India. Vishakhapatnam has a richly interesting history, stretching back to around 5th to 6th century BC. Ancient Buddhist roots and influence can be traced back to when the city was believed to be a part of the Kalinga empire. Visakhapatnam is a must-visit historical place in South India.

Best Time: September to March

24. Thiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu - Home to the Arunachala Temple

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Known For : Sathanur Dam Annamalaiyar temple Gingee Fort

The historical lineage of Thiruvannamalai includes great dynasties like the Cholas, the Pallavas and the Vijayanagara. The earliest recorded inscriptions date back to the Chola rule in the 9th century, in the city’s famous Annamalaiyar Temple. During the Mughal period in India in the 17th century, Thiruvannamalai was under the rule of the Nawab of the Carnatic. Tipu Sultan invaded the city in the second half of the 18th century, and it remained under his control until he was defeated by the British in the 19th century thereby making this city a fusion of historical places in South India.

Best Time: October to March

25. Ramnagaram, Karnataka

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Known For : Ramadevara Betta Ramnagara Hills Ramdevara Temple

Set amidst the challenging rocky hillocks and lush green surroundings, Ramnagaram is a popular weekend getaway for Bengaluru folks. Janapada Loka is an organisation here which has been very influential in promoting various art and cultural forms including dance and music. Atop a hill and a 30 minutes climb away, is a significant Ramdevara temple and historical place in South India, said to be more than a 1000 years old. There is also a natural lake, called Rama Tirtha and another temple known as the Rameshwar temple, here.

Best Time: November to February

View hotels starting from ₹ 5,150

26. Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh - The Heritage Haven of Andhra

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Known For : Ahobilam Temple ISKCON Temple, Anantapur Bugga Ramalingeswara Swami Temple

Reverberating with flashes of India's glorious history, Anantapuram is a must visit if history and heritage fascinate you. Anantapuram is a historical place in South India, that is at the confluence of the past and the future. The town is one of the perfect ways for you to savour India's religions, history and the true ethnic traditions and values of India.

Best Time: November to February

27. Kumbakonam, Tamil Nadu - The Cambridge of India

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Known For : Adi Kumbeshwara Temple Nageswaran Temple Shopping in Kumbakonam

Sandwiched between two great rivers of southern India, Cauvery and Arsala, Kumbakonam is a gorgeous temple town in the heart of the Thanjavur district of Tamil Nadu.The town is a place for the lovers of history and those seeking to understand India's cultural roots and Hinduism.

Best Time: November to February

28. Tranquebar, Tamil Nadu - Tranquebar : The land of the singing waves

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Known For : Fort Dansborg The town gate The Zion Church

Forgotten to be touched by time, and still known for its tranquility, is Tharagambadi, otherwise known as Tranquebar- The land of the singing waves. Tied up together still, and surviving the storms of time, Tranquebar is the ultimate destinations for those who lose themselves, when it comes to historical places in South India.

Best Time: August to February

29. Chettinad, Tamil Nadu - Palaces, Places of Worship and Palates

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Known For : Chettinad Palace Chettinad Museum Chettinadu Mansion

Located in the Sivaganga district of Tamil Nadu, Chettinad showcases the rich heritage, striking art and grand architecture of the state. The word "Chetti" is a Sanskrit term meaning wealth. It is derived from the original traders of the region who dealt in salt and spices for marbles and other decorative items used in the construction of their properties. This historical place in South India has an elaborately vibrant culture and an over the top extortionate township comprising of ridiculously opulent mansions, palatial homes, magnificent temples and fascinating museums.

Best Time: November to March

30. Kasargod, Kerala

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Known For : Ranipuram Malom Wildlife Sanctuary Ananthapura Lake temple

Kasargod is a small town lying on the sea coast displaying a delightful blend of various religions, culture and bounty of nature. Blessed with majestic forts, lofty hills, meandering rivers and golden beaches, the town oozes charm and tranquility from every aspect.

Best Time: September to January

Which of these historical places in South India do you think has the most historical value? Let us know in the comments below!

This post was published by Holidify.com

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