20 Best Places to Explore in South India

If you are an avid traveler looking for diverse landscapes, rich cultural experiences, and a glimpse of India’s history, South India should be on your bucket list. This region of India is known for its lush greenery, ancient temples, serene backwaters, and beautiful beaches. In this article, we will take you on a virtual tour of the 20 best places in South India that are worth exploring.

1. Mysore, Karnataka

Mysore, also known as the City of Palaces, is a city steeped in royal history. The magnificent Mysore Palace, a symbol of grandeur and opulence, is a must-visit attraction. Other places worth exploring in Mysore include the Chamundi Hill, Brindavan Gardens, and St. Philomena’s Church.

2. Coorg, Karnataka

Fondly referred to as the “Scotland of India,” Coorg is a hill station known for its coffee plantations and misty landscapes. Nature lovers will be enthralled by the Abbey Falls, Raja’s Seat, and Nagarhole National Park.

3. Ooty, Tamil Nadu

Ooty, a popular hill station in Tamil Nadu, is famous for its picturesque Nilgiri Mountains, lush tea gardens, and the toy train ride. Don’t miss out on visiting the Botanical Gardens and Doddabetta Peak.

4. Pondicherry

Pondicherry, a former French colony, exudes a unique blend of Indian and French cultures. The charming streets, French-style architecture, and Auroville Ashram are some of the highlights of this coastal town.

5. Kerala Backwaters

The serene backwaters of Kerala offer a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Houseboat cruises through the backwaters of Alleppey and Kumarakom are unforgettable experiences.

6. Hampi, Karnataka

Hampi is a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its splendid ruins of the Vijayanagara Empire. The Virupaksha Temple, Lotus Mahal, and Hampi Bazaar are some of the significant attractions here.

7. Goa

While most of Goa is in the western part of India, the southern region has some lesser-known yet stunning places. Explore the pristine beaches of Palolem and Agonda for a laid-back experience away from the crowds.

8. Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu

Kanyakumari, the southernmost tip of India, offers breathtaking views of the confluence of the Arabian Sea, the Bay of Bengal, and the Indian Ocean. The Vivekananda Rock Memorial and Thiruvalluvar Statue are iconic landmarks here.

9. Andaman and Nicobar Islands

Though technically part of Southeast India, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands are a tropical paradise with crystal-clear waters, coral reefs, and exotic marine life. Radhanagar Beach and Cellular Jail are must-visit places.


10. Gokarna, Karnataka

Gokarna, a serene coastal town, is famous for its unspoiled beaches and sacred temples. Om Beach, Kudle Beach, and Mahabaleshwar Temple are top attractions here.


11. Munnar, Kerala

Munnar, a hill station nestled in the Western Ghats, is known for its sprawling tea plantations and mist-covered hills. The Eravikulam National Park and Mattupetty Dam are worth exploring.


12. Madurai, Tamil Nadu

Madurai is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in India and boasts the stunning Meenakshi Amman Temple. The Thirumalai Nayakkar Palace and Gandhi Memorial Museum are other historical sites to visit.


13. Badami, Karnataka

Badami, a town rich in historical significance, is famous for its rock-cut cave temples. The Bhutanatha Group of Temples and Badami Fort are captivating sites to explore.


14. Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu

Kodaikanal, often called the “Princess of Hill Stations,” is a serene retreat with lush forests and a star-shaped lake. Coaker’s Walk and Bryant Park are popular spots for relaxation.

15. Hyderabad, Telangana

Hyderabad, the “City of Pearls,” offers a unique blend of tradition and modernity. The iconic Charminar, Golconda Fort, and Ramoji Film City are some of the must-visit places.

16. Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu

Rameswaram, a sacred pilgrimage site, is known for its stunning temples and the Ramanathaswamy Temple’s majestic corridors. The Dhanushkodi Beach is also a significant attraction here.


17. Kovalam, Kerala

Kovalam’s crescent-shaped beaches and laid-back atmosphere make it a popular beach destination. Lighthouse Beach and Hawa Beach are perfect spots to enjoy the sun and sea.

18. Jog Falls, Karnataka

Jog Falls, one of India’s highest waterfalls, is a majestic sight to behold, especially during the monsoon season. The Linganamakki Dam and Sharavathi Wildlife Sanctuary are nearby attractions.

19. Alleppey, Kerala

Alleppey, also known as Alappuzha, is the gateway to the backwaters of Kerala. A houseboat cruise here offers a unique experience of living on water while enjoying nature’s beauty.

20. Belur and Halebidu, Karnataka

Belur and Halebidu are famous for their exquisite Hoysala architecture. The Chennakesava Temple in Belur and the Hoysaleswara Temple in Halebidu are stunning examples of ancient craftsmanship.


South India is a treasure trove of diverse experiences, ranging from historical wonders to breathtaking natural beauty. From the majestic palaces of Mysore to the tranquil backwaters of Kerala and the pristine beaches of Goa, each destination has its unique charm.

These 20 best places to explore in South India offer a rich blend of culture, history, and natural wonders, making them must-visit destinations for any travel enthusiast. So, pack your bags and embark on a soul-stirring journey to discover the magical land of South India.


  1. Q: When is the best time to visit South India?
    A: The winter months, from November to February, are the best time to visit South India when the weather is pleasant.
  2. Q: What is the local cuisine of South India?
    A: South Indian cuisine is famous for its dosas, idlis, sambhar, and coconut-based dishes.
  3. Q: Are there any adventure activities in South India?
    A: Yes, you can indulge in trekking, wildlife safaris, and water sports in certain regions of South