South India comprises of Karnataka, Kerala, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu and all these states have a disparate culture which sets them apart from the rest of India. Not only are they different due to the way they are but they have also managed to maintain their own identity perfectly. Historical ruins, temple architecture, spirituality, canals surrounded by palm trees and pristine beaches will give you a wonderful and interesting trip. If you’re planning to visit South India but you still haven’t decided on the particular state to cover, we are here to help you with a list of destinations and their main attractions. Check them out.
Destination #1: Hampi, Karnataka
If there’s one of the best historical destinations in India, it has to be Hampi. The village that surrounds this place was once the capital of Vijayanagar and it is touted to be one of the greatest empires in the history of India. Hampi is replete with captivating and attractive ruins, intermingled with large boulders which rear up all over the landscape. The ruins are age old and they are there since the 14th century stretching over 25 kms and it also comprise of 500 monuments. Once you visit this place, you get to feel an incredible energy and you may even visit this place from Goa.
Destination #2: Kerala Backwaters
When you cruise along the Kerala canals, popularly known as backwaters which are surrounded on both sides with palm trees, you get a quintessential experience where you can get hold of time and make it stand still. While on board the cruise, you can enjoy chilled beer and spicy Indian food cooked by the chef. If you get an opportunity to spend an entire night in the middle of the water, you will have a serene and calm experience. Plan to stay for a night or two in the homestay on the backwaters as you will be spoiled with seafood and other traditional food.
Destination #3: Madurai, Tamil Nadu
Ancient Madurai is home to one of the most revered temples in South India, the Meenakshi Temple. If you plan to visit just one temple, this should be it. The Meenakshi temple is 4000 years old and it has remained a major center for learning and culture in Tamil Nadu. The older and ancient part of the temple attracts too many tourists and is extremely popular. These days Madurai attracts tourists and pilgrims in equal numbers. You can witness the Chithirai Festival which continues for 12 days where the heavenly wedding of God and Goddess is re-enacted by people in Madurai during the month of April.
Destination #4: Pondicherry
You may not know this but Pondicherry was a former 18th Century French colony which is located on a separate Union Territory at the east coast of Tamil Nadu. You can smell a distinct French flavor here and Pondicherry can undoubtedly be a perfect destination for a delightful break. Roaming around the beautiful French Quarter, along the Promenade and seeping in the peaceful atmosphere, you can make the best out of your South Indian vacation. There are fine dine restaurants where you can have dinner and later on visit the boutiques to get something exclusive in the place. There is a Sri Aurobindo Ashram which is a popular place that attracts a number of spiritual tourists.
So, if you’re willing to explore South India in your next vacation, the above mentioned names are some that you shouldn’t miss at any cost. Seek help of a travel guide in case you don’t feel confident about your abilities to trip around on your own.