Top 10 Things to do in South India
Welcome to the land of palm-fringed beaches, spicy curries, and colourful festivals – South India, a region bustling with rich history, diverse culture, and breathtaking scenery. From the ancient temples of Tamil Nadu to the misty hills of Munnar, read on to know the ten best things to do in South India.
Embark on a journey through the vibrant states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana, and discover a tapestry of traditions, languages, and culinary delights. whether you seek cultural immersion, natural wonders, spiritual exploration, or simply a relaxing vacation, South India offers a world of possibilities. Get ready to embark on a remarkable journey filled with warm hospitality, vibrant traditions, and unforgettable experiences that will leave you mesmerized and longing to return for more.
10 Best Things to do in South India
- The backwaters of Kerala – a network of interconnected canals, lagoons, and lakes
- The ancient temples of Tamil Nadu – home to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Brihadeeswara Temple
- The hill stations of Munnar and Ooty – perfect for a cool and refreshing getaway
- The historic city of Hampi – featuring impressive ruins of the Vijayanagara Empire
- The French Quarter of Pondicherry – a unique blend of Indian and French culture
- The wildlife sanctuaries of Bandipur and Periyar – home to elephants, tigers, and other exotic animals
- The beaches and churches of Kochi – a charming port city with a rich colonial past
- The colorful city of Mysore – famous for its intricate architecture and silk sarees
- The ancient ruins of Mahabalipuram – a UNESCO World Heritage Site featuring impressive rock-cut temples and sculptures
- The scenic hill station of Kodaikanal – known for its picturesque landscapes, waterfalls, and trekking trails.
Now let’s dive deeper into the best things to do in some of the most popular cities of South India.
Top 10 things to do in Coonoor, Tamil Nadu
- Take a scenic toy train ride on the Nilgiri Mountain Railway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Visit Sim’s Park, a botanical garden featuring exotic plants and flowers.
- Trek to Dolphin’s Nose, a viewpoint that offers panoramic views of the surrounding hills and valleys.
- Explore the tea estates and factories of Coonoor, and learn about the process of tea production.
- Visit the Droog Fort, an ancient fort that offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.
- Take a stroll through the picturesque Lambs Rock, a viewpoint that offers stunning views of the Coimbatore plains.
- Go birdwatching at the Wellington Golf Course, which is known for its diverse bird population.
- Visit the Law’s Falls, a scenic waterfall that is surrounded by lush greenery.
- Explore the heritage homes and colonial bungalows of Coonoor, and learn about the town’s rich history.
- Take a leisurely walk through the sprawling botanical gardens of the Highfield Tea Factory, and enjoy the fresh air and beautiful scenery.
Bonus: Conoor homestays – Here are some of the best places to stay in Coonoor.
Top 10 things to do in Munnar, Kerala
- Take a scenic drive through the tea plantations and enjoy the stunning views of the Western Ghats.
- Visit Eravikulam National Park, which is home to the endangered Nilgiri Tahr and a variety of other wildlife.
- Trek to the top of Anamudi, the highest peak in South India.
- Explore the Mattupetty Dam, a popular spot for boating and picnicking.
- Visit the Tea Museum and learn about the history and production of tea in Munnar.
- Take a nature walk through the lush forests and grasslands of Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary.
- Visit the Kundala Dam and Lake, which offer stunning views of the surrounding hills and valleys.
- Go on a spice plantation tour and learn about the cultivation and processing of various spices.
- Enjoy a rejuvenating Ayurvedic massage at one of the many spas in Munnar.
- Visit the picturesque town of Marayoor, known for its sandalwood forests, prehistoric rock art, and jaggery production.
Top 10 things to do in Wayanad, Kerala
- Explore the Edakkal Caves, which feature prehistoric rock art and stunning views of the surrounding hills.
- Visit the Thirunelli Temple, an ancient temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu located in the midst of the forest.
- Trek to the top of Chembra Peak, the highest peak in Wayanad, and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.
- Take a wildlife safari at the Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary, home to a variety of animals including elephants, deer, and tigers.
- Visit the Pookode Lake, a scenic freshwater lake surrounded by lush greenery and forests.
- Explore the Banasura Sagar Dam, the largest earthen dam in India, and enjoy boating and other water activities.
- Visit the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, which is home to a variety of endangered species such as the Indian bison, tigers, and elephants.
- Go on a spice plantation tour and learn about the cultivation and processing of various spices.
- Visit the Lakkidi View Point, which offers stunning views of the surrounding hills and valleys.
- Enjoy a relaxing Ayurvedic massage and spa treatment at one of the many spas in Wayanad.
Bonus: Wayanad homestays – Here are some of the best places to stay in Wayanad.
Top 10 things to do in Coorg, Karnataka
- Trek to the top of Tadiandamol, the highest peak in Coorg, and enjoy stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
- Visit the Abbey Falls, a scenic waterfall surrounded by lush greenery and coffee plantations.
- Take a coffee plantation tour and learn about the process of coffee production in Coorg.
- Visit the Namdroling Monastery, the largest Tibetan settlement in India and home to over 5,000 monks and nuns.
- Explore the Dubare Elephant Camp and enjoy an elephant ride or a coracle ride on the Kaveri River.
- Visit the Talakaveri, the birthplace of the river Kaveri and a popular pilgrimage site.
- Go on a wildlife safari at the Nagarhole National Park, home to a variety of animals including tigers, leopards, and elephants.
- Visit the Madikeri Fort and Museum, which showcases the history and culture of Coorg.
- Enjoy a relaxing walk through the Raja’s Seat, a beautiful garden and viewpoint overlooking the town of Madikeri.
- Go on a river rafting adventure on the Barapole River, which offers thrilling rapids and stunning scenery.
Bonus: Coorg villas – Here are some of the best places to stay in Coorg.
Top 10 things to do in Ooty, Tamil Nadu
- Take a ride on the Nilgiri Mountain Railway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the oldest mountain railways in India.
- Visit the Botanical Gardens, which feature a variety of exotic plants, flowers, and trees.
- Trek to the top of Doddabetta Peak, the highest peak in the Nilgiri Hills, and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.
- Visit the Ooty Lake, a popular spot for boating and picnicking.
- Explore the Government Rose Garden, which features over 20,000 varieties of roses and other flowers.
- Take a tea plantation tour and learn about the history and production of tea in the Nilgiri Hills.
- Visit the Pykara Waterfalls, a scenic waterfall surrounded by lush greenery and forests.
- Enjoy a scenic drive through the winding roads of the Nilgiri Hills, stopping at viewpoints along the way to take in the stunning views.
- Visit the Wax World Ooty, a museum featuring life-sized wax replicas of famous Indian personalities and historical figures.
- Go on a nature walk through the Mukurthi National Park, a protected area home to a variety of wildlife including the Nilgiri Tahr and the Asian elephant.
Bonus: Ooty homestays – Here are some of the best places to stay in Ooty.
Top 10 things to do in Alleppey, Kerala
- Take a backwater cruise and enjoy the scenic beauty of the backwaters of Kerala.
- Visit the Alleppey Beach and enjoy the golden sand, blue waters, and beautiful sunset views.
- Explore the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary and witness the rich birdlife of Kerala.
- Take a houseboat ride and enjoy the backwaters of Alleppey while staying onboard a traditional Kerala houseboat.
- Visit the Ambalapuzha Sri Krishna Temple, an ancient temple dedicated to Lord Krishna, and taste the famous sweet milk porridge called “Palpayasam”.
- Visit the Pathiramanal Island, a scenic island on the Vembanad Lake known for its rich flora and fauna.
- Take a village tour and explore the rural lifestyle and culture of Kerala.
- Visit the Karumadi Kuttan, a historical site featuring a black granite statue of Buddha.
- Enjoy a relaxing Ayurvedic massage and spa treatment at one of the many spas in Alleppey.
- Visit the Marari Beach, a peaceful and secluded beach perfect for relaxing and unwinding.
Bonus: Alleppey homestays – Here are some of the best places to stay in Alleppey.
Top 10 things to do in Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu
- Visit the Kodaikanal Lake, a man-made lake surrounded by lush greenery and ideal for boating.
- Trek to the top of the Dolphin’s Nose, a rock formation that resembles a dolphin’s nose and offers panoramic views of the surrounding hills.
- Visit the Coaker’s Walk, a scenic walkway that offers stunning views of the valley below.
- Explore the Berijam Lake, a scenic lake surrounded by forests and ideal for a picnic.
- Visit the Bryant Park, a botanical garden featuring a variety of plants and flowers.
- Trek to the top of the Kodaikanal Peak, the highest point in Kodaikanal, and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.
- Visit the Pillar Rocks, a popular tourist spot known for its unique rock formations and stunning views.
- Take a cycling tour of Kodaikanal and explore the town’s scenic beauty at your own pace.
- Visit the Kurinji Andavar Temple, a famous temple dedicated to Lord Murugan and surrounded by hills and forests.
- Enjoy a relaxing boat ride on the serene and tranquil Berijam Lake.
Bonus: Kodaikanal homestays – Here are some of the best places to stay in Kodaikanal.
Top 10 things to do in Mysore, Karnataka
- Visit the Mysore Palace, a magnificent palace that is one of the most famous landmarks of Mysore.
- Explore the Brindavan Gardens, a beautifully landscaped garden that features fountains, pools, and a musical fountain show in the evening.
- Visit the Chamundeshwari Temple, a famous Hindu temple dedicated to Goddess Chamundeshwari located on top of Chamundi Hills.
- Visit the St. Philomena’s Church, a beautiful Gothic-style church that is one of the largest churches in India.
- Take a stroll through the colourful and bustling Devaraja Market, a popular market selling everything from spices and flowers to clothes and jewellery.
- Visit the Mysore Zoo, one of the oldest and most popular zoos in India, and home to a variety of exotic animals and birds.
- Explore the Jaganmohan Palace and Art Gallery, which features a collection of paintings, sculptures, and artifacts from the Hoysala, Vijayanagara, and Mysore periods.
- Take a walk through the sprawling Lalitha Mahal Palace, a beautiful palace that is now converted into a luxury hotel.
- Enjoy a sound and light show at the historic Mysore Fort, which tells the story of the fort’s rich history and culture.
- Take a day trip to the nearby hill town of Srirangapatna, a historic town that is famous for its temples, forts, and palaces.
Top 10 things to do in Kochi, Kerala
- Visit the Mattancherry Palace, also known as the Dutch Palace, which features a unique blend of Indian and European architectural styles.
- Explore the Fort Kochi area, a charming old town with narrow streets, colonial-style buildings, and vibrant art galleries.
- Watch a Kathakali performance, a traditional dance form of Kerala, at one of the many cultural centres in Kochi.
- Take a sunset boat ride on the backwaters of Kochi, and enjoy the beautiful views of the city and its surroundings.
- Visit the Paradesi Synagogue, one of the oldest synagogues in India, and explore the Jewish heritage of Kochi.
- Explore the St. Francis Church, the oldest European church in India, where the Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama was buried before his remains were taken back to Portugal.
- Visit the Chinese Fishing Nets, a unique and iconic symbol of Kochi’s fishing culture.
- Take a day trip to the nearby hill station of Munnar, known for its scenic tea plantations and breathtaking views.
- Visit the Hill Palace Museum, a museum housed in a beautiful palace that showcases the rich cultural heritage of Kerala.
- Explore the Marine Drive, a beautiful promenade that offers scenic views of the backwaters and the city skyline.
Top 10 things to do in Hampi, Karnataka
- Visit the Hampi Bazaar, a vibrant street market that offers a wide range of handicrafts, jewellery, and traditional clothing.
- Explore the Hampi Archaeological Museum, which showcases a rich collection of artefacts, sculptures, and paintings from the Vijayanagara Empire.
- Visit the Virupaksha Temple, a beautiful temple dedicated to Lord Shiva that is one of the oldest and most famous temples in Hampi.
- Take a walk through the Vittala Temple Complex, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that features stunning architecture, intricate carvings, and musical pillars.
- Watch the sunset from the Hemakuta Hill, which offers panoramic views of Hampi and its surroundings.
- Take a coracle ride on the Tungabhadra River, which offers a unique perspective of Hampi’s landscape and its many temples and ruins.
- Visit the Hazara Rama Temple, which features intricate carvings depicting scenes from the Ramayana.
- Explore the Lotus Mahal, a beautiful palace that features a unique blend of Hindu and Islamic architectural styles.
- Visit the Elephant Stables, a complex of royal stables that once housed the royal elephants of the Vijayanagara Empire.
- Climb to the top of the Matanga Hill, which offers panoramic views of Hampi and its many temples and ruins.
Bonus: Hampi homestays – Here are some of the best places to stay in Hampi.