Tourist Attractions in Southern India

Wondering what the must sees are in the South of India?

The southern region of India is home to hundreds of gorgeous pristine natural areas and breathtaking natural attractions such as the Jog Falls (2nd highest fall in India) and the Nilgiri Hills, as well as spectacular man-made landmarks such as the Chennakeshava Temple at Belur.

There are so many great things to see in South India that’s hard not to include everything, though for the purpose of this post I’ll be highlighting Southern India’s main visitor attractions. They are:

Iskcon Sri Radhakrishna Temple, Bangalor (Karnataka)

The Radhakrishna Temple is architecturally one of the most visually stunning temples to visit in the south India and it offers unarguably, one of the most amazing photo opportunities. The cool thing about this temple is that non-Hindus are also allowed in so, as a tourist you’ll get to see the temple’s beautiful interior d├ęcor and watch Lord Krishna’s devotees praising and chanting “Hare Krishna Hare Krishna”.

After visiting the Radhakrishna Temple, you also want to pass by the nearby Lalbagh Botanical Garden for a pleasant stroll and enjoy a ride on the toy train. This botanical garden is one of the best in India and during the month of January (Jan 20-29) you can catch an splendid flower show (the annual Lalbagh Botanical Garden Flower Show).

Kerala Backwaters

When traveling through the state of Kerala, you definitely cannot miss taking a boat trip along the canals, lakes and waterways of the famous Kerala Backwaters. Two of the most popular places for boat trips of the Kerala Backwaters are Kochi (Cochin) and Alappuzha, both of which are located on the southwest coast of India overlooking the beautiful Arabian Sea.
Tourist Attractions in Southern India

Spending a few nights onboard a houseboat  is certainly one popular way to go about exploring the Kerala Backwaters, though hiring a regular boat tour for a few hours is a nice and cheaper way to enjoy the scenic views of the Backwaters. Online booking companies offering these types of tours include “India Backwaters” and “House Boats Kerala” and “Carnival Tours Kochi”.

Meenakshi Sundareshwarar Temple, Madurai (Tamil Nadu)

Meenakshi Temple is by far one of the most impressive religious sites you’ll visit anywhere in southern India. This spectacular Hindu temple is truly fascinating and so extensive that you can spend there 3-4 hours walking up the huge corridors, seeing the hundreds of beautifully carved sculptures and exploring all the different sections of the temple such as the “The Hall of 1000 Pillars” and the “Goddess Hall”.

If you’re planning to visit the temple, be aware that thousands of devotees visit the temple on Fridays during the Tamil months (Jul-Aug and Jan-Feb). Saying this, the temple boasts a lovely atmosphere during popular Hindu festivals such as Navrathri (Sep-Nov) and Shivrathri (Feb-Mar).

Golkonda Fort, Hyderabad (Andhra Pradesh)

Golkonda Fort is no doubt, one of the top tourist attractions in Southern India because it's one of the most spectacular ruin sites you’ll com across in the country!  Golkonda Fort spans an area of 5 miles so there are lots to explore and plenty of walking to do. Having said this, it's all worth it especially when climbing to the top of the fort for views over the city of Hyderabad.

If you want to learn a bit of the history of the place, you may want to visit the fort in the evening for the light and sound show in English, which runs normally between 7-8pm.

After visiting Golkonda Fort, make sure to also pass by the amazing Ramoji Film City to learn all about Indian movie making. Ramoji City is the largest motion picture company in the world and boasts a cool replica of the Hollywood Sign, an Old West town and a miniature recreation of Golconda Fort.

Ramoji City also boasts various film sets of famous street locations such as London Street, as well as beautiful garden recreations such as Delhi’s Mughal gardens. Best thing about the guided tour of  Ramoji Film City is that you get to see cool stunt shows and see how real movie fighting scenes are made!

Mysore Palace, Mysore

Mysore Palace is another top tourist attraction in the state of Karnataka that you must add to your list of places to see in southern India. The palace is one of the biggest and most famous sights in India because of its grand halls, marble domes, intricate door carvings and a wooden-carved elephant decorated lavishly in 200 lbs of gold!

Besides this, Mysore Palace is such a popular tourist attraction because of the elephant rides and camel rides on offer of the palace grounds.

At night, the palace is also beautifully lit up with hundreds of lights on days like Sundays, national holidays and state festivals such as the Mysore Dasara festival. There’s also a sound and light show in English on Monday, Wednesdays and Fridays that’s worth attending.

By the way, while in Mysore don’t miss visiting the city’s zoo (Mysore Zoo) because it is easily the best in India. The zoo houses all kinds of cool wildlife like giraffes, rhino, zebra and white tigers.

Munnar Tea Gardens, Kerala

You can’t travel to Southern India and not visit the picturesque town of Munnar to stroll through the lovely tea gardens. Munnar is the tea capital of India and passing by a tea plantation such as Kolukkumalai Tea Estate or Kannan Devan Tea Bungalows is something you have to do to enjoy a nice “cuppa tea”.

Besides exploring the tea gardens and having a nice cup of tea, you also want to check out the nearby attractions of Chinnar wildlife sanctuary and Top Station, which offers a fantastic vantage point from which to see the tea gardens.

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