Southern India is a land of dynamic sceneries, vibrant cultures, and delicious cuisines. From architecture connoisseurs to nature enthusiasts, there is a host of destinations here that will satisfy everyone. Here are some of the top picks.
Photo Credit: pondicherry.gov.in
Not too many places can boast of such a mosaic of cultural influences as Pondicherry. The former French territory still has its colonial legacy, in the form of finely preserved neighbourhoods where you can walk and cycle around in peace. Explore the ‘Rues’ of the French Quarters or you can take a stroll on the waterside promenade, one of the best places to visit in Pondicherry. The union territory is a bohemian paradise too. Head over to Auroville and explore the beaches and hills there. Interact with the global communities and indulge in fine local fare. From baguettes and steaks to the choicest of dosas, Pondicherry and its outskirts are a haven for foodies. Bangalore to Pondicherry is a comfortable 7-hour journey through the countryside of Tamil Nadu.
Photo Credit: Tour my India
The cliffs overlooking the sea give Varkala Beach a unique place in the list of seaside escapades in Kerala. The beach town is also famous for its Ayurvedic massage centres, making Varkala a perfect destination for those who need some rejuvenation. The Kappil Beach is another serene shoreline which must be experienced. Varkala is also home to some very old temples, the most famous being the Janardanaswamy Temple.
Photo Credit: Discovery Village
Kabini is one of the best places in Southern India where you can enjoy some time in the pristine environs of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. Expect some thrills and adventures as you head into the dense jungles. The riverine landscape provides a great stage for water activities. Bird watchers and nature photographers all love Kabini forest for the ample sightings of rare species that it offers. Find eco-friendly resorts in Kabini where you can enjoy jungle safaris, nature walks and kayaking.
Fort Kochi, Kerala
Photo Credit: International Traveller
Fort Kochi refers to the historical part of this large city on Kerala’s coast. For centuries, Kochi has been a melting pot of cultures and an important hub of trade. To this day, many communities showcase their influence in its various attractions. From the Chinese fishing nets to the synagogue at Jew town, the world had converged in Fort Kochi. Visit the St. Francis Church, which for many years held the remains of the famous explorer, Vasco da Gama. Fort Kochi is also a great place to try out the seafood delicacies of Kerala.
Masinagudi, Tamil Nadu
Photo credit: India Tourism
If you want to step away from the buzz, then a weekend at Masinagudi will certainly give you the relaxation you need. Part of the Mudumalai National Park, there are many places to visit in Masinagudi. The Kalhatti waterfalls and Theppakadu Elephant Camp are some of the highlights of this region. Masinagudi is also a good base for jungle treks and safaris. Masinagudi homestays provide cosy lodging and a homely vibe.
In case you do not have to time to plan longer trips there are enough nearby destinations that you can enjoy. Find resorts in Kanakpura road or head over to Nandi Hills, a short drive away. Whether you want an activity-filled day or just want to sit back with a book, there is everything for everyone.