17 Best Places To Visit In South India

South India is one of the most visited states by the tourists and most photogenic place in India. There are lots to enjoy including the beautiful waterfalls, sunrise and sunset views from the sea-side, boat rides in lakes and many beautiful places to enjoy. We have discussed here some of the famous locations in South India to plan your coming vacations with your loved ones and friends.

South India is known for its diverse culture and heritage, and diverse even in terms of experience you get traveling here. You have the beaches, the backwaters, the green mountains, the rocky mountains, and what not! South India is beautiful, majestic and in many ways so diverse.

Aptly described as the land of beautifully crafted centuries-old temples, picture-perfect views, innumerable stunning waterfalls, and some thick mysterious forests. With so much to offer, South India attracts a huge number of travelers with extremely varied interests all throughout the year.

best places to visit in South India

To get detailed information then you must go through the whole article carefully.

1. Gokarna Beach Trek


This trek is a combination of different beaches of Gokarna (Uttara Kannada) which is about 500km from Bangalore. This trek is relatively easy and best trekking spot for begineer trekker. Food and camping experience are the highlight of this trek.

The best of places for a relaxed weekend trip, Gokarna offers spectacular views of Arabian sea, trekking between the beaches, Yana caves formed by volcanic lava, Mirzan fort, chilling fresh water of Vibhooti waterfalls in dense jungle. Camping on a private beach is an unforgettable experience. No wonder it’s called as mini-Goa.

Kumta has scenic green grassy carpets and the imposing Sahyadri Mountains in the backdrop make this place worth visiting. You can also trek to Gokarna and visit some of the amazing temples in the area. It’s a great place for an offbeat beach trip with white sand beaches, hillocks, pine/coconut trees, shacks and campsites. Some of the beaches can only be accessed by trekking. Camping is a great experience on Gokarna beaches.

It is one of the holy places to visit in South India with temples such as Mahabaleshwar temple. You must visit the temple to take the blessings of Shiva. Some other places which you must enjoy include the Gokarna Beach, Om beach, Half moon beach and paradise beach. For adventure activities you can enjoy banana boat riding, night stroll on Nirvana beach, street shopping and many other things to do in South India.

Gokarna has the Western Ghats on one side and the Arabian Sea on the other. Gokarna inspires authenticity, spirituality and wraps its beaches in a warm and relaxed hippie atmosphere. It is a village located northwest of the state of Karnataka, in India. Its natural environment makes it especially unique. Although small, the village of Gokarna is submerged in a sea of palm trees and is one of the best places in India.

It invades with sensations and brings closer to the essence of Indian mysticism. The beaches near Gokarna are exactly where someone longs for peace, introspection and connection to the jungle and the ocean. It is very easy to walk to the beaches of Kudle, Om, Paradise or Halfmoon. Visitors can also see the island of Kurumgad and the island of Anjediva from the beach! Gokarna is all that Goa is minus the crowd and marketing.

Gokarna is as beautiful as it gets, with its untouched blue water beaches and some of the most beautiful spots for witnessing the best sunsets of your lifetime. If you're searching for a quaint beach getaway coupled with great food and mesmerising views, Gokarna will surpass all expectations!

If you are a beach person, you must travel to Gokarna. It is a temple town, but not many know that it has insane beach parties and bonfire. The best part is that there are numerous beaches all in succession to each other and beautiful than the previous one. Plan your trip between October and March and enjoy the scenic view and travel by bus or train. If you wish to fly, the nearest airport is in Dabolim, Goa.

2. Tadiandamol Trek


Located in Coorg, Tadiandamol is the sixth highest peak in Karnataka. There is a famous trek to the highest peak of Coorg named Tadiandamol which is a must to do during monsoons. A combination of scenic beauty but not too strenuous, Tadiandamol is the perfect introduction for anyone who wants to go trekking.

In general, Tadiandamol offers enchanting views and at the same time does not demand much physically compared to walks like Kumara Parvatha, Mullayanagiri, Bababudangiri, etc., which makes it the perfect initiation trip for anyone who wants to take the trekking seriously.

This trek is one of the best treks from Coorg, Medikeri region. Coorg is about 250 km from bangalore and best hillstation to experience mountains valley and coffee farms. Even though this trek is 7km, it is the highest peak of Coorg region. The trek starts from coffee country which is also a good facility for accomodation here.

3. Kodachadri Trek


This trek falls in the Shivamoga region of Karnataka. This trek is of 14km and the highlight of this trek is the ungarded waterfall which make the place unique for trekkers and travelers from Bangalore. its said the Peak was a meditating ground for Shri Shankaracharya and so does the small temple refers too.

From Kollur take a bus to Kodachadri, going down 12 km later at Karakatta Gate. If you come by Shimoga, the hills are 12 km to the west, by the Theerthalli-Mastikatte road. Whichever route you take, there is no doubt that Kodachadri stands like a monolith. Pass through the concrete arch of the Karakatta Gate and walk along the flat track of the jeep.

Kodachadri is a breathtaking spectacle of natural beauty in the heart of western ghats. It is the only trek where there is a waterfall in it’s route. One need not trek back as there are 4X4 jeeps getting trekkers back to base on a bumpy muddy road which is an amazing experience.

There is a village named Mattur in the Shimoga district of Karnataka where every resident of India speaks in Sanskrit. An unique village of Karnataka, where children speak Sanskrit. About 300 families live in Mattur village. You will have a different experience as soon as you enter this village. Seeing the costumes of the villagers, you will feel that people from times of Chanakya are residing. Whether children, old people or young men, all speak fluent Sanskrit.

Puttu and channa are very popular with hikers. In the rainy season and after the monsoon, one can see the grace of the Agastya Teertha Waterfall on the left side of the hill. Approximately 2-3 hours later, you arrive at Kodachadri, which has a PWD bungalow, a Shankaracharya Temple and a couple of small houses with rooms for rent.

4. Kudremukh Trek


This trek is one the beautiful but challenging trek for begineers. The total distance of the trek is 22km –24km. The trek is filled with water streams, grassy valleys, and dense forest. The trek starts from the forest check post in Mullodi hills which is about 10km from Kalasa. This trek one of the most popular trek of Chikmangalur Karnataka.

Kudremukh is one of the most beautiful regions of Western Ghats of Karnataka State located near Agumbe region which gets the second highest rainfall in India after Mawsynram. This region is full of different types of water bodies and lush green meadows on the mountains. Few activities like trekking and cycling is popular in this area.

For all those couples, whose idea of a perfect romantic vacation is to soak in the beauty of nature and see wildlife nearby then you should consider a trip to Kudremukh. This paradise for trek lovers is situated at a height of 1800 meters. Kudremukh gets its name from the horse face like formation of the Kudremukh peak.

This less explored hill stations in the Western Ghats are rich in flora and fauna with thick jungles, grasslands, streams and waterfalls. It is because of presence of the national park, this hill station cum mining town is quite famous among visitors. In addition, there are many options for trekking in the region.

They are located in five sacred ponds of Naga Teertha, Amba Teertha, Rudra Teertha, Vasishtha Teertha, and Varaha Teertha. Kudremukh offers a fascinating view, lush jungles and solitary places that cater almost exclusively to couples. It is a perfect getaway for honeymooners.

This trek is one the beautiful but challenging trek for begineers. The total distance of the trek is 22km –24km. The trek is filled with water streams, grassy valleys, and dense forest. The trek starts from the forest check post in Mullodi hills which is about 10km from Kalasa. This trek one of the most popular trek of Chikmangalur.

5. Kumara Parvatha Trek


This trek is one the tougest treks in karnataka. Even though the trekking distance is14km, the elevation of the trek and the dense forest with no water source makes this trek one of a challenge for trekkers. The trek starts from Kukke subramanya and could be completed to the other side of the mountain i.e. towards Somwarpet.

This trek is one the tougest treks in karnataka. Even though the trekking distance is14km, the elevation of the trek and the dense forest with no water source makes this trek one of a challenge for trekkers. The trek starts from Kukke subramanya and could be completed to the other side of the mountain ie. towards Somwarpet.

To stand at the very top of Kumara Parvatha at the crack of dawn is an experience every single tourist must experience when they find themselves at Coorg. The gorgeous sunrise displays a cacophony of vibrant colours to the sky, merging with the pale white clouds. This visually stimulating sight attracts groups of travellers and gives them an opportunity to enjoy the upward trek as well.

The abundance of greenery that surrounds the 6 to 7 KM trek makes the climb relaxing and refreshing. In fact, the 16 KM trail from Subramanya to Kumara Parvatha peak is filled with meadows and views of the western ghats, which makes the long route exceptionally beautiful and marvellous.

6. Nishani Motte Trek


Usually trekking groups from bangalore like Nature Walkers, Get Beyond Limit or Plan the Unplanned offer only the smaller version of this trek ie. of 13km, but the longer version of this trek is challenging and also rewards from a trekkers perspective. The Trek starts from the base of Tala Kaveri Temple in Coorg and ends at the APC (Anti – Poaching Centre) which is located on the other end of the peak.

Usually trekking groups from bangalore like nature walkers. Get beyond limit or plan the smaller version of this trek i.e. of 13 km, but the longer version of this trek is challenging and also rewarding from a trekkers perspective. The Trek starts from the base of Tala Kaveri Temple in Coorg and ends at the Anti – Poaching Centre which is located on the other end of the peak.

Tucked away into a secretive nook, Nishani Motte is a euphoric location which leaves all tourists spellbound by its magnificence. This trail travels deep into the forest, with long paddy stretches on either side. The aromatic coffee estates are an earshot away, and clear streams flow along the path accompanying your journey.

The Nishani Motte Trek is a off the beaten track, perfect for those looking for an adventure experience. The top offers an incredible view of Brahmagiri and throughout the route you can admire the charm of the meadows and forests. This sober view of the Cauvery river is a rare find, adding to the glory of this lesser-known destination.

This unconventional route runs 15 KM long and is quite an adventure-filled journey, with steep slopes and dwindling paths. What makes this journey truly memorable are the numerous leopards and elephants one can spot along the way. This destination offers a panoramic view of the Western Ghats and mustn’t be missed out on while visiting Coorg.

7. Baba Budangiri Trek


There is another popular trek from Mullayanagiri to Baba Budan Giri and it is approximately a 10 km trail. Jhari Waterfall is at a distance of 13 km from Baba Budangiri. It is one of the most famous waterfalls in the district. Z-Point is at a point of 67 km from Chikmagalur. It is a wonderful trekking spot. It has deep valley surrounded by greenery. It is situated at hills of Kemmanagund hills.

You may find difficulty in finding the right route as it is not properly mentioned in google maps,you have to take help of the locals to find the best route. As you start your trek the trail keeps on getting narrower and only one person can walk at a time, it becomes difficult to overtake someone.

There are no fences or railing so you have to keep proper balance. There is also a waterfall which you have to cross during your 40 minutes trek.

8. Nandi Hills Trek


Nandi Hills is a go-to spot when you are in need of some solitude and a refreshing start for your day. It’s a mesmerizing experience of Sun rising on top of a cloud bed. They open check post around 5 AM for vehicles to pass by. Make sure you reach base by then, as there is usually heavy rush in the weekends.

9. Skandagiri Trek


Skandagiri is a sister hill of Nandi Hills, which is famous for beautiful sunrise. Only way to reach the top is by trekking. People start their trek around 3:30 AM and reach top by 6 AM. Do remember trek needs permission of forest department. One has to pre-book as only limited number of trekkers are allowed every day. Many people do not know this and they drive all the way to hill, only to be shooed back by forest officials.

10. Makalidurga Trek


Makalidurga is one of the famous treks around Bangalore. There is a beautiful lake beside the hill which looks in the shape of South America continent. Just like Skandagiri, one needs to take permission from forest department. Night trek is not allowed here. People are allowed to trek only after 6 AM.

11. Madhugiri Trek


Madhugiri is single hill and the second largest monolith in entire Asia. It offers amazing views of the surrounding landscape. This challenging trek is good for thrill seekers. Since its mostly rocky path, it gets hot in peak summers and slippery in rains. So its better to visit it during winter and early summer.

12. Uttari Betta Trek


Uttari betta is another place for a night trek to witness a peaceful Sunrise. Advantage of Uttari over other hills is, there is no need of any prior permission here. It can be done in any season without any problem since it’s an easy trek.

13. Nijagal Betta Trek


Nijagal Betta has been accidentally discovered to get away from the concrete jungle for a few hours. First things first, the lack of human beings here makes this place absolutely safe for a long drive. Nijagal Betta is perfect for adventure junkies. Nevertheless, an extremely beautiful sunset point at the top and the soothing wind makes this a great option for everyone.

14. Basadi Betta Trek


Not more than 30–40 minutes away, Mandaragiri Temple trek in Basadi Betta gets its name from the Jain temple on top of a hill. This place is ideal for a day’s trek to get away from the city for a few hours. However, you could also pitch a tent on the top of the hill. The hilltop offers stunning views of the valley below and there is even a lake which only adds to the beauty of this place. The boulders at the location also make for great nature shots and photography in general, so take along your DSLRs and smart cameras.

Cut off from the rest of the world, Dodda Ayur is popular for the sheer peace and tranquility experienced here. The presence of a water body in the center flanked by mountains only adds to the charm and beauty of Chota Ladakh.

15. Mullayanagiri Trek


Chikmagalur is a paradise for monsoon treks. With dark green Coffee estates, beautiful Bababudangiri hills, Buttermilk waterfalls, the highest peak of Karnataka Mullayanagiri easy trek, Yagachi reservoir where you can indulge in water sports, Belur temple that has magnificent architecture, Chikmagalur offers many interesting things to do. It’s not far from Bangalore too. It boasts of the highest peak of Karnataka Mullayanagiri, famous treks like Kudremukh, Bababudangiri and Buttermilk waterfalls.

Mullayanagiri Peak at 6332 feet is the highest in the Chandra Drona range. It is situated at a distance of around 23 km from Chikmagalur. It has a small temple located on topmost summit and has a statue of Mullappa Swamy. You can reach a point where you have to leave your vehicle and start a trek of around 3 km which can be easily covered in 3 hrs. It is also a good photography spot. Sarpadhari is the starting point of the Mullayanagiri trek.

Most tourists prefer to drive on the road that leads to Mullayanagiri Peak and take a jeep from this point. The motorized path is a completely different route from the walking walk on the Sarpadhari trail. Trekking to the top is an especially adventurous and the sunset view from the top is absolutely worth the slightly difficult climb. Go trekking in some of the high peaks or visit the Lakya dam.

16. Sakleshpur Trek


Sakleshpur, the closest hill station from Bangalore is famous for it’s lovely Coffee estate Homestays. There are couple of easy treks to Pandavar Gudda and Devil’s Hill which are amazing during monsoons. A Star shaped Fort, Backwaters and Waterfalls add to the experience.

Saklespur is a well-known hill station located in the Hassan District of Karnataka and is also among the best places to visit in India. This is actually the nearest proper hill station from Bangalore. More offbeat than it’s sisters Coorg and Chikmagalur, lush green coffee estates, homestays, open top jeep rides, Hemavati river, a star shaped fort, backwaters all add up to the experience.

Sakleshpur is located in the Western Ghats. Favored by a favorable climate and relatively temperate climate, these hills are covered by thick vegetation and are characterized by cardamom and pepper crops, in addition to the prized coffee plantations. Agriculture flourishes in Bisle Ghat, and that of Arabica coffee is the most important production in the area, renowned and appreciated all over the world.

If you visit Karnataka in October then rainfall must have stopped and the weather must be fantastic and hills will be gorgeously fresh and green. Thus it is the perfect time to visit Karnataka and enjoy lovely trails in Western Ghats for you explore the natural beauty of this wonderful place.

17. Agumbe Trek


Agumbe, a picturesque location in the Western Ghats in the Shimoga district of Karnataka is noted for rains throughout the year. Agumbe is an ideal destination for trekkers and those who love verdancy. It is sometimes called "The Cherrapunji of the South" after Cherrapunji, in Northeast India.

Agumbe has a sunset point which receives lot of visitors. On a clear day, one can see the sun setting over the Arabian Sea though the sea is at quite a distance from Agumbe. The sunset point at Agumbe is a beautiful location offering a magnificent view of the sun giving way for the moon. The misty mornings, windy evenings and rainy nights are the delights of Agumbe.

Agumbe being part of the Western Ghats offers some good places for hiking/trekking with scenic beauty around. However, the striking feature of this place is its forest. The forest will lead one to a jungle pond known as Emkal Kere. One can also check out the Barkana Falls. There is an ancient temple dating back to 14th century. This temple is dedicated to Lord Gopalakrishna and is built in Hoysala style developed during the reign of Hoysala Empire.

The Hoysala Empire was concentrated in the south of India and they were really prominent at that period of time. They ruled between the 10th and the 14th centuries. The Hoysala rulers rose to power by taking advantage of the conflicting western Chalukya Dynasty and Kalachuris kingdom. They annexed the fertile areas of Kaveri River and present day Karnataka region.

The hill station`s first claim to fame was when the TV series based on R. K. Narayan`s famous novel Malgudi Days was shot here. Malgudi Days is a famous television serial which was directed by Shankar Nag and is based on the novels written by R. K. Narayan.

Agumbe Hill Station is popular for its Rainforest Research Station set up by Romulus Whitaker, a renowned herpetologist. Agumbe Hill Station is seen as an important dwelling place for King Cobra.The main aim of this reserve is to conserve the cobras. For this purpose, a huge area has been turned into the reserve. Apart from the serpents, and other animals are kept in the adjoining land of the research unit.

Agumbe is also called the capital of king cobra due to the high number of the species found. Despite the high density of King Cobras in the region; incidents of snake-human conflict are rare. Agumbe Rainforest Research Station has pioneered the world’s first radio-telemetry project on the King Cobra. Insights gained from the ecological study are being put into practice into King Cobra management.

Agumbe is also called ‘Hasiru Honnu’ which means ‘Green Gold’ as Agumbe is home to several rare species of medicinal plants like Garcinia, Myristica, Listsaea, Diospyrous, Hoiligarna, Eugenia and Ficus.

The land of King Cobra as they call it, Agumbe is a rain-forest that cannot be missed. A whole new macro ecosystem comes into existence when monsoons hit in June. The rivers, streams, lakes and waterfalls are mesmerizingly wild. Often referred to as Cherrapunji of the South, Agumbe is a beautiful hill station located in the Shimoga District of Karnataka.

The Cherrapunji of the South, Agumbe is the perfect honeymoon destination for couples. This impressive city is just 379 kilometers from Goa and attracts a number of tourists from all over the world for its breathtakingly beautiful landscapes. Agumbe is known mainly for its dense forests, therefore, it is often associated with the conservation of forests and medicinal plants.

On the other hand, it is due to its unique topography and adequate temperatures that the region is the breeding ground of King Cobra, the world's longest poisonous snake. Agumbe Rainforest Research Station is one of its kind in the country. Sunset points, Kunchikal Falls, Barkana Falls, Gopalakrishna Temple are the main options in Agumbe.

The place has stunning hiking trails and beautiful spots for sunset inspection. With lush green forests and breathtaking scenic beauty, the place has guests flocking to its doors attracted by its rustic charms. Superbly well known for its second most significant annual rainfall in the country.

17. Amedikallu Trek


Well, if trekking is your thing, give the Amedikallu range, about 25 kms from Dharmasthala, a try. The whole trek is about 10 km from the base and would take you through thick forests, open meadows, and some really steep rock climbs. To be honest, the most part of the trek involves quite a steep vertical climb, with some relief coming towards the end of the trip, where the woods give way to some really pretty meadows.

It’s not a dangerous climb, by any means, but it does take a lot out of you. The weather is pleasant if you begin your climb at about 8 in the morning. This would also help you get back by 5, or before sunset. Carry plenty of water, because by the time you get out of the woods, the meadow terrain can get hot and energy sapping.

Well, this a high energy, and high reward sort of trek which makes climbing to the top totally worth all the energy you spend. Do hire a guide and knowing someone from that region of the state would really help you do the climb in an easier way!

So you will love this trip to South India for sure and capture beautiful moments there.
Kalyan Panja