Southern India has always attracted backpackers from every part of the country and outside the country. This tropical Jewel of India where the sun shines for the sea and history has a lot to tell and still most of us Indians are obsessed with the destination outside the country. However, It’s great to explore the world and places outside the country but we Indians are extremely blessed with the diversity of nature and culture that we have and It’s us who need to explore it.
Here are the Top 5 picks of south India with totally magical vibes you should pack your bags now and go!!!
Hampi is located in east-central Karnataka 343 km away from Bangalore is a place must not miss when you hit Southern India. The heritage from 14th century of Vijayanagara Empire is something that a nomad like me who is not too much into history loved like anything as the vibe of the place is unmatched of this UNESCO world heritage site.
Sunrise at Matanga hill is the perfect way to start your backpacking trip in HAMPI as Sunrise and Sunsets are the best I have witnessed till date.
It’s a good idea to rent a scooter or a bicycle to ride around Hampi and I suggest you put at least 3 days to explore Hampi and there’s a lot to explore and the spots are well spread and it can be tiring to try to explore them all in a day or two as that will only allow you to get to the surface what these places hold in itself, You will have to stay and feel the vibe.
Best Places to See in HAMPI are:
- Sunset at Hemakunta Hill
- Virupksha Temple
- HAMPI Bazaar
- Vijaya Vittyla Temple (closes at 6 PM)
- Elephant Stables
- Lotus Mahal (Closes at 6 PM)
- King’s Balance
Take a boat ride to the other side of Hampi by crossing Tungabhadra River to enjoy the scenic side of Hampi as Hampi is divided into two parts, the scenic and the archaeological.
Gokarna is the beach paradise of southern India which is quite famous among the backpackers who need some vitamin sea. It is 485 km west from Bangalore and I would choose Gokarna over Goa any day if I am looking for some good time besides the sea.
A small hike to the lighthouse in Gokarna is very refreshing and passing by the villages to reach the hike point you can explore the local life of Gokarna with pretty tiles and some personal coconut trees right in front of the houses.
Best Places to Explore when you’re in Gokarna are:
- Kudle Beach
- Sunset point besides Kudle beach (Cliff)
- Paradise beach
- Mahabaleshwar Temple (Shiva Temple)
- Half Moon Beach
- Light House
- Evenings in Namaste Cafe beside Paradise beach are amazing.
A nice bundle of Nature with deep forests and hundreds of acres of coffee states COORG-The Land of Coffee is situated 256 km west from Banglore in Karnataka is an amazing place. It is one of the Hill stations in Southern India where people mostly go from Bangalore as a weekend getaway and to be closer to nature. Staying in resorts deep inside the jungle and coffee states is the best thing to do in Coorg.
Nestled deep into nature in Coorg waking up to chirruping birds and the jungle mist is an escape everyone deserves and People in Bangalore and around are blessed by this short weekend getaway destination. Coorg is also known as the Scotland of India and homemade wine and Chocolate is famous here.
Best Places to explore in Coorg are:
- Raja’s Seat (Amazing Panoramic View)
- Abbey Falls
- Hike to Tadiandamol
- Madikeri Fort
Ooty- and Coonoor are Famous Hill-Station in Southern India, Both are very close and hence come as a bonus if you are traveling to any of these places. These are the places for which Bollywood was obsessed in the 90s because of its natural beauty and beautiful tea gardens of Coonoor several Bollywood movies are filmed here. Ooty is located 270 km south-west in Tamil Nadu.
There are several activities to be done in Ooty as it a famous hill station to which people visit in a large number yearly. When talking about Ooty, Coonoor is an inseparable part of the conversation as Conoor ads to the natural beauty with the huge widely spread Tea Estates.
I would suggest staying a day in Conoor when you’re in Ooty.
Best Places to explore in Ooty are:
- Boat House Ooty
- Rose garden and Botanical Garden
- Tea Estates in Conoor
- Nilgiri Mountain Railway. (Take a toy train to Conoor, 1hr Distance)
- Ooty Main Bazaar
Beautified by pretty French colonies Puducherry is a mini France in India which is a union territory. It is a place where the essence of History seems to nicely jell with modernity with the beautiful geography as the cherry on the cake.
Best time to visit Puducherry is in monsoon and winters when you can peacefully explore the beautiful city as during summers the temperatures shoot up to 42 degrees and are humid.
The first thing that you would like to do in Puducherry is to EAT!!! Yes, there are several beautiful cafes in the area which serve amazing food. Bread and Chocolate Cafe is one of my favorite in Auroville road. One of the famous restaurants for local food in Puducherry is Chettinad Speciality Resturant.
Evenings at Rock Beach are the best to witness the mesmerizing sunset and kite flying.
Best Places to explore in Puducherry are:
- Tour of Auroville
- Rock Beach
- Cafe Hopping
- White Town
- Promenade Beach
Kerala !! Did someone say Boathouse?
When someone says Kerala the first thing that pops up in every mind is Boat House and Backwaters.
Kerala is located in the southwestern Malabar coast of India and is the 22nd largest Indian state in the area. Kerala is all about Palm trees, Crashing surf, silent backwaters, beautiful boathouses, wildlife, ride paddies, and beautiful coffee plantations.
Some of the best experience of the bag while in Kerala are:
- Kayaking in Backwaters
- A night in the boathouse
- Chill by the Varkala Beach and Alappuzha Beach
- A hike to Chembra Peak
- Revive at Soochipara waterfalls
- Drive by the beautiful tea plantations in Munnar