We couldn’t possibly choose just one place in Kerala to visit, given that each and every place that make this south Indian state hold their own beautiful and unique appeal, worthy of a visit. The state is a beautiful natural marvel, fit with blissful backwaters; tea, spice and coffee plantations, gorgeous beaches, diverse wildlife, and memorable golden sunsets. It also has a well-preserved cultural, art and historical heritage, which beckons art aficionados and history buffs. Plus, it’s also a gem for outdoor sports, with wildlife safari, backwater cruising, trekking, bamboo rafting and water sports as the most popular ventures. The must-visit places in Kerala include Munnar, Wayanad, Fort Kochi, Varkala, and Alleppey.
Dubbed the ‘Scotland of India’, Coorg is a popular hill station among locals and travelers, and with good reason. The picturesque landscape encompassing acres of spice and coffee plantations, scenic waterfalls, mountains, lakes and enthralling trekking trails make it a haven for nature lovers and trekkers, while the lush forests harbor diverse flora and fauna, which beckons wildlife explorers from across the country.
UNESCO designated Hampi a World Heritage Site owing to its magnificent architectural and historical significance. It is the place where the visitors can explore the remnants of one of the greatest empires of the past, the Vijaynagara empire. There are ancient temples, dilapidated forts, huge boulders and monoliths that continue to enthrall wandering visitors.
Gandikota is one of the beautiful villages in Andhra Pradesh and is arguably the one that has a unique appeal. Sure, each place in South India has something special to offer, but how many of them have a Grand Canyon? Labelled as ‘India’s Hidden Grand Canyon’, Gandikota is carved by the Penna River that flows through the Erramala hills in Andhra. The best way to explore this scenic spot is via a hike, which isn’t an easy one, but the unbeatable views and scenery that await top are worth the effort. It is surely one place that you’ll never forget.
Nestled at the foothills of Chamundi hills in Karnataka, Mysore is famous for its majestic Mysore Palace, which is among the grandest palaces in the country. It is a beautiful compendium that opens up the pages of Mysore’s grand history. Be there until the evening time as the entire palace is illuminated with nearly 100,000 lamps – truly a sight to behold! You can also check out the stunning Jagmohan Palace, where you can see South India’s exquisite artwork and artifacts. For nature lovers, a visit to Brindavan Gardens (botanical garden) and Karanaji Lake (largest lake in the state) is a must.
Known as the hub of Tamil culture and learning, Madurai is an ancient city that is over 4,000 years old. It is worth visiting this place for one reason, and one reason alone – the Meenakshi temple that is as old as the city. Dedicated to Goddess Meenakshi (an incarnation of Parvati), the temple stands out with its stunning Dravidian architecture, complete with intricately designed 14 gopurams (gateway towers), sculpted pillared halls and colorful sculptures depicting the mythological tales and scenes from Hindu texts. The 17th-century Tirumalai Nayak Palace, the 19th-century Saint Mary’s Cathedral, Velachery Pottery Village and Gandhi Memorial Museum are other highlights.
Brimming with tea plantations, scenic lakes, gushing waterfalls and lush forests, Kodaikanal is a delight for photographers and nature lovers alike. Throw in a plenty of recreational activities, such as forest walks, rock climbing, trekking and boating, and Kodaikanal is a perfect place for adventure enthusiasts, as well. The Kodai lake, Guna Caves, Berijam lake, the Silver Cascades Waterfall and Kodaikanal Solar Observatory are particular highlights.
A tiny coastal town in Karnataka, Gokarna is often overshadowed by its neighbor Goa but has plenty to offer in its own right. There are pristine beaches, such as Gokarna beach, Om beach, Paradise Beach and Half Moon beach, where visitors can relax and stroll in peace and quiet, or get active with water sports, such as snorkeling, parasailing and banana boat rides. The town will appeal to spiritual seekers to boot; it is home to many ancient temples, such as the Mahabaleshwar temple and the Maha Ganpati temple.
The Silicon Valley of India, Bangalore (Bengaluru) is booming with life, complete with cafes, restaurants, nightclubs, gardens, amusement parks, shops, museums and temples. Sights worth visiting include the Tipu Sultan’s Summer Palace, ISKCON temple, Bannerghatta National Park, Lal Bagh (botanical garden), the Bangalore Palace, Wonderla (amusement park), Cubbon Park, Government Museum and Commercial street (shopping).