Do you want to visit South Part of India ? We tell you what to see in South India, specifically in Tamil Nadu & Kerala, so you can enjoy the most beautiful places and the most impressive experiences. Discover what to see and do in India to get to know the south of the country in depth:
Mumbai, the most populous city in India
Also known as Bombay, it is the most populous city in India. Among its crowded streets are monuments that are worth visiting on your way through the city.
What to see in Mumbai?
- Gateway of India: It is a triumphal arch in the commercial port of Bombay. It was built in 1911. It is a meeting point for the people of Bombay so you can find a lot of life around it.
- Museum of the Prince of Wales: also called Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, it is one of the most important in the area, since there is a large collection of historical objects from India. The architecture of the museum is Victorian.
- Elephanta Island Caves: UNESCO World Heritage Site. They are labyrinths of caves that were carved between 450 and 750 BC. There are seven caves, five of them can be visited.
- Victoria Terminus Station: Mumbai’s main station, also considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was built in 1888 and is known for its Gothic-Victorian style.
- Jama Masjid Mosque: built in 1650, well known. It is located in the center of the city. Around the mosque you will find an area full of bazaars and food markets.
- Shree Siddhivinayak Temple: Hindu temple that was built over 200 years ago. This temple is dedicated to Ganesha, a creature with an elephant head and a human body.
- Gandhi’s Mani Bhavan Museum: Currently this space is a museum but it was the center of Gandhi’s political activity between 1917-1934. Now you can visit the museum where there is an important documentary and photographic collection.
What to do in Mumbai?
Take a walk on Marina Drive
It is one of the most characteristic points of the city, which connects the nickname Malabar Hill and the Colaba neighborhood. It is the perfect place to take a walk by the sea. Locals flock to Marina Drive to walk or play sports.
Get lost in the Colaba neighborhood
The Colaba neighborhood is a neighborhood with a lot of atmosphere. You can go shopping and stroll through the Colaba Casueway Market to buy clothes at a good price.
Live Bollywood cinema
Mumbai is the epicenter of the world Bollywood industry. In Bombay you can visit some movie theaters to enjoy movies of this genre.
Goa’s beaches are located in the southwest of the country. They are a great destination if you want to rest on the beach for a few days on your trip to India to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of the big cities. In addition, in them you can also have a great time practicing water sports.
What to see on the beaches of Goa?
South Goa Beaches: The southern beaches are quieter than the northern ones, as they are not very crowded by tourists. Beaches like Colva, Rama, Agonda and Palolem are some of the most recommended.
North Goa beaches: they are livelier than those in the south, there is more nightlife and more people. There are thousands of activities to do at the different beaches such as Baga, Calangute and Anjuna beach. There you can practice water sports and have fun.
What to do on the beaches of Goa?
Visit Dudhsagar waterfall
They are waterfalls formed by four levels. There you can enjoy a great biodiversity and find calm surrounded by trees.
Enjoy Goa’s nightlife
Goan night is very lively. There are many leisure clubs, beach bars or bars so fun in Goa is guaranteed.
Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary and Mollem National Park
Bhagwan Mahavir Sanctuary is a protected area with various species of fauna and flora.
Cochin, the queen of the Arabian sea
Cochin or Kochi is a city in the state of Kerala with a busy commercial port. It is known as the queen of the Arabian Sea and is the financial, commercial and industrial capital of Kerala. It is a cosmopolitan city, with Islamic, Chinese, Portuguese and British influences.
What to see in Cochin?
Mattancherry Palace: It is a palace popularly known as the Dutch Palace. It features Kerala murals depicting portraits and displays of the Rajas of Cochin.
Hill Palace Museum: It is an old palace converted into a museum, together with a small zoo. It has paintings from the collections of the country’s royal families, as well as jewelry, crowns, artifacts, among others.
Basilica of Santa Cruz: it is the first European-Catholic church in Asia. Built by the Portuguese in 1502. Today it serves as the seat of the Latin church in Kerala.
Paradesi Synagogue: built in 1568 as a result of the immigration of Jewish refugees from Jerusalem during the Crusades. Today it is still active, but it is only open for Jews.
Chinese Fishing Nets: They are an official symbol of Cochin and testify to the relations between the Chinese Empire and the Kingdom of Cochin. They can be seen from the Cochin Fort and if you feel like it you can help the fishermen to collect it.
What to do in Cochin?
Go hiking in the Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary
It is the perfect place to watch endangered birds. Within the enclosure you will be able to observe mangrove vegetation and let yourself be surrounded by nature.
Enjoy an Ayurvedic massage
The Kerala area is famous for Ayurvedic massages. You can enjoy an Ayurvedic massage in many places such as hotels, resorts or spas.
Munnar, the city surrounded by tea plantations
Munnar is a city that not only stands out for its urban core but also, above all, for its natural environment, surrounded by tea plantations. It is an ideal place to get to know this typical product and take advantage of it for hiking.
What to see in Munnar?
The Munnar Photo Point
If you are passionate about photography and enjoying incredible scenery in Munnar you should not miss the Photo Point. From there you will have a panoramic view of the place: you will be able to see the typical Munnar tea plantations as well as forests and green landscapes.
What to do in Munnar?
A tour of the tea plantations and tasting
Tea is the star product of Munnar, so there is nothing better than taking the opportunity to walk through the plantations of this precious product. At the end of your route, which you can do on your own or with a local guide, we recommend you go to the Tea Museum located in the city of Munnar itself. There you can taste a cup of tea and learn about the history of this product.
Periyar, the ideal place to get into nature
Like Munnar, Periyar is a place that stands out for the ecosystem that surrounds the city. In Periyar you will have the opportunity to meet a wide variety of species and delve into the natural environment of its national park.
What to see in Periyar?
El Periyar National Park
This protected reserve is ideal for getting to know the flora and fauna of the Periyar area in depth. There is a reserve for elephants and tigers, as well as other endangered species. The Periyar National Park Nature Reserve is located in the Cardamom Hills and completely surrounds the Periyar Lake.
What to do in Periyar?
Sail on Periyar Lake
We recommend a boat route on Lake Periyar on board which you can observe all kinds of animals that come to the lake, such as elephants, birds or deer. This excursion lasts around three hours.
Alleppey, to get to know the Kerala backwaters in depth
One of the most authentic experiences you can have in India is in Alleppey, the cradle of the famous Kerala backwaters. Spending a night aboard a houseboat is something you cannot miss on your way through the city.
What to do in Alleppey?
Spend a night on a houseboat
The Allepey area is perfect for spending a night in a houseboat, surrounded by nature. On board this boat you can enjoy a route through the coconut palms and rice plantations. During your route you will also see some of the villages that inhabit the shores of the water.
Chennai, a city of contrasts
The city of Chennai is the capital of the state of Tamil Nadu and one of the largest cities in the country. Like any Hindu city, it is a city full of contrasts, where you can both breathe the peace of the ancient temples and immerse yourself in the bustle of the city at Marina Beach, one of the favorite meeting points for the locals.
What to see in Chennai?
This Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva is one of the most emblematic buildings in Chennai. The temple is believed to have been built around the 7th century. The architecture of the temple is Dravidian, typical of South India. Depending on the time of the year, festivals are held at the Kapaleeshwarar temple.
What to do in Chennai?
Relax at Marina Beach
On this beach you will not be afraid of running out of space to lie down to sunbathe: Marina Beach is the second longest beach in the world and the longest in India. It is not a beach where people bathe, but it is more common to walk on the sand, sunbathe, enjoy local food in one of the food stalls that are there at night or take a horseback ride on the sand. . You will see many locals gathering on this beach.
Pondicherry, a city marked by the past
This ancient city colonized by the French was the capital of French India many years ago. The legacy of the passage of Europeans through Pondicherry is still very present, and this is demonstrated by some of the buildings in the city.
What to see in Pondicherry?
The French Colony
Pondicherry is a city that still retains a certain European air due to French colonization. Walking through the French Quarter you will come across French-style buildings or the Church of the Sacred Heart, reminiscent of the structure of the Notre Dame de Paris cathedral. The streets of Pondicherry are much quieter than other cities in India.
What to do in Pondicherry?
Enjoy its beaches
One of the biggest attractions of Pondicherry are its beaches. There are several beaches such as Paradise Beach, Promenade Beach, Auroville Beach or Serenity Beach where you can swim or take a walk on the sand. The beaches of Pondicherry are one of the favorite places for travelers.
Mahabalipuram, a culturally rich city
If you are passionate about culture, Mahabalipuram is for you. This city stands out, without a doubt, for its famous monuments, considered a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1984.
What to see in Mahabalipuram?
Its monuments of the Pallava dynasty
Mahabalipuram was once the capital of the Pallava dynasty. It is for this reason that next to the most modern part of the city a series of monuments from that time are preserved. The Pallava dynasty ruled South India between the 6th and 9th centuries.
Some of the monuments that you can see are the Pancha Rathas, which are a set of five monuments, the Temple of the Shore or the Thirukadamallai temple dedicated to Vishnu.
What to do in Mahabalipuram?
A walk on the beach
As in other cities in India, this small city in the south of the country, with just 12,500 inhabitants, has a perfect beach for a walk. It is surely not the most attractive beach for a swim, but it is worth ending the day resting on the sand after visiting the temples, which are the real attraction of the place.
Madurai, one of the oldest cities in the world
Madurai is one of the oldest cities in India and one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. It is located on the banks of the Vaigai River and is home to one of the most renowned temples in the south of the country.
What to see in Madurai?
Meenakshi Amman Temple
The Meenakshi Amman Temple is the most iconic temple in the city. Although it has undergone several renovations, the last one was in the mid-17th century. It is a temple dedicated to the goddess Meenakshi, goddess of fertility and love, and Shiva, her husband. In the temple you can see more than 30,000 statues. The temple is in the heart of the city.
What to do in Madurai?
Get lost in the Flower Market
On S Avaani Moola street you can enjoy the most colorful market in the city, the Mercado de las Flores. Petals and all kinds of floral elements, such as floral crowns, are sold there.
Bangalore, India’s Silicon Valley
One of the largest cities in South India is Bangalore, with more than 5.7 million inhabitants. It is, in turn, the fifth largest city in the country. Bangalore is the capital of the state of Karnataka and is a very advanced metropolis in terms of research and development. Hence, it is nicknamed the Silicon Valley of India.
What to see in Bangalore?
The Bangalore Palace
Bangalore Palace is a place with a picturesque touch, as it is a replica of England’s Windsor Palace. Despite the fact that the locals do not admit it as true, the resemblance between the two buildings is undeniable. This palace has hosted concerts by major international stars and is now owned by the Mysore royal family.
What to do in Bangalore?
Stroll through the Lal Bagh Botanical Gardens
It is a quiet and very beautiful place, known for its glass house where several flower festivals are held annually. This house was built at the end of the 19th century. Walking through the gardens you will see a multitude of plants and flowers. In fact, in this garden there is the largest tropical garden in the country.
Mysore, located in the southeast of India, is the second largest city in the state of Karnataka after its capital, Bangalore. The city gets very crowded during its popular Dasara festival.
What to see in Mysore?
The Mysore Palace
It is one of the most emblematic buildings of the city. It is worth visiting at night, when it is illuminated by about 100,000 light bulbs. It is a royal residence, home to the Wadiyar dynasty. You can enter a part of the palace where you can see paintings and personal belongings of the royal family on display.
In addition to this palace, in Mysore you can see six more palaces.
What to do in Mysore?
Attend the Dasara festival
This festival is very popular in Mysore and thanks to it, the city is filled with visitors. It is celebrated in September or October, depending on the Hindu calendar, and lasts for ten days. During this festival the victory of good versus evil is celebrated. The celebration includes a procession and displays of dance and music.
Now that you know what to see in India to see the most emblematic places and you know what to do in India to enjoy the most recommended activities, it’s time to start preparing your trip! We recommend you take a look at our itineraries for South India: