A destination is not just a place, but it’s a perspective. You either see things you have never seen before. Otherwise, you see things that you have seen before but now in a completely different way. South India is a full-fledged package of beauty and mystery, dotted with some amazing destinations. Some of the offbeat spots in South India are among the best destinations in India.
While everyone plans to go to the already overflowing tourist destinations, we suggest you ditch the crowds. Instead, go gallivanting away to some of these unexplored places in South India. Indisputably unique, unfailingly beautiful, and unbeatably tranquil, these gorgeous destinations in South India won’t disappoint you!
1. Nagarhole National Park
Located in the Kodagu district of Karnataka, Nagarhole National Park is a part of the Nilgiri biosphere reserve. The site is under consideration for recognition as a heritage site. The park is famous for its rich flora and fauna, and abundance of waterfalls, hills, valleys, streams, and forests. Naga means snake and hole mean streams; owing to the many wriggling streams in the park. Apart from the 47 streams, the park has 41 artificial tanks, 4 perennial streams, four lakes with water throughout the year, a reservoir and a dam.
Along with the adjoining Bandipur Tiger Reserve, Nagarhole National Park is one of India’s premier Tiger Reserves. It was declared as the thirty-seventh Project Tiger of the Tiger reserves of India in 1999. The park also provides many different types of safari experiences:
- Jeep safari is the best for spotting predators and large herbivores. Top animals that can be spotted during a jeep safari are tigers, leopards, elephants, etc.
- The boat safari is available on the adjacent river Rabini. During the safari, you can spot aquatic wildlife like the crocodile, water birds, and others. Coracle ride, around Indian boat for slow drifting, is also available in the river.
- Bus safari is available in the morning and evening. Up to 20 people can travel on a bus and the possibility of spotting animals is higher with the bus.
Located on the Malabar Coast of Kerala, Kannur is among the very beautiful destinations in India. The place has a plethora of sightseeing options like beaches, ancient temples, monuments, and picnic spots. Kannur’s been given the title of “The Crown of Kerala”. This is because of its rich natural treasures edged by the Western Ghats in the east, the Lakshadweep Sea in the west, Kozhikode and Wayanad districts in the south, and Kasargod in the north.
The aura of the bygone colonial era is still alive there through their distinctive local art forms like Theyyam. The deep footprints of the Portuguese, the Dutch, the British and the Mysore Sultanate can be witnessed all around the place. The town is known as the ‘land of looms’ for its exceptional art of weaving. An evening stroll near the lighthouse beach by the huge cashew trees rooted by the Portuguese, or by St. Angelo’s Fort’s Portuguese architecture, can give you just the tranquility you need.
Here’s a two-day itinerary for you:
Day 1: Start with a visit to St. Angelo’s Fort and then visit the Shree Rajarajeswara temple and the Trichambaram temple in Taliparamba. After exploring these spots, you can end your day with a peaceful time at the Meenkunnu beach. The beach is the best spot to enjoy the beautiful sunset.
Day 2: Start your day with chilling by the backwaters in Thalassery. There you can visit one of the toddy shops, and enjoy their “kallu” (local alcohol) and indulge in tasty Kerala cuisine. For your evening, strolling around the Payyambalam Beach could be just the way to end the trip.
3. Belum Caves
Belum caves are the second largest caves in the Indian Subcontinent. In fact, they are also the longest (3,229 meters) caves in the plains of India. Formed of black limestone, the caves have long passages, freshwater galleries, spacious chambers, and siphons. Some of it goes as deep as 150 feet, with constantly flowing underground water that helped to form the cave. Apart from the main entrance, there are 15 mysterious pathways inside the caves. Here you can find deposits of quartz.
To reach Belum caves, the nearest railway station is 30 kilometers away at Tadipatri. There are daily trains from Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Chennai, Kanyakumari, Tirupati, Coimbatore, Thiruvananthapuram, and Goa, that halt at Tadipatri railway station. From there, you can catch a bus to Belum Caves. If you’ve ever enjoyed watching Harrison Ford’s Indiana Jones, this is where you can even live that experience for real.
4. Araku Valley
Araku valley, located on the Eastern Ghats, is quite famous for its coffee plantations. India’s first tribal growers’ organic coffee brand was launched in this valley in 2007. The premium organic brand of coffee, “Araku Emerald” from here, has its selling all over the world. Araku is a small hill station in the Vishakapatnam district. Different tribes belong to this valley. It is surrounded by beautiful mountains like Galikonda, Sunkarimetta, Chitamogondi, and Raktakonda. The valley is, in fact, a perfect getaway from the hustle-bustle of the city.
The valley doesn’t have an airport. However, it is connected by both road and rail to the city of Vishakapatnam. There are two railway stations at Araku on the Kothavalasa-Kirandul railway line of the Visakhapatnam division of the East-Coast Railway. Shimiliguda railway station is located at a height of 996 meters above sea level. This beautiful and virgin tourist place in the South is one of the most relaxing destinations in India.
The town is famously called ‘Ghost Town’ and ‘Lost Land’. Actually, Dhanushkodi, in the local dialect, translates to ‘end of the bow’. The name has an unorthodox charm about itself. The town lies in the south-eastern tip of the Pamban Island of Tamil Nadu. The town is merely 29 kilometers west of Talaimannar in Sri Lanka. The Dhanushkodi railway line from Pambam station was destroyed in 1964. This happened when the cyclone hit a passenger train. The accident tragically drowned over a 100 passengers with it, which led to it becoming a pilgrimage town. Lots of tourists started visiting the place after the ’64 disaster.
Serving as the only land border between India and Sri Lanka, it is also the smallest international border in the world covering just 45 meters in length. This island is famous for Swami Vivekananda’s arrival on Indian soil in January 1897, after completing his visit to the west for attending the World’s Parliament of Religions hosted in the United States of America. Even though the place is in ruins now, its history and raw beauty are what make it one of the very special destinations in India.
6. Athirappilly Falls
The magic of this place is such that one look is enough to make you fall in love with it. This 80 feet high waterfall in Athirappilly panchayath, Chalakudi Taluk of Thrissur district in Kerala, and is quite a hotspot for the folks living nearby. Athirappilly is the largest waterfall of Kerala and is also famous as the ‘Niagara Falls of India’. As you make your way up to the falls, the sight of small villages, lush green stretches, and the curves of the narrow winding roads are going to be a delight.
There are daily jungle safari trips from Chalakudy to Malakkappara by The Thrissur District Tourism. The captivating sight of the wildlife amidst the evergreen forests of the Sholayar ranges of Western Ghats is a memory you’ll cherish. The nearest railway station is at a distance of 30 kilometers from the falls at Chalakudi. From the Chalakudi railway station, you can either hire a taxi or travel by bus from the Chalakudi private bus terminal nearby. Around 55 kilometers away is the nearest airport at Kochi, if you prefer to travel by air.
7. Shettihalli Rosary Church
Shettihalli Rosary Church in Hassan, a small district in Karnataka, is a photographer’s dream, and an amazing spot to explore architecture. The church dates to the 19th century. It is a magnificent structure of Gothic Architecture. In the 1960’s, it was abandoned after the construction of the Hemavati Dam nearby.
The Shettihalli Rosary Church is partly underwater during the monsoons, and hence the name, ‘floating church’. Visitors can visit and explore the church during the monsoon season by coracles. In reality, the dilapidated church has an eerie calm over it. However the beautiful backdrop makes you ignore the eeriness . That is why tourists like to visit it all around the year. Getting to the church is a breeze, and it’s definitely worth the venture. If you’re searching for offbeat holiday destinations in India, the Shettihalli Rosary church definitely qualifies for that.
Well then, you must start packing your bags and plan a trip to wander in these 7 destinations in South India. If you need any assistance, feel free to hit us up on Twitter/Facebook/Instagram. You can also Hire a Scout and get an all customised trip for you and your family/friends. So hire now!