Perhaps, no other state in South India can boast a continuity of tradition and culture as South India, the reasons ranging from historical to cultural. However, this continuity, which has enabled the development and flourishing of a distinct culture, is evident in most of the popular cities to visit in South India, which pride themselves on their achievements in the field of architecture, music, literature, and the like.
In other words, every city in the South is a treasure house of knowledge and culture. From Chennai to Kerala, the attractions of every city exceed all the expectations of the visitor. Moreover, most of these cities also boast spectacular natural beauty. If you have been thinking of going on a trip down south, take a look at the 10 popular cities to visit in South India on your first-time trip in 2023.
10 Most Popular Cities to Visit in South India 2023
You should visit Chennai, and not just because it’s the state capital, but because any trip to South India would be incomplete without doing so. Vibrant and cosmopolitan, it holds various wonders like temples, churches, and beaches. Monuments like Fort St George and Chettinad Palace shed light on the architectural marvels of the city.
This city also boasts some amazing urban parks like Semmozhi Poonga, Anna Nagar Tower Park, and others. Sanctuaries like Guindy National Park and heritage buildings like the Ripon building are also worth visiting here.
Thiruvananthapuram, or Trivandrum, the capital of Kerala, holds numerous attractions. One of them is Kovalam Beach. This beach is unique because it’s composed of three adjacent-shaped beaches. Padmanabhaswamy Temple also attracts tourists for its mural paintings and unique deity. Happen to be an enthusiastic bird lover?
Head to Agastya Mala, which is also the origin of the Karamana River. If the charms of an island are what you seek, go to Poovar Island. Seclusion and tranquility beckon you, then make your way to Ponmudi, the quaint hill station of Kerala.
Bangalore, one of the most exciting places in South India, is a city buzzing with energy. This city abounds with malls, pubs, parks, museums, cafes, and art galleries, among others. Among the many attractions here, one is Cubbon Park, which is dotted with fountains, statues, trees, and groves.
The other is the Bangalore Palace which represents a curious blend of Tudor and Scottish Gothic styles of architecture. Then there is the Tipu Sultan Palace, which is noted for its amazing Indo-Islamic architecture. Bannerghatta National Park, a manmade wildlife reserve, offers some amazing safaris and is another popular attraction.
Hyderabad, the capital of Telangana, houses several attractions including lakes, deer, and parks. It boasts several monuments which shed light on the city’s historical, architectural, and cultural legacy. Some of the monuments are Charminar, Golkonda Fort, Falaknuma Palace, and others. Birla Mandir is another attraction with unique architecture.
For lovers of art and sculpture, there is the Salarjung Museum, which contains 39 galleries spread over three buildings. This city is also a shopper’s delight, as there are famous bazaars like Laad Bazaar, Perfume Market, Singhania’s, and Kalanjali that sell some of the best perfumes and fabrics in the country.
On your way to Ooty, the most popular hill station in South India, be sure to make a stopover at Coimbatore. This city is worth visiting for its own charms. Blessed by nature’s bounty, it’s also a haven for nature lovers. Some of the places worth visiting are Parambikulam Tiger Reserve, Siruvani Waterfalls (whose water tastes sweet), and Anamalai Tiger Reserve, among others. This place is also home to some magnificent temples like Ecchanari temple, Marudhamalai temple, and Anubhavi Subramaniar temple. Explore Coimbatore holiday Packages
Kochi, also called Cochin, located in the Ernakulum district in the state of Kerala, is a city worth visiting on your first time trip to South India. Some of the architectural marvels that are found here include Fort Kochi, Dutch Palace, Hill Palace, and Bolgatty Palace, among others.
If water-based activities interest you, then Marine Drive, Kochi Beach, and Willingdon Islands are where you should head to. However, since you are in the land of Ayurveda, no visit would be complete without opting for an Ayurveda treatment. However, to get the best benefits, visit this wonderful city during the monsoon season.
Madurai, one of the most ancient cities in the country, is a treasure house of culture. However, this city is famous for its fabulous temples, the “gopurams” which dominate the skyline. Some of the most famous temples are Meenakshi Amman Temple, Thirupparankundram Temple, Koodal Azhagar Temple, and Pazhamudhir Solai. If trekking fascinates you, Samanar Hills is your best bet. It’s also home to several caves which were used by Jain saints during the 1st AD. You can also undertake a trek to the hills or explore the caves. A spring on top of the hill also fascinates visitors.
Mysore is one of the most fascinating places in South India. It’s also known as the city of palaces, and the king of all palaces is Mysore Palace. Once the official residence of the Wodeyars, this larger-than-life palace is built in the Indo-Saracenic style of architecture. Other places of historical interest worth visiting here are St. Philomena Church, Jaganmohan Palace, Brindavan Gardens, Mysore Zoo, and Chamundi Hills, among others. If you happen to be a bird lover, visit the Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary, which happens to be the largest in the state.
Thanjavur, which is also known as Tanjore, or the City of Temples, is a repository of cultural values. It allures tourists through its Tanjore paintings, handicrafts, antiques, saris, and textiles. Apart, this city also boasts a rich musical tradition where travelers are enchanted by Carnatic music and musical instruments. The cultural traditions of the past have a profound effect on the lifestyle of the people at present. Brihadeeshwara Temple, Siva Ganga Garden, Art Gallery, and Sangeetha Mahal are some of the other attractions worth visiting here.
Another famous place in South India is Pondicherry. Once under the rule of the French, it bears a strong imprint of French influence. Once here, take a heritage walk through the French Quarters and explore the amazing architecture and distinct aura pervading this place. Then, head to Pondicherry Beach where you can lounge or indulge in exciting activities. Some of the monuments worth checking out are Raj Niwas, Promenade, Auroville, and Sri Aurobindo Ashram, among others. Have a look at the best customized Pondicherry tour packages
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