Last Updated on by Nikhil Chandra
India is blessed with abundant attractions to explore among which South India deserves a special mention. The southern region of the country is dotted by beautiful seashores, quaint hill stations, wildlife, heritage, culture, and incredible adventures. The unmatched delight of exploring South India enhances during the winter months of North India. Come December and the weather is perfect to head South. Plus the month’s calendar is packed with festivities. Adventure activities are an added bonus. And the cuisines of the region are treats for taste buds. So, make up your minds and head South.
There is a long list of amazing places to visit in South India. Plan your South India trip in December and be prepared for unique experiences.
Here is our pick of the best places in South India to visit in December. Take a look!
Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu
Also known as Mamallapuram, Mahabalipuram is a gem of South India. The beautiful beach town features among the best places to visit in December. Tucked by the Bay of Bengal, the town is a testimony of the rich Indian culture and heritage. It was the pride of the Pallava dynasty in the 7th and 8th centuries. The Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are a number of amazing temples and monuments that are samples of incredible craftsmanship. To date, the town allures visitors with its impressive heritage, beautiful beaches, and serenity far away from cities.
Popular tourist attractions – Shore Temple, The Descent of the Ganga or Arjuna’s Penance, Pancha Rathas, Cave temples, Indian Seashell Museum, Krishna’s Butterball, Crocodile Farm, temples and stone carvings
How to reach:
By Air: Chennai Airport is the closest airport around 58 km away from the temple town. Chennai is well connected with cities all over India by all major domestic airlines. From the airport, hire a cab or board one of the deluxe buses plying on the route.
By Rail: The nearest railway station – Chengalpattu Junction is almost 22 km away. The junction is connected with express trains and mail trains from Chennai and various parts of Tamil Nadu.
By Road: Mahabalipuram is well connected by smooth roads. State and private deluxe buses at regular and frequent intervals from Chennai and other places in South India ply to this town. Driving to the beach town along the coast is quite pleasant and a must-try.
Trivia: The magnificent Mahabalipuram Dance Festival is held annually in December. The dance festival is organized for over 3 weeks. Bharatanatyam, Mohiniyattam, Kuchipudi, Kathak, Odissi, Kathakali, and other Indian classical dance forms are performed during the fest.
One of India’s top historical destinations, the laid-back village of Hampi is next on our list. It is among the top 5 places to visit in South India in December. Located on the banks of the River Tungabhadra, Hampi is an enchanting tourist destination. It is named among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India. During the 14th century, it was the capital of Vijayanagar, one of the greatest empires in India’s history. Centuries later, it is now home to some extremely captivating ruins and an interesting rock-strewn landscape. The timeless ruins are a delight to explore, get away from the daily hustle and bustle, and spend some time in peace here.
How to reach:
By Air- Hubli Airport at a distance of 144 km is the nearest. Another close-by air terminal is Belgaum around 215 km from Hampi. Both of these domestic airports have frequent flights from all over India. The nearest international airport is Bangalore Airport about 350 km away.
By Train- Hospet Junction is the nearest railway station to Hampi, about 13 km away.
By Road- Hampi is well connected by road. It is a popular weekend getaway from Bangalore, Mysore, and other nearby cities of South India. Private cabs and buses ply regularly to the temple town.
Trivia: Hampi hosts some amazing end of the year parties in December which you must include in your itinerary.
Pondicherry, officially Puducherry features among the best holiday destinations in South India. And in December, it turns into a matchless getaway. Nestled by the cerulean Bay of Bengal, the union territory is all shades of delightful. Formerly a French colony, the town retains its French charm to date. Explore the Bougainvillea-draped French-style houses, churches, and French-style buildings. The bright colored French cafes and restaurants specialize in savory French cuisines. Seek spiritual bliss through yoga and meditation at Auroville and Sri Aurobindo Ashram. For adventure lovers, there is scuba diving, surfing, jet-skiing, parasailing, backwater boat rides, and more. The amazing nightlife offering great music and delicious cocktails is an added bonus.
Popular tourist attractions – Paradise Beach, Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Auroville, Serenity Beach, Arikamedu, Auroville Beach, Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Old Lighthouse, French War Museum, and Pondicherry Museum.
How to reach:
By Air- Pondicherry Airport is the nearest to reach the city. The domestic airport has flights from cities all over India. Chennai International Airport is the closest at a distance of 145 km. From the international air terminal, there are options to hire a cab or board one of the deluxe buses to the union territory.
By Train- Pondicherry Railway Station is the best option to reach the beachside town. Daily trains from Chennai as well as from cities in South India offer frequent connectivity.
By Road- Pondicherry is well-connected by road. It is a popular weekend getaway from Chennai, Bangalore, and other nearby cities of South India. From here, private cabs and buses ply on a regular basis.
Trivia: Pondicherry hosts some amazing parties and celebrations in December. Do take time to indulge in the same.
The hub of Kerala’s backwaters, Alleppey is one of the most beautiful places in South India. A matchless paradise, it is one of the best places to visit in South India in December. India’s Own Venice offers the landscape of endless backwaters. To make the most of a holiday in Alleppey, board a houseboat. Cruising on the scenic backwaters, houseboats offer an experience of a lifetime. Be it a holiday with family or a romantic honeymoon, this overnight cruise is one of the fondest experiences of Alleppey. The backwater resorts offer a pleasant stay, especially authentic Ayurveda massages that heal your body, mind, and soul.
Popular tourist attractions: Alleppey Beach, Marari Beach, Vembanad Lake, Mannarasala Temple, Ambalapuzha Temple, St. Andrew’s Forane Church, Mullakkal Bhagavathy temple, Krishnapuram Palace
How to reach:
By Air- Kochi International Airport is the closest to reach Alleppey. The air terminal has flights from cities all over India as well as other countries. From the airport, to get to Alleppey choose from options of hiring a cab or boarding one of the deluxe buses or even trains that fly to the city.
By Train- Alleppey Railway Station is the best option to reach the backwater town. Daily trains from Kochi as well as from cities in South India offer frequent connectivity.
By Road- Alleppey has smooth road connectivity from cities of Kerala and other places in South India. Private cabs and buses are easily available to get to the town.
Trivia: Alleppey hosts an annual ten-day colorful festival in December called Mullackal Chiraq. It is a fun event to witness. Also, it is the perfect weather to go kayaking through the backwaters.
Last but not the least, Gokarna is our pick for the best places to visit in South India in December. Think of the beach, thrilling adventure, and serenity, it is a beautiful getaway. The name translates to ‘cow’s ear’ and this town is as intriguing as its name. On one hand, it is a scenic seaside with golden sands, cerulean waters, and rocks strewn all over. On another hand, Gokaran is a holy pilgrimage site that receives devotees from all over India.
Of the amazing things to do in Gokarna, praying at the Mahabaleshwar Temple is a must. For the one seeking a gush of adrenalin, there is trekking, mountaineering, surfing, scuba diving, snorkeling, parasailing, and jet skiing. Camping on the beachside is also a pleasure.
Popular tourist attractions: Om Beach, Half Moon Beach, Paradise Beach, Mahabaleshwar Temple, Shiva Cave, Kotiteertha
How to reach:
By Air – Goa’s Dabolim airport is the nearest airport to get to Gokarna. About 140 km away, the airport has frequent flight connectivity from Indian and international cities. From the airport, private taxis and hired cab services are available.
By Train – The nearest railway station is 20 km away from Ankola. Trains from several cities in South India halt at the station. From the station, there are options of taxis, cabs and private vehicles.
By Road – Gokarna is well connected by road from cities all over India. KSRTC buses and AC buses ply regularly from Bengaluru, Goa, and other cities of South India.
Trivia: Surfing in Gokarna is a delight every December. The pleasant weather allows enjoying the adventure sport.
So, plan an exciting vacation in South India today. Our handpicked destinations offer a wonderful holiday. Celebrate the year-end with amazing times with your loved ones. Choose to get some sightseeing, some relaxation, or even some happening nightlife. Make the year count by making the most of your holiday in December in South India. We wish you a memorable trip!