Looking for holidays in India basking in warm weather? We have just what you need, a list of warm weather destinations in South India. Blessed with a vast coastline bordering three major oceans- Bay of Bengal Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea, South India mostly enjoys a tropical weather throughout the year.
When the Himalayan dominated hill stations in North India prefer to showcase their frozen beauty in the winters, the other major half of the country love to go the tropical way. The tropical South India, which often gets targeted for its hot and humid nature and often gets avoided in the summers, opens its doors with a new zing in the winters.
Travelers from overseas especially love to come here to escape from the chilling cold that grips Americas and Europe. This winter try something different and beat the boring freezing cold with a touch of pleasing weather and a lush green blooming nature that usually goes on hibernating at this time of the year in most parts of India. To help you with this, we present you some of the best winter destinations in South India.
Pondicherry: The French Reviera
Renowned for its French vibe, Pondicherry or simply Pondi is one of the best warm weather destinations in South India. Pondicherry, unlike the many other popular regions of South India, which rather love to resonate in a crowded tone, is a much quaint paradise. The city lies on one corner of the tail of India and with its proceedings carried on in a secret fashion from the rest of the country, leisure vacation has a whole new meaning here.
Vintage French colonies, tranquil beaches and spiritual hotspots (Auroville, Sri Aurobindo Ashram); all juxtaposes in this unique settlement in the country. Being edged to the land, bordering the Bay of Bengal, Pondicherry has a great number of beaches. However, its location being too close to the equator draws some limitations to its fun also. This implies that visiting Pondicherry in the summer months is certainly a bad option. Instead, save the vacation for winters, when the temperature is in the cool bracket of 15 to 20 degrees. Whatever is your purpose; sightseeing, beach activities or water sports, the cold season is the favorite for Pondicherry.
Kumarakom: Home of Ayurveda
Opposite to the coasts of Pondicherry is the south-western coast, which highly speaks of its popular tourist destinations. One such is Kumarakom; set in the backdrop of the largest freshwater lake in Kerala. The region is also famed for housing the natural protected reserve for a whole range of exotic and migratory birds. To catch the rarest of the bird species at this sanctuary, one must schedule its trip in the winter months.
Other side of Kumarakom is even more enchanting. It talks about boat rides through the swampy backwaters; Kerala’s trademark tourism hotspots. The region’s boat fascination is not only limited till giving the tourists a ride in the backwaters, but it has its horizons widened for spectacular events of boat races as well. The season of these highly applauding traditional boat races starts early in the post monsoon months and much of the action ends by Onam.
Nevertheless, some of these splendors take place only in the cool, humid-free breeze of the winters.
Andaman and Nicobar
An archipelago in the middle of the Indian Ocean, Andaman and Nicobar is a much favored name in our list of best winter destinations. The group has more than 300 islands that are known for legendary snow-white beaches, opaque emerald water fronts, rhetoric introductions of its ethnicities and world class diving opportunities; can do in the company of an elephant also.
Although Nicobar Island is off the limit for foreign visitors, the exotic beaches of Andamans especially the Havelock Island makes it one of the top warm weather destinations in South India. Come winters and the tropical beaches of Andamans become a paradise for tourists from around the globe. With its rich history, abundant marine life and some of the most pristine beaches in India, Andaman sits right on the top when it comes to places to visit in India in winters. In fact Radhanagar Beach has been voted the best beach in Asia by the Times magazine.
Bangalore: India’s Silicon Valley
Beautifully progressing at its urban fronts, the city of Bangalore is a highly traveled destination in the south of India. The city has fast emerged as a major hub of IT industry; therefore a home of many professional expats. However, this has slightly shadowed the tourism potential of this city in some way. Often tourists fail to see the flip side of this chaotic modern city. This side offers lovely holidays in the lap of nature and creates a necessary travel regime that needs to be strictly followed during the scorching summer days in the city.
If this has changed your perception about Bangalore even a bit, then head to the nearby Nandi Hills nearby the main city. Out here it’s a whole new world with nature playing its best games of serenity. Best season to travel this hill station definitely is winter. Temperatures settling anywhere between 10 and 28 degrees, make this hill station an active spot for great outdoors; Paragliding is the favorite here. Besides, the cold season brings a complete package of travel within the city as well.
Bangalore city also has many tourist attractions within its boundaries, touring of which becomes a highly pleasing affair in the winters.
Rameswaram: Holy Hindu Dham
One of the most sacred places for Hindu pilgrims in India; Rameswaram is a potpourri of Indian mythologies. Some beliefs describe Rameswaram as one of the 12 Jyothirlingas of Lord Shiva, while others have a description of it as the tip of southern India where Lord Rama and his army built a bridge of stones to reach Lanka. Well, we don’t know about such ancient bridges, but this coastal town does have a linking bridge in its present time and is no ordinary one. Known as the Pamban Bridge, it is the oldest and a remarkable sea bridge in India and it connects Rameswaram with the mainland India.
Travelers with religion in their mind will never be short of sacred spaces; Ramanathaswamy temple is the most prominent. Needless to say about the best time to visit this unique South Indian Territory; obviously it’s the winter season.
Kanyakumari: The Southern Tip
Talking about sacred places in South India and not including Kanyakumari in the discussion, that’s simply not in our behavior. The southernmost end of India, Kanyakumari is a religious place dedicated to the virgin goddess, Devi Kanyakumari. More than that, the land’s end of the country is known to be the meeting point of the three mighty water bodies; Indian Ocean, Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal. This compels a large number of pilgrims and tourists to make a trip.
The region is also credited with spectacular sunrises and sunsets that are amongst the most breathtaking in the country. Travel Kanyakumari this winters to beat the cold spell of mainland India and to witness some of the most amazing sights of nature and religion.
Hampi: Legends of the Fall
Hampi in the northern region of Karnataka was once the richest city in the medieval world. To everyone’s amaze, the present day Hampi is now in a ruined yet bewitching form, still manages to draw a large number of tourists from all over the globe. It has the best in class Dravidian architectural examples in the form of monolithic statues and sacred temples; all creations of the magnificent Vijayanagar legacy.
Thus, this winter season move a little offbeat from the leisurely trips and devote some time in this uniquely wonderful and culturally significant village where astonishment meets the new lines of heritage. Plus, Hampi turns out to be the most pleasurable during winters; cool day time temperatures and chilly nights.
Gokarna: Beach & Rejuvenation
Like an additional feather in the crown of Karnataka is the temple town of Gokarna. The town’s beaches are a great mark of contrary to its temple town image, which are a regular in the list of the most popular in India. This has demarcated Gokarna into two; sacred and full of ancient temples is the town which blooms to new standards during religious events, while the flip side of Gokarna names its boundaries as shorelines of blissful beaches.
These sandy joints are best to spend a leisure time under the sun. If beach holiday strikes your hippie instincts, then you can experiment with your senses at the Paradise beach.
Winter is the prime season to hit the beaches of Gokarna as well as its mainland town. As these months bring a lot of Hindu festivals, visiting the temple town is fairly a good deal.
Mysore: The Royal Seat
One major entry in our exclusive live of winter destinations in South India is Mysore. The city is known for its glorious royal heritage and served as the property of various medieval dynasties. Take the city as a cultural detour, which not only let you explore the flourishes of its transitional phase; Wodeyar rule to the modern, but a check into its scurrying trade habits of premium silk and sandalwood.
You can start with the historic Mysore Palace, the official residence of the Maharajas of Mysore. Best thing about traveling to this part of Karnataka in winters are the visits to nature splendors nearby the city; Sivanasamudra waterfalls serve the purpose well.
Kabini: Call of the Wild
Travel 94 km from Mysore and you will find yourself at the door step of one of the most popular wildlife sanctuaries in South India; Kabini. Best thing about this wildlife reserve is that it is surrounded by four major wildlife zones, namely Bandipur, Nagarhole, Mudumalai and Wayanad. So, this forest trip never seems to end.
Being set at the banks of the beautiful Kabini River, the wildlife sanctuary is a true nature’s paradise. It has a great variety of animals and birds that includes the panther, sambhar, spotted deer, Chittal and Indian Elephant. During winters, a cool mist envelopes Kabini, making wildlife safaris one of the best in South India.
Alleppey: Backwaters Destinations in South India
Home to a sprawling network of water channels, Alleppey or Alappuzha is symbolically the creators of the enchanting backwaters of Kerala. Crisscrossing through the picturesque villages of Kerala, a houseboat ride in the backwaters of Alleppey is certainly rewarding. But that’s not all about it.
This succulent green watery region has a place for beach lovers also. To the west of the Alleppey city are a couple of sun-kissed beaches; the likes of which you will find in the best beach towns of India.
Considering the warm tropical climate in summers and heavy rainfall in the monsoons, it is advised Alleppey to be explored during the winters. With temperatures within a comfortable range, the season is just perfect for beach lovers, honeymooners and backwater explorers.
Kovalam: Beach Destinations in South India
Just 17 km away from the capital city of Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram; bustling and steaming in its urban maneuvers, is the address of an exotic beach town Kovalam that needs no introduction for its resplendence. Attracting a major part of tourists flocking to Kerala, this beach town is a good warm weather escape owing to its tropical climate.
However, this trend of respites continue in the cold season as well at Kovalam. Its topography of not being too cold nor hot makes it a favorite contender in our list of the best winter destinations in South India. Be it Ayurveda, surf or just lazing around, Kovalam is an ideal international beach destination in South India and a preferred warm weather destinations by travelers from overseas.
Bandipur National Park: Wildlife Holidays in South India
Kerala does know how to preserve nature’s wonders. This is very much apparent from the natural habitat of Bandipur, which is a perfectly managed national park in India. Bandipur is part of the Nilgiri bio reserve and is known as a land of the tigers in the south.
If you are a wildlife lover, this is the place for you.
Along with the yellow striped big cat, the park has a variety of other species to boast upon. This includes the Indian Bison, Elephant, Chittal and Sambar. You can indulge in a lot of bird watching as well. The national park has a reserve of more than 80 species of exotic birds that are local as well as migrate from foreign lands.
Embarking on such wildlife expeditions can be little daunting if the weather is not soothing. To sum up the notion; the last months of the year set the weather just perfect for a safari. Highly misty, but with moderate temperatures. This in turn classifies the national park as one of the best winter destinations in South India.
Periyar: Call of the Jungle
To solidify your thoughts of visiting National parks during winters, we present you one more from the lands of God’s own country; Kerala. It’s the region of Periyar which encompasses a massive wildlife zone of 777 sq. km. This wonderful nature’s bounty is home to a great variety of mammals that include Bengal tigers, Indian elephants, Sambars, Gaurs, Nilgiri Tahr, Lion-tailed macaque and many more.
Nature trails at the national park have been set in such a way, they resemble a bit like Disneyland. Besides the jungle spirit, the national park is blessed with a breathtaking scenery that multiplies during the winter season. Starting early from the month of October, the dry cool winters at Periyar sets a special appeal to its wildlife safaris, bringing out the maximum wildlife from their burrows.
Kodaikanal: Honeymoon Destinations in South India
Give Kerala a little breather and move to its neighboring state, Tamil Nadu. In the bereft of cool ambiance in the sun basked cities of the state, the notion of traveling to this part of southern India often gets a backseat. Removing all such clichés associated to it is the hill station of Kodaikanal, one of the most popular honeymoon destinations in South India.
At a height of 7200 feet above sea level, Kodaikanal resides in the upper Palani hills of the Western Ghats. Besides the usual sightseeing, the hills station is an ocean of wonderful recreational opportunities. You can hike through acres of forests of eucalyptus; a morning jog can be a highly refreshing gig. Then there is horse riding, cycling through nature’s burrows, boat rowing in a beautiful lake. Despite being a hill station, temperatures here do not drop to a chilling reading, even in the winters; making it perfect for outdoors. Thus, we see no ill fits in terming Kodaikanal as one of the best winter destinations in South India.
Coonoor: Hill Stations in South India
Fond of cool weather and want to experience the best of it in Tamil Nadu? Then its time you head to the hill station of Coonoor. Amongst the toppers in our exclusive list of best winter destinations in South India, Coonoor is as pragmatic for a hill station lover as it is in the case of the Himalayas in the north. With heights of around 1850 m, it is the second largest in the Nilgiris.
Unlike its neighbor Ooty, this paradise land is much quaint. Here you can explore the historic residences that the hill station keep count of as its very prominent tourist attractions. Besides, the natural splendors which we believe is needless to brag about; lush green tea plantations, magical waterfalls and blissful hiking trails.
In order to enjoy the most at your vacations in Coonoor, schedule your trip for the winter months (December-February).
Chennai: Winter Holiday Destinations in South India
Chennai’s best season starts right after the showers of the north-east monsoon. It happens by the mid of November and what the mainland India prefer to call it the ‘winters’ book the city for the next few months. In reality, South India rarely knows cold as the winters bring pleasantries that the rest of India usually experience during the post southwest monsoons.
Similar is the story of Chennai, situated at one of the banks of Bay of Bengal. Despite being criticized for its extremely humidified tropical climate, the city manages to draw a lot of attention of tourists from all over; call it the recent cosmopolitan glamour or the trademark cultural heritage and some exquisite temples.
Wouldn’t it be nice if you stroll around its magnificent attractions; Dravidian temples, ancient churches and beaches, in a cool weather just like you expect from a beach town. Winters turn down the average temperature of Chennai close to 18° C and therefore setting perfect days to explore its whereabouts making it one of the top warm weather destinations in South India.
Mahabalipuram (Mamallapuram): Winter Destinations in South India
Now as you have considered traveling to Chennai this winters, why not make the most of your tour and also travel to Mahabalipuram; 58 km away from the former. The town is renowned for ancient archaeological wonders which when mixed with its coastal beauty has made it one of the most visited places in South India. So much so that this small town has become a major hit amongst western travelers wandering to this part of India.
Winters mark the best time to visit this corner of Tamil Nadu, whether hitting the beach fronts or exploring the trademark ancient relics and structures. It never gets much cold during winters.
One more reason to travel to Mahabalipurm in the winters of 2015-16 is the world renowned Mamallapuram Dance festival, which is scheduled to kick start in December.
Madurai: Warm Weather Destinations in South India
Another city in our list of best winter destinations in South India is Madurai. Calling it just a city would be unfair as the righteous would prefer to name it as the soul of Tamil Nadu. The explanation lies in its prolonged ancient history that has imbibed culture, religion and tradition of South India in their most primitive forms.
Although the booming modern IT has reshaped this city, you can still find gigantic traces of the old civilization. The very first that catches the majority of the tourist’s interest is the Meenakshi Amman temple which is an iconic landmark in the city. Tour this metropolis in the pleasing winter months.
That’s all from South India for now!
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