Whether you are interested in relaxing in the Western and Eastern Ghats, cooling down on the shore of spectacular beaches, revitalizing your spirituality by visiting ancient temples, diving deep into verdant landscapes or enjoying the charm of concrete jungles, South India tour packages will offer you a collection of the best travel experiences. The peninsular region of the country includes the states of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Kerala and Tamil Nadu and three union territories of Pondicherry, Lakshadweep and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. These places are tied together by a shared heritage, while maintaining their own unique cultures. The close-knit communities of the region come together to celebrate every festival with pomp and gaiety, also welcoming tourists to participate in age-old traditions. Every stop you include in your South India tour packages will have something new to offer you.
On your way down from the north to the south of India, you will observe an evident change in landscape and culture. South India has it all – highlands, plains, seasides and lush greenery. Your South Indian journey will present you with a diversity in communities and cuisines as well as a variety of destinations and activities. Each of the five states and three union territories of South India is packed with a number of experiences that can take years to explore. But there are a few must-visit places that should be part of all South India tour packages.
Kerala is often the introduction to the south for travellers from across the country and world. And this beautiful coastal state has a lot on offer – pristine beaches alongside the Arabian Sea, Western Ghats covered with tea plantations and a network of serene backwaters where time seems to stand still. Some of the best places to include in your South India tour packages are Munnar for its beautiful tea plantations, Alleppey for a relaxing houseboat ride on the backwaters, Varkala for the beautiful beaches and Thekkady to visit the Periyar National Park. The city of Kochi also deserves a place in your South India tour packages. It is a cultural centre with a number of artsy cafes, food joints, and events. During your stay at these destinations, make sure to witness the extravagant culture of the state through its performing arts. Watching a show of Kathakali, one of the oldest classical dance forms of India, or Kalaripayattu, an Indian martial arts system which is considered to be the very first in the world, would be a good complement to your South India tour packages. You could also opt for a session of Ayurvedic treatment for complete relaxation.
Karnataka’s inclusion in your South India tour packages will bring you a whole new range of experiences. Home to some of the lesser explored destinations of the country, you can have the best of both worlds – hippie beaches such as Gokarna and quaint hill stations such as Coorg and Chikmagalur. Gokarna has emerged as a strong contender to traditional beach vacation spots such as Goa, in the last few years. It is frequented by many for a spiritual awakening at the many ashrams and yoga centres on the town’s outskirts. Coorg, known as the Scotland of India, will be a stunning addition to your South India tour packages too. Enjoy its waterfalls, trekking trails, elephant camps, monasteries, local Madikeri markets and other experiences that make it an important destination in South India. At the top of your South India tour packages itinerary should be Hampi. Grabbing the attention of travellers from all over the world because of its unique landscape dotted with boulders, ruins of temples and monuments dating back to the 14th century, it is a mesmerizing tourist destination and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. India’s richest city in the medieval era, its legacy continues to encourage travellers to book South India tour packages to appreciate the beauty that remains. Karnataka’s capital Bangalore, also known as the Silicon Valley of the East, is an integral metropolitan city of the country. Graced with lovely weather most of the year, it is also called the Garden City owing to the amazing green spots here such as Lal Bagh and Cubbon Park. It is best known for its many microbreweries, cute cafes and restaurants with a live music scene that never disappoints. Many small getaways can be made from here to nearby places such as Nandi Hills, Jog Falls and Mysore.
Tamil Nadu’s heritage comprises thousands of years of civilization which is definitely a treat to travellers today. Some of the ideal additions to your South India temple tour would be the famous towns of Madurai, Mahabalipuram, Kanchipuram and Tanjore. The Hindu temples here showcase intricate architecture and the various festivities reflect the cultural mores of the locals. Your South India tour packages should also include the viridescent hill stations of Tamil Nadu, such as Ooty, Kodaikanal, Yercaud and Coonoor. The state also encloses the colonial beach town of Pondicherry, a popular destination among tourists. The former French colony with its vibrant architecture, cute cafes and picturesque beaches invites thousands of travellers to book South India tour packages. At the very centre, Rock Beach is a tranquil spot to start and end your days. No vehicles are allowed in the area then, which makes strolls along the rocky shore an incredibly relaxing activity. Meanwhile, in the middle, you can visit the other beaches such as Serenity Beach, Paradise Beach and Auro Beach. From Auro Beach, you can head on to the unique township of Auroville that houses people from all over the world who believe in its ideal of peace and goodwill. Just three hours away from Pondicherry is Chennai, the state’s capital, where the tourist spots are few but include a number of museums, temples and beaches.
Though Andhra Pradesh and Telangana are not the most visited destinations in South India tour packages, they house some gems that should feature on every traveller’s itinerary. Tirupati is a significant pilgrimage site that should be part of a traveller’s South India temple tour. Other temple towns in the state include Vijayawada, Srisailam, Ahobilam, Mantralayam and Srikalahasti. Many South India tour packages will also introduce you to the regal charm of ancient Islamic dynasties that still pervades the growing metropolitan city of Hyderabad. Architecture enthusiasts can explore many Mughal monuments standing tall in the Old City of Hyderabad such as Charminar, Mecca Masjid, Mahboob Chowk Clock Tower, Chowmahalla Palace, Purani Haveli, Madina, Falaknuma Palace and Toli Masjid. Golconda Fort, an impressive fortified citadel located in Hyderabad, built in the year 1143, is another unmissable destination among South India tour packages. The primitive style of architecture and the stunning view of the city from the monument will certainly keep you transfixed, hence you should take a couple of hours to explore the site.
The islands of Lakshadweep and Andaman continue to be extraordinary holiday destinations in South India tour packages. From the Lakshadweep archipelago, only 10 islands are inhabited, though not all are open for tourism. All tourists, Indian and international, need to obtain a permit to visit the islands. Lakshadweep’s tourism is still budding. It still attracts many tourists to experience the clean, turquoise sea bordered by magnificent white-sand shores. Snorkelling and scuba diving opportunities offered by South India tour packages here are some of the best for a chance to experience immaculate coral reefs. On the other hand, the tourism on Andaman Islands has been flourishing for years. This destination is a tropical delight, home to some of the best and most pristine beaches in the world, such as Radhanagar Beach, Elephant Beach, Vijaynagar Beach, Raman Bageecha Beach and Wandoor Beach. The ceaseless greenery adds to the beauty of the islands. Besides indulging in water sports, you can visit tourist attractions such as the Cellular Jail National Memorial and Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park, trek from Mt. Harriet National Park to Madhuba and explore limestone caves or the mud volcano on Baratang Islands. There are many more activities available for tourists in the Andamans that should be included in your South India tour packages.
Each state has a variety of things to offer, enough for them to warrant their own individual vacations. However, if you are short on time, you can pick the most appealing destinations from this guide to include in your South India tour packages to have a comprehensive trip.
There is a lot to cover when you embark on a trip to Southern India. Traversing vast areas where languages, cultures and landscapes seem to change every other mile, it is recommended to book South India tour packages after preliminary research. The best way to do this is by reading authentic guides delineating experiences of real travellers on Tripoto. This exercise will help you figure out what excites you the most and you can hand-pick destinations and activities to include in your South India tour packages. The following are some travellers’ thoughts on a few tourist spots in South India:
“Driving on the Grand Andaman Trunk Road – the archipelago's primary thoroughfare feels other-worldly. The encompassing jungles are dense, teeming with an ensemble of lifeforms. After an hour or so, an all-pervading sun-bleached coastline of the South Andaman islands appears, soothing your city-worn soul with its laid-back tempo and a distinctive seafood fare.” – Sonalika Debnath
“Gokarna has managed to make its name as one of the most sought after beach destinations in India over the last few years. The cliff side beaches, the beach treks and panoramic views of the ocean make Gokarna an - destination and a must visit place for people who love beaches. Gokarna town has temples which are visited by pilgrims from all over the country.” – Bappaditya Bhattacharya
“When you are in Madurai the first thing that you have to visit is the World Famous Meenakshi Temple. Located in the center of the city and known for its historic and religious significance, this was one of the biggest temples on our South India Temple Tour. The temple is famous all over the world for its belief in Hindu mythology Goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva. The architecture of this temple is simply brilliant and you are left in awe of the creativity and craftsmanship of people during that era.” – Road to Taste
“I truly understood why Kerala is called God's Own Country. Of course, I went for boat rides (twice!), and on one of the rides, I saw the sun set in the midst of storm clouds; painting the Alleppey landscape golden. The backwaters are a birdwatchers' paradise, and I lost count of the number of different water birds that I tried to photograph. Tip: Try eating from the roadside shops for some real authentic cuisine. Even the smallest of eateries are spotless! Fish dishes, appam and a sip or two of the local toddy are just what you need to "discover" the local flavours!” – Debadrita Jana
The best time to book South India tour packages is from October to February end. This is winter to early summer time and is ideal for outdoor activities and water sports. March onwards, the humidity and temperature start to rise, going up to 30 to 40 degrees Celsius. The hill stations can still be visited as the temperatures remain cool there, but it is recommended to avoid lowlands during summer. June marks the onset of monsoon, which is enjoyable to some and not to others. The luscious green landscapes are hard to resist, but some destinations have minimum experiences available as this is off season. Due to the heavy rainfall experienced by some regions, it might also be unsafe to travel then. Hence, make sure to closely follow the weather forecast before booking your South India tour packages. Tamil Nadu receives bouts of rainfall well into November, so be prepared with umbrellas.
South India has some of the best destinations for family vacations. Whether you are looking for a retreat steeped in culture or some time to sprawl at a beach, you cannot go wrong with South India family tour packages. There are plenty of sights and activities to keep both parents and children engaged. For the elderly there are South India pilgrimage tour packages available.
Besides families, couples have a vested interest in South India tour packages. Some spots such as Ooty, Alleppey, Munnar, Pondicherry and Lakshadweep and the Andaman islands have famously acquired the status of honeymoon destinations. South India is full of enchanting spectacles that will leave you and your partner mesmerized. Whether it is your first trip as a couple or a yearly vacation, South India tour packages will not disappoint in providing you the best quality time.
The Indian cuisine has found a place on the world’s culinary map and most of the well-known dishes come from South India. The major culinary differences among the states are based on the varieties of a dish, how it is prepared, and the overall spiciness. Rice is always going to be on your plate in South India, either accompanying sambar, rasam or some vegetable curry, or as dishes made of rice flour such as dosas, idlis, or uttapams. Ingredients such as coconuts, lentils and a variety of spices fill every bite with flavour. Commonly used spices include cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, tamarind, curry leaves, cloves and pepper. The cuisine offers a balance of both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. Some of the most popular dishes from different South Indian regions are rava-idli from Karnataka, chakra pongal, sambar and vada from Tamil Nadu, kadala curry, parottas and appam from Kerala, and lastly kebabs and biryanis from Andhra Pradesh. Make sure your South India tour packages include trying different kinds of dishes during your trip.
How long should my South India tour packages be?
Every state within your South India tour packages can take weeks to explore fully. So the duration of your trip solely depends on the destinations you have added to your South India tour packages itinerary. Travel time between popular tourist spots is not high though, so try to devote at least a week to your trip to be able to explore multiple locations without rushing too much.
What should I pack for my trip after booking South India tour packages?
South India presents a variety in the landscape and weather to its visitors. If you have a mix of beaches, cities and hill stations in your South India tour packages itinerary, make sure to get appropriate clothing for each destination accordingly. As lowlands and seasides are hot and humid, carry loose, cotton clothes. On the other hand, for high altitude places, you should carry warm clothes. Some smaller towns are more conservative, so you might want to put a few ethnic clothes in your bag as well.
Should I book South India tour packages even if I don’t know the local languages?
Languages are an integral element of the culture in South Indian states. However, many locals can converse in English, hence facilitating communication without much difficulty. Besides, in many touristy areas and metropolitan cities, most people have a basic understanding of Hindi.
Can I include adventure sports in my South India tour packages?
South India tour packages have a variety of activities in the offering – adventure sports being a few of them. You can opt for scuba diving or snorkelling on the Lakshadweep and Andaman Islands, and kayaking and parasailing on other beaches. Alternatively, trekking and rock climbing can be enjoyed at hill stations such as Coorg and Kodaikanal.
How feasible is it to book budget tours in South India?
A South India holiday package would be fairly affordable to book. Different destinations are well-connected, thus providing several options to commute ranging from budget to luxury. Owing to the well-developed state of tourism in the region, you will get a variety of choices for accommodation within South India packages that prevent you from splurging on expensive stays against your wishes. Within the country, travelling in South India would be among your cheapest trips. Week-long South India tour packages can cost as low as ₹12,000.
Do I need to book South India tour packages or should I plan my own trip?
You could design your own itinerary but due to the sheer amount of places and activities loaded in every state, it is possible that you will miss out on some good experiences. Unless you can spend a long time travelling, it is recommended to book South India tour packages in advance.
Written by Shruti Mishra, an in-house Tripoto writer.