South India in itself is a huge landmass. It includes 5 large states and several major languages being spoken. The landmass is criss -crossed by several major rivers cutting through some gentle and some daunting mountain ranges. Due to such geographic and resultant biological diversity, South India remains a true marvel of beauty. Listed here are some places that aren’t well known but are worth one’s visit:

Courtallam

south india

This town in Tamil Nadu is nicknamed as the Spa of South India due to the ideal health conditions created as a result of its numerous waterfalls and cascades. It is an ideal place for people to take therapeutic dips to the water, although bathing gets disallowed by the authorities at times of particularly severe rains. Courtallam is unique in the sense that the place has both tiered as well as plunge waterfalls.

Nearest Airport : Tuticorin        

Nearest Rail Head: Tenaksi          

 

Doddamakali

south india

While the Bheemeshwari fishing resort a few hours’ drive away from Bengaluru is really famous and forever thronging with tourist activity, this one is much quieter, so not easy to spot. Only the really motivated can spot this sweet little spot nestled in the Chamrajnagar district of Karnataka. This is a perfect place for sport fishing or Angling, and during the peak monsoon seasons, the really resourceful ones end up with big Mahseer catches. One can also immerse in a lot of cultural tourism here, with visits to the nearby villages of the Soliga tribe, who are dominant in these parts.

Nearest Airport: Bengaluru               

Nearest Rail Head:   Bengaluru    

 

Athirapilly Falls

south india

Kerala has numerous rivers, many of them seasonal at their peak during the monsoon months. Almost all these rivers flow into the Arabian sea and during this process, over thousands and millions of years, these water bodies have cut through holes and crevices along the hills of the region. One of the results of this is the Athirapilly Falls. ThaChalakudy river cuts through the Western Ghats after starting off from the Anaimudi hills, creating this structure in between. Athirapilly nicknamed as the Niagara of India has rich wildlife as well.

Nearest Airport: Kochi                

Nearest Rail Head: Chalakudy        

 

Devbagh

south india

Devbagh offers a unique vantage spot to view the often friction-laden interaction between the sea and land. For most of the year, this place is connected to the main landmass of the Konkan coastline. During the monsoons however, Devbagh gets cut-off from the landmass, as the sea claims a substantial part of the land, rendering Devbagh as a temporary island for some months each year. While Devbagh is in Karnataka, it is right next to the Goa border, so offers elements of both the states’ cultures. This place is a paradise for seafood lovers and water sports enthusiasts.

Nearest Airport: Dabolim, Goa                   

Nearest Rail Head: Karwar     

 

Badami Caves

south india

Badami has an extremely rich cultural past and at present a site of protected heritage. This place in Karnataka is teeming with history, having been the capital of the Chalukya dynasty more than a millennium back. Badami is now home to several Hindu and Jain temples, with interesting Buddhist influences. Hampiis not too far away and is now a major tourist attraction. For people seeking to explore history and heritage away from the madding crowds, may seek solace here at Badami. The caves here, replete with artwork are the highlight.

Nearest Airport: Belgaum              

Nearest Rail Head: Hubli  

 

Araku Valley

south india

Hill stations on the Western Ghats or on the Nilgiris such as Ooty, Coorg or Munnar are more famous but this one on the other end of India’s south, is equally beautiful and as of now less crowded. Araku Valley is located on the Eastern Ghats near Vishakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh. The Eastern Ghats have a very different biodiversity to the Western, due to heavy encroaching of the plains and several rivers cutting through. Coffee plantations abound in this region, so visitors would be enthralled by the many resorts dotting Araku. There are also several tribal villages here.

Nearest Airport: Vishakhapatnam

Nearest Rail Head: Araku

 

Tharangambadi

south india

If anyone wants a piece of Shakespeare’s Hamlet not in Europe, but right here in the Indian subcontinent, this is the place. This is because, Tharangambadiin Tamil Nadu is home to Fort Dansborg, the second largest fort built in Danish style anywhere in the world. Known as Tranquebar in earlier times, it was the capital of the Danish empire in India. The town was located strategically near Dutch, French and British zones of influence and thus became a major trading hub. One can witness the Bay of Bengal lapping up along the gentle Coromandel Coast here.

Nearest Airport: Chennai

Nearest Rail Head: Karaikal

 

Far from the Maddening crowd…..the essence that these completely virgin locations ooze! Worth a visit, we say!

 

 

Contributed by: Aritro dasgupta