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South India Tourism – Off-Beat Destinations

Written By: Manoj Menon

With the vacation around the corner its time to pack your holiday bags and set off on an adventure. There are many places where you can head to in India that holds many surprises for its travellers.

The beauty of nature, its cultural history and long held traditions have attracted tourists from far and wide. Here is a guide to the five offbeat destinations in south india where you can head to this vacation.


Shivgiri is your chance to connect with nature. Amidst the dense forests and Hoggarekangri Hills, camp out in the wild or just experience the simple life.

There is so much to do here like gazing at the stars in the clear sky, bird watching, trekking, fishing and most importantly, exploring the many temples dating back to more than 800 years.

Tourists can also explore the small village of Yemmedoddi located near Lake Madagadakere. It is believed that the water of this lake was filled by rain water.


India's first planned eco-tourism spot, Thenmala is a cultural centre for music and other art forms. Spend an evening at the amphitheatre to enjoy local cultural performances, head to the Deer Rehabilitation Centre for a chance to catch a sight of the spotted deer and sambar and culminate your trip with a visit to the Sculpture Garden.

It is a place to experience waterfalls, nature and wildlife at their best. Do visit the adventure zone here where you can indulge in trekking, mountain biking and boating also.


Scenic view of Thenmala.
Photo Courtesy: Akhil S Unnithan


Crystal clear waters, white sandy beaches and a chance to discover rich marine life, Kadmat in Lakshadweep is India's very own Shangri-La.

Kadmat, by far, has the best beaches you will have ever seen. It is has all the things you need for a relaxed or adventurous holiday like pristine beaches and great sites for scuba diving and snorkeling.


Picturesque view of Kadmat Beach.
Photo Courtesy: Sankara Subramanian


Peace, tranquility, a stunning landscape and a beautiful reservoir to give you company, Honnemardu is a gem that you must discover.

A birdwatcher's paradise, the quaint village is located on the banks of the Linganamakki reservoir. A small island in the middle of the reservoir attracts a few tourists occasionally.

Just 375 km from Bangalore, Honnemardu is a great place to camp overnight. However, it is advisable to connect with a guide to help you explore the place.


A sense of serenity at Honnemardu lake.
Photo Courtesy: Lensman vishy


Here's your chance to experience one of the finest beaches in South India. Blessed with a rich culture & heritage, Malappuram boasts of interesting Muslim folk art forms such as Arabanamuttu, Duffmuttu and Kolkai.

It is home to must-visit places like Kottakunnu - an old fort, which is believed to be build by the Zamorins of Kozhikode, and the Kadalundi Bird Sanctuary. Also, if you are a foodie, do try the Thalasseri biryani that is famous here.


Beautiful view of the Chaliar river at Malappuram.
Photo Courtesy: Dhruvaraj S

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