Our 5 unique experiences in South India

unique experiences

Our 5 unique experiences in South India

We have visited many places in South India so far. However, some of these were one of a kind. If I were to recall the most unique experiences that we had so far, the 5 that would come to the top are what comprise this post. Each one of them was a unique experience that left a lasting impact on our memories. However, each one of these is unique in a different way. So, here goes our list of 5 unique places, that gave us memorable travel experiences in South India.

Auroville, Pondicherry

unique experiences
Auroville is an experimental township in Pondicherry. It is built on the unique concept of ultimate human peace and harmony. The concept of Auroville is to create a place where people of all nationalities can stay together in harmony. Not only is this township built on a self-sustaining model, it even provides employment to lots of people from nearby
villages. The township has schools, medical facilities, market, entertainment centers and anything else that we think indispensable for a modern life. However, one of the main attractions of Auroville is Matri mandir (literally meaning the temple of the mother). Matrimandir is a huge meditation center wherein one can go and meditate in an absolute calm environment.

The ancient world of Hampi, Karnataka

unique experiences
Hampi is a UNESCO world heritage town located near Hospet town in North Karnataka, South India. It is charismatic even in its ruined state, attracting thousands of visitors every year. It has a vast stretch of ancient ruins of the Vijayanagara empire from around 1500 AD. The ruins consist of ancient temples, palaces, ancient markets, street houses, royal platforms, pavilions and many others. There are more than 500 structures to admire.

The whole kingdom of Hampi is located on the backdrop of hills. Thungabhadra river runs amidst the kingdom. Sunsets in Hampi are one of the most beautiful sites to behold. The perfect backdrop of hills gives a perfect sunset view; bringing a perfect end to a memorable day. A walk along the coast of river Tungabhadra is another memory to hold close to the heart. When we went to Hampi, we stayed at Royal Orchid, which was an absolute delight. We had a 3 days trip to Hampi and we absolutely loved it. This place is one of a kind.

Coakers walk, Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu

unique experiences
Kodaikanal is a beautiful hill station in the state of Tamil Nadu in South India. Coaker’s walk is a walkway (path/pavement) along the edge of the Nilgiri hills in Kodaikanal. It is a 2km stretch of a narrow walkway where only pedestrians are admitted and no vehicles are allowed. This place is an absolute delight. As one walks down this pavement, the scenery that greets the eyes is marvelous. It gives a delightful panoramic view of the vast stretch of valleys of Nilgiris with the hills standing guard at the other end of the valley. There are benches put along the edge for people to sit and sink in the beautiful view of nature in front of their eyes. One can relax here and soak into the panorama. One can also spot street food vendors, small handicraft sellers and ice cream sellers with small outlets along the path. Buy an ice cream or a hot coffee and sit on one of the benches here. Let the clouds glide through your body while you see the valley slowly getting covered into a mist. Watch the mist clear after some time and the huge stretch of valley reemerge in front of your eyes!! There are numerous places to stay near Coakers walk, one of our favorite spots to stay when in Kodaikanal.

Backwaters of Alleppey, Kerala

unique experiences
Alleppey is a small town in the southern state of Kerala. It is best known for its backwaters. Backwaters are a unique formation of interconnected canals and lagoons of almost calm water, just before the sea. It is fondly called the ‘Venice of the East’ pertaining to the water bodies and the interconnected canals. There are more than 500 houseboats of different sizes that roam over these canals and provide tourists with a floating accommodation. One can book a houseboat for one or more nights and cruise through these backwaters, watching the calm water, the beautiful sunrise and sunsets, the paddy fields and the hotels and houses on the sides of the canals. Enjoying a fresh and authentic Kerala meal prepared right on the boat is another delight in itself. We had our breakfast, lunch and dinner on the open deck. Particularly dinner was an absolute delight, with a perfect romantic backdrop. The boat was slowly swinging in the water. We could see our own reflection and that of numerous twinkling small lights on the boat, right into the water; the atmosphere was calm and soothing – absolute delight!!! Kerala backwaters was definitely one of our unique experiences.

Veerbhadra Temple, Lepakshi, Andhra Pradesh

unique experiences
Veerbhadra temple is an ancient temple located in Andhra Pradesh, very near to Karnataka border. It is built in the Vijayanagara architectural style. The temple has intricate carvings and paintings all over. There are different interesting spots in the temple that have interesting legends and mythological stories associated with them. Do talk to the priest of the temple if you happen to go there. He is more than delighted to point you to the different interesting spots. You can spot an incomplete marriage hall where Shiva and Parvati were supposed to be married, a hanging pillar which doesn’t touch the grounds, a huge foot mark which is supposed to be of Deity Sita and many other interesting spots.

The fact that this place is an offbeat destination makes it even more interesting. When we happened to visit here on a Sunday morning, there were hardly any other fellow tourists around. There was no rush of any kind. We roamed around the whole place taking our time to admire the intricacies. We even sat in a couple of spots in between, soaking into the calmness, and offered our prayers at different mini temples and zones made inside the temple. It was like discovering a gem into our neighborhood!! This was definitely one of our unique experiences.

unique experiences

unique experiences

Did you enjoy reading our unique experiences? Do share with us your unique experiences in the comments below.

This is a guest post by Neha. She and her husband Abhishek are travel enthusiasts & travel bloggers by passion and software engineer by profession. Neha is the planner and the writer. Abhishek is the executor and the photographer. They plan their family trips at the beginning of each year, putting good use to all holidays and extended weekends available. Post the vacation, they share their experience through their travelogue Revolving Compass. When they are not able to travel physically, they travel virtually reading blogs of fellow travelers (and that happens daily!)

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85 thoughts to “Our 5 unique experiences in South India”

  1. Wow, Hampi looks almost prehistoric! My mum went to Kerala and absolutely loved it – said she found it a very spiritual and calming place. I’ve never been to India but really hope to go some day.

  2. What a pretty sight of South India! Amazing pictures. Alleppey, Kerala looks like a lay back place to relax and unwind. The houseboat looks so cool. I hope to visit this place someday.

  3. Alleppey sounds like a beautiful place to explore, and I love the idea of floating down the canals in a houseboat! Sounds like the makings of a beautiful vacation, even without the exploration of the other towns – though they all sound wonderful in their own ways.

  4. We couldn’t agree more with the listicle that you have created here. We have been to all these places. We fell in love with Hampi and its beautiful architecture. You may also want to add Mahabalipuram to this list, it’s also a stunning place.

  5. Someday I hope to be considered a travel enthusiast! Maybe when all my children are moved out of the house and we retire. This trip looks incredible!


  6. What an absolutely stunning place! The more I read about India the more I would love to visit. My husband spent a few weeks there a few years ago and it was an experience, for sure!

  7. What beautiful experiences. I think it’s amazing that you got to go to these beautiful places! It’s awesome to see them in person and just enjoy what the places have to offer. I’m sure you had an amazing time there.

  8. Going through this post was going through the journey once again. You have put it even more beautifully than my original article. Thanks for the opportunity once more 🙂

  9. I really hope to get there one day, it seems an old charm area!! 😀 beautiful experience no?!?! I love the temples around the world, and there would be really nice to have an experience like yours! 😀 thanks for sharing it

  10. This looks like it was an amazing trip. I don’t think I will ever get to visit so living through these photos is great.

  11. What an exciting historical place! Something from these places reminds me of how beautiful Egypt is, but the cultural carvings are more elevated here.

  12. What I love about India is that there are so many places that you won’t see elsewhere in the world. They are unique and they have such an interesting culture. I’m glad you had these experiences while you were traveling in South India!

  13. Wow wow wow the ancient world of Hampi is unbelieble. I really want to go now. Can’t believe we missed all this. South India, next destination!

  14. These are some truly unique experiences. I am very curious about Auroville, Pondicherry and would really like to learn more about it. It sounds like such an interesting idea. And the backwaters of Alleppey and spending the night on a houseboat sounds like it would be really awesome!

  15. I have read about Auroville and Kerala before and am really interested in visiting them. Now you have added a couple of more to my radar. Especially the Coakers walk. It would be really fun to walk in the clouds and eat an ice cream.

  16. Hampi is stunning and the architecture is really interesting and beautiful, would love to learn more about this town. But what I found more interesting is Auroville. I have been reading more and more about towns and areas that are self sustaining communities from all over the world coming together and living in harmony. I am interested in seeing how this trend will continue to grow through the next generations and thinks we will see more of this to come.

  17. These pictures are so lovely! One of my best friends is from India and she always describes it as a a place of amazing views and very friendly people, who are always ready to help. I would love to visit India one day and your post is also a great recommendation to it:)

  18. OMG, that is incredibly beautiful , i want to visit this place, India is huge and it is hard to know where going , I will bookmark this and add it to the places that I want to visit we I go to India .
    thank you or sharing

  19. That’s neat there’s a place to walk where no cars are allowed. I like that there’s ice cream and coffee vendors along the way and that you can stop and enjoy the view. The boat trip seems like a really peaceful adventure to go on.

  20. Couldn’t agree more. For us, Lepakshi just happened. We thought of going for a long drive and landed in Lepakshi. Hampi is stunning, loved the three days we spent exploring the beautiful ruins. We too love the backwaters. Cheers.

  21. My favourite is the Auroville. It looks completely unique and unlike anythign I have ever seen before. I’d be pleasure to get ot see this in person! The concept is truly unique and I can see people’s fascination with it.

  22. I am envious. For one, this is the first time that I am hearing about most of the places that you mentioned. I am particularly very much interested with Auroville. If I get to visit India, I’ll make sure that I go there. I love the concept and I think it’s something that other countries or cities could do.

  23. I love having this inside look. I love to travel, but I dono’t know that I’ll get to India. I’d love to, but we focus on a different area, and there are so many places we want to see there first… Still and the same, it would be amazing.

  24. Yep…all these are just amazing experiences. South India has so many hidden gems that are waiting to be explored. Among your list, Hampi is my favorite.

  25. You have put great collection of places to visit. I personally liked to be made aware of Auroville, it’s a great concept. Also, I would like o inform that Kodaikanal has some mercury poisoning problem.

  26. I love reading posts about India as I visited and loved it but feel there is still so much more of the country I need to see! I am dying to see Hampi and Kerala and your post has confirmed this! I love your photos too, these places look so stunning!

  27. I’ve never been to India, but you always give such in depth looks into the country. I feel like I’ve gone! These were so fascinating to read about. Auroville looks SO interesting!

  28. Wow! I had no idea there were so many historic monuments in this part of India! I have also heard there is surf in this region why I am interested in travelling to Southern India! Would love to wander the historic grounds of Hampi. Thanks so much for sharing, will have to bookmark this awesome post!

  29. I would like to try the last 4 experiences! Well, I checked the backwaters already but it was raining a lot so I want to repeat 😀 Intrigued by the Coakers Walk, cannot see the view on the picture.

  30. I thought Auroville was pretty cool because of the golden statue. Have you ever been to Epcott at Disney? It reminds me of that. I’d also like to head to Hampi, Karnataka because even though the temples are ruined, they’re still gorgeous and some of them look really well preserved.

  31. I have several friends who have visited various parts of India and everyone says it’s an amazing country. A visit there is on my bucket list. Thanks for the introduction to the “Venice of the East”. I’d never seen nor heard of such until now.

  32. I have never even heard of these places and now will probably add them to my neverending list of places to visit in India! I will get there one day. The place on this post which really appeals to me has to be The ancient world of Hampi, Karnataka, I love places like this and wandering around to explore them.

  33. These all sound like such neat things to see. I am really intrigued by Auroville, but I would love to see them all.

  34. It sounds like you had an amazing time exploring south India. The Matrimandir in Auroville would be a place I would love to visit for some relaxation. Thanks for sharing your amazing experiences and these gorgeous places.

  35. South India looks beautiful, what a wonderful experience. I think I would be in love with seeing all of the culture. The photos are wonderful and make me want to see south India some day!

  36. I had never heard of this place before this. Now this is going to have to be on my must travel places. I haven’t created a bucket list yet but this would be on it for sure now. I love all the the ancient ruins and the beautiful scenery.

  37. All these places are beautiful. I have been to many parts of the southern India and I must appreciate the culture and tradition, and the places there. 🙂

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