South India is an incredible place to visit; everywhere you turn, you can capture a good frame on your camera. Beaches, backwaters, hill stations – all these form a sumptuous contrast to the beauty of North India, with its peaks and plains.
South India is paradise on earth, the pulse of the country and the place tourists flock to when they revel in greenery and nature. Interestingly, South India has several places that look almost like international destinations. When you visit these South Indian destinations, it’s like visiting a foreign location.
Would you like to know what those places are? Here you go:
1. Pondicherry, the Place that holds a bit of France to its bosom
Pondicherry: Image by Prof. Morte via Flickr
Though India is finally free from all sorts of foreign invasions, Pondicherry still can’t get over its French influence. Pondicherry is the colonial name that the French gave to this place. In 2006, the place reverted to its pre-colonial name, Puducherry, and has been welcoming tourists more than ever.
In fact, it is this French color that attracts tourists to this place. Sri Aurobindo Ashram is one of the main attractions in Puducherry and the splendid architecture of the place has forever remained an architect’s dream.
France: Image by Peter H from Pixabay
Other than that, you can walk along the 1.5-kilometer promenade on the sea-front and marvel at the ancient Roman vestiges, and relish traditional French cuisine. There are heritage French villas for guest houses that you can stay in.
2. Ruins are Ruins, whether they are in Rome or in Hampi
Hampi: Image by Rakesh Thanikachalam via Unsplash
The ruins of Hampi in Karnataka are strikingly similar to the ruins of Rome. If you love visiting historic sites, then you would enjoy visiting the marvels of Hampi. The city is called the Rome of the East. Surreal and bewitching, you would have a marvelous time visiting the towering Virupaksha Temple, Stone Chariot peak and other wonders of the Vijayanagar empire.
You will see the most brilliant and fascinating piece of architecture in the Stone Chariot, a stable made exclusively for elephants and more.
3. The Azores in West Portugal, Munnar in South India
Azores: Image by Yves Alarie via Unsplash
The Azores is a place in West Portugal, a popular tourist destination with acres of unspoiled nature and greenery. It’s located in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, with plenty of volcanic islands for good measure. Both the places are so much alike that you wonder which has duplicated the other.
Munnar: Image by Vivek Kumar via Unsplash
Munnar and its tea gardens are one of the famous tourist places in Kerala, but the Azores and its tea gardens are also famous because that’s the only place in Europe where you have plantations.
4. The Towering Beauties at Skandhagiri can be compared to Mountains at Hawaii
Skandagiri: Image by Vijets via Wikipedia
Skandhagiri is a mountain fortress located just 62 kilometers from Bengaluru. You can actually see this when you stand atop Nandhi hills. People go for trekking expeditions along these strenuous terrains, but the sunrise here is worth all the effort. The mountains at Skandhagiri and Hawaii are strikingly similar.
5. The Carpet of Green in Coorg and Scotland
Coorg: Image by sarangib via Pixabay
You may already know that the famous hill station, Coorg is known as the Scotland of India. Even the climate is similar. The luscious green landscapes and emerald hills also look similar. The gorgeous valleys of Coorg make you think you have reached a veritable paradise and the misty forests in the background only serve to add to the aura of charm and intrigue.
When the sun plays hide and seeks amidst the mountains, deliberately making you joyous, you will never want to leave ‘Scotland of India’. If you love the combination of hill station and rains, then the monsoon season would be the best time to visit.
6. Enjoy the Gushing Falls of Athirippilly, it looks amazingly similar to Niagara Falls
Is visiting the Niagara Falls your dream? If you cannot visit the USA or Canada anytime soon but would love to see how the Niagara Falls looks like, then just head to Athirappilly waterfalls in Thrissur (One of the most beautiful waterfalls in Kerala). They look amazingly similar. The waterfalls come from a height of 80 feet through in pure white parallel streams, stunning and glorious beyond description.
Niagara Falls: Image by rickbella via Pixabay
The waterfalls look strikingly similar to the Niagara during the monsoon. Athirappilly is also the only place where you can see four species of the Hornbill bird. Spotting them is a rare thing, but people have seen them.
7. Visiting the ‘Venice of the East’
Aleppey: Image by rmac8oppo via Pixabay
Aleppey in Kerala is known as the Venice of the East. The title was given by Lord Curzon during the British rule and has been attached to the city ever since. Aleppey is a beautiful town replete with resplendent beaches, lagoons and mesmerizing backwaters. The main similarity between Venice and Aleppey lies not just in the stunning scenic beauty, but also in the fact that there are several religious sites in both the places. The temples and churches of Aleppey come highly recommended.
Another similarity is that both places have canals – lots of them. These canals connect the backwaters of Kerala to the main city. While in Aleppey, make sure you plan a day-long houseboat cruise to explore the canals and the backwaters. Both Venice and Aleppey are extremely busy places – with locals and tourists. The canals, the religious sites and the hustle and bustle of the people – they all made Aleppey the Venice of the East.
You can easily visit all of these destinations on your tour to South India. By spending a minimum amount of money and time, you can see them all, each unique and special, with their own character and story to share.
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