South India Itinerary 7 days, South India Itinerary, Places to see in South India, Places to visit in Kanyakumari, Places to visit in Kochi
I started my journey from Bangalore and rode to some of the best and exotic locations in Kerala and Tamil Nadu over a period of 8 days. So here goes my South India Itinerary!
Before we jump into the itinerary, watch this short video. After watching which, you wouldn't resist planning a trip to South India!
Route Map :
Day 1: Bangalore - Kochi via Salem (540 km - 10 hours)
This is the first day of your ride. You would want to start early today. Today you will ride through Krishnagiri, where you will spot the beautiful lush green farms from the highway. It's a pretty sight to behold. Later, you will ride through Salem, and enter Kerla at Palakkad where you can see huge mountains on the right side. You would want to stop here and get a few clicks.
Start time: 5-6 AM. The earlier the better.
Road conditions: At the time of writing, the roads are amazing except for a small patch where some road construction was going on at the time of my visit. In fact, the roads are so amazing, in the Tamil Nadu region, that the speed limit is 100, and that too in a 3 lane road with dividers. If you own a good motorcycle or car, you can easily hit the speed.
Fuel points: There are enough fuel points along the way. If you are on a motorcycle, no need to carry any extra can for fuel.
Accommodation at Kochi: If you are a solo traveler like me and prefer budget options, I would suggest hostels like Zostel or Trippr. They have pretty cheap dorms costing around ₹ 400-500 with Wi-Fi and A/C.
If you are with family and want a personal room, you can book them as well, as there are many options around the place depending on your budget. Get a good sleep today, as you will be exploring the city of Kochi tomorrow.
Day 2: Places to visit in Kochi
If you are in Kochi for a day, there are really a lot of places to visit. You would want to prioritize based on your mood. Here are some of the places you can visit in Kochi.
Chinese Fishing Nets: Chinse fishing nets are stationary fishing nets installed on the shore. They are operated with 4 or more long wooden poles connected to nets, which drops into the water and catches fish.
St Francis Church: This church is popular because Vasco da Gama's body was buried here. Later, it was excavated and moved to Portugal in 1539. Now there remains a place where his body was once buried.
Mattancherry Jew Town: Jew town is a narrow street between Mattancherry Palace and the Synagogue. If you are an antique hunter or a collector, this place is for you. Most shops in the street have different antiques and share a story with the history of the place.
|An antique shop in Jew Town. Image Courtesy: keralatoursim.org
Cherai Beach: Visit Cherai beach in the evening and enjoy the beautiful sunset and also you can play on the beach.
|Cherai Beach in the evening
Other places to see in Kochi: Dutch Palace, Hill Palace museum, Athirappilly Falls.
Although Athirapilly Falls is beautiful, I wouldn't recommend driving there from Kochi, as it would take a whole day.
Watch my Kochi Episode below to know more:
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Day 3: Kochi to Alleppey (60 km -1.5 hours)
Alleppey is known for its backwaters and beaches. When in Alleppey think not. Enjoy the beautiful beaches in Alleppey and go for a ride in the Alleppey backwaters in the evening, or even choose to stay at one of the boathouses.
Start time: 9 AM. Leave Kochi after breakfast
Road conditions: Narrow roads, but in good condition.
Fuel points: There are enough fuel points along the way and it's hardly 60 km away. No worries here.
Accommodation at Alleppey: If you are a solo traveler like me and prefer budget options, I would suggest hostels like Zostel or Trippr and many more. Surprisingly, there are plenty of hostels in Alleppey under budget. I visited at least 4-5 hostels, which are way better than Zostel Alleppey. All of them have pretty cheap dorms costing around ₹ 400-500 with Wi-Fi and A/C.
If you are an experiential traveler, you can stay in one of the beach houses or better yet boathouses.
What to do in Alleppey: As mentioned before, enjoy the beach and the boathouse experience. If you are tight on budget, you can take a Shikara ride in the backwaters in the evening for as cheap as ₹ 800-900 per boat.
Day 4: Alleppey to Kanyakumari via Thiruvananthapuram aka Trivandrum (240km - 6 hours)
Today's ride is not gonna be that tiring, but the road conditions are moderate with a lot of traffic. It's advisable to leave early from Alleppey. You would ride of some of the best roads today, from Tiruvananthapuram.
Kanyakumari is at the Southernmost tip of peninsular India. The feeling of being at a place Swami Vivekanand himself lived and loved is amazing. From here you can also witness the confluence of all three oceans Bay of Bengal, the Indian Ocean, and the Arabian Sea. This confluence is popularly known as Triveni Sangam. Tri means Three. Sangam means confluence.
Start time: 7-8 AM. Leave Alleppey after a good breakfast
Road conditions: At the time of writing this, the roads are not bad. Some roads are narrow with no dividers. The roads from Thiruvananthapuram to Kanyakumari are amazing!
Fuel points: There are enough fuel points along the way.
Places on the way: Thiruvananthapuram or Trivandrum is home to the richest temple on earth that ever existed. Swami Anantha Padmanabha Temple. You can pay a quick visit to the temple on the way. Right after Trivandrum, you will enter the state of Tamil Nadu.
Accommodation at Kanyakumari: I found it a bit difficult to find rooms for a single person, as some hotels denied room to me (solo traveler) outright. However, I did get a fairly decent room at ₹ 800 for a double room non AC.
Having said that, there are budget options and many hotels for family accommodation too. There are also sea-facing hotels, which charge you more just for the view. I suggest booking a hotel beforehand.
What to do in Kanyakumari: It would be already evening by the time you reach Kanyakumari. If you are on time for Sunset, I recommend watching the sunset at Sunset Point in Kanyakumari.
Day 5: Places to visit in Kanyakumari
- Sunrise at Kanyakumari: Don't miss the Sunrise here at Kanyakumari. It will be the most amazing, soothing, and beautiful sunrise you will ever see. Wake up at 4 or 4.30 Am and drive to the sunrise point and get the best place to watch the sunrise before it gets too crowded.
The vibrant sky during sunrise
- Vivekananda Rock Memorial & St Thiruvalluvar statue: Go visit the Vivekananda Rock Memorial next. The ferry service will take you to Rock Memorial and also the St Thiruvalluvar statue. The Ferry service starts at 9 AM. Better to catch the first ferry to avoid the crowd. It's advised to eat breakfast before heading there.
Rock memorial and St Thiruvalluvar statue
- Triveni Sangam: You can also visit the holy Triveni Sangam. It's a confluence of the Bay of Bengal, the Indian Ocean, and the Arabian Sea. It's also believed that taking a dip here will wash away your sins.
Triveni Sangam at Kanyakumari
- Kanyakumari Temple: Kanyakumari Temple is also known as Bhagvaty Amman Temple. It is one of the 108 Shakti Peetha in Hindu mythology. The temple is one of the major Hindu temples across India and is mentioned in almost all the ancient Hindu scriptures. The temple sees thousands of pilgrims every year and the temple’s architecture is also quite unique
- Sunset at Kanyakumari: Sunset at Kanyakumari is an equally majestic sight to behold if the weather doesn't play a spoilsport. When I visited, I was unlucky as the clouds covered the entire sky that evening.
It was cloudy when I visited 😟
- Pro Tip: Watch the sunrise from the Kanyakumari Pier. Be there early and sit at the far end of the pier facing east. You may find it on google. If not drop a comment. I will let you know the exact place.
One of the best sunrises ever! 😍
Day 6: Kanyakumari to Rameshwaram (300 km - 6 hours)
Start time: 8-9 AM. The earlier the better.
Road conditions: At the time of writing this, the roads are fabulous! To simply put, butter-smooth!
Fuel points: There are enough fuel points along the way.
Places on the way: At Aralvaimozhi you will spot hundreds of windmills. You would want to click some pics on the way.
Also, the magnificent Pamban bridge is just on the outskirts of Rameshwaram.
Accommodation at Rameshwaram: I did not find any hostels when I visited. However, there are a lot of budget stays and even exotic properties depending on your taste and budget constraints. Recommended to book beforehand or if you have time, you can also explore your options after reaching Rameswaram
What to do in Rameshwaram: Rameswaram is home to one of 12 Jyotirlingas. Rameshwaram temple is a must-visit. It has an intricate design on the outside as well as on the inside of the temple. If it's already late reaching here, better to take a rest and keep your activities for the next day.
Rameshwaram is also famous for Pamban Bridge, which is also a rail bridge and the road bridge which connects Rameshwaram to the rest of India! The sighting of the train crossing over on the bridge is a beautiful sight to watch.
Pro Tip: Cellphones and cameras are not allowed inside the Rameshwaram Temple. If you are going there, you have to keep your cellphones in a locker, or there are other shop owners, where you can keep your devices for ₹20. Better to keep your devices in your hotel or car before visiting here
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Day 7:Rameswaram to Dhanushkodi to Rameswaram (20 km - 30 minutes)
Start time: 5-5.30 AM. Start early from Rameshwaram to reach Dhanushkodi for sunrise. If the weather is bad, you won't be allowed to visit Dhanushkodi. I was lucky that when I visited, the weather was perfect.
Road conditions: The finest roads in India, with extremely soul-satisfying sceneries all around.
What to do in Dhanushkodi:
- Watch the Sunrise.
- Depending on the weather the quad bikes are also available for rent to ride alongside the beach.
- Visit the ruins of Dhanushkodi and witness the abandoned village.
- Click lots of photos.
- Head back to Rameswaram and visit the Rameswaram Temple if you couldn't visit it yesterday
- As mentioned before, go watch the train crossing at Pamban Bridge
- Khushi beach is a secluded beach away from the touristy crowd, You can enjoy the view or get into the beach as well.
Day 8: Rameswaram to Bangalore (600 km -11 hours)
Road conditions: At the time of writing this, the roads are top-notch!
Fuel points: There are many fuel points along the way.