Top 10 Hidden Tourist Attractions in South India
Chennai itself serves as the gateway to the southern part of Indian penninsular. That's why most of us are compelled to limit our vacation in South India to Chennai, where we get down from our aircraft. But there's lot more in South India apart from scorching sun and bustling city. Beautiful wilderness is always available for the one who is courageous and the one who is searching for it. Best way to feel it is to avoid Chennai altogether and getting down from Coimbatore International Airport. Come let's walk together through the unpopular path!
" India is not just Taj Mahal
South India is not only Chennai"
1. Gedee Car Museum, Coimbatore
Once you get down from Coimbatore, now a highly industrialized city once known as Kovai, one of the largest car museums in Asia is at your fingertip. The collection starts with Ford's first car and then starts its journey through Karl Benz's benz motorwagon and the first mass-produced car, Ford-T. Apart from these unique cars, this treasure vault provides home to hundreds of English, American, French, Indian cars and even one of the Spanish Hispano-Suizas that has an aircraft engine in it. You may love to capture a pic with a Rolls Royce. It showcases few of the latest ones too. If you are a car lover, this is the heaven for you!!
What's more? Next door is a Science museum. There are a lot of fun activities for children there, each with a scientific basis which is nicely explained.
2. Wellington Lake, Coonoor
Start from Coimbatore and travel towards Ooty. You'll find Coonoor on the way. This hill station is the ideal place for you to spend your night. Wake up early and roam around. You'll come across the Wellington Lake. Ducks and rabbits welcome you in. Go in and enjoy!! You can ride swan boats all around the lake, just touching the biodiversity that is embedded in and around that serene lake. I guarrant you that you can capture some of the best shots of your lifetime there.
3. Coonoor Railway Station
Journey by train from Coonor to Ooty is the best way to unveil hillside South India. Take a glimpse of the British colonial era in India through the railway station that dates back to 19th century. The train itself is an antique. The steam-powered little beauty is somewhat reserved for tourists. The train leaves around 10 in the morning. Get in and enjoy the ride!!
4. Ooty Rose Garden
Once you get down from Ooty, a lot of comforting places are waiting just for you. Amongst all of them, Ooty Rose Garden, which is a member of the World Federation of Rose Gardens makes the top of the list. You can see thousands of roses from different varieties including some rare ones such as the original black rose. In season time that starts from April, you will be able to witness trains and decorations made purely out of rose there. If that time slot is not available for you, don't worry. During the off-season, if you are lucky, you will be gifted a boquet of freshly plucked roses from warm-hearted gardeners there!!
"Ooty is the coolest region in South India
So better go prepared for that cold breeze"
5. Bontanical Garden, Ooty
If you are having green hands, and still not satisfied after swimming in the rose sea, the botanical garden there is the ideal place. You can carry back several gardening tips for your home-garden on your way home. Don't forget to take a pic with a cannon out there.
6. Tibetan Market, Ooty
Tibetan? Yes, you read it correct. You can find Tibetans out there in South India. This whole market is run by Tibetan ladies dressed up in their traditional costumes. If you want to grab a sweater to protect you against the cold breeze, this is the ideal place. But, just a tip: if you are for bargaining, this is not the place for you.
7. Kotagiri Hill Station View Point
If you come back to Coimbatore from Ooty via Kotagiri, you are privileged by the view of pictursque tea estates. Not only that, there is a viewpoint in the forest reserve. You can see the whole set of surrounding mountains. If you are a photographer, hey buddy, do not even think about missing the chance!!
8. Monumental Beach, Pondicherry
Relax back in Coimbatore and ready your backpacks for a ride to Pondicherry. I have to warn you: this is a very long journey and it may take around five hours if you travel through highways. But, you can stop and take your meals on the way, from Indian restaurants reputed for serving high quality traditional food. Once you reach Pondicherry, you will understand that it is worth the journey.
" A morning jogging session along the sandy beach
is the best way to engulf the full glory of Pondi"
Pondicherry was once a French colony, and even today it is soaked in the influence of French art and architecture. In the monumental beach, you will find the whole India in statues and memorials. It's actually a mixture of Indian and French histories. You can find statues of Gandhis and the memorial of Ambedkar (the man who wrote the Indian constitution) out there. The french counterpart consists of a French War Memorial and a statue of Dupleix (the pioneer of colonizing Pondicherry). What's more? There is a magnificient beach stretched for miles!!
9. Matrimandir, Auroville
This is an ashram located near Pondicherry, but it is not reserved for a single religion. As they say, Auroville belongs not to a certain religion, but to the whole human-kind. It stretches around several acres of forest-land which also consists of several monstrous bunyan trees. You can nicely relax and meditate on a hammock out there.
But, if you are a chap not ready for boring things, this place is still a must-go for you. That is because of the boutiques, handcraft shops and the architectural wonder, matrimandir. Avoid going on tuesdays, because then you won't be allowed to peep inside matrmandir.
10. Paradise Beach, Pondicherry
This is the best place to wind up your journey. The only entrance to this place is via boat, which of course is another fresh experience. The beach is unpoluted and is pearl white, filled with colourful sea-shells. Just stroll along the beach and enjoy. Ah I forgot: they provide you with tractors to ride along the endless beach, if you like.
" Try a sugar cane juice on your way;
It's freshly prepared in front of you there"