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10-Day backpacking itinerary in South India

10-Day backpacking itinerary in South India

By Aquib Nawab

12 Jun, 2024

South India has a huge variety of landscapes and experiences for backpackers who want an unforgettable experience, from tranquil hill stations to pristine beaches. With only ten days to explore this culturally rich region fully, it is important that you plan strategically. Follow our thrilling itinerary for 10 days for a taste of Southern Indian highlights while staying in affordable, welcoming hostels.

Day 1-2: Arrival in Bangalore and exploring the garden city

Begin your backpacking journey across South India after you land at Bangalore International Airport in Bangalore, which is the capital city of Karnataka state. Spend your first day recovering from the long-haul flight. Spend your second-day visiting notable sites, including a lively shopping area, sprawling Cubbon Park, and Vidhana Soudha, a striking government structure in Bangalore.

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Do not forget Bull Temple, which is modernly built and is dedicated to Nandi, the sacred bull, or Bengaluru Palace if you are interested in understanding the history of this place. Lastly, look at the ISKCON temple and St. Mark’s Cathedral with their amazing architecture, and eat delicious local cuisine at many city-based restaurants at night.

To enjoy socializing and inexpensive accommodation, choose The Hosteller Bangalore, where dorms and private rooms help create a relaxed environment.

Day 3: Discover scenic Ooty hill station

Take a three-hour bus ride across the mountains to Ooty, one of South India’s favourite hill stations. In addition to its beautiful Nilgiri Hill surroundings, this place is characterized by its unique landscapes, including the green Botanical Gardens and serene Ooty Lake.

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To avoid missing scenic valleys or other beautiful sites along this route, it is advisable that you take an old Ooty Toy Train. Afterwards, go boating on the lake, visit St. Stephen’s Church, and stop at a tea factory to learn about the Indian tea production process.

Day 4: Travel to Kochi via scenic Coonoor

Prepare for another leg of your journey through the Nilgiris as you head towards Kochi with a stopover in Coonoor. From Ooty, board the toy train going up to Coonoor, then catch a bus, which will drive you down to Kochi five hours later.

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On the way, there are breath-taking waterfalls, spice gardens, and rice terraces that are cut into hillsides, thereby making them appear like vibrant green mats. While you have your chai tea break in one of the cafés found in this small mountain town of Coonor, remember to also visit any garden here that has colonial architecture.

Arrive late in the evening when you can rest in your hostel for goodnight sleep in Kochi.

Day 5: Cruise to Kochi’s backwaters

Kerala is famous for its backwaters, a labyrinth of quiet canals and waterways that you must explore when in Kochi. Take a one-night leisurely sail on a houseboat along the coastline where coconut palm trees grow in abundance and enjoy sumptuous Kerala food.

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Peacefully drifting by villages and coconut plantations, these are opportunities to meet locals who are so friendly. If you want to do more in less time, choose an overnight houseboat safari set off late afternoon.

Return to Kochi the following morning to see Fort Kochi, Santa Cruz Basilica, and the Chinese Fishing Nets, which cascade down on people.

Day 6: Unwind at Varkala beach

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It’s time for relaxation after a whole week of excitement. Move towards Varkala Beach southwards via train; it is an extremely peaceful coastal paradise with shiny cliffs, chill cafes, and a vibrant backpacker scene.

Take your time to stroll along the promenade during the day, lay on golden beaches, or swim in shallow Arabian Sea waters. Don’t forget to savor local seafood, such as fish curry, prawns, or fresh lobster.

Day 7: Day trip to Kollam for a backwater cruise

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To experience unique backwater cruises, head north towards Kollam, a major port city. Float past tiny islands and villages on traditional houseboats through Ashtamudi Lake’s calm waters. Spot colorful kingfishers while gliding along, try your hands at fishing, or just observe how locals lead their lives.

You will have home-cooked Keralan food during most of the tour packages available here. After a relaxing cruise, come back to Varkala and enjoy the most stunning sunset on a clifftop.

Day 8: Travel to Kovalam beach via Trivandrum

Take an early-morning train up the coast to Trivandrum, Kerala’s capital. As you go further south for thirty kilometers, make a stopover at Trivandrum for a visit to the detailed Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple before finally reaching Kovalam Beach.

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Get there in time for lunch and spend your afternoon swimming in the waves or sunbathing on the picturesque crescent-shaped beaches of Kovalam. Learning yoga at Lighthouse Beach will also be a memorable experience, as it is in this particular area that Kovalam Lighthouse can be found, which is the best place ever to catch a view of the setting sun.

Day 9: Depart from Trivandrum

Start your last day by taking an early morning walk along Kovalam Beach before returning. After a wonderful experience exploring natural wonders, historical sites, and hospitable local cultures within ten days, you can take your afternoon flight back home.

The Hosteller Way: Community and comfort while touring South India

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When planning your backpacking through Southern Indian states, also consider accommodation options that enrich cultural immersion. Stay affordably at The Hosteller hostels across southern India so as to make friends and get connected locally.

Discover what sets The Hosteller apart

For backpackers travelling in India, Hosteller hostels offer both community feeling and convenience. Sleep well after exciting sightseeing days at any of our locations that have been carefully designed with dorms or private rooms, respectively.

When the day is over, come back to friends’s faces in the common room, exchange trip recommendations at the bar, and bond through games at a game corner. You will feel part of The Hosteller family very quickly, with free WiFi and walks around town.

It is always possible for the expert team of The Hosteller to offer travel advice that would help take care of its guests or just talking over a cup of tea. By staying at these hostels, you are helping small-scale community-oriented accommodations spread tourism investments to local economies.

For popular places in South India, take advantage of how easy The Hosteller has made travel planning for them. Their youth hostels allow you to experience each place intimately and within reasonable finances.

Be it hill stations, beaches, or cities, the Hosteller hostels become your base for making memories loaded with experiences never to be forgotten.

Begin your trip to South India with The Hosteller

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Looking for something different from an ordinary backpacking experience across South India? Then choose this hostel for an ideal overnight or several-night stay during your long journey throughout the region.

To find the one nearest you, book now!

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