States and Union Territories in South India:

The seven South Indian States and Union Territories, as defined by the Indian Government are Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Lakshadweep Islands, Pondicherry and Tamil Nadu

These seven South Indian States and Union Territories are shown in the list below. Clicking on any of these South Indian States or Union Territory will take you to a short description of that State or Union Territory.

Map of India showing the South Indian States

Here below is a map which clearly shows all the States in South India

Map of India showing all the Indian States and Union Territories
Map of India showing all the Indian States and Union Territories

Andaman and Nicobar Islands

Andaman and Nicobar Islands are a part of the Union Territory of India and consists of two groups of 572 islands in the Bay of Bengal. The names of some of the major Islands are:

  • North Andaman
  • Middle Andaman
  • Lower Andaman
  • Little Andaman
  • Car Nicobar
  • Tarasa
  • Bompoka
  • Nancowry
  • Katchall
  • Little Nicobar
  • Great Nicobar

The Andaman Nicobar Island Map at the right gives a better understanding of the relative position of Andaman and Nicobar Islands with relation to India and also some of the Islands and towns in Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

Aboriginal tribes have been inhabiting these islands since pre-historic times. At one time these islands were the prison headquarters during the British rule of India. Many settlers arrived in these islands during the 19th and 20th centuries.

The Southern most point in India's Territory is 'Indira Point' at the southern tip of the Great Nicobar island. Indira Point was renamed from its former name 'Pygmalion Point' when the late Rajiv Gandhi named it after his mother and forme Prime minister of India, when he visited Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Port Blair is the Capital of Andaman and Nicobar Islands and is about 1,250 Km (780 miles) from Kolkata and about 1,100 km (680 miles) from Chennai.

Foreigners visiting the Andaman and Nicobar Islands require the Restricted Area Permit, which according to latest information will be available to foreigners, with valid Indian Visas, on arrival at the only Andaman and Nicobar Islands Airport at Port Blair, The Veer Savarkar Airport. Please double check before boarding a flight or Cruise to Port Blair. The best season to visit Andaman and Nicobar Islands are during the winter months when the monsoons are not active over the islands. A trip to Andaman by ship is great and regular sailings are available from Chennai, Kolkatta and Vishakapattanam Ports of India.

Port Blair, the Capital of Andaman and Nicobar Islands is well connected by Air and Sea with mainland India mainly through Chennai and Kolkatta with regular passenger ship services and flights. The Voyage from Chennai to Port Blair takes about 60 hrs while from Kolkatta to Port Blair takes about 65 hrs. The names of some of these ships sailing regularly between Calcutta or Chennai to Port Blair are M. V. Akbar, M. V. Harshavardhana and MV Nicobar.

To book hotel rooms in Port Blair, or other locations in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, this is the link to the best online Hotel booking website

Andhra Pradesh State

Hyderabad, used to be the state capital of Andhra Pradesh State, but now it is a part of the new Indian State of Telegana. So Andra Pradesh is going to build a new Capital City. Visakhapatnam, also known as Vizag, is the Port City. Tirupathi is famous for its temple, and is considered the richest religious institution in the world after the Vatican. The temple is visited by about 50,000 to 100,000 pilgrims daily, making it the most visited holy place on earth. Many devotees have their head shaven (tonsured) as an act of penance or sacrifice. Daily about a 1000 Kilogram of human hair is collected and the temple makes over $ 6 million per year by selling this hair (used in making expensive wigs). Andhra Pradesh is the home of the world famous Godman, Sathya Sai Baba. His Ashram or place of religious work is called ‘Prashanthi Nilayam’ in the town of Puttaparthi in AP. ‘Hyderabadi Biryani’ is the most famous food dish of Andhra.

Karnataka State

Bangalore, famous world over for its Information Technology industry, is the Capital of Karnataka State (formerly known as Mysore State). Karnataka has International airports in Bangalore and Mangalore. The ruins of the Vijayanagara Empire at Hampi and the monuments of Pattadakal are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The huge statue of Gomateshwara at Shravanabelagola is the world’s tallest sculpted monolith (carved from a single stone). The waterfalls known as ‘Jog Falls’ is India's tallest. Brindavan Gardens, St. Philomenas Church, Lalit Mahal Palace, Chamundi Hills and Srirangapatn in or near Mysore are worth a visit. Because of its importance we have a dedicated page for Bangalore.

Kerala State

The state capital of Kerala is Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum). Malayalam is the language of the State, but almost everyone can communicate in English.

Kerala is a much cleaner place than the rest of India and the people are very friendly. They will leave you alone and not intrude on your privacy, but if you approach them they are always willing to help with a smile. The state has almost 100% literacy rate, the highest in India and may be even in the world. National geographic magazine "traveler" ranked Kerala among the 10 must see destinations of the world and called it “one of the 10 paradises on earth”. Most of the Tourists after their visit to Kerala are full of praise and say that it was the most relaxing holiday they ever had. We have a dedicated page for Kerala.

Lakshadweep Islands

Lakshadweep Islands, formerly known as the the Laccadives, is a group of islands situated some 400 km off India's west coast in the Arabian sea. They are coral atolls and geologically a part of the same chain as the Maldives and have exactly the same features. The name means a hunderd thousand (Lakh) Islands. Visitors to the Island require a special permit.

Pondicherry is now officially called Puducherry and is a former French colony, sometimes referred to as ‘The French Riviera of the East’ (La Côte d'Azur de l'Est). Now Puducherry or Pondicherry is perhaps best known for its educational Institutions, there are at present seven medical colleges, seven engineering colleges, and ten arts, science, and technical colleges and many more in the pipe line. French language is still in use here by many people.

Tamil Nadu State

Chennai (Madras) is the capital of Tamil Nadu (Madras State). The most popular tourist destination in Tamil Nadu is Mahabalipuram (see photo on right), which was a 7th century port city and is now famous for its beautifully carved ancient temples which has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Tamil Nadu also has the famous hill station resorts of Ooty (Udhagamandalam) and Kodaikanal. Madurai city is famous for its Meenakshi Temple. In 2009, this temple was selected as one of the Seven Wonders of India by NDTV, the popular Indian TV channel. Coimbatore is the textile capital of South India. Kanchipuram is renowned for its silk sarees. Kanniyakumari (Cape Comorin), the southern most tip of India, is famous for the meeting point of the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal to form the Indian Ocean. In Vailankanni town is the church ‘Basilica of Our Lady of Good Health’ known world wide as having miraculous health curing powers.

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