Explore Karnataka
Karnataka
High-tech hub of urban delight and bountiful nature

Karnataka is a state situated in the southwest part of India with Arabian Sea coastlines. It has some of India’s most prominent natural, adventurous, historical and religious tourist attractions. The state boasts of beaches, forests, hills, waterfalls, lakes, riversides, coffee estates, historical ruins, ancient cities, caves, temples and so much more.  Karnataka is a divine amalgamation of modernity and ancient charm. Nearly every city of Karnataka offers a unique experience, each worth cherishing for a lifetime. 


Popular cities: 


  • Bengaluru

  • Mangalore

  • Mysore

  • Udupi

  • Bellary 

  • Hampi

Climate
Due to varying geographic and phsio-graphic conditions, Karnataka has three types of climate. It ranges from semi-arid in the plateau region, humid tropical to sub-humid in the Western Ghats and humid tropical monsoon in the coastal plains. The best time to visit the state is between October and April.

  • January — Cold
  • February — Cold
  • March — Dry
  • April — Hot
  • May — Hot
  • June — Humid
  • July — Wet
  • August — Wet
  • September — Wet
  • October — Cool
  • November — Cool
  • December — Cool
Things to do
City Life
Bengaluru represents an amalgamation of rich cultural heritage of the past era and modern facilities. The City of Gardens, Bangalore offers a plethora of scenic places including Cubbon Park, Chola Temples, Nandi Hills, Lal Bagh Botanical Garden. Brigade Road is considered a shopping paradise among locals. There are several cafes and nightclubs that make for a vibrant nightlife in the city. Karnataka's scenic port city, Mangalore is known for beautiful beaches, swaying coconut palms and awe-inspiring temple architecture. With soothing getaway Mangalore also offers the right amount of urban glitters through its shopping attractions and delicious seafood. Mysore, famously known as 'The City of Palaces', has an old world charm. The city is replete with the history of its royal reigns, famed silk sarees and intricate architecture. The majestic Mysore Palace is a must-visit. Bijapur, officially known as Vijayapura, offers visitors a royal experience through its glorious ancient structures. Gol Gumbaj, Jumma Masjid and Ibrahim Rauza are the prime attractions of this commercial district. Udupi is the major hub of vegetarian cuisine, seafood, beaches and temples in Karnataka. Kudlu Falls, St. Mary's Island, Malpe Beach, Krishna Temple are some of the major highlights of Udupi.
History & Heritage
Hampi is an architectural marvel housing 500 majestic structures. It is home to historical remains of the Vijaynagar Kingdom. Magnificent rock and stone carvings are a testament of the mastery of the artisans of the old era. Very limited modern establishments are allowed here which gives an authentic feel to the ruins. The Mysore Palace is one of the most spectacular palaces in India. It's an incredible example of Indo-Saracenic architecture. Its intricate details, beautiful paintings, and elaborate architecture will leave you spellbound. The Bangalore Palace is one of the most striking palaces built in India. Built in the Tudor style and Scottish style, the palace has gothic undertones. The vintage furniture, intricate wood carvings, Roman arches, massive courtyards and countless other iconic elements will leave you spellbound. Halebid is a city located in the Hassan district. It is adorned with a beautiful collection of sculptures, shrines and temples. Most of the ruins display the entrancing Hoysala architecture. Hoyleswara temple, Kedareshwar Temple, Yagachi Dam are few of the prominent landmarks of this old city. Gol Gumbaj, located in Bijapur, is the crypt of Mohammad Adil Shah, who once was the Sultan of Bijapur. The circular dome with a cube on each side of the monument is a sight to behold. Built in 543 AD, the Badami Fort is accompanied by two Shivalaya complexes and a 14th century watchtower. The fort offers a magnificent view of the whole city. Tipu Sultan's Summer Palace in Bengaluru is an ideal example of Indo-Islamic architecture in the country. It represents the mastery of craftsmanship of the 18th century. Belur, Gulbarga, Chitradurga Fort, Jaganmohan Palace, Ballari Fort are some other well-known places with great historical importance attached to them.
Museums
The Coin Museum, located in Udupi, has an extensive collection of coins belonging to various dynasties dating back to 400 BC. It houses nearly 1400 coins. The Archeological Museum located in Halebidu is an open air museum. It exhibits countless sculptures, inscriptions, and much more. Veena Saraswati, dancing Ganesha, Nataraja, Dancing Shiva and a bronze statue of Tirthankar are some of the most prominent exhibits here. Folklore Museum, Warship Museum, Railway Museum, Mysore Sand Sculpture Museum are some other museums that give insights into the culture and tradition from the bygone eras as well as the contemporary world.
Nature & Adventure
Jog Falls is the second tallest plunge waterfall in India. Located near Shimoga, Jog Falls is a magnificent sight to behold. Located on the Western Ghats of Uttara Karnataka, Dandeli is adorned with lush green forests and the pristine Kali river. Adventure seekers have many options such as trekking, kayaking, canoeing, mountain biking and cycling. Dandeli is especially famous for river rafting in River Kali. Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary, Kavala Caves, Sykes Point and Ulavi Temple are major highlights of Dandeli. BR Hills, also known as Billigiriranga, is a beautiful hill range in Karnataka. The road trip to BR Hills from Bangalore is quite famous. Besides scenic landscapes, BRT Wildlife Sanctuary and Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple are the prime attractions here. The terrain here will also let you indulge in adventure activities such as hiking, trekking, river rafting and much more. Surrounded by Nandi Hills, Skandagiri is a beautiful town near Bengaluru famous for sightseeing and trekking. It offers moderate to difficult level trekking trails and the panoramic views from the hilltop is absolutely breathtaking. Gokarna is a land of blue seas, golden sands and palm trees. If you are in search of sanctity and relaxation, this Hindu pilgrimage town is ideal for you. Yana Caves, Paradise Beach, Mahabaleshwar Temple, Om Beach, are some prominent places in Gokarna. This town is also popular for its water sports. Devbagh island, Shivanasamudra Falls, Kudremukh, Shimoga, Savandurga, Sakleshpur, Anthargange, Kanakapura are nature-rich places to visit in Karnataka.
Hill Stations
Coorg, officially known as Kodagu, is a hill station in Karnataka famous for its expansive coffee plantations. Its beautiful green hills with small streams cutting through them makes it one of most nature-rich landscapes to witness in the state. Abbey Falls, Talakaveri, Honnamana Kere Lake, are few of the major highlights of Coorg. You can indulge in trekking or enjoy thrilling river rafting at the famous Barapole river. Nandi Hills is a hill fortress located quite close to Bengaluru city. It has a picturesque natural beauty with amazing viewpoints. It is also home to a number of monuments, shrines and temples. You can indulge in adventurous activities such as paragliding, trekking and cycling. Situated in the foothills of the Mullayanagiri Range, Chikmagalur is one of the most beautiful hill stations in Karnataka. It's famous for its vast coffee plantations, tranquil environment and lush green forests. Chikmagalur is also a very popular trekking spot with exhilarating trekking trails such as the Kemmanagundi trek, Baba Budangiri trek and Mullayangiri trek. In fact, Mullayanagiri is the highest peak in Karnataka. It offers breathtaking views of the sunrise. Agumbe, Kodachadri, BR Hills, Sirsi, Kemmanagundi and Kotagiri are just a few of the other popular hill stations and towns in Karnataka.
Wildlife
Bandipur National Park is well-known as a Tiger Reserve. Along with Nagarhole National Park, it's one of the Premier Tiger Reserves in India. Besides tigers, Bandipur also shelters other endangered species like Indian elephants, sloth bears, four-horned antelopes, jackals, gaurs and muggers among others. Nagarhole National Park, located near Mysore, has rich flora and fauna, forest cover, hills, valleys, waterfalls, and small streams. Bengal tiger, Indian leopard, chital, barking deer, wild boar and many other wildlife species can be found here. The park also houses over 270 species of birds. Kabini Wildlife Sanctuary is home to a variety of wildlife species such as panther, leopard, monkeys, bison, cheetal etc. Jeep Safari and Boat Safari in the Kabini jungle is the ideal way to spot the exotic species. It has a good population of elephants. The sanctuary consists of the southeastern part of Nagarhole National Park. With its scenic location and good concentration of wildlife species, Kabini is one of the finest wildlife sanctuaries of South India. Bannerghatta National Park, Kudremukh National Park, Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary, Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary, Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary, Anshi National Park, Mysore Zoo are few other reserves where you can spot exotic wildlife and bird species.
Beaches
Om Beach is one of the most famous beaches in Gokarna. Shaped like Sanskrit symbol Om, this beach offers innate serenity and adventure sports like speed boating, Banana boat rides, jet skiing, beachside trekking, surfing and much more. Gokarna Beach, Paradise Beach, Half Moon Beach and Kundle Beach are other wonderful beaches in the town. If you seek solitude then Kodi Beach is an ideal place for you as it is located somewhat far away from the city. Also, it's one of the most spectacular beaches in Karnataka. Maravanthe beach in Udupi excels in beauty and scenic offerings. The crystal clear water and tranquil ambience of Maravanthe makes it ideal for relaxation. Udupi is also home to other marvellous beaches such as Malpe Beach, Hoode Beach, Kapu Beach, and Mattu Beach among others. Mangalore is home to some of the most scenic beaches in Karnataka namely, Someshwara Beach, Panambur Beach and Tannirbavi Beach. Karwar Beach is famous for its exhilarating water sports. It is one of the few beaches in the country where you can experience sea diving and snorkeling.
Temples/Places of Worship
Aihole boasts nearly 125 ancient temples out of which Durga temple is one of the most popular. Built in the 7th century, the Durga Temple is an epitome of mesmerizing art and rock-cut architecture. Lad Khan Temple, Ravana Phadi Cave Temple, Hucchimalli Temple are few other well-known temples in Aihole. Keshava Temple, located in Somnathpur, is one of the popular traditional pilgrimage sites in Mysore. Entirely covered with various sculptures, this temple has an old world charm to it. Murudeshwar Shiva Temple houses the second-largest statue of Lord Shiva. Against the backdrop of Arabian Sea, this temple is an exquisite sight to behold. Badami Cave Temples is considered as one of the most popular historic temples in Karnataka. It houses different idols of Lord Vishnu, Shiva and other gods and goddesses displaying Chalukya style architecture. Vitthala Temple in Hampi is an ancient temple recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This ancient marvel is adorned by musical monolithic pillars and a stunning stone chariot. Kollur Mookambika Temple is arguably one of the most beautiful and innovative temples in Karnataka. Nestled amidst the hills of Kodachari in the Western Ghats, this temple is revered as a sacred pilgrimage. Gokarna Mahabaleshwar Temple is believed to have wonderful powers. Dedicated to Lord Shiva this temple is also known as Dakshina Kashi. Shravanabelagola is home to a number of Jain Temples and the 57m tall monolithic sculpture of Lord Gomateshwara, which makes it an important Jain pilgrimage centre in Karnataka. Pattadakal is home to a number of ancient Hindu and Jain temples such as Papanatha Temple, Virupaksha Temple, and Sangameshwar Temple, among others. Srirangapatna is one of the most important Vaishnavite centers of pilgrimage in Karnataka. Kudroli Temple, Vidyashankara Temple, Shree Virupaksha Temple, Hoysaleswara Temple, St, Mary’s Basilica, Chennakeshava Temple, Kedareshwara Temple, Siddheshwar Temple, Udupi Srikrishna Temple are other beautiful places of worship in Karnataka.
How to spend time / how long will it take?
You can visit prominent places of Karnataka in 8 to 12 days. Spend a day or two in Bengaluru exploring the city, its heritage places and enjoy nightlife. From here visit Mysore for a day to explore the historical places, the magnificent Mysore Palace, ancient temples and shopping streets. Take a day trip to the enchanting Kabini River and Kabini Wildlife Safari. Also, visit the Nagarhole National Park as it is close to Kabini. Your next stopover could be Coorg, the Scotland of India. Spend two days at this scenic hill town surrounded by nature and innate serenity. Spend a day in Mangalore to enjoy its citylife, exotic beaches and delicious seafood. If you want to explore the rich history and ancient temples built in past eras, you can spend a day in Belur and Halebid located in Hassan district. For some coastal vibes fused with spirituality, spend a day or two in Udupi and visit its vibrant beaches and temples. If you loved staying in Udupi, you’d also like to visit Gokarna, Maravanthe, Murdeshwar and Shimoga for a day each. Each town is blessed with picturesque nature and beautiful temples. Moving upwards, spend a day in Hampi exploring the ancient ruins and temples. From here you can also plan a short day trip to visit the Badami Cave Temples. Plan a short day trip to Aihole to visit some of its beautiful temples. To take a break from sightseeing, you can spend a day in Dandeli trying some thrilling adventurous activities. You can end your trip at Bijapur, also known as Vijayapura, by visiting its beautiful palaces and monuments.
Cuisine
  • Karnataka cuisine is one of the oldest surviving cuisines. It's well known for its seafood specialities and spicy curries. Mangalorean cuisine has a rich flavor of local spices and coconut, Kodagu region is known for delicious meat curries, the coastal region serves you seafood and North Karnataka is mainly about vegetarian food. Some popular food dishes in the state include Mysore Masala Dosa, Neer Dosa, Chow Chow Bhath, Korri Gassi, Kane Rava Fry, Maddur Vada, Coorg Pandi Curry, and Mysore Pak among many others.
Costs
  • While meal prices in Karnataka can vary, the average cost of food is approximately INR 230 per meal.
  • Sim card cost depends on the package you opt for but the starting price is mostly INR 200. Certain important documents may be required for identity proof purposes.
Visa
  • Indian Passport and OCI Card holders do not require a Visa
  • Others need to apply for an Indian Visa
Season to Visit
  • October
  • November
  • December
  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April

Typical Duration to Visit
  • 8 - 12 days

Known For
  • Nature
  • Beaches
  • Wildlife
  • Historical Monuments
  • Hill Stations
  • Waterfalls
  • Temples
Areas to Visit
  • Bangalore for cityscapes, pubs, nightlife and nature
  • Hampi, Aihole and Hassan for ancient temples and ruins
  • Historical sites in Mysore and temples in and around Mangalore
  • Beaches in Karavali coastal region
  • Wildlife reserves such as Kabini, Nagarhole, Bandipur, Anshi and Kudremukh National Parks & Bhadra Tiger Reserve, Someshwara Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Hill stations across the state - Coorg, Chikmagalur, Agumbe, Kodachadri, Nandi Hills, BR Hills, Kemmanagundi, etc.

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