Formerly known as Mysore, Karnataka is situated to the south-west of the Indian continent. This state is endowed with beautiful architectural monuments and scenic waterfalls.
Ranked the 4th most popular tourist state in the country, Karnataka has a bouquet of attractions to offer you.
Expanded from Belgaum in the North to Bangalore in the south, it has something to offer to everybody; from beautiful landscapes to rich cultural heritage, serene beaches and scrumptious food, Karnataka is indeed a world in itself!
The Malayalis, the Tamilians, Konkanis, Kannadigas, even the Muslims and Christians have made Karnataka their home.
History of Karnataka
Karnataka was formed on 1 November 1956, Originally known as the State of Mysore. it was renamed Karnataka in 1973. The capital is Bengaluru and is the largest city.
In 1565, Karnataka and the rest of South India experienced a major geopolitical shift when the Vijayanagara empire fell to a confederation of Islamic sultanates in the Battle of Taikota.
After India’s Independence, the Maharaja, allowed his kingdom’s accession to India. In 1950, Mysore became an Indian state of the same name; the former Maharaja served as its Rajpramukh (head of state) until 1975.
Following the long-standing demand of the Ekikarana Movement, Kodagu- and Kannada-speaking regions from the adjoining states of Madras, Hyderabad and Bombay were incorporated into the Mysore state, under the States Reorganisation Act of 1956. The thus expanded state was renamed Karnataka, seventeen years later, in 1973.
Popular Languages of Karnataka
Kannada, one of the classical languages of India, and the official language of the state. Other minority languages spoken include Urdu, Konkani, Marathi, Tulu, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kodava and Beary.
Capital Of Karnataka
The capital and the largest city is Bangalore (Bengaluru), also known as the I.T. Hub.
Chief Minister Of Karnataka
Incumbent. B. S. Yediyurappa The Chief Minister of Karnataka is the chief executive of the Indian state of Karnataka.
Governor Of Karnataka
Vajubhai Rudabhai Vala is presently serving as the Governor of Karnataka since September 2014.
High Court Of Karnataka
The Karnataka High Court officially known as Karnataka Uccha Nyayalaya is the High Court of the Indian state of Karnataka.
It is located in Bangalore, the capital city of Karnataka. It was previously called the High Court of Mysore.
The High Court functions out of a red brick building known as Attara Kacheri.
Karnataka on Map:
Karnataka is the sixth largest state in India, has been ranked as the third most popular state in the country for tourism in 2014. It is home to 507 of the 3600 centrally protected monuments in India, the largest number after Uttar Pradesh.
The State Directorate of Archaeology and Museums protects an additional 752 monuments and another 25,000 monuments are yet to receive protection. Tourism centres on the ancient sculptured temples, modern cities, the hill ranges, forests and beaches.
Broadly, tourism in Karnataka can be divided into four geographical regions: North Karnataka, the Hill Stations, Coastal Karnataka and South Karnataka.
The Karnataka government has recently introduced The Golden Chariot – a train which connects popular tourist destinations in the state and Goa.
Best Time To Visit Karnataka
Most tourists visit Karnataka during the months of November and April. These months are considered the best time to visit Karnataka since the weather remains pleasant during this time.
Best 50 Places To Visit In Karnataka:
Bangalore is also known as ‘Silicon Valley’ is the main attraction in Karnataka, which is not only known for I.T. but also for its mix of modernity.
Coorg is known as the Scotland of India for its breathtaking view of misty hills and streams, along with huge lands of coffee plantations.
This place is beautified with lush green lands and is the Coffee land of Karnataka which was given as dowry to the young daughter of the Chief.
This place is the adventure spot of South India and is blessed with sound peace and relaxing environments.
Mysore is one of the most famous tourist destinations and is praised for its architectural buildings and monuments.
A hill station in the heights of Western Ghats of India, this place has gathered a lot of fame because of its beauty. This place is surrounded by tea and coffee plantations and is usually very pleasant and ranges around 22 – 23 degree Celsius throughout the year.
Gokarna is a city located in Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka, and is etymologically translated to ‘cow’s ear.’
A popular pilgrimage destination for Hindus, it’s known for sacred sites like Mahabaleshwar Temple, which has a shrine dedicated to the deity Shiva.
Established right in the lap of the divine nature, Madikeri city is located in Karnataka between Mysore and Mangalore.
Amidst the lush green forests, the town encapsulates a number of scenic landscapes, dazzling waterfalls, temples, monasteries and other tourist destinations.
A beautiful city located along the banks of the Tunga river in central Karnataka is Shimoga also known as Shimoga. Offering the beautiful tourist places in Shimoga, this city is encompassed by lush green landscapes, coconut palm trees and abundant waterfalls.
Kanakapura is situated amidst gurgling waterfalls. This place is only 55 km away from Bengaluru, so it is widely cherished as a perfect getaway from the bustling city.
Murudeshwara is a holy city dedicated to Lord Shiva, situated in the southern state of Karnataka, on the coast of the Arabian Sea. This city mainly prides itself on having the second tallest sculpture of Lord Shiva in the whole world.
About 250 km from Bangalore, Mangalore is a prime destination throughout the year. Although Mangalore is known for its beaches, islands, temples and the sunrise/sunset points, there are some amazing things in the coastal towns.
Udupi is a wonderful holiday destination in Karnataka located about 60 km away from Mangalore. One of the unique things about this city is that it is surrounded by the Western ghats on one side and the Arabian Sea on the other.
One of Karnataka’s most treasured gems, Hampi is full of history and serenity. Hampi was designed in such a way that today it stands as one of God’s blessings to humankind with a unique temple built at every footstep.
Kushalnagar is a small town sprawling over an area of 8 km, it is one of those active economic sectors for the localities here. This town is crowded with the best and cheapest hotels and resorts for tourists.
While planning your trip to Karnataka, do not forget to add Hassan to your list. Famous as the temple capital of Karnataka, Hassan is one of the most interesting places to visit, located in the Malnad and Maidan district, Hassan is at a distance of 187 km from Bangalore.
Nestled along the untamed river Cauvery, Bheemeshwari is a petite town situated in the Mandya district, Located around a distance of 103 km from Bangalore, Bheemeshwari is called an angler’s paradise for the kind of angling and fishing experience it offers.
18. Nandi Hills
Nandi hills receive the most number of visitors throughout the year. Sitting at a height of 4,851 feet above sea level and located at a distance of about 60 km from Bangalore, it offers the unmistakable scenic beauty.
Karwar is a beautiful town in the Uttara Kannada district, Extremely picturesque the town has an ample number of temples, forts and beaches that attract an array of tourists all year round. Located about 15 km south of the border of Karnataka and Goa.
This is the place for mountain lovers, located in Chikkamagaluru district. It is known for having the Kudremukh peak which is the 2nd highest peak in Karnataka.
Bandipur is National Reserve where wild animals and birds are conserved, a few kilometres away from the capital city, this reserve is one of the popular tourist places visited as a weekend getaway. The place is surrounded by an unruffled atmosphere.
Home to rolling green hills, Ramanagara is surrounded by the peaks of Shiva Ramagiri, Somagiri, Krishnagiri, and Yeti Rajagiri. Mysore silk saris are harvested in this region.
If lush greenery and rich natural surroundings are what you are looking for then do visit Sirsi city. Located in the District of Uttar Kannada at an elevation of 1936 ft from the ground, This place is covered with forest and rivers, along with some of the best waterfalls.
24. Dakshina Kannada
During the British rule, Dakshina Kannada was known as South Kanara, is located between the Western Ghats and the Arabian Sea, Surrounded by the Sahyadri ranges, Dakshina Kannada offers spectacular views.
It is located about 200 km from Bangalore and is surrounded by rocky boulders, offers some really spectacular scenery, Filled with many legends and historical, this place is a treasure waiting to be explored.
The name depicts the many wriggling streams that flow in the region passing through dense forests and deep gorges. The town is dotted with an umpteenth number of waterfalls, forest stretches, and temples.
Kabini is an exquisite, enthralling location, which you ought to visit at least once in your lifetime, whether you’re an adventure enthusiast, a love of fauna, or simply someone who loves to travel for leisure. The perfect weather, a host of activities, camping options and more.
Badami is 457km from Bangalore in the Bagalkot District of Karnataka. It offers a unique experience that is incomparable with any other destination in this region. It is filled with red sandstone formations, caves, cave temples, and several beautiful structures along the banks of the Agastya Lake.
It is approximately 180 km from Bangalore and 160 km from Salem in Tamil Nad, Covered in dense forest filled with a wide variety of flora and fauna, is a great destination for nature lovers.
It is one of the most fascinating places to visit, which is 325 km from Bangalore and offers a unique travelling experience to tourists. The magic charm of this place is its ancient ruins and old-world monuments.
If you love to visit a small town filled with temples and forests, then Ankola is one of the best places to visit in Karnataka. The place is named Ankola after a flower that is seen in the hills and forests of this place.
Bidar is a hilltop city with a number of architectural buildings, some of the most intriguing are Bidar Fort, Rangin Mahal, Bahamani Tombs etc. It is a rapidly urbanising city in the wider Bidar Metropolitan area.
Belur is one of the oldest and most famous attractions in Karnataka, located at 217 km from Bangalore. The town is renown for its Chennakeshava Temple, one of the finest examples of Hoysala architecture.
If you love unique places, natural surroundings and fantastic landscapes then Yana is one of the best places for you in Karnataka. Yana is a small village and hill station located just 140 km away from the city Hubli.
35. B R Hills
Mighty and magnificent, at an elevation of 1200 metres, Biligirirangana Hills stand tall in Karnataka, and is frequented for its diverse flora and fauna.
BR Hills offers plenty of sights to visit and thrilling sports to experience.
Agumbe, popularly known as the ‘Cherrapunji of South’, is a tiny village nestled in the thick rainforests, it’s known for many waterfalls, Sunset View Points overlooking forested valleys. To the south, tigers, leopards and king cobras live in Someshwara Wildlife Sanctuary.
Sringeri has some very interesting attractions in Karnataka which include the Sharada Peetham, the four temples established by Adi Shankaracharya that faces in the four directions. These are – Kere Anjaneya Temple in the West, Kala Bhairava Temple in the East, Durgamba Temple in the South and Kalikamba Temple in the North.
Madhugiri is a small town in Tumkur district of Karnataka that is home to one of Asia’s largest monoliths and the second largest in the world. It is located 100km from Bangalore, most of the tourists visit this place to see the famous Madhugiri Fort.
Shravanabelagola a major holiday attraction in Karnataka is famous for the statue of Lord Gomateswara also called the Bahubali statue. This statue is 58 ft tall and carved out of a single granite block. It is believed to be the tallest monolithic stone statue in the world.
Makalidurga is a small village that is mostly known for the Makalidurga hill. You can reach this place very easily as it is only 60 km away from Bangalore and 10 km away from Doddaballapur. There is an old temple of Lord Shiva in this village which is believed to be the place where Rishi Markandeya performed penance.
Srirangapatna is a small island which is in the shape of an egg and located in the middle of the Cauvery River. The city is not very far from Mysore, you will need to travel only 18km to reach Srirangapatna. One of the famous and most popular attractions in this town is the Ranganathaswamy temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu.
Halebid is a beautiful town located in Hassan district and has beautiful shrines, temples and sculptures.
43. Shivanasamudra Falls
Shivanasamudra is known for its cascading waterfalls and rivers. It is located in the Chamarajanagar District and the waterfall is near the Kaveri River. The Shivanasamudra island divides the Kaveri River into two parts which forms the two waterfalls.
Pattadakal is a World Heritage site declared by UNESCO for its historical monuments and temples. According to researchers and excavations, Pattadakal used to be under the Badami Chalukyas and previously it was called Raktapura.
Talakadu is one of the most fascinating places to visit in Karnataka with a tremendous selection of excavated ruins. Some of the most unique practices here are the excavation of some temples every 12 years for a special ritual.
46. Jog Falls
Some of the most unique practices here are the excavation of some temples every 12 years for a special ritual.
47. Dev Bagh
Pristine blue water, a picture-perfect backdrop of beautiful mountains and lush green belt of casuarinas trees blend together perfectly to give you a destination not to be missed.
This hill station is a perfect summer retreat for those looking for a spectacular time amongst the beauty of nature.
These hills offer a perfect summer retreat for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts. The area also has trekking, nature walks and picnics.
Maravanthe is a beautiful beach town with white sand spread miles and miles along the coast fetches the beach a nickname of Virgin Beach.
Anthargange at an altitude of 1712 meters from sea level with its rocky boulders, small caves and dense plantation forest are one of the best getaways for trekking, rock climbing and cave exploration, enthusiasts.
Famous National Parks & Wildlife Sanctuaries Of Karnataka:
1.Nagarhole National Park
It is a perfect place for nature lovers and is located at a distance of 95 km from Mysore and is spread across Mysore and Kodagu districts.
2.Bandipur National Park
It is located in Chamarajangar district located 80 km from the city at the foot of the Nilgiri Hills.
3.Bannergatta National Park
This is located 22 km from the south of Bangalore which is basically a tiger reserve.
4.Anshi National Park
It is located 60 km from Karwar which has been granted the status of protecting tigers.
5.Kudermukh National Park
Located in the midst of mountains, Kudremukh National Park is popular for its scenic beauty.
6.Dubare Elephant Camp
Dubare is an untamed beauty, popular for its elephant training camp where visitors can watch, learn about and get involved in a number of activities.
7.Kabini Wildlife Sanctuary
Once a private hunting area for the British, this national park in Karnataka is the ultimate destination to explore a rich variety of flora and fauna.
8.Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary
The sanctuary covers an area of 181 square km and is a beautiful wildlife sanctuary in Karnataka to enjoy the natural beauty and take a relaxing walk away from all the hustle.
9.Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary
It has been recognised as the second largest wildlife sanctuary in Karnataka which is home to a variety of flora and fauna including tigers, woodpecker, hornbill, kingfisher, leopards, elephants, etc.
10.Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary
Pushpagiri is one of the 21 wildlife sanctuaries in Karnataka and home to many rare and endangered species of birds.
11.Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary
It is the largest bird sanctuary in the state and comprises of six small islands on the banks of the river Kaveri
12.Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple Wildlife Sanctuary and Tiger Reserve
Devoted to Lord Ranganatha, this temple is situated atop the highest peak of the BR Hills. It is also a wildlife sanctuary in Karnataka known diverse flora and fauna since 1972.
13.Daroji Bear Sanctuary
Established in 1994, this wildlife sanctuary in Karnataka was converted from a thorny forest to a lush green area which is now inhabited by Sloth Bears.
Karnataka Is Famous For:
1. Dance – The prominent folk dances of Karnataka are the Yakshagana and Dollu Kunitha.
2. Food – The classic and famous dish in Karnataka is Bisi bele bhath, which is basically a blend of rice, lentils, assorted vegetables and spices, like asafoetida, nutmeg and curry leaves.
3. Costume – Davani is a traditional costume of the young females. The traditional clothing for the menfolk is the Dhoti, known as Panche.
4. Coffee – Kodagu is the largest coffee producing region in Karnataka with more than 50% share in the total coffee produced in the state.
5. Silk – Ramanagara is well known for its sericulture, and is nicknamed Silk Town and Silk City.
6. Channapatna – Channapatna toys is a popular and traditional craft of the town and is also protected by the World Trade Organisation.
7. Art – Yakshagana, the traditional art form of Karnataka, is a dance drama which is performed with music and dialogue delivery.
Fairs & Festivals Of Karnataka:
The main attraction of the festival is Kannadigas dance, drama, fireworks, puppet shows, spectacular parades, and musical instruments like drums and pipes, the same way it used to be in the colonial era.
Kambala festival brings the season of splash, speed, and power. More than 150 pairs of buffaloes are groomed especially for the festival, and are pegged against each other for the prize money.
3.Pattadakal Dance Festival/ Chalukya Dance Festival
The festival is organized by the Karnataka tourism with a purpose to bring together local artist and celebrate their art on the international stage.
Ugadi symbolizes the New Year in Karnataka. The term “Ugadi” has its origin from two Sanskrit words- Uga (age) and ādi (beginning): “the beginning of a new age.”
During the festival, people decorate their cattle and feed them ‘Pongal,’ a dish made of rice.
There are many faces of Makar Sakranti festival. It is the harvest festival and a day to embrace all the living things on the earth-cow, neighbours, servant’s helpers and other creature and is a four-day long festival.
Vairamundi festival takes place on the third day of the Brahmotsavam at the temple of Cheluvanarayana in Melkote.
Rajyotsava day alias the birthday of Karnataka is celebrated on the 1st November, every year. The State Govt announces Rajyotsava awards every year, which is given to people who have contributed to the Karnataka state.
Dussehra is a 10-day cultural extravaganza for which Mysore in India. The festival starts with a procession of decorated elephants led by the Maharaja of Mysore – a grand spectacle.
It is an important Jain festival, where the grand statue of Gomateshwara is bathed and anointed with milk, saffron paste and dusted with powders of turmeric, sandalwood, and vermilion.
The feast is commemorated in the honour of Shri Veerbhadra, the chief god in the Veerbhadra temple and an imperative attendant spirits of Lord Shiva.
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