What was previously referred to as Mysore, became Karnataka in the year 1973. This was partly done as a process to de-anglicize the names of various states in post-colonial India. Located on the south-western side of the country, Karnataka happens to be a very rich tourist destination. South India is a very vast area, which needs time to be completely covered. In fact, one might take a month to see half of everything that Karnataka has to offer. Let’s take a look at the 15 most interesting and attractive places that this state has in store for us:
- The best amongst the rest: Bangalore or Bengaluru is the capital of this state. Whenever people visit Karnataka, they make Bangalore their base. There is also another prominent and most visited place known as Mysore in Karnataka. While Bangalore is well known for its Bangalore Palace and being an IT hub, Mysore is famous for the Mysore Palace. You can also visit Lal Bagh, ISCKON Temple, Cubbon Park, etc. in Bangalore and Brindavan Gardens, Krishna Raja Sagara, Chamundeshwari Temple, etc. in Mysore.
- It’s time for some coffee: South India is known for its coffee plantations, particularly the ones in Coorg and Chikmagalur. These are famous as hill stations that are located in the Western Ghats, and if you decide to visit these places, do not forget to try out the fresh coffee found here. You can actually enjoy a nice steaming cup of fresh coffee while cherishing the scenic beauty of the hills all around.
- Of temples and ruins: One of the most famous tourist destinations that one can spot in Karnataka are Hampi and Badami Rocks. While Hampi is famous for its ruins of a group of monuments that are found here, Badami’s architecture is worth taking a look. Hampi has been recognized as UNESCO World Heritage site. These are two of the most important tourist attractions of Karnataka.
- Of Kings and their monuments: The Chalukyas was the most famous dynasty that had ruled the south. The Aihole and Pattadakal monuments are reminiscent of the glory of the Chalukyas. They also have scriptures and temple architectures of their times found amongst these ruins.
- It’s all about beaches: While the beaches of Goa are famous as tourist spots, the beaches in Karnataka are comparatively less known but even probably more beautiful. They do not remain as crowded as the ones in Goa, and hence, it becomes easier to spend a tranquil and quiet time over here. The Karwar and the Gokarna beaches are the most famous in Karnataka. These beaches border the Arabian Sea and are lined with palm trees. You can even see rocky mountains at the distance, and the beaches reflect the general culture of South India.
- A tale of another empire: Essentially Kannadian, the Hoysala Empire was another prominent empire of South India. Halebidu, which means the old city, used to be a capital of the Hoysala, but the older capital of this empire was Belur. The Hoysaleswara temple and the Chennakeshava temple are the two major attractions of these two places today. Like Aihole and Pattadakal, these two places also display the grandeur of what was once the Hoysala Empire.
- The sacred places of worship: The Bylakuppe and the Melukote are not too well-known as tourist spots in Karnataka. However, while Melukote houses the Yoganarasimha Swami Temple, Bylakuppe has the Namdroling Monastery. Both these places might be less known, but once you visit these places, you are bound to realize their worth!
- It’s all about statues: Lord Shiva is considered to be the main God of the South. Thus, in Murudeshwara lies a great statue of the Lord in a seated position. It is believed that Ravana threw away a piece of cloth covering a statue that Lord Shiva had given, upon being tricked by Vishnu, and it is this place where the cloth had landed. This statue is one of the tallest in the world. At Shravanabelagola is a statue of Gommateshvara Bahubali, which is also one of the tallest in the world, and hence, these two places are celebrated tourist destinations.
- Strolling in the gardens: Karnataka has many beautiful gardens. The most famous gardens of this state are the Brindavana Gardens and the Lalbagh. While one is located in Mysore, the other is in Bangalore. These are ideal for intrastate tourists since they make excellent picnic spots!
- The famous districts: Every state has parts, which are culturally very rich and make excellent tourist destinations. The places that abound in historical ruins and temples make the most famous destinations for travellers. The Gadag and Haveru districts of this state are such areas which draw in a number of tourists throughout the year. Some of the most celebrated attractions of these areas are Mylara Lingeshwara Temple, Kudal Sangameswar Temple, Lakkundi Jain temple, Chaudayyadanapura Mukteshwara Temple, and Gajendragad Kalkaleshwara temple.
- Of mountains and peaks: Thanks to the Western Ghats, Karnataka boasts of natural beauty. There are many small hills and mountains in these areas, which make for perfect weekend gateways for local tourists. While Mulayyanagiri is the highest peak of Karnataka, in the Chikkamagaluru district lies a mountain range known as the Kudremukh. Both of these places boast of unsurpassed natural beauty, and if you have time, you must visit them.
- Waterfalls and more: Karnataka is quite famous for its waterfalls and Sivasamudram and Jog Falls in the Kaveri and Sharavathi Rivers respectively happen to be the most famous ones.
- Forts and Tombs: Quite a few forts and tombs are found in this state. Bidar Fort and the Bijapur Tomb are some the most famous examples of architectural splendour that are found in Karnataka.
- Of Dams and more: Built across the Kaveri and the Tungabhadra are two famous dams known as Krishna Raja Sagara and the Tungabhadra Dam respectively. These are quite famous as tourist destinations.
- National Parks: The Bandipur National Park and the Nagarhole are some of the most visited natural parks of Karnataka.
These are 15 places in Karnataka that you cannot give a miss. So pack your bags and set out to explore this state today!