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Best tourist places in Karnataka

Discussion in 'Karnataka' started by Soojit, Oct 13, 2016.

  1. Soojit

    Soojit New Member

    I have newly moved to Bangalore which I have seen before, but I would like to explore more of Karnataka and see places. I have joined this forum to find out what the best tourist places in Karnataka are.

    I would slowly like to be visiting all the places in Karnataka, as I like traveling and finding out a bit about history. Please don't let my current destination put you off from mentioning places which may be far out, as when I travel it would be according to the location and distance of the place, i.e., for a place further away I would take a longer time off.
  2. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Hello, @Soojit! Welcome to the forum!

    Karnataka is a vast state and there are plenty of places to explore here. The best feature of Karnataka is its varied landscapes and you get a little bit of everything here. If you're someone who enjoys wildlife and nature, the state has five national parks and over 25 wildlife sanctuaries. If you love bodies of water, the state has numerous waterfalls and beaches to keep you satisfied. Hill stations? Well, Karnataka has plenty of them as well. And for the history lovers, don't you worry, there are plenty of heritage sites that you can explore here as the state was once the seat of the Hoysala empire and they have left their mark on the state. Here are the top places to explore in Karnataka:

    A taste of the city life

    1. Mysore - Mysore... The land of silk... The city of palaces... The cleanest city of India. There's a hundred more reasons to visit the city. One of the most progressive cities in Karnataka, just like Bangalore, is Mysore. But beyond these reasons, the city has a mixture of different attractions that makes it a must-visit destination. For instance, to learn more about the way royals lived back then, how about a visit to the seven different palaces of the city? The most iconic of which, also the grandest, is the Mysore Palace, the home of the Wodeyars for the longest time. Other palaces worth exploring are the Jaganmohan Palace and the Lalitha Mahal Palace. The city also has some religious sites that you can visit like the Somnathpur Temple, Chamundeshwari Temple and Saint Philomena's Cathedral. The oldest zoo in the country is also located here, known as the Mysore Zoological Park. If you're someone who enjoys nature, there's the Karanji Lake, which also houses the largest walk-in aviary in the country. For souvenirs, head on over to the Karnataka Silk Industries Corporation (KSIC) for the best silk sarees in the region. These historical sites, abundance of wildlife and nature, as well as the cleanliness of the city, are features that make Mysore stand out in the state.
    • Must visit places - Mysore Palace, Jaganmohan Palace, Lalitha Mahal Palace, Somnathpur Temple, Chamundeshwari Temple, Saint Philomena's Cathedral, Mysore Zoological Park, Karanji Lake, Karnataka Silk Industries Corporation and many more.
    2. Mangalore - Although primarily known for its beaches, Mangalore is also one of the most progressive cities in the state. It has one of the largest ports in the country and is also emerging as a business and commercial centre. Along with the scenic views of the Arabian Sea, you get to see modern buildings and infrastructures as well. This means that tourists get to enjoy the beauty of nature but doesn't have to compromise on modernities along the way. Starting with the beaches, Mangalore has plenty of beautiful ones that tourists can enjoy. If you enjoy water sports, there's the Tannirbavi Beach, a few kilometres away from the city centre of Mangalore. If you enjoy secluded beaches, you can try out Sasihithlu Beach or Surathkal Beach. The city also has plenty of religious attractions like the Kudroli Gokarnath Temple, Saint Aloysius Chapel and Jumma Masjid. Families can enjoy a visit to the Butterfly Park or maybe the Pilikula Nisargadhama. A port city, an industrial city, a beach city, yes, Mangalore is certainly a mixture of it all.
    • Must visit places - Tannirbavi Beach, Sasihithlu Beach, Surathkal Beach, Kudroli Gokarnath Temple, Saint Aloysius Chapel, Jumma Masjid, Butterfly Park, Pilikula Nisargadhama and many more.
    Exploring wildlife and nature

    3. Dandeli - Where the rapids are strong, then you should try out river rafting and there's no better place for that than Dandeli. Home to the Kali River, Dandeli is a primary destination for white water rafting. But aside from this, another attraction here is the Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary. One distinction of the sanctuary is that it has dense forests and even the paths are laden with grass. Thus, to truly experience the jungle, it's a must to visit the wildlife sanctuary. Keep in mind that animal sightings here are rare especially for the tigers, leopards and black panthers. Bird watchers can rejoice though as it is home to many species of birds like the great-pied hornbill, white-breasted kingfisher and golden-backed woodpecker. Lastly, you cannot miss the Syntheri Rock, a place wherein waterfalls flow from a huge rock. Wildlife, check! Nature, check! Dandeli it is!
    • Must visit places - Kali River, Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary and Syntheri Rock.
    4. Bandipur - If your dream is to see wild elephants or tigers, then there's no better place in Karnataka than Bandipur National Park for that. With its dry and deciduous forests, Bandipur is home to animals like Indian elephants, royal Bengal tigers, sloth bears and gaurs. It's easier to spot such large animals here because of the type of forest here, as compared to the dense forests of Dandeli. Thus, if you're someone that would rather see animals than habitats, then consider visiting Bandipur National Park. You can opt for either a jeep safari or a bus safari. If you're up for some adventure, you can go to the highest point of the park, the Gopalaswamy Betta. There's also a temple at its peak that you can visit which provides a commanding view of the surrounding forests.
    • Must visit places - Bandipur National Park and Gopalaswamy Betta.
    Nothing cooler than hill stations

    5. Coorg - Mountainous terrains, mistiness and cool, these terms best describe Coorg. Known as the Scotland of the East (take a double look at the descriptions and you'll know why), it's one of the best destinations in Karnataka. With its numerous waterfalls, peaks and forests, Coorg will take your breath away. Its rich culture and diversity, as it is home to a large number of Tibetan settlers, are also good reasons to visit the hill station. Authentic Kodava cuisine is also unique to the region and a must try when in Coorg. A must visit place here is the Namdroling Monastery, which is sure to ignite the spiritual part of you. Some of the best waterfalls in the region, like the Abbey Waterfalls, Iruppu Waterfalls and Abbey Waterfalls are also located close to Coorg. Adventure-wise, you can try trekking to reach the Tadiandamol Peak or Kote Betta. Since the hill station is also known for its coffee plantations, do visit them as well and try out their fresh coffee. Some of the must try restaurants here for Kodava cuisine are the Coorg Cuisinette and Hotel Capitol Restaurant.
    • Must visit places - Namdroling Monastery, Abbey Waterfalls, Iruppu Waterfalls, Abbey Waterfalls, Tadiandamol Peak, Kote Betta, Coorg Cuisinette and Hotel Capitol Restaurant and Coffee Plantations.
    6. Chikmagalur - Although Chikmagalur is gaining popularity as a destination in recent years, it still isn't as crowded or commercialised as other hill stations (much like Shimla or Ooty). It's hard to know why though as sceneries-wise and attractions-wise, Chikmagalur won't disappoint tourists. In a sense, it's okay as well since this way, the natural beauty of the hill station won't be spoiled. One of the highest peaks in the region, Mullayanagiri, is located here in Chikmagalur. It is an adventure lover's paradise as the trek to reach it is challenging and at the same time, peaceful. Another must-visit attraction here is the Kudremukh National Park. Known for its bounding coffee plantations, grasslands and forests, the national park provides you with the best nature experience in the region. The thrill of being able to see animals like tigers, deers, wild dogs and squirrels also adds to the excitement of visiting the national park. Natural attractions in the hill station include the Hebbe Waterfalls, Hanuman Gundi Waterfalls, Galikere Lake and Z Point.
    • Must visit places - Mullayanagiri, Kudremukh National Park, Hebbe Waterfalls, Hanuman Gundi Waterfalls, Galikere Lake, Z Point and many more.
    Take a glimpse back at the bygone era

    7. Hampi - Hampi is one of those places that is quite mysterious yet inviting. It's as if every inch of the region has a story to tell. Every temple, boulder and sand was a part of history and it gives you goosebumps just being in that place. Knowing that Hampi was once a prime and thriving capital adds to the excitement of visiting thie city. Once the capital of the Vijayanagar empire, every bit of this city evokes elegance, mystique and power. Thus, for history lovers, a visit in Hampi in Karnataka is a must. There are religious sites, over hundreds of years old, worth visiting here like the Virupaksha Temple and the Vithala Temple Complex. Another must visit here is the Statue of Ugra Narasimha, the largest monolithic idol of Lord Vishnu in the city. Taking a step back from the religious structures, there's the Zenana Enclosure, once the residence for the royal ladies. It includes the Lotus Mahal, the Elephant Stables and several watchtowers.
    • Must visit places - Virupaksha Temple, Vithala Temple Complex, Statue of Ugra Narasimha, Zenana Enclosure and many more.
    8. Bijapur - To learn more about the Muslim rulers of the region, it's a must to visit Bijapur. The city is a testament to the reign of the Muslim dynasties like the Sufis and the Deccans. Perhaps the main attraction of the city is the Gol Gumbaz. This is where the entire family of Mohammed Adil Shah was laid upon their deaths. The dome of the structure is one of the biggest in the world and what's more fascinating is that it was built without any pillars. Another must-visit attraction here is the Ibrahim Rauza Tomb. From a distance, its resemblance to both the Taj Mahal and Char Minar is apparent. It also has beautiful gardens that is worth visiting. The Jumma Masjid of the city is also a very famous attraction, with its huge size and walls carved with Quran teachings. An unfinished structure here is the Barah Kaman, built under the rule of Adil Shah II but left incomplete after his death. It is believed that he wanted to surpass the Gol Gumbaz, built by his father, but wasn't able to do so. Impressed yet? Definitely a must-visit, Bijapur would delight the history lover in you.
    • Must visit places - Gol Gumbaz, Ibrahim Rauza Tomb, Jumma Masjid, Barah Kaman and many more.
    If beaches are what you want

    9. Gokarna - A short distance away from Goa, and sometimes referred to as the Mini Goa, is Gokarna. Don't be confused though as it is still in the state of Karnataka. With its pristine beaches, practically virgin and untouched, beach lovers would have a blast in the region. For a long time, the region was out of the radar of travellers, perhaps because it was dubbed as a religious or pilgrim site. It's not a wrong notion though as the Mahabaleshwara Temple attracts a huge number of pilgrims to the region. But beyond that, Gokarna has some beautiful beaches that you can visit. One of the best beaches here is Kudle Beach. With its fine sands and clean water, it's no wonder that locals and tourists alike find this gem of a beach quite a treasure. Then, there's Om Beach, which has golden sands and clean water as well. It's more crowded than the former beach though. Another must visit beach is the Half Moon Beach, very remote and reachable only by ferry or by trekking. Thus, if you like solemnity and seclusion, this beach is perfect for you.
    • Must visit places - Mahabaleshwara Temple, Kudle Beach, Om Beach and Half Moon Beach.
    10. Malpe - Malpe is a port in the state but comparatively smaller than Mangalore. Its main attraction is the Malpe Beach, with its long stretch of white, sandy shores, scattered rocks and turquoise water. It is very secluded and perfect for honeymoon couples. If you're up for an adventure, there are four islands in Malpe but the worth visiting ones are Saint Mary's Islands and Daria Bahadurgad Island. Saint Mary's Islands consists of rocks formed through basaltic volcanic activity. Daria Bahadurgad Island has a fort which was built by Basavappa Naik over a hundred years ago. You can also visit the temple located near the fort. These islands can only be visited by a ferry ride from the port. The ferry ride itself is exciting and exhilarating, truly worth a try when in Malpe.
    • Must visit places - Malpe Beach, Saint Mary's Islands and Daria Bahadurgad Island.
    Who can beat offbeat destinations?

    11. Yana - Although a small village in Uttara Kannada, Yana is slowly gaining popularity due to the rocky outcrops in the region. It's definitely offbeat as it's not as well-known unlike other destinations. The region has many rocky outcrops but the best known ones are the Bhairaveshwara Shikhara and the Mohini Shikhara. The Bhairaveshwara Shikhara is even revered sacred by many locals as it has a cave with an idol of Goddess Durga and a swayambu shivalinga. To reach these outcrops, you need to trek for a few metres through the jungle. The journey itself is as satisfying as the destination. The Mohini Shikhara is more slender than the other outcrop but looks quite as beautiful as well on the inside. Another must visit attraction here is the Vibhooti Waterfalls. You need to trek through slippery paths to reach the waterfalls which add to the adventure of seeing this untouched beauty of nature.
    • Must visit places - Bhairaveshwara Shikhara, Mohini Shikhara and Vibhooti Waterfalls.
    • Related thread - n/a
    12. Honne Maradu - On the backwaters of the Sharavathi River, there's the scenic Honne Maradu. The main attraction here is the variety of water sports that you can do here. From kayaking, boating, windsurfing and canoeing, there's something for every adventurer here. Aside from that, the backwater is home to numerous bird species and definitely a photographer's haven. There are even some trekking trails that you can undertake here although you need prior permission for that. Since the adventure activities are operated by a small group named Adventurers, you need to book well in advance before your journey.
    • Must do activities - Kayaking, boating, windsurfing, canoeing and bird watching.
    • Related thread - n/a
    I hope this helps you!:)

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