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Tourist places in Karnataka for 3 days

Discussion in 'Karnataka' started by Mirashe8342, Nov 9, 2016.

  1. Mirashe8342

    Mirashe8342 New Member

    I have joined this travel forum to get some suggestions for tourist places to visit in Karnataka for 3 days. My friends and I would like to go out for a boys holidays for a few days and we have thought that we could visit some tourist places which are in Karnataka. We only have 3 days, so please suggest the places which we can manage to visit within this time.

    If destinations are close by we can manage to visit more than one destination as well.

  2. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Hello, welcome to the forum!


    Karnataka is a vast state with many tourist destinations that one can choose from. Three days might not be sufficient to explore the whole state, but it would be enough to have some exposure to the landscapes and attractions of the region. It really depends on what your interests are, as to what destination would be suitable for you. There are heritage sites, beaches, cities, hill stations and wildlife areas that one can explore around the state. But if you're on a limited time frame, it can be difficult to have such variety in your tour. As such, it's best to focus on one aspect, decide on whether you'd like a historical tour, or maybe a relaxing coastal tour, before embarking on your three-day trip to Karnataka. Below are some of the circuits you can complete within three days for each category of tourist destination.

    Tourist Places in Karnataka for Three Days (Circuits)

    Where the past is still in glory...

    1. Aihole - We begin with the ancient city of Aihole, where the mighty Chalukya dynasty established their first capital in during the 450 CE. Aihole is a city that seems to be stuck in time, with over 125 stone temples, all established during the reign of the Chalukya dynasty. Most of the temples are beginning to show their age, some are in ruins, but are still remarkable examples of the bygone era. However, unlike other modern cities, Aihole isn't much of a tourist destination, there are no tourist infrastructures proper here. Thus, it's best visited on a day trip before reaching other cities in the state that would have better accommodation options for tourists. A must visit in here is the Lad Khan Temple, regarded as the oldest religious site in the city, built around the 5th century. Interestingly, this temple has a combination of South Indian and North Indian architectural styles, with the typical mandapa of the south and lattice-like windows of the north. The most picturesque temple here is the Durga Temple, with intricate carvings in its pillars and walls. Carvings of Hindu deities and animals can be found all over the temple. And then there's the Ravana Phadi Cave Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, evidenced by the Nataraja carving on its wall. Aside from Lord Shiva, you can also find various sculptures of floral designs, shapes and even Varaha, Lord Vishnu's avatar. There are many more temples around the city that one can visit like the Huchimalli Gudi Temple, Jyothirlinga Group of Temples and Galaganatha Group of Temples.
    • Must Visit Attractions - Lad Khan Temple, Durga Temple, Ravana Phadi Cave Temple, Huchimalli Gudi Temple, Jyothirlinga Group of Temples and Galaganatha Group of Temples
    Lad Khan Temple in Aihole (Image from Mukul Banerjee)

    2. Badami - Next is Badami, the capital of the Badami Chalukya dynasty from the 6th century until the 8th century. The Badami Cave Temples are the finest examples of the later style of architecture of the Chalukya dynasty. These four caves are scattered around the Agasthya Lake. The first cave is dedicated to Lord Shiva, built by Chalukyan King Pulkesin I during the end of the fifth century. Here, you can spot the 18-armed Shiva carving, also known as Nataraja. The second and third caves are dedicated to Lord Vishnu, with many wall carvings of the different avatars of the Hindu deity like Varaha, Trivikrama and Narasimha. The last cave is dedicated to Lord Mahavira and other Jain tirthankaras. All these cave temples require a bit of climbing to reach so you need to be physically fit in order to finish them within a few hours. If you still have time, visit the Bhuthanatha Temple as well, located at one end of the lake. This temple has smaller carvings, almost as if this is where the sculptors practised before carving the intricate details in the cave temples proper. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva though it has carvings of other Hindu deities and animals inside it. You can also visit the small cave close to the temple, where you would an ancient carving of Vishnu inside. Finally, the Malegitti Shivalaya Fort, is also worth a visit though it requires some trekking. This fort was also built during the Chalukya dynasty, much of it is in ruins now though. However, the view of the cave temples and lake from the top can be very satisfying and is a perfect way to end your trip in Badami.
    • Must Visit Attractions - Badami Cave Temples, Agasthya Lake, Bhuthanatha Temple and Malegitti Shivalaya Fort
    3. Hampi - Last on this section is Hampi, an UNESCO World Heritage Site, which was also once the home of the Vijayanagara dynasty. Perhaps this is Karnataka's most popular heritage destination, yet still remains less visited as compared to say Agra or Jaipur. The Tungabhadra River flows at the centre of the city and is also the middle point that divides it into two parts. You begin by exploring the southern side of the river partition, where the religious sites of Hampi lies. The Vithala Temple, with the main shrine created in the form of an actual chariot, is one of the most important religious sites in the city. It is dedicated to Vithala, a form of Lord Vishnu, and is famed for its intricate carvings and musical pillars. Another must visit is the Virupaksha Temple, one of the few functioning temples in the region. In contrast, this temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, with various paintings on its ceilings and sculptures on its pillar and gopuram. The three-headed Nandi here, the vehicle of Lord Shiva, is also a must see, as it's one of the few carvings of its kind in the country. Once done with the religious sites, explore the royal structures like the Zenana Enclosure, Elephant Stables and Queen's Bath, which can give one a glimpse of the lifestyle of the royals during the glorious Vijayanagara era. On your last day, reach the Hippie Island side of the city, to the northern part of the river partition. You can observe the local life here and enjoy the presence of numerous paddy fields, quite different to the landscapes of the usual religious side of Hampi that tourists visit.
    • Must Visit Attractions - Tungabhadra River, Vithala Temple, Virupaksha Temple, Zenana Enclosure, Elephant Stables, Queen's Bath and Hippie Island
    *Note - These three places can be combined within your three-day trip in Karnataka. Your first day can be spent in Aihole and Badami, since they are just under an hour away from one another. From Badami, Hampi is a three-hour ride away, and it is here that you can spend your last two days in.

    Unexplored beaches...

    4. Gokarna - If you're more into beach destinations, Karnataka has a number of coastal areas that one can enjoy. Gokarna is sometimes referred to as the Mini Goa of India. It has a number of beautiful beaches that are very secluded as compared to the ones in Goa. So if you adore golden shores, blue waters and absolute seclusion, head on to Gokarna, the beach capital of Karnataka. In total, Gokarna has five main beaches, with the Gokarna Beach being the most crowded one. Venture further into the southern side of Gokarna to reach the Kudle Beach. This beach has golden beige sands, clean water and mild waves suitable enough for swimming. It is also very lively as compared to the other secluded beaches of Gokarna. The shores are lined with beach shacks and resorts too so you can enjoy an overnight stay here or more. Walk further to the south and you'd reach Om Beach. A number of water sports like banana boat riding, boating, kayaking and many more are available here which attracts the adventure seekers. The beach itself has golden sands and clear blue water. You can also trek a bit more to reach the cliff on one side of the beach where you can have a panoramic view of the sea itself. Approachable by trekking or a boat ride from the previous beach is the Half Moon Beach. This beach is a bit on the underdeveloped side, but is very pristine and virgin. The beach has rocky shores so it's not that suitable for swimming but the views of the sunset are amazing here. Last is the Paradise Beach, approachable by a one-hour trek from Om Beach. This is the least developed and least congested beach of Gokarna. There are no infrastructures here, so that's one downside, but if you want ultimate serenity and seclusion, it's the beach to reach.
    • Must Visit Attractions - Gokarna Beach, Kudle Beach, Om Beach, Half Moon Beach and Paradise Beach
    Kudle Beach in Gokarna (Image from Miran Rijavec)

    5. Karwar - Another beach destination in Karnataka is Karwar, a few kilometres away from Gokarna. The main beach of the city is the Karwar Beach but it still remains relatively secluded. It is lively, with some water sports such as jet skiing, motor boating, banana boat riding and paramotoring. You can enjoy the sunrise view here, as the sun lends it hues amidst the backdrop of the mountains. There are also a few resorts and beach shacks close to the shores of the beach. The Devbagh Beach is approachable by a boat ride from the jetty in Karwar. Because of its isolation, the beach is rarely visited by tourists. There's a lagoon here where the Kali River intermingles with the Arabian Sea, such a lovely sight so behold. If you are able to visit the area during low tide, you can trek to reach the beach via the mangrove area that connects it to the main city. There are some higher end property hotels lining the shores of the beach from which you can stay in during your visit to the beach. On the border of Karnataka with Goa, you would find the Ravindranath Tagore Beach, it is lined with golden sands and clear blue waters. Activities like water scootering and parasailing can be done on the beach as well. Other secluded beaches around Karwar are the Tilimati Beach, Kurumgad Island Beach and Majali Beach.
    • Must Visit Attractions - Karwar Beach, Devbagh Beach, Ravindranath Tagore Beach, Tilimati Beach, Kurumgad Island Beach and Majali Beach
    6. Udupi - Last on this section is Udupi, a bit further away from the destinations mentioned above but still can be included on a three-day trip in Karnataka. Udupi has white-sand beaches that can rival that of any other international destination. The Malpe Beach is a favourite amongst tourists because it has safe waters and powdery fine white sands. It also has many water sports like motor boat riding, jet skiing, parasailing and speed boating. You can also take a boat ride into the St. Mary's Island, an island with a beach that has very clear waters, enough for you to view the sea bed. The shores also has rock formations which make it even more picturesque. Kapu Beach is about 30 minutes away from Udupi but is worth the trip. It is distinguished by a light house, which you can climb to have a panoramic view of the surroundings. The sands are also white with some rock formations, though it's less crowded as compared to the other beaches. Other beaches around Udupi that are worth visiting are Kodi Beach, Mattu Beach and Uppinakudru Island Beach.
    • Must Visit Attractions - Malpe Beach, St. Mary's Island, Kapu Beach, Kodi Beach, Mattu Beach and Uppinakudru Island Beach
    *Note - These three beach destinations can be combined within your three-day trip in Karnataka as well. Gokarna is about 61 kilometres away from Karwar. Udupi is about 218 kilometres away from Karwar. You can spend at least a day in each destination. Or you can opt for two beach destinations instead, like Gokarna-Karwar or maybe Karwar-Udupi, or even Gokarna-Udupi.

    Modern and vibrant cities...

    7. Bangalore - We now go to the IT hub of Karnataka which is Bangalore. Why should Bangalore be included in a travellers itinerary of Karnataka? Because it gives one an overview of the modern part of the state, without foregoing the heritage of the locals as well. For example, the Innovative Film City is a huge theme park filled with museums, rides and adventure activities. Then there's Wonderla, which is another theme park, with many dry rides and water rides for both the young and old. Such modern attractions make the city a prime destination for families and friends alike. But don't you worry because the city still has some remnants of the past. There's the Tipu Sultan Fort and Palace, where the ruler Tipu Sultan lived during the end of the 17th century. The entire building is spread over two storeys, with intricate carvings on its wooden pillars. Take a stroll past the Vidhana Soudha and Attara Kacheri, boasting of Neo-Dravidian styles of architecture, and are parliament houses of the city. There's also the Bangalore Palace, once the home of the Wodeyar dynasty. The facade of the palace is easily Tudor in style and the interiors are tasteful designed too, though not as big as the famed palace of the city of Mysore. Both the Devanahalli Fort and Bangalore Fort are already in ruins but still stand as testaments to the past of the city. The former is actually the place where Tipu Sultan was born and trained during his childhood years. Bangalore is also known as one of the greenest cities in India so you can visit parks like the Cubbon Park and Lumbini Gardens to complete your tour.
    • Must Visit Attractions - Innovative Film City, Wonderla, Tipu Sultan Fort and Palace, Vidhana Soudha, Attara Kacheri, Devanahalli Fort, Bangalore Fort, Cubbon Park and Lumbini Gardens
    8. Mysore - The third largest city of the state and also the home of the Wodeyar dynasty deserves a spot on this list too. Although a very modern city, Mysore has done well to preserve much of its heritage sites. It is also referred to as the City of Palaces, with the Mysore Palace leading the list of palaces in the region. The Mysore Palace was built during the 19th century and stands as the best example of the opulent lifestyle of the Wodeyar dynasty. As you reach the palace grounds, ancient temples would greet you, which are every bit as stunning as the main palace itself. Step into the main palace itself, relish in the exquisite furnitures, wall carvings, paintings and even ancient artefacts like palanquins and weapons. A unique mixture of European, Rajput, Dravidian and many other styles of architecture, this palace is a testimony to the one-of-a-kind architectural style of the Wodeyar era. Head on to the Jaganmohan Palace, once the residence of the royal family of Mysore for a short time. It is smaller in scale as compared to the previous palace but boasts of art pieces from renowned painters such as Raja Ravi Varma, Gaganendranath Tagore and Nicholas Roerich. The Jayalakshmi Vilas Complex is another must visit, one of the palaces of Mysore too but has been converted into a museum now. It has three sections namely, an archeology section, a folklore section and a general museum section. Other sights around Mysore worth visiting are the Somnathpur Temple, seat of the Hoysala dynasty for a long time, and the Namdroling Nyingmapa Monastery, a Tibetan Buddhist monastery and settlement.
    • Must Visit Attractions - Mysore Palace, Jaganmohan Palace, Jayalakshmi Vilas Complex, Somnathpur Temple, Namdroling Nyingmapa Monastery and Many More
    Mysore Palace (Image from Arian Zwegers)

    *Note - You can combine any of these cities with any of the hill stations below or wildlife sanctuaries below. For example, Bangalore and Chikmagalur can be combined within your three-day trip, as they are about five to six hours away from one another. Or you can opt for Mysore and Madikeri, which is about 96 kilometres away from one another. On the other hand, you can also combine a trip with Bangalore with the Kaggaladu Bird Sanctuary, about three hours away from one another. Mysore is also just 80 kilometres away from Bandipur, so you can combine a trip for these two within three days.

    Coupled with hill stations...

    9. Chikmagalur - Of course, a trip to Karnataka also entails a visit to destinations filled with natural beauty. One such example of that is Chikmagalur, a hill station located just at the foothills of the ranges of Mullayanagiri. If Munnar is known for its tea plantations, Chikmagalur is known for its coffee plantations. Famed Cafe Coffee Day has their coffee estates established in Chikmagalur, a bit of a trivia for travellers out there. If fresh air, mountain views and natural attractions sound like your idea of a vacation, Chikmagalur should be at the top of your itinerary then. A treacherous road journey to the Mullayanagiri Peak is a must, the roads are bumpy, narrow and challenging but would take you to the best views of Western ghats and coffee plantations below. Then there's Z Point, approachable by road and a one-kilometre trek thereafter. The peak offers you a 360 degree view of the valleys below, truly mesmerising especially during sunrise. Reach the Hebbe Waterfalls, about four hours away from Chikmagalur. Though approachable by road, only government-approved jeeps can be used for the rough terrain. After which, you'd have to trek for another kilometre to reach the waterfalls proper, passing by lush jungles and water streams in between. The milky white and thunderous fall of the water are sure enough rewards for all your efforts though. Still have time? Then why not venture into an adventurous trek in the Kudremukh Peak, a part of the Kudremukh National Park. The trek would take you around open grasslands, streams and lush jungles.
    • Must Visit Attractions - Mullayanagiri Peak, Z Point, Hebbe Waterfalls and Kudremukh Peak
    Mullayanagiri Peak in Chikmagalur (Image from Chidambara)

    10. Madikeri - Next is Madikeri, another hill station in the district of Coorg in Karnataka. Picture this, the smell of freshly coffee beans in the nearby estates, the views of lush forests all around, the possibility of spotting wild animals like elephants and deers, all these and more can occur in Madikeri. Once you have explored the nearby cities, it's about time to unwind and relax, let Karnataka soothe your weary spirits, in the name of Madikeri. They say the best attractions are often off the least maintained roads, just like Mandalpatti. Only jeeps can pass through the rough terrains leading to this view point. It is best visited during early morning, just before the sun rises, as the clouds give way to the shining sun, set amidst the Western ghats. There's also the Abbey Waterfalls, about eight kilometres away from Madikeri proper. It is approachable by road but you have to trek for the remaining kilometre. As you pass by slippery paths, you'd reach the waterfall proper, truly enticing especially just after the monsoon season. You can also visit the Kote Abbey, about a two to three kilometre trek from Madikeri proper. This attraction is a little less known than the former waterfalls so you can enjoy the serenity here. However, swimming is not permitted here because the Kote fishes residing in the pool below the waterfalls are regarded as sacred by the locals. You can hire a guide though to take you to the trek to reach the top of the waterfalls, where you can get a better view of the falling water. Historical places around Madikeri that one can visit are the Raja's Seat, Madikeri Fort and Gaddige Tombs.
    • Must Visit Attractions - Mandalpatti, Abbey Waterfalls, Kote Abbey, Raja's Seat, Madikeri Fort and Gaddige Tombs
    *Note - If you're a nature lover, you can skip the cities mentioned above and instead opt for visiting any of these hill stations plus wildlife sanctuaries. For example, Chikmagalur and Bandipur are about five hours away from one another, you can spend your three days in these two destinations. On the other hand, Madikeri and Kaggaladu is about six hours away from one another, you can also spend your three days in these two destinations.

    Or maybe wildlife areas...

    11. Kaggaladu Bird Sanctuary - We're coming to the end of our list and what better way to do so by highlighting some of the best wildlife areas in Karnataka? Kaggaladu Bird Sanctuary is about three hours away from Bangalore so you can easily reach it even in a day trip. The sanctuary started out as a normal village with a few tamarind trees. Over time, the villagers noticed that bird species such as herons flock to the blooming tamarind trees. In 1999, the state government recognised the importance of the breeding ground for birds and established it as a bird sanctuary. Even the villagers believe that the birds bring them prosperity and good luck, enough that they don't cultivate the tamarind trees that these birds migrate and nest into. The best months for spotting the herons that migrate into the sanctuary are from February until August. Commonly spotted specie of herons are the grey herons, but even the painted storks and grey pelicans sometimes find their way into the sanctuary. Kaggaladu Bird Sanctuary is somewhat of an off the beaten path getaway in Karnataka. You won't find as much tourists here so you can enjoy bird watching in the utmost silence and peace.
    • Must Spot Animals - Grey Herons, Painted Storks and Grey Pelicans
    • Related Thread - n/a
    12. Bandipur National Park - Last on this list is the Bandipur National Park, located close to the border of Karnataka with Tamil Nadu. The national park is one of Karnataka's pride when it comes to wildlife spotting. It has a mixture of both dry and deciduous forests, intermixed with watering holes such as rivers and streams. Large mammal species such as Indian elephants, tigers, leopards, wild dogs and panthers. Herbivores such as chitals, sambars, Malabar squirrels and four-horned antelopes also reside in the national park. A number of reptiles, birds and even butterflies reside in the national park too. You can opt for a jeep safari, gypsy safari or bus safari but the second option is more recommended as you can easily spot animals and there is a lesser number of passengers as well. The best season for wildlife spotting is no doubt the summer months, though winters are good too if you want a more comfortable ride and safari. There are many lodges around Bandipur too in case you'd like to try out for the early morning safari or maybe indulge in a few safaris for higher chances of spotting animals.
    • Must Spot Animals - Indian Elephants, Tigers, Leopards, Wild Dogs, Panthers, Chitals, Sambars, Malabar Squirrels and Four-Horned Antelopes
    Bandipur National Park Elephants (Image from Abhijeet)


    Karnataka is the seventh largest state in India and it's quite impossible to cover its tourist destinations within a short span of three days. But if you can figure out what is it from the trip that you want to cover, maybe heritage sites or beaches, your three days would be more than enough for that. Specifying this goal would enable you to make your trip more memorable and enjoyable because you can cover places that are within your interests. The places mentioned above are the most important tourist destinations in the state. Refer to the notes as well above, they can help you in planning your trip more conveniently. Good luck and enjoy your trip in Karnataka!

  3. iamawriter

    iamawriter Member

    Since you say it is a boys outing it is assumed you are youngsters. The places in and around Udupi that has several beaches, an internationally famous temple and also where you will get to see internationally acclaimed educational institution should keep you busy.

    You could spend time at the Krishna Temple where you can also get accommodation It is a place worth looking around
    The educational Institute is in Manipal. You will need atleast half a day here.

    Malpe Beach has a resort where perhaps you could spend one day. There is a beach at Gokarna known Om Beach as it is shaped like Om
    indeed a rare sight.
    A few miles and you can get to Jog Falls
    This package will see you spending your 3 days taking back great memories.

    Om beach
    Image source: wikimedia commons