Best Places to Visit in Karnataka
Karnataka, a state in the south-west region of India was formed in November 1956. The state covers an area of 191,976 square kilometres and 5.83 percent of the geographical area of India. It is the seventh largest Indian state by area. Being the 8th largest state by population, comprising 30 districts, Karnataka is famous for its beautiful yet unpopulated beaches and vibrant culture. The land has also seen the home of the ancient kingdoms of the south and powerful empires such as Chola, Chera, Vijaynagar, Maurya, Hoysala, and many other mighty up to Tipu Sultan.
Kannada is the official language spoken here, and the state is famous for natural, cultural, and architectural heritage. Plenty of cities are must visit for everyone going to visit Karnataka.
The capital of Karnataka and the 3rd most populated city in India, Bangalore is one of the most high profile city in India. This city is often known by its nickname ‘The silicon valley of India’, because of being a major IT exporter in India. The city renamed by the Kannada name ‘Bengaluru’ which means ‘The City of Guards’. However, there are various translations of this word. It is famous for its numerous attractions that include both modern and historical places to visit. The various temples, palaces, lakes and forts, etc. are definitive places to visit.
The town served as the capital of the princely State of Mysore for nearly six centuries with distinguished rulers like Tipu Sultan and Hyder Ali. The city is also entitled as the cultural capital of Karnataka and is famous for its various temples, palaces, forts and old churches. The place is known for being the birthplace for different styles of Indian arts and crafts.
Located within the ruins of Vijayanagar, Hampi is a world heritage site and one of the most significant historical sites across the world. Vijaynagar was the capital of the erstwhile Vijayanagar Kingdom, and the ruins are built near the banks of the Tungabhadra River. The city has some of the most magnificent buildings and sites that display the architectural brilliance of the Vijayanagar rulers. Pilgrims heavily frequent its various temples that are a great place to find divinity.
Badami got its name from the erstwhile reigning dynasty of the Badami Chalukyas and is famous for its stone temples and rock-cut monuments. The city is historically significant, as it has been mentioned in the Hindu mythological texts as well. The cave temples and the Agastya famous are few of the most famous pilgrimage spots here. What makes the place unique is its beautiful location? It is located in a ravine across the shores of the Agastya Lake and is a marvellous place to visit.
Coorg is also known by its native name ‘Kodagu’ and is located on the slopes of the Western Ghats. It is a hilly location and is famous for its lush green surroundings and pleasant climate. It is also an important agricultural town in Karnataka and is known for its coffee and paddy fields. The city of Coorg is also famous for its natural wealth and some various species of flora and fauna. Coorg has various Buddhist monasteries that are a must visit. The various festivals and temples attract a huge number of tourists to this city.
These are the twin cities and are also the commercial and business hub of Northern Karnataka. The town Hubli is the fastest growing city after the capital Bangalore and is also known as ‘Chota’ or small Mumbai. The various temples, lakes and gardens in this city are a must visit. The city Dharwad is again another important city of Karnataka and is famous for its temples, monuments and is a home to a rich cultural and traditional heritage. The various arts, crafts and festivals in these cities will ensure you spend a decent amount of time here.
Sultans founded the city as their capital in the 14th century. Gulbarga is known for its various temples and Muslim monuments and memorials. The place has also been a home to the ancient kingdoms of the South with monuments and buildings dating back to the reign of the Maurya, Chalukya, Hoysala, etc. The local cuisine is fantastic, and the place should be visited mainly to try all of them out.
A small temple town located in the northern part of Karnataka, Gokarna is known for its temples and some of the most beautiful beaches in India. The Shiva temple of Mahabaleshwar is prime pilgrim spot in this town and houses what is believed to be the original image of Lord Shiva’s lingam. It is one of the most favoured holiday destinations in the state as its clean and unpopulated beaches are fabulous.
Established between the 10th – 11th century AD by the Chalukyas and eventually came under the reign of the Delhi Sultanate and the Nizam of Hyderabad. Bijapur is known for its various historical monuments and forts. Various temples in the city were established in the ancient era of the Deccan kingdoms. However, the city saw its best days under the Adilshahi Dynasty and has an evident Muslim influence in its culture. The various monuments in the city display a brilliant Muslim architecture and are some of the best sites to visit.
Situated between the Arabian Sea and the Western Ghats, Mangalore is considered to be the 8th cleanest city in India. The city has been important spot since the rule of the ancient kingdoms like the Mauryas, Chalukyas and the Hoysalas, etc. However, the city witnessed its golden days of prominence during the reign of Tipu Sultan and Hyder Ali. Mangalore was a primary source of dispute between Tipu Sultan and the British. The city is famous for its serene beaches, hills, and the rich culture imbibed within various temples and monuments of the old days.