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15 Must See Places in Karnataka

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Travel enthusiasts are never satisfied with their quest to explore more and more new places. The world is full if unseen places and culture. The delicacies and cuisines one gets to taste is unique from place to place.

Here is a list of 15 worth visiting places in Karnataka. Each place is a package in itself with fascinating destinations within.


Must Visit Places in Karnataka

Welcome to Karnataka.

1.Mysore

Mysore is a royal city which is also known as City of Palaces. The Jaganmohan Palace, Lalitha Mahal, Amba Vilas Palace, Cheluvamba Mansion, Rajendra Vilas Palace, Jayalakshmi Vilas, there are several palaces in and around the city.


Mysore Palace Amba Vilas
Mysore Palace Amba Vilas
Only Amba Vilas which is the main palace of Mysore is open to public. Rest all historic building have been converted to star hotels, or other government official buildings, or colleges or library.
Jagan Mohan Palace is present day’s art gallery which holds several beautiful paintings of Wodeyar Royal Family and Mysore.

Mysore Chamundi Temple
Mysore Chamundi Temple
Mysore Nandi Bull Temple
Mysore Nandi Bull Temple
Mysore Brindavan Garden KRS Dam
Mysore Brindavan Garden KRS Dam
Mysore Karanji Kere
Mysore Karanji Kere
Mysore has several other attractions like Mysore Zoo, Chamundi Temple & Bull Temple on the Chamundi Hill, Brindavan Gardens, KRS Back Water, Mysore Race Club,

2. Madikeri

Madikeri is a cool destination for a quick break from the busy daily life. Madikeri is easily driveable from Bangalore and is a perfect getaway for weekends.

Dubare where the wild jungle elephants are caught and trained. The elephant camp shows how the elephants are bathed, fed, trained to do several other activities.

The Golden temple in Kushalnagar where Tibetan monks seek knowledge and education is a must see temple premises. Dalai La Ma holds a prime position here.

Madikeri Tebetian Monestry
Madikeri Tebetian Monestry
Nisarga Dhama is another attraction in Madikeri which is in the outskirts of Madikeri.
Inside Madikeri the famous Raja Seat is not to be missed. It is said that the Royal King would drive to this seat and watch the surroundings for a relaxation.

Madikeri Nisarga Dhama
Madikeri Nisarga Dhama
Abbey falls is another attraction which is located within a private estate area in Madikeri. Also there are several coffee estates in Madikeri though which you can trek.

You should not miss buying the coffee, honey, cardamom and even black pepper. They have their unique natural fragrance in Madikeri (also known as Coorg)

3. Chikmagalur

Chikmagalur which literally means ‘the tow of the younger daughter’ in Kannada is again a town famous for coffee. The resorts and home stays in the the estate area is a big treat one can give themselves. 

The hill ranges around are mostly driveable. Baba Budan Giri, Mullayana Giri are the popular destinations since they remain cool throughout the year.

Chickamagalur hill regions
Chickamagalur hill regions
Chikamagalur

Baba Budan Giri is religiously important for both Hindus and Muslims. There are several caves and waterfalls which narrates the residing of saints in the region ages ago.

Another prime attraction of Chikmagalur is Kemmangundi which is a place with two prominent waterfalls. These waterfalls were a summer retreat for the Mysore Royals too.

4. Belur & Halebeedu

The list of heritage places in Karnataka begins with naming Belur & Halebeedu Temples. These temple show case one of the finest architecture of South India. The famous architect Jakanacharya built the finest temples for Hoysalas and Chalukyas.

Belur Chennakesava Temple
Belur Chennakesava Temple
Belur Chennakesava Temple Carvings
Belur Chennakesava Temple Carvings
The sculpture of dancers, goddess, kings, the emblem, the avatars of vishnu, the purana stories, and most importantly the very famous Darpana Sundari (the beauty with mirror) are to witnessed.

Halebidu Hoysaleswara Temple
Halebidu Hoysaleswara Temple
Read more about Hoysala Temples HERE

5. Bangalore

Bangalore, the capital city of Karnataka was once a beautiful city of colorful gardens. Even to this day there are huge gardens and parks. But the boom in technology has made Bangalore a hub for all engineers and is one of the busiest cities in India. 

The population is crazy with uncontrollable traffic.

Bangalore Iskon Temple
Bangalore Iskon Temple
Bangalore Nandi Hills
Bangalore Nandi Hills, view from top
There are several tourist attractions in Bangalore like Cubbon Park, Vidhana Soudha, Bannerghatta National Park, Iscon Temple, Nandi Hills.

Apart from the attractions in the city, there is a list of destinations where you can drive away easily from the noisy Bangalore and relax your weekend.

6. Bandipura

Bandipura is the stretch of National Park which extends into the state of Tamil Nadu and is named as Madumalia Forest range.

The drive through the forest region is worth enjoying every moment. There are possibility of getting a glimpse of deer, jungle elephants, wild bisons, some beautiful birds. Stopping anywhere on the roads 
through the forest region is strictly prohibited.

Bandipura Bandipur Tiger Reserve
Bandipura Bandipur Tiger Reserve
Bandipura Forest Drive Animal Spotting

You can go on a Jungle safari in the forest department vehicles. Stay in the jungle resorts and spend your weekend amidst the forest and watch forest animals and their best kept secrets.

7. Badami

Located at a distance of about 590 Km from Bangalore, Badami is one of the important travel destination in Karanataka. 

Badami is a place which is located in the Northern part of Karnataka. It is a heritage site and is a protected monument by the Archaeological department of India.

Badami Cave Temples
Badami Cave Temples
Badami Rock Cut Cave Temples
Badami Rock Cut 4 Cave Temples
The cave temples are very famous. The huge rugged sandstone rocks inside which the rockcut temples are located are golden brown in color which is as same as in color of almonds/badam. Hence the name Badami. There are beautiful carvings

Badami Cave No1 Natya Shiva
Shiva in the Tandava dancing pose with 18 arms, Badami Cave No.1
Badami Cave No3Vijaya Narasimha
Vijaya Narasimha, Badami Cave No.3

Badami was the regal capital of Badami Chalukya dynasty.
There are old kannada inscriptions on the rocks which are few of the earliest available poetries. The cave temples surround the Agastya lake.

Bhuhtanatha temple, Mallikarjuna Temple, Archaeological museum which holds sculptures from Badami, Pattadkallu and Aiholie are the prime attraction here.

8. Pattadakallu

Pattadakallu is another important centre of Chalukya Empire about 22 km from Badami. The emperors have built a large number of groups of temples in Pattadakallu. The village of Pattadakallu lies on the bank of river Mallaprabha.

Pattadakal Temple Complex
Pattadakal Temple Complex
Pattadakal Mallikarjuna & Kasivisweshwara Temple
Pattadakal Mallikarjuna & Kasivisweshwara Temple

The temple monuments found here is one of the earliest styles of Hindu architectural temples.
Temples of Virupaksha, Sangameshwara, Chandrashekhara, Mallikarjuna, Kashivishwanatha, Jambulinga, Kadasiddeshwara, Papanatha,  Jain Temples are all located in one complex area.

9. Aihole

Aihole falls in to the same category as of Badami and Pattadakallu. Aihole was the original capital of the Chalukyas before they moved to Badami.
It was here they experimented with the rock cut temple before building magnificent cave temples of Badami.

Aihole Ravanaphadi Rock Cut Shrine
Aihole Ravanaphadi Rock Cut Shrine
Aihole is called as the ‘Cardle of Hindu Rock Architecture’. The historic complex at Aihole consists of about 125 stone temples, some of which were constructed on experimental basis.

10. Kudremukha

The ghat section of Kudremukha is very rich in natural resources and a long ghat drive is worth enjoying. The drive takes you close to Mother Nature.

Kudremukha Ghat route
Kudremukha Ghat route
Kudremukha Haunumangundi Falls
Kudremukha Haunumangundi Falls

In between the ghat section, there is a beautiful waterfalls named as Hanumangundi, which is very popular among visitors.

11. Agumbe

Agumbe is another ghat section of Southern Karnataka. It is this place where the famous television show of ‘Malgudi Days’ was shot. The story was captured in this hilly village.

Agumbe shooting Malgudi Days
Malgudi Days
Agumbe Malgudi Days Scenes
Malgudi Days Scenes

Agumbe provides excellent view for sunset and sunrise. 

Agumbe is a place for forest and forest creatures (especially snakes - cobra) lovers. The forest is a place for many endangered species and poisonous creatures.

Agumbe Rainforest Research Station is where the snake lovers usually visit for studying and forest roaming for just photographing the snakes

12. Sringeri

Sringeri Sharadambe is where devotees pay respect during their holy visit to the town.

Sringeri Sharada Peetham Sharadamba Temple
Sringeri Sharada Peetham Sharadamba Temple
Sringeri Sri Vidyashankara Temple
Sringeri Sri Vidyashankara Temple
Many children begin their ‘Akshara Abhyasa’, which is writing with fingers for the first time at this temple.

Sringeri Fishes in River Tunga
Sringeri Fishes in River Tunga
The temple surroundings offer great scenic views. More details about Sringeri Temple found HERE.

13. Maravanthe

Maravanthe is a village near Kundapur in Karnataka. It is very famous for the beach stretch that it offers along both sides of the road ways.

Maravanthe - Maravanthe Beach
Maravanthe - Maravanthe Beach
Maravanthe Beach

Maravanthe Beach is considered as one of the most beautiful beaches in Karnataka.

14. Udupi

Udupi is a place with all types of interests. The prime attraction is Udupi Krishana Matha. Then comes many other temples in and around. To name a few, Anantheshwara Temple, Chnadramouleshwara Temple, Kadiyali Mahisha Mardini Temple. Ambalapady Mahakali Temple, Indrali Indrani Panchadurga Parameshwari Temple.

Udupi Sri Krishna Matha
Udupi Sri Krishna

Read about Udupi Krishna Ashthami celebrations HERE.
Read about Tapta Mudradharana in Udupi HERE.

Malpe Beach and St.Mary’s island are two fascinating locations where people from non-coastal region will enjoy a lot.

Udupi Beach

Manipal located at a distance of about 5 km from Udupi is an educationl hub. Apart from the educational institutes, Manipal is famous for its many view points where you can enjoy natural scenic views.

15. Beaches of Karnataka

The coastal line is a destination for beach holiday lovers. There are many beautiful beaches in Karnataka to enjoy the sand, water and natural beauty. Although there are no much scope for water sports in Karnataka. 

Some of the must see beaches in Karnataka are Karwar beach, Gokarna Beach, Murudeshwara Beach, Malpe Beach, Ullal Beach, Marvanthe Beach, Kaup Beach, Padubidri Beach.

Udupi beach - Padubidri Beach
Padubidri Beach
Gokarna and Kaup beaches being the most beautiful ones.

Apart from the list above, there are several other places of great popularity in Karnataka. For a quick listing, Jog Falls in Shimoga, Yana in Uttara Kannada, Gol Gumbaz in Bijapur, Bahubali Statues across Karnataka, fort ruins of Kittur, Gokak Falls in Belgaum, Male Mahadeshwara Hills, the temples of Horanadu, Kollur, Subramanya, Dharmasthala and the list goes on.

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