A beautiful southern India state, Karnataka has promising cities, in terms of economy, tourism, technological development and finance. It also has an interesting history. Indus Valley era, Mauryan rule, Satavahana and then Kadamba dynasties, Chola rule, Marathas and the Nizams, the state has seen and been through all. In the year 1950, it joined independent India.
Tourism is a huge industry here. History and a distinct geological land have given way to many worthy monuments to see. Local sightseeing points include Gol Gumbaz, Kudremukh, Badami, Shravanbelgoda, Jog Waterfalls, Karwar beach, Marikamba temple, Karkala, Hampi and many more. Hill stations are another fascination here, for tourists to visit. The best among them are mentioned below.
1. Nandi Hills
With a historically significant fort resting on top, this enchanting hill station is a popular one among tourists. The fortress belongs to Tipu Sultan, a legendary Indian King. It is located in the Chikkabalapur district, and is the origin of the River Arkavathy. The name Nandi, belongs to the devout follower of Lord Shiva and the hills were named after him, probably because their shape resembles a sleeping cow, a sleeping Nandi. Later, this fort became the Summer retreat for British officials. Places to see in and around Nandi Hills include the Shiva Parvati Temple, Horse Way, the secret tunnels that run under the fort, Gandhi House etc.
Formerly known as Kodagu, this is a beautiful hill city in Karnataka. As green as the grass, the entire landscape is filled with coffee plantations, spice plantations, jungles filled with teak and sandalwood trees. The ancestors here had migrated from lands as far as Persia and Greece. Enthusiast travellers indulge in trekking, white water river rafting, angling and even bird watching. Local sightseeing of Coorg includes Namdoling Monastery, Kodava Raja’s Tomb, Madikeri Fort, Abbey Falls, Pushpagiri and Brahmagiri Peaks etc. The River Kaveri flows nearby, giving the place a nourishing and peaceful look.
With the most luxurious resorts and lush green hill around you, this hill station will give you the most rejuvenating holiday experience ever. It resides at the foot of the Mullayanagari Hills, and the best climate for vast coffee plantations is provided here. The name of the city translates to ‘Younger daughter’s town’. It is believed that this city was given in the form of dowry to the younger daughter of the chief tribesman for her wedding. The River Yagachi originates here, and then collides with the River Kaveri. The best places to visit around Chikmagalur are Bababudan Hill, Ayyanakere, Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary, Belavadi, Kalasa, Kigga etc.
4. Biligiriranga Hills
Popularly known as BR Hills, this hill station shares a border with the state of Tamil Nadu. It is famous for its Biligiriranganatha Swamy Wildlife Sanctuary, a preserved wildlife habitat. The word Biligiriranga means ‘White Hills’ in Kannada language. On the north side of the sanctuary, resides the Ranganatha Temple, where a standing statue of the deity is worshipped. Other places to visit are Dodda Sampige Mara, Stanley Reservoir, and indulge in river rafting, trekking, fishing and bird watching. The Soliga tribe are the main residents of Biligiriranga Hills.
Agumbe, the home of waterfalls and an acoustic climate, is situated in Malnad in Karnataka. Naxal communists, following left wing Maoists, are in power here. It is surrounded by the Someshwara and Kudremukh Wildlife Sanctuaries. Cottage industries, research of rainforests and wildlife preservation are promoted here. The best waterfalls include Barkana, Koodlu Teerth, Jogigundi, Onake Abbi and Kunchikal waterfalls. The serial produced on the crux of R K Narayan’s best seller Malgudi Days, was shot in the village and its premises. During the months of November to January, it gets very cold and it is during this time, that tourists frequent this hill station. The 14th century treasured temple, dedicated to Gopala Krishna, is very famous here. There are various trekking trails which start and end here, due to the promising mountain slopes.
These green hill stations make the perfect vacation getaways. Calm and full of serenity, they provide the perfect environment, to get away from the busy city schedule and life.