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Top 10 Places To Visit In Karnataka

Originally known as the princely State of Mysore, Karnataka was formed on 1st November 1956 and is located in the South-Western region of India. Close to the Arabian Sea and the Laccadive Sea, Karnataka is known for its beautiful yet unpopulated beaches and rich culture. The land has also seen the reign of the ancient kingdoms of the south such as the Chola, Chera, Vijaynagar, Sathavahanas, Maurya, Hoysala and many more right upto the Mighty Tipu Sultan and subsequently the British. Kannada is the main language spoken here and picking up a few local words can often be very helpful while travelling. The state is famous for its natural, cultural and architectural heritage and there are plenty of places one can visit on his/her trip to Karnataka.

1. Bangalore

ulsoor-lake-banglore
Photo by Swaminathan, CC BY 2.0

The capital of Karnataka and the 3rd most populated city in India, Bangalore is often known by its nickname the silicon valley of India due to it being a major IT exporter in India. The city is now known by the Kannada name ‘Bengaluru’ which literally means ‘The City of Guards’. There are however, various different translations of this word. The town is famous for its various attractions which include both modern and historical place to visit. The various temples, palaces, lakes and forts etc. are definitive places to visit.

2. Mysore

mysore-palace2
Photo by Ramnath Bhat, CC BY 2.0

The down 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 known as the cultural capital of Karnataka and is famous for its various temples, palaces, forts and old churches. The town is known for being the birth place for various styles of Indian arts and crafts. Mysore is a major tourist destination in India and should be visited by all who want to experience the rich culture of this historical city. 

3. Mangalore

mangalore-island
Photo by tarique, CC BY-SA 2.0

Mangalore is located between the Arabian Sea and the Western Ghats and is considered to be the 8th most clean city in India. The city has been an important one since the rule of the ancient kingdoms like the Mauryas, Chalukyas and the Hoysalas etc. however the city saw its golden days of prominence during the reign of Tipu Sultan and Hyder Ali. Mangalore was a primary source of tension between Tipu Sultan and the British. The city is famous for its amazing beaches and hills and the rich culture imbibed within various temples and monuments of the old days.

4. Hampi

hampi
Photo by Vinoth Chandar, CC BY 2.0

Located within the ruins of Vijaynagar, Hampi is a world heritage site and one of the most important historical sites across the world. Vijaynagar was the capital of the erstwhile Vijaynagar 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 Vijaynagar rulers. Its various temples are heavily frequented by pilgrims and tourists and is a great place to visit.

5. Coorg

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Photo by Kalidas Pavithran, CC BY 2.0

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 famous for its coffee and paddy fields. The town of coorg is also famous for its natural wealth and a number of 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.

6. Bijapur

bijapur
Photo by Sanyam Bahga, CC BY-SA 2.0

Esablished 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. There are various temples in the town that 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 Mohamedian influence in its culture. The various monuments in the city display a brilliant Muslim architecture and are some of the best sites to visit.

7. Hubli-Dharwad

hubli-dharwad
Photo by Rb goudar, CC BY-SA 3.0

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.

8. Badami

badami
Photo by Jean-Pierre Dalbéra, CC BY 2.0

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 Teerth are few of the most important pilgrimage spots here. What makes the place unique is its peculiar location. It is located in a ravine across the shores of the Agastya Lake and is a marvelous place to visit.

9. Gulbarga

gulbarga
Photo by Matteo, CC BY 2.0 

The city was founded by the sultans as their capital in the 14th century. Gulbarga is known for its various temples and Muslim monuments and memorials. The place is 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 amazing and the place should be visited specially to try all of them out.

10. Gokarna

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Photo by Miran Rijavec, CC BY 2.0

A small temple town located at the northern part of Karnataka, Gokarna is known for its temples and some of the most beautiful beaches in India. The Shiva temple of Mahabaleshwara 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 favored holiday destinations in the state as its clean and unpopulated beaches are amazing.

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The State of Karnataka has always been an important region since the reign of the ancient southern kingdoms and has played an important part in shaping up the history of our country. The pristine locations and the moniker of being one of cleanest states in India, Karnataka is an experience everyone must get indulged with.

3 comments

  1. Thanks for the post. I’m definitely packing my bags for Karnataka next vacation.

  2. its really great and useful.

  3. Wow.. These are really fantastic places in Karnataka.

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