With a legacy that backs more than 5000 years and varied geography, Karnataka is home to several places of tourist attractions. From UNESCO World Heritage Sites to modern cities, from scenic hill ranges to serene beaches, from sculptured temples to national parks, Karnataka has a lot to offer for everyone. With a special focus on Karnataka tourism, it is 4th most popular tourist destination among Indian states.
The historical significance of Karnataka dates back to Nanda, Chalukya&Mauryan Empires, which is evident from several sculptured monuments and temples. Due to its age-long history and diverse religious & linguistic population, Karnataka has a rich cultural heritage. The Carnatic classical music and the Mysore style of Bharatanatyam are popular throughout the world. AdiShankaracharya established the first of his four Mathas in the early 9th century in Karnataka, and Hinduism continues to be the most prominent religion across the state. The grand Mysore Dasara offers one of its kind cultural experiences to the tourists. Bangalore Karaga, Ugadi, and Makar Sankranti are some of the major festivals celebrated in Karnataka.
Karnataka takes pride in producing several internationally acclaimed legends in many sports. The Kodava Hockey Festival is the largest hockey tournament in the world. Chinnaswami Stadium in Bangalore hosts international cricket matches regularly.
Karnataka Tourist Places:
As you might have realized by now, Karnataka is a destination for several tourist experiences. Let's take a look at some of the best places to visit in Karnataka.
Located amidst the misty mountains with the aroma of coffee beans, Coorg is a heavenly delight for all nature lovers. Known as Scotland of India, Coorg is a popular honeymoon destination in India. Blessed with mesmerizing waterfalls and breezy mountains, Coorg offers a perfect mixture of thrill and leisure. From adventurous treks to stroll alongside rivers, from a visit to coffee plantations to National Parks, there is something for everyone in Coorg.
- Famous Coorg Tourist Places: Nagarhole National Park, Dubare Elephant Camp, Abbey Falls, Brahmagiri Peak, Iruppu Falls, and many more!
- Getting There: Coorg is 260 km from Bangalore and the scenic drive takes around 6 hours. Mysore, another prominent city in Karnataka, is 105 km from Coorg.
2. Hampi: Among the Attractive Tourist Places in Karntaka
Located at the bank of the Tungabhadra River, the ancient Kannad village of Hampi is a treasure trove for architecture scholars and historians. Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Hampi showcases the remnants of the Vijayanagara Kingdom. Also known as the City of Ruins, Hampi is home to more than 500 hand-sculptured ancient monuments and temples amidst a stony landscape.
- Places to visit in Hampi: Royal Enclosure, Monkey Temple, Archeological Museum, Virupaksha Temple, Riverside Ruins, VijayaVittala Temple, etc.
- Getting There: The nearest railway station is Hospet Junction which is about 13 km from Hampi. At 74 km away, Hubli Airport is the nearest airport.
3. Bangalore: One of the Best Tourist Places in Karnataka
The capital city of Karnataka state promises to be the ultimate destination for every tourist. Being the IT hub of the country, Bangalore is home to workers from all parts of India. Apart from modern amenities and cosmopolitan people, the colourful city of Bangalore offers several museums, gardens, sanctuaries, temples to fascinate the tourists. With a pleasant and breezy climate throughout the year, Bangalore is a traveller’s delight.
- Popular Tourist Attractions: The Butterfly Park of Bannerghatta Biological Park in Bangalore is one of the best tourist places in Karnataka. Bangalore Palace, Tipu Sultan's Summer Palace, ISKCON temple, Aerospace Museum, 100 Ft. Road, etc. are the prominent crowd-pullers and popular tourist places to visit near Bangalore.
4. Mysore: A Must Visit Tourist Destination in Karnataka
Situated at a distance of 140 km from Bangalore, the erstwhile capital city of Mysore Maharajas is another must-visit tourist destination in Karnataka. Also known as the City of Palaces, Mysore takes you back in time with its heritage buildings, temples, and palaces. Mysore is also famous for its silk sarees, sweets, sandalwood, royal architecture, etc. With its intricate carvings, glass windows, grand architecture, the Mysore Palace will surely leave you spell-bounded.
- Popular Mysore Tourist Places: Mysore Palace, Brindavan Gardens, Mysore Zoo, Chamundi Hill Temple, etc.
5. Gokarna: A Famous Pilgrimage Spot in Karnataka
Housing several old temples that date centuries back, Gokarna is a famous pilgrimage spot in Karnataka. In addition to its historical importance, the less-commercialized pristine beaches in Gokarna also offer solace and seclusion. Apart from chilling on the beach, you can indulge in adventurous water sports like snorkelling, parasailing, etc. amidst jaw-dropping scenery.
- Popular Tourist Attractions: Om Beach, Mahabaleshwar Temple, Maha Ganapati Temple.
- Getting There: Gokarna is 140 km from Goa.
6. Bandipur National Park
Bandipur National Park is the ultimate destination for all nature lovers. The national park is rich in flora & fauna and is famous for bird sanctuary and tiger reserve. Once a hunting ground for the Maharajas of Mysore, the Bandipur National Park has become the perfect picnic spot amidst thick deciduous forests.
- Popular Tourist Attractions: Jeep Safari, HimavadGopalaswamy Temple, Anjaneyar Temple.
- Getting There: Bandipur National Park is 80 km from Mysore and 220 km from Bangalore.
7. Chikmagalur: One of The Most Famous Hill-Stations in Karnataka
Situated in the Mullayangiri Range, Chikmagalur is one of the most famous hill-stations in Karnataka. Known as the Coffee Land of Karnataka, the place is full of lush green forests, coffee plantations, and scenic beauty. Walking along the plantations as the aroma of coffee lingers in the air makes for a memorable experience for all the visitors.
- Popular Tourist Attractions: Manikyadhara Falls, MullayanaGiri, Ayyanakere Lake, Mahatma Gandhi Park, Coffee Museum.
- Getting There: Chikmagalur is 240 km away from Bangalore.
Located alongside river Kabini, a tributary of Cauveri, it is perhaps the most picturesque amongst all Karnataka tourist places. The proximity of bio-diversity hotspots like Rajiv Gandhi National Park, Bandipur National Park, and Nagarhole National Park makes it the perfect place to explore the wilderness.
- Things to do: You can indulge in the jungle safari or boat through the river. If you are lucky enough, you can spot wild elephants, tigers, leopards, and several species of nomadic birds.
- Getting There: Kabini is just 10 km away from the Mysore Railway Station and 250 km from the Bangalore Airport.
Situated between the Western Ghats and the mighty Arabian Sea, Udupi is a popular tourist place in Karnataka. Well-known for its local cuisine, stone carving, wooden craftwork, temples, architecture, the coastal city of Udupi houses some of the most beautiful beaches in Karnataka. The famous jewel-adorned Shri Krishna Temple attracts pilgrimage tourists from all over the country.
- Tourist Attractions in Udupi: Malpe Beach, Shri Krishna Temple, St. Mary's Island, etc.
- Getting There: The holy city of Udupi is 60 km away from Mangalore and 400 km from Bangalore.
10. Nandi Hills: One of the Most Popular Hill Stations near Bangalore
Located at an hour's drive from Bangalore in the east, Nandi Hills is one of the most popular hill stations near Bangalore. Ancient forts, majestic temples, a picturesque lake in the serene backdrop offers a perfect weekend getaway for the city residents to cool off in summers. Witnessing the sunrise from the Nandi hills amidst clouds is a treat for the eyes and souls of travellers.
- Popular Tourist Attractions: Apart from the breath-taking view from the hilltop, Nandi Temple, Shiva Temple, are top tourist spots at Nandi Hills.
We hope that the tourist places covered in this article pique your interest in traveling to this gem of the Indian state for a perfect vacation with life-long memories.