A tapestry of vibrant colours, pleasing cultures, delectable flavours and flourishing landscapes, Karnataka is a gem for those seeking the best facades of India. A haven to revitalize your tangled nerves, the state houses some jaw-dropping palaces, pristine beaches, far stretched tiger reserves and ruins of bygone era. Visit here and be amazed with its gracious mix of old and new.
Karnataka is truly a melting pot of cultures. It acts as home to a number of natives including Kannadigas, Kodavas, Tuluvas, Konkanis and some tribes adding to the diversity of the state. The locals mostly speak Kannada other than Tulu, Hindi, English, Telugu and Tamil. Jainism, Hinduism and Islam are the principally practised religions in Karnataka and thus, one can see a series of festivals being celebrated all year long in the state.
The state proudly boasts rich forms of dance, drama, theatre, crafts, art, poetry and architecture. It has inherited learning from the past and thus, acts as home to some of the best academic institutions in India.
Karnataka is known for its rich heritage sites echoing past world’s splendours. Hampi village is the most visited heritage destination in Karnataka known for attractions such as Bukka’s Aqueduct, Elephant Stable, Talarigatta Gate and Hampi. Travellers also love to explore the Pattadakal Group of monuments at Pattadakal known as a famous World Heritage site in India. The Bidar Fort City in Bidar also embraces many destinations of architectural, historical and religious importance, and remains popular among those planning holidays to Karnataka.
In addition to these, the Somanathapura Heritage Site is another protected heritage site in Karnataka known for its vivid Hoysala architecture.
Karnataka features 320 km long coastline which makes it a perfect destination for the lovers of sun, sea and sand. Beaches like Gokarna Beach, Kaup Beach, Karwar Beach, Kudle Beach, Malpe Beach and Maravanthe Beach are some of the most visited beaches of Karnataka known for their beautiful landscapes, turquoise waters and swinging palm trees.
The Murudeshwar Beach is another delight for pilgrims visiting Karnataka as it houses the second largest Shiva statue in the world.
Being home to some of the most beautiful sites blessed selfishly by the Mother Nature, Karnataka is a sheer delight. Visit the Magod Falls with roar of gushing water or explore the Gokak Falls. Visit the beautiful Nandi Hills perched at a height of 1455m above sea level or explore the striking hill station of Kemmanagundi every sight in Karnataka is an ecstasy for the mankind.
Karnataka presents some of the most vivid wildlife sights making everyone wonder and ponder in disbelief. Travellers love to visit the Anshi National Park housing 197 species of birds. Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple (BRT) Wildlife Sanctuary is also known for presenting a varied wildlife including elephants, tigers, leopards, wild dogs, four horned antelopes, black bucks and giant flying squirrels. Those who wish to spot tigers can visit the Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary, whereas for sighting Mysore Dasara elephants from a close perspective, Dubare Reserve Forest is a perfect heaven.
If you are looking for a place to meditate, then Karnataka is the destination for you. Yellamma Temple, located atop a hill near Soundatti, is a known temple in the state famous for organising the Yellamma Jatra. Bylekuppe is another spiritual delight known as one of the largest Tibetan settlements in South India. Jumma Masjid, spreading over an area of 38,000 sq ft, is another famous spiritual destination known for its beautiful architecture boasting Persian style. Apart from these, temples like Kirti Narayana Temple, Kukke Subrahmanya Temple, Veeranarayana Temple, ISKCON Temple and Gangadeshwara Temple are some must visit spiritual destinations that make Karnataka a charmer.
Travellers visiting Karnataka never miss a chance to bag some common local items such as Silk Sarees, Sandalwood Artifacts, Rosewood Articles, Stone and Metal Crafts, Ivory Statures, Bidriware and Mysore Paintings. Also, Sandalwood Incense Sticks, Bijapur Sarees, Metal Lamps, Perfumes, and Lambani jewellery make the best souvenirs that will remind you about your holidays to Karnataka forever.
Karnataka's millennia-long rendezvous with royalty clearly reflects in all the festivities. The festivals celebrated here usually offer a mix of dance, music and great food. Mysore Dasara (September / October) is a popular festival that celebrates victory of truth over evil. This 10-day long festival offers a series of events are organised in Karnataka including Food Festival, Film Festival, Poet's meet, etc. Hampi Festival (January / February) is another famous festival celebrated at Hampi. The locals celebrate this festival with great zeal by partaking in Kannadigas dance, drama, fireworks, puppet shows, stunning parades and musical presentations.
The traditional buffalo racing festival, Kambala (November - March) is another highly popular event in Karnataka where over 150 pairs of buffaloes from different categories and their owners partake. Pilgrims must not miss a chance to cherish the Vairamudi Festival (March) celebrated at the pilgrim centre Melkote in the Mandya district.
Food lovers visiting Karnataka get floored with a range of cuisines. Traditional Kannadiga food is typically South Indian. Some of the most popular dishes among the locals are Kane Fry (lady fish), Avalakki (beaten rice), Adyes (dumplings), Koli Curry (chicken curry) and Yenne Badanekayi(brinjal curry). Tasting the food in Karnataka is a journey in itself that takes you through some of the most mouth-waters flavours. The locals of have also evolved sweet tooth and thus, one can find numerous dessert options such as Chiroti (a light flaky pastry sprinkled with granulated sugar and soaked in almond milk), Holige (a flat, thin, wafer-like stuffed chappati) and Shavige Payasa (made of milk, vermicelli, sugar, and cardamom pods).
Karnataka experienced varied climatic conditions, leaving travellers confused regarding the best time to visit the state. The best time to visit Karnataka is considered as the months between November and April when the weather remains cool with little showers. Also, between June and October Karnataka stays drenched in heavy rains; however, this is the best time to eye the beauty of Coorg. The city of Bangalore can be visited throughout the year thanks to the cool climatic conditions here.
Karnataka houses 6 airports in Bangalore, Mangalore, Hampi, Hubli, Belgaum, Bijapur and Mysore, offering great connectivity to all the major destinations in India and outside. The state is also well linked with rest of the country with rail network. Those planning to visit Karnataka via road can hop on bus services provided by Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation.
Karnataka offers great road and railway travel letting travellers move around in the state with ease. Bangalore, Mangalore, Mysore, Hassan and Hospet are the most popular links, connecting the state well.
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