Karnataka is one of the most naturally gifted states in India. Situated in South-west India, this large state has a rich cultural heritage. Filled with high round hills, valleys and palaces, it is a tourist hub.

There is a lot to see here. The climate is cool and soothing. The main attractions in Karnataka are spots that had a rich cultural, religious, natural and historical significance once. Here are some places that represent Karnataka around the world.

1. Mysore

The royal Mysore Palace
The royal Mysore Palace. Photo by Ramnath Bhat.

Mysore is the royal city of Karnataka. Mysore was also famous for its trading in Indian spices and silk. The city has many rivers and lakes adorning its land. The geography is predominantly hilly. One of the highest hills is the Chamundi Hills which have an elevation of about 3300 feet. The view from the top of Chamundi Hills is absolutely stunning at night. Chamundeshwari Temple is situated at the top of the hill too.

Mysore has been the capital centre and home of the Mysore Maharajas. Therefore, the most majestic palace, the Mysore Palace, is here. The Mysore Palace is the epitome of royalty. It is a fusion of the Indian and British style. The architecture of the palace is unlike anything you have ever seen. The larger-than-life ceilings and pillars made of glass and tiles are just breathtakingly beautiful. To read more about it, check out the Top 8 Highlights of South India.

The Namdroling Nyingmapa Monastery which is believed to be the largest Tibetan settlement in India. Other important places to visit here are Brindavan Garden and St. Philomena’s Church.

2. Coorg

Hills of Coorg
Hills of Coorg. Photo by Kalidas Pavithran.

Both Coorg and Mysore are located in the Kodagu district of Karnataka, and therefore, people usually address them together as Mysore-Coorg.

Just like Ooty, Coorg is a piece of paradise. Full of valleys, agriculture, rivers and high hills, Coorg is the ideal tourist destination. The best thing about Coorg is that all kinds of people will find something of interest here. There are many sports that you can take part in while at the same time, Coorg is full of places for you to relax and enjoy. Coorg offers you a tranquillity which is seldom found anywhere else these days.

Coorg is also famous for its coffee estates that stretch over hectares of land. If you are someone who loves monsoon, then do visit Coorg and go to these coffee farms. Some other places for you to visit are Tibetan Colony in Kushalnagar, Talacauvery (the area which is believed to be the origin of river Kaveri) and Raja’s Seat. There are plenty of other places as well apart from the above mentioned.

3. Hampi

Hampi
Hampi. Photo by Hardeep Asrani.

Hampi is the most visited place in Karnataka and one of the most historically significant sights in India.

Hampi stands in ruins today. But according to popular history, it was strikingly opposite to what its condition is at present. Hampi is believed to have been one of the richest places in the entire world. It was the primary location for trading. People from all over the world came to its markets and gold was abundant in the village. Hampi was the capital of the city Vijayanagara. The kings ruling Hampi built massive monuments and temples in it and all of them showcased marvellous architectural expertise. It was also the religious centre of the city.

But the first settlement in Hampi is believed to have been started in 1st century AD. Archaeologists found many pots and small materials here that date back to this period. That’s why it is an important UNESCO World Heritage Site. Many precious and rare gemstones were also present in Hampi during its glorious days.

But this glory wasn’t to last long. Because of its worldwide fame, many kingdoms were planning to invade Hampi. The Mughal kings saw their opportunity and invaded the prosperous village. The war, invasion and destruction took place for more than one year. All its treasures were stolen, and its magnificent temples turned into ruins. Hampi couldn’t recover from this damage. Ever.

People from all around the world still come here, and it’s proof that Hampi hasn’t lost its old charm. Standing on its grounds and looking at the colossal ruins, you are transported back to the time when this village was vibrating with happiness and wealth. It’s a significant tourist spot of not only India but of the world too.

4. Bandipur National Park

Elephants in the national park
Elephants in the national park. Photo by Swaminathan.

Bandipur National Park is one of the most beautiful places in India. It is located in the Nilgiri Hills, near Ooty.

The park is extremely famous for its scenic beauty as it’s filled with sandalwood and teak trees. The hilly surroundings only add to its magic. The lush greenery of the Western Ghats will woo you.

Since the tiger population in India declined by more than half during the British period because of hunting and poaching, strict measures were taken after Independence to protect the tiger. It is also the national animal of India. The first site chosen for Project Tiger was Bandipur.

Now, in addition to tigers, there is a considerable increase in the number of elephants, hornbills, deer, bears, etc. Therefore, this park preserves a lot of endangered species.

5. Jog Falls

Jog Falls
Jog Falls. Photo by Shuba.

Jog Falls is one of the most highest waterfalls of the country. It is situated in the Shimoga district and lies on the Sharavathi River.

It comes down in a segmented form, combining four falls: Raja, Rani, Rover and Rocket. The names of these individual falls sound quite funny but trust me; Jog Falls is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the world.

The waterfall starts falling from a height of about 830 feet. You have to trek to reach this fall but its all worth it. It is usually forbidden to walk down the trekking path in monsoon because it can be slippery. Therefore, summers and winters are the best time to visit the Jog Falls.

Make sure you visit this natural paradise.

 

 

 

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