Places to Visit in Karnataka

When it comes to vacationing, not many think about Karnataka; the reason being less popularization of the destinations in the state. However, the fact is that Karnataka has many places where you can pay your visit to and you will certainly end up spending some nice time. So, let us take a quick look at the places that can be our next weekend destination.

Karnataka Tourist Destinations

Bangalore - Known as the Garden city, the city of Bangalore is the most upwardly mobile city in Asia. Bangalore is known for its beautiful gardens, gigantic malls, well designed arcades, exotic art galleries, majestic palaces, forts and shrines. Some of the important tourist destinations in Bangalore are Bull Temple, The Sangameswara Temple, Honne Devi Temple, The Dharmaraja Temple, Jumma Masjid, Government Museum, Visvesvaraya Museum, Venkatappa Art Gallery, Cubbon Park, Ulsoor Lake, Lal Bagh, Tippu's Palace and Vidhan Soudha. Accommodation will also not be a problem for the tourists, as there are plenty of luxury hotels and resorts in the city of Bangalore.


Mysore is the cultural capital the second largest city in Karnataka. Many Indian arts and crafts were born in this city. Mysore, situated about 139 kilometers from the city of Bangalore was the former capital of Karnataka. In fact, India's richest silk saris are woven in Mysore of Karnataka. Further, this city is the administrative seat of the Mysore District and the Mysore Division. History of Karnataka says that Mysore had been the capital of Wodeyars which later went on to the hands of Hyder Ali and his son, Tipu Sultan. As a result, we find the acculturation of the native trends as the style of these Sultans.


Located between the Western Ghats and the Arabian Sea, Mangalore is the 8th most cleanest city in India. The city has always remained important since the time of the presence of ancient kingdoms like Chalukyas, Mauryas, Hoysalas, and many more to name. The serene beaches, beautiful mountains and temples are somethings you should not miss when you are in Mangalore.


The native name of Coorg is Kodagu and is well located in the slopes of the Western Ghats. The pleasant climate and greenery of the place is something that will compel you to visit the place again and again. Coffee plantation is another thing because of which the place attracts so much of tourists. You will also be able to see number of monasteries in Coorg.


Talking about the genesis of Hampi, it can be said that it is a site where the mythological Kishkindha was stationed. It is said that Hampi was formed by the Vijaynagar kings between 1336-1565.

Some of the important locations worth seeing in Hampi, Karnataka are:

Virupaksha Temple - The temple forms a major site in Karnataka tourism; the mandapams and the painted ceilings are worth seeing. The temple, which remains opens from 8 am to 6:30 pm everyday, has a 9 storey gopuram and the temple is still in use by the local devotees.

Archaeological Museum - The Museum is situated at the southern part of the ruins of Kamalapuram. The museum remains open from 10 am to 5 pm everyday, except on Fridays.

Nandi Hills

A Hilltop with an ancient fortress is what describes Nandi Hills. This place is also the right one for the bikers who are fond of the zig-zag roads and finally reaching the hills in their bikes.


The Hasan dominion of Karnataka is regarded as the holy abode of innumerable architectural marvels that bear the robust trademark of Hoysala dynasty. One such venue that is endowed with the auspicious presence of the Chennakesava Temple is Belur.

Belur is such a destination that proudly displays the opulence with which the Hoysalas have dominated the social as well as the religious aura of Karnataka through its many intricately designed shrines.

One such shrine situated in Belur that reflects the genius and adeptness of the master builders of the Hoysalan era is the 'Chennakesava Temple'. Roughly translated the Chennakesava temple means the 'Vishnu with stunning looks'. The Chennakesava Temple can easily be identified as the chief attraction of Belur.


It was Halebid that served to be the imperial capital of the glorious Hoysala province in the midst of the 12th century. Being located in Karnataka, Hasan district and approximately 149 kilometers away from Mysore, Halebid is conveniently approachable from any distant nook of the state. The Hoysaleswara Temple at Halebid is flanked by a pristine lake that gifts a heavenly feel to it. Incidentally the ocean is reckoned as 'Dhwara Samudra' that is the translation of 'gateway to ocean' in the regional dialect. The entrance-way to these temples is aptly warded by two 'Nandi bulls' that have been chiseled out of a single stone. The principle ingredient that was lavishly utilized in the construction of the Hoysaleswara temple at Halebid was soapstone or you may be familiar with the name Chloritic Schist.


Badami is also known as Vatapi and considered as a hub for the tourists as it is enriched by the prized presence of the Chalukiyan architecture. Legend has it that Badami had to see the ugly face of defeat at the hands of Narhasimhavarma Pallavan, a celebrated ruler belonging to the Pallava dynasty. However, it took 12 years for the Chalukiyas to turn the tables on the Pallavas and seize what rightfully belonged to them. Local inhabitants also narrate a bizarre story regarding the two hillocks located in Badami of Karnataka namely Ilvalan and Vatapi. According to them, Vatapi and Ilavan were two monsters who were also siblings. They used to deceive friars, kill them and eat them up. This continued until a hermit named Agastya came and ended this death spree that had gobbled up many innocent beggars and transformed the evil culprits into the two knolls.


Pattadakal is a town in the Indian state of Karnataka. Pattadakal is a perfect example of architectural genius as it contains temples constructed according to various styles. But the primary influence of the Chalukiyan art clearly reflects from the various temples it houses. Four temples in Pattadakal have been engineered by keeping the style of architecture followed by the Dravidians in mind. Others, except for Papanatha temple, are illustrations of the style followed by the Nagaras who descended from the northern parts of India.


Gokarna in Karnataka is a popular destination for Hindu pilgrims as well as holiday makers looking for some tranquil beach experience. The name of this ancient town literally means 'cow's ear'.

Gokarna is believed to be the place where lord Shiva emerged from the ear of a cow after a long penance in the underworld. It may as well be a reference to the shape produced by the confluence of the rivers and the particular shape attained by the beach.

Gokarna has four beaches. They are usually quiet and tranquil since very few people know about the beauty of the beaches of Karnataka's Gokarna. The sand is clean, the sea is blue and has numerous sea-gulls frolicking in its waters; the beach itself is lined with palm trees. Together, they make a stay at Gokarna extremely fruitful. The Gokarna beach is most popular, followed by the Om beach, named so because the beach roughly resembles the Hindu sacred word 'Om'. Other beaches like Paradise and Half-Moon are also equally calm.


Manipal is a beautiful town and is the hub of many universities situated in the Karnataka state of India.

Manipal in Karnataka lies in the rocky hinterland in the Malabar Coast in the southern part of the country. The city of Manipal, Karnataka is only 8 kilometers from the great Arabian Sea. Thus, the city of Manipal on the Deccan plateau is surrounded on the west by the Arabian Sea and the Western Ghats range on its eastern side. The beautiful temple city of Udupi is 60 kilometers away from it.

Manipal is called Mannu palla in local language whereby Mannu means mud and Palla means lake. Manipal is renowned for its beautiful lake where boating facilities are available.

Apart from being a beautiful city, Manipal of Karnataka is also a center of academic learning, health care, industry as well as finance.

Manipal in Karnataka has recorded to impart higher education to more 70,000 students annually. But the enrollment of students from all parts of India is increasing daily. Manipal at Karnataka has two universities, 24 professional colleges, affiliated institutes and numerous primary and high schools.

Karnataka tourist destinations portray a wide range of locations ranging from forts to museums; and from gardens to temples. Thus, Karnataka tourist destinations are really a delight to the tourists.

Last Updated on : September 2, 2016

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