Karnataka

Best Places to visit in Karnataka

1. Coorg – Walk Amidst The Coffee Plantations

Coorg simply cannot be skipped from the list of best and safe places to visit in India. A quick getaway for many from Bangalore, this mesmerizing hill station in Karnataka is breathtakingly beautiful. It’s one of the top 10 places to visit in India and a visit here sure would heal you and energize you !

"The Scotland of India"

Coorg Tourism

Located amidst imposing mountains in Karnataka with a perpetually misty landscape, Coorg is the place to be for all nature lovers. This popular coffee producing hill station is not only popular for its beautiful green hills and the streams cutting right through them. It also stands as a popular destination because of its culture and people. The Kodavas, a local clan specialising in martial arts, are especially notable for their keen hospitality.

Coorg, officially known as Kodagu, is the most affluent hill station in Karnataka. It is well known for its breathtakingly exotic scenery and lush greenery. Forest covered hills, spice and coffee plantations only add to the landscape. Madikeri is the region's centre point with all transportation for getting around starting from here. On a visit to Coorg, cover the beautiful towns like Virajpet, Kushalnagar, Gonikoppal, Pollibetta, and Somwarpet, and experience the beautiful concept of "homestays" to make your experience more memorable !

Best time to visit : October to March

How to reach :

  • By air: The nearest domestic airport is in Mangalore, 156 km away. The nearest international airport is the Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru, 285 kilometres away.
  • By rail: Mysore Junction, 106 km away, is the nearest rail head.
  • By road: The 238 km long road trip from Bangalore (Bengaluru) takes 5 hours 30 minutes.

Attractions : Abbey Falls, Nalknad Palace, Barapole River, Brahmagiri Peak, Iruppu Falls, Namdroling Monastery, Nagarhole National Park, Microlight flight at Chelavara, ziplining, and angling in River Kaveri

Abbey Falls, also known as Abbi Falls, is located around 10 kilometres away from the town of Madikeri and is one of the most popular tourist attractions in and around Coorg. The water cascade coming down from the cliff from a height of 70 feet provides a spectacular scene to behold. Nestled within the lush greenery which is typical to the sceneries of Western Ghats, the waterfalls attract hundreds and thousands of people throughout the year - especially nature lovers and photographers. The waterfall is located between private coffee plantations with stocky coffee bushes and spice estates with trees entwined with pepper vines. There is an over-bridge that hangs opposite of the falls, from where the most picturesque scene of white foams gushing down the ridge can be seen, captured and remembered. The flow of the falls leaves a significant amount of water spray on those who stand on the bridge for some time.

Some small mountains streams and brooks join together to form one of the most beautiful waterfalls of South India and falling off its cliff as the water flows to join the River Kaveri or Cauvery as one of its tributaries. The walk to the falls from the main entrance has around 200 steps downwards throughout and takes you through exotic coffee, cardamom, pepper and other spice plantations. It is a fantastic opportunity for shutterbugs to capture the real beauty and grace of the natural world. Even though bathing is prohibited in the falls now, the essence of the place itself is quite enough to draw tourists every day.

Talacauvery, Coorg Overview

Talacauvery is the source of the river Kaveri, located on the Brahmagiri hill (not to be confused with the Brahmagiri range further south) near Bhagamandala in Kodagu district, Karnataka. It is located at 1,276 m above sea level. Kodavas erected a tank which is now considered as its origin. It is believed that the river originates as a spring feeding a tank or a Kundike and then flows underground to re-emerge as Kaveri some distance away. The place has a temple dedicated to the Goddess Kaveriamma is located next to the tank and bathing in it on special occasions is considered holy.

On the Cauvery changrandi day, thousands of pilgrims and tourists flock by the stream to witness the rise of the spring's fountainhead, when the river water gushes up at a predetermined moment. One can climb the 407 steps to the top of the hill to get a birds-eye-view of the evergreen forested land and the misty hills of Coorg. The most exciting thing about the hills is that even when one is standing on the uppermost step, they can still hear the temple bells ringing down below in the temple. If one visits Talakaveri during the rainy season, one will be greeted by the mesmerising sight of the origin of the Kaveri River.

Golden Temple (Namdroling Monastery), Coorg Overview

Namdroling Monastery, situated at a distance of 34 km from the Coorg, is the largest teaching centre of the school of Tibetan Buddhism known as Nyingmapa. Popularly known as the 'Golden Temple', the Namdroling Monastery holds some excellent examples of Tibetan architecture and artwork, as seen with the elaborately decorated temple tower and ornate outer walls, intricately adorned with beautiful murals. It is spread over an area of 80 square feet and was built from Bamboo which was donated by the Indian Government to the Tibetans in exile. Today, it houses many auxiliary structures like educational institutions and a hospital, in addition to being home to about 5,000 members of the Sangha community.

Thegchog Namdrol Shedrub Daryeling is the full name of the Namdroling Monastery. The foundation for this majestic monastery was laid down in 1963 by His Holiness Pema Norbu Rinpoche, the 11th throne-holder of the Palyul lineage of the Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism, following his exit from Tibet. The initial structure was made of bamboo and covered an area of 80 sq feet. The current 80 sqm area that the temple holds is thanks to the generosity of the Indian government, who donated the land to the Tibetan refugees who settled in the area. Inside, one has the privilege of witnessing the enormous 40 feet high golden statues of Guru Padmasambhava, Buddha Sakyamuni and Amityaus, surrounded by lovely paintings of various aspects of Tibetan Buddhist mythology. The prayer rituals conducted by the monks are a unique sight that must not be missed. The serene vibe of the place is amplified by the well-manicured gardens that surround the area.

Nagarhole National Park, Coorg Overview

With its diversity of flora and fauna, the Nagarhole National Park is one of the best known wildlife reserves in India. It houses not just multiple species of plants and shrubbery but also mammals, reptiles, crawlers and rare birds. Tiger, Indian bison and Asian elephants are found in large numbers inside the park. Other species include leopards, wild dogs, jackals, grey mongoose, sloth bears, striped hyena, spotted dear (Chital), sambhar, four-horned antelopes, wild boars, Indian porcupine.

The national park has over 270 species of birds including the critically endangered Oriental White Backed Vulture, the Greater Spotted Eagle and the Nilgiri Wood-Pigeon. Reptiles including the crocodiles, vine snakes, wolf snakes, rat snakes, bamboo bat viper, Russell's Viper and Indian Rock Python are also found here.

Average Temperature : 29 degree celsius

Restaurants : Coorg cuisine, Raintree restaurant

2. Mysore – Of Silk, Sandalwood, And Sweets

Comprising a bit of the old and new, Mysore has risen from the status of a royal city (which it still is) to be a hardcore IT hub. Renowned across the world for its gorgeous silk sarees, do not forget to treat your sweet tooth to some mouthwatering Mysore Pak on your next trip.

Best time to visit : Throughout the year. However, October to March is the most pleasant to explore the city of Mysore.

How to reach :

  • By air: Mysore city has its own domestic airport that is well connected to the metropolitan cities of New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, and Kolkata.
  • By rail: Travelers can deboard at the Mysore Railway Station which is located at the city centre.
  • By road: Mysore has a very good road connectivity with the nearby cities of Bangalore, Chennai, Madurai, Coimbatore, and so on.

Attractions : Mysore Palace, Somnathpur, Brindavan Gardens, Mysore zoo, Chamundeshwari Temple, Karanji Lake, St. Philomena’s Church, and GRS Fantasy Park.

Average Temperature : 25 degree celsius

Restaurants : Gufha restaurant, Oyster Bay

3. Shimoga – Karnataka’s Hidden Gem

An offbeat and picturesque hill station, Shimoga is the true gem of Karnataka. Bestowed with verdant hills, valleys, thick forests, and wildlife, Shimoga speaks of nothing but surreal and scenic beauty. With a pleasant climate and mesmerizing sceneries, you will have the time of your life here. It is considered as one of the most offbeat places to visit in India before you turn 30.

Best time to visit : March to June

How to reach :

  • By air: The nearest International Airport is Mangalore Airport, Mangalore, roughly 195 Kms from Shimoga.
  • By rail: Shimoga has its own Railway Station named as Shimoga Nagar Railway station.
  • By road: Shimoga is well-connected to Bhadravathi, Kadur, Banavara, Tumkur, Bangalore and Goa. You can take the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation buses.

Attractions : Jog falls, Kodachadri, Dabbe falls, Agumbe, Gudavi bird sanctuary

4. Madikeri – Scenic Beauty

Madikeri is one of the most visited hill stations in Karnataka. Encircled by the Western Ghats, it is known for its scenic beauty, misty hills, wildlife, local cuisines, and coffee plantations. Staying in the lap of nature is nothing less than stepping into heaven. You will have a blast here. We suggest you take this trip solo. You can also take this trip with friends or family, however.

Best time to visit : July to September

How to reach :

  • By air: The town of Madikeri doesn’t have an airport of its own. The airport in Mangalore can be used to reach Madikeri.
  • By rail: The nearest railhead is Kannur, which is 113 km from Madikeri.
  • By road: To reach Madikeri from Mysore, you can take any government or private bus.

Attractions : Raja’s seat, Madikeri Fort, Raja’s Tomb, Sree Kanchi Kamakshi Temple

5. Agumbe – Scenic Beauty

Known for its scenic beauty and biodiversity, Agumbe is a settlement situated in Karnataka. The lush rainforest also has many popular waterfalls such as Bakarna, Onake Abbi, and Jogi Gundi falls. There is a sunset viewpoint as well where you can enjoy the evening. If you are a wildlife enthusiast, you will be excited to know that there are some wild species that you can spot here like leopards and tigers.

Agumbe, Shimoga (Shivamogga) Overview

Located in the Shimoga district of Karnataka, Agumbe is a tiny village often referred to as the "Cherrapunji of South India". This biodiversity-rich region highest rainfall in south India and the second highest annual rainfall in India. Visiting Agumbe is an enriching experience as this hill station and picturesque beauty coupled with trekking trails and gushing rainfalls. It is one of the last surviving lowland rainforests. This beautiful place served as the setting for India's very famous fictional town Malgudi in the TV serial Malgudi Days. Agumbe is famously known for the breathtaking sunsets over the Arabian Sea that can be witnessed from this region.

Agumbe is home to some rare species of medicinal plants like Myristica, Listsaea, Garcinia, Diospyros, Eugenia and Ficus which is why it is also known as "Hasiru Honnu" which means green is gold. This place has made a significant contribution towards the protection of biodiversity in India. Being home to the extensive rainforest and the wide variety of flora and fauna, Agumbe houses the Agumbe Rainforest Research Station. This is India's oldest weather station which exclusively monitors any changes made in the rainforest areas.

Interestingly, Agumbe is also called as the "Cobra Capital" because of the high number of Cobras found here. Tourists from all over flock to this mesmerising place to experience tranquillity. Agumbe provides great options for trekking beckoning the adventure enthusiasts to visit this offbeat destination hidden in the lap of nature.

Best time to visit : October to Feb

How to reach :

  • By air: The nearest airport is Mangaluru Airport located about 95 km away from Agumbe village.
  • By rail: The closest railway stations is Udupi Railway Station (about 50 km away).
  • By road: You can directly take a bus from Bangalore going to Thirthahalli and then another bus from there to Agumbe.

Attractions : Enchanting waterfalls, sunset viewpoint, Sri Venugopala Krishna Swamy Temple

Dabbe Falls, Shimoga (Shivamogga) Overview

Dabbe Falls, nestled within the lush green folds of Saravathi Wildlife Sanctuary, is a hidden gem in the Shimoga region of Karnataka. The alluring call of the forest and the gorgeous stream of water rushing down the cliff attract the nature lovers and explorers to the Dabbe falls. The word 'dabbe' translates to 'steps' in the native language. The reason behind such a name is the streambed of the Dabbe falls which resembles steps or to be more precise, a kind of terrace jutting out from the steep wall of the cliff. The water falls and pools in each step before it overfills and forms a cascading wall of water down to the next step and this continues making Dabbe one of the most picturesque scenes to behold in the region.

The road to reach Dabbe is not much of a road but an almost perpendicular walking track down a cliff. However, it is the excitement of traversing such difficult paths that bring back the adventurers to the lap of nature time and again, because at the end of the track they are rewarded with the fascinating view of Dabbe behold, roaring down the steps. You will not only get to enjoy the crystalline, pristine water of Dabbe but also experience the rich diversity of flora and fauna in the surrounding wilderness.

Kodachadri, Shimoga (Shivamogga) Overview

Situated about 115 km away from Shimoga town, Kodachadri is a peak in Western Ghats packed full of flora and fauna. Kollur, lying at the base of the Kodachadri about 20 kms away was one the home to Adi Mookambika, devoted to Mother Goddess who ended the life of demon Mookasura. Other major attractions lying in the vicinity are Agastya Teertha Waterfalls, and Arisinagudi Waterfalls.

6. Bangalore – Take A Tour Silicon Valley

"Garden city of India"

Bangalore Tourism

Having evolved gradually from being the Garden city to the Silicon Valley of India, Bangalore is India's third-largest city. Bangalore is loved for its pleasant weather, beautiful parks and lakes all around the town. When in Bangalore, one can choose to take a long, stroll through the greenery of Cubbon Park, shop in many modern malls or street side markets or hop into one of the several acclaimed craft breweries in the city for a cold and refreshing drink. Bangalore had come to be renowned for its eateries, street food corners, quirky cafes, coffee roasters and pubs dotting every corner of the city, serving cuisines from all over the world. Brunches, buffets, burgers, rooftop cafes, late-night eats - Bangalore has it all.

However, the unprecedented growth of IT in Bangalore has reshaped quite a few things including rising temperatures, polluted lakes and heavily congested roads, especially in the newer areas. Aside from the central business and commercial districts (and the roads leading up to them), the neighbourhoods of Bangalore are mostly quiet and serene, especially the older parts of the city. There's still the early-morning cacophony of street vendors ambling down the streets with carts, selling fresh fruits and vegetables. There are a huge number of beautifully decorated parks in the city that are ideal for going on a morning stroll or a jog. One walk through the 300-acre Cubbon Park, or the botanical gardens of Lalbagh, and you'll know precisely why Bangalore is so famously called India's 'Garden City'.

Popularly called the Silicon Valley of India, Bangalore is one of the finest cities which is also considered to be one of the safe places to visit in India. Known for its amazing weather and majestic architectures surrounded by lush-green parks. The city has modern malls fancy cafes and restaurants and also Botanical gardens which is perfect to take a stroll.

Best time to visit : November – February

How to reach :

  • By Air: KempeGowda International Airport is the only airport which connects with 10 domestic and 21 international airlines.
  • By Train: There are 2 rail terminals in Bangalore – Bangalore City and Yeshwantpur Junction
  • By Road: Government and Private buses run from Mumbai, Goa, Chennai and Hyderabad

Attractions : Bangalore Palace, Cubbon Park, MG Road, Lal Bagh and UB City Mall

Bangalore Palace, Bangalore

An epitome of great architecture and beauty, The Majestic Bangalore Palace preserves in it the spice of old regal opulence. Currently the central attraction in Bangalore, the palace was built in the year 1878. Chamarajendra Wadiyar's British Guardians bought the original property in 1873 from the principal of Bangalore Central High School, Rev, J Garret, from his funds. The palace is extraordinarily vast and spread across 45,000 square feet. A mixture of Tudor and Scottish Gothic architecture have resulted into the grand palace that we see today.The wooden structure of the palace along with the beautiful carvings both inside and outside showcases the royal culture in different ways.

Apart from being a major tourist destination, the palace is a host to different cultural events, rock shows, and marriages. As per beliefs, King Chamarajendra Wadiyar drew his inspiration for building the palace from the Windsor Castle of London. The granite seats decorated with fluorescent blue ceramic tiles on the ground floor, a fairy tale Ballroom, the famous painter Raja Ravi Varma's paintings, vine-covered walls, and the Durbar Hall on the first floor come together to form the prepossessing Bangalore Palace.

A visit to the palace gives you a chance to witness the elegant and lavish splendour of one of the most powerful dynasties of South India. An audio tape is available inside the Palace, both in Hindi and English, to help the people having language issues, understand its history better.

Cubbon Park, Bangalore Overview

Spread over an area of 300 acres, Cubbon Park in the city of Bangalore is a major sightseeing attraction rich in green foliage. It is a green belt region of the city and is an ideal place for nature lovers and those seeking a calm atmosphere. Having been laid down by Lord Cubbon, the park is named so in his honour. It is home to more than 6,000 trees that support a vibrant ecosystem. In addition to being a natural sightseeing destination, some of the major structures of the city such as the Attara Kacheri, Cubbon Park Museum and Sheshadri Iyer Memorial Park are also situated here. Another famous attraction in the Cubbon Park is The Bangalore Aquarium, which is the second largest aquarium in India.

Cubbon Park was originally spread over 100 acres, which was later extended to 300 acres. First established in the year 1870 by Sri John Meade (acting Commissioner of Mysore), Cubbon Park has a long history. Major General Richard Sankey (Chief Engineer of the State) conceived this park in honour of Sri John Meade. Initially, the park was called "Meade's Park" and later came to be known as the Cubbon Park. Since the introduction of the park, it was made and improved in many ways.

In the year 1927, the park was officially renamed as "Sri. Chamarajendra Park" to mark the Silver Jubilee of Sri. Krishnaraja Wodeyar's rule in Mysore State. At present, the Cubbon Park is under the control of the Department of Horticulture. The Deputy Director of Horticulture (Cubbon Park) is responsible for the administration and maintenance of the park.

MG Road, Bangalore Overview

MG Road or Mahatma Gandhi Road is a hub of recreational and commercial activity in the city. Swarming with people at almost all the time, MG Road is a one-stop destination for a perfect weekend shopping adventure. Items such as traditional handicrafts, silk, sarees and cutlery and bone china sets are easily available here among other enticing goods. And once you get tired of shopping and are looking for a quick bite to eat, a plethora of cafes and restaurants here are at your service. Nights at MG Road call for partying and dancing till you drop and it packs quite a few high-end pubs as well. One of the most popular shopping and entertainment hubs of Bangalore, MG Road is a must visit when you're in the city.

It was known as South Parade during the pre-independence era but was renamed as Mahatma Gandhi Road or MG Road on 26th February 1948. Today, MG Road is best known for its amazing shopping experience, restaurants, cafes and food outlets offering delectable delicacies. With its own metro station now since 2011, MG Road runs east from Trinity Circle at one end towards Anil Kumble Circle at the other end. Once flocked with old buildings, today the avenue is all about fancy glass buildings mixed with an old vibe exhibited by few old-time structures. Take a stroll on the street and enjoy the bright atmosphere at MG Road !

Lal Bagh, Bangalore Overview

Lalbagh Botanical Garden is located in Bangalore and is nationally and internationally renowned centre for botanical artwork, scientific study of plants and also conservation of plants. A haven for all nature lovers, Lal Bagh covers an area 240 acres in the heart of the city and has nearly 1,854 species of plants. It was commissioned by Hyder Ali in 1760 and completed by his son Tipu Sultan. The garden features rare plants of French, Persian and Afghani origin and has attained the status of a Government Botanical Garden. The Lal Bagh Rock which is over 3000 million years old is found here and is a major tourist attraction.

This botanical garden, a delight for photographers, also consists of the famous glass house where an annual flower show is held every year and is also a home to an aquarium and a lake. Tipu Sultan brought in imported trees and plants from countries all over the world and planted them here and today, Lalbagh Botanical Garden has one of the world's largest collection of rare plants. In addition to being rich in foliage, this garden also houses a number of birds such as Myna, Parakeets, Crows, Brahminy Kite, Pond Heron, Common Egret and Purple Moor Hen.

UB City Mall, Bangalore Overview

Located in the CBD (Central Business District), this luxury mall is the one stop destination for all your high-end needs. Assimilation of four towers as a whole, the mall is spread in a mind-boggling area of 13 acres. The place takes care of all your exclusive needs, whether it is shopping at some high-end store, or dining, or even taking a Spa after a hectic day of work, this place has it all.

The place is home to all the luxury beauty and fashion brands from all around the globe, where Louis Vuitton, Estee Lauder, Rolex, Burberry and Canali are to name a few. The place covers all your needs, ranging from accessories, clothes, bags, shoes of exclusive jewellery by renowned brands from the world. Various events are also timely organised for all the visitors to experience the best of everything.

Average Temperature : 27 Degree Celsius

Restaurants in Bangalore : Only Place, Olive Beach, Fava, Sue’s Food Place

7. Gokarna – A Peacefull Goa

Gokarna is a town on the Arabian Sea, located in Karnataka. It is a Hindu pilgrimage destination, with a number of sacred sites including the Mahabaleshwara Temple and Koti Teertha. Gokarna is often metaphorized as a ‘crowd-less Goa’. The places has many amazing beaches where you can spend some time relaxing in peace.

Best time to visit : Throughout the year

How to reach :

  • By air: Nearest airport is Dabolim in Goa, from where you can take a taxi or train to Gokarna
  • By rail: The nearest railway station is the Gokarna Road (8 km from the main city)
  • By road: Gokarna is well-connected by road to other major cities of India.

Attractions : Om Beach, Mahabaleshwara Temple, Kudle Beach, Gokarna Beach, Yaana, Half Moon Beach, Koti Tirtha, Paradise Beach