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Tourism of Karnataka

The state of Karnataka has many places of interest for the tourists. Most of the land in Karnataka lies on an elevation, at an average height of 1500 ft. above the sea level. Karnataka has a long coastline adjoining the Arabian Sea and because of this, you will find a lot of beautiful beaches with shimmering silvery sands and azure blue seawaters rushing to kiss your feet. Some of the famous beaches of Karnataka are Bhatkal beach, Murudeshwar beach, Kurumgad beach and Malpe beach. The beach tourism of Karnataka is a wonderful option to spend your holidays.

When you move from the coast towards inland, you will find the Western Ghats running through Karnataka. Here you will find a lot of thick forests and plenty of wildlife. All total, Karnataka is home to 25 wildlife sanctuaries and five national parks. Kudremukh National Park, Bandipur National Park, Nagarhole National Park, Bannarghetta National Park, etc. are havens for the intrepid travellers. These are wild gestures of Karnataka tourism which you would find hard to resist.


There are many famous temples in Karnataka like the Mookambigai Temple, Kukke Subramaniam Temple, Marudeswar Temple, Marikamba Temple, Udupi Krishna Temple. Sringeri, which was one of the seats of Adi Shankaracharya, is an important destination for religious tourism. Here Sharadamba Temple attracts hordes of pilgrims. Shravanabelagola is a must visit site. It is an important Jain pilgrimage centre. Here, besides soaking in the religious ambience, get astounded by the magnificent statue of Gommateshwara, which happens to be the tallest monolithic statue in the world. It is the statue of a great Jain king Gangaraya, who turned into a saint. The statue, which was built by his general as a tribute to him, stands at 17.38 metres height.

As far as architectural wonders go, the Gol Gumbaz at Bijapur is another historical site and an architectural wonder worth visiting. The magnificent structure has the second largest dome in the world. Without viewing the cave temples in the historical town of Badami and exploring the rock-cut temples at Aihole, you can neither get a holistic view of the Badami Chalukyan style of architecture, and nor of Karnataka's rich historical and religious heritage. The Hoysala Temples at Belur and Halebidu, which were built with soap stones, deserve awe-inspiring stops in your crowded Karnataka tourism itinerary.

At the same time, there are abundant places where tourists who are adventurous can go trekking, rock climbing, aero sporting and river rafting. For nature lovers, the state has a cascade of beauty to offer, quite literally. Jog Falls, which is India's tallest single-tiered waterfall, makes the tourists spellbound with its awesome beauty. Magod Falls, Unchalli Falls, Shivanasamudra Falls are the other important waterfalls of Karnataka.

Bangalore, which is the capital of the state of Karnataka, was founded by a local chieftain named Kempe Gowda, in the year 1537. This city is virtually a huge garden which has well laid out roads, lined with blossoming trees on either sides.The city has a salubrious climate, but nowadays, due to global warming and the increase in the population of the city caused by the development in the IT sector, the weather has started to change slowly.

Mysore is another must visit destination for any tourist coming to Karnataka. This city is the former capital of the Wodeyars, who were the erstwhile rulers of the state. History in the form of splendid architectures, dots the landscape of this city. Mysore is known as the city of palaces as there are many charming palaces, some of which have been converted to hotels. Don't miss the Mysore Palace, which is a timeless statement in grandeur and style. The most important festival in Mysore is the Dussehra, which is a must see for any tourist. This ten-day festival is celebrated with pomp and style, and is a very colourful and joyous occasion.

Another place in Mysore which should not be missed is the Brindavan Gardens, which has a lot of water parks and lovely green vegetation. Before the Switzerland craze took over, it was one of the favourite shooting spots for filmmakers.

The tourism of Karnataka caters to a wide range of tourist interests, and archaeology can be one of them. Tourists can also visit the famous Hampi heritage site, which was the erstwhile capital of the Vijayanagara kings. Here the remnants of history reflect romance in ruins. This place has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and each stone has a story of its own to tell. The site dates back to the fourteenth century. Close by you have the Tungabadhra Dam and the Raghavendra Swamy Temple, dedicated to Saint Raghavendra.

Last Updated On: 2011/07/11