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Karnataka | How to Plan a Trip to Karnataka

Karnataka is an incredibly diverse state in India, offering a wide range of experiences for visitors. From its stunning coastline to its rich cultural heritage and delicious cuisine, Karnataka has something for everyone.


At a Glance

Capital City: Bengaluru

Average Climate: 29 degrees

Best Time to Visit: October to April

Major Airports: Kempegowda

Ideal Durations: 7-10 Days


Karnataka is a state in South India that boasts of a rich cultural heritage and diverse history. The state has something for everyone, whether you are interested in history, architecture, nature or adventure. Some of the top tourist destinations that one must visit while touring Karnataka include the magnificent Mysore Palace, the ancient ruins of Hampi and the beautiful Coorg hill station.

If you are an adventure lover, then Karnataka’s beaches and hills will not disappoint. You can explore the stunning beaches of Gokarna or take part in thrilling water sports at Murudeshwar beach. The Western Ghats offer some amazing trekking trails with breathtaking views. For wildlife enthusiasts, there are several national parks such as Bandipur National Park and Nagarhole National Park which offer jeep safaris to spot tigers, leopards and other exotic animals.

The cuisine of Karnataka is also something that should not be missed on your tour. From dosas to idlis to biryanis, there is plenty to choose from. The local markets are also worth exploring if you want to experience the vibrant culture and purchase some souvenirs for your loved ones back home. Overall, Karnataka is a perfect destination for those who wish to explore India’s rich cultural heritage while enjoying its natural beauty and adventurous activities.

Major Cities: Bangalore, Mysore

Bangalore, also known as Bengaluru, is a vibrant and bustling city that serves as the capital of Karnataka. It is home to some of India’s most prestigious educational institutions, such as the Indian Institute of Science and the Indian Institute of Management. Bangalore is also known for its thriving start-up ecosystem, with many global companies having established their headquarters here. Visitors can explore the beautiful parks such as Lalbagh Botanical Gardens or Cubbon Park in Bangalore.

Mysore is a city steeped in history and culture. Located just 140 kilometers from Bangalore, it was once the capital of the Kingdom of Mysore. The city is famous for its magnificent palace – Mysore Palace – which boasts an impressive blend of Indo-Saracenic architecture styles. Visitors can experience traditional south-Indian cuisine at local eateries such as Vinayaka Mylari or enjoy some shopping at Devaraja Market.

In conclusion, visiting both Bangalore and Mysore offer unique experiences for tourists looking to explore Karnataka’s rich cultural heritage while enjoying modern amenities offered by these cosmopolitan cities.

Natural Wonders: Nagarhole National Park

Nagarhole National Park is one of the most beautiful natural wonders in Karnataka, India. It’s a haven for wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. The park is home to an extensive range of flora and fauna, including tigers, elephants, Indian bison, deer, and a variety of bird species.

The park offers visitors the opportunity to explore its vast landscapes through various safaris such as jeep safaris or boat safaris on the Kabini River. The best time to visit Nagarhole National Park is from October to May when wildlife sightings are at their peak.

Apart from wildlife watching, there are plenty of other things to do in Nagarhole National Park. Visitors can indulge in bamboo rafting on the Kabini River or go trekking along some of its scenic trails. In summary, a trip to Nagarhole National Park will leave you with lifelong memories of experiencing nature at its finest.

Historical Sites: Hampi, Badami Caves

Hampi is a historical site in Karnataka that was once the capital of the Vijayanagara Empire. The ruins of this ancient city are spread across an area of 26 square kilometers and boast of over 1600 monuments, including temples, palaces, and other structures. One of the most popular attractions here is the Virupaksha Temple, which has been in continuous worship for over 600 years.

The Badami Caves are another significant historical site to visit in Karnataka. These caves were carved out of red sandstone cliffs by Chalukya rulers between the 6th and 8th centuries AD. There are four main cave temples here, each dedicated to a different deity from Hindu mythology. The intricate carvings on these caves make them an important example of Indian rock-cut architecture.

If you’re interested in history or architecture, then Hampi and Badami Caves should definitely be on your list when visiting Karnataka. These sites offer a glimpse into India’s rich cultural heritage and leave visitors awestruck with their grandeur and beauty.

Religious Locations: Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple

Located in Srirangam, Tamil Nadu, the Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple is one of the largest and most significant temples dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Built in the Dravidian style of architecture over a period of 2000 years, it occupies an area of about 156 acres with seven prakaras or enclosures. The temple is home to 21 magnificent gopurams (towers) that are adorned with intricate carvings and sculptures depicting various stories from Hindu mythology.

The main sanctum sanctorum houses the idol of Lord Vishnu reclining on a giant snake called Adisesha. The temple also contains several mandapams or halls, each with its own unique design and purpose, such as performing religious ceremonies, displaying art and architecture, and serving as community meeting places. One notable feature is the “thousand-pillared hall,” which is decorated with intricate carvings of gods and goddesses.

Visitors can take part in various rituals such as abhishekam (holy bath), alankaram (decoration), archana (chanting prayers), and puja (worship). The temple attracts millions of devotees every year during important festivals like Vaikunta Ekadasi and Brahmotsavam when elaborate processions take place around the temple complex. A visit to this holy site offers a glimpse into India’s rich cultural heritage and spiritual traditions.

Local Cuisine: Dosa, Bisi Bele Bath

One of the main highlights of visiting Karnataka, India is getting to taste and experience its local cuisine. Two dishes that are a must-try in Karnataka are dosa and bisi bele bath. Dosa is a popular South Indian dish that is made with fermented rice and lentil batter. It is thin, crispy, and can be filled with a variety of ingredients such as potato masala or spicy chutneys.

On the other hand, bisi bele bath is a flavorful rice dish that originated from the state of Karnataka. It is made with rice, lentils, vegetables, and a special blend of spices such as cinnamon, cloves, cardamom pods, cumin seeds and fennel seeds. The dish has a sweet aroma due to the combination of these spices which make it incredibly appetizing.

Both dishes can be found in almost every restaurant across Karnataka but tasting them from their place of origin will give you an authentic experience like no other. Be sure to add trying these dishes onto your itinerary when traveling to this beautiful state in India!

Shopping Options: Channapatna Toys, Silk Sarees

Channapatna, a small town located about 60 km from Bangalore, is famous for its traditional wooden toys. These toys are made with eco-friendly materials and painted with natural dyes, making them safe for children to play with. Visitors can shop for a wide range of products such as puzzles, games, trains, cars, and figurines at the local market in Channapatna.

Another popular shopping option in Karnataka is silk sarees. Mysore silk sarees are renowned worldwide for their unique weaving techniques and intricate designs. The city of Mysore has numerous stores that specialize in selling these exquisite sarees. Visitors can browse through a vast collection of pure silk sarees adorned with handcrafted embroidery work or zari borders.

To make the most out of your shopping experience in Karnataka, it’s recommended to bargain while buying products from local markets as prices tend to be higher for tourists. However, when purchasing silk sarees from reputed stores ensure you check the authenticity before making any purchases.


In conclusion, Karnataka is a state that has something to offer for everyone. Whether you are seeking adventure or relaxation, history or culture, this state has it all. With its diverse landscapes, rich heritage and delicious cuisine, Karnataka can be an unforgettable destination for any traveler.

From the stunning beaches of Gokarna and Udupi to the mesmerizing hills of Coorg and Chikmagalur, Karnataka’s natural beauty is awe-inspiring. The state’s cities like Bangalore and Mysore showcase their own unique blend of modernity and tradition with their iconic landmarks such as the Lalbagh Botanical Gardens and Mysore Palace.

Additionally, Karnataka is home to many UNESCO World Heritage Sites like Hampi and Pattadakal which are sure to transport visitors back in time with their ancient architecture. The friendly locals of Karnataka will welcome tourists with open arms making it an even more special experience. In short, a trip to Karnataka can be an enriching journey that will leave lasting memories for years to come.