Hotels in India  »  Top 10 - Your Traveling Guide to India  »  Top 10 Places to See in Karnataka

Top 10 Places to See in Karnataka

Karnataka offers plenty of option for vacationers in its cities such as Bangalore, Mysore and Mangalore and hill stations such as Coorg and Nandi Hills. It is also host to India's prominent waterfalls such as Jog and Shivanasamudra. For wildlife enthusiasts, the Bannerghata National Park, close to Bangalore city is appealing. India Profile offers online information on top 10 places in Karnataka.


MysoreThe second largest city in the state of Karnataka, Mysore is considered the cultural headquarters being at least 1000 year old and replete with palaces, forts and monuments. The history of Mysore is interesting after the Vijayanagar Empire breakaway and the contribution of Wodeyars dynasty. Today, it is a vibrant city drawing large number of visitors annually especially during the Dusshera Festival. The nearest international airport to Mysore is at Bangalore. Domestic tourists can avail of Mysore Airport located 12 km away from the main city. The top most attractions of Mysore include Mysore Palace, Brindvan Gardens, Chamunda Hills, Jagmohan Palace and Art Gallery and Lalit Mahal Palace.


CoorgAlso popular as Kodagu, Coorg is a paradise for nature lovers. The perfect weekend getaway for travelers from Bangalore who are fascinated by the beautiful landscape and the surrounding hills. Dense forests, plainland, river, streams and adventure sports are integral part of Coorg travel. The closest railway head to Coorg is at Mysore that is a 100 km drive. There are daily buses plying to Coorg from Bangalore city. Though an inexpensive place for vacation, Coorg offers you a memorable holiday. Located on the banks of Talakaveri, Coorg facilitates angling and boating as well. Popular scenic attractions include Abbey Falls, Nagarhole Wildlife Sanctuary, Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary and Mallali Falls. Cultural sites close to Coorg town is Madikeri Fort, St Anne's Church and Rajas's Seat.


MangaloreThe beach paradise of the state and a vibrant cosmopolitan, your travel to Karnataka is incomplete if you have not visited Mangalore. Considered a major gateway to the state, Mangalore still reflects of Portuguese influence. Today it is also an education hub and draw professionals. It has an international airport and two railway stations that connect to major cities and towns in southern India. Mangalore is popular for its ancient shrines such as Mangaladevi Temple, the city is named after the Goddess. Venkataramana Temple, Sharavu Ganapathi Temple and Adyapady Adonatheshwara Temple are visited as well. For nature lovers, the beaches of Panambur, Someshwar, Kapu and Suratkal are best places to unwind.


BangaloreBangalore is Karnataka's capital city and popular as the Garden City of India for its greenery. Having a large IT population, Bangalore has emerged as the Silicon Valley of India. You can visit throughout the year and most of its tourist attractions are located in the outskirts. Most tourists arrive via the Bangalore International Airport and the important landmarks include Bangalore Palace, Tipu Sultan's Palace, Vidhana Soudha and ISKCON Temple. Drive of few kilometers from Bangalore will take you to the Bannerghata National Park and Nandi Hills. For shopaholics too, Bangalore travel will be a memorable one. The city is home to some of the best shopping districts in the state such as MG Road, Commercial Street, Brigade Road, Garuda Mall and Forum. There is no dearth of fun and entertainment as well with plenty of nightclubs, pubs and restaurants here.

Bannerghata National Park

Bannerghata National ParkYou can plan a visit to the Bannerghata National Park for an unforgettable experience. It is the favorite haunt in the state for the botanist, historians and wildlife lovers. This park is around 22 km way from the city of Bangalore and features dense forest cover, animal and bird species. Established in the year 1978, Bannerghata National Park has an area of 104.27 square kilometer. It acts as a habitat for wild animals such as tigers, leopards, wild boar and bear. Several animals rescued from the circus are kept at the conservation center of the park. It also has a considerable collection of reptiles such as crocodiles and snakes. Another important feature is the Suvarnamukhi stream that flows through the park as well.


HampiThe site of the erstwhile Vijayanagar kingdom, Hampi still rules as the top tourist destination in the state. The reason, it is part of this list is its historical significance to the state. Traveler's can have a glimpse of Karnataka's grandeur in the bygone era. It also remains a pilgrimage center with the Virupaksha Temple situated here, the monuments are in ruins though. Listed among the World Heritage Sites, the empire once was built on the banks of Tungabhadra River. It remained the capital since 1336 until 1565. Excavation works at the site led to several developments that are now part of tourists' attractions. Hampi is a drive of around 365 km from the city of Bangalore and close to Bellary. There are also shrines such as Achyutaraya Temple, Chandramauleshwar Temple and Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Temple located within the vicinity of this ancient site.


BijapurAnother well known historical city in Karnataka, Bijapur is famous for its architectural wealth. Ruled mainly by the dynasty of Adil Shah, Bijapur is situated around 530 km from Bangalore and is an important weekend destination for people from Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Mumbai. The establishment of the city dates to the 10th century and is divided into three sections - citadel, city, and a fort. Outside the citadel and fort are the remains of the main city. Important landmarks of Bijapur now include the Gol Gumbaz, Ibrahim Rauza, Malik-e-Maidan, Chand Bawdi, Asar Mahal, Gagan Mahal and Upli Buruj. The archeological museum here has documents and manuscripts related to the history of the place. Two religious shrines such as Jami Masjid and Torvi Narasimha Temple play an important role in highlighting the culture of the place.


SrirangapatnaSrirangapatna is mainly a religious town in the Mandya district that is close to Mysore. On the banks of River Kaveri, Srirangapatna is a scenic place as well. The Ranganathaswamy Temple is located in the heart of the town. It is an important pilgrimage center for the Vaishnavites in the country. The rulers of the Ganga dynasty built this temple in 9th century. It is acclaimed as for its Vijayanagar style of temple architecture. The Kaveri River itself is considered sacred.

Jog Falls

Jog FallsThe second highest waterfall in the country after Nohkalikai of Meghalaya, Jog Falls has a plunge of 830 feet. It is a major tourist destination in Karnataka drawing thousands of visitors to enjoy the scenic beauty of the place. The distinct feature of Jog Falls is that it has a direct plunge and the water does not stream down the rocks. River Sharavathi is the source of this waterfall in India. The area around the falls is widely scenic and monsoon is the best time to be here. Often there is a rainbow formed above the falls after a rainy morning. Another interesting place to visit from this falls is the Linganmakki Dam across the River Sharavathi. There is also a hydro electric project here. The nearest railway station to Jog Falls is 30 km away at Sagar and the Hubli airport is located around 130 km away.

Shivanasamudra Falls

Shivanasamudra FallsSituated in the Chamarajanagar district of Karnataka and on the banks of Kaveri River, Shivanasamudra is another falls that is worth visiting. The natural beauty of the place is tempting even as it is popular for being home to Asia's first hydro electricity plant in 1902. Rocks and cliffs define the landscape here. There are two falls in the town, the flow of the river has two channels with an average altitude of 90 meters. The main tourist season is from July to September. The place is around 139 km drive from Bangalore.