It's Winter, The Best Time to Travel Across Karnataka
Corona has drastically interrupted the lives of people. But the good old days are almost back, and we can now travel to our favorite inbound and outbound destinations. Karnataka, the Silicon Valley of India, is also known for its unique culture and traditions, greenery, and heritage, which always attract tourists. It is also called the land of gold and the land of sandalwood etc.
Given that winter is moving to its peak, here are some of the best tourist destinations of Karnataka that you must visit:
Udupi, the land of beautiful temples, beaches, and hill stations, is called Krishna Nagari. It is one of the fastest-growing cities in Karnataka, embedded with cultures and traditions. The first place you can visit in Udupi is Lord Krishna temple.
There are more than four beaches in Udupi: Malpe, Maravanthe, Kodi, and Kapu. The other attractions of Udupi are St. Mary's Island and Kapu lighthouse. If you travel toward Karkala, many historical temples are on the way, and Gommateshwara statue attracts tourists. Hence, you can plan for a one-week trip to beach land.
Covered coffee estates full of aroma, luxuriant greenery dotting the mountains, and stunning waterfalls plunging down the misty mountains, Coorg is called the Scotland of Karnataka, which makes it one of the best places to visit in Karnataka. Besides the aesthetic landscapes and rainy weather, the main tourist attraction of Coorg is Dubare Elephant Camp, where you can feed the elephants. There is also the Bylakuppe Monastery, the second-biggest Tibetan settlement in India. The wildlife safari at Nagarhole National Park will always be inviting tourists as well. Additionally, Coorg is also famous for its fantastic cuisine, including a variety of pork dishes.
Hampi, or Hampe, a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in Hampi town, Vijayanagara district, east-central Karnataka, is known for its unique historical Monuments and architecture. It has almost 500 architectural structures in its ruins. The other major places to visit in Hampi are Monkey Temple, Archeological Museum, and Vijaya Vittala Temple. Virupaksha Temple is an architectural marvel. The Riverside Ruins are breathtakingly beautiful.
In the 14th century, Hampi was the capital of the Vijayanagara Empire. It was a protected city. History left by Persian and European travelers, particularly the Portuguese, suggests that Hampi was a prosperous, wealthy, and grand city near the Tungabhadra River, with numerous temples, farms, and trading markets. In 1500 CE, Hampi-Vijayanagara was considered the world's second-largest medieval-era city after Beijing and probably India's richest at that time, attracting traders from Persia and Portugal. Situated near the modern-era city of Hosapete, Hampi's ruins are spread over 4,100 hectares (16 sq mi). UNESCO has described it as an austere, grandiose site of more than 1,600 surviving remains of the last great Hindu kingdom in South India. This includes forts, riverside features, royal and sacred complexes, temples, shrines, pillared halls, mandapas, memorial structures, water structures, and others.
Badami, Aihole and Pattadakal
Badami is considered Karnataka‘s most popular monument after Hampi. The place will always be crowded. Besides, the traditional food at a Khanavali in Badami satiates hunger. In fact, it is also a UNESCO World Heritage site because of the large treasure trove of architectural wealth the Chalukya dynasty left behind. Although built in the sixth century, the Badami cave temples are still well maintained. Even today, we can see many murals, sculptures, and inscriptions in the four caves. Apart from Badami caves, there are the Agastya lake and the Bhutanatha temple complex. On the north side of the lake, we can climb into the canyon to the top of the hill. There are two shrines called the Shivalaya temples atop the hill. The group of temples in Pattadakal is also a part of UNESCO World Heritage sites. Ten temples are situated within the complex, with many smaller shrines around.
Pattadakal literally means ‘jewels of the crown,’ and it is an apt name because of how beautiful each temple is. They were built during the Chalukya dynasty and feature South Indian architecture and classic Dravidian styles too.
The temple complex is located on the west bank of the Malaprabha river. The sprawling gardens and sandstone structures merge well to form a very beautiful scene. Tourists can enjoy a visit in the early mornings.
Aihole is also the least visited. It is comparatively smaller but features unique Hindu and Jain temples. One such temple is the Vishnu temple which is often mistakenly called the ‘Durga temple.’ It has curved walls, unlike the usual architectural trends of its time. There are a few other temples in the Aihole complex. However, many smaller shrines and royal structures lay scattered around the Aihole village.
The third-highest plunge waterfall in India, Jog Falls, is a waterfall on the Sharavati river located in the Western Ghats running between Uttara Kannada and Shimoga districts of Karnataka, India. It is a segmented waterfall that depends on rain and season to become a plunge waterfall. The falls are major tourist attractions and are ranked 36th in the list of free-falling waterfalls, 490th in the world by the list of waterfalls by total height, and 128th in the list of single-drop waterfalls in the world by the waterfall database.
Mysore is a city in the southern part of the state of Karnataka located at an altitude of 770 m (2,530 ft) above mean sea level. The most famous attraction of Mysore are Mysore Palace and Jaganmohan Palace, which are located right in the heart of Mysore city in the vicinity of the University of Mysore. The picturesque J-shaped Kukkarahalli lake offers an ideal ambiance for spending some quality time in nature’s midst.
Perched at an elevation of 3,300 ft (1,000 meters) and about 13 km away from Mysore is the sublime Chamundi hills. Another important destination is the sacred hills found in the ancient Hindu scriptures. There is a huge sculpture of Nandi, Lord Shiva’s bull, near the Chamundeshwari temple. About 16 ft in height and 24 feet long, it is regarded as one of the largest statues of Nandi in India. Karanji lake is another major attraction of Mysore, spread across 90 hectares. The picturesque lake is situated merely two kilometers away from the famous Mysore Palace. Mysore Zoo, also called Shri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens, is located adjacent to Karanji lake. It is located three kilometers away from the Mysore Zoo. Shuka Vana is a walk-through aviary hosting more than 450 species of rare and exotic birds. Touted as one of the biggest bonsai gardens in the country, the Kishkindha Moolika Bonsai Garden is a part of Avadhoota Datta Peetham Ashram. A sprawling garden near Mysore laid adjacent to Krishnaraja Sagar Dam, Brindavan Gardens is spread over a whopping 60 acres (24 hectares) land area.