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Top 5 Must See Tourist Places in Karnataka, India

Updated on April 27, 2010

Karnataka, India

Karnataka is the most sought-after tourist destination in the entire India as it abounds in scenic beauty, vast greenery, places of historic and religious importance, abundant flora and fauna, the aesthetic looking Vidhan Soudha, palaces reflecting glorious traditions alongside exquisite modern buildings which are marvels of civil engineering. Karnataka holds an intriguing mix of tourist attractions - the archaic monuments reflecting the historic happenings of the past, the plethora of palaces and temples, the ruins of many gigantic forts – these apart, one can witness bounteous nature in all her unadulterated splendor. The state is bordered by Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Goa, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra

Elephant herd in Bandipur National Park, Karnataka
Elephant herd in Bandipur National Park, Karnataka



Bangalore, often described as the Garden City, is the capital of Karnataka as well as one of the most picturesque cities of India. Bangalore boasts of more than 50% of software companies in the country and is hailed as the Silicon Valley of India. One of the foremost tourist attraction of Bangalore is the Cubbon Park spread over 334 acres of greenery punctuated by several statues. Another park of great charm is the Lal Bagh, which is home to several species of plants imported from London's Kew Gardens and the remarkable, one of its kind Glass House. Every year around August 15, a famous flower show is held at Lal Bagh that attracts horticulturalists and garden enthusiasts from all over India and beyond.

Tipu Sultan Palace located on Albert Victor Road, is a great landmark. Though in ruins, it still evokes vivid memories of Tipu Sultan, the legendary soldier king who courageously repulsed the imperialistic British Raj. One must see the wooden edifice marked by a profusion of balconies, graceful arches and lofty pillars. Art lovers should not miss the two prominent Art Galleries - Karnatak Chitrakala Parishath and Venkatappa Art Gallery. Karnatak Chitrakala Parishath displays the rich and rare collections of noted painter Roerich, Rabindranath Tagore and a lot of folk art. Venkatappa Art Gallery is one of India's oldest museums and a visitor can expect to spend quality time viewing the Satvahana, Hoyasala and Vijayanagara era sculptures and the leather puppets.

Mysore Palace


Mysore, the erstwhile capital of Karnataka, is known as the City of Palaces and of the many magnificent palaces built, those by the Wodeyar Dynasty are said to be architectural marvels. The Mysore Palace looks splendorous on festive nights when it is lit up with as many as 97,000 light bulbs. The palaces at Mysore reflect the essence of Dravidian, Oriental, Roman and Indo-Saracenic architectural styles. The Jagmoahan Palaca is 150 years old and is very much comparable to the Mysore Palace in terms of its regal grandeur. The Lalit Mahal is located atop a hill and 11kms from Mysore and it has been declared a heritage property by the India Tourism Development Corporation.

The Chamundeswari Temple, atop the hill of Chamundi, is not only of great religious significance but also a marvel in temple architecture. The temple, quadrangular in shape, displays powerful Dravidian influence. There are many other temples that you can visit like the Mahabaleswar Temple, Lakshmiramana Swamy Temple, Gayathri Temple, Someswara Temple, Kodi Bhairava Temple and the Bhuvaneshwari Temple.


Visit Karnataka

Other chief attractions

The are attractions galore in Karnataka like the wild game sanctuaries at Bandipur, Nagarhole and Dandeli, the Ranganathittu Bird's Sanctuary near Srirangapatnem, hill stations like Nandhi Hills and Mercara, many alluring beach resorts, the world famous Brindavan Gardens at Krishnarajasagara and probably the world's tallest monolithic statue of Gommateshwara at Sharavanbalagola.

The calmness and pleasant ambience of Nandi Hills is unmatched by any other and is a lot more than just an adorable scenic landscape. There are 1,175 steps to reach the top of the hill but the bird’s eye view of the whole city from the top is truly awesome.

The Jog falls and other water falls at Shiva Samudram, Magod, Unchelli or Lushington near Siddapur, Lalguli at Yallapur are indicative of the variety and richness of the attractions that Karnataka State holds for the tourists. At Hampi that lies at the heart of Karnataka, one can see the archeological ruins of the capital of the Vijaynagar Empire of the 14th-16th century and the 16th-cenury Vittala Temple there is a World Heritage site. Amrit Sarovar which means ‘Lake of Nectar’ when translated into English is another tourist’s delight and makes for an ideal picnic destination.

Kudremukh is a hill station overlooking the Arabian Sea and surrounded by majestic mountain ranges, in the Chikmagalur district. The attractive 'horse face' shaped peak after which the place is named is home to the largest reserve of tropical evergreen forests of the state. Kudremukh attracts visitors for its natural beauty, pristine grassy slopes, lush green forests and flowing streams – not spoilt by human interference.

Visit Karnataka

With 320 kilometer long coastline, Karnataka is endowed with picturesque locations, pleasant climate, verdant landscape, salubrious beaches, imposing palaces, historical monuments, refreshing hill stations and beautiful architectural marvels - Karnataka is a veritable paradise for the tourists. A sojourn in Karnataka will surely throw up many magical moments for the tourist to cherish and remember for the rest of one’s life.


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