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6 Top-Rated Tourist Places in Karnataka
Vidhana Soudha in Bengaluru, the Capital of Karnataka
Karnataka is located in southwest part of India. Bengaluru, one of India's most progressive and developed cities, is the capital of Karnataka. More than 61 million people live in this wonderful state, which covers an area of around 191,976 square kilometers.
How to Reach Karnataka?
Karnataka has two international airports: Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru and Mangaluru Airport in Mangaluru. All cities, towns and villages in the state are well-connected by rail and road.
Popular Tourist Destinations in Karnataka
Located in Belur, this marvellous temple was commissioned by Hoysala King Vishnuvardhana in 1117 AD. This well-maintained temple is an excellent example of Hoysala architecture. This wonderful monument is recognized by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).
The 37 meter tall temple was built with soapstone. Entry into the temple complex is via a seven-storey gopuram (monumental tower), which can be seen well in advance of arrival.
The outer walls are adorned with fine sculptures. This temple is well-known for its minute and intricate carvings and sculptures with metal like polishing. There are 48 carved and decorated pillars.
The temple is dedicated to lord Vijayanarayana, one of the 24 incarnations of Vishnu. In the cella stands a cult-image of Vishnu, an extremely large one, bearing (clockwise) a wheel (cakra), a mace (gada), a lotus (padma) and a conch (shankha).
Soon after winning a war in 1104, Vishnuvardhana took up the construction of the temple, and according to an inscription, the temple was ready by March 1117.— Srivatsa Vati, a historian and an expert in Hoysala architecture
Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens, which is popularly known as Mysore Zoo, was established in 1892 by Sri Chamarajendra Wodeyar. This 157-acre-zoo houses more than 1,300 animals, belonging to around 168 species.
It is the only Indian zoo that has all three species of rhino (white, black and Indian rhino). You will also see tiger, lion, brown bear, sloth bear, brown lemur, Nilgiri langur, chimpanzee, orangutan, the Himalayan bear and many more.
It is among the few zoological gardens in India to exhibit African elephants, and the only zoo to breed them. It was the first zoo in India to house gorilla and penguin.
One special feature of this zoo is its meticulous planning. It has successfully created natural habitat for animals, thereby enabling them to feel at home. More than 2 million people visit Mysore Zoo annually. The zoo is closed on Tuesdays.
Bengal Tiger in Mysore Zoo
Mysore is known as the 'City of Palaces' and Mysore Palace is the grandest of seven other palaces in the city. Also known as Amba Vilas Palace, this palace is located at the heart of the city.
This sprawling palace is the official residence of the Wodeyars, the royal family who ruled the Mysore princely state between 1399 and 1950. More than 3 million tourists visit this palace annually.
The palace was originally built in the 14th century by Yaduraya Wodeyar, but has undergone many renovations since then. In fact original palace which was built of wood got burnt down in 1897 during the wedding of Jayalakshammanni, the eldest daughter of Chamaraja Wodeyar.
The palace we see now was commissioned by Krishnarajendra Wadiyar IV, who was conferred with the title "Rajarishi" (saintly king) by Mahatma Gandhi. It was designed by Henry Irwin and cost around $65,000, a huge amount in those days.
Considered to be one of the Seven Wonders of India, this magnificent palace is built in Indo-Saracenic style with domes, turrets, arches and colonnades. A sculpture of the goddess of good luck, prosperity and wealth, Gajalakshmi, with her elephants, is seated atop the central arch.
The palace is basically a three storied structure with a 44 meter (145 feet) central tower. Pinkish marble domes adorn the number of towers configured in perfect symmetry.
The interiors of the palace are replete with exquisitely carved doors, delicate chandeliers, expansive pavilions, exquisite stained glass ceilings and decorative frescoes depicting scenes from great Indian epics. This palace is renowned for its light and sound show, and Dussehra celebrations.
The Kalyana Mantapa in the palace is a grand, octagonal-shaped pavilion with a multi-hued stained glass ceiling. Here you will find peacock motifs arranged in geometrical patterns. The entire structure was wrought in Glasgow, Scotland.
Vittala temple is the epicenter of Hampi's attractions. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was built in 15th century in Dravidian architectural style. The temple complex houses many temples, enclosures, pavilions and halls.
Known for its excellent architecture and superb craftsmanship, this ancient temple is located in Hampi. Stone chariot and music pillars are major attractions of this iconic temple.
The inner sanctum does not have any idol. A narrow and unlit passageway encircles the inner sanctum. A few steps on either sides of the sanctum’s main door give access to this passage.
The outer walls of the sanctum, which you can see from this passageway, is richly decorated with Kumbha-Pankajas (motif depicting lotus flowers flowing out of pots).
Located around 28 kilometers from Bengaluru, this amusement park is a world of breath-taking charm. It offers more than 60 exhilarating rides.
Visvesvaraya Industrial and Technological Museum
I have visited this museum many times with my son. Located in Kasturba Road (near Chinna Swamy Stadium) in Bengaluru, this museum was established in memory of Bharat Ratna Sir M Visvesvaraya.
The museum has a built up area of around 4,000 square meters. It has seven permanent exhibition galleries: Engine Hall, Fun Science, Electrotechnic, Space – Emerging Technology in the Service of Mankind, Biotechnological Revolution, BEL Hall of Electronics and Children Science.
The museum is open between 10.00 am and 6.00 pm on all days of the year except Ganesha Chathurthi and Deepavali. It is accessible by metro, bus, auto rickshaw and cab.
© 2017 Srikanth R