Karnataka is a state in Southern India. It streches from Belgaum in the north to Mangalore in the south. It has various land features, including the coastal region with numerous coconut trees and beautiful beaches and the interior with mountains, valleys and farmlands. Karnataka is the sixth largest state in India.
- Cauvery Basin - Southern Karnataka, including Mysore
- Central Karnataka - the region around Bangalore
- Karavali - Karnataka's coastal region
- Northern Karnataka
- Northwestern Karnataka
There are many cities in Karnataka. These are some of the more notable:
- Bangalore -- the state capital
- Mangalore -- A major port on the Arabian Sea.
- Mysore -- Erstwhile capital of Kingdom Of Mysore
Below is a selective list of sites of interest in Karnataka. It is far from exhaustive. For other sites, check regional articles.
- Badami cave Temples in Bagalkot - Badami was the capital of the Early Chalukyas, who ruled much of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh between the 6th and 8th centuries. It was founded in 540 A.D. by Pulakesi I (535-566 AD), an early ruler of the Chalukyas.
- Bannerghatta National Park in Bangalore . - 104 sq km zoological reserve that is Only 22 Kilometers Outside Bangalore.
- Bandipur National Park in Chamarajanagar (district). A 890sq km wildlife sanctuary - sandalwood trees.
- Manipal in Udupi (district). Home to Manipal University & Syndicate Bank.
- Belur. The former capital of the Hoysalla dynasty. Hale Belur is the older capital.
- Shivasamudram Waterfalls around 140 km from Bangalore. The walk down to the base of the Waterfall is nice, and one can take a Coracle ride by paying ₹ 50 per person. One can also swim at the base of the waterfall.
- Sri Manjunatha Swamy Temple (shrine of Lord Shiva) at Dharmasthala, Belatangadi Taluk, Dakshina kannada district ranks first in attracting devotees, tourist of all classes. It is located in Western Ghats, includes beautiful sight seeing spots. Nearest airport is at Mangalore, Dharmasthala is at a distance of 280 kms from Bengaluru.
Kannada is the official language of the state and the mother tongue of around 70% of the population. Other linguistic minorities include Urdu (9.72%), Telugu (8.34%), Marathi (.5%), Tamil (3.82%), Malayalam (1.69%), Tulu (3.38%), Konkani (1.78%), and Hindi (1.87%). English and Hindi are spoken by most educated people.
Travel to Karnataka by Air: Karnataka has six airports in Bangalore, Hampi, Mangalore, Hubli, Belgaum, and Bijapur. These all airports are well connected to the other cities of India and the world. The Bangalore International Airport in Bangalore and the Mangalore International Airport are the two airports that offer international flights to and from Karnataka.
Travel to Karnataka by Rail: All major cities of Karnataka are well linked to other parts of the country by a wide rail network. Bangalore railway station is the most important railway terminal. Besides, Karnataka also has an intrastate rail network, which connects cities with in the state.
Travel to Karnataka by Road: An excellent network of roads connects cities internally. Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) connects the state to other major cities and states. A number of national highways link Karnataka with Maharashtra, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
Transportation is made easy by the numerous services available from the KSRTC (Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation).They ply not only intra-state buses, but also inter-state buses to neighbouring states. KSRTC reservation counters are aplenty all over the state, and tickets can also be booked online.
- Airavat:Semi-sleeper Volvo a/c buses
- Club Class Airavat: Volvo Multi-Axle
- Ambari: Corona AC sleeper class
- Mayura and Meghadoot:Comfortable A/C buses
- Rajahamsa:Non-A/C semi sleeper Deluxe buses comfortable for short distances,and cheap for longer journeys.
Also available are private bus services for interstate areas, as well as to neighboring states. The information for booking tickets and available services from various vendors is available on http://www.redbus.in/.
Karwar: Coastal area. 520km from Bangalore.
Bijapur: Capital of The Adilshah Dynasty. A historic place with plenty of archaeological sites notably Gol Gumbaz (The largest dome in asia). Around 640km from Bangalore.
Gokak: Famous for Gokak falls and a local sweet 'Kardant'.
Hampi: One of the highest foreign visitor receiving historical places in India located in North Karnataka of Bellary District. It is about 350km from Bangalore city. 11 Km from Hospet town.
Kudalasangama: A Piligrimage place. over 10 hour journey by bus from Bangalore.
Pattadakal: Historic place. 522 km from Bangalore
Badami: Historic place. 500 km from Bangalore
Aihole: Historical place. 500 km from Bangalore.
Belur: Historical place. 222 km from Bangalore
Halebidu: Historical place. About 235 Km from Bangalore
Mysore: A historical place. The Capitol of the Erstwhile Kingdom Of Mysore until 1947. Situated 130 Km away from Bangalore city. Mysore is known as the "City of Palaces" - numerous palaces built during Wodeyar Rule and is the Cultural Capitol Of Karnataka
Kodagu: A cool & greenary hill station where river Kaveri takes birth. To reach this district you will need to travel roughly around 80 kms from Mysore city OR 210 kms from Bangalore city.
Shravanabelagola: A place to remember of great sculpture art of "Gommateshwara" built in single large stone. This is located in a range of 160 kms from Bangalore city on the state highway to Hasan district.
Mangalore: A coastal city located about 350 kms away from Capital city Bangalore. There are many temples, churches, few beaches in and around the city.
Dandeli: Popular for trecking, river rafting and wild life discovery. Located in western ghats of North-West Karnataka and is approximately 12 hour journey from Bangalore.
Murudeshwara - A beautiful Shiva statue situated on the tallest place on the coastal side of Arabian sea and gives a colorful panorama. It is part of Bhatkal Taluk of Uttara Kannada district.
- Infant Jesus Church. This is the Biggest Church in Karnataka and a Major Pilgrimage Center for ALL Faiths. The Festival of St. Mary's is celebrated every September by Devotees who are dressed in Orange Robes. Built in 1979.
- St. Mary's Basilica in Bangalore. Located next to the Shivajinagar Bus Stand Bangalore. This is a Gothic Style Church consecrated in 1882. The Only Church in Karnaraka to have the Status of a Minor Basilica.
- Shravanabelagola. An impressive Jain temple
Belur and Hale Belur are home to two ancient temples. Their beauty has survived the battles between local rulers and Muslim and later the colonial rulers. They are located in Hassan.
- Bylakupee. The largest Tibetan settlement outside of Tibet.
- Gokarna, Udupi and Shringeri. The main centers for the study of Sanskrit and Hindu philosophy in South India.
- Hampi. The ruins of Vijayanagara Empire are a UNESCO World Heritage site.
- Nandi Hills. a pleasant and serene hill station located about 60kms fom Bangalore.
- Ranganthittu Bird Sanctuary near Mysore .
- Shimoga district. Home to Jog Falls, the highest plunge waterfall in India.
- Jog falls. Located in Shimoga District, these waterfalls fall from a height of 253 meters (829 ft).
They are the highest plunge waterfall in India. Other names include Gerusoppe falls, Gersoppa Falls and Jogada Gundi.
- Chikmagalur is known for its coffee plantations and Bababudan Giri ranges.
Pigeon Island ( Netrani Island ) lies about 12 Nm off the coast of Murudeshwar in Karnataka. It is a 4 hour drive from Goa, or can be reached by Konkan Railway, with Murudeshwar and Bhatkal being the nearest stations. The Dreamz Diving is the only local dives centers here. Please check in advance with them as quite a few times due to Navy training the place is closed for scuba diving.
The visibility here is generally in the 15-20m range and the dive sites are between 10 to 30m. Marine life is spectacular, with huge schools of Jacks, Barracuda, Triggerfish and Fusiliers. Many times giant Groupers, Black Tip Sharks, Kobias and Giant Tunas are spotted here, even Whales, Whale Sharks, Orkas, Dolphins, have been spotted by many divers at Netrani Island.
Netrani is considered to be the best Dive Location from main land India which is accessible within a day's trip to Murudeshwar.
There are plenty of companies in Bangalore who arrange for weekend scuba diving trips to Netrani.
Trekking is the best way to discover the natural beauty of Karnataka. Trekking is the most popular adventure sport for the nature enthusiasts in Karnataka.
There are many places for trekkers starting form the southern parts of the Sahyadri hills to the Western Ghats of Kodagu. Most of the trekking places are found in Uttara Kannada (North Canara) district, Dakshina Kannada (South Canara) district, Shimoga district, Chikmagalur district and Kodagu district.
Kodagu and Chikmagalur districts cover unknown and very beautiful trekking places. These places are well known for beautiful mountain ranges, national parks, forests, wild animals and waterfalls.
The following are popular places for trekking in Karnataka.
•Agumbe in Shimoga •Kudremukh in Chikmagalur •Kodachadri in Shimoga •Narasimha Parvatha in Chikmagalur •Kumara Parvatha in Dakshina Kannada •Yedakumeri in Dakshina Kannada •Siddara Betta in Tumkur •Tadiyandamol in Kodagu •Anthargange in Kolar
These are a few speciality dishes you can feast on in Karnataka:
- Dosa - A thin dough baked until crisp and containing masala. To eat, pieces are broken off and dipped in one of the amazing sauces that accompany the dish.
- Bisibele Baath - Made of rice and lentils and a lot of spices.
- Raagi and Akki Rotis - Similar to tortillas but made of raagi (English: coracan, finger millet) or rice flour and black cumin, asafoetida, fresh coriander, green chillies and finely chopped onions.
- Raagi Mudde – A staple food in some South Indian households. It is basically made by cooking raagi flour in water and rolling it into thick-consistency balls. Raagi mudde is swallowed and not chewed after dipping it into ghee and sambar.
- Idli - Idli, also romanized "idly", is made by steaming batter — traditionally made from black lentils and rice — into patties using a two to three inch diameter mold.
- Jolada Roti: A thin tortilla made of Jawar baked on both sides for 2-3 minutes, grown in northern part of Karnataka. Preferable to have with brinjal curry.
- Filter Coffee is very famous and unique about Karnataka.
- Badam Milk (crushed almond powder mixed with milk served hot and cold.)
- Tender Coconut (Nature's Cool Drink) - Sterile and available everywhere.
- People of Karnataka are friendly and they can help you in many ways. However, common crimes such as theft and purse-snatching do occur.
- Avoid traveling late at night, and if you must, travel in a group.