Quoting the Karnataka Tourism Tagline Karnataka is indeed a state with many worlds. Karnataka is an amalgamation different linguistics, cultures, an abode of hundreds of historically important temples, a home of a wide range of Flora and Fauna, cuisines, coolest metropolitans, exotic beaches, and homestays. A long History and a variety of geography offers an extensive expanse of culture, heritage, and, ecotourism destinations.
Karnataka has been ranked as the fourth most popular destination for tourism among the states of India. It has the second highest number of nationally protected monuments in India next to Uttar Pradesh.
Karnataka is a home of varied Geography hence a diverse flora and Fauna has flourished.
Some of the eco-tourism hotspots are Agumbe, Bandipur, Kabini, Chikmagalur, Hassan, Sakleshpur which adorns the already beautiful green stretches of Western Ghats. From Elusive tigers to stealthy Black panthers to hornbills to cobras the wildlife scenes of Karnataka is diverse, vibrant, and huge at the same time.
Goa is in the north west border of Karnataka is a destination which gives thrills and chills to the youth populace because of its nightlife, cozy beaches, and a laid back hippie culture. The tranquil south goa offers picturesque churches, temples, beaches, and backwaters. The north Goa is famous for its hippie yet beautiful beaches like Anjuna, Calangute, and Baga, nightlife, shacks by the beach, cruises, casinos, forts, boat rides and a great variety of cuisines.
From North to south and East to west Karnataka is dotted with a various type of monuments from many historical periods and dynasties.
The North Of Karnataka consists of the districts: Bidar, Raichur, Hubli, Gadag, Bagalkot, Koppal, Bellary, Yadgir, Bijapur, Belgaum, Gulbarga and Haveri. The northern districts are part of the Deccan Plateau which has a rich black soil and is a birthplace of many dynasties and religions.
Badami, Aihole, Pattadakal, KudalaSangama, Hampi to name a few are the most important Hindu Heritage centres up north. The vast( read: Humongous) ruins of Hampi of the then Vijayanagara empire and Pattadakal are on the list of UNESCO world heritage sites.
There is saying in Kannada that to see Hampi entirely you need a year. Hampi was the capital of the then Vijayanagara Empire in the 15th century who were famous for their affluent and vast kingdom. Hampi is famous for its Virupaksha temple, carved sculptures, ruins of the city, Akka-Thangi Rocks(Sister rocks), the stone chariot in the Vijaya Vittala Temple(Motif present on the new 50 Rs note), the musical temple pillars, mighty Tungabhadra river, Hippie cultures, Multi-cuisine cafes( Russian, Israeli, French cafes) on the other side of the river, cycling tours, and Helicopter tours. There is history in every turn of the city.
Badami is located around 130 KM to the north-west of Hampi. Badami is the abode of the well-known cave temples dating back to 6th century. Badami cave temples are a complex of 4 temples belonging to Hindu, Jain, and possibly Buddhist faiths. Badami cave temples represent some of the earliest known examples of Hindu temples in the Deccan region.
Pattadakal and Aihole are just a hours drive from Badami. Pattadakal is an UNESCO world heritage site because of the Hindu and Jain temples of the 7-8th century built by the Chalukyas with intricate carvings and elaborate sculpturing works.
Aihole, Kudalasangama, and Hospet dam are other noteworthy destinations in the vicinity.
The north is also home of the most interesting architectures of Sultanate style such as Gol Gumbaz, the Bijapur Mosque which are quintessential type of Deccan sultanate architecture.
Districts Davangere, Chitradurga, and Shimoga forms the Central Karnataka
Chitradurga was the capital of a small dynasty called Nayakas but it it is famous for its rock fort on a hillock formed of Rocks. The Fort is called elu suttina kote(The court of seven circles) is a mighty fort overlooking the town of Chitradurga. It is famous for its ponds, Obavva Kindi( Obavva, wife of the army chief kills many intruders with a stick used to beat rice) and temples.
The central Karnataka hosts other historic places like Ikkeri, Koodli, Keladi, Balligavvi etc.,
The South Karnataka is the home of the districts Tumkur, Bangalore, Ramanagara, Hassan, Chikamagalur, Mandya, Mysore, Coorg, Chamarajanagar, and Kolar.
The southern part of the Karnataka has a rich heritage with destinations like Mysore, Belur, Halebid, Shravanabelagola, and Somnathpur.
Belur-Halebid is the capital cities of Hoysala dynasty dating back to 12th century. Belur is the home for Chennakeshava temple( A vishnu Deity) built by the then king of Hoysala Dynasty Vishnuvardhan famous for its intricate carving and sculptures depicting the epics of hinduism.
Halebid is the mix of jainism and hinduism predominantly jain architecture is visible. It is famous for its sculptures and temples.
Shravanabelagola is the most important pilgrimage of the people following the jainism faith. Shravanabelagola is the home of the 57 foot monolithic Gomateshwara statue and temples of 24 tirthankaras.
The wodeyars legacy helped Mysore to be the cultural capital of Karnataka which is home to rich palaces, temples, museums, and art galleries.
Lepakshi is a small town near Bengaluru well known for its Veerabhadra temple built in the Vijayanagara style of architecture.
The coastal Karnataka comprises of the Districts Dakshina Kannada, Udupi, and Uttara Kannada is home to famous temples and Jain basadis like Udupi Sri Krishna temple, Mookambika Temple, Dharmasthala temple, Subramanya temple, Mangalapuram temple, Varanga Jain Basadi which fills up your souls with spirituality and peace.
Karnataka is blessed with a pleasant weather throughout the year. But places like Hampi, Pattadakal, Chitradurga are better avoided in the summer as it will be difficult to step on the hot rocks of the past.
Karnataka is well connected with a wide network of railways, amazing national highways, and world class airports.
Two Major airports of Karnataka are Bangalore and Mangalore.
New Delhi to Bangalore via train or bus is around 37 hours and via flight is 2.55 hrs.
Kolkata to Bangalore via train, road, and flight is 42 hours, 35 hours, and 3.00 Hrs.
Mumbai to Bangalore via train, road, and flight is 16.5 hours, 21 hours, and 1.5 Hrs.
Mysore is around 140 km from Bangalore and 250 km from Mangalore.
Hampi is around 350 km from Bangalore.