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Located in the southern part of India, Karnataka is traditionally rich and an historical state of India. Formerly known as ‘State of Mysore’, it was renamed as Karnataka in the year 1973. The state shares its boundary with Maharashtra to the north, Andhra Pradesh to the east, Tamil Nadu to southeast, Kerala to the southwest and Goa to the northwest. However, from the west it is bordered with Arabian Sea.

Historically, Karnataka had been evidenced some of the most powerful and influential empires during the periods of ancient and as well as medieval India. Furthermore, these emperors were also great and patronised music as well. They had given their great contribution for the establishment of socio-religious and literary movements. Likewise, the state has developed both forms of Indian classic music namely the Carnatic (Karnataka Music), Hindustani traditions. Additionally, Karnataka has also played important role in establishing Kannada literature. Writers of the Kannada language have been accoladed the maximum numbers of Jnanpith awards in India. Moreover, in the present time, the capital of the state Bengaluru is the front-runner of the swift economic and technological development and more popularly known as hi-tech city of India.

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Geographically Karnataka is classified into three regions namely the coastal region of Karavali, The hilly Malenadu region consisting of Western Ghats and The Bayaluseeme region consisting the plains of the Deccan Plateau. The larger section of the state is covered by Bayaluseeme region. And, the important rivers of the state are Kaveri, Krishna, Tungabhadra, Sharavathi and Malaprabha.

Notably, Karnataka has Tropical Climate and divided into four seasons; i.e. Winter Season during the months of January and February; Summer Season during the months of March and May; Monsoon Season during the months of June and September; and, post-monsoon season during the months of October to December.

Karnataka Tourism

By virtue of having geographical diversity and rich history, Karnataka has hundreds of tourists’ attractions that fascinate not only the Indian tourists but also the tourists from all over the world. You can see here wonderful ancient sculptured temples, scenic hills, National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries and beaches along with modern cities and infrastructure. After Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka has the second highest number of nationally protected monuments in India. Besides, more than 750 monuments are protected by the State Directorate of Archaeology and Museums. Moreover, Karnataka is the fourth most popular destination for tourists in India.

Tourists’ Attractions of North Karnataka

World Heritage Centres:

Hampi: Located in Bellary District and the place of a 29-foot-tall monolithic Narasimha; it was installed by Krishnadevaraya in 1529. Interestingly, it was the capital of Vijayanagara Empire.

Group of 8th century CE monuments, Pattadakal: Pattadakal is the home of various historical temples architected in south Indian Dravidian style, North Indian Nagara style and the last Papanatha temple architected in hybrid of the two styles. Examples of oldest temples are Mallikarjuna, Sangameshwara and Virupaksha Temple.

Historical Attractions:

Aihole: It is the store house of about 140 temples constructed during the 6th to 12th century. Besides, it has also Jain and Vedic rock-cut shrine.
Badami: Historical capital city Badami is popular for its cave temples. It has four caves and the temple is dedicated to God Vishnu.
Basavana Bagewadi: The temples of this place are constructed in Chalukya style.
Basavakalyana: Located in Bidar Disctrict, it is popular for Archaeological Museum.

Other historical places popular for the temples are:

Buddhist temples: Some of the popular Buddhist temples are located at Balligavi, Koliwada, Sannati, Kanaganahalli, Aihole, Badami, Mundgod and many more.
Shakti Stal: Popular ‘Shakti Stal of state are located at Chandralamba, Bagavanti, Mayawa, Yellammma, Banashankari, Bhuvaneshwari, Marikomba etc.

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Forts of Karnataka:

Bidar Fort: Built by Bahamani Sultan Ahmad Shah Wali during the year 1429 AD.
Gulbarga Fort: It was originally constructed by Raja Gulchand and later on reconstructed by Ala-ud-din Bahmani.
Savadatti Fort (also called as Saundatti Fort): It is a hill fort.
Gajendragad Fort: It is a hill fort, which is constructed by Chatrapathi Shivaji.
Basavakalyan Fort
Nargund fort
Bellary Fort
Sandur Fort

Tourists’ attractions of South Karnataka

Bengaluru: Formerly known as Bangalore, it is the capital of Karnataka. The hi-tech city has plenty of tourist attractions.
Belur: One of the most popular places that homes the Hoysala temple complex.
Halebidu: The historic place narrating the episodes from the epics of Ramyana, Mahabartha, and Bhagavata.
Aralaguppe: Pretty popular for its Kalleshwara temple, which is constructed in Ganga Nalamba style. Surprisingly, the ceiling of temple illustrates dancing Shiva sculpture with musical accompanists and eight Dikpalas.
Arasikere: The historical place has various temples. It is also popular for its coconut gardens.
Madhugiri: A historical place, which has huge hill fort.
Sira: A historical place where you can find Jumma masjid, Gopalakrishna temple and many more.
Ramanathapur: Here you can see Aghastheshwara, Rameshwara, Subramanya and Pattabi Rama temples.
Melukote: It is one of the most popular religious places in south Karnataka known for its various temples.
Yediyur: The place is popular for the temples, matha and old paintings.
Madikeri / Mercara: More popularly known as ‘Scotland of India’, it is popular for its landscapes, coffee plantations and forests.
Srirangapattana: Located at the distance of 14 km from Mysore, it is popular for its scenic location.
Somnathpur: Popular for its Hoysala temple architecture.
Jog Falls: It is the highest water fall in India.
Mekedatu: It is popular as picnic spot.
Devarayanadurga: It is a popular hill station.

Attractions of Coastal Karnataka

Gokarna: It is a popular pilgrimage centre.
Udupi: Popular as a religious place, you can see here Lord Krishna temple.
Karkala: It is an important Jain centre.
Dharmastala: Located in the vicinity of forested hill, it is popular pilgrim centre.
Kollur: One of the most significant pilgrimage centres dedicated to Lord Shiva.
Bhatkal: A religious place also popular for its architecture and sculpture.
Murudeshwar: Historical religious place popular for the idol of Lord Shiva. With the height of 123 feet, the idol of Shiva is the tallest idol in the world.

Hills of Karnataka:

Agumbe: Located in Western Ghats, it is popular for its scenic landscapes.
Bheemeshwari: It is located on the bank of River Kaveri.
Kemmangundi: Located at Tarikere taluk in Chikmagalur District, it is a hill station.
Kodachadri: Famous for the sunrise and sunset, it is the highest peak of Shimoga district in Karnataka state.
Kundadri Hill: Located in Shimoga, it is popular for the monolithic rock formation.
Nandi Hills: Located in Chikkaballapur district, it is popular for the ancient temple.
Baba Budan Range: Located in the Dattagiri Hill Range/Baba Budan Range of the Western Ghats of India, it is popular for mountain landscapes.

Beaches of Karnataka

Gokarna Beach
Malpe Beach
Karwar Beach
Kurumgad Beach
Marawanthe Beach
Someshwar Beach
Surathkal Beach
Tannirbavi Beach
Kaup Beach
Murudeshwar Beach
Ullal Beach
Panambur Beach
St. Mary's Island: It is the collection of small islands in the Arabian Sea; becoming pretty popular for tourists.

National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries in Karnataka

Bandipur National Park: It is located in Mysore District.
Bannerghatta National Park: It is located in Bangalore district.
Nagarhole National Park: It is located in Mysore District and Kodagu district.
Kudremukh National Park: It is located in Dakshina Kannada and Chickmagalur district.
Dandeli &Anshi National Park: It is Located in Uttara Kannada district.
Gudavi and Mandegadde Bird Sanctuaries: It is located in Shimoga.
Rangantittu Bird Sanctuary: It is located in Mandya district.
Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary: It is located in Kodagu district.
Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary: It is located in Kodagu district.
Ranebennur Blackbuck Sanctuary: It is located in Haveri district.
Magadi Bird Sanctuary: It is located in Gadag District.
Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary: It is located in Uttara Kannada district.for more state

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Karnataka Itineraries