Also known as the “Garden City,” Bangalore is the capital of Karnataka. True to its name, you will find huge parks and gardens in the city that span hundreds of acres individually. The biggest of these is Cubbon Park which is about 300 acres, followed by Lal Bagh Botanical Garden which is around 240 acres. The city is also home to historical monuments such as Bangalore Fort, Bangalore Palace, and Tipu Sultan Summer Palace.
Mysore, also called the “Cultural Capital of Karnataka,” was formerly a Kingdom, the capital of which was Srirangapattana. Mysore was mostly ruled by the Wodeyar Dynasty except for a small period when it was ruled by Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan. The rules of Mysore were always patrons of art and culture. As a result, tourists today have extensive options for exploration in Mysore and Srirangapattana. The monuments in these cities are extremely well maintained and have an ornate architecture.
Madikeri, which is the capital of Coorg district, is a popular hill station in Karnataka and falls in the Western Ghats. It is very close to the dense Nagarahole forest. Madikeri is predominantly comprised of a warrior tribe called Kodavas, who are known to be very fun-loving and carefree. Their traditions and music are totally unique when compared to the rest of Karnataka.
Mangalore, Udupi, Murudeshwar and Gokarna
These are the major costal cities of Karnataka. You will find clean beaches that extend from Mangalore up to Gokarna. These cities are mostly famous for their temples, seafood, and beaches. The most famous temples in these areas are the Gokarna Shiva, Kollur Mukambika, Murudeshwar Shiva and Udupi Krishna Temples.
Hampi is about 74 kilometers from Bellary and 353 kilometers from Bangalore. The town has ancient ruins that cover a distance of about 125 square kilometers. It was the capital of the erstwhile Vijayanagara Empire, which ruled Karnataka for over 200 years from early 14th to late 16th century. The fact that ancient ruins are scattered throughout this town makes for an excellent trek. Hampi has 54 world heritage monuments, 650 national monuments and over 300 monuments that still await protection from the government.
A visit to Hampi gives you an impression that there is still a great lot to be discovered in this place even after centuries. It is home to some superb engineering marvels which would be tough to replicate even today. The highlight is perhaps the Vitthala Temple with musical pillars. The pillars of this temple are actually percussion musical instruments made of stone, and each pillar produces a unique sound. Just try tapping on a couple when you are there.
This town in the Bagalkot District of Karnataka has a history that dates back to the pre-historic era which is evident by the many megalithic burial sites, paintings and rock shelters. The main highlights of this city are the cave temples, Badami Fort, and Vatapi Ganapati Temple. While in Badami, you should not miss visiting Pattadakal, which hosts the unique architectural style of the Chalukya Dynasty. Virupaksha, Sangameshvara, and Mallikarjuna temples are just a few of the innumerous temples in Pattadakal.