Karnataka Palaces,Hills and Beaches

The largest state in southern India, Karnataka has a culture, language and history quite distinct from its neighbours. The dichotomy of past and present is obvious when comparing the state's two main cities, Bangalore and Mysore. The former is India's IT capital - a sprawling city with every convenience (and some of the inconveniences) that you would expect to find in a major western city.

Charming Chetinad - Tamilnadu

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Mysore - India

City of Royale

On the other hand Mysore maintains its colonial charm, dominated by the opulent Maharaja's Palace. Life in Mysore is relaxed, the markets and bazaars are legendary and the climate cooler than on the plains below.

Aside from the main palace, the folklore Museum with a wealth of carvings, puppets and ceremonial headwear, and the Jagamohan Palace are notable landmarks in Mysore. Mysore can be used as a base to explore Hoysala Temples, botanical gardens and a bird sanctuary.

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Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary - Karnataka

Array of Exotic species species

Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary is one hour's drive from Mysore on the banks of the Kaveri (Cauvery) River. There is a wide variety of birdlife here including storks, herons, cormorants, egrets, darters, kingfishers and other water birds.

Crocodiles and otters also live in the water surrounding the six islets that comprise the sanctuary. There is an option to take a boat ride down the Kaveri River to see the native and migratory birds nesting and feeding in the sanctuary.

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Hassan - Karnataka

Home for Architectural Marvels

Hassan is derived from the name of the smiling goddess, Hassanamba. The temple architecture of Hassan in the Malnad and Maidan districts of Karnataka is famous for its ancient monuments. Being a major place of Hoysala Empire, Hassan is famous for its Jain temples and Hassanamba Temple. Tender Coconuts and filter coffee are famous food choices here

Winter is the best time to visit Hassan for its picturesque views and pleasant weather conditions suited for day tours. The 18th-century Shettyhali Church, the giant Gorur dam, Sri Ranganatha Temple, ad Ramnath Temple are famous spots to see if you are planning to visit Hassan.

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Gomateshwara's Statue - Karnataka

Bahubali, the First Thirthankara

The tallest monolithic statue in the world is in Shravanabelagola of Karnataka. It was completed in 993 CE. Dedicated to Lord Bahubali or Gomateshvara,this 60 feet monolithic statue is an epitome of architectural excellence. Chamundaraya of the Western Ganga dynasty has built this massive structure from 978 CE to 993 CE.

During the Mahamastakabhisheka festival once in 12 years, devotees gather in number to pour water on the Jain God Gomateshvara from 1008 vessels. The whole beauty of the statue will be adorned further by sugarcane juice, milk, and fruit pulp of the saffron flower. This statue is 150 km away from Bangalore Airport and less than 60 km away from Hassan Railway Station.

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Hampi - Karnataka

Treasure of Culture and Heritage

Karnataka's most significant historical site is the ruined Vijayanagar city at Hampi. This was the capital of a huge empire between the early 14th and mid 16th century. The most splendid monument of Hampi is undoubtedly the Vithala Temple Complex with its 56 musical pillars but there are many other points of interest including Virupaksha Temple, the Queen's Bath and the Elephant stables. At least one full day is required to take in the sheer scale and majesty of the site.

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The Caves At Badami - Karnataka

Transcendant Beauty in a Specatular setting

These are well preserved but less extensive than those at Ajanta and Ellora. The 3 main caves are dedicated to Shiva, Vishnu and Jainism respectively with detailed decorations depicting aspects of the deities. There is a good archaeological museum and good views for those who climb up to the fort. Close by are temples at Pattadakal and Aihole which can also be included in a full day tour of this area.

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Coorg And The Hills - Karnataka

Pleasant change from the plains , an attractive trekking destination!

For those who like to visit places off the beaten track, you can come across from Hassan to the hill stations of Coorg (Kodagu) to visit coffee plantations and the source of the Cauvery River. This area is also home to Tibetan settlements where you can visit their temples and observe the activities of the monks and industrious people.

You can choose from a range of accommodation, some including simple home - stays on plantations, up to resorts with a range of facilities. The elephant camp allows you close interaction and education about the natural life of elephants and how they also contribute their skills in plantations of the region.

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Beaches, Yoga, Meditation And Ayurveda - Karnataka

A relaxing stop between Goa and Kerala, one of the scenic locations in India !

Coming across to the coast at Mangalore, there are pristine beaches and the temple town of Udupi. At Gokarna, with its Om shaped beach there are places to relax (as Goa was in the early days), various accommodation offering Yoga, meditation and Ayurveda without large crowds. Further up the coast, just south of the Goan border is Karwar where you can stay in simple accommodation surrounded by white beaches and forest. From here you can access the airport at Goa.

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Wildlife - Karnataka

Nature's habitat for the majestic creatures, flourishing the ecosystem

Home for swampland, streams, moist deciduous forests and stands of bamboo, teak and sandalwood. Flourished by the Kabini River, the Wildlife of Karnataka surprises you with Indian Bisons, Elephants, Indian wild dogs, sloth bears, leopards and an endless list balancing the ecosystem. The most biologically rich region in India is the reason why wildlife in Karnataka is flourishing. The steady growth of tiger population is what makes Karnataka and the Western Ghats one of the important wildlife zones in India.