The largest of the states in South India, and also probably the most diverse, Karnataka takes longer to reveal its charms than its southern neighbours, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Distances are the greatest challenge when it comes to touring Karnataka, and a proper overview of the state would take at least 2 weeks and still leave large areas unseen. But in the south of Karnataka- far and away the most visited part- you’ll find the historic city of Mysore, the lush and picturesque hills of Coorg (India’s best coffee is grown here), some very special temples near to Hassan, South India’s best wildlife-viewing opportunities in Nagarhole National Park, and plenty more.

With a bit more time, a trip up towards Hampi, India’s most remarkable archaeological treasure, is absolutely worth the significant time it takes to get there. Beyond Hampi, Pattadakal, Aihole and Badami stand sentinel to a time when mighty empires ruled this part of India. And there is a fantastic coastline to relax on at the end of it all.