“Karnataka - One State, Many Worlds” is what the usual tagline goes. Think of Karnataka as a big joint family where each member has a personality of their own living under one roof. The members are, of course, the towns and cities all coexisting in one terrain: Karnataka. Have you been wanting to visit this grand state filled with untethering beauty, timeless moments, and gracious culture? Read our Karnataka travel guide to know all about it.
Karnataka, known for its vastness and riches, has a history so deep that it cannot be covered in a single article. Even the formation of its name doesn't have a single point of reference. The most widely accepted one is that it’s derived from two Kannada words karu and nādu, which literally translates to “elevated land.” This makes pretty much sense since Karnataka is situated at a level of 6,329 ft above sea level. A pretty high state to get high, right?
This enormous state has been the battleground for many ancient empires. From the rise of dynasties such as the Kadambas and Satavahanas, to the fall of Tipu Sultan to the British Raj in the early 18th century. This state has been a huge contribution to India’s development. Just close your eyes and try to think of an India without Karnataka. We’re sure it would be quite dry.
Much of Karnataka’s history is embossed in the architecture left by the rulers. The most proficient ones are the monuments of Sudi that have some of the finest stone carvings, the Gumbaz Burial Chamber, Elephant Stables, and the Badami Cave Temple. We can just go on listing countless architectural pieces in Karnataka and still 3 full scapes will fall short.
Finishing a blog without mentioning Karnataka’s vibrant food culture would be unethical. Dosas and sambar are the usual staples of this state, but if you head along the coastal line, dishes such as Mangalorean fish curry and Kane rava fry are a great hit. For those who love a mouthful of cavities, Karnataka has sweet dishes such as payasa, Mysore pak, halbai, pori urundai, and more.
You won’t have any hassles getting to Karnataka by air because of its extensive networks of airports present all across the state. The Kempegowda International Airport (BIAL) located in Bengaluru and Bajpe International Airport situated in Mangaluru are two major airports for international travel. Including these two, there are 8 functioning airports across Karnataka some of which are Belagavi Airport, Hubballi Airport, and Mysuru Airport.
The Bengaluru City Railway Station is the main railhead in Karnataka that connects many major cities including Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai, and many others. Apart from Bengaluru, other major cities in Karnataka such as Udupi and Mangaluru have railway stations of their own, serving neighboring cities and localities of their own.
Getting to Karnataka by road is pretty efficient due to the presence of six-lane highways, which have been set up by the government. You can travel by car or bus; choose the latter option if you’re on a budget. With highways such as NH 17, NH 4, NH 13, and NH 7, getting to Karnataka from states such as Maharashtra, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Goa, and Andhra Pradesh has become much of a breeze.
Karnataka’s region is diverse and huge! And each section has its own pros and cons in terms of weather. But if you’re looking to explore Karnataka in its pleasant state, then the winter season (October - February) triumphs over all the others. Temperatures during this season lie between 22°C and 31°C, making the surroundings ideal and comfortable for sightseeing. You can visit towns such as Hampi and have fun exploring the ruins.
Summers in Karnataka can get harsh as the average temperature can be between 35°C to 45°C. But you can always move to hill stations such as Coorg or Chikmagalur for a cooler experience.
Monsoons in Karnataka are a sight to behold and if you love a rainy night, then try visiting this state during this time. Although sightseeing during the monsoons will be difficult, you can at least enjoy the misty views of the Nandi Hill range and Agumbe forest region. Just to give you a heads-up, the coastal region tends to receive heavier rainfall than other regions, so plan accordingly.
The Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) has an impressive network of buses that travels through different parts of the state. The Kempegowda Bus Stand in Bengaluru is a major hub for KSRTC buses and privately owned buses to travel intercity or interstate. Also, each city in Karnataka has its own force of private and government-run buses.
You can use trains to get around Karnataka smoothly, but it’s more efficient in the state capital, Bengaluru. From this place, trains reach nearly every major destination of Karnataka such as Mysuru, Belgavi, Chikmagalore, and many more. You can make use of the metro system too in Bengaluru as it’ll be faster, but it has a limited range.
People in Karnataka have auto-rickshaws as their consistent mode of transportation for small distances. Although the fare per km is fixed by the government, rickshaw drivers are known to quote exorbitant prices, especially to tourists. That’s why it’s better to ask a local first about rickshaw prices and then travel.
If you want to explore Karnataka’s less bustling side, then you should visit Coorg. With its pristine climate, lush landscapes, and breathtaking natural beauty, spending the weekend there will indeed be a rejuvenating experience. On top of that, you have Coorgs’ blessed coffee plantations to tantalize your olfactory sensory neurons. Some well-known destinations you should check out are Abbey Falls, Omkareshwar Temple, and Dubare Elephant Camp.
There’s always something for someone to explore in Karnataka. For all our history buffs, pack your bags and head over to Hampi because that’s where our conqueror’s saga lies. It got such recognition that Hampi is now regarded as one of UNESCO’s World Heritage sites. And you’ll see why once you view this town’s skillfully carved rock structures and intricately designed temples. For you to get started on this beautiful venture of exploring, check out these must-visit locations in Hampi: Virupaksha Temple, Vittala Temple, and Matanga Hill.
If you feel Goa is too bustling and chaotic of a destination to spend a peaceful summer, then pack your bags and head over to Gokarna. This peaceful town is less crowded, a home to clean beaches, and has a variety of beautiful temples as well.
With its location in the prime region of southwestern Karnataka, Gokarna will offer you the prettiest of sunsets, the deepest of romantic beach walks, and the most chill of vibes. Some famous landmarks you can visit are Om Beach, Koti Tirtha, and Mahabaleshwara Temple.
Also known as the City Of Palaces, Mysore is one of Karnataka’s gems that cannot go unnoticed. Over here, you’ll get a thorough sense of what royalty feels and its intoxicating palace architecture will be a paradise for art lovers. Along with that, this city is known for its silk sarees, yoga, and sandalwood. Oh! Don’t forget to take part in the Dussehra festivities as it’s celebrated with great pomp and style over here. Some famous landmarks you can explore in this beautiful city are The Mysore Palace (a UNESCO Heritage Site), Somnathpur Temple, and Chamundeshwari Temple.
Bangalore is a city that goes with many names. For some it's called the Garden City Of India whereas for others it’s called India's Silicon Valley. From its trendy eateries, quirky pubs, and bustling shopping streets, exploring Bangalore is an experience like no other. In addition, Bangalore has a plethora of temples as well, which will make you love the city even more. To get you started on your journey exploring Bangalore, you can visit the Bangalore Palace, Lal Bagh Botanical Gardens, and M.G. Road.
What Is The Other Name Of Karnataka?
Karnataka was once known as the State of Mysore in 1956, before fully becoming Karnataka in 1973.
Which Language Is Spoken In Karnataka?
Kannada is the primary language spoken in Karnataka. Also, Hindi and English are understood widely by many.
Which Town Is Called The Switzerland Of Karnataka?
Sakleshpur is called the “Switzerland of Karnataka” due to its lush terrain, misty mountains, and breathtaking landscapes that are very much akin to Switzerland.
Why Is Coorg Called The Scotland Of India?
Coorg is called the Scotland of India due to its refreshing waterfalls, rolling hills, enchanting weather, and historic colonial estates.
Does Udupi Have An Airport?
Udupi doesn’t have an airport. The nearest airport is Mangaluru, which is about 60 km away.
What Are Some Of The Best Places To Visit In Karnataka?
Some of the best places to visit in Karnataka are Abbey Falls, Omkareshwar Temple, Om Beach, and Vittala Temple.
Does Bangalore Have Snow?
Bangalore is located in the tropical region of the equator. That’s why this city can’t experience snow.
How Far Is Gokarna From Goa?
Gokarna is 134 km from Goa by road.