Karnataka

Karnataka is one of the most versatile tourist spots in India offering a wide variety of sightseeing places to match your interests. The state is located in the south western part of the Indian Sub-continent. It officially became an independent part of the Union of India in 1956. Bangalore is the capital city. The state is bordered by Goa, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Kerala, and Andra Pradesh. Its western border is shared with Arabian Sea. The region is famous for palaces and handicrafts and is a major Information Technology hub in the country.

Geography, vegetation, and climate

The region is one of the largest in India and ranks 8th with regards to geographical area. The territory is bifurcated into 30 districts and each one is significant in its own sense. The land is virtually divided into three major segments of Karavali (covering the coastal area), Bayaluseeme (comprising the Deccan Plateau), and Malenadu (referring to the Western Ghats). Mullayanagiri is the highest point in the state. The main rivers flowing through the region are Sharavathi, Tungabhadra, Malaprabha, Kaveri, and Krishna.

The state is extremely rich in mineral resources and is a major hub for gold mining. It contributes to more than 80% of the gold mining in the country and is also famous for high deposits of iron ore, asbestos, manganese, bauxite, quartz, limestone, and silica sand.

The territory has ample greenery with 20% of its area covered by forests. Teak and rosewood are found in abundant and form a considerable chunk of timber plantation. The state is also known for dense sandalwood forests in Jogimatti, Devaragudda, Neerathalli, Chitradurga, and Molakalmuru.

The climate of Karnataka is of typical nature and can be divided into four phases. Winter occurs for a short duration and falls in the months of January and February. Monsoon season falls during June to September followed by post-monsoon phase in the months of October to December. Summer is experienced in the months of March, April, and May. Winter is the most preferred season to visit the state though monsoons also exhibit a unique picture of nature's exquisiteness and woo a lot of tourists worldwide.

Demography

The territory is one of the most populated in the country and ranks ninth in the category. The density of population here is 320 persons per km sq. Average sex ratio in the region is 968 females per 1000 males. Around 76% of the society here is literate. Kannada is the official language and spoken by more than 64% people. The other languages used for communication are Urdu, Marathi, Malayalam, Telugu, Konkani, Tamil, Hindi, Kodava Takk, and Tullu.

Prominent places of attraction

The sites of Hampi and Pattadakal are identified as UNESCO World Heritage Sites and are known for rock structures and temples. The sites can be visited during any part of the year though winter season is the most preferred by tourists. Let us have a look at some other renowned spots in the state.

In Bangalore

Bangalore city is one of the biggest hot-spots in the state. It is well-known for Lal Bagh or the Botanical Garden. The place is more than 250 years old and houses more than 1000 unique species of plants. You must not miss the annual flower show held by the garden administration every year. It exhibits some of the finest species of flowers in India. Another important attraction in the garden is the Lal Bagh Rock which is about 3000 million years old. The location is also renowned for Glass House. Cubbon Park is another noted site for preservation of important species of plants and trees and is popular among children for the amusing kids train.

The administrative building of the state government, Vidhan Soudha, is located here and displays a great piece of Dravidian architecture. The building of the state high court is another monument worth seeing. It is constructed using red bricks and stones and depicts the architectural pattern of Greco-Roman style.

The Summer Palace of Tipu Sultan will introduce you to some of the finest articles of Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan regime. The structure was completed in 1791 and is made mainly out of fine wood . The carvings therein will definitely amaze you. Bangalore Palace (built in 1862 AD) and Bangalore Fort (constructed in 1537 AD) should not be missed out on your must-see list. Mayo hall in the city is regarded as one of the pioneering works of British Architects.

The most visited museum in Bangalore is Visvesvaraya Industrial and Technological Museum and is one of the finest science centers in the country. HAL (Hindustan Aeronautics Limited) Museum is the first of it kind in India and talks about the glorious history of the aviation sector in the country. The sites of Bangalore Museum and Gandhi Bhavan are also highly appreciated by tourists.

Another place to visit in the city is Dodda Ala Mara, a 400-year old Banyan Tree in Ramohalli. Thottikallu Falls and Nandi Hills are excellent spots to visit in monsoon and exhibit the true natural beauty of the state. Some of the significant religious centers in Bangalore are Bull Temple, Dharmaraya Swamy Temple, Kadu Malleshwara Temple, Kote Jalakantheshwara Temple, ISKCON Temple, and St. Mary's Basilica.

In Mysore

Mysore city is known mainly for Mysore Palace and Brindavan Gardens. Other sites of interest are Jaganmohan Mahal, St. Philomena's Church, Lalitha Mahal, Chamundi Hills, Rail Museum, and Mysore Zoo.

Eminent Pilgrimage Centers

Shravanabelagola in Hassan district is an important Jain pilgrimage center and houses a historic statue of Gomateshwara Bahubali. There are several Shakti Sthals, Jain temples and Buddhist pilgrimage centers in Karnataka. The Shiva Temple at Gokarn and Kudalasangama attract thousands of devotees each year.

For nature and wild-life passionates

Jog Falls, the largest falls in the country, are worth seeing. Other sites in the category include the falls of Magod, Shivanasamudra, Gokak, Abbey, and Unchalli. For those who are passionate to explore fauna of the region, the locations of Ranganthittu Bird Sanctuary, Butterfly Park, Bandipur National Park and Tiger Reserve, Pushpagiri National Park, and Bannerghatta National Park offer a great deal of enjoyment. The famous hill-stations in the state are Agumbe, Kundremukh, Horanadu, and Kemmamgundi.

Karnataka offers a wide variety of sightseeing spots to choose from. The government here has recently introduced 'The Golden Chariot', a luxurious train exclusively for exploring the territory and knowing the cultural and traditional values imbibed in the society here. Touring the state will definitely introduce you to a different face of Indian Society.

Karnataka Tourism