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TOURIST PLACES IN KARNATAKA

Karnataka, in the South West of India is a prominent tourism hub, attracting tourists from across the world. Karnataka tourism has seen a boost owing to its capital, Bangalore emerging as the IT centre of the country. The archaic monuments, temples and forts reminds about the glorious past and rich history of the state. Karnataka invites you to explore its lush green landscape, rich heritage, culture, wildlife, beaches and a variety of tourist places located all over the state.

Karnataka is geographically divided into the coastal region or 'Karavali', the hilly region or 'Malenadu' which encompasses the Western Ghats and the plains or 'Bayaluseeme' Balayluseeme is further classified into the northern and southern regions.

Bangalore
Bangalore is the hub of Information Technology in India. bangalore is called the 'Garden City' because of its manicured gardens. There are a number of tourist attractions in and around the city, namely - Bangalore Palace and Fort, Lal Bagh Botanical garden, Cubbon Park, Vidhana Soudha, Bull Temple, ISCKON Temple and many other religious sites.

Mysore
Well known as the 'City of Palaces', Mysore is a true reflection of the cultural heritage and traditional splendor of India's history. It is one of the most popular city among the tourists. The royal Dravidian style of architecture is prominent reflected in the old buildings and palaces around the city. Chamundi hills and the Chamundeshwari Temple are famous as a pilgrimage destinations. Mysore Palace, Brindavan Gardens, Mysore Zoo, Folk Lore Museum are also most visited tourist spots.

Sravanbelagola
Sravanbelagola is considered to be the most famous religious as well as tourist spot in Karnataka. It houses Asia's tallest monolithic statue measuring 17.38 metres high - the statue of Gommateshwara. It a prime Jain pilgrimage destination.

Srirangapatna
Srirangapatna is an egg-shaped island surrounded by river Kaveri and has a cultural and religious relevance since ages. Legends reveal that Lord Buddha visited and stayed near this island. Also, it was the capital of Tipu Sultan, the famed King of Mysore. Ranganathaswamy temple in Srirangapatna is very famous. Other tourist places in and around the town include: Gumbaz, Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary and Sri Rangapatnam Fort.

Hampi
Once the mighty capital of the Vijayanagar Empire Hampi is today listed in UNESCO's World Heritage sites. Ruins of palaces, temples, forts and other ancient monuments makes the town of Hampi a perfect tourist spot as well as a religious place in Karnataka.

Halebid
Dwara Samudhra is an old lake in the town of Halebid. The Hoysaleshawara and Kedareshwara temples are the famous temples in the town that were built during Hoysala dynasty. The facades are filled with carvings of elephants, dancers and episodes from the epics. One must visit the archaeological museum in the Halebid temple complex.

Belur
At Belur, Chennakesava temple complex dedicated to Lord Vishnu and Kappe Chennigraya temple are a must visit. The architecture and the carvings of this temple also hold some historical significance. The carving of Darpana Sundari (beautiful lady with a mirror) is a must see.

Aihole
Once the capital of the Chalukya dynasty, Aihole is a village with some hundred temples around and is known as the cradle of Indian temple architecture. It is a place which hold historical significance and is therefore, a popular tourist spot in Karnataka. There are prominently two temple groups, namely, the Kontigudi group and the Galaganatha group of temples in Aihole. Among these, Lad Khan temple, Huchappayyagudi temple, Durga temple, Ravanaphadi temple and Suryanarayana temple are famous.

Chikmagalur
The picturesque destination has lofty peaks, racing rivers, sparkling streams and cascades. This one place has everything for everyone - adventure seekers, pilgrims, research enthusiasts. The popular ones are the waterfalls of Hebbe, Kalhatagiri, Manikyadhara, Sirimane and Shanti. The Muthodi and Bhadra forests are popular among tourists. Horanadu, Kalasa, Balehonnur and Sringeri are famous pilgrim destinations.

Bandipur
Nesting in the foothills of the Nilgiris, Bandipur National Park is home to tigers, elephants, gaurs, leopards, chital, sambar and a variety of birds. It is one of the best wildlife reserves in India. Tourists admire the beauty of this place as the climate here supports a wide variety of flora and fauna. The Waynad Sanctuary and the Mudumalai Sanctuary are nearby Bandipur and open for tourists. Gypsy rides are a must try.

Mangalore
Mangalore, the second largest cities in Karnataka is also among the famous tourist places in Karnataka. Mysore Palace is one of the most visited monuments in the city. Brindavan Gardens, Jagmohan Palace, Chamundi Hills, Jayalakshmi Vilas Mansion, and Folk Lore Museum are among the famous tourist places in Karnataka.

Other Tourist Attractions
Besides these, Karnataka has a number of scenic beaches in Karwar, Marwanthe and Murudeshwar. The rich tradition of music is also a strong pull for music lovers around the world.

The undulating wonders, creating valleys of pastures green in Coorg, has earned the name, 'The Scotland of India'. This hill station is an important part of Karnataka tourism. Chikmagalur, the coffee land of Karnataka, Kemmanagundi with its cascading waterfalls and lush greenery, Kudremukh, also in Chikmagalur district with its picturesque views are some of the major hill stations.

Mangalore opens into a vast expanse of coastal area, one of the most prominent beach holiday destinations of Karnataka tourism. Surrounding it are major pilgrimage centres of the state like Kollur Mookambika Temple, Udupi Krishna Temple, Horanadu Annapoorneshwari Temple, Sringeri Sarada Temple, Kukke Subramanya, Dharmasthala etc.

Maravanthe is an example of quiet coastal charm followed by more beaches like Byndoor, Malpe, Karwar to name a few.

Places of historical interest are innumerable in the state and is an important and inviting aspect of Karnataka tourism. Places in Karnataka like Mysore, Badami, Hampi, Belur, Halebid, Sravanabelagoa etc boast sculptural marvels which speaks a thousand tales of the begone era.

For those with the spirit of adventure, there are a lot of places in Karnataka scattered with a wide range of adventure activities. Cauvery fishing camp-Bheemeshwari, Galibore & Doddamakali offer a joyous fishing experience. Savandurga, Anthargange, Shivgiri, Ramanagaram etc are frequented for Rock Climbing and trekking. Honnemardhu, Shivgange, Shivanasamudra, Sangama etc entertain with boating, river rafting, Coracle Rides and other water activities.

Wildlife also attracts travellers to places in Karnataka like Bandipur-a famous tiger reserve, Kabini and Nagarhole infested with elephants while BR Hills, Dandeli and Bhadra wildlife sanctuary delights one with its wildlife and wilderness.

Bangalore, Mysore, Mangalore etc are major cities in the state while a lot others are emerging to become. Bangalore is a truly metropolitan city with its diverse culture, IT companies, Malls etc with the others are catching up with it.

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