Must see places in Karnataka for Tourists

Updated on May 27, 2024 | Online Indian Visa

Karnataka is located in the south of India with some famous modern and ancient cities waiting to be discovered. The state is blessed with beautiful scenic landscape, beaches, vibrant nightlife and some of the spectacular historical architectural wonders such as palaces, and temples.

Bangalore, the IT hub & capital of Karnataka

Bangalore (or Bengaluru) is the capital of Karnataka, the southern state of India. If you don’t know, Bengaluru is known as the Silicon Valley of India for flourishing start-up industries.

Bangalore has some of the most beautiful gardens and parks, the famous ones are the Lalbagh and Cubbon Park, during the spring season visitors will be mesmerized by the beauty of varied species of flower blooming. Hence, one of the best seasons to visit Bangalore, with streets covered with blooming flowers.

If you are a wildlife lover, you will love visiting the Bangalore zoo, Bannerghatta Biological Park, one of the best zoos in India to get a glimpse of some of the rare animal species.

There’s more, history fanatics can enjoy exploring the Bangalore Palace, Tipu Sultan’s Summer Palace and Chitradurga Fort. They are some of the fascinating wonders of the bygone era.

For a quick adventurous day trip from Bangalore, head to the Nandi Hills, it is covered with enchanting landscape and the view is simply breathtaking. When you reach the top, the weather turns completely different, with cool breeze blowing and fog, it feels like a hill-station.

Nightlife lovers will simply love to enjoy a night-out at one of the cafes, bars, clubs or breweries. There are many exciting places to enjoy in Bangalore where you can have a thrilling night out experience.

For a 5-Star stay experience: Leela Palace or The Oberoi


If you are foreign traveler planning to visit India to take a look at some of the awe-inspiring places of India, you are required to apply for the Indian Visa Online or the India e-Tourist Visa. Those tourists who are on a business trip with the India e-Business Visa and want to include some leisure activity and sightseeing activity to their itinerary, they should apply for the Indian Visa Online. The immigration authority of India encourages, foreign travelers to apply for the Indian eVisa to enjoy a hassle-free travel experience.

Mangalore, the coastal wonder

Another beautiful city in Karnataka is Mangalore, a coastal wonder, as the whole city is located near the beach. Some of the popular ones are Panambur and Tannirbhavi. Do visit the Pithrody beach which is around 15 km away from Mangalore city. The highlight of this beach is that there is a river on one side and on the other side is the Arabian Sea, it’s truly a magical experience for the eyes.

Nearby Mangalore there are many popular towns like Udupi and Manipal. Udupi is located around 60 km from Mangalore and is a famous tourist spot for its serene environment and cultural richness.

Best stay experience: Rockwoods homestay or Goldfinch Mangalore


Foreign travelers visiting India with the Indian e-Visa must arrive at one of the designated airports or seaports only. Both Bangalore and Mangalore are designated airports for Indian e-Visa, with Mangalore being a designated seaport as well.

Gokarna, the town of stunning beaches

Want to land in place, straight out from a movie location, then Gokarna in Karnataka is blessed with captivating scenic locations that feels like a scenic backdrop from a Bollywood movie.

In case, you did not know, the Arabian Sea meets the Western Ghats in Gokarna, so this place is a bewitching site for the beach and mountain lovers.

Gokarna Beach is the most crowded beach as it is located in the vicinity of the town, you can easily reach the beach, but finding a secluded spot to enjoy the vibe is difficult.

The Om Beach is located at a cliffside, and it is isolated, visitors will get a chance to have a quiet time and enjoy watching the waves. But it is recommended to get back before sunset, as you have to climb the cliffs.

The Half Moon Beach is another interesting beach as you have to hike all the way to the beach to have some peaceful and relaxing atmosphere.

The Paradise Beach is the final beach in Gokarna town, it is reachable only by a hike or by a boat ride.

Hampi, the ancient city of ruins

Did you know? Hampi has two sides: One side is for the tourists to explore the cultural richness of the area, the other side is the hippie side.

Hampi is an ancient city, built in the 14th century and has great historical significance. It was the capital of the grand and wealthy Vijayanagar Empire. The cultural side of Hampi is the most fascinating part as it is filled with ancient temples, ruins and great mystical stories of the Hindu mythological era. The ruins of Hampi are designated as UNESCO World heritage sites. Some of them are Lotus Mahal, stone chariot at Vittala temple, Hampi Bazaar, etc.

The famous ancient temples include the Vijaya Vittala temple, Sri Virupaksha temple, Achyutaraya Temple, and Hazara Rama Temple.

For adventure and history lovers, they can visit the magnificent hills like the Matanga Hill, according to Hindu Mythology in the epic Ramayana, it is believed to be the place where the Monkey King Sugriva along with Lord Hanuman, hid himself from the fury of his brother Bali.

Another important place to explore is the sacred Anjaneya Hill, according to Hindu mythology it is believed to be the birthplace of Lord Hanuman, and is considered an important pilgrimage site.

The Hemakuta hill located at the southern part of Hampi, also comprises ancient temples and ruins and offers panoramic view of the town.

The hippie tourists in Hampi can visit the villages near Hampi, enjoy cliff jumping, or take a coral ride on the lake Sanapur, or climb the hills of Anjaneya, Hemakuta, etc.

Where to stay here: Hidden Place or Akash Homestay

Vijayapura, Agra of south India

Vijayapura is known as the Agra of south India, as the town is famous for its architectural wonders following both Hindu and Islamic style of designs.

The famous historical site is the Gol Gumbaz, it is the 4th largest dome in the world and the largest dome in India built in the 17th century. This monument is the tomb of Sultan Mohammad Adil Shah, who was the 7th Sultan of Bijapur. The architectural design of this monument is Indo-Islamic architectural design. One of the highlights of the Gol Gumbaz is that below the tomb is a gallery where one single echo could be heard seven times.

Another popular site is the Jumma Masjid built by Ali Adil Shah I, as a symbol of victory against the Vijayanagar empire. Also, the Bijapur fort is a famous monument built during the reign of the Adil Shah Dynasty by Yusuf Adil Shah in the 16th century.

Other important tourist places include Taj Bawadi, Ibrahim Rouza, Mehtar Mahal, Asar Mahal, Upri Buruj, Bara Kaman, Gagan Mahal, Chand Bawdi, etc.

Where to stay here: Spoorthi Resort or Fern Residency

Coorg, the Scotland of the East

Coorg Coorg, aromatic coffee plantations

Coorg, the land blessed with eternal beauty is rightly tagged as the Scotland of the East. Tourists visiting the region during the harvesting season, will love the aroma of the coffee that fills the air of the surrounding location. The enchanting hills, the green valleys and the clear blue sky, will let you wonder, as if you landed in paradise.

Some of the popular tourist spots to visit near Coorg includes the Namdroling Monastery; Abbey and Iruppu waterfalls; Talakaveri, a holy place for the Hindus and this is where the River Cauvery; Dubare Elephant Camp, its an elephant camp where you can take part in feeding and bathing the elephants; river rafting in Dubare; etc.

Also, adventure lovers can enjoy river rafting in Dubare, and trek to peaks like Kodachadri, and Brahmagiri.


If you want to visit Coorg, you can know more about the place in this article Coorg and other famous Hill-stations in India

Chikmangalur, a beautiful hill-station

If you are planning to visit a hill-station in Karnataka, Chikmagalur is a beautiful hill station. Tourists can enjoy visiting some of the wonderful attraction sites like the Mahatma Gandhi National park, a popular spot among families; Hebbe waterfalls; Kallathigiri waterfalls; Jog Falls, popular as the Niagara Falls of India, it's a four hour ride from Chikmagalur, but it's worth the effort especially in the monsoon season; Ayyanakere Lake, which is the largest lake in Chikmagalur; etc.

Where to stay: Aura Homestay or Trinity Grand Hotel

Mysore, the sandalwood city of India

Mysore Mysore palace

Mysore is officially known as Mysuru is famous for its sandalwood and rosewood artifacts, and the Mysore Palace.

The most popular tourist place is the Mysore Palace, which was built between 1897-1912, under the instructions of the British, designed by a famous English Architect, Henry Irwin. It follows the Indo-Saracenic style (a revival style of Indo-Islamic or Mughal-Gothic or Indo-Gothic) which the Britishers introduced in the later part of the 19th century.

The Brindavan Gardens located around 10 km from the main city, is another interesting place to visit, as it adjoins the KRS Dam, and there's a fountain show organized in the garden, which is a must-see. The Karanji lake and park is also another beautiful spot to visit in Mysore.

Tourists can also visit the Chamundeshwari hill and temple which is situated near Mysore city. Another best spot is the Shivanasamudra falls on the River Kaveri, which is around 75 km away from the city. The best month to visit this spot is from September to January.

Interesting spots for wildlife lovers

Due to the pleasant weather and lush-green vegetation, Karnataka is home to some of the popular wildlife sanctuaries and national parks.

Tourists hoping to explore wildlife and watch them in their natural habitat, you can visit some of the most captivating national parks like the Bannerghatta National Park, Nagarhole National Park, Bandipur National Park, Kudremukh National Park, Mudumalai National Park, and Anshi National Park.

Frequently Asked Questions Related to Must-Visit Places in Karnataka

What are the top tourist attractions sites in Bangalore, Karnataka's capital?

Bangalore, famous as the Silicon Valley of India, has famous tourist attraction sites like Bangalore Palace, Visvesvaraya Industrial and Technological Museum (art center), Lalbagh, Cubbon Park, etc.

Which is the most popular historical site that is a must-visit in Karnataka?

Hampi, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which is famous for more than 600 ancient ruins, is a must-visit historical site. Hampi is located in a beautiful hilly terrain and was the capital city of the rich and prosperous Vijayanagar Empire. The city comprises some of the spectacular ancient temples, monuments and sculptures of great architectural designs.

What is unique about Mysore, and why should it be on the travel itinerary?

Mysore, officially known as Mysuru is famous for the Mysore Palace. Other popular spots to visit include Jaganmohan Palace, Chamundi Hills, Chamundeshwari Temple, Devaraja Market, etc.

Are there any picturesque hill stations in Karnataka?

Coorg (known as Kodagu) is a breathtaking hill station in Karnataka.During the coffee plantation season, tourists visiting the area can get the aroma of coffee. The region is blessed with lush green landscape, and scenic views. Some of the popular attractions of the region include the tea plantations, Tibetan Buddhist Golden Temple, Raja's Seat, Abbey Falls, etc.

Why is Gokarna famous among the travelers?

Gokarna is one of the popular scenic beach destinations, and is a pilgrimage site comprising the famous Mahabaleshwar Temple. Travelers can explore some of the interesting beaches to have some peaceful time like Gokarna Beach, Paradise Beach, Om Beach, Half Moon Beach and Kudle Beach.

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