It isn’t all just modern though, you can find stunning ancient architectural gems in Karnataka, including the UNESCO World Heritage sites Hampi and Pattadakal. Karnataka’s tropical beaches are pristine and nearly untouched by tourism and dotted with devout temple towns. In the mountains of the inland lush coffee and spice plantations wait for trekking enthusiasts.
Hampi was the capital of the last great Hindu Kingdom Vijayanagar. Its spectacular Dravidian temples and palaces won the admiration of travellers between 14th and 16th centuries, it was known to be one of the most beautiful cities of the medieval world. The city was conquered in 1565, then pillaged and abandoned. It now is a unique testimony of a vanished civilization
Mysore is Karnataka’s pride. It boasts a spectacular palace, an enchanting spice market, ancient temples and giant Jain sculptures. The palace was historic seat of the Maharajas of Mysore, and graces the skyline of the beautiful city.
It dates from 1912, after the previous temple burnt down. The splendid palace gardens and broad avenues add to the city’s charm. Nearby Mysore you can visit the wildlife havens of Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve to spot rare animals, including the Royal Bengal Tiger.
The most popular festival in Karnataka is Dussehra in Mysore. During 10 days Mysore is illuminated beautifully every night and cultural events like concerts and dance performances invite to join in. The last day includes a huge procession with heavily adorned elephants, cavalry and brass bands marching through the streets.