Murudeshwara view Shiva statue

Karnataka: 30 Amazing Places You Definitely Want to Visit

Karnataka is an amazing Indian state in the South. It is known for its diversity in geography, culture, traditions, people, food, etc. There are also a lot of places for you to see and experience.

Karnataka is not just the looks, you have to feel it. From the busy metropolis of Bengaluru to the beautiful and quiet Kodagu to the tranquil beaches of Gokarna, Karnataka has it all.

These are the list of amazing places and facts about Karnataka that will make you definitely want to visit soon. I’ll assure you visiting Karnataka will definitely make you feel the ‘Indianness’.

Amba Vilas Palace, Mysore

Amba Vilas Palace, Mysore, Karnataka
The front view of the Amba Vilas Palace, Mysore.
Muhammad Mahdi Karim/GNU Free Documentation License/Source

During the pre-independence days, this palace was the seat of power of the Maharaja. It is located in the center of Mysore. It was built in the early 20th Century after the old wooden palace broke down due to a fire. The palace is majestic, with several rooms and many precious things from the past.

It is absolutely beautiful and will make you feel the grandeur of the past. It is a very good historical monument. Mysore is said to have seven palaces, but if someone refers to the Mysore Palace, it is specifically this one.

This is one of the places in Karnataka you must definitely visit. You will definitely remember this for its absolute grandeur and history.

Jog Falls, Shivamogga

Jog Falls, Shivamogga, Karnataka
The mesmerizing view of the Jog Falls.

If Mysore Palace captures the royalty and grandeur of Karnataka, the Jog Falls is an absolutely breathtaking place where you can experience the nature and beauty of Karnataka. Seeing the mesmerizing scene of water falling from the Sharavathi into the depths through four channels will always be memorable.

The beauty of this place can better be experienced by watching, rather than reading about it. The Jog Falls is the third-highest waterfall in India. The water falls through four streams, named Raja, Rani, Roarer, and Rocket. You can visit Jog Falls at all times of the year, but visiting there during the Monsoon season is recommended, as you can see the full beauty of the falls.

Hampi, Vijayanagara

Karnataka, Hampi, Vijayanagara
The stone chariot and other monuments in Hampi.
Raghaven97/CC BY-SA 4.0/Source

Hampi is an ancient city on the banks of the river Tungabhadra. It is UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are many exotic pieces of Architecture in Hampi. The most famous of them is the Stone Chariot. Hampi was the seat of the Vijayanagara Kingdom.

Visiting Hampi will be a truly marvelous experience. This is one of the places definitely worth visiting in Karnataka. You will definitely feel the grandeur of the past when in Hampi. It is located in the newly formed Vijayanagara district.


An elephant sprays water on the tourists in Kodagu. Karnataka
An elephant sprays water on the tourists in Kodagu.
Shital 90/CC BY-SA 4.0/Source

Kodagu is a district in Karnataka which is famous for its natural beauty. This is not a single place but there are many beautiful places to visit in the Kodagu district. The headquarters of the Kodagu district is Madikeri an amazing town.

The best places to visit in Kodagu are the Abbey Falls near Madikeri, Dubare Elephant Camp, Harangi Dam, Omkareswara Temple, Madikeri Fort, Rajah Seat, Tadiandamol Trek, Talakaveri Temple, etc.

The weather and culture of Kodagu are a bit different than the rest of Karnataka. The native people of the district are known as Kodavas and have their own language.

Bandipur National Park

Entrance to the Bandipur National Park. Karnataka
Entrance to the Bandipur National Park.
Vinaysalimath/CC BY-SA 4.0/Source

Bandipur National Park lies in the beautiful forests of Western Ghatscoming under the Mysore and Chamarajanagar districts of Karnataka. Bandipur is associated with tigers and Asiatic elephants. It is one of the few places where there are endangered Asiatic elephants. There are also many endangered animals in this National Park.

If you are one for safari and wildlife, this is the best place you can visit in Karnataka. This place was once used as a hunting ground for the Mysore Maharajas. If you want some wildlife adventure, this is the place for you.

This place is known for one of the maximum tiger sightings in national parks in India. There are many other species of animals you can see in Bandipur.

Gokarna Beach, Uttara Kannada

Halfmoon beach in Gokarna, Karnataka
Halfmoon beach in Gokarna.

Do you want to enjoy and relax on the beach? Do you need a place to be calm and pleasant? Gokarna is the right place for you. Gokarna has the most popular beaches in Karnataka. Gokarna beach is very popular and scenic.

Om Beach in Gokarna is one of the most breathtaking beaches in Karnataka. It offers an excellent view of the sunset. There are also plenty of water sports to enjoy like jet skiing, banana boats, surfing, parasailing, etc. There are also some other popular beaches in Gokarna like Kudle beach, Halfmoon, and Paradise beach. On these beaches also, you can enjoy the best watersports.

St. Mary’s Islands, Udupi

A view of the St. Mary's Islands, the geological rock formation is visible. Karnataka
A view of the St. Mary’s Islands, the geological rock formation is visible.
Keshu/CC BY-SA 3.0/Source

If you love beaches, boating, and having fun, and are excited by geology and history, this is the perfect place for you in Karnataka. You are going with friends and family, this is one of the best places to enjoy yourself together.

St. Mary’s Islands are islands with unique geological formations due to the lava rocks. They have located about 6 km from the coastal town of Malpe near Udupi. The islands attract a lot of tourists and are declared a National Geological Monument by the Geological Survey of India.

There are ferry boats carrying tourists from the Malpe coast to the islands. You will have to get transferred to a smaller boat which then reaches the coast of the Islands. You may have to walk a few feet in the water.

Badami Cave Temples, Bagalakote

An inside view of the Badami Cave Temples. Karnataka
An inside view of the Badami Cave Temples.
Dey.sandip/CC BY 3.0/Source

Badami Cave Temples are a complex of Hindu and Jain’s temples located in Badami in the Bagalkot district of North Karnataka. There are very old structures, dating back to the 6th Century. There is an amazing example of Indian rock-cut architecture.

A visit to Badami will be a truly memorable one, especially if you are interested in history, religion, and ancient times. The splendid ancient architecture has enormous beauty. There are four rock-cut caves, with additional caves being discovered around lake Agastya. The three caves are related to Hinduism, whereas the fourth one is related to Jainism.

A close distance from the caves is the Badami Fort, from where you can get an amazing view of Badami town. The fort has large granaries, underground chambers, and temples.

Mullayanagiri Peak, Chikkamagaluru

A view from the top of the Mullayanagiri peak. Karnataka
A view from the top of the Mullayanagiri peak.
Credits – Avinash Kumar singh/CC BY-SA 4.0/Source

If you enjoy the natural beauty and trekking, Mullayanagiri is a must-visit place for you. Mullayanagiri is the highest peak in Karnataka at an altitude of 6317 feet above sea level. Located among the mesmerizing forests of the Western Ghats, climbing up the peak of Mullayanigiri is an awesome experience. You can feel the change in altitude as you climb up.

There is a temple on the summit, dedicated to the sage whose name the peak bears. It is especially beautiful to visit in the early morning or during sunset. From the peak, you will get an awesome view of several tens of kilometers of beautiful forests and countryside. Chikkamagaluru is also known as the Cofee Land, due to the many coffee estates in the district.

This is one of the must-visit places during your Karnataka trip.

Shri Dharmasthala Manjunatheshwara Temple, Dharmasthala

Shri Dharmasthala Majunatheshwara Temple. Karnataka
Shri Dharmasthala Majunatheshwara Temple.
Vedamurthy J/CC BY-SA 3.0/Source

Shri Dharmasthala Manjunatheshwara Temple is a Shiva temple in Dharmasthala in Dakshina Kannada district. It is one of South India’s most renowned religious centers. The name Dharmasthala means the abode of righteousness, and the place is a very divine place for all the people from Karnataka.

Your visit to Dharmasthala will be a divine experience and make you feel blessed. People also believe that praying in this temple will make their wishes and dreams come true. The temple provides free lunch called the ‘Prasada’.

There are also some other places to see in Dharmasthala. There is a statue of Lord Bahubali which measures 39 feet in height. There is also a Jain Basadi called Chandranatha Basadi. There is also a shrine known as Annappa Swamy Betta.

Agumbe, Shivamogga

Sunset Point, Agumbe. Karnataka
Sunset Point, Agumbe.
Credits – Shashidhara halady/CC BY-SA 4.0/Source

Agumbe is a beautiful place in the Western Ghats located on one of the peaks. Agumbe is located among the beautiful tropical forests of the Western Ghats. Agumbe gets the second-highest rainfall in India.

The most beautiful place to visit in Agumbe is Sunset Point. From this place on the top of a hilly road, you can see the Sun setting in the Arabian Sea in a direct line of sight. There is an Agumbe Rainforest Research Station that studies the endangered King Cobra species.

To get to Agumbe from the coastal side, you have to drive up the Agumbe Ghat, a hilly road with 14 hairpin bends. Driving up or down this road is an exciting experience in itself. Always keep your foot ready on the brakes!! Large buses and trucks are not permitted on this road.

You can trek to Agumbe. There are many beautiful waterfalls near Agumbe. There is also a lake with a boating facility. There are many places to trek and visit nearby Agumbe.

Dandeli, Uttara Kannada

River rafting in Dandeli. Karnataka
River rafting in Dandeli.

Dandeli is an adventurous place in the Western Ghats. It is most well-known for river rafting. If you are someone who loves to adventure, this is the perfect place for you.

There are many options in Dandeli such as adventure hiking trips, whitewater rafting, boat riding, and kayaking. You can also do a wildlife safari there. Dandeli is a place of fun and adventure, a must-visit for adrenaline junkies.

Gol Gumbaz, Bijapur

Gol Gumbaz in Bijapur. Karnataka
Gol Gumbaz in Bijapur.
Ganesh.Subramaniam85/CC BY-SA 4.0/Source

If you love history, this is an awesome place to visit in Karnataka. It is a mausoleum of Mohammad Adil Shah, a ruler of the Shahi Dynasty. Gol Gumbaz literally means ‘Round Dome’. The construction of this mausoleum began in the middle of the 17th Century.

Gol Gumbaz is well-known for its central chamber, where if you speak something, it is said to whisper 7 times. Another is the Whispering Gallery, where even very small sounds can be heard from a distance. Gol Gumbaz is said to be the second largest dome in the World, unsupported by pillars.

So this is one of the most magnificent structures in the World. If you visit Karnataka, this place is definitely worth visiting.

HAL Aerospace Museum, Bengaluru

An English Electric Canberra at the HAL Aerospace Museum. Karnataka.
An English Electric Canberra at the HAL Aerospace Museum.
Credits – Arunram/CC BY-SA 3.0/Source.

Bengaluru is the Indian IT and aerospace hub. It is also known as the ‘Silicon Valley of India’. It is also well known for having aerospace-related institutions. HAL Aerospace Museum is located on the premises of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).

It was set up for the purpose of educating the Indian public about the history of Indian aviation as well as the World. The museum house various models of aircraft and helicopters used by the Indian Air Force over the decades.

There are many things to see in this museum including the gallery, simulators, air traffic control towers, and a sustainability development park. If you are into aircraft and high technology, this is one of the best places in India.

Nagarhole National Park

Wildlife in the Nagarhole National Park.  Karnataka.
Wildlife in the Nagarhole National Park.
Yathin S Krishnappa/CC BY-SA 3.0/Source

Nagarhole National Park is a National Park located in the districts of Mysore and Kodagu. It is a part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. It is known for its tigers and elephants, having Project Tiger as well as Project Elephant.

You can make a safari in this National Park. There is a very good chance that you will come across Asiatic elephants and tigers living in their natural habitats. There are also other animal species that can be sighted in the National Park.

If you are a wildlife enthusiast or a nature lover, this is a must-visit place in Karnataka.

Brindavana Gardens and Krishnaraja Sagar Dam, Mysore

A beautiful view of the Brindavana Gardens at the night.  Karnataka
A beautiful view of the Brindavana Gardens at the night.
Credits – Ashwin Kumar/CC BY-SA 2.0/Source

Brindavana Gardens is one of the most beautiful places in India. If you are visiting with your friends, this is an awesome place to enjoy and be happy.

Brindavana Gardens are one of the best terrace gardens in India. It lies near the Kaveri river attached to the Krishnarja Sagar Dam. The garden was completed in 1932. There are various kinds of flora present in the garden spread across 3 terraces.

There are plenty of water fountains. There is also a musical fountain show, which is especially beautiful at night. The water dances in the fountain in tune with the music. This is very fascinating to watch. There are also many food stalls outside the gate, which you will definitely want to taste.

Visvesvaraya Industrial & Technical Museum, Bengaluru

A model of the Wright Brother's first plane in Visvesvaraya Industrial and Technical Museum. Karnataka
A model of the Wright Brother’s first plane in Visvesvaraya Industrial and Technical Museum.
Ranjithsiji/CC BY-SA 3.0/Source

If you love seeing technologies from the past, present, and future and are excited by science experiments, this is the perfect place to visit in Karnataka. Visvesvaraya Industrial and Technical Museum consist of seven permanent exhibition halls and two special exhibits.

It was built in memory of Sir M. Visvesvaraya, whose birthday is celebrated as ‘Engineer’s Day’ in India. It was inaugurated by the first Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in 1962.

You can see various galleries in the museum such as the Engine Hall, How Things Work Gallery, Electro-Technical Gallery, Space Gallery backed by ISRO, Biotechnological Gallery, Dinosaur Gallery, A Fun Science Gallery, and a Kids Gallery.

Located very close to Cubbon Park, you will definitely don’t want to miss visiting this place.

Pattadakal Temple Complex, Bagalakote

A view of the Pattadakal Temple Complex. Karnataka
A view of the Pattadakal Temple Complex.
Shyamal L./CC BY-SA 4.0/Source

Pattadakal Temple Complex is located in the Bagalakote district of Karnataka. It consists of various temples and archeological monuments related to Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism dating from the 4th Century to the 10th Century.

Pattadakal is now a small village on the banks of river Malaprabha. It came to prominence during the rule of Chalukyas. You can visit various temples in Pattadakal like the Virupaksha Temple, Jambulinga Temple, Galaganath Temple, Sangameshwara Temple, Kada Siddeshwara Temple, Mallikarjuna Temple, and Papanatha Temple.

There is also a sculpture gallery maintained by the Archeological Survey of India. So this is the place you must visit if you are interested in history and archaeology.

Shravanabelagola Gomateshwara Statue, Hassan

Shravanabelagola Gomateshwara Statue. Karnataka
Shravanabelagola Gomateshwara Statue.
Vanilabalaji/CC BY-SA 3.0/Source

Shravanabelagola in Hassan district is one of the important Jain holy centers in South India. Shravanabelagola has an 18-m-tall monolithic statue of Lord Bahubali. It was built in 981 AD during the rule of Gangas by Chavundaraya.

It is located on the top of Vindhyagiri hill, you have to climb 700 steps to reach the top of the hill to see Bahubali from close. There is also a Jain Temple Complex.

This is one of the fascinating historical places in Karnataka you are definitely recommended to visit. Ancient architecture and history will come alive.

Gokak Falls, Belagavi

A view of the Gokak Falls. Karnataka
A view of the Gokak Falls.

If you like nature and waterfalls Gokak Falls is one of the best places you can visit in Karnataka. Located in the midst of the Western Ghats, the river Ghataprabha falls from a height of 52m creating a mesmerizing waterfall.

There is also a 200 m-long hanging bridge that is a very prominent tourist attraction. There are also temples nearby. A popular trekking destination called Yogi Kolla is just 3kms from the falls.

This place will definitely make you feel excited and happy. Definitely worth visiting!

Lalbagh Botanical Garden, Bengaluru

Lalbagh Botanical Gardens in Bengaluru. Karnataka
Lalbagh Botanical Gardens in Bengaluru.
Sarbjit Bahga/CC BY-SA 4.0/Source

Lalbagh is a 200-year-old botanical garden in Bengaluru. It was first planned and created by the Mysorean ruler Hyder Ali. It was developed by the British. Lalbagh is spread across 240 acres and has India’s largest collection of tropical and sub-tropical plants. There are also very old trees.

One of the main attractions of Lalbagh is its glasshouse, which is modeled after the Crystal Palace in London. There are various exhibits and a beautiful lake. There is a watchtower built by Kempegowda, the founder of Bengaluru.

There are other seasonal exhibits in Lalbagh during important occasions, such as Independence and Republic Days. If you enjoy flowers and flower shows, and gardening, this is the best place you can visit in Karnataka and as well as in India.

Bidar Fort, Bidar

Entrance to the Bidar Fort. Karnataka
Entrance to the Bidar Fort.
Sngmsh8666/CC BY-SA 4.0/Source

Bidar Fort is one of the prominent attractions of the Bidar district. It is one of the most beautiful forts in India made up of trap rock. There are old mosques and palaces inside the fort.

You can enjoy the amazing Persian architecture and other Islamic monuments from the past. If you are interested in history and archaeology, this is one of the places worth visiting in Karnataka.

Pilikula Nisargadhama, Mangalore

Lake Park in the Pilikula Nisargadhama. Karnataka
Lake Park in the Pilikula Nisargadhama.
Aviator423/CC BY-SA 4.0/Source

Pilikula Nisargadhama is one of the must-visit places near Mangalore. It is an integrated theme park consisting of a Zoo, a park near the lake with boating facilities, an amusement water park, a science center with a planetarium, and a gold course.

‘Pilikula’ means ‘Pond of Tigers’. A day won’t be sufficient to visit all the interesting things here. The Zoo consists of many different types of animals and birds and snakes. You can enjoy it to the fullest in the water park which is very popular.

There are many Science experiments and exhibits in the science center. The planetarium has 3D shows related to space and other interesting things related to science. The boating on the lake is also enjoyable, you can paddle your own boats.

Your visit to Pilikula Nisargadhama will be very enjoyable, a place definitely worth visiting if you come to Mangalore.

Panambur Beach, Mangalore

A mesmerizing view of Panambur Beach. Karnataka
A mesmerizing view of Panambur Beach.
Dr. Rushikesh joshi/CC BY-SA 4.0/Source

A major attraction of Mangalore, Panambur beach is a beautiful beach along the West Coast of Karnataka. It is known for being one of the cleanest beaches in India.

Your visit to Panambur beach will be very enjoyable. You can enjoy the jet ski ride, boating, view dolphins, and eat various foodstuffs available in the food stalls. The beach is also considered to be the safest, with lifeguards watching over you.

You can also enjoy the horse and camel ride on the beach. You can also camp for the night, provided you take permission from the concerned authorities. You can also enjoy parasailing, and surfing on the beach.

Trekking at Kemmannugundi

A beautiful view of Kemmannugundi. Karnataka
A beautiful view of Kemmannugundi.
Srinivasa83/CC BY-SA 3.0/Source

Kemmannugundi is a famous hill station in the Chikmagalur district of Karnataka. It is known for trekking. Your trek will be memorable, with you climbing up the hills, streams of water, and beautiful coffee plantations.

Kemmannugundi is located 1434m above sea level. There is a Z-point, from which you can get an amazing view of the Western Ghats. There are two waterfalls in Kemmannugundi called the Hebbe Falls and Shanti Falls. Kalhatti falls is 10km away.

A visit to this place will always be a memorable one for you.

Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium, Bengaluru

Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium. Karnataka
Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium.
Gpkp/CC BY-SA 4.0/Source

If you are one who is fascinated by space and science, this place is truly the one for you. Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium is administered by the Bangalore Association for Science Education (BASE). The planetarium provides science education in a fun and exciting way.

The main attraction of the Planetarium is the Sky Theatre, in which you can watch movies and documentaries about space and the Universe in 3D. You can truly feel the space and the sky in the planetarium.

In the planetarium, you can watch the Sky Theatre Show, Mirror Dome Shows, Exhibition Hall, Science Park, etc. If you are a space or science enthusiast, this is one of the places definitely worth visiting in Bengaluru.

Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary, Mandya

Finding birds in Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary. Karnataka
Finding birds in Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary.
PJeganathan/CC BY-SA 4.0/Source

Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary was established in 1940, mainly due to the efforts of the famous ornithologist Dr. Salim Ali. There are many species of resident birds here. It is a nesting place for birds. Almost 170 species of birds have been found at Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary.

You can enjoy the bird sanctuary through a boat ride, on which guides will help you identify the birds. It consists of six islands on the river Kaveri. Along with the birds, you can also find some other animal species in the Sanctuary.

Thirthahalli, Shivamogga

The great poet Kuvempu's home in Thirthahalli. Karnataka
The great poet Kuvempu’s home in Thirthahalli.

Thirthahalli is a small town on the banks of river Tunga. The place is known to have produced literary giants. The place is located along the Western Ghats. Hence, the environment is awesome here.

The birthplace of the famous Kannada poet Kuvempu is located in a small village called Kuppalli. You can visit Kavi Mane – the home of the poet, KaviShaila – a beautiful and scenic spot where the great poet used to sit. There is also a memorial and gallery.

There are some other places to visit in Thirthahalli including the Sri Rameshwara Temple, Kavaledurga Fort, Mandagadde Bird Sanctuary, an elephant camp at Sakrebayalu, and the Tunga bridge.

If you are one for literature, nature, and the environment, this is a very beautiful place to visit in Karnataka.

Murudeshwara, Uttara Kannada

An overall view of Murdeshwara. Karnataka
An overall view of Murdeshwara.
Pradeepa88/CC BY-SA 4.0/Source

If you want to visit temples as well as enjoy the beautiful beach, Murudeshwara is the right place for you. The main attraction of Murudeshwara is the huge Shiva statue near the Sea. Murdeshwara is a town in Bhatkal taluk of Uttara Kannada district.

The Shiva statue is surrounded by water from the Arabian Sea on three sides. There is a Shiva temple with a 20-story Gopura. There is also a cave inside the Shiva statue that you can visit.

You can enjoy on the beach, there are many water sports like jet ski and boating. There is also a restaurant built on the sea, you can have your breakfast or lunch watching waves from the gorgeous Arabian Sea.

You can put a round to the Shiva statue via boat. It is definitely a beautiful place, definitely worth visiting with family.

Train Ride through the Western Ghats from Mangalore

The Western Ghats consists of many beautiful mountains and hills. If you are traveling from Mangalore to Bengaluru or away from the coast, you will find beautiful scenery. This is especially beautiful when traveling by train.

Indian railways have some trains with Vistadome coaches with a glass roof and wide glass windows. If you get a seat booked in the Vistadome coach on Mangalore to Bengaluru train, you can in for a beautiful ride. You can see the full beauty of the Western Ghats traveling in the luxury of a Vistadome coach.

You can find many curved bridges, tunnels, river bridges, and beautiful waterfalls and forests along the way. Not to mention the awesome climate and environment.

This is one of the most beautiful experiences you can have in Karnataka, thanks to Indian railways!

Which was your favorite place among these? Which place is on the top of your must-visit list? Type in the comments below.

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