Karnataka Travel guide

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Karnataka is a state in Southern India and has Bangalore as its capital. It stretches from the north, from Belgaum to the south, of Mangalore. It has various land features, that is in coastal region you will find numerous coconut trees and beautiful beaches and in the interior with mountains, valleys and farmlands. Karnataka is the sixth largest state in India. Karnataka doesn't have a very long coastline, but has some of the most beautiful beaches in India. Some of the popular beaches are Karwar, Gokarna, Murudeshwar, Malpe, Ullal and Mangalore.


The climate of Karnataka varies because of the different land features. It will be hot and humid in the coastal regions, whereas in the interior it will be a little extreme.



There are many cities in Karnataka. These are some of the more notable:

Other destinations

Below is a selective list of sites of interest in Karnataka. It is far from exhaustive. For other sites, check regional articles.

They are the highest plunge waterfall in India. Other names include Gerusoppe falls, Gersoppa Falls and Jogada Gundi.


Karnataka is also known as Karunadu.Kannada is the principal language used to communicate by the people of Karnataka which is also mother tongue of the most.Citizen of Karnataka or who speaks Kannada is known as Kannadiga.The present Karnataka state consists of three different geographical regions namely Karavali or coastal, Malenadu or Western ghats and Bayalu seemae or plains( plateau). Arabian sea is on western side of Karnataka. The Karavali region lies between Arabian sea on the west and Malenadu(western ghats ) on the east. The region which is east of Malenadu is Bayalu seemae. The human population of Karnataka as per 2011 C.E census is around 6.25 crores or 62.5 millions.The Karnatka has rich and diversified culture. Many ancient art forms are practiced like Yakshagana, Dollu Kunita etc.


Kannada is the official language of the state and the mother tongue of around 70% of the population.

Other linguistic minorities include Urdu (9.72%), Telugu (8.34%), Marathi (.5%), Tamil (3.82%), Malayalam (1.69%), Tulu (3.38%), Konkani (1.78%), and Hindi (1.87%).

English and Hindi are spoken by most educated people.

Get in

Travel to Karnataka by Air: Karnataka has seven airports in Bangalore, Mysore, Hampi, Mangalore, Hubli, Belgaum, and Bijapur. The Bengaluru International Airport in Bangalore and the Mangalore International Airport are the two airports that offer international flights to and from Karnataka.

Travel to Karnataka by Rail: All major cities of Karnataka are well linked to other parts of the country by a wide rail network. Bangalore railway station is the most important railway terminal. Besides, Karnataka also has an intrastate rail network, which connects cities with in the state.Konkan Railway connects Mumbai ( Bombay ), Kochi ( Cochin ) and Goa to coastal region of Karnataka.

Travel to Karnataka by Road: An excellent network of roads connects cities internally. Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) connects the state to other major cities and states. A number of national highways link Karnataka state with other states of India ( Bharat )Goa, Maharashtra, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.

Get around

By Bus

Transportation is made easy by the numerous services available from the KSRTC (Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation).They ply not only intra-state buses, but also inter-state buses to neighbouring states. KSRTC reservation counters are aplenty all over the state, and tickets can also be booked online.

Services available:

Also available are private bus services for interstate areas, as well as to neighboring states. The information for booking tickets and available services from various vendors is available on http://www.redbus.in/.

There are private cars or vans available called as taxi available which can be hired. The fare might be on kilometre basis. Also extra money is charged by these taxis or private operators for travel in night or night stay. The rates must be negotiated before commencement of journey or travel with the operators. As of now they are expensive than travel by public transport buses.

Autorickshaw or simply called as Auto a three wheel passenger vehicle which is popular mode of transport for short distances say within a town or city. Even though fare are fixed by government for every kilometre of distance, It is hardly followed in many places of Karnataka. It is better to confirm fare for destinations to avoid haggling.

Cycle rickshaw's can be seen in few parts of northern Karnataka.

By Railway or Train

Even though Hubbali ( Hubli ) is headquarters of South Western Zone of Indian Railway, The train or railway connectivity within Karnataka state is poor. The state capital Bengaluru is connected only to few district headquarters by railroad. The district towns which are connected to Bengalooru are Dharwad,Belagavi,Tumakuru,Mandya, Mysuru,Chitradurga, Mangalooru (Kudla), Udupi (Odipu), Karwara,Kalburgi(Gulbarga),Chamarajanagara, Shivamogga,Davanagere,Chikballapura,Ramnagara,Chikmagalore and Raichur.

By Aeroplane

There are few airports ( Aerodromes ) in Karnataka, But only handful of them are operational at Bengalooru, Mangaluru, Hubli and Belagaum( Balagavi). There are daily flights operating between Mangaluru( Mangalore ) and Bengaluru ( Bengalore ).

Water transport

Karnataka has many rivers and sea shore line, Yet transportation by water is negligible as compared to other mode of transport in the state. One can find handful of boats sailing but mostly used for personal purposes or fishing.There are several factors which have hindered the water transportation in Karnatak.


Polali Rajarajeshwari Temple is a famous temple located in Polali, Dakshina Kannada district in Karnataka. The primary deity of the temple is Shri Rajarajeshwari. The temple was constructed in the 8th Century AD by King Suratha and has been developed by many dynasties which ruled over the region. The idol of Shri Rajarajeshwari is completely moulded from clay with special medicinal properties. The temple portrays Hindu architecture with roofs adorned with wooden carvings of Gods and copper plates. Daily and Special poojas are conducted in the temple under the auspices of the head priest K. Rama Bhat. Annual festivals are held in the temple with much fanfare. Polali Chendu festival is an important festive event where football is played to represent the fight of good over evil. The Chendu festival is followed by the Annual festival in March, which lasts for a month and is attended by people from all over the world.

Today, the idol of the main deity, Shri Rajarajeshwari is a stucco image of the deity with a height of 10 feet. The clay used for making the idol was specially prepared with herbal mixtures for added strength. The temple also has smaller idols for other deities including Subramanya, Bhadhrakali, Mahaganapathi and Saraswathi. During a religious event named Lepashta Gandha, the idols are coated with a special soil mixture with eight medicinal properties once every 12 years. The soil used for coating was prepared hundreds of years ago and not prepared freshly on each occasion.

Wikipedia article on Polali Rajarajeshwari Temple.

National Parks or Tiger Reserve

Karnataka state as a part of conservation efforts of both wildlife and forests has five national parks or tiger reserves. They are Bandipur National Park,Nagarhole National Park. Bhadra Tiger Reserve, Anshi National Park, Bannerghata Park. All these parks are part of Nilgiri biosphere. The parks have wild animals like Tiger elephants,leopards,Kati( Indian bison), Dhole ( wild dogs ), fox etc.


Scuba diving

Pigeon Island ( Netrani Island ) lies about 12 Nm off the coast of Murudeshwar in Karnataka. It is a 4 hour drive from Goa, or can be reached by Konkan Railway, with Murudeshwar and Bhatkal being the nearest stations. The Dreamz Diving is the only local dives centers here. Please check in advance with them as quite a few times due to Navy training the place is closed for scuba diving.

The visibility here is generally in the 15-20m range and the dive sites are between 10 to 30m. Marine life is spectacular, with huge schools of Jacks, Barracuda, Triggerfish and Fusiliers. Many times giant Groupers, Black Tip Sharks, Kobias and Giant Tunas are spotted here, even Whales, Whale Sharks, Orcas, Dolphins, have been spotted by many divers at Netrani Island.

Netrani is considered to be the best dive location from main land India which is accessible within a day's trip to Murudeshwar.

There are plenty of companies in Bangalore who arrange for weekend scuba diving trips to Netrani.


Karnataka is trekker's paradise. There are many popular trekking spots within Karnataka.The western ghats here which consists of dense,evergreen forests criss crossed by streams , rivers and grasslands offers lot of trekking opportunity. Popular among them are Pushpagiri or Kumara Parvata, Brahmagiri, Mullayanagiri, Narasimha Parvata, Kudremukha, Kodachadri, Ombattu Gudde, Amedikkalu, Etinabhuja, Yana. Most of these spots or places are inside wildlife sanctuaries or reserve forests which means trekkers have to get permission from forest department of Karnataka state. Also in many places camping is not allowed due to presence of wild animals,forest fire and poaching activity. Hunting of wild animals is prohibited by Indian laws. Also there are trekking places near to Bengaluru city like Savanadurga, Makalidurga, Skandagiri( Kalawarabetta) and Nandibetta. There are also many spots in around historical, ancient town of Hampi near Hosapete which offer rock climbing opportunities.


These are a few speciality dishes you can feast on in Karnataka:


Filter Coffee is very famous and unique about Karnataka. People also drink Badam Milk (crushed almond powder mixed with milk served hot and cold.)

Stay safe

The people of Karnataka are friendly and they will help you in many ways, however common crimes can happen like theft, snatching etc. Avoid traveling in villages late at night and if you have to go, go in group.Medical care facilities in villages are either inadequate or sometimes not available especially in case of mishaps or emergency.

Some interior places in Karnataka do not have mobile ( cellular ) phone signals. In some places only B.S.N.L ( Cellone ) mobile service signals are available.

Get out

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