Karnataka tourism places list has several tourist hubs that provide different attractions for travelers. The major tourist hubs are Mysore palace, Coorg hill station, Hampi heritage site, Gokarna beach, Jog Falls, Nandi Hills, and many more. The city also stands out with its malls, multiplexes, parks, lakes, gardens, cafes, bars, palaces, museums, and other attractions. I tried my efforts to include the best tourist places in Karnataka. I hope you like these places during your visit to the state.
Coorg Hill Station
Coorg is excellent for a short getaway in Karnataka, lies 1525m above sea level. The hill station is quite known for its coffee plantations, and a favored summer retreat to the state. The fascinating landscape and the green hills in Coorg are perfect for trekking and camping options, Coorg is the place to be for all nature lovers. It also attains a popular destination tag because of its culture and people.
A local clan(Kodavas) specialized in martial arts and distinguished for their keen hospitality. Foggy hills, green forest, tea and coffee plantation, orange copses, surging streets, and breathtaking landscapes have made Coorg an exceptional holiday destination. Madikeri is the heartland of the Coorg area and was the seat of the ruling dynasty. Other famous hill stations are Nandi Hills, Chikmagalur, Shimoga, Ramnagaram, Agumbe, BR Hills, Kudremukh, and Kotagiri.
Ideal Trip Duration: 1-2 days
Nearest City: Mysore
Best Time to Visit: October-March
Great For: Hiking, trekking, cycling, visiting waterfalls and touring tea and coffee plantations.
Mysore is one of the oldest cities and the second largest in Karnataka. It is one of the very few cities that has managed to maintain its old-world charm, well known as the City of Palaces. It has numerous tourist attractions that include impressive palaces, heritage structures, museums, temples, gardens, etc. Mysore Palace and Chamundi Hill Temple are the most popular places to visit in Mysore and due to this reason, we have also included this place in the best tourist places in Karnataka.
According to ancient story in the mythological Devi Purana, Mysore was dictated by the demon-king Mahishasura. He was called Mahishasura because he was a buffalo-headed beast. Hence, this place came to be known as Mahishuru, which later became Maisuru and Mysore.
The Mysore Kingdom, ruled by the Wodeyar family was initially served as a servant state of the Vijayanagara Empire. After the decline of the Vijayanagara Empire, the control of Mysore moved into the hands of Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan between 1761 and 1799. After the death of Tipu Sultan in the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War, then the control was given over back to the Wodeyar family.
The nearest airport is in Bangalore, around 184 km from Mysore. It has frequent flights from Kolkata, Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Goa, Mangalore, and Thiruvananthapuram. Mysore has also pleasant weather throughout the year, though October to March is the best season to visit. It usually takes about 2 full days to visit the all-important places in Mysore.
Ideal Trip Duration: 1-2 days
Best Time to Visit: October to March
Great For: Sightseeing
Gokarna is a small and less populated town situated in the north Kannad district of Karnataka. It is around 150 km from the Vasco Da Gama airport and around 60 km from the Karwar rail station. This place is of the best tourist places in Karnataka due to its peaceful ambiance. Your trip surely will be incompleted without a visit to the famous Mahabaleshwara temple and Om beach. Gokarna is just like a Goa. The beaches in this town are fantastic and perfect for a day out in the sun. You can also indulge in a few water sports at the beaches.
The main attraction of the Gokarna is the Mahabaleshwar Temple, which houses the Atmalinga. Gokarna has considered being the Mukti Sthala, where Hindus perform funeral rituals. Followers visit the Gokarna temple in large numbers during Mahashivratri and Kartika Purnima festivals. The whole town gets decorated during the four days of the Mahashivratri festival.
Apart from being a spiritual town, Gokarna appreciated for its beaches. You will find beautiful beaches nearby, which have small shacks serving as accommodation along with many small shops and modern eateries. The five famous beaches are Om, Kudle, Gokarna, Half Moon, and Paradise Beaches. Among the beaches in Gokarna, the Om beach is usually popular among surfers. The beach gets its name due to the natural formation of the holy Om symbol.
Ideal Trip Duration: 1 Complete Day
Nearest City: Hubli (around 165 Kms)
Best Time to Visit Gokarna: October to March
Great For: Beaches, Sightseeing, and Adventure Sports
Hampi is one of the renowned UNESCO World Heritage Site. It has located at a distance of 340 km from Bangalore and around 377 km from Hyderabad. The place is also home to many historical sites and the Vijayanagar Empire. The Nearest airport is Hubli, about 74 km. It is one of the best tourist places in Karnataka which you should not miss during your South India tour. The popular tourist spots are the Hampi Bazaar area and the Royal center near Kamalapur.
Hampi is an extremely famous place in terms of history and architecture. Hampi was the capital of the Vijayanagara Empire and an integral part of the Empire in 1500AD. They had created a large army to protect it from other kingdoms. In addition, Hampi grew as a trade center for cotton, spices, and gemstones. It was one of the richest and largest cities in the world during the 15th and 16th centuries.
Ideal Trip Duration: 1-2 Days
Best Time to Visit: September to March
Places to Explore: the Virupaksha Temple, Matanga Hill and the Achyutaraya Temple
Great For: Shopping, Sightseeing
Chikmagalur means The Land of the Younger Daughter. The nearest airport is Mangalore, at a distance of 158 km from Chikmagalur. If you love the fragrance of freshly fermented coffee in the mornings, then you are going to love this place, which has a perpetual smell of coffee lingering in the air. Chikmagalur is at an altitude of 3400 feet in the foothills of Mullayangiri Range in Karnataka. Above all, it is also renowned for high mountains, dense green forests, and its peaceful environment.
This hill state in Karnataka is very well known as the Coffee Land of Karnataka. It is the place where coffee did cultivate for the first time in India. A Muslim saint Baba Budan who brought coffee seeds from Yemen around 1600 year. Later, during the Europeans came to India, they took control over the plantations and started selling coffee and tea.
In addition, Many festivals celebrated in Chikmagalur for instance Ganesha Chaturthi, Deepavali, Ugadi, Dusshera. The climate of Chikmagalur is pleasant throughout the year.
Ideal Trip Duration: 1-2 Days
Nearest City: Mangalore (around 148 Kms)
Best Time to Visit: Throughout the year
Great For: Relaxed Holidays, Nature Trails, touring tea and coffee plantations
Travel Tips for Karnataka
Apart from the above top 5 tourist places, there are many other places which you can include in your itinerary like Udupi, Murudeshwar, Bandipur National Park, Shivanasamudra, and Jog Falls. I have created a list of good Karnataka tourist places, add as many as in your Karnataka’s itinerary.
You can visit Karnataka throughout the year, but the winter months from September to February are the best season to visit. You can also see this from a different perspective, it is the busiest season, and hotels/resorts are expensive this season. Another thing, Karnataka is also safe for domestic & foreign tourists. People are here very progressive, you probably will start to like them in just a few days.
Do not forget to try Karnataka (Kannada) food/sweet dish. Some famous Kannada recipes are Korri Gassi, Davangere benne dosa, Neer Dosa, Mysore Pak, Pandi Curry, Bisi Bele Bhat, Haalbai And Huggi, Dharwad Peda, Chiroti, Raagi mudde. You can also take away some of the sweet dishes back to your home.
It usually takes at least 4-5 days to visit the top tourist places of Karnataka. It is difficult to cover all the places but you can start plan your itinerary with the best Karnataka places and then add more nearby places to it. I hope you will enjoy reading this post and it helps you to plan your Karnataka trip.