15 Places to Visit in Karnataka With Friends and Family

Karnataka is a backpackers paradise. Its beauty often underestimated, quite a few places to visit in Karnataka have been left unexplored by the tourists of the world. From the Western Ghats to temples to the serene and laid back beaches to clubbing and cute cafes around the city, the southern side has it all. 

Also read: 22 Weekend Getaways Near Bangalore To Help You Unwind!

We bring to you a list of 15 places to visit in Karnataka that will make the perfect vacation spots, leaving you mesmerized and coming back for more. 

1. Coorg – The Scotland of India

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Away from the chaos of the crowd, Coorg has the ability to transport you to another vibe.  The streams cutting through its lush green forests,  the waterfalls  and it’s mesmerizing views make it one of the best places to visit. 

About 6 hours drive from Bangalore, a place to escape the monotony of our daily lives. Anyone with an eye for adventure has numerous trekking spots from aromatic coffee plantations, mountain paths and river sides.  The best part about Coorg is that there is a local market to fulfill any kind of shopping needs. Ranging from the homemade chocolates to its non veg variety,  the food is something you just cannot miss out on.

Coorg is one of the most exotic hill stations in Karnataka. It truly stands out because it goes beyond just its scenic beauty to its rich culture and welcoming people. This land of coffee estates makes the perfect getaway.

2. Gokarna – A Pristine destination

Image Souce: sirsiattractions

A breathtaking place that is known for its captivating beaches and it’s beautiful temples. The Palm trees and golden sands overlooking the clean blue waters slows down time and makes you want to stay for eternity.  Gokarna attracts  hordes of tourists every year not just for its blue luxury but also for its temples with rich histories. 

Leaving Gokarna without a visit to the Murudeshwar Temple is an incomplete trip. Some of the must visit beaches are Kudle beach and Om Beach. A calm place to relax and let loose in the comfort of your people. 

A tranquil destination just about 519 km from Bangalore that will have you coming back for more. From water sports to its Holy pilgrimage, a town of two contrasts, popular among not just Indians but internationally as well. 

3. Chikmagalur –  The Perfect Getaway

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

The blissful mix of a relaxing yet adventure filled holiday,  Chikmagalur and its serene hill station is the place to be. From trekking to Mullayanagiri – the highest Mountain peak in Karnataka to tea farms, Hebbe falls, Ayyanakere lake and Baba Budan Giri mountains, this place has it all.

There are numerous things to do in Chikmagalur. You can experience various water sports and go kayaking in the Chikmagalur lake. To catch a glimpse of wildlife in its raw aura, you can go for a safari and witness the tiger reserve at Bhadra wildlife park or visit the Kudremukh sanctuary.

The coffee land of Karnataka is an all rounder from its estates to the comfort of rebooting at your hotel. A four-hour drive from Bangalore, it remains a must-visit.

4. Mysore – The Palace city 

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons 

An important city that has retained its historical royal heritage through the many years. One of the oldest cities in Karnataka, it has managed to preserve its ancient charm when most other cities have let go of that aspect. 

The architecture, multiple museums, palaces and temples enhance the old world charm of the city. The beauty of the second largest city in Karnataka Is that you can see a hint of modernity in its ancient treasure. Walking down the roads  surrounded by trees, the sense of calm you feel in the city is immense.

Brindavan Gardens is the alluring tourist spot in Mysore. The lights and activities that go on here in the evening  is something that one should never miss on and is worth every bit of the 3 hour long journey by road from Bangalore.

5. Kabini – An Alternate Reality

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If you are a wildlife enthusiast or even just an individual with a dream to catch a glimpse of a reality that we don’t so often see, Kabini is the place for you. Away from the chaos of the city, Nagarhole forest is the perfect place to unwind and observe nature in its true form.

In the midst of the dense, lush green forests, hide some of the most majestic animals we have ever come across. A heightened level of uncertainty, the forest truly teaches you to be patient to see wonders because if you do see an animal, even for a second it will be worth every moment you spent waiting. Safari into the forest is an  experience that you can never forget and if you are truly lucky you may even come across  the mighty black panther.  

From the water Safari to the jungle safari the sites that you come across will make you fall in love With nature and the earth a little more. Apart from the safari, kabini also remains a place that is just right for some time away from the city and can help you regain some inspiration if you need.  An experience of a lifetime, Kabini will help you discover and form a bond with nature in a way that you never thought possible.

6. Hampi – The city of ruins 

Image Source: karnatakatourism.org

A world UNESCO Heritage site, Hampi is home to the ruins of the Vijayanagara empire. 500 architecturally brilliant structures, Hampi has hundreds of relatively untouched ways for us to perceive history. Each monument, treasury building, street market and other remains of the Vijayanagara empire has a story of its own to tell the innumerable tourists that visit the city every year.

Hampi’s beautifully carved temples, especially the Virupaksha Temple and the musical pillars affect an extravagant experience, something one would be lucky to see in their lifetime. 

It is the perfect spot to watch some architectural marvel and a personal heaven for history scholars and enthusiasts. 

7. Jog Falls – The Raja Falls 

Located about 400 km from Bangalore, it falls from 850 feet which is the second highest plunge in India. Since the summers are extremely hot at Jog Falls, the best time to visit the waterfall is from July to December to see it in its full force. 

Steps present at the Jog Falls take you up to the mesmerizing view point that can make you feel like you’ve been there for mere minutes  when in reality you have been there for an hour. The sound of the water falling at such a depth and rushing into a stream is calming and can make you feel hypnotised, leaving the visitors with a soothing effect. Witnessing the sunset from the Jog Falls viewpoint is an absolutely enthralling experience. 

Source: Wikimedia Commons 

8. Bangalore – The Silicon Valley of India 

Bangalore has a vibe of its own. A city with the power to make you feel like home no matter where you’re from with it’s ever accommodating people. Bangalore is loved for its weather like no other city. 

Bangalore is known for its party culture, the street food, the cafes round the corner and book stores. Buffets, brunch and cocktails are the favourite among Bangaloreans. Cubbon park and lalbagh botanical garden are a must visit for its serene beauty and tall trees. Corner house ice cream is one of the best ice creams that everyone must try atleast once. 

From relaxing weekends out, to clubbing all night to the energy at chinnaswamy stadium during the cricket fever, the vibe in Bangalore is absolutely immaculate. 

Source: Wikimedia Commons 

9. Dandeli – The Spot for thrill seekers 

Dandeli is the place for anyone seeking adventure. It’s hills and forests make it a great spot for trekking. It also offers kayaking and boating in its River Kali. 

Wildlife enthusiasts also enjoy Dandeli as they can spot bison and black panthers amidst the serene nature.  

Kavla Caves, Satholi falls, Ulavi Temple and Skye point are some must visit places while touring Dandeli. Camping is popular here where individuals can have a soothing experience by a bonfire while staring away at the starry sky. 

Source: Wikimedia Commons 

10. Murudeshwar – The abode of Lord Shiva

The temple town is one of the popular places of pilgrimage in India.  It is home to the second largest statue of Lord Shiva in the world. 

Surrounded by the Arabian Sea on three sides and the Western Ghats on one, the town is a perfect mix of the hills and the Beach. This makes a perfect spot for family and friends who are divided by the conflict of mountains or the blue seas. Netrani Island offers adventure sports like snorkeling and Scuba Diving making it a popular spot for the tourists. 

Murudeshwar is a magnificent place whose rustic beauty attracts people from across the world even today. 

Source: Pixabay

11. Udupi – The city of Temples and Food

Located near Mangalore, Udupi brings its people the best of two worlds. It has both some of the  most beautiful temples and some of the best food in South India.  The Sri Krishna temple which is known for its Krishna Idol that is adorned with jewels brings in tourists, devotees and pilgrims from across the country and the world. This holy town also has a Shiva temple which is about hundred years old. 

Udupi is also known for its vegetarian food and is popular for its South Indian food across the country. The best seafood is available in the beach shacks on its laid back shores. 

The city is surrounded by the Arabian Sea and Western Ghats making it a breathtaking town. The sound of the Waves rushing against the clean shores, the unforgettable ‘Udupi cuisine’ and the rich cultural temples have people coming back to the district for more. 

Image Source: Pixahive

12. Bandipur – Tiger Reserve in the Nilgiris 

Located enroute Ooty from Mysore, the tiger reserve has become one of the top tourist attractions in Karnataka. It is the first biosphere in India.

Some of the animals that you can spot here are tigers, spotted deer, antelopes, elephants and even endangered animals such as pythons, hornbills,  Sloth bears and leopards. 

An opportunity to escape the crowd of humans and get hypnotized by the sights and calls of the animals along with the mesmerising flora and fauna. 

Source: Wikimedia Commons 

13. Halebidu – The Temple Town 

The capital of the Hoysalas is engulfed by marvelous Sculptures, temples and shrines. Due to its magnificent temple complexes and its hoysala architecture, the town is known as the gem of Indian Architecture. 

It depicts to its visitors the great culture and imprints from significant events of the ancient period. From the temple built to honour King Vishnuvardhana and queen shantala Devi, there lies a stunning view of two Hills on opposite sides appearing like two bulls and a Ganesh figure on the southern side. The panels and sculptures of Halebidu continue to stand out today as well. Halebidu was destroyed twice by the Delhi Sultanate and hence was named “Halebidu” meaning ‘Old city’. 

Source: Arian Zwegers (Flickr)

14. Shimoga – The breadbasket of Karnataka 

Shimoga in its raw aura, from its picturesque landscape to the magnificent waterfalls and rich heritage temples, the town is truly enchanting. 

Shimoga is also called rice bowl because of its various palms and paddy fields. The four rivers, the beautiful weather, the mystical hills and the delicious food has truly made Shimoga a Traveler’s paradise. 

Source: Rajesh P Nayak (Flickr)

15. Badami – An Archaeological Delight 

Badami is part of the UNESCO World Heritage site for displaying some of the finest temple architecture in India. It consists of Dravidian architecture and has examples of both North Indian and South Indian architecture.  

The fortresses and carvings stem from the brilliant architecture in Badami. The sandstone cave temples,  the three Hindu temples and one Jain temple in the Badami caves and the stunning architectural techniques displayed has made Badami the home to a number of captivating cave temples. 

Source: Wikimedia Commons 

Hope you liked our list of places to visit in Karnataka. How many have you been to?


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