13 Best Places to Visit in Karnataka

Karnataka was originally known as Mysore. The largest city of Karnataka is Bangalore. It is situated in southwestern region of India and is among the best places to visit in India. But some travel tips should be kept in mind, while visiting Karnataka.

Best Places to Visit in Karnataka

Here are the best places to visit in Karnataka.

1. Bangalore


Bangalore, the capital of Karnataka is the third most populated city in India. It is well known by its nickname the silicon valley of India it is a major exporter of IT in India. Bengaluru is named in Kannada language which literally means the city of guards. Various places, temples, lakes, and forts are good places to visit thus the town is famous for both modern and ancient place to visit.

Antara Gange is about 70 km from Bangalore. If you like adventure and explore nature, then this hill station is the best place that suits you. There are many caves and rock formations that can be surprised. A tour guide is recommended as there are wild animals in the vicinity. Hike in Antara Gange is suitable in the morning because the temperature is very low. When you hike take your food from Kolar town.

Another wonderful place along the beautiful Cauvery River, Muthathi is the perfect place for a picnic. Parfait is one of the most delicious ice cream available in Ideal ice cream or Pabba’s ice cream parlor in Lal Bagh. It is must try for sure.

The Ramakrishna Math in Bangalore is one of the largest and oldest places in India. The center was built in 1908 by some modest followers of Swami Vivekananda, and today it is more than that. The Ramakrishna Math has a temple, a bookstore, a library and an open air auditorium. It is located in Basavangudi, near the Bull Temple and attracts many people seeking answers to spiritual questions. Ramakrishna Math also has a branch in Ulsoor.

The bookstore is full of information about Swami Vivekananda. Ramakrishna Math is not really a tourist place, but a place where you can take your children to introduce them to the concept of spirituality.

Many say that Begur is where Bangalore was born. The small municipality near Bangalore has a fort. The fort is located near a small temple and is a place purely for history buffs. The fort is located on the road to Bangalore-Hosur and is one of the places in the Heritage Intach Walks (Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage).

Located on Mysore road in the outskirts of the city, Rasta cafe attracts young crowd who wish to chill out with Hookah and plenty of good food. It just takes about hour and half to drive there from any corner. There is even 24x7 coffee day just beside the cafe if you want to sip some fresh coffee before driving back home.

Bangalore, the Garden City of India, has innumerable places to visit. However, one must plan wisely about which place to go in which month. But you need to filter, as the beauty of the places here is not perennial. Shiva Samudra, Mekedatu, Dodda Alada Mara (Big Banyan Tree), Sivaganga, Innovative film City, Hognekal Falls, Bhimeshwari, Mysore, Tirupati Balaji. These are common destinations and usually remain flooded with tourists.

Surprisingly, there are few places about which even many Bangaloreans are unaware. 80 kilometers from Bangalore and 10 kilometers before Tumkur, Mandargiri Hills blossoms out from June to January. The view from atop the hills seems like the land is glazed with bushes and trees. There is an ancient Jain temple atop, one would like to visit. The climb is about 300 steps with stunning landscape as far as you can see.

Behind the hills, is a lake surrounded by large rocks that has perennial water. The vibes just connect your heart to mother nature.

Read More: Places to Visit in Bangalore

2. Bidar


Easily accessible from Hyderabad, Bidar offers a lot of historical monuments and sites from different periods and showcases the unique craftsmanship of the Hindu, Turkish and Persian artisans who worked on the monuments. Visit the formidable Bidar Fort, Gumbaz Darwaza, Baridi Tombs and the ancient Papanasam temple to Lord Shiva which dates back to the times of Rama.

Do buy souvenirs of the extremely artistic Bidri handicraft works of metal ware inlaid with pure silver. Located on the edge of the Bidar plateau, Bidar Fort is an important historical monument in Karnataka. In the heart of Bidar is Chaubara, an ancient clock tower. Located in Bidar, Narasimha Jhira Cave Temple is one of the main tourist attractions of Karnataka.

The temple is in a tunnel 300 meters below the range of the Manichoola hill. It is believed that the Sanctuary in the cave temple of Narasimha Jharni is a swayambu or self manifests sculpture. A perennial stream of water is said to flow continuously for hundreds of years in this place making it a significant places to visit in Karnataka.

3. Shravanabelagola


For a different kind of romantic experience, you can consider a trip to Shravanabelagola, which is known for high and imposing 2300 year old monolith statue of Bahubali, fist Jain Tirthankara, who is 58 feet tall, 26 feet wide and 10 feet long. Located in the middle of the two hills, Vindhyagiri and Chandragiri, Shravanabelagola is a picturesque city in the Hassan region.

The city attracts millions of tourists from different corners of the world during the Mahamastakabhisheka festival, which is held once every 12 years. The statue of Bahubali is among the must see in Karnataka. Gommateshwara statue is a 57-foot tall statue that stands on a hill in Shravanabelagola, in the Hassan district.

4. Hassan


About 150 kilometers from Bangalore, Holenarsipura is a small village and sugarcane plantation belt. This being a catchment area, faces heavy rainfall. In the mornings, one can behold many different and colorful birds around the dam there. The area faces strong wind too, so much that a small wind farm has been developed there. A drive with the breeze touching your skin and so many windmills on the hills around the road is beyond words.

Shettihalli Rosary Church is one of the famous places in Karnataka. This church remains submerged under water during monsoon but comes out of it during summer season.

5. Gulbarga


Officially known as Kalaburagi, Gulbarga was once a part of the State of Hyderabad under Nizam rule. At the height of its glory, Gulbarga was the capital of the Bahmani Sultans and has a history dating back to the 6th century. Two rivers flow through this town, the Krishna and the Bhima. The Bahmani Fort has 15 majestic towers and the Khwaja Bande Nawaz Dargah is the tomb of the sacred Sufi saint of the same name.


The sprawling Jama Masjid of Gulbarga Fort, built in 1367 AD, covers an area of 38,000 square feet.This place is well known as it is believed that it was home to ancient kingdoms of south with buildings and monuments. The local cuisine of this place is amazing and we should at least once try them all out.

6. Chikmagalur


Gracefully sitting on the foothills of the Mullayangiri range, Chikmagalur is an enchanting monsoon destination. Nothing beats a drive during the monsoons in the Western Ghats region of Chikmagalur. During the monsoons, Chikmagalur is all about misty hills, meandering streams, hidden valleys, and coffee blossoms all of which look stunning with a few spells of rain spreading the aroma of spice and coffee plantations all around.

Besides, this pristine hill town is also known for some spectacular waterfalls that come alive during the monsoons. Manikyadhara Falls, Hebbe Falls, Jhari Falls, and Honnamana Falls are some of the popular waterfalls in Chikmagalur. The thunderous sound of the gushing waterfalls amidst dense forests is a melody to the ears.

It boats many highest peaks of Karnataka like Mullayannagiri, Baba Budangiri, Kudremukh etc. There are other attractions like Buttermilk waterfalls, Yagachi reservoir and Belur close by.

Hill stations around Chikmagalur are famous summer retreats as they remain cool even during summers. An ideal retreat of solitude and natural beauty, located in Baba Budan range, Kemmangundi has a invigorating climate that makes it an ideal hill station near Bangalore in summer. Its a quiet green mountainside and the two waterfalls - Kalahasti and Hebbe are ideal picnic areas.

The Hanuman Gundi falls look as beautiful as pearls that fall down to a hundred feet. Do not forget to bring home bags of fresh coffee powder, tea leaves and authentic spices from here! You can also visit the Radha Krishna Temple and Jamalabad Fort. This is called land of coffee as it was first brought to India here.

Chikmagalur is another quick weekend getaway. Chikkamagaluru is popularly known as the coffee land of Karnataka. It is a hill station that attracts many trekkers, honeymoon couples, explorers and nature lovers throughout the year.

MG road in Chikmagalur is a commercial street offering everything from Ethnic and Western clothing, handbags, electronic, medical and grocery stores, restaurants, ATMs. There are also many street food options like Sajjappa, phuchka, kulfi, momo and kebab.

The district of Koppa known for its sprawling paddy fields and the rolling Sahyadri hills is sure to leave you spellbound with its cool climate in summer! Stay at a hip, boutique holiday home, designed tastefully while you also enjoy a session of pilates or learn a thing or two about homemade organic body products.

The coffee plantations in Chikmagalur has been around since the 1800s, and managed to stand the test of time and culture - carving a space for itself in the changing world around it. With large, breathable rooms and open gardens, it's a great way to escape the chaos of the city.

Spend an afternoon out with a cup of fresh coffee, take a walk through the nearby plantations and woods, or simply have a little garden picnic. Their kitchen is open all day, so you can always talk to the caretaker and cooks to get the food you want - customised touches to the local food which is both yummy and full of stories!

It is common to find adorable wooden dolls of an old couple sized about two feet and a small wooden cart beside the dolls. These are usually found below trees on the side of the roads near forests. Do not take selfies with these dolls if you don't want to be laughed at. The villagers parade such dolls on carts throughout the village on certain days and they believe that these dolls accumulate negative energies.

After the ritual they leave the doll outside thier village believing that negative energies have left with the dolls. The villagers giggle at you if you take selfies with these dolls.

7. Vijayapura


What if you spend your romantic vacation with your partners in the historical heritage, against the backdrop for a romantic getaway? Well, such a beautiful background is what you can expect from Bijapur, also known as Vijaypura or the city of Victoria. Among the most popular places to visit in Karnataka, Bijapur is known for its historical remains such as Gol Gumbaz, Archaeological Museum, Ibrahim Rauza, King Edward VII Memorial, Chand Bawdi and many more places. Gol Gumbaz of Bijapur is another important heritage and monument in Karnataka.

8. Udupi


Situated at a distance of 58 km from Mangalore, the town of Udupi is famous for its Krishna temple and the Udupi cuisine. Udupi is called the Rajata Peetha and Shivalli and is an important centre of pilgrimage and one of the important places to visit near Mangalore.



The most important tourist destination in Udupi is the Krishna Mutt which was founded in the 13th century by the Vaishnava Saint Sri Madhavacharya. The other most attractive feature of Udupi is its cuisine, popularly known as the Udupi cuisine. The cuisine and its dishes are vegetarian and have found widespread popularity all over the world.

The origin of the cuisine is related to the Krishna Mutt. During the Chaturmasa during monsoons, there are restrictions on ingredients that can be used for preparing Lord Krishna’s food. The Shivalli Madhwa Brahmins created this unique cuisine to offer to Lord Krishna. At the Krishna Mutt, these dishes are available free of cost.

The popularity of the Udupi dishes has led to mushrooming of Udupi restaurants throughout the country. Udupi, being an important place to visit near Mangalore, is well connected by rail, road and airways. National Highway 17 passes through the town and hence it is well connected by buses. The nearest railway station is the Udupi Railway Station, which comes under the Konkan Railways. The nearest airport is the Mangalore Airport.

Malpe is situated to the West of Udupi in Karnataka. Malpe is an important port and fishing harbour and is an important tourist place near Mangalore. Malpe is blessed with spectacular natural beauty and it attracts tourists from all over the country and the world. It is a natural port and is situated at the mouth of the Udayavara River.

The River Udayavara flows from East to West and meets the sea at Malpe. The river has several islets and has a beautiful and enchanting green belt on both its sides. It also separates the town of Udayavara from the sea. The town of Udayavara was the earliest capitals of the Alupas.

Close to the mainland of Malpe are four rocky islands namely, the Daria-Bahadurgarh, which is the Northern-most island; the Kari-Illada-Kallu, which is the Southern-most island; the Daria-Gadara-Kalluthe, which is situated in between the Daria-Bahadurgarh and the Kari-Illada-Kallu islands and the St Mary’s Island, which is also known as the Thonse Paar.

Malpe is home to the Mogaveera tribe which is a fishing community. The largest industry in Malpe is the fishing industry. Malpe is the largest port in Karnataka and a major fisheries hub. The other prominent industries of the beach town are tile manufacturing and the coconut industry.

There are several places of interest in and around Malpe, which are important tourist places near Mangalore. Some of these places are temples of Balaram and Ananteshwara. There is a fort on the island of the Daria-Bahadurgarh, which is an important tourist destination. The fort is believed to have been built by Basavappa Nayak of Bidanur. St Mary’s Island is also a very important tourist destination and is quite popular among both locals and tourists. The main languages in the town of Malpe include Tulu, Kannada and Konkani.

Situated at a distance of 380 km from the capital city of Bangalore, Karkala is a small town in the Udupi district of Karnataka. During the Jain rule, the town was called Pandya Nagari and was later renamed to Karikallu. This later metamorphosed to Karkal and finally to Karkala. Karkala is of particular interest as it has a number of historical and natural landmarks.

Karkala is best known for the gigantic statue of Gomateshwara. The statue of Gomateshwara has a height of 42 feet and is an important site of pilgrimage for Jains from all over the world. Karkala also has about 18 Jain basadis including the Chaturmukha Tirthankara Basadi, Anekere Padmavathi Basadi, Hiriyangaddi Neminatha Basadi.

Karkala also has a number of Hindu temples, mosques and churches. Some of the most important historical monuments in Karkala include the Ananthapadmanabha Temple, Chaturmukha Basadi, the Gomateshwara statue and the Manasthambha and these are protected by the Archaeological Survey of India.

There are several festivals celebrated in the city. However, the most important of all the festivals celebrated in Karkala is the Mahamastakabhisheka. The festival is celebrated once in every 12 years and it attracts a large number of tourists from all over the world.

The Mahamastakabhisheka is a ceremony when hundreds and thousands of devotees from all over the country and the world gather at Karkala to bathe and anoint the Gomateshwara statue with milk, water, saffron paste, sandalwood powder, turmeric and vermillion. Innumerable devotees from all over the world come to Karkala to participate in and witness this grand festival.

Other important traditions of Karkala include the Hulivesha or Tiger Dance, which is a unique folk dance of the region; Bhuta Kola or spirit worship, which is carried out at night; the Kambala or buffalo racing; Korikatta or Cockfighting; and Nagaradhane or snake worship.

One must visit Karnataka between November to march as it is the season of activities in coastal districts of Udupi and Mangalore. You can also explore gorgeous beaches at Kaup, Baindur, Mulki, etc. If you are interested in having an adventure in water or on the sea then you must head to the spectacular beach of Kodi Bengre and should learn surfing at SAFA Surfing School. The beach is extraordinarily beautiful and amazing.

Venur is a small village in South Kanara of Karnataka and one of the important places to visit near Mangalore. The village is situated on the banks of the River Phalguni. The village was the capital of the erstwhile capital of the Ajila dynasty and was also the seat of Jainism.

It is one of the important tourist places near Mangalore and an integral part of the Dharmasthala-Moodabidri-Karakal tourist circuit route of Karnataka. Venur had served as the capital of Thimmana Ajila who built a gigantic Gomateshwara statue, which has a height of 38 feet.

The colossal statue of Venur is the shortest among all the three Gomateshwara, which are situated within a radius of 250 km.

The most important tourist attraction in Venur is the colossal statue of Lord Gomateshwara, also known as Bhagwan Bahubali. The statue is believed to have been sculptured by Amarashilpi Jakanchari. The statue is situated on the banks of the River Phalguni and faces the West direction. This beautiful statue is one of the five stupendous statues of Gomateshwara that are over 20 feet and are found in the state of Karnataka.

The other statues are situated in Shravanabelagola, Karkala, Dharmasthala and Gommatagiri. There are also several temples in Venur. Some of the most important of these temples are the Mahalingeshwara temple, the Aiyyapa Swamy temple, and the Shri Rama Temple, among others.The most important event that happens in Venur is the Mahamastakabhisheka.

The Mahamastakabhisheka is held once in every 12 years. Hundreds and thousands of devotees gather at Venur to bathe and anoint the monolith of Lord Gomateshwara with milk, water, saffron, sandalwood, vermilion, etc. The event is one of the five centres where this ceremony is held and tens and thousands of devotees and pilgrims gather at Venur from all over the country and the world.

The coast of Karnataka is fully filled with lovely backwaters, rivers, and lakes. These beautiful places are relatively unknown which is ultimately good nowadays. You have a chance to enjoy these beautiful places by going through a cruise or houseboats on lovely waters in Udupi district.

Bhatkal beach is as beautiful as Gokarna and Udupi without the crowd of the respective places. This fact Bhatkal the perfect destination for anyone seeking a hidden-away beach experience.

9. Shivamogga


When it comes to deal going for a romantic vacation and honeymoons, there is no better place than a hill station. And when it comes to the hill stations there is nothing better than Shimoga. With varied landscapes and attractive. This impressive hill station getaway has something to offer for everyone! In impressive Shimoga, you can visit the high and mighty Jog falls and jungles of Agumbe.

Take the boat ride in the Honnemaradu and go for a bird watching tour to see the birds of Gudavi. It borders with Kundapur in Udupi. This is in Soraba taluk. Many types of birds visit here during the breeding season, which is from August to October. In its western part, it is almost perpendicular to the Mookambika Wildlife Sanctuary, home of the endangered lion-tailed macaque.

The Sowparnika River flows into the valley beyond the hills and empties into the Arabian Sea near the famous Maravanthe Beach. The river has large tracts of mangrove forests rich in aquatic delights, such as tiger prawns and crabs. Occasionally, it is said that fishermen found crocodiles in these forests.

Davanagere is located at a distance of 260 kilometers from Bangalore. Kundavada kere also known as Mallikarjuna sagara is a picturesque lake. Soole kere also known as Shanti Sagara has a temple dedicated to Siddeshwara near the lake. An important attraction of Davanagere is the Durgambika Devi fair. Murugha Mutt (Shivayogi mandir) is located in the heart of the city and several religious and cultural programs are organized here.

Davanagere benne dose or Davanagere Butter dosa is an icon of Davanagere. It is prepared by adding generous amount of benne (butter) along with coconut chutney and special white alu sabzi (normally alu sabzi are greenish yellow in color). Mandagadde is a small island in Tunga river. During the rainy season, lower parts of trees gets submerged and birds can be seen sitting on top of trees.

Honnemaradu is a small island located in its midst of Linganamakki Reservoir on the backwaters of the Sharavathi River. This region gives the most rugged experience of camping and trekking.

10. Dandeli


Dandeli has the second largest wildlife sanctuary in India. The wildlife sanctuary has tigers, exotic snakes, elephants, black panthers, and leopards, also it has 300 bird species which make this a perfect vacation spot with family. If you are craving for adrenaline pumping adventures, there is no better place than Dandeli.

If you want to enjoy adventure stuff on a tour to Karnataka you can look for river rafting in Dandeli in Uttara Kannada, Dubare and Coorg. Make sure you have experienced and good team who conducts these rafting sessions as it can be too much dangerous if not performed in a proper way as well ensure to wear a life jacket always whenever you go for river rafting.

It has many water sports, almost through out the year, like White Water Rafting, Kayaking, Jacuzzi (my favorite), Zorbing, River crossing etc.

11. Karwar


Located at the crossroads of the Arabian Sea and the Kali River, Karwar is a small town full of pristine beaches and perfect images. Dolphin watching, banana boat rides, scuba diving and kayaking are favorite activities in the area. And the most important thing to experience in Karwar is its delicious cuisine, whose main ingredients are fish, rice and coconut.

Kadubu jothege Menthe chutney made of wheat, rice and urad powder mixed in proper measurement is steamed for about 5–10 min. Its best with methi chutney with bit of ghee on it. Avalakki is similar to poha. Joladh rotti or Jowar rotti made of jowar is best with mulgai palya (brinjal sabsi), kalin palya (pulse sabzi) and with saaru (sambar).

Ragi mudde is an iconic dish of Karnataka along with jollad rotti. Ragi mudde, a store house of multi nutrients, has only two ingredients, the Ragi flour and water. Best with sabaski saaru and majge saaru (butter milk sambar). Bisi bele bhath is a spicy, rice-based dish eaten with kara boondhi.

Thalipattu or akki rotti is made of rice flour high is mixed with salt and water and kneaded well till the dough gets soft. Sliced onions and carrots, chopped dill leaves, coriander, cumin seeds and sesame seeds are added while kneading the dough. Eaten along with chutney. Neer dosa is a delicacy from Tulu region and part of Udupi - Mangalorean cuisine.

Neer dosa is another popular breakfast of coastal Karnataka. It is made of rice flour. It is served with curry and chutney. The dosa has a thin and white texture.

Dharwad peda has been accorded GI tag. The ingredients include milk, sugar and Dharwadi buffalo milk. Karadantu means fried-edible gum in the local language. It is made of edible gum mixed with dry fruits and has a chewy texture. The other ingredients used in its preparation are fried bengal gram flour, jaggery and seeds of marking-nut tree.

Gokak is very famous for karadant. Amingad town in Bagalkot district is also famous for the Karadantu produced in its sweet shops. Maadhli is a karnataka sweet made in north Karnataka especially in villages. It is prepared during festivals with wheat flour, Rava, bengal gram, jaggery, dry coconuts. It tastes best with milk on it.

Chiroti is prepared by rolling out kneaded dough made of maida into layered circular shapes and then deep frying in ghee or refined oil. The outcome resembles a semi golden brown fluffy poori, which is then sprinkled liberally with powdered sugar and optionally grated almond and cashew. Add milk to it and enjoy chiroti. Halbai is a popular sweet dish of Karnataka. It is prepared with rice and jaggery.

Hesarbele paysa is one of the traditional payasa with Moong dal and Jaggery. Akki Payas or Akki Huggi is a North Karnataka rice variety, which is usually prepared during festivals along with Kadubu/Holige. Gasgase Payasa is an all-time favourite sweet for kannadigas. The poppy seeds are ground along with rice and simmered in milk till it thickens and garnished with hot toasted cashew nuts and raisins with ghee.

Pumpkin idli is prepared using grated pumpkin and idli rava.

Pathrode or patrode is a very tasty snacks or breakfast recipe prepared using rice and colocasia leaves. Pathrode or patrode is also familiar by name patra vadi or patra vada. Kattin saaru/holige saaru/obbattu saaru: Holige Saaru is a type of Rasam which is made from the left over filling of obbattu and rasam powder to make a delicious tasting saaru. It is often prepared along with obbattu which is a sweet paratha and is equally like by everyone.

Pineapple Gojju is a sweet and spicy, tangy curry made using pineapples, typical to Karnataka. It is a festive dish and served during weddings and other celebrations when a traditional meal is served on a banana lead. Kumbalkai gojju is made from cooked pumpkin, coconut, red chili, sesame seeds and roasted gram.

Thambuli, being a curd based cuisine, is consumed with rice. Tambuli is derived from Kannada word thampu. Sabsige soppu or sabbasige soppu is a name in Kannada language for dill leaves. Bellulli (garlic) mandakki (puffed rice) and avalakki (flattened rice) is a favorite evening time snack for North Karnataka. Maddur vada derives its name from the town of Maddur which is in the Mandya district of Karnataka. It is made of rice flour, semolina and maida flour which are mixed with sliced onion, curry leaves and grated coconut.

Gudbud Icecream is a famous ice-cream of Mangaluru. The assorted ice-cream was invented in a gadibidi (hurry). Local folklore has it that one day a bunch of customers came late and since portions of one flavour weren’t enough, 3 assorted flavours were mixed and served with fruits, cherries and dry fruits. It became a hit. And the name stuck!

Bele holige or bele obbattu is prepared using chana dal or toor dal. In Karnataka bele holige recipe varies from region to region and is best with mavina shekarne (mango shake). Kayi holige or kayi obbattu or coconut poli is prepared using maida flour. Bili holige is very popular breakfast recipe in Karnataka.

Mandalu/mandakki Oggarane is a very famous popular snack and breakfast dish in the North Karnataka region. Mandakki oggarane is served with Mirchi or menasinakayi bajji. It’s taste enhances with thile saaru (rasam) on it with kadle pudi (roasted channa dhal chutney) above it. Nargis Mandakki is a very popular mandakki recipe from davangere. Girmit is a tea time snacks or street food in Hubli Dharwad region of Karnataka.

In Karnataka, authentic ottu shavige or akki shavige is prepared by grinding the soaked rice. The rice batter is half cooked, dumplings are steamed and then finally pressed using the noodles mould (shavige mane). Rave Unde, one of the popular sweet in Karnataka. It is made of fine semolina (rava), dried coconut and sugar. milk and ghee are two ingredients often used to bind the mixture together.

One more side sweet dish is Kobri Bellada gravy. Otthu savage can be used to prepare chitranna with lime mixed. This dish is famous in Bangalore and old Mysore regions. Halasina Yele Chilmi is unique steamed dessert made with rice past, coconut and jaggery in cones made out of jackfruit leaves. Bellary Cycle Kova is a very special sweet in Bellary which are sold in cycle.

12. Belgaum


Belgaum Fort is the main landmark of the historic city of Belgaum and an important place to keep as a world heritage site in Karnataka. At the entrance of the fort, there are two sanctuaries of Ganapati and Durga. There are two Jinalayas made in the later Chalukya style.

Apart from the temples of Jain and Shiva, there are two mosques, namely Jamia Masjid and Safa Masjid, which are located within the fortress. These mosques are built in Mughal and Deccani styles and have domes and arches.

Scenic romantic getaway closer to Goa, Nersa is unconventional ideal for a long trip with your loved ones. Enjoy bird watching and hiking through the thick foliage. Nersa is located in the Mahadayi valley and seems to be a delight for travel enthusiasts and wildlife birds. In addition, locals say that around 40 bat species have been seen in Nersa.

From rocky escarpments to the undulating countryside, adventure lovers can find here a good variety of excursions such as Kongla Bhimgad, Abnali, Jamgoan and Dongargoan. Cool wind folds the cheeks. Leafy trees dancing in rhythm of the breeze.

Famous in Belgaum, Kunda is prepared purely from milk and khowa. A correct quantity of khowa and sugar has to be mixed in milk before boiling it. Once the mixture starts boiling, it has to be continuously stirred until it takes a solid form. Besides the iconic Belgaum Kunda, Belagavi is known for another sweet – mande or mandige.

A crepe with a thin filling of sugar, ghee and khoa, it is made like a roomali roti on an upturned tava and folded like a dosa.

Traditional Malnad cuisine emphasizes on using many locally available forest ingredients. As such it is very different from the cuisine of interior Karnataka. The best of Malnad cuisine can be enjoyed in rainy season.

Boṇḍa is something very comforting about eating hot and spicy chili or banana bonda while it is raining outside. Patrōḍe is made from Colocasia leaves, which grows abundantly in rainy season. Layers of masala, with or without Jaggery, is applied between Colocasia leaves, which is rolled and cooked.

Saṇḍige are a deep fried Papad like crispy snacks that can be prepared in a variety of ways. Usually it is made from rice or tapioca. They are prepared in summer, dried and stored for later use. They can be eaten as a snack or a side dish in meals. Saṇḍige is a comfort food for many people.

Mushroom curry is made using wild mushrooms that grow in Western Ghat forests during rainy season. Many wild mushrooms are not safe to eat, so it should not be harvested by those who do not have good knowledge about which are safe. It is better to buy these mushrooms from trusted villagers.

In rainy season, many seasonal streams are formed due to heavy rains. These are a good place to catch freshwater crabs. They are usually eaten with curry or is roasted. Turmeric plant grows rapidly in rainy season. It’s large, fragrant leaves are used as wrappings for cooking Kaḍubu or Steamed dumplings. They are eaten with Chutney for breakfast. There are different types of this dish like Cucumber Kaḍubu, Pumpkin Kaḍubu and Jackfruit Kaḍubu.

Leaves of hibiscus plant is ground and added to normal idly or dosa batter. It has a nice green color and herby flavor. They can also be made using the flower itself, which gives pink idly and dosa. Mango and Pineapple sāsive is a sweet made from Pineapple, Mango, Black grapes and grated coconut.

Suḷiroṭṭi is a sweet consisting of mashed Jaggery and batter made from rice flour and grated coconut. This is cooked in Turmeric leaves. Plenty of Jackfruits grow in Malnad during the Summer. Jackfruit seeds can be dried and stored for later use. They can used in dishes as a substitute for Potato. Bamboo shoots grow in rainy season.

Kannekuḍi, also known as soralekuḍi, is a plant that grows in Malnad region. Chutney is made from its leaves in rainy season. Koṅkaṇi khīr is a rice porridge made with Turmeric leaves for aroma. It is usually eaten with bitter gourd or ridge gourd curry.

13. Kudremukh


The Jamalabad Fort is situated in the Dakshina Kannada district of Karnataka and one of the important places to visit near Mangalore. It is an old hilltop fortification which is located in the Kudremukh Hills, 65 km from Mangalore.

The fort is situated at an elevation of 1700 feet and was formerly called the Narasimha Ghada. It is also called the Jamalagadda or Gadaikallu. The Jamalabad Fort was built by Tipu Sultan who was impressed by the large granitic structure which favoured the construction of a strong fort. He named the fort after his mother Jamalabee. The fort boasts of excellent architecture and was built over the ruins of an older structure.

The fort can be reached through a narrow path which has about 1876 steps, cut in granite and leading all the way to the top. This was constructed in order to ensure the safety of the fort from attacks by large armies. Interestingly, there is only one tank to store water inside the fort. The fort is more or less in a shambles now but the remnants of a giant cannon can still be seen.

The fort was captured by the British in 1799 during the fourth Mysore War. It is said that those who favoured Tipu Sultan were thrown to their deaths from the fort walls.

Jamalabad is a very popular trekking destination and has been classified as a medium difficulty trekking site. The view from the top of the fort is extremely rewarding as it presents a panoramic view of the surroundings, which makes it one of the important places to visit near Mangalore.

Visitors can gather their passes from a forest checkpost situated at the base of the hill. Since there is no store or outlet selling potable water, it is advisable that all guests carry enough water with them. Entry into the fort is allowed from 6 am to 6 pm and overnight stay is not allowed. There is a single room at the top of this hilltop fort.

The Hanumanagundi Falls is also known as the Suthanabbe Falls. It is situated in the hilly surroundings of the Kudremukh National Park and is an important tourist place to visit near Mangalore.

The Kudremukh National Park is situated in the Chikmagalur district of Karnataka and is known to be apopular trekking and hiking destination. The Hanumangundi Falls is situated between Karkala and the Lakya Dam in the Kudremukh National Park. The Hanumangundi Falls boasts of great natural beauty with a mystical spray that forms a misty cover over the lush green vegetation that surrounds it.

The height of the waterfall is 22 metres.The Hanumangundi Falls is situated at a distance of 32 km from Kalasa. The waterfall is named after the Hindu deity Hanuman. The name is formed from two words Hanuman and Gundi which means a gorge. The site boasts of immense natural beauty and visitors can reach this beautiful waterfall by climbing 400 steps that lead to this amazing spray.

The beautiful Hanumangundi Falls is maintained by the Forest Department of the state government. The Hanumangundi Falls is an excellent site for sightseeing, hiking, trekking, etc. Visitors can also be seen bathing in the warm waters of the waterfall. The waterfall is situated inside the Kudremukh National Park, which is an important conservation ground and tourist place near Mangalore.

Visitors are not allowed to stay inside the Kudremukh National Park and hence only day trips are allowed to the Hanumangundi Falls. You can visit this beautiful waterfall and feast your eyes on the natural beauty of the destination during your trip. If you are an adventure lover, you can also indulge in activities such as trekking and hiking during the trip to Hanumangundi Falls. All trips are led by experienced guides.

14. Mangalore


Mudabidri or Moodabidri is a small town in the Dakshina Kannada district of Karnataka. The town gets its name from the words Moodu, meaning East, and Bidiru, meaning bamboo. Because of the luxuriant growth of bamboos in the region, the town was named Moodabidri. Situated at an elevation of 482 feet, the town is situated on National Highway 13 and is accessible from Mangalore by bus. It is situated at a distance of 31 km from Mangalore.

Other places situated near Moodabidri include Udupi, Karkala, Kudremukh and Venur. The nearest railway station is the Mangalore Railway Station and the nearest airport is the Mangalore Airport. Moodabidri is best known for its Jain heritage. Jainism was and is widely practised in Moodabidri. The Thousand Pillars Temple, also known as the Saavira Kambada Basadi, is one of the most famous tourist places near Mangalore situated in Moodabidri.

There are several other Jain temples situated in the town of Moodabidri such as the Leppada Basadi, the Ammanvara Basadi, the Guru Basadi, and others. The town of Moodabidri also has a sizeable population of Hindus and Hindu temples. There is also the presence of a sizeable number of Roman Catholics. Moodabidri has about 11 churches in and around the town.

Among these the most famous is the Igreja da Santa Cruz Hospet or Hospet Church built by the Portuguese in the 16th century.The traditions and festivals of Moodabidri are a major draw for tourists from all over the country and the world. Some of the important festivals celebrated in the town include the Hulivesha, Navaraatri, the Rashi Pooja or the Mari Pooja, the Bhuta Kola, the Kambala, the Korikatta, and the Rathotsava.

One of the most important festivals celebrated in Moodabidri is the Lakshadeepotsava. This festival is situated by the Konkani speaking population. It is a five day festival and marks the start of the Utsava.

Situated on the banks of the River Nethravati, the quaint little town of Dharmasthala is located in the Dakshin Kannada region of Karnataka and is one of the important places to visit near Mangalore. The town is best known for the Dharmasthala temple which is known for its architectural splendour and religious significance.

Interestingly, the Dharmasthala temple administration is run by Jains while all poojas and rituals are carried out by Hindu priests belonging to the Madhava order. The most important festival celebrated in the town is the annual Lakshadeepa. The festival is celebrated in the months of November and December.

The Dharmasthala temple receives as many as 10,000 pilgrims every day. The Dharmasthala temple is an excellent example of religious tolerance. The guardian of the temple is a Jain Heggade, while all priests are Vaishnavite Brahmins. Furthermore, amidst the idols of Daivas and Lord Manjunath, offerings, poojas and rituals are performed for Jain Tirthankaras too.

There is a very interesting story about how the Shiva linga was installed in the Dharmasthala temple. The linga is believed to have been installed by a pious man called Annapa. Annapa worked for a Heggade family. One day his master told Annapa that he wished to worship Lord Shiva and he needed a Shiva linga for the purpose.

Annapa got a Shiva linga from a place called Kadri near Mangalore and established it in Dharmasthala. Today, the temple is a very popular tourist and pilgrimage site and Annapa is worshipped by the locals in the form of Annapa Panjurli.

Other important tourist attractions in Dharmasthala include the colossal statue of Bahubali, which has been carved out of a single rock and is installed on a hill near the Manjunatha Temple. The statue is one of the five statues in Karnataka and measures about 39 feet in height. Dharmasthala is well connected by rail and road and can be easily reached from Mangalore via private and public buses.

Situated in the beautiful environs of the Western Ghats, the Kukke Subramanya temple is dedicated to Lord Subramanya. The temple is situated in the village of Subramanya in Karnataka and is one of the important places to visit near Mangalore. Subramanya is worshipped as the Lord of Serpents in the temple. It is believed that the divine serpent Vasuki and other serpents found refuge in the Lord when threatened by the divine eagle Garuda.

The temple overlooks the Kumara Parvat and the Shesha Parvat. The temple is surrounded by lush green forests and presents an extremely beautiful picture. The town of Subramanya is situated at a distance of 105 km from Mangalore and can easily be reached through buses, taxis and cabs.

The temple is of great religious significance and attracts a large number of tourists and devotees from all over the country and the world. All devotees must cross the Kumaradhara River to reach the temple. On reaching the temple, all are required to take a holy dip in the river before entering the temple. The entrance into the temple is from the back. The worship begins with circumambulation of the deities.

Situated in between the sanctum sanctorum and the portico is a silver covered pillar of Garuda. It is believed that the pillar was installed here to protect devotees from the raging flames that arise out of Vasuki’s breath. Inside the sanctum sanctorum, the idols of Sri Subramanya, Vasuki and Shesha are placed.

Daily rituals and pujas are conducted at the temple. However, the most important pujas are the Ashlesha Bali and the Sarpa Samskara pujas. The Ashlesha Bali is an important puja conducted to ward off Kaalasarpa dosha and Kuja doshas. The Kukke Subramanya temple is the most popular temple for Sarpadosha pujas and hence is one of the important places to visit near Mangalore. The Sarpa Samskara puja is also conducted to ward off sarpa dosha and involves rituals and offerings.

Constructed by the Tipu Sultan in 1784, The Sultan Battery is a watchtower that is located in the town of Boloor which is about 4km from the Managlore city. The peculiar name arises from the fact that it was the Sultan’s watchtower, a place from where cannons were fired, hence the suffix ‘Battery’.

This eerily beautiful place, however, has a dark and murky history, it was built from the stones of the 23 Churches that were destroyed by Tipu Sultan during his reign. The place was initially a blockage for the warships entering the river, built by the British. It was later reclaimed from them by the Sultan. The top of the fort offers sweeping views of the Arabian Sea and is one of the best vantage points to tke in the surf of the ocean.

The place is also a stunning blend of natural and manmade excellence. Take in the solitude of the viewpoint as you bask in its glory.

Manjunath Temple in Mangalore is an ancient temple built in the 10th or 11th century, and holds one of the oldest statue of Lord Manjunathaswamy. A mixture of Indian architecture embellished with Buddhist influences the temple is a true work of art. Buddhism was practiced at this site until the 10th Century and later Hindu worship rituals took over a major part of the temple.

The Kadri Manjunatha Temple is one of the must on your list of places to visit in Mangalore not only becsue of its religious significance but also because of its architectural ingenuity. At the façade of the temple, at an awe inspiring height, there are a number of water ponds. Surrounding the ponds there are landscaped gardens that lend a refreshing feel to the surroundings. From there to the doorway of the temple, there is also a towering lightpole (Deepstambha) on which lamps are lit at holy occasions.

Situated in the heart of city, the Light House Hill Garden is one the most stunning places to visit in Mangalore. A relic of the 18th century rule of Haider Ali, it is believed to have been built by his armies. The light house hill garden is so called, because apart from the light house, the place also has a garden which gives a stunning view of the sea.

Enjoy the awe-inspiring and sweeping view of the sunset from these parks, which have been recently renovated to lend a feeling of immense refreshment and serenity to the place.The garden, also known as Tagore Park is the perfect place to immerse you in the beauty of this serene destination. The well-manicured garden has been decorated with numerous trees, shrubs and flowering plants and is truly a pleasant sight to witness.

One of the most picturesque beaches in Mangalore, the Someshwara Beach is an iconic rocky beach facing the Kanara Region a little distance away from Managlore. One of the most popular tourist places in Mangalore, the beach is known for ‘Rudra Shile’- which is a formation of large rocks on the shoreline. The ancient and important Somanath Temple was built up here, during the rule of the queen Abbakka Devi.

The rule of this queen is legendary as she was touted as being a warrior queen who pushed back and fought against the Potuguese valiantly.

However, the beach is not safe to swim in as the ocean currents are quite and unpredictable at any given time. You can still enjoy the peace and serenity of the beach sitting on the rocks and letting the cold ocean waves lap at your feet as you take in the beauty of this stunning place to visit in Mangalore.

Reputed for being one of the cleanest and safest beaches in India to swim, enjoy and have fun in, Panmabur beach is one of the most popular and beautiful tourist places in Mangalore. The stunning ocean, exuberant waves and the beauty of the shoreline attracts a number of holidaymakers, both local and outstation tourists as well as adventure seekers.

The beach has a host of amenities and sports activities lined up for the people like jetski, horse and camel rides along the shore, as well as the more thrilling ATV rides.

While here, you can also treat your taste buds to some amazing local cuisines at the restaurants that line the beach. The beach is situated a small distance away from the main city of Mangalore and can be easily reached via the main highway. Bask in the glorious view of the ships sailing along the ocean and witness the glorious views of the skies and ships sailing along the sea.

Ullal beach is one of the best places to visit in Mangalore, the beach has a continuous shoreline fringed by coconut palm trees and a fishermen’s lane that leads right upto the beach. A historical town forged out of years of history, wars and conflict; Ullal remains popular because of its untouched pristine beauty.

A derelict fort of Abbakka Devi, the great warrior queen also lies on this beach. The fort and some 16th century ancient temples is what attract people to this serene destination. The Dargah of Syed Mohammad Shereful Madani is also a major draw of this destination.

Kudroli Gokarnatha temple is located in the city of Mangalore just about 3km from the city centre. The temple is dedicated to Lord Gokarnatheshwara who is another incarnation of Lord Shiva. The temple holds high importance for the locals as it was started by Narayan Guru, who was a revered saint as well as a social reformer.

The temple is at the height of its grandeur in the Navratri Festival, when a grand procession of Goddess Durga starts from the temple and goes around the city. This Navrathri Festival is also called, Mangalore Dasara and is observed with great devotion and sincerity.

The temple was built in 1912, and sports a style of Keraliite architecture, replete with carved pillars and a towering edifice. The temple attracts devotees irrespective of caste and culture during this time and the celebration is worth cherishing!

Flitting from tree to tree, hovering over fragrant and wonderful flowers and sometime even sitting on your shoulder to give you a sense of happiness, at Sammilan Shetty’s butterfly park, you can experience all this and more. Butterfly Park is one man’s effort that has led to a strong ecological balance and immense beauty of surroundings.

Though inaugurated recently, the Butterfly Park now holds over 118 species of these winged beauties and the numbers are expected to grow even further. A first of its kind private initiative in the state, the park attracts a number of curious onlookers, researchers and students when it opens to public on every Sunday. Located at Belvai, the campus lies on about 7.5 acres of Land. The park has several rare species of butterflies right from the local to the international varieties.

Located on the summit of the Light House Hill in the heart of Mangalore City, the St. Aloysius Chapel was built in 1885. The stunning architecture of the temple will certainly take your breath away and the frescoes will remind you of the Sistien Chapel which is located in Rome. The chantry will impress you to no end with stunning painitings such as Crowing of the Cock and numerous holy people. This Chapel was devoted to the St. Aloysius Gonzaga, a well off, effective, young fellow who surrendered common life to commit himself to the benefit of the destitute.

This church is often compared with the Sistine Chapel in Rome. The church is staggering with some glorious artworks on the roof, fresco painting and oil canvas compositions.

One of the most obffbeat Mangalore Tourist places, Tannirbhavi has remained deserted and secluded from the rest of the places to visit in Mangalore mainly due to its location. If you want to have a peaceful and serene time at Mangalore amongst silence and lashing of the waves on the shore. If you are a nature lover, you will find the most peaceful time here!

The beach is only accessible by road or more commonly, by ferry from Gurupura River at Sultan Battery. The beach, like many other tourist places in Mangalore, is beautiful in its seclusion itself !

A drive through the western ghats is a must! Take the route from Bangalore to Mangalore via Sakleshpur. This is one of those stretches that will prove to you that the journey is more beautiful than the destination. Stop anywhere in the middle of the ghats at night for the best star flecked skies you would have witnessed in your life.

The dense foliage and lively greenery of the ghat forest, along with the continual hum of chirping birds, sudden unexpected glimpses silvery waterfalls trickling down the steep rocky ledges will fill your heart with the kind of peace and joy not found in cities. You might even spot an animal or two along the drive if you’re lucky!

The cherry on the pie is that the end of the journey would bring you to breathtaking, blue, clean and empty beaches around Mangalore with some of the best sunsets. Between the Western Ghats and its forest, Arasinamakki is a lush green foliage through which river Kapila passes. One can now easily imagine what a tranquil place it must be. This piece of nature is 300 kilometers away from the cacophony of city life. The river is usually flooded with water.

To spend a day or two in a rustic cottage in the middle of a quiet nature at homestay is a privilege in itself. If you are non vegetarian then this is the best place for local sea food. It has a very different St Mary’s Island and beautiful churches. Surfing is one of the different things to do here.

Popular beaches like Panambur beach, Tannirbhavi beach, Surathkal NITK beach, Someshwara beach are all one of the cleanest and well maintained beaches in India. Pilikula Nisargadhama spread across 400 acres has biological park, zoo, water park, Golf Court, 3D planetarium, Heritage Village is a prime tourist destination of the city.

River Festival is the another attraction of the city where one can enjoy boating facilities, motor boat ride, floating restaurant and all other water sports. Kadri musical fountain & flower shows, St. Aloysious Chapel & museum, Bejai musuem, Karavali Utsava, Beach festival are some of the other major tourists attractions.

All festivals are celebrated very grandly and among these the most popular is Mangalore Dasara. After the world famous Mysore Dasara, Mangalore Dasara is more popular in Karnataka.

Mangalore Cuisine yet again is most popular with some of the dishes found exclusively in Mangalore. Kori rotti, Chicken Sukka, Chicken ghee roast, Neer dosa, Pundi, Patrode, Mangalore Chicken curry, Mangalore Biriyani etc. are some of the well-known dishes.

The Konkan coast is so rich in its culture, food and beaches. The route starting from Mangalore via Udupi, Murudeshwar, Gokanra, Karwar and finally Goa is dotted with numerous lovely beaches. Just a long drive is enough to savor. Kori rotti is one of the best lunch items that you can find in Mangalore. It is a coastal chicken curry along with rice roti. Rice roti is crisp and is crushed to mix well with the chicken curry.

Mangaluru buns is very famous in coastal areas in Karnataka. Buns are mild sweet, soft fluffy puris made using all purpose flour and banana. Best with coconut chutney.

Goli bajji or mangaluru bajji is another famous dish of coastal area. Golibaje is another breakfast prepared from Maida. It is available in all hotels across coastal Karnataka. It is served with chutney. This is usually an evening snack in Mangalore. Its a soft and spongy made with purpose flour, spices and herbs. You can eat with chutney/tomato ketchup.

Karathe Kismuri is a typical mouth-watering and favorite side dish of the Konkan community from Mangalore in south India. It is made with deep fried karela or bitter gourd pieces in a coconut and aromatic coriander seed based curry tempered with roasted garlic. Paired with hot steaming rice and some dal, it is a perfect comforting meal!

Kalyan Panja