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Karnataka

Introduction

Karnataka is an ancient land with a history of over 1,500 years. Here, you can delve into centuries old architectural marvels, walk through famed monuments, get mesmerized by imposing world heritage structures, explore ancient rock-cut caves, experience breathtaking natural beauty, listen to spiritual chants, wake up to the smell of freshly brewed coffee with wildlife surrounding you or feel the tranquility of endless beaches.

Karnataka has numerous Tourist attractions. The former princely capital Mysore with the Brindavan Gardens and Srirangapattana nearby, Sharavanabelgola with the famous monolithic statue of Gomateshwara (57 ft high), Belur, Halebid and Somnathpura with the famous Hoysala monuments; Badami, Aihole and Pattadkal for the 1,300 year old rock-cut and structural temples; Hampi, the famous open air museum (ancient Vijayanagar);Dakshina Kannada, Udupi and Uttara Kannada Districts for beautiful beaches; Mangalore and Krwar for ports; Chitradurga, Bidar, Basavakalyan and Gulbarga with attractive forts; Bandipur National Park, Bannerghatta National Park are the play ground of Wild Life; Ranganthittu, Kokkre Bellur, Mandagadde, Gudavi, Attiveri are the famous bird sanctuaries; Jog, Sathodi, Shivanasamudra, Mogod, Gokak, Abbey, Unchalli. Irupu, Hebbe, Kalhatti are the mesmerising fall; Madikeri, Kemmannugundi, B.R. Hills, Nandi Hills, Kudremukh, Kodachadri are the Picturesque Hill Stations. Gokarna, Udupi, Dharmashala, Melukote, Gangappura, Saundatti, Kollur, Sringeri, Horanadu, Kalasa, Kukke Subramanya, Yediyur, Koodalasangama, Ulvi, Nanjangud are famous pilgrimage centres.

Tourist Attraction

Beaches

Bhatkal Beach

Bhatkal beach located on the banks of the Arabian Sea is one of the most beautiful beaches of Coastal Karnataka. The greenery along the coast puts in to the superb beauty of the place. The innate beauty, coupled with miles of sand makes it an ideal mark for a holiday. Bounded by the shimmering sea and rolling hills, this place is a favourite tourist spot and known for the gorgeous temple perched on a hillock by the shore.

Devbagh Beach

The picturesque Devbagh beach is located on an island that can be reached by speedboats from the Karwar coast. This secluded beach spread with casuarina groves provides the wonderful getaway from the din of city life. Dirt-free azure waters and the ivory beach will appease your exhausted body and soul as well. One can visit this beach round the year.

Karwar Beach

Karwar beach is truly virgin in the sense that it lies unspoiled and secluded even in the day of modernity. This beach which lies on a thin strip of tropical land tucked cosily between Western Ghats and the Arabian Sea has palm fringed shores providing a serene ambience for any visitor. Photo finish landscapes dotted with distinct islands offer a spectacular view for the tourists. It is said that this paradise inspired the great Indian muse Rabindranath Tagore to pen his first play.

Malpe Beach

Malpe beach lies about 6 kms from Udupi. The golden sands among the swaying palm and casuarina trees with the clear blue sky are hallmarks of this beach. Malpe is a natural harbour and is an important fishing centre contributing to the riches of Karnataka. T his beach beckons tourists longing for an ideal and idyllic holiday. Boating, fishing and swimming abound in this beach.

Maravanthe Beach

Maravanthe beach is sandwiched between the Arabian Sea and the Satuparnika River, with a backdrop of the Kodachadri Hills. The endless golden sand, swaying palm trees, clear sky and the soothing sea of Maravanthe beach Karnataka makes the tour to Maravanthe beach in Karnataka an out-of-the-world experience. In fact, it wears the look of a fairyland at sunset when the sky turns crimson and the golden rays of the sun are reflected in the sea as well as the river.

Murudeshwar Beach

Murudeshwar beach is a favourite tourist destination and known for the gorgeous temple perched on a hillock by the shore. It will help you rediscover your love of solitude. Place yourself at a vantage point on a hillock and watch the relentless waves crashing against the rock. Don't forget to see the Shiva Temple which is the tallest Shiva statue in India.

Saint Mary's Island Beach

Saint Mary's Island beach is located 58 km north of Mangalore is special for the unique formation of basalt rocks which have crystallized into columns and split into vertical hexagonal blocks. This group of islands is accessible by ferry from Malpe which is a major fishing harbour. The beach attracts students and researchers who wish to learn more about the volcanic rocks.

Hill Stations

Coorg

Coorg also known as the Scotland of India and Kashmir of the South, with simple folk and a very peaceful place, away from the hustle & bustle of city life. Coorg has won accolades and appreciation for its excellent beauty of both people and nature. This picturesque, charming town is situated at an elevation of 5000 ft above sea level, offering you breathtaking views. Madikere is the headquarters of Kodagu (Coorg). Kodagu is one of the most beautiful hill stations in India, and also produces some of the world's best coffee, honey and spices.

Kodachadri

Hill Stations in Karnataka are great retreats for those looking for solitude. If you love the mountains and wish to spend your vacations in the unspoilt mountain terrains then you should be embarking for the scenic Kodachadri. About 1843 metres above sea level Kodachadri Hill is in the Western Ghats. Home to many endangered species of both the animal and plant kingdom, it is every trekker's dream to trek along the mountain tracks.

Kundadri

Kundadri hill station is a huge monolithic rock formation about 3200 feet above sea level. It is covered with dense evergreen forests. Tourists plan for a vacation in the quiet hills of Kundari to enjoy its solitude, the cool breeze that blow from the west, the clear blue firmament and the setting sun that may the most mesmerizing experience for many. Rivers flowing at the foothill can be seen from the mountaintop and the backwaters of Varahi Dam add to the scenic beauty.

Yana

Yana is a quiet hill station among the evergreen forest of Sahyadri mountains. Yana offers spectacular scenic beauty; lofty mountains, splendid rock formations, trickling waterfalls and a holy temple. The hill station is often frequented by tourists who like to gaze at Bhariraveswara Shikhara that stands 120 meters high. In fact, Yana hill station has its own rustic charm that appeals the tourists.

Chikmagalur

Chikmagalur is most suitable hill station, if you are wanderlust and love to walk along the rocky cliffs, drinking in the pristine beauty of the surroundings, enjoying the whiff of cool breeze and revelling in the beauty of the resplendent valley. Chikmagalur Hill Station Karnataka is full of scenic surprises. Located at a height of 1900 meters, Chikmagalur fascinates one with its looming mountains, captivating cascades, silver streams and verdant valleys.

Kemmangundi

Kemmangundi hill station has spectacular waterfalls cascading along its slopes, excellent animal life and rare species of plants. Trekkers climbing along the mountainous terrains enjoy the picturesque view. The adventurous scale the peaks and explore the jungle of Kemmangundi hill station. You would be enjoying trekking the scenic mountain slopes, bird watching and visiting the magnificent falls.

Nandi Hills

60 kms north of Bangalore is the summer resort called Nandi Hills. Also known as Nandidurga, it was one of the summer retreats of Tipu Sultan. The 1,478 m high Nandi Hills, Karnataka are the source of many rivers. And the forests surrounding the hills abound with wild animals. Around the Nandi Hills are several smaller hills which can be visited on foot. Nandi Hills enjoys a moderate climate throughout the year.

Madikeri

Madikeri is a picturesque, charming town situated at an elevation of over 5,000 ft (1,525 m) above sea level. The cool bracing wind whips the hair about your face as you ramble along streets that dip and rise delightfully. Breathtaking views surprise you unexpectedly. Beautiful women smile at you from pretty cottages as you sniff appreciatively the heady fragrance of coffee blossoms.

Wildlife Sanctuaries

Bandipur National Park

Bandipur Tiger Reserve situated in Mysore District of Karnataka State of India was among the first nine Tiger Reserves created in India at the launch of Project Tiger in 1973. It is contiguous to Madhumalai Wildlife Sanctuary in Tamil Nadu state to south and Wynad Wildlife Sanctuary in Kerala state to the south-west. To the north-west lies Nagarhole National Park. The highest peak is Gopalaswamy hill.

A Sanctuary of 90 sq. km. area was created in Bandipur Reserve Forest in 1931. Venugopala Wildlife Park was constituted in 1941, extending over 800 sq. km. The Park was named after the deity, Venugopala of the shrine atop this hill. Bandipur Tiger reserve was formed by including most of the forest area of the then Venugopala Wildlife Park and its sanctum sanctorum at Bandipur, in the year 1973 and named Bandipur National Park.

All the forests included in the Reserve are reserved forests notified prior to independence. Notification for proposed Bandipur National Park was issued in 1985. . The area is an abode of endangered species like Tiger, Leopard, Elephant, Gaur, Sambar, Spotted deer, Sloth bear, Mouse deer, Wild dog, four horned Antelope. Click here for more details...

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Nagarhole National Park

Covering an area of 644 sq km, the Nagarhole National Park is situated between the Kabini River and the Bandipur National Park. The Nagarhole National Park mainly consists of moist deciduous forest in the northern and western parts and dry deciduous forest in the south-eastern part. Nagarhole is among a few wildlife sanctuaries in India, which are considered to be safe haven for elephants. If there is anything you would enjoy watching (besides other things) in the park is the great elephant show. Nagarhole National Park is primarily an elephant territory. The Nagarhole National Park derives its name from two words 'Naga' meaning snake and 'hole' meaning streams.

The Nagarhole National Park is also home to tiger, sloth bear and hyena, leopard, wild dog, spotted deer, sambar, barking deer, four-horned antelope, wild boar and gaur. The big cat may be as elusive as it is in many national parks across the country but you can certainly get a glimpse of other animals like sambar, wild boar, gaur, wild dog and spotted deer. Among the 250 bird species found in the park, the most common are the common bulbul, babbler, bee-eater, crested serpent, dove, hornbill, alexandrine, peacock, woodpecker, Malabar pied, warbler, great Indian reed, crested hawk, eagle, golden-back parakeet, and the southern tree pie.

Source: National Portal Content Management Team, Reviewed on: 10-02-2011