Karnataka, the land of Kannadigas, stands proudly at the forefront of Indian Tourism. This enchanting land abounded with awesome scenic beauty, rich flora and fauna is a welcoming treat for every visitor from all round the world. By virtue of its varied geography and long history, Karnataka hosts numerous places of tourist importance. Adorned with sculpted temples, modern cities, scenic hill ranges, unexplored beaches and endless forests, Karnataka is ranked fourth among the most popular tourist destinations of India.
Bordered by the Arabian Sea to the west, Goa to the north-west, Maharashtra to the north, Andhra Pradesh to the east, Tamilnadu to the south-east and Kerala to the south-west, Karnataka is graciously situated in the Deccan Plateau region of the Indian sub continent. Karnataka is blessed with holy rivers like Cauveri, Sharavathi, Thungbadra, Nandani and Ghataprabha. The great Western Ghats pass through the state and the Arabian Sea is spread on the western side giving some of the most beautiful beaches to the region.
Formed on 1st November 1956, this great land was originally known as the State of Mysore and was renamed as "Karnataka" in 1973. Bangalore, the "Silicon City", is the capital city of Karnataka that contributes a great deal in the rapid economic and technological growth of India.
This great land, in the history of India, has been a home to some of the most powerful empires of ancient and medieval India whose contribution towards art, architecture and culture has moved the state to a supreme level in Indian tourism.
Karnataka is a home to some of the World Heritage sites. Its geography has created some of the awesome eco-tourism places like Madikeri, Agumbe, Coorg, Shimoga and many more. Some of the architectural splendours of the bygone era like the ruins of the Vijayanagar Empire at Hampi and the monuments of Pattadakal are on the list of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites while the Hoysala temples at Belur and Halebidu are in the list of proposed UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The cave temple at Badami and rock-cut temples of Aihole also top the list of must-visits. The Gol Gumbaz at Bijapur has the second largest pre-modern dome in the world after the Byzantine Hagia Sophia.
The marvellous Mysore Palace, Ibrahim Roza at Bijapur, the Daria Daulata Bagh at Srirangapatanam, the Khwaja Bandenawaz Darga at Gulbarga are some of the remarkable historical splendours of Karnataka.
The most acclaimed Jog falls near Shimoga forms the India's tallest waterfalls and is called as 'Niagara of India' and the waterfalls at Shivagange is a real treat to the eyes that leaves you amazing at the creativity of nature. The beaches at Murudeshwara, Gokarna, Karwar, Malpe, Marvanthe dot the coastline of Karnataka.
Religiously famous Hindu places like Vinayaka Temple at Anegudde, Sri Krishna Temple at Udupi, Shardamba Temple at Sringeri, Subramaniya Swami temple at Kukke, Annapoorneshwari Temple at Horranadu, Mookambika Temple at Kollur, Sri Manjunatha Temple at Dharmasthal, Keshava Temple at Somanathapur among many others attracts pilgrims from all over the world. Renowned saint and scholar Sri Adi Shankaracharya established his first of the four Mutts at Sringeri. Some of the Jain Shrines at Shravanabelagola, Moodabidri and Karakala are very famous. The Gomateshwara monolithic at Shravanabelagola is one of the foremost centres of Jain pilgrimage today.
The vast spread forest at Bandipur, Nagarhole, Dandeli, Bannergatta and the trek paths of Agumbe, Thirthahalli offer the best places for adventure freaks. The relaxed hill stations like Ooty, Madikeri, Munnar, Coorg, Kudremukh, Chikmagalur etc are popular among the honeymoon destinations of Karnataka in southern part of India.
Apart from Kannadigas, Karnataka is home to Tuluvas, Kodavas and Konkanis. Karnataka is also a land of ancient literature has great scholars, poets and academicians. The two forms of Indian classical music- Carnatic and Hindustani is acclaimed world-wide. The most popular Dussera (a Hindu festival) celebrations at Mysore speak volumes about India's rich culture and heritage.
Economically it accounts for great treasure of Gold, Spices, Sandalwood, Coffee, Areca, paddy, coconut and supplies 60% of the country's silk.
With its endless list of tourist attractions and mind-blowing scenic beauty Karnataka has everything for people from all walks of life.