Its mountainous territory includes the chain of the Western Ghats with peaks at 1900 m. The Deccan Plateau covers most of the territory. Going down to the coast the terrain becomes flat and faces the Arabian Sea. River Krishna and its tributaries pass while Bhima and Tungabhadra form a large lake. These rivers flow down from the Ghats and the Bay of Bengal. In the southeast is the main river Kaveri. It flows to the Bay of Bengal, after forming spectacular waterfalls.
Karnataka in ancient times was Karunadu as per an edict of Ashoka. It was then under the Maurya dynasty. Chandragupta Maurya embraced the Jain religion at Shravanabelagola. There were many dynasties that ruled the state. The Chalukyas ruled between the tenth and twelfth centuries. They built the temples and caves of Aihole and Pattadakal and had their capital at Badami.
The Hoysala ruled between the eleventh and fourteenth century. They built more than 150 temples, each of which is a true work of art. We find testimonies at Somnathpur, Halebid, and Belur. The reign of Vijayanagara was from the fourteenth to the sixteenth century. We find examples in the spectacular ruins of Hampi. Later 5 Deccan sultanates of Bijapur, Bidar, Golconda, Ahmednagar, and Berar came. They were later conquered by the Mughal empire in the sixteenth century.
The capital Bangalore has different linguistic and religious ethnicities. They have contributed to the formation of an interesting cultural heritage. It boasts of an excellent climate throughout the year. There are many parks and tree-lined avenues so that is also known as the garden city. It established itself worldwide as well as an important commercial and industrial center. Particularly in the software industry.
There is the Vidhana Soudha. A magnificent granite structure houses the Legislative Chambers of the State government. The palace of Tipu Sultan is one of the finest Islamic buildings in the city. The palace is now a museum and is a mine of information about the period of Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan. In the heart of the city is a Tudor-style building reminiscent of Windsor Castle. The Bull Temple is famous for the monolithic statue of Nandi, the divine bull of Shiva. It is in Dravidian style, which measures 4.57 m in height and 6.10 m in length. You can see a bull carved from a single block of gray granite.
Lalbagh Botanical Gardens for over 200 years is home to exotic trees and plants. In the Cubbon Park, there are several buildings in the colonial-era British style.
And again, in the new part of town is the Bannerghatta National Park. You can move on elephant back safaris to see lions, tigers, and crocodiles.
Do not miss Mysore, the city of silk and sandalwood that was once the cultural capital of Karnataka. It has elegant buildings and art galleries. Mysore was the imperial city of the Wodeyar dynasty, an Indian royal family who reigned from 1399 to 1947.
Lalitha Mahal Palace is at the foot of the Chamundi hills. The house for the royal guests is now converted into a luxury hotel. The dome is reminiscent of St. Paul's Cathedral in London. The Mysore Palace is in an Indo-Saracenic style with turrets, arches, and columns. The Ranganathaswamy Temple houses a statue of Vishnu. It is in the dormant position on the great serpent Anantha is one of the largest temples in the state. It is an example of a mixture of Hoysala and Vijayanagara architectural styles.
Srirangapatnam got its name as the city of Sri Ranganatha, the chief deity of the city. In the center of town is the temple dedicated to Sri Ranganatha, built in the ninth century. The city is on an island in the Kaveri river in the past became the capital of Tipu Sultan. The city is full of forts, palaces, and ruins that testify to the courage of Tipu Sultan. He reigned in the eighteenth century.
Somnathpur is a city located 30 km from Mysore. It is famous for the Chennakesava temple built in 1268 under the Hoysala king Narasimha III. The temple is one of the finest examples of Hoysala architecture. Shravanabelagola is the site of the most famous and sacred pilgrimage for Jains. It is between two rocky hills, 150 km from Bangalore, 52 from Hassan and 80 from Mysore. Gomateshwara remains the oldest and most revered Jain pilgrimage site throughout India.
Many excursions include the hill station of Coorg. Here you can find rice fields, coffee plantations, orange groves and pepper plants. There is Krishna Raja Sagar dam. There are the beautiful terraced gardens of Brindavan with musical fountains. There is the bird sanctuary of Ranganathittu. It has rare species of exotic and migratory birds such as storks, white ibis, and cormorants. And again, the Bandipur National Park joined the project for the protection of tigers. Do not forget shopping on Sayaji Rao Road, in the city center, for silks and sandalwood objects.
On the coast of the Arabian Sea is Mangalore. It is an important strategic and cultural center. Here you can find churches, temples, and mosques. While the further south is the unexplored beaches of Karavalli. To visit nearby are the Jain temples of Venur, Moodabidri, and Karkala. Thousands of lights glow on the occasion of the Laksha Deepotsava festival. Jog Falls forms by Sharavathi river with a 292-meter jump.
Belur, the city of temples, is at 34 km from Hassan. It is also known as Dakshina Varanasi or the Benares of the South. The fame of Belur is for Chennakesava temple built in 1117 AD. King Vishnuvardhana of the Hoysala dynasty built it. It commemorates his conversion from Jainism to Vaishnavism. The main structure of the temple is in a star shape, on an elevated platform. Inside, even in the dark, you can see shining columns, each unique in its beauty.
Halebid or Dwarasamudra is 17 kilometers from Belur. The rich capital of the Hoysala flourished between the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. Halebid reached its zenith during the reign of Veera Ballala II. He was the grandson of Vishnuvardhana. The city is home to many Jain temples.
Hampi was one of the nuclei of the Vijayanagara empire's capital, from 1336 to 1565. On one side is the Tungabhadra river and the other three surrounded by defensible hills. The site is of great importance for architecture. The area abounds in huge large stones used to erect imposing statues of deities. Only ruins remain. Yet, even those ruins manage to convey an idea of the grandeur of this site. A visit to the stunning town leaves an impression.
Pattadakal, situated on the left bank of the river Malaprabha, is a World Heritage Center. The city has 10 major temples of typical architecture in the era of the Chalukyas. It reached its peak between the seventh and ninth centuries, as a memorial site of kings. The temple dedicated to Virupaksha has many inscriptions and a massive front door.
Aihole, situated 43 km from Kudala Sangama, was the ancient capital of the Chalukyas. Known as the cradle of Indian architecture, around the village has more than 100 temples. Most of these temples, divided into 22 groups, are from the sixth and eighth centuries.
Badami, the capital of the Chalukya dynasty, is a picturesque town. It is at the entrance of a ravine between two rocky hills. Badami is famous for its all-cave temples carved into sandstone wall on the hill. The largest and most important is the third cave dedicated to Vishnu. Karnataka also has a coastline on the Arabian Sea that is worth a visit.
Gokarna is a delightful town with beautiful beaches, narrow streets, and temples. Gokarna has become a very famous place of pilgrimage. During the Shivaratri festival, at least a hundred people pass through the streets. While above two wagons the priests do puja and send blessings to the crowd. Malpe is another town on the sea. You can make interesting excursions to lively places of worship. Two sites of the Jain Digambara sect are worth a visit:
Moodabidri has a large number of Jain temples. The most popular are the Savira Kamba Basadi with a thousand columns. All are different from each other, and the walls carved with different designs. Karkala located at 17 Km from Moodabidri, is an effervescent city of young sculptors. Also famous for the huge monolithic statue of 12 meters Lord Gomateshwara. The area is also full of Hindu pilgrimage places.
Udupi has a famous temple dedicated to Krishna. The main attraction of the temple is the Kanakana Kindi. In front of the window, there is a small gopuram.
Sringeri is a major Orthodox branch of Hinduism in South India. In this place in the ninth century. Shankaracharya founded the first of his four Math's (monastic life). The other three are in Joshimath Himalayas. The small temple of Sarada is the main destination for pilgrims. Immediately nearby there is the temple of the XVI century.