Must see places in Karnataka for Tourists

Karnataka is a state located in the southwestern region of India, known for its diverse culture, rich heritage, stunning landscapes, and historical monuments. It offers an array of tourist destinations, ranging from bustling cities to serene hill stations, ancient temples to modern architecture, wildlife sanctuaries to pristine beaches. 

Some of the must-see places for tourists in Karnataka include the stunning Mysore Palace, the ancient Hampi ruins, the iconic Jog Falls, the exotic beaches of Gokarna and Udupi, and the charming hill stations of Coorg and Chikmagalur. Karnataka's blend of natural beauty and cultural richness makes it a perfect destination for any type of traveler.

15 Must-Visit Destinations in Karnataka for Tourists in 2023

Karnataka's diverse geography and landscape make it an ideal destination for tourists seeking a variety of enthralling locations. Here are 15 carefully chosen tourist spots that offer something for every vacationer:-

1. Bangalore: A City of Diverse Existence

Bangalore, the most cosmopolitan city in India, is a melting pot of different cultures and skills. Known as the hub of Information Technology, it houses numerous software, hardware, and telecom companies that serve clients worldwide.

With its pleasant weather, Bangalore is a popular summer vacation destination. Visitors can explore attractions such as Bannerghatta Park, Lalbag Garden, Tipu Sultan Palace, and VidhanaSoudha.

  • Bannerghatta Park
  • Lalbagh Garden
  • Tipu Sultan Palace
  • VidhanaSoudha

The best way to travel to the city is by train to Bangalore Railway Station or by air to Bengaluru International Airport.

2. Bandipur National Park: Living in Harmony with Nature

Bandipur National Park is a wildlife sanctuary that boasts a rich diversity of flora and fauna. It is an ideal destination for nature enthusiasts and animal lovers alike.

Highlights of Bandipur National Park

  • Tiger Reserve
  • Bird Sanctuary
  • Spotting of elephants, spotted deer, and antelopes

Location and Access

Bandipur National Park is located 80 km from Mysore railway station and 220 km from the airport, making it an easily accessible destination. It is perfect for a day picnic, but visitors can also choose to stay in the nearby accommodation options to explore the park at their own pace.

3. Coorg: Quaint and Captivating

Coorg is a serene and charming hill station that is perfect for a summer retreat. Its beautiful landscapes, with verdant greenery, coffee plantations, cascading waterfalls, and majestic mountains, make it an ideal destination for nature lovers.

Here are some of the things you can do in Coorg:

  • Explore the unique Tibetan Monastery
  • Trek through coffee estates, riversides, and mountain paths
  • Shop at the local market

Coorg is located 106 km away from Mangalore railway station and 250 km away from the airport, making it easily accessible for travelers.

4. Hampi: An Architectural Marvel Frozen in Time

Hampi, a UNESCO world heritage site located on the banks of Tungabhadra, boasts historical ruins and remnants of the Vijayanagar kingdom. The rock formations and stone carvings showcase the skill of ancient artisans, making it a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts.

Some key highlights of Hampi include:

  • Approximately 500 magnificent structures, each with its own story to tell.
  • Stunning rock formations and intricate stone carvings.
  • Rich cultural heritage of the Vijayanagar kingdom.

The nearest airport to Hampi is Hubli, which is approximately 74 km away.

5. Mysore: A City of Old-World Charm

Mysore, located in the state of Karnataka, is the second-largest city in the region. It was once the capital of the Mysore kings who ruled for centuries. Despite its modernization, the city has maintained its old-world charm, and visitors can still marvel at its impressive palaces, museums, temples, and heritage structures.

One of the major attractions of Mysore is Brindavan Gardens, a beautiful garden located near the Krishnarajasagar Dam. It is famous for its musical fountains and colorful lighting displays at night.

So, don't miss out on the chance to explore this beautiful city with its rich cultural heritage.

Here are some quick facts about Mysore:

  • Second-largest city in Karnataka
  • Former capital of the Mysore kings
  • Known for its old-world charm and heritage structures
  • Major attraction: Brindavan Gardens
  • Nearest airport: Bangalore (approx. 184 km away)

6. Shivanasamudra Falls: Where Nature's Fury Meets Peace

Shivanasamudra Waterfalls, located in Karnataka's Mandya district, is a magnificent sight to behold, especially during the monsoon months.

Segmented Waterfall

The waterfall is segmented, with parallel streams called Gaganachukki and Bharachukki. The water cascades down from a height of about 320 feet and creates a thundering roar that can be heard from far away.


Swimming is prohibited due to the deep gorge, but visitors can bathe in areas with lower water force. You can take a boat ride or simply enjoy the scenic beauty.

How to get there

The nearest airport is Bangalore, approximately 175 km away, and Mysore station is about 80 km from the falls. From there, you can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach the falls.

Shivanasamudra Falls is a perfect place for nature lovers and those who seek peace amidst the fury of nature.

7. Gokarna: Tranquility at Its Best

Gokarna is a hidden gem located in the north Kannad district of Karnataka. With its peaceful environment and stunning beaches, this town is a perfect destination for those seeking tranquility.

Temples and Beaches

The town is home to the Mahabaleshwara temple, a famous and ancient Hindu temple that has a rich history and is considered a must-visit site in Gokarna. Visitors can explore the temple's intricate architecture and learn about its significance.

In addition to the temples, Gokarna is also known for its picturesque beaches, such as Kudle beach, Om beach, and Gokarna beach. These beaches are serene and offer visitors an opportunity to relax on the sandy shores or enjoy thrilling water sports.

Getting There

Gokarna is approximately 150 km away from the Vasco Da Gama airport and about 60 km from the Karwar rail station. Despite being slightly off the beaten path, the journey to Gokarna is worth it for the peaceful atmosphere and natural beauty of the area.

Overall, Gokarna is a wonderful destination for those who want to escape the hustle and bustle of city life and experience tranquility at its best.

8. Belur and Halebidu: Majestic Temple Towns of Karnataka

Belur and Halebidu are two temple towns in Karnataka that attract visitors from all over the world.


Belur, situated on the banks of the Yagachi river, is famous for its intricate temples and sculptures. The Chennakesava temple is a popular attraction for its exquisite architecture. The nearest airport is in Mangalore, which is 170 km away, and the town of Hassan is just 25 km away.


Halebidu, located in the Hassan district, is known for its main temple built for King Vishnuvardhana and Queen Shantala Devi. The temple offers a stunning view of two hills and a Ganesh figure. It is just 6 km from Belur and 30 km from Hassan.

If you are a lover of ancient architecture and history, Belur and Halebidu are definitely worth visiting.

9. Jog Falls: A Spellbinding Natural Wonder

Jog Falls, the second tallest waterfall in India, is a breathtaking sight to behold. Here's why you should visit:

  • The falls cascade down from a height of approximately 850 feet and are segmented, offering a mesmerizing view.
  • Visitors can view the falls from a viewpoint reached by a staircase.
  • The serene ambiance and the sound of the falls are refreshing to the senses.

Jog Falls is located about 28 km from Sagar Station and approximately 130 km from Hubli Airport. If you want to witness the captivating beauty of nature, Jog Falls is a must-visit destination.

10. Dandeli: Adventure Awaits You

Dandeli is a popular tourist destination in Karnataka that offers a range of exciting adventure activities for thrill-seekers.

Adventure Activities

Here are some of the adventurous activities you can enjoy in Dandeli:

  • Trekking
  • Boating
  • Kayaking
  • Whitewater Rafting

Kali River

The Kali river in Dandeli is known for offering thrilling water sports activities, including white water rafting.


Dandeli is located about 55 km away from Hubli airport. If you're looking for an adventure-filled getaway, Dandeli is the perfect destination for you.

11. Udupi: The Authentic Taste of Karnataka

Udupi is a charming town located near Mangalore and bordered by the Arabian Sea and Western Ghats. It is known for its temples and cuisine.

Sri Krishna Temple

The Sri Krishna temple in Udupi is a must-visit for its grandeur and attracts devotees from all over the world.

Udupi Cuisine

The town is also renowned for its unique Udupi cuisine, which offers delicious and authentic South Indian food.

Travel Information

The nearest airport is Mangalore airport, which is approximately 60 km away. Udupi also has its own railway station, the Udupi rail station, making it easily accessible by train. If you are a foodie or a spiritual seeker, Udupi is a great destination to explore.

12. Nandi Hills: Reaching the Zenith of Beauty

Nandi Hills is a serene hill resort situated to the east of Bangalore that offers visitors breathtaking views from hilltops, timeless monuments, temples, and pristine lakes.


The best attraction of this hill resort is the cool and foggy weather that provides visitors with a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.


Nandi Hills is located just an hour's drive away from the Bengaluru airport, making it a convenient destination for tourists visiting Bangalore.

If you want to experience nature's beauty at its zenith, a visit to Nandi Hills should be on your itinerary.

13. Chitradurga Fort: A Marvel of Fortification

The Chitradurga Fort is a remarkable archaeological wonder situated in the town of Chitradurga. Built during the Chalukya dynasty, the fort boasts impressive fortification and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding hills and valleys.

Getting There

The fort can be easily reached from the Chitradurga railway station. The Bengaluru airport, which is about 200 km away, is the nearest airport to the fort.


  • Impressive fortification
  • Stunning views of the hills and valleys
  • Rich history and heritage

If you are a history buff or simply looking for a unique travel experience, the Chitradurga Fort should be on your list of must-visit places in Karnataka.

14. Bijapur: Basking in Royal Grandeur

Experience the grandeur of Bijapur, a city known for its stunning Islamic architecture and palaces.

Other Must-See Attractions in Karnataka

  • Hampi's ancient temples and forts
  • Belur's intricate temples and sculptures
  • Chitradurga's historical landmarks
  • Jog Falls' breathtaking views
  • Nandi Hills' scenic beauty
  • Dandeli's adventure activities

Immerse Yourself in Udupi Cuisine and Gokarna's Peaceful Ambience

Don't miss the chance to try the delicious Udupi cuisine and soak in the peaceful ambience of Gokarna. Karnataka has something for everyone, so start planning your trip now!

15. Chikmagalur: Where the Fun Never Ends

Chikmagalur is a serene hill station located in the Western Ghats, offering a range of exciting activities and sights for visitors. Here are some of the things you can do in Chikmagalur:

  • Trekking
  • Visiting wildlife sanctuaries
  • Exploring tea farms
  • Witnessing waterfalls and mountain ranges

For adventure enthusiasts, the following activities are also available:

  • Kayaking
  • Water sports
  • Trekking

Chikmagalur is easily accessible from Bangalore, taking around four hours by road. If you're looking for a fun-filled vacation amidst picturesque surroundings, Chikmagalur is the perfect destination.

In conclusion, 

Karnataka is a state that has a lot to offer for travelers seeking unique and fulfilling experiences. From ancient temples and historical forts to serene hill stations and adventurous activities, Karnataka has something for everyone.

Here are some of the highlights that make Karnataka a must-visit destination:

  • Rich cultural heritage with ancient temples and historical monuments
  • Beautiful hill stations and beaches
  • Delicious cuisine
  • Thrilling adventure sports
  • Warm and welcoming people

Plan your next trip to Karnataka and get ready to create unforgettable memories that will last a lifetime.

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