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Home | Karnataka Travel Guide

Karnataka Travel Guide
Spice, sandal, silk and scenery merge to present a state enmeshed in a glorious blend of the old and new- Karnataka , formerly known as Mysore. Home to 48.6 million people, it has been able to preserve its past heritage and embrace the vision of the future with equal elan. Tipu sultan Tomb, Karnataka
Set against the Arabian Sea with the Deccan plateau in the background, the state consists of a narrow coastal strip backed by the monsoon drenched Western Ghats and a drier, cooler interior plateau that turns arid in the far north. 
Bangalore, the capital city is a thriving metropolis dotted with lush gardens, beautiful flowered lined avenues and stately buildings. The atmosphere is more Western than traditional Indian. Pubs, beer bars, discos are the major happening places in the town. Dubbed the 'Silicon Valley of India' it is a major industrial and commercial center well known for its scientific and research institutions. 

Karnataka has some of the most magnificent monuments, temples, palaces, beaches in India. The Bull Temple at Bangalore, the Hoyselaswera temple at Halebid and the famousKrishna temple at Udupi are some the major tourist attractions. Tipu's Summer Palace is a beautiful cool retreat of wood and soaring arches.A visit to the Chamundi Temple atop a hill overlooking Mysore and the monolithic,black, Nandi Bull halfway up is a must. 
The people are fun-loving, the pace of life is brisk and it is one of India's most progressive and liberal states as far as attitudes go. 

The major festivals include Dussehra when palaces are illuminated and processions of bedecked elephants accompany the image of the goddess Chamundeshwari through the streets.The Vijaynagar festival held in June is the celebration of the glory of the Vijaynagar Empire. The Karga festival at Bangalore is held in April where eminent dancers and musicians perform at festivals held at Pattadakal and Bijapur. 
The state witnesses a hot, tropical climate during the summers and the winters are generally cold. 
The best time to plan a visit to Karnataka is between September and February when the weather is mild, pleasant and cheerful.

Places to visit:

Vidhan Saudha, bangaloreVidhana Soudha - is one of the most imposing landmarks of Bangalore. The entire edifice is built of Bangalore granite and is a tribute to temple architecture. Housing the Legislative Chambers of the State Government, this 46-m high seat of the government is one of Bangalore's most important buildings. Mr. Kengal Hanumanthaiah the then chief minister of Mysore decided to construct the Vidhana Soudha entirely along Indian style of architecture. There are four domes on all the four corners. The main entrance is overshadowed by the four-headed lion, the symbol of Indian sovereignty. It houses 22 departments and 300 rooms. 

The Fort and Tipu Sultan's Palace - is noted for its beautifully carved arches in Islamic style and for the well-preserved Ganapati temple. Originally built by Kempe Gowda in 1537, it was fortified by Tipu Sultan. Hyder Ali, Tipu's father had imprisoned David Baird along with a number of British army officers here. Tipu Sultan's Palace close to the fort is now a museum. However, only parts of the fort now remain. The palace, started by Hyder Ali and completed by Tipu, took a decade to plan and construct. This two-storeyed ornate wooden structure with pillars, arches and balconies flanked by gardens, was one of Tipu Sultan's summer retreats. The eastern and western projecting balconies of the upper floor contained the seat of state from where Tipu conducted affairs of state. 

Glass House Lalbagh, KarnatakaLal Bagh Gardens - This 240 acre expanse of greenery forms one of India's most beautiful gardens. This is another triumph for Hyder Ali. He laid out this famous botanical garden and his son added horticultural wealth to them by importing trees and plants and rare trees brought from far off Persia, Afghanistan and France. The Glass House -inspired by the Crystal Palace, London. - is at the heart of the gardens. This is the venue for flower shows held here every January and August. 

Cubbon Park - was laid out in the heart of the cantonment in 1864. Since then fountains and an august bandstand add to its list of attractions. But the most important aspect of Cubbon Park is its newer buildings that have added beauty and cultural wealth. Lush green lawns, shady flowering trees, vibrant flower beds, make Cubbon Park an ideal place for morning joggers.

Mangalore - is a vision of palm-fringed beaches, lush green fields and enchanting forests. On the east, the soaring western ghats and the mighty Arabian Sea roaring along its western shores, are its neighbours. With an important port, this coastal town is a major commercial centre .The lifeline of the district, the National Highway No 17 almost runs parallel to the sea for over 95 kms in the district.

Nrityagram Dance Village - is a dance village founded by Protima Gauri, one of the finest Odissi dancers of India. 30 km from Bangalore via Tumkur Road towards Hessarghatta, she based this village on the model of a traditional gurukula system of education of ancient India. Here students from all over the world are trained in various Indian dance forms including Bharatnatyam, Odissi and Kuchipudi. Every year, in the first week of February, Nrityagram conducts the Vasantha Habba or the festival of spring. Leading musicians and dancers from all over the country participate in the festival bringing students and the dance lover in touch with the best musical talents in the country.

Belgaum Cantonment - still retains its old glow, serenity and a sort of isolation. Its ancient shrines, Gothic-style ivy-covered bungalows, cottages, school buildings, beautiful woods and gardens peepul and banyan trees give a feeling of dusk even at noon-time. Its flowering shrubs are a photographer’s delight. It is marked by wide, tree-lined avenues make excellent 'walks.'
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Thanks for all your help in making our trip memorable. India and Nepal are both rewarding and challenging, it was quite the experience. The hotels were good with the Golden Tulip being the best. All the drivers we used were very friendly & informative. The driver was excellent in Nepal and I would highly recommend him:
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