Tour Guide of Karnataka

A tourist can explore a city or tourist place on his own. All he has to do is plug audio receivers into his ears and the transmitters will act as a guide. HARK [Handy Audio Research Kit] will enable tourists to get location-specific information. The transmitter will run on a combination of solar power and batteries, making it virtually maintenance free. HARK was jointly developed by Ministry of Tourism and NIIT.

North Karnataka

Historic. Majestic. With an austere beauty all its own.
Brave its harsh climate and forbidding landscape you’ll discover a land of many surprises.
Musical pillars, Stone dancers, Elephant stables, Monuments, Temples, Mosques and forts.

Famous as the “Cradle of Indian Architecture”, Aihole has over a hundred temples scattered around the village. The oldest temple here is, perhaps, the Lad Khan temple dating back to the 5th Century. Not to be missed is the Konthi Temple Complex.

The capital of the early Chalukyas, Badami is picturesquely situated at the mouth of a ravine between two rocky hills. Badami is famous for its four cave temples – all hewn out of sand stone on the precipice of a hill.

The district Headquarters, Belgaum is a charming blend of the old and the new.
In the heart of Belgaum is the Fort, Kapileshwara Temple, Ananthashayana Temple etc..Belgaum also has some very impressive churches.

The northern-most part of Karnataka lies Bidar – a tiny district steeped in history. Bidar Fort, Rangin Mahal, Solah Kambah Masjid, Gagan Mahal are not to be missed.

Think of Bijapur and the first thing that comes to mind is Gol Gumbaz, Jumma Masjid. You can spend days exploring Bijapur.

Dharwad, calm, peaceful with a picturesque beauty, this town still retains its old-world charm.
Dotting the town are a number of beautiful churches and temples. Dharwad is also a famous educational centre.

Gulbarga is a unique synthesis of two cultures. Filled with beautiful palaces, mosques, stately buildings and bazaars.

“Vijayanagara is such that the pupil of the eye has never seen a place like it…”. You can still glimpse the splendour of Vijayanagara – one of the largest empires in the history of India – in its ruins. Hampi is full of surprises.

Pattadakal – a World Heritage Centre – has 10 major temples representing early Chalukyan architecture.
The biggest temple here, is dedicated to Virupaksha. Besides this temple is a group of temples remarkable primarily, for representing two chief styles of Indian architecture, side by side.

South Karnataka

Take a large measure of action. Stir in some history. Add a dash of old-world charm. Garnish with palaces, exquisite temples, monuments. And what do you get? A pot pourri holiday!
That’s Southern Karnataka for you. Served with sunny skies and warm smiles.

The capital of Karnataka, Bangalore is located in the south-east of the State. Rapid industrialisation has not drastically altered the pace of life here, which is comparitively unhurried. This, coupled with the agreeable climate, the greenery, the cleanliness, the sense of order, make Bangalore India’s most congenial City.

This quaint hamlet is located on the banks of the river Yagachi. It was once the capital of the Hoysala empire, today made unforgettable for its exquisite temples.

A delight of lovers of wildlife. Ghats can be seen in their natural settings at the sanctury here.

Gokarna is famous for the Atmalinga in the ancient temple here. This centre of sanskrit learning has a Tourism Department Guest House atop a hill overlooking the sea.

The ancient capital of the Hoysalas, Halebid was then known as Dwarasamudram (Gateway of the seas). The temples of Halebid – like those of Belur – represent one of the most artistically exuberant period of Hindu cultural development.

This calm and peaceful town is a convenient base to visit Shravanabelagola; Belur and Halebid.

Karwar, the district headquarters and port town traces its history to the time of Arab traders. It has chain of five islands protecting it from storms.

Mangalore, District Headquarters of Dakshina Kannada and a modern major port which boasts of a long history of maritime trade. Places of interest are Kadri Hill, Manjunath Temple, St. Aloysius College of Chapel and Jumma Masjid.

As you drive up north along the coastal road to Maravanthe, 50 Kms from Udupi, a surprise awaits you. The highway bordered on either side by Arabian Sea and Sauparnika River, with a backdrop of Kutachadri hills. This has converted Maravanthe into a fairyland of scenic beauty.

Situated between Honnavar and Bhatkal, 1 km off the National Highways is the scenic holy place of Murdeshwar. With the roaring sea to the west, the towering hills to the east and the coconut and area groves nearby the temple attracts a lot of devotees and tourists as well.

Mysore, once the capital of the Wodeyars, still remains its old-world charm. Mysore Palace, Chamundi Hills and Brindavan Gardens are the main attractions.

This is one of the most important Jain pilgrim centres. Here is the 17m high monolith of Lord Bahubali – the world’s tallest monolithic statue.

This island of Tipu Sultan on the Bangalore-Mysore highway was the capital of the warrior-kings Hyder Ali and his son Tipu Sultan. Ranganathittu Bird Santury, 4 Kms from Srirangapatna is home to several exotic species of birds. Fort, Daria Daulat Bagh, Gumbaz are not to be missed.

Udupi, is where Madhwacharya, the propounder of Dwaitha philosophy, lived and taught 700 years ago.

The Jain Circuit

Jainism has always held a predominant position in Karnataka. The relation between Karnataka and Jainism has been as continuous as it has been close. For centuries Jainism was Karnataka’s State religion.

Humcha is situated 60 Kms. south – west of Shimoga City. Humcha has a Jaina Matha, which was established centuries back by the monks belonging to the Nandi Sangha of Shri Kunda.


Adichunchanagiri has a peacock sanctuary. It is a hilly place where there is a Bhairava temple and a Matha of the Vokkaligas and peacocks can be seen in gay abandon in the mornings.

Bandipur in Mysore District,spread over 800 sq km famous for its wild elephants.

Bannerghatta near Bangalore is about 100 sq km in area and there is an animal safari.

The Brahmagiri Wild Life Sanctuary
The Brahmagiri wild life sanctuary in Kodagu district is more than 2000 to 3000 ft above sea level.Many common species of wild fauna and flora can be seen here.

Dandeli Wild Life Sanctuary
Dandeli Wild Life Sanctuary in Uttara Karnataka District is famous for bisons, deers and variety of other wild fauna.

The Kudremukh National Park
The Kudremukh National Park, nestled in the ranges of the Western Ghats, is known for all kinds of flora and fauna spread over an area of 600sq kms. The Kudremukh Iron Co. at Malleswara is amidst the park and has maintained a township and guest house.

The Nagarahole National Park
The Nagarahole National Park spread over 640 sq km is famous for its tiger population. It includes areas both in Kodagu and Mysore districts.

Gudvi Bird Sanctuary
Gudvi Bird Sanctuary in Sorab taluk and Mandagadde bird sanctuary in Tirthahalli taluk both in Shimoga district,and Kokrebellur near Maddur in Mandya district are other popular bird sanctuaries.

Ranebennur Wild Life Sanctuary
Ranebennur Wild Life Sanctuary in Dharwad district is more than 100 sq. kms. and is known for its agile blackbuck population.

Ranganathittu near Srirangapatana is a small island in the Cauvery river famous for its bird sanctuary. Emigrant birds of all types notably pelicans and storks can be found here.


Pre 18th century: Karnataka has a rich collection of ancient art. There are old paintings of considerable antiquity at the Jaina Matha at Sravanabelagola.Paintings of Bijapur times are seen at Asar Mahal Palace and Ibrahim Rauza of the 16th- 17th century. Asar Mahal and Ibrahim Rauza has mostly floral figures. Ragmala paintings and portraits of kings and queens like Chand Bibi are preserved in the Bijapur Museum. A place near Bijapur, Kumatagi, is known for the wall paintings around a swimming pool present within its precinct.

18th century: Eighteenth century paintings are seen at Dariya Daulat Palace at Srirangapatana; the capital of Tipu Sultan. The collection includes depictions of war scenes apart from personal portraits of nobelmen. The Sibi Temple near Tumkur also has paintings of the 18th century. Eighteenth century paintings are also seen at Kittur, Haleparivaradavara Chavadi at Kollegal, and the Nalkunadu Palace in Kodagu. The paintings from Kittur have been transferred to a Hire Matha at Amminbhavi in Dharwad district.

19th century: The 19th century paintings are seen at the palace of Nippani, Nargund (Dharwad district) and at the Mysore palace. The Jaganmohan Art Gallery has a collection of artistic mural paintings. Traditional paintings of Mysore can also be found at the Chitrakala Parishat in Bangalore; most of the paintings are framed images of gods and goddesses, done in the Mysore style.

Modern Art: Many art schools have a good collection of modern paintings. The School of Art at Andani (Gulbarga district), Akki, Minajigi at Gadag, Halbhavi at Dharwad, Chitrakala Parishat and Kalamandira at Bangalore are a few of the art schools possessing a good collection of modern art. Art exhibitions are generally held in Bangalore, Davanagere, Udupi and other centres.