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One of the jewels in the Indian tourism sector, Karnataka is an ideal place for holiday! Starting from temples, exotic hill ranges, pristine beaches and hi-tech cities, Karnataka has everything to satiate the wanderlust of a traveler completely! Located in south western part of India, this state was formed in 1956 with Bengaluru as its capital city and one of the most sought-after cities in terms of quality of living, education and job prospect.
Karnataka is surrounded by Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Maharashtra and Goa. Arabian Sea encircles this state like a ribbon. A treasure trove, Karnataka is spread across 191, 976 sq kms of land and is the seventh largest state in India. It’s divided into north, south and coastal Karnataka, each having separate landmarks to explore! Eco-tourism is a popular activity of Karnataka with some of the best facilities in camping and safari. It has world heritage centers, great historical locations, magnanimous forts, temples, beaches, botanical gardens, hill stations, national parks and sanctuaries, caves, waterfalls and other versatile places.
Adventure tourism in Karnataka is rapidly growing at a rate of 24% each year. Hub of many invigorating trekking destinations, Karnataka offers equal opportunities in terms of caving, scuba diving, camping, river crossing, rappelling and kayaking to name a few. Also a great place for healthcare tourism, this state has the largest number of approved health care systems at par to the international standards. It’s a hotspot for alternative therapies as well. The ‘golden chariot’ train is a feather to the state’s luxury tourism.
Karnataka food is a blend of vegetarian and non-vegetarian delicacies. Kannada cuisine is much milder in taste unlike its neighboring states. Bisi bele bath, ragi roti, akki roti, vangi bath, dosa, idli etc. are some of the common authentic dishes of this region.
North and south Karnataka has separate food items. Some of the popular north Karnataka cuisines include Enne-gai – a sort of vada stuffed with peanuts and ginger, Shenga chutney – a powder chutney prepared from ground peanut, Saaru – a lentil soup prepared with cumin and coriander, and many other lip-smacking chutneys and masala cakes.
Rice is cooked in different ways in Karnataka. Some of the best rice made preparations include Vangi bath, mosaranna, Avalakki, Chitranna etc. Breads are available as akki rotti, jolada roti, raggi mudde, ragi roti etc. Pakodas, chhakuli, aloo bonda and baalaka are some of the best snack items. Mysore masala dosa, set dosa and saagu masala dosa are some of the must try Karnataka delicacies! Kajjaya, Mysore pak, Dharwad peda, phenori etc. are the special sweets of Karnataka region.
Also Karnataka cuisine is divided into Udupi, Kodagu, coastal, Mangalorean and Malenadu cuisines.
Locals of Karnataka love festivals and fiestas and they like to observe them throughout the year. Ugadi is a famous festival and also an auspicious one. This is the time of the year when locals start their new ventures as it’s considered very favorable. Gowri festival or the Gowri Habba is yet another local festival which is celebrated just the day prior to Ganesh Chaturthi. It’s worshipped to gain power and courage. Kambala is celebrated in south Kannada which characterizes buffalo race. It starts from November and ends in March.
Mysore Dasara is a ten day festival that starts from Navratri. Dedicated to Goddess Chamundeshwari, this celebration marks the victory of good over evil. Kali Poldu is observed by the Kodavas who are the warrior tribes of this region. During this time various war weaponries are cleaned, polished and sharpened.
Banashankari Devi Fair is another important local festival. Yellamma Devi Fair takes place in November/December and observed with complete fervor! Makar Sankranti, Maha Shivratri, Ganesh Chaturthi and Mahashivratri are the other festivals celebrated with equal enthusiasm in Karnataka!
Karnataka has a diverse ethnicity so does its cultural heritage. Dance, literature, sculpture and art are present in sundry forms and styles. Traditional folk arts, classical dance dramas like Yakshagana deserves a special mention. Besides contemporary theater culture is quite predominant in Karnatakan history. Not to forget Mysore style Bharatnatyam that influenced art lovers for years.
When it comes to Indian classical music like Gamaka, and Kannada Bhavageete, Karnataka holds an eminent place. Karnataka cuisine is known for its distinctive flavor and taste. Majority of women wear saree in Karnataka. Here saree is worn in a distinct style from the rest of the country.
Visiting Badami, Chikmagalur, Hampi, Coorg, Hubli-Dharwad, Gokarna, Bijapur, Mysore, Gulbarga and Bangalore make one’s cultural expedition in the state of Karnataka truly complete!
Karnataka is blessed with some marvelous finesse in handicrafts industry! Wood carving is one of the ancient crafts of this place which is used in carving different temple ceilings, doors, panels and deities. Metal ware work is also quite prevalent in Udupi, Nagamangala and few other places but not as much like the wood works. Mysore silk is very famous here. Exported outside, Mysore silk sarees and shawls are a must buy for any traveler! Mysore painting is one of the oldest art forms which use bright colors and leafy designs with unique attributes! Bronze casting is used in creating various items for religious purposes.
Sandalwood craft is used in creating lamps, figurine of Lord Krishna, different home decors, walking sticks and lot more. Ivory carving is yet another famous handicraft of this state which is used for manufacturing figures of gods and goddesses. Not to forget doll and lampshade making. These wood and leather made puppets and lampshades are exclusive of this place and a must buy!
A paradise for any shopper, Karnataka has shops galore, stalls, flea markets and eye-catching shopping malls from where one can purchase these exquisite items without much of a hassle!
Kannada is the official language of the state. More than 70 percent of the population speaks this language. It’s one of the oldest languages of Karnataka originating from the Dravidian family. Urdu, Tulu, Malayalam, Telegu and Tamil are also used among many locals. Many people in Karnataka speak and understand English as it’s immensely used for various official purposes. Tourist guides are fluent in English and other local languages as well.
By Road: The place has motorable roads. One can take local buses from Bengaluru to Mandya. From Mandya one can avail auto rickshaws to reach Pandavapura. From there again autos would take one to the base camp.
By Train: Pandavapura railway station is the nearest aril head. It’s well connected to Mysore, Malgudi, Tirupati and other places.
By Air: Mysore international airport is the closest airport. It’s well connected to Bangalore, Hyderabad, Goa and other places.GET DIRECTION
Carry eatables and water as the trekking starts at mid night mostly.
From October till May are the best times to explore Kunti Betta!
Different companies organize the night trek and Thrillophillia is one among them. The 4 kms night trek is fun filled and enthralling. Besides trekking, enjoying campfire in the early dawn,soaking in the sunshine, eating local food and making new friends can make this trek memorable!
Cubbon Park: A great place for nature lovers, Cubbon Park has more than 60,000 trees and plants to discover!