A state that is packed with all kinds of experiences, Karnataka is an enthralling destination in South India. With untouched beaches, quiet hill stations, heritage sites, exuberant greenery and contemporary urban dwellings, Karnataka tour packages are perfect for travellers to start exploring South India. Often overshadowed by its neighbouring states in the past, the state’s tourism has blossomed over the years. Its hidden gems are gradually being accredited the recognition they deserve. Every few kilometres the landscape, culture and cuisine alter, making every stop on your Karnataka tour a novel experience. Since its capital, Bengaluru, is one of the leading metropolitan cities in India, navigating your way through the state after booking Karnataka tour packages is not difficult. Keep reading the guide below to have a smooth Karnataka tour.
Beside the Arabian Sea lies the state of Karnataka, a significant state of South India that houses a number of marvels that need to be on every traveller’s itinerary. Some of the key attractions of Karnataka tour packages are its beaches that are pleasantly doused with sunshine and quietude. Gokarna is a prime example of that. It is a quirky destination that invites all kinds of travellers from different parts of the world, preferred as an alternative for Goa. Not only does it have serene beaches, but at the fringes of the town are many ashrams and yoga centres that are perfect to spend some meditative time. Another important city in Karnataka is Mangalore which has several beaches worth visiting, such as Panambur Beach, Tannirbhavi Beach, Someshwara Beach, Ullal Beach, Surathkal Beach and Sasihithlu Beach. Malpe Beach in Udupi is also a wonderful place to while away your evenings. It is also close to Manipal, a fun university town where you can party and seek adventures. The port city of Karwar also has some impressive shores such as Karwar Beach and Majali Beach.
Other than its brilliant coastline, your Karnataka tour packages should also include some calm, beautiful hill stations. A stunning destination to visit in the state is Coorg, known as the Scotland of India. During your stay, you will be wowed by its gushing waterfalls, scenic hiking trails, ethereal monasteries, majestic elephant camps and bustling Madikeri markets. Chikmagalur, settled at the foothills of the Mullayanagiri Range, is another hill station you must include in your Karnataka tour packages. It is a delightful town for nature lovers to wind down. You can go exploring on a bicycle, trek up the Mullayanagiri (the highest peak in Karnataka), visit resplendent waterfalls and enjoy Chikmagalur’s famous coffee. Some other hilly spots to add in your Karnataka tour packages are Agumbe, Biligiri Hills, Kemmanagundi and Gangamoola. Scenic and slow-paced, these towns will make you want to stay here indefinitely.
You can also opt for Karnataka heritage tours as there are many ancient destinations here which are steeped in the state’s glorious past. A must-visit place in Karnataka is the quaint town of Hampi, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It has caught the eye of travellers from near and far owing to its unique scenery. Monuments and temples, some even dating back to the 14th century, continue to invite visitors to book Karnataka tour packages. The ruins and boulders sprawled all over the town also add to Hampi’s ancient charm. A few other historical sites to visit are Badami with its cave temples, Pattadakal group of monuments, Bidar’s tombs and fort among many others. Another eminent place to visit is the regal city of Mysore, mainly visited for its famous palace which was once the seat of the Kingdom of Mysore. Just 150 kilometres away from this city is Bangalore, the capital of the state. This will most likely be the first stop in your Karnataka tour packages due to the city’s excellent connectivity with the rest of the country. Known as the Silicon Valley of the East, it is a progressive city that experiences lovely weather throughout the year. Covered with trees and full of gardens, the city’s urban charm is complemented by its affinity towards nature. A large number of aesthetic microbreweries and cafes sets this city apart from others receiving a huge influx of both locals and tourists. Places like Nandi Hills and Jog Falls make for soothing day trips from the city too.
The state is also a biodiversity hotspot. It comprises of a good number of national parks that you can include in your Karnataka tour packages. Various exotic animals and birds are residents of these parks that interest travellers. For example, Nagarhole National Park, part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, is a phenomenal verdant area home to thousands of species of flora and fauna. Within the park, you can find picturesque waterfalls, streams, hills and thick forests. One of the prominent tiger reserves in the country, it is currently being considered by the UNESCO committee to be deemed as a World Heritage Site. A few other places bountiful in nature that you could add to your Karnataka tour packages’ itinerary are Bandipur National Park, Bannerghatta National Park, Kudremukh National Park, Dubare Elephant Camp, Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary and Kali Tiger Reserve.
Karnataka is dotted with many gems that make it one of the best places to visit in South India. Make sure you do not miss out on planning your Karnataka tour packages efficiently to spend an appropriate amount of time at each place. Examining others’ itineraries and figuring out the destinations you are interested in beforehand will help you choose the best Karnataka holiday packages. Tripoto has a rich collection of useful guides on Karnataka. The following reiterates the experience of some travellers while on a Karnataka tour:
“My attempts at completing my engineering in Bangalore introduced me to the gorgeous beaches of Karnataka. This state is majestically bestowed with the lush green Western Ghats and the lovely white sandy beaches. At places, both wonders meet and present the visitors with gorgeous and serene spots tailor-made just for your retreat.” — Anshul Akhoury
“One of the most scenic routes that southern India boasts of, the journey from Dakshin Kannada to Udupi is etched with small hills, dense jungles and pristine lakes. As you cruise down the quiet country roads running along the coastline, you will come across empty beaches, and witness some of the most glorious sunsets on the way that will evoke a sense of meditative silence.” — Sonalika Debnath
“Sipping a cup of freshly brewed hot coffee with a view of misty mountains and coffee plantations stretched till your eyes can see. Sounds like a perfect recipe for a lazy weekend getaway? Coorg, also known as the Scotland of India, is indeed one of the favourite weekend destinations for Bangaloreans and also tourists from other parts of South India.” — Madhu Sharma
“Interesting sights to see, tales to hear and architecture to marvel at, Hampi leaves you spellbound. But Hampi is just not about its ancient history or the famous temples, its sprawls beyond that to give life to a hippie culture that most would not expect to find at this place!” — Adyasha Dash
You can book Karnataka tour packages anytime in the year and have a great trip. However, most travellers prefer planning their visit during the winter season, between October and March. The temperature is in the range of 20 to 33 degrees Celcius so the weather is ideal to explore the state and enjoy some downtime on your holiday. Beach towns experience less humidity then, hence it is a good time to lounge beside the sea. If you book Karnataka tour packages during these months, you can also attend the Hampi festival. Mysuru Dasara is a glorious celebration of the festival that takes place at the Mysore Palace in October or November which should not be missed as well. In January, you can also join the locals in the celebration of Pongal and Makar Sankranti.
If you are booking Karnataka tour packages for a summer vacation, the weather will be hotter hence you should aim to visit the wonderful hill stations of the state such as Coorg, Chikmagalur, Agumbe and Sakleshpur. Since these destinations do not observe the temperature going above 30 degrees Celsius, you can freely go gallivanting as well as indulge in adventure activities such as trekking and camping. Ugadi, the new year’s festival in Karnataka, is celebrated in March or April too that you can enjoy during your stay.
From July to September, rainfall takes over the state. It is the most humid in July. However, the state blooms during the monsoon and is a great time to book Karnataka tour packages if you want to spend time in the blooming nature. Going trekking in the Western Ghats and visiting waterfalls are the best activities to participate in this season however, it is not the best time to explore all that the state has to offer. It is therefore recommended to plan your visit after September. Carry an umbrella since the rains may continue well into October.
Karnataka tour packages are ideal to book for any kind of vacation. The state offers engrossing experiences to travellers of all ages and preferences. Families may want to book a Karnataka pilgrimage tour or Karnataka heritage tours. They include some magnificent historical and spiritual sites that are enriched in the local culture and traditions. Karnataka tour packages open a gateway to one of the most ancient as well as vibrant, distinct culture to experience. The state is ideal to explore with a group of friends too. There is a wide variety of activities and hang out spots at your disposal there. Trekking packages in Karnataka are especially popular among friends. Some of the destinations included in Karnataka tour packages are lesser-explored, giving you and your companions a chance to go off the beaten path and undertake new adventures during your trip. Booking solo Karnataka tour packages is perfectly safe too. You have plenty of activities to dabble in even if you are travelling alone.
Not only does Karnataka’s landscape change from one region to another, but also its cuisine. While the northern region mainly feasts on vegetarian dishes, the Uttara Kannada region mostly includes seafood in its meals. South Karnataka has many dishes made of rice and ragi. Mangalorean cuisine majorly uses curry leaves and coconuts as ingredients and is favoured by tourists booking Karnataka tour packages. The dishes that Kodagu cuisine comprises of mostly use chicken, pork or mutton made with Kachampuli (Coorg vinegar). The different places you visit while on your Karnataka tour packages will also have some common items on the menus.
Some of those dishes include the different kinds of dosas, bisi bele bhath (a dish made of rice and lentils), huli, tovve, akki roti and ragi roti. Besides these, a few of the most popular dishes travellers want to try when they book Karnataka tour packages are Mysore masala dosa, ragi mudde, sopinna saru, korri gassi, obbattu, pandi curryi, and bhende puli koddel. The desserts of the state must be tried as well. Some of the favourites are Mysore pak, kesari bhath, kajjaya and rave unde. The food of Karnataka is flavourful but relatively mild. As the cuisine is one of the oldest in the Indian subcontinent, it has incorporated influences from its neighbouring states such as Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra.
Having a traditional Kannada meal is an experience in itself. The food is served on a banana leaf, following more or less a set order of making servings. First, a bit of salt will be placed on your leaf. After that, your plate will be filled with kosambari (salad), a vegetable side dish, raita and some pickle. The dessert will be given out before the main course along with the fried food items. Then come huli (a broth made of lentils and vegetables), chitranna (a rice dish), a dal called tovve and plain rice with ghee as a topping. Trying local food during your Karnataka tour will provide an authentic Kannadiga experience, incredibly enhancing your trip.
Written by Shruti Mishra, an in-house Tripoto writer.