Formerly known as Mysore, Karnataka is a heady mix of the intoxicating scents of sandalwood, freshly roasted coffee beans and a lingering salty sea breeze.This Deccan state is cloaked with a dense deciduous forest cover of the Western Ghats, and fed by the southwest monsoons. It also ranks as one of the world’s top eight biodiversity hotspots. The sun-doused state’s major attractions are the three sacred rivers of Kaveri, Tungabhadra and Krishna, draining east to the Bay of Bengal. Travel to Karnataka to delve into the history behind the rows of Gothic towns that are crowded with domed mausoleums and minarets embodying stories of the region’s Muslim heritage. One of the most sought after places to visit in Karnataka, is the ghost city of Vijayanagar, in Hampi, whose lost temples and ramshackle palaces are thronged with tourists and backpackers all-year round. Then, take a train down to Mysore, where tourists flock to, for the heady incense markets and the regal architectural remains of the British Raj. Head to Coorg for its evergreen hills, coffee plantations and spice gardens and then to Bangalore for a glimpse into India’s buzzing cyberhub. Also, don’t forget to try Karnataka’s brand of dosa, bisibele bhaat and idli needs to be devoured every single day of your trip. Wash it all down with several cups of some delicious local filter coffee.