Karnataka is known for its diversified destinations. It caters to all types of travelers – backpackers, solo travelers, hitchhikers, the adventure seeking trekkers and even those who prefer short getaways. Similarly, for those who are interested in getting to know the history of the place in particular, I would suggest these towns as a must visit because each of them hold a rich history within themselves and the stories that they reveal provide an enriching experience and beautiful memories. Read on to find out more:
This town which was the once the most fascinating capital city of the Vijayanagar empire is a treasure which beholds rich history within itself. The ruins tell the tales of the lives of the people, the flamboyant kings and queens and the wealth that reverberates throughout the landscape of Hampi. Hampi is every history lover’s eye-candy, a place to quench the thirst for knowledge, a place to find stories of the glorious past. No wonder,Hampi is every traveler’s delight and tops the list of history buffs.
Belur is what Hampi is in northern Karnataka minus the luxury and wealth. It was the capital of the Hoysala empire which was renowned for its monolithic structures.This place is known for its intricate sculpture and explicit architecture. The Chennakeshava temple is a popular tourist destination and the fine tuned carvings on the stones stand as a testimony to the brilliance of the craftsmen of the past, who had the magical power to turn anything into majestic sights.Visit Belur for some rich stone carvings depicting Indian mythology.
Another town which is located just about 16 kilometres from Belur, the name literally means ‘Old City’ in the native language. It is home to two wonderful temples that were built during the Hoysala period. The exquisite carvings inside the roof of the temples depict the characters from the Indian epics – Mahabharata and Ramayana.The ornate pillars are a major attraction of the place.
Located about 160 kilometres from Bangalore, this place is the hub of Jainism which is said to have flourished under the kings for more than two thousand years.The huge monolithic statue of the ‘Bahubali’ or the ‘Gomateshwara’ is a majestic one that draws immense respect and devotion. It is considered to be the world’s largest monolithic stone statue. Visit this place to learn about the Jain monks, their austere ways of life and to learn about Jainism. Shravanabelagola has monuments dating back to 600 BC .The serenity of this place casts a spell on you every time you visit and the imposing calmness of this place is what makes it truly beautiful.
Located in the northern part of Karnataka, Aihole is renowned for the Chalukya architecture. It was the first capital of the Chalukyas and is home to more than 125 stone temples with exemplary designs and sculptures embossed on the walls.The rich history of this place makes it a must visit for those who love the subject.
Located about 10 kilometres from Aihole,Pattadakal is a World Heritage Site.The river Malaprabha flows on the other side of this village. It was the capital of Chalukyas during the later days and the Chalukyas were prominently known for building many temples. The temples here are from the 7th century.
Located about 20 kilometres from Aihole, Badami is known for its rock cut temples and caves.The caves have some inscriptions on the walls that are from the 13th century.The red sandstone beautifies the structures and it also houses a Buddhist cave which needs to be reached by crawling on ones knees. Visit this place to get to know the dynasties of the past and their love for architecture.
This temple town is the oldest town of Karnataka. Banavasi is gifted with nature’s abundance as it is home to many beautiful lakes.The greenery around the temples is mesmerizing and adds beauty to the temple.The Madhukeshwara temple was built in 9th century by the Kadamba kings and this town was their ancient capital. Some of the coins unearthed here date back to as early as the 5th century!
You can easily spend a day or two in these little laid back towns and savour some of the authentic local cuisine.
So, which of these have you seen already?