Karnataka in 7 Days: A Day-Wise Itinerary To Explore The Best Places to Visit in Karnataka

21st Nov 2016
Photo of Karnataka in 7 Days: A Day-Wise Itinerary To Explore The Best Places to Visit in Karnataka 1/1 by Prateek Dham
Kambala is the unofficial state sport. A bit dangerous, but spectacular.

Now that the year end is approaching, you must have a shortlist of places that you could tentatively visit to end the year with a bang. I just have one question to ask here – is Karnataka on the list? In terms of tourism, it's a place that is often eclipsed by its more popular neighbours down south – Kerala and Tamil Nadu. There could be many reasons for this, but let's save that discussion for later and look at some places to visit in Karnataka.

Explore more about Karnataka Tourism here!

Places to visit in Karnataka

From plains to mountains, valleys to rivers, high-rises to ancient temples, and artificial gardens to coffee plantations, this eighth largest Indian state, has everything in plenty. So, I personally assure you that your stay will be anything but boring.

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Here is a week-long itinerary to help you experience the best of Karnataka. Here we go:

Arrive in Bengaluru

Day 1

Credits: Indian Rail

Photo of Bengaluru, Karnataka, India by Prateek Dham

Break the fast

If you didn't have anything to eat in the flight/train, here are two great options.

Credits: Mavalli Tiffin Room

Photo of Mavalli Tiffin Rooms (MTR), Bengaluru, Karnataka, India by Prateek Dham

MTR is a South Indian legend. This is one of the best places to visit in Karnataka to have authentic Udupi food.

Credits: Here & Now

Photo of Here & Now, Sector 4, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India by Prateek Dham

For your western breakfast fixes.

Afternoon attractions

Credits: John Hoey

Photo of Bangalore Palace, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India by Prateek Dham

Believe it or not, it took over 80 year for the Bangalore Palace to be completed! Today, the fluorescent blue tiles and open courtyards of the palace can take you back to the Victorian era.


You can either go for the crowded street joints outside the Bangalore Palace, or if you want to lunch in luxury, you can always go to the ITC Pavilion, which is 20 minutes away, for some delectable options.

Evening attractions

Credits: Wikimedia

Photo of Iskcon Temple, Yeshwanthpur Industrial Suburb, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India by Prateek Dham

If you are believer, the fantastic ISKCON Temple is where you should go to pay your respects in the evening. Situated in Rajajinagar, this structure has a grand facade with a gold-plated flag post that stands proportionally high at 17m tall. The temple opens its gates to devotees at 4:15 in the morning.


Credits: Arbor

Photo of Arbor Brewing Company India, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India by Prateek Dham

Once you are in Bengaluru, you just need to experience its nightlife. Head over to the posh stretch at MG Road and go club-hopping without guilt. Arbor, Indian Brewing Company and Hoppipola are some popular picks.

Day 2

Drive to Mysuru

Credits: Free Image Collection

Photo of Mysuru, Karnataka, India by Prateek Dham

After having an early breakfast at your hotel, rent a ride and drive off to experience the natural beauty of Karnataka in Mysuru. It's just 3 hours away.

Day attractions

Although Mysuru is naturally gifted, there are several manmade marvels here as well, that have withstood the test of time and the critique of art connoisseurs.

Credits: Wikimedia

Photo of Mysore Palace, Agrahara, Chamrajpura, Mysuru, Karnataka, India by Prateek Dham

Arguably the most beautiful monument in the whole of Karnataka, the Mysore Palace is the official residence of the Wodeyars – the rulers of Mysore. Having an annual 6 million visitors, it is only second to the Taj Mahal in terms of attracting tourists in India.

Credits: Wikimedia

Photo of Saint Philomena Church, Mysuru, Karnataka, India by Prateek Dham

Also known as St. Joseph's Cathedral, the Neo-Gothic design and architecture of this structure is inspired by the Cologne Cathedral in Germany. It is one of Asia's tallest churches and one of the most gorgeous places to visit in Karnataka.


There can only be one place for lunch in Mysore – Vinayaka Mylari. Their dosais are to die for.

Night attractions

Credits: Riju K

Photo of Karanji Lake, Jockey Quarters, Mysuru, Karnataka, India by Prateek Dham

There's a lot you can do at the Karanji Lake. It is surrounded by a butterfly park with India's biggest walk-through aviary. There is the Regional Museum of Natural History too located along the banks. Since the property is owned by the Mysore Zoo Authority, the entry to the lake is paid.


Credits: Tiger Trail - Royal Orchid Metropole

Photo of Tiger Trail, Devaraja Mohalla, Yadavagiri, Mysuru, Karnataka, India by Prateek Dham

What's better than a hale and hearty dinner? One that comes with a stunning setting. At The Tiger Trail, you'll get more than your food fantasies with the heritage buffet on display. The buffet includes a 40+ variety of food items on an average day.

Day 3

Soaking & Chilling in Mysuru

Credits: Vhines

Photo of Karnataka in 7 Days: A Day-Wise Itinerary To Explore The Best Places to Visit in Karnataka by Prateek Dham

Nope. You aren't leaving Mysuru anytime soon. You need to soak it up in order to finally realise that Karnataka is, indeed, a place you criminally underrated. Hence a day more here is recommended.


Credits: The Old House

Photo of The Old House, Mysuru, Karnataka, India by Prateek Dham

The Old House Cafe lives up to its name - it's old, it's inside a house, and it also serves a wonderful Continental breakfast. Be here early to get a seat.

Day attractions

Credits: Jithesh

Photo of Chamundeshwari Temple, JC Nagar, Mysuru, Karnataka, India by Prateek Dham

Full and brimming, it's time to drive the 13km to the Chamunda Hill. It takes just an hour, but it gives you views that you won't forget in your entire lifetime. The historical Chamundeshwari Temple was named after the fierce Shakti goddess and is situated atop the hill. It is considered one of the 18 Shakti Peeths in India.

Lunch while driving back to Mysuru

While on your way back, there's a very famous The Foodie Restaurant, which serves great lunch buffets and good à la carte.

Back in Mysuru

Credits: Sarangib

Photo of Jaganmohan Palace and Art Gallery, Jagan Mohan Palace Road, Chamrajpura, Mysuru, Karnataka, India by Prateek Dham

Remember when I commented on those art connoisseurs at the beginning of this itinerary. Well, this is the place that blew all of them away. The Jaganmohan Palace used to be home to the Mysore royal family before the construction of the Mysore Palace was completed. This structure has now been turned into an art gallery.


Credits: Spring - Radisson Blu

Photo of Radisson Blu Plaza, Mysuru, Karnataka, India by Prateek Dham

If you feel like splurging on yourself, Radisson Blu has the best tikkas in town. It's the best meal you would have had in the past few days, I assure you.

Day 4

Drive to Hassan

Credits: Wikimedia

Photo of Hassan, Karnataka, India by Prateek Dham

You've been to many touristy places now. In order to really feel like an explorer, you need to go further and deeper. Hassan is the place for that in Karnataka. Merely a 3-hour-drive from Mysuru.

Enroute, visit the Shravanabelagola

Credits: Wikimedia

Photo of Bhagawan Bahubali Statue, Shravanabelagola, Karnataka, India by Prateek Dham

This very famous temple falls along the way. The gigantic Gomateshwara statue here was carved out of a single stone in 981 AD and was meant as a tribute to Bhagwan Bahubali, a much revered figure amongst the Jains.

Reach Hassan. Have lunch at Hoysala Village.

Credits: Wikimedia

Photo of Vasantha Mantapa, Ambalpadi, Udupi, Karnataka, India by Prateek Dham

If you want to witness the culture of an alien place, you must visit its villages. Hoysala is a beautiful village, where you can eat at a local's place. The village is also a haven for believers, since it has a lot of ancient temples, including the Vasantha Mantapa.

Take Rest. Visit Belur.

Credits: Wikimedia

Photo of Chennakeshava Temple, Belur, Karnataka, India by Prateek Dham

If you are in the mood for more (but more amazing) temples, go for a short drive to the nearby Belur to admire the Chennakesava Temple. The temple is proposed to be listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Have dinner at a local's house. There aren't many commercial eateries in Hassan.

Day 5

Drive to Chikmagalur

Credits: Prashantby

Photo of Chikmagalur, Karnataka, India by Prateek Dham

Day 5 is full of pleasant experiences and an hour-and-a-half-long drive to Chikmagalur. This will be your last urban stay while in Karnataka, hence enjoy the fresh air amidst the coffee plantations.

Day attractions

Credits: Yos C. Wiranata

Photo of Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary, Suguduvani, Karnataka, India by Prateek Dham

Once in Chikmagalur, visit the unadulterated animal settlement of Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary. If you are fortunate enough, you might even spot a majestic tiger here.

Have lunch at one of the eateries inside the sanctuary. Roam around till its time for evening tea.

Trek to Kudremukh

Credits: Wikimedia

Photo of Karnataka in 7 Days: A Day-Wise Itinerary To Explore The Best Places to Visit in Karnataka by Prateek Dham

It's time for some backpacking, to experience nature up close and personal. A visit to Kudremukh is only possible via an easy trek. Once up there, you'll thank yourself for going on a tour of places to visit in Karnataka.

Have a lazy dinner at the place you're staying at.

Since the evenings will be chilly here, ask your guesthouse folks to set up a campfire. Sing songs, tell corny stories and have a sumptuous dinner.

Day 6

Drive to Mangaluru

Credits: Wikimedia

Photo of Mangaluru, Karnataka, India by Prateek Dham

Last stop of the amazing trip. Mangaluru is a suburban settlement about 150 kms away from Hassan. A very interesting place.

Day attractions

Mangaluru justifies the age old 'unity in diversity' phrase that is often used for India. This small town is replete with temples of local gods, gurdwaras, and gargantuan churches. There is no compromise here in terms of aesthetics in architecture.

Credits: Wikipedia

Photo of Mangala Devi Temple, Mangaluru, Karnataka, India by Prateek Dham

The city of Mangalore is named after the deity, Mangaladevi. According to folklore, the temple is believed to have been constructed by Lord Parashurama. With most of its structure made of wood, the Kerala-style architecture is evident everywhere.

Credits: Wikimedia

Photo of St. Aloysius Chapel, Mangaluru, Karnataka, India by Prateek Dham

This chapel is important in the history of Mangalore, as it was constructed by the Italian Jesuits, who played a vital role in the education and general upliftment of the Mangalorean Catholic community. This is an architectural marvel with paintings all over the wall, akin to the chapels of Rome.


Credits: Machali

Photo of Machali, Mangaluru, Karnataka, India by Prateek Dham

Since Mangaluru is a coastal town, it is famous for its seafood. Machali and Grimanja's are two such restaurants that have highly influenced the way the entire town eats its fish. You can visit one of these for a king-sized lunch.

Evening attractions

Credits: Wikipedia

Photo of Sultan Battery, Sultan Battery Road, Ashok Nagar, Mangaluru, Karnataka, India by Prateek Dham

Time is almost up. But before you go back to your mundane life, reminisce about the crazy week that's just gone past you while witnessing the sunset from the Sunset Battery watchtower.

For the night, you can go to the Tannirbhavi Beach nearby.


The Cardamom Restaurant is as much luxury as you can get at this tiny place, but this doesn't mean they don't cook well. Have your dinner in peace by the poolside, while talking about your next trip to Karnataka.

Credits: Cardamom - The Gateway

Photo of Cardamom, Mangalore Old Port, Mangaluru, Karnataka, India by Prateek Dham

Your Mangalore stay is not complete without indulging your sweet tooth at the ultra-famous Pabbas.

Day 7

Wake up to the famous sunrise of Mangaluru

Consider the beautiful sunrise at Mangalore as a metaphor for reigniting the traveller in you in Karnataka. Make plans, travel more often.

Credits: Pixabay

Photo of Mangaluru, Karnataka, India by Prateek Dham

Catch a flight/train back to your home.

Are you from Karnataka? Have you been to Karnataka? Are you planning to visit Karnataka? Do let me know what you feel about the itinerary in the comments section below.

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