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28 BEST HERITAGE SITES IN KARNATAKA

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Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 443 Kms from Bangalore, 136 Kms from Hubli, 33 Kms from Bagalkot, 34 Kms from Badami & 13.5 Kms from Pattadakal, Aihole is a historical site in Bagalkot District of Karnataka situated on the banks of Malaprabha River. It is being considered for World Heritage Site status by UNESCO.

Aihole, along with Pattadakal, is considered as the cradle for South Indian Temple architecture. There are more than 125 temples in Aihole constructed between 5th and 8th centuries during Badami Chalukya's rule. Few temples were built during Rashtrakutas and Kalyani Chalukya's rule until 12th century. The temples are built in different architectural styles representing Dravidian, Nagara, Phamsana and Gajaprastha models.

Most of the temples are located within 2-3 km radius while the important monuments are situated within a secured compound. Main temples are well preserved by archeology department and several other sites are still .....


Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 36 Kms from Bagalkot, 104 Kms from Hubli & 457 Kms from Bangalore, Badami, also called as Vatapi is a historical place situated in Bagalkot district of Karnataka. Badami was the capital of mighty Chalukyas from 540 to 757 AD who ruled Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh & Maharashtra between 6th & 8th centuries. Badami is one of the top destinations of Karnataka Tourism.

Badami is famous for cave temples, fortresses, fine carvings, wonderful architecture and breathtaking views. It is located in a valley at the foot of a red sandstone rock formation that surrounds Agastya Lake. Overlooking the sandstone cave temples, Badami fort and several temples are lined up on the shores of Agastya Lake. Three of the cave temples belong to Vedic faith, the fourth cave is a Jain temple dedicated to Tirtankara Adinatha. Out of the three Hindu temples, two are dedicated to Lord Vishnu while one is dedicated .....


Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 116 km from Gulbarga, 639 km Bangalore and 140 km from Hyderabad, Bidar is a town and district headquarters located in the north-eastern part of Karnataka. Bidar is one of the most popular tourist places to visit near Hyderabad and one of the famous Hyderabad weekend getaways from a two day trip.

It is lies at an altitude of 2,200 feet on Deccan plateau overlooking the Manjira river valley. Bidar is among the well known Karnataka tourist places. It is bounded by Nizamabad and Medak districts of Telangana on the eastern side, Latur and Osmanabad districts of Maharashtra on the western side, Nanded district of Maharashtra on the northern side and Gulbarga district on southern side. Bidar has great historical importance and it is one of the important heritage sites in Karnataka.

The history .....


Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 25 km from Chikmagalur, 40 km from Hassan, 165 km from Mangalore, 154 km from Mysore and 217 km from Bangalore, Belur is very famous temple town situated in Hassan District of Karnataka State. It is renowned for the grand Hoysala Temple dedicated to Lord Chennakesava, an incarnation of Vishnu. It is the best of three Hoysala temples nominated for UNESCO World Heritage Sites (other two being the temples at Halebid & Somnathpur). The Hoysala temples are known for minute & intricate carvings and sculptures with metal like polishing. It is one of the best heritage sites in Karnataka, situated on Bangalore to Chikmagalur route. Belur is one of the well known Karnataka tourist places.

Belur was the early capital of the powerful Hoysala Empire on the banks of River Yagachi. .....


Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 17 km from Belur, 34 km from Chikmagalur, 32 km from Hassan, 148 km from Mysore & 211 km from Bangalore, Halebidu is located in Hassan District of Karnataka State. Halebidu (or Halebid) is famous for the beautiful Hoysala Temples of Hoysaleswara and Kedareswara built in 1121 AD. It is one of the three Hoysala temples nominated for UNESCO World Heritage Sites, other two being the Belur temple & Somnathpur temple). The Hoysala temples are known for minute & intricate carvings and sculptures with metal like polishing. Halebidu is among the most popular tourist places in Karnataka.

Halebidu was the glorified royal capital of the Hoysala kingdom in 12th Century. Halebidu, which was previously called Dorasamudra or Dwarasamudra, .....


Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 13 km from Hospet, 64 km from Bellary, 104 km from Gadag, 160 km from Hubli, 340 km from Bangalore & 377 km from Hyderabad, Hampi is an ancient village situated on the banks of Tungabhadra River in northern Karnataka. Hampi is a renowned UNESCO World Heritage Site. The village stands within the ruins of the city of Vijayanagara, the former capital of the Vijayanagara Empire. It is one of the top destinations of Karnataka Tourism and also one of the best heritage sites in India.

It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in South India. Hampi, also known as Pampa-kshetra, Kishkindha-kshetra or Bhaskara-kshetra, is derived from Pampa, which is the old name of the Tungabhadra River.

Hampi is an extremely significant place in terms of history and architecture. The first settlement in Hampi dates back to 1st century AD and a number of Buddhist sites belonging to .....


City | Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 139 km from Bangalore, 476 km from Chennai, 247 km from Mangalore, 203 km from Coimbatore & 128 km from Ooty, Mysore is the 2nd biggest City in Karnataka. It is the erstwhile capital of the Mysore Maharajas, who ruled the Mysore State between 1399 & 1947. Mysore still retains its old world charm with its palaces, heritage buildings, traditions and temples. At an altitude of 763 meters surrounded by hill ranges from north to south, it is known as the City of Palaces. Mysore is one of the top destinations of Karnataka Tourism.

According to this story in the mythological Devi Purana, Mysore was ruled by the demon-king Mahishasura. He was called Mahishasura, because he was a buffalo-headed monster. Hearing to the prayers of Gods and Goddess to save them from the monster, Goddess Parvathi took birth as Chamundeswari and killed the monster. Hence, this place came to be known as Mahishuru, later became Maisuru & Mysore.

The .....


Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 439 Kms from Bangalore, 122 Kms from Hubli, 45 Kms from Bagalkot, 21 Kms from Badami & 13.5 Kms from Aihole, Pattadakal is a famous heritage site in Bagalkot District of Karnataka situated on the banks of Malaprabha River. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site along with Badami & Aihole known as Chalukyan Group of Monuments. Pattadakal is the place where coronation of Chalukyan kings took place. Pattadakal is among the popular Tourist places in Karnataka.

Pattadakal, along with Aihole, is considered as the cradle for South Indian Temple architecture. The main complex has about 10 temples and there are few more temples around the village of Pattadakal. The monuments were constructed between 6th and 9th centuries. The temples at Pattadakal are larger and grandeur with extensive art work compared to the early stage temples of Aihole.

It seems the Chalukyas enhanced their .....


Historical & Heritage | Pilgrimage

At a distance of 140 Kms from Bangalore, 50 Kms from Hassan & 83 Kms from Mysore, Shravanabelagola is one of the most popular Jain pilgrimage center in South India. This place is named after the pond in middle of the town (Bela-Kola means White Pond). This is one of the popular weekend getaways from Bangalore and a major heritage / historical site in Karnataka.

Shravanabelagola is famous for the Bahubali Statue which is supposed to be the tallest monolithic stone statue in the world with a height of 58 feet carved out of a single block of granite. The Gomateswara temple is built on top of a hill at an altitude of 3347 feet, called as Vindhyagiri hill (also known as Doddabetta or Indragiri). About 620 steps provide access to this temple from bottom of the hill. The nude statue of Bahubali is carved carefully with much perfection.

Lord Gomateshwara (Lord Bahubali) was son of the first Jain tirthankara named Lord Adinatha. .....


Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 137 km from Bangalore, 35 km from Mysore & 50 km from Shivanasamudra Falls, Somnathpur is well known for the breathtaking Prasanna Chennakesava Temple, one of the three famous & finest representations of Hoysala architecture (other two being temples at Belur & Halebid). This is one of the three Hoysala temples nominated for UNESCO World Heritage Site status. This is one of the popular tourist places to visit near Bangalore & Mysore and one of the wonderful weekend getaways from both the cities. The Hoysala temples are known for minute & intricate carvings and sculptures with metal like polishing. It is one of the well known Karnataka tourist places.

Located on the banks of Cauvery River, Chennakesava Temple was built in 1268 by Somnatha, a general of King Narasimha III. The temple stands on a raised platform like .....


Historical & Heritage | Pilgrimage

At a distance of 318 km from Bangalore, 104 km from Mangalore, 99 km from Shimoga, 88 km from Chikmagalur, 256 km from Mysore and 79 km from Udupi, Sringeri in Chikmagalur district is one of the important pilgrimage centers in South India. Sringeri is well known for Sharada Peetham, the first and foremost of the 4 Peethams established by the renowned 8th century saint Sri Adi Shankaracharya. It is also one of the most famous tourist places to visit in Karnataka, mainly as a pilgrimage destination.

Sringeri is situated at an altitude of 2789 ft on the banks of River Tunga bounded by Western Ghats. The name Sringeri is derived from Rishyashringa-giri, a nearby hill that is named after Sage Rishyashringa. Hyder Ali annexed Ikkeri to the kingdom of Mysore. Tipu Sultan provided financial aid to Sringeri for the reconstruction of temples.

According .....


Historical & Heritage | Pilgrimage

At a distance of 18 km from Mysore, 26 km from Mandya and 124 km from Bangalore, Srirangapatna or Srirangapattana is a historical town in Mandya district of Karnataka. Located near the city of Mysore, Srirangapatna is among the popular tourist places in Karnataka owing to its cultural, religious and historic importance. The entire town is surrounded by the river Kaveri to form a river island.

According to history, Srirangapatna was founded by the rulers of Ganga dynasty in 9th century. However, the destination came into the limelight during the reign of the Vijayanagara Empire. The rise of the Wodeyar kings marked the downfall of the Vijayanagara Empire. During the reign of the Wodeyar kings, Raja Wodeyar conquered Rangaraya in 1610, who was then the viceroy of Srirangapatna. From 1610, the town of Srirangapattana was the capital of Mysore state. Hyder Ali defeated the Wodeyar King .....


Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 77 Kms from Badami & 10 Kms from Gadag, Lakkundi, situated between Hubli and Hospet is a place of historical importance with about 50 temples and 30 inscriptions from the period of the later Chalukyas, Kalachuris, Seunas and the Hoysalas.

Kashi Vishweshwara Temple, dedicate to Lord Siva is a grand temple with wonderful carvings on the towers and the doorways. The temple was build around 11th century during the late Chalukyas period. The architecture and carvings of the temple have similarities with the Hoysala temples at Belur & Halebid. Nanneshwara Temple looks like a simple and small replica of the much elaborate Kashi Vishweshwara Temple.

Lakkundi is also noted for its veiled wells, artistically built with decorated enclosures enshrining lingas inside the walls. The Manikeswara Temple exhibits the artistic and architectural marvel of the wells constructed during that period. Sculpture Museum maintained by the .....


Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 30 km from Kolar and 98.5 km from Bangalore City Junction, Avani is a small village in Kolar district of Karnataka. Avani is renowned for housing varied ancient temples. It is also a popular location for rock climbing. It is also an important historical sites and a popular sightseeing spot around Bangalore.

The village of Avani received a prominent place mainly due to the legends associated with it. According to mythology, goddess Sita gave birth to her twin children Lava-Kusha at Avani. It is also said that the war between Lord Rama and his sons Lava and Kusha took place in this village. As per the local belief, sage Valmiki, the author of the epic Ramayana was residing here during the period of Ramayana.

Another legend has it that when Sri Narasimha Bharati IV of the Sringeri Sharada Peetham was on his sancharas', he camped here for a few days. During his .....


Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 54 km from Bangalore City Railway Station, 6.5 km from Chikkaballapur, 9.5 km from Nandi Hills, Bhoga Nandeeshwara Temple situated in Nandi village is a grand temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. This temple is a great specimen of South Indian temple architecture. It is one of the best temples near Bangalore and one of the top Bangalore tourist places to visit.

Originally built in 9th century by Nolamba dynasty, the temple received great contributions from the rulers of Ganga, Chola, Rashtrakuta, Hoysala & Vijayanagara dynasties. The temple boasts wonderful architecture and great sculptures. The large temple complex has a vast open area in front of the wonderful gateway. The main enclosure has three shrines dedicate to Lord Shiva known as Bhoga Nandeeshwara, Arunachaleswara and Ardhanareewara (also known as Uma Maheshwara) along with several other shrines on the rear side of the temple. The large mandapa in front of the main shrines has great art work with each pillar .....


Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 58 Kms from Bangalore towards Mysore, Channapatna is a small town famous for wooden toys. This place is also famous for door hangings, powder boxes and traditional jewellery.

Fort of Jagadevaraya family built sometime during 16th century is also an interesting place to visit in Channapatna. Timmapparaja Urs mansion, a three storied building made of brick and mortar and was home to Timmapparaja is also worth visiting. The building is a typical example of Hindu mansion from 19th century.

Other places include Varadaraja temple, an ancient temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The idol was installed by Sri Ramanujacharya. Other temples that are worth visiting in Channapatna include Lakshminarayana and Nilakanteswara Temples.


Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 25 kms from Bangalore City Junction and 32.6 km from Ramanagara, The Dodda Alada Mara literally translated to Big Banyan Tree is a giant Banyan tree located in the village of Kethohalli in the Bangalore Urban district of Karnataka. This is one of the popular tourist places to visit near Bangalore.

Dodda Alada Mara is a single Banyan tree that is 400 years old and has spread over 3 acres of land. This tree is said to be the largest tree in Karnataka and the second largest in India. It has a circumference of more than 250 m and has more than a thousand aerial roots. In last 10-15 years the main root of the tree succumbed to natural disease, and thus the tree now looks like many different trees. The area is fenced and well-maintained with pathways, bright cement seats and handy dustbins.

There is small temple dedicated to Lord Muneshwara (Lord Shiva). It is believed that the Big Banyan Tree symbolizes the holy .....


Historical & Heritage | Pilgrimage

At a distance of 80 kms from Bangalore, Kolar is a small town which was once famous for gold mines. Kolar has several tourist attractions like Someshwara Temple & Kolaramma Temple. Anthargange is about 4 kms from Kolar. Kolar is one of the popular tourist places to visit around Bangalore.

Someshwara Temple is a beautiful temple built in 14th century during Vijayanagara rule. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, Someshwara Temple is famous for large temple tower built on a stone carved mahadwara. The temple has nice carvings on the pillars and large mahamandapa. There is also a stepped temple tank adjacent to the temple. The temple is located near Fort Area in Kolar.

Kolaramma Temple, situated at a distance of 100 meters from Someshwara Temple is another interesting place to visit in Kolar with lot of history. It is believed that the temple was constructed in 5th century during Ganga dynasty. The temple has several carvings from Chola rule (11th century). This is a protected monument and .....


Historical & Heritage | Pilgrimage

At a distance of 2 km from Magadi Bus station and 44.5 km from Bangalore City Junction, The Ranganatha Swamy Temple located in Magadi is an ancient temple and a protected monument. This is one of the popular pilgrimage sites to visit around Bangalore.

The Ranganathaswamy temple is situated on a hill called Tirumale. There is a vast Prakara with a gateway having tall Rajagopura. The sanctum of the Ranganatha temple was first consecrated in early 12th century by the Chola ruler and the temple has undergone renovations and expansion since. The beautiful gopuras were built by Vijayanagara emperor Krishnadevaraya in the 16th century and later renovated by King Jayachamaraja Wodeyar of Mysore. There are structures inside the sanctum which were also built by the Cholas and later renovated.

The temple dedicated to Lord Ranganatha is actually a standing image of Narayana about 3 ft tall in Vijayanagara style with Shankha, Chakra, Gada and Abhaya attributes in four hands. The main deity .....


Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 34 km from Madikeri, 4.5 km from Kushalnagar, 7 km from Cauvery Nisargadhama & 87 km from Mysore, the Golden Temple or Namdroling Monastery is a beautiful Buddhist Monastery situated at Bylakuppe. It is one of the most popular tourist places to visit in Coorg. Bylakuppe is the second largest Tibetans settlement in India after Dharamshala.

Bylakuppe is a Tibetan refugee settlement area established by Lugsum Samdupling in 1961 and Dickyi Larsoe in 1969 and is situated to the west of Mysore district close to Bangalore - Coorg route. The main tourist attraction here is the magnificent Buddhist Golden Temple. Namdroling Monastery is the largest teaching center of Nyingmapa (a lineage of Tibetan Buddhism) in the world and houses over 5000 monks and nuns. Bylakuppe is one of the prime attractions of Coorg.

The Namdroling .....


Adventure / Trekking | Historical & Heritage | Nature & Scenic

At a distance of 24 km from Dandeli, 93 km from Sirsi, 120 km from Karwar and 139 km from Gokarna, Kavala caves are the natural caves located in the heart of Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary and is one of the popular points of interest in Dandeli.

These caves are formed by volcanic activity ages back and are situated deep with-in the forest. It is believed that these caves have been in existence since the prehistoric times. Currently, the caves are inhabited by numerous snakes and bats. Also known as Limestone Caves or Sidda, these caves are very small in dimension and have a lot of stalagmite formations. At some places the opening gets smaller and visitors need to crawl through.

Visitors need to climb down 375 steps to reach the cave entrance. There is a temple at the entrance of the cave. One has to crawl down 40 feet through winding, narrow tunnels to see the Shivalinga formed naturally. The narrow passage is dark and visitors may .....


Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 11 km from Kumta, 22 km from Gokarna, 31 km from Honavar, 59 km from Karwar and 56 km from Murudeshwar, Mirjan Fort is a beautiful fort located in the village of Mirjan on the west coast of the Uttara Kannada district in Karnataka.

The Mirjan Fort has rich history and there are many versions on the origin of the fort. According to one version, the fort was built in 16th century by Chennabhairav Devi, Queen of Gersoppa, a subordinate of Vijayanagar kings. Rani Chennabhairav Devi was also known as the Pepper Queen. Her reign was one of the longest in the history of female domination in Indian history, from 1552 - 1606. The strong hold of her territory was centered on North and South Kanara districts and south Goa. After the battle of Tallikota in 1565, the territory was attacked by Bijapur Sultans. She shifted the base from Mirjan Fort to a safe location in an island .....


Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 82 km from Kemmangundi, 64 km from Chikmagalur, 27 km from Belur & 12 km from Halebid, Belavadi is a village situated in Chikmagalur District and is famous for Sri Veera Narayana Temple built in Hoysala architectural style. The place is described as Ekachakranagara of Mahabharata and is said to be the place where Pandava prince Bheema killed the demon Bakasura and protected the village and its people.

The Veera Narayana temple was built in 13th century by the Hoysala King Veera Bhallala II. This temple is dedicated to Load Vishnu in three different forms. While Belur and Halebid are famous for their intricate sculpture, this temple is one of the best examples of Hoysala architecture. The west side of the temple consists of a square garbhagriha, a sukanasi, Ranga mandapa and square maha mantapa. The whole structure has been constructed on a raised platform. The entire .....


Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 23 km from Sirsi, 50 km from Jog Falls, 139 km from Karwar and 111 km from Shimoga, Banavasi, also known as Konkanapura, is an ancient temple town in Uttar Kannada district of Karnataka.

Situated on the banks of Varadha River, Banavasi lies in the Malnad region of Western Ghats.
Banvasi is the oldest town in the Karnataka state. The name Banavasi comes from the words Bana and Vasi, which means forest and spring respectively.

Banavasi was once the capital of Kadamba rulers, an ancient royal dynasty of Karnataka. They established in 345 AD and ruled South India for at least two centuries. Before the Kadamba dynasty, Banavasi was under the reign of different dynasties, including Sathavahanas, Chutu and Pallavas. From mid-6th century to 8th century, the town was under the rule of Chalukyas. After Chalukyas, Rashtrakutas, Chalukyas of Kalyani, Yadavas, Hoysalas, Vijayanagara kings, Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan .....


Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 39 km from Kemmangundi, 47 km from Shimoga, 79 km from Chikmagalur & 9 km from Tarikere, Amruthapura is a village located in Chikmagalur district of the Karnataka which is well known for the famous Amruteshwara Temple.

The Amruteshwara Temple is an ancient temple built in 1196 AD by Amruteshwara Dandanayaka, a general of the Hoysala ruler Veera Ballala II. Ruvari Mallitamma, the well-known Hoysala sculptor and architect is known to have started his career here working on the domed ceilings in the main mantapa. On the porch of the temple is a large stone inscription, a fine example of medieval Kannada poetry. This temple is situated near the Bhadra Reservoir in Malnad region surrounded by coconut and palm plantations.

Dedicated to Lord Shiva, this temple was built using soft clay stone. This medium sized temple showcases excellent craftsmanship of Hoysala architecture. This temple is in the ekakuta style, .....


Historical & Heritage | Pilgrimage

At a distance of 50 Kms from Mysore, Melkote / Melukote also known as Thirunarayanapuram is a historic town where Sri Ramanujacharya lived in 12th century AD.

Melkote is a popular center of pilgrimage center and has two different temples. The main temple is dedicated to Lord Cheluva Narayana Swamy. It is built on rocky hills known as Yadavagiri or Yadugiri overlooking the Kaveri valley. The deity is referred as Cheluvapille Raya whose original name appears to have been Ramapriya. Rayagopura, about 300 meters from Cheluva Narayana temple is an interesting place and a favorite shooting spot.

On the top of the hill is an attractive temple dedicated to Lord Yoga Narasimha. It is believed that the image of Yoga Narasimha temple was installed by Prahlada. Krishnaraja Wodeyar III presented a gold crown to the deity of the temple.

This temple is popular for Vairamudi Utsav held in March/April.

Timings: 8.30 AM -12.30 PM, 4-6 PM & 7-8.30pm.


Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 24 Kms from Somnathpur, 32 Kms from Sivanasamudram & 49 Kms from Mysore, Talakadu is a historical destination which was once a famous pilgrimage site. Situated on the banks of Kaveri River, Talakadu is a beautiful place surrounded by temples.

Talakadu had over 30 temples, most are them are buried in the sand today. Some of these temples have been excavated and are open for public. There are five temples dedicated to Lord Siva - Pathaleshwara, Maruleshwara, Arkeshwara, Vaideeshwara and Mallikarjuneshwara Temple. The Keerthinarayana temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu is a beautiful site with wonderful carvings.

Talakadu was ruled by several dynasties - Gangas, Hoysalas, Rashtra Kootas and Vijayanagara Kings. The temples of Talakadu have mixed architecture styles of these dynasties. Talakadu is also known for 'Curse of Talakad' by Alamelamma on the Wodeyar Dynasty of Mysore.

A famous festival called Pancha .....


Historical & Heritage | Park

At a distance of 16 kms from Srirangapatna & 19 Kms from Mysore, Brindavan Gardens is a famous & beautiful garden laid out below the Krishnaraja Sagar Dam. The construction work of the garden was started in the year 1927 and completed in 1932. This is one of the best tourist places to visit in & around Mysore.

The garden was designed by Sir Mirza Ismail, Diwan of Mysore based on Shalimar Gardens of Kashmir in the Mughal style. Spread over an area of 150 acres, the Brindavan Gardens is considered as one of the best gardens in India. The garden is enriched with fountains, terraces, parterres, running and cascading water channels, lush green lawns & flower beds.

The Musical and dancing fountain, located in the North Brindavan Garden, is the main attraction of the garden. The best time to visit the gardens is after sunset when all the bright colourful fountains come alive. The .....

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