Karnataka tourism – places to see and explore

In Karnataka there are two distinctly different destinations which make a great combination for tourists. The first is bustling Bangalore, a young city but one with a rich history. The second is Coorg, sometimes called “Scotland of the East” due to its natural beauty. We explore the best of both places.

1. Bangalore by bus or foot
These inexpensive half-day and full-day tours cover Bangalore’s most important landmarks. These are convenient ways to discover the city. Another option for exploring the city is to hire a  private cabs. Ask your homestay host to help you arrange a ride for a reasonable price with a guarantee of safety and efficient service.


Walking tours such as BangaloreWalks help people discover the lesser known aspects of the city. People can opt for a variety of tours like the Traditional walk, the Victorian walk or the Lalbagh walk, which cover different themes of this vibrant city. The tours start from Rs.300 and breakfast at popular restaurants is included in the package.

2. Tour of temples in Bangalore
Prime amongst Bangalore’s temples is the Bull Temple, which is built in Dravidian architecture. It is famous for the enormous statue of a bull that’s carved from one massive boulder. Other than this, in Rajajinagar you will find the beautiful ISKCON Temple where the annual Rath Yatra attracts thousands from all over the region. Just minutes from there is a Hanuman Temple where the annual Hanumanth Jayanthi is celebrated every December.


3. Monuments and historic sites of Bangalore
Foremost amongst such sites are Bangalore’s Vidhana Sabha (The State’s Legislative House), Bangalore Palace and Tipu Sultan’s Palace. The Bangalore Palace was built by Mysore’s Maharajahs and was only recently opened to the public. The Palace has suffered due to years of neglect which is very evident. In contrast visit Tipu Sultan’s Palace, which is over 220 years old and served as a lavish summer retreat for the king.


4. Family spots in Bangalore
Cubbon Park is an enormous green oasis in the heart of the city. Spread in over 300 acres, the park serves as a lovely picnic spot and has many recreation activities. A children’s park, toy train, theater and more can keep the whole family entertained. The park itself provides a refuge from trappings of urban development. Lal Bagh is another place perfect for a family outing. Built by Tipu Sultan in the 18th century, the sprawling garden is considered the most charming and romantic in the country. It has lovely lotus ponds, fountains, glass houses and historic stone formations. Horticulture lovers throng to the garden for the flower shows that are held three times a year.


A recent addition to the city is the Lumbini Garden. Located along the Nagvara Lake, the park offers enjoyable activities such as boating, a wave pool and a children’s park. The Bannerghatta National Park is a sanctuary where one can find wild animals like migrating elephants, bison, wild boar and if you are lucky the elusive leopard as well. The sanctuary, where rescued animals find refuge, is also home to a crocodile farm and a butterfly park amongst others.

In Bangalore thrill seekers will enjoy the Wonder La Amusement Park, India’s largest amusement and water park. The park is home to many thrill and water rides as well as rain dance sections. Fire crackers and laser light shows in evening are a delight to watch.

5. Coorg’s Madekeri Fort and waterfalls
This highly imposing fort is Coorg’s most important tourist attraction. It was initially built of mud, which was later replaced by concrete stone under Tipu Sultan. Inside the fort you will find the Palace of the Lingayat rulers. Located 8 kms from Madikeri are the charming Abbey Falls, a lovely place for picnics. Private vehicles are the best way to reach the falls and the visit should be clubbed with a visit to Madekeri Fort. Located 91 kms from Madikeri Fort is the Iruppu Falls. This beautiful waterfall is also an important pilgrimage. It is believed to have a historic connection with Lord Rama and there is also an important Shiva temple here.


6. Raja’s Seat in Coorg
As the name suggests, this was a beloved spot of the Rajas from where they could enjoy panoramic vistas of the misty blue hills and lush green valleys. Even today, this destination serves as an important viewpoint and people come here in large numbers particularly to see the sunset and sunrise. A serene garden has also been created here for the use of the public.


7. Omkareshwara Temple
This temple was built 200 years ago in tribute to Lord Shiva and Vishnu. Other than for its religious importance the temple is also loved by people fond of architecture as it is a beautiful and rare example of Hinduism, Islamic and Gothic styles of architecture.


8. Activities in Coorg
Some of the most popular trekking trails here are trails in the hills of Brahmagiri, on the way to the Irrupa Falls, to Pushpagiri the second higest peak of Kodagu and to Tadiandamol, which is the highest peak. Golfers will love the 9-hole course of Virajpet. It’s a nice way of unwinding while honing one’s golf skills.


Valanoor is the backwater of the river Cauvery and people fond of fishing come here to try and catch the famous mahaseer. The best season for this is from October to May. Many camps around Coorg offer rafting down the Cauvery. For the experienced the route from Upper Barapole River to the south of Coorg in Brahmagiri is perfect.


  • Coorg and Bangalore are about 260 kilometers apart.
  • Coorg does not have an airport or a railway station. The nearest airport is at Mangalore, about 135 kilometers away. The nearest railway station is at Mysore, about 120 kilometers away. In Bangalore there are two main railway stations: Bangalore City Junction and Bangalore cantonment.
  • KSRTC operates air-conditioned luxury buses between Bangalore and Coorg
  • Learn more about and view homestays in Bangalore and Coorg
  • Learn more about Karnataka tourism