Travelling Solo to Karnataka: Best Places to Visit
The one state with different worlds concocts interest in every traveller. Karnataka adorns the best place to escape during holidays. It is a cauldron of landscapes ranging from some offbeat beaches of coastal provinces to the contrasting beautiful hill stations of the Western Ghats comprising plains of the Deccan Plateau.
A place of billion stories endures a few of the testimony of its glorious past through its evidence in the forts, palaces and ancient towns (The World Heritage UNESCO site of Hampi and others). Karnataka’s fascination as a state of tourism offers combinations of heritage cities, wildlife, hill stations, waterfalls, beaches and temples to complete a delightful gateway for adventures, sightseeing and entertainment.
History of Karnataka
The history of Karnataka dates back to the neolithic and megalithic age, the clear evidence of discoveries of pre-historical makings. A few places in Karnataka find mention in the folklore and tales from the Ramayana. At the age of the first millennium, the region flourished with literature, sculpture and architecture, leading to the shape of the distinctive Kannada.
Nearly two centuries after the rule of the Vijayanagara Empire, the state emerged as a prospered kingdom with an impressive historical legacy. In the following period of the downfall of The Vijayanagara Kingdom, South India witnessed a dramatic change in its rulers and geopolitical shifts. Later the Britishers helped the Wodeyars to assassinate Tipu Sultan to restore the princely state of the Kingdom of Mysore.
Travelling in Monsoon to the Seductive Western Ghats
The monsoon provides an initial gate to fall in love once again. Nature promotes a fresh life to grow, reminding us of the turn of the season as the rain washes away the dirt to become new again. I planned to enjoy the monsoon by getting out and wet there, accomplishing things that only rain seems to encourage.
The Western Ghats are famous for their dense forests and bio-diversity of wildlife creatures. The region is blessed with a pristine landscape of hill stations, waterfalls, plantations, monuments, temples and others to experience for a lifetime.
I sketched out the research for the budget and places to visit in Karnataka. The storm Biparjoy gave me a small window to reach Karnataka before the monsoon. My travel plan for the Western Ghats started with the City of Palaces, Mysore.
Mysore finds its roots in the Puranas of Hindu mythology, which it refers to as the kingdom of Mahisasura. Devi Chamundeshwari fought a fierce battle on a hill near the present city to demolish the evil. In history, we find Mysore a prosperous kingdom, where different dynasties ruled in captivating with magnificent royalty.
Wodeyar family had the firm sovereign to expand and became a powerful state in the southern Deccan. The Palace City of India is where you will desire to get lost in the era of kings. The sparkling palaces with the scenic beauty of lakes, temples and gardens assemble it as the popular weekend gateway from Bangalore.
Among sightseeing, Mysore is famous for its traditional best-quality silk saris, sweets delicacies- Mysore Pak, patronising the art of painting and the great festival- Mysore Dussera.
The most awaited place on my list was Coorg, the small but beautiful hill town that turned its glory into heaven as the monsoon replenished nature. Madikeri is the district head of the Coorg, which provides all facilities with good connectivity, a bustling bazaar, safety and a scenic environment to hang out.
The surroundings of the hill town are a mixed bag of colourful scenery conducive to misty mountains, cascading waterfalls, and dense tropical forest with tea, coffee and spice plantations.
The view of enchanting beauty is the silhouette of the Western Ghats, often referred to as the Scotland of India or the South of Kashmir. The local delicacies are mouth-watering, with refreshed coffee and well-known local liquor.
The lush green hillocks with the sea-embracing sky are the magical moment that comes straight out of the mystical realism of the novel. I was looking for a less crowded beach where I could feel the sand beneath my feet and the salty breeze through me.
Gokarna presents the perfect conjunction of tranquillity and magnificence in a budget vacation. The small coastal town in North-Western Karnataka has a few attractive beaches tucked between lush green hills.
It indulges in reinvigorating activities such as Beach treks, Beach camping, Snorkeling, Surfing, Ayurvedic Massage, Night strolls, Stargazing, and other fun to rejuvenate the mind and the body. Gokarna is not as commercialised as Goa, but you can explore offbeat places with great local food.
A small enchanting temple town settled on a boulder-strewn landscape along the banks of the Tungabhadra River was my last destination for this trip. Hampi was once the capital of the Vijayanagara Empire, which is now turned into a World Heritage UNESCO Site and depicts it as The World’s Largest Open-air Museum.
The architectural ruins surrounded by the rugged landscape have withstood the ravage of man and time to evoke the stories of grandeur bygone era. The creative people marvelled at this planning that seems to have been palaces, baths, pavilions, royal stables and temples for ceremonial use. The best way to experience the eminence of Hampi is to slow-moving through the eloquent ruins.
How to travel in Karnataka?
Are you looking to travel on a budget? I have followed travelling in local transport as the Karnataka State Road Transport (KSRTC) Buses and railways have a good connection to every part of its districts. The State Highways and National Highways connect almost every portion through which small towns are too well connected. KSRTC buses have an online website through which you can make earlier reservations. I will recommend online reservations as they will update you with the bus number and provides the bus conductor’s number to contact. The Southern Railway journey is of the best quality to other regions of railways with the maintenance of the Coaches with the helpful staff owing their responsibilities.
The Festivals and Fairs of Karnataka
Karnataka is the land of festivals and fairs, where multiple cultures celebrate a variety of ceremonies and events. As Mysore Dussehra is a grand spectacle of the 10-day stunning extravagance of Mysore; Ugadi denotes the New Year in Karnataka when people wear new and traditional clothes and prepare a special dish called Ugadi Pachadi; Kambala festival celebrated by the farming community brings the buffalo race scene of Kantara movie is one of the major attractions and fair as Hampi Utsav is one of the most outstanding as ruins leap back to life and bring people together to celebrate. The festivals in Karnataka are fun to experience the vibrant colour of folk dance, drama, fireworks, puppet shows and spectacular parades.
Local Cuisines to Try
The journey of Karnataka is incomplete without the mention of its delicious dishes. The flavour changes in its diverse regions with their unique foods. The Coastal region serves a mouth dipping seafood, the Western Ghats is where you will taste the best meat curries, and Northern Karnataka is mainly about vegetarian food with much spicier curries. Karnataka provides a variety of the mildest cuisines in India as Mysore Dossa, Mysore-Pak, Coorg Pandi Curry, Mangalorean Biryani, Mangalorean Soda Paani, Kane Rava Fry- the names of a few popular dishes. Filter Coffee, Aloo Bondas and Chiroti are a few widespread snacks in Karnataka.