Explore 3 Attractions with Karnataka Tour Packages

Karnataka, located in the Southwestern region of India, is popular among tourists for majestic temples and lavish structures. Soaked in traditions, the state is dotted with numerous attractions like Mysore Palace, Karanji Lake and Chennakesava Temple. People looking forward to visit these places can book various Karnataka tour packages offered by online travel agencies (OTAs). These packages often cover all the prominent attractions that can be explored during their visit to this state, and here is a list of popular ones that are often included in it.

Cubbon Park

Cubbon Park

Situated in the city of Bengaluru, Cubbon Park is one of the most popular tourist attractions that one should not miss while enjoying Karnataka holidays. It has been named after Sir Mark Cubbon – the erstwhile Viceroy of India. The park is a home to about 6000 species of trees and plants, including cassia fistula, Schinus molle and rare species like Delonix and Grevillea Robusta. Travellers can see a large number of government buildings in this park like the government museum, public library and the high court.

One of the worth exploring structures here is Attara Kacheri, which is built in stones and exhibits the Gothic architectural style. It is a two-storey building, situated at the entrance of the park. The State Archaeological Museum comprises antique items, such as old coins and inscriptions, belonging to the Mohenjodaro Period. There is also a toy train that is operated for the amusement of children. Travellers looking for peace can spend some quality time in this park.

Mysore Palace

Mysore Palace

People on Karnataka tours can visit Mysore Palace, located in the heart of the Mysore city. It is a three-storey building with domes of pink colour marble. The Doll Pavilion at the entrance of museum displays antique items made of silver, gold, ivory and marble from all over the world. The Royal Marriage Hall behind this court is the most attractive portion of this palace, followed by a huge open-air court. Travellers can see details of the festivals and ceremonies of the bygone era depicted in the oil paintings that are hung on the walls of the corridors of this palace.

Badami Cave Temples

Badami Temple

With Karnataka tour packages, tourists can explore the Badami Cave Temples, situated between the two rocky hills. It is a complex structure consisting of four cave temples carved out of the soft Badami red sandstone out of a cliff. Built in the Dravidian and Nagara styles of architecture, these caves feature inscriptions in old Kannada script. The first three caves are the Hindu temples, and the fourth cave belongs to the Buddhist faith. The first cave of the temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, and features the idol of his incarnation of Nataraja. The entrance of the cave is decorated with different images of Shiva in dance postures. Its ceilings feature the images of Shiva and Parvati and his serpent.

Dedicated to Vishnu, the second cave of the temple is on the top of a sandstone hill, is portrayed as a dwarf and boar. The third cave of the biggest of all the caves. Highlighting the Deccani art, it throws light on the culture and art of the 6th century that includes jewellery costumes. The fourth cave belongs to Jain, and consists of the carvings of Padmavathi and Tirthankaras.

Holidaymakers can explore these three attractions with Karnataka tour packages.

The Mythical Stories Behind the Hampi Ruins

Hampi is a UNESCO World Heritage Site famous worldwide for its ruins. In the medieval times, Hampi was the capital of Vijayanagar kingdom but the history of its existence predates the Vijayanagar Empire. There are many things about this forgotten city which attract tourists to this place. Once here, you would find that there are structures of civilian, military and religious importance. Also striking is the boulder-ridden topography of the region which archaeologists believe to be one of the oldest exposed surfaces of earth. It looks almost unbelievable when one sees these heavy boulders lain one over the other with full stability. Quite a few mythological tales are also associated with Hampi which give it its religious character. This article is to bring to light these mythical tales about Hampi.

The Lord Shiva Connection

Hampi is said to bear the name of Pampakshretra which is derived from Pampa, a devotee of Lord Shiva who married him afterwards. After the marriage, there was a shower of gold from sky which is now in the form of a hill called Hemkunta Hill. Virupaksha temple is devoted to Lord Shiva and its literal meaning is ‘one with oblique eye’.  There is also the Pampa sarovar where Pampa did penance before marrying Lord Shiva.

The Ramayana Connection

This place is also associated with the mythical Ramayana as the Kingdom of Monkeys, Kishkindha, is believed to be the region around Hampi. Anjayaneya Hill is believed to be the birth place of Lord Hanuman. When Ravana was taking Sita along, Sita dropped her jewels her. Also, Ram and Laxman are believed to have taken shelter at nearby Malyavanta Hill when it began to rain while laying the stone bridge to Lanka. That the place might have been a part of Ramayana myth is also testified by the fact that the ruins have more icons of Hanuman than of any other deity. The Rishimukh hill is the place where Hanuman had met Ram and Laxman.

The Mahabharata Connection

The place is also related to the mythology of Mahabharata. It is the place where Bhima meets Lord Hanuman while on way to bring the magnificent Saugandhika flower from Gandhamadana Hill for Draupadi. Hanuman asks Bhima to lift his tail from his way and keep it aside. But, Bhima is not able to do it despite best efforts.

Bheema Killing Keechka

Bheema Killing Keechka

Another episode of Mahabharata which is depicted on the rock relics of this place is that of Bhima killing Keechaka, the brother-in-law of ruler of Virata, during the period of their secret exile.

Hampi Boulders

Hampi Boulders

There is also a mythical story associated with boulders. These are said to have been lain so during the course of intense fight between Sugriva and Bali in which these were thrown at one another. Another reason for the presence of these boulders is that these were compiled here for the purpose of laying the Lanka water bridge.

These are some of the interesting tales which you would often get to hear during the Karnataka tour to this religiously important place.

The Splendour of Flower Show at Lal Bagh Botanical Garden

The state of Karnataka lies in the south-west region of India and is among the largest states of the country in terms of land area. This place is surrounded by Arabian and Lakshadweep Sea at west, Andhra Pradesh at east, Maharashtra at north and Tamilnadu at south-west. The region has been under the dominance of some of the most influential kingdoms of the nation, such as Hoysala, Vijayanagra and Chalukya empires. Recent past saw parts of Karnataka being ruled by Nizams of Hyderabad and then the British. Each of these kingdoms left an influence in the architecture, cuisine, culture and tradition of the state and the same can still be witnessed in the area. Tourists on Karnataka holidays can get a deep insight about the rich legacy of the state by visiting few historically significant sites of the region. These attractions are spread across the state and receive a substantial amount of travelers each year.

Botanical Garden

Lal Bagh Botanical Garden

Lal Bagh Botanical Garden

Lal Bagh Botanical Garden is a prominent tourist attraction in the southern region of Bangalore. The place is famous for housing numerous floral species that are endemic as well as exotic. Initially, it was developed as a 40-acre private garden by the king of old Mysore, Hyder Ali in 1760, and later expansion was carried out by his son – Tipu Sultan and Britishers during their rule. This location was entitled the Government Botanical Garden during mid- 18th century, and since then it has been among the most significant horticulture centres of India.

The place comprises well-laid pathways, open spaces and a glass house that is considered the jewel of the garden. This structure was constructed in 1889 to commemorate Prince of Wales, during his visit to the region.

Inside of Lal Bagh Botanical Garden

Inside of Lal Bagh Botanical Garden

The layout of this complex is derived from the Crystal Palace, which is located in England. It was built with an intention to acclimatise several exotic plant species that were assembled from various parts of the world. At present, this glass complex is the venue of bi-annual flower show, which is held on the Republic Day and Independence Day.

Image of Flower Show, 2013

Image of Flower Show, 2013

There are a few places of interest inside Lal Bagh that can be explored by tourists. Some of these are the statue of Sri Chamaraja Wodeyar, deer paddock, pigeon house, aviary, aquarium building and Kempegowda Tower. This garden is under the supervision of Directorate of Horticulture, Karnataka Government. It regularly conducts several educational seminars and conferences, where discussions over the economical, ornamental and environmental values of plants are held. This location remains open throughout the year and its entry timings are from 6 am to 7 pm.

The garden along with all its significant buildings can be accessed through four gates, and this destination can be easily reached from any part of the city. Holidaymakers on Bangalore vacation can opt for local means of transportation to reach the spot, after de-boarding their respective flights or trains. It is advisable to plan for a sojourn to this location during the flower show, when the entire garden is infused with the sweet fragrance of various kinds of flowers.

Go for Some Fun at the Waterfront during Karnataka Holidays

Karnataka has a vibrant heritage, with a myriad of cultures of India. This part of Indian sub-continent is a habitat to different ethnicities, including Tuluvas, Kodavas, Konkanis, Kannadigas and various tribal sects that have lent multiple hues to its cultural lifestyle. This area also houses the biggest Tibetan settlement of South India (called Bylakuppe)and people residing over here practice religious beliefs of Islam, Hinduism and Jainism. Being home to religions like Buddhism, Christianity and Sikhism, this region has become a melting pot of cultures. The cultural blend has left an indelible imprint on the different art forms like drama, theatre, poetry, architecture, dance and handicrafts. The most famous and one of the ancient art forms of this region is Yakshagana, the soul of Karnataka. Yakshagana or celestial song is a unique mix of music, dance and literature. The main highlight of this type of traditional theatre is the extempore dialogue delivery. Karnataka holidays are not just about its art and culture but also religious pilgrimage, sparkling falls, rolling hills, splendid palaces, wildlife sanctuaries, magnificent forts and beautiful beaches.

Holidaying at the Beachfront

Malpe Beach

Malpe Beach

This state has some well-known beaches at Malpe, Karwar, Suratkal, Gokarna, St. Mary Island, Marawanthe, Murudeshwar and Kaup, where travellers can enjoy a lot. While Malpe is a prime fishing centre, it is also famous for beach holidays. Adorned by the swaying palm trees, its vast stretches of sand seem to touch the azure sky at the horizon painting a scenic picture. The endless coastline sets the backdrop for an idyllic vacation. Some of the attractions at this beachside include Balarama Temple and Darya Bahadurgarh Island.

Local Attractions

Located nearby is St. Mary Island in the Arabian Sea. This piece of island houses a cross that was brought by Vasco Da Gama, when he came here in 1498. This coast is also known for its rock salt formations due to which this island earned the title of being a National Geological Monument.

St. Mary Island

St. Mary Island

If holidaymakers go towards the seaside at Kaup, they can view the famous temples dedicated to Goddess Mariamma and the ruins of Jain basadis (monasteries). Another waterfront at Suratkal offers a beautiful view of the sea and leads a way to the Lighthouse and Sadashiva Temple.

Fun at Gokarna

A renowned hotspot in Karnataka is Gokarna that seems like a dream destination due to its unexplored coves, jagged cliffs, serene beaches, wonderful sunsets and exquisite temples. A remarkable thing to notice about this place are its five beaches – Paradise, Kudle, Half-Moon, Om and Gokarna that offer a splendid sight of the sea and are separated by cliffs from each other.

Gokarna

Gokarna

Here, vacationers can indulge into several activities at the seashore like enjoying a boat ride to spot dolphins in the seawaters or surfing, getting sun-tanned or walking along the shore. There are facilities for many activities available at the shoreline including jet-skiing, banana boat rides and fishing. If holidaymakers are looking for spending some time with their family at this dream destination, then they must make all their bookings in advance for a hassle-free holiday.