Andhra Pradesh in the East, Maharashtra in the north and Tamil Nadu and Kerala in the south bound Karnataka, “The Lofty Land”. A long coastline hedged by miles and miles of tall waving palmgroves frames this pretty land. Karnataka, the "Lofty land" is bounded by Andhra Pradesh in the east, Maharashtra in the north and Tamil Nadu and Kerala in the south. A long coastline hedged by miles and miles of tall, waving, palmgroves frames this pretty land. The majority of the state lies on the Deccan Plateau Bangalore is the state capital. Karnataka boasts a diverse flora and fauna, which make it a nature tourist's paradise. The state's long and colourful history, and the many forts, temples, mosques, and churches make it a great place to explore. Garden city Bangalore, Jog Falls, the beaches of Karwar and Malpe, Golgumbuz in Bijapur, the stone temples of Belur and Halebid, Mysore Palace, the list is endless. Capital: Bangalore, the capital goes by many names -- the Garden City of India, India's Manhattan and Silicon Valley. One of the most industrialized cities of the country, its pleasant climate makes it the seat of much commercial and cultural enterprise. Rich in Sandalwood, Rosewood and Silk, it has a lot to offer than a day or two of sight seeing. Founded by the local Chieftain Kempe Gowda in sixteenth century, Bangalore came into its own after it was converted into the summer capital of Mysore by Tipu Sultan. The Wodeyars also contributed in the city's beautification. Bangalore is undoubtedly the trump card of Karnataka. History: Karnataka's history takes us back to pre-historic times. The earliest find of the Stone Age period in India was a hand axe at Lingasugur in Raichur district. Chandra gupta Maurya, the great Indian emperor abdicated his throne to embrace Jainism at Shravanabelagola. In 1956, the Kannada-speaking areas were grouped along with the princely state of Mysore to form what we now call Karnataka in 1973. Karnataka has the imprint of many dynasties. Prominent among them was the Chalukyas, the Hoysalas and the mighty Vijayanagara Empire. Culture: Karnataka possesses a rich cultural heritage. The folk theatre has an ancient and rich tradition, the two principal forms being Yakshagana and the puppet theatre. 'Yakshagana' is akin to Kathakali of Kerala in the choice of its elaborate costumes and vigorous dancing. 'Bhootada Kunita' (Dance of the Divine Cult), 'Nagamandala' and the demon dance are some quaint rituals prevalent only in Dakshina Kannada coastal area. Sravanabelagola, near Mysore, has a giant 1,000-yr-old stone statue of Bahubali, the Jain saint. Huge monolithic Jain statues are peculiar to the Kannada culture. Occupation: While agriculture is the major occupation, the state boasts some of the most significant industrial growth in post independence India. Karnataka is as well known for its silk and sandalwood as for its high tech industry. Bangalore, among the fastest growing cities in Asia is home to many industries. The state is rich in mineral ore, and supplies all of India's gold. Other ores mined in the state include iron, chromate, magnetite, mica, copper, etc. The Caravan, Kali, and the Cauvery rivers have been harnessed for electric power. Handicrafts: Karnataka is famous for its aesthetic craftsmanship in sandalwood and rosewood. Eye-catching items of furniture, in-lay work, coffee tables, wall hangings etc. are worthwhile purchases.


Rich silks; wooden toys, leather puppets, Bidriware and other artefacts make ideal mementos.

Location: 32 Kms South West Of Thirathahalli, Karnataka Altitude: 826 m above sea level Attraction: Quiet and romantic sunsets Best Time To Visit: November to January A winding Ghat road and its spellbinding view ascends to an altitude of 826 m. Here lies Agumbe, situated around 32 km from Thirthahalli in Shimoga district. The site is noted for its alluring sunsets. Viewed from a platform the many hues of twilight and the setting sun are at their best during the months of November, December and January. PRIME ATTRACTIONS Shivalinga: 16 kms north west of Thirthahalli town and down the river Sharavathi is its holy source Ambutheertha, where a Shivalinga has been installed. Achakanya Falls: 4 kms away from the Shivalinga is the Achakanya Falls where river Sharavathi does a practice jump of 6.10 meters gearing herself for the jump further down at Jog. Mandagadee Bird Sanctuary: 32 kms northeast of Thirthahalli is the Mandagadee Natural Bird Sanctuary on the banks of the river Tunga. Between July and October, flocks of migratory birds take shelter on the leafless trees here and present a fascinating picture to visitors who can see them from high platform located conveniently close. Sunset View: Agumbe is well known for its enchanting views that it affords of the sunset. The highlight of this place is to experience the delightful sunset, which gets reflected from the Arabian Sea onto the horizon. Other places of interest include the Gopal Krishna Temple and the Observatory maintained by the Meteorological Survey of India. TRAVEL INFORMATION Road: state transport services and private taxis ply.

Location: 43 Kms From Kudala Sangama, Karnataka Famous as: Cradle Of Indian Temple Architecture Also Called As: Ayyavole, Aryapura Best Season: October to February Cradle Of Indian Architecture Located 43 Kms from Kudala Sangama, Aihole was the ancient capital of Chalukyas. Famous as the cradle of "Indian Architecture", Aihole has over a hundred temples scattered around the village. There are about 125 temples divided into 22 groups scattered all over the villages and nearby fields. Most of these temples were built between the 6th & 8th centuries and some even earlier. The Legend: The name Aihole has an interesting story behind it. According to one legend, Parashurama after avenging the murder of his father came to the Malaprabha and washed his axe here. The river is said to have turned red causing him to exclaim "ai, ai! Holi!" (Ah, the river!) PRIME ATTRACTIONS Lad Khan Temple: The oldest temple here is perhaps, the Lad Khan temple dating back to the 5th Century. Originally a royal assembly hall and marriage mandapa, a Muslim official converted it into his residence. On the roof of the main temple is another shrinelike vimana.

The Durga (Fort) Temple:It is notable for its semi-circular apse, elevated plinth and the gallery that encircles the sanctum. Fascinating carvings of Chamundi Devi trampling the buffalo demon; Narasimha, the 'half-man-half-lion god'; the Ardhanari, half man and half woman deity; Mahishasura Mardini and many more sculptures can be seen here. Hutchimalli Temple: The temple on the outskirts of the village has a sculpture of lord Vishnu sitting atop a large cobra. Ravalphadi Cave: Dedicated to Shiva, the cave is remarkable for its details. Dating back to 6th century, the cave celebrated the various forms of Shiva. Not-to-be-missed are the Konthi Temple Complex (Kwanthi Gudi), the Uma Maheswari Temple with a beautifully carved Brahma seated on a lotus, the austere Jain Meguti Temple and the two storeyed Buddhist Temple. HOW TO GET THERE Rail: The Nearest Railway station is Bagalkot. Road: Aihole is connected by road to: Pattadakal (17 kms), Badami (46 kms) Bangalore (438 kms). Local Transport: Cycle Rickshaws, Tongas, and City Bus Service.

Location: 427 kms from Bangalore, Karnataka Attractions: All Saints Church, Hanuman Temple Famous For: Delicious 'Pedas' Also Famous as: An Educational Center About 75 kms from Belgaum, is the District headquarters of Dharwad. Calm, peaceful with a picturesque beauty, this town still retains its old-world charm. Dotting the town is a number of beautiful churches and temples. Some of the churches not-to-be-missed are the All Saints Church, Basel Mission Church and the Roman Catholic Church. The temples of Hanuman, Dattatreya, Durgadevi, Dyamavva and Panduranga are also worth a visit. Dharwad is also a famous educational center. Its has two renowned universities, the Karnataka University and the University of Agricultural Sciences. A few kilometers away from Dharwad are Lakkundi, once an important center for religious training. This town also has exquisite temples in the Kalyani and Chalukyan Style. One of the most magnificent temples is that of Kashi Vishweshware dedicated to Lord Surya Narayana, the Sun god. MAJOR ATTRACTIONS Annigeri: An important political and cultural center of ancient times. Various kings like the Chalukyas, Yadavas and the Hoysalas annexed Annigeri. It once formed part of the kingdoms of the Kalachuris. Situated in Annigeri is the Amruteshwar Temple built in the Kalyani Chalukya style. This large, black stone temple has a roof supported by 76 pillars and carvings of mythological figures on its walls. Every year, during December-January, this temple is the venue of a festival that attracts many people. Apart from the temple, Annigeri also has temple dedicated to Banashankari, Basappa, Gajina Basappa and Hanuman. Bankapura: Situated at a distance of 20 kms from the railway station of Yalavigi on Poona-Bangalore line and 30 kms from Hubli, Bankapura has a fort, now in ruins and two ancient temples. Bankapura is named after Bakeyrasa, an officer of King Rashtra Kuta Amoghavarsha-I. The Ranganatha Nagareshwara Temple here has 60 pillars carved out of Grey stone. The magnificent temple has an exquisitely carved ceiling. The Sidheshwara Temple is another notable temple here. Dambala: Famous for its grape ands guavas, Dambala lies 75 kms from Dharwad. It boasts of many fine temples, the best being the Dodda Basappa Temple. Dedicated to

Lord Shiva, the Dodda Basappa Temple belongs to Kalyani Chalukya period. It is renowned for its multigonal stellar shape. It contains one of the most beautifully designed doorsteps that can be seen in any temple in western India. This doorstep is exquisitely engraved with festoons, rosettes and small marvelously carved pillars and walls. Also at Dambala was situated a Buddhist shrine dedicated to the Goddess Taradevi. Gadag: A famous center of Kalyani Chalukyan Art, Gadag is situated about 75 kms from Dharwad and houses the noted temples of Trikuteshwara, Vira Narayan and Someshwara. The large Trikuteshwara Temple has a principal shrine that consists of three lingas mounted on the same stone. Inside the temple one can see beautiful stone screens and little figures carved exquisitely. The Vira Narayan temple has a huge 'gopuram' built in the Vijayanagara style of architecture. Gudda Guddappara: Situated on a steep hill, the village of Gudda Guddappara is famous for a large fair held in November in honour of Malhari, an incarnation of Shiva who killed the demon, Malla. His temple is at the top of this hill. HOW TO GET THERE Air: The nearest Airport is Belgaum (100 kms) Rail: Hubli is the nearest railway junction. Road: Dharwad is connected by road to: Bangalore (427 kms.), Goa (140 kms.), Belgaum (140 kms.) Local Transport: Auto Rickshaws, Tongas, and Bus Service.

Location: 502 kms from Bangalore, Karnataka Attractions: The Kapileshwara Temple, Safa Masjid, and St Mary's Church Languages: Kannada, Hindi, and English Best Season: Throughout The Year The District Headquarters, Belgaum is a charming blend of the old and the new. Belgaum, ancient 'Venugrama' ('Bamboo village') is the district and divisional headquarters. It was the capital of the 'Rattas' who shifted to this place from Saundatti during the close of 12th century. This city lies in the border of the states of Maharashtra and Karnataka and the unique amalgam of the cultures of the two states is reflected in the lifestyles of the people living here. The city is famous for its sweets and milk products. PRIME ATTRACTIONS Fort: In the heart of Belgaum, is the Fort. At the entrance are two shrines, one devoted to Shri Ganapathi and another to goddess Durga. Inside the Fort is two 'bastis' built in the Late Chalukyan style. Of these, the more famous is the Kamala Basti, built in 1204 AD. To its right is a ruined Jain Temple. Jamia Masjid: Co-existing harmoniously are two ancient mosques - the Safa Masjid and the Jamia Masjid.Near the 16th century Jamia Masjid is a Dargah of Khanjar Wali. Kapileshwar Temple: Considered to be the oldest temple in Belgaum, The Kapileshwara Temple is worth a visit. Other temples worth visiting are the Anathashayana Temple, the Maruti Temple and the temples of Shiva, Vithoba, Dyamavva and Military Mahadeva. St Mary's Church: The imposing gothic stone structure was built in 1869 AD. Light filters through the gorgeous stained glass windows and doors to enhance the fine biblical drawings on the wall. Belgaum has quite a few very impressive churches such as St. Xaviers Church, St. Anthony's Church, the Cathedral of Our Lady and the Methodist Church.


Gokak Falls: Gokak Falls is 60 kms from Belgaum & 5 kms from Gokak town. The Ghataprabha River takes a leap over a rocky bed 170 feet down. The best season for visiting these falls is between June & September. HOW TO GET THERE Air: Belgaum has an airport. Rail: Belgaum is connected by rail to Bangalore (via Londa), Bombay (via Miraj) Vasco da Gama. Road: Belgaum is connected by road to Bangalore (502 kms.), Saudatti (70 kms.), Bombay (550 kms.) Halshi (36 kms.) Panaji, Goa (125 kms.) Kittur (44 kms.) Hubli (82 kms) Bijapur (205 kms.) Gokak (60 kms.) Badami (160 kms.) Karwar (167 kms.). Local Transport: Auto Rickshaws, Taxis, and City Bus Service. GENERAL INFORMATION Climate: Pleasant throughout the year. Winters are very cold. Population: 453,000. Famous Sweet Dish: Kunda.

Location: 34 kms from Hassan, Karnataka Famous as: Dakshina Varanasi Main attractions: Chennakesava Temple Built By: Vishnuvardhan in 1117 AD Southern Banaras Belur, the temple town is located 34 kms from Hassan. Famous for its exquisite temple, Belur is known as the Dakshina Varanasi or Southern Banaras. The serenity of Belur is attributed to the celebrated Chennakesava Temple built by the Hoysala King Vishnuvardhana in 1117 A.D to commemorate his conversion from Jainism to Vaishnavism. The main structure of the temple, which is star-shaped, is a homogenous architectural unit on a raised platform. Inside, even in the darkness, you can see the hand-lathe turned shining pillars, each unique in its own splendor. PRIME ATTRACTIONS Chennakesava Temple: The ornamental gopuram of the Chennakesava Temple appears unexpectedly surround a bend. Hawkers sell antique jewelry. In a corner of the vast courtyard are tossed a golden horse and a temple chariot. The winged figure of Garuda, Lord Vishnu's carrier, stands at the entrance, facing the temple palms touching in homage. Everything is carved in a gleaming, polished black stone, which looks like metal. The breathtaking temple reigns on a star-shaped pedestal. Every possible surface is covered with the most perfectly proportioned figures. Pillars: Inside, in the startling darkness gleam the beautiful handlathe-turned rounded pillars, each unique in its filigreed splendor. The Narasimha Pillar once revolved on its ball bearings. A small space has been left on it to be sculpted by anyone who has the talent. It remains untouched. Madanikas (Bracket Figures): The four famous bracket figures on the ornate ceiling have been inspired by Shantala Devi's voluptuous beauty. One sculptured beauty communicates with a pet parrot whose tail is peacock-like while another wrings water from her long hair and one can see the drops collected on hair-ends. The 650 elephants charging on the frieze around the walls outside are all different from each other. The 38 Bracket figures on the walls are beautiful, pensive, playful and amorous women, lifting the temple to unprecedented heights of excellence. Shantala Devi: On the smooth circular platform in front of the shrine, stands the sculpture of the beautiful Shantala Devi, queen of King Vishnuvardhana. The jewellery is hollow and movable.

The delicacy and attention to the tiniest details here are incredible. Each feature, bangle, strand of hair is carved with care. HOW TO GET THERE Air: Bangalore is the nearest airport. Rail: Hassan is the nearest railhead. Road: The place is connected with Hassan (34 kms), Mysore (149 kms), Bangalore (222 kms).

Location: 136 kms from Hyderabad, Karnataka Attractions: Solah Khamba Masjid, Gagan Mahal Best Season: September To February Languages: Kannada, Hindi, and English In the northern-most part of Karnataka lies Bidar - a tiny district steeped in history. As you enter the town, the Bidar Fort welcomes you with five darwazas (gates) that lead into a little town nestling within the ramparts. Enter from the Gumbaz Darwaza and steps lead you to the Rangin Mahal. The royal residence has elaborately carved wooden pillars, Persian couplets engraved in encaustic tiles and exquisite mother - of - pearl in lay work. The Solah Khamba Masjid is the oldest Muslim building in Bidar and one of the largest in India. Not to be missed are the Gagan Mahal, the Diwan-E-Am where the fabulous turquoise throne once rested, the Takht Mahal, the Royal Pavilions, the Hazar Kothari, the Nubat Khana and the Bahamani Tombs at Asthur PRIME ATTRACTIONS Inner Fort: Still in good condition, the present structure appears to be the work Muhammad Shah Bahamani and Ali Barid. The latter was responsible for mounting the many canons and guns on the battlements. The fort has five gates with imposing bastions and each has peculiar attraction of its own. Shara Darwaza: The old drawbridge was the first gateway and that having filled up, the Shara Darwaza gateway was constructed. The outside walls have encaustic tile work. The upper rooms in this gateway served as a 'Naqqar Khana', the room housing drums and trumpets. The figures of tigers on either side of the entrance are common in Deccan forts and probably signify the Shia belief that these represented Ali and hence the fort would be free from attack. Gumbaz Darwaza: The next doorway is typical of the contemporary Tughlaq Architecture seen in Delhi, though traces of Persian influence can also be seen. This was probably built by 1420 AD, by Ahmad Shah Wali. The triple moat can be seen to the right of the road leading into the somber doorway. The Royal Bath & Kitchen: The 'shahi matbaks' are the buildings close to the big banyan tree and in an earlier period must have been the palace of a noble. These were also the royal kitchens. 'Shahi Hamaam' as it was called, is now the local museum wherein some remarkable images of the Hindu period, rare old china used in the royal households, besides hollow cannon-balls filled with iron pieces can be seen. Right in the heart of Bidar town stands the Chaubara a 71-foot tower. You can have a splendid view from the top of the Chaubara. Nanak Jhera: The famous Nanak Jhera - the largest Sikh temple at least in Karnataka, carries the tale that Guru Nanak - the first guru of the Sikhs visited this place and got rid of the scarcity of drinking water in the region. A popular spot is the Sikh temple, Guru Nanak Jhera, where fresh crystal clear spring water appears from nowhere.

Rangin Mahal: The colourful palace near the Gumbaz Darwaza is famous for its woodwork and the mother-of-pearl inlay work. The outer hall was for the purpose of giving audience and the wooden pillars are elaborately carved. Solah Khamba Masjid: Prince Muhammad built the sixteen-column prayer hall in 1423 AD even prior to the shifting of the capital to Bidar by the Bahamanis. This is the oldest Muslim building in Bidar and among the largest in India. Takht Mahal: The ruins of the royal palace point to the architectural exuberance. The lowlands and the western fortifications afford a splendid view of the palace. Gagan Mahal: This is an earlier palace of the Dakamanis and is reaches from behind the Masjid. The entrance to the outer court has a four-centered arch reminding one of the Tudor architecture. Tarakash Mahal: These are pile of ruins adjoining the Masjid and originally consisted of the apartments of the female members of the royal household. The ladies occupied the upper apartments while the lower portions housed the guards and the storerooms. Madarasa of Muhammad Gawan: It is another important building in Bidar. This university was once a renowned center of learning, attracting scholars from all over the Muslim world. The rock temple at Narasimha Zarni is also worth a visit. Situated in a big cave, the temple is carved into the plateau and to approach the deity, you'll have to wad through water. Basavakalyan: The ancient town of Basavakalyana - 80 Kms away, embracing a large area "surpassed in beauty and splendour all other cities in the world." It became a seat of learning and an abode of spiritual wisdom. Even today Basavakalyan is remembered for the saints who made this city their home Basaveshwara, Akka - mahadevi, Channabasavanna and Siddharama. HOW TO GET THERE Air: The nearest airport is Hyderabad. Rail: Bidar is connected by rail with Bangalore, Bombay and Hyderabad Road: Bidar is connected by road to: Hyderabad (136 kms) Bangalore (669 kms) Bijapur (246 kms) Gulbarga (110 kms) Basavakalyana (73 kms) KSRTC Buses ply from Bidar to Bangalore, Bijapur, Gulbarga, Raichur and Sholapur. Local Transport: Auto Rickshaws, Taxis, and City Bus Service.

Location: 81 kms from Bangalore, Karnataka Known For: Gol Gumbaz Other Attractions: Malik-e-Maidan, The Ara-killa Best Season: September To February QUEEN OF DECCAN: The ancient town of Bijapur, dotted with mosques, mausoleums, palaces and fortifications, was the capital of the Adil Shahi Dynasty. Once the capital of the Adil Shahis, it was a city that "exceeded anything of its kind in Europe". Even today, it retains its dignity and royal grandeur. Still strongly Muslim in character, Bijapur has many places of historical, cultural and architectural interest. Even though Aurangazeb damaged many of the structures, Bijapur remains a must-see town. PRIME ATTRACTIONS Gol-Gumbaz: The tomb of Mohammed Adil Shah, the seventh ruler of the Adil Shahi dynasty, Gol Gumbaz boasts of the second largest dome in the world. Malik-e-Maidan: 'Malik-e-Maidan' meaning the 'lord of the battlefield' is the largest medieval cannon in the world, fourteen feet long and weighing about 55 tons. Perched on a platform especially built for it, the cannon's nozzle is fashioned into the shape of a lion's head. In 1854 AD, the cannon was auctioned for Rs. 150 but the sale was cancelled in the end.

Jumma Masjid: Jumma Masjid, one of the main attractions of the city has been called one of the first mosques in India. Still used for worship, it holds an exquisite copy of the Quran, written in gold. Also dating back to the period of Adil Shah, this is the largest Masjid in the region. Ibrahim Roza: On the western outskirts of the city lies the mausoleum of lbrahim Adil Shah II- Ibrahim Roza, said to have inspired the Taj Mahal in Agra. Embracing 1,16,300 square feet is the Jamma Masjid - "one of the finest mosques in India". The Ibrahim Roza is a beautiful tomb with artistically laid out corridors and interconnecting buildings with richly decorated walls and perforated stone windows. At the center of the town are large arches signifying the forts and its beauty in moonlight. Anand Mahal: Adil Shah II built the palace of delights in 1589 AD. The two-storeyed building, which once housed the ladies of the palace, has in its precincts today, a Gymkhana Club, an Inspection Bungalow, several offices and the residential quarters of the Assistant Commissioner. Mehtar Mahal: Supposed to have been built by a sweeper, it is the ornamental gateway leading to a mosque and a garden. Meaning the 'Sweeper's Palace', this gateway has a flat stone roof supported by stone brackets of delicately carved birds and rows of swans. Asar Mahal: to the east of the citadel, Mohammed Adil Shah in built the Asar Mahal about 1646AD to serve as a Hall of Justice. The rooms on the upper storey are profusely decorated with frescoes, many of them using foliage and flower motifs, some portraying male and female figures in various poses. The front of the building is graced with a square tank still fed by conduits from Begum Tank. Women are not allowed inside the main structure. Aihole: 110 kms away from Bijapur. Famous as the 'Cradle of Indian Temple Architecture', Aihole has over 125 temples, all intricately carved and rich in detail. The Hutchmalli Temple, the Ravalphadi Cave Temple, The Konti Temple Complex, The Uma Maheshwari Temple, The Jain Meguthi Temple and the two-storeyed Buddhist Temple are the other attractions at Aihole. Pattadakal: 134 kms from Bijapur. A world Heritage Center, Pattadakal has 10 major temples representing early Chalukyan architecture. The biggest temple dedicated to Virupaksheshvara has a huge gateway and several inscriptions. In front of the temple is a majestic 2.6-m high statue of Nandi. The Mallikarjuna and Papanatha Temples, and the Jain Temple from the Papanatha Temples and the Jain Temple from the Rashtrakuta period are well worth visit. Kudala Sangama: It is a tiny hamlet overlooking the sacred confluence of the rivers Malaprabha and Krishna. On the riverbank, stands the renowned temple of Sangameshwar. Built in the Chalukyan style, this temple has a porch, a 'Navaranga' and the main shrine containing the famed linga, Sangamanatha. It is in these surroundings that Basaveshvara is believed to have become one with god. Badami: 120 kms from Bijapur. Picturesquely situated at the mouth of a ravine between two rocky hills, Badami was the capital of the early Chalukyas. It has four rock-cut cave temples, the largest being the third cave dedicated to Vishnu. The Bhutanatha Temples and the Museum set up by the Archaeological Survey of India are the other attractions. Basavana Bagewadi: 43 kms from Bijapur. Basavana Bagewadi is a quaint town famous as the birthplace of Saint Basaveshwara. There are several important temples here.


HOW TO GET THERE Air: The nearest airport is Belgaum (205 kms.). Rail: Bijapur is connected by rail to Bangalore, Bombay, (via Sholapur), Hospet (via Gadag) and Vasco da Gama (via Hubli and Londa). Road: Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation buses ply from Bijapur to Badami, Bangalore, Belgaum, Hubli and Sholapur. Bijapur is connected by road to: Aihole (129 kms) Bombay (486 kms.) Badami (132 kms) Hampi (254 kms.) Bangalore (81 kms.) Pattadakal (148 kms.) Belgaum (205 kms). Local Transport: Auto Rickshaws, Cycle Rickshaws / Tongas, City Bus Service. GENERAL INFORMATION Population: 217,500. Languages: Kannada, Hindi. Local Food Specialties: Mughalai or Hyderabadi Non - vegetarian preparations. Main Festival: The Bijapur Music Festival - featuring the stalwarts of Indian music - is organized by the Government of Karnataka every year in January / February.

Location: 132 kms from Bijapur, Karnataka Known For: Its Cave Temples Best Season: October To February Historical Significance: The Capital City of Chalukya Dynasty The capital of the Early Chalukyas, Badami is picturesquely situated at the mouth of a ravine between two rocky hills, Badami is famous for its cave temples - all hewn out of sand stone on the precipice of a hill. The largest and most ornamental is the third cave temple dedicated to Vishnu. Overlooking the cave temples is a reservoir dotted with temples dedicated to Vishnu and Shiva. Also a must are the Bhutanath temples that lend their name to the lake beneath the cave temples. PRIME ATTRACTIONS Archaeological Museum: Nearby is the museum set up by the archaeological survey of India. It houses superb examples of local sculptures, including the remarkable Lajja-Gauri images of fertility cult, which flourished in the era. A visit to the museum is sure to be a rewarding experience. Jain Temple: A little east of the shrine, on top of this cliff is a Jain temple. Here one can find many Jain temples and a huge figure of Parswanatha. Nataraja: The first cave temple, past Shiva's doorkeepers. Here one can see the eighteen-armed Nataraja striking 81 dances poses. Vishnu: The largest and the most ornamental are the third cave temple dedicated to Vishnu. Here are some splendid carvings of the Hindu pantheon, such as Narasimha, the half-man-half-god lion incarnation of Vishnu, Harihara, the composite god who is half Shiva and half Vishnu and Vishnu, Narayana sitting as well as reclining on the snake 'Shesh' or 'Anantha' (eternity). There are also some paintings on the ceiling and wonderful bracket figures on the piers. Cave Temple: Overlooking the cave temples is a reservoir dotted with temples dedicated to Vishnu and Shiva. Also a must are the Bhutanatha temples that lend their name to the lake just beneath the cave temples. Lake: A dip in the tranquil waters of this lake is said to cure leprosy as the water of the lake is said to have healing properties. HOW TO GET THERE Air: The nearest airport is Belgaum (150 kms).

Rail: Badami is on the Hubli - Sholapur rails route. Road: Badami is connected by road to: Hubli (128 kms) Bijapur (132 kms.) Local Transport: Cycle Rickshaws, Tongas, and City Bus Service. GENERAL INFORMATION Population: 18,200 Main Languages: Kannada, Hindi, and English.

Location: 251 Kms From Bangalore, Karnataka Literal Meaning: Younger Daughter's Town Main attractions: Khandya, Inam Dattatreya Peetha Excursions: Sringeri, Amrithapura. Younger Daughter's Town: The district takes its name from the head quarter’s town of Chikmaglur, which literally means 'Younger Daughter's Town'. It is said to have been given as a dowry to the younger daughter of Rukmangada, the legendary chief of Sakrepatna. Another part of the town bestowed on the elder daughter is known as the Hiremaglur. But some old inscriptions reveal that these two places were known as Kiriya-Magalu and Priya Magalu. Situated in a fertile valley south of the Baba Budan Range in the head quarter’s town of the district, Chikmaglur is a center of education, trade and commerce. The town enjoys a salubrious climate and has venerated monuments of all religions such as Kondadarama Temple, a synthesis of Hoysala and Dravidian styles of architecture, Jamia Mosque and the new St. Joseph's Cathedral with an attractive shell-shaped portico. Hiremaglur, which is now part of Chikmaglur town, has an Ishwara Temple with a 1.22-m high curious rotund figure of Jademuni. The temple is supposed to have been installed by king Janamejaya during his serpent sacrifice. PRIME ATTRACTIONS Khandya: 43 kms to the north west of Chikmaglur town is one of the 'panchakshetras' (five sacred places) situated on the banks of river Bhadra. Inam Dattatreya Peetha: Situated on the Baba Budan Giri is the Inam Dattatreya Peetha venerated by the Hindus and the Muslims alike. A laterite cave here is believed to have been sanctified by the residence of Dattatreya Swami as well as Hazrat Dada Hayat Mir Khalander. A fakir and the annual ‘jatra’ conduct the worship here or both Hindus and Muslims attend ‘urs’ with great fervour. Balehonnur: 45 kms to the north west of Chikmaglur is another celebrated pontifical seat of the district, the Shrimad Jagadguru Rambhapuri Veersimhasana Mahasamsthana Peetha. This matha with mythical connections to Rambha, the celestial dancer as also to the giant Rambhasura, is one of the five great 'panchacharya mathas'. The Veerabhadra Temple attached to the 'matha' has sturdy metallic images of Veerbhadra and Bhadrakali. Belavadi: 25 kms south east of Chikmaglur town and just 10 kms from the Hoysala capital of Halebid is Belavadi, a place in the district with historical associations. This ancient village is dotted with temples and shrines, the most outstanding being the Veeranarayan Temple, a fine specimen of Hoysala architecture. Marle: 12 kms from Chikmaglur, Marle is a place of antiquity noted for its temples, chief amongst them being the Chennakesava Temple dating back to 1150 AD. Sringeri: 90 kms north west of town, on the banks of river Tunga, is a city with epic associations. The place has been named after Rishyashringa who figures in the Ramayana as the chief priest at the great sacrifice of king Dasharatha.

Widely known for the Jagadguru Shankaracharya Matha of the Adwaita School of Philosophy, Sringeri also has an ancient temple of Vidyashankara. Kemmannagundi: 55 kms north from Chikmaglur town on the Baba Budan Range is the scenic hill station of Kemmannugundi called K.R.Hills. Amrithapura: 67 kms north of Chikmaglur, Amrithapura is known for the splendid Amriteshwar temple built in 1196 AD by Amriteshwar Dandanayaka, a general of the Hoysala ruler Ballala II, delicacy of touch, originality of design and fine features have made this temple one of the notable structures of Hoysala period. Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary: The district with dense tropical evergreen forests interspersed with lush green grassy slopes is endowed with a rich and varied fauna abundantly seen at the Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary. Kudremukh: 95 kms south west of Chikmaglur is the secluded hill station of Kudremukh. Situated 1894 m above sea level, the hills overlook the Arabian Sea and are chained to each other with deep valleys and precipices. HOW TO GET THERE Air: The nearest airport is Mangalore (170 kms). Rail: Chikmaglur is connected to Bangalore, Hassan and Mangalore by train. Road: The place is well connected by good motorable roads to the neighbouring cities

Location: North Circuit, Karnataka Prime Attractions: Fort Of Seven Rounds, Harihar Excursions: Nayakana Hatti, Jogimatti Also Known as: Kallina Kote or The Palace of Stones Chitradurga is surrounded with bold rocky hills and picturesque valleys with huge towering boulders in unimaginable shapes. A unique haven for tourists, this place is also known as the 'Place of Stones' (Kallina Kote). The landscape resembles a mischievous giant's playground with boulders thrown around forming awesome silhouettes against the sky. The Legend: According to a story in the Mahabharata, a man-eating giant named Hidimbasura lived here on the Chitradurga hill. He was a source of terror to everyone around. The Pandavas came here with their mother Kunti in the course of their exile and Bhima had a duel with Hidimba, who was slayed by Bhima and peace returned to the area. These among boulders could well be part of the arsenal used during that duel. Seriously though, these boulders and a major part of what this city rests on belong to the oldest rock formations in the country. Rich in mineral deposits, Chitradurga has the distinction of having had opencaster copper mines at Ingaldhal too. PRIME ATTRACTIONS Fort of Seven Rounds: This impregnable fortress, with fascinating bastions and battlements, came under the rule of rulers as diverse as the Nayak Paleyagars and Hyder Ali. This strategically placed town, believed to have been named after the Fort of Seven Rounds (of walls) was ideal from the military point of view. Harihar: Harihar is an ancient town situated on the right bank of the great Tungabhadra River. A dip into the cool waters here are said to absolve one of all the sins, as the town is known for the association that this river has with Lord Vishnu. Built in the Hoysala style in 1223 AD, the image of Harihara stands 4 feet tall with its left portion representing Lord Vishnu and the right representing lord Shiva. The high standard of the Hoysala architecture is evident in the microscopic Goddess Lakshmi represented on the lintel of the doorway.


Hidimbeshwara Temple: The Hidimbeshwara temple is the oldest one on the hill. The other temples in the hill fort are those of Ekanathamma, Phalguneshwara, Gopalakrishna, Anjaneya, Subbaraya and the Siddeswara. A huge kettledrum, in one of the temples, 6 feet in height and 10 feet in circumference is said to be Bhima's. Goddess Uchchangtamma: There is a shrine dedicated to the patron goddess of the Paleyagars, Goddess Uchchangtamma. They built this impressive two storeyed building with its unique swing arch and tall lamppillar. It also happens to be the largest temple in the town. Archaeological Museum: The Archaeological Museum has a good collection of the remnants of the historic wars, coins and manuscripts. Jogimatti: On the way to Jogimatti, which is one of the highest points in this area, there is the spellbinding Himavat Kedaya waterfall. The Murugharajendra Matha and the fascinating Ankli Matha should not be missed. Muragi Shantaveera Swami an eminent guru of the Lingayats founded the former. The Ankli Matha is on a hillock across the cool Chandravalli valley. Nayakana Hatti: This place is famous for the celebrated tomb and a temple dedicated to great saint Tippe Rudraswamy who is said to have lived about 250 years ago. He was the spiritual preceptor of the Hatti Paleyagars. It is about 35 kms from Chitradurga and 2 kms from Challakere. HOW TO GET THERE Air: There is no direct air connection. Rail: Chitradurga is connected to neighbouring areas by rail. Road: The city has a well-developed network of road transport.

The City Of Baked Beans
Location: Karnataka. Significance: Capital Of Karnataka. Founded by: Kempe Gowda. Language Spoken: Hindi, Kannada, and English. The capital city of Karnataka, Bangalore, the fifth largest city in India, is the perfect blend of natural beauty and man-made marvels of architecture and technology. Blessed with a salubrious climate and dotted with beautiful parks, its tree-lined avenues, its trendy, yuppie downtown, and the software flood, Bangalore truly offers one a picture of striking contrasts. Bangalore -- located 1,000m above sea level is one of the most 'happening' places in India. Kempe Gowda, a chieftain of the Vijayanagar Empire, around the 16th century, founded Bangalore, which literally means the ‘town of baked beans’. He built four towers in four directions to specify its boundaries. However, Bangalore has far exceeded these limits since. Bangalore is fast emerging as one of the most industrialized cities in India, keeping pace with the latest trends and fashion. Bangalore is renowned, not only for its own beauty and technological advances, but also for its easy access to the marvels of the land around it. These intriguing sites include gardens, universities, temples and ancient ruins. This city also is a gateway to Southern India. Bangalore is well connected to other major cities. Today it has almost become the fastest growing city in Asia. The bazaars and shopping malls offer a fine selection of silks, sandal wood souvenirs, handicrafts and fragrant incense sticks. Communication is very simple in this city where people can converse in English, Kannada and Hindi with equal ease. Bangalore was first known as 'Benguluru'. The earliest reference to the name Benguluru was found in a 9th century Ganga inscription on herostone. This inscription was found in Begur and Benguluru is referred to as a place in which a battle was fought. Most

scholars believe that the name has a floral origin and is derived from the tree 'Benga', also known as the Indian Kino. According to one of the stories associated with it, in the year 1120 AD, the Chola King, Veera Ballalla ruled the Deccan plateau or the South of India. On a hunting trip to the forest, he lost his way. Famished and exasperated, after a long search, he met an old lady in the forest who offered him shelter for the night and served him baked beans for dinner. To show his gratitude to this lady for having helped him out, the King constructed a town and named it as 'Benda Kalooru', which means 'Baked Beans'. The place that was referred to as 'Benguluru' in the Ganga inscription was originally a hamlet and is found even today in a place called Kodigehalli, which is not too far away from Hebbal. Today however, this hamlet is called 'Halebenguluru' or 'Old Bangalore'. It is believed that when Kempe Gowda I built the new capital in 1537 AD, he used a more anglicized version of the name Benguluru and called the town Bangalore. Kempegowda- is mother and wife both belonged to the township that are known as Halebenguluru today.

Location: Western Ghats, Karnataka Main Attractions: River Cauvery, Coffee Plantations Best Season: October to April Nearby Attraction: Nagarhole National Park Easily one of the most attractive regions in India, Coorg or Kodagu is an enchanting expanse of natural tourist spot that nestles amid the hills and valleys of the picturesque Western Ghats. The Kodagu people have always stood apart handsome, brave and hospitable. A distinguished martial tradition has given the Indian Army several Generals and Brigadiers. Known by their special variants of wearing the saree, the Kodagu women are graceful and beautiful. Kodagu district has several tourist spots of historic, epic and natural importance. Kodagu has three taluks- Madikeri, Virajpet and Somwarpet. Steep hills, valleys and gorges with countless streams that gurgle through them, beckon intrepid trekkers and rock climbers. Coffee: Coffee, the pause that refreshes is grown extensively in Kodagu on plantations that dot most of the hillsides, with coffee, orange, black pepper and cardamom at the bottom of the slopes, under canopies of huge trees. Well maintained with modern curing and irrigation, these plantations exude a heady fragrance in April, when the coffee bushes blossom. Coffee picking time is from November to March. Cauvery: Lifeline of the south, Cauvery bubbles up from Talacauvery and reaches ground level at Bhagamandala, 39 kms to the west of Medikeri. One of the seven major rivers of India, Cauvery is the ' Dakshina Ganga' or ' Ganga of the south'. Bhagamandala: It is a shrine of Bhagandeshwara. It is here the Cauvery merges in joyous and divine form with the rivers Kannike and Sujyothi to form a 'Triveni Sangama'. The Bhangandeshwara Temple built in Kerala style on the bank of the Sangama. Nagarahole National Park: One of the well-maintained game sanctuaries in the country is located closely, 100kms from Madikeri, 64 kms from Virajpet & 94 kms from Mysore via Hunsur & Murkal. It Guar, Chital, Sambhar & Barking Deer, Sloth Bear, Langur, Crocodile and over a hundred species of birds and the elusive cats - the Leop is home to herds of Elephant, are and the Tiger.


Madikeri: District headquarters of Kodagu, and a walker's delight, is located at a height of 1,525 meters from the sea level. Winding lanes disappearing into green mountains promise tall delight. Raja's Seat: Hill ranges, clad in green, rising upto play with silken clouds of myriad hues that is the view from Raja's Seat, literally meaning the " Seat of the king. " It is here that the kings of Madikeri enjoyed nature and unforgettable sunsets. Feast your eyes on an endless expanse of sun-kissed greenery. Omkareshwara Temple: Built by Lingaraja in 1820 AD and dedicated to Lord Shiva, this temple is a quaint mix of Islamic and Gothic styles. The gold leaf inscription atop, accessed through a narrow flight of interesting steps used by the king to survey his Kingdom, the fishes in the pond which leap in symphony to gobble food offered to them, are all worth noticing. The annual 'Teppothasava' or "Boat Festival" is a memorable event. Madikeri Fort: A 19th century fort that witnessed several heroic battles, this Fort now houses a temple, a chapped and a small museum. The view of Madikeri is, quite simply, stunning. The beautiful now houses Govt. Offices of the District Administration Nalkunadu Palace: Built in 1792 AD by Dodda Veerarajendra, this beautiful palace is close to Tadiyendamol. To get here, you have to travel 32 kms from Madikeri through Napoklu and Kakkabbe. Buses too, are available. Abbey fall: 7 kms from Madikeri amid a valley in a coffee- cardamom plantation, where water drops from 70 ft. You can have a great splash of a picnic. Iruppu Falls: 48 kms from Virajpet on the banks of the pristine Lakshmanatirtha River, which descends in joyous leaps, to salute the Shiva Temple believed to have been consecrated by Lord Rama himself. A wonderful getaway spot, on the way to Kutta from Gonikoppal. Nisargadhama- Harangi: An island surrounded by the Cauvery river, Nisargadhama is a picturesque picnic sport that offers elephant rides, deer prancing about and boat rides. There are well-equipped, thatched cottages, 3 kms from Kushalnagar. The nearby Buddhist refugee camps at Bylakuppe offer prayerful silence in expansive halls with beautiful 40 feet high idols of the Buddha and Padmasambhava, his disciple. HOW TO GET THERE Air: No direct air connection. Rail: Kodagu is the only district in Karnataka without an inch of rail track. Road: Kodagu is accessible only by road. Many buses operated by SKRTC. Pass through Madikeri enroute to Mangalore. KSTDC organizes regular package tours.

Location: 160 kms from Bijapur, Karnataka Famous For: Its Mosques and Bazaars Best Season: September To February Languages: Kannada, Hindi, and English Gulbarga is a unique synthesis of two cultures. Filled with beautiful palaces, mosques, stately building and bazaars. The Khwaja Bande Nawaz, tomb of the great Sufi saint, Khwaja Syed Mohammad Gesu Daraz is the venue of an annual 'Urs', attended by nearly one hundred thousand people. The Dargah Library houses almost 10,000 books in Urdu, Persian and Arabic. Also worth seeing are Sultan Hasan's tomb, the tomb of Ghias-Ud-Din, the mausoleum of Feroze Shah, the Haft-Gumbuz, the well-kept lawns of Mahboob Gulshan and the Shrine of Shri Sharanabasaveshwara.


PRIME ATTRACTIONS Gulbarga Fort: An extensive piece of work, the Gulbarga fort was originally built by Raja Gulchand and afterwards strengthened by Ala-Ud-Din Bahmani. The fort with its 15 towers and 26 guns has witnessed many a battle and suffered many an onslaught. Razed to the ground by Krishna Devaraya of Vijaynagar, it rose like a phoenix when Adil Shah undertook its repair with booty captured from Vijaynagar. Khwaza Bande Nawaz Dargah: The most important monument in Gulbarga is probably The Khwaza Bande Nawaz Dargah. The tomb of the great Sufi saint, Khwaza Syed Mohammad Gesu Daraz, popularly known as Khwaza Bande Nawaz. This is a magnificent building built in the Indo-Saracenic style. The Dargah is the venue of an annual 'Urs', which is attended by nearly one thousand people, both Hindus and Muslims. Jumma Masjid: This huge mosque built by Feroze Shah, covering an area of 38016 sq. feet resembles the great mosque of Cardova in Spain. The architectural style is typically Persian, with stilted domes and narrow entrances. Ganigapur: A few kms from Gulbarga is Ganigapur. Famous center of Dattatreya worship, this pilgrim center has the sacred math of Shri Narasimha Saraswathi. The confluence of the rivers Amreja and Bhima attracts many pilgrims who take a holy dip here. A huge 'jatra' is held here every year in the month of February. The pilgrims popularly know this place as ‘Deval Ganagapur’. Malkhed: A Jain center in the past, many Jain sculptures and bronzes have been found here. Malkhed is also famous for having produced two great personalities, namely, Tikacharya, the Madhava saint and Pushpadanta, the poet who wrote during the reign of Krishan II, the Rashtrakuta king. Shorapur: Also known as Surpur, is the picturesque town on a ridge, surrounded by hills. It is dotted with temples, palaces, mosques and 'ashur-khanas'. An imposing fort is nearby. Taylor's Manzil, the residence of Col. Meadows Taylor, an Englishman appointed by the British, as a political agent to the state is a beautiful building. Sonthi: An important pilgrim center, Sonthi houses the renowned Chandralamba Temple with the sacred Bhima River flowing besides it. On the either side of the main entrance are huge mantapas. In the inner courtyard are 12 lingas and the statues of Mahakali, Mahalakshmi and Saraswathi. Narayanpur Dam: Across the Krishna River is a huge engineering feat. The Narayanpur Dam, inaugurated in 1982, is set among beautiful gardens. Sharapur: This is a Buddhist center and the sleeping Buddha shaped mountain is worth seeing here. Kembavi: 29 kms north west of Sharapur, this place is noted for its relations with Bahamani Dynasty. Annual 'Urs' is held here. HOW TO GET THERE Air: The nearest airport is Hyderabad (220 kms) Rail: Gulbarga is connected by rail with Bangalore, Mumbai and Hyderabad. Road: Gulbarga is connected by road to: Hyderabad (220 kms) Bangalore (600 kms) Bijapur (150 kms) Bidar (110 kms) Basavakalyan (80 kms) KSRTC Buses ply from Gulbarga to Bangalore, Bijapur, Bidar, Raichur and Sholapur.

Location: 16 Kms from Belur, Karnataka Main Attraction: Kedareeshwar Temple Languages: Kannada, Hindi, and English Also known as: Dwara Samudra

Located 16 kms from Belur, Halebid was known as Dwara Samudra, the wealthy capital of the Hoysalas. The great city of Dwarasamudra flourished as a Capital of the Hoysala Empire during the 12th & 13th centuries. During the reign of Veeraballala II, the grandson of Vishnuvardhana, it reached the greatness of its zenith. Veeraballala II extended his empire from sea to sea between the Cauvery & Krishna Rivers. Halebid has several strikingly beautiful Hoysala temples and Jain shrines. PRIME ATTRACTIONS Kedareeshwara Temple: The magnificent temple is an architectural delight where the sculptor's virtuosity seems to have surpassed even the goldsmith's skill in its sheer intricacy. Basti Hills: One Kilometre from the Halebid temples is the Basti Hills where there are Jain Bastis with gleaming black stone pillars. Hoysaleshwara Temple: The Hoysaleshwar temple, standing on platform like a casket, is a sculptural extravaganza, richly endowed with most finely detailed scrollwork in stone. The figure of mortals and immortals are large and are beautifully chiseled in shinning black stone. The walls of the temples are covered with variety of gods and goddesses, animals, birds and dancing girls. Museum: There is a museum on the lawns with 12-13th century sculptures and the gold coins in use at the time. Jain Temples: Many Jain temples are still awaiting excavations to see the light of the day. Halebid was a centre of Jain culture and religion. Nandi: Outside there is a sculpture of Nandi, the mount of Lord Shiva, and the hillock where the palace stood connected to the temple by a passage. The 800 years old statues flaunt hairstyles that can be seen even today. All but one of the bracket figures has vanished into oblivion. On the walls, the infant Krishna frolics, battles rage, Shiva and Parvati embrace, the demon king Ravana lifts mount Kailash and Shiva dances. Belur: 17 kms from Halebid. The place houses some of the famous temples, which are renowned for their beautiful sculptures. Sravanbelagola: Approximately 85 kms from Halebid, the place is well known for the biggest statue of Gomateshwara. It is a very famous Jain pilgrimage. HOW TO GET THERE Air: Bangalore is the nearest airport. Rail: The nearest railhead is at Hassan. Road: There are good motorable roads. Belur is 17 kms away.

Location: 350 kms from Bangalore, Karnataka Famous For: Vithala Temple Complex, Ugra Narasimha Main Languages: Kannada, Hindi, and English Two local princes, Hakka & Bukka founded Hampi, the land of surprises in the middle of 14th Century. The Vijayanagar Empire came to be celebrated for its might and wealth and as a showpiece of imperial magnificence. Vijayanagara is such that the pupil of the eye has never seen a place like it... " So eulogized Abdul Razaq, a Muslim envoy who visited Hampi. The city was sacked pillaged and burnt in 1565 AD, after the combined attack of armies of Muslim Sultanates of the Deccan defeated the Vijayanagar Military Commander and the King fled the Capital. Rocky hills and the mighty Tungabhadra River, which flows through this rugged landscape, dominate the terrain.


One can still glimpse the splendor of Vijayanagara - one of the largest empires in the history of India - in its ruins. The Vijayanagar Kings were great patrons of Art & Architecture as evident by the vast ruins of Hampi. In an effort to resurrect this abandoned capital, the government has been involved in the restoration, excavation and protection of the ruins, which are spread over an area of 26 sq. kms. PRIME ATTRACTIONS Virupaksha Temple: The Virupaksha Temple at the western end is one of the earliest structures in the city. The main shrine is dedicated to Virupaksha, a form of Lord Vishnu. Overlooking Virupaksha temple to the South, Hemakuta hill has a scattering of early ruins including Jain temples and a monolithic structure of Narasimha. Ugra Narasimha: Nearby is the 6.7m tall monolith of Ugra Narasimha. The gigantic image is situated in the south of the Hemkuta group of temples that includes the Virupaksha Temple. The Narasimha is a seated four-armed figure under a canopy of a seven-hooded snake. Vithala Temple: To the east of Hampi Bazaar is the Vithala temple, about 2 kms away. The ruin of the temple is a World Heritage monument. It is in a relatively good state of preservation. The temples incredible sculptural work is a pinnacle of Vijayanagar Art. The outer pillars are known as the 'Musical Pillars' as they reverberate when tapped, although this practice is now discouraged to avoid further damage. The temple also features an ornate stone chariot in the temple courtyard containing an image of Garuda. Shivalinga: The gigantic Shivalinga is located next to the Narasimha figure. It is 3 m high and stands permanently in water that comes through an ancient channel. Lotus Mahal: This graceful two-storeyed pavilion is located in the 'zenana' enclosure. The palace is delightful synthesis of the Hindu and Islamic styles of architecture. Virupaksha Bazaar: 32 m wide and 728 m long, this street that runs between the Virupaksha Temple and the foot of the Matanga Hill is the longest street laid out by the Vijaynagara kings. Queen's Bath: Situated in the citadel area, south of the Hazaara Rama Temple the Queen's Bath is a large square structure, remarkable for the contrast between its plain exterior and the very ornate interior. The bath is 15-m square and 1.8 m deep and is surrounded by delicately decorated arched corridors and projecting balconies. Singaradu Hebbagilu: Located behind the elephant stables, this is one of the oldest and most massive of the gateways in the capital city. The gate called 'Singara Hebbagilu' or the beautiful door according to an inscription that has been discovered near it, was the main entrance to the city. Hazara Rama Temple: The temple built within rectangular complex lies at the heart of the royal centre. Dating from the early 15th century, the hall of the Hazara Rama Temple has finely carved basalt pillars depicting the incarnations of Shri Vishnu. Around the exterior walls of the hall are three rows of sculptures illustrating the main events from the Ramayana. Achuta Raya Temple: The Tirvengalanatha temple, which was built during reign of Achuta Deva Raya, is better known by the name of ruler. The temple within is in ruins, but some erotic sculptures can be seen in the columns inside the open halls near the main gateway. HOW TO GET THERE Air: The nearest airport is Bellary (74 kms.) Other convenient airports are a Belgaum (190 kms) and Bangalore, Bijapur, Hubli and Guntakal.


Rail: The nearest train junction is at Hospet. Road: Hampi is 350 kms from Bangalore. KSRTC Buses ply regularly from Hospet. GENERAL INFORMATION Local Festival: Vijayanagar Festival, organized by the Government of Karnataka in December. Population: 930.

Location: 194 kms from Bangalore, Karnataka Main Attraction: Sravanbelagola Important Feature: Considered as the entry point to Belur, Halebid and Sravanbelagola Also Important as: An Archaeological Site The picturesque town of Hassan is located in the heart of Malnad. Having a very pleasant climate throughout the year, Hassan 194 kms from Bangalore is the entry point for Belur, Halebid and Sravanabelagola. Sravanabelagola is a famous Jain pilgrimage with a 17-m high monolith of lord Bahubali standing tall. Belur was once the capital of the Hoysala kings. The Chennakeshava temple took 103 years to complete and is filled with intricate carvings and sculptures. No space is left blank in this finest example of Hoysala architecture. In Belur Veeranarayana temple is also worth visiting. Halebid, like Belur is also a mute testimony to the rich cultural heritage of Karnataka. Belur: 34 kms from Hassan, 149 kms from Mysore and 222 kms from Bangalore is Belur, which is famous for its exquisite temple. Belur is also known as 'Dakshina Varanasi' or 'Southern Banaras'. Halebid: 17 kms from Belur. This place is known as 'Dwara Samudra', the wealthy capital of Hoysalas. Sravanbelagola: This legendary pilgrimage and shrine of the Jains since early times is 52 kms from Hassan, 80 kms from Mysore and 150 kms from Bangalore. The 'Mahamastakabhisheka', held once in 12 years, is one of the main attractions of the place, which attracts a large number of devotees. HOW TO GET THERE Air: Bangalore is the nearest airport. Rail: The nearest rail junction is at Hassan. Road: Mysore is 115kms and Bangalore is 185 kms from Hassan by road.

Location: 304 Kms from Bangalore, Karnataka Nearby Attraction: Hampi Best Season: September to February Centers of Tourist Attraction: Chitradurga, Tungabhadra Dam 340 kms from Bangalore lays Hospet. Its tourist importance lies in its proximity to Hampi, the site of the medieval Vijayanagar Empire, situated about 13 kms away. The Tungabhadra Dam here harnesses the sweet waters of the Tungabhadra River. At the base of the dam is a garden styled along Japanese lines. PRIME ATTRACTIONS Chitradurga: On the Highway linking Bangalore to Hospet, one comes across Chitradurga, a quaint town with its famous Fort. This marvel of military architecture, made impregnable by the Nayak Paleyagars has 19 gateways and 38 posterns Harihareshwara. Hampi: 353 kms from Bangalore and 74 kms from Bellary is Hampi. A World Heritage Centre, Hampi is the most beautiful and evocative of all the ruins in Karnataka.

The erstwhile capital of the Vijayanagar Kingdom, Hampi is full of delightful surprises. King's Balance is the balance where kings were weighted against grain, gold or money, which was then distributed to the poor. Queen's Bath with its arched corridors, projecting balconies and lotus-shaped fountains that once sprouted perfumed water, the two-storeyed Lotus Mahal with recessed archways are architectural delights. The huge Elephant Stables, the splendid Vithala Temple with its musical pillars and the Stone Chariot, the Virupaksha Temple, still used for worship, Ugra Narasimha, the 6.7 m tall monolith, the Pushkarini Tank, the Mahanavami Dibba are all worth visiting. The Portuguese traveller Paes compared the once-powerful Vijayanagar Empire to Rome. HOW TO GET THERE Rail: Hospet is connected to Bangalore, Bellary, Gadag, Bijapur and Hubli-Dharwar. Road: there is a well-developed road network.

Location: 519 Kms North West Of Bangalore, Karnataka Main Attraction: Devbagh Beach Best Season: October to May Food Specialty: Spicy Sea Food 519 kms northwest of Bangalore is Karwar. The district headquarters of Uttara Kannada; this is an ideal place to relax. Karwar has sacred pilgrim centers, historical towns and some of the most beautiful beaches in the country. The Devbagh beach is a must for beach lovers. Gentle waves, palm-laced beaches, silver, clam, and peaceful alleys, soft songs of birds and a great sunset Karwar have all the makings of a perfect holiday. A glorious weather and an excellent beach, which is said to have inspired Rabindranath Tagore to pen his first play, complement once an important trade centre of the British, French, Portuguese and the Arabs, the charming town. PRIME ATTRACTIONS Dargah of Peer Shan Shamsuddin Kharobat: The famous Dargah of Peer Shan Shamsuddin Kharobat, a Baghdadi Saint is a place of tourist interest for pilgrims. Naganatha Temple: Naganatha Temple is a Temple where an anthill is worshipped. Kurmagad Island: A visit by launch to the Kurmagad Island, which has an old fort and a Narasimha shrine, is a must. Gokarna: 60kms south of Karwar, this coastal town has, among other things, an ancient temple with the Atmalinga. Gokarna is also a famous centre for Sanskrit learning. The Om Beach and Kutle Beach nearby are also worth a visit. Honnavar: Honnavar, 90 kms from Karwar, has a laterite fort of Portuguese times. Basavaraja Durga Island, a fort amidst the sea, can be reached by launch from here. A sail upstream on river Sharavathi to Geresoppa 30 kms away, with coconut groves and lush greenery covering the banks, is a voyage to remember. Geresoppa, the old capital of the Peter Queen Chanabhairavi has a beautiful 14th century Chaturmukha Basti. Bhatkal: 135 kms south is a historical township. The ancient port town has temples of Vijayanagar style and many interesting Jain monuments. 16 kms away is the scenic holy place of Murdeshwar. The temple here attracts a lot of devotees and tourists. The Pigeon Island is off the Murdeshwar coast. The beaches at Gokarna, Bhatkal and Murdeshwar are undiscovered and thankfully unspoilt. Banavasi: 140 kms from Karwar, is a temple town mentioned in the Hindu epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata.


Shivganga fall: 140 kms away, amidst scenic surroundings, the river Souda falls into a deep valley from a height of 74 m to form the falls. Dandeli: 93 kms from Karwar, it is a popular holiday resort. The wildlife sanctuary here abounds with a variety of rare animals. The cave with Shivalinga-like laterite formations is also well worth a visit. Magod Falls: A few kms from Karwar, is a scenic delight. The Bedti River plunges into a 180-m rocky valley in two leaps. Lalguli Falls: It is picturesque waterfall formed by the river Kali. The Mailmane Falls also deserve a visit. Ulavi: Ulavi, 75 kms from Karwar (via Kumbarawada) is a famous pilgrim centre. Thousands come here to pay homage to the samadhi of Veera Shiva Saint Channabasavanna, who took refuge here from the army of 'Kalachurias'. Within walking distance are other spots like Akka Nagamma's Cave and Mahamani Gavi. 'Jathras' of Ulavi are events that attract devotees from all over the district. Lushington Falls: 33 kms from Sirsi are the Lushington Falls, where the river Aghanashini thunders down from the height of 116 meters. Locals call it Keppa falls for its deafening effect. Further downstream are the smaller Dadmane falls. Sirsi: Sirsi, has the famous Marikamba Temple 18 kms from here is Sonda with the famous Vadiraja Swamy Mutt, and the Samadhi of the famous saint and grammarian Bhattakalanka. HOW TO GET THERE Air: The nearest airport is at Goa, though entry points are also Belgaum and Mangalore Rail: Hubli is the nearest rail junction. Road: Road distance of nearby cities: Bangalore: 520 kms, Belgaum: 167 kms, Mangalore: 273 kms, Goa: 100 kms.

Location: 95 Kms Southwest of Chikmagalur, Karnataka Situated At: 1,894.3 M above Sea Level Excursions: Gangamoola Languages Spoken: Kannada, Hindi, and English The Horse-Face Hill Station 95 kms southwest of Chikmaglur town is the Kudremukh (Horse Face) range, so named because of the unique shape of the Kudremukh Peak. Overlooking the Arabian Sea, the broad hills are chained to one another with deep valleys and steep precipices. As yet 'undiscovered' by tourists, Kudremukh is a secluded hill station, which retains much of its pristine, natural beauty. And a holiday here can be truly delightful. Lush green forests interspersed with rivers, grassy slopes, captivating cascades and rare orchids providing an idyllic background for trekking. Kudremukh is trekker's territory with the richness of its flora and fauna waiting to be discovered. Situated 1,894.3 m above sea level, Kudremukh is rich in iron ore deposits. The Kudremukh Iron Ore Company conducts mining operations and transportation of the ore as slurry, through a pipeline to the port at Panambur near Mangalore. This has given new life to the region and converted this isolated tract into a humming modern township without taking away its natural beauty. Gangamoola: In Samse Taluk of Chikmaglur district, thick forests surround the Gangamoola Hill. Three important rivers, the Tunga, the Bhadra and the Nethravathi have their origin here. A shrine of Goddess Bhagavathi and a Varaha image measuring 1.8 m within a cave, are the chief attractions. This cave is inaccessible during the monsoons.


Jamalabad Fort: Jamalabad is famous for its fort built by Tipu Sultan, the Tiger of Mysore in 1794. The fort was renamed after his mother Jamalbee. The village, which lies at the foot of a high rock, forms a part of the Kudremukh range of hills near Belthangadi. HOW TO GET THERE Rail: Nearest railhead is Mangalore. Road: Kudremukh is connected by road to Chikmaglur, Mangalore and Sringeri. GENERAL INFORMATION Climate: Cool and salubrious around the year. Languages Spoken: Kannada, Hindi, and English.

Location: Karnataka Situated At: 5,000 Ft. above Sea Level Attractions: Abbey Falls, Irupu Falls, and Harangi Best Season: October to April Madikeri is a picturesque, charming town situated at an elevation of over 5,000-ft (1,525 m) above sea level. The cool bracing wind whips the hair about your face as you ramble along streets that dip and rise delightfully. Breathtaking views surprise you unexpectedly. Beautiful women smile at you from pretty cottages as you sniff appreciatively the heady fragrance of coffee blossoms. Madikeri is the headquarters of Kodagu (formerly Coorg). Dubbed as the Scotland of India, Kodagu is home to the colourful, robust, martial race - the Kodavas. Said to be the descendents of the Greeks, the Kodavas are fiercely independent. Either Tipu Sultan or the British never conquered them. And so to this day, all Kodavas retain the privilege of carrying firearms without a license. Kodagu is famous for the generals it has produced for the Indian Army. The women are known for their beauty. But what the Kodavas are really famous for is their hospitality. Madikeri is a great place to walk as winding lanes meander off the main street. Mountain trails promise visual delights. And the Tadiyendamol, the tallest peak in the area, stands patiently, waiting to be climbed. PRIME ATTRACTIONS Madikeri Fort: In the centre of Madikeri, this 19th century fort was once the scene of many a fierce battle. Today, it houses a temple, a chapel, the prison, and a small museum. The fort also offers a panoramic view of Madikeri from its walls. Raja's Seat: According to legend, the kings of Kodagu spent their evenings here, enjoying the spectacular sunsets from the top of a hill. Omkareshwara Temple: Dedicated to Lord Shiva, this temple built in 1820 AD is a mix of Islamic and Gothic styles of architecture. Bhagamandala Temple (36 kms): Built in the Kerala style at the confluence of three rivers (Cauvery, Kanika and Sujyothi), this temple houses a variety of smaller shrines dedicated to various gods. Talacauvery (44 kms): This is the source of the holy river Cauvery, captured in a small well less than a meter square. In October on Sankaramana day, thousands gather to see a miracle - the sudden bubbling and frothing of the small well, symbolizing the appearance of the Goddess Cauvery. Abbey Falls: Just a few kilometers outside Madikeri, these falls cascade down in steps to flow as a small river. It is a great place for picnics. Iruppu Falls: Another beautiful picnic spot, the Irupu Falls are on the way to Kutta from Gonikoppal. Harangi: A reservoir near Kushalnagar, this is a picturesque spot.

Horticulture Research Centre (24 kms): Situated in Chettahalli, the reseach centre specializes in improving the local flora like pepper, mango, pears, peaches, guavas, oranges, bananas and pineapples. It also has a nursery and sells plants. HOW TO GET THERE Air: The nearest airport Mangalore is connected by Indian Airlines and private airlines with major cities in India. Rail: The nearest railheads Mysore and Mangalore are well connected by rail with major cities and towns in India. Road: Regular buses operate between Madikeri and Bangalore, Mysore, Mangalore, Hassan, Arsikere, Belur, Chikmagalur, Cannanore and Tellicherry. Shopping: Kodagu is a coffee country. The coffee estates here produce some of the world's best coffee. So don't forget to take some home. You could also buy honey, cardamom, pepper and oranges (in season). GENERAL INFORMATION Population: 31,200 Languages: Kannada, Kodava dialect, Hindi, English.

Location: 357 Kms West Of Bangalore, Karnataka Main Attractions: Manjunatha Temple, Yakshagana Best Season: October to February Main Languages: Kannada, Hindi, and English 357 kms west of Bangalore is the district headquarters of Dakshina Kannada Mangalore. With an important port, this coastal town is a major commercial centre. Mangalore could be your entry point to Beach Country - with its virgin and unexplored beaches. It has several famous pilgrim centers. It is a cosmopolitan city, leader in more than one way in banking, private entrepreneurship and in general awareness amongst people. While in Mangalore try and see a Yakshagana performance - an elaborate dance form unique to Karnataka. The Kambala (buffalo race) is another exciting event. A trip to Mangalore would be incomplete without a visit to the 10th century Manjunatha Temple, St. Aloysius Chapel; Mangala Devi Temple, Tipu's Battery and the Jumma Masjid. The Ullal Beach with Casuarina groves is another attraction that draws tourists all through the year. PRIME ATTRACTIONS Pulikula Nisarga Dhama: At Mudushedde, 11 kms northeast from Mangalore is an integrated tourist destination with a variety of attractions. Narharigudda: About 28 kms from Mangalore, this calm and quiet hamlet is surrounded by natural scenic beauty. Moodabidri: lies 35 kms northeast, and is famous for it’s 1000 - pillared Jain shrine. Yakshagana: No visit to Mangalore would be complete without watching the 'Yakshagana'. It’s an elaborate dance-drama performance unique to Karnataka. A nightlong event, with people adorned vibrantly and dancing to the beat of the drums, 'Yakshagana' performance attracts hundreds of people. Varanga: Nearby, is an important Jain pilgrim centre? Katil: Katil is 27 kms east, on the banks of the river Nandini. It has a famous temple dedicated to Poarameshwari Durga. Jamalabad: 40 kms east of Mangalore. The fort here was built by Tipu Sultan and named ter his mother Jamalbee. Karkala: Situated 52 kms northeast of Mangalore. The 452 it tall monolithic statue of Bahubali and the St. Lawrence Church are the main attractions here.

Udupi: 58 kms north, this town has the famous Krishna Temple with the Gold Chariot. It is here that the Saint Madhwacharya lived and preached 700 years ago. The famous 'masala dosai' has its origin here. Venur: 65 kms from Mangalore, Venur is well known for its Bahubali statue. Maple Beach: 66 kms north of Mangalore. The pristine beauty complemented by peaceful surroundings makes this beach a favorite holiday spot. The St. Mary's Island, another delightful holiday hangout, is just a boat ride away. Maravanthe: 110 kms north of Mangalore. Maravanthe has a scenic beach. Baindur: It is a hamlet, 45 kms from Maravanthe. It has a beautiful beach nearby. Ottanane near Baindur is famous for its glorious sunset. Kollur: 140 kms north. The famous Mookambika Temple here attracts thousands of devotees. Dharmasthala: 75 kms east. This town is a unique example of communal harmony, famous for its Manjunatha Temple. Every person, who comes here, irrespective of caste or creed, is welcomed and given a free meal. HOW TO GET THERE Air: Mangalore has its own airport. Rail: Mangalore has a railway junction and is connected to Mumbai and Bangalore. Road: The place has well-developed network of roads and is connected to the neighboring areas by roadways. The Sandalwood City Location: Southwest Karnataka. Altitude: 770m Above Sea Level. Famous For: Sandalwood, Silk. Attractions: Dassara, Mysore Palace, and Vrindavan Gardens THE FRAGRANT SANDALWOOD CITY: Located 770m above sea level and 140 Kms from Bangalore, Mysore, and the imperial city, was the erstwhile capital of the Wodeyars. Also known as the city of Palaces, Mysore has never failed to mesmerize the tourists with its quaint charm, rich heritage, magnificent palaces, beautifully laid-out gardens, imposing buildings, broad shady avenues and sacred temples. Mysore is the erstwhile capital of Wodeyars, the rulers of Mysore State. The Wodeyar family ruled Mysore since 14th century except for a short period of 40 years when Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan were the rulers. Today Mysore is one of the major cities of Karnataka. Mysore has emerged as a thriving market for exotic sandalwood & incense, the Mysore silk sarees and stone-carved sculptures. Mysore is certainly a charming, old-fashioned and undaunting town dominated by the spectacular Maharaja's Palace, around which the boulevards of the city radiate. Nearby is the city centre with the colourful and frenetic Devaraja Market is inviting a stroll. On the outskirts of Mysore, Srirangapatnam still harbours architectural gems from the days of the great Indian hero, Tipu Sultan, and the magnificent Hoysala temple of Somnathpur lies little more than an hour's drive away. LEGEND: In the tenth century Mysore was known as "Mahishur", the town where the buffalo-demon Mahishashur was slain by the goddess Durga. The word Mysore expands to "Mahishasurana Ooru", which means the town of Mahishasura. It is believed that during one of the wars between devils and demons on the one hand and gods and goddesses on the other, the demon Mahishasur (Mahishur) overpowered the gods. The goddess on seeing this incarnated as the fireceful Chamundi or Chamundeshwari and consequently, she killed Mahishasura atop the Chamundi Hill near Mysore. Ever since, the Mysore royal family has worshipped Chamundeshwari as the palace deity. Hills dedicated to Her stand at the eastern end of Mysore town to this day.


Location: 17 Kms from Bijapur, Karnataka Attraction: Banashankari Temple Best season: October to February Main Languages: Kannada, Hindi, and English Situated on the left bank of the Malaprabha River, Pattadakkal is a World Heritage Centre. The town has 10 major temples representing early Chalukyan architecture. This place reached its pinnacle of glory under the Chalukyas from the seventh to the ninth centuries functioning as a royal commemorative site. The biggest temple here, dedicated to Virupaksha, has a massive gateway and several inscriptions. PRIME ATTRACTIONS Banashankari Temple: The quaint hamlet taking its name from the goddess Banashankari lays enroute to Badami. The powerful eight-armed goddess on a snarling gold lion guards the village where a huge fair is held, attracting thousands of devotees. Virupaksha Temple: The biggest temple dedicated to Virupaksha is enclosed in a large quadrangle surrounded by small cells, has a massive gateway and several inscriptions. According to one of these inscriptions, Lokamahadevi, wife of Vikramaditya II in commemoration of his conquest of Kanchi, built the temple. Besides scenes from Mahabharata and Ramayana, there is a wonderful carving designed to look like an elephant from one side and buffalo from the other. Mallikarjuna and Papanatha temples: These temples are dedicated to Virupaksha. In front of the temple, is a majestic 2.6 meters high Nandi? The Mallikarjuna and Papanatha temples are delicately chiseled, and rich in detail. Besides these temples is a group of temples remarkable primarily, for representing two chief styles of Indian architecture, side by side. HOW TO GET THERE Air: The nearest airport is at Belgaum, 180 kms away. Rail: The nearest railway station is Badami, 29 kms, away. Road: Pattadakkal is connected by road to: Badami (29 kms); Aihole (17 kms). Local Transport: Cycle Rickshaws, Tongas, and City Bus Service.

Location: 109 Kms from Bangalore, Karnataka Main attraction: the fort Excursion: Anegondi 109 kms from Bangalore, is the historical town of Raichur with a rich cultural legacy. Flanked by the Tungabhadra River, Raichur is famous for its imposing Fort. It's a land whose ruins, temples and forts beckon you, to softly whisper into your ears, tales of a bygone era. Flanked by the Tungabhadra River in the north and Krishna River in the south, Raichur district has a rich history. It was once a part of the Vijayanagara, Bahamani, Mughal and Asif Jahi Kingdoms. PRIME ATTRACTIONS Fort: On top of the hills that surround Raichur, there exists a massive hill fort. This fort has a double row of walls. Near the inner wall stands the tomb of Pir Sailani Sahid, a Muslim saint. Jami Masjid: Some distance away from fort is the Fort Jami Masjid, a fine building with two entrances. Khas Bach: There is also huge well by the name of Khas Bach. This well, made of solid masonry, has steps leading to its base. In the centre of the well, stands a platform, which can be approached by a causes way from the west.


The other important sites in the town are the Daftar ki Masjid, a mosque; Ek-Minar-kiMasjid, a mosque with just one minaret and Jami Masjid, which is the largest mosque in Raichur. Bala Hisar: The Citadel is the landmark of Raichur. Located on the top of a hill, the Bala Hisar houses a huge gun that measures more than 20 feet in length, 4 feet in circumference and has a bore whose diameter is 5 inches. Over the centuries, Raichur became a part of various empires the Mauryas, Chalukyas, Bahamanis, Vijayanagara and the Mughal kings, all ruled over Raichur, endowing it with a rich and varied cultural legacy. Anegundi: 135 kms from Raichur has some awe-inspiring temples from the Vijayanagar times. The Ranganatha Temple and the Huchchappayana Matha are worth a visit. The Pampa Sarvovara, the Kamal Mahal and Nava Brindavana housing the mortal remains of famous saints, are the other attractions around Anegundi. Kuknur: Located about 40 km from Hospet and 7 km from Itgi, Kuknur is renowned for its temples of the Rastrakuta and Chalukyan times. Of these the Navalinga group of temples is famous. Maski: A town dating back 500 - 300 B.C., Maski was formerly known as Masangi. Excavations here have urns made of burnt clay, neolithic implements, graves, megalithic burials, etc, making Maski one of the most important prehistoric sites to be discovered in India. It had a flourishing bead-making industry. Kanakagiri: Meaning Hill of Gold in Kannada, Kanakagiri was earlier called Suvarnagiri. Located about 20 km from Gangavati, Kanakagiri has several beautiful temples of which the best is the Kanakachalapathi temple. Kallur: Kallur in Manvi taluk is situated about 13 kms from Raichur. The place is surrounded on all sides by granite hills except the east and derives it s name from the abundance of boulders on these hills. The village and the hills around are full of antiquities. HOW TO GET THERE Air: The nearest airport is at Belgaum. Rail: Raichur is an important station on the Guntakal-Bombay railway line. Road: The district is accessible by road by good motorable roads.

Location: 165 kms From Mangalore, Karnataka Area: 10548 sq. kms Main Attraction: Government Museum Languages: Kannada, Hindi, and English Shimoga district covers an area of about 10548 sq. kms. The western part of the district has superb tropical forests and some very pretty hilly areas. The eastern region is less dense but has several lakes and river valleys. The traveller to this district can enjoy trekking on the challenging landscape and visit to the historically rich spots. The region has a long and colourful history dating back to the 3rd century AD when it was under the control of Satavahan dynasty. In the 6th century it was a part of the empire of the Chalukyas of Badami. In the 7th century, it came under the rule of Jaina chieftain. PRIME ATTRACTIONS Government Museum: The Government Museum at Shimoga displays palm leaf manuscripts, coins, copper plates and Hoysala style statues of Uma-Maheshwara, Yoganarayana and Jaina Yakshi. An ancient accounts book made of cloth, and 18.29 long, is an interesting exhibit here.


Thirthahalli: Situated 65 kms from Shimoga, amidst dense forests, is Thirthahalli that takes its name from the sacred bathing places built on the river Tunga. There is a temple dedicated to Rameshwara on the banks of the Tunga River. Agumbe: Situated atop a ghat head and receiving the highest rainfall in Karnataka, this suburb has many scenic delights to offer. The glorious sunset is the main attraction of this place Gopalakrishna temple and the Observatory maintained by the Meteorological Survey of India (Capital). Ambutheertha: 16 kms northwest of Thirthahalli town and down the river Sharavathi is its holy source Ambutheertha, where a Shiva Linga has been installed. Just 4 kms away is the Achakanya falls where river Sharavathi does a practice jump of 6.10 meters gearing herself for the great jump further down at Jog. Mandagadee Natural Bird Sanctuary: 32 kms to the northeast of Thirthahalli is the Mandagadee Natural Bird Sanctuary on the banks of the river Tunga. Between July and October, flocks of migratory birds take shelter on the leafless trees there and present a fascinating picture to visitors who can see them from a high platform located conveniently close. Bhadravati: 19 kms from Shimoga on the banks of river Bhadra, is the Steel Town of Bhadravati. It was here that the first State owned iron and steel factory was started in 1923, and a paper factory in 1936. The Visveswaraya Iron and Steel Limited and the Mysore Paper Mills offer a fascinating view of the complex processes involved in the manufacture of Iron Steel and paper. In the centre of the old town is a 13th century Lakshminarasimha temple that belongs to the Hoysala period and houses, besides other images, an exquisite 0.92 meter high Ganapathi Idol. Honne Godda: About 10 kms from Bhadravati is Honne Gudda, a hillock about 304.8 meters high that has a small temple. From this hillock, a panoramic view of the Bhadra River and its surrounding areas can be got. It’s an ideal picnic spot. Ganjanur: 10 kms to the south-west of Shimoga, on the Shimoga Thithahalli Road, near a crest of Western Ghats is Gajanaur where a dam has been constructed on the river Tunga Elephants are trained at the Elephant Camp here. The tourist bungalow on the hillocks near the Gajanur Tank commands on enchanting of the area. Sagar: 75 kms to the northwest of Shimoga is Sagar with its famous Siddhi Vinayaka temple and Durga Temple. It is believed that there is a small well here with a Sri Chakra below the Ganapathi Peetha Sagar is also famous for it Gudigara Craftsmen who work on ivory and sandalwood. The artisan-training centre run by the Government offers a view of master craftsmen at work. The Gudigara Co-operative Society showroom is well worth a visit. Ikkeri: 3 kms south of Sagar town is Ikkeri, the old capital city of Keladi Nayakas. The Aghoreshwara temple here combining the best of Hoysala and Dravidian styles of architecture stands testimony to the former greatness of the place. This large well-proportioned stone structure has a lofty roof and ornamental doorways leading to the deity - a metal image of Aghoreshwara with three arms. Koodli: 16 kms to the northeast of Shimoga is Koodli where the Tunga and Bhadra rivers meet to create a pilgrim centre. The Rameshwara and Narasimha temple here belongs to the Hoysala times. The place also has a noted 16th century Smartha monastery 10 kms from Shimoga Town, at Tavarekoppa. The forest department has set up the Shettyhally Lion safari. Barkana Falls: It is about 80 kms from Thirthahalli town in Balehalli forest area. It is valley with natural water of Seetha River. The height of the falls is about 259 Mts.


Simhadham: A lion safari park on Shimoga-Sagar road. Other places of tourist interest include Varadamoola, Kavaledurga and Maricha Mrugavadenagar. HOW TO GET THERE Air: Mangalore is the nearest airport. Rail: Shimoga is an important railhead. Road: Mangalore is 165 kms from the city.


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