Shravanabelagola

Shravanabelagola, Karnataka – A famous Jain pilgrimage about 150 km from Bengaluru

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The famous Jain pilgrimage centre Shravanabelagola is situated about 150 km northwest of Bengaluru. The Kannada word Shravana means Jain pilgrimage and Belagola means white pond. The town has been a prominent centre for Jain art, architecture, religion and culture for over two millennia. About two thousand years ago, Bhagawan Bhadrabahu, the earliest among the great Jain Acharyas came to Shravanabelagola from Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh, with his disciples to preach Jainism. Influenced by this ascetic, Chandragupta Maurya, the great emperor who ruled a large part of India, settled in this region, handing over the reins of his kingdom to his son.

Places to see at Shravanabelagola: Shravanabelagola offers quite a lot of attractions which include;

Vindhyagiri

The hill is about 470 feet above the ground and is one solid rock. It must be climbed barefoot. Most tourists use the ‘main steps’ from the town consisting of a dual flights of about 660 steps to the top, cutout in the rock. The 17.38 meter (58 ft) high monolithic stone statue of the Lord Gommateshwara, also referred to as Bahubali is located above this hill. The stone statue was installed and consecrated by Chavundaraya, the Prime Minister and Commander-in-Chief who served under the successive rulers- King Marasimha II, Rachamalla IV and Rachamalla V of the TalakadGangaKingdom in 981 A.D. The base of the statue has inscriptions in Kannada and Tamil, as well as the oldest evidence of written Marathi, dating back to 981 AD. The inscription praises the Ganga king who funded the effort, and his general Chavundaraya, who erected the statue for his mother. This statue is considered to be the world’s largest monolithic stone statue. It is carved beautifully from a single block of rock with accurate sense proportion and expression. On either side of Gommata stand two tall and majestic chauri bearers in the service of the Lord. One of them is a yaksha and the other one is a yakshi. These richly ornamented and beautifully carved figures complement the main figure. Carved on the rear side of the anthill is also a trough for collecting water and other ritual ingredients used for the sacred bath of the image. Around the statue is an enclosure of a pillared hall where one can find 43 images of Thirthankaras in different cloisters. There is also a figure of a woman called Gullakayajji sculpted with a good built and wearing exquisite ornamentation, typical of the sculptures of the Ganga period. There is also the Brahmadevaru temple atop the hill. Besides these there are the Odegal Basadi, Chowwisa Thirthankara Basadi, Chennana Basadi, Tyagada Brahmadevaru Kambha, Akhanda Bagilu and Gullakayajji.

Odegal Basti- (Trikuta Basti)

The Odegal Basti is so called because of the odegal or stone props used for strengthening against its basement walls. In the literary works the temple is known as the “Trikuta Basti” It’s the only Trikutachala (triple shrine) at Shravanabelagola.

Mahamasthakabhisheka

Mahamasthakabhisheka or the head anointing ceremony of the Lord Gommateshwara Bhagawan Bahubali have been ”performed once in every twelve years” in Jain dharmic cycle is part of ancient and Indian tradition. Today the ritual Mahamasthakabhisheka of Gommateshwara statue at Shravanabelagola is in memory of the first consecratory bath prathista abhisheka performed to the statue by the Ganga Prime Minister Chavundaraya and his guru Achaiya Sri Nemichandra Siddhantha Chakravarthi, under the inspiration of Chavundaraya’s mother Kalala Devi. The ceremony last here in February 2006 is the 87 of the series that commenced in the year 981 AD, dating back to the Indus Valley Civilization. Just on the eve of the event scaffolding is constructed to help the priests and devotees to go up and offer worship. Worship is done in accordance to Jain Agama. Hundreds of people and tourists participate in the rituals held over a period of twelve days. The statue of Lord Gommateshwara gets poured by 1008 kalashas (painted earthen pots- coloured colourfully in ceremonious style) of water, milk, butter, ghee, curd, sugar, almonds, tender coconut, sugarcane juice, rice flour, turmeric paste, jaggery, banana paste, kashaya (herbal concoction), shrigandha (sandal paste), chandana (coloured sandal paste), ashtagandha (8 varieties of sandal paste), saffron, marigold flowers, and precious stones, culminating in a spectacular shower of flowers from a helicopter. The wealthy devotees offer bids for the kalashas, to obtain them and perform Abhisheka.

Chandragiri

Shravanabelagola occupies a significant place in the Jain legacy of Karnataka, for being the place where Chandragupta, the founder of the Mauryan dynasty, became a Jain ascetic after relinquishing his throne. The place where Chandragupta breathed his last is named Chandragiri (Chikkabetta). It is a small hill is located just opposite to the Vindhyagiri hill.

The Cave of Bhadrabahu

The sacred feet of Sritakavalli are being worshipped even now. It is said that Chandragupta Maurya worshipped those sacred feet till his last days.

Kuge Brahmadevara Kambha

At the top of the pillar is seated the image of Brahma over it.

Kattlae Basadi

This is situated to the left of Parshwanatha Basadi and in fact this is the biggest of all the Basadis on this hill. Here one finds the image of Adinatha Thirthankara and also of Pampavathi in the Kaisale.

Chandragupta Basadi

It is situated to the north of Kattalae Basadi. This is perhaps the smallest of all the Basadis. The beautiful workmanship of architecture found in this monument relates to the 12th century.

Shasana Basadi

Because of the inscription in front of it, it is called like that. It has got a Garbhagruha, Sukhanasi and Navaranga. All are dedicated to the worship of Adinatha and Gomukha and Chakreshwari, the Yaksha and Yakshi.

Majjigana Basadi

Dedicated to worship of Ananthanatha, the 14th Thirthankara.

Chandraprabha Basadi

Located to the west of Shasana Basadi, it is dedicated to the worship of the Eighth Thirthankara, Chandraprabha. The images of Shyama and Jwalamalini, Yaksha and Yakshi are to be found.

Suparshwanatha Basadi

Seven headed serpent is carved over the head of the image.

Chavundaraya Basadi

This Basadi is said to have been got constructed in 982 A.D. by Chavundaraya as per inscription. It is dedicated to the worship of Neminatha Swamy, the 22nd Thirthankara. The monument reveals workmanship of the Ganga and the Hoysala periods. This is constructed as the most beautiful of all the Basadis.

Yeradukatte Basadi

It is located opposite to the Chavundaraya Basadi. The image of Adinatha is found inside with Yaksha and Yakshi.

Savathigandharvana Basadi

It is dedicated to the worship of Shanthinatha, the 16th Thirthankara. It is seen from the inscription on the pedestal of the image that this Basadi was got constructed by Shanthaladevi, the queen of Vishnuvardhana, in 1123 A.D.

Tyerina Basadi

It resembles a Ratha.

Iruve Brahmadevara Temple

The image of Brahma is carved out of a solid rock on a miniature scale.

Nearby attractions from Shravanabelagola: Shravanabelagola offers a number of places of attractions that are located nearby which include;

Halebidu

Situated at a distance of about 30kms from Shravanabelagola is a town of Halebidu. Halebidu is an interesting temple town of Karnataka. The temples of Halebid are renowned for their architecture.

Hassan

Located at a distance of 52kms from Shravanabelagola, is a quiet and peaceful town of Hassan. Hassan is well known for its Hassanamba Temple, which is believed to be 800 years old. The peaceful environs of Hassan are an ideal way to relax and unwind.

Belur

Another interesting place that you can visit on a day trip from Shravanabelagola is Belur. Situated at a distance of 60kms from Shravanabelagola, Belur is not just another temple town of Karnataka. Belur is popular for its Chennakeshava temple complex, which is dedicated to Lord ‘Chennakeshava’ (Vishnu) temple.

Things to do at Shravanabelagola: The huge monolithic statue of Lord Gomatheeswara will fill you with wonder. Visiting the Cave of Bhadrabahu is another experience of astonishment.  The delicious South Indian and Jain or Marwadi cuisine is also worth relishing.

Best time to visit Shravanabelagola: The best time to visit Shravanabelagola is during the winter months, between October and February, as the weather gets really warm in the summer months.

How to go ?

By Air

The nearest airport to Shravanabelagola is the Bangalore airport, which is about 155kms from Shravanabelagola. From here you can either take a bus or hire a taxi to reach the religious town of Shravanabelagola.

By Rail

The nearest railway station to Shravanabelagola is Hassan, which is about 52kms away from Shravanabelagola. From here you can either hire a taxi or board a bus. However, please note that there are no direct buses from Hassan and you will have to change at Channarayapattana and from where you can take the bus to Shravanabelagola.

By Bus

Shravanabelagola is well connected to the major cities of Karnataka through state highways and district roads. There are regular bus services by Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) to Shravanabelagola.

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Where to Stay ?

This small town offers some decent choices to its visitors. Some options are:

Raghu Hotel: +91- 08176 – 257238
Hotel Yatri Nivas: +91- 08176- 257923

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Jog Falls

Jog Falls, Karnataka – Located at a distance of 402 km from Bengaluru, it is world’s one of the most spectacular cascades

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Located in a region that is densely forested, the Jog Falls, also known as Gerusoppa, is India’s highest waterfalls. The wide span of Jog falls covers the whole of Shimoga and Uttar Kannad districts. Created by the Sharavathi River, the cascade falls from a height of 253 m (830 ft). The  Jog falls is the second-highest plunge waterfall in India. It is ranked among the world’s best, the spectacular cascade. This milky foamed waterfall descends along the slopes of the Western Ghats. Four distinct cascades – known locally as Raja, Rani, Roarer and Rocket, are created with arching rainbows formed by the sunlight hitting the spray from the falls. Associated with the waterfall is the nearby Linganmakki Dam across river Sharavathi.  Before the onset of monsoon season, when there is not much water in the Linganmakki Dam, the Jog Falls are only a pair of thin streams of water trickling down the cliff, as the water collected in the dam is exclusively for generation of electricity; during monsoons local rain-water is the source of water to the falls.

Places to see at Jog: Being an outstanding destination Jog is loaded by an array of tourist attractions.

Dabbe Falls

One gets to see mesmerizing view of the water scaling into a narrow gorge. The best time to visit the falls is during the monsoons.

Linganamakki Dam 

Located about 6 km from Jog Falls, Linganamakki dam is a popular tourist spot. The dam forms the reservoir for the Mahatma Gandhi Hydro Electric Power Unit.

Tunga Anicut Dam

Located about 12 km from Shimoga, the dam is surrounded by green paddy fields and are coconut palms. One gets to see panoramic view of the Bababudain Giri Range.

Thyvare Koppa Lion and Tiger Reserve

Located about 12 km from Shimoga on the way to Jog Falls, the reserve is home to tigers, lions and deers.

Sharavati River

The river originates from Ambuthirtha in Thirthahalli taluk flowing to the north-west through the Western Ghats to form the Jog-Falls.

Nearby attraction from Jog: There are many places to visit that are close to Jog Falls.

Honnemardu

Honnemardu is a wonderful getaway for those who love a taste of adventure and prefer water sports. The small village is located on the slopes of a hill close to the Honnemardu reservoir.

Banavasi

Located at a distance of 51.2 km, an ancient temple town whose roots can be traced back to 4000 BC, Banavasi is tucked away deep inside the forests of the Western Ghats. Located in the Uttara Kannada district, the town is located on the banks of the Varda River.

Sirsi

Sirsi is a scenic little place located at a distance of 57 km from Jog falls. Lush green forests, towering waterfalls and quaint old temples make Sirsi in the Uttara Karnataka district a popular destination.

Bhatkal

Bhatkal is one Karnataka’s oldest towns and has a rich past. It is regarded as one of the oldest ports in India. Located in Uttara Kannada, Bhatkal is 84 kilometers away from Jog Falls and has some lovely beaches. The town is located on NH17 and is easily accessible via the Konkan railway.

Things to do at Jog Falls: Watching the breath taking waterfall is in itself a wonderful activity. Besides the sight seeing to the nearby destinations is also a pleasure.

Best time to visit Jog Falls: The monsoon season is the best season to visit Jog falls, as the beauty of the place is enhanced during monsoons. But if you are planning for picnics, outings and sightseeing activities, then the winter season, characterized by pleasant and cool weather is ideal.

How to go ?

By Air

You will get flight upto Bangalore (402 km) which is connected to all major cities in India and abroad. From there you have to hire a cab to reach Jog falls.

By Train

You  have to reach Bangalore first which is connected by rail routes from all major cities in India. From there you have to reach Shimoga railway station by Shimoga or Intercity express and then take a bus to reach Jog Falls.

By Road

It is quite comfortable to reach Jog Falls by road as the place is well connected by a network of good roads. Jog falls is at a distance of 372 kilometers from Bangalore located on the national highway 206. This highway connects Tumkur (308km) and Bellary (345km). One can take buses or taxis from Bangalore and from nearby cities.

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Where to stay ?

You can stay at the KSTDC Hotel Mayura Gerusoppa in Jog falls. For booking details you may contact: +91-0818-6244732. However more staying options are available at Shimoga. Few options are:

Hotel MG Palace: +91-08182-261 194, 196
Hotel Surya Comforts: +9108182- 221 817, 324, 040, 400
Hotel Ramakrishna Lodge: +9108182-227 551
River Tern Lodge: +91094495 99778

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Madikeri

Madikeri, Karnataka – Known as the Kashmir of South India for its scenic beauty

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The enchanting fragrance of coffee, the aroma of fresh cardamom, Black pepper and Coorg honey, the holy river Cauvery and the pleasant cool air, that’s Madikeri. Located at a distance of 252 km from Bengaluru, Madikeri lies in the Kodagu district of Karnataka. It is perhaps, this climate and hilly terrain of Coorg, that inspired the British to occupy this area for over 100 years and they ideally named it as the Scotland of India. It is also known as the Kashmir of the south India for its scenic beauty. This calm and quiet land of mountains with panoramic beauty, god gifted, pollution free environment is one of the most popular tourist destinations of India.

Places to see at Madikeri: You will surely fall under the spell of the natural splendour of Madikeri, which is furnished with a number of sightseeing locations. Some major sites are as follows;

Omkareshwara Temple

The Omkareshwara Temple in Madikeri was built by the Lingarajendra II in1820 in the combination of Catholic, Keralite, Gothic and Islamic styles of Architecture.

Raja’s Seat

This is the spot from where the kings watched the sunsets with their consorts and is the most scenic sport in South India. It offers breathtaking view of towering hills, green valleys, studded with paddy fields. The most fascinating view is the road to Mangalore like a curved ribbon lying in the valley.

Madikeri fort

The Madikeri fort, with its imposing structure crowns the entire town, was rebuilt by Tipu Sulthan. The Veerabhadra Temple inside it was removed by the British and replaced an Anglian Church, which is now converted to Museum. The Madikeri palace is located inside the fort and was built by the Lingarajendra Wodeyar II. The British renovated the structure twice and in 1933 added a clock tower and a portico.

Raja’s Tomb

This is one of the important monuments in Coorg. The royal tombs provide a commanding view of the town & are in the Islamic style with the domes in center and turrets at the angles.

Cauvery Nisarqadhama

Tala Cauvery, 7 km from Bhagamandala, the origin of the holy river Cauvery is situated at 44 km from Madikeri. Bus service is available from Madikeri to TalaCauvery and the ride is picturesque. It is situated on the slopes of the Brahmagiri hills.

Abbey falls

Else named Jesse falls (by the British) is only 7km from Madikeri and is really a treat to watch the roaring water torrent in the monsoon season from July to October. One can walk up the falls through a flight of steps. The cascading water descends to the river Cauvery.

Nearby attractions from Madikeri: After the completion of the sight seeing tour you can also plan for an itinerary to places like:

BhagamandalaTemple : Triveni Sangama

Located  at a distance of 38 km from Madikeri Bhagamandala is a pilgrimage place in Kodagu. Bhagamandala is on the banks of the confluence of three rivers, Cauvery, Kannike and the sub terrain Sujyoti, popularly known as “Triveni Sangama”. It is a common practice for pilgrims to take a dip in the triveni sangama and perform rituals to their ancestors before proceeding to Talakaveri, the birthplace of Kaveri. During Tula Sankramana which falls on October 17th or 18th every year, pilgrims assemble here in large numbers.

Bhagandeshwara temple is a Famous temple near triveni sangama, where Bhagandeshwara (Ishwara), Subramanya, Mahavishnu and Ganapati temples are there, ts also called as Bhagandeshwara Kshetra, The Bhagandeswara temple complex though said to have been built by the Cholas prior to th 11th century follows the gabled roof style of the Kerala temple architecture common on the west coast.

A short distance from Bhagamandala is the temple at Padi, which houses the deity Lord Igguthapp and is considered by many Kodavas to be the most sacred shrine in their homeland.

Talakaveri

From Bhagamandala head further towards Talakaveri which is about 8 km away from Bhagamandala and 48 km from Madikeri. It is the Birth Place of Kaveri River. Located in the Brahmagiri hill near Bhagamandala, which is one of the 7 sacred rivers of Sapta Sindhus of the Hindu scriptures, it is around 1,276 m above sea level. However, there is not a permanent visible flow from this place to the main river course except during the rainy season.

Namdroling  Monastery

Located amidst the sandal groves a few hours from Bangalore and Mysore, in Karnataka state, South India, Namdroling was established by His Holiness Pema Norbu Rinpoche shortly after he came to India from Tibet. The monastery’s full name is Thegchog Namdrol Shedrub Dargyeling, called “Namdroling” for short.  Its initial structure was a temple constructed from bamboo, covering an area of approximately 80 square feet (7.4 m2).

Kaveri Nisargadhama

Just 30 km from Madikeri, Kaveri Nisargadhama is a beautiful island formed by river Kaveri. Kaveri Nisargadhama was established in 1989. It is abundant with lush foliage, thick bamboo groves, teak, and rosewood. The sprawling 64-acre nature resort which is surrounded by river Kaveri includes a deer park, orchidarium, and elephant and boat rides. The Nisargadhama can be accessed by walking across a hanging bridge.

Things to do in Madikeri: Madikeri is an ideal place for for the shutterbugs as the scenic beauty of the place will compel you to take continuous snaps without rest. Apart from sight seeing, if you are doing nothing just take a leisure walk to enjoy the scenic beauty of the place.

Best time to visit Madikeri: Best season to visit Madikeri is in summers as the weather remains pleasant during this time.

How to go ?

By Air

Nearest airport to Madikeri is Mangalore terminal, which is about 143 km from the town. Nearest International airport is Karipur (Kozhikode), which is 180 km away from Madikeri. Karipur airport is connected to many Middle Eastern cities. Mangalore air terminal is connected to Bangalore and Chennai.

By Rail

The nearest railway stations are Hassan, Thalassery, Kannur and Kasrgod, all are nearly 115 km away from Madikeri. Nearby major railhead is Managalore which is connected to all cities in India with rail facilities. The nearest rail line to Madikeri town is the Mangalore to Hassan railway line with Sakleshpur or Subrahmanya as the closest railway stations. Other than the slow passenger trains, this route has only one express train in service. Train No. 6517 / 5618 Mangalore-Yasvantpur Express operates in this route.

By Road

Madikeri is well connected by KSRTC buses of Kerala and Karnataka. Many private buses also connect Madikeri with other nearby cities.

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Where to stay ?

Madikeri being one of the popular tourist destinations has adequate accommodation options.

Hotel Maurya Valley View(Karnataka Tourism): +91-08272-228387
Hotel Coorg International: +91-08272 – 228071,72, 229390  Website: http: www.coorginternational.com
Hilltown Hotel : +91-o8272-223801  Website: http: www.hilltownhotel.com
Hotel Madikeri Heritage: +91 08272 228989  Website: www.madikeriheritage.com

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Mangalore

Mangalore, Karnataka – The beautiful city with pristine beaches, calm localities, clean & broad roads

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Mangalore is a beautiful city in Karnataka state of India that greets visitors with its line up of coconut trees. With the Arabian city flowing adjacently, Mangalore is a renowned port city. The city lies on the west coast of Karnataka state of India and has five popular beaches. Someshwar, Tannirbavi, Mukka, Panambur and Surathkal. With its pristine beaches, broad roads and calm localities this coastal city was declared the eighth cleanest city in India. Mangalore ranked India’s 13th place in top business destination and in Karnataka its second after Bangalluru. At present Mangalore emerges as a chief port city of Karnataka. It is located in the Dakshin Kannada district of Mangalore. Mangalore attracts a lot of tourists throughout the year.

Places to see in Mangalore: Mangalore offers quite a lot of tourist attractions which include:

Sri Mangaladevi Temple

The place name Mangalapura ( now Mangalore) owes its origin to the temple of Mangaladevi. Situated in Bolar about 3 kms from Hampankatta ( the heart of the city), the temple has its roots into the ninth century. The ardent devotees even today believe that the worship of Mangaldevi brings them prosperity and happiness.

Sultan Battery

Situated in Boloor, 6 kms away from the Mangalore City Bus Stand, this was constructed in Black stone by Tipu Sultan to prevent warships from entering the GurpurRiver. Today the remaining part of the fort is known as Tipu’s well. Even though today this is a rather deserted spot, this watchtower gives one the impression that this is a miniature fortress.

Kadri Manjunath Temple

The temple of Manjunatheshwara on the hills of Kadri is a very beautiful and popular temple in Mangalore. It is said to be built during the 10th or 11th century. It was converted to a complete stone structure during the 14th century. The idol of Lord Manjunathaswamy of the temple is considered as the oldest of the South Indian Temples. In front of the temple, at an height there are a number of water ponds. There’s a garden surrounding the ponds. When one walks down from there in front of the temple is a huge lightpole. During karthika maasa, deepothsava is held here. There are statues of Machendranath, Gorakanath,  Shringinath, Lokeshwara, Manjushri and Budha in the temple.

St. Aloysius Church

Situated 1 km away from the Nehru Maidan Bus Stand in Mangalore, the walls of this church are covered with paintings of the Italian artist Antony Moshaini. Built between 1899-1900 the St. Aloysius Church has been described as an architectural gem and has even been compared to the Sistine Chapel in Rome.

Light House Hill Garden

This 18th century light house is believed to have been built by Hyder Ali. There is a garden near the light house from where visitors get a beautiful view of the sea with sailing ships and boats.

Sri Sharavu Mahaganapathy Temple

Mangalore is known as a pilgrim center and boasts of many sacred temples like Sharavu, Kadri, Mangaladevi, Kudroli etc. Out of these Sri Sharavu Sharabeshwara – Sri Mahaganapathy Kshetra is an outstanding, pious center of great illustrious history of marathon 800 years. Since the temple is located in the heart of the city, locating and reaching the temple is very easy. It is at a walking distance from Hampankatta and also can comfortably reached by autorickhaws.

Ullal Dargah

Popular for the “Uroos Fair”, this is one of the main mosques in the region. Built in 1958 thousands of people from across the country visit the mosque to participate in the Uroos festival, that is celebrated once in every five years.

Mangalore Beach

It is located near the backwaters formed due to the convergence of Netravathi and Gurupur Rivers. If in Mangalore, do not miss the mesmerizing view of this beach. Also, a special night long performance known as Yakshagana performance is a must see. Kambala or Buffalo event is also a thrilling experience. This beach is at its best during October to February.

 Mary Beach

It is situated 58 km away from Mangalore in Udipi. The sight of the beach is mesmerizing and refreshing. Crystallized basalt rocks give this place a unique element. However, it gives the beach has a rocky terrain and makes it unfavourable for swimming or strolling.

Suratkal Beach

This beach is located at a distance of about 15 km from Mangalore. It is one of the popular beaches of Karnataka. On the shore of this beach there is a temple dedicated to Sadashiva.

Ullal Beach

It is just 5 km away from Mangalore. You may spend leisure time at this exotic beach and also enjoy the water games.

Nearby destinations from Mangalore: Mangalore offers  many places of attractions that are located nearby. Some of them are;

Dharamasthala

This temple village is located on the banks of the Nethravathi River and is located 75 km east of Mangalore. This little town is famous for a temple devoted to Shiva and the prime object of worship is the linga.

Udupi

This is a small town in southwest Karnataka, famous for a Krishna Temple, the town also lends its name to the popular Udupi cuisine. Udupi is famous for the Krishna Mutt Temple and is also the native place of the Vaishnavite saint Shri Madhvacharya who founded the Krishna Mutt here in the 13th century.

Jog Falls

Located in Sagara in the Shinmore district of Karnataka the Jog Falls are the second highest plunge waterfalls in India after the Nohkalikai Falls in Meghalaya.

Gorkarna

Gokarna is a popular village in the Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka and is a famous Hindu pilgrimage centre as well as a tourist destination. The village is famous for its many beautiful beaches and temples.

Things to do in Mangalore: Enjoy the sight seeing trip in Mangalore. Apart from that you may also take a stroll along the Ullal beach and breathe in fresh natural air.

Best time to visit Mangalore: Mangalore offers hot summers and pleasing weather in winters. The best time to visit the place is during the months from September to February.

How to go ?

By Air

Mangalore Bajpe Airport is located nearly 10 km away from the heart of the city. Mangalore airport is connected to many cities India. Regular flights are available from Mangalore to Bangalore and Chennai. Taxi services are available from airport to city costing about Rs 200.

By Train

Mangalore is a major rail junction in South railway of India. The city is well connected to all major cities in India. Regular train services are there from Mangalore to Kochi, Chennai, Bangalore and Trivandrum.

By Road

KSRTC buses of Kerala and Karnataka connect all major cities in Kerala and Karnataka with Mangalore.  Bus services are available from Mangalore to Bangalore, Chennai and Trivandrum.

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Where to stay ?

There are plenty of lodges and hotels as well as guest houses for tourists.

Moti Mahal : +91-0824-2441411  Website: www.motimahalmangalore.com
The Ocean Pearl: +91 -0824-2413800, 2491011  Website: www.theoceanpearl.in
The Gateway Hotel: +91 -0824- 6660 420  Website: www.thegatewayhotels.com
Hotel Venkatesh: +91-0824- 244 0793

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Hampi

Hampi, Karnataka – The capital of the erstwhile Vijaynagar dynasty, declared as a world heritage spot by UNESCO

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The capital of the erstwhile Vijaynagar dynasty Hampi at present is enlisted as a world heritage spot by the UNESCO. The place is located at the Bellari district of Karnataka on the bank of the Tungabhadra river. Hampi was constructed by Harihar and Bukka in the year 1335. But it was Raja Krishnadeva Ray who decorated Hampi by constructing its rich architectural splendors. The ruins of this imperial capital are spread out over an area of 26km². Hampi is well worth the visit. The area is simply stunning and you will be in awe of the millions of boulders surrounding the area. Within this arid landscape lies a little oasis with lush palm, banana, and mango trees nestled near the river. Hampi is a great place to spend a few days wandering around and discovering the rich, vibrant history while also having a bit of ‘your’ time.

Places to see at Hampi: Tourist attractions in Hampi lie in its boulder-laden landscape and rocky outcrop designed upon a lush green surrounding. The ruins reminds of a mighty empire, which dominated large part of south India after the Mughals.

Virupaksha Temple

Amidst the ruins of the ancient city Vijaynagar the Virupaksha temple stands tall with all its earlier structures still intact. The temple personifies Lord Shiva and is still used for worship. The inside of the temple consists of a sanctum with a madapam in front, three ante chambers, a pillared hall and an open pillared hall. Among the three towers the eastern tower is the tallest standing at a height of 160 feet and is 11 tiered. Virupaksha portrays Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu in their various avatars. The chariot festival is celebrated in the premises of this temple during the month of February.

King’s Balance

This 5-meter or so tall ‘balance’ is located near the Vittala temple. Also called as Tula Bhara or Tula Purushadana, the king used to weigh himself with gold, gems, silver and precious stones, and distributed to the priests. It’s believed that this had been done during the special ceremony seasons like solar or lunar eclipses. You can spot three loops on top of the balance, into which the balance actually hung. Also in one of the pillars you can spot the king’s image carved along with his concerts. This structure almost appears like as archway at the end of the Kampa Bhupa’s Path just behind Vittala temple. The path in fact passes through this arch like structure.

Krishna Temple

This temple was built by the king (Krishnadevaraya) in 1513 AD to celebrate the conquest of the eastern kingdom of Udayagiri or Utkala (in the present day Orissa state). The main idol installed in the temple was the figure of Balakrishna (Lord Krishna as infant). This idol is now displayed in the state museum at Chennai. A huge slab installed inside the courtyard of the temple states the story of this temple and the conquest of Ulkala.

Veerabhadra Temple

Being located at the highest point in Hampi, the VeerabhadraTemple at the Matanga hilltop commands some special significance. The temple is in a ruined condition. Still this temple dedicated to the cult deity Veerabhadra is equally thronged by the pilgrims and the tourists.

Queen’s Bath

This is the first ruined structure you would see when you enter into the Royal center from the Kamalapura-Hampi main road. For some mysterious reasons this was called as the queen’s bath. But in all probability this was a royal pleasure complex for the king and his wives.

Mahanavami dibba

This is the tallest structure in this area and hence the first thing you would notice as you enter the RoyalEnclosure. From a distance this looks like an ordinary elevated square stage. As you go close, the details emerge. The whole structure is made as a giant square structure in three layers.

There are mainly two stairways to reach the top. The front one (east facing) is highly decorated on either sides with carvings of elephants, horses and a host of other things. On the top there is nothing special to see except the great views on the campus around it. At the back of the platform a twin staircase is located. Probably this was used as a service staircase during the ceremonies. King Krishnadevaraya constructed this in commemoration on the victory over Udaygiri (now in Orissa). The king used this platform to watch the army march-pasts, war games, aquatic sports, shows of the royal animals, musical performances and also the most important Navarathri celebrations, the nine day-nine night state festival. And this was the annual occasion the governors of various provinces under the king visited the capital to pledge their loyalty to the king’s dominion. For the king it was an event to demonstrate the imperial pomp and power at his disposal.

Hampi Bazaar

Located near the Virupaksha Temple, the Hampi Bazaar is also known as Virupaksha Bazaar. On either sides of this one kilometer long street near the temple, are pavilions which were once a part of the markets of the nobles. Most of these pavilions, particularly towards the west of VirupakshaTemple have shops and restaurants.

Matanga Hill

Matanga hill is a well known tourist destination in Hampi. Its main attraction is the breathtaking view of the Hampi landscape during sunset or sunrise. When on top, you can appreciate the sheer wisdom of the Vijaynagara rulers for selecting Hampi as their capital. The trekking enthusiasts can enjoy trekking along the path that begins from Hampi bazaar to the Achyutaraya temple. The picturesque sight from the top comprises the TungabhadraRiver, the Kodanda Rama temple, the Veerbhadra temple and the Turthu canal. Matanga hill is historically connected to the epic Ramayana as it was the hiding place for Sugriva, the ruler of Kishkinda.

Daroji Sloth Bear Sanctuary

Covering a sprawling area of nearly 55.87 sq km Daroji Bear Sanctuary is located in the Bellary district of Karnataka, 15 km from Hampi. In October 1994, the Bilakallu forest reserve – a vast stretch of barren land was declared as Daroji Bear Sanctuary by the Karnataka government. Within a span of few years this area was converted into a lush green forest with enough vegetation for wildlife. With an estimate of nearly 120 sloth bears, 90 different species of birds and 27 species of butterflies, Daroji bear sanctuary is a must visit for all tourists. The best months to visit the sanctuary are between August and April.

Vithala Temple Complex

A unique architectural masterpiece, Vithala temple in Hampi is situated opposite to the village of Anegondi. The temple is named after Vithala, an avatar of Vishnu worshipped by the Marathas. Vithala temple is built in the form of a complex with compound wall and gateway towers. The one thing that immediately catches attention is the stone chariot which has assumed iconic heights over the years for Karnataka tourism. The pillared halls are intrinsically carved with sculptures that speak volumes about the glorious past of Hampi. Another feature that is worth mentioning here is the musical pillars that emanates the seven notes when tapped.

Hazara Rama Temple

The Hazara Rama temple complex in Hampi is located in the middle of the Royal Centre and was once used as a place of worship by the royal family members. Inscriptions inside the temple indicate that it was built by Devaraya I in early fifteenth century. This temple is renowned for its elaborate frescos extensively portraying scenes from Hindu mythology. There are about one thousand fantastically carved bas relief and inscriptions that illustrate the mighty epic Ramayana and the Mahanavami festival. Depiction of processions of elephants, horses with attendants, dancing girls and armoured soldiers testify the expertise of the Vijayanagara artists.

Lakshmi Narasimha Temple

The Lakshmi Narasimha temple in Hampi attracts tourists specifically due to its monolithic structure and the sheer enormity of its size. It is the single largest statue in Hampi with a height of 6.7 meters. Narasimha, the fourth incarnation of Lord Vishnu is depicted as sitting on the giant coil of the celestial snake Adisesha. The seven heads of the giant snake shielding Narasimha, arched by a Kirtimukha Torana in the front, is an architectural masterpiece in itself. However, several features of the monolithic structure are missing and the most prominent among these damaged and missing structures is the seated figurine of Narasimha’s consort Lakshmi on his left lap. By entering inside the enclosure, one can see the land of Lakshmi on Narasimha’s back with her fingers, nails and rings, all beautifully sculptured.

Elephant Stables

A large dome shaped building was used as Elepahant Stables to house the ceremonial elephants of the royal household. The architectural style of the building has a strong Indo-Islamic influence that gets reflected in its domes and arched gateways. The building consists of eleven chambers amongst which ten of these are crowned with domes. These chambers were used as elephant stables. The metal hooks that were probably used to chain the elephants are still visible in the ceiling of some of the rooms. Special manholes were constructed for the mahouts to facilitate their easy entrance to the elephant compartments.

Nearby attractions from Hampi: If you want to explore further afield, organize an exciting trip to

Tungabhadra Dam

Located at a distance of 7 km, the Tungabhadra Dam harnesses the waters of the TungabhadraRiver. At the base of the dam is a garden styled along Japanese lines.

Ramanadurga

It is a Hill-Station amidst a group of granite hills. There is a temple dedicated to Ramadeva.

Things to do at Hampi: Savour the beautiful architectural creations of the Vijaynagar temple.

Best time to visit Hampi: Hampi’s climate is generally warm and dry. The best time to visit the place is between September and February.

How to go ?

By Air

The nearest international airport is around 350 km away. The domestic airport nearby Hampi is Bellary at a distance of 60 km that allows tourists to reach the place comfortably.

By Train

The nearest railhead from Hampi is Hospet that is at a distance of 13 km. From there tourists can hire taxi or cab to reach the place comfortably. Hospet is well connected to major cities and towns and some of them are Bangalore, Hyderabad, Goa etc.

By Road

Hampi is well connected by bus services from all nearby major cities and towns. There are many private buses, tourist buses, luxury buses and state buses that run from place to place so tourists can easily reach the place without any difficulty.

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Where to stay ?

There are as such no accommodation facilities at Hampi. You can stay at Hospet having plenty of accommodation facilities, located at a distance of 13km from Hampi. Some options are:

Hotel Mayura Vijayanagar: +91-08394-259270
Hotel Priyadarshini: +91- 08394-228838, 39
Hotel Vishwa: +91- 08394-227171
Kiran Guest House: +91- -08394-204159, 09448143906

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Bandipur National Park

Bandipur National Park, Karnataka – One of the most beautiful national parks of India on the lap of the Western Ghats

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Located amidst the picturesque surroundings of the Western Ghat Mountains on the Mysore-Ooty highway in Karnataka, Bandipur National Park covers an area of about 874.2 sq km. Bandipur National Park is regarded as one of the most beautiful and the better-managed national parks of India. It is a national park as well as a Tiger reserve. The tiger population is increasing steadily here. Resting at the foothills of the Western Ghats River Kabini, Mayur and Nagour flows in between the Bandipur National Park. The Bandipur National Park occupies a special place in India’s efforts towards Eco-conservation. Bandipur  has a sizable number of Tigers. Other natural inhabitants of this lovely forest are gaur (a type of bull), sambhar, chital, mouse deer, four-horned antelope, wild dogs, wild boar, jackal, sloth bear, panther, malabar squirrel, porcupines and the black-knapped hare. Birds like jungle fowl and green pigeon are also found here.

Places to see at Bandipur National Park: Apart from exploring the elegant beauty of the park you may also go for a number of sight seeing locations from here. Following are some of the places;

B R Hills Wildlife Sanctuary

The BR Hills Wildlife Sanctuary is situated in between Western and the Eastern Ghats on the banks of river Cauvery about 5,091 feet above the sea level in Kemmannagundi district, Karnataka. The BR Hills Wildlife Sanctuary is spread over an area of 540 square kilometers and covered with mixed deciduous forests. The BR Hills Wildlife Sanctuary is the hub of a varied species of wildlife and is rich in flora and fauna.  The major attractions of the BR Hills Wildlife Sanctuary in Karnataka are Gaur and Chital. The most interesting thing of the BR Hills Wildlife Sanctuary is that you can easily spot the wild animals wandering carelessly in their natural habitat during your trip in the jeep safari.

Biligiriranga Hills

The Biligiriranga Hills, is a hill range situated in south-eastern Karnataka. The hills are located at the easternmost edge of the Western Ghats and support diverse flora and fauna in view of the various habitat types supported.

Shri Male Mahadeshwara Swamy Temple

The History of the Shrine Shri Male Mahadeshwara Swamy Temple has been extremely holly religious Institution and is famous from the time immemorial. As per Niranjana Rathnakara invisible Ganesha himself as Shri Male Mahadeshwara. As mentioned in Janapada Mahakavya Shri Male Mahadeshwara is the sone of the couple of Shri Chandrashekara Murthy and Smt. Uttarajamma and has descended to earth and has for the fist time seen near Shri Shailadha Mallikarjuna Linga, nearly 600 years ago; has come through Sutturu, Kunduru, then to the centre of Seven Hills; this place being felt to be comfortable desired to stay in the place of temple; and incarnation of Lord Eswara and kept tiger as his Vehicle. Travelled through the hills and the surroundings area, spent his childhood , youth and aged life in between the hills and on the basis of his yogi powers has displayed his various miracles.

Dodda Sampige Mara

One of the must-visits while you are on a tour to BR Hills is this unique site. This is actually a thousand year old tree. The name when translated into English means the “Big Champak tree”. The temple is situated about 4 km from BR Hills. The tree reaches upto 34 m in height and is about 20 m broad. This is a holy site. There are many lingams close to the trunk of the tree. The river Bhargavi, which is a tributary of the Kaveri, flows by the tree. The river is believed to be an incarnation of the Renuka who was the wife of Jamadagni, a Hindu sage.

Nearby attractions around Bandipur National Park: From Bandipur you can make a trip to places like;

Ooty

It is just 48 km from Bandipur. Also known as Udhagamandalam, Ooty is the “Queen of hill stations” and the capital of Nilgiris district. It is one of the most popular tourist resorts in India. Nilgiris means “Blue Mountains“. It is a land of picturesque picnic spots. Situated at an altitude of 2,240 meters above sea level, Ooty, used to be popular summer and weekend getaway for the Britishers during the colonial days. 

Wayanad

Located at a distance of 82.3km from Bandipur, Wayanad, the green paradise is nestled among the mountains of the Western Ghats, forming the border world of the greener part of Kerala. Clean and pristine, enchanting and hypnotizing, this land is filled with history and culture.

Things to do at Bandipur National Park: Enjoy the Jungle safari to catch the glimpse of the different species of animals inside the park.

Best time to visit Bandipur National Park: Bandipur has moderate climate all through the year but the best season is from October to May.

How to go ?

By Air  

The Bangalore airport is the nearest airport and is 220 kms away from Bandipur. Indian and Jet Airways have regular domestic as well as international flights connecting Bangalore to the rest of the world.

By Rail

The nearest railhead is Nanjangud, 55 kms away followed by the Mysore station at a distance of 80 kms. One can easily hire a taxi or catch a bus or train from Mysore or Ooty.

By Road

The Bandipur National Park is 220 kms from Bangalore; 80 kms from Mysore and 80 kms from Ooty. The Gundulpet town is 20 kms away from Bandipur and is the nearest road head in Bandipur. The national park is well connected through road with every big or small town.

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Where to stay ?

There are very few accomodation options near Bandipur. One option is:
Jungle Lodges & Resorts Ltd (Bandipur Lodge):  91-080- 25597944, 25584111, 2559-261  Website: www.junglelodges.com

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Udupi

Udupi, Karnataka – A land of eternal beauty placed between Western Ghat mountains & Arabian Sea

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Udupi a land of eternal beauty, perches in the midst of the verdant mountains of the western ghats on the east and the vast, tranquil Arabian Sea on the west. This new district, carved out of the erstwhile Dakshina Kannada, which was more accurately called “Parashurama Srishti”, encapsulates the vast cultural heritage. The site is well known for its religious fervour and vivid cultural heritage. Known elsewhere as a Temple City Udupi is the birth place of the famous south Indian food Dosa. It never ceases to enchant visitors from length and breadth of the country and the world over.

Places to see in Udupi: Being a temple city Udupi has a rich religious fervor, where a number of pilgrims throng every year. The temples located there are;

Sri Krishna Temple

Udupi acquired nation-wide fame, when it was turned into a unique seat of Vedantic learning in the 13th century under the leadership of Sri Madhvacharya. Apart from his contributions to Vedantic philosophy, Sri Madhva founded the famous Krishna Temple of Udupi and made it the fountain-head of a new devotional movement, which eventually spread all over the country. Udupi acquired nation-wide fame, when it was turned into a unique seat of Vedantic learning in the 13th century under the leadership of Sri Madhvacharya. Apart from his contributions to Vedantic philosophy, Sri Madhva founded the famous Krishna Temple of Udupi and made it the fountain-head of a new devotional movement, which eventually spread all over the country. Madhva installed the image of Krishna with the fixed principle of removing all obstacles and relieving the pains, which beset His devotees on their way to salvation. Among the several disciples of Sri Madhva, eight monks were jointly and severally made responsible for conducting the daily worship of Lord Krishna at Udupi, besides the usual duties of monk hood. These eight direct disciples of Madhva established separate lines of their own by ordination, and these eight lines of ascetics came to be known as the Eight Maths or Ashta Math of Udupi.

Malpe Beach

About four kms to the west of Udupi, Malpe is an important port of the Karnataka coast. It is situated at the mouth of the Malpe/Udyavara River. The river is navigable to small cargo boats for about ten kms during high tide. The place has fascinating natural scenic view. It has been a centre of commercial activities for a long time, and one plus point is that it is a natural port.

St. Mary’s Island

St. Mary’s Isles are a group of small islands lying a little to the north of the port of Malpe 7 kms form Udupi. Vasco-da-Gama landed in 1498 on one of these islands which he called `EI Padron de Santa Maria’. It is from this that these islands got their present name. They are just a few scattered projections of rock rising out of the western or Arabian Sea around Malpe. The northern-most island is about a square mile in area and not more than 250 yards in width. It has coconut gardens which make it the shadiest of all the  islands and give it a true SouthSea colour. The island is noted for its famous basalt rocks which Kulkunda, where a large cattle fair is held at the time of the have crystallized into columns and split into hexagonal mosaic. Perhaps, this is the only spot in India where basaltic rocks show up such peculiar formation. It is a really geological monument and tourists heaven.

Planetarium 

One can gaze at the stars from here even at daytime. This is the second planetarium in the state of Karnataka.

Varanga

This is a well known Jain pilgrim center. One chaturmukha basadi is in the midst of a pond. There is one Jain mutt and another basadi.

Jomlu Teertha

On Ellu amavasya (an auspicious day in the Hindu calendar) day, people come to this place and bathe in the waterfalls. This year, more than 10,000 people bathed on the holy day. Having natural beauty, this place is a well-known picnic spot.

Nearby attractions from Udupi: While visiting Udupi also include in your itinerary some excursions to nearby destinations like

Karkala

Karkala situated about 35 Kms from Udupi, is the headquarters of the Karkala Taluk. About 52 kms northeast of Mangalore, Karkala is known primarily for the statue of Lord Bahubali (Gomateshwara).

Things to do in Udupi: Visiting Udupi is a complete package tour where you will get a chance to take the pleasure of all sorts of activities like enjoying the various water sports like Rafting, Para sailing etc. Savour the unique south Indian dishes like  ‘Golibaje, ‘Dosa’ ,’Idli’, and ‘Medu Wada’ with ‘Sambar’ and ‘Coconut Chutney’. A hub of art and culture in Udupi don’t miss the folk dance performances like Yakshagana, Nagamandala, and Siri Jatre, a religious dance portray the extent of a devotees faith towards the Lord.

Best time to visit Udupi: The best time to visit Udupi is the winter season when the weather remains pleasant.

How to go ?

By Air

The fastest way to reach Udupi from Bangalore takes you 3h 05m, which is to take Air India Express flight from Bangalore to Mangalore then take Bus or Taxi from Mangalore to Udupi.

By Train

There is one direct train from Bangalore to Udupi. This train is Ypr Kawr Expres (16515) etc. The minimum time a train takes to reach Udupi from Bangalore is 11h 44m. 

By Road

From Mangalore, Buses or Taxis are available for Udupi.

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Where to stay ?

Udupi has abundant accommodation facilities suitable to budgets.

Hotel Sriram Residency: +91-0 820- 2530761, 2530762, 2530763, 2530764  Website:  www.hotelsriramresidency.com
Hotel Rukmini Residency: +91-0820-2523901  Website: www.rukminiresidency.com
Kalpana Residency Lodges: +91- 0820-2520440
Siddharth Hotel: +91- 0820-2536738

Note:  Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Badami

Badami, Karnataka – Famous for its unique Cave temple

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Badami is an ancient town situated in the Bagalkot district of Karnataka. It was originally named as Vatapi and was the capital of the Chalukya Dynasty that ruled over the most parts of peninsular India. Situated at an average elevation of 1922 ft above the sea level at the mouth a ravine, Badami is tucked in between two rugged sandstone outcrops. The innovative constructions that are now in its ruins were made by Chalukya king Kirti Varma and his brother Mongolesa. Badami is also famous as the city of the cave temples and attracts a number of tourists annually.

Places to see at Badami: The chief attraction of Badami is the cave temple. There are some other sight seeing location too which include,

The Badami Cave Temples

Badami is famous for its four cave temples – all carved out of sand stone on the precipice of a hill. They all share the same plan – a veranda with columns and brackets leading to a main hall, the pillared maha mandapa which in turn leads to the small sanctum which houses the sculpture. The four cave temples represent the secular nature of the rulers then, with tolerance and a religious following that inclines towards Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism.

The First Cave

The first temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. You would have to climb about 40 steps to reach it. Built around 578 AD, this is believed to be the earliest of the fourtemples. This cave depicts Shiva in his dancing form – as Nataraja depicted with eighteen arms. There are no less than 81 different dancing poses of Nataraja depicted in this cave. The first cave has gigantic carvings of Ardhanareeswara and Harira manifestations of Shiva in bas relief.There are also reliefs of Ganapati, Shanmukha and Mahishasuramardhini, and may be the oldest in Badami. It is made of red sandstone and has a hall with numerous pillars and a square shaped sanctum hollowed in the control back wall.

The Second Cave

This cave temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Here he is depicted in the magnificent Trivikrama form, where he is measuring the earth with one foot, and the sky with the other, with a third food resting on the head of Mahabali.

The Third Cave

The third cave is dedicated to Vishnu, and is the best and the biggest, and it has splendid giant figures of Paravasudeva, Bhuvaraha, Harihara and Narasimha. All these statues are engraved in a vigorous style. An inscription found here records the creation of the shrine by Mangalesha in 578. There are some paintings on the ceiling and the style indicates maturity but has lost its original dazzling colour. The bracket figures on the piers here are some of the finest.

The Fourth Cave

The fourth cave is Jaina which lies a little east of cave III. The sanctum is adorned by the image of Mahavira. The pedestal contains an old Kannada inscription of the 8th century A.D. which registers the death of one Jakkave. A number of Jaina Thirthankara images have been engraved in the inner pillars and walls. In addition to it, there are some idols of Bahubali, Yakshas and Yakshis. Some scholars assign the cave to the 8th century.

Bhuthanatha Temple

The Bhutanatha group of temples comprises of a group of sandstone temples, all dedicated to Lord Shiva. The Bhutanatha group includes two major temples, one on the east and the other on the north-east side of the Agasthya Tirtha or AgasthyaLake. The temple is situated on the eastern side of the Agasthya Tirtha. It is one of the earliest examples of structural temples in South India. This edifice was built during the reign of the Chalukyas of Vatapi, as Badami was known then. Later additions were built by the Kalyani Chalukyas of the west.

Agastya Lake

The lake is named after one of the Saptarishis, Agasthya.

BanashankariAmmaTemple

The BanashankariAmmaTemple was originally built by the Chalukyas during the 7th century. The Goddess Banashankari was their family deity. According to an inscription, this image of the Banashankari Amma was installed by Jagadekamalla I in 630 AD. This temple was later renovated by the Marathas in the 18th century. Its modern structure now reflects the Vijayanagara style of architecture more than the original Chalukya style.

Nearby attractions around Badami: The place is also dotted by some architecturally rich destinations located nearby.

Aihole

Located at a distance of 38 km from Badami Aihole is a historical town situated on the banks of Malaprabha River in Bagalkot district of Karnataka. Earlier, this historical town was also called as “Ayyavole” and “Aryapura”. Aihole was once capital of the early Chalukyan dynasty (6th to 8th centuries). Aihole is rewarded as “the cradle of Hindu rock architecture”. There are about 125 temples divided into 22 groups spread all over the villages and nearby fields. Most of these temples at Aihole were built between the 6th and 8th centuries.

Pattadakal

Just 20 km from Badami, Pattadakal located in Bijapur district of Karnataka was not only popular for Chalukyan architectural activities but also a holy place for royal coronation, ‘Pattadakisuvolal’. Temples constructed here mark the blending of the Rekha, Nagara, Prasada and the Dravida Vimana styles of temple building.

Things to do in Badami: The unique cave temple which is the chief attraction of Badami will undoubtedly attract you. It is really a wonder. Apart from this the sight seeing trip is also worth enjoying.

Best time to visit Badami: Badami has a pleasant climate during winters and spring. The best time to visit the place is from September to February.

How to go ?

By Air

The nearest airport to reach Badami is at Belgaum (150 kms). The nearest international airport is at Bangalore (504 kms). Domestic flights like Jet Airways and Kingfisher are available for Belgaum.

By Rail

Badami, the beautiful town is situated on the Hubli-Sholapur rail route which is exactly 163 kms from Bijapur and 128 kms from Hubli.

By Road

Badami is connected by road to Pattadakal (22 kms), Aihole (44 kms) and Hubli (128 kms). Karnataka State Transport Corporation buses ply from Badami to different major locations of the state.

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Where to stay ?

There are a number of accommodation options at Badami. Some are:

Mayura Chalukya(Karnataka Tourism): +91-08357-220046
Hotel Moombalika Deluxe:+91-08357-220067, 720637
Hotel Anand Deluxe: +91-08357-220074, 221074  Website: www.hotelananddeluxe.com

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Halebidu

Halebidu, Karnataka – This site is famous for the beautiful Hoyasaleswara Temple

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Halebidu literally means ruined city and got its name after it was attacked twice by the Delhi Sultanate in the 14th Century. Located at a distance of 16 km from Belur, Halebidu was the capital of the Hoysala empire during the 12th and 13th century with the name of Dwarasamudra.

Places to see at Halebidu: The main attraction of the place is the ancient Hoysaleshwara temple.

Hoyasaleswara Temple

The construction of the Hoyasaleswara Temple was started in AD 1121 and continued for around 90 years, but never completed. Nevertheless, even in its incomplete form, this temple is the most outstanding example of Hoysala art and architecture. The temple comprises of two temples standing on a single platform. The walls of the temple have detailed friezes and sculptures depicting scenes narrated in Mahabharatha and Ramayana.Two massive monolithic bulls are also carved inside the temple. it is enclosed by a garden.

The Archaeological Museum

There is also a museum -the Archaeological Museum, located in the temple premises displaying sculptures, woodcarvings idols, coins and inscriptions of 12th and 13th centuries also nearby.

Nearby attractions around Halebidu: From Halebidu you can also plan for a trip to places like:

Belur

Located at a distance of 16 km Belur became the capital of the Hoysala kings in the face of attacks by invaders like the Delhi Sultanate. Subsequently Belur witnesses a spawning of Hoysala temples prominent among which is the Chennakeshava temple.

Shravanabelagola

Another destination named Shravanbelgola is also located near to Halebidu. It is a sacred Jain pilgrimage, Shravanabelagola is known for the giant monolithic statue of Lord Gomateshwara. During the festival of Mahamastakabhisheka, thousands of devotees throng this holy shrine.

Chennakeshava Temple

A supreme example of Hoyasala temple architecture, the Chennakeshava temple in Belur, Karnataka leaves one spellbound with its exquisite structure. The temple was constructed in 1117 AD by Hoysala king Vishnuvardhan to celebrate his victory over the Cholas at the battle of Talikad.

Things to do at Halebidu: The architectural splendours built during the Hoysala dynasty still adorning the place is really a pleasure to watch for all the tourists visiting the place.

Best time to visit Halebidu: The best time to visit Halebidu is between the months of October and April.

How to go ?

To reach Halebidu you have to reach Bangalore first which is connected by rail, road and also airways to all parts of India nad abroad. From Bangalore buses ply to Hasan which 30 kms from Halebidu. No direct transport facilities are available from Bangalore to Halebidu at this time.

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Where to stay ?

Halebidu is ideal for a day trip. However there is a Government tourist lodge. For booking details you may contact:
Maurya Santhala: +91- 08177- 273224

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Mysore

Mysore, Karnataka – This City of Palaces still beholding its erstwhile royal charm

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Mysore city is at 770m above sea level and 140 kms from Bangalore.  The place is also known as the City of Palaces, and retains a quaint charm, and never fails to enchant. According to the myth it is here that Goddess Chamundi killed the demon king Mahishasur. The place derives its name from here. Situated in the southern part of the Deccan Plateau, Mysore District is like a tableland covered in parts by granite outcrops and decorated by lush forests. Mysore is a popular tourist destination, offering a number of tourist attractions that is not only confined to palaces or historical places. Mysore city is one of the favourite tourist destinations in Karnataka.

Places to see in Mysore: Also known as the ‘Sandalwood City of India’ it offers a number of sight seeing spots which include;

The Mysore Palace

The Mysore Palace is an example of the Indo Saracenic style of architecture. Once the residence of the royal family of the Wodayars, the palace still retains the regal air with which the royal family reigned in the Durbar Hall, Kalyana Mantap and the Golden Royal Elephant Throne. Another royal palace the Jaganmohan Palace has been converted into an art gallery and house the paintings and the miniatures of the 19th century.

The Brindavan Gardens

The Brindavan Gardens in Mysore is one of the most famous tourist attractions not only in South India but all over the country. Covering a land area of about 150 acres, this garden has been a very popular setting for many Indian films. The colorful fountains and lights are the major attractions of the BrindavanGardens of Mysore. On weekends the complex and the fountains appear more gorgeous when they are illuminated with multi colored lights.
The musical fountains of this place are very popular among the visitors for their beauty. The ambiance created by music, light and water make the evenings spent in the BrindavanGarden memorable one.

Chamundi Hills

Three kilometers to the south east of the fort in Mysore, lays the Chamundi Hills that rises to a height of 1050 meters above sea level. Atop the hill is the temple dedicated to the ancestral Goddess of the Mysore royal family, Goddess Kali who is also referred to as the Goddess Chamundi. The Mahabaleswara temple stands close to the Chamundi Temple atop the hill. The Mahabaleswara temple is believed to be the oldest temple of the region constructed in the 13th century.

The stucco figure of the demon king Mahishasura who was slain by the Goddess, is placed close to the temple. On the way to the temple on Chamundi Hills in Mysore, the tourists will come across the 4.8 meter monolithic statue of the animal companion of Lord Shiva, Nandi. The statue of the bull is ornamented with anklets and a pendent bell. The elaborate ornamentation of the bull reveals the master craftsmanship of the artisans who created it.

The temple dedicated to the chief consort of Lord Shiva on the Chamundi Hills is one of the primary tourist attractions of Mysore. Prayers were offered by the king of Mysore who had his palace built on the hill. The RajendraVilasPalace has been now converted into a hotel which houses pilgrims who arrive to offer prayers to the Goddess and to visit the sandalwood city of Mysore. To reach the temple, the tourists may climb a flight of 100 stone steps or travel the 13 kilometer distance to the summit in the car.

Datta Peetham

Spread over a total area of 35 acre, Datta Peetham is a religious and spiritual dwelling of Sri Ganapati Sachchidananda. One of the revered religious gurus of Mysore, Sri Ganapati Sachchidananda is known for unique concept of treating patients with serious ailments through the harmonious blend of music and meditation. Sri Ganapati Sachchidannada belongs to the lineage of Dattatreya Avadhoota and is famous for his spiritual message of love and harmony. Located at the foothills of the exotic mountain ranges of Chamunda, the spiritual ashram and meditation center of Datta Peetham draws several devotees from far and wide who have greatly benefited from the traditional method of mediation and Yoga.

Jaganmohan Art Gallery

Upholding the traditional heritage and old grandeur of Mysore, the Jaganmohan Art Gallery is a vast reserve of exquisite paintings and artifacts of the bygone golden era. Situated within the luxuriant MysorePalace, the JaganmohanArtGallery bears testimony to the enriched traditional art and craft of the ancient times. During the year of 1875, the JaganmohanPalace was transformed into the famous JaganmohanArtGallery that portrays the artistic skills and creative imagination of the artists of the ancient times. The enriched imagination of renowned artists of Raja Ravi Verma of Travancore and Svetoslav Roerich, the Russian painter has been captured in the colorful canvas of the JaganmohanArtGallery.

Jayalakshmi Vilas

Constructed by the mighty ruler of Mysore, Maharaja Chamaraja Wodeyar for the royal comforts of his eldest daughter, Jayalakshmi Vilas reflects the rich architectural splendour of the ancient times. The magnificent building of Jayalakshmi Vilas was erected in the year of 1905 at a huge price of rupees seven lakhs that portrays the parental affection of a father towards his daughter. At present, Jayalakshmi Vilas is a part of the MysoreUniversity and is known for its museum that contains numerous artifacts of the ancient period.

Karanji Lake

Krishna Raja Sagara: Located at a distance of about 12 Kilometers from Mysore, the Krishna Raja Sagara dam was built in the year 1932. This marathon project was conceptualized and designed by Sir Mokshagundam Vishweswaraiah and the construction work took place during the times of Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV. The Krishna Raja Sagara dam is about 130 feet in height and 8600 feet long. The Krishna Raja Sagara dam is an excellent example of hi- tech engineering, in fact it is the first dam in the world to use sluice gates which work automatically.

KukkaranahaliLake : The Kukkaranahali Lake is located within the Manasa Gangothri which is the campus of the MysoreUniversity. A home to a number of birds, it is also a retreat for many migratory birds who fly in from the different parts of the world. The Lake is a perfect place to witness the antics and other interesting actions of these rarest birds. The KukkarahaliLake is also a favorite of the sports lovers as a number of water sports are organized in the region.

Lalitha Mahal

The regal mysticism of the city of Mysore lies in the majestic Lalitha Mahal that stands at the summit point of the city presenting a spectacular and panoramic view of the city that lies beneath. The Lalitha Mahal at Mysore was once the residence of the guests who visited the royal family of the Wodeyars in Mysore. It is presently one of the most reputed five star hotels of the city that still retains the heritage and the royalty of the yesteryears.

Namma

Representing the rich traditional art and craft of the ancient times, Namma  is a plethora of cultural programmes that are presented by the members of the charitable trust of Divya Deepa. Formed on the lines of social service and with a noble aim in mind, the charitable trust offers the underprivileged children with education, monetary help and selfless love and attention.

St. Philomena’s Church

Built in the gothic form of architecture, St. Philomena’s Church is one of the largest churches of the continent of Asia. The church stands on the grounds where the older church built by Maharaja Krishnaraja Wodeyar III stood. The new church was constructed in the year 1933 by the grandson of the earlier king, Maharaja Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV. The church retains the heritage that is more than 200 years old.

Mysore Zoo

Mysore Zoo was established in the year of 1892 by Sri Chamarajendra Wodeyar. He is considered to be one of the architects of the modern Mysore city as well. To honor the famed founder the zoo was named after him as ‘Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens’.

Nearby attractions around Mysore: Besides the place of interest in Mysore city, there are many tourist attractions and places of interest around Mysore.

Somnathpur

Located at a distance of 25 km, the star shaped temple at Somnathpur is a splendid example of Hoysala architecture. It is decorated with a profusion of finely sculpted friezes and panels. The Somnathpur temple is well preserved and not to be missed.

Bandipur National Park

The Bandipur National Park has open forests and facilities for viewing wildlife from elephant back.

Talakad

Talakad is situated on the banks of the river Cauvery, near Mysore and is known for its sand dunes. There are a number of temples on the banks of the Cauvery in Talakad that are buried under the sand dunes and are excavated once in 12 years for special worship.

Coorg 

Situated at a distance of 120 kms, is a little hill-station that covers an area of 4102 sq km.

Melkote

Another important pilgrim center that is close to Mysore is Melkote or Tirunarayanapuram. Melkote is about 60kms from Mysore city and is located in a hilly region that comprises some of the oldest rock formations on earth.

Nanjangud 

Another popular excursion from Mysore city is Nanjangud. Nanjangud is 25kms from Mysore. It is a holy place because of the Nanjundeswara or Srikanteswara temple. It is called Garalapuri because of this famous temple.

Shivanasamudra Travel 

Shivanasamudra is about 85kms to the east of Mysore. At Shivanasamudra the river Cauvery cascades down a deep rocky gorge in two breathtakingly beautiful waterfalls- Bharachukki and Gaganachukki. The sight of these two falls is enchanting and the best time to visit them is during the monsoon.

Things to do in Mysore: Nick named as the sandal wood city of India, don’t miss to carry a piece of sandal wood from here. The saree lovers must shop the lovely Mysore silk from here. Apart from the sight seeing tour, the gorgeous city of Mysore is in itself a pleasure to wander about.

Best time to visit Mysore: Mysore can be visited throughout the year but the best time to visit is from September to March.

How to go ?

By Air

The nearest airport to Mysore is Bangalore (139 km). All the domestic airlines in the country operate their flights to Bangalore from all the major cities in the country.

By Train

Mysore is connected with a number of trains to Bangalore. The super fast luxury train the Shatabdi Express connects Mysore to Madras. The quickest and most comfortable way to reach Mysore is via Bangalore.

By Road

Mysore is 139kms to the south west of Bangalore. The state highway that connects these two cities is very well maintained. Travelling from Bangalore to Mysore by road is a pleasant experience and will take about 3hrs.

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Where to stay ?

There are abundant accommodation options in Mysore. Some are:

Kings Kourt: +91 -0821 242 1142, 99452 47205 Website: www.kingskourthotel.com
Mysore Hotel Complex: +91- 0821-4192141, 2426217, 2426218 Website: www.mysorehotelcomplex.com
Hotel Royale Heritage: +91-821-4265 033, +91-821-4265 330 Website: www.hotelroyaleheritage.com
Lalitha Mahal Palace Hotel: +91-0821-2526100 Website: www.lalithamahalpalace.in

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Nagarhole National Park

Nagarhole National Park, Karnataka – A treasure trove of the wildlife and nature lovers

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Located at a distance of 94 kms away from Mysore, Nagarhole National Park, lies between the Kodagu and Mysore districts to the north-west of Bandipur National Park, with the Kabini reservoir separating the two Parks. The park has small streams, rich forest cover, valleys, and waterfalls. The forest was the favourite hunting ground of the Maharaja of Mysore. In 1955, Nagarhole was set up as a wildlife sanctuary and later its area was increased to 643.39 sq km. It became a national park in 1988 and ten years later, in 1999, it was declared a Project Tiger reserve. Along with the adjoining Bandipur National Park, Mudumalai National Park, and Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, Nagarhole National Park is part of the largest protected area in southern India, about 2,183 sq km of wilderness. Kabini’s beautiful surroundings make it an ideal holiday destination.

Places to see in Nagarhole National Park: The varied species of wild life are itself the attractions in Nagarhole national Park. The most famous residents of Nagarhole National Park are tigers, Indian bison, and elephants. Other mammals that reside here include leopards, Indian wild dogs, jackals, sloth bears, striped hyenas, spotted deer, sambar deer, barking deer, four-horned antelopes, and civets. Nagarhole National Park has been recognized as an Important Bird Area and has over 270 species of birds. You can find the “Critically endangered” Oriental white-backed vulture, and “Vulnerable” species like the lesser adjutant, greater spotted eagle, and the Nilgiri wood pigeon here. “Near threatened” species here include darters, Oriental white ibises, greater grey headed fish, and red headed vultures. Species endemic to this region include the blue winged parakeet, Malabar grey hornbill, and the white-bellied treepie. Reptile enthusiasts should look for mugger crocodiles, Indian rock pythons, Russell’s vipers, common kraits, rat snakes, and bamboo pit vipers among other species at Nagarhole National Park.

Nearby attractions around Nagarhole National Park: The park itself is a treasure trove of the wildlife and nature lovers. Apart from this you can make an itinerary to the;

Irupu Falls

Located at a distance of 20 kms from NagarholeNational Park, the Falls are also known as the Lakshmana Tirtha Falls, derived from the name of the tributary of Cauvery which starts from these falls, the Lakshmana Tirtha River. A narrow way from the forest leads from these falls to the BrahmagiriPeak in Southern Kodagu. Irupu falls, a major tourist attraction is also a pilgrimage spot. A famous Shiva temple, the RameshwaraTemple is situated on the banks of the Lakshmana Tirtha River, that falls on the way to the Falls. This temple attracts a large number of pilgrims during the festival of Shivaratri.

Things to do in Nagarhole National Park: Unwind yourself amidst the exotic natural beauty and enjoy catching the glimpse of the engendered wild life species.

Best time to visit the Nagarhole National Park: The best time to view the animals is during the heat of March and April, when the waterholes are dry and the animals come out and visit the lake. However, the weather is more pleasant from November to February.

How to go ?

By Air

The nearest airport for Nagarhole National Park is Mysore. Mysore Airport is 95 km from the park. Mysore in turn is connected by Bangalore by means of regular flights. Bangalore is an InternationalAirport and hence easily accessible by all national and international flights.

By Train

The nearest railway station for Nagarhole National Park is again Mysore, which is around 95 km from Nagarhole and is connected to Bangalore which in turn is connected to all the major cities in India.

By Road 

Nagarhole National Park is connected to all the cities via Mysore and Coorg.

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Where to stay ?

There are a number of accommodation options in Kabini. Some options are:

The Bison Resort (P) Ltd:  +91-080 41278708, 65590271,  41125163 , 41278829  Website: www.thebisonresort.com
Waterwoods Lodges & Resorts Pvt. Ltd.: +91 99459-21303, +91 99727-43441  Website: www.waterwoods.in
Orange County Resorts & Hotels Ltd.: +91 -080 4191 1170, 71  Website:  www.orangecounty.in
Kabini River Lodge: +91- 080 – 25597021, 24, 25  Website: www.kabiniriverlodge.com

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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BR-Hills-Wildlife-Sanctuary

BR Hills Wildlife Sanctuary, Karnataka – A haven for over 372 species of birds and rare wildlife species

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Situated at a distance of 90 km from Mysore, the BR Hills Wildlife Sanctuary rests in between Western and the Eastern Ghats on the banks of river Cauvery about 5,091 feet above the sea level in Kemmannagundi district, Karnataka. The Biligiri Rangaswamy  (BR), Wildlife Sanctuary takes it name from the ancient Ranganatha Swamy Temple that sits at the edge of a 1000 ft cliff. Spread over an area of 540 square kilometers it is covered with mixed deciduous forests. The BR Hills Wildlife Sanctuary is the hub of a varied species of wildlife and is rich in flora and fauna.  Make a trip to this nature’s paradise to enjoy amidst the lush greenery and the uncommon wild life species.

Places to see at BR Hills Wildlife Sanctuary: The sanctuary itself is the prime attraction of the place. It is a haven for over 372 species of birds and wildlife such as elephants, tigers, leopards, wild dogs, four horned antelopes, black bucks and giant flying squirrels. There are also animals like panthers, tigers, guars, wild pigs, sloth bears, Langur, antelopes, Chital, Sambar deers, and bears. BR Hills has around 200 species of birds. Some of them are the Malabar Whistling Thrush, Racquet Tailed Drongo, Paradise flycatcher, Yellow throated bulbul, and the Crested Hawk Eagle. Apart from this you may also make a trip to few other places to see around the BR Hills Wildlife Sanctuary.

Dodda Sampige Mara

One of the must-visits while you are on a tour to BR Hills is this unique site. This is actually a thousand year old tree. The name when translated into English means the “Big Champak tree”. The temple is situated about 4 km from BR Hills. The tree reaches upto 34 m in height and is about 20 m broad. This is a holy site. There are many lingams close to the trunk of the tree.

Vivekananda Girijana Kalyana Kendra

It displays preserved tribal information and the bio-diversity of the region.

Nearby attractions around BR Hills Wildlife Sanctuary: You can make a visit to the BiligiriRanganathaTemple. It is a temple dedicated Lord Venkatesha an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The temple is located at the highest point of the hill Swethadri.It is a must visit spot of the theists.

Things to do at BR Hills Wildlife Sanctuary: At the sanctuary you will enjoy a range of activities, professional angling, amateur fishing, coracle boat rides, bird watching, river rafting, trekking, and outdoor camping. These activities will keep you busy.

Best time to visit BR Hills Wildlife Sanctuary: The best time to visit BR Hills Wildlife Sanctuary is from June to October.

How to go ?

To reach BR hills you have to reach Bengaluru which is connected by air, rail and roads to all parts of the country and abroad. From Bengaluru cars are available for hire that will take you to BR hills wildlife sanctuary.

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Where to stay ?

There are a number of accommodation facilities in the BR hills. Few options are:

Champakaranya: +91-98452 18481  Website : www.champakaranya.com
Rajathadri Hill Villa:  +91-90368 09218  Website : www.rajathadrihillvilla.in
K Gudi Wilderness Camp BR Hills: 91-080-40554055, 25584111, 25559261, 25586154  Website : www.junglelodges.com

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Bengaluru

Bengaluru, Karnataka – The Garden City of India

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The capital city of Karnataka, Bengaluru was known as Bangalore earlier. Bengaluru is also adorned by a number of nicknames  ‘Silicon Valley of India’, ‘City of Gardens’, and ‘Pub Capital of India’. The city is the hub of  IT (Information Technology) in the country. Bengaluru houses a population of 8,474,970 (2011 census) and ranks as the third biggest city in the nation in terms of population. The weather of Bengaluru is truly enjoyable and as a result, Bengaluru attracts thousands of travelers round the year and is a popular traveler destination in India.  Its elevation is the highest among the major large cities of India. The city is among the top ten preferred entrepreneurial locations in the world.

Places to see in Bengaluru: Bengaluru has numerous tourist destinations. Here listed the most important tourist spots,

Bangalore Fort

While visiting the fort you will get a sense of the historical roots of the city. Bangalore Fort was originally built by a feudatory of the Vijayanagar Empire and the founder of Bengaluru, Kempe Gowda, in 1537. Hyder Ali converted the mud fort into a stone fort in 1761. Since 1791, when the British conquered this fort, they kept dismantling it for various reasons like laying roads, building schools, and hospitals, etc. until 1930s. What remains now is its Delhi Gate and remnants of 2 bastions.

Vidana Soudha

Built in 1954, Vidana Soudha is a landmark of Bangalore. This enormous building is a massive example of neo-Dravidian architecture, with four domes on its four corners. It houses the Legislative Chamber of Karnataka Government, as well as accommodates many government departments.

Bangalore Palace

Chamaraja Wodeyar built this in 1887. The Bengaluru Palace is inspired by England’s Windsor Castle. This beautiful palace is situated in a 450-acre property in a prime locality of North Bengaluru and has a Tudor style architecture, with fortified towers, arches, green lawns, and elegant woodcarvings in its interiors.  An audio tour would introduce the tourists to the rich history and heritage of the erstwhile Mysore Empire.

Bannerghatta National Park

Covering nearly 25000 acres, it is located at a distance of about 22 km from Bengaluru city and is home to one of the richest natural zoological reserves. Many wild animals like the tiger, lion, panthers, deer, elephant and a variety of reptiles and birds roam around freely in this park.

Cubbon Park

Cubbon park is located in the heart of city, set on a 300 acre area, CubbonPark is a great place to laze around in the lush green paradise. It has a treasure of different species of exotic plants. The park was named after the erstwhile Commissioner of Bangalore, Sir Mark Cubbon. Many ornamental and flowering trees, both exotic and indigenous, can be found in the park. It’s a popular place for walkers, joggers, and nature lovers. Bal Bhavan in the park is a great place for the kids to enjoy. An aquarium is also located in CubbonPark, with many varieties of exotic and ornamental fish.

Indira Gandhi Musical Fountain:

The dancing and musical fountain was commissioned in 1996 in the heart of the city on the Raj Bhavan Road on a 17-acre land beautifully landscaped by the Department of Horticulture, Government of Karnataka.

Innovative Film City

This is an entertainment theme park. Located about 40 km from Bengaluru, it is almost somewhat equal to the Disneyland of the United States of America. Located on a 50-acre land, the city offers many entertainment facilities to suit all age groups such as Teddy Museum, Louis Tussaud’s Wax Museum, Mini Golf field, Ripley’s Believe It or Not, Haunted Mansion, Bungee Jumping and so much more.

Lalbagh Botanical Garden

This enchanting garden is set on 240 acres with a rare collection of tropical and sub-tropical trees and plants and a majestic glasshouse built on the lines of London’s CrystalPalace. The garden was made in the 17th century — started by Hyder Ali, and later completed by his son Tipu Sultan. It derives its name “Lal Bagh” from a collection of red roses that bloom throughout the year there. The glasshouse, which was constructed in the year 1889 to commemorate the visit of the Prince of Wales, is the jewel of this garden. Lalbagh takes on a festive look during India’s Independence Day and Republic Day, with a captivating show of over 200 varieties of flowers. The show also features an exhibition of hybrid vegetables.

Tipu Sultan’s Palace and Fort:

Build originally by Chikkadeva Raya in mud, Hyder Ali started reconstruction in Indo-Islamic architecture. This was completed by his son, Tipu Sultan, in 1791. The Hindu temple seen in the courtyard of the fort is the proof of Tipu Sultan’s religious tolerance.

Ulsoor or Halsuru Lake

Bangalore once had 300 plus lakes. But many of the lakes have vanished. UlsoorLake is one of the oldest lakes spread over 123.6 acres and is the only surviving lake gifted to Bangalore by the Gowda dynasty. It was built by Kempegowda II in the later part of the sixteenth century. The lake has boating facilities, a small park on its bank, and number of beautiful islands in the middle.

Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium

Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium was founded in 1989, with an aim of spreading awareness among students and the public about astronomy. Two shows are held here daily except on Mondays.

Wonderla Amusement Park

This amusement park, is considered as the largest of its kind in India, is located at Bidadi, about 28 km into the Bangalore-Mysore road. Spread over 82 acres, Wonderla has 56 thrill-packed rides for people of all ages. There are kids’ rides, water rides, dry rides and high thrill rides. This Park is an attraction to the children and all those who want to get away from the busy city life and soak in some fun-filled activities.

Nearby attractions around Bangalore: There are a number of tourist locations located at a short distance from Bangalore that are really worth visiting. The tourist places near Bangalore have something for everyone, right from wildlife enthusiasts to devotees.

Bannerghatta National Park

Bannerghatta National Park is situated at a distance of approximately 21 km from the Bangalore city of India. Situated amidst picturesque environs, the national park is quite known for its lion and tiger safari. The other attractions of BannerghattaNational Park include its crocodile and snake farm.

Karnataka Folk Museum

Karnataka Folk Museum is situated at a distance of approximately 53 kms from the Bangalore city of India. Spread over an area of 15 acres, it lies on the KumaraPark West, Sheshadripuram. Managed by Karnataka Janapada Trust, this folk museum was set up to promote the diverse folk life of Karnataka.

Kolar Gold Fields

Kolar Gold Fields are believed to be the second deepest gold mines in the world. Situated at a distance of approximately 120 km from Bangalore, these mines were closed down in the year 2003 because of reducing deposits and hiking costs.

Nandi Hills

Nandi Hills serves as the perfect weekend getaway for the Bangaloreans. Situated at a distance of approximately 65 km from the Bangalore city, this hill station was once the summer retreat of Tipu Sultan, the Emperor of Mysore, and later, the British.

Nrityagram Dance Village

Nrityagram Dance Village is situated at a distance of approximately 30 km from the city of Bangalore. Founded by Protima Guari, one of the finest Odissi dancers of India, the village lies at Hessarghatta, the rural district of Bangalore.

Savandurga Hills

Savandurga is the name given to the hills situated at a distance of around 60 km to the west of Bangalore. Rising to an altitude of 1226 m above the sea level, these hills are considered to be one of the largest monolith hills in India.

Shivanasamudra Waterfalls

Shivanasamudra Waterfalls are situated in Mandya District, at a distance of around 120 km from Bangalore. These waterfalls are also known as Siva Samudram, literally meaning Shiva’s Sea.

Whitefield

Whitefield is a suburb of Bangalore, situated at a distance of approximately 24 km from the heart of the city. The place is mainly known for housing the Brindavan Ashram of Sri Sathya Sai Baba. Inaugurated by Sai Baba on 25th June 1960, the ashram lies near the Whitefield Railway Station.

Devarayanadurga

Devarayanadurga is a beautiful hill resort, nearly 79 km from Bengaluru. The major attractions of this hill resort are a natural water spring and an artificial lake. The Indo-Danish Dairy project and Government Horticultural and dairy farms are also situated here.

Muthyala Maduvu (PearlValley)

Muthyala Maduvu, also known as the Pearl Valley, is located nearly 44 km from the Bengaluru city. Its major attractions comprise of a 300 ft high waterfall and its picturesque surroundings.

Shivaganga

Situated nearly 56 km from Bengaluru, Shivaganga town is also known as Dakshin Kashi. Two popular shrines are situated here, one dedicated to Lord Gangadeshwara and another to Goddess Honnadevi.

Things to do in Bangalore: The sight seeing tour and making an excursions from Bengaluru to the nearby destinations itself makes a whole holiday package for the tourists.

Best time to visit Bengaluru: Bengaluru is a pleasant city all through the seasons in a year and can be visited throughout the year. But the best season to visit is from the month of September to February.

How to go ?

By Air

Bengaluru is extremely well-connected by regular flights from Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and most other important cities in India and also has international carriers flowing in and out of the Bengaluru International Airport, which is located about 40 kilometres from the main city.

By Train

Bangalore has two important railway stations – Bengaluru City Railway Station and Yeswantpur Junction. Both railway stations have regular trains running from Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Kolkata and other major cities.

By Bus

Bengaluru  is well-connected by a network of buses from cities like Goa, Mumbai, Pune, Coimbatore and Mangalore.

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Where to stay ?

There are a flock of accommodation options in Bengaluru.

Hotel Royal Lodge: +91- 080 – 41146851, 22266951 Website: www.royallodge.in
Hotel Presidency: +91- 096 20 222809
Hotel Samrat Residency: +91-080-23560930, 33563726, 23561725, 23560823 Website: www.hotelsamratresidency.in
Hotel Kaveri: +91080- 2225 9592
Hotel Sree Balaji Comfort: +91-  080-22101113

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Belur

Belur, Karnataka – A holy place known as the Benaras of the south

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Erstwhile capital of the Hoysala Empire, Belur is one of the major tourist destinations in Karnataka. Belur is known for the heritage tourism it offers. The place is also named as Dakshina Varanasi or Southern Banaras.

Places to see at Belur: Belur is famous for its exquisite temples and sculptures of the Hoysala period. There may not be many places to see in Belur but the following spots are a must visit:

Chennakesava Temple

The prime tourist attraction in Belur is the Chennakesava Temple built by the Hoysala King Vishnuvardhana in 1117 A D to commemorate his conversion from Jainism to Vaishnavism. The temple took 103 years to build and is a classic example of the Hoysala style. Standing on a star-shaped platform, it has three doorways and bracket figures or ‘Madanikas’ representing the masterpieces of craftsmanship. The pillars of the temple are richly carved. The ChannekeshavaTemple is unique as it is said that every Hindu deity has been represented in the temple. There are intricate sculptures all around and no portion in the temple is left blank. On the smooth circular platform in front of the shrine, stands the sculpture of the beautiful Shantala Devi, queen of King Vishnuvardhana. The four famous bracket figures on the ornate ceiling have been inspired by Shantala Devi’s voluptuous beauty. Everything in the temple is made with black stones.

Veeranarayana Temple

Situated on the west of the ChennaKesava Temple is Veeranarayana temple. This temple houses the shrines of Kappe Chenniga, Andal, Saumya Nayaki, and other deities.

Nearby attractions around Belur: You can excursion to Halebid, which is 16 km from Belur. Those on spiritual tourism in Belur will be delighted visiting this place. Halebid, is famous for the Hoyasaleeswara temple. There are also smaller temples like Kedareswara and three Jain temples at Halebid. One can also visit Shravanabelagola, situated 50 km off Hassan, an important Jain pilgrimage center and famous for the 17 m high statue of Bahubali (Gomateshwar).

Things to do at Belur: You will be mesmerized by the intricate sculptures of the temples and feel the ecstasy in the spiritual atmosphere.

Best time to visit Belur: The best time to visit Belur is between the months of October and April when the weather is pleasant enough to enjoy the outdoors.

How to go ?

Hassan which is 27 Km from Belur is connected by rail and road to Bangalore. It is 180 km from Bangalore. From here you have to reach Belur by car.

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Where to stay ?

 There are very few accommodation options in Belur.

Hotel Maurya Velapuri (KSTDC): +91-08177- 222209
Hotel Vishnu Regency: +91- 08177- 223011.

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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