Karnataka Heritage

Heritage Tourism in Karnataka

Heritage Tourism Karnataka

Karnataka is a place of million stories that are told through its forts, palaces, and ancient towns. Any acquaintance with the state can be started with a sightseeing tour to understand its history, culture and ethos through its monuments. On the heritage cultural tour to Karnataka, tourists will reveal a lot more about the art, architecture and craftsmanship of the Hoysalas, Cholas, Chalukyas, etc. From ancient ruins and temples that are speckled in small towns to vibrant fort hugging the sea, a trip to Karnataka reveals one the beauty of age's old medieval town.

On a heritage trip to Karnataka, don't forget to visit some of the prominent ancient towns like Hampi, Badami, and Anegundi, these are some of the places where one can trace different dynasties. It seems time has stood still in these rustic towns of Karnataka. Rich in history and architecture, Karnataka is home to a host of heritage sites. Visit Karnataka and discover the hidden gateways to timeless art and architecture.

Forts in Karnataka

Forts in Karnataka

Forts in Karnataka are the vast monuments, which were made by erstwhile leaders to protect their defensive weapon while fighting with enemies. Many monarchs have ruled over Karnataka, some of them conquered the old forts while others made new forts to expand their kingdom. With the help of forts, one peak into the life of the royal families and witness their spectacular opulence.

If tourists are looking for a short getaway on the coastal belt, they can visit the Morgan Fort. The flowing river, greenish groves and breezing wind from the seaside add flavor to the beauty of the fort. Another architectural splendour in Karnataka is the Gulbarga Fort. In the Gulbarga Fort, one can see the oldest mosque in Karnataka and Jumma Masjid, which looks like Great Mosque of Cordova in Spain. Tipu Sultan, one of the influential leaders of India, was also remembered for his luxurious lifestyle and valour. Tipu Sultan Palace, nestled in the middle of the manicured garden in Bangalore, is notable for its teak pillars and ornamental frescoes.

Famous Forts in Karnataka

Basavakalyan Fort (Bidar) Bellary Fort (Bellary) Bidar Fort (Bidar) Chitradurga Fort (Chitradurga)
Gulbarga Fort (Gulbarga) Manjarabad Fort (Sakleshpur) Mirjan Fort (Uttara Kannada) Raichur Fort (Raichur)

Palaces in Karnataka

Mysore Palace

Like other states in India, Karnataka is bestowed with the magnificent palaces. Palaces in Karnataka are the epitomes of luxury, victory, and chivalry of the rulers who use to once rule the state. They are gems amongst the various forms of architecture and, in fact, the official "heritage city" tag is associated with Mysore. One of the finest palaces in Karnataka is the Mysore Palace. The magnificent Mysore Palace is a treasure house of exquisite carvings and works of art from all over the world, as the official residence of the Wodeyars — the Maharajas of Mysore. Jagmohan Palace, Lalitha Mahal, Cheluvamba Mansion and Rajendra Vilas are some of the other Palaces that one should visit on a tour to Mysore.

Apart from Mysore, one can find some sightseeing options in Bangalore as well. In Bangalore, tourists can see the exact copy of England's Windsor Castle in the form of Bangalore Palace. Beautiful painting, sculptures, and artistic passages, takes one on a walk through the history. Tipu Sultan's Summer Palace, once the official summer residence of Tipu Sultan, makes it to the top attraction of Bangalore.

Famous Palaces in Karnataka

Mysore Palace (Mysore) Bangalore Palace (Bangalore) Cheluvamba Mansion (Mysore) Jaganmohan Palace (Mysore)
Lalitha Mahal (Mysore) Nalknad Palace (Kodagu district) Rajendra Vilas (Mysore) Tipu Sultan's Summer Palace (Bangalore)

Ancient Shrines:

Heritage temples are the heart and soul of Karnataka. With UNESCO world heritage accredited temples, historical monuments, mysterious caves, carved stories, Karnataka is a hotspot for a great holiday destination. Temples of Hampi and Pattadakal are unique; they are the rich plethora of spirituality and symmetry, an example of humanity's devotion to its God. The architecture of a major number of temples in Karnataka is a treat for the eyes and especially for the God-fearing people as the list of explorations is endless. Each and every temple has its distinctive feature- Hoysaleswara Temple in Halebidu is notable for its mythological stories carved in the temple, Gomateshwara Temple in Shravanabelagola is the finest specimen of Jain temple and also in the temple complex is the world's largest monolithic statue. Also, worth visiting on a heritage tour in Karnataka is the Chennakeshava Temple, early masterpieces of Hoysala period and the interior carvings depict aspects of Vishnu, particularly the incarnations. Many shrines in Karnataka are more than just temples, so do look around.

Famous Ancient Shrines in Karnataka

Group of temples at Pattadakal- Virupaksha Temple Sangameshvara Temple Chandrashekhara Temple Mallikarjuna Temple
Kashivisvanatha Temple Galaganatha Temple Kadasiddhesvara and Jambulingeswara Temples Jambulinga temple
Virupaksha Temple Vittala Temple Hoysaleswara Temple Chennakesava Temple (Somanathapura)
Vidyashankara Temple Durga Temples (Aihole) Doddabasappa Temple (Dambal) Gomateshwara Temple (ShravanaBelagola)

Caves & Cave Temples in Karnataka

Cave Temples in Karnataka

Caves in Karnataka are the finest specimen of its history, culture and spirituality. Cave Temples of Badami are an important attraction of Karnataka Tourism. There are four major caves in Badami and every cave is finely furnished with scriptures, sculptures and images of Hindu gods, Mahavir, and other Jain Thirthankaras. Another finest example of caves in Karnataka is the Kavala Caves. Nestled amidst the Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary, Kavala is amongst the few caves in India and are believed to be formed by the limestone. Exploring caves are gradually becoming one of the most popular activities in Karnataka.

Famous Caves in Karnataka

Pandava caves (Mangalore) Cave Temples of Badami (Badami) Yana Caves (Yana)
Ravana Phadi cave temple (Aihoḷe) Hulimavu cave Temple (Hulimavu) Gavi Gangadhareshwara Temple (Hulimavu)

Mausoleums in Karnataka

Bijapur Fort, Karnataka

Throughout the History, Karnataka land has witnessed wars and mutiny. Many renowned leaders died during the war. Some leaders were shown respect by burying the dead body in complex, ornate tombs, crypts, and catacombs while some by burying in funeral pyres. All these mausoleums of the erstwhile are one of the famous monuments in Karnataka. Karnataka's most famous mausoleum is the Bijapur's Gol Gumbad. Gol Gumbad, a slightly bulbous dome, is the largest in the world after St Peter's in Rome. Another exquisite mausoleum in Karnataka has been the Ibrahim Rauza, often described as the finest Islamic building in the Deccan. The burial ground of Tipu Sultan, Gumbaz at Seringapatam, is one of the prehistoric monuments in Karnataka. The mausoleum was originally built by Tipu Sultan to hold the graves of his father Hyder Ali and mother Fakr-UN-Nisa. Gumbaz at Seringapatam is an imposing architecture, located amidst the manicured Lalbagh Garden.

Famous Mausoleum in Karnataka

Gol Gumbaz or Gol Gumbadh-Mausoleum of Mohammed Adil Shah, Gumbaz at Seringapatam, Ibrahim Rauza in Bijapur Fort.

Interesting Facts:

  • Vittala Temple in Karnataka is one of the finest examples of extravagant architecture in Hampi. Inside the temples, there are 56 musical pillars, which produce musical sounds when tapped gently. Britons even tried to break some pillars of the temple to know the secret behind the seemingly hollow pillars of granite
  • The idol of Ganesha in Bangalore's Dodda Ganesha Temple is said to grow in size each year.
  • Gommateshwara statue at Shravanabelagola is the largest monolithic statue of Bahubali in the world.