Karnataka, the sixth largest state in India, is a thriving tourist destination loaded with breathtaking monuments, glittering palaces, and picturesque landscapes. There is no end to places to visit in Karnataka in May. Its stunning beaches, national parks, and artistic mausoleums lure tourists all year round.
The ancient temples belonging to the royal dynasties like Hoysala, Rashtrakutas, and Chalukyas make it an important state for the history buffs. To add more, this glorious state is known for its flavoursome food and stellar craftsmanship. The Western Ghats, Pattadakal and Hampi are UNESCO world heritage sites belonging to this region.
For lack of a better word, we should refer to it as the ruins of Hampi. This was once a prosperous city, abundant in riches of all kinds. It is from the writings of various travellers over the ages, from Ibn Battuta to Fernao Nunes, that we are acquainted with its immense power and wealth. Today, Hampi stands as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, still managing to evoke surprise and admiration from visitors.
Call it Coorg of Kodagu, it is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Karnataka. You should visit this place for its coffee plantations and its distinct culture. Topographically, it enjoys a high altitude and is spread out leisurely on the eastern slopes of the Western Ghats. The richness in its culture is also reflected in its wildlife, as it boasts three wildlife sanctuaries and a famous national park in India called Nagarhole National Park, nowadays popularly known as Rajiv Gandhi National Park.
Bandipur National Park is famous for many things, from spotting of tigers and elephants to a wide variety of birds. Along with Mudumalai, Nagarhole and Wayanad parks, it forms a part of Nilgiri biosphere reserve. The vegetation of the park is marked by a rich variety of trees like rosewood, sandalwood, Indian Kino, Indian Laurel, giant clumping bamboo and teak.
There was a time when Halebeedu was the second capital of the Hoysalas and was called Drawasamudra. Today, its temples tell of its grand past through their incredible architecture. They are the embodiment of excellent craftsmanship and represent the achievements of art and architecture under the Hoysala Empire. It got its present name after being conquered by the Delhi Sultanate in the 14th century.
Mysore is synonymous with the Mysore Palace, an exercise in sheer opulence and extravagance. It is the royal past of this city that will continue to attract tourists, a past wrapped in riches and glory. First ruled by a succession of kings from the Wadiyar dynasty, then by Tipu Sultan, the "Tiger of Mysore", and finally by the British, Mysore has seen more than its fair share of historical adventures.
The town of Gokarna would have been just another sleepy little town, just like so many others in Karnataka, had it not been for Gokarna Beach. Fondly called the OM Beach, as it resembles the religious Hindu symbol OM, it is a picture of undisturbed serenity. The shoreline of this famous beach in Karnataka, stretches until it meets a rocky cliff, as is the case with several other beaches here.
Just like Mysore, Srirangapatna has a royal past, which presents itself before tourists in a stylish way. Throughout its history, it has served as the historical capital of various kings and dynasties, including Hyder Ali and his son Tipu Sultan. It is located just 16 km from Mysore, another famous place to visit in Karnataka, and is blessed with an incredibly rich cultural heritage.
Those who have read Malgudi Days by R.K. Narayan always wish there was a place like it. Well, Agumbe is as close as you will ever come to finding Malgudi. It is a small sleepy village in the Malnad region in Shimoga district. Because of the heavy rainfall it receives, it is called the "Cherrapunji of the South".
9. Jog Falls
Jog Falls is formed when River Sharavathy descends ferociously from an incredible height of almost 253 meters. It is the second-highest plunge waterfall in Asia and should be visited during the monsoon to watch it in all its magnificence. The river swells up during the monsoons as a result of the Linganamakki Dam releasing excess water. The best part about visiting the Jog Falls in Karnataka is the opportunity to see it up close.
10. Mulligan Giri
The Western Ghats start from Gujarat and stretch to Tamil Nadu. Along the way, they cover several states, Karnataka being one of them. Mulligan Giri is the highest peak of the Western Ghats in Karnataka, and for trekkers, presents an exciting challenge. A part of Baba Budangiri Hills of Chikmagalur district, it stands proudly at an impressive height of almost 1929 m. It is named after a sage known as Mulappa Swamy, who is believed to have meditated in the caves located nearby.