Answer :

The state of Karnataka is a world-famous tourist destination owing to its varied geography and long history. It has the second largest number of nationally protected monuments and several have been declared as world heritage sites by UNESCO. Several dynasties like the Kadambas, Hoysalas, Chalukyas and the kings of Vijayanagar have ruled over Karnataka. They have left their imprint through various architectural sites and important contributions to the culture prevalent in the state. The tourist places in Karnataka can be divided under the following groups:


A) World Heritage Sites


Hampi, Bellary District: The site of the capital of Vijayanagara (1336) and formerly the seat of the Vijayanagar Empire. Foreign visitors in the 15th and 16th centuries described Hampi as being bigger than Rome. The city was destroyed and deserted in 1565 by marauding Moghul invaders and its ruins now lie scattered over a 26 sq. km area south of the river Tungabhadra.



Group of 8th-century CE monuments, Pattadakal: Located on the banks of the river Malaprabha, Pattadakal was the second capital of the Chalukyas and contains examples of 7th- and 8th-century temple architecture.



B) Hill Stations of Karnataka:


The Hill stations in Karnataka are generally unexplored and more pristine than better known ones in South India.


List of hill stations in Karnataka according to district




C) Waterfalls of Karnataka:


Karnataka has a number of waterfalls. Jog Falls of Sagara Taluk is one of the highest waterfalls in Asia. Some well known waterfalls are Varapoha Falls, Magod Falls, Lalgulli Falls, Sathodi Falls, Unchalli Falls, Lushington Falls, Shivaganga Falls, Ulavi Falls, Irupu Falls, Sivasamudram Falls near Shivanasamudra, Balmuri Falls, Gokak Falls, Abbe Falls, Achakanya Falls, Chunchanakatte Falls, Hebbe Falls, Kallathigiri Falls, Sogal Falls, Godachinamalki Falls etc. Gokak Falls, Ghataprabha River, near Gokak, Belgaum district: It drops from 52 metres over a sand-stone cliff in a gorge. It is known locally as "mini Niagara" Hydro Electric Power has been harnessed at the falls since 1887 to run a cotton mill. Temples near the falls date from Badami Chalukyas to later Chalukya times and Vijayanagara periods. A suspension bridge crosses the river.



D) Wildlife Sanctuaries of Karnataka


The preservation of habitat specifically for animals is called a wildlife sanctuary. It is a protected area where limited human activity is allowed. The state of Karnataka is biodiversity hotspot and is rich in a variety of flora and fauna. In order to protect this diverse range of flora and fauna along with the forests, the government has declared several areas as wildlife sanctuaries. There are five national parks in Karnataka. They are : Rajiv Gandhi National Park in Nagarahole, Bandipur, Bannerughatta, Kudremukh and Anshi National Park. There are eighteen wildlife sanctuaries in Karnataka, -



The state is home to the largest concentration of Asian Elephants along Kabini River in Nagarahole and Bandipur parks. These two parks also hold among the most viable population of the highly endangered Indian Tiger.


The varied Fauna of Karnataka



E) Historical Places:


The state of Karnataka is a world-famous tourist destination owing to its varied geography and long history. It has the second largest number of nationally protected monuments and several have been declared as world heritage sites by UNESCO. Several dynasties like the Kadambas, Hoysalas, Chalukyas and the kings of Vijayanagar have ruled over Karnataka. They have left their imprint through various architectural sites and important contributions to the culture prevalent in the state. The historical places of Karnataka include the world heritage sites at Hampi and Pattadakal. Other areas of historical importance include Belur, Halebid, Somnathpur, Badami, Aihole, Gol Gumbuz of Vijayapura, Lakkundi, Banavasi, Basaralu, Belligave, Mysuru, Srirangapatna etc. Along with the historical areas, Karnataka also has several forts that showcase the history of the region. These include Fort of Bidar, Vijayapura, Kalaburagi, Hampi (Vijayanagar), Keladi, Chitradurga, Madhugiri, Nandi Hills, Pavagada, Manjrabad, Ucchangidurga, Kavaledurga, Parathagadha, Srirangapatna, the coastal forts of Bahadurgadha, Basavarajadurga, Devagadha Kurmagadha etc.



F) Places of Pilgrimage:


Karnataka has many pilgrimage centers like Dharmasthala, Udupi, Sringeri, Horanadu, Kollur, Gokarna, Ulavi, Sirsi, Sravanabelagola, Kudala Sangama, Melukote, Adichunchunagiri, Karkala, Devaragudda, Mylarakshetra, Bande Nawaz Darga of Kalaburagi, Ibrahim Roza of Vijayapura, Mallikrahan Darga of Sira, St.Philomena Church in Mysuru, Rosario Cathedral in Mangaluru etc.


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