Most holidays to Karnataka start or end in the heart of the
Deccan Plateau in Bangalore, not a city that could or would ever
claim to be India's most beautiful. That's not to say you should
give it a miss though, because Bangalore - or Silicon Plateau - has
a burgeoning reputation as a hub for restaurants and vibrant
nightlife thanks to the huge growth in IT companies setting up shop
in the state capital.
The tech-inspired modernity of Bangalore dovetails nicely with
the state's other attractions, including a rich architectural
heritage thanks to a succession of powerful dynasties with an eye
on immortality through grand building projects. The vast array of
temples and sculpture to visit as a result include ancient
Vijayanagar (within which sits the UNESCO World Heritage ruins of
Hampi); the great palaces of Mysore (one of which was lit by
100,000 light bulbs) and Badami's caves and temples.
Heading for the coast, Karnataka also has 200 plus miles of
coastline with some wonderfully unspoilt beaches stretching from
Goa in the north to Kerala in the south. As a result, Kerala and
Karnataka make a great combination, with Karnataka also home to
national parks such as Nagarhole, Kabini and Bandipur, home to the
elusive tiger, Asian elephants, sloth bears, leopards and myriad
The eagle eyed among you may have noticed a distinct lack of
Himalaya-esque mountains or deserts but nowhere's perfect. Oh, and
for the record, Rajasthan is pretty nice too.