Karnataka Holidays: an Overview

Forget Rajasthan - if you want a microcosm of India in one state, Karnataka is the place to head.

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Miranda, Rosie and Carrie are here to help give you the inside track.

Why we think you’ll love it

  • Because this is India off the well-worn tourist trail
  • Karnataka offers a perfect distillation of all things India (minus the mountains, admittedly) in one state

Luxury Travel to Karnataka: The Detail

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 birdlife.

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.


Top picks for Karnataka

The Bison Resort

The Bison Resort

Karnataka

Right where the Bandipur and Nagarhole National Parks meet, on the shores of the Kabini River, boldly stands The Bison Resort; an East African camp meets lavish Raj lodge.

Where to stay

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Evolve Back Kamalapura Palace

Karnataka

Embodying the grandeur of the 14th Century Vijayanagara Empire, Evolve Back Kamalapura Palace is a charming boutique hotel and tranquil retreat on the outskirts of Hampi, in Southern India.

Where to stay

Vivanta by Taj – Madikeri

Vivanta by Taj – Madikeri

Karnataka

Vivanta by Taj – Madikeri is a strong contender for the best hotel in the Coorg (otherwise known as Kodagu) region of Karnataka.

Where to stay

Shreyas Retreat

Shreyas Retreat

Karnataka

As one of the world’s best yoga getaways Shreyas Retreat is the place to go to cleanse mind, body and soul and all that zenful jazz. Guests are spoiled with rejuvenating spa treatments, fresh organic food and 25 acres of landscaped greenery to bring them closer to nature.

Where to stay

Royal Orchid Metropole

Royal Orchid Metropole

Karnataka

Built by the former Maharaja of Mysore in 1920 for his British guests, Royal Orchid Metropole is a conveniently placed heritage hotel saturated with Mysore culture and colonial influences. It quietly stands on the Cauvery River looking out across the stunning Brindavan Gardens.

Where to stay

Hampi's Boulders

Hampi's Boulders

Karnataka

Hampi’s Boulders Resort is just five miles from the impressive UNSECO World Heritage Site of Hampi, set in the ruins of the city of Vijayanagara.

Where to stay

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