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While some parts of India seem to have changed little in centuries, in Karanataka the modern world has come crashing in. The capital Bengaluru (Bangalore), one of India's prime IT hubs, has a booming economy boosting wealth and facilities throughout the state. The city's Botanical Gardens are excellent, but Bengaluru is best appreciated for its top hotels, great restaurants and goods shops. For more traditional Indian appeal it's difficult to beat the royal city of Mysore, with its spectacular palace, gorgeously colorful market and renowned yoga gurus. Time your visit, if you can, to coincide with the spectacular Dussehra festival held in ...

While some parts of India seem to have changed little in centuries, in Karanataka the modern world has come crashing in. The capital Bengaluru (Bangalore), one of India's prime IT hubs, has a booming economy boosting wealth and facilities throughout the state. The city's Botanical Gardens are excellent, but Bengaluru is best appreciated for its top hotels, great restaurants and goods shops. For more traditional Indian appeal it's difficult to beat the royal city of Mysore, with its spectacular palace, gorgeously colorful market and renowned yoga gurus. Time your visit, if you can, to coincide with the spectacular Dussehra festival held in late September or early October. From Mysore it's a short hop to the lush highlands of Kodagu, a beautiful area in which to hike or relax in a villa on a spice and coffee plantation. In the center of the state is Hampi, a World Heritage site where you'll find the spectacular ruins of the 15th century Vijayanagar empire amid an extraordinary landscape of giant boulders and verdant banana plantations and rice paddies. Out on the coast, the holy village of Gokarna is blessed with pleasant beaches that rival those of Goa as well as a new world-class yoga resort.

Simon Richmond
About the Expert

Simon Richmond has written Rough Guides to Malaysia and Japan; Lonely Planet guides to India and Russia; and adventure travel guides for Frommer's on Australia, India, South America, and Southeast Asia.

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Simon Richmond for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Karnataka is a state in the southern part of India. Originally known as the State of Mysore, it was renamed Karnataka in 1973.
  • Language: Hindu, English
  • Currency: Indian Rupee
  • Research: Wikipedia | Wikitravel
  • Weather: Rainfall | Daylight
  • Current Time:

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    October to February. Bengaluru's high elevation makes it more a year-round destination.