Monday, June 2, 2008

Karnataka - The Land of Carnatic Music

One of the biggest states of India, Karnataka is known worldover its carnatic music, a unique form of classical music patroned by many across the continents. However, in addition to the devotional and philosophic music, Karnataka has given much more to the world. One of the fastest growing Indian states in terms of industries and facilities, Karnataka is also famous for its richness in culture and traditional grandeur.
In fact, Karnataka has been the culture centre for centuries and even today its testimony stands spread across the state, drawing tourists from across the globe. Karnataka is also renowned as the capital of agarbatti (incense sticks), arecanut, silk, coffee and sandalwood. Besides the natural wonders like mystic hills, shimmering waterfalls and lakes, and rich and varied wildlife add more to the beauty of Karnataka.

Bangalore : Bangalore, the capital city of Karnataka is also called the ‘Garden City’, because of its numerous parks and avenues of cassia and gulmohar. Set about 1,000 mt above sea level, Bangalore is bestowed with pleasant climate throughout the year. Often referred to as the ‘Silicon City’, Bangalore is famous for its invigorating night life, pubs, night clubs and innumerable eating joints. Besides, M.G. Road and Brigade Road are paradise for shoppers. Some of the highlights of Bangalore include the Botanical Gardens, the 16th century Bull Temple, Vidhan Soudha (the State Secretarial Building) and ISKCON temple (International Society of Krishna Consciousness).

Mysore : Karnataka’s second largest city, Mysore is known for its old-fashioned palatial buildings, beautiful gardens and tree-lined boulevards. A historic place, Mysore is also famous for sandalwood and the magnificent royal palaces. Must visit places in Mysore are Brindavan Gardens, Chamundi Hills, Maharaja’s Palace and Mysore Zoo.

Coorg : A hilly region, Coorg lies 100 kms west of Mysore. Here the landscape is idyllic and the climate is refreshingly cool. One of the most unspoiled regions, Coorg is an absolute delight for the trekker. Adventure enthusiasts can hike from the rice-fields to the low land jungles up through the coffee plantations. While you visit Coorg, just sit back and enjoy the breathtaking vire of the coffee plantations and also enjoy a mug of the fresh brewed coffee.

Kabini : A tributary of the Kavery river, Kabini is situated near the Nagarhole Wildlife Sanctuary. Spread over 55 acres of land, Nagarhole is home to a variety of wildlife. However, movement over here is restricted to elephant rides, jeep safaris or on foot. Here you can indulge yourself in variety of adventure activities. Some of the activities you can indulge into are cycle rides, coracle rides, nature walks and bird watching.

Mangalore : Mangalore, the administrative headquarters of the South Kanara district is the main port city of Karnataka. A historic place, Mangalore is one of the most popular ports of South India since the 6th century AD, known for its ancient temples. The town was also famous as a major source of pepper and ginger in the 14th century AD. Today Mangalore is renowned for the procession and export of coffee and cashew nuts. Bestowed with nature's gifts such as coconut palms, rolling hills, meandering streams and serene beaches, Mangalore draws tourists from far and near.

Hassan : Hassan, the fourth largest city of Karnataka was founded in the 11th century by Channa Krishnappa Naik, a Palegar (chieften). Situated at an elevation of 934 mts, Hassan boats of pleasant climate just like Bangaloe. Also called as the temple-architectural capital of Karnataka, Hassan is dotted with architectural jewells of Hoysala period. The Goddess Hasanamba shrine is the main tourist attraction of the city. Other attractions of Hassan include the Master Control Facility of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and also the Malnad College of Engineering.

Hampi : Also called the ‘City of Ruins’, Hampi is a village located on the banks of river Tungabhadra. Once the capital of Vijayanagar empire, Hampi is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Today, most of the Hampi in ruined state, but its rustic charm attracts visitors from all over the world. Here you can see ruined magnificent temples, basement of palaces, royal pavilions, bastions, royal platforms, remains of aquatic structures, old market streets, treasury building etc.

Karnataka - People and Culture : Just like other south Indian states, people of Karnataka are famous for their warm friendly nature. Since the past the people of the state have provided themselves to be the great hosts for tourists. People of the state speak their regional language ‘Kannada’ and they show deep interest in music and dance. In fact, dance and music are essential elements of culture of Karnataka and it is a potpourri of the myriad elements of human life. You can get the glimpse of rich and colourful culture of Karnataka is varied ways such as in dance, music and fairs and festivals.

Karnataka Wildlife : Karnataka is dotted with rich and varied forest tracts which providing shelter to a variety of wildlife and avian species. You can see a wide variety of wildlife in evergreen forests of the Western Ghats and the tracts lying to the south of Vindhya range. Karnataka is home to a number of wildlife reserves that support hundreds of plant and animal species. Some of the famous wildlife sanctuaries of Karnataka include Bandipur National Park, Nagarhole National Park, Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary, Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary and Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary.


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