Saturday, 30 July 2011

How to Reach Gulbarga

The nearest airport is Hyderabad (220 km).

The nearest railway station is at Basavakalyan - 80km. Gulbarga is also connected by rail with Bangalore, Bombay and Hyderabad.

Gulbarga is connected by road to Basavakalyan (80 km), Bidar (120 km), Bijapur (160 km), and Bangalore (600 km)............

Chikmagalur, Karnataka

Chikmagalur is an exciting tourist hotspot for the sprawling coffee plantations and misty mountains. The winding mountain trails of the Baba Budangiri hills and the adjoining forests make Chikmagalur a veritable paradise for adventure sports buffs and avid trekkers. Thus it boasts of a flourishing tourism culture.

Located in the south-western part of Karnataka, Chikmagalur is a malnad district i.e., a largely forested hilly region of heavy rainfall. This scenic coffee town takes its name from the word Chikkamagalaooru which in Kannada means 'younger daughter's town'. Legend has it that the district had been given as a dowry to the younger daughter of Rukmangada, a prominent local chieftain. Another part of the town bestowed on the elder daughter is known as Hiremagalur.

Chilkmaglur is considered the cradle of the powerful Hoysala Kings, the dynasty that held sway in South India for considerable period. Hoysala inscriptions state that Sala, the founder of the Hoysala dynasty, hailed from the hill regions of Angadi in present day Mudigere taluk of Chikmagalur district.

Places to See:


Historians have identified Angadi as Sasakapura or Sosevur, the original home of Hoyasalas who held sway in vast swathes of South India. The shrine here has pillars of granite with cylindrical shafts and hemi spherical mouldings.


The pilgrimage of Belavadi is dotted with a number of ancient temples and shrines. The Veeranarayana temple is a supreme example of Hoysala temple architecture. 

Coffee Plantations

Sprawling coffee plantations dot the landscape of this hill station. As a major coffee producing hub of the country, it hosts a number of coffee curing centers where the raw coffee is dried, shelled, winnowed, graded and packed. When coffee bushes blossom in April, the whole area is filled with the exquisite fragrance of the brilliant white flowers. The Central Coffee Research Institute is located in the district. 

The Baba Budangiri Hills

The Baba Budangiri hills are named after the Muslim saint, Baba Budan, who took up residence here in the 17th century. The Baba Budan Shrine is revered by both the Hindus and Muslims and thousands of devotees throng the shrine for the blessing of the peer. A complex of three caves can be found here, believed to have been sanctified by 3 revered siddhas whose icons and 'gaddinges' (tombs) are located in the caves.


Chikmagalur Excursions

Sringeri (90 km)

Regarded as one of the most sacred Hindu pilgrimages in South India, Sringeri was the abode of Shankaracharya, the great 9th century philosopher and social reformer. The exquisitely sculptured Vidyashankara Temple overlooking the Tunga River, houses the Vidyatirtha-linga and is a synthesis of Dravidian and Hoysala temple architecture. 

Inam Dattatreya Peetha (30 km)

The Inam Dattatreya Peetha, nestled in the Baba Budangiri hills, is a revered shrine for both Hindus and Muslims. A laterite cave here is believed to have sheltered, at different times, both Guru Dattatreya and the Muslim saint Hazrat Dada Hayath Mir Khalandar, sent to India by Prophet Mohammed. Muslims celebrate urs at the site three days every year in the month of Rabi-ul-Avval, the third month of the Islamic calendar while Hindu devotees observe Dattatreya Jayanti every year during Kartik Poornima celebrations. 

Kemmannugundi (50 km)

Nestled amidst the green canopy of Baba Budan hills, Kemmannugundi is a scenic hill station and a popular trekking spot. Also known as KR Hills after Woodeyar king Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV, Kemmannugundi attracts tourists looking for an idyllic vacation in the hills. 

Muthodi (32 km)

A perennial favorite in excursions around Chikmagalur. The Muthodi wildlife sanctuary is endowed with rich flora and fauna with the tributaries of the Bhadra River winding through it. It is home to a diverse and exciting range of wildlife - bisons, elephants, tigers, panthers, sambars, spotted deers, wild boars, porcupines, peacock, parrot, partridge, pigeon and snakes............

How to Reach Chikmagalur

The nearest airport from Chikmagalur is that of Mangalore, which is approximately 170 km away.

Kadur provides the nearest rail link from Chikmagalur. From there, you can easily find express trains to Bangalore, which cover the distance in approximately 3 to 3.5 hrs.

NH 48 connects Chikmagalur with all the major cities in Karnataka as well as the neighboring states............

Dandeli National Park, Karnataka

The second largest wildlife sanctuary in Karnataka, Dandeli is located at a distance of approximately 485 km from the capital city of Bangalore. The serpentine tributaries of River Kali fork through the lush forests and breathtaking valleys of the sanctuary. Dandeli is a heaven for nature enthusiasts, what with its abundance in wildlife, apart from numerous breathtaking trekking trails and pleasant fishing spots.

The magnificent Virnoli Rapids, Supa Dam, Nagajhari Viewpoint, Kulgi Nature Education Camp, Kavla Caves (with their Shivling-like stalagmites), and Sykes Point (which offers a stunning view of the Kalinadi Valley) are other major attractions of the Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary. Syntheri rocks, an awesome monolithic granite structure, stand located 35 km from the wildlife sanctuary and definitely merits a visit from the tourists coming here.

Things to do:

Wildlife Viewing

Dandeli is a natural habitat for a large number of wild animals and is very rich in flora and fauna. The forests have a mix of deciduous and evergreen trees like Bamboo and teak plantations. Abundant wild life is at display in this forest reserve which is home to sloth bears, barking dear, Indian pangolin, the Malabar giant squirrel, elephants, wild pigs, tigers, rare black panthers, wild dogs, monkeys, deer, mongoose and many others. Dandeli is an excellent choice for all the animal lovers.

Bird Watching

Some of the birds that are to be found in Dandeli are Great Pied Hornbill, Blue-Throated Barbet, Peregrine falcon, Malabar Pied Hornbill, Indian Nightjar, Mountain Imperial Pigeon, Pied Bushchat, Green Sandpiper, House Sparrow, Forest Wagtail and Oriental White Eye. A bird-watching paradise, Dandeli is a great option for the enthusiastic birdwatchers to see a lot of rare birds. Listening to the exotic birdsongs will just the double the fun.

River Rafting

Water sports are one of the main attractions of Dandeli. White water rafting at the Virnoli Rapids on the Kali River will be a thrilling experience for the adventurous souls. Almost 9-14 kms of rafting facility is available in the Kali River with class 3 rapids named Adi's beard, The stitch, Snuggler's trove, Stanley's squeeze and many more continue for over 2-3 hours. Trained guides accompany the tourists who also give them basic lessons on rafting. Many tour operators organize for rafting with excellent facilities for the tourists. 


Jeep safari is an exciting activity for the tourists and an opportunity to sight the extensive and exclusive wild life in the Dandeli sanctuary. Take a guide and experienced person along and unravel the mysteries of the forest wrapped with lush green plants and rare animals. Jeep safaris are known for uninhibited fun and adventure. So, don’t miss out on the safari fun............

How to Reach Dandeli

Belgaum (90kms) is the nearest Airport to Dandeli. It is connected to Mumbai and Bangalore by domestic flights.

The nearest railway station to Dandeli is Alnavar.

Dandeli is connected by Alnavar, Dharwad, Hubli, Belgaum & Bangalore............

Karwar, Karnataka

Karwar is a tranquil port town with a pleasing ambience situated 100 kms from Goa and 260 kms north of Managalore based in South India. It is the administrative headquarter of the Uttar Kannada district in Karnataka. A seaside town based on the banks of Kali River which flows along the western coast of the Indian peninsula, the quiet town of karwar is an ideal holiday destination for those who are enamored by the sight of water bodies and deep-blue beaches. Karwar lies at a distance of 15 kms from south of the Karnataka-Goa border and 519 kms northwest of Bangalore. The present day Karwar town is an entirely new settlement.

The historical significance of Karwar can be traced back to the colonial era in India. The British used made this town their district headquarter in 1862. It was frequented by Arabs, Dutch, Portuguese, French and later, the British as it has been an ancient site of sea trade. Ibn Battuta, the Moroccan scholar and traveler, has passed through this route during some of his journeys. The town fell under the Bombay presidency ruled by the British and was described as a first rate harbor between Bombay and Calcutta. The name 'Karwar' was earlier spelled as 'Carwar'. 

Places to See:


Karwar is most famous for its exotic beaches and they are many in number. The Devabag beach is a small paradise located on an island amidst the casuarinas. The locales of the beach are serene and peaceful which makes for a perfect retreat into the quiet arms of nature. Another beautiful and welcoming beach in the town is the Karwar beach, also known as Rabindranath Tagore Beach which is highly frequented by visitors. Golden sands and tranquil locales of this secluded island are perfect to spend a quiet holiday. 

Magod Falls

Magod falls are one of the biggest tourist attractions around Karwar located at a distance of 80 kms from the place. Magod falls are formed by the cascades of river Bedthi. Surrounding the spectacular falls are dense and serene jungles that enhance their beauty. There are many other tourist attractions around the Magod Falls. Jenujalugudda, hill lock near Magod falls is much frequented tourists. 

Ullavi & Gokarna

Mahabaleshwara Temple

For the devotees of lord Shiva, Gokarna is a pilgrimage as important as Kashi and Rameshwaram. The Mahabaleshwara temple is the main attraction of Gokarna. It is believed that the Shiva Idol kept inside the temple is a good 1500 years old. 

Two other temples known as Bhadrakali temple and Venkatramana temple attract tourists in a similar way due to their immensely popularity. Ullavi situated at a distance of 75 kms from karwal, is another important pilgrimage destination frequented by tourists. There is regular transport facility available from Karwar to Ullavi. 

Binaga Bay

Binaga bay is a naval base for the Indian Navy which carries out operations from here for a project called Seabird. The navy opens its portals for common people for a week in December when the Navy week is celebrated. Educational and tourist groups visiting the base are allowed to free roam and seen around the Naval Base known as INS Kadamba............

How to Reach Karwar

The nearest air link from Karwar is provided by the Dabolim Airport of Goa, situated approximately 90 km away. It is well connected with all the major cities of India, such as Bangalore, Mumbai, Chennai and Delhi.

Karwar has a railways station of its own, situated about 2 km away from the main town.

Karwar is situated at a distance of 105 km from Panaji (Goa), 298 km from Mangalore, and 513 km from Bangalore............

Bandipur National Park, Karnataka

Nestled at the foothills of the Western Ghats Mountains, Bandipur National Park is well-known for its expansive tracts of virgin forests. Once a popular game reserve of the Mysore Maharajas, this national park forms a part of the Niligiri Biosphere Reserve today, which also encompasses the Nagarhole National Park of Karnataka, Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary of Kerala and Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary of Tamil Nadu. Spread over an area of approximately 874 sq km, it was created out of the Bandipur Reserve Forest, in 1931.

In 1973, Bandipur Wildlife Sanctuary was conferred the status of a designated tiger reserve, as per the ambitious Project Tiger Scheme launched by the World Wide Fund (WWF). In 1974, the wildlife sanctuary was declared a National Park, under the Wildlife Protection Act. Since then, stringent anti-poaching measures have resulted in a steady increase in the big cat population. The park is open throughout the year, but the best time to visit is in monsoon season i.e. from May to September, when the wildlife is plenty and forest is full of greenery. 

Things To Do:

Jungle Safari

Bandipur is a safe haven for a wide variety of wild animals. Spotting tigers in the Bandipur national Park is not as easy as in Ranthambore, but they exist in considerable numbers. A mini-bus Safari or jeep safari would be ideal to chance upon any opportunity of sighting a tiger. The sanctuary is also home to other animals like elephants, panthers, Jackals, spotted deer, sloth bears, grey langurs and snakes from cobra to the python. It is possible to sight them congregating around the guest houses. Four-horned antelope is also a member of the forest but it's rarely sighted. 

Bird Watching

The Bandipur sanctuary can boast of being home to about 300 species of birds. Enjoyed by people of all ages, birdwatching can be an excellent way to pass time, especially if you have not been lucky enough to sight the tiger. Bird watching can be more fruitful in the morning hours and can be a real treat for the enthusiastic birdwatchers. 

Trekking & Hiking

Trekking on the Himavad Gopalaswamy Betta hilltop is also an exciting activity to do in Bandipur. On the top of the hill is a temple dedicated to Lord Krishna. A beautiful mist covers the area for most part of the year. In fact, there is a greater chance of sighting animals from this hill top. Take along your trekking shoes and make sure that you make minimum noise so that you don’t disturb the natural habitat............

How to Reach Bandipur

The nearest airport to Bandipur is the Bangalore International Airport at a distance of 215 kms.

The nearest railway station to Bandipur is Mysore at a distance of 80 kms. The railway station is well connected to all the nearby cities and Bangalore.

State owned buses run from all the nearby cities to reach Bandipur............

Nagarhole National Park, Karnataka

Reputed to be one of the well-managed sanctuaries in India, Nagarhole National Park is a part of the sprawling Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve in South India. Established in 1955, as a sanctuary, it was designated as a national park in 1975. The park was later renamed as Rajiv Gandhi National Park, after the late Prime Minister of India. Spread over an area of approximately 640 sq km, Nagarhole forest originally served as an exclusive hunting ground for the erstwhile Maharajas of Mysore.

Nagarhole, in Kannada, stands for 'Snake River'. The wildlife sanctuary has been so named after the serpentine streams that fork through its rich tropical forests. On its northern confines is the Kabini River and on its southern fringes is the Bandipur National Park. A dam on the Kabini River and its picturesque reservoir demarcates the two national parks. During the dry season (February and May), this artificial lake attracts a large number of animals, making it an ideal spot for sighting wildlife.

Things to do:

Wildlife Viewing

Nagarhole National Park is rich in wildlife which includes four-horned antelope, sloth bear, civet, spotted deer, elephant, flying fox, tiger, panther, gaur (Indian bison), sambhar, wild boar, black-naped hare, bonnet macaque, and pangolin which makes it an ideal destination for the wildlife enthusiasts. Cobras, crocodiles, kraits, pythons, vipers and various species of lizards are also found in the forests.

Jeep Safaris

The forest department in Nagaehole provides for minibus safari in the national reserve. Jeep safaris inside the park are also allowed, if you have brought your own jeep. However, you need to seek the permission from the forest department. Taking along a guide is mandatory in a jeep safari. The safaris commence from the range office inside the park. The forest department also organizes for elephant rides which last about 30 minutes. The park and safari timings are 6 to 8 in the morning and 3 to 5.30 in the evening 

Bird Watching

Nagarhole National Park has a sizeable population of birds. It is home to over 250 species of birds making it a sought-after destination for the birdwatchers. Some rare species of birds can be spotted in Nagarhole which are not seen anywhere else. The most spotted bird species are the common babbler, bee-eater, bulbul, crested serpent, hornbill, peacock, woodpecker, great Indian reed, eagle and the southern tree pie. The park is a paradise for wildlife lovers and environmentalists. 


Boating is another exciting fun activity to do in Nagarhole National Resreve. A relaxed boat ride through the Kabini River's backwater to sight crocodiles, birds and various other animals is simply one of the most interesting things to do in Nagarhole. You can also stay overnight in the river lodge for a complete experience of this natural habitat............

How to Reach Nagarhole National Park

The major railhead closest to Nagarhole is Mysore (80 km). Mysore is well connected to Bangalore by state run buses and Bangalore to the rest of the cities of the state.

The Nearest domestic airport to the park is Mysore (96 km) and Bangalore is the nearest international airport.

The nearest town is Kutta 7 km way. And other major towns that are accessible by road are are Madikeri (93 km), Mysore (80 km) and Bangalore (236 km)............

Chitradurga, Karnataka

Nestled at the base of a chain of lofty peaks, Chitradurga is characterized by its stunning boulder-strewn landscape. Natives believe that these massive boulders are remnants of the arsenal used during the duel between Pandava Bhima and the demon Hidimbasura, an event mentioned in the Epic Mahabharata. Chitradurga derives its name from Chitrakaldurga, an umbrella-shaped lofty hill found here. 

For a considerable period, Chitradurga remained a part of the dominions of the Vijayanagar Empire. Timmana Nayaka, a chieftain under the Vijayanagar Empire, established the rule of the Nayakas in Chitradurga. Later, in the 17th-18th centuries, Chitradurga became the headquaters of Bedas, until it was occupied by Haider Ali in 1799 and then annexed by the British. 

The boulders that lie scattered in and around Chitradurga belong to the oldest rock formation in the country. The district is rich in mineral deposits, including gold prospecting at Halekal, Kotemardi or Bedimaradi, etc., and open cast copper mines at Ingaldhal. The Kallina Fort is a major attraction here and tourists travel to Chitradurga from all over India.

Places to See:

Ankali Math

The ancient monastery of Ankali Math is also called Paradeshappana Guhe. A number of caves, located underneath the Kallu Mantapa (stone sanctum) of this mutt, might have served as refuges for monks and mendicants indulged in penance and praying. 


A tour of Chitradurga will take you to the scenic valley of Chandravalli located to the north west of Chitradurga. Chandravalli is an ancient archeological site and coins, inscriptions, ruins, stone images belonging to the Hoisala-Kadamb and Sathavahana period have been discovered at Huligondi, Basavanagondi, Baralagondi and other locations of Chandravalli. A rock inscription seen near Bhairaweshvara temple here links Chandravalli to the reign of Kadamba Mayura Verma. 

Kallina Kote

The imposing fort in Chitradurga is known as the Kallina Kote or the Palace of Stone. This massive fort, regarded a marvel of military architecture, stood guard against marauding enemies. Encircled by seven massive walls, the fort has 19 gateways, 38 posterior entrances, four of which are secret. The approach to each gate is uphill and through passages that twist and turn, thus making it impossible to use elephants or battering rams to break down the gates.

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