Badami, formerly known as Vatapi was the capital of the early Chalukya dynasty, from 540 to 757 AD. It is famous for its beautiful rock-cut caves, which represent some of the earliest known examples of Hindu temples and proves again that Karnataka is one of the most remarkable states in India regarding archaeological treasures.
The Somnathpur temple located on the left bank of the Cauvery river is a place not to be missed on the road to Mysore. This gray stone sanctuary, built on a surprising star-shaped platform, is certainly the best ambassador of Hoysala architecture with Beluru and Halebidu.
Having earned a sound reputation in the aerospace and data processing industries, Bengaluru (formerly Bangalore), capital of Karnataka, is known as India’s Silicon Valley. This resolutely modern city enjoys a temperate climate and its many parks have earned it fame as the Garden City of India.
The city of the Vijayanagara kings is one of the most grandiose sights in India. A listed Unesco World Heritage site, it features thousands of vestiges spread over an area of more than 4000ha. Hampi is a treasure chest lost in a desert of rocks lovingly polished by time.
The colossal Gomateshwara stands tall on its hilltop, like a lighthouse protecting the town of Shravanabelagola and benevolently guiding the traveller. This Jain holy place of rocks and palm trees breathes tranquillity.
Pattadakal, a World Heritage Site, is, along with Aihole and Badami, the architectural gems of northern Karnataka just like Beluru and Halebidu are those of the south. This site was not only used for the coronation of the Chalukyas rulers, but was also an important cultural center carried by a creative will. The remains of …
Mangaluru is a port city on the Arabian Sea. Much of India’s coffee output leaves from here. The town’s main attractions are its ancient temples, luxuriant vegetation and golden sands – a foretaste of neighbouring Kerala.
Udupi, 60km from Mangaluru, is best known for its famous temple devoted to Krishna, one of the incarnations of the hindu god Vishnu. It is an important pilgrimage place and it has also given its name to a renowned style of Indian cooking.
Belur was the first capital of the Hoysala Empire. This city was then so esteemed that it was compared to the “terrestrial Vaikuntha”, that is to say, to the abode of the god Vishnu on earth. The main attraction of Belur is Chennakeshava Temple, a Hindu temple which, like those at Halebid and Somnathpur, reflects …
Halebid, or Halebidu, was the capital of the Hoysala empire in the 12th and 13th centuries. This dynasty has left a monument of unparalleled splendor, the temple of Hoysaleswara. The richness and finesse sculptural details are undoubtedly the most exquisite example of Hoysala architecture.
The first image that comes to mind when I think of Mysore is its incredible palace, sparkling with thousands of lights. But this city of Maharajas has far more to offer: its famous flower market, its Indo-Saracenic architecture (legacy of the British Raj) and its open-air Nandi sanctuary on Chamundi Hill. Together these have made …