Posted 27 September 2022

Your guide to an unforgettable holiday season in Karnataka

Holiday season in India means tons of festivals, lit-up markets, lots of food and a festive mood all around. Indians love to celebrate holidays with enthusiasm and passion. India is a country of rich culture and heritage and Karnataka, being one of its states, is no less. 

This holiday season explores Karnataka like never before. Drown yourself in its rich heritage and unravel its famous magical hill stations. Treat your eyes to the views of spectacular waterfalls and pristine and tranquil beaches. There are also pilgrimage centres for visitors looking for a spiritual experience.

Winter festivals that give a hint of Karnataka’s vibrant culture

1. Hampi Festival

Known as the festival of lights and colour, the Hampi festival is one of the most important festivals of Karnataka. It is celebrated on a grand level in Hampi, a city in Karnataka and a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its ancient temples. 

The Hampi Festival, also known as Vijaya Utsava, is celebrated in November. During the festival, musicians and artists popular in their fields visit Hampi for the festival and showcase their talent. 

The festival is a magnificent affair in South India. Visitors can find little trinkets and handicrafts at the stalls lined up in markets. The festival brings positivity and unity among the people. The Hampi festival will give a glimpse of Karnataka’s vibrant culture and rich heritage. 

  • Time: Hampi Festival celebrated in November. 

2. Pattadakal Dance Festival

Make your holiday season more memorable by witnessing pure and raw traditional dance and music forms. Immerse yourself in the rich heritage of Karnataka by attending Pattadakal Dance Festival. The 3 day festival is celebrated every year in January or February.

Pattadakal, a small village in the state of Karnataka, is a UNESCO declared a world heritage site. It is a place of great cultural and historic significance as all the Chalukya dynasty kings were crowned here. 

Pattadakal is home to ten temples that are regarded as an Indian architectural marvel. The temples are made in both Dravidian style and the Nagara style of architecture. According to UNESCO, one can witness a perfect mix of northern and southern Indian architecture. 

Thousands of people visit every year for its glorious history and attractive architecture.

Pattadakal Dance Festival is organised by the Karnataka government to promote the stories and grandeur of the temples present in Pattadakal. The festival is attended by visitors from all over the world. 

To keep the cultural history of Pattadakal alive, various traditional Indian dances and music forms are encouraged in the festival. These include Kuchipudi, Bharatanatyam, Yakshagana, and Kathakali among others. 

The performances take place with the backdrop of the temples. This gives it a spectacular and breath-taking view. 

  • Time: Pattadakal Dance festival is celebrated every year in January or February.

3. Kaveri Sankaramana

Kaveri Sankaramana means the birth of Kaveri. It is a festival celebrated in Talakaveri in Karnataka with much zeal and passion. It is celebrated in mid-October. The festival is of great significance to the Kodava community of Karnataka. Thousands of devotees gather during the festival to take holy baths in the river Kaveri. It is believed that holy water appears at the fountainhead of the pond located in Talakaveri.

There is also a fair at the spot having food stalls, shopping options and joy rides. Talakaveri is located at a distance of 312 km from Bengaluru, the capital of Karnataka. 

  • Time: Kaveri Sankaramana is celebrated in mid-october

4. Kambala Festival

Another winter festival to enjoy this holiday season is the Kambala festival. This festival can be unique to you as it’s a race of buffaloes. Yes, you read that right! 

Kambala Festival is organised by the farming communities of Udupi and Dakshina Kannada districts of Karnataka. The two-day festival takes place between November and March. Over 150 buffaloes from all over the state are specially groomed for this occasion every year. 

One of the major characteristics of this festival is that the participating buffaloes are first put on an exhibition. During the race, farmers guide their buffaloes to run on the track.

  • Time: Kambala Festival is celebrated in between November and March
  • Duration: 2 days

5. Groundnut festival

Yes, natives in Karnataka celebrate a festival of groundnuts. Celebrate this festival with the locals this holiday season as the festival is celebrated at the end of January or the first week of February every year.

Groundnut festival, also known as Kadalekai Parishe in Karnataka, is celebrated every year in Bengaluru at Dodda Ganesha Temple in Basavanagudi. Farmers from neighbouring cities of Bengaluru bring their first harvest of groundnuts to the temple on this festival and they are offered to Lord Basava at the temple. 

One can see different varieties of groundnuts available at the festival. The festival falls on the Monday of Karthika month according to the Hindu calendar which is the end of January or the first week of February according to the English calendar. 

  • Time: Groundnut festival is celebrated at the end of January or the first week of February.

Cities to visit in Karnataka for a perfect holiday season getaway

1. Coorg

Coorg is a beautiful hill station in Karnataka. Also known as Kodagu, Coorg is known for lush green forests, hills, coffee plantations, splendid waterfalls and rich flora and fauna. It is one of the most loved tourist destinations in South India.

Enjoy the breathtaking and scenic views of the hills every time you land in this beautiful town. It is called Scotland of India for a reason. The town has the perfect blend of adventure, history, and luxury.

Places to visit in Coorg

  • Abbey Falls:This waterfall is a major tourist attraction in Coorg. The breathtaking scenery of the refreshing waterfall looks like a painting. The 70 ft high waterfall is a part of the Kavery river that flows in Karnataka. 
  • Madikeri Fort: Madikeri Fort is a definition of Coorg’s beauty and culture. The fort was founded in the second half of the 17th century by Muddu Raja. The unique feature of the fort is that it has a temple, church, museum, prison and library. 
  • BrahmagiriHills: A part of Brahmagiri hills lies in the Kodagu district of Karnataka. The majestic hills are a paradise for nature lovers and trekkers. Loosen up your spirit and feel the fresh freeze in the Brahmagiri hill. 

Read more about: Six reasons why Coorg should be your next holiday in the hills

2. Hubli

Hubli is the second largest city of the Indian state of Karnataka after its capital Bengaluru. The city is renowned for its beautiful hills, parks, famous temples and scenic views. After Bengaluru, Hubli is the second biggest urban destination of Karnataka. Additionally, Hubli has garnered recognition for being an educational and industrial hub in the state.

Hubli makes for an interesting stopover for people who love sightseeing, temples and relaxing vacation. Furthermore, the city also carries on a rich heritage as Hubli has been the heart of both art and literature since the 1100s.

Places of attractions in Hubli

  • Unkal Lake: Unkal Lake's beauty is a sight to behold. Tourists can enjoy a walk along the lake and appreciate its beauty while creating memories. There's also a Bund Garden right next to it. The lake is also used to enjoy a picnic with family and friends. 
  • Chandramouleshwara Temple: Chandramouleshwara Temple is situated near Unkal Lake in Hubli. The temple is considered to be a very peaceful and calm place for anyone visiting.
  • Sadhankeri Park: Sadhankeri Park is one of the major tourist attractions of Hubli. The park is built around a lake. It is always buzzing with locals taking strolls and jogging by the lake. One can enjoy a pedal-boat ride around the lake. 
  • Nrupatunga Betta:Nestled on top of Unkal Hill, Nrupatunga Betta is a great tourist attraction in Hubli. This place is a must-visit for tourists wanting a serene ambience. The best time to visit this place is in the evening.

3. Mangaluru

Mangaluru got its name from the distinguished Mangaladevi Temple situated in the city. It is a major business centre of Karnataka while also being an important port city in the state. The city is sprawled in the Western Ghats of Karnataka. Tourists can never be bored here as the place has something to offer to everyone that visits Mangaluru. From coconut trees and hills to a beautiful landscape - it has everything. 

Besides, the city is famous for its coffee and cashew nut exports. Mangaluru handles 75% of India's coffee exports. Thousands of tourists visit the city from all over the world via its port. 

Here are the top places to visit in Mangaluru

  • Beaches: Mangaluru has a plethora of beaches including Panambur Beach, Tannirbhavi beach and Someshwar Beach. Karnataka is home to some beautiful and pristine beaches. Visitors wanting a quiet and laid-back atmosphere can visit the beaches. 
  • Mangaladevi Temple:The temple is a structure of importance to Mangaluru as the city name is derived from Mangaladevi Temple. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Shakti. Thousands of devotees pay their visit to the temple during the festival of Navratri.
  • Milagres Church:It is a historic landmark and is only a 10 min drive away from Mangaladevi Temple. This Roman Catholic church was built by Bishop Thomas de Castro in 1680.

Travel tips for Karnataka

  • Winter months are not so chilly in Karnataka, however, do not forget to pack wisely for the season.
  • As Karnataka has so much to offer, you would need a planned itinerary for the tour so that you do not miss out on anything.
  • Tourists must adhere to all the protocols related to Covid-19 while visiting another state or city. 
  • It is advisable to book the tickets in advance to avoid last-minute problems. 

How to reach Karnataka?

  • By Air: Karnataka is well connected to major national and international cities. It has a total of three domestic airports in Hubli, Mysore and Belgaum and two international airports in Bengaluru and Mangaluru. IndiGo flight routes offer non-stop flights from the major cities of Karnataka to neighbouring cities and across the world.
  • By Rail: Travelling via train is certainly the most economical and cost-effective way in India. One can reach Karnataka by train conveniently without any fuss. With an effective railway line, the state is connected with most of the major cities of the neighbouring states. The Bengaluru Railway Station is the most important railway terminal in Karnataka. There are several trains available to cities like Mumbai, Hyderabad, Kochi and Goa.
  • By Road: Karnataka is blessed with proper infrastructure. Like air and railways, the state is also connected with the rest of the country by roadways. Buses to neighbouring cities and even to major cities of neighbouring states are available from Karnataka. The buses are safe and frequent. Buses for both interstate and intrastatedestinations are run by Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation. KSRTC bus tickets can be bought online too. 

Climate/weather of Karnataka

  • Karnataka has a subtropical climate which means the summer season is too hot and humid and the winter season is cool but not chilly. 
  • Summer months are hot at around 40°C whereas the maximum temperatures during winters go up to the low 30 °C. June to September are the monsoon months in Karnataka. 

Conclusion

With so many places to visit in Karnataka, one needs to plan wisely for a trip to this state. From temples to beaches and historical places, Karnataka has something for everyone. Mellow out and relax on its beaches or go on a spiritual tour at one of the famous temples, a tour to Karnataka will never disappoint you. 

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