Historical Places in Karnataka

Art & Culture Sightseeing

Historical Places in Karnataka

The historical places in Karnataka date back to the ancient dynasties all the way to the 6th century. The rock-cut temples of Hampi and Badami, the majestic palaces of Mysore and Bangalore, and the marvellous architecture of the Halebidu temples are all tributes to the magnificence of the kings that have ruled this land, surviving centuries that have witnessed all sorts of change while still retaining their structural integrity.

Here is the list of 27 Historical Places in Karnataka

1. Hampi

4.6 /5 View 103+ photos

Known For : Virupaksha Temple, Hampi Vithala Temple Lotus Palace

Hampi, the city of ruins, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Situated in the shadowed depth of hills and valleys, Hampi is a very significant historical place in Karnataka and delight for travellers. Surrounded by 500 ancient monuments, beautiful temples, bustling street markets, bastions, treasury building and captivating remains of Vijayanagar Empire, Hampi is a backpacker's delight. Hampi is an open museum with 100+ locations to explore and a favourite way to see the city from the perspective of its history.

Best Time: October to March

2. Mysore Palace, Mysore

4.4 /5 View 25+ photos

An incredibly breathtaking example of Indo - Saracenic style of architecture, the Mysore Palace is a magnificent historical monument in Karnataka. Also known as the Amba Vilas Palace, it is the former palace of the royal family of Mysore and is still their official residence. Referred to as the 'City of Palaces', Mysore houses seven other places, but none come close to awe-inspiring grandeur of this palace; Mysore Palace was built in the year 1912 for the 24th Ruler of the Wodeyar Dynasty and is amongst the biggest palaces in the country.

3. Gol Gumbaz, Bijapur

4.3 /5 View 16+ photos

Gol Gumbaz, also known as Gola Gummata in the literal sense means a circular dome. It is an iconic historical place in Karnataka. It is the mausoleum of Mohammed Adil Shah, Sultan of Bijapur. The tomb is located in Bijapur, Karnataka and was built by architect Yaqut in 1656. It is considered as the structural triumph of Deccan architecture. The Gol Gumbaz was planned as a single mammoth structure, and till date remains one of the biggest domes in India.

4. Bangalore Palace

4.3 /5 View 9+ photos

The majestic Bangalore palace, enclosed by beautiful gardens, is a famous tourist attraction in Bangalore. It is now owned by the Mysore Royal family. A visit to the palace gives you a chance to witness the elegant and lavish splendour of one of the most powerful dynasties of South India. Owing to the Wadiyar Royal Family still owning the palace, the Bangalore Palace is a prominent historical place in Karnataka.

5. Historical monuments of Shimoga (Shivamogga)

3.3 /5 View 15+ photos

Known For : Dabbe Falls Kodachadri Jog Falls Agumbe

The history of Karnataka is not complete without Shimoga. With nature in its full bloom, the town of Shimoga has been home to several great dynasties and kingdoms. Steeped in rich heritage and culture, this main city of Shimoga District derives its name from the words 'Shiv-Mukha' implying 'Face of Lord Shiva'. The history Shimoga dates back to at least 2,000 years to 3rd Century AD. Shimoga has been under the rule of various rulers and dynasties, from the Mauryas, Satavahanas, Kadambas of Banvasi, Chalukyas, Rashtrakutas, and rulers of the Vijayanagara kingdom. Due to this Shimoga houses many historical monuments in Karnataka.

Best Time: July to December

View hotels starting from ₹ 675

6. Halebid

3.6 /5 View 13+ photos

Known For : Belur Hoysaleswara Temple Yagachi Dam

Formerly known as Dwarasamudra, Halebid (or Halebidu) is located in the Hassan district of Karnataka state.  Halebid is q city with a glorious past adorned with a strikingly beautiful collection of temples, shrines and sculptures. It is also known as the Gem of Indian architecture owing to its sterling Hoysala architecture, its magnificent temple complexes and some stunning Jain sites. Once the regal capital of Hoysala empire, the city is in ruins now. But it still attracts tourists in droves, thanks to its rich heritage, striking art and architecture.

Best Time: October to March

View hotels starting from ₹ 1,300

7. Mahakuta Temples, Badami

3.4 /5

Situated on the outskirts of Badami in the tiny village of Mahakuta, the Mahakuta group of temples are an architectural delight, mirroring the unique rock-cut construction pattern of the Chalukyas seen across Badami. These temples combine the ancient architectural elements of the Dravidian and Nagara styles, as is seen at the various temples of this region. Once the royal capital of the Chalukyas, Badami continues to enjoy a unique place, being the home to a number of examples of Dravidian architecture making it the cornerstone of historical places in Karnataka.

8. Aihole

3.6 /5 View 42+ photos

Known For : Durga Temple, Aihole Lad Khan Temple Ravanaphadi Cave Temples

Well known as the temple complex of Karnataka and home to about 125 Chalukyan temples, this city is a splendid touristy destination.

Best Time: October to March

View packages starting from ₹ 4,100

9. Temples of Srirangapatna

3.2 /5 View 23+ photos

Known For : Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary Gumbaz Balmuri Falls

Srirangapatna is an egg-shaped island town amidst the Cauvery river in Mandya district of Karnataka. Situated at a distance of 18 kms from Mysore, the town is an architectural masterpiece of Hoysala and Vijayanagara kingdom styles. One of the most important Vaishnavite centres of pilgrimage- the Ranganathaswamy temple, is the major attraction of the town which draws thousands of tourists. The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and is one of the largest of its kind.

Best Time: July to March

View hotels starting from ₹ 899

10. Kavala Caves, Dandeli

3.1 /5

These limestone caves with their winding tunnels and 375 entrance steps were formed by volcanic activities.

11. Temples of Ramnagaram

3.6 /5 View 12+ photos

Known For : Ramnagara Hills Ramdevara Temple Ramadevarabetta hills

Set amidst the challenging rocky hillocks and lush green surroundings, Ramnagaram is a popular weekend getaway for Bengaluru folks. It is also a significant historical place in Karnataka owing to its many ancient temples which are said to be more than 1000 years old.

Best Time: November to February

View hotels starting from ₹ 5,500

12. Ranganathaswamy Temple, Srirangapatna

3.5 /5

As per one of the inscriptions, which are the oldest inscription on the temple complex, the Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple was sanctified in 984 AD by Tirumalaiah, who belonged to the Western Ganga Dynasty. Over a period, the region was ruled by numerous dynasties. Traces of these regimes can be seen in the architecture of the temple complex. The King of Hoysala, Vishnuvardhana allowed a Vaishnava Saint named Ramanujcharya in the 12th Century to use Srirangapatna as a place of learning (Agraharam).

13. Bijapur

3.8 /5 View 23+ photos

Known For : Gol Gumbaz Ibrahim Rauza Jumma Masjid

Famous for the Gol Gumbaj and other historical places in Karnataka, Bijapur is a tourist destination that takes one back to the days gone by from the royal era. Built around the 10th-11th century by the Kalyani Chalukyas, Bijapur was known as Vijayapura in those times. Vijaypura literally means the City of Victory. Historically, the state of Bijapur has been one of the richest districts in the state. Evidence suggests that this area has been inhabited since the Stone Age, and many places of this district have a legendary history.

Best Time: October to March

View hotels starting from ₹ 700

14. Melukote Temples

3.2 /5

The two temples in Melukote are Tirunarayana temple and Yoga Narasimha, both located at the foothills and top respectively of the Yadavgiri hills.

15. Bidar

3.0 /5 View 23+ photos

Known For : Narasimha Jhira Cave Temple Bidar Fort Shopping in Bidar

If you enjoy a city tinted in the shade of past and glorified with rich culture and heritage, then Bidar is just your kind of place. Situated in the state of Karnataka, Bidar is a city with great historic significance.

Best Time: October to March

View hotels starting from ₹ 1,469

16. Talakad

3.2 /5 View 21+ photos

Known For : Somanathapura Panchalina Darshana Mallikarjuna Temple

Talakad is a small mystical town steeped in the glorious past and heritage nestled on the left banks of River Kaveri. The town has been a witness to the rise and falls of several great kingdoms including Cholas, Pallavas, Gangas, Vijayanagar and Hoysalas. Talakad is adorned with five sacred Shivalingas giving this intriguing place a spiritual aura and a rustic charm. After several temples being excavated, Talakad has become a major historical place in Karnataka.

Best Time: November to March

View hotels starting from ₹ 590

17. Hassan

3.4 /5 View 25+ photos

Known For : Hoysala Temples at Mosale Shettihalli Church Gorur Dam

Hassan is located 187kms from Bangalore lying in the Malnad and Maidan districts of Karnataka. The city derives its name from its presiding deity Goddess Hassanamba which in the Kannada language mean 'Smiling mother'.

Best Time: Throughout the year

18. Tipu Sultan's Summer Palace, Bangalore

3.2 /5

Located at the juncture of Albert Victor Road and Krishna Rajendra, is the magnificent accommodation of the valiant ruler of Mysore- Tipu Sultan. The palace is located in the Bangalore Fort which is situated in old Bangalore in the south-west Indian state of Karnataka. An exquisite example of Indo- Islamic architecture, the opulent palace was once used as a summer retreat by the king and was often referred to as the 'Abode of Happiness' and 'Rash e Jannat' meaning 'Envy of Heaven'. Amongst one of the most noteworthy creations of the ancient times, the palace boasts of ornamental frescoes, magnificent arches, protruding balconies and brilliant motifs.

19. Somnathpura Temple

3.5 /5

The village is named after Somnath, the commander of the Hoysala army who founded this place. It has a perfect natural setting for a family picnic. Also, the Somnathpur temple is a classic example of the stone carvings in Hoysala architecture.

20. Mirjan Fort, Kumta

3.6 /5

Mirjan Fort is one of the fort that reminds us of the glories of past. The fort has witnessed many battles, tears and joys of kings, gallant violence. The fort is situated 11km away from Kumta and is on NH17 . It is spread on an area of over 10 crore. Altough the fort is now demolished but still attracts visitors.

21. Narasimha Temple, Karwar

3.1 /5

Built atop a hill at Kurumgad, this temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu's incarnation Narsimha. Trekking is a part of the route to reach here. The annual festival, Yatra is held here and attended by thousands of devotees.

22. Belur

4.2 /5 View 19+ photos

Belur and Halibeedu or Halebid are two tiny towns of Karnataka considered as the 'jewels in the Indian cultural heritage'. Known for their ancient temple and exquisite craftsmanship, the place is absolutely worth a visit.

23. Madikeri Fort, Madikeri

3.5 /5

The Madikeri Fort is a famous historical place in Karnataka in the southern town of Coorg. Situated in the centre of the town of Madikeri, the majestic fort continues to stand in all its glory till date. It offers tourists with insights and information about the bygone era and indeed bears testimony to the history of Coorg and all that the town witnessed. The elevated structures of the fort also provide panoramic views of the town, which is undoubtedly breathtaking and beautiful. It cannot be argued that the Madikeri Fort is the most famous and most loved tourist attraction in Coorg, which is precisely why tourists enjoy visiting the attraction time and again. 

24. Sringeri

3.5 /5 View 18+ photos

Known For : Kigga Sarada Temple Sringeri Mutt

Sringeri or Shringeri, as it is called is a hill town located in the Chikkamagaluru district of Karnataka. It is the site of the first Matha- Sringeri Sharada Peeta, established by Adi Shankara- the great Indian theologian and exponent of the Advaita Vedanta philosophy, in 8th century CE.

Best Time: Throughout the year

View hotels starting from ₹ 4,000

25. Pattadakal

3.6 /5 View 40+ photos

Known For : Virupaksha Temple, Pattadakal Kashiviswanatha Temple Jain Temple

Pattadakal is a tiny village, also known as Raktapura or Pattadakallu, houses a series of ten magnificent stone temples which date back to the 7th and 8th century. Out of these ten, nine are Hindu temples and one is a Jain temple. Lying close to the Badami and Aihole centres of Chalukya monuments, it is a protected site, managed by ASI (Archaeological Survey of India).
These grand, imposing structures were inscribed as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987. All ten temples are majestic in their sheer size and detailed architecture, reflective of a blend of North Indian Nagara and South Indian Dravidian construction styles. Lying alongside the Malaprabha river, they have aptly earned the epithet “cradle of Indian temple architecture”. The friezes on temple walls depict stories from various Hindu scriptures and tales, such as Mahabharata, Ramayana, Bhagavata Purana, Panchatantra, and Kir't'rjun'ya.

Best Time: October to March

26. Karkala

3.1 /5 View 37+ photos

Known For : Chaturmukha Basadi Statue of Bahubali (Gomateshwara) Ramasamudra Lake

Karkala is a quaint small town with great historic significance and is blessed with several ancient temples. In fact, the town of Karkala itself is believed to have its roots going back to 10th century while under the rule of Alupas.

Best Time: September to March

View hotels starting from ₹ 1,440

27. Devbagh

3.5 /5 View 15+ photos

Known For : Tagore Beach Scuba Diving and Snorkeling Lighthouse, Devbagh

Pristine blue water, picture perfect backdrop of beautiful mountains and lush green belt of casuarinas trees blend together perfectly to give you a destination not to be missed i.e. Devbagh.

Best Time: October to Apr

View hotels starting from ₹ 650

The historical places in Karnataka being UNESCO World Heritage Sites, are beautifully maintained and are a pleasure to visit. So which historical place in Karnataka are you planning to head to next?

This post was published by Holidify.com

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