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One State Many Worlds
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Karnataka is a tapestry of colours, cultures, flavours, landscapes, timelessness and heart stopping beauty. A place where vibrant worlds seamlessly meld into one another every few hundred kilometres. Sedate plains suddenly rise to dizzying mist covered hilly heights, and then plunge with careless abandon in a whitewatered freefall to become languid rivers that flow past cities where time has stopped altogether, and cities where time rushes a relentless rush to keep up with the world; cities that sometimes escape into the deep quiet of thick forests and sometimes, stretches their arms wide open to embrace the sea. Host to some of India's largest and most powerful dynasties, the state has across the centuries, carried a legacy of art and culture as its geography - making it, by all means, a 191,791 square kilometre trail of whimsy.   


Mysore Palace


Built in Indo-Saracenic style, with domes, turrets, arches and colonnades, the palace is a treasure house of exquisite carvings and works of art from all over the world. Known as Amba Vilas Palace, it was designed by Henry Irwin, the British consultant architect of Madras State, and completed in 1912 on the site of the old wooden palace that was destroyed by fire in 1897.

 
Badami


The capital of the mighty Badami Chalukyas might have shrunk into a few scenic square kilometres in terms of touristy value. But Badami still retains its majesty. The locale of its famous cave temples, made up of two giant sandstone hills that flank the placid water of the Agastya Lake paint a stark picture of earthy reds, muddy greens and stone browns set against a sky of acrylic blue - burning an impression into the canvas of your mind. One that you aren't likely to forget in a hurry.
 


 Bandipur National Park



 

Go wild and see just how therapeutic it can be. Trade those concrete jungles for a fresh breath of green. Put a pause on the rat race and ride an elephant instead. Take a break from bearding the lion in his corner office and go looking for tigers. The Bandipur Wildlife Sanctuary puts life back into perspective. Or rather it puts the perspective back into life.
  


Chikmagalur




 

Chikmagalur has played host to an event, thanks to which, countless Indians wake up to brighter mornings. Centuries ago, when the Sufi mystic Baba Budan smuggled seven coffee beans from Yemen into India, he probably didn't bargain for millions of coffee junkies unwittingly blessing his soul everyday, with every sip of their coffee. Chikmagalur, whose hills nurtured the coffee culture at its bosom, is a green slice of heaven on a permanent coffee high.


Coorg



 

A hedonist's paradise by all means, Coorg is a dream you'll never forget. Hills, old-world charm, coffee, amazing food, vivid cultures and warm hospitality - there's something in the air of Coorg that makes all things beautiful. It's people are tall and fair. It's hills, scenic and unforgettable. It's food, wholesome and tantalizing. It's pools, pristine and clear. It's cultures, vibrant and exclusive. Coorg is an aristocrat, through and through. The stronghold of the Kodava community, who are believed to be descendants of the Aryans, Coorg keeps its traditions and as warm as your reception might be, you're reminded constantly that you are a guest - and a certain decorum is expected out of you. A certain joie-de-vivre

 
 Gokarna



 

A sleepy Brahmin town, lodged somewhere between a conservative society and a faithful hippy fan following, Gokarna is a dream destination for so many different reasons. Its refusal to fall into a certain type casted slot is just one of them. Open beaches, undiscovered coves, epiphanic sunsets, jagged cliffs, quaint temples and an evasive culture that makes Gokarna whatever you want it to be.

 
 White Water Rafting



 

If whitewaters are your kind of rush, Karnataka has some rather good spots set in picturesque locales. Not that you'd be focusing on the scenery. Get in touch with Ozone, Wildcraft or Jungle Lodges & Resorts to drift down the wild side.
Bangalore. South India's most alive city, there are no outsiders in Bangalore. A melting point of ethnic and cultural backgrounds, the hoi polloi of this city is charmingly mixed. Nearly every one speaks English, even if it's only a smattering, and every one is aware of the privilege they are bestowed with. Yes, every resident of Bangalore, regardless of where they are from, takes immense pride in their address. Malls, parks, pubs, theatre, cafes, art galleries, palaces - at any given point, Bangalore is buzzing and alive with activity.

 
Shravanabelagola



 

Atop the Vindhyagiri hill stands Asia's tallest monolithic statue, and yet, you need to toil up 600-odd steps for a glimpse of it. Shravanabelagola as a Jain bastion is home to many basadis and is a vital stop to the pilgrim. The 52-foot statue of Bahubali from its high perch has a gaze that takes in the lay of a rather scenic land - a treat you can partake, provided you make the arduous climb up.

 


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