Top ChoicePalace in Mysuru (Mysore)

Mysuru Palace

The second-most-visited sight in India (after the Taj Mahal), this palace is among the very grandest of India’s royal buildings and was the seat of the Wodeyar maharajas. The original palace was gutted by fire in...

Top ChoiceHindu Temple in Hampi

Vittala Temple

Hampi's most exquisite structure, the 16th-century Vittala Temple stands amid boulders 2.5km from Hampi Bazaar. Work possibly started on the temple during the reign of Krishnadevaraya (r 1509–29). The structure...

Top ChoiceCave in Badami

Cave Temples

Badami’s highlights are its beautiful cave temples, three Hindu and one Jain, which display exquisite sculptures and intricate carvings. They're a magnificent example of Chalukya architecture and date to the 6th...

Top ChoiceFort in Bidar

Bidar Fort

The remnants of this magnificent 15th-century fort, the largest in South India – and once the administrative capital of much of the region – constitute Bidar's most famous historic site. Surrounded by a triple...

Top ChoiceMonument in Vijapura (Bijapur)

Golgumbaz

Set in tranquil gardens, the magnificent Golgumbaz houses the tombs of emperor Mohammed Adil Shah (r 1627–56), his two wives, his mistress (Rambha), one of his daughters and a grandson. Octagonal seven-storey...

Top ChoiceGardens in Bengaluru (Bangalore)

Cubbon Park

Cubbon Park

In the heart of Bengaluru’s business district is Cubbon Park, a well-maintained 120-hectare garden where Bengaluru’s residents converge to steal a moment from the rat race that rages outside. The gardens...

Top ChoiceHindu Temple in Hampi

Virupaksha Temple

The focal point of Hampi Bazaar is this temple, one of the city’s oldest structures, and Hampi’s only remaining working temple. The main gopuram (gateway), almost 50m high, was built in 1442; a smaller one was...

Top ChoiceBeach in Gokarna

Om Beach

One of Karnataka's best beaches, Gokarna has a famous stretch of sand that twists and turns over several kilometres to resemble the outline of an Om symbol. The beach comprises several gorgeous coves, with wide...

Top ChoiceHindu Temple in Mysuru (Mysore)

Keshava Temple

Small in scale but masterly in detail, the astonishingly beautiful Keshava Temple is one of the finest examples of Hoysala architecture, on par with the masterpieces of Belur and Halebid. Built in 1268, this...

Top ChoiceGallery in Bengaluru (Bangalore)

National Gallery of Modern Art

Housed in a century-old mansion – the former vacation home of the raja of Mysuru – this world-class art museum showcases an impressive permanent collection (and exhibitions). The Old Wing exhibits works from...

Top ChoiceMonument in Vijapura (Bijapur)

Ibrahim Rouza

The beautiful Ibrahim Rouza is among the most elegant and finely proportioned Islamic monuments in India. Its 24m-high minarets are said to have inspired those of the Taj Mahal, and its tale is similarly...

Top ChoiceHindu Temple in Gokarna

Mahaganapati Temple

Deeply atmospheric temple complex, encircled by lanes but peaceful inside. Here there's a (rare) stone statue of an upright, standing Ganesh, said to be over 1500 years old, who is depicted with a flat head –...

Top ChoiceHindu Temple in Gokarna

Mahabaleshwara Temple

This is a profoundly spiritual temple, built of granite by Mayurasharma of the Kadamba dynasty and said to date to the 4th century. It's dedicated to Lord Shiva. Hindus believe it brings blessings to pilgrims who...

Top ChoicePalace in Srirangapatna (Srirangapatnam)

Daria Daulat Bagh

Set within lovely manicured grounds 1km east of the fort, Tipu’s summer palace is Srirangapatna’s star attraction. Built from teak and rosewood, it has impressively lavish decoration covering every inch of its...

Top ChoiceHindu Temple in Hampi

Achyutaraya Temple

At the southern end of Sule Bazaar is the beautiful Achyutaraya Temple, dating from 1534, one of the last great monuments constructed before the fall of Hampi. You approach the temple via two partly ruined...

Jain Site in Sravanabelagola

Gomateshvara Statue

A steep climb up 614 steps takes you to the top of Vindhyagiri Hill, the summit of which is lorded over by a towering naked statue of Jain deity Gomateshvara (Bahubali). Commissioned by a military commander in...

Park in Nagarhole National Park

Nagarhole National Park

West of the Kabini River is the 643-sq-km wildlife sanctuary of Nagarhole National Park (pronounced nag-ar-hole-eh). The lush forests here are home to tigers, leopards, elephants, gaurs, muntjacs (barking deer),...

Temple in Pattadakal

Temples

Barring a few that date to the 3rd century, most of Pattadakal's World Heritage–listed temples were built during the 7th and 8th centuries. The main Virupaksha temple is a massive structure, its columns covered...

Hindu Temple in Belur

Channakeshava Temple

Commissioned in 1116 to commemorate the Hoysalas’ victory over the neighbouring Cholas, this temple took more than a century to build, and is currently the only one of the three major Hoysala sites still in daily...

Hindu Temple in Mysuru (Mysore)

Venugopala Swamy Temple

Back from the dead, this stunning 12th-century Hoysala temple was submerged when the Kaveri River was dammed in 1930. However, villagers had tantalising glimpses of the ancient structure during drought years when...