Karnataka is a great place for all the history buffs. It has almost 25,000 monuments which are worth exploring during your trip. Ancient places and monuments make it a worthy place of visit. Here you can reminiscence the rich past. It will totally satiate your wanderlust with lots of history and past information. Karnataka is one of the best places to visit in South India popular for its scenic beauty as well as for offering so much in history. We have prepared a brief list that helps you in discovering monuments and ancient places situated in the heart of metropolitan cities.
1. Belgaum Fort
Belgaum Fort is a very popular heritage site in Karnataka reflecting on the history of the city. There are two shrines of Durga and Ganpati at the entrance of the fort. It has been constructed in the Chalukya style of design. Previously, there were hundreds of Jain and Shiva temples within the premises. Along with Shiva and Jain temples, two mosques are situated inside the fort. The Safa Masjid and the Jamia Masjid are the two mosques and they have been styled in the Deccani and Mughal style. Both the mosques have arches, domes, and minars. At the entrance of the mosque, there is an underground way on the right side that leads to Yellurgad.
Visiting Hours: Belgaum Fort is open from 10.00 am to 5.00 pm.
Entry fee: It is free to visit the fort.
Activity for: It is suitable for couple, family, group and solo trips.
Choubara is an ancient clock tower which is located in Bidar Town. It has a beautiful semi-Islamic architecture with a black trap masonry. It has a circular base with a flight of 80 stairs. These meandering stairs go up to 71 feet in height. You can view the entire top from the above. It is a cylindrical structure which is also an observation point constructed during the pre-historic time. The meaning of the Choubara means building that looks in four different sides.
Visiting Hours: Choubara tower is open from 8.00 am to 6.00 pm.
Entry fee: It is free to visit the fort. It is free to carry videos and cameras inside the fort.
Nearest tourist spots: Jama Masjid, Gagan Mahal, Tarkash Mahal, Rangeen Mahal, and Bidar Fort are other tourist spots near the Choubara Fort.
3. Bidar Fort
This red laterite stone historical monument was built on the edge or outer edge of the Bidar plateau. Bidar Fort was built by Adil Shah in 1428 and has innumerable monuments within its complex itself. The popular monuments here are the Takht Mahal, Jami Masjid, Shola Khambha Masjid and many more. You can find a network of underground canals over here. Karez is the unusual feature of the fort with historic water supply scheme. It helps in transporting water via underground channels to various houses for washing, drinking, irrigating fields, watering livestock purposes.
Visiting Hours: Bidar Fort is open from 9.00 am to 5.00 pm.
Entry fee: It is free to visit the fort. It takes about two to three hours to explore the entire fort.
4. Hampi Groups of Monuments
It is located on Tungabhadra River where previously the Vijayanagar Kingdom has ruled. Hampi is famous for its ruins where you can see the true reflection and rich architecture of that time. There are various rock-cut structures that you can explore over here. The Virupaksha Temple is one of the major highlights over here. It spreads up to 25 kilometers and had many edifices. Being a monument city, Hampi is a popular tourist spot in North Karnataka. Some of the monuments you should not miss to visit in Hampi are Vittala Temple, Virupaksha Temple, Heritage Museum at the Hampi Bazaar, Archaeology Museum at the Kamalapura, Queen’s Bath, Lotus Mahal, and Zenena Enclosure Elephant Stable.
Visiting Hours: Most of the monuments are open from 6.00 am to 6.00 pm. The entry fees are free for Queen’s Bath and Heritage Museum at Hampi Bazaar.
5. Gol Gumbaz
It is believed that Gol Gumbaz is the last resting place of the ruler of the Adil Shah dynasty, Muhammad Adil Shah. The entire place has a Persian or Islamic style of architecture. It has seven storeyed towers and pillars, decorative panellings and arches on all sides. It is a very popular landmark of Bijapur and central dome is its main feature. The monuments house its massive cube, arches on sides, octagonal seven storied towers, pillars, decorative paneling and a semi-circular finial through the spires.
Visiting Hours: Gol Gumbaz is open from 10.00 am to 5.00 pm.
Entry fee: The entry fee for foreign tourists is INR 100 and for Indian tourists is INR 10. It takes about two to three hours to explore the entire fort.
6. Bangalore Palace
Bangalore palace has a Tudor style of architecture and was built in the year 1944 by the Wodeyar dynasty. It is one of the finest specimens of the modern day monument. It has a close resemblance to palaces in England and Normandy. The palace has huge paintings on the walls of the palace. There are various Gothic windows, turrets and fortified towers in the palace. You can also find the dining table of Sir Mirza Ismail over here.
Visiting Hours: Bangalore Palace is open from 10.00 am to 5.30 pm.
Entry fee: Indian are charged INR 230 and foreigners are charged INR 460 as entrance fee. Separate charges are applicable for video camera (INR 1485), mobile camera (INR 285) and still camera (INR 685).
7. Someshvara Temple
Located in Ulsoor in Bangalore, Someshwara Temple is an old temple which is believed to be about 1000 years old. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva and was built during the Chola period. In this temple you can find a mantapa, having 48 pillars, decorative pieces, notable scriptures, and other pillars and Nandi. Scriptures of Goddess Durga killing Mahishasura, Ravana lifting Mount Kailash are found here.
Visiting Hours: Someshwara Temple is open on all days of the week from 6.00 am to 9.00 pm.
8. Narsimha Temple
Narsimha Temple is a popular cave temple located in Bidar. It is located under the hill range on Manichoola inside a 300 meters tunnel. It is dedicated to Lord Narasimha. It is a great specimen of an architectural wonder. It is a self-manifested sculpture inside the temple. A stream of water flows through the temple. It is flowing in its perennial form for some hundred years.
Visiting Hours: Narasimha Temple is open from 6.30 am to 12.45 pm and 4.30 pm to 8.30 pm.
9. Raja’s Seat
Raja’s Seat is a great place of visit in Madikeri in Coorg. It is also known as Gaddige. The entire architectural pattern of the place is done on the Saracenic style. The unusual fact is that Lord Shiva is worshipped inside the tomb in spite of it having an Islamic style of architecture. Even the tombs of Biddanda Bopu and Biddanda Somaiah are found here.
Visiting Hours: Raja’s Seat is open from 5.30 am to 8.00 pm on all days of the week.
10. Mysore Palace
Mysore Palace was previously the residence of Wodeyars. It has a perfect blend of Gothic and Islamic style of architecture. It is a complete stone structure which is three-storeyed high and it also marble domes. The domes are 145 feet in height as high as five storey. There are 18 temples inside the palace. There are 3 temples inside the old Fort. The entire palace is surrounded by a large garden.
Visiting Hours: Mysore Palace is open from 10.00 to 5.30 pm on all days of the week.
Entry fee: The entry cost for adults is INR 40, children INR 20, students INR 10 and foreign tourists INR 200 per person. There are no entry charges for children less than 10 years old.
11. Group of Monuments in Pattadakal
It highlights the eclectic art which existed during the 7th and 8th century. The architectural form was similar to what existed during the time of the Chalukya dynasty. It has both Hindu temples and Jain shrine. The Temple of Virupaksha is the most popular one over here. The sculptures, shapes, and carvings make it an exclusive place.
Visiting Hours: It is best to visit the monuments between 8.00 am to 6.00 pm.
12. Durga Temple in Aihole
Durga Temple was built by the Chalukyas during the 7th and 8th Century. It is a very popular religious place worth visiting for its perfect Nagara and Dravida style of architecture. The temple is shaped to that of the back of an elephant known as Gajaprasta. The temple has various sculptures of various Gods and Goddesses. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva or Vishnu.
Visiting Hours: Durga Temple is open from 6.00 am to 5.00 pm.
Entry fee: The entrance cost for Indians is INR 10 and foreign tourists are INR 250.
13. Namdroling Monastery
Namdroling Monastery is also commonly known as Thegchog Namdrol Shedrub Dargye Ling. It highlights the lineage of the Tibetan Buddhism and is located in Bylakuppe. Thousands of monks and nuns live here. It was built by Drubwang Padma Norbu Rinpoche. It was constructed in the year 1963 and people of the Sangha community lives here.
Visiting Hours: Namdroling Monastery is open from 9.00 am to 6.00 pm. It takes about one to two hours to explore the entire monastery.
Entry fee: The entry cost is free for all tourists.
14. Chennakeshavasvami Temple
Chennakeshavasvami Temple was built by the Hoysala Rulers. Here you can find 24 incarnations of Lord Vishnu. It took 103 years to complete this temple. There are a sanctum sanatorium and vestibule inside the temple. There are also various small mandapams here and it also has various historical significance. The victory of Hoysalas over Cholas are celebrated by the construction of this temple.
Visiting Hours: Chennakeshavasvami Temple is open from 7.00 am to 8.30 pm.
Popular for: It is a favourite spot for wanderers, god lovers and history buffs.
15. Gomateshwara Bahubali
Gomateshwara Bahubali is a 57 feet tall statue which was built by the Ganga dynasty minister. It is a very popular free-standing statue and is colossal in size. It is a popular Jain pilgrimage site in Karnataka. It is located on a hill in Shravanabelagola in Hassan district.
Visiting Hours: The temple is open from 6.30 am to 11.30 am and 3.30 pm to 6.30 pm.