Rightly are the Kannadigas, as the people of Karnataka are called, proud of their history, language and culture. Forged out of the molten flow of periodic invasion and occupation, there has emerged the steel of a full-blooded Kannada culture – a culture that, thanks to these very historical forces, possesses a multidimensionality that the modern visitor to Karnataka can only marvel at.
From the vast ruins of the historic 13th century AD Bidar fort with its palaces, mosques, and gardens in the north of the state to the regal Mysore Palace in the south, from the 1,200 year old Mookambika temple in the west to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Hampi in the (north) east of the state, Karnataka’s tourist destinations make up the many enthralling chapters in the grand story of the state’s history.
Do not miss the magnificent architecture of the Channakesava temple in Belur or the Hoysaleswara temple in Halebid in Hassan District that shows off the artistic elegance of the Hoysala kings (10th and 14 century AD). Or the grand monuments of Badami, Aihole and Pattadakal, centers of the powerful Chalukya emperors of the 6th to 14th centuries AD). The group of monuments at Pattadakkal, capital of the Chalukyas and one of two UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Karnataka, are a mixture of the Dravidian or South Indian and the Nagara or North Indian style of architecture.
Shravanabelagola, Srirangaptana, Gulbarga, Bijapur, Hospet – all of these places make up the twists and turns in the engrossing saga that is Karnataka’s history. While Bangalore, itself, the state capital,reveals the modern face of the state with its mix of ancient Hindu, Muslim, Christian and Colonial monuments, lush parks and the glittering glass-and-chrome façade of its IT vision.