By Sushmita Das
Karnataka is a tapestry of colours, cultures, flavours, landscapes, timelessness and heart stopping beauty. It’s 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 white-watered 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 quietude 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.
Q] One little known fact on Karnataka that everyone should know about when travelling to Karnataka.
Karnataka is blessed with sand, sun & surf; hills; it is rich in wildlife; unique cultivation of silk & coffee.
It is rich in heritage & glorious stories of ruling dynasty of Hoysala, Chalukyas, Wodeyars & Tipu Sultan.
Q]What is a must buy when in Karnataka?
One must buy Channapatana Wooden Toys, Mysore Pak which is an Indian sweet made of generous amounts of ghee, sugar, gram flour, and often cardamom also one must buy the famous Mysore sandalwood soap and perfumes infused with sandalwood fragrance. Silk in Mysore goes back to the time of Tipu Sultan according to some accounts so if you are someone who loves sarees then you must buy a Mysore silk saree or two. Karnataka is a heaven for Coffee lovers, Mysore is by far the nearest big city to Coorg, which produces some of the best coffee in the country.
Q] One take-away after a visit to this region?
The taste of various worlds found in within the border of single state.
Q] What is your advice to first time travellers?
You must try all the different cuisines that this region has to offer. The sandalwood products from here are the best & refined work found in India. Come to the state with immense & high expectation to experience the best at one shot. This state never disappoints its guests.
Q]One thing to definitely pack when travelling to Karnataka?
Come to Karnataka with a empty bag because when you leave, the bag will be full.
Q] One activity anyone travelling to this region should not miss?
The Beautiful Coffee Trails & Serene Beaches.
Q] Most romantic place to take a special someone to.
There are a lot of places to visit like Coorg, Chikmagalur, and Gokarna.
Q] Where should anyone, travelling to this region, definitely get their picture taken.
Do visit Mysore Palace, Hampi Monument, the hill top of Chikmagalur or the Kabini River bed, the hilltop of Jain Shrine of Bahubali at Shravanabelagola to get amazing pictures.
Q] Best place to enjoy sunset/sunrise?
Best place to experience the sunrise are Hampi, Shravanabelagola & Badami Caves for sunset.
Q] Best place to have local food?
Dig in to the authentic delicacies when in Bangalore, Mysore, Coorg, Mangalore
Q] Your favorite local dish and drink that you would recommend.
Gowda & Mangalorean cuisine, Kodava Cuisine. Bangalore is blessed with beautiful land for wine cultivation. Local winemaking factory offers guests a visit to the winery & also gives a chance to taste a few.
Q] One place only the locals would know.
Sakleshpur which is a hill station in the Western Ghats mountain range. It’s surrounded by slopes covered with tea, coffee and spice plantations. Extremely beautiful..
Q] The best pub and place to experience the nightlife here.
District 6, Bang – The Ritz Carlton, Church Street Social, Skyye, The Bierre Club, Arbor Brewing Company, 1522 The Pub & Toit Brewpub are some of the best places to experience the nightlife here.
Q] A local festival you feel more travelers should come and see
Mysore Dasara which a 10-day royal festival celebrating victory of truth over evil starting with Navaratri and the last day being Vijayadashamiis. The Mysuru tradition celebrates the warriors and the state fighting for the good during this festival.
Is there any particular month you would not recommend travel to this region and what would that reason be?
Karnataka is blessed with good climate. The entire year the state can be visited & planned to visit. However in North Karnataka which is closer to Deccan Plateau is comparatively hotter between summer months.
Q] In one sentence, Karnataka is ?
Karnataka is One State with Many Worlds.
Sushmita Das – Branch Head Bangalore
Hailing from the land of tea gardens, famous Muga silk & world’s only home of one-horned Rhino “Assam” I have post graduated in Travel & Tourism Management & a trained professional in customized tour packages in India. Landing up in Tourism industry seems to be a planned focus in my life with a working experience of 6 years. Traveling has always been a part of my life & a passion to meet & interact with people from vivid lifestyle, cultural value, language & traditions. Have vastly travelled North & South of India with various people on various occasions trying to paint my life with all possible colours.