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Things to do in

Karnataka

Our most recommended things to do in Karnataka

Mysuru: Day Trip from Bengaluru

1. Mysuru: Day Trip from Bengaluru

Enjoy a memorable day trip from crowded Bengaluru to the city of royalty. Start early from your hotel and relax on a 3.5-hour drive to Mysore. Your friendly local guide will walk you through the splendid buildings of the Mysore Palace and the Gothic-inspired St. Philomena's Cathedral. You will also have a chance to visit the Chamundeshwari Temple, located atop the Chamundi Hills, for a fascinating history of the people of Mysore. Start your day trip with an early morning pickup from your hotel. Sit back and relax on your drive to Mysore, which will take approximately 3-4 hours (depending on your pick up location and road conditions). Mysuru, formerly known as Mysore, is famous for its World Heritage buildings. Your first stop is the magnificent Mysuru Palace. Home of the Wodeyar dynasty, this grand palace is embellished with stained glass, majestic wooden doors, and intricate mosaic tiles. A fine collection of armors, sculptures, and paintings add to the glamour. Spend up to 1.5 hours exploring the Palace with your guide, building up an appetite for a traditional vegetarian lunch at a local's favorite spot. Next, head to the Chamundeswari Temple, located atop a hill. Dedicated to a form of Shakti, the goddess is revered by Hindus across the region. The location offers stunning views of the Karnataka countryside. Lastly, visit the St. Philomena's Cathedral which was built in 1941. Constructed in a Neo-Gothic style, its architecture is said to be inspired by the Cologne Cathedral in Germany and is one of the tallest churches in Asia. At the end of the tour, drive back towards Bengaluru where you will be dropped off at your hotel around 6:30-7 PM.

Bangalore: Private Car Hire and Driver with Flexible Options

2. Bangalore: Private Car Hire and Driver with Flexible Options

Charter a private, air-conditioned car with a professional chauffeur to make the most of your day in Bangalore. Choose from flexible options and pay according to your usage. Sit back and relax as you drive around the entire city according to your convenience, and make as many stops and visit as many places as you wish. Bangalore is the technological capital of India, also known as the Silicon Valley of India. With this private charter, take advantage of the opportunity to see all the city has to offer. Go sightseeing to iconic cultural and modern landmarks, or set off on a discovery of the city in the comfort of your car. Make sure to pay a visit to the Tipu Sultan Palace and Bangalore Palace. Nature lovers can visit the botanical gardens or the Bannerghatta National Park located close by. Get off the beaten track at the K.R. Market, one of the largest flower markets in Asia, or the Indian Music Experience Museum. Multiple car sizes, as well as time and distance options, are available for couples, families, or small groups. It is highly recommended that you start the tour before 8 AM or after 10 AM and plan a draft itinerary in advance to avoid driving back and forth through the heavy Bangalore traffic. Your driver speaks basic English and will be happy to help you with some local tips and itinerary.

Bangalore: Private Full Day Sightseeing Tour

3. Bangalore: Private Full Day Sightseeing Tour

Benefit from hotel pickup and drop-off and a comfortable air-conditioned car that will take you from one place to the next. Visit the temples, palaces and gardens of Bengaluru for a better understanding of the city's past and present. Make a pleasant start to your day by visiting one of the largest ISCKON temples in the world, revered by Hare Krishna followers. Proceed to Tipu Sultan's Summer Palace, an elegant complex built for the former ruler of Mysore. Get an insight into the life of a man revered in India for fighting against British rule. A combination of Indo-Islamic architecture is visible here, with teak wood arches, pillars and balconies. Take a pleasant walk through the Lalbagh Botanical Gardens, spread over 240 acres in the middle of the city. Home to several ornamental plants and centuries-old trees, take a relaxing break from your sightseeing here. Enjoy a local, vegetarian South Indian meal for lunch. Your tour will then take you to the Bangalore Palace to explore the sprawling grounds and royal facades. Entrance here is optional, and you can purchase your ticket directly at the site. Admire the High Court, and the seat of the state legislature at Vidhana Soudha from the outside. End with a look at the historic Bull Temple (Nandhi Temple), which holds great significance for devotees of Lord Shiva.

Full-day Private Sightseeing Tour of Bangalore

4. Full-day Private Sightseeing Tour of Bangalore

What better way to spend a day in India than on a day tour of thrilling Bangalore? Take this sightseeing tour to see the capital of the Indian state of Karnataka, located on the Deccan Plateau. This city is full of bustle, due to its number of well-recognized colleges and research institutions, software companies, aerospace and telecommunication companies, and defense organizations. You can experience day-to-day life in Bangalore as you travel to see its various sights. Breathe in the scents of flowers and water at Lal Bagh, a large botanical garden whose name translated means “The Red Garden”, and then visit Cubbon Park, a landmark “lung” area full of flora and fauna. While the gardens give Bangalore its nickname as “The Garden City”, you will also see many famous historic sights. The Nandi (Bull) Temple, built in 1537, is truly a sight to behold. This is said to house one of the largest Nandi murthi in the world, a huge statue representing the sacred bull. You will also see the imposing Vidhana Soudha, a massive, granite, Neo-Dravidian-style building that is the seat of the state legislature of Karnataka. As “The Garden City”, Bangalore has so much to offer. Take the opportunity to visit this unique green city and pay respect to its beautiful architecture and ancient monuments.

Shivanasamudra Waterfalls & Ancient Somnathpur Tour

5. Shivanasamudra Waterfalls & Ancient Somnathpur Tour

In the morning around 6:30 am, your chauffeur will pick you up from the hotel and drive to Shivasamudra falls situated on the banks of river Kaveri. It is the second biggest waterfall in India and also the location of one of the first Hydro-electric Power stations in Asia. The island, Shivasamudra, divides the river Kaveri into twin waterfalls named Gaganachukki & Bharachukki Falls. These magnificent waterfalls plunges 320 feet into gorge, breaking into a cloud of misty foam. The waterfalls are surrounded by the lush green hill forests of the Kaveri Wildlife Sanctuary. The spectacular waterfalls will certainly take your breath away. The sound of gushing waters has a soothing effect. Enjoy the calm and tranquil ambiance. The place is just picture perfect. Gaganachukki & Bharachukki Falls are at a distance of 13 km from each other. Later, drive to Somnathpur that was set up during the 13th century and was ruled by rich and powerful rulers. The Hoysalas were the last dynasty that ruled this region. They had played a major role in constructing temples in the region and surrounding places. Have a sumptuous lunch at a local restaurant. Later, proceed to visit the Chennakesava Temple, also known as a Keshava Temple. The temple is built on a star-shaped platform and has three carved pinnacles and shrines. The temple is dedicated to Lord Janardhana, Venugopala and Kesava. Somnathpur is also famous for sandalwood oil, incense sticks and other handicrafts. There are many local artisans that are involved in production of teak, ivory, rosewood and sandalwood carvings. Somnathpur is also famous for Mysore style painting of gods and goddesses. After your day tour, drive back to Bangalore. You will be dropped at the hotel. 

Bangalore City Tour

6. Bangalore City Tour

Begin your 8-hour tour with a stop at the ISKCON Temple, a blend of tradition and modernity. Continue to the Tipu Sultan Fort and Palace. The two-story palace was built entirely of teakwood. Head to the Lalbagh Botanical Garden, and admire the glass house built to commemorate the visit of the Prince of Wales. Have lunch at a local restaurant (at your own expense) before visiting Bangalore Palace. Afterwards, visit the Bull Temple, a fine example of Dravidian-style architecture. The temple is dedicated to the Hindu demi-god Nandi, who was an attendant of Shiva. Finally you’ll visit Gavi Gangadhareshwara Temple that houses a unique image of Agni, the God of Fire.

Bangalore: Full-Day Historical Guided Tour

7. Bangalore: Full-Day Historical Guided Tour

After hotel pick-up, stop at the ISKCON temple, a religious place known for its beautiful paintings and Vedic exhibitions. Do not forget to check out the artificial waterfall while you are here. Move on to the Tipu Sultan Palace to see the Indo-Islamic architecture, the famous painting of Tipu Sultan, and learn the history of the palace. Visit the Lalbagh Botanical Gardens to see 1000 species of trees, plants, and flowers, and the beautiful glasshouse, inspired by the Crystal Palace of England. Savor lunch at a local restaurant before your visit to Bangalore Palace, a Tudor-style architectural marvel, known for its graceful interior work. Check out the High Court, Cubbon Park, and the Vidha Sabha. See the highly popular Bull Temple dedicated to Nandi, believed to be a vahana (vehicle) of Lord Shiva, carved from a single rock. Visit the Gavi Gangadhareshwara Temple, a religious place dedicated to Lord Shiva, before you head back to your hotel.

From Bangalore: Taj Mahal Tour with Round-Trip Flights

8. From Bangalore: Taj Mahal Tour with Round-Trip Flights

The day begins with early morning pickup at 5am from your hotel in Bangalore and heads to the airport for your flight to New Delhi which takes off at 7am. Enjoy a tasty breakfast on the flight and look out the window to admire views of the world below. Arrive in New Delhi where your driver is waiting to pick you up, then travel along the Speed Expressway directly to Agra. Meet your friendly guide in Agra and stop by a local restaurant for a hearty lunch to set you up for a day of exploring. After lunch, drive to India’s most famous and iconic landmark, the beautiful Taj Mahal. Upon arrival, immediately feel immersed in the peaceful atmosphere that emanates from the building. As you follow your guide around the Taj Mahal and learn about this UNESCO World Heritage Listed site, admire the building’s impeccable architecture, of which every corner, wall, and detail is beyond imagination. After an unforgettable tour of the Taj Mahal, hop in the car for the drive back to Delhi Airport. Board your flight to Bangalore at around 10pm and enjoy dinner on the plane. Upon arrival in Bangalore, your driver will be waiting in the arrivals lounge to drop you back to your hotel after a busy but worthwhile day.

Bangalore: Mysore Tour with Lunch and Guide

9. Bangalore: Mysore Tour with Lunch and Guide

The first stop is at the Summer Palace of Tipu Sultan, often called the Tiger of Mysore for his valiant fight with the British. Dariya Daulat Bagh, the Summer Palace of Tipu Sultan, is built in Indo-Sarcenic style and has a few magnificent murals depicting the war of Tipu with the British. The next destination is the notorious Bailey's Dungeon. Colonel Bailey's Dungeon is the famous dungeon where Tipu imprisoned several British Officers during the war. Tales about this notorious location will also be told throughout the tour. The magnificent Mysore Palace beckons you next. The Palace is a 3-storied stone structure, with marble domes and a 145-foot, five-storied tower. Your guided tour of the palace will take you through the Public Hall, Private Hall, Dolls Pavilion, and the Royal Wedding Hall. India’s first sand sculpture museum is the final destination on your tour. Conceived and built by Gowri, a leading sand sculptor, the sand museum took 4 months and 115 loads of construction sand to build. It is a unique museum where one finds the heritage of Mysore crafted into sand, and it is incredible to note that these marvelous pieces of art were made using just sand and water. After you have finished discovering this unique spectacle, you will be returned safely to your point of origin.

Half-Day Cultural Tour of Bangalore

10. Half-Day Cultural Tour of Bangalore

Start you journey with hotel pick-up at around 9:00 in the morning as your guide and chauffeur awaits you. From here head to the neo-classical styled Iskcon temple. You'll stay here for 30 minutes after which you continue to the ornate teak-covered Tipu Sultan’s Palace. This historic two-story royal home was recently converted into museum, offering unique insight into Bangalore history. Stay here for 40 minutes. Visit the lush Lal Bagh Botanical Gardens, a facility that houses more than 1,000 unique floras. Your stay of time over here would be around 45 minutes as later you proceed to enjoy a local south Indian lunch. After lunch, admire the beauty of city’s Bangalore palace from outside. Before the tour ends, visit the Bull temple built in the Dravidian style into the surrounding rocks. After this your tour ends with hotel drop-off you are free to explore the city at your own.

Other Sightseeing Options in Karnataka

Want to discover all there is to do in Karnataka? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Karnataka

Overall rating

4.3 / 5

based on 78 reviews

We had a fantastic time, and everything ran smoothly from the very start to the end. Our guide Shiva is a total gem! So much knowledge to share, and such a warm and kind personality. He goes out of his way to make you feel right at home in beautiful Mysore. Highly recommend as a day trip from Bangalore.

I appreciate the promptness & individual attention. I learned so much as well as flexibility to have experiences I wanted. Srinivas is an excellent guide that makes most of our time together. Louis was a skillful & kind driver

Excellent tour of Bangalore. We enjoyed the sites we visited very much along with the banana leaf vegetarian lunch. The guide and driver are very knowledgeable and polite. The vehicle was comfortable and safe.

Thomas is very knowledgeable and patient in his explanations. They were flexible enough to acomodare changes I made at the last minute.

Wonderful excursion. Our driver Niyaz transported us perfectly in the flow of traffic. Very friendly guide for tours