Top 7 Weekend getaways from Bangalore within Karnataka (India)

This article first appeared in My Travelogue by Bhushavali
 
Karnataka is one of the 5 states of Southern India and its the 6th largest state in the whole of India. Bengaluru (Bangalore), its capital city, is perhaps well known worldwide for being the IT Hub! Another major city nearby is Mysore. The Union Territory of the very famous Goa is also located in northern Karnataka. While these are famous, here's a list of lesser known, authentic, top 7 weekend getaways from Bangalore.

Tadiandamol Trek Coorg

Leopards of Nagarhole National Park
 
1. COORG, KABINI, NAGARHOLE (Wildlife Weekend Getaways from Bangalore): 
Western Ghats of Himalayas is a UNESCO hotspot for its biodiversity and this strip of land from Coorg to Kabini to Agumbe to Shravathi Valley is so green and so gorgeous and filled with so much flora and fauna! I've been in multiple trips to various parts of this region and I've had some amazing experiences each & every time including trekking the summit of Tadiandamol hill in Coorg, spotting a variety of birds and a herd of elephants in Kabini and spotting a leopard in Nagarhole! I need to visit many more places of this strip including Chikmangalur, Agumbe, Shravathi Valley and more! Its one of those regions where no matter how many times you go, its never enough! Kabini is one of the best weekend getaways from Mysuru within 100 kms.

Bheemeshwari White Water Rafting
 
2. BHEEMESHWARI, THALAKKADU (Adventure Weekend Getaways from Bangalore): 
Bheemeshwari is every adventure junky's must-visit place. Its one of the very few places where white-water rafting can be done in Southern India! The activities here include many more adventure stuff like ziplining, rope climbing etc. Camping in Bheemeshwari is an awesome experience and you might meet some boar and monkeys while you're there! Pretty close to it is Thalakkadu. Like Belur, this too is from my school days! This region has 30+ temples, in the banks of river Cauvery, but everything is under sand! One by one each of were excavated. The place is like a desert and yes, it is possible to visit these temples today. This is one of the ideal short-trips from Bangalore and can even be done as a day-trip from Bangalore. 

Hampi Vittala temple chariot UNESCO

Oneke kindi prehistoric Rock-art Hampi
 
3. HAMPI (Heritage Weekend Getaway from Bangalore):
Hampi is one place that I was so fascinated by, that I decided to spend 3 days just here instead of my original plan of taking a day-trip to visit Pattadakkal. Hampi is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was the capital city of Vijayanagara Empire. It was extremely rich & prosperous in 1343 to 1565, and then it lost a war and fell into ruins. Today it is a vast expanse of multiple monuments with stunning architecture, sculpture & incredible views as well! What's more, there's even a pre-historic rock-art site here! Hire a bike or car+walk, and see these places for yourself. Here's the thing - I have 10+ blogposts on just Hampi. So yeah, that should tell you how mind-blowing it is!

Belur Halebidu Hoysala architecture
Pic Courtesy: Mashalti, own work via Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 3.0 

4. BELUR, HALEBIDU, SOMNATHPUR, SHRAVANABELAGOLA (Art Weekend Getaways from Bangalore): I visited these places when I was a little girl, much, much before I started writing this blog. It was a trip with my parents during school summer holidays. Its perhaps one of the earliest trip that made me fall in love with Indian art. These were built in 12th C under the Hoysala empire. It can done as multiple daytrips with Mysore as base. While there are organized bus tours that cover all of it in one day, I wouldn't suggest that at all. The miniature sculptural marvel with multiple friezes here is too mind-blowing to cramp it all in 1 day. This is one of the best weekend getaways from Bangalore within 300 kms.

Aihole Pattadakkal UNESCO
Pic Courtesy: Ram Nagesh Thota, own work via Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 4.0 

5. AIHOLE, PATTADAKKAL, BADAMI (Devotional Weekend Getaways from Bangalore): As I said above, I wanted to visit atleast 2 of these 3 when I visited Hampi. But then, Hampi was so awesome that I spent all my time there! Pattadakkal of these 3 is another UNESCO World Heritage Site and the 3 together are Chalukya monuments. These were built in 7th-8th C CE. Like Hampi, Aihole is a group of more than 100 monuments including Hindu, Jain & Buddist. Pattadakkal on the other hand was the coronation site of Chalukyan kings! I'm yet to visit the 3 and I really hope to do that soon! The easiest way to reach here would be from Belgaum, which is connected to Bangalore, Mumbai, Ahmedabad and more with Indigo, Spicejet etc.

Elephant Corridor of Kabini

 
6. AGUMBE, SHIMOGA (Relaxed Weekend Getaways from Bangalore):
I originally planned to go there long back, but headed to Horsley Hills then. So its still incomplete! While there are many regular places to go, like Jog Falls, there are some places caught my attention. One is Agumbe - the fictional place of Malgudi was inspired by this. Very close to Agumbe are various homestays on the banks of river Tunga. These are so serene with options to trek, boating, kayaking and more! Infact, there are some cave formations in the river which are home to several bats & birds, that can only be reached by boat!!! This is one of the perfect romantic getaways from Bangalore.

Gulbarga
Pic Courtesy: Vivek B Govindaraju  via Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 4.0
 
7. GULBARGA, VIJAYAPURA/BIJAPUR (Historic Weekend Getaways from Bangalore): Two of the northernmost places in Karnataka. These are much closer to Hyderabad of Andhrapradesh than Bangalore. That means, historically it was all the same region under Deccan Sultanates, the Islamic rulers of Southern India in 16th-17th C. This is where you experience the authentic South Indian Islamic history - right from architecture to culture et all! Places to see here include the forts of Gulbarga & Bijapur, Bara Khaman, Gol Gumbaz, Upli Burz, Jama Masjid and many more!

HOW TO REACH: 
The major international airport here is ofcourse Bangalore. However northern Karnataka is more easily accessible from Hyderabad or Goa airports. These are well connected across the world with all major airlines including British Airways, Airfrance, Emirates, Air India airlines and many more.

Weekend getaways from Bangalore Pinterest Weekend getaways from Bangalore Pinterest

Bhushavali

An ardent traveler by passion. I am a wanderlust.. Read more about me here.

11 comments:

  1. There's so much to see so close to Bangalore - I never realized! I'd love to go white water rafting in Bheemeshwari, I never knew there was rafting in Southern India. The pre-historic rock art in Hampi is fascinating, it would be cool to bookend the day with the cave art and street art in the city!

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  2. Love to use a spot when we travel as a base. And then do day trips from there. It looks like there are so many different options for getaways from Bangalore. What a nice mix of historical sites, fun adventures and animal encounters. How great to have all of this so close by.

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  3. Dating back to 1343 is just impressive! What an amazing adventure! I bet the photos don't even do justice!

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  4. Wow Bangalore looks stunning! there is so much to do. white water rafting!? yes please!! The animal are what sold it for me! elephants are my favourite. Who knew there were so many amazing things to do in southern India!

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  5. So many great trip options! I think my favorites would be Agumbe and Coorg. Any chance I can see wildlife and I'm in! It's great that there are so many awesome trips available so close by!

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  6. It is such a great guide. Very informative! I would love to see
    Karnataka. I was only in Kerala, and I am delighted with this state. Next time I will be happy to see Karnataka. I'm fascinated by wildlife, so I would love to see and photograph wild animals. The Western Ghats looks fantastic. Spotting a leopard in Nagarhole seems like a dream for me! And so many elephants in Kabini. Amazing adventure. I add it to my list. I would love to visit Hampi, too.

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  7. Thanks for sharing these lesser know but fun to travel places ! I am an adventure junkie so I definitely wanna check out Bheemeshwari for the white water rafting and zipline ! I also love the Badami cave temples ! It is such a beauty next to the lake, with the cliffs behind it !

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  8. Hampi would be so interesting to visit! Dating back to 1343 is just impressive! It's a shame that it has all turned to ruins due to a lost war. Between the history and the views, this would be a wonderful trip! I can see why you extended your time here!

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  9. Thank you so much for sharing, I love visiting non-touristy places when I travel so I was happy to find this amazing guide!

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  10. Karnataka is one of my bucket lists, this area is a state in southern India. Your article gave a lot of meaning from different experiences and travel flows with the fascinating history of this country. One of the most attractive spots, I read in your article is the town of Hampi. It is impressive the way on how the architectural and sculpture designs become stunning and unbelievable how they built it.

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  11. Wow this is such a detailed post! Felt like i was there already, thanks for putting this together. I am going to save this for upcoming summer break and hope to plan it.

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