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15 Religious Places In Karnataka For A Spiritual Vacation

15 Religious Places In Karnataka For A Spiritual Vacation

Karnataka offers a perfect blend of natural beauty and sacred sanctuaries, making it an ideal destination for explorers and pilgrims alike. The following article will take you on a colourful journey through some famous religious places in Karnataka.

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Karnataka: A Land of Religious Places

Whether you are a seeker of adventure or spiritual solace, Karnataka offers them all. The state’s landscape, adorned with ancient temples, churches, mosques, and Jain basadis, ushers travellers and devotees alike to immerse in its profound historical and religious fusion.

Here are the Popular Religious Places in Karnataka

Aihole, Bagalkote

Aihole: One of the Popular Religious Places in Karnataka
Credit: KarnatakaTourism

The once capital of the early Chalukya Dynasty, Aihole is a scenic village on the banks of the river Malaprabha. Over 100 of the temples are Hindu temples, some are Jain and one is a Buddhist monastery. It is said that Lord Parshuram washed his axe here after killing the Kshatriyas, giving the land its red colour.

There are 125 temples found here scattered all over the village and fields, most of which date back as far as the 7th and 10th centuries. This is one of the ideal and must-visit religious places in Karnataka.

  • How to reach Aihole? The nearest Airport to Aihole is Hubballi Airport. It is 144.1km away. The nearest Railway Station is Bagalkot railway station. It is 33.8 km away.
  • What is Aihole famous for? The Durga temple, the most iconic structure of Aihole is part of a pending UNESCO World Heritage site. Other important sites include the Lad Khan Temple, Ravana Phadi Cave, Ramlingam Temple and the Aihole Museum.
  • Best time to visit Aihole: The best time to visit Aihole is from October to March as the temperature is cooler.

Baba Budangiri, Chikkamagalur

Baba Budangiri
Credit: ThePrint

Also known as Dattagiri and Chandradrona, Baba Budangiri is the second-highest peak in Karnataka, at an altitude of 1,895 meters. Baba Budangiri is an amazing trek destination, located 1895 M (6332 FT) at a distance of 250 km from Bangalore, making it ideal for a weekend getaway.

Baba Budangiri is also an important pilgrimage for Hindus and Muslims as the legacy of the Sufi saint Baba Budan and the Hindu deity Dattatreya.

  • How to reach Baba Budangiri? The nearest Airport to Baba Budangiri is Mangaluru Airport. It is 189 km away. The nearest Railway Station is Kadur Junction railway station. It is 70 km away.
  • What is Baba Budangiri famous for? The shrine of the Sufi Saint, Baba Budan, is said to be the first person to person to have brought coffee to the country by smuggling it out of Mocha, Yemen.
  • Best Time to Visit Baba Budangiri: March to May is the best time to visit since this is the primary flowering season here.

Talakaveri, Kodagu

Talakaveri
Credit: CoorgTourism

Located on Brahmagiri hills near Bhagamandala in Kodagu district (Coorg), it is considered the source of the Kaveri River, one of the seven sacred rivers of the Hindu scriptures. A square tank called Cauvery Kundike is located here, where the Kaveri River emerges as a spring and then disappears underground.

On Kaveri sankramana (changrandi) day, thousands of pilgrims flock here to witness the rise of the fountainhead, when water gushes up from the spring at a predetermined moment. 

  • How to Reach Talakaveri? The nearest Airport to Talakaveri is Kannur International Airport. It is 119 km away. The nearest Railway Station is Mysuru railway station. It is 160 km away.
  • What is Talakaveri famous for? The place has two temples: one dedicated to Lord Shiva, housing an ancient Shivalinga, and another devoted to Lord Ganesha, where a sacred Ashwantha tree stands. These two famous temples in Karnataka make Talakaveri one of the ideal religious places in Karnataka.
  • Best time to visit Talakaveri: The best time to visit Talakaveri is from October to March when the weather is mild and moderate.
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Dharmasthala, Dakshina Kannada

Dharmasthala
Credit: SpeakingTree

Dharmasthala is a temple town located on the banks of the Netravathi River and is arguably one of the most visited parts of Karnataka. It is a stunning example of communal harmony and religious tolerance as here temple rituals are conducted according to Hindu rites but managed by a Jain family.

The Jain Trithankara and the Hindu deity, Lord Shiva who is revered here as Lord Majunatha, are worshipped on the same holy ground.

  • How to reach Dharmasthala?  The nearest Airport to Dharmasthala is Mangaluru Airport. It is 79 km away. The nearest Railway Station is Mangalore railway station. It is 67 km away.
  • What is Dharmasthala famous for? The town is renowned for the century-old Dharmasthala Temple, dedicated to Lord Manjunatheshwara (a form of Shiva). Other important landmarks include the Manjusha Museum, the Bahubali Statue, and the Chandranath Swami Basadi, a Jain temple.
  • Best time to visit Dharmasthala: The best time to visit Dharmasthala is during the winter, from October to February, as the weather is pleasant.  

Shravanbela Goal, Hassan

Shravanbela Gola
Credit: Tripadvisor

Located 57 KM from the headquarters of the Hassan district, Shravanbela Gola is an important Jain pilgrimage destination, known for its immense cultural, historical and religious legacy. The town has been an important site for Jain culture, art and architecture for over two millennia.

Shravanbela Goal is one of the most visited Jain pilgrimage centres in South India. Located just 157 km away from Bangalore, it is also a popular weekend getaway destination. 

  • How to reach Shravanbela Gola?  The nearest Airport to Shravanbela Goal is Hassan Airport. It is 51 km away. The nearest Railway Station is Shravanbela Goal railway station. It is 3 km away.
  • What is Shravanbela Gola famous for? Shravanbela Gola is renowned for its colossal monolithic statue of Lord Bahubali, also known as Gomateshwar. Standing proudly at an incredible height of 58 Ft, it is the world’s largest monolithic statue.
  • Best time to visit Shravanbela Gola: The best time to visit Shravanbela Gola is from October to March as the weather is cool and comfortable. 

Sannathi, Kalaburagi

Sannathi
Credit: TheHindu

Sannathi is an ancient Buddhist site located on the banks of the Bhima River. The site had been abandoned for many years until the villagers found a Kali Idol with words etched on its base. The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) formally undertook a restoration project of the site in 2022.

Currently, the project is postponed due to the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. The once-forgotten site has now gained a lot of popularity due to the recent excavations undertaken by the ASI.

  • How to reach Sannathi? The nearest Airport to Sannathi is Kalaburagi Airport. It is 18 km away. The nearest Railway Station is Kalaburagi railway station. It is 9 km away.
  • What is Sannathi famous for? Besides recent excavations led by ASI, It is also renowned for its Chandrala Parameshwari Temple. It is said this was where Goddess Chandrala Parameshwari sent her paduka (wooden slippers) from which emerged five large bumblebees who killed the vile king, Setu Raya and saved her devotee, Chandravani, from his clutches.
  • Best time to visit Sannathi: The best time to visit Sannathi is from October to March due to the pleasant weather conditions. 
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Hampi, Vijayanagara

Hampi: Religious Places in Karnataka
Credit: SunLeisureWorld

Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Hampi is renowned as the “World’s Largest Open-air Museum,” sprawling across nearly 29 square kilometres. Situated along the Tungabhadra River, Hampi was the capital of the Vijayanagara Empire until it was sacked by Muslim rulers and abandoned.

Now in ruins, it boasts over 500 ancient monuments, making it a prime destination for history buffs and adventure seekers alike.

  •  How to reach Hampi? The nearest Airport to Hampi is Jindal Vijayanagara Airport. It is 35.1 km away. The nearest Railway Station is Hosapete Junction (Hospet). It is 13.3 km away.
  • What is Hampi famous for? Hampi has a plethora of famous monuments. Some of the popular landmarks include the Virupakasha Temple. Vijay Vitthala Tempe, Lotus Mahal, Hampi Bazar,  Hazara Rama Temple, Badavalinga Temple, etc. 
  • Best time to reach Hampi: The best time to visit Hampi is from November to February when the weather is calm and mild.

Bangalore

Bangalore
Credit: VacationIndia

Apart from being a major ‘IT’ hub, the capital city of Karnataka is not exempt from having its very own vibrant cultural and historical background. The city showcases its diverse religious history with numerous mosques, churches, and famous temples in Karnataka, reflecting its cultural heritage.

Bangalore offers a rich experience with the grandeur of its temples, the tranquillity of its mosques, the elegance of its churches, and the serenity of its Jain temples.

  • How to reach Bangalore? The nearest Airport to Bangalore is Kempegowda International Airport. It is 35 km away. The nearest Railway Station is Malleswaram railway station. It is 6.5 km away.
  • What is Bangalore famous for? Bangalore has a diverse religious history. Some of its most popular religious destinations include St. Mary’s Basilica, St. Paul’s Cathedral, ISKCON Temple, Dodda Ganesha Temple, Sri Shanmukha Temple, Jumma Masjid, and more.
  • Best time to visit Bangalore: The best time to visit Bangalore is October to February when the weather is moderate.

 Bidar

Bidar
Credit: Facts.net

The name Bidar is derived from ‘bidiru’, which means bamboo. The once capital of the Bahamani Sultanate of the 14th, Bidar is a historically rich city which has made significant contributions to the region’s cultural and architectural heritage.

Its stunning ruins, fascinating history, and vibrant cultural scene make it a compelling destination for travellers and history lovers. Ruled by various dynasties, its architecture showcases a fascinating blend of Hindu, Turkish, and Persian styles. 

  • How to reach Bidar? The nearest Airport to Bidar is Bidar Airport. It is 5 km away. The nearest Railway Station is Bidar railway station. It is 1 km away.
  • What is Bidar famous for? Bidar is known especially for its Bidar Fort, one of the most formidable forts in the country. It was built by Ahmad Shah Wali of the Bahamani Sultanate. Another famous landmark is Basavakalyan, a town famed for its cultural heritage.
  • Best time to visit Bidar: The best time to visit Bidar is from October to February to enjoy the cool weather.
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Basavakalyan, Bidar

Basavakalyan: Religious Places in Karnataka
Credit: ShikharVedh

Formerly known as Kalyani, it was later renamed Basavakalyan in honour of Basava, the revered 12th-century religious reformer, and is known as the Karmabhoomi of Basaveshwara.

During the time of Basava, the town became a pinnacle of learning and spirituality. Great saints such as Basaveshwara, Allama Prabhu, Akka-Mahadevi, Channabasavanna and Siddarama. made the city their home: It is famous for its rich cultural heritage, which was largely influenced by the Lingayat faith. 

  • How to reach Basavakalyan? The nearest Airport to Basavakalyan is Bidar Airport. It is 84.3 km away. The nearest Railway Station is Bhalki railway station. It is 46.6 km away.
  • What is Basavakalyan famous for? The city is known especially for its world’s tallest one-of-a-kind statue of Basavanna, which reaches a magnificent height of 108 ft.
  • Best time to visit Basavakalyan: The best time to visit Basavakalyan is from October to March.

Kudala Sangama, Bagalkote

Kudala Sangama
Credit: WikimediaCommons

Kudala Sangama, situated at the confluence of the Krishna and Malaprabha rivers in Karnataka, is a major pilgrimage site, especially revered by followers of the Lingayat faith.

This site is closely associated with Basavanna, It is believed to be the place where Basavanna spent his final years. Deeply intertwined with the legacy of Basavanna and the Lingayat movement, it offers a unique blend of religious significance, architectural splendour, and natural beauty. 

  • How to reach Kudala Sangama? The nearest Airport to Kudala Sangama is Hubballi Airport. It is 177.2 km away. The nearest Railway Station is Bagalkot Junction. It is 47.4 km away.
  • What is Kudala Sangama famous for? The main attraction at Kudala Sangama is the Sangameshwara Temple, dedicated to Lord Sangameshwara, a form of Shiva. Another important spot is the Aikya Mantapa, a spiritual place and burial spot of Basavanna at the confluence point of the two rivers.
  • Best time to visit Kudala Sangaman: The best time to visit Kudala Sangaman is from June to September. 

Bylakuppe, Mysuru

Bylakuppe, Mysuru
Credit: Tripadvisor

It is the second-largest Tibetan settlement in the world, established in the 1960s, the Indian government provided land to Tibetan refugees escaping Chinese occupation.

The settlement was developed under the guidance of the Central Tibetan Administration and has now grown into a thriving community. Today, Bylakuppe is home to more than 70000 Tibetans and houses the largest Buddhist Monastery in South India.

  •  How to reach Bylakuppe? The nearest Airport to Bylakuppe is Mysuru Airport. It is 96.7 km away. The nearest Railway Station is Mysuru Junction. It is 82.3 km away.
  • What is Bylakuppe famous for? One of the largest and most famous monasteries in Bylakuppe is Namdroling, which houses the famous Golden Temple. it is also one of the biggest monasteries in the world.
  • Best time to visit Bylakuppe: The best time to visit Bylakuppe is from September to March when the weather is very soothing.
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Nanjangud, Mysuru

Nanjangud
Credit: NativePlanet

Nanjangud, also known as the “Dakshin Kashi,” is a prominent pilgrimage centre in Karnataka. Located on the banks of the river Kapila, has been a major Shaiva centre for nearly a thousand years. 

Nanjangud is famous for its Srikanteshwara Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, revered here as Shri Nanjundeshwara, the “Lord who drank poison.” In Kannada, the word ‘Nanjangud’ translates to “the abode of Nanja” (Nanjundeshwara). 

  • How to reach Nanjangud? The nearest Airport to Nanjangud is Mysuru Airport. It is 14.5 km away. The nearest railway station is Nanjangud Town railway station. It is 1.6 km away.
  • What is Nanjangud famous for? The most famous structure here is the Srikanteshwara Temple dedicated to Shri Nanjundeshwara. It showcases the Dravidian style of architecture with its towering nine-storied gopuram (tower) and stands at an impressive height of 120 FT. It is believed that Shiva, after consuming the halahal during the churning of the ocean, rested here. 
  • Best time to visit Nanjangud: The best time to visit Nanjangud is from October to March as the cool weather is ideal for exploration. 

Kundremukh, Chikmagalur

Kudremukh: Popular Religious Places in Karnataka
Credit: PraksExplorer

Kudremukh, meaning “horse face” in Kannada, gets its name from the distinctive shape of its peak. Nestled in the Western Ghats of Karnataka, it is renowned for its lush greenery, diverse wildlife, captivating landscapes and trekking route.

It is Karnataka’s second-highest peak and is particularly famous for the Kudremukh National Park. The park is a haven for bird watchers and wildlife photographers, providing glimpses of a myriad of flora and fauna unique to this region.

  • How to reach Kundremukh? The nearest Airport to Kundremukh is Mangaluru Airport. It is 107 km away. The nearest Railway Station is Mangalore Junction. It is 114 km away.
  • What is Kundremukh famous for? Apart from the Kudremukh National Park, the place is also significant for various religious sites. The Kaleshwara Devi Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, is a notable spot along with the sacred Kalasa pond.
  • Best time to visit Kundremukh: This is one of the religious places in Karnataka to visit from October and February.

Bijapur

Bijapur: Popular Religious Places in Karnataka
Credit: TheClove

Bijapur, now officially known as Vijayapur, is the district headquarters, of the Bijapur district of the State of Karnataka, and is an icon of early Islamic architecture. It is one of the most beautiful religious places in Karnataka.

It was established by the Kalyani Chalukyas. Following the decline of the Chalukya dynasty, control was transferred to the Yadavas. It first came under Muslim influence towards the end of the 13th century, initially through Alauddin Khaljiand later under the Bahamani kings of Bidar in the 14th century. 

  • How to reach Bijapur? The nearest Airport to Bijapur is Kalaburagi Airport. It is 176.4 km away. The nearest Railway Station is Vijayapura railway station. It is 3.6 km away.
  • What is Bijapur famous for? The Gol Gumbaz is the most famous monument of Bijapur. It is the second highest dome in the world, reaching an astonishing height of 210 Ft. Unbelievably, the main dome is unsupported by any pillars and is second to St Peter’s Basilica in Rome.
  • Best time to visit Bijapur: The best time to visit Bijapur is from October to February.

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In conclusion, there are various religious places in Karnataka, each offering a unique and profound experience for visitors. Whether seeking spiritual solace or simply marvelling at the architectural wonders, these places offer a serene and enriching retreat for all.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Which is the spiritual city of Karnataka?

Karnataka has a lot of spiritual cities. Some frequently visited spiritual cities of Karnataka include Sringeri, Shravanbolega, Baba Budangiri, Nanjangud and Dharmashala.

What is Karnataka famous for?

Karnataka is especially renowned for its heritage and religious legacy. Dotted with ancient temples, each boasting intricate craftsmanship and vibrant history, Karnataka is the ideal vacation for devotees and explorers. It is the dream destination for architecture and history enthusiasts.

What is the best time to visit the temples in Karnataka?

The best time to visit religious places in Karnataka is from October to March. The weather is pleasant, making it comfortable for travellers to explore temples and other sacred sites. Additionally, a lot of festivals are also held during this peri

Which city is known as crown of Karnataka?

Bidar, located in Northern Karnataka, is often referred to as ‘Crown’ of Karnataka.

Which place is called Kashmir of Karnataka?

Kodagu, also known as Coorg, is often called the ‘Kashmir of Karnataka,’ due to its cool climate. It is also known as the ‘Land of Oranges’ for its abundant orange cultivation. It is also called as the Scotland of India.