Karanataka’s Hidden Wonders: A menu of Unexplored Karanataka

Posted on December 10, 2019 by

Karnataka continues to gain popularity among tourists on the back of its biggest attraction – the Nightlife of Bangalore, the markets of Mysore, etc. However, there are some hidden gems that remain unknown. Today we bring you a list of Bangalore’s hidden wonders

1. Bidar

Bidar’s wealth of monuments is simply inconceivable – with 61 monuments of which at least 30 are tombs. It has been associated with the Mauryan empire and finds a mention in Mahabharata, Harivamsa, Bhagavata, Purana, Malavikagnimitra, etc. The monuments here though were mostly built by Muslim rulers.

2. Anegundi

A 20 km ride on State Highway 49 from Hampi will take you to the next item in our list of Karnataka’s Hidden Wonders – Anegundi. It is claimed this almost forgotten town served as the Kishkindha, the kingdom of monkey kings Bali and Sugriva mentioned Hindu epic Ramayana and which was also the abode of the monkey god Hanuman. Anjanadri Parvatha is believed to Lord Hanuman’s birthplace and has a temple dedicated to him right at the top. Apart from that, there is not much to see here apart from the lush greenery. That said, Anegundi has a history far older than Ramayana – and is said to have been settled in for four billion years based on researches carried out by geologists who have found stone age traces here.

3. Badami

The first in our list of Karnataka’s Hidden Wonders is Badami. In its most glorious days, Badami was the capital of Badami Chalukyas but now it is a relatively forgotten town though it still stands in all its splendor. Among the sites to see is Agastya Lake next to which are cave temples design in Dravidian architecture, made of two giant sandstone hills.

4. Arbi Falls, Dashrathnagar, Manipal

Arbi falls are located at a distance of 5 kilometers from Manipal which, in turn, is located at a distance of mere 64 kilometers, the nearest major tourist destination of Karnataka via  NH 66 and SH 67.  From the base of the hill, the falls is just a small hike away. This hidden wonder of Bangalore is relatively unknown to the mainstream tourists and thus a nice peaceful place – far more peaceful than more popular waterfalls and thus making it second in our list of Karnataka’s Hidden Wonders.

5. Shivagange

Third, in our list of Bangalore’s Hidden Wonders Despite being located so close to Bangalore, Shivagange peak continues to get ignored by the tourists. For locals, though it is an important Hindu pilgrimage site. The site of the worship comprises of Shivalinga-shaped mountain and a spring that comes out of it locally known as Ganga. The site is also home to sculptures of Nandi or Basavanna that are brilliantly carved on the top of a steep rock. You can reach the site after an easy hike too.

There are some other temples nearby – and you must also see the cave temple of Sri Gangadhareshwara that, if mythical legends can be believed, is connected by a secret tunnel to the garbha griha (sanctum sanctorum) of another temple to the Gavi Gangadhareshwara temple in Bengaluru.

6. Augumbe

Now something that fiction lovers can’t ignore, this relatively unknown town has been labeled as Cherrapunjee of South. However, the reason why it makes to our list of Karnataka’s Hidden Wonders is it’s having served as the basis of Sahitya Academy Award-winning author RK Narayan’s magnum opus Malgudi Days.

If you have a nostalgia for the imagined town of Malgudi immortalized by Narayan’s works, you must visit the Malgudi Mane here. We also recommend watching the sunrise on Kundadri Hills.

7. Bijapur

Established around a thousand years ago, by the Chalukyas of Kalyani, Bijapur was initially christened as Vijayapura or the City of victory. If you are a history freak, the lack of Bijapur’s popularity might bewilder you. The city has several historical monuments like Ibrahim Rauza, Gol Gumbaz,  Anand Mahal, umma Masjid, Jod Gumbaz, J Saat Manzil, Jal Manzil, etc – mostly built during the rule of Adil Shah dynasty, still waiting to be recognized by the tourism industry. It is this very lack of popularity though which has earned it a place in our list of Karnataka’s Hidden Wonders.

8. Mullayanagiri

Mullayanagiri is named after the great sage Mullapa Swamy, a temple to whom is dedicated to the peak of the mountain. Despite its location near Bangalore and it’s being one of the best if not the best trek in the state, Mullayanagiri fails to attract tourists.

8. Shivanasamudra

Shivasamandua is a small island town where Kavei drops down to form to incredibly beautiful waterfalls -Gaganachukki and Bharachukki which are together called the Shivanasamudra falls and earn it a place in the list of our list of Karnataka’s Hidden Wonders.

The town also has ancient temples such as those dedicated to Sri Ranganathaswamy, Sri Someshwara, etc that constructed in the Dravidian style of architecture.

9. Shettihalli

The Church here, Shetttihali Church is also known as the Submerged Church and the Floating Church and is the next item in the list of our list of Karnataka’s Hidden Wonders. It was built by French missionaries in the late 1800s and later become an abandoned sight with the construction of the Hemavati which leaves it partially submerged during monsoons.

10. Chitradurga

Next in our list of Karnataka’s Hidden Wonders is Chitradurga, claimed by many to be the birthplace of Hidimba and Hidimbi, the demon brother-sister duo from the Mahabharata. The place is home to rocky hills and beautiful valleys a fort known as Kallina Kote or a stone fortress that has 18 temples.

According to a legend, Obavva, the wife of a guard, once single-handedly managed to kill several soldiers of Hyder Ali’s (Tipu Sultan’s father) army who were trying to infiltrate into the fort with an Onake (which is a long wooden club meant used by women pounding paddy grains), before giving in to her injuries.

11. Marvanthe

Next in our our list of Karnataka’s Hidden Wonders is Marvanthe. Marvanthe is home to Karnataka’s most amazing sea beaches. A drive on National Highway is another valuable experience worth having as you drive between the Souparnika river which flows right next to the Arabian Sea.

12. St. Mary’s Island

Last in our list of Karnataka’s Hidden Wonders is St. Mary’s Island. Named as one of the 26 Geological Monuments of India in 2001, by the Geological Survey of India, the island is supposed to the place where Vasco De Gama first landed before he ‘discovered’ India. According to the legend, it was he who named the island upon landing here.


Even with this additional list of attractions, we can’t fully enumerate all the wonderful places there are in Karanata. There are, for example, Talakadu, the temple town of Banavasi, Karkala, Gadag, Bylakuppe, etc – not to mention Hampi which we believe has made it to the list of prominent attractions ever since the publication of V. S. Naipaul’s infamous book ‘India: A Wounded Civilisation’. But we do hope this gives you some ideas. Tell us what other places should have made it to this list in your opinion. Do tell us in the comments below. J

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