12 Offbeat Places to Visit in Karnataka

The south Indian state of Karnataka has been blessed by immense natural beauty and thus it is one of the most popular destinations in India. There are numerous popular tourist places as well as offbeat places to visit in Karnataka that worth visit. The state has historical monuments, breathtaking varied landscape consisting of hills, beaches etc., rich culture, exotic wildlife, and all the other allures, bringing-in tourists from all across the globe. When we plan a vacation, we generally opt for popular attractions and places. However, opting for lesser-known places can sometimes offer unforgettable experiences.

Here, we have listed 12 offbeat places to visit in Karnataka:


Boasting of immense lush greenery and abundant tranquility, Gokarna lies on the border of Karnataka and Goa. The place is not a commercialized one and thus is perfect for peace-seekers, laid-back tourists as well as newly-wedded couples. Have a peaceful vacation while watching the sunset, holding a glass of your favorite drink in your hand and savoring sumptuous food. Though a temple town, it has some most amazing beaches such as Om beach, Gokarna beach and Kudley beach.

The place has a few good Yoga institutions and Ayurveda resorts. You can spot foreigners here. Plan a memorable night at the beach shack. As there are very few, make a booking in advance. Gokarna also has some ancient temples of Lord Shiva and Lord Ganesha. For adventure lovers, there is parasailing, snorkeling and banana boat ride here.

Hebbe Falls

Located inside the Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary and Tiger Reserve, Hebbe falls is placed quite close to the hill station of Kemmangundi. The waterfalls are surrounded by thick jungles and aromatic coffee plantations. Hebbe falls gush down from the height of 500 feet in two stages, which are called Dodda Hebbe (Big Falls) and Chikka Hebbe (Small Falls). Visiting them is ideal during summers and monsoon.

Hebbe falls are located away from the regular chaos of the city and can be reached by car. Travel by road for the first 4 km, which is followed by a steep trek of 2 km from the forest. Jeeps can be rented from Kemmangundi, for the same. You can enjoy swimming in the pool, which is known to be filled with curative herbs. The falls are surrounded by exotic flora, varied fauna and greenery.

Plan a short trip to Kemmangundi from Bangalore with this tour package

[Also read 12 Must Visit Waterfalls in Karnataka]


An unexplored beach paradise in Karnataka, Karwar is placed on the northern-most tip of the state. A laid-back and lesser-known version of Goa, it is perfect for water sports lovers and beach enthusiasts. Karwar has been blessed with a wonderful climate and pristine beaches. This port town offers water sports activities and boat rides.

Some of the attractions in Karwar that you must visit include Kali Bridge, Devbaugh Lighthouse, Tagore Beach, Karwar beach, Anshi National Park, Sadashivgad Fort, Oyster Rock Lighthouse, Venkatrama Temple, and Durga temple.

[Plan a short escape to Karwar from Bangalore]

Jog Falls

One of the most beautiful waterfalls in Karnataka, Jog falls is known to be one of the highest waterfalls in India. These mighty falls are located on the border of Shimoga and Uttara Kannada district are a combination of four falls. Locally known as Jogada Gundi, Gersoppa Falls, and Geruoppe Falls, these falls are formed when Sharavathi River cascades from a height of 250 meters in 4 streams, namely, Rovet, Raja, Rocket and Rani.

A narrow pathway near the parking area, takes you to a view point. You can also walk down towards the foot of the Jog falls. The path is steep and the time taken is around 45 minutes for one way. Avoid this during the monsoon as the path becomes slippery. As you go close to the falls, the drops of water come on your face and refresh you. The surroundings are enthralling.

Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary

One of the largest wildlife sanctuaries in Karnataka, Dandeli wildlife sanctuary spreads in an area of 834 square km. To be exact, it is the second largest one. The calm forest environment offers a peaceful and less-busy option to nature enthusiasts and animal lovers. Placed on the banks of River Kali, the sanctuary is located on the borders of Goa and Karnataka.

Dandeli wildlife sanctuary is home to as many as 200 kinds of bird species including orange headed thrush and Malabar pied hornbills. The sanctuary also offers opportunity for adventure activities such as kayaking, river rafting, mountain biking, and trekking. Not many know but it is one of those very little places in India that is home to the elusive Black Panther. The other wild animals here are antelopes, elephants, sloth bears, tigers, crocodiles, Indian bison, bonnet macaque and so on.


Lovingly referred to as the ‘Cherrapunji of South India’, Agumbe is a beautiful hill town of Karnataka that has rich bio-diversity and breathtaking scenery. This place offers some wonderful sunset views and thus is ideal for photographers and nature-lovers. A laid-back ambiance lets you completely relax and rejuvenate, away from the hectic schedule of your daily life. The waterfalls, the greenery, the peace, the sunset and the weather- everything is quite welcoming here.

For adventure junkies, there is an opportunity of trekking. Or, you can simply walk up to the nearby village. Surrounded by the lush and lofty Western Ghats, Agumbe has Koodlu theertha falls, Jogigundi, Barkana Falls, and Onake Abbi Falls. This place can be visited all around the year, however, it becomes all the more beautiful in during the rainy season.

You may also like to read Top 8 Hill Stations in Karnataka


A paradise for nature-lovers and trekking enthusiasts, Kudremukh is a hill range and a town in the Western Ghats, which is quite alluring. The place boasts of mineral wealth and rich bio-diversity. As the peak resembles the ‘shape of the mouth of a horse’, it is named so. The dense forest envelope, waterfalls, and mountains offer the opportunity of trekking and hiking. Although the place can be visited all around the year but the best time is between October and November.

Kalasa temple town, Kudremukh Peak, Kudremukh national park, Hanuman gundi falls, Gangamool mountan (a World Hertage Site), Horanadu holy city, and Lakya dam are some of the must-visit attractions in Kudremukh. The place also has some sacred ponds such as Varaha Teertha, Naga Teertha, Rudra Teertha and so on.

Karighatta Black Hill

Located at a distance of around 25 km from Mysore, Karighatta is a small hill station, which translated to ‘Black hill’. The place is packed with tranquil lakes and hilly topography at an altitude of 2697 feet above the sea level. This place is perfect for bird watching enthusiasts, trekkers and nature lovers. Two of the attractions here are River Lokapavanir and Karigirivasa Temple. Other allures are hill trekking, and varied natural flora and fauna.

As Karighatta is quite close to Mysore and Srirangapatnam, it becomes a weekend getaway for the locals and thus is otherwise not very crowded. Karighatta temple is the prime attractions of this place. As the temple is placed on a high-altitude, the views from here are stunning. The place is located off the Bangalore-Mysore road, right before Srirangapatna.


Blessed with abundant natural scenery and quaint surroundings, Honnemardu is a tiny village that offers water sports adventures activities. The village is also quite close to Jog falls and its splendid scenery makes it an ideal location to plan picnic, along with loved ones. The already lush and cool ambiance becomes all the more inviting in the monsoon season. Overlooking the backwaters of River Sharavathi, this village offers opportunities for bird watching, trekking and camping.

Honnemardu is also a heaven for bird watching enthusiasts. On the banks of the river, camping can also be arranged. The place boasts of varied exotic flora and fauna, camping and exciting trekking trails.


Home to architectural wonders that are listed under UNESCO World Heritage Site in India, Hampi is the best place to relax and savor the beauty of architecture, once you get fed up of from your routine work. Hampi is replete with archeology and history, which can be best be explored between November and February. The former seat of the Vjayanagar Empire, everything about Hampi is grand.

Hampi has over 100 monuments, built during the reign of various rulers. Though most of these temples and other structures are in ruins but there grandeur is less in no way. The place looks like an open museum. Virupaksha temple is the major attraction here.


Located on the Panvel-Eddapally highway, Maravanthe is a serene village with a beautiful beach, enveloped by calm surroundings. An ideal getaway from the hustle-bustle of the city, this place has picturesque views of the nature. Fondly known as the Virgin beach, this clean beach has white sands and wonderful natural splendor. Do not forget to binge on local delicacies, prepared using authentic recipes. Maravanthe beach memorable sunset views.

Maravanthe is dotted with a number of places that can be explored including Padukone village, Kodi beach and Bijadi village. Kodachadri Hills in the backdrop of the village look striking. Arabian Sea on one side and River Sauparnika on the other, looks breathtaking. The tranquil surroundings are simply charming. Do not miss visiting Maraswamy temple.


Located at a distance of just 40 km from the Mysore city, Somanathapura is a peaceful town, which is a standing evidence of Hoysala artistry. The place is extremely popular for being home to the ancient Keshava and Chennakeshava temples. These temples are masterpieces of the Hoysala style of architecture. Do not miss noticing carvings and the sculptures made on the walls and ceilings.

[For an amazing holiday in Karnataka, find the list of Karnataka tour packages]

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Places to Visit near Bangalore during the Monsoon Season


Geetika Handa

Geetika Handa is a travel writer who has an interest in sharing her experiences with all. She provides a detailed account of any travel topic she chooses to write on. You can get detailed information and tips about choosing the right kind of holiday packages in the country from her write-ups.