Karnataka is one of the most naturally gifted and culturally diverse states in India. The northern part of the state boasts a distinctive history and there are many destinations here that would give curious travellers a rich cultural and visual experience. There are many exciting road trips that can be made without much preparation. With a self drive car rental and an attitude for adventure, a wonderful journey can be planned in a matter of minutes. Here are some top North Karnataka recommendations.
Located in Bagalkot district, Badami is a 450-km drive from Bangalore. An erstwhile royal capital of the Badami Chalukyas, it is not surprising to see why this town is filled to the brim with landmarks. The most prominent ones are the Badami Caves, the best examples of rock-cut architecture in the entire Southern region. Highlights here include the pillared cave entrances and the many rock carvings that depict important events of Hinduism and Jainism. Close to the caves, one can sit on the banks of the Agastya Lake, a picturesque water body surrounded by greenery. The hill-top Badami Fort is a great place to learn more about the architecture of the Chalukyas. People also come here for the mesmerizing panoramic views from the summit.
Another Bagalkot attraction is Aihole, famous for its centuries-old temples. The most famous of these temples is the Durga Temple which is filled with statues and carvings depicting countless scenes from Hindu mythology. Complex carvings on the pillars and the intricate stonework of the temple complex make it an archaeological treasure. Other places to visit in Aihole include the 6th century Ravanaphadi Cave which features three mandapas and ceiling carvings, and the Ambigergudi Temple Complex.
A 520-km road trip from Bangalore, the city of Bijapur is full of architectural marvels. The Shivagiri Monument is one of the largest Shiva statues in the world and the most famous landmark of the city is the Gol Gumbaz. This 17th century tomb has the largest dome in India and highlights include the whispering gallery, a brilliant showcase of building acoustics, and the seven-level towers that flank the central dome. The Ibrahim Rauza, with its minarets and arched entrances, is another tomb that showcases the best of Persian-inspired Islamic architecture. Bijapur is also home to one of the largest medieval canons ever made, the aptly christened 55-ton Malik-e Maidan or Monarch of the Plains.
These famous destinations are just the gateway to many more layers of history. Road trips are best experienced when travelling in complete freedom and privacy. For those who look for a car rental in Bangalore, Zoomcar is favoured by hardcore travellers because of its affordable rates and a wide range of vehicle choices. Another advantage of choosing this self drive option for long drives is the 24/7 on-road support assurance.
Karnataka’s northern borders showcase a blend of Southern and Western Indian elements in everything – from language to food and architecture. Those who love to travel will enjoy the stately monuments and sacred legends as they get behind the wheel and explore.