Explore the unexplored gems of Karnataka

Experience something new at these new places in the southern state of Karnataka.

Many pictures of Karnataka spring to mind when we think of it, including the busy capital, coffee farms, and temples. There is, however, another side to Karnataka that has yet to be discovered. These Karnataka unknown sites are not necessarily far or secluded; rather, they have remained unexplored because just a few people are aware of their existence.

Apsarakonda: Apsarakonda, near Honnavar, is a developing tourist hamlet surrounded by lush flora. Apsarakonda, which translates to “Pond of Angels,” is one of Karnataka’s lesser-known destinations. According to legend, Apsaras or Nymphs formerly bathed at the Apsarakonda Falls. Sadhus who dwelt in the caverns are said to have built the temples of Ugra Narasimha and Maha Ganapati. To get to the waterfall, visitors must climb roughly 155 stairs.

Banavasi: The oldest town in Karnataka, Banavasi is located in the Uttara Kannada district and is bordered by woods and villages. You may visit the Madhukeshwara temple, which was built in the 9th century. It is supposed to be one of Karnataka’s quirky destinations. The river Varada runs through the town on three sides, completely centred around the 9th-century Madhukeshwara temple. Kadambothsava is a state-sponsored annual December cultural festival that brings together authors, artists, and entertainers from all around South India.

Bandaje Falls: Bandaje Falls is one of Karnataka’s hidden jewels, located in the Charmadi Ghat portion of the Western Ghats in the Belthangady taluk of the Dakshina Kannada district. The rushing milky white waterfall gives for a magnificent spectacle in this quirky Karnataka location. Hiking is a terrific way to take in the fresh landscape of this area. To get to the fall, you’ll have to journey through meadows and lush woodlands, which are surrounded by tranquil natural beauty. It’s a breathtaking sight.

Honnemaradu: This is an excellent spot for camping. Honnemaradu is a tiny town situated in the gorgeous stretch of woods in the Western Ghats, located on the backwaters of the Sharavathi river. The settlement features a tiny island that draws campers and overlooks the Linganamakki Reservoir. Its beautiful surroundings, which are popular with hikers, also give excellent bird-watching possibilities. A variety of butterflies and birds may be observed and identified for hours. The spirit of this lesser-known Karnataka location is such that nature is in love with it. Water sports activities such as kayaking and boating are only permitted with the presence of a guide.


Mullayanagiri: Mullayanagiri is the tallest mountain in Karnataka and is located in the Baba Budan Giri Range of the Western Ghats. It is a tranquil escape with temperatures ranging from 20 to 25 degrees Celsius, making it one of Karnataka’s lesser-known destinations. This summit, which is known for neighbouring coffee plantations, includes a Shiva temple on the crest and is ornamented with craggy rocks and beautiful meadows. This area is a mecca for adventurers, especially trekkers, and it boasts one of the greatest hiking trails in Karnataka. 

Netrani Island: Netrani Island, located in Murudeshwar, is one of Karnataka’s many undiscovered gems. The heart-shaped island is known as Netragudo Island and Pigeon Island and is famed for diving and snorkelling. The island is reachable by an exciting boat trip of 70-90 minutes, with glittering beaches and the Western Ghats as a backdrop. Many aquatic species such as stonefish, blacktip sharks, turtles, stingrays, and others may be spotted here, which is known for its overpowering underwater experience. Scuba diving may be tried here by certified divers of various levels of expertise, with fees starting at INR 5,000.

Shettihalli Church: Shettihalli Church, also known as The Floating Church and The Submerged Church, is a lesser-known tourist attraction in Karnataka. It was erected by French missionaries in the 1800s and is located in the town of Shettihalli. It is a wonderful example of Gothic architecture in India and an excellent destination for history aficionados. The church is partially immersed in water during monsoons after the construction of the Hemavathi Dam in the 1960s. Despite the fact that the roof of this magnificent cathedral has collapsed, the architectural grandeur that remains makes it appear eerily gorgeous. A boat journey may be taken to truly experience this place’s strange splendour.

St Mary’s Island: St Mary’s Island, located along the coast of Malpe in the Udupi district, is one of Karnataka’s hidden treasures, not only for its beauty but also for its historical significance. It was proclaimed one of the 26 Geological Monuments of India by the Geological Survey of India in 2001, after being held a well-guarded secret. According to legend, during Vasco da Gama’s voyage from Portugal, he landed on one of these islands, erected a crucifix, and called it O Padro de Santa Maria in honour of Mother Mary. Another fascinating feature about this location is that the basalt on the islands was generated by sub-aerial subvolcanic activity approximately 88 million years ago when Madagascar was still connected to India.

If you’re an adventurer at heart who enjoys discovering new locations when travelling, pack your bags because these lesser-known Karnataka spots are just waiting to be discovered. It’s time to go down the backroads!