One of the best places to visit in December, Karnataka in India offers a burst of fiery flavour with sunny beaches, spicy cuisine and a bustling culture scene. Here you can explore majestic palaces, take surf lessons in its glittering water, or retreat to some hidden gems that are strewn across the state. Whatever your plans for a perfect holiday, this state checks all the right boxes, truly making it one of the best places to visit in India, especially during December.
So this month, pack your bag and head out for a quick getaway from Bangalore that will totally refresh your mind and heart. The best part? They are all just a drive away. Let’s start.
Puttaparthi via Vidurashwatha and Lepakshi
Distance: 154 km ; Drive time – 2 hours 49 mins (approx)
A perfect destination for those who like to combine their holidays with some peace of mind, Puttaparthi is an ideal spot. Located in the Anantpur district of Andhra Pradesh, Puttaparthi is popular among religious devotees as the birthplace of Sri Sathya Say Baba. During your visit here, head to the ashram founded by him. Called the Pasanthi Nilayam, the ashram has stunning architectural value. Although you can take a train, we recommend you drive down from Bangalore as the roads are spectacular and provide amazing views as well. Additionally, the cool climate during the month of December, make it one of the best place to visit during this period.
On your drive to Puttaparthi, make sure you stop at Vidurashwatha, a small village which played an integral role in India’s freedom struggle. It is also known as the Jallianwala Bagh of the south. Also, make a stop at the Lepakshi village where you should visit the Verrabhadra Temple which was built by the Vijayanagar Dynasty. Popular for its mural paintings, hanging pillars and intricate sculptures, this temple is a true gem of architectural genius by the craftsmen of that period.
Shivanasamudra Falls via BR Hills and Kundura Betta
Distance: 134 km ; Drive time – 3 hours, 11 mins (approx)
Head to the truly amazing Shivanasamudra Falls which is situated on the Kaveri River. A perennial waterfall, it was created after the river found its way through the rocky ravines of the Deccan Plateau. Although this is one of the best place to visit in December, we recommend you also make another trip here during the monsoon season. This is because the flow of the waterfall becomes voluminous during this season making it truly a sight to behold.
If you like trekking, we recommend you make a stop at Kundura Betta which is on the way to Shivanasamudra Falls from Bangalore. Almost untouched and hidden, you can trek from the Rashasideswara Temple, to the Mallikarjuna Temple that located in the middle of the hill. Although the trial is not marked and can be exhausting at times, the view from the top is worth every effort. Don’t forget your camera.
Head out to Mysore
Distance: 145 km; Drive time – 3 hours, 25 mins (approx)
The second largest city in Karnataka, Mysore is an ideal pick to visit during the month of December in India. Although it was once the capital of state, it has now become a major cultural hub for the entire state.
People who are visiting this destination for the first time, can set some time aside for the palaces and forts of bygone era. But this is one of the few cities that truly rewards those who step off the beaten track and discover its real treasures. Start your day with a walk at Kukkarahalli Kere, which is a beautiful tree-rimmed lake with a 5-km walking path along its shores and incredible views of Chamundi Hill. There are a number of birds that visit this place, so make sure you pack a pair of binoculars.
After your walk, head to Jayalakshmi Vilas Mansion that was once the Wodeyar princess’s stunning large residence and is currently part of the Mysore University. If you have time, head out to the Green Hotel where you can wander through museums and enjoy some authentic food too.
In the evening, make sure you head to the Amba Vilas palace complex and on the way there, explore the heart of the city. Some local attractions include Dufferin Clock Tower, the Mysore Palace, Karanji Lake and Nature Park, Government Sandalwood Factory and Cauvery Arts and Crafts Emporium, especially for shopaholics who want to buy some authentic local products.
PS: Don’t forget to gorge on authentic masala dosa. Hotel Mylari, Gayathri Tiffin Room and Vishnu Bhavan are our top picks!
Take surfing lessons at Sasihithlu beach
Distance: 368 km ; Drive time – 7 hours, 20 mins (approx)
Swimming in the ocean is so passe. So why not take it up a notch by riding the waves? And if you are looking to soak in the adrenaline and give surfing a chance, we recommend you head to Sasihithlu beach which makes for an ideal place to visit especially during the month of December. Visit the many surfing outfits in Karnataka, like the Mantra Surf Ashram or the Shaka Surf Club which provides classes for both beginners and advanced learners. While picking your surfing school, always make sure that you speak to the staff and ensure that the trainers have all done a lifeguarding course.
Embrace the simple life at Coorg
Distance: 239 km ; Drive time – 5 hours, 9 mins (approx)
Also known as Kodagu, Coorg is popular for its coffee and friendly locals. A perfect place to visit in India during December, Coorg has something for every type of traveler. If you are a trekking enthusiast, make sure you visit Tadiandamol, which is the highest mountain in Coorg’s Madikeri taluka. It stands at an altitude of 5,735 feet, and many trekking packages are also available for trekking enthusiasts. Additionally if you are a beach lover, there’s an 11-kilometre trek through Gokarna, a coastal town on Karnataka’s northern tip. Make sure you bookmark that as well.
Have you packed your bags?