The phrase ‘Short and Sweet’ has an appealing ring to it, more so when the word ‘vacation’ is added after it. Karnataka, along with the neighbouring states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu, is replete with charming places that can be explored on a 3 days package tour from Bangalore. Here are some destinations located within 600 kms from the city. You can either drive there or take a quick flight to begin the trip at the earliest opportunity.
1. Sakleshpur - A Misty Delight
Image credit: RahulR
[Embark on a nature trek in Sakleshpur on our tour package]
Distance from Bangalore: 223km
Sakleshpur rests on the biodiversity hotspot of the Western Ghats in the Malnad region. The hill station has a temperate climate which results in its lofty, emerald-coloured hills to be covered with coffee, cardamom, pepper and areca plantations. The town is often swathed in mist as the cool temperate surroundings are met with humid air from the coastal lowlands. The Manjarabad Fort, which is reputed to have been constructed by Tippu Sultan as a tactical location, is located just outside of Sakleshpur on National Highway 48. While on a 3 days trip from Bangalore, you can go on treks to the Kumara Parvatha as well as within the Bisle reserve forest which give a peek into the wide-ranging ecosystem of the region.
2. Chikmagalur - Cradle Of Coffee
Image credit: Motographer
Distance from Bangalore: 245km
Also known as the cradle of coffee in India, the hill station town of Chikmagalur has a local legend behind the origins of its name. The town enjoys a wholesome climate suitable for vacationing throughout the year; it is also endowed with all that nature has to offer – overflowing rivers, roaring waterfalls, a sky-touching peak, a sprawling mountain range and a wildlife sanctuary with a tiger reserve. There are several opportunities for the adventurous traveller as well as those on a spiritual journey.
[Find out what else we offer in Chikmagalur for the adventurous soul]
This salubrious place has an interesting variety of sightseeing spots to cover when on a 3 days trip from Bangalore. The nearest spot for adventurer enthusiasts is the Bhadra wildlife sanctuary where one can hike up the tallest peak in Karnataka – the Mulyangiri. One can even choose to proceed on the famous trek trail between Mullayanagiri and Bababudangiri which involves hiking along the soaring and precipitous rocky ridges of Bababudangiri Range. In order to enjoy nature’s bounty, there are the Manikyadhara, Hebbe, Kalahatti, and Hanumana Gundi waterfalls which are ideal spots for family picnics.
3. Coorg - Nature At Its Best
Image credit: Premnath Thirumalaisamy
Distance from Bangalore: 260km
Kodagu, also known as Coorg, is a hilly district famed for its coffee plantations and a bountiful of nature’s best. Rich with wildlife, it has three sanctuaries and one national park: the Brahmagiri, Talakaveri, and Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuaries, and the Nagarhole National Park.
On a 3 days trip from Bangalore to Coorg, one can visit these sanctuaries as well as the Dubare elephant camp where wild elephants are trained by the forest department. The main river in Kodagu is the Kaveri which originates at Talakaveri and with its tributaries, drains the greater part of this area. It has two glorious mountains of Tadiandamol and Pushpagiri which are ideal for trekking and camping expeditions.
[Check out the experiences and activities we have to offer in Coorg]
There are many waterfalls like the Iruppu, Abbey and Mallalli that hold visitors spellbound by their overflowing abundant water. On the way to Coorg, you can halt at Bylakuppe which is the largest Tibetan settlement in South India. It has several monasteries; the prominent among them is the Tashi Lhumpo monastery, the seat of the Panchen Lama.
[Click here for 35 best places to stay in Coorg]
4. Ooty - The Land Of Blue Mountains
Image credit: Pandiyan V
Distance from Bangalore: 266km
Ooty or Udhagamandalam is a popular hill station located in the Nilgiri Hills (Blue Mountains) of the Western Ghats. A large number of tourists flock this place every year, lured by its lofty mountains, pretty lakes, thick forests, rambling grasslands and extensive tea gardens. The hill station itself is dotted with several picturesque picnic spots. Situated at an altitude of 7,350 feet above sea level, the weather here is ideal for flora and fauna to flourish.
[Check out the best resorts in Ooty we found with amazing views]
The Government Rose Garden and Ooty Botanical Gardens have a wide variety of flowers thriving in them. You can choose to go on a boat ride in the Ooty Lake after which you can head to the Deer Park nearby to have a look at the different deer species residing here. Doddabetta Peak which is the highest mountain in the Nilgiris is about 10 kms from Ooty, from where one can overlook the beautiful vistas of the hills ranges and dense sholas surrounding it. One not-to-be-missed experience while on a 3 days trip from Bangalore is a ride on the mini-train of Ooty Mountain Railway which runs from here to Coonoor. The Pykara River and falls as well as the Emerald and Avalanche Lakes are frequented by those tourists who want to venture to nearby water-bodies.
5. Wayanad - Of Dense Jungles And Deep Valleys
Image credit: Dhruvaraj S
Distance from Bangalore: 271km
Wayanad is a small district of Kerala with Kalpetta as its main town. Standing on the lowermost tip of the Deccan plateau, its chief glory is the majestic rugged terrain of the Western Ghats, imposing ridges covered with dense jungles and deep valleys.
The Kabini River and its three tributaries, the Panamaram, Mananthavady, and Kalindy Rivers, flow through Wayanad and empty into the Kaveri River. Chembra, Banasura and Brahmagiri are some of the important mountains in the district which have hiking trails waiting to be explored by intrepid adventurous tourists.
[Find out where to stay in luxury while you are in Wayanad]
One can even undertake camping and wildlife watching jaunts on these peaks while on a 3 days trip from Bangalore to Wayanad. Sentinel Rock Falls, Kanthanpara falls and Pookote Lake are set amid scenic locations and are frequented by leisure-seeking visitors.
Karalad Lake is a 10.5 acre lake which is now being developed as a base camp for adventure activities like zip-line, angling, archery, paintball and water zorbing. Banasura Sagar Dam across the Karamanathodu River, Kuruva Island, Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary, Edakkal Cave and Thirunelli Temple are other tourist places in this area which can be visited during your holiday here.
[Check out some of the must to activities in Wayanad]
6. Shimoga - Laced With Picturesque Locals
Image credit: Sreenath H B
Distance from Bangalore: 278km
Lying on the banks of the Tunga River, Shimoga is surrounded by lush green paddy fields, areca nut and coconut groves and is popularly known as Capital of Malnad. With the four rivers of Tungabhadra, Sharavathi, Varada and Kumudavathi flowing in the vicinity, the region is blessed with fertile soil and picturesque locales. It is here that the River Sharavathi plunges down a 900 feet chasm to form the world famous Jog Falls which are visited by hordes of tourists for the spectacular scene.
[Go on an adventure and experience the trekking trails of Shimoga with us]
Other popular recreation spots include the Tunga Anicut Dam, Kunchikal Falls, Gajanur Dam, Tyavarekoppa Lion and Tiger Safari, Sakkare Bayalu elephant camp, and the Mandagadde Bird Sanctuary. Some of the less explored but worthwhile locales include the Achakanya Waterfalls, Shivappa Nayaka Palace, the Kavaledurga Fort atop a hill and the Chandragutti Fort. With so many historical and natural attractions in and around Shimoga, there are plenty of options to keep you occupied during a 3 days trip from Bangalore.
7. Coonoor - A Trekking Paradise
Image credit: Akhilesh Ravishankar
Distance from Bangalore: 285km
Known for its production of Nilgiri tea, Coonoor is the second largest hill station in the Nilgiri Hills after Ooty. It serves as a popular base for a number of trekking expeditions leading out from the town and into the ranges. One of the frequented trekking trails leads hikers to Lamb’s Rock that is 9 km from Coonoor and overlooks the Coimbatore plains, allowing a stunning sight of the tea and coffee plantations. A little ahead of Lamb’s Rock is Lady Canning’s Seat that also provides a vantage point of the Nilgiris and from where you can proceed to Dolphin’s Nose which is a mountain that appears to have the outline of the mammal’s nose.
[Exprience a jeep safari in Coonoor on our tour package]
Also in the surrounding area is Law’s Falls from where a trekking route leads to Droog (also known as Pakkasuran Kottai) which are the ruins of a 16th-century fort located at a height of 750 m. The main attraction within the town is Sim's Park spread over 12 hectares, a well-maintained botanical garden that has several varieties of plants. Another activity which might interest you is a visit to a tea factory where you can view the process of converting tea leaves to the packaged tea; which is also sold at the shops in the premises.
8. Pondicherry - A Fascinating Melange
Image credit: V.v
Distance from Bangalore: 307km
The city of Pondicherry has a rich colonial history with the Dutch, Portuguese, English and the French once residing here. The city has many attractive and imposing buildings, churches, temples, and statues which combined with the well-planned French-style avenues give it a touch of colonial ambience.
[Don't forget to see amazing things to do in pondicherry]
The most popular tourist destinations here are the four beaches which are Promenade Beach, Paradise Beach, The Auroville Beach and Serenity Beach. Sri Aurobindo Ashram, sited on rue de la Marine, is one of the most well known and wealthiest ashrams in India visited by large number of foreign guests. Arulmigu Manakula Vinayagar Devasthanam and Thirukaameeswarar Temple are ancient religious places flocked by a numerous Hindu devotees.
There are a number of old and large churches too, most of which were built in the 18th and 19th centuries and can be included in your itinerary during your 3 days trip from Bangalore to Pondicherry. Located 8 km north-west of Pondicherry, is the "experimental" township of Auroville (City of Dawn). It is inhabited by people of different nationalities who produce and sell items such as handmade paper and incense sticks at the local outlets.
[Click here to see list of popular hill stations in Karnataka]
9. Chennai - Southern Delight
Image credit: Vinoth Chandar
Distance from Bangalore: 345km
The capital of the southern state of Tamil Nadu, Chennai has many fascinating tourist attractions that include the two popular beaches, the Marina and Elliot's. Marina Beach runs for 6 km along the seashore of the city and is the second longest urban beach in the world; while the Elliot's Beach lies to its south. Among the spiritual centers located in the city are the Parthsarthy Temple and Kapaleeshwar Temple which are great examples of the Dravidians architectural skills.
[Find out what is there to do in Chennai on our tour packages]
Some of the vestiges of the city’s colonial past are the historical Fort St. George and Santhome Cathedral which give a peek into the bygone era. The Arignar Anna Zoological Park, one of the largest zoological parks in the world, and Guindy National Park are must-visit locations if you happen to be travelling to Chennai with kids. Those who wish to embark on a temple tour in and around the city can opt for a 3 days package tours from Bangalore covering Mamallapuram, Kanchipuram, Chidambaram, Kanchipuram, Thanjavur, Tiruchirapalli and Rameshwaram.
10. Hampi - Fascinating Ruins
Image credit: Kelman Chiang
Distance from Bangalore: 368km
Hampi is a village located inside the remains of Vijayanagara, the former capital of the Vijayanagara Empire that is now is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Housing the Virupaksha Temple along with several other monuments belonging to the bygone era, it continues to be an important religious centre till date.
[Here is a list of interesting places that you must visit in Hampi]
Hampi has several noteworthy Hindu temples (some of them are still active places of worship) with vedanta mythology on display inside. Among the most prominent of these are Achyutaraya Temple, Badavi Linga, Malyavanta Raghunathaswamy temple and Chandramauleshwara Temple. The Hazara Rama Temple Complex, although ruined, is well-known for intricate carvings and inscriptions depicting the story of Ramayana and a sprawling courtyard well-laid with gardens. The Vittala Temple Complex is the most famous among the Hampi ruins with the stone statue in its precincts forming the symbol of Karnataka Tourism. All these temples present perfect locations for pursuing photography and appreciating ancient architecture. The River Tungabhadra flows adjacent to the village border which has huge boulders along its shore. This area is frequented by rock climbing and bouldering enthusiasts who find the granite rocks most ideal for their adventurous pursuits.
11. Udupi - Religion And Adventure Beckons
Image credit: Jeremy Jones
Distance from Bangalore: 409km
It is quite rare to find someone residing in South India who has not heard of Udupi cuisine. Besides its food, this place is famous as a pilgrimage spot due to its several religious festivals and rituals conducted annually. The Asta Math, i.e. eight Matts and Sri Krishna Temple are quite prominent places of worship here. One a 3 days trip from Bangalore, one can even enjoy watching folk dance dramas of Yakshagana, Kangilu and tiger dance which are performed by local artists.
[Find out more about our hidden getaway in Udupi]
For the more active holidayers, Malpe Beach is a mere 7 kms from Udupi where one can enjoy parasailing, surfing and other water sports. You can even go on a boating trip to the nearby islets of St. Mary’s which are scattered rocks rising out of the Arabian Sea. Other pristine beaches around are Trasi Maravanthe, Bengre Hoode, Ottinene, Kodi, Mattu and Kaup. Situated 3 kms away from Udupi, is the well-known Shakti kendra Ambalpady where the famous 500-year old temples of Mahakali and Janardhana are located.
12. Dandeli - Action Packed Sojourn
Image credit: Karthik Narayana
Distance from Bangalore: 460km
Dandeli is a small town in close proximity to the Anshi National Park and Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary. Home to a wide variety of birds and animals, it is known as an eco-tourism destination that has led to mushrooming of many resorts in the region. Wildlife safaris are conducted within the Dandeli Anshi Tiger reserve during which you are likely to catch sight of some of its over 300 bird inhabitants along with animals such as elephants, tigers, sloths, deer and civets.
[Check out our tour and activity offerings in Dandeli]
Around 25 km from Dandeli are the Kavala Caves, the entrance to which can be reached by walking down a thousand steps. These ancient limestone caves display signs of human inhabitation during prehistoric times. However, Dandeli is most famous amongst adventure tourists as a perfect spot to indulge in white water rafting. The River Kali that flows nearby is an active rafting destination where many adventure groups conduct 3 days package tours from Bangalore throughout the year.
13. Kodaikanal - Thriving Meadows And Grasslands
Image credit: ram reddy
Distance from Bangalore: 463km
Kodaikanal, a hill city which sits on a plateau between the Parappar and Gundar Valleys of Tamil Nadu, means "The Gift of the Forest" in Tamil. Located at a height of 2133 m, its hillsides are covered with meadows and grasslands along with gigantic Eucalyptus trees and shola forests. Kodaikanal's most popular geographic landmark is the artificial Kodaikanal Lake which has a circumference of nearly 5 kms. Apart from boating, locals as well as tourists like to walk on the path that skirts the periphery of this lake. Large dahlias of different hues and water lilies in the pond are the main attraction of Bryant Park, which is a wonderfully maintained botanical garden situated close to the Kodai Lake.
[Be surrounded by nature as you spend a night out camping in Kodaikanal]
Other than these two places one can go to the Bear Shola Falls, Silver Cascade, Dolphin's Nose, Berijam Lake and Pambar Falls to admire the variety in natural landscape of this region. Those who want to view the grand panorama of Kodaikanal’s terrain including Sothupparai Dam, Vaigai Dam, Periyakulam and Varaha river from one point, should head to the Kodaikanal Solar Observatory which is the highest location near Kodai and also has a Terrestrial Telescope to view the surroundings.
14. Gokarna - Quiet Getaway
Image credit: Patrik M. Loeff
Distance from Bangalore: 485km
Gokarna, which means Cow's Ear in Hindi, is a small and far-flung holy town, with four of India's most quiet and unspoiled beaches nestled nearby. It is so named because it is located at the ear-shaped convergence point of two rivers; Gangavali and Aghanashini.
The main temple here is devoted to Lord Shiva, also known as Mahabhaleshwara. However, there are several other temples all over this small town making it one of the seven important Hindu pilgrimage centers. With its swaying palm trees as well as colorful tropical fruit and flower trees, Gokarna is primarily known for its stunning beaches and unique landscapes.
[6 resorts in Gokarna that will release all your stress]
The major beaches here are the Gokarna Beach (also known as Indian Beach), Main Beach, Kuddle Beach, Om Beach, Half moon Beach, Paradise Beach (also known as Full moon) and Nirvana Beach (3 km long with fine white sand). Some of these are popular among tourists for surfing, dolphin spotting, jet skiing and snorkeling. For a feel for what Goa was like in its glory days, you must travel to Gokarna during a 3 days trip from Bangalore.
15. Badami - Ancient Stories Unravelled
Image credit: Amit Rawat
Distance from Bangalore: 511km
Formerly known as Vatapi, Badami is famed for its rock cut temples and is located in a ravine at the foot of a rugged, red sandstone projection that surrounds Agastya Lake. During a 3 days trip from Bangalore to this place, one can look forward to viewing cave temples, gateways, forts, inscriptions and sculptures. There are many stunning, stone carved temples located here including the Bhutanatha Temple, the Dattatreya Temple, the Mallikarjuna Temple, temple of Banashankari, Agasthya Tirtha, temples of Goddess Yellamma, Mallikarjuna, Datttreya and Virupaksha – all constructed over several centuries.
[Read our list on top 10 places to visit in Karnataka]
Badami is also known for its 4 sandstone cave temples which differ architecturally from each other. Interestingly there is also a dargah, a Buddhist cave, and a Jain temple here which points to the acceptance of various religions by the people of this area. The rich historical carvings and sculptures of Badami leave tourists awestruck with their detailing and finesse. Apart from these, there is the Badami Fort situated on top of the hill which provides the entire view of the ancient town below.
16. Munnar - Breathtakingly Beautiful
Image credit: Pradeep Kumbhashi
Distance from Bangalore: 520km
Another high altitude town in Kerala is Munnar, a breathtaking and green destination with extensive hills all covered in tea plantations. It is situated at the confluence of three mountain streams - Mudrapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundala. Rambling tea plantations, quaint towns and twisting lanes along with exotic flora found in the forests and grasslands here add to it charm. Neelakurinji is one flower unique to this region which bathes these hills in blue when it blooms once in every twelve years. The main attraction nearby is the Eravikulam National Park which hosts the endangered Nilgiri Tahr along with several species of rare butterflies, animals and birds in an area of 97 sq. km.
[Read our guide to touring in Munnar]
Munnar also has the highest peak in South India – Anamudi (located inside the Park), an ideal spot for trekking. While hiking up the mountain, one gets a splendid view of the tea plantations and also the undulating hills caressed by blankets of mists. Both Mattupetty Dam and Anayirangal Dam have lakes that are popular sites for pleasurable boat rides, enabling one to view the surrounding hilly landscape, tea plantations and evergreen forests.
17. Karwar - Nature’s Many Wonders
Image credit: Dezinerfolio
Distance from Bangalore: 520km
The port town of Karwar lies at the mouth of the Kali River with the geography making it a natural harbor. Its seaside attractions include Tagore Beach, Binaga Beach, Devbagh Beach, Karwar Beach, Majali Beach and Tilmatti Beach. Guddalli Peak, located at 1800 feet above sea level, gives an extensive view of the Karwar and the sea. One needs to trek for 5 kms through mountain jungle, crossing brooks and springs to reach its summit. 4 Kms from Karwar shore is the Kurumgad Island which is privately owned and is frequented by locals as a picnic spot.
[Witness the beauty of the shoreline at Karwar on our island adventure tour]
Devgad Island, Oyster Rock Lighthouse, Shantadurga Temple, Sadashivgad Fort, Kot Shiveshvar and Shahkaramuddin dargah are other tourist places which can be part of your outing to Karwar. Anshi National Park, Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary, Devkar Falls, Mudgeri Dam, Shirve Ghat and Hyder Ghat Pass are suitable destinations for viewing natural landscapes and formations.
18. Cochin - Distinct Charm
Image credit: Ramnath Bhat
Distance from Bangalore: 548km
A major port city on the west coast by the Arabian Sea, Cochin was once an important spice trading centre. Occupied by the Portuguese, the Dutch and the British in the past, it is now informally referred to as the Gateway to Kerala since it is the ideal starting point for exploring the immeasurable diversity and beauty of this state. St. Francis Church, which is the oldest church built by Europeans in India, was the initial burial place of Vasco da Gama. Santa Cruz Basilica and Vasco House, both inside Fort Kochi, are remnants of the city’s Portuguese past.
[Here are the 15 best places in Cochin we found to visit for you]
Jewish Synagogue and Jew Town along with The Dutch Palace are located in Mattancherry, not too far from Kochi Fort. Coronation of many Rajas of Kochi was held in the Dutch Palace which has a fine collection of mural paintings depicting scenes from Mahabharatha and Ramayana. Right in the heart of the city is a protected bird sanctuary – Mangalavanam - home of many exotic and rare varieties of migratory and resident birds. Bolghatty Palace and Hill Palace can be included in your itinerary of 3 days package tours from Bangalore. Kathakali, a traditional dance form with impressive facial expressions and hand gestures that leaves spectators spellbound, can be viewed every evening at The Cochin Cultural Centre and Art Kerala. The massive Chinese fishing nets are distinctly unique to Cochin found along the entire stretch of Fort Kochi and Vypeen.
19. Goa - A Long Reigning Hotspot
Image credit: Pankaj Kaushal
Distance from Bangalore: 557km
Goa has been the long-reigning hotspot for having a fun-filled vacation. Being a colonial outpost of the Portuguese in the past it has synagogues, churches and imposing buildings as a reminder of its Christian roots. The northern half of the state, with Panjim at its hub, is flocked by tourists out to experience activities like watersports and lively parties on the beaches of Baga, Calangute, Anjuna and Vagator. The Southern part of Goa is comparatively sedate, preferred by those visitors who want to appreciate the solitude of Palolem, Cavellosim and Varca beaches.
[Check out what tours and activities we offer in Goa]
One can hire either a two or four-wheeler and drive the length of Goa; encountering charming and quaint bungalows painted in vibrant colours as they go. For those of you looking for a more natural experience, Dudhsagar Falls, Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary and Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary are the places to head to. Bird watching, boating, photography, water sports, and sightseeing – there is no dearth of activities that one can indulge in while on a 3 days trip from Bangalore.
20. Alleppey - Backwaters Wonder
Image credit: Saad Faruque
Distance from Bangalore: 593km
A town with interconnected canals, scenic backwaters, pretty beaches and lagoons, Alleppey (or Alappuzha) was once described as the "Venice of the East" by Lord Curzon. An important tourist destination in India, the backwaters of Alappuzha comprise of a large network of canals which provide Alleppey its lifeline. Plenty of tourists come here for a houseboat cruise which is a charming experience on its own allowing them an opportunity to oversee local life style including toddy tapping, fishing for small fry, Coir-making and prawn farming.
[You will not be bored in Alleppey with our tours and activities]
Other attractions in Alappuzha are the Alappuzha Beach, Ambalappuzha Sri Krishna Temple, Arthunkal Basilica, Mannarasala Temple, Chettikulangara Devi Temple, Haripad Subrahmanya Swamy Temple, Mullakkal Temple, Edathua Church and Alappuzha CSI Christ Church. Alleppey is also known for its fantastic snake - boat races held annually which is eagerly awaited by both tourists and the local population alike.
[Contact us to book your weekend trip away from Bangalore]
Going for a quick getaway to any of these tourist places is going to be just the shot in the arm one needs in between a hectic life. Having had your fill of a thrilling and rejuvenating break, one can return home with pleasant memories and a renewed appreciation for India’s diverse natural and cultural offerings.