Landscapes of Karnataka

Karnataka is a land that has rich heritage and culture along with the biodiversity. Having been bitten by the travel bug, I have been travelling to various places within Karnataka either to capture wildlife, architecture, nature or the landscape. Each place has something unique to offer and there are moments where I have been spellbound. Travelling from the southern most part, Bandipur National Park, to northern part of Badami in Karnataka, I have captured the landscapes that have mesmerized me and are etched in my memory forever. If you are a landscape photographer, add these places to your list.

Agumbe, Shimoga

Agumbe is surrounded by rich biodiversity and has one of the last surviving lowland rain forests. Agumbe sunset point, a gallery erected to view the sunset, offers panoramic views of the surrounding countryside and even the Arabian Sea on a clear day. It had been a dream for me to visit Agumbe since childhood. When I visited this place in monsoon, though it was drizzling and cloudy, the clouds gave away for the sun to show its brilliant colours before disappearing.

Sunset at Agumbe at view point

Sakleshpura, Hassan

Sakleshpura, just a few kms away from Hassan, surprises you with abundant greenery, endless expanse of coffee, cardamom, pepper, and areca plantations. Needless to say, this is a must visit place for people who love birds and butterflies.

Few kilometers from Hassan is the Shettihalli Rosary Church, famous amongst photographers. This is a magnificent structure of Gothic architecture and was built in 1860s by French Missionaries in India. After construction of Hemavathi Dam and Reservoir, this church was abandoned. Depending on the water level, this church is either submerged in the water or on the riverbank as you seen in the picture below.  Also, the sunset with the Hemavathi dam and reservoir in the background provides plenty of opportunities for creative photography.

Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary, Chikmagalur

This place is well known for river terns and diverse range of wildlife. It also houses around 250 species of birds. However, for people who enjoy nature beyond wildlife, there is more to explore. Here is the view of river Bhadra during sunset from the balcony of Bhadra River Tern Lodge.

Hampi

Hampi, the city of ruins will leave you spell bound with its giant boulders, banana plantations amongst its ancient ruins and temples. This place is a photographer’s delight as each and every mountain and ancient ruins bring in unique compositions.

Badami

Badami is an ancient town located in the North Karnataka and was the capital of the Chalukya Dynasty. It is situated at the mouth of a beautiful ravine, flanked on either side by beautiful sandstone hills. Badami is famous for the cave temples built during the reign of Chalukyas and is surrounded by Agasthya Tirtha Lake. During sunset and sunrise, the sand stones and the structures around Badami turns into a magical mesmerizing place.

Around Mysore

A journey to Mysore through Kanakapura road welcomes you with the lush green paddy and sugarcane fields all along. There are multiple places to visit enroute Mysore that provides excellent opportunity to capture landscapes. Here is Chennakeshava temple at Somanathapura during monsoon and Gaganachukki falls at its best. You can also visit Melukote which is close to Mysore and also Himavad Gopalaswamy Betta after Mysore.

Around Bangalore

Gudibande, a small panchayat town, is 92 kilometers from Bangalore. This place has a fort built 400 years ago along with a reservoir. The fort is not only a delight for photographers but also for trekkers. The fort and the lake surrounded by hills provide a scenic landscape during sunrise and sunset.

Chitradurga, the town famous for historical fort is located on the valley of river Vedavati. It features bold rock hills and picturesque valleys, huge towering boulders in numerous shapes that lives you spellbound with the marvel of nature and man made work.

The Vani Vilas Sagar Dam, which was built by Mysore Maharajas before independence is in Chitradurga district.  It is the oldest dam in the state and is an exquisite piece of architecture and an engineering marvel for that time.

Yellapur, Uttara Kannada

Yellapur located in the Western Ghats section of Karnataka is famous for its natural waterfalls with many other hills and valleys. Magod Falls is situated 19 kilometers away from Yellapur, in the village of Magodu. The Bedthi River takes two distinct leaps to hurtle from a height of 650 ft. into a rocky ravine surrounded by lush green mountains all around.

Near the falls, there is a sunset point at Jenu Kallu Gudda. The view of the valley surrounded by hills is breathtaking and during sunset the change in the scene is truly magical. Other waterfalls to visit are Sathodi falls and Unchalli falls in Yellapur.

Beaches in Mangalore

After looking at the waterfalls, lush green fields, ancient architecture, how can anyone forget the coastal side of Karnataka! This part of Karnataka is famous for holy temples and also the beaches. St. Mary’s Islands are a set of four islands in the Arabian Sea off the coast of Malpe in Udupi. This island is well known for their distinctive geological formation of columnar basaltic lava that was formed by sub-aerial sub volcanic activity.

Mulki is a small town located at a distance of 29km from Mangalore. It has a mangrove forest around and the backwater of Mulki is famous for birding.

Suratkal beach is at a distance of 19 kms from Mangalore and is one of the famous beaches. It offers wonderful views during the sunset. The lighthouse and the Sadashiva temple in the beach make the place more scenic. It is a delight for a photographer to shoot the sunset with the sea, temple and the lighthouse as part of their composition.

As said by Pat Conroy – “Once you have traveled, the voyage never ends, but is played out over and over again in the quietest chambers. The mind can never break off from the journey.”, my travel never ends and it is just a beginning!