Delegates attending PATA Travel Mart 2015 in Bangalore have an amazing opportunity to explore and experience the many cultural and historical assets of Karnataka state. Karnataka is a state in southwest India formed in November 1956, nine years after India’s independence from the British Raj. It was known initially as the state of Mysore and renamed Karnataka in 1973.
The capital city is Bangalore (Bengaluru), which is the host city for this year’s PATA Travel Mart. The event takes place from September 6-8, and includes the PATA Investment Forum and PATA Technology Forum on September 5 and 6, respectively.
Karnataka state is home to a population of over 60 million and a wealth of cultural and historical treasures dating back many centuries. Two priceless jewels in Karnataka’s crown are the UNESCO World Heritage sites at Hampi and Pattadakal and the state is home to more than 500 of the 3600 centrally protected monuments in India. The State Directorate of Archaeology and Museums also protects over 750 monuments with some 25,000 more awaiting formal protection.
For visitors to Karnataka there’s a fascinating breadth to the many tourist attractions from the ancient sculptured temples to the hill ranges, forests and beaches.
Karnataka is bordered to the west by the warm waters of the Arabian Sea and PTM delegates will surely be tempted to head to the sleepy town of Gokarna with its sandy beaches, quiet coves, ancient temples and amazing sunsets. Take a boat ride to see the dolphins or hop on board a jet ski. And do find time to visit Anshi National Park and the famous Mahabaleshwar Temple.
The city of Shravanabelagola is one of the most important destinations for Jainist pilgrims. In Shravanabelagola you will experience how pilgrims seek absolution by climbing 600 steps to see Asia’s tallest monolithic statue, the 52-foot statue of Bahubali. For more than 1000 years pilgrims have paid homage to this impressive religious figure.
Chikmagalur is a region covered in lush greenery and well known for its coffee plantations. If you’re feeling energetic there’s an opportunity to hike to the peak of Mullayanagiri, Karnataka state’s highest peak, or trek to the spectacular Habe falls. Mullayanagiri is located in the Baba Budan Giri Range of the Western Ghats and sits at an altitude of 1,930 metres above sea level – the highest peak between the Himalayas and the Nilgiris. The pleasant year-round temperatures are popular with visitors from all parts of the world.
Coorg in southern Karnataka is within easy travelling distance of Bangalore and offers impressive waterfalls, raging rivers and wildlife sanctuaries as well as temples, churches, forts and palaces.
Travelling by train is one of the best ways to enjoy any country’s landscape. In India, you can take the train and travel in real style. Board the ‘Golden Chariot’ in Bangalore and witness at close hand a treasure trove of archaeological wealth, abundant wildlife and contrasting scenery from the comfort of your air-conditioned carriage. The Golden Chariot operates two separate schedules, each lasting eight days. The route to Goa includes daily stops at Kabini Tiger reserve, Mysore Palace and Hampi.
The Golden Chariot service includes on-board spa, gymnasium, bar, two dining cars and even a business centre for those travellers who are unable to escape from their busy working lives.