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Sunset from Matanga Hill, Hampi, India. (Photography by Julie Mayfeng, Seoul, South Korea)
Cows cross a river in Hampi, India. (Photograph by Rajarshi Chowdhury, Bangalore, India)
Virupaksha Temple Complex, Hampi, India. (Photography by Sushrutha Metikurke, Christchurch, New Zealand)
People ride a boat across the Tungabhadra River in Hampi, India. (Photography by Sushrutha Metikurke, Christchurch, New Zealand)
Monkeys in Hampi, India. (Photograph by Swarat Ghosh, Secunderabad, India)
A shepherd, Hampi, India. (Photograph by Swarat Ghosh, Secunderabad, India)
Gokarna, India. (Photograph by Andrzej Bochenski, Lodz, Poland)
A man stands under Jog Falls with an umbrella, Sagar, India. (Photograph by Joshi Daniel, Trivandrum, India)
A mother and child, Udupi, India. (Photograph by Barun kr. Datta, Chinsurah, India)
A devotee recites hymns within Shiroor Mutt in Udupi, India. (Photograph by Barun kr. Datta, Chinsurah, India)
Mangalore, India (Photograph by Vijesh Mohan, Bangalore, India)
A Kambala, or buffalo race in Mangalore, India. (Photograph by Rajarshi Chowdhury, Bangalore, India)
A fruit market in Mysore, India. (Photograph by Jennifer Batryn, San Luis Obispo, CA)
Mallalli Falls inside the Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary, Coorg, India (Photograph by Abhishek Chinnappa, Bangalore, India)
Children play on the beach in Karnataka, India. (Photograph by Rajarshi Chowdhury, Bangalore, India)
A stone chariot from the Vijayanagara Empire, Hampi, India. (Photograph by Bornav Raychaudhury, Pune, India)
Mysore Palace, Mysore, India. (Photograph by Bornav Raychaudhury, Pune, India)

Photos: India's Karnataka Coast

Explore western India's Coastal Karnataka region with these photos taken by our readers

smithsonian.com

With its diverse scenery and temples, it's no wonder India's west coast is becoming a popular travel destination. Although Goa is India's best-known holiday spot on the Arabian Sea, its popularity has pushed prices up. The Karnataka Coast, located just south, can be a worthy alternative, filled with beautiful beaches, waterfalls and historic temples.

Visitors to Karnataka can start their journey in the inland city of Hampi before traveling to the coast. A group of monuments in Hampi, the last capital of the former Hindu Kingdom of Vijayanagar, make up a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and a beautiful view of the city can be seen atop Matanga Hill. The coast can be traversed by car or via the Konkan Railway, which stops in cities such as Gokarna, Udupi and Mangalore. All are home to beaches and temples to fill a day or more of time. One of the largest waterfalls in India, 830-foot-tall Jog Falls, is a short drive from the coast as well. While exploring the coast, you may even be lucky enough to spot one of the many annual Kambalas, or buffalo races, held throughout the region. Kambala season begins around November and usually lasts until March. 

After traveling down the coast, head inland to the ancient city of Mysore, and visit the dazzling royal palace, stopping at the wildlife sanctuaries in Coorg on the way. 

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