Karnataka for the longest time has been a tourist attraction and a hub for every adventure enthusiast. The state can accommodate any kind of sport across Karnataka at places like Dandeli, Hampi, Gokarna, Mysore, Bangalore, Shimoga, Coorg and the list goes on. The beautiful coffee plantations, dense forests and jungles, temple towns, strong waterfalls and perfect places for beach hopping, Karnataka has it all, making it the perfect place to combine a relaxing vacation with a never-ending adventure!

1. Surfing

Surfing is all about fighting against the waves and challenging your strength and Karnataka provides one of the best water bodies for this. With unstable tides and strong currents, the water in Karnataka is known to be one of the most thrilling surfing destinations in India. Gokarna, a secluded temple town, is growing to become popular among adventure enthusiasts. This beach town is now famous for surfing in Karnataka along with Mangalore and Manipal. If you’re in Karnataka don’t miss a chance to go there and witness these tranquil yet enthralling locations.

Best time to visit: The best time to visit is from October to March.

2. Kayaking

There are perhaps very few activities out there that are as calming as rowing a small kayak across the vast endless ocean, and Karnataka is just the place to indulge in a sunset kayak session to feel the energies of the ocean. There are several spots across the state that provide an unbeatable experience of kayaking in Karnataka. These include Gokarna, Dandeli, Bangalore, Ramanagara, Mandya and Coorg.

Best time to visit: Best time to go kayaking in Karnataka is from October to March.

3. Rock Climbing

Karnataka is as close to a dream as it gets for rock climbers. Its drylands, hills and historic ruins add to the mood for a climber’s task. Ramanagaram is one of the most popular rock climbing destinations in Karnataka, where the rocks are challenging and is often considered as the Mecca of rock climbing. The hills there are about 3066 feet above the sea level and some of the rocks here resemble a whale, a pigeon, a human being and the three-headed Brahma. Savandurga Hills rise up to a towering height of 4,022 feet above sea level, the summit consists of two peaks, separated by a chasm, each being independent of the other, the area is covered with a serene atmosphere. Hampi and Badami are famous for its temples and ancient history and are also known to be one of the best places for rock climbing, the entire area is bolted with barren rocky hills and makes it the seamless place for an anxious adrenaline seeker to accomplish their conquest.

Best time to visit: The best time to visit Karnataka for rock climbing is from November to April.

4. Rafting

Coorg is not just about those beautiful coffee plantations and enormous hills, it is known for its white water rafting in Kodagu, best for first-timers. Rafting on the Barapole river that flows through the rich coffee county is an experience to cherish. Though this river can be a bit of a challenge with its 4 kilometres stretch filled with grade IV rapids due to high rainfall and rugged terrains, it is still ideal for first-timers, making it one of the most unforgettable rafting destinations in India. Dubare in Cauvery is a lesser challenging raft with a stretch of 12 kilometres and grade II rapids, plus the elephant camp is a great addition to the rafting experience, making rafting in Karnataka a truly memorable experience!

Best time to visit: The best time to go rafting in from June to October.

5. Trekking

Trekking and Karnataka might seem like an unusual combination but that is only because not many know of the absolute gems Karnataka has in store when it comes to trekking. Flanked by the Western Ghats, Karnataka is home to some of the most beautiful trekking trails out there including the Savandurga Hills near Bangalore which is one of the very few single rock formations in all of Asia. Other trails for trekking in Karnataka include Kudermukh trek, Kumara Parvatha trek, Kodachadri trek and Mullayanagiri trek among many more.

Best time to visit: The best time for trekking in Karnataka is from October to March.

6. Scuba Diving

Although there are very few spots for scuba diving in Karnataka, they are full of life and provide a wholesome experience to the diver about life underneath the water surface. Netrani Island, also known as “Pigeon Island” in Murudeshwar is the go-to spot for scuba diving in Karnataka. With a bunch of operators located here, one can either enjoy a fun dive or get a full-fledged certification course done to be an independent diver. The marine life here consists of manta rays, blacktip sharks, great barracuda, stonefish, Napoleon wrasse, cobia, stingrays and much more!

Best time to visit: The best time to go scuba diving in this South Indian state is from November to February.

7. Mountain Biking

Karnataka’s vast geographical diversity is second to none. With the Arabian Sea right on its fringes and a thick forest cover enveloping its northern parts along with the Western Ghats and fast-flowing rivers, there is so much one could do here and biking through its challenging terrain definitely tops the list! It might come as a surprise to some, but mountain biking in Karnataka is actually very doable. There are some epic biking trails in Karnataka which include the Nandi Bull trail on Nandi Hills, Turahalli Forest trail in Bangalore, Avalahalli Forest trail and the several trails around Bheemeshwari.

Best time to visit: The best time to visit Karnataka for mountain biking is around the year.

8. Stand Up Paddling

Stand up paddling is a relatively easier watersport than most others, making it a hit amongst city-goers. The newest trend in the cities of Karnataka like Mangalore and Bangalore are weekend stand up paddling trips to nearby lakes for an escape from the madness that cities are. But apart from these, there are several other spots for stand up paddling in Karnataka which include Mulki, Kerekaadu, Chikkajala and many more.

Best time to visit: The best time to go to Karnataka for stand up paddling is from October to March.



Hampi and Gokarna are two of Karnataka’s tourist gems. Beach bums and history buffs alike visit these places like a pilgrimage but there’s an active adventure sports scene in Karnataka that is not known to many. From adventuring on the water to getting your hands dirty on boulders and treks, there’s something in store for everybody here!


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