Official Seven Wonders of Karnataka Unveiled!

We are thrilled to announce that after a rigorous selection process, the Seven Wonders of Karnataka have been officially revealed! These awe-inspiring marvels have been chosen based on a scientific and comprehensive approach, with each wonder representing a distinct category that showcases the vast diversity of the state.

Far beyond just beauty, these wonders stand as powerful symbols of Karnataka's abundant natural resources, including its pristine land, flourishing forests, breathtaking coastline, magnificent architecture, cutting-edge science, stunning sculptures, rich art, fascinating history, and profound philosophy.

The selection process was no small feat, with a whopping 5,000 nominations received from every corner of Karnataka. The public cast over 82 lakh votes, and an exclusive team conducted field inspections of all nominations for a year. Finally, an expert panel of global tourism and history professionals selected the 7 wonders of Karnataka.

Without further ado, we present to you the Seven Wonders of Karnataka - a collection of awe-inspiring landmarks that will leave you speechless and fill you with a sense of wonder and pride.

Hirebenakal Dolmens: Pre-Historic Wonder
Like the world famous Stone Henges of England, this is 3000 years old pre-historic megalithic settlement in Karnataka.

This site remains unfamiliar even to many native Kannadigas. The megalithic site is estimated to date back 3,000 to 4,000 years old. Travel 10 km from Koppal districts Gangavathi to reach Hirebenakal village. On Moryara hill in this village, hundreds of manmade prehistoric rock tombs (Dolmens) and cave paintings welcome the curious visitor. Reminiscent of the UKs Stonehenge, the Pyramids of Egypt and Bahrains Dilman burial mounds, the Hirebenakal rock tombs are a mausoleum, like a cenotaph that is an ode to the dead carved in stone. Even though India has several such Dolmens site, the megalith at Moryara Gudda in Hirebenakal is largest necropolis among the 2000 odd megalithic sites found in South India. The tombstones vary in height from one-foot tall to ten-foot-tall tomb slabs; these stone beauties have withstood the vagaries of nature for over 3,000-4,000 years, standing strong and unshakeable till date. That in itself is a wonder! The rock tombs of Hirebenkal at Moryara Hill represent the most wondrous of many such prehistoric sites of Karnataka.

Like the world famous Stone Henges of England, this is 3000 years old pre-historic megalithic settlement in Karnataka.

Hampi: Archeological Wonder
HAMPI:  Like Rome, it is World's best open air museum with ruins of great Vijayanagara Empire

The entire city of Hampi, quite like Rome, is a wonder. It is among the worlds biggest open-air archeological museums. Its architectural splendour, sculptural variety, and the number of monuments all make it world famous. Hampis Stone Chariot is the highlight of this historical site. That the stones at Hampi sing a melodious tune is both a belief and a reality. From the rhythm-inducing pillars of the Sri Vijaya Vittala Temple to the dinner plates sculpted in stone near the Mahanavami mound, there are plenty of examples throughout Hampi where the stones sing. Besides the frozen stone beauties, the boulders-hills and lush greenery that surround Hampi lend this site a uniqueness that sets it apart from other natural wonders in Karnataka. Karnataka has several architectural wonders within its borders, each boasting such exclusive features that they can each be listed as a wonder of the state. Sri Channakesava temple in Belur is only one such shining example of architectural excellence. If, on the one hand, we have the Helebidu and Pattadakal sculptural temples, Aihole is famed as the cradle of Indias temple architecture. Badamis magnificent cave temples offer great competition to the top spot. Karnataka also can boast of the beauty and history of Lakkundi and Talakadu. The examples are plenty. Of all of these, Hampi stands as the ideal representative of these collective historical wonders of Karnataka.

HAMPI: Like Rome, it is World's best open air museum with ruins of great Vijayanagara Empire

Gol Gumbaz: Architectural Wonder
GOL GUMBUZ:  Black Tajmahal – the dome which hears a whisper and echoes 7 times

If Taj Mahal is a White Wonder, Karnatakas Gol Gumbaz is a Black Wonder. Gol Gumbaz in Vijayapura is among the worlds biggest Whispering Domes. Constructed in the 17th century in the Indo-Islamic architectural style, this giant memorial serves as Adil Shahis royal mausoleum. It is a wondrous construction for its near-perfect science of architecture, geometry and acoustics. The elaborate dome, which is built over nothing but the four foundational walls stands as an example of unique architecture and science. Moreover, the echoes emanating from this dome are nothing short of a symphony in stone. Stand in one corner of the Gumbaz and whisper. You can be heard with remarkable clarity in the other end of this marvellous building. Every sound echoes seven times. A fascinating marriage of geometry and phonology or sound science comes together to make a wonder in construction. This is the Gol Gumbaz. This wonder of Karnataka truly represents the several historical and modern architectural marvels that are spread across Karnataka state.

GOL GUMBUZ: Black Tajmahal – the dome which hears a whisper and echoes 7 times

Gomateshwara, Shravanabelagola: Philosophical Wonder
Like The world Famous Christ statue of Rio-de-janeiro, it’s a gigantic Bahubali statue atop rock hill

What Christ the Redeemer statue is to Brazils Rio de Janeiro, the Gomateshwara statue in Shravanabelagola is to Karnataka. Christ the Redeemer statue is among the seven wonders of the world. Similarly, the Gomateshwara statue is among the top statues of Karnataka. Even though a number of taller and tallest statues are being planned and erected in Karnataka in recent years, none can hold a candle to the Bahubali statue in Shravanabelagola, which dates back hundreds of years. This statues fame around the world is not the only reason it deserves to make it to the list of the top seven wonders of Karnataka. This statue stands tall as the ultimate representative of peace. It is that symbol of history when peace was chosen over war. Look at the Bharata-Bahubali story of brothers again. It tells us that Kannadigas are as committed in war as to ensuring peace. The greatest power of the Kannada culture is in not oppressing anyone. If anyone like Bharata attacks us, it is not difficult for Kannadigas to protect ourselves and destroy the attacker like Bahubali. But left to ourselves, we are lovers of peace, much like Gomateshwara. The Bahubali statue stands as the symbol of this Kannadiga spirit of being war ready and also peace-loving. Not just that. This site stands as the ideal representative of the many philosophical greats such as Kanakadasa, Purandaradasa, Basavanna, Madhvacharya, Shishunala Sharief, etc., that walked this land, adding to its philosophical vibrancy.

Like The world Famous Christ statue of Rio-de-janeiro, it’s a gigantic Bahubali statue atop rock hill

Mysore Palace: Royal Wonder
MYSORE PALACE: One of the most beautiful palaces in India

Amba Vilas Palace in Mysore is one among Indias most beautiful palaces. This palace stands as a magnificent reflection of Mysore states glorious past. When it is lit up, this palace looks nothing short of a golden palace. Attracting as many visitors as the Taj Mahal, the Mysore Palace is the highlight of Karnataka tourism. These are not the only reasons the Mysore Palace deserves to take a spot among the Seven Wonders of Karnataka. Mysore Palace is the backdrop of the grand Mysore Dasara festivities every year, a 400-year-old important cultural heritage that is kept alive to this day, celebrated with great pomp and pageantry. Not just that, the palace is a symbol of Mysore royalty rulers who are known for their progressive ideas and modern styles of governance, which set a leading example for the rest of India to follow. Whether it was modern dam construction, irrigation schemes, electricity supply, streetlights, gold mining and railway connectivity, Mysore rulers were always ahead of their times. Even before India was independent from British rule, Mysore rulers had set the tone for democracy with "Praja Pratinidhi Sabha". Karnataka state has been fortunate enough to be ruled by some exemplary leaders and dynasties, including the Vijayanagara kings, Kadambas, Rashtrakutas, Hoysalas, Chalukyas, and other big and small (but significant) rulers. Mysore royalty stands as a shining example of the best of these dynasties contributions to politics and public life.

MYSORE PALACE: One of the most beautiful palaces in India

Jog Falls: Natural Wonder - Land
JOG FALLS: Largest and highest water falls in Karnataka

Jog Falls stands among the topmost of Indias most beautiful and big waterfalls. Falling from a great height of 830 feet, Jog Falls is a sight to behold in its lush fullness, especially during the monsoon season. Attracting lakhs of visitors to its natural beauty, Jog Falls is a highlight must-visit in Karnataka tourism. These are not the only reasons for the Jog Falls to be listed among the Seven Wonders of Karnataka. The Western Ghats, which is rich in biodiversity is Karnatakas gem of a forest. Jog Falls sits as the reigning jewel of these verdant green forests, which also houses rare species of wildlife and vegetation. From the Shola forests to the dense evergreen forests, Karnataka boasts six forest ranges. Nagarhole and Dandeli are among the main tiger reserve forests. The state also has green valleys like Kudremukh, Kodagu and Kodachadri, and rivers like Sharavathy, Kaveri, Krishna and Tungabhadra. Among the waterfalls are Gokak, Gaganachukki, Bharachukki and Unchalli. Jog Falls stands as the towering representative of all this terrestrial natural beauty that Karnataka is blessed with.

JOG FALLS: Largest and highest water falls in Karnataka

Netrani Island: Natural Wonder - Water
NETRANI HEART SHAPED ISLAND: The best Under-Sea scenery in Karnataka & 2nd best scuba diving spots in India

The wonders of Karnataka are not restricted only to the land. The Arabian Sea coastline that abuts the state is an entire stretch that is marvelous. One such wonder is the heart-shaped Netrani Island, symbolic of love. Situated off the coast of Murudeshwara in Uttara Kannada district, this island is so picturesque and so rich in marine life that it is rated as the second best in the country for scuba diving activity. The top-rated scuba diving location in India is the Andaman Islands. Scuba divers can hope to spot colourful coral reefs in their dives off Netrani Island. One also gets to spot rare aquatic species and marine life off the coast here. Not every state in India even has a coastline. But, Karnataka boasts 310 km of stunning coastline.  More recently, Murudeshwara, which is near Netrani island, has emerged among the top tourist spots in Karnataka, and is promoting beach tourism in this region. It can be said that Netrani island is representative of Karnatakas rich coastline, truly bringing to life what the state has to offer in terms of coastal views and tourism.

NETRANI HEART SHAPED ISLAND: The best Under-Sea scenery in Karnataka & 2nd best scuba diving spots in India


7 Wonders of Karnataka' Proclaimed in a Grand Glittering Ceremony

Chief Minister of Karnataka Basavaraj Bommai & Tourism Minister Anand Singh Make The Official Announcement

25th February 2023

This is the day to rejoice and celebrate the pride of Karnataka. Just as the world marvels at the beauty of the landmark Seven Wonders of the World, our land of Karnataka now boasts of its own Seven Wonders. The list is finally out! Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai has announced the ‘Seven Wonders of Karnataka,’ which represent the best of the state’s land and water, forest and sea, faith and science, architecture and sculpture, and history and heritage. The Seven Wonders showcase only the very best that this state has to offer.

The declaration of the Seven Wonders was made by Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai at a glittering event. In the ceremonial event, the chosen wonders were awarded a state certificate, which was received by the respective district commissioners.

The Seven Wonders of Karnataka are as follows:

  • 1. Hirebenakal Rock Tombs
  • 2. Hampi
  • 3. Gomateshwara
  • 4. Gol Gumbaz
  • 5. Mysore Palace
  • 6. Jog Falls
  • 7. Netrani Island

Addressing the gathering on this occasion, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said that the ‘Seven Wonders of Karnataka’ has created a fresh tourism model for the state. I have already set in motion the preparation of a detailed development plan for Hirebenakal, which is a part of this stellar list of wonders. The District Commissioners of each of the seven wonders are asked to submit a blueprint development report to upgrade the facilities at these places.

The Seven Wonders of Karnataka were scooped out after a year of persistent effort and hard work.

He expressed appreciation for the meticulous process of nomination, whittling down and finally arriving at the Seven Wonders of Karnataka. He lauded the project team for sowing the seeds for a great initiative. He asked that the project not stop here but rather continue as an annual event. By doing this, said the CM, more precious and lesser-known places are likely to emerge. These are not just tourism locations but excellent opportunities to impart the true stories of our rich history, heritage and culture, said Mr. Bommai.

Karnataka state tourism minister Anand Singh said, “Since I have taken the state tourism office, a number of development programmes have been initiated in tourism hotspots. Still, there is much more to do. The project of the Seven Wonders of Karnataka should be eternally kept alive. But, the legislative assembly elections are upon us shortly. It is the nature of politics for parties to change and power to shift hands.

There should be a commitment to continue protecting and promoting important tourism centers. In this, public cooperation is most important. It doesn’t matter who is in power, the district commissioners and tourism department officials should undertake the responsibility unfailingly.”

He further added that our country itself is a wonder. Our state is an even more beautiful wonder. There is no doubt that these chosen seven wonders have all that it takes to attract the most curious travellers of the world. He is of the opinion that with the right media promotion, these places will stay intact in the hearts and minds of people.”

Ambassador of the Seven Wonders of Karnataka project, popular actor Ramesh Aravind said that Karnataka is blessed with hundreds of wonders. When I was approached to wear the hat of responsibility in choosing just seven out of these hundreds of wonders, I immediately accepted as it is a work of honour. Every year, different beautiful women from across the world wear the Miss World crown. But these wonderful places have been wearing the crown of beauty for years on end.

Our scriptures have the beautiful phrase of Satyam-Shivam-Sundaram, which literally translates to Truth-Godliness-Beauty. It means that the truth of existence, more than being good, is an experience of Godliness. Similarly, if an idea has to be eternally beautiful, it has to possess these qualities of truth, Godliness and essence.

The Seven Wonders of Karnataka are not just a visual treat. They also carry the essence of belonging, along with reflecting our culture, heritage and, above all, truth, he explained. We may have many differences in the form of language, caste, creed and the God we worship. These Seven Wonders bring together all of us with our various differences of nationality, language and beliefs to agree on the beauty of these wonders. The chosen Seven Wonders have an extra edge for the great potential that they carry. They attract visitors from all over the world to our state to first plan their visit to these seven wonders. These places serve as lessons of our stories and heritage to keen students of our culture. This is the first such brave attempt in the state, making an official entry into the Seven Wonders, he said.

Koppal district commissioner Sundaresh Babu, Vijayanagara district commissioner T Venkatesh, Hassan district commissioner M S Archana, Vijayapura district commissioner Mahantesh Danammanavar, Mysuru district commissioner Dr. T V Rajendra, Shivamogga district commissioner representative deputy officer Pallavi, and Uttara Kannada district commissioner Prabhulinga Kavalikatti received the certificates and official declaration for the winning Wonders of Karnataka.

There was also thematic dance performance by the Performing Arts Team of REVA Institutions to introduce and celebrate the 7 wonders of Karnataka.