How To Reach Karnataka
Karnataka can be easily reached by air as there are several airports here, including one of the best airports in the country, the Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru. One of the busiest airports in India, KIAL receives flights from all over the world and several parts of the country. There are direct flights from major cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Jaipur and Kolkata along with various other smaller cities as well. Domestic airlines that operate out of here are IndiGo, Air India, Spicejet, Vistara, AirAsia etc. The airport is also connected to several international destinations too. Thai Airways, Cathay Pacific, Malaysian Airlines, Emirates and several other airlines too fly to Bengaluru. The airport is at a distance from the city but there are several convenient ways to reach there including cab services such as Ola and Uber. There are regular buses which also take you to the airport at a very reasonable rate.
Karnataka’s other international airport in Mangalore is called Mangalore International Airport. While not as glamorous as the airport in Bengaluru, the Mangalore airport serves those who are coming in from the Middle East and Gulf countries. The airport is 13kms away from Mangalore city centre and is located on top of a hill.
Some of the other airports in Karnataka are:
A convenient and cost-effective way to reach Karnataka is by train. The City Railway Station in Bengaluru is the most important railway terminal here. Cities from all over the country are connected to Karnataka by the railways. Most major cities within Karnataka too are connected easily by train but there is limited connectivity in several sections of the interior state. Travellers from Mumbai or Hyderabad can find it quite easy to board a train to Karnataka as there are several trains available. Meanwhile, the Konkan Railway connects the coastal regions of Karnataka with other coastal cities such as Mumbai, Kochi and Goa. Karnataka’s total railway network is around 3089 kilometres. Travellers who want to enjoy a different experience can try the Golden Chariot, a luxury train that travels from Goa to Bengaluru via Mysore and Hampi. This tourist train is operated by Indian Railways and KSTDC.
Karnataka is well-connected to other parts of the country by roadways. It’s possible to travel to many of the major cities here as well as famous tourist destinations by road. Buses are run by Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) which works for both interstate and intra-state destinations. Karnataka’s National Highways run for 3973kilometres and several small towns and district headquarters can be reached by road. You can also book KSRTC bus tickets online.
The other two bus services that connect Karnataka’s more remote areas with other towns and cities are NEKRTC (North Eastern Karnataka Road Transport Corporation) and NWKRTC (North Western Karnataka Road Transport Corporation). There are 15 national highways that link Karnataka with Kerala, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
Local transport in Karnataka varies from city to city based on the infrastructure and the facilities available. When it comes to buses, several small towns and cities are connected by roadways and buses and buses are often a convenient and quite comfortable way to travel around the state. Whether it is KSRTC, or the other State-run buses that ply in the more remote locations of Karnataka, buses are the best way to travel within the state.
Buses are the most convenient ways to travel inside cities like Bengaluru, Mysuru and Tumkuru. Buses, especially in Bengaluru are frequent and have good connectivity. It’s an economical way to travel within the city as bus fares are very reasonably priced. However, since it is the mode of transport of the common man, they also tend to be very crowded and uncomfortable.
Hiring a car is a great way to see the state of Karnataka as you can travel at your own convenience. An even better way to enjoy the state is to take your own car and travel between cities such as Bengaluru, Mysuru, Tumkur etc. Travelling to the well-known hill stations in Chikmagalur and Coorg is also possible by car. The roads are well maintained and this is a convenient way of travelling within the state. It’s a good idea to invest in a road map so you can see the different highways etc.
Trains offer connectivity between some of the cities and towns of Karnataka. Although the railway network is not extensive, if you plan on reaching some of the remote districts, then it would be a good idea to travel by train to the railway station that is nearest to your destination and then take a bus from there.
Getting around in cities like Bengaluru would be very difficult if it weren’t for autorickshaws that take you to most places you request. However, do note that autorickshaw drivers in Bengaluru are quite well known for being a little rude and might take you for a literal ride if they detect you are not a local. It’s always a good idea to learn a few phrases in Kannada so you do not appear to be touristy and thus, fair game, to them. Ola and Uber both offer autorickshaw services as well which make it very convenient and easy to get around the city. The process is quite hassle-free.
Thanks to Ola and Uber, people can now travel by cabs to various locations, especially in cities like Bengaluru and Mysuru. App-based cab services make it quite convenient to travel around the city, although brace yourself for traffic at most times of the day.
Within Bangalore, the Metro is a convenient way to travel from one end of the city to another in a relatively short period of time. Metro trains run regularly although stations do not cover the entire city yet. Nevertheless, it’s an easy and comfortable way to travel to various parts of the city, especially from the city centre, MG Road.