Karkala is a historical town and is best known for the 42 feet tall statue of Bahubali (Gomateshwara) carved out of a single block of granite rock. The statue was erected at the behest of a Jain king in 1432 and is an important pilgrim destination for the Jains. The second most important temple is the Lord Vankatramana temple also known as the Padu Tirupati and it attracts thousands of devotees each year. Other than the statue, there are many other important temples that attract a large number of devotees.

A ceremony called the Mahamastakabhisheka is performed every 12 years where the giant statue of Bahubali is bathed in milk and saffron paste is sprinkled along with turmeric, vermilion, and sandalwood powder. The Karkala Water Buffalo races are a unique attraction specific to this region. The buffaloes are paired and then they race through the paddy fields. It is an incredible sight watching these regular buffaloes race through these flush fields.


The best time to visit Karkala is between the months of October and March when the weather is pleasant enough to explore the outdoor.

How to Reach

Mangalore is the closest airport situated at a distance of 45 km from this city.

The nearest railhead to Karkala is Udipi. From here direct trains are available to Mumbai, Delhi, Rajkot and Ahmedabad.

Express and ordinary bus services by organized operators are available on regular intervals from Udupi, Mangalore, Bangalore and Mumbai to Karkala.

Key attractions/Sightseeing

Sightseeing in Karkala is all about visiting the famous Bahubali statue and various temples that dot the town.

The statue of Bahubali, the son of the first Jain Tirthankar, is the most important  structure in this temple town. Enjoy visiting other 18 temples, which have their own individual religious importance.

Outdoor activities in Karkala are restricted to paying homage at various temples or visiting the historical sites as the place is primarily a historical and pilgrimage town.

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