Karnataka launches Caravan Tourism- Are we ready? - eNidhi India Travel Blog

Karnataka launches Caravan Tourism- Are we ready?

Aug 2021 Update: No campsites yet anywhere in Karnataka.  CM has changed, tourism minister has changed, caravan is not on anyone's priority amid covid crisis. Luxecamper has lowered their pricing to more sensible levels from earlier rates.


Dec 2020 update: 6 months since this news, not a single campsite is ready anywhere in Karnataka for caravan drivers to park and their caravans, camp and refresh. Absolutely Govt has no interest in doing any on the ground work. Some free publicity was taken launching the commercial caravan tour bus and then everything is forgotten.

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In the post covid-19 era, it is probably safer to travel in your own safe environment such as own vehicle and caravans that can minimize our exposure to others.

Karnataka has finally launched an initiative to promote caravan tourism. Chief Minister has inaugurated a motorhome this week and press release says Campervan Camps is the operator for Caravan tourism. But I am unable to locate their website online and no journalist who published Govt issued press release has bothered to cross check. So it is not clear where to book, what is the cost, where we can go and other finer details required to plan a camping holiday in Karnataka. Read Indian Express report here https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/bangalore/karnataka-launches-caravan-tourism-to-revive-ailing-tourism-sector-6463870/

Caravan tourism was already active albeit without Government blessing. Trippy wheels is already renting caravans (read my detailed caravan experience review here). 

A website, https://www.luxecamper.com/package-listing is announcing camping holidays ranging between 40000-90000 + tax for 3-5 days. This feels expensive compared to TrippyWheelz 2500-5000 per day rental+ fuel.

Camping sites: Karnataka Govt has planned caravan parking sites at Hampi, Gokarna, Sakaleshpura, Kuduremukha, Badami, Beluru, Halebeedu, Sakrebailu (near Shivamogga) and Kodagu. It needs to be seen when these facilities will be ready and what exactly they offer. A typical caravan camping site needs following facilities:

  • Provision to empty the caravan toilet
  • Fresh water supply to top up caravan overhead tanker
  • Lots of parking space for several caravans
  • Security/fencing to ward off wild animals, thieves and other risks
  • Safe facility to light fire and cook/relax (shouldn't trigger forest fire, barricade from strong wind etc)
  • Additional toilets and bathing facilities-for caravans that do not have toilets or for those camping with tents
  • Garbage collection & disposal.
It will take some money and effort to identify, set up and maintain such camping facilities. Naturally some fee will have to be charged from visiting caravans. Fee needs to be minimum (else going to hotel will be economical). So we need to wait for such caravan camping facilities to be prepared before caravan tourism can take off full swing. Right now most operators organizing camping/tent stay do so in tie up with private property owners.

Mullayyanagiri, Shettihalli church (in summer), Ottinene (Baindoor), Rocks and hills of Tumkur are other potential caravan camping sites in my opinion.

Can’t drive- have to hire a driver. Caravans come with yellow board, hence those with car driving license can’t drive it. One has to hire a driver or rather, caravan company will issue a caravan only with driver. This is one big difference between caravan holiday in India and abroad.

Factors to keep in mind while planning caravan tours:

1. Number of people: Caravans can accommodate only a small number of people. So per person cost will be higher.

2. Where to park: Till well established parking facilities for caravans come up, safest place to park will be someone’s private property. So you’ve to figure out where to park on your route. Parking in public places/roadside will attract unwanted attention, potential safety risk and possible harassment by local police.

3. Cost: Caravans are supposed to save hotel expenses. But depending on pricing model and extra expenses (fuel, toll etc) you've to assess if the entire trip will be in your budget.

What Govt of Karnataka needs to do

  • Develop above mentioned caravan camping sites with security and infrastructure. Without cheap, safe and well equipped parking spots, Caravan tourism will not take off.
  • Sensitize local police about caravan tourism, train them not to harass those who have parked caravans and camping
  • Publish DOs & DON'Ts of Caravan touring- who is responsible to clear the trash, where all NOT OK to light a stove/campfire (forest fire risk), how does timing restriction apply to campers (like most tourist places close by say 6 PM- can caravan guests stay back nearby?
  • Provide adequate support and publicity for caravan operating companies.
  • Simplify the process- to drive a caravan (regular car license should be enough), to own or rent one
Sai Vishram had a stationary caravan near Coorg, but now it seems to be discontinued. Hopefully that will be revived too.

Karnataka tourism is also planning Agri tourism, schemes to promote local destinations (Nodubaa nammura etc), a new tourism website and more. Best wishes to them.

Are you excited about Caravan tourism? I am watching this closely- can't afford to spend a lot of money- if there are economic options will definitely try with family/friends.


  1. Had the same qualms... The price vs hiring a driver, camp site facilities... Etc. However, that said., it is a good option

    1. Yes, hopefully the concept will develop in Karnataka with Govt support and public patronage

  2. Though a new idea with many questions. But it should be given a chance. Things can be improved in due course.

  3. YES its a very good idea and some thing for a change, safety and cost are most prime required.

  4. Read about this a few days ago too. Not taking into account the expenses, the initiative is really great and might kist be the turning point for caravan tourism in india!


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