Karnataka's Hidden Treasures
16 days from £3265 per person
Karnataka is India for the aficionado - a land of endless tree-lined roads leading to spectacular historical remains. A microcosm of Indian history, the state is blessed with a mix of influences which this journey aims to capture. Starting in Mysore undertake a specialist heritage walk in the city, then continue to Hassan with a stop en-route at the Jain pilgrimage site of Sravanabelagola. Hassan is the base from which to visit the temples of Belur and Halebid and from here drive to the exceptional ruins of Hampi for two full days of exploration. End the tour by the coast relaxing in Goa.
The huge statue of Gommateshvara Bahubali at Sravanabelagola, over 1000 years old, is one of the most important pilgrimage destinations in the Jain religion.
In northern Karnataka, Hampi was once one of the richest and largest cities in the world. Chosen for its strategic location, this was the former capital of the Vijayanagara Empire.
A tropical paradise, Goa has wonderful beaches and innumerable cafes and restaurants. The Portuguese have left a legacy of interesting, white-washed buildings.
Day 1 Depart the UK
Today depart the UK on the British Airways flight to Bangalore. (N)
Day 2 Arrive Bangalore
Bangalore to Mysore – 150kms
Arrive into Bangalore where you will be met and driven to pretty Mysore for a two night stay at the Gitanjali Homestay. Alternatively upgrade to the Royal Orchid Metropole Hotel. In the afternoon take a two hour specialist heritage walk in the city which starts at the Town Hall, visits the Devaraja Market and ends at the Jagan Mohan Palace. During the walk the guide will share various stories from Mysore's past and there will also be a chance to taste ‘Mysore Pak’, the city's famous sweet. (N)
Day 3 Mysore
Day 4 Mysore
Over the next two days explore Mysore. Visit Chamundi Hill, site of the Chamundeswari Temple and Nandi Bull as well as the vast City Palace which was re-built by Henry Irwin during 1897 in an Indo-Saracenic style. The palace contains extraordinary wall paintings, stained glass work and inlaid doors. Also leave the city to visit the temple complex at Somnathpur and the exquisite Keshava Vishnu temple, one of the finest in India, as well as Srirangapatnam where Tipu Sultan was killed in battle against an East India Company army including Arthur Wellesley, the future Duke of Wellington. (B)
Day 5 Mysore to Hassan – 145kms
This morning leave Mysore and visit the Jain pilgrimage site of Sravanabelagola. Defined by its towering statue of Gommateshwara which stands proudly atop its hill, the summit is reached by a steep seven-hundred step climb past several small shrines. Later continue onto Hassan and the Hoysala Village Resort for a two night stay. (B)
Day 6 Hassan – visit Belur and Halebid
Today visit the nearby temples of Belur and Halebid. Located on the banks of the Yagachi River, the temples at Belur where built during the 12th and 13th centuries under the tutelage of the Hoysala kings whilst nearby Halebid was once the ancient capital of the Hoysala kings. The temples at both sites are quite exquisite and are characterised by their fine sculptures and intricate designs. (B)
Day 7 Hassan to Hospet – 320kms
After breakfast leave Hassan and continue by road to Hospet, a small market town and base from which to visit nearby Hampi. On your arrival stay for three nights at the Heritage Resort Hampi or upgrade to Hampi's Boulders Resort or Orange County Hampi. Once the epicentre of the Vijayanagara Empire, Hampi was one of the largest and most successful Hindu empires in southern India. In the evening enjoy the sunset from Hemakuta Hill. (B)
Day 8 Hospet – visit Hampi
Day 9 Hospet – visit Hampi
Over the next two days explore the exceptional ruins of Hampi, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and centre one of the largest Hindu empires ever to have existed in Indian history. Founded in 1336 AD, evidence of the city's greatness is impossible to miss and an amazing array of palaces and temples still exist in excellent condition. Highlights include the Vitthala Temple, Stone Chariot, Lotus Mahal and Queen's Bath but there are also a plethora of other buildings and ruins. (B)
Day 10 Hospet to Badami – 140kms
Leaving Hospet, drive north through Karnataka to the village of Badami and the Badami Court Hotel for a two night stay. With a striking location, this former Chalukyan capital is best known for its Hindu and Jain cave temples that occupy a spectacular setting cut into the cliff-face of a sandstone hill that looks over this ancient village. Later visit the caves, the nearby village of Pattadakal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and Aihole which is regarded as the birthplace of Indian temple architectural design. (B/D)
Day 11 Badami to Goa – 270kms
Today it is a scenic drive to Goa for a three night stay at Casa Vagator. Alternatively upgrade to Ahilya by the Sea or The Leela. Superbly located on the southernmost point of Goa's coastline, this excellent hotel combines luxury with a very high standard of service. Rooms are comfortable and tastefully furnished, there are numerous dining options, a large swimming pool and opulent spa. (B)
Day 12 Goa
Day 13 Goa
Two days at leisure to relax and enjoy Goa and the hotel. This former Portuguese colony offers some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, however, Goa also has a rich and visible heritage with a distinct Mediterranean atmosphere. From brilliant lush green fields, villages and hamlets to the white painted churches and the vibrant bougainvillea of historic Panjim, there is plenty to see and do. (B)
Day 14 Goa to Mumbai – by air
Today transfer to Goa Airport in good time to catch the morning flight to Mumbai where you will stay for two nights at the Abode Mumbai. Alternatively upgrade to the Vivanta by Taj - President or the Taj Mahal Palace and Tower Hotel. One of the world's great cities, Mumbai has grown from a small group of islands to India's economic powerhouse and gateway to the world. Still growing fast, Mumbai is a combination of old and new, the chaotic and the peaceful, which draws visitors back time again to what is a most vibrant, bustling and human of cities. (B)
Day 15 Mumbai
Today explore the city with your guide. Close to the hotel is the Gateway of India, one of the iconic images of the city, built to commemorate the visit of King George V in 1911 and the excellent Prince of Wales Museum. From here stroll through the historic Colaba district to admire the impressive Gothic and Victorian architecture before continuing to Malabar Hill for far-reaching views over the city. End the day at the colourful Dhobi ghats where traditional laundryman collect, wash and return the city's linen. (B)
Day 16 Mumbai to the UK
Today transfer back to Mumbai Airport to catch the British Airways flight non-stop to the UK. (B)
KEY: N = No meals B = Breakfast L = Lunch D = Dinner
- International flights from the UK
- Domestic flights
- Private car with English speaking driver
- Hotel accommodation and taxes
What's not included
- Cost of visas
- Travel Insurance
- Expenses of a personal nature
Guide to Price
The price above is a guide and can vary according to selected airlines, hotels and season. If you wish to travel alone we will be very happy to assist you with your arrangements and will provide a proposal on request
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