Duration : 13 Days and 12 Nights.
Region : Karnataka.
When you arrive in Mumbai, after a traditional 'Swagat' (Welcome) ceremony, our representative will assist you at the airport &escort you to the hotel for check-in.
Overnight stay: Mumbai.
Mumbai, an amalgam of seven islands, once formed part of the Maurya & Chalukya Empires. In 1534, the Portuguese appropriated these islands and later ceded them to the English. Visit the Gateway of India, built to commemorate the visit of King George V in 1911. Then step across the road to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalay Formerly Known as Prince of Wales Museum of Western India , which boasts a collection of ancient Hindu statuary, Indian miniatures, and Tibetan & Nepali Art. Take the boat from Gateway of India to visit the world-famous 5th-century rock-cut cave temples in Elephanta Island.In the evening, take flight to Bangalore, the Garden City.
Overnight stay: Bangalore
The spacious city of Bangalore has many imposing structures both historic and modern. The majestic Vidhana Soudha, a magnificent post-independence structure housing the State legislature & secretariat, stands in the centre of the city with its attractive dome & galleries. Then visit Tipu Sultan's Palace and Bangalore Fort, representing the Muslim architecture of South India. Also visit the imposing ISKCON Temple, a harmonious blend of Dravidian & modern architecture. Next comes the Lalbagh (Red Garden), famed for its red roses that bloom all through the year. Proceed to Mysore (135 km away), the old capital of the Wodeyar maharajas, on a 3-hour drive through scenic rice and sugarcane fields.
Overnight stay: Mysore
Mysore is an enchanting city - rich in magnificent palaces, beautifully laid-out gardens, imposing buildings, broad tree-lined avenues & sacred temples. There's an old world charm about the city that reaches out to everyone. Visit the great temple at Srirangapatnam, the historic capital of Tipu Sultan. Several monuments relating to his rule are sprinkled across the island. Darya Daulat, the summer palace of Tipu Sultan is situated amidst scenic surroundings. Also visit the magnificent Mysore Palace, with its priceless paintings by the Indian master Raja Ravi Varma. Climb up to the 12th c. Durga temple atop Chamundi Hill, which has a stupendous 5m tall monolithic Nandi (the bull of Shiva). In the evening visit the Brindavan Gardens, laid out on the terraces of Krishnarajasagar Dam, one of the world's most beautiful gardens, complete with dancing fountains.
Overnight stay: Mysore.
Drive to Hassan, 150 km away, through emerald greenery. Founded in the 11th century, the place was named after Hasanamba - the smiling Goddess. Later take a trip to the Channakeshava Temple at Belur, begun in the year 1117 AD and completed a hundred years later. Panels depicting stories from the Ramayana, Mahabharata and other mythological sources have been sculpted in the most exquisite detail. Also visit the Hoysaleshwara Temple at Halebidu nearby, which is equally magnificent.
Overnight stay: Hassan.
Drive to Hospet, the camp for Hampi, the capital of the Vijaynagar empire.Overnight stay: Hospet.
Take a day's excursion to Hampi, the site of the ruins of Vijaynagar, once the centre of a great Hindu Empire. Founded by Harihara & Bukka in 1336, it fell to Muslim rulers in 1565 after the disastrous Battle of Talikota, and subsequently lapsed into decline & abandonment. The once proud city of victory is now a city of desolation. Visit the ruins of the Virupaksha Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva & Pampadevi. The temple, with its nine-storied Gopuram & ceiling of the ranga mantapa is beautifully painted with scenes from the epics & Puranas. Later visit Vittala, a splendid hall of 56 musical pillars. To the east is a Stone Chariot with stone wheels that actually revolve.
Morning we drive to Badami, the former Chalukya capital, 180 km away. Founded by Pulakesi I, the town is located at the foot of a rugged, red sandstone outcrop that surrounds Agastya tirtha water reservoir on three sides & is known for its rock-cut cave temples, sculpted between 6th-8th centuries AD.
En route we visit Pattadakkal & Aihole. Pattadakkal, a World Heritage centre, has 10 major temples representing the early Chalukya architecture. The biggest temple, dedicated to Virupaksheshvara, has an imposing gateway and several inscriptions. Aihole, famous as the "Cradle of Indian Architecture", has over a hundred temples scattered around the village. Specially indicated are the 5th century Lad Khan Temple, the Fort Temple, the Jain Meguthi Temple and the two-storeyed Buddhist Temple.
Overnight stay: Badami
Take a tour of Badami, which has several rock-hewn temples dating from the Chalukya period. First come a set of four temples dating back to the 5th century CE. In the adjacent wall there is a breathtaking carving of the cosmic dance of Shiva Nataraja. Other temples bear images of Vishnu in his Varaha, Trivikrama & Narasimha incarnations. There is a Jain rock-cut temple dedicated to the Tirthankara Adinath with inscriptions dating back to the 12th century. The Mallikarjuna temple dating 11th c. is built on a star-shaped plan.
Overnight stay: Badami
Drive through lush farmland and shrub forest to the historic town of Hubli, which was an important commercial centre for trade in cotton & iron during the time of the Vijaynagar Empire.
Overnight stay: Hubli
Today, we drive to Goa, famous the world over for its beaches. It is also known for its world heritage architecture including the Bom Jesus Basilica. Goa also has rich a flora & fauna typical of the Western Ghats range, which are classified as a biodiversity hotspot.
Overnight stay: Goa
Day at leisure.
Overnight stay: Goa.
Visit the churches of Old Goa: The 16th c. Basilica of Bom Jesus dedicated to Infant Jesus is the most popular & famous of all churches in Goa. The mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier, the Apostle of the East, are enshrined here. Shri Mangeshi Temple, surrounded by rolling green hills & dedicated to Lord Shiva, is the most important of all temples in Goa. Miramar Beach, where the Mandovi River meets the Arabian Sea, is a point that offers enchanting sunsets.
Overnight stay: Goa.