19 January 2017
On this wonderful tour around the deep south of India you will not only visit and explore most of the towns and cities, you will also have three relaxing days beside the ocean at a resort in Goa. Beginning in the lively city of Bangalore, you travel around the countryside visiting Mysore, Hassan, Hampi, Badami, and Hubli before ending the tour on the shores of the Arabian Sea. You will see all sides of this extraordinary part of the sub-continent from the days of the British Raj to the modern hi tech industries.
On arrival in Bangalore you will be met and taken to your hotel. Relax after the journey then go out and explore on your own seeing some of the sights and trying the local cuisine in one of the many restaurants. Bangalore is the number one city in the deep south of India, blessed with a benevolent climate and a burgeoning drinking, dining and shopping scene. There are lovely parks throughout the city and striking Victorian-era architecture. Most of India's hi tech industries are also found here.
After breakfast this morning you are taken on a full day city tour including a visit to Vidana Soudha, the main landmark of Bangalore. This enormous building is a massive example of neo-Dravidian architecture, with four domes on its four corners. It also houses the Legislative Chamber of the Karnataka Government. Today you also visit Attara Kacheri and Tipu Sultan’s palace and fort before returning to your hotel where you spend your final night in Bangalore.
Today you check out of your hotel and drive the 100 miles to Mysore. An ancient city with more than 600 glorious years of legacy, Mysore is one of the most flamboyant places in India. Known for its glittering royal heritage, bustling markets, magnificent monuments, cosmopolitan culture and very friendly locals, it is also a thriving centre for the production of premium silk, sandalwood and incense. After reaching the city, check-in at your hotel for an overnight stay.
Another three hour drive today when you say farewell to Mysore after breakfast and drive towards Hassan, which has seen many glorious dynasties over the years, such as Mauryas, Kadambas, Chalukyas, Gangas, Hoysalas and the Vijayanagara empire, which built most of the many temples. On arrival at Hassan check in to your hotel and later on visit Shravanabelagola, a 57-foot tall monolithic statue of the love god Gomateshwara). Then spend the evening at leisure and go out and explore on your own.
A 300 mile drive today when you leave Hassan and head for Hampi. On the way visit Chennakeshava Temple in Belur, followed by the Hoysaleswara Temple of Halebid, both of which are classic examples of Hoysala craftsmanship. Hampi, the former capital of the Vijayanagara kingdom, has a magnetic charisma even in its ruined state. Recorded as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this town features more than 500 monuments with boulder-strewn hills as a backdrop. Overnight at a hotel at Hampi.
Today, after breakfast you spend the rest of the day on a sightseeing tour covering the many architectural heritages, which are basically ruins of the Vijayanagara Empire and are on the UNESCO heritage list. Visit Vittala Temple, Lotus Mahal, Hazara Rama Temple and the Elephant Stables, which are made up of 11 tall domed chambers. In the evening return to your hotel and then go out and explore Hampi by night and watch some of the colourful local entertainment.
Possibly time to see more of the sights in Hampi this morning before you are picked up from your hotel for the shorter three hour drive today to Badami, a city famous for its archeological monuments that the Chalukyas people built in 500 AD. Various kingdoms followed before the British took over and there are lots of interesting places to visit. On arrival check in at your hotel where you will be staying for the next two nights. Then spend the evening at leisure.
This morning, after breakfast at your hotel, you are taken on a full day sightseeing tour covering Badami's architectural heritages which are famous for rock cut and other structural temples - Lad Khan Temple, Pattadakal, and Badami Cave Temples. You also visit Badami Fort with plenty of time to explore it. In the early evening you return to your hotel and the rest of the night is free for you to go out and sample the nightlife or try one of the local restaurants.
Today you drive the 100 miles to Hubli where you are taken on a sightseeing tour of the main highlights before checking in to your next hotel. Then in the evening, enjoy a sunset view from a picturesque picnic spot at Unkal Lake. The lake features a statue of Swami Vivekananda in the centre and while there you have the opportunity to take a boat out on to the water. You are then driven back to your hotel and the rest of the evening is free for you to explore on your own.
Possibly time to see more of the sights in Hubli this morning including the Chandramouleshwara Temple - a fine example of the Chalukya style of architecture that showcases great craftsmanship. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, this majestic temple has two Shiva Lingas and intricate carvings of dancing Lord Ganesha. Then begin the three hour drive to Goa and check in to your beachside hotel where you will be staying in comfort and style for the next four nights.
The first of three full days of relaxation beside the Arabian Sea in your resort hotel. Goa is India’s most famous beach destination. Ruled by the Portuguese until 1961, Goa still retains its indo-Portuguese character, very visible among its architecture as well as its people. The highlights are its silver sands, sparkling blue waters, the sky mirroring the sea below, white churches resting against green paddy fields and coconut trees lining the coastal streets. After breakfast, spend a full day at leisure.
It's always tempting while staying in Goa to simply relax on the beach or beside the hotel pool and soak up the sun - and after all the travelling you have been doing on this trip this could well be your favoured option. But there is so much to see and do in this picturesque and popular holiday region of southern India that this would be a good time to try one of the local tours where you can meet the people and visit some of the many places of interest.
You last day in paradise, so make the very most of it. Goa has more than 25 amazing beaches ranging from the full-of-life party destinations to the serene and peaceful ones. As a rule, the beaches of North Goa are more happening and lively than those of South Goa which are quieter and more secluded. North Goa has beaches like Baga, Calangute, Anjuna and Colva, that necklace the coastline with tons of shacks buzzing with life, serving tasty delicacies from the Konkan cuisine. South Goa's quiet beaches include Arambol, Palolem and Galgibaga.
Today your wonderful 14 day trip around India's deep south comes to an end. After seeing all the sights in the bustling towns and cities and then relaxing on the beautiful beaches of Goa at the end of the trip, it's time to head to the airport and catch an onward flight or begin your journey back home. This 14 day tour is a great way to explore this stunning part of the sub continent and will leave you with so many great memories . . . and plenty of photographs.
Category B fr £1261pp
Category A fr £1618pp
Rates based on twinshare
International flights not included unless otherwise stated