The Palaces, Wildlife, Plantations & Beaches of Karnataka
16 days from £8,400 per person
The astounding ruins of the Vijayanagar Empire at Hampi, exquisite rock cut temples of Badami, Pattadkal and Halebeedu, and giant monolithic statue of Shravanabelagola, Karnataka is a state of historical importance and spectacular beauty. This itinerary will take you back in time to discover the architectural styles and extraordinary craftsmanship of ancient artisans and sculptors at these sites, and you will soon realise why this region is so special.
Arrive in Hyderabad, a buzzing metropolis where north India meets the south. Explore the must-visit historical sites such as Golkonda and Qutb Shahi Tombs, a collection of twenty-one beautifully domed granite tombs amid tranquil landscaped gardens, and learn about the Nizam’s heritage on a Falaknuma Palace historical walking tour. From here, fly directly to Hampi; a new flight path which has totally opened up this fascinating region, which has always been notoriously difficult to get to. Spend three days in the 600-year-old Vijayanagar kingdom, exploring this beautiful and ancient landscape; offbeat treks take you through giant boulders, the ruins of the Achyutaraya Temple and the famed ‘Courtesan Bazaar’; splendid views of the setting sun behind the boulder hills as you walk along the banks of the scenic Tungabhadra River; delve deep into the Vitthalapura bazaar that leads to the famous Vijaya Vitthala temple, considered by many to represent the pinnacle of temple architecture in India; set off on the Raya Trail This trail which looks back five hundred years for a glimpse at the life and times of the Rayas (Maharajas) of Vijayanagar. You will also explore the magnificent sites, Aihole, Pattadkal and Badami, almost as old as two millenniums and considered to be the ‘cradle of Indian temple architecture’. Witness true and ancient Indian Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism on the stone carved monuments, a reflection of their strong influence on early Indian dynasties at various timelines.
After the architecture and history of northern Karnataka, prepare to be mesmerised by wildlife and natural beauty of southern Karnataka. With the wildlife safaris at Kabini and the coffee plantations of Coorg, and finally ending your tour in northern Kerala’s seaside village at Neeleshwar. This tour is a scintillating smorgasbord of culture, nature and tradition of the perceptive.
This luxury holiday is purely a suggested itinerary; it can be booked as it is, or used as a starting point for creating your perfect tailor-made tour. If you would like to see similar trips, take a look at our collection of South India itineraries.
16 days from £8,400 per person
- Day 1 - Taj Falaknuma Palace - Hyderabad
Arrive in Hyderabad and transfer to you hotel. Evening heritage walk around the palace.
- Day 2 - Taj Falaknuma Palace - Hyderabad
Private sightseeing tour of the historic city, including Golkonda Fort, a former diamond-trading centre, and the Qutb Shahi Tombs.
- Day 3 - Evolve Back Kamalapura Palace - Hampi
Transfer to the airport and fly to Hampi, home to the 600 year old kingdom of Vijayanagara. Check in to Kamalapura Palace on arrival. Evening Tungabhadra Trek through the giant boulders, the ruins of the Achyutaraya Temple and the famed ‘Courtesan Bazaar’.
- Day 4 - Evolve Back Kamalapura Palace - Hampi
Morning Vitthalapura private walk with historian, including the Vitthalapura Bazaar and the Vijaya Vitthala temple. Evening guided Raya Trail walk.
- Day 5 - Evolve Back Kamalapura Palace - Hampi
Day trip to visit Aihole, Pattadkal and Badami.
- Day 6 - Taj West End - Bangalore
Morning flight to Bangalore. Afternoon at leisure.
- Day 7 - Evolve Back Kuruba Safari Lodge - Kabini
Morning drive to Kabini. Afternoon tour of the interpretation centre with private naturalist, evening sunset cruise.
- Day 8 - Evolve Back Kuruba Safari Lodge - Kabini
Early morning Safari to Nagarhole National park with private naturalist. Evening bullock cart ride followed by night trail.
- Day 9 - Evolve Back Kuruba Safari Lodge - Kabini
Morning wingspotting on the banks of kabini followed by a visit to the tribal village. Afternoon boat safari through Kabini between Nagarhole & Bandipur National parks. Evening dance by the Kadu Kurubas followed by “Tales of Kabini”.
- Day 10 - Evolve Back Chikkana Halli Estate - Coorg
Morning drive to Coorg.
- Day 11 - Evolve Back Chikkana Halli Estate - Coorg
Early morning birding tour and visit to the local village with in house naturalists. After breakfast tour of Bylekuppe Tibetan Settlement. Afternoon at leisure.
- Day 12 - Evolve Back Chikkana Halli Estate - Coorg
Morning visit to Ainemane followed by a lunch with a Kodava Couple. Afternoon at leisure.
- Day 13 - Neeleshwar Hermitage - Neeleshwar
Early morning drive to Neeleshwar.
- Day 14 - Neeleshwar Hermitage - Neeleshwar
Morning village tour. Afternoon at leisure.
- Day 15 - Neeleshwar Hermitage - Neeleshwar
Morning visit to the turtle hatchery followed by a riverboat cruise. Afternoon at leisure.
- Day 16 - In transit.
Morning drive to Mangalore for flight to Mumbai and onward flight home.
- Leslie Siben, India
- Jaime Benitez, South India
- Anonymous, India
- Mr & Mrs Manson, North India
- Mr David Wallace, North India
- Krista Weir, Sri Lanka
- Matthew Nicklin, North India
- Matthew Annable, Rajasthan, India
- Mr Richard Stoughton, Sri Lanka
- Mr Geoffrey Johnson, India