Wildlife, Golden Chariot And Goa
Karnataka is an ancient land where you will delve into centuries old architectural marvels, walk through famed monuments, get mesmerized by imposing world heritage structures, explore ancient rock-cut caves, experience breathtaking natural beauty, listen to spiritual chants, wake up to the smell of freshly brewed coffee with wildlife surrounding you or feel the tranquillity of endless beaches. Everything in Karnataka is an intense experience. Enjoy the diversity and rich heritage of Karnataka. “Swagatha, Suswagatha” or Welcome, Warm Welcome!
Day 01: Arrive Bangalore.
Meet & Greet and Transfer to hotel.
Day 02: Bangalore – Nagarhole (230 kms / 5 hrs).
Morning: brief overview of Bangalore. After an early lunch drive to Nagarhole.
The Nagarhaole National Park in Karnataka shares its boundaries with the famous Bandipur National Park in Karanataka, together they form the Mudumalai Sanctuary in Tamil Nadu and the Wayanad Reserve in Kerala. About 643 kms in area, Nagarhole Wildlife Sanctuary is home to the Tiger along with the other wild life species and around 250 bird species. Located aside the river Kabini is the dam and reservoir of this mighty river which acts as a natural barrier separating the two wildlife sanctuaries – Bandipur and Nagarhole – in Karnataka.
Overnight at the magnificent Orange County Resort, Kabini. Situated in the heart land of the Kadukuruba tribe of Nagarhole forest and surrounded on three sides by the Kabini river, Orange County, Kabini is built in authentic Kuruba village style. Each palm-thatched hut at the resort comes fitted with all the luxuries you could hope for including its own plunge pool or Jacuzzi in a private, open-to-sky courtyard. Nagarhole forest supports the highest density of herbivores in Asia in addition to its three major predators.
Day 03: Nagarhole
Morning & evening Jungle Safaris.
Day 04: Nagarhole – Coorg (95 kms / 2 hrs)
Drive to Coorg and check into the delightful Orange County Coorg, located inside a coffee plantation. Coorg or Kodagu is a beautiful hill station situated in the state of Karnataka. Madikeri, the district headquarters of Coorg, is situated at a height of 5002 feet above the sea level. Earlier Coorg was known as Kodaimalenadu, which means ‘dense forest on a steep hill.’
Day 05: Coorg
Morning guided walk through the plantation. Afternoon visit to Bylekuppe, the largest Tibetan village in south India.
Day 06: Coorg – Mysore (114 kms / 2½ hrs)
Drive to Mysore (96 km). Mysore is a magnificent Royal city and the site of Goddess Chamundeswari Temple and the Sacred Chamundi Hill with its Palaces built by Tippu Sultan.
Afternoon visit Mysore Palace. This beautiful Indo-Saracenic Palace dominates the city’s skyline. It was built in 1911-12 at a cost of 4.2 million rupees to replace the former Palace which was burnt down. Overnight at Lalitha Mahal Palace.
Day 07: Mysore
Moring visit Srirangapatnam (16 km/ 10 miles from Mysore), an island fortress in the Cauvery River. It is from here that Tipu charged at the British soldiers with his legendry sword. An obelisk in the Fort marks the place where he fell – betrayed by his own men. Within the Fort is a Mosque and the Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple, a popular Hindu pilgrimage. The Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple (Vishnu Temple ), is a blend of Hoysala and Vijayanagar style of architecture. Images of Vishnu can be seen on pillars, ceilings and domes represented by the 7 headed serpent after whom the island and oldest structure are named. Time-permitting, we will also visit Tippu’s summer palace, ( Daria Daulat Bagh ), built in 1784, which is now a museum.
In the afternoon, an excursion to the village of Somnathapur (33 km) to visit the intricately carved star shaped Prasanna Channakeshara Temple built in 1268 AD during the Hoysala Dynasty.
Day 08: Mysore – Hassan (170 kms / 3 hrs)
Drive to Hassan enroute visit Sravanbelagola, one of the oldest and most important Jain Pilgrimage Centers in India, it is the site of the huge 56 ft high naked statue of Bahubali (Gomateshvara), said to be the world’s largest monolith statue. One must climb 620 steps up hill to the statue. It overlooks the country town of Sravanbelagola from top of a rocky hill. It’s simplicity is in complete contrast to the complexity of the sculptural work at the temples of Belur and Halebid.
Afternoon visit Belur and Halebid temple complexes (12th-14th century). Built by the Hoysala kings, the temples at Belur and Halebid are the cream of what remains of one of the most artistically exuberant periods of Hindu Cultural development. The wealth of sculptural details found on the exterior and interior of these temples makes them the most outstanding example of Hoysala sculptural art.
Evening transfer to Hassan railway station & board onto Golden Chariot at 1915 hrs & depart at 1945 hrs for Hospet. Dinner onboard at The Golden Chariot.
Please note that The Golden Chariot starts on every Monday from Bangalore and reaches Hassan on every Thursday so we will board into Golden Chariot from Hassan railway station at 1915 hrs on Thursday for further journey.
Day 09: Arrive Hospet at 0600 am, After breakfast we depart for Hampi
Hampi is a World Heritage Site. If dreams were made out of stone, it would be Hampi. It is one of the major tourist destinations in India.
Hampi, is the seat of the famed Vijayanagara empire which was the capital of the largest empire in post-Mughals India, covering several states. The Vijayanagara empire stretched over at least three states -Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Andhra Pradesh. The destruction of Vijayanagara by marauding Mughal invaders was sudden, shocking and absolute.
Although in ruins today, this capital city once boasted riches known far beyond the shores of India. The ruins of Hampi of the 14th Century lies scattered in about 26 sq. km area, amidst giant boulders and vegetation.
Protected by the tempestuous river Tungabhadra in the north and rocky granite ridges on the other three sides, the ruins silently narrate the story of grandeur splendour and fabulous wealth.
The splendid remains of palaces and gateways of the broken city tells a tale of man’s infinite talent and power of creativity together with his capacity for senseless destruction. A visit to Hampi is a sojourn into the past. Most of the important structures and ruins are located in two areas, which are generally referred to as the Royal Centre and the Sacred Centre.
A visit to Anegundi village by traversing the gushing Tunga Badra river on a coracle is an experience that provides the guests with a glimpse into the traditional country life in Karnataka.
Morning sightseeing will include: Virupaksha Temple. Queens’s Bath, Elephant Stables, Local crafts bazaar, return to The Golden Chariot for lunch.
Afternoon sightseeing will include: Royal enclosure, Hazara Rama Temple. Illuminated Vittala Temple. Eveing return to The Golden Chariot. Dinner onboard at The Golden Chariot.
Day 10: Depart to Badami at 0500 am.
Arrive Badami at 0830 am, Depart after breakfast for sightseeing: Badami Caves and Pattadakal. Return to The Golden Chariot for Lunch & depart for Goa.
Badami is a picturesquely town situated at the mouth of a ravine between two rocky hills. The exquisite sculptures and the rust red sandstone cliffs of Badami tell many a tale of yore. The first sculptural embellishment to dazzle the eye is the 18 armed Nataraja striking 81 dance poses.
Pattadakal, with its beautifully chiseled temples is a World Heritage Site located on the banks of the Malaprabha River. It bears testimony to the richness of the Chalukyan architecture. Pattadakal reached its pinnacle of glory under the Chalukyan Kings and was once used as a ceremonial centre where kings were crowned.
The Golden Chariot will reach Goa post midnight.
Day 11: Goa
After breakfast at Golden Chariot we leave the train and depart for sightseeing; visit the famous churches of Old Goa, an Old Portuguese house: Sola Souto Maior for Tea/Coffee and cookies and shopping at the emporium, Sahakari Spice Plantation, Ponda for lunch and tour of spice farm, Depart for Utorda Beach. After sightseeing arround 1630 hrs transfer to your hotel.
Day 12: Goa
Independent day to relax on the beach.
Day 13: Goa – Bombay
Transfer to airport for flight 9W476 dep. 1340 hrs / arr. 1440 hrs or IT513 dep. 1420 hrs / arr. 1520 hrs to Bombay. Transfer to hotel Kohinoor near airport, by hotel shuttle service. Late night transfer to airport by hotel shuttle service for your onward / homeward flight.