India Golden Triangle and Tamil Nadu
Embark on this cultural and spiritual journey of India on a 15-days tour to one of India’s most sought-after cultural & historical sites. This tour is a comprehensive experience of the Indian Golden Triangle (Delhi-Agra-Jaipur) and Tamil Nadu – the land of cultural and religious heritage. The tour takes you through the famous trinity of Indian tourism – Delhi, Agra & Jaipur. The tour culminates at the Pink City “Jaipur”, an enthralling historical city and the gateway to India’s most flamboyant state – Rajasthan. The city’s colorful, chaotic streets ebb and flow with a heady brew of old and new. In the midst of this mayhem, the splendors of Jaipur’s majestic past are islands of relative calm evoking a different pace and another world.
Architecture of South India
Day 1: Arrive in Bangalore
On arrival at Bangalore airport assistance and transfer to hotel. Rest time to relax. Overnight at the hotel. (Hotel: Fortune Select JP Cosmos or similar)
Day 2: Bangalore – Mysore (B)
Breakfast at the hotel. The city tour includes a visit to Lal Bagh Garden: Hyder Ali laid out this famous botanical garden and his son added horticultural wealth to them by importing trees and plants from several countries. The garden today houses over 1000 species of flora which include a rare and enchanting collection of tropical plants, trees, and herbs.
The Bangalore Fort: built by Kempe Gowda and expanded by Tippu Sultan. Within its walls is the well preserved 16th century Ganapathi Temple. The Bangalore Palace was built by a Wodeyar king in 1887 on the 400-acre space. Inspired by the Windsor castle, this palace was built in the Tudor style, complete with Gothic windows, foiled windows, battlements, and turrets. Tippu’s Summer Palace: The palace was first a mud-brick defense built by Kempegowda in 1537. Hyder Ali and his son Tipu Sultan later rebuilt it in 1791. An inscription on the wooden screen describes the palace as the ‘abode of happiness’ Though the palace still has elegant teak pillars, most of the painted decorations have been destroyed.
Also see the Government buildings Vidhana Soudha: This splendid neo-Dravidian granite building that dominates the northern boundary of the Cubbon Park is the home of the State Legislature and the secretariat.
After sightseeing drive to Mysore check-in at the hotel. Overnight at the hotel. (Hotel: Royal Orchid Brindavan
Garden or similar)
Day 3: Mysore – Srirangapatna – Shravanabelagola – Hassan (B)
Breakfast at hotel visit Mysore Palace & Srirangapatnam Fort & Ranganthaswamy temple. City tour of Mysore. Visit Chamundi Hills, site of the Chamundeswari Temple and Nandi Bull. Then visit Mysore Palace the seat of the former ruling Wodeyar dynasty, the palace blends Hindu, Islamic, Gothic, and Rajput styles. The palace contains astonishing wall paintings, authentic stained glass work, and ornamented doors.
The Ranganatha Swamy Temple in Srirangapatna enshrines Lord Vishnu as Ranganatha. It is said that the Ganaga chieftain, Tirumalaiya built this temple in 894 AD. The Ranganatha Swamy Temple was later expanded by the Hoysalas, Vijayanagar monarchs, Mysore Wodeyars, and Hyder Ali. The architecture is a mixture of the Hoysala and Vijayanagar styles. The temple has fort like walls and an intricately carved Gopura in Vijayanagar style of architecture. The idol of Lord Ranganatha is in reclining posture on the bed laid out by the serpent Aadi Sesha is about 4.5 meters in length. The main entrance has Chaturvimsati (four) pillars has the cravings of the 24 forms of Vishnu. There are many other shrines like Ranganayaki, Narasimha, Sudarshana, Gopalakrishna, Srinivasa, Rama, and Panchamukha Anjaneya in the complex.
Srirangapatnam Fort the stronghold of Tippu Sultan. Tippu made a last-minute ditch Against the British in 1799 before surrendering his kingdom. Among the many fort buildings still intact, are Tippu’s airy summer palace and his tomb at the Darya Daulat Bagh (garden). Daria Daulat Bagh: Built-in 1784, this Summer Palace was one of Tipu’s favorite retreats. It stands on a raised platform at a height of 1.5 meters. The Bagh is situated on the banks of the Cauvery river has treasured the paintings, engraving, arms that depict the Valant victories and Struggles of Tipu Sultan. The structure made of teak, this Indo-Saracenic structure has ornate and beautiful frescoes. The corridors showcase murals which describe Tipu’s ordeals on the battlefield against the British.
Later drive to Hassan en route visit Shravanabelagola Jain temple. One of the most important Jain pilgrim centers. It is also one of the oldest where a 17m high naked Lord Bahubali (Gomteshwara) – the world’s tallest monolithic statue, is placed. It is situated on the picturesque Vindhyagiri Hill overlooking the town.
Arrive Hassan check-in & overnight at the hotel. (Hotel: Hoysala Village Resort or similar)
Day 4: Hassan – Hospet/ Hampi (B)
Breakfast at the hotel. Drive toward Hampi en route visit Belur & Halebedu.
Belur (38kms from Hassan). It was once the capital of the Hoysala Empire, which today made unforgettable for its exquisite temples. The serenity of Belur is attributed to the celebrated temple of Chennakeshava built by the Hoysala King Vishnuvardhana in 1117 A.D. It is one of the finest examples of Hoysala architecture. The main structure of the temple, which is star-shaped, a homogenous architectural unit on a raised platform. Everything is carved in black stone, looking like metal. Facing the temple, at the entrance, stands the winged figure of Garauda, Lord Vishnu’s carrier. The 650 charging elephants on the frieze around the walls outside are all different from each other. The exotic bracket figures on the walls of this temple are serene, playful, and amorous, enhancing the overall effect of this pinnacle of architectural excellence.
After visiting this temple move to Halebedu (17kms from Belur). The temples of Halebid bear mute testimony to the rich, cultural heritage of Karnataka. Visit the Hoysaleswara Temple, dating back to the 12th century, standing on a platform like a casket, is a sculptural extravaganza, richly endowed with the most finely detailed scrollwork in stone. The walls of the temple are covered with an endless variety of gods and goddesses and also visit the Jain basics.
After sightseeing drive to Hampi check-in at the hotel. Rest time free and easy to relax. Overnight at the hotel. (Hotel: Heritage Resort or similar)
Day 5: Hospet – Hampi (B)
Breakfast at hotel, full day to visit Hampi. Nestled within the ruins of the medieval city of Vijayanagar, on the banks of the Tungabhadra River, Set in a surreal and beautiful boulder-strewn landscape, Vijayanagara (the City of Victory) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Although the city was destroyed by marauding Moghul invaders in the 16th century, much of it remains today. The vast site of monuments and ruins, a mute witness to an ear of glories, triumphs, and tragedies. The ruins of Hampi are so majestic and imposing that they leave the visitor totally dumbfounded, awestruck, and humbled.
Visit Hazara Rama Temple, King’s Balance, Mahanavami Dibba, Royal enclosures, Statue of Ugra Narasimha Temple, Virupaksha Temple, Lotus Mahal & Vithala Temple Complex. Rest time free and easy to relax. Overnight at the hotel. (Hotel: Heritage Resort or similar)
Day 6: Hospet – Hampi – Badami (B)
Breakfast at hotel, drive to Badami, en route visit Lakkundi & Gadag temples (guide subject to availability). Lakkundi Full of ruined temples like Mallikarjuna, Virabhadra, Manikeshwara, Nanneshwara, Lakshminarayana, Someshwara, Nilakanteshwara, and many more.
Gadag Trikuteshwara temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva. The carved temple is in the town of Gadag It is dedicated to Shiva and has three lingas mounted on the same stone. There is a shrine dedicated to Saraswathi in this temple and it has carved columns.
Continue to drive to Badami, check-in at the hotel. Rest time free and easy to relax. Overnight at the hotel. (Hotel: Badami Court or similar)
Day 7: Badami – Aihole – Pattadakal (B)
Breakfast at the hotel. Full day to visit Pattadakkal, Aihole & Badami.
Pattadakal is a historic site of the ancient and medieval era, Buddhist, Hindu, and Jain monuments from the sixth century through the twelfth century CE, though most of the surviving monuments date from the 7th to 10th centuries. Pattadakal reached at the peak of glory under the era of Chalukya kings from the 7th to 9th centuries. The Sanghameswara Temple is the oldest in this group. The Mallikarjuna Temple has pillars representing the life of Krishna. Virupaksha temple has panel scenes and sculptures from the epics, the Mahabharata and Ramayana. The Papanatha Temple has stunning carvings on the ceiling and pillars.
Aihole is a temple complex, the beautiful architecture of the place makes it a very popular tourist destination. There are 70 temples in this complex. The Lad Khan Temple is one of the major and oldest temples in the region of Aihole. Further, the Durga temple is famous for its incredible sculptures. The Meguti temple is built of 630 small stone blocks, which makes it a worth exploring temple. The Ravanaphadi Cave has some beautiful carvings that attract tourists from around the world.
Badami Fort a well-known archaeological site soaked in the history of the Chalukyas and the Pallavas known for its beauty and rich history. Nestled atop a cliff, the Badami Fort lies opposite to the famous Badami Caves. The fort’s location commands a magnificent view of the Badami town and its splendid structures. The Badami Fort is one such monument that stands as a mute witness to a culturally rich bygone era.
Back to your hotel in Badami for an overnight stay. (Hotel: Badami Court or similar)
Day 8: Badami – Goa (B)
Breakfast at hotel drives to Goa check-in at the hotel. Rest time free and easy to relax on the beach. Overnight at the hotel. (Hotel: Lemon Tree Hotel Candolim or similar)
Day 9: Goa (B)
Breakfast at hotel, city tour of North Goa. Visit the charming beaches of Goa such as Calangute, Dona Paula, Miramar, and Baga Beach. Goa is famous for its magnificent scenic beauty and the architectural splendors of its temples, churches, and old houses. Visit the basilica of Bom Jesus, the 16th-century church dedicated to infant Jesus and housing the tomb of St. Francis Xavier a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The other Churches in the same area are St. Cathedral, with its vaulted interior, Church of Our Lady of Miracles, Church of our Lady of Rosary, and Nunnery of St. Monica. The Aguada Fort built by the Portuguese commands the mouth of the Mondovi River and on the fort stands a 4-story Portuguese lighthouse and the oldest of its kind in Asia. In South Goa visit Mangueshi and Shanta Durga Temples. Later, proceed for a visit to Margao, the headquarters of South Goa. Overnight at resort. (Hotel: Lemon Tree Hotel Candolim or similar)
Day 10: Goa (B)
Breakfast at the hotel. Day free and easy to relax on the beach. Overnight at the hotel. (Hotel: Lemon Tree Hotel Candolim or similar)
Day 11: Goa – Departure (B)
Breakfast at the hotel. Breakfast at the hotel as per your flight schedule transfer to airport to board flight for your onward destination.
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