Day. 1 To Bangalore
Fly from Heathrow to Bangalore on British Airways flight.
Day 2. To Mysore via Srirangapatna
Arrive Bangalore early morning. Relax for a few hours at the Movenpick Hotel. Afternoon drive to Mysore, via Srirangapatna Island Fortress on the River Cauvery. High walls enclose the many Temples, Palaces and the great Mosque. The legendary Tipu Sultan - Tiger of Mysore – lived there until he was killed after being betrayed by a confidant. Two nights at Royal Orchid Metropole Hotel.
Day 3. Mysore
Morning excursion to the outstanding Temple at Somnathpur built to extol Hoysala craftsmanship. Afternoon sightseeing tour of the delightful green city of Mysore – includes the hilltop Sri Chamundeswari Temple, the vast monolithic Nandi, Mysore Palace and the bustling Devraja market.
Day 4. To Hassan via Shravanabelagola
Morning drive to Hassan en route visiting Shravanabelagola one of the most sacred Jain centres. See the superb 57-foot tall statue of Lord Bahubali Gomateshwara. Two nights at the Hoysala Village Resort.
Day 5. Full day excursion to Belur and Halebid
The 12th C. Hoysala Temples are masterpieces; the ornate filigree stonework is unsurpassed. The marvelous star shaped Shiva Temple, in Halebid is breathtaking – fantastic frieze cover the entire exterior with exquisitely carved elephants, horses and mythical beasts. The Chennakesava Temple at Belur built 900 years ago, is yet another prime example of the Hoysala art.
Day 6. To Hospet
Drive to Hospet. The magical Deccan; wild and evocative, strewn with monolithic granite boulders, is a fitting backdrop for the World Heritage site of this great Vijayanagar ruined city. The sightseeing can only give a mere hint of the glorious past of Hampi: a wonder of architecture and incredible carvings. Two nights at Hampi’s Boulders.
Day 7. Full day Hampi sightseeing
Visit the many Temples including the spectacular Vittala, with its 56 musical pillars and the Hazara Ramaswami Temple with scenes from the Ramayana carved on two inside walls. Also visit the Queen’s swimming pool and King’s balance scale, where the King was said to be weighed, perhaps against grain or gold, the proceeds would be distributed among the poor.
Day 8. To Badami via Aihole and Pattadakal
Drive to Badami en route visiting Aihole and Pattadakal. Virupaksha is the main Temple at Pattadakal with lifelike statues of subjects from the Ramayana and Mahabharata. Aihole is considered to be the birthplace of Hindu architecture. The site is said to be developed over 600 years. Afternoon visit the four astounding caves of Badami with their wonderful paintings going back to 578AD. One of the finest depicting a stunning 18 armed dancing Nataraja, striking 81 dance poses. Overnight at Badami Court.
Day 9. To Bijapur
Morning drive to Bijapur. Afternoon sightseeing includes- the Gol Gumbaz, the Tomb of Mohammed Adil Shah and the world’s largest medieval cannon “The Mailk-e-Maidan”. It took over 400 oxen, 10 elephants and countless men to bring the 55 ton war trophy to Bijapur. Overnight at Hotel Madhuvan International.
Day 10. To Gulbarga
Morning drive to Gulbarga. Afternoon visit the Jama Masjid Mosque built on similar lines to the Cathedral/Mosque of Cordoba in Spain - uniquely it has no minarets, but has a huge dome complemented by smaller ones. Also visit some of the imposing Royal Tombs built for Bahmani Kings. Overnight at Hotel Aditya.
Day 11. To Hyderabad via Bidar
Drive to Hyderabad en route visiting Bidar with its magnificent Fort - considered in its heyday to be one of India’s most formidable with 3 miles of walls fortified by 37 bastions! Two nights at the Taj Banjara.
Day 12. Hyderabad
Morning sightseeing of the impressive 13th C. Fortress of Golconda. Later visit the beautiful Charminar built by Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah between 1591 and 1612. Other visits include the Salar Jung Museum and famous Laad Bazaar.
Day 13. To Heathrow
Fly to Heathrow on direct British Airways flight.
Suggested extensions: Goa, Swasara - Gokarana, Beach Extension to Covelong & Mammalpuram
(Various other extensions are available on request)
Per Person on a Double/ Twin share basis £1,935.00
International flights in economy class.
Accommodation with en-suite facilities.
Daily breakfast throughout. Houseboat on Full Board.
Services of English speaking guide during sightseeing
Transfers as per the itinerary by air-conditioned vehicles.
Excursions, sightseeing and entrance fees as per the itinerary.
Full ATOL Bonding.
Any optional Excursions.
Any expenses of a personal nature.
With love from India.... Thyme
with its lovely fragrance, is considered to have anti-parasitical properties and can aid digestion, and relieve cramps. External application are used as an antifungal agent and can alleviate skin infections including scabies.
India has five seasons; spring, summer, monsoon, autumn and winter.
The monsoon hits different regions at different times as it sweeps from the Indian Ocean to the Himalaya, affecting north and central India from May to September. In the south the monsoon generally lingers into October.
There are advantages to be gained by travelling off-season - particularly in Rajasthan which is largely dry - as hotels are better value and monuments are quieter.
The western ranges of the Indian Himalaya are also generally best visited during this time to escape the heat and rains on the plains. Between October and March the daytime temperature ranges between 25C – 30C, falling in the evening and overnight to between 18C – 22C. After the monsoon, the air is dry, making the heat more bearable and reducing the humidity.