This nine day holiday to Northern Karnataka highlights the finest example of rock cut architecture in India. The region of Northern Karnataka was once home to the capital cities of the Chalukyas, who previously ruled much of the Deccan. Hampi is considered as one of the most charming sites in India.
Time allows for a whistle stop tour of Mumbai. Visit the Gateway of India, located on the waterfront of Marine Drive and the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Victoria Terminus, a famous example of Victorian Gothic architecture. Later this day fly to Belgaum, the gateway to the Deccan Plateau.
Some of the earliest cave temples in India can be found here. Spend a full day visiting Badami, Aihole and Pattadakal. Experience distinct Hindu and Jain architectural styles amongst more than 150 temples both in Pattadakal and Aihole. Badami Caves are made from soft sandstone in the hills surrounding the village. The monolithic rocks and the carvings are not to be missed. Linger in each of the four caves until the tourists disperse and enjoy them to yourselves. The sunset from the top is most memorable. Be prepared to climb a lot of stairs – and watch out for monkeys!
Experience distinct architectural styles like those found in the haunting Hampi. Now a ghost town, this 14th century Vijayanagara Empire was said to rival Rome. Largely inaccessible, keeping away large crowds, those that do come, marvel and fall in love. Ancient temples and statues carved from boulders are strewn throughout the area – relics of the settlements rich history. Wander around to really appreciate the fine carvings, architecture and scenery of this town.
Orange County has raised the bar on accommodation standards with the new opening of the resort in Hampi. Now there is no reason to exit Hampi prematurely due to inadequate comfort. Live the Hampi experience over a few days at the very least.
The Hampi festival may coincide with your visit. A mixture of local puppet shows, music and dance comes together over three days in November.
For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.
what is included
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PLEASE NOTE THE ABOVE FLIGHT COST IS A SUGGESTED FROM PRICE. FLIGHT COSTS WILL BE CONFIRMED AT TIME OF BOOKING. ALL FLIGHTS ARE ATOL PROTECTED.
Fly London to Mumbai overnight
Heritage Walking TourWalk across to the Gateway of India, starting point of a three hour heritage walk which will take you around the surrounding Apollo Bunder Precinct, including the Taj Mahal Hotel and the Royal Yacht Club. Walk to Regal Circle, past Phillips Images Gallery, which showcases a superb collection of photographs of Old Bombay. Covering the sleepy by-lanes of old Colaba, visit the splendid university campus and enjoy the arcade bazaar along the Victorian style DN Road and reach throbbing Kala Ghoda Art District to learn about the details of buildings around including the Elphinstone College, David Sassoon Library and Prince of Wales Museum (closed on Mondays).End the walk at Knesset Eliyahoo Synagogue built in 1883. It's a beautiful pastel-blue two story building just a hundred yards from Bombay's main museum. The well-preserved colonial interior is reminiscent of European shuls, with rustic wooden balustrades, lots of wooden pillars, opulent chandeliers and some electrical fans burring away overhead.Formerly known as Bombay, Mumbai is a city teeming with culture, architecture and people. Famous for its diversity, this vast metropolis has suffered from religious tensions during recent years, but this has done little to limit the surprisingly liberal attitudes of many 'Mumbaikars'.Having boomed as a port during the 18th and 19th century, Mumbai is rich with imposing colonial architecture, whilst towering contemporary structures underline the city's recent prosperity. Contrasting strongly with these are the city's slums, which make up large parts of this modern city and serve as a reminder of the mixed fortunes of its residents'.
You will be staying at Taj Lands End
Fly Mumbai to Belgaum
Drive from Belgaum to Badami (Road Journey)
Badami , situated on the Deccan Plateu, was the capital of the Chalukya kings in the 6th - 8th centuries and has some of the finest examples of rock-cut cave temples in South India. More than 150 temples, including two world heritage sites, both here and at Pattadakal and Aihole have been discovered.
You will be staying at Badami Court Hotel
Early Morning Cave VisitAs dawn breaks, head to Badami's Cave Temples, which appear particularly beautiful in the soft early morning light.
Excursion to Aihole and PattadakalTravel to see the important historical sites of Aihole and Pattadakal, which date back to the time of the ancient Chalukya Dynasty. Regarded as extremely influential on later Indian temple architecture, these sites exhibit a mix of northern and southern styles. Both Aihole and Pattadakal contain large groups of impressively preserved temples, the most spectacular of which were constructed around the seventh century.
Drive from Badami to Hampi (Road Journey)
The World Heritage Site of Hampi in Karnataka was the site for the capital of the mighty15th-century Vijaynagar empire. With its stunning landscape, this small town in Karnataka is also a treasure house for those with a sense of history and makes for a fascinating destination.It was once the city of victory, now a city of ruins. When you catch a glimpse of the majestic Tungabhadra river, you know that you are almost there. Heaps of giant boulders perch precariously over miles of undulating terrain. It is possible to see the site in a day or two.
The rest of the day is at leisure
You will be staying at Orange County, Hampi
Full Day of SightseeingSpend the day exploring the ancient ruins of Hampi. A World Heritage Site and once the capital of the Hindu kingdom of Vijayanagar, this spectacular ruined city has a rich history. At its zenith, during the 14th and 15th centuries, Western visitors compared its grandeur and beauty to that of Rome.Clustered around the ancient city's Sacred Centre and Royal Centre, Hampi's ruins are split into two main groups. Highlights include the majestic Virupaksha Temple, the imposing Bull Monolith, the ornate Lakshmi Narasimha Temple, as well as numerous other fascinating royal and religious buildings.Hampi warrants at least two full days. The temples are spread over 10 square miles.
A further day exploring Hampi ruins with your private guide and driver
Drive from Hampi to Bangalore (Road Journey)
Bangalore is an important IT hub for South India, fondly known as "India's Silicon Valley" home to many international business, science and technology companies. It vies with Bombay as the nations most progressive city.For many visitors Bangalore is primarily the gateway for Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Despite being a progressive modern city, there are still remnants of its past worth visiting. Traditionally named the "Garden City" because of its many parks and gardens, fine colonial houses, Bangalore is still full of green spaces, including the famous Lalbagh Gardens.Encounter the new face of India by following the crowds that flock to Brigade Road, with an abundance of shopping malls and recognisable chains.
The evening at leisure
You will be staying at Taj Residency Bangalore
Fly Bangalore to London
Phone: +44 (0) 1285 651 010
Phone: +44(0) 1285 651 010
+44(0) 1285 651 010
+44 (0) 1285 651 010
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