Uncover the cultural highlights and scenic beauty of South India on this private trip. Witness typical, tranquil villages, visit ancient temples and bustling markets in Mysore, and wander amid verdant coffee and spice plantations in Chikmagalur. Gaze in awe at majestic monuments from bygone eras at Hampi and Badami. Top it off with a peaceful stay on the golden beaches of Goa where you while away time sunbathing or set out to explore the region’s Portuguese heritage.
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Bengaluru, India’s answer to Silicon Valley, was ranked third in 2012 amongst the list of world’s top ten cities to visit by Lonely Planet! Formerly a ‘pensioners paradise’, the bustling city sits high above sea-level, and is blessed with pleasant weather all year round.
Highlights of Bangalore
Experience historic landmarks amidst the cosmopolitan chic. Venture to 16th century blackened Dodda Ganeshana Gudi (Bull Temple) dedicated to the sacred bull Nandi. Venture to the imposing Vidhana Soudha, a Neo-Dravidian building that houses the seat of state legislature. Tour Bangalore Palace, still owned and inhabited by the erstwhile royal family of Mysore. Visit Bangalore’s British colonial gardens – Lal Bagh, which includes a Victorian glasshouse replica of London’s original Crystal Palace, and Cubbon Park. Explore Tipu Sultan’s Fort and Palace, and the Government Museum, one of the oldest museums in India and home to many artifacts from the Neolithic period.
Mysore provides you with an opportunity to step back in time into a world of regal opulence, and is often described as the City of Palaces.
Day Trip to Tipu Sultan’s Srirangapatna
Discover Tipu Sultan’s historic city! En route to Mysore, embark on a tour of Srirangapatna, which was once the historic capital of a powerful empire and dates back to around 9th century The island fortress town offers plenty of attractions for history buffs, from temples and mosques, to palaces and cenotaphs (tombs). Explore the exquisite three-layered stone wall of the fort with its bastions and gates, which protected the rulers from many an invasion and is still an emblem of a glorious bygone era. Stop by the banks of Cauvery River and witness stunning views of the natural landscape.
Culinary Treasures of Mysore
Discover the various culinary delicacies of Mysore! Begin the food walk by visiting local favorites and authentic hole-in-the-wall joints to sample delicacies such as Mysore masala dosa, Mysore Pak – a famous Indian dessert, filter coffee and more. Learn about the fascinating stories behind the creation of these lip smacking dishes as you savor their many flavors. If you take your food seriously, you should know you’re in good hands! (Half Day, Time of Day: Evening; Best time to travel: October-March; Private Activity & Transfers; Fitness Level: Moderate)
Highlights of Mysore
Return to the regal era at Mysore! Visit the Maharajah’s Palace which artistically blends Indo-Saracenic style with foreign elements such as Scottish steel and Victorian-Edwardian era furniture. Every Sunday, visitors gather to to see the palace brightly lit up. Drive up to the Chamundi Hills to be blessed alongside hundreds of jubilant pilgrims at the Chamundeshwari Temple. On your way back, visit Sri Nandi Temple to be blessed by Hindu God Lord Shiva’s faithful gatekeeper Nandi, the decorated bull. Guide your steps towards the Famous Jagmohan Palace where exquisite artwork awaits you at the Raja Ravi Verma Gallery. Tour the scenic Brindavan Gardens which is built alongside a dam on the Kaveri River. There is also opportunity to meet master weavers at a silk factory close at hand. (Full Day, Private Activity & Transfer; Fitness Level: Easy; Mysore Palace is only light up at night on Sundays; Please bring socks as footwear is not permitted inside temples)
Chikmagalur is a captivating natural canvas nestled in the Baba Budan Hills within the Western Ghats, best known as the life-giving spine of India.
Day Trip to Shravanabelagola
An interesting excursion takes you to Shravanabelagola, a Temple City and important Jain pilgrim center lying between Indragiri and Chandragiri hills. ‘Bel’, meaning white and ‘kola’, pond, are an allusion to the beautiful pond in the towns midst. Marvel at Indragiri’s 1000 year old statue of Bhagavan Gomateshwara Bahubali. Standing at 57ft, it is considered the world’s largest monolithic stone statue. Shravanabelagola has over 500 inscriptions and sculptures that highlight history back to the Indus Valley Civilization.
Excursion to Belur and Halebid Visit Belur and Halebid, famous for their beautifully carved, ancient temples dating back to the 12th and 13th centuries.
Hampi is so mystical with its boulder-strewn landscapes that you might feel like you’ve landed on the moon!
Highlights of Hampi
Prepared to be bowled over by the mesmeric boulders of Hampi! Navigate through giant rock formations to witness stellar examples of Dravidian architecture. Constructed by the last great Hindu dynasty, some of these architectural marvels date back to the 14th century and are scattered amid the craggy hills and plains. From the historic King’s Balance to the stunning Queen’s Bath, the grand Lotus Mahal (palace) to the colossal Elephant Stables, there is much to discover. Envision the former glory of the musical pillars of Vitthal Temple, standing tall in the heart of an erstwhile bazaar and see the awe-inspiring Stone Chariot. Virupaksha Temple, the principal place of worship, is close at hand. Venture past lush paddy fields and lethargic water buffaloes to see the curious monolith of Ugra Narasimha with its bulging eyes and ample mane. (Full Day, Private Activity & Transfer; Fitness Level: Easy)
Badami: Cradle of architecture Picturesquely situated at the mouth of a ravine between two rocky hills, the exquisite structures and Badami’s rust red sandstone cliffs tell many a tale of yore. Famous for its four ancient rock-cut caves replete with carved pillars and bracket figures, hewn from red sandstone on a hill.
Half Day Tour of Aihole and Pattadakal
Discover an ancient temple complex in the heart of Karnataka! A drive away from Badami lies the historic Aihole village. Home to a majestic temple complex, the serene village is popular with architecture enthusiasts. Explore Aihole’s 125 stone temples constructed by the legendary Chalukyan dynasty in the 5th century. Travel onward to Pattadakal, set on the left bank of the serene Malaprabha River. From intricately carved temples, numerous shrines and a grand complex await you at this UNESCO World Heritage site. (Half Day, Private Activity & Transfer; Fitness Level: Easy; Travel time to activity: one hour drive; If you have a preference for timing, please tell your travel consultant at the time of booking, otherwise our team will schedule the tour at the best available time)
Goa’s legendary allure is its white sandy beaches and glittering blue seas.
Markets of Goa Visit
Enjoy vibrant Goan markets held on different days of the week. Delight in the Anjuna Flea market, reminiscent of ‘Hippie days’, find interesting handicrafts, get tattooed, stroll the colorful maze of humanity and watch the sunsets. The Saturday night Arpora market is the place to see and hear Goa’s most talented live musicians; taste blends of International, Indian and fusion cuisine and shop. Visit the traditional Friday market at Mapusa where craftsmen and farmers come to sell the products.
Mumbai, formerly known as Bombay during British colonial rule, has welcomed travelers from around the world for centuries.
Half Day Highlights of Mumbai
Venture to the waterfront and witness the historic Gateway of India, built during the British rule. Drive by the world’s most expensive real estate along Marine Drive, also known as the Queen’s Necklace, as the streetlights resemble a string of pearls at night. Discover the plethora of colonial architecture including the High Court, Mumbai University, Flora Fountain, Asiatic Library, Prince of Wales Museum, Municipal Corporation Building and the fascinating, fully-functioning Victoria Terminus Railway Station. Whilst the building is closed to the public, you can glimpse the Parsi Tower of Silence with its circling vultures. Unwind amidst the topiary of the Hanging Gardens, or in Kamala Nehru Park and Horniman Circle. Learn more about Mahatma Gandhi at Mani Bhavan, a museum and reference library. (Duration 4 hours).
You will be transferred from your hotel to Mumbai (International) airport in a private vehicle
Price & Inclusions
Option 1 From $ 4,790 /person
Option 2 From $ 6,390 /person
Prices are in USD and exclude international flights. This trip price is based on low season rates for accommodation and other applicable services, and may change depending on availability, currency fluctuations and number of people traveling together. For high season prices, please contact us with your exact travel dates and preferences.
Accommodation and meals, as specified in the itinerary
Activities and excursions, as specified in the itinerary
Transportation services, as specified in the itinerary
Your Trip Coordinator: a 24/7 point of contact supporting you during your trip
Carbon emissions offsetting for your trip
Entrance fees and meals, unless mentioned in the itinerary description
Tips and personal expenses
Visa and tourism fees
Travel, health, and cancellation insurance
What our guests say about this trip
I would definitely choose Enchanting Travels again, they made our trip to India memorable and magical, something we will never forget