From the lost civilizations of Hampi and the tranquil coffee plantations of the Western Ghats to the temples and caves of Badami, this trip is brimming with hidden jewels. End your private South India tour in bliss on the beaches of Goa.
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.
City 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 Tippu 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.
City 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.
Highlights of Chikmagalur Cast your cares aside at beautiful Chikmagalur! Enjoy invigorating strolls and treks through rugged mountain trails, verdant coffee plantations and past rolling hills, as the rest of the world fades away in the distance. Guided by experts, let your nature walks also be an inspiring insight into local life, as this sleepy town’s economy exists on its natural wealth. Discover information about various species of indigenous trees and wildlife and spend your time looking for exotic birds and large butterflies as they flitter through tree tops. If you are lucky, the night skies may even be lit up by fireflies!
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.
City Highlights of Badami Discover ancient architecture in tranquil Badami. A loacl guide will take you around impressive architecture so you can learn more about ancient art and culture at this erstwhile regal capital. A UNESCO World Heritage site, the four famous temples of Badami are considered stellar examples of Indian rock-cut architecture. The famous Bhutanatha group of sandstone shrines are worth a visit. Witness a rugged landscape stretched out before the manmade Agastya Lake at the base of the temple complex. The grand Badami Fort is perched atop a hill, just a short climb from the lake, where you will discover intricate cave temples and religious figures carved into the red sandstone. (Half Day, Private Activity & Transfer; Fitness Level: Easy; Museum closed on Fridays)
Because of the great experience we had travelling with Enchanting Travels in 2012, we never considered any other company when we decided to go back to India again. We especially liked the flexibility of arrangements while travelling, the constant communication with the Enchanting Travels staff during the tour, and a generosity displayed in favour of the traveller. Most of the hotels are to be strongly recommended and we have happy memories of our times there.