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South India Architectural Tour
Architectural wonders of South India
South India Architectural Tour  (KE- 04)
Region : South India
9
Days

Activity

Comfort

Cost per Person

US$ 1800

Ex-flights

Tour Overview

South India’s rich cultural & historical sites hold mesmerizing architectural monuments with rich history. The world-renowned temples at Belur and Halebidu near Hassan and the World Heritage Centers at Hampi and Pattadakal in North Karnataka enriches this journey. On this route you will see musical pillars, stone dancers, elephant stables, monuments, temples, forts & ruins while discovering the beautiful countryside of Malanad and the huge awe-inspiring boulders at Hampi.



South India Architectural Tour

Day 1: Arrival - Bangalore
Arrive Bangalore. You will be picked up at the airport. No programmes are scheduled for the day.
Day 2: Bangalore - Mysore
An early breakfast and you would be going on a scheduled heritage / historic walk in the morning. You will be taken through the ruins an old Bangalore Fort, the abandoned armoury and the summer house of the former great Mysore ruler. Also visit a 300 year old temple with its intricate architecture, the lush green spaces of Cubbon park and the various statues and memorials. Also take a look at the imposing Legislative building & the High Court, the cantonment church and finally, the Bangalore Palace of the Wodeyar dynasty. On completion, check out & transfer to the erstwhile capital of the Mysore kingdom at Mysore (4 hours drive). If time permits, visit the Chamundi hills for a panoramic view of the city and the temple. Named after the Goddess Chamundi, the Chamundeshwari Temple sits atop the main hill overlooking the city of Mysore. 
Day 3: Mysore
Mysore is a city of palaces, as you visit them you will be enveloped in the splendor of a bygone era. Initially ruled by the Vijaynagar Empire, the Wodeyars took control in 1565 and then in the 18th century, the kingdom of Mysore was wrested away by Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan. Amba Vilas, the main palace in Mysore is a ‘must see’. Entry to the palace is through the Gombe Thotti or the Doll’s Pavilion, a gallery of traditional dolls from the nineteenth and early twentieth century. The pavilion also houses a fine collection of Indian and European sculpture and ceremonial objects like a wooden elephant howdah (frame to carry passengers) decorated with 84 kilograms of gold. During your stay at Mysore you can also visit the nearby Srirangapatnam Fort (a short drive away from Mysore). The fort stands testimony to the ascendancy of the British colonial rule with the defeat of Tipu Sultan by among others by the British General Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington (later immortalised as the victor of Waterloo). The city tour with guide will include the Jaganmohan palace, Lalitha Mahal, the huge fruit and vegetable market, Art Gallery and Rail Museum if time permits. For those interested in nature & birds, the Ranganthittu sanctuary makes an interesting sidelight. 
Day 4: Hassan
From Mysore, transfer to Hassan (3 hours). Hassan is a pleasant, picturesque town in the heart of Malnad region of Karnataka. After a visit to the giant statue of Gomateswara at Shravanabelagola – the legendary pilgrim centre and shrine of the Jains since early times, you will be checking into the resort. In the evening, a leisurely walk around the village will be arranged to see the lives of the farming community here. 
Day 5: Hassan
Today you be visiting Belur and Halebid. Belur-Halebid go together like twin cities. Separated only by a short drive, both were home to the Hoysala dynasty for three centuries (mid-11th to mid-14th century). Belur, 34 km from Hassan is known as the Dakshina Varanasi or Southern Banaras. The serenity of Belur is attributed to the celebrated temple of Chennakeshava, belonging to 1117 AD. Chennakeshava Temple, also referred to as Keshava, Kesava or Vijayanarayana Temple of Belur, is a 12th-century Hindu temple. It was commissioned by King Vishnuvardhana in 1117, on the banks of the Yagachi River in Belur, an early Hoysala Empire capital. The temple was built over three generations and took 103 years to finish. It was repeatedly damaged and plundered during wars, repeatedly rebuilt and repaired over its history. Halebidu the former capital of the Hoysala Empire has several strikingly beautiful Hoysala temples and Jain shrines. Hoysaleswara temple, also referred simply as the Halebidu temple, is a 12th-century Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva. It is the largest monument in Halebidu, the temple was built on the banks of a large man-made lake, and sponsored by King Vishnuvardhana of the Hoysala Empire. Halebidu was twice sacked and plundered by the armies of the Delhi and the temple and the capital fell into a state of ruin and neglect, now resurrected to its previous glory. The Belur and Halebid temples are known for very fine detailing, evident in the intricately carved temple walls. The tradition of ivory and sandalwood handwork is reflected in the sculptures of these temples. As representations of South Indian styles they are comparable, perhaps, only to the temples at Khajuraho in North India. Of special interest are the engineering techniques used in ‘assembling’ the temple, particularly the locking systems that used grid locks, interlocks and the pin and socket system. They were used for attaching separately carved panels onto the walls and ceilings, achieving a continuous and inseparable appearance for what are essentially disparate stone structures.  
Day 6: Hampi
We will take the long road to Hampi to explore the ruins and temples (7 hours). On arrival, check into your resort and have a relaxed day. In the evening, a safari into the nearby bear sanctuary will be arranged. 
Day 7: Hampi
Today you will visiting Hampi with your guide. Once the flourishing capital of the Vijayanagar Empire, Hampi was abundant in wealth, military prowess and culture. A World Heritage Centre, Hampi is the most beautiful and evocative of all the ruins in Karnataka. The erstwhile capital of the Vijayanagara kingdom, is full of delightful surprises. Like the King's Balance where Kings were weighed against grain, gold or money which was then distributed to the poor, the Queen's Bath with its arched corridors, projecting balconies and lotus-shaped fountains that once sprouted perfumed water , the two storied Lotus Mahal with recessed archways, the huge Elephant Stables, the splendid Vithala Temple with its 'musical pillars' and the stone chariot, the Virupaksha Temple, still used for worship, Ugra Narasimha, the 6.7m tall monolith, the Pushkarini, the Mahanavmi Dibba and so much more.  
Day 8: Aihole – Pattadakal - Badami
The 'cradle of Indian temple architecture' has many temples - intricately carved, rich in detail. The oldest temple is perhaps the 5th century Lad Khan Temple. The Durga Temple has a semi-circular apse and a complete portico. Standing close to each other these temple towns represent Chalukyan architecture at its best. Pattadakal: A World Heritage Center, Pattadakal, is a complex of 7th and 8th century CE Hindu and Jain temples. it has 10 major temples representing early Chalukyan architecture. UNESCO has described Pattadakal as "a harmonious blend of architectural forms from northern and southern India" and an illustration of "eclectic art" at its height. The Hindu temples are generally dedicated to Shiva, but elements of Vaishnavism and Shaktism theology and legends are also featured. The biggest temple dedicate to Virupakshesvara, has a huge gateway and several inscriptions.
Day 9: Badami - Departure
 Badami: Picturesquely situated at the mouth of a ravine between two rocky hills. There are four cave temples. Enter the first cave temple - past Shiva’s' door keepers - and there he is! The eighteen - armed Nataraja striking 81 dance poses! Overlooking them is a reservoir, its bank dotted with temples dedicated to Vishnu and Shiva.

Inclusions

  • Accommodation in hotels with breakfast
  • Air conditioned chauffer driven SUV
  • Entry into palaces, monuments and museums
  • Qualified guides at each place
  • Taxes

This trip can also be tailor-made to suit your interests of time and budget requirements as necessary

 

 

Route Maps

Gallery

FAQs

 

Visas
Visitors to India must obtain a Visa before departure. You can consult the nearest Indian Embassy/ High Commission/ Consular office for the same.

Accommodation
You will be put up in Deluxe hotels and resorts

Climate
The weather is tropical and warm. Monsoon months are July to September.

Transportation/ Guides
Aircon chauffeur driven SUV & qualified guides

First aid
Our guides have been adequately trained in first aid and always carry a comprehensive first aid kit. In case of any medical emergency we have facilities to transfer you to the nearest hospital immediately.

Food
Food is a very important part of these journeys and we have ensured that the local cuisine is a part of this adventure. Refreshments and bottled  water are provided on all days. Any special food requirements can be met if sufficient notice is given.

Precautions
• Drink plenty of fluids.
• Use only bottled mineral water provided by us.
• Carry your personal medical kit and insect repellent.

Spending money
During the trip there will be opportunities to do some shopping and money spent along the way goes directly into the hands of the local communities.

Foreign exchange
You can exchange your money at most major towns.ATMs are found in most towns.
Credit cards are accepted only at Mysore during this tour.

Children
Minimum age: 5 years

What to bring

Clothing:
• Casual Shirts/shirts
• Shorts
• Caps

Others:
• Binoculars & Camera (Optional)
• Torch light
• Insect repellent
• Sunglasses
• Sunscreen 
• Day pack  

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