Best Of Karnataka
Karnataka offers a rich combination of sights and activities for the visitor, with the modern metropolis of Bangalore, historic Mysore, the lush hills of Coorg, abundant wildlife in the Kabini/Nagarhole area, ancient temples at numerous sites across the state, and a long, largely deserted coastline.
This 14-day tour takes in a number of these highlights, but can easily be expanded to be more comprehensive....
Day 1 - Bangalore - Mysore
You’ll be met on arrival at Bangalore airport and introduced to your driver who will be with you throughout your trip. Depart immediately and drive to Mysore (4 hours or so), and relax upon arrival. If time permits, you’ll be able to explore some of Mysore’s markets in the afternoon/evening, or head up Chamundi Hill for a wonderful night-time view of the city below. Overnight in Mysore. (Ensure morning arrival at Bangalore)
Day 2 - Mysore
Start your day with a visit to Somnathpur temple. The intricately carved Hoysala Dynasty temple dates back to 12th century CE. Then start your sightseeing tour around Mysore which will include the Sultan’s Palace, one of the most striking palaces in India, built in Indo-Saracenic style of architecture over a century ago. Also visit Chamundi Hill a very popular temple, flooded with devotees especially diring Navaratri days. Overnight in Mysore
Day 3 - Mysore - Hassan
Depart Mysore and drive north to Hassan (4 hours) with afternoon excursion to the temples at Belur and Halebid, also dating from the Hoysala period of the 11th and 12th centuries CE. These small temples are both dedicated to Shiva and are stunning examples of early temple architecture. Overnight at Hassan
Day 4 - Hassan - Hampi
Continue north to the vast archaeological wonderland which is Hampi. Hampi’s remoteness gives it a special aura and, happily, keeps it free from being very crowded- those who make the effort to come here will be richly rewarded. This huge site is recognised by UNESCO as being of special importance. At one point, during the heyday of the Vijayanagar empire, this was one of the richest cities in the world. Overnight in Hampi or nearby Hospet
Day 5 & 6 - Hampi
Given the effort it takes to get here, we recommend an absolute minimum of 2 full days to properly appreciate Hampi, with a day of guided sightseeing as an introduction, followed by unstructured time to explore and ramble around the site as you wish. You can take auto-rickshaws, ride bicycles or just walk to your heart’s content. Hampi’s most famous buildings- the elephant stables, Vijaya Vittala Temple, Queen’s Bath, summer palace and more, can be covered during your guided day, and you’ll be able to revisit favourite spots or explore further afield on subsequent days. Overnight in Hampi or nearby Hospet
Day 7 - Hampi - Gokarna
A full day drive to beautiful Gokarna. Settle in on arrival and watch the sunset over the Arabian Sea. Overnight at Gokarna
Day 8 - Gokarna
As your trip reaches its midway point, and with the longest of the driving days dispensed with, this is a perfect place to relax and enjoy the beautiful beach and ocean. Overnight in Gokarna
Day 9 - Gokarna - Mangalore
This morning drive down the coastal highway to the port city of Mangalore with an en route stop at Murudeshwar, where a seaside temple is home to a huge Shiva statue, some 40 metres tall. Continue on to Mangalore, arriving mid-afternoon. Overnight in Mangalore.
Day 10 - Mangalore - Coorg
Sightseeing in Mangalore in the morning, before driving up into the lushly forested hills of the Coorg region. The cooler climate and high rainfall here makes it ideal of growing coffee and cardamom in particular. Overnight in Coorg
Day 11 - Coorg
A full day for exploring Coorg including a visit to the source of the sacred River Cauvery, and a visit to Bylakuppe Tibetan community. Overnight in Coorg.
Day 12 - Coorg - Kabini
Depart Coorg and drive across to Nagarhole National Park. Your accommodation here will be at Kabini, on the fringes of the National Park and adjacent to manmade Kabini Lake. Take your first safari into the Park in the afternoon. Overnight at Kabini
Day 13 - Kabini
With 4 safaris across 2 days you’ll be able to experience both vehicle and boat safaris with the aim of sighting as wide a variety of species as possible. The boat safaris are wonderful for elephant sightings, while land-based safaris can result in sightings of tigers, leopards and sloth bears. Nagarhole National Park is home to a huge array of mammals, birds and reptiles and with ample time here you’ll have the best chance of seeing lots of them. Overnight at Kabini
Day 14 - Kabini - Bangalore Depart
A final safari at dawn, then drive back to Bangalore and depart in the evening