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India Holidays

Karnataka Tour

13 Night Itinerary from £2,595

Private Individual Tour

 

Explore the ancient wonders of Hampi and relax in Kerala on an authentic backwaters cruise.

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Tour Route

Travel Highlights

  • Visit the 'Pearl City' of Hyderabad, with its striking indo-islamic Charminar monument and Golconda fort.
  • Travel to Hampi for 2 nights and take a full day visiting the incredible ruins, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
  • Explore the treasures of Hampi including the Vittala Temple Complex, the Virupaksha Temple and the Hazara Ramaswami temple.
  • Enjoy the bazaars of Hampi.
  • Explore colonial Kochi and visit the Old Fort, Dutch Palace and St Francis Church.
  • Relax on a 3 night Kerala backwaters cruise including all meals and excursions.
  • Visit the tea plantations at Munnar and wildlife sanctuary at Periyar.
  • Extend your stay on the beach. 

This itinerary can be tailored to your preferences by our specialist advisors, who can provide a guaranteed price based on your choice of route, duration, flights, hotels, transport and excursions.

Tour Itinerary

Hyderabad - 2 Nights

Day 1 - Fly from the UK to Hyderabad

Day 2 - Arrive in Hyderabad

Day 3 - Guided tour of Hyderabad

  • Full Description

Day 1

Fly from the UK to Hyderabad

Depart the UK on an overnight flight to Hyderabad.

 


Day 2

Arrive in Hyderabad

Arrive in Hyderabad where you will be met by our local guide and transferred to your chosen hotel for a 2 night stay on a bed and breakfast basis. You guide will give you a short orientation tour of your local surroundings. Rest of the day is at leisure. 


Day 3

Guided tour of Hyderabad

The city of smiles, of lights, of a thousand faces, endearingly called the Pearl City, Hyderabad offers a variety of attractions ranging from Heritage monuments, Lakes and Parks, Gardens and Resorts, Museums to delectable cuisine and a delightful shopping experience. To the traveler, Hyderabad offers a fascinating panorama of the past, with a richly mixed cultural and historical tradition spanning 400 colorful years. 

Today we start our exploration from the landmark of Hyderabad City “Charminar”. The majestic structure was completed in 1591 CE and is not only a landmark building of Hyderabad but also a famous monument of India. Historians believe that this structure is an example for Indo-Islamic architecture combined with few Persian elements. The monument is located in the heart of old city and it is believed that Hyderabad was measured in four directions from Charminar for administrative purposes.

The historic Mecca Masjid is located adjacent to Charminar in a south-west direction. The construction of this mosque started in the year 1614 by Sultan Muhammad Qutb Shah and was Aurangzeb completed in 1693. Built with local granite, it finds place among largest mosques in India and is the most important and largest one in the city.

From here we proceed to visit Golconda fort located in the western part of Hyderabad. Golconda is undoubtedly one of most magnificent fortress complexes in India. The history of Golconda Fort goes back to early 13th century, when it was ruled by the Kakatiya’s followed by Qutub Shahi kings, who ruled the region in 16th and 17th century. The fortress rests on a granite hill 120 meters high while huge crenelated ramparts surround this structure. At Fateh Darwaza one can witness fantastic acoustical effects, which is one among the many famous engineering marvels at Golconda. Clapping your hand at a certain point near the dome entrance reverberates which is heard clearly at the hill top pavilion, almost one kilometer away. This served as a warning note to the inhabitants of the fort of any impending danger, Ofcourse it now amuses visitors. The fort gains an impressive place among the architectural marvels and heritage structures of India and is a testimony to Hyderabad’s glorious past.

Situated on the southern banks of Musi River, the Salarjung Museum (Closed on Friday) has a unique distinction as the third largest museum in India and has a worldwide fame for its biggest one-man collections of antiques. It is widely known in India for its prized collections dating back to different civilizations. Nawab Mir Yousuf Ali Khan Salar Jung III, the former Prime Minister of the 7th Nizam of Hyderabad, spent most of his income over a period of thirty-five years to gather such priceless collections, which according to historians was his intense passion. It also houses the world famous statue of Veiled Rebecca and Marguerite and Mephistopheles, a fine collection of jade, daggers owned by Queen Noor Jahan, Emperors Shah Jahan, Aurangzeb’s sword and other timeless masterpieces.

Hampi Bee 3

Fly to Vidyanagar for Hampi - 2 Nights

Day 4 - Fly to Vidyanagar for Hampi

Day 5 - Full day tour of Hampi

  • Full Description

Day 4

Fly to Vidyanagar for Hampi

After breakfast, check-out from the hotel and transfer to airport to board your flight to Vidyanagar. Arrive Vidyanagar and drive to Hampi. On arrival in Hampi, check into your hotel for a 2 night stay on a bed and breakfast basis.

A village in northern Karnataka in India, Hampi. Stunningly beautiful, this idyllic place sprawls on the sides of River Tungabhadra and is one of the sites to house ruins of the Vijayanagar Empire. UNESCO has credited Hampi ruins as a World Heritage Site and rightly so, for visiting these ruins is more like a lesson in history and lost kingdoms.

The foundation of the Vijayanagara Empire was laid in Hampi in 1336 A.D, making it the capital of the largest empire in post-mogul India. It later became famous for its support towards renovation/reconstruction of temples re-establishment of Indian culture, its support for music, art and literature throughout India. Today the ruins silently narrate the story of grandeur and fabulous wealth, palaces and gateways of the broken city tells a tale of men of infinite talent and power of creativity together with his capacity for senseless destruction.


Day 5

Full day tour of Hampi

This morning, explore Hampi. The discovery of stone artefacts, pottery shards and rock paintings indicate that Hampi has been inhabited since pre-historic times. Hampi has challenged time, survived the centuries and lived to tell the tale.

Vittala Temple Complex - The most splendid monument of Hampi is undoubtedly the Vittala Temple Complex with its 56 musical pillars. Here see the famous Stone Chariot with stone wheels that revolve. In front of the shrine stands the great mantapa. Resting on a richly sculpted basement, its roof is supported by huge pillars of granite, each consisting of a central pillar surrounded by detached shafts, all cut from one single block of stone.

The Virupaksha Temple rises majestically at the western end of the famous Hampi Bazaar. The temple has a 120 feet tall tower on its eastern entrance. The temple contains the shrines of Shiva, Pampa and Bhuvaneswari. Parts of this temple are older than the Vijayanagar kingdom itself. The work of this style dates back to the 11th or 12th century.

Hazara Ramaswami temple is believed to have been the private place of worship of the royal family. The chief attraction of the temple is the series of scenes from the Ramayana carved on two of the inside walls of the mantapa. Later we visit the Achyutaraya Temple and walk through the bazaars of Hampi.

Chinese Nets Kerala Pixabay

Kochi (Cochin) - 2 Nights

Day 6 - Fly to Kochi (Cochin)

Day 7 - Guided tour of Kochi (Cochin)

  • Full Description

Day 6

Fly to Kochi (Cochin)

Transfer to the airport and fly to Kochi (Cochin) via Bangalore. On arrival, tramsfer to your chosen hotel for a 2 night stay on a bed and breakfast basis.


Day 7

Guided tour of Kochi

We have a tour of Mattancherry, the bustling part of Old Fort Cochin and the epicenter of the spice trade for centuries. It remains a densely populated place housing people from different ethnic groups and faiths in very close quarters. Mattancherry is home to a small Jewish community whose origin dates back nearly 2000 years, during the period of King Solomon, when large scale trade took place between the Middle East and the Malabar Coast. Our touring today reveals Kochi’s multi-layered past, a rich brew of Arab, Portuguese, British, and Dutch influences.

We begin with the Dutch Palace, actually built by the Portuguese as a gift for the Raja of Kochi in 1555.  The Dutch renovated and expanded it a century later, earning it its name. The palace also contains some of India’s finest mythological murals; the walls depict scenes from the great Hindu epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata (Dutch Palace remain closed on Fridays and Saturdays)

Then we see St. Francis, India’s first European church (ca. 1510), famed as the original burial site of Portuguese explorer Vasco de Gama, who died in Kochi in 1524 while on his third visit to India.  Not immune to the turbulence of the colonial era, the originally Catholic St. Francis changed hands – and denominations – with each new power that took control of Kochi, becoming a Protestant Dutch Reformed church under the Dutch in 1663 then Anglican under the English in 1804. 

Next we pay a visit to the picturesque Chinese fishing nets unique to Kochi.  These iconic land-based nets combine elegance and ingenuity with their massive frames balanced by counterweights manipulated by teams of up to six men.  Long believed to have been introduced by the Chinese explorer Zheng He in the 14th century or possibly travellers from Kublai Khan’s court, these nets actually trace their origin to

Portuguese settlers from Macau.

Houseboat Kerala Pixabay

Kerala backwaters cruise - 3 Nights

Day 8 - Embark your traditional houseboat

Day 9 - Backwaters cruise

Day 10 - Backwaters cruise

 

  • Full Description

Day 8

Embark your traditional houseboat

After relaxed breakfast, check-out and drive to Alleppey to board traditional boat. An environmentally-friendly vessel unique to Kerala’s placid waterways. Prior to their conversion to passenger boats with all the modern comforts, these traditional craft known as kettuvallom once plied these waters as rice barges. Coir (coconut fiber rope) and resin from cashew kernels, not nails, hold the kettuvallom together – a ship making practice passed down through the centuries.

The uniqueness of Kerala has always been its Backwaters, and no place in the world is blessed with this mesmerizing beauty. It’s the reason; this heaven is called “GOD ‘S OWN COUNTRY!!”

On this comfortable floating home you may spend your day relaxing and unwinding. As you slowly cruise along the backwater canals of the Arabian Sea, you may choose to stop and explore some of the many small villages, farmlands, old temples and churches that you come across.


Day 9

Backwaters cruise

Today, we see Indian life up close as we slowly cruise along the palm-fringed backwater canals of the Arabian Sea, a distinctive region whose beauty and tranquility have earned it the sobriquet “God’s own country.” Along the way we go ashore to visit some of the local villages and farms, observing traditional livelihoods such as, boat building, fish farming, rice growing and toddy tapping – the extraction of palm sap for production of palm wine, or toddy. We also see churches in a land synonymous with the very beginnings of Christianity: Saint Thomas the Apostle was said to have made a missionary visit to Kerala in 52 AD; to this day Kerala has a significant Christian minority. 


Day 10

Backwaters cruise

We will have another day to admire the beauty of this vast network of lagoons, lakes, and canals formed by the confluence of Kerala’s numerous rivers and the Arabian Sea, the Kerala backwaters run alongside the coast for more than 550 miles. These labyrinthine waterways have served as a thoroughfare for boats like ours from ancient times, and the daily existence in the communities here has changed little over the centuries.

Tea Picker 2466005 1920

Munnar and Periyar - 4 Nights

Day 11 - Transfer to Munnar

Day 12 - Explore the tea plantations

Day 13 - Drive to Periyar

Day 14 - Periyar wildlife sanctuary

 

  • Full Description

Day 11

Transfer to colonial Munnar 

This morning we drive inland through rolling hills to Munnar, our base for exploring the famous tea plantations. Check into your chosen hotel for a 3 night stay on a bed and breakfast basis.


Day 12

Explore the tea plantations

This morning after breakfast, we visit a tea Museum. Here you will see classic bungalow furniture, typewriters, wooden bathtub, magneto phone, iron oven, manual calculators and EPABX of the1909 telephone system. A demonstration room for tea tasting is another attraction where one would come across different varieties of tea. Those eager to understand the nuances of tea processing can do so at the tea-manufacturing unit at the museum. We then continue to a tea plantation for a walk where you will meet tea pickers plucking the tea with the warm smile in their face and welcoming you.


Day 13

Drive to Periyar

This morning we leave Munnar and drive to Periyar where we check-in at your chosen hotel for a 2 night stay on a bed and breakfast basis.

Periyar is 1000 meters above sea level and rich in spice growing. 95% of India's pepper is produced here. Vasco de Gama was the first European to land at the Malabar Coast in 1498 A.D. in search of spices. Pepper in those days was a valuable export, so much so it was referred to in the beginning of 15th century is black gold.

The rest of your day is at leisure.


Day 14

Periyar wildlife sanctuary

Today enjoy an early morning guided nature walk in Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. The nature walk is an interpretive program offering excellent opportunity to observe birds, butterflies and other wildlife. The trails pass through evergreen and moist deciduous forests interspersed with marshy grasslands.

In the afternoon, we take a wildlife boat cruise on Periyar Lake. Boating on Periyar Lake enables you to have a close look at the wildlife that inhabits the surrounding forests. Groups of elephant, wild boar, bison and sambar can be seen moving along the banks skirting the forest. And water birds, perched on tree stumps with their wings spread, present a delightful sight while boating.

Fly back to the UK - 0 Nights

Day 15 - Fly back to the UK

  • Full Description

Day 15

Fly back to the UK

Transfer to Kochi Airport for return flight to the UK.

Price Guidelines

Season High Season
Travel Dates October 2020 - March 2021
Room Arrangement Tourist First Deluxe
Multiple Travellers - Twin Room £2,595 £2,892 £2,895
Single Traveller - Own Room £2,995 £4,195 £4,195

Prices are a guideline and per person. Please request a quote for Special Events, Christmas, New Year's Eve & Easter.


What's Included

  • Guidelines prices are per person based on 2 people sharing a twin room
  • 15 Days / 13 Nights
  • International flights (1 overnight)
  • Domestic flights
  • 13 breakfasts, 3 lunches and 3 dinners
  • Transfers to and from airports
  • Transport  throughout the itinerary
  • Excursions listed, all with expert, English-speaking guides
  • Entrance fees 

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