Days Karnataka Trip (I-56)

Bangalore - Mysore - Hassan - Belur - Halebid - Hospet - Badami - Goa

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Day 01:- Arrive Bangalore and drive directly to Mysore (185 kms).

On your arrival in Bengaluru you will drive directly to Mysore. Bangalore is the Silicon Valley of India and is one of the top preferred entrepreneurial locations in the world. The story goes that a 12th century king lost his way and met a poor woman who offered him boiled beans. The grateful king named the place "benda-kaal-uru" which means town of boiled beans. The Karaga Shaktyotsava an important festival dedicated to Goddess Draupadi is celebrated annually over a period of nine days in March or April. Bangalore is also an important place for classical music and dance. Overnight is in Mysore.

The morning city tour of Mysore will take you to the Mysore palace that was originally built by the Maharaja of Mysore in the year 1911-1912. The palace is of harmonious synthesis of the Hindu and Saracenic styles of architecture having archways, domes, turrets, colonnades and sculptures. Visit the art gallery. Drive to the Chamundi hill to visit the Chamundeshwari Temple. From the hill itself you will get a panoramic view of the city of Mysore. On your way back to Mysore, visit the Nandi bull. Afternoon is free in Mysore or, you could visit the Krishnarajasagar dam and the Brindavan Gardens. Mysore is a good place for buying the famous "Mysore silk". Your afternoon is at leisure. Overnight is in Mysore.

Today you will drive to from Mysore to Sravanbelgola which is an important pilgrimage centre for the Jains. The Gommateshvara Bahubali statue of this city is renowned, popular and an important pilgrimage spot for the Jains. This statue is very huge and can be seen from the distance of around 25kms. It gets bath with honey and milk as a ritual once in every 12 years. At this time, it attracts thousands and thousands of worshippers from all over the world. After the visit of Sravanbelgola, you will proceed by road to Hassan where you have time at leisure. Overnight is in Hassan.

Your full day excursion of Halebid and Belur will take you to the ancient beautiful temples. Belur was the capital of Hoysala Empire and has one of the finest examples of Hoysala architecture - the Chennakesava Vishnu Temple which was built by king Vishnuvardhana in celebration of his victory over the Cholas in the 12th century. It took 103 years to complete the temple and sculptures include elephants, lions, horses, stories from the Indian legends and dancers.

Halebid or Halibeedu meaning the Old City was also known as Dwarasamudra and was the capital of the Hoysala Empire in the 12th century. In front of the Hoysaleshawara and Kedareshwara temples there is a big lake - Dwara Samudhra which means entrance of the ocean and the city derives its name from this lake. The walls of the temple are covered with depictions of Hindu mythology, animals, birds and dancing damsels. The sculptures of the temple are different from each other and there is a museum in the complex. Even after 86 years of work, the Nandi Bull was incomplete. The nearby Jain temples are also quite beautiful. Overnight is in Hassan.

You will drive from Hassan to Hospet in the morning from where you could take an excursion to visit Hampi. Afternoon is at leisure in Hospet. Hospet is 12 kms from Hampi the former capital of the Vijayanagar Empire which was built by Krishna Deva Raya in 1520 AD. Hampi an UNESCO World Heritage Site, located within the ruins of Vijayanagar was said to be greater than Rome and was full of palaces, temples & sculptures. The city was razed to the ground by the Sultanates of South in 1565. The city is full of beautiful ruins which are testimony to a glorious past. The Tungabhadra Dam is another important site which you could visit from Hospet. Overnight is in Hospet.

Your morning is for the Hampi sight-seeing. The most interesting ruins are the Virupaksha temple, Vittala temple, Hazara Rama temple complex the elephant stables, the Queen's Bath, Ramachandra temple & Lotus Mahal. The Virupaksha Temple or the Pampapathi temple of Shiva, also houses erotic statues of Bhuvaneshwari and Pampa. The Hazara Rama Temple Complex has about a thousand carvings & inscriptions with the story of Ramayana. The Vittala Temple Complex houses a stone chariot and the famous musical pillars. Overnight is in Hospet.

Today morning drive from Hospet to Badami. Your afternoon tour of Badami will take you to the Hindu and Jain temples. Badami earlier known as Vatapi was the capital of Chalukyas from 540 to 757 AD and is known for its red sandstone cave temples. Cave temple 1 has a hall with many pillars and a square shaped sanctum with paintings of couples on the ceiling, Shiva and Parvati and Nataraja in 81 poses. In Cave temple 2 Vishnu is shown with one foot on Earth and the other on the sky, and also as Varaha and Krishna. The Cave temple 3 shows the culture and clothing of the 6th century and also carvings of Vishnu Narasimha, Varaha, Harihara and Trivikrama. The Cave temple 4 shows a carving of the Jain Tirthankara Parshavnatha. If time permits, you will continue with the tour visiting Badami fort and the Malegitti-Shivalaya. Overnight is in Badami.

You will have a long road journey this morning travelling from Badami to Goa. Rest of the time is at leisure. Goa is a beautiful place to rejuvenate you by spending time in the surrounding of soothing waves of sea and clean sands at the beaches. Goa exhibits a huge influence of the Portuguese from their ruling period and is known for its beautiful beaches, clean blue water, verdant lush green mountains as well as the idyllic lifestyle of this place that completely embraces you. Vasco-da Gama is the largest city of Goa, and Panjim is the capital. Goa is a good place to explore with its various beaches or temples and churches and bazaars. You could visit the Ancestral Goa Museum, Chapora Fort, Fort Aguada, The Secretariat, Anjuna Beach, Baga Beach, Candolim Beach and many other popular beaches of Goa along with various other religious places. Overnight is in Goa.

This morning you will be visiting Old Goa. Visit the Basilica of Bom Jesus built in the 16th century, wherein enshrined in an ornate silver casket is the body of St.Francis Xavier, the most popular and famous of all churches in Goa. Also visit St Cathedral, the biggest in Goa, Church of St Francis of Assisi, St Cajetan Church, built in the style of St Peter's Basilica in Rome, Church of Lady of Rosary and Nunnery of St. Monica. Even though the place attracts tourists from across the world throughout the year, yet the best recommended time to visit Goa is during the winters when the climate is very pleasant as it will boost up your pleasure and enjoyment. After the morning visit of Goa, you will be transferred to the airport for your connecting/ onward flight. END OF YOUR KARNATAKA GOA VACATION TOUR.