South India Architectural Tour
Visit the glorious ancient architecture of the south
- Duration: 11 Days & 10 Nights
- Major Attractions: Badami Caves, Pattadakal, Hampi, Hoyasala & Mysore Palace
- Destination Covered: Hyderabad, Bidar, Gulbarga, Bijapur, Badami, Pattadakal, Hampi, Hassan, Mysore & Bangalore
South India is the perfect place to observe some of the finest ancient Indian architecture. Apart from Hindu architecture, this trip covers few landmark monuments of Islamic architecture as well. 06th century Cave temples of Badami are brightest example of rock cut Indian architecture. Many architects from the world have described Aihole and Badami Caves as cradle of temple architecture in India.
Chalukya dynasty built group of temples during 07th and 08th centuries at Pattadakal and UNESCO has classified them as world heritage sites. Hampi – the erstwhile capital of prestigious Vijayanagara Empire was one of the largest and richest cities in the world. Another prominent Empire in Karnataka was Hoysala in 12th Century and Halebidu was its regal capital.
The splendid workmanship of Hoyasala period is witnessed at the temple complex of Belur and Halebidu. And Karnataka visit is never complete without visiting its crown - Mysore Palace. It is built in Indo-Saracenic architecture and one of the largest private residences in the world.
- Day 01 – Hyderabad
Arrive at Hyderabad and transfer to the hotel. It is known as city of pearls, because it was a diamond and pearl trading center in the past.
- Day 02 – Hyderabad
Visit Charminar, Golconda Fort – one of the imposing forts of South India, Qutub Shahi Tombs – the only one of its kind in the world where at one place an entire dynasty has been buried, Mecca Masjid – the bricks of this mosque were brought from Mecca to construct the central arch and Salar Jung Museum.
- Day 03 – Hyderabad-Bidar
Drive to Bidar. Later take a tour of Bidar Fort – this fort features superb woodcarvings and enthralling glassy tile mosaics. Also visit the Bahmani Ruler’s Tomb – interior of these square tombs have been wonderfully colored.
- Day 04 – Bidar-Gulbarga
In the morning leave Bidar for Gulbarga. Later take a sightseeing tour of enormous Gulbarga Fort – this fort is one of the initial examples of Islamic architecture in Karnataka.
- Day 05 – Gulbarga-Bijapur
Today, drive further to Bijapur. Visit Gol Gumbaz- the central dome of Gol Gumbaz is the second to the dome of St Peter’s Basilica of Rome in the size. This Gumbaz stands unsupported by any pillars. Also take the tour of Ibrahim Roza – it is a palatial Mosque and considered as one of the forerunners of Taj Mahal.
- Day 06 – Bijapur-Badami
Arrive at Badami and visit superb Badami Caves Complex, which includes four ancient rock-cut cave temples and Badami Fort and Bhutanatha temple.
- Day 07 – Badami-Aihole-Pattadakal-Hampi
Proceed to Hampi stopping en-route to visit Pattadakal – an UNESCO world heritage site located on the banks of the Malaprabha River. Pattadakal is a testimony for the richness of Chalukyan architecture. Also stop on the way at Aihole – it is known as ‘the cradle of the Indian Architecture’.
- Day 08 – Hampi
Take a full day trip to Hampi – an UNESCO world heritage site. Hampi was the splendid capital of the great Vijayanagara Empire. Hampi is currently a ruined city having ancient palaces and few forts. Hampi is the perfect place to see the Hindu architecture.
- Day 09 – Hampi-Hassan
In the morning leave for Hassan stopping on the way to take the tours of Halebid, an ancient Hoysalas capital and Belur to see the only Hoysala temple still in active worship.
- Day 10 – Hassan-Mysore
Today transfer to Mysore halting en-route to see Shravanabelagola, one of the prominent Jain pilgrim centers in India. In Mysore, take a tour of Chamudni Hills to view a huge Nandi Bull built out of a single rock hewn and the Mysore Palace – one of the most magnificent palaces in Southern India.
- Day 11 – Mysore-Bangalore-Departure
In the morning take an excursion to Somnathpur –a small village located on the banks of River Kaveri to visit few of the best Hoysala temples. Later depart Mysore for Bangalore (139 km approx.) by road. En-route, visit Srirangapatanam – the summer capital of Tipu Sultan. From Bangalore, board the international flight.