Disembark from your flight via Delhi deep in India’s seductive South, switching gears on the road from bustling Hubli to the stepwell of tranquil Lakkundi, arriving at last for relaxation in laidback Hampi, one of India’s most dazzling historic landscapes. You’ll have time to explore this UNESCO-listed site, strewn for miles with giant boulders and breath-taking temples. Further along lie the ruins of Chitradurga and rock-hewn Hidimbeshwar, followed by a day at the stunning temples of Belur and Halebid, enjoying more luxury lodgings amid the rolling coffee plantations of Chikmagalur. Pressing onward to the south, Hoysala and Gothic glories await in Hassan, followed by an extended stay at Kabini, home to thriving populations of elephants, tigers, leopards and crocodiles – and not the least the star of the park: the Kabini black panther.
This journey outline is by no means fixed. As the traveller takes centre stage in our planning – from the type of lodging to daily activities – your journey will be crafted to suit you.
Following your arrival into India and a domestic flight to Hubli, we will transfer 3 hours to the ancient city of Hampi. On the way, we will make a stop at Lakkundi village to admire the stunning Muskina Bavi Stepwell. The rest of the day is free at leisure.
Today is dedicated to explore Hampi, once the seat of the great Vijayanagara Empire and the centre of Hindu rule. Start with a sunrise hike to Matanga Parvata Hill for a 360-degree view of the surrounding area framed with Tungabadhra river, barren valley and gigantic boulders. After descending to Virupaksha temple, we will take a coracle boat ride to Vithala temple.In the late afternoon, we continue into the ancient structures of Queen’s Bath, Hazara Rama temple, the underground Shiva temple, Mahanavami Dibba, Elephant’s Stables, Lotus Mahal, Laxminarasimha statue and Krishna temple. A short climb brings us to the top of Hemkoota Parvata for a lovely sunset view.
Rise early for your journey southwards to Chikmagalur. We will make a stop at the Chitradurga ruins, an ancient stone fortress nestled by the Vedavati river. There are 20 temples within the ruin, with the main star being the Dravidian-styled Hidimbeshwar temple. After another scenic stop at the Vani Vilas Sagar Dam, we will arrive at the coffee-growing region of Chikmagalur.
Today, we make side trips to the UNESCO-listed Hoysala sacred temples at Belur and Halebid. These 12th century temples are the pinnacle achievement for one of the most artistically exuberant periods of Hindu cultural development.
Chikmagalur is renowned as the birthplace of Indian coffee. A guided coffee plantation tour will provide you the opportunity to pick and taste coffee beans, as well as a trek to the Chikmagalur Mullayangiri peak, the highest point in Karnataka with brilliant views of the plantation.
Thereafter, we leave to Hassan to marvel at the 13th century Hoysala architecture of Lakshminarasimha Temple. Continue to the Gothic-styled Shettihali Rosary church, also known as the “floating church” as it gets submerged during the monsoon season. Finally, we arrive at the untamed mountain ranges of Kabini to rest
For the next two days, we will traverse through Kabini National Park, best known as the best remaining habitats of the Asian elephants. The star of the park is the Kabini black panther, but it is also a haven for tigers, leopards, monkeys and deers.
Today, we bid goodbye to the incredible Karnataka. We will transfer you the Mysore airport where you will catch your flight home or onwards to your next destination.
Hampi, Chikmagalur, Kabini
Between November and March.
From USD 4,090/person for min. 2 pax on a private basis. Excludes flights.
As we’ll customise your journey based on your preferences and needs, please note that this indicative price is just a rough estimate. Prices can fluctuate depending on season, type of accommodation and activities/experiences chosen (private vs. shared) etc.
This journey outline is by no means conclusive. It is just a guideline and can be tailored according to your comfort level, interests and preferences for every detail from accommodation to activities.