Mysore PalacePick up from Bangalore and proceed to Mysore, enroute visit Srirangapatna - Island fortress of Tippu Sultan, the legendary Tiger of Mysore who put up a valiant fight against British domination. Visit Tippu's Summer Palace, Mosque, and Sriranganatha Temple . On arrival at Mysore check in to Hotel. Lunch and proceed to local sightseeing, visit to Maharaja Palace -built in 1911-12 by Wodeyar Rulers, the palace is a splendid structure in the Indo-Saracenic Style, among its many attractions are a magnificent gold throne displayed during the Dussara celebrations. It is an entirely modern structure continuing the Hindu and saracenic styles of Architecture, Mysore Zoo - established with royal patronage in the 19 th century, the zoo's collection of fauna includes rare and exotic species of Animals housed in lush green environs, and in the evening visit Brindavan Garden -the famous gardens at the Krishna Raja Sagar Dam after sundown, when musical fountains and colored lights transform this place into a magical fairyland and overnight
TalakaduBreakfast, Full day tour of Somnathpura -situated in the unobtrusive village, 35km from Mysore, the exquisitely carved, star shaped temple with triple towers is a perfect example of Hoysala architecture and Talakadu - situated on the banks of Cauvery, also know as the Vaideshwara Temple is completely buried beneath sand dues. The temple comes to life when it is excavated once every 12 years during the Panchalinga Darshan. Return back to Mysore, dinner and overnight.
HalebidMorning breakfast, checkout and proceed to Hassan, enroute visit famous Shravanabelagola - Jain's Pilgrim Center- the monolith statue of Lord Gomateshwara, a Jain saint. Standing atop one of the hills (Indiragiri Hills) is 18 mts height and is said to be one of the tallest and most graceful monolithic statues in the world .The symmetry in stone was created around 938 AD by Chamundaraya, a general and minister of Ganga, King Rachamatta. Check in to hotel on arrival and after lunch visit Belur - On the banks of the Yagachi River in Belur, a star-shaped temple with hand lathe-turned filigreed pillars and sculptures will take your breath away. It is the only Hoysala temple still in active worship. Friezes of charging elephants, each different from the other, mythological figures, military scenes, dancers and musicians and elaborate decorative motifs charge the imagination. The winged figure of Garuda, Lord Vishnu's carrier, stands at the entrance facing the temple, palms touching in homage. The most marvelous specimens of Hoysala architecture found exclusively at Belur . Halebid - Just 17 kms away from Belur is Halebid, the ancient capital of the Hoysalas. The temple, perched on a star-shaped base amidst lawns, is a sculptural extravaganza. Its walls are richly carved with an endless variety of Hindu deities, sages, stylized animals, birds and friezes depicting the life of the Hoysala kings. The temple complex has a museum which houses the idols, statues, busts and sculptures excavated by the Archaeological Department from the ruins. Dinner and overnight .
Mahanavami DibbaEarly morning breakfast, checkout and proceed to Hampi - the World Heritage Center, is the most beautiful and evocative of all the ruins of Karnataka. Capital of Vijaya Nagar kingdom is full of delightful surprises. On arrival check in to Hotel, Lunch and relax. Later on sight seeing, visit to King's Palace - This is the largest enclosure, including two major platform structures, an underground chamber which must have served as a treasury or private audience hall, several other platforms, double fortification walls and several other interesting architectural elements. Mahanavami Dibba - Equally impressive is the massive Mahanavami Dibba, where the kings once sat on gem-studded golden thrones and watched processions pass by. The platform sports densely carved bands of horses, soldiers and depictions of the various aspects of courtly life. Queen's Bath - This structure has a very plain exterior but the interior is stunningly ornate, with graceful arched corridors, projecting balconies and lotus-shaped fountains that used to spout perfumed water for the ladies of the court. Return to hotel and overnigh
HampiMorning breakfast and full day sight seeing, visiting to Lotus Mahal - This visually appealing structure has two levels, with open pavilions at the bottom and balconies above. An elegant example of the fusion of the Hindu and Muslim styles of architecture, the Mahal derives its name from its beautiful, geometrically-arranged cusped arches that resemble the petals of a flower opening to the sun. Elephant Stables - An imposing edifice with arched entrances and many domes that once housed the magnificent state elephants. Pushkarni - This stepped water tank, excavated in the mid-1980s, was originally a part of the palace complex. Almost lyrical in its beauty, the tank is a tiered structure crafted from rectangular pieces of granite. Hazara Rama Temple - This was a royal temple reserved for ceremonial use. The entire temple is embellished with bas-relief's depicting scenes from the epic 'Ramayana'. The walls of the enclosure are richly carved with friezes depicting processions of horses, elephants, dancing girls and soldiers attired in splendid weaponry. Inside, four exquisitely sculpted granite pillars add to the beauty of the ardha mantapa. Overnight.
Badami CavesMorning breakfast and check out of the Hotel and proceed to Badami . On arrival check in to the Hotel, Lunch and half day sight seeing visiting to Badami Caves - Picturesquely situated at the mouth of a ravine between two rocky hills, the exquisite sculptures and the rust red sandstone cliffs of Badami tell many a tale of yore. Climb a flight of steps to reach the four ancient rock-cut caves replete with carved pillars and bracket figures, all hewn out of red sandstone on the precipice of a hill. The largest of them is the third cave, dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The first sculptural embellishment to dazzle the eye is the 18-armed Nataraja striking 81 dance poses in the first cave. Overlooking the caves is the Agastya Theertha Tank, its banks dotted with a cluster of Bhoothanatha temples. North Fort - This is the largest enclosure, including two major platform structures, an underground chamber which must have served as a treasury or private audience hall, several other platforms, double fortification walls and several other interesting architectural elements. Banashankari - is a quaint hamlet taking its name from the goddess Banashankari. Built in the Dravidian style, the temple is dedicated to Banashankari, a form of Parvati highly revered by the weaver community. The idol depicts the powerful eight-armed goddess seated on a snarling lion. There is a large pond in front of the temple called Harida Theertha, which is enclosed on three sides by stone mantapas with inner colonnades. The annual temple festival in Banashankari is more than a religious event. During this time, the streets around the temple are taken over by a huge fair, marked by colour and gaiety and attended by thousands of devotees. Overnight.
Lad Khan TempleMorning breakfast and visit Mahakuta (14 kms.) - Once a great centre for the Shiva cult, Mahakuta is surrounded by hills. The Mahakuteshwara Temple dedicated to Shiva is built in the Dravidian style and features a natural spring pond called Vishnu Pushkarni. The temple is surrounded by several small shrines with a wealth of carving on their walls. There are also a few Shiva temples in Mahakuta dating back to the Chalukyan era. Later on proceed to Aihole - A tranquil village on the banks of the Malaprabha river, Aihole is acclaimed as the cradle of Hindu temple architecture. There are hundreds of temples in the villages and fields nearby. The most impressive one is the Durga Temple with its semicircular apse, elevated plinth and the gallery encircling the sanctum. The Lad Khan Temple - which is one of the earliest temples, was originally a royal assembly hall and marriage mantapa chosen as the abode of a Muslim prince, Lad Khan. The Huchimalli Temple - with a sculpture of Vishnu sitting atop a large cobra, the Ravalphadi Cave Temple celebrating the many forms of Shiva, the Konti Temple Complex, the Umamaheswari Temple, the Jain Meguti Temple and the two-storied Buddhist Temple are other sights worth seeing. Return back to Badami and overnight.
PattadakalMorning breakfast and proceed to Pattadakal - With its beautifully chiselled temples, this World Heritage Site on the banks of the Malaprabha river bears testimony to the richness of Chalukyan architecture. Pattadakal reached its pinnacle of glory under the Chalukya kings and was once used as a ceremonial centre where kings were crowned and commemorated. It has a cluster of 10 major temples, each displaying interesting architectural features. At the entrance of the site, you can see the 8 th century temples of Jambulinga, Kadasiddeshvara and Galaganatha with their curvilinear shikaras or spires. The biggest temple, dedicated to Virupaksha, has a huge gateway, several inscriptions and a profusion of friezes from the epics. Facing the temple is a pavilion containing a massive Nandi. The Mallikarjuna Temple is similar in design to Virupaksha Temple, but smaller in size. The ornate Papanatha Temple is yet another impressive piece of architecture, with delicately chiselled ceilings and a 16-pillared main hall. The Sangameshwara Temple dating from the reign of King Vijayaditya (696-733 AD) is the earliest temple in this complex. Return back to Badami. Over night.
DY 09: Badami - Bijapur (145 Kms - 4 Hrs)
Gol GumbazMorning breakfast and check out of the resort and proceed to Bijapur. On arrival check in to Hotel, afternoon relax and later on visit to Gol Gumbaz - Gaze in wonder at this magnificent mausoleum of Muhammed Adil Shah in Bijapur. It houses the world's second largest dome, unsupported by pillars - an acoustic and architectural wonder. Overnight.