Highlights

  1. Seeing Halebidu’s exquisite Hoysala temples
  2. Witnessing Shravanabelagola’s huge monolithic statue
  3. Spotting elephants in Nagarhole National Park
  4. Floating along the Kabini River on a traditional coracle
  5. Discovering the lush coffee plantations of Kodagu

Day 1: Arrive in Bengaluru

Welcome to Bangalore, a city today known by its official Kannada name: Bengaluru. Thanks to a thriving IT industry, this is among India’s most forward-thinking cities. Despite the gleaming glass offices, there are enough Victorian-era buildings here to keep visitors intrigued. Overnight at The Park.

Day 2: Bengaluru to Chikkamagaluru

Visit the city’s Vidhana Soudha, Bull Temple and Tipu’s Summer Palace before proceeding to Chikkamagaluru (Chikmagalur). En route, visit Shravanabelagola – home to what’s believed to be the planet’s largest monolithic statue: a 17.5-metre-tall statue of Jain deity Bahubali. Overnight at Gateway Hotel KM Road.

Day 3: Chikkamagaluru to Mysore

Wake up in the ‘coffee land’ of Chikkamagaluru before exploring Belur’s 12th-century Channakeshava Temple and Halebidu’s wonderfully ornate Hoysala temples. Continue south to Mysore: Karnataka’s most-visited destination. Overnight at Royal Orchid Metropole.

Day 4: Mysore

Take a morning trip to Srirangapatnam, the Cauvery River island town that’s home to the important ninth-century Ranganathaswamy Temple. Later, explore the iconic Mysore Palace and colourful Devaraja Market before admiring the city views from Chamundi Hill. Overnight at Royal Orchid Metropole.

Day 5: Mysore to Kabini Reservoir

Travel south-west to the Kabini Reservoir, one of Karnataka’s primary wildlife destinations. During an afternoon safari at the adjacent Nagarhole National Park there’ll be the opportunity to see elephants, leopards, tigers and hundreds of bird species. Overnight at Red Earth.

Day 6: Kabini Reservoir

Discover the Kabini’s waters on a coracle – a traditional oval-shaped boat – on this early-morning excursion. After breakfast the rest of the day is spent at leisure. Later, head back into Nagarhole National Park for a second wildlife safari. Overnight at Red Earth.

Day 7: Kabini Reservoir to Kodagu

Travel into the Western Ghats to the hilly region of Kodagu. Formerly known as Coorg, this is a land of lush coffee plantations, endless paddy fields and swathes of cardamom. On arrival, the rest of the day is spent at leisure. Overnight at School Estate.

Day 8: Kodagu

Today is kept free for independent activities – perhaps watching out for exotic birds, touring one of the local coffee plantations or visiting a local Coorgi village. There’s a handful of golf courses to consider too, in addition to excellent fishing. Overnight at School Estate.

Day 9: Kodagu to Mumbai

Transfer to northern Kerala’s Calicut International Airport and fly to Mumbai. On arrival in India’s ultimate megacity, the rest of the day is spent at leisure – perhaps wandering over to the Gateway of India, exploring Colaba’s shops or marvelling at the historic Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus. Overnight at Holiday Inn.

Day 10: Mumbai

Transfer to Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport for your return flight home.

Activities to consider

  • Cycling through traditional villages on Kabini’s backwaters
  • A dedicated birdwatching excursion near Kabini Reservoir
  • Full-day and overnight treks through the Kabini Forest Reserve
  • Excursion to Balle Elephant Camp
  • A round of golf in Kodagu

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