For history and architecture buffs, nothing can beat this itinerary that starts at the 1st century Jain, monolithic statue of Shravanabelagola, meanders through the 5th to 8th century exquisitely-carved, Chalukyan temples of central to north Karnataka and finally ends at the 17th century Islamic ruins of the Adil Shahi dynasty.
Duration : 13 Days
Route : Bangalore → Shravanabelagola → Halebid → Belur → Hampi → Aihole → Pattadakal → Badami → Hyderabad
Day 1 Bangalore
Once known as the Garden City, Bangalore suddenly became the center of the nation’s massive computer boom. Visit the city’s top spots which include Cubbon Park, Lalbagh Botanical Garden, and Tipu Sultan’s Summer Palace.
Later hop into one of the city’s numerous bars to kick start your grand tour of Karnataka.
Days 2-3 Hassan
Climb up the bald rock of Vindhyagiri Hill to see up close the 17.5m high statue of Gomateshvara (Bahubali), the world’s tallest monolithic statue, which is visible long before you reach this pilgrimage town.
Get mesmerized by the twin towns of Belur and Halebid known for an excellent collection of 12th and 13th century temples built during the Hoyasala Dynasty.
Days 4-6 Hampi
Wander through the ruins of the glorious Vijayanagar Empire, nestled in an outlandish boulder-strewn landscape. It also has plenty of temples, chilled cafes and great little markets to explore.
Day 7 Aihole & Pattadakal
Explore the tranquil village of Aihole, along the banks of the Malaprabha river, popularly known as the cradle of Hindu temple architecture.
Walk around the beautifully chiseled Pattadakal Temple Complex, a World Heritage Site, which bears testimony to the richness of Chalukyan architecture.
Day 8 Badami
Explore the exquisite rock cut temples of Badami, picturesquely situated at the mouth of a ravine between two rocky hills.
Days 9-10 Bijapur
Ramble through the historical monuments of architectural importance built during the rule of Adil Shahi dynasty. Top spots include the Gol Gumbaz, Ibrahim Rauza, and the Jumma Masjid.
Days 11-13 Hyderabad
Explore the melting pot of the South, which was once southern India’s counterpart to the Mughal splendor of Delhi, Agra and Fatehpur Sikri. Climb up the Charminar to get an amazing view of the old city, walk through the beautiful Chowmahalla complex and hop into one of the many eateries which dot the city for the famous Hyderabadi Dum Biryani.
End this exhilarating journey with a day trip to the magnificent Golconda fort and Qutub Shahi tombs.