Trip Highlights :- Hyderabad | Gulbarga | Bijapur | Badami | Hospet | Dandeli | Goa | Mumbai |
Tour duration : 13 Nights / 14 Days
Malik-e-Maidan : ("Monarch of the Plains" or "Lord of the Battlefield") set up by Muhammad Adil Shah is a huge cannon located on the top of the on the top of tower - Sherzah Burj in Bijapur. It is said to be the largest weapon in medieval times. The great Muzzle has been fashioned into the shape of a Lion with open jaws, and between the sharp curved fangs is a small elephant on both sides of the nozzle. The small ears have been drilled into holes to attach tackles. It is a cast of alloy of Copper, Iron and Tin and when struck sounds like a Bell. The outside surface is dark green and polished like glass and adorned with inscriptions in Persian and Arabic. Cannon weighs 55 Ton and has a diameter of 1.5 meters and its length is 4.45 meters. Legend has it that the explosion was so loud, that the Gunner who set the canon alight had to jump into a small water filled pit next to the cannon to avoid going deaf. This legendary cannon has a unique feature that is even in blazing sun it remains cool.
Hyderabad : Capital city of the state of Andhra Pradesh is located on the Deccan Plateau on the banks of the River Musi. Hyderabad was founded by Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah, the fifth sovereign of the Qutb Shahi dynasty, in the year 1591. Initially, Golconda was the capital of the Qutb Shahi dynasty, who ruled over Deccan during the period 1512-1687. The name Hyderabad literally means 'city of Hyder' since it was named after Queen Hyder Mahal, wife of King Qutb Shah. With the help of Iranian architects, this city was modelled on the city of Isfahan of Iran. With the construction of Hyderabad city, it became the capital city of Qutb Shahi rulers. The cultural facet of Hyderabad is distinctly different from the Telugu culture of the rest of Andhra Pradesh. Hyderabad has a rich Hyderabadi culture of its own, a blend of Persian and Telugu cultures, which flourished under the reign of the Qutb Shahis. Hyderabad is crowned with many names such as The City of Nizams and The City of Pearls, it was ruled for a long time by the Nizams. The Nizams of Hyderabad were famous as the wealthiest royals in the history of India. Today, Hyderabad is one of the leading centres of information technology. The emerging Biotech and IT industries have given the city a global platform with thriving tourism. The deep rooted cultural history of Hyderabad is evident from its Monuments, Mosques, Temples, varied art forms, crafts and the famous Nawabi cuisine. Deccan Festival is celebrated for five days every year in the month of February which is organised by the Department of Tourism - Andhra Pradesh.
Gulbarga : It was known as Kalburgi in former days which means - Stony land, in Kannada. Gulbarga district is situated in the northern part of Karnataka State. In the earlier days, it was part of Nizam's Hyderabad state and became a part of Karnataka State after re-organization of states. Recorded history of this district dates back to the 06th century. The Rashtrakutas gained control over the area but the Chalukyas regained their domain within a short period and regained supreme for over two hundred years. The Kalahari's who succeeded them ruled till the 12th century. Around the close of the 12th century, the Yadavas of Devagiri and the Hoysalas of Dwarasamadra destroyed the supremacy of Chalukyas. About the same period the Kakatiya kings of Warangal came into prominence and the present Gulbarga and Raichur districts formed part of their domain. The Kakatiya power was subdued in 1321 AD and the entire Deccan including the district of Gulbarga passed under the control of the Muslim Emperors of Delhi. The revolt of the Muslim officers appointed from Delhi resulted in founding of the Bahmani kingdom in 1347 AD, by Hassan Gangu who chose Gulbarga to be his capital. When the Bahmani dynasty came to an end, the kingdom broke up into five independent Sultanates and the present Gulbarga district came partly under Bidar and partly under Bijapur. With the conquest of the Deccan by Aurangezeb in the 17th century, Gulbarga passed back to the Mughal Empire. In the early part of the 18th century when Mughal Empire was declining Asaf Jah a general of Aurangzeb became independent and formed the Hyderabad State in which a major part of Gulbarga area was also included. In 1948 Hyderabad state became a part of Indian Union and in 1956, excluding two talukas which were annexed to Andhra Pradesh the remaining talukas of Gulbarga district became part of New Mysore State.
Bijapur : Bijapur district is one of the largest districts in Karnataka state. Bijapur has many places of historical, cultural and architectural interest mainly related to Islamic architecture. Bijapur district consists of 5 talukas namely Basavana Bagewadi, Bijapur, Indi, Muddebihal and Sindgi. The former southern talukas of the district were separated in 1997 to form Bagalkot district. The history of Bijapur goes back to the early medieval period. Bijapur was called as Vijayapura (the city of victory) between 10th and 11th century when the Chalukyan rulers of South India laid the foundation of Bijapur. Bijapur came under Muslim influence, first under Allaudin Khilji, the Sultan of Delhi, captured it and made it a part of his empire towards the end of the 13th century, and then under the Bahmani empire in 1347. Bijapur owes much of its greatness to Yusuf Adil Shah, the founder of the independent state of Bijapur. The rule of this dynasty ended in 1686, when Bijapur was conquered by the Mirza Raja Jai Singh of Amber under during the reign of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb. Bijapur is famous for its hand woven Ilkal Sarees.
Badami : Badami once a royal capital of the Chalukyas is now a sleepy town in Bagalkot district of Karnataka. The town was known as Vatapi previously. It is settled in a valley at the base of a furrowed, red arenaceous rock that rings Agastya lake. Badami is a place which is full of cave temples, entryways, fortresses, dedications and carvings. The Chalukyas who had ruled Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh during 6th and 8th centuries had Badami as their capital. The greatest among the Chalukyas was Pulakeshi II who ruled between 610-642 AD. He defeated many kings and Mahendra Verman I, the Pallava king, was one among them. The state was founded by him in 540 AD. The ancient Chalukyas of Badami are accredited with some of the best customs of Dravidian architecture admitting an observational fuse of older South Indian temple construction and ornamentation and the Nagara mode of North India. This beautiful blend of south and north passed on into the Dravidian temple building pattern. Badami is the site of the 6th - 7th century Brahmanical and Jain cave temples. The temples are cut out of solid rock with elaborate interior decorations that speak volumes of art and architecture of that period. It is a place for tourists who are interested in temples, art and architecture.
Hospet : Hospet is a small town which is located on the banks of the river Tungabhadra and is only 12 km away from the historic town of Hampi, which is a World heritage Site. Today, being located in such a strategic position, it is one of the very important towns in the state of Karnataka. Hospet, once the throne of the powerful Vijayanagar Kingdom, receives attention from Hampi, the erstwhile capital city of the Vijayanagar Kings. The city was built by the great Krishnadeva Raya in the memory of his mother. Thus the very foundation of the city is based in nostalgia and emotions. This is a city which gives you a glimpse of the past and makes you emotional for the days gone by. The Kings of Vijayanagar were probably the best builders in the country. With the emergence of modernity, this place, which was rich in iron ore, came to be known as the Steel city. Today it has a large number of industries investing as it yields a large amount of the steel every year. Yet the greatest attraction of the city is that it is the Gateway to the city of ruins which today is visited by people from all over the world. Hospet houses these tourists and gives them an insight of what they are going to experience in Hampi.
Dandeli : The calm and peaceful Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary is reputed as the largest wildlife sanctuary in Karnataka. Nestling some very rare animals and birds, it is an unspoilt, untouched and unexplored treasure of wildlife that is sure to leave you spellbound. Dandeli wildlife sanctuary abounds with a richness of Flora and Fauna. Its richness and diversity offers ample opportunities to nature lovers to enjoy the captivating landscape. The sanctuary is generally undulating with steep slopes with picturesque deep river valleys and rich hilly forest terrain. The breathtaking valleys, regal looking meandering rivers and the splendid scenic beauty of the syntheri rock make it an awe inspiring experience. The forest in Dandeli is typical moist deciduous and semi evergreen types. Sighting the animals can be difficult and always involves an element of luck. The sanctuary is home to Barking deer, Spotted deer, Sloth bear, Panther, Tiger, elephant, Gaur, Wild dog, Civet cat, Bison, flying Squirrel, Langur and variety of Reptiles and main bird species include Malabar Pied Hornbill, Golden Backed Woodpecker, Magpie Robin, Crested Serpent Eagle, etc. It is also now known for its white water rafting as an additional activity.
Goa : "Pearl of the Orient" the state of Goa is located on the Western coast of India in the coastal belt known as Konkan. The magnificent scenic beauty and the architectural splendours of its Temples, Churches and old houses have made Goa a firm favourite with travellers around the world. But then, Goa is much more than just beaches and sea. It has a soul which goes deep into unique history, rich culture and some of the prettiest natural scenery that India has to offer. Much of the real Goa is in its interiors, both inside its buildings and in the hinterland away from the coastal area. Legends from Hindu mythology credit Lord Parshuram, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu with the creation of Goa. Over the centuries various dynasties have ruled Goa. Rashtrakutas, Kadambas, Silaharas, Chalukyas, Bahmani Muslims and most famously the Portuguese have been rulers of Goa. Goa was liberated by the Indian Army from Portuguese colonisation on December 19, 1961 and became an Union Territory along with the enclaves of Daman and Diu. On May 30, 1987 Goa was conferred statehood and became the 25th state of the Indian Republic. Having been the meeting point of races, religions and cultures of East and West over the centuries, Goa has a multi-hued and distinctive lifestyle quite different from the rest of India. Hindu and Catholic communities make up almost the entire population with minority representation of Muslims and other religions. Terekhol (Tiracol), Mandovi, Zuari, Chapora, Sal and Talpona are the main rivers which weave their way throughout the state forming the inland waterways adding beauty and romance to the land besides being used to transport Goa's main export commodity of Iron and Manganese ore to Mormugao Harbour. Panaji (Panjim) is the state capital located on the banks of the Mandovi River and Vasco, Margao, Mapusa and Ponda are the other major towns. The sea and rivers abound in seafood - Prawns, Mackerels, Sardines, Crabs and Lobsters are the very popular. The staple food is fish and rice, both among the Hindus and the Catholics. Unlike the Christian food the Hindu Goan food is not strongly influenced by the Portuguese cuisine. Since the arrival of the Hippies in the sixties, Goa has been a major destination on the itinerary of international and domestic tourists. Besides the natural beauty, the fabulous beaches and sunshine, travellers to Goa love the laid-back, peaceful, warm and friendly nature of the Goan people.
Mumbai : Mumbai (formerly known as Bombay) is one of the most happening cities in India. Mumbai is known as much for its throbbing night life as it is famous for being the busiest and economically prosperous city of India. Mumbai is a busy metropolis, nevertheless, it is a tourist hot-spot because of its energy and vigour. It is a wonderful tourist destination. This erstwhile insignificant port city has now developed to become one of the foremost metropolis of the world. Other than the charms of being in a beautiful metropolis, Mumbai has monuments of historical importance. The Gateway of India is one such magnificent monument and prime tourist attraction in the city. The city also has wonderful beaches and these beaches have become wonderful leisure spots for people. As the capital city of the state of Maharashtra, Mumbai is politically one of the most important cities in western India. It also has its own culture, traditions and festivals. This busy metropolis comes to a screeching halt during the Ganesh Chaturthi. The people in this part of the country speak Maratha but like a true cosmopolitan city, Mumbai is a fine melting pot where you will find people from different parts of India living in harmony in spite of the difference in language, dress codes and food habits. The city also has a multi-million dollar film-making industry. Popularly referred to as Bollywood, Mumbai film industry is not only big but also very charismatic. Every year a number of Hindi pot-boilers are produced here. The actors and actresses enjoy a massive fan following throughout India as well as abroad.
Arrival in Hyderabad, our representative will meet and welcome you at the lounge and provide transfer assistance from airport to hotel. Upon reaching your hotel, you will be handed over the travel documents with a complete briefing of tour by the representative. Check-in and proceed to your room. Overnight stay at hotel.
Breakfast at hotel, this morning proceed for the full day city tour and visit the Charminar, Mohammed Quli Qutb Shah, the founder of Hyderabad, built Charminar in 1591 at the centre of the original city layout. Four graceful minarets soar to a height of 48.7 m above the ground. It has 45 prayer spaces and a Mosque in it and it is illuminated in the evenings.
Visit the Chowmahalla Palace, the Asif Jahi dynasty made this palace as their seat. Salabat Jung in 1750 initiated its construction but it was completed in 1869 during the period of Nizams.
Visit Falaknuma Palace, this palace is located on a 2000-foot-high hill. Nawab Vikar-ul-Umra built this palace and Nizam VI purchased this palace from Nawab Vikar-ul-Umra in 1897. The latter used this palace as a royal guest house. With lavishly decorated interiors and built by an Italian architect, this palace stands as a witness to the late 19th century architectural taste of Hyderabad. (Prior permission is a must to visit this exotic palace)
Visit Golconda Fort, the origins of the fort can be traced back to the Yadava dynasty of Deogiri and the Kakatiyas of Warangal. Golconda was originally a mud fort, which passed to the Bahmani dynasty and later to the Qutb Shahis, who held it from 1518 to 1687 A.D. The first three Qutb Shahi Kings rebuilt Golconda, over a span of 62 years. The fort is famous for its Acoustics, Palaces, Ingenious water supply system and the famous Fateh Rahben Gun, one of the cannons used in the last siege of Golconda by Aurangzeb, to whom the fort ultimately fell. Golconda was once the market city for its diamond trade. Darya-e-Nur, meaning 'sea of light', measuring 185 carats and housed now in Iran, was mined here. Many other famed diamonds - including the Koh-I-Noor Diamond, Nur-Ul-Ain Diamond, the Hope Diamond, and the Regent Diamond are believed to belong to the mines in this region.
Salar Jung Museum - This museum houses one of the biggest one-man collections of antiques of the world by Mir Yousuf Ali Khan, Salar Jung III. The objects d'art include Persian carpets, Mughal miniatures, Chinese porcelain, Japanese lacquerware, famous statues including the Veiled Rebecca and Marguerite and Mephistopheles, a superb collection of Jade, Daggers belonging to Queen Noor Jehan and the Emperors Jehangir and Shah Jahan, Aurangzeb's sword and many other fabulous items.
The Nizam's Silver Jubilee Museum - The stately Purani Haveli, the palace acquired around the year 1750 by the second Nizam, is now converted into a museum with a fascinating collection. The museum exhibits the gifts and mementos presented to the last Nizam on the occasion of the silver jubilee celebrations in 1937. A 1930 Rolls Royce, Packard and a Mark V Jaguar are among the vintage cars displayed. There is an interesting collection of models made in silver of all the prominent buildings of the city and citations in Urdu about H.E.H. Mir Osman Ali Khan, gold burnished wooden throne used for the silver jubilee celebrations, Gold Tiffin box inlaid with Diamonds, and a gold model of Jubilee Pavilion.
Return to hotel for overnight stay.
Early breakfast at hotel and later check-out. This early morning drive to Gulbarga (211 Kms). En-route you will visit Bidar, which was the capital of the Bahmani Kings from 1428 till it later passed into the hands of the Barid Shahi dynasty. There are some beautiful specimens of typical Muslim art and architecture.
Fragments of old colourful mosaics, grand old tombs of the Bahmani and Barid Kings and an impressive 15th century fort that still encircles the town. Bidar Fort was built by Sultan Alla-Ud-Din Bahman of the Bahmani Dynasty, when his capital was moved from Gulbarga to Bidar in 1427. Architecturally, the fort is a specimen of the Persian architectural style which is 1.21 kms in length & 0.80 kms in breadth, this fort has a haphazard quadrangular layout. Surrounded by three miles long walls and, comprising 37 bastions, this fort has five imposing entrances. Within the fort complex, there is an old city, which comprises monuments and structures that belong to the Bahamian era. Among these monuments, the Gagan Mahal, Rangin Mahal - Royal tomb composed of glazed mosaics imported from Kashan in northern Persia and Takhat Mahal are most popular. Jami Masjid and Solah Khamba Masjid are the two notable mosques constructed within the fort.
Bidar is famous for being the place where Bidriware, a form of silver filigree art originated. Bidriware is silver filigree done in Islamic motifs and set against a dark background of blackened zinc, tin, copper and lead to create the most striking ashtrays, boxes, bangles and such objects.
Afterwards, continue your drive to Gulbarga. Upon arrival proceed to hotel for check-in.
Overnight stay at hotel.
Breakfast and check-out from hotel. In the morning, proceed for the sightseeing and visit following places of interest:
The Gulbarga Fort, built in 1347, is located in Gulbarga district of Karnataka State. The massive Gulbarga fort is part of the earliest examples of Islamic architecture in Karnataka spawned by the Bahmani Sultanate. The fort was originally built by Raja Gulchand, a feudatory of the Orangal Kakatiyas. As Gulbarga gained prominence as the Bahmani capital, the fort was fortified by Alauddin Bahman with a deep moat and massive walls.
Malik-e-Maidan and Upri Buruj are both sites where watchtowers guarded Bijapur against attackers. In both places you can find huge Cannons and large guns that were in use during the Mughal regime in Bijapur.
Malik-e-Maidan : It literally translates to The Monarch of the Plains, the largest medieval cannon in the world. Being 4 meters long, 1,5 meters in diameter and weighing 55 tons, this gun was brought back from Ahmadnagar in the 17th century as a trophy of war and drawn by 400 oxen, 10 elephants and hundreds of men.
It was placed on the Sherza Burj (Lion Gate) on a platform especially built for it. The cannon's nozzle is fashioned into the shape of a lion's head with open jaws. It is said that after igniting the cannon, the gunner would remain underwater in a tank of water on the platform to avoid the deafening explosion. The cannon remain cool even in strong sunlight and if tapped, tinkles like a bell.
Upri Burj : Uplri Burj was built around 1584 by Hyder Khan, is an 80 ft high tower standing to the north of Dakhani Idgah in Bijapur (Vijapura). This is a spherical structure with stone steps winding round the outside.
The top of the tower offers a commanding view of the city. This is also known as Hyder Burj or Upli Burj. On top of Upli Burj there are two guns of huge size. One needs to climb the stairs to reach the top.
Jumma Masjid : Nestled within the ramparts of the Gulbarga Fort, the Jumma Masjid bears a striking resemblance to the great mosque of Cordova in Spain. Built by Muhammed Bahmani in 1367, the Persian architecture of the mosque features stilted domes and narrow entrances. The mosque's unique feature is the roof which contains 68 domes that resemble a collection of gigantic pots. Historians reckon that the Jumma Masjid was built to commemorate Gulbarga's status as the Bahmani capital and is one of the earliest mosques in South India.
Khwaja Bande Nawaz Dargah : The Khwaja Bande Nawaz Dargah, the tomb of the great Sufi saint Syed Mohammad Gesu Daraz (1320-1422), is another major tourist attraction of Gulbarga. One of South India's holiest Muslim shrines, the Dargah is a unique example of communal harmony. The annual Urs held at the Dargah is attended by thousands of devotees including both Muslims and Hindus. The Dargah library contains nearly 10,000 books in Urdu, Persian and Arabic on subjects ranging from history and philosophy to religion and literature.
Royal Tombs : Gulbarga features a profusion of royal tombs and mausoleums. A complex of seven royal tombs known as the Half Gumbaz lies to the west of the Khwaja Bande Dargah. Among the royal mausoleums, the one resting Firoze Shah Bahmani is the largest and the most elaborate.
After the sightseeing, drive to Bijapur (157 Kms). Arrive and check-in at hotel. Overnight stay at hotel.
Breakfast and check-out from hotel. Visit the following places of interest:
Gol Gumbaz - The most important attraction of Bijapur is Gol Gumbaz, the largest dome in the world. The dome dominates of the entire area by its sheer size. With a diameter of 37 mt and height of 51 mt, the entire structure is raised on # mts thick wall. The commemorative plaque of Muhammad Adil Shah (1627-56) is placed under the dome. Without any pillar for support, the dome is an engineering marvel. The acoustical echos the slightest whisper over several times. The structure also has a mosque, guesthouses and a drum house.
Ibrahim Rauza - The most impressive structure in Bijapur is the Ibrahim Rauza and the associated mosque. Tomb of the famous Adil Shahi Sultan Ibrahim II (1580-1627), the structure has attracted lavish praises of the art historians and common tourists alike. Referred as"the Taj Mahal of the Deccan", the monument is built to perfection and with unstinting technical care and unparallel skilled artistry. The tomb has remarkable proportionate with elegant cupolas and slender minarets. The parapets cornices further add to the decorative touches.
Jama Masjid - Built in 1686, under Adil Shah I, the Jama Masjid of Bijapur is a sober and massive stately structure. The huge onion shaped dome of the Masjid rests on the beams of a majestic hall, divided into 45 compartments. The Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb added corridors on the northern and southern sides and a gateway on the eastern side.
Gagan Mahal - Built by Adil Shah I (1561), is a palace-cum-audience hall. The central arch of Gagan Mahal is the tallest and widest in entire Bijapur. Mostly in ruins, the structure is still magnificent and impressive and is now part of a beautiful park.
After the sightseeing, drive to Badami (117 Kms), upon arrival proceed to hotel for check-in. Overnight stay at hotel.
Breakfast at hotel. This morning undertake an excursion to Aihole. Aihole a town in the Bagalkot district of Karnataka, has its own historical significance and is called as cradle of Hindu rock architecture. Early inscriptions call this town "Ayyavole" and "Aryapura". Aihole was the first capital of the early Chalukyas and they built over 125 temples in various styles and is said to be a laboratory of experiments in rock cut architecture.
Visit the Lad Khan temple, it consists of a shrine with two mantapas in front of it is one of the major attractions. The shrine bears a Shiva lingam (Idols of Lord Shiva). The Mukha mantapa in front of the sanctum has a set of 12 carved pillars. The Sabhamantapa in front of the Mukha mantapa has pillars arranged in such a manner as to form two concentric squares. The temple is named after a Muslim prince who turned this temple into his residence. There are also stone grids on the wall carrying floral designs. The temple was built in late 7th or early 8th century.
Visit Durga temple or fortress temple, the best known of the Aihole temples. It is apsidal in plan, along the lines of a Buddhist chaitya, a high moulded Adisthana and a tower - curvilinear Shikhara. A pillared corridor runs around the temple, enveloping the shrine, the Mukhamantapa and the Sabhamantapa. All through the temple, there are beautiful carvings. The temple appears to be of the late 7th or early 8th century.
Visit Ravana Phadi which is one of the oldest rock cut cave temples in Aihole, dating back to the 6th century. It is located to the south-east of the Hucchimalli Temple. Consisting of large carved pillars and a veranda, this temple houses a Shiva Linga in the inner sanctum. It features a rectangular shrine with two Mantapas and its sanctum is inclusive of an entrance hall with three entrances. Its walls are also covered with various carvings of Lord Shiva. The carvings mainly depict the dancing postures of Shiva as Nataraja, surrounded by the Saptamatrikas.
Later visit the Huchimalligudi temple, built in 7th century shows an evolution in the temple plan, as it shows an Ardhamantapa or an ante-chamber annexed to the main shrine. Huchimalligudi Group of Temples, to the north of the village behind the travelers' bungalow is this beautiful temple. The sanctum here has a Pradakshinapatha and its external walls contain lattices. The sanctum has a northern style Rekhanagara tower. It is in this temple the Shukanasa or the vestibule was introduced for the first time.
Afterwards drive to Pattadakal, Pattadakal is an UNESCO World Heritage site which lies on the banks of Malaprabha River in Bagalkot district. It is 22 Kms from Badami and about 10 Kms from Aihole. Pattadakal represents the high point of an eclectic art which, in the 7th and 8th centuries under the Chalukya dynasty, achieved a harmonious blend of architectural forms from northern and southern India. An impressive series of nine Hindu temples, as well as a Jain sanctuary, can be seen there.
Visit the Virupaksha Temple, built by Queen Lokamahadevi in 745 AD to commemorate her husband's victory (Vikramaditya II) over the Pallavas of Kanchi. The temple closely resembles the Kailashnatha temple in Kanchi. The Kailashnatha temple built by the Rashtrakuta dynasty in Ellora, incidentally, is modeled on the lines of the Virupaksha temple. The Virupaksha temple is rich in sculptures like those of Lingodbhava, Nataraja, Ravananugraha and Ugranarasimha.
Visit the Mallikarjuna Temple, which is a smaller version of the Virupaksha temple and was built by Vikramadiyta's second queen Trilokyamahadevi in 745. The Mallikarjuna temple was built immediately after and close to the Virupaksha temple (It has a similar plan), with a 4 storeyed Vimana with a circular Griva and Sikhara. This temple is in Dravidian style, the porch has a beautiful image of Narasimha killing Hiranyakashipu and two female idols. Here are two grand images on both the sides of the entrance to the navaranga. The eighteen pillars of the navaranga have figures pertaining to Ramayana, Mahabharatha and those representing social conditions of those days. On the ceiling are beautiful figures of Gajalakshmi and Shiva-Parvathi with Nandi.
Visit Papanatha Temple, built in the Vesara style dated to 680. The temple was started in Nagara style but later changed to a more balanced Dravidian style. Sculptures here speak of scenes from Ramayana and Mahabharatha. At the doorway of the inner hall are idols of door-keepers, Nandi and Virabhadra. There are 16 pillars in the main hall, which have fine figures of couples and carved figures of females. The ceiling has impressive figures of Shiva-Parvathi with Vishnu and the Gandharvas. To the north-west, on the wall is a notable figure of a royal court. Amorous couples and decorative carvings are found in several parts of the temple. On the external walls are figures of Lion and Elephant riders and Ramayana scenes. The temple appears to have built in stages.
After the visit to these beautiful temples, drive back to Badami. Overnight stay at hotel.
Breakfast and check-out from hotel. In the morning visit the Five Caves and beautiful lake-side temple/s.
The First Cave - Constructed in the 6th century, dedicated to Lord Shiva. The most interesting and striking feature of this cave is Lord Shiva as Natrajaa with 18 arms is seen in 81 dancing poses. Shiva is depicted here in his destroyer form with all his paraphernalia like Damru (a musical instrument), the Cobra, and a Trishul (Trident). Other important figures to be found here are of Ardhnarishwara (a concept in the Hindu mythology where at times Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati are personified as one), Harihara (another important concept in Hindu mythology where Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu are personified as one), and Nandi (the Bull).
The Second Cave - Dedicated to Lord Vishnu (the protector in Hindu mythology). King Kirtivarman I, who ascended the throne in AD 567, ordered the carving of this temple. Lord Vishnu has been depicted as two of his 10 incarnations, the Dwarf (Vaman) and the Boar (Varaha). Apart from these two interesting images of Vishnu, there are images of pot-bellied Dwarfs, Swastikas, Gandharva couples, Trivikrama (one of the incarnations of Vishnu), and Lord Vishnu riding a Garuda.
The Third Cave - This is the most impressive of all the cave temples in Badami. The temple has 61 steps. It was built by Mangalesh, who is considered the father of Chalukyan School of art. The artisans who worked on the varied designs of the pillars took great artistic freedom. Though the temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, there are images of Lord Shiva, Indra, and Lord Brahma on the ceiling. Lord Vishnu has been depicted in different aspects like sitting on a coil of Snakes and in his Boar (Varaha) incarnation.
The Fourth Cave - The date of creation of the fourth cave is hotly debated and no one is certain when it was carved. However, most of the art historians are unanimous that this is the most recent of all the rock-cut temples in Badami. This is the only cave related to the Jains, a religion the Chalukyans gave royal patronage. The temple has images of different Jain Tirthankaras like Adinath (the first Jain Tirthankara), Suparshavanath (the seventh Tirthankara), and about 20 other Tirthankaras. As in most other Jain cave temples, there are two images of Dwarapalas (gate keepers) at the entrance.
The Fifth Cave - The only natural cave out of all the rock-cut caves in Badami, it is dedicated to Lord Buddha. However, it has to be remembered that architectural expression of most of the caves are almost equal; none of them is distinctly Hindu, Buddhist, or Jain though they may have been dedicated to different sects.
After the sightseeing, drive to Hospet (126 Kms) upon arrival check-in at hotel. Overnight stay at hotel.
Breakfast at hotel. In the morning proceed for an excursion to Hampi. Hampi is a strange and magical place and is one of the most beautiful towns in Karnataka. Huge boulders are scattered across the land where ruins of the old Vijayanagar capital stand as poignant reminders of the passage of history.
First visit, the Archaeological museum that is run by the government has many different things that were discovered while excavating the site. The museum is a small one. It has about two models of Hampi that show the topography of Hampi. The museum is comprised of four sections. They include the models, daily use products of the ancient people of Hampi, the royal remains and other artifacts of Hampi's ancient culture.
A visit to Virupaksha temple, the most famous and important temple of Hampi, is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple is situated very close to the Tungabhadra River. It is one of India's oldest functioning temples, since the 7th century, the time when it was constructed. Much smaller in size in earlier times, it only had a few shrines that had the Gods and Goddesses. Gradually as time passed, under the interest shown by many Hindu kings, the temple became bigger with the addition of other shrines, lamp posts, towers and pillars. Inside there is a shrine for the Virupaksha and a shrine for the sage Vidyaranya.
Breakfast at hotel. Check-out and drive to Dandeli (221 Kms) via Lakkundi, Lakkundi is known for the Chalukyan style temples, stepped wells and historic inscriptions. Owing to its uniqueness, sometimes these temples are simply referred to as Kalyana Chalukya Temples. Kashi Vishweshwara Temple, dedicate to Lord Siva is meticulous for its carvings on the towers and the doorways. The heavy circular pillars were made using some kind of lathe; Nanneshwara Temple located to its north is worth a visit. This temple looks like a simple and small replica of the much elaborate Kashi Vishweshwara Temple. Probably the Nanneshwara Temple was built as a prototype before the grand Kashi Vishweshwara Temple was executed. Brahma Jaina Basti built by Queen Attimabbe is the largest of many Jain temples in Lakkundi. This temple is dedicated to Mahavira, the most revered saint of Jainism. There are numerous ancient wells in Lakkundi, of which the Chateer Bavi, Kanne Bavi and Musukina Bavi are popular for their carvings architectural beauty. Most of the wells are carved with tiny Siva shrines in the form of niches into the walls.
Later visit the Cotton market at Gadag. Afterwards drive to Dandeli and check-in at Wildlife reserve resort / hotel.
Overnight stay at resort / hotel.
This morning enjoy a Jeep safari in the Wildlife Park. Dandeli wildlife sanctuary is famous for its Teak, Rose trees, valuable unidentified medicinal plants. It is a birding paradise and well known for its varieties of bird life. It also has a huge forest cover with many rare floras and faunas.
After the game drive return to resort/hotel for breakfast. Later check-out and drive to Goa (117 Kms), upon arrival proceed to hotel for check-in. Remaining day at leisure for independent activities.
Overnight stay at hotel.
Breakfast at hotel. In the morning proceed for the full day city tour of this former Portuguese colony.
Visit the Basilica de Bom Jesus, it is perhaps Goa's most famous church and among the most revered by Christians worldwide, is partially in ruins but still a model of simplicity and elegance, and a fine example of Jesuit architecture. Located in Old Goa, the Bom Jesus Basilica is a World Heritage Monument. The three-storeyed façade of the Church shows Ionic, Doric and Corinthian Orders, and has a main entrance flanked by two smaller ones, each having Corinthian columns supporting a pediment. There are two chapels, a main altar and a sacristy besides a choir inside the Church itself. There is a belfry is at the back. On the southern side in the transept is a chapel with gilded twisted columns and floral decorations of wood, where the sacred relics of the body of St. Francis Xavier are kept. The interior of this chapel is richly adorned with wooden carvings and paintings, depicting the scenes from the life of the Saint. A beautiful silver statue is kept in front of the casket. The silver casket, which serves as a reliquary containing the sacred relics of the body of St. Francis Xavier, is exquisitely carved, and was once studded with precious stones. The casket is divided on each side into seven panels, each of which has two plates representing in relief important incidents in the life of the saint.
Visit Se Cathedral, one of the most ancient and celebrated religious buildings of Goa, this magnificent 16th century monument to the Roman Catholic rule in Goa under the Portuguese is the largest church in Asia. The Cathedral is dedicated to St. Catherine of Alexandria on whose feast day in 1510 Alfonso Albuquerque defeated the Muslim army and took possession of the city of Goa. Hence it is also known as St. Catherine's' Cathedral. The Cathedral was commissioned by the Portuguese Viceroy, Redondo to be "a grandiose church worthy of the wealth, power and fame of the Portuguese who dominated the seas from the Atlantic to the Pacific". The final edifice is bigger than any of the churches in Portugal itself. The construction of this imposing edifice began in 1562 during the reign of King Dom Sebastião (1557-78) and substantially completed by 1619. The main altars however were not finished until the year 1652. It was consecrated in 1640. The Cathedral was built for the Dominicans and paid for by the Royal Treasury out of the proceeds of the sale of the Crown's property. The building is Portuguese-Gothic in style with a Tuscan exterior and Corinthian interior. There were originally two towers, one on either side of the façade, but the one on the southern side collapsed in 1776. The loss of one bell tower, which was never rebuilt, has given the building a unique look. The Sé Cathedral has five bells. The existing tower houses a famous bell, one of the largest in Goa and often referred to as 'Golden Bell' on account of its rich tone which has been immortalized in a Portuguese poem.
Visit Convent and Church of St. Francis of Assisi, to the west of the Se Cathedral is the former Palace of the Archbishop that connects the Se Cathedral to the Convent and Church of St. Francis of Assisi. The structure is built of laterite blocks and is lime-plastered. The church faces west and has a nave with three chapels on either side, a choir, two altars in the transept and a main altar. To the north of the main altar is a belfry and a sacristy. The convent, which forms an annexure to the church, now houses the Archaeological Museum.
Visit the large and beautiful Church of St. Cajetan, it lies about half a kilometer away to the north east of the Se Cathedral, and quite near the ruins of the Viceregal Palace. This church, which is said to have been modeled on the original design of the Basilica of St. Peter in Rome, is architecturally Corinthian both externally and internally while the gilded altars with rich carvings are in rich Baroque style. The Church building itself is built of laterite blocks which are lime plastered. The church altar is dedicated to Our Lady of Divine Providence; the church is named after the founder of the Theatine order, St. Cajetan, a contemporary of St Francis Xavier. The grand façade of the Church, has two towers on either side to serve as belfry. There are Corinthian columns and pilasters supporting a pediment, and four niches in which are kept the statues of the apostles. There are six altars besides the main one dedicated to Our Lady of Divine Providence. Profusely carved and gilded in Baroque style, these altars have twisted shafts dominated by figures of angels. The altars also have Italian school paintings on canvas, some depicting scenes from the life of St. Cajetan. The niches running along the sides of the vault have wooden statues of saints. In the grounds of the Church are the remains of the doorway that once was the entrance to an Islamic palace belonging to Adil Shah, the ruler of Goa before the Portuguese took control.
Goan churches are well known for a strange amalgamation of Indian and Portuguese architecture. The Church of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception is an imposing building situated right at the main square (Church square) of the town. This place is a central place of worship and prayer for the locals. The church was built in 1540 and underwent rebuilding and renovation in 1619. Modeled as per the structure of church of Reis Magos this church boasts of tall twin towers constructed in a typical Portuguese baroque style. Dedicated to 'Nossa Senhora da Imaculada Conceicao' the main altar of the church has been artfully carved in Renaissance style. The church bell is large and is in fact the second largest bell in Goa.
Return to hotel for overnight stay.
Breakfast at hotel. This morning at leisure to relax by the beach side. Later during the day visit some other prominent beaches of Goa. Overnight stay at hotel.
Breakfast at hotel. Morning at leisure for independent activities. Check-out from hotel at noon (1200 hrs). In-time transfer to airport to board your flight for Mumbai. Upon arrival transfer assistance from airport to hotel, check-in at hotel. Overnight stay at hotel.
Breakfast at hotel. In morning get set for an excursion of Elephanta caves, board a ferry / boat from Gateway of India. Return to the city during the day time and proceed for the half day tour of Mumbai city.
End of our services
1. Accommodation in Double room in 05 Star or 04 Star category hotels on CP Basis (Room + Breakfast Basis) inclusive of all presently applicable taxes.
2. Welcome Garlanding upon arrival in India at Hyderabad airport.
3. All Arrival / Departure transfers from hotel to airport and vice - versa.
4. Monument entrance fees to places of visit as per the itinerary.
5. 01 Game drive by Jeep in Dandeli Wildlife Park.
6. Accompanying English speaking Guide.
7. All Transfers, City sightseeing/excursions and long drives as per itinerary using chauffeur driven air-conditioned Car / Mini Van / Coach.
8. Air ticket/s for sector GOA / MUMBAI in economy class.
9. 01 bottle packaged drinking water per person per day.
10. All presently applicable interstate & toll taxes.
1. Return international air tickets from the city of origin.
2. Travel Insurance and Indian Visa.
3. Personal expenses such as: Any Meals other than specified above / Drinks / Laundry bill & Telephone calls at hotel. Tips for Guides & Driver / Camera Fees at the monuments or any other expenses not included in the clause "inclusions".