Fort Palaces, Temple & Backwater
Package price per person sharing twin
Product Code : AGORA361
The private tour will begin in Hyderabad an imperial city with historic Golconda Fort & Salarjung Museum. Then visit Bidar, Gulbarga and Bijapur ruled by Muslims and having visible monuments to explore. Further drive to Badami & Hampi centuaries old UNESCO World Heritage Monuments expanded in complexes. Fly from Hubli to Cochin a gateway city in Kerala. Then drive to Munnar a lush green hill station with tea estate and a sanctuary for Nilgiri Thahr. Thekkady a paradise for wildlife flora & fauna. Kumarakom a backwater resort and cruise from here to Alleppey in a houseboat serving meals on board.
Day 1: Arrive Hyderabad
On arrival at Hyderabad airport meet with our office executive assistance and transfer to hotel. (hotel check in / out time 1200hr afternoon early check in subject to rooms availability). Rest time free and easy to relax. Overnight at hotel.
Day 2: Hyderabad
Breakfast at hotel, explore this wondrous capital, a 400 year-old metropolitan city teeming with bustling-bazaars and Muslim monuments. Visit Golconda Fort renowned for its diamond mines that have given the world the famous Kohinoor and Darya-i-noor diamonds. The ancient fort complex of Golconda will charm you with its history, tinged with legends and anecdotes. Qutubshahi Tombs the tombs differ in size but all are comparable to each other in architectural grandeur and beauty. Charminar built in 1591 by Mohammed Quli Qutub Shah, the fifth sultan of the Qutub Shahi dynasty. The Mecca Mosque the biggest mosque in Hyderabad and lies 100 yards south-west of Charminar. The hall is 67 metres by 54 metres and 23 metres high. The roof is supported by 15 arches, five on each of the three sides. The western side is blocked by a high hall to provide the Mehrab.
Chowmohalla Palace (Friday closed) once regarded as the center of Hyderabad, the magnificent Chowmahalla Palace was the seat of the Asaf Jahi dynasty where the Nizams entertained their official guests and royal visitors. Purani Haveli (Friday closed) located to the the south of Salar Jung Museum, built by the second Nizam for his son in 1777. The sixth Nizam Mir Mehboob Ali Khan spent most of his life here. He built a 240-foot long wooden chamber with some 150 walk-in-cupboards, arguably the world’s largest wardrobe. Salarjung Museum (Friday closed) a treat for tourists famous for being the third largest museum in the country, having the largest antiques collection dating back to the first century. Established in 1951, the museum was under Mir Yousuf Ali Khan, better known as Salar Jung.
Birla Mandir dedicated to the supreme incarnation of Lord Vishnu, Lord Venkateshwara. This temple’s marvellous beauty leaves you awestruck as does the legend associated with the God. A blend of various types of architectural styles, this temple is made of 200 tonnes of pure white Rajasthani marble.
Hussain Sagar Lake one of the largest man made lake situated at the confluence of Hyderabad, Secunderabad and Begumpet. It is a sprawling artificial lake that holds water perennially. Its uniqueness lies in the fact that it connects the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad.
Rest time free and easy to relax. Overnight at hotel.
Day 3: Hyderabad – Bidar - Gulbarga (260kms/ 5hrs approx)
Breakfast at hotel and drive to Gulbarga via Bidar. Visit Bidar Fort one of the magnificent forts rebuilt by Sultan Ahmed Shah Wali of Bahmani Dynasty, when his capital was moved from Gulbarga to Bidar in 1430 along with a number of Islamic monuments. The Bidar fort is a specimen of the Persian architectural style having 1.21 km in length and 0.80 km in breadth, with a quadrangular layout. Surrounded by three miles long walls and comprising 37 bastions, it is surrounded by a triple moat. There are seven gates in the fort. Mahmud Gawan Madarsa one of the major historical a beautiful structure situated between the Fort and Chaubara Clock Tower an old Islamic university built by Khwaza Mahmud Gawan in 1472. Mahmud Gawan was a Persian merchant who arrived in the Bahamani Sultanate at around 1453 AD. Due to his honesty, simplicity and knowledge he impressed the Bahamani Kings. He ultimately reached to the post of prime minister and was much respected among the local population.
Bahmani Tombs important historical monuments in Bidar, after the Fort. The 12 tombs of Bahmani Sultans are huge structures with beautiful arches, niches and lofty domes. Among all the tombs of Ahmad Shah Wali is most popular. Ahmad Shah Wali the 9th Bahmani Sultan died in 1436 and his son Alauddin built a majestic tomb for his father. The walls are about twelve feet thick supporting a huge dome on the top. The Rangeen Mahal believed to be built in the mid-16th century by Mahmud Shah Bahamani. The tile work and the granite with mother-of-pearl inlay work are the exclusive features of the citadel walls. The external hall has intricately engraved wooden pillars. The palace has a six-bay hall with remarkable carved wood columns forming a rectangular foyer. The columns too enclose convoluted capitals and intricately engraved brackets, which shows the skills of the artisans of those days.
Narasimha Jhira a wonderful cave temple situated on the outskirts of Bidar town dedicated to the lion god Narasimha, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The Temple is known for its natural beauty and is considered to be very sacred. This ancient temple is excavated in a 300 m tunnel under the Manichoola hill range. Within the cave, a stream of water is said to be flowing continuously since the foundation of the temple. Devotees have to walk waist deep in the water for 300 m for the darshan of Lord Narasimha. Guru Nanak Jhira one of holiest places for Sikhs. Legend has it that Guru Nanak visited the palace while the land was in the grip of a famine. The Guru performed a miracle at the request of the local people and a spring of water from the laterite rock mountain burst out. Till this day crystal clear water flows from the laterite trap. The belief is that drinking of these water cures many ailments.
After sightseeing drive to Gulbarga check in at hotel. Overnight at hotel.
Day 4: Gulbarga - Bijapur (170kms/ 3hrs approx)
Breakfast at hotel. Visit The Gulburga fort a leftover of the Brahmani era, which has stood with the time and is famous for its incredible architecture. It was originally built by Raja Gulchand. Later, 15 towers were added by Allah-ud-din Bahmani in the existing structure of the fort. The fort was built with well planning the canal was made around the fort so that it becomes difficult to the enemy. The fort contained 15 towers and 26 guns of which one was 8 metres long.
Jama Masjid - a Mosque located in Gulbarga City, it is regarded as one of the most architectural mosques in its form and structure in South Asia. The arches design of Jama Masjid Gulbarga reflects in the interiors of Spanish Mosque of Hyderabad. These are only two mosques in India which have the similarity in interiors of the Great Cathedral–Mosque of Córdoba in Spain.
Dargah Hazrath Khaja Bandanawaz a famous Sufi saint of the Chishti Order, who advocated understanding, tolerance and harmony among various religious groups.
Later drive to Bijapur check in at hotel. Overnight at hotel.
Day 5: Bijapur - Badami (120kms/ 3hrs approx)
Breakfast at hotel city tour of Bijapur. Visit The Bijapur Fort which had a plethora of historical monuments of architectural importance built during the rule of Adil Shahi dynasty. The Adil Shahi Sultans who ruled nearly 200 years in Bijapur had expended their utmost authority, almost exclusively, on architecture and the allied arts. Each Sultan endeavored to excel his predecessor in the number, size, or splendor of his building projects. As a result, the buildings seen in and around Bijapur Fort and the town have been rightly called as the Agra of South India. Asar Mahal built by Muhammed Adil Shah in late 1640s, used to serve as a Hall of Justice. Moreover, hair from the beard of Prophet Muhammad was also used at this place. Owing to this, it is a place of worship for Muslim devotees. Bara Kaman the unfinished mausoleum of Ali Adil Shah II. Ali Adil Shah of the Adil Shahi dynasty wanted to build a mausoleum of unmatched architectural quality. It was planned that twelve arches would be placed vertically as well as horizontally surrounding the tomb of Ali Adil Shah. However for unknown reasons the work on the structure was left incomplete only two arches were raised vertically. Gol Gumbaz the second largest dome in the world After St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. The Gol Gumbad is 124 feet in diameter. The architecture of Gol Gumbad is unique in the sense that the four minarets themselves are the staircases, leading to the top dome. Jama Masjid the graceful twin minarets of Tipu's Jumma Masjid (1787) are decorated with an elegant arrangement of numerous pigeonholes, and terminate in bulbous domes above balconies. Prayers are offered, both at the mosque and at the mausoleum.
Malik - e- Maidan regarded as the biggest cannon ever made in the history of world, which translates to ‘The Ruler of the Plains’. Located in Gol Gumbaz, the largest masonry dome in the whole of India, the history related to the cannon is more than enough to tempt the travelers to pay a visit to this place. The Ibrahim's Rouza built by Ibrahim Adil Shah in the 15th century. It consists of mosque and tomb enclosed together in the square compound. Mosque and Tomb are separated from each other by tank and fountain. The mosque has finely crafted arches in its rectangular prayer hall and it’s shaded by chhaja and slender minarets at each corner. The bulbous dome with beautiful rows of petals at its base is enclosed in a square structure giving a majestic look to the mosque.
Late afternoon drive to Badami check in at hotel. Overnight at hotel.
Day 6: Badami
Breakfast at hotel city tour of Badami. Visit Badami Caves Temples a complex of temples an example of Indian rock-cut architecture. Badami was the capital of the early Chalukyas, who ruled much of Karnataka in the 6th to 8th centuries. Badami Fort known for its beauty and rich history associated with Chalukyas and the Pallavas. Open Air Museum get a sense of the splendour of all three towns, visit a ‘natural’ National Museum in Badami. This is an area where the artisans tried out their art rock-cut steps, caves and incomplete idols tried out as a first draft are cordoned off here.
Pattadakal Temple Complex a complex of 7th and 8th century CE Hindu and Jain temples. Located on the west bank of the Malaprabha River a UNESCO World Heritage site build by Chalukya. The Hindu temples are generally dedicated to Shiva, but elements of Vaishnavism and Shaktism theology and legends are also featured. The friezes in the Hindu temples display various Vedic and Puranic concepts, depict stories from the Ramayana, the Mahabharata, the Bhagavata Purana, as well as elements of other Hindu texts, such as the Panchatantra and the Kiratarjuniya. The Jain temple is only dedicated to a single Jina. The most sophisticated temples, with complex friezes and a fusion of Northern and Southern styles, are found in the Papanatha and Virupaksha temples. The Virupaksha temple is an active house of Hindu worship.
Durga Temple Aihole an example of southern (Dravidian) architectural type, with a later northern type superstructure imposed upon it-an incongruity apparent from the fact that the superstructure is a square structure clumsily fitted over an apsidal cella. Huchamalli Temple Aihole home to shrines of Lord Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma. It was built in the 7th century AD and is considered one of the earliest groups of temples in Aihole. The sanctum is inclusive of a pradakshinapatha and a Northern style rekhanagara tower; and contains lattices on the external walls. Another small temple that dates back to the 11th century AD is situated to the north of this temple. At this temple, the entrance hall in front of the sanctum was introduced for the first time. Meguti Jain Temple the distinction of being the only temple in Aihole which can clearly be traced back to 634 AD. Perched above a small hill, this temple, though incomplete, represents the early development of the Dravidian style of architecture. Built without mortar, the Meguti Jain Temple placed is on a raised platform with a flight of steps leading to the large, pillared mukhamandapa. Ravanapadhi Cave temple Aihole the 6th century cave temple is dedicated to Shiva. A broken column lines up with the cave entrance, which opens to the southwest. The cave is dramatically recessed on a deep ledge, with free-standing shrines on either side. Rest time free and easy to relax in your hotel. Overnight at hotel.
Day 7: Badami - Gadag - Lakkundi - Hampi (180kms/ 4hrs approx)
Breakfast at hotel drive to Hampi enroute visit ruined temples at Gadag & Lakkundi. Trikuteshwara temple a Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva had three lingas mounted on the same stone in the town of Gadag. There is a shrine dedicated to Saraswathi in this temple and it has carved columns. Lakkundi is full of ruined temples like Mallikarjuna, Virabhadra, Manikeshwara, Nanneshwara, Lakshminarayana, Someshwara, Nilakanteshwara and many more. Continue drive to Hampi check in at hotel. Rest time free and easy to relax. Overnight at hotel.
Day 8: Hampi
Breakfast at hotel city tour of Hampi. Visit Royal enclosures an open air museum. Apart from giving the visitor a glimpse into what life was like under the Vijayanagara rulers, it also showcases the architectural excellence of the era and the level of destruction the city witnessed after the decline of the Vijayanagara kings. Hazara Rama Temple one of the prime attractions this site was used only for ceremonial processions and is renowned among devotees for its bas-relief sculptures that represent important events that occurred in Ramayana. It is one of the popular temples dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The walls of this temple are adorned with 15th century art work, such as carvings of elephants, horses, soldiers and dancing girls. King's Balance, remember all those fanciful tales of Kings weighing themselves with gems, rubies and gold? Well, it's at Hampi where they seem to take on life with King's Balance being one such pleasant affirmation. 5 meters tall and carved out of stone, King's Balance appears like a lonesome archway left standing, but peer closely and you can spot the three loops on the beam where the balance must have hung. Mahanavami Dibba another popular attraction in Hampi, which was constructed by the King Krishnadevaraya after his win over Udayagiri (in present-day Orissa). This ancient site is the tallest structure in the Royal Enclosure of Hampi and can be easily observed from nearby places due to its height. Statue of Ugra Narasimha Temple a statue of Laxmi Narasimha carved out of a single block of stone.
Virupaksha Temple this temple still in worship, known as ‘Shri Lokeswara-Maha-Sila-prasada’ was built by Lokamahadevi, the Queen of Vikaramaditya to commemorate her husband’s victory over the Pallavas of Kanchipuram. It closely resembles the Kailasanatha temple at Kanchipuram on plan and elevation and represents a fully developed and perfected stage of the Dravidian architecture. Vithala & Lotus Mahal a nice place with sufficient time greens and romantic ambience in zenana enclosure. The features of building is marvellous and splendid. Vithala Temple Complex a 16th century structure that is dedicated to the Lord Vishnu. It is a 'must see' site for all because of its beautiful, complex carvings and magnificent architecture, which is not matched by any other structure located here. This temple, situated on the southern bank of the Tungabhadra River, represents the original South Indian Dravidian temple architectural style.
Rest time free and easy to relax in your hotel. Overnight at hotel.
Day 9: Hampi – Hubli (170kms/ 4hrs approx) / Hubli - Cochin (flight)
Breakfast at hotel transfer to Hubli airport to board flight for Cochin. On arrival at Cochin airport assistance and transfer to hotel. In the evening, enjoy the Kathakali Dance, one of India's most famous Classical dances with lavish costumes, exotic makeup & Masks intensifying the beauty of the dancer’s intricate moments. Overnight at hotel.
Day 10: Cochin - Munnar (140kms/ 4hrs)
Breakfast at hotel, city tour of the Cochin. Visit Fort Cochin famous for Chinese fishing nets, scenic beaches and architectural style of ancient buildings. At St. Frances Church see the town of Vasco da Gama. The Jewish Synagogue, built in 1568 in the old part of Mattancherry Town, one of the oldest lively synagogues. Mattancherry "Dutch" Palace which has an incomparable collection of huge Kerala Temple murals, exhibits & portraits. You may also visit the famous Hill Palace Museum, the largest archaeological and heritage museum in Kerala. Bolgatty Palace the oldest living Dutch palaces outside Holland, now converted into a heritage hotel. Willingdon Island a man-made island created in 1933 with wonderful walkways and jetty’s.
Afternoon drive to Munnar, check in at hotel. During the British rule in India, Munnar was the summer resort of the Government officials. The natural beauty, calmness and mild cold climate throughout the year make it the favorite tourist places. The tea estates, hills, lakes and forests inside Munnar range expose its beauty. Overnight at hotel.
Day 11: Munnar
After breakfast, visit to Pothamedu which offers an excellent view of the tea, coffee and cardamom plantations in Munnar. The rolling hills, the lush mountain and the breathtaking scenery here is ideal for trekking and long mountain walks. Mattupetty dam and its reservoir, this concrete gravity dam is built between the hill ranges and it is used mainly for water storage for hydroelectric projects. Eravikulam National Park, The Nilgiri Tahr can be observed at close quarters here. This park established to protect the Nilgiri Tahr (Nilgiri Ibex) is breathtakingly beautiful and is easily comparable to the best mountain ranges found anywhere in the world. Mattupedi Dairy Farm, famous for the Indo-Swiss Farm, this is a highly specialized dairy farm which comes under Indo-Swiss Livestock Project. Echo Point, go there and scream as loud as you can and wait for a minute. You can hear your echo back! Overnight at hotel.
Day 12: Munnar - Thekkady (110kms/ 3hrs)
Breakfast at hotel drive to Thekkady enroute stop at Ramakkalmedu. The place gets its name from the impressions of the feet found on the rock surface here, which is believed to be of Rama, the incarnation of Lord Vishnu, as told in the Indian epic Ramayana.
Ramakkalmedu is noted for its hills and also for the panoramic and picturesque views of villages in the neighbouring state of Tamil Nadu, which is towards the eastern side of the Western Ghats. A noticeably tall, pillar-like rocky structure, about 300 m high and facing east is another attraction here.
It is one of the windiest places in Asia and being so, one can also find here a wind farm generating electricity, which is an undertaking of the Government of Kerala. Other attractions in-and-around Ramakkalmedu include places like Frog Rock, Turtle Rock and the highest twin-statue in Kerala; called Kuravan and Kurathi.
Continue drive to Thekkady check in at hotel. Afterwards take a spice plantation tour to see crops of cardamom, cinnamon, pepper, coffee, tea estates etc. You could stop at the local market and pick up some fragrant spices. Rest time free and easy to relax. Overnight at hotel.
Day 13; Periyar - Kumarakom (140kms/ 4hrs)
Breakfast at hotel. Visit the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary on a boat. Nestled between the Cheruthoni and Periyar rivers Wildlife Sanctuary is blessed with the most diverse flora and fauna. The sanctuary has a gorgeous lake that is perfect for romantic boat rides. The tropical evergreen and deciduous forests teeming with elephants, bison, sambar deer, wild dogs, jungle cats, tiger and wild boar along with various species of snake including cobras, vipers, kraits and many non-poisonous snakes is a wildlife lover’s dream. A variety of birds such as grey jungle fowl, Malabar grey hornbill, woodpeckers and bulbuls also have found a home in this sanctuary.
Afternoon drive to Kumarakom check in a backwater resort. Overnight at hotel.
Day 14; Kumarakom – Alleppey (Backwaters sailing boat to Alleppey)
Breakfast at hotel, transfer to boat jetty to board houseboat and sail to Alleppey through the tropical countryside enchanting backwaters. While sailing enjoy palm fringed narrow canals winding through the vast expanse of paddy fields and the neat tiny hamlets lined up along either side of the canals, the panoramic sights one can never forget. The Chinese fishing nets the reminiscent of our past trade links are also found on the way. Flocks of duck swimming around the banks and tiny birds flying across the sky remains as enduring pictures reflecting the charm of this tourist land, you also enjoy fishing from the houseboats, evening enjoy sunset from the sun-deck of the houseboats. The Houseboats have generated electricity, sitting cum dining area, separate bedroom with attached English toilets, sun deck and fully loaded kitchen with a Chef, and Driver. Lunch, Dinner and overnight in houseboat.
Day 15; Alleppey – Cochin (60kms/ 1.30hrs)
After breakfast, disembark from the houseboat and drive to Cochin airport to board flight for onward destination.
Private airport transfer with assistance of office executive.
14 Night accommodation in selected category hotels or similar.
Daily breakfast at hotels
Deluxe air-conditioned private vehicle with English speaking chauffeur as per tour program.
Monuments entrances of sightseeing mentioned in the itinerary.
English speaking tour guide on sightseeing days (local guide).
Bottled water in car
Applicable GST (government taxes).
Hotels used or similar
Hyderabad x 2 nights
3* - Aditya Park/ Lemon Tree Hotel
4* - Lemon Tree Hotel/ Fortune Park Vallabha
5* - ITC Kakatiya, a Luxury Collection/ Trident Hotel
Gulbarga x 1 nights
3*/4*/5* - Hotel Heritage Inn
Bijapur x 1 nights
3*/4*/5* - Sun Hotel/ Hotel Mayura Adilshahi
Badami x 2 nights
3* - Krishna Heritage/ The Heritage Resort
4*/5* - Badami Court/ Krishna Heritage
Hospet/ Hampi x 2 nights
3* - Krishna Palace/ Kishkinda Heritage Resort
4* - Heritage Resort/ Malligi Hotel
5* - Hyatt Place/ Hampi Boulders
Cochin x 1 nights
3* - The Dune Hotel/ Abad Plaza
4* - Casino Hotel/ The Avenue Regent
5* - Xandari Harbour/ Le Meridien
Munnar x 2 nights
3* - Fort Munnar/ Abad Copper Castle
4* - Nature Zone Jungle Resort/ Fragrant Nature Munnar
5* - Chandys Windy Woods/ Tea County
Thekkady (Thekkady) x 1 nights
3* - Abad Green Forest/ Hotel Treetop
4* - The Elephant Court/ Cardamom County
5* - Spice village/ Cardamom County
Kumarakom x 1 nights
3* - Abad Whispering Palm/ Cocobay Resort
4* - Eastend Lake Song/ Goldfield Lake Resort
5* - Coconut Lagoon/ The Zuri
Alleppey x 1 nights
3* - Deluxe Houseboat (AC during night)
4* - Preminum Houseboat
5* - Luxury Houseboat
Any air fare
Camera charges at monuments
Main Meals, Lunch or dinner unless mentioned
Expenses of personal nature like liquor, laundry, tips, telephone, fax, internet etc.
Or anything not mentioned above.