Summary of

Heart & Soul of South India

Duration: 14 Days/ 13 Nights

Major Attractions: Mecca Masjid, Tang Bund, Gol Gumbaz, Badami Caves, Ruins of Hampi, The Vitthala Temple Complex, Churches of Old Goa, Elephanta Caves, UNESCO world heritage sites

Destination Covered: Hyderabad, Bidar, Gulbarga, Bijapur, Badami, Hampi, Goa, Mumbai

Tour Summary

South India's amazing diversity is visible to visitors in its extraordinary abundance of architecture, food, wildlife, landscapes, festivals, handicrafts, and performing arts. Then there's spirituality, which beats faithfully from the jagged peaks of the snowy Himalaya to the lush, steamy jungles of the deep south as if it were the heart of the entire country. In this Deccan Plateau route, you will cover some best South Indian destinations like Bidar, Badami, Hampi, etc.

This tour begins with a visit to Hyderabad, the "City of NIZAMS," and a visit to the Charminar, which is as much a symbol of Hyderabad as the Taj Mahal in Agra. Afterward travel to Gulbarga via Bidar, which is known for a small district steeped in history. During this South India tour, we will also visit Bijapur, Badami, Hospet, Hampi, and Vijayanagar - also known as "The Fort Of Victory". Before concluding the trip, we will travel to Goa, one of India's best beach destinations, known for its diverse culture and vibrant nightlife. This tour will culminate with a visit to Mumbai, India's financial capital, also known as the "City of Dreams," which is home to the Bollywood (Indian film) set and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Elephanta Caves are an ideal final stop of this wonderful tour.

Detailed ltinerary

DAY 1

Hyderabad

You will be received at Hyderabad airport, assisted and transferred straight to your hotel. Remaining time is at leisure till next morning.

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DAY 2

Hyderabad

After breakfast, proceed for the full day sightseeing tour of Hyderabad. Visit the Charminar, Hyderabad's signature structure. It is a majestic granite square edifice with four grand arches facing the North, South, East, and West. The Mecca Masjid, a hundred yards southwest of the Charminar, is named after the bricks used to build the central arch were brought from Mecca. Salar Jung Museum (Hyderabad's most famous promenade, the Tank Bund dams the Hussain Sagar lake and houses magnificent exhibits of European and Indian paintings and statuary), Salar Jung Museum (A collection of art objects by Nawab Salar Jung III, this museum houses magnificent exhibits of European and Indian paintings and statuary), Salar Jung Museum (A collection of art objects by Nawab Salar Jung III, this museum houses magnificent exhibits of European and Indian paintings It is surrounded by 33 statues of historical figures.

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DAY 3

Bidar – Gulbarga

Morning drive to reach the capital of the Bahmani and Barid Shahi dynasties i.e. Bidar. It is home to a great fort and the Bahmani tombs at Ashtur. Later drive to reach Gulbarga, once described as ‘an iron fist in an iron land’. On arrival at Gulbarga, check in at your hotel. Remaining time is at leisure till next morning.

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DAY 4

Gulbarga – Bijapur

Morning proceed for the sightseeing of Galbarga including the Jami Masjid which has seventy domes, the Royal Tombs at Haft Gumbad, and the Dargah of Sufi Saint Hazrat Gesu Daraz. Later drive to Bijapur and check-in at your hotel. Remaining time is at leisure till next morning.

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DAY 5

Bijapur

During the day enjoy the splendid palaces, mosques and tombs in and around Bijapur. The Gol Gumbaz tomb, Ibrahim Rauza and the superb Jami Masjid are few of the monuments that make Bijapur ‘the Agra of South India’.

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DAY 6

Bijapur – Badami

Morning proceed to Badami, once the capital of the powerful Chalukya dynasty that ruled the Deccan during the 6th & 7th centuries. After checking in and after brief leisure proceed to visit the splendid cave complex. First visit the cave one, where you will get to see the 18-armed Nataraja striking 81 dances poses which is dating back to 578 AD. Cave two is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Cave three displays a tour to the art and culture of 6th century. Cave four which is the only Jain cave in the complex, dates back to the 6th century and has carvings of Tirthankara Parshavanath (with a snake) and Mahavira, the founder of Jainism. Afterwards visit the Archaeological Museum, which has an excellent collection of local sculpture, including a remarkably explicit Lajja-Gauri image of a fertility cult that flourished in the area.

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DAY 7

Excursion to Aihole & Pattadakal

Morning proceed for the excursion to Aihole and Pattadakal (65 km of round trip), believed to be the cradles of Indian temple architecture.

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DAY 8

Badami – Hampi

Morning drive to reach Hampi, the capital of Vijayanagar empire. Exploring Hampi, one can certainly feel the past glory and it is something like lost world exploration when one sees the fortified complex of military defences, public areas, palaces, courtyards, markets, temples and several other glorious places. Stay overnight at your hotel.

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DAY 9

Hampi

Morning after breakfast proceed for a full day excursion to nearby attractions. Visit the magnificent Vithala Temple with its 'musical pillars'. Later move to visit the Virupaksha Temple which is still used for worship and Ugra Narasimha, a 6.7m tall monolith. Later visit the other major attractions of Hampi.

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DAY 10

Hampi - Goa

Post breakfast, you will be driven to India’s western coastline to reach Goa- the most popular beach destination of India. Day at your discretion to walk around the beautiful beaches of Goa.

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DAY 11

Goa

Morning proceed for a sightseeing tour of Goa which covers your visit to churches of old Goa (Basilica of Bom Jesus, Se Cathedral, etc.). These churches are among the World Heritage Sites of India which is famous through out the Roman Catholic world. Later explore Panjim city, Altinho and Dona Paula view point. Evening enjoy Sunset cruise at mighty River Mandovi. 

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DAY 12

Goa

Spend the day at leisure, enjoying the beach, neighboring towns and nearby village.

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DAY 13

Goa - Mumbai

After a leisurely breakfast, transfer to the airport in time for your flight to Mumbai. Upon arrival at Mumbai airport, our representative will greet you and assist you with your luggage.

Later proceed for a tour to the Elephant Caves. This 4-hour tour takes you from Mumbai to the Elephanta Caves on Elephanta Island, where you can see rock art. When you arrive on the island, you'll visit the Elephanta Caves, which house a series of rock art associated with the Shiva sect. Indian art found one of its most perfect expressions at Elephanta, especially in the main cave's massive and high reliefs. Board the boat and return to the Gateway of India after your visit to the Elephanta Caves.

Later you will be transferred to your hotel to check in.

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DAY 14

Departure

After breakfast at appropriate time, you will be transferred to Mumbai international airport to catch the flight back home. Tour ends.

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