Day 1 Goa
Firstly, we will all be flying independently to Goa. We shall be starting our tour by having a relaxing afternoon filled with sunset drinks and dinner on the beach. This is a great opportunity to meet other people on the tour. Soak up and appreciate the beauty all around you today, as Goa has many charms and many great sights. We will meet at the hotel In Benaulim and spend the night there.
Day 2 Northern Goa
We have a brilliant day trip set up for you exploring the North Goa Sea line, with the likes of Panjim, Old Goa, and Anjuna. Anjuna is extremely popular with all the ‘hippy’ type tourists. Luckily for you our lovely tourist guide will take you to all the incredible places, whatever desire, whatever you are searching, just ask. They will only take you to the most special places! We will spend the night in Benaulim, at the same hotel.
Day 3 Northern Goa
We have another relaxing day ahead of us today before we hit the road tomorrow. Which works in you favor really, because there is still so much to explore here. We have more beaches, plenty of markets, tons of architecture, and feel free to go crazy with shopping! Of course, here in Goa, they have such a varied mixture of restaurants, ranging from seafood to Italian pizzas! We shall spend one more night in Benaulim before hitting the road tomorrow.
Day 4 Karantaka
After we stuff our bellies with breakfast, we shall be hitting the road leaving from the Goan sea view to the rural Karnataka. When we arrive in Karnataka we will be going to Badami, which is a place well known for its magnificent rock-cut cave temples, the capital of the mighty Chalukya empire. The red sandstone cliffs that resemble the Wild West are surrounding the water so you can feel the amazing old tradition vibes! We will be exploring the caves and the towns, and will be spending the night here before another drive tomorrow.
Day 5 Hampi
In the morning after breakfast, we will be driving to Hampi via Aihole and Pattadakal Temples. The sculptures of Ailhole temples have superb architecture and well known as the “Cradle of Indian Architecture”. The oldest temple here is, perhaps, the Lad Khan temple dating back to the 5th Century. In Pattadakal an impressive series of nine Hindu temples, as well as a Jain sanctuary can be seen. There is a lot of stunning architecture here to explore, and much history to learn about and admire.
Day 6 Hampi
Hampi. It is one of the most beautiful, extensive and fascinating of India’s ruined kingdoms. We will explore the town, the temples, the river, the lake and the amazing geological miracle of the boulders of Hampi. So much to do and see, we will stay for the night.
Day 7 Hassan
Today we will leave Hampi and drive straight on over to Hassan. This quiet and peaceful town is a convenient base to visit the shrines of Sharavanabelagola, Belur and Halebid. Hassanamba Temple in Hassan is 800 years old and houses the main deity of Hassan. The temple is dedicated to Amba also known as Goddess Shakti. Within the inner sanctum, there is a very unusual image of Ravana with 9 heads playing veena, a place where western visitors might rarely be allowed. We will stay the night in Hassan after heavily exploring all it has to offer!
Day 8 Halebid and Belur
After breakfast, we will go on a circular day trip to Halebid and Belur, so we drive through remote rural India and will get a close look at the traditional lifestyle. After lunch, we will visit the immensely interesting Jain Center of Shravanabelagola and then back to Hasaan for the night! The main attraction in Belur is the Chennakeshava temple complex dedicated to Lord ‘Chennakeshava’ (the handsome Vishnu).
Day 9 Kushalnagar
On this glorious day, we leave Hassan to head to Kushalnagar, via the Tibetan Buddhist Center of Bylakuppe. Bylakuppe is the Tibetan Refugee resettlement near Kushalnagar Town. The spectacular Golden Temple is a home for thousands of Tibetans living in exile and the main center for Tibetan Buddhism in South India. The Tibetan refugees make up a population of about 10,000. After this, we are planning to stay the night in Kushalnagar on the backwater with a beautiful view!
Day 10 Mysuru
We are on the road to Mysuru, and will be spending the afternoon exploring this amazingly interesting city. Apart from offering many attractions, it’s a friendly, easygoing city with plenty of shady trees, clean streets and well-maintained buildings, which is quite a nice change! Don’t be surprised if you hear people saying ‘Mysore’ instead of Mysuru, as it has recently changed its name. Mysore is known for its glittering royal heritage and magnificent monuments and buildings. Its World Heritage–listed palace may be what brings most travelers here, but it’s also a thriving centre for the production of premium silk, sandalwood and incense.
Day 11 Mysuru
Mysore is also called the Sandalwood city, I wonder if you can guess why. Of course, because it smells of sandalwood, jasmine, rose, musk, frangipani and many other scents. It is one of the major centers of incense manufacture in India and scores of all family owned incense factories are scattered all over the town (where millions of incense sticks are being made by hand!). Mysore is the second largest city of Karnataka. Trust us, Mysore is a vibrant city teeming with tourists and visitors. A visit to the Maharaja Palace, fully lit on Sunday evenings, and to the museum are a must. The former Maharaja is still in residence at the back of the palace. There truly is so much to see in this amazing city – we will explore the markets, architecture, temples and local manufacturers for a great urban exploration.
Day 12 Kannur
Sadly, we are leaving Mysore today to drive to Kannur. Kannur was always an important port for the spice trade. Kannur is known as the land of looms, because of the loom industries functioning in the district, festivals and native performing arts, called Theyyam. Theyyam are held in temples, and are a popular Hindu ritual of worship of North Malabar in Kerala. Luckily, we will be going to see it! Along with exploring this incredible city, and finally, spend the night at Kannur.
Day 13 Murudeshwar
We will be going from coast to coast today, leaving the Malabari Coast and heading towards Konkan Coast. From Kannur to Murudeshwar! This is a fantastic drive on the coastline with some pretty beautiful views. We have another beach stay ahead of us, in front of the tallest Shiva statue in the world! In fact ‘Murudeshwara’ means Shiva. Coincidence of course.
Day 14 Gokarne
Today we head back to where we can from – Goa! Therefore, we pack up and head back on the coastline to visit Gokarna for a visit, then back north to spend the night at Benaulim Beach. Gokarna is an ancient temple town and center for Sanskrit studies. It is located on the North Coast of Karnataka State. Gokarna means “Cow’s Ear “- It is believed that Lord Shiva has emerged from the ear of a cow. Gokarna is a town of contrasts as it is a temple town and also a holiday destination. A walk through the main street is a truly impressive experience!
Day 15 Benaulim
Now, because where we are situated is an excellent location, we will be having a relaxing free day to do as you please! Completely down to you. Whether you want to sleep on the beach and catch some rays, or if you want to walk around all day staring up at all the architecture. Alternatively, maybe you prefer a spot of shopping and some lunch, or maybe you want to do all of the above! The choice is yours, as we will be spending the night in Benaulim again.
Day 16 Margao
This is our last full day together, so let us make it count! We have plans to visit and shop in the typical Goan town of Margao! Margao is the second largest city by population, and the commercial and cultural capital of the Indian state of Goa. After our trip to Margao, we are expecting a lovely farewell dinner before returning home the next day. Rest up well tonight but also have a great time with your new friends, as tomorrow it is flight time! Sleep well as this is your last night in Benaulim.
Day 17 Benaulim
We are sad to see you go, always, but today is time to see you fly home or onto your next destination. Feel free to come back, we will always accept you back with open arms! We will plan to make a move after our last Goan breakfast together.