The Vijaynagar Empire Trail & Goa
The Vijaynagar Empire Trail-14nights/15days
The tour covers some lovely sites, ancient and medieval, that are off the beaten tracks and is for someone who has already seen some of India and wants to explore further. It takes you into the wilderness on a white water chase as well as wildlife watch before leaving you somnambulant on one of the best stretches of sun and sand you will ever see.
Start your journey in Hyderabad, a vibrant city of minarets and modern high-rise buildings. History has been kind to this region. Each successive dynasty has added to the vast store of material heritage. The small towns of Gulbarga, Bijapur, erstwhile capitals of empires, contain some outstanding architectural gems. Marvel over the second largest dome in the world, the Gol Gumbad and the delicate beauty of mosques, palaces and tombs; several temples, some of them rock-cut, from the 6th and 7th centuries, that crowd the site at Badami, Pattadakal and the better known Aihole; the most famous site, of course, is the one at Hampi.
From the man-made to the natural – ride the white waters of the river Kali as it rushes down the Western Ghats, before you proceed to Goa to laze on the beach with a bottle of feni.
price on application
Cost Includes: Accommodation for 14 nights, breakfast daily with full board in Dandeli,transfers, excursions and sightseeing with English speaking guide in an air-conditioned chauffeur driven car, monument entrance fee, porterage, mineral water in car, white water rafting, jungle jeep safari and boat ride for wildlife spotting at Dandeli and air travel in economy class as per itinerary.
Hotels Superior: Amrutha Castle (superior) Hyderabad, Aditya (ac double) Gulbarga, Madhuvan (deluxe) Bijapur, Badami Court (standard) Badami, Malagi Tourist Home (standard) Hospet, Bison River Lodge (standard) Dandeli, Holiday Inn Resort (Plaza) Goa, Fariyas (standard) Mumbai. Deluxe (upgrade to): Taj Banjara (standard) Hyderabad, Taj Holiday Village (cottage) Goa, Hyatt Regency (Hyatt guest) Mumbai Luxury (upgrade to) : Kakathiya Sheraton (executive club) Hyderabad, Fort Aguada Beach Resort (superior se view) Goa, Leela Kempenski (Royal Club) Mumbai.
Day 01 Arrival
Reception and welcome at Hyderabad followed by transfer to your hotel. In the evening watch the famous sound and light show at Golconda Fort.
Day 02 Hyderabad
The entire day is devoted to the city, both the old and the futuristic new one.
Day 03 Hyderabad – Gulbarga
In the morning drive to Gulbarga. Both the town and the fort have much worth seeing.
Day 04 Gulbarga - Bijapur
Visit the fortified capital city of the Adil Shahi rulers of medieval India in southern Karnataka.
Day 05 Bijapur - Badami
Drive to Badami to view the rock cut temples and the fort opposite.
Day 06 Badami
Drive to Hospet stopping en route to see Aihole and Pattadakal temples.
Day 07 Badami - Hampi - Hospet
Explore the World Heritage Site of Hampi, capital of the Vijayanagar kingdom, situated about 13 kms from Hospet.
Day 08 Hospet - Dandeli
Travel to Dandeli for white water adventures on the river Kali and camp overnight.
Day 09 Dandeli
A predawn safari into the jungle in open jeeps is one of the best times for spotting wildlife. Later, after breakfast, go out onto the river in local boats of bamboo and tanned buffalo hide to bird watch, and watch out for crocodiles!
Day 10 Dandeli - Goa
Drive to Goa for three nights.
Day 11 & 12 Goa
Complete relaxed leisure on the golden beaches of Goa.
Day 13 Goa - Mumbai
Fly to Mumbai and urban life.
Day 14 Mumbai
Tour the city and the caves at Elephanta.
Day 15 Departure
Transfer to the airport in time for your flight out.
I had attempted to obtain tickets for the Palace on Wheels (POW) from a specialist rail tour company in the United States, only to be informed that the ticket allocation has been exhausted on the date we wanted to travel. I incidentally mentioned this to Andre as part of a broaderPeter Bermingham