Places Visited: Hyderabad, Gulbarga, Bijapur, Badami, Hampi, Chikmagalur, Mysore, Bengaluru
This fortnight-long tour cherry picks the highlights of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, including world-class heritage and archaeological sites seen by few comparatively foreign visitors. It is a trip that takes you deep into a region where the old worlds of the Indo-Islamic, Perisan-influenced north collided with those of the Dravidian south – a historical cross-pollination that has left a remarkable architectural legacy.
In remote Belur and Badami, you’ll visit some of India’s most intricately embellished temples, erected more than 1,500 years ago, while at Hampi, amid a landscape of boulder hills and banana groves, are strewn the ruins of the south’s last great Hindu capital, Vijayanagar. Monuments of the Muslim Sultanates that razed this once resplendent city to the ground in the 16th century dominate Bijapur, Gulbarga and Hyderabad, while in the far south, towards the end of your tour, you’ll experience the grandeur of Mysore and its European-influenced Maharaja’s Palace, the epitome of princely extravagance in the Raj era.