Mahabalipuram

Mamallapuram - This is a small, quiet seaside resort with a unique 7th-century Shore Temple, a lovely beach and some of the most beautiful rock-cut temples in the world. Situated on the shore of the Bay of Bengal, Mahabalipuram was already a famous seaport in the 1st century AD. This town was a workshop for temple building. Visit the Seven pagoda-style Shore temples, lashed by the waves of the sea and the Seven Rathas or temple chariots, a group of monolithic monuments & animal figures carved out of solid rock, the earliest known examples of Dravidian architecture. They were constructed in a single century-long burst of creative enthusiasm, starting in the reign of Narasimhavarman 1 (AD 630-68). Walk down to the Old Lighthouse on the way to Krishna’s Butterball , a huge rock that is precariously balanced on its tip on a sloping rock face. 5 km off are the carved Tiger Caves , which used to be an ancient open-air theatre. End the visit by photography of the beautiful Shore temples at sunset.

Bangalore

Bangalore is the capital city of the southern Indian State of Karnataka. It is also known as the Garden City because of its many splendid gardens and parks. Another tourism attraction of the city lies in its Pubs. It is now also called the Pub City with over 200 Pubs all over the town.Local sightseeing includes Lal Bagh Park, one of the main attractions of Bangalore, was commissioned in the year 1760 by Hyder Ali and was completed by his successor Tipu Sultan. Spread over an area of 240 acres, the garden attained status of a Government Botanical Garden in 1856. Situated in the southern part of the city, this botanical garden houses rarest species of plants and trees from India as well as other countries. Tipu Sultan Palace, built between 1781 and 1791, is identical to the Daria Daulat which is another palace of Tipu Sultan. Emperor referred to it as the 'Rash-e-Jannat', meaning abode of happiness and envy of heaven.Commissioned by Hyder Ali, the construction was completed under the reigns of Tipu Sultan. Located near the fort, this beautiful palace has been converted into a museum, which gives visitors insight into the life of the emperor. Brigade Road is among the best places for shopping in the city. Located at the intersection of Residency Road and MG Road, the street has numerous shops and retail outlets of global brands as well standalone shops. Tourists can also find pubs, discotheques and clubs along the street.

Chennakeshava

Visit Chennakeshava temple or Keshava temple is the prime attraction of Somnathpur. Chennakeshava temple, built in 1268 by Soma, the commander-in-chief of Hoysala king, Narasimha III, is regarded as a fine example of Hoysala temple architecture.Chennakeshava temple, which has three shrines, is dedicated to the three forms of Lord Vishnu- Janardhana, Venugopala and Keshava, among which, the idol of Lord Keshava is missing. It is believed that the temple was constructed at the later Hoysala period as the temple exhibits both upper eaves and lower eaves. The horizontal mouldings or friezes on the walls of the temple are decorated by the detailed sculpted procession of foliage, elephants, yetis, swans and horsemen.Srirangapatnam Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary is an important nesting and breeding ground for the thousands of bird species.Bird Sanctuary witnesses the arrival of a large number of migratory birds of different flocks from as far as Siberia, North America and Australia.Ranger-guided boat tours of the islands are available throughout the day.Visit Tippu Sulthan’s Summer Palace Daria Daulat Bagh. Sangam, located near a temple, is the confluence of three rivers. At this point, other branch of the River Cauvery, Loakpavani is reunited. Apart from being frequented by tourists wishing to take a dip at the site to wash away their sins, the place is also thronged by those interested in picnicking.

Mysore

Mysore is a major tourist city of Karnataka.The city was the erstwhile capital of the state and hence has played an important role in the history of the state and of South India. Sightseeing includes The Mysore Maharaja Palace is located in the heart of the city. Mysore Palace is one of the most visited monuments in India. And it’s one of the largest palaces in the country, also known as Amba Vilas Palace, was the residence of the Wodeyar Maharaja's of the Mysore state. The Palace is built in Indo-Saracenic style and blends together Hindu, Muslim, Rajput, and Gothic styles of architecture. It is a three-storied stone structure, with marble domes and a 145 ft five-storied tower. The palace is surrounded by a large garden. Designed by the well-known British architect, Henry Irwin, the palace is a treasure house of exquisite carvings and works of art from all over the world.Visit the Famous Devaraja Market. Mysore Zoo or Shri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens is one of the oldest zoo in India. It is home to a wide range of wild species and takes the credit for alluring vast number of visitors with its rich breed of flora and fauna.Evening visit Chamundi Hills can be viewed from a distance of about 8 to 10 kms and from all the corners of Mysore City. Chamundeshwari temple is situated on the top of Chamundi hill which is about 3,489 ft. above sea level. The temple is dedicated to Sri Chamundeshwari.St. Philomena's Church ,one of the oldest churches in India. It is over 200 years old.The entire church is built in the Gothic style is one of the largest Cathedrals in South Asia.The Brindavan Gardens lies adjoining the Krishnarajasagara dam (KRS Dam) which is a show garden that has a botanical park, with fountains, as well as boat rides beneath the dam. The main attraction of the Brindavan Garden is the Musical Fountain (Dancing Fountains) in which bursts of water are synchronized to the music of songs.

Coorge[Medikeri]

Coorg, also known as the ‘Scotland of India’, is famous for its coffee estates and its misty mountains.Enroute visit Bylakuppe ,the Tibetitan Refugee resettlement, location of “Lugsum Samdupling” (established in 1961) and “Dickyi Larsoe” (established in 1969), in the west of Mysore district.The Golden Temple in Bylakuppe,is a home for thousands of Tibetans living in exile and a center for Tibetan Buddhism in South India.The Tibetian refugees make up a population of about 10,000. It consists of a number of small camps/agricultural settlements close to each other, and has a number of monasteries, nunneries and temples in all the major Tibetan Buddhist tradition. Cauvery Nisargadhama is a popular picnic spot near Madikeri that is formed by a cluster of islets of Cauvery River. Characteristic of lush foliage, bamboo groves, sandalwood and teak trees this island is spread over an area of 2,58,998 sq. m. Deer park, rabbit park, peacock park, orchidarium and children's playground are some of the main attractions of this natural resort. Tourists can access this island via a hanging rope. Dubare Elephant Camp ,a famous elephant training camp located near Madikeri. The deciduous forests of Dubare are inhabited by several species of wild animals, including Asiatic elephants, sambhar and the spotted deer. Indian bison or gaur, crocodiles and birds like peacocks, partridges and more can also be spotted in the forest.Tourists visiting the camp can stay in the jungle lodges and resorts. Wildlife safari, joyride on the elephant and coracle ride are some of the activities that can be enjoyed by tourists visiting the camp. Abbey Falls lies amidst the mountains of Western Ghats, around 8 km away from Madikeri. This waterfall descends into the Cauvery River and is surrounded by private coffee plantations and spice estates. Close to the fall, there is a hanging bridge, from where the visitors can get a beautiful view of the Kali Mata Temple. bridge.Raja's Seat is one of the major attractions of Madikeri, which is surrounded by chain of high and low -rise-mountains. Basically a seasonal garden of flowers and artificial place is the toy train for children. Tourists mostly visit this park from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm, to get a glimpse of setting sun and watching the musical fountain.

Sharavanbelabola

Shravanbelagola, one of most important Jain Pilgrim centers. Here is the 17m high monolith of Lord Bahubali – the world's tallest monolithic statue. Shravanabelagola is well-known for its senic beauty as well as for its religious sanctity. About eight hundred odd inscriptions which the Karnataka Archeological Department has collected at the place are mostly Jaina and cover a very extended period from 600 to 1830 A.D. Some refer even to the remote time of Chandragupta Maurya and also relate the story of the first settlement of Jains at Shravanabelagola. That this village was an acknowledged seat of learning is proved from the fact that a priest from here named Akalanka was in 788 A.D. summoned to the court of Himasitala at Kanchi where having confuted the Buddhists in public disputation, he was instrumental in gaining their expulsion from the South of India to Ceylon. At the time of the conversion of Vishnivardhana Hoysala to the Vaishanava faith by the reformer Ramanujacharya it is wrongly alleged that the Jains suffered much persecution, but in reality their influence at the court continued practically unabated. Differences between the Jains and Sri Vaishnavas existed, but a compromise was brought about in the time of Bukkaraya of Vijayanagar which resulted in a declaration of toleration which was inscribed on stones and set up in public places.

Belur & Halebid

Belur & Halebid, a beautiful example of Hoysala architecture. Famous of them is The Chennakesava Temple ,which took 103 years to complete.Chennakesava Temple is one of the finest testaments constructed using soft soapstone. The ancient shrine at Velapuri belonging to the Hoysala period is famed for the 48 carved pillars in various designs. Chennakesava or Lord Vishnu is the chief deity of the Chennakesava Temple complex.The temple was consecrated to mark the victory of King Vishnuvardhana of Talkad over the Cholas during 117 A.D. Carvings of elephants, episodes from the Puranas, the Upanishads and the epics of the Ramayana and the Mahabharata draw attention of tourists. Some other attractions of the complex are the sculptures of Madanakai damsels and carvings in navaranga. The temples of Halebid bear mute testimony to the rich, cultural heritage of Karnataka. Parswanathaswamy Temple is the most noteworthy, featuring a 32 pillared pavilion. The shrine houses a 14 feet high figurine of black stone. On the figurine, a seven-headed serpent has been imprinted. Along with the shrine, Adinathaswamy (Central temple) and Shanthinathaswamy (to the east of Shanthinathaswamy) are other two temples in the complex.

Hampi

Hampi, the site of the Medieval Vijaynagar Empire, (13 kms) is the most evocative of all the ruins in Karnataka. The ruins of Hampi, are the evidence of the greatness of the Vijayanagara Empire. Travellers such as Portuguese chronicler Domingo Paez, who stayed here for two years, was amazed by its size and wealth.Hampi was once the medieval capital of the Hindu empire Vijayanagara popularly known as 'the city of Victory'.It consists of as many as 500 monuments. The empire boosts of the four major dynasties, that spread to the total area of 26 sq km amidst giant boulders and vegetation. It stretches over the three consecutive states – Karnataka, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh. The land was founded in the middle of the 14th century by two local princes Hakka and Bukka and continued to prosper until 1646. The Vijayanagar Empire was the last Hindu Kingdom in India. Hampi is a popular tourists site in India. The group of monuments at Hampi are listed as World Heritage Site. The name Hampi originated from the word Pampa, the ancient name for the River Tungabhadra that flows through the city. The main highlight of the Hampi is the Virupaksha Temple, which is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple is still in use and is the venue of the annual chariot ceremony in February. Another popular temple in the area is Vithala temple, located on the south of the Tungabhadra river. Reflecting the art of the Vijayanagar empire. The main pavilion of the temple consists of 56 elaborately carved pillars. Each of these, when struck, emits a different musical sound. Tourists can also make a visit to the Hazara Ram Temple, bulit in the 15th century.

Badami

Set in beautiful countryside at the foot of a red sandstone ridge, the small rural town of Badami was once the capital of the Chalukyan. Empire covered much of the central Deccan between the 4th centuries AD. Here and at nearby Aihole and Pattadakal, you can see some of the earliest and rock- cut caves. The forms and sculptural work at there sites provided inspiration for the later Hindu empires which rose and fell in the arrival of the Muslims. Though principally promoters of the vedic culture, the Chalukyans were tolerant of all sects, and elements of Shaivism, Vaishnaivism, Jainism and even Buddhism can be found in many of their temples. Badami was the Chalukyan capital from about 540 AD until 757 AD when the Chalukyans were overthrown by the Rashtrakutas. The surrounding hills are dotted with temples, fortifications, carvings and inscriptions dating not just from the Chalukyan period, but from other times when the site was occupied as a fortress. After it fell to the Rashtrakutsa, Badami was occupied successively by the Chalukyans of Kalyan (a separate branch of the western Chalukyan), the Kaachuryas, the Yadavas of Devagiri, the Vijayanagar Empire, the Adil Shahi kings of Bajipur and the Marathas. All these various rulers have left their mark at Badami, and there's even a Pallava inscription dating back to 642 AD when their king, Narasimha Varman I, Briefly overwhelmed the Chalukyans and occupied Badami for 13 years before being driven out.Sightseeing in Badami includes Aihole-Cave temple,Durga temple,Ladkhan temple,Ravanapadi Cave,etc. Sightseeing in Pattadakkal includes Jain Temple,MalligarjunaTemple,SangamesvaraTemple,Papanatha Temple etc.

Belgaum

Belgaum - a total picture of contrasts. On one side is the old town area and modern on other, in the heart of Belgaum is the Fort. Inside it are most famous Kamala Basti, the Jain Temple & the Jama Masjid. The Kapileshwar Temple, the Ananthashayana. Night stay in Badami.

Goa

Goa is the perfect place where you will find a blend of traditional and modern aspects of life. On one hand you have plush beaches and on the other hand you have the most natural landscapes that make you wonder if time ever touched this place. Goa is the perfect place to go on a sightseeing tour;Miramar Beach, Basilica of Bom Jesus and the city of Panjim-bustling with shops and tourists. A place for leisure to relax on the beach.

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