A colourful luxury journey for nature lovers in Southern India that takes you off the beaten track in Karnataka
An enchanting land abounding in scenic beauty that’s rich in flora and fauna, Karnataka offers the pomp and pageantry of glorious traditions, marvels of modern engineering, coffee plantations, wildlife, cultural and heritage sites as well as ancient temples. A true spectrum of experiences in one State.
N.B. This itinerary is a guide only. You can add time and places to this and upgrade, reduce, or change travel and accommodation with us to make this a truly personal journey. Just click ‘enquire’, submit your own personal itinerary request at the end, or simply phone us.
PHONE: 01202 030443, click ‘enquire’, or just fill in your preferences below
Bangalore – Chikmagalur – Coorg – Mysore – Kabini – Bangalore
10 Days / 9 Nights
Day 1: Arrival Bangalore
Welcome to India…!!! On arrival in Bangalore, you will be met and transferred to your hotel.
You’ll be welcomed with traditional Rose Garlands and with Aarti and Tikka (a Hindu Ritual where young women put vermilion on your forehead and welcomes you with a platter of auspicious items).
You’ll retire into your rooms for a good night’s sleep overnight at the hotel.
Bangalore is known as the ‘garden city’, offering a leafy backdrop from which to explore the bustling streets of India’s third largest city. Cosmopolitan restaurants line wide avenues where foodies can delight in a smorgasbord of south Indian flavours. Tea lovers can indulge in fragrant cups of Chai and a spot of people-watching from any of the tea stalls dotted around the city.
A booming IT industry coupled with a city that seeks to preserve its green and colonial heritage has created a modern and sophisticated metropolis. Recently voted the most liveable city in India, Bangalore makes a great base for travelling throughout southern India.
Overnight: The Leela Palace Bengaluru. Bed & Breakfast
Spread over 9 acres of lush gardens and cascading waterfalls, the Leela Palace Bangalore is a 5 star complex. Strategically situated near the Bangalore airport, the hotel is convenient for all travellers. The Leela Palace has a variety of rooms and suites to meet the requirements of various hotel guests. Staff at the Leela Palace are always available to attend to the individual needs of guests. There are an array of dining options at the Leela Palace; from restaurants to coffee shops, each eatery has a varied menu. The Spa provides rejuvenating experiences through a selection of treatments on offer. Treatments are cosmopolitan: combining European, Eastern and Ayurvedic philosophies.
Day 2: Bangalore / Shravanabelagola/ Chikmagalur
DISTANCE: – 260 KM; DRIVING TIME: – 05 HRS APPROX
After breakfast, drive to Chikmagalur, en-route visiting Shravanabelagola.
Shravanabelagola: It is one of the most important Jain tirth (a sacred place) of the Jains in South India. It is a place of great importance from the perspectives of both pilgrimage and archaeological and religious heritage. The place derives its name from Shravana or Shramana (a Jain ascetic) and Belagola or Biliya Kola (white pond).
Shravanabelagola has a climb of 640 Steps to experience the architectural marvel but palanquins are available for those who cannot take the climb by themselves, for a small charge.
You now continue your drive towards Chikmagalur, where upon arrival you’ll check into your hotel for lunch
Chikkamagaluru is a popular tourist destination in Karnataka. The town is also known as ‘coffee land’ – being one of the largest coffee producers of the country. Within the town is the Mahatama Gandhi Park, a popular tourist site with its lotus pond, greenhouse, the Nehru Rose Garden and the amphitheatre where various events are held.
Overnight: The Serai Chikmagalur – Full Board
The coffee estate of Chikmagalur is home to one of the Serai Resorts. The Serai in Chikmagalur connects to trails through the coffee plantations and has an open network of verandas that displays views of the green landscape with white blossoms peeking out. Accommodation is provided in estate villas that are immaculately furnished and designed in contemporary style. Each villa has a private garden that features either a private pool or Jacuzzi for exclusivity. Leisure facilities at the Serai Resort include a swimming pool and indoor games room that has board games and a pool table. The restaurant, Odyssey, is set on a terrace that overlooks panoramic views of the plantation and greenery beyond. There’s also the Oma Spa which offers a signature therapy known as the coffee cure.
Day 3: Chikmagalur/ Belur/ Halebid / Chikmagalur
DISTANCE: 78 KMS, DRIVING TIME 02 HRS 15 MINS
After breakfast, travel briefly to Belur and Halebid – two tiny but beautiful temple towns 16 km apart in the southern state of Karnataka. Once at the centre of a great empire ruled by Hoyasala in the 12th century, Belur and Halebid are heritage towns home to several exquisite temples such as Chennakeshva Temple and Veeranarayana temples and Halebid Temple, which reveal the artistry of Indian sculptors and the mastery of the ancient temple builders.
Return to Chikmagalur and spend some time on a tour of the Coffee Plantation at the resort.
Day 4: Chikmagalur / Coorg
DISTANCE: 160 KMS, DRIVING TIME 03 HRS 30 MINS
After breakfast, depart Chikmagalur and drive towards Coorg.
En-route you’ll visit the Tibetan Golden Temple, constructed more than 50 years ago when Tibetans came to India on the invitation of Mahatma Gandhi. One of the Tibetan settlements are located in Bylukoppe, of Mysore District and bordering Coorg District. They built many Buddhist Temples in traditional style and thousands of lama’s praying in the temples is a sight to behold.
From here you’ll drive to Coorg and upon arrival, check in to your resort.
After a relaxing afternoon you’ll be invited for a guided plantation tour of the 300 acre working coffee and spice plantation; on foot in the evening. You’ll learn first-hand of the differences between Arabica and Robusta, discover and explore the spice scented pathways of Coorg to immerse yourself into the spirit of the land.
Resting in the spectacularly scenic Western Ghats of south-western Karnataka, Coorg is an historically significant hill station. Coorg is undoubtedly one of Mother Nature’s gems with its remarkably scenic landscape of lush undulating hills, breathtaking waterfalls, and verdant valleys, with innumerable streams, dense forests, and endless spice farms. This enchanting natural environment provides plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities including: some interesting treks up to Pushpagiri, Tadiandamol and Brahmagiri Peaks; angling in the mighty Kaveri River; and excellent golfing at one of Coorgs world-class golf courses. Aside from Coorg’s natural splendour, the hill station also boasts some great shopping at Kushal Nagar Market and the Friday Market. Coorg with its exceptionally beautiful surroundings is a delight to visit any time of the year and is an essential addition to any Karnataka itinerary.
Overnight: Orange County Resort Coorg. Full Board
The Orange County in Coorg, is entrenched in a lush 300-acre plantation. As a result, there exists an aroma of coffee and spice. This resort has a series of poolside villas allowing visitors convenient access to the pool areas. These villas also present guests with a glimpse into the life of a planter. Orange County Coorg comes equipped with an array of facilities from dining options to a large communal pool and an exclusive infinity pool, to a romantic coffee lounge, library and Ayurvedic Spa.
Day 5: Coorg
• You’ll rise early in the morning for a guided bird watching stroll.
Coorg is an ornithologist’s delight and every bit as entertaining and enlightening for the amateur birdwatcher or those simply fascinated by their myriad colours.
Coorg alone accounts for over 25% of all bird species in India.
Return to the resort for breakfast. After Breakfast enjoy a guided nature walking tour. Coorg presents the perfect weather and opportunity to discover the naturalist in you. Go trekking in the adjoining Dubare Reserve Forest with a guide. Learn all about the birds and the beasts; understand how each tree has a story to tell. Come back with a greater knowledge of the forest system and a higher sensitivity to the eco-system as a whole.
Return to the resort, where the rest of the day is free for you to enjoy the resort amenities.
Day 6: Coorg / Mysore
DISTANCE: 130 KMS; DRIVING TIME 03 HRS
After breakfast visit the Dubare Elephant Camp across the river Cauvery. This camp is a project undertaken by the Indian Forest Department together with Jungle Lodges and Resorts Ltd. This camp has numerous elephants trained by naturalists. Visitors can participate in bathing and feeding the elephants and a trained naturalist is at hand to explain all aspects of elephant history, ecology and biology. The visit ends with an elephant ride through the forest to a nearby waterhole.
After your visit, you’ll continue your drive to Mysore, where upon arrival you’ll check in to your hotel. After quick freshen up you’ll head out on a city tour of Mysore. Places to visit include:
• Mysore Palace
• Dariya Daulat Bagh
• Chamundi temple
• Nandi Bull
Serving as the capital of the Kingdom of Mysore from 1399 until 1947, the city of Mysore is a rich cultural and historical centre renowned for its beautiful Hindu palaces. Arguably the most captivating of these is the opulent Mysore Palace or Amba Vilas, particularly during the annual Dasara Festival, when every day after sunset it turns incandescent with the light of nearly 100 000 bulbs. In modern context, Mysore is considered one of India’s cleanest and most efficiently planned cities and has also earned a reputation for its high quality sandalwood and silk.
Overnight: Fortune JP Palace – Full Board
Epitomizing the grandeur and glory of a bygone era, Mysore, the capital of the Wodeyars, has always enchanted travelers with its quaint charm, rich heritage, magnificent palaces, silks and sandalwood, sprawling gardens, broad avenues and majestic temples. Located 140 km from Bengaluru, there’s an old world charm about the city that reaches out and leaves no one untouched. Fortune JP Palace instills the exuberance of this beautiful city with its palatial architecture, landscaped gardens, aesthetic interiors that have captured the timeless beauty of Mysore. It offers an ideal retreat to experience the charm of Mysore amidst warm hospitality whilst admiring the magnificent view of the famous Chamundi Hills.. The hotel enjoys an ideal location opposite Government House in Mysore and also has excellent connectivity – being just 2 km from the famous Mysore Palace, 3 km from railway station and 12 km from the Mysore airport; this hotel delights the guests with its excellent range of guest facilities and services.
Day 7, Mysore / Kabini
DISTANCE: 80 KMS; DRIVING TIME 02 HRS
After Breakfast, start your drive to Kabini. The name Kabini comes from the River Kabini. The park has rich forest cover, small streams, valleys, and waterfalls, with a healthy tiger-predator ratio. Tiger, Gaur and Elephant are much more populous than in some parks. Upon arrival, check into your hotel and relax in preparation for your afternoon park safari
This evening you’ll enjoy a park ride in a vehicle on a shared basis.
After your park safari, later in the evening, sit back and enjoy a tribal dance show before settling down to dinner and overnight at the resort.
Also known as Rajiv Gandhi National Park, Nagarhole National Park forms part of the larger Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, a World Heritage Site stretching over 5000 square kilometres in southern India. The park is a place of unspoiled wilderness, with serene forest, bubbling streams and a tranquil lake. Elephants, Tigers, Sloth bears and Gaur can be found here as well as an impressive array of birdlife, together with ancient trees of teak, sandalwood and silver oak. The best time to visit is March through April when the waterholes are dry and the animals visit the lake to drink. However, temperatures for us humans are more pleasant from November to February.
Overnight: Orange County Resort Kabini – Full Board
Orange County’s Spirit of the land philosophy finds its most intimate expression at Kabini, where visitors are drawn into the vibrant social tapestry of the local Kadu Kuruba tribe. While discovering a vernacular dimension to luxury that’s truly liberating, the resort gives a wildlife experience like no other. Inspired in design by the Hadis or tribal villages, this picturesque resort of sweeping panoramic vistas, is bordered on two sides by the Kabini River.
Day 8: Kabini
After Breakfast you’ll set off on a boat Safari, travelling upstream from the resort on the Kabini River. Whilst on the river you’ll also get an opportunity to visit Bandipur National Park. While the animals and birds will be largely similar to those seen during a vehicle safari, the boat safari offers an opportunity to observe Marsh Crocodiles and other water birds, which are rarely seen from a vehicle.
The boat safari will also access certain areas not accessible by vehicle The backwaters of the Kabini also act as a huge water body that attracts a wide variety of water birds.
Later, you’ll visit a local Tribal village, or hadi of the Kuruba tribes. These people were originally hunter gatherers.
Return to your hotel in preparation for your evening park ride in a vehicle on a shared basis.
After your safari you’ll return to your hotel for dinner and overnight at the resort.
Day 9: Kabini
Up early this morning again for a guided nature walk and birdwatching tour. This guided nature walk is one of the best ways to explore the treasures of local nature. A naturalist will unravel the beauty of birds, insects, trees and wild flowers for you as you walk along the banks of the Kabini river and on through the scrub and fields alongside the village roads.
Don’t be surprised to get ‘up close and personal’ with an elephant after breakfast before chilling, if you choose, for the rest of the day.
Its now time for your evening park drive, as before, to seek out any of those animals that have proved elusive to date.
Also as before, after your safari, you’ll return to your hotel for dinner and overnight at the resort.
Day 10: Kabini / Bangalore Departure
DISTANCE: 240 KMS; DRIVING TIME 05 HRS
This morning you’ll enjoy another park ride in a vehicle on a shared basis before returning to your resort for breakfast.
Sadly, you’re now off to Bangalore where you’ll be transferred to the international airport to connect with your flight for onward travel.
Southern India Luxury – Price guide from £1995 pp
(Based on two people sharing travel and accommodation exc. International and internal flights)
The above itinerary is a guide only and can be adjusted to meet your exact requirements (phone us on 01202 030443, click ‘enquire’ or submit your own personal itinerary request at the end)
THE ABOVE PRICE INCLUDES
• All vehicle transfers and journeys between resorts and cities
• Coffee Plantation visit in Chikmagalur
• Guided plantation tour in Coorg.
• Guided Bird watching in Coorg.
• Guided nature walk in Coorg
• Visit to Dubare Elephant Camp.
• Park ride in Kabini by motor boat on shared basis.
• Guided nature walk / bird watching in Kabini.
• Elephant experience in Kabini
• Tribal Dance show in Kabini
• 4 vehicle park rides in Kabini on shared basis.
• Visit to nearby tribal villages in Kabini.
Some of the small print:
This itinerary is a guide only and can be adjusted to meet your precise requirements (click on the TLC World logo or fill in the itinerary request form below) within the parameters of National Park terms and conditions.
Price as per current conversion rate of pound sterling (£) If variance is more than 3% (plus or minus) at the time of invoicing, we will adjust accordingly.
The price is subject to revision if any additional taxes or price increases are introduced by government or suppliers.
Cost is provisional and subject to change depending on the season and hotels confirmed. The exact cost will be confirmed after hotel reservation confirmation.
Hotels proposed in the itinerary/quote may not be available at time of booking, in this event suitable alternative accommodation will be offered.
Park timings depend on the time of the sunrise and sunset, usually approx. 0600 for 3-4 Hours and afternoon approx. 1530 to sunset.
These national parks open from October 16th till June 30th. It is recommended to check for exact opening dates in October before booking flights.
Parks are closed on the festival of Holi and can be closed without notice by the park authorities.
Due to local forest regulations only limited numbers of jeeps are available for both morning and evening safaris. If jeeps are not available, safaris are conducted in mini trucks with additional people. Jeeps in the National parks are booked in advance, therefore passport details will be needed at the time of booking at least 120 days in advance of travel. The booking process is controlled by the Forest authorities and the Government of India.
Occasionally Full day Exclusive Jeep safaris can also be organised at additional costs.
Children under 2 yrs not permitted on vehicle or boat safaris
Parks are divided into Zones to minimise and control impact of tourism. Each zone offers something different and does not guarantee any particular species sighting. Zones are allotted by the National Park authorities for safaris and cannot be controlled by any outside agency or Hotels but in some parks certain premier zones can be allotted for additional charges.
Animals aren’t on the payroll – you’ll be in their natural environment – whilst guides are well practiced in tracking animals, remember they may choose not to be seen.
Request your own itinerary and quote