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Fri, 24 Nov 2017      
 
KARNATAKA
SUGGESTED NUMBER OF DAYS: 12N/13D
POSSIBLE ADD ONS:GOA
ROUTING: BANGALORE-MYSORE-HALEBID-HAMPI-BADAMI
     
Karnataka is a state in the southern part of India. It was created on November 1, 1956, with the passing of the States Reorganisation Act. Originally known as the State of Mysore, it was renamed Karnataka in 1973.

Karnataka is bordered by the Arabian Sea to the west, Goa to the northwest, Maharashtra to the north, Andhra Pradesh to the east, Tamil Nadu to the southeast, and Kerala to the southwest. The state covers an area of 74,122 sq mi (191,976 km²), or 5.83% of the total geographical area of India. It is the eighth largest Indian state by area, the ninth largest by population and comprises 29 districts. Kannada is the official and most widely spoken language.
 History
The history of Karnataka can be traced back to a paleolithic hand-axe culture evidenced by discoveries of, among other things, hand axes and cleavers in the region. Evidence of neolithic and megalithic cultures have also been found in the state. Gold discovered in Harappa was found to be imported from mines in Karnataka, prompting scholars to hypothesize about contacts between ancient Karnataka and the Indus Valley Civilization in 3000 BCE. Prior to the third century BCE, most of Karnataka was part of the Nanda Empire before coming under the Mauryan empire of Emperor Ashoka.
 Geography
The state has three principal geographical zones: the coastal region of Karavali, the hilly Malenadu region comprising the Western Ghats and the Bayaluseeme region comprising the plains of the Deccan plateau. The bulk of the state is in the Bayaluseeme region, the northern part of which is the second largest arid region in India.The highest point in Karnataka is the Mullayanagiri hills in Chikkamagaluru district which has an altitude of 1,929 metres (6,329 ft). Some of the important rivers in Karnataka are Kaveri, Tungabhadra, Krishna, Malaprabha and the Sharavathi.
BANGALORE
     
Bangalore is the capital of the Indian state of Karnataka. Located on the Deccan Plateau in the south-eastern part of Karnataka, Bangalore is India's third most populous city and fifth-most populous urban agglomeration.
Though historical references to the city predate 900 CE, a modern written history of continuous settlement exists only from 1537, when Kempe Gowda I, who many regard as the architect of modern Bangalore, built a mud-brick fort at the site and established it as a province of the imperial Vijayanagara Empire. During the British Raj, it became a centre of colonial rule in South India. The establishment of the Bangalore Cantonment brought in large numbers of migrants from other parts of the country.
SIGHTSEEING
 Lal Bagh Gardens
Lal Bagh has been given to it for the wonderfully bloomed red roses that remain blooming all through the year in this garden. The garden has also a collection of famous Botanical species.
 Vidhan Soudha
The architecture of the building is based on the neo Dravidian style and it presently houses the Legislative Assembly of the state of Karnataka.
 Bangalore Palace
Built in the year 1887, Bangalore palace is a must see tourist spot in the garden city. The architecture of the palace is based on the Tudor style. The palace is situated in the middle of the Bangalore city making it easily accessible for the tourists. Covering an area of about 800 acres, the palace gives a look of the Windsor Palace of England.
 Tipu's Palace
The architecture, the layout and the overall look of the palace gives you the idea of the ethnic Mughals lifestyle. The fort and its remains present the history of the era in which it was built.
 ISKCON
The International Society for Krishna Consciousness or ISKCON Temple Complex of Bangalore is a marvelous building structure that has blended the Dravidian and modern architecture in its construction.
 Bull temple
The Bull Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva's Vahana (vehicle), Nandi the bull. Here you can find a huge monolithic statue of the sitting bull that draws a large number of people to this place every day.
REACHING BANGALORE
 By Air
Bangalore international Airport, known as 'HAL Airport' is situated on Airport Road about 6km from the city centre. A busy Airport with over 70 international and domestic flight landings everyday, this airport is divided into three terminals. Terminal I contain the Departure lounge for the Domestic Flights and Terminal II is for Arrival of Domestic Flights.Indian Airlines and private carriers operate regular flights from Delhi, Bombay, Calcutta, Madras, Trivandrum, Hyderabad, Goa, Kochi, Ahmedabad and Mangalore. International Terminal handles Departure and Arrival of International flights to and form Singapore, Dubai, London, Oman, Hong Kong and Saudi Arabia.
 By Rail
Bangalore is connected to all major Indian cities by rail. Several super fast trains such as Shatabhi, Bridavan, Lalbagh express connect Bangalore to Chennai. The City Railway Station is the main terminal in Bangalore.
 By Road
Major National Highways connects Bangalore to Chennai and Mumbai. Other cities and towns of the state and neighboring states are also connected by road. The Main bus terminal in the city is opposite City Railway Station.
MYSORE
     
Mysore is the second-largest city in the state of Karnataka, India. It is the headquarters of the Mysore district and the Mysore division and lies about 146 km (91 mi) southwest of Bangalore, the capital of Karnataka. The name Mysore is an anglicised version of Mahishuru, which means the abode of Mahisha. Mahisha stands for Mahishasura, a demon from the Hindu mythology. The city is spread across an area of 128.42 km2 (50 sq mi) and is situated at the base of the Chamundi Hills.
SIGHTSEEING
 Chamundi Hills
Goddess Chamundeshwari the royal family's patron deity. Halfway up along the stone steps stands the majestic 4.8-metre monolith of Nandi the Bull, Lord Shiva's chosen mount. The statue is believed to be 300 years old and its chief attraction, apart from its size, is the meticulous craftsmanship of its ornaments from its delicate anklets to the magnificent pendant bell around its neck.
 Srirangapatnam
About 15 km from the royal city of Mysore lies the town of Srirangapatnam. Built in 1784 in the Indo-Saracenic style, the palace also has a small museum where Tipu's trivia, including a gold- embroidered tunic, old paintings and a coin collection, are displayed.
 Brindavan Gardens
A half-hour's drive from the city takes you to the Brindavan Gardens. The well-manicured steps of these world famous terrace gardens are bordered by watercourses. Musical fountains with soft colored lights add to the visitor's delight. The view of the gardens during the nights is a thing to be seen.
 Mysore Palace
Built in around AD 897 in Saracenic style, the Mysore palace has both Hindu as well as Muslim influences. The palace, designed by an English architect and completed in 1912, was built in place of an earlier palace which was burnt down in 1897. The palace also houses a museum which has a collection of musical instruments, children's toys, many paintings, costumes, weapons etc. belonging to the Maharaja's family.
REACHING MYSORE
By Air: Aurangabad airport is conveniently located 10km from the city and has direct flights to and from delhi and mumbai.
By Rail: Aurangabad is well connected to mumbai and other cities. there are two trains that depart daily from mumbai, the tapovan express and the devgiri express is an overnight train.
By Road: There are several luxury and state run bus services that ply between mumbai and aurangabad and the ajanta/ellora caves
HAMPI/HOSPET
     
Hampi is a village in northern Karnataka state, India. Hampi is located within the ruins of Vijayanagara, the former capital of the Vijayanagara empire. Predating the city of Vijayanagara, this village continues to be an important religious centre, housing the Virupaksha Temple. The village of Hampi contains several other monuments belonging to the old city. It extends into some of the old ceremonial streets of Vijayanagara. .
SIGHTSEEING
 The Lotus Temple
A non-religious building in Hampi is the Lotus temple. The graceful, two-storied pavilion is located in the Zenana enclosure. This palace is an amazing synthesis of Hindu and Islamic architecture. There is an open pavilion at the lower level and windows and balconies at the upper level. The beautiful recessed archways set geometrically let the sun unfold inside like lotus petals, hence the name of the temple.
 Vitthala Temple
Vittala temple is about 2 kms away to the east of Hampi bazaar. Relatively well preserved, the ruins of the temple are now a World Heritage. The temples beautiful sculptures exhibits the richness of Vijayanagar Art. The outer pillars are known as the 'Musical Pillars' as they echo when tapped, although this practice is now discouraged to avoid further damage.
 Queen's Bath
The most elaborate of the bathhouses is the 'Queen's bath' lying in the citadel area, south of the Hazara Rama temple. The building is a large square structure, noteworthy for its contrasting plain exterior and the very ornate interior.
REACHING HAMBI
By Air: The nearest airport is Bellary about 75 km. Other airports near Hospet are at Bangalore about 350 km and Belgaum about 200 km well connected by Indian Airlines flights to most parts of India.
By Rail: Aurangabad is well connected to mumbai and other cities. there are two trains that depart daily from mumbai, the tapovan express and the devgiri express is an overnight train.
By Road: There are several luxury and state run bus services that ply between mumbai and aurangabad and the ajanta/ellora caves.
BADAMI
     
Badami is a taluk in the Bagalkot district of Karnataka, India. It was the regal capital of the Badami Chalukyas from 540 to 757 AD. It is famous for rock cut and other structural temples. It is located in a ravine at the foot of a rugged, red sandstone outcrop that surrounds Agastya lake..
SIGHTSEEING
 Badami Fort
An arduous climb through a stone chasm and fortified gateways takes you to the temples, the remains of a granary, a treasury, and a watchtower on top of the fort. The Upper Shivalaya Temple still has some friezes and sculptures depicting legends relating to Lord Krishna. Perched on a rock, the Malegatti Shivalaya is an excellent example of the ancient southern style of architecture.
 Cave temple
The cave temples are in 4 levels connected by a fleet of stairs. The lowermost cave which can be reached by climbing around 40 steps is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It enshrines a shiva lingam. Shiva as Nataraja is depicted with eighteen arms in 81 dance poses (cosmic dance). The second cave reached by climbing 64 stairs from the first cave is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The most interesting is the 3rd cave which can be reached by climbing 60 steps from the second. Numerous forms of Lord Vishnu are depicted here.
 Sculpture Gallery
The sculpture collection from Badami, Aihole and Pattadakal, housed in the Sculpture Gallery is worth a look. An interesting sight here is the model of the natural bridge, Sidilinapadi, which is 5 kms from Badami. At the gates of the Gallery, steps lead up to the fort temples of Shiva.
REACHING HAMBI
By Air:The nearest airport to Badami is Belgaum, which is about 190 km away. Belgaum is connected to Mumbai by domestic flights. From Belgaum to Badami, taxi charge is about Rs 3000/-. Bangalore is the nearest International Airport, from where it requires about 12 hours travel (about 500 km) to reach Badami by Taxi/ buses.
By Rail: Badami is connected by state transport KSRTC to Hubli and Bijapur. Tourist buses are available from Bangalore to Badami daily. This costs nearly Rs 1500 by tourist bus.
By Road:Nearest major railhead is Hubli, which is about 100 km away. Hubli is well connected to all major cities. There is a small station near Badami which is about 5 km from the heart of the city. It takes about Rs 25 by three wheeled rickshaw and Rs 100 for taxi.
PATTADAKAL
  
Pattadakal has a set of nine temples built almost in a single file, showing the architects' desire for experimenting in various styles. Pattadakal represents the culmination of early Chalykyan art. Four of the temples here are in the south Indian Dravidian architectural style while four are in the north Indian Nagara style while Papanatha temple exhibits a hybrid style.
AIHOLE
Aihole has its own historical significance and is called as cradle of Hindu rock architecture. Aihole was the first capital of the early Chalukyas. Here they built over 125 temples in various styles and is said to be a laboratory of experiments in rock cut architecture. Aihole is to the west of Badami, along the Malaprabha River, while Pattadakal is to the east.
HALEBID
  
This place is also called as Dwara Samudra, the wealthy capital of the Hoysala Kingdom. Halebid has several striking beautiful Hoysala temples and Jain Shrines.The highlights of the city are the 12th century Hoysaleswara temple with friezes and sculptures depicting scenes from Hindu mythology and the Archaeological Museum displaying 12th-13th century sculptures, woodcarvings, idols, coins and inscriptions.
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