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Wonders of Karnataka Tour

Duration:
15 days / 14 nights
Destinations:
Bangalore, Mysore, Kabini, Coorg, Hassan, Hampi, Badami, Goa
Price Guide:

Price guide for this 15 day Karnataka tour package is £1925 based on two people. Prices vary based on number of people, length of tour, accommodation & season.

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Overview

See the best of South India with the Wonders of Karnataka 15 day private tour. Be transported from modern cities to ancient palaces and temples, through expansive coffee and spice plantations to amazing wildlife reserves and finally arrive at the glorious beaches of Goa.

This South India trip starts from Bangalore with an orientation of the cosmopolitan city before proceeding to Mysore, the city of palaces and silks. You will stay with a family in their grand old plantation in Coorg and take a stroll through the acres of coffee and pepper plantations. Enjoy game drives in Nagarhole National Park and visit the Hoysala temples of Belur & Halebidu. For some, the highlight of this tour is the ruined city of Hampi but the world heritage sites of Aihole & Pattadakkal and the Cave Temple of Badami are also impressive. Your last two nights at one of the beautiful beaches of Goa is a fitting finale for this amazing tour.

  • Bangalore city tour
  • Visit the Chamundi Hills and Nandi Bull Statue
  • Full day sightseeing in Mysore including city tour and visit to Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary
  • Game drives in Nagarhole National Park
  • Visit a Tibetan settlement and the Golden Temple at Bylakuppe
  • Visit the Hoysala Temples world heritage site
  • Full day tour to explore the ruins of Hampi
  • Visit the 5th century Ad Lad Khan Temple and the Pattadakal world heritage site
  • Day of leisure in Goa

Please remember all our private tours are designed to meet your exact requirements, and this tour is just an example to help inspire you.

 

For a glimpse of some of the amazing local wildlife, watch this trailer for Wild Karnataka, narrated by David Attenborough.

The Wonders of Karnataka - 15 Days / 14 Nights

The Wonders of Karnataka Tour offers you the best of South India taking you on a journey through the highlights of this unique and extraordinary landscape.

This South India trip from Bangalore takes you on an adventure to explore the colours of Mysore, amazing ancient temples and monuments, wild elephants in national parks, beautiful hill stations with extensive coffee plantations, the oldest Tibetan settlement in India where prayer flags flutter in the wind and the glorious beaches of Goa.

Code: BAN002

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Day 1 - Your south India trip starts in Bangalore

You will be met at Bangalore International Airport by your Authentic India Tours representative who will transfer you to your hotel.

After a relaxing morning it's time to enjoy an orientation tour of this thriving cosmopolitan city where landscaped gardens and 18th century palaces rub shoulders with glitzy malls and upmarket restaurants. You will also be offered an optional excursion to Bangalore Palace, one of the city’s top tourist destinations. This majestic structure was built for the ruling Maharaja in the late 19th century, when he was only ten years old.

As evening falls we suggest a visit to a chic rooftop bar or microbrewery, to sample a craft beer or Indian-spiced cocktail. 

Accommodation: Fortune JP Cosmos
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Day 2 - Bangalore to Mysore

After breakfast you will travel to Mysore, a city with a rich cultural heritage, which is located at the foot of the Chamundi hills. In the afternoon your tour continues with a short drive into the Chamundi Hills, where you will be able to get a panoramic view of the city and see the Nandi Bull – a huge statue carved from stone.

Any trip to India should include some souvenir shopping and Mysore is famous for its colourful silks. These can be purchased from shops around the city, including the Government Silk Factory. Centuries old Devaraja Market provides another unique shopping experience. This bustling market is a feast for the senses, with vibrant cones of coloured dyes, exotic fruits and fragrant flowers.

Approximate travel time and distance: 3 - 4 hours, 150 kms

Accommodation: Royal Orchid Metropole
Meals included: Breakfast
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Day 3 - Mysore

An exciting day is on the cards for all for culture lovers with a morning tour of Mysore. As the former capital of the Kingdom of Mysore, it is known as the ‘City of Palaces’. The most spectacular of these is Mysore Palace, with its high domed ceilings, ornate marble pillars and towering stone arches. After visiting the palace, we drive to the Sri Rangapattanam district to see the Tipu Sultan’s lavish Summer Palace and the ruins of the Tipu Sultan’s Fort, both of which boast large, manicured gardens.

In the afternoon you can escape the hustle and bustle of the city with a trip to the famous Rangathittu Bird Sanctuary. Enjoy a rowing boat cruise along the River Cauvery, where you will see hundreds of birds roosting on the rocks, gliding across the water, or fishing for food. Expect to see sleek black cormorants, river terns and black crowned night herons.

Accommodation: Royal Orchid Metropole
Meals included: Breakfast
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Day 4 - Mysore to Kabini

The next couple of days is a real treat for nature lovers. After breakfast, you travel to Nagarhole National Park, which is amongst the most popular national parks in India. It’s an area of lush forest threaded by the Kabini River and backwaters, which provides water for hundreds of different animals. Here you can spot wild elephants and sometimes even a tiger.

In the afternoon, explore a forest track in a jeep, looking out for animals hidden in the undergrowth, before taking a motor boat and canoe ride across the reservoir. You will spend the night in a luxury safari lodge, giving you the opportunity to pamper yourself whilst surrounded by nature.

Approximate travel time and distance: 2 hours, 90 kms

Accommodation: Kaav Safari Lodge
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
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Day 5 - Kabini

Spend the day at one with nature in the national park.

An early morning game drive is recommended, as the animals are most active at this time of day. You will be travelling in an open-top vehicle, so make sure you bring something warm to wear. Look out for elephants, tigers, spotted deer, mongoose, peacocks and jungle fowl.

Later you can go on an expedition with a local naturalist, so make sure you pack sunscreen and a hat.

Accommodation: Kaav Safari Lodge
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
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Day 6 - Kabini to Coorg

This morning, is your last chance to experience an early morning game drive with a local wildlife expert in Nagarhole National Park.

In the afternoon we drive to the thriving hill station of Coorg, a tranquil area with green, tea-carpeted hills, misty forests and numerous coffee and spice plantations. Coorg is well known as the place where most Indian coffee is produced, but it is also home to a large variety of animals.

You will spend the night at a boutique homestay on a coffee and pepper plantation.

Approximate travel time and distance: 3 hours, 120 kms

Accommodation: School Estate
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
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Day 7 - Coorg

Spend the day relaxing and exploring the tranquil 200 acre estate, where you will find cardamom, coffee, pepper and areca nut plantations.

There’s an option to visit the oldest Tibetan settlement in India, Bylakuppe, where colourful prayer flags flutter in the wind. Here you can experience the Golden Temple, ornately decorated both on the inside and the outside with vibrant friezes of Tibetan art, regularly used by the monks as a place of worship and prayer. It may also be possible to go on an optional excursion to the Dubare Elephant Camp, where you can watch the elephants being given a scrub-bath in the river.

Accommodation: School Estate
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
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Day 8 - Coorg to Hassan

Today you leave the natural beauty spot of Coorg for a mountainous drive to the town of Hassan, located in the heart of the Malanad region.

The district of Hassan provides the culture injection you want when you visit India. It has a rich heritage, and was at the height of its glory during the rule of the Hoysala Empire between the 10th to the 14thcenturies. Here you will discover Hoysala Temples, as well as ancient Jain monuments.

Approximate travel time and distance: 3 hours, 100 kms

Accommodation: Hoysala Village
Meals included: Breakfast
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Day 9 - Hassan

Today your day will be packed with the fascinating history of the Hoysala Empire as you visit the heritage towns of Belur and Halabidu.

First, you will visit Belur, a UNESCO world heritage site. Here you will be amazed by the intricate carvings and statues of the Chennakeshava and Veeranrayana Temples, which should be top of any South Indian temples to visit.

This is followed by a visit to Halebidu, the regal capital of the Hoysala Empire in the 12th Century. You will have the chance to admire the ornate Hoysaleswara Temple, before returning to the Holsaya Village for a second night.

Accommodation: Hoysala Village
Meals included: Breakfast
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Day 10 - Hassan to Hampi

Today we embark on a long journey to the beautiful town of Hampi, which has been charming travellers throughout the ages.

Hampi rose to fame in the 14th century, when it became the capital of the great Hindu Kingdom of Vijayanagar. Its fabulously rich Princes built a myriad of Dravidian temples and palaces for people to admire, but 200 years later the Deccan sultans had pillaged and abandoned it. Hampi is now a UNESCO world heritage site, making it a destination not to be missed when you visit India. Your accommodation tonight is at the Heritage Resort Hampi, a luxury resort with an in-house organic farm.

Approximate travel time and distance: 7 hours, 340 kms

Accommodation: The Heritage Resort Hampi
Meals included: Breakfast
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Day 11 - Hampi

Today is a day of discovery and exploration. The ancient ruins and temples of Hampi are surrounded by lime green paddy fields, banana plantations and surreal hillsides littered with large, rust coloured boulders.

Your tour will include the most important ruins of the Vijayanagara Empire, including the imposing Virupakhsha Temple, located on the banks of River Tungabhadra. You will also visit the Elephant Stables, where they used to ‘park’ the royal elephants in 11 domed chambers, and the intricately carved palace known as the Royal Enclosure.

Accommodation: The Heritage Resort Hampi
Meals included: Breakfast
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Day 12 - Hampi to Badami

As you travel to Badami, you can immerse yourself in history by visiting the cultural centres of Aihole and Pattadakal. Aihole is one of the oldest settlements in India, home to impressive rock carvings and temples including the fascinating 5th Century Lad Khan Temple. Pattadakal, now a world heritage site, is a complex of 7th and 8th Century Jain and Hindu temples. It provides an excellent example of the eclectic architecture of the Chalukya dynasty, which combined aspects of North and South Indian styles.

This evening's tour features the famous rock cut cave temples of Badami, which were carved deep into the rock during the 6th & 7th Centuries. 

Approximate travel time and distance: 4 hours, 180 kms

Accommodation: Krishna Heritage
Meals included: Breakfast
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Day 13 - Badami to Goa

After breakfast you will be driven to the coastal state of Goa. The area is famed for its relaxed atmosphere and golden sand beaches, fringed with coconut palms.

Arrive in time for a dip in the ocean and to sip on a cocktail as you watch the sun set over the Arabian Sea. You will spend the night at the Coconut Creek Resort, a beautiful laid back beach resort.

Approximate travel time and distance: 5 - 6 hours, 240 kms

Accommodation: Coconut Creek Resort
Meals included: Breakfast
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Day 14 - Goa

Spend the day lounging on the beach, soaking up warm rays of Indian sun and swimming in the sea.

For those looking for something a little more active, take a trip into the nearby town of Panaji, a former Portuguese colony. Wander the winding cobbled streets of its Old Town, where you will discover all sorts of hidden gems, including art galleries, churches and museums.

Several nearby beaches, such as Calangute, also host weekly street markets. Here you can purchase colourful clothing, handicrafts and spices as souvenirs. 

Accommodation: Coconut Creek Resort
Meals included: Breakfast
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Day 15 - Depart from Goa

All good things must come to an end and today you will be driven to Goa International Airport in time for your flight home.

Meals included : Breakfast

Accommodation

The accommodation is a mix of modern, authentic and boutique properties. Your hotels will vary from place to place, with both modest stays in remote locations and 5* opulence available in major tourist areas.

Fortune JP Cosmos, Bangalore

Situated in the heart of the city, where shopping, culture and beautiful green spaces come together, Fortune JP Cosmos is a first class hotel with 134 modern rooms and every amenity you could wish for. Offering a swimming pool, gym and beauty salon along with its great location, this hotel has it all. The various restaurants in the hotel offer a dining delight where world cuisines can be savored.

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Royal Orchid Metropole, Mysore

Offering opulent rooms, delectable dining in award winning restaurants and a great location in the heart of the city this five star hotel has it all! Rooms that are the epitome of style with pool facing balconies and garden views ensures every guest enjoys a luxurious experience. With a swimming pool, fitness centre and gaming room everyone is catered for. Located in a renowned tourist destination the area itself has a lot to explore.

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Kaav Safari Lodge, Kabini

Situated at the edge of a teeming jungle Kaav is a contemporary Eco-friendly boutique lodge surrounded by uninterrupted nature and an abundance of wildlife. A common lounge to interact with fellow guests, viewing lounge to admire nature’s beauty and Alfresco dining overlooking the pool and scenes beyond, add to the experience. Continuing the theme of ‘untamed glamour’ luxury rooms with balconies or glamping tents offer luxurious accommodation with private decks making this a truly unique place.

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School Estate, Coorg

Encased in beautiful gardens and 200 acres of plantations, The School Estate is steeped in over 150 years of history offering guests the chance to experience traditional country living with an emphasis on the heritage, nature and culture of the surrounding area. Accommodation ranges from a choice of two cottages and rooms, all with great views. Fresh local produce, hand-picked coffee beans and a beautiful setting add to a delicious al fresco dining experience.

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Hoysala Village, Hassan

Hoysala Village is a superior grade ethnic resort which offers every nature lover a paradise to enjoy. Located in the town of Hassan, referred to as the ‘land of the sunflower’, it is surrounded by farmland and greenery.  The comfortable rooms have been created to retain the local flavour.  This is a truly special resort which also has the benefit of a swimming pool.

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The Heritage Resort, Hampi

Located a short distance from the iconic monuments of Hampi, The Heritage Resort is built on nine acres of coconut and mango plantations. With a modern style inspired by the traditional local architecture and peaceful setting, the resort is surrounded by the sights and smells of untouched landscapes and its own organic farm. Accommodation ranges from a choice of modern and stylish villas whilst Kishkinda, the resort's own multi-cuisine restaurant, offers guests a dining experience to remember.

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Krishna Heritage, Badami

Located in a peaceful setting, Krishna Heritage is a simple neat and clean resort offering large spacious rooms in accommodation comprising of cottages. With good quality cuisine and lovely service, this hotel is in close proximity to the culture and history of Badami.

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Coconut Creek Resort, Goa

Coconut Creek Resort is a well-established family-friendly resort delicately entwined into the surrounding coconut plantation. With twenty private air-conditioned rooms, the villa-style accommodation has large windows and ceiling fans either with bathtubs or wet room facilities. All rooms have views of the gardens or the lagoon pool. Award-winning service, excellent cuisine and a choice of international drinks to accompany it ensure the resort has all the ingredients needed for a wonderful holiday.

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Destinations

If you are planning to visit India, Karnataka is a sprawling Southern Indian state that has it all. Here you will find the best of South India from 280km of gorgeous coastline to lush green coffee plantations, from ancient temples to the cosmopolitan chic of the capital city, Bangalore. Below are some of the destinations you will explore on this expansive tour.

Bangalore (Bengaluru)

Bangalore (Bengaluru), fondly nicknamed the Silicon Valley of India, is a lively and exciting city. Gardens and palaces dating back to the 18th Century stand proudly amidst the glittering shopping and nightlife options favored by its younger residents and visitors making it one of the most popular cities in Southern India to visit today.

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Mysore (Mysuru)

Mysore is located a short drive or train ride from Bangalore. Known as the City of Palaces, it is famed for its royal heritage and ancient monuments. The Mysore Palace is the most famous and richly decorated of these, with Lalitha Mahal, in the east of the city, coming a close second. The ancient Sri Prasanna Krishna Swamy Temple is also a must visit, providing a taste of India’s rich cultural and religious traditions. Mysore is also the birthplace of Ashtanga yoga, and the city has a plethora of different yoga classes and luxury yoga retreats to try if you’re feeling adventurous.

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Kabini & Nagarhole National Park

Nagarhole National Park is the largest protected wildlife zone in Southern India, comprised of shady forests, rivers and bamboo thickets. It’s home to hundreds of different bird species, as well as the Bengal tiger, sloth bear, giant flying squirrel and much more. The Kabini river threads its way through the park, culminating in the Kabini backwaters, a tranquil network of waterways and lakes. The Kabini is one of the best places for wildlife spotting, as you can catch sight of animals drinking and bathing at the water’s edge.

Coorg (Kodagu), Karnataka

Situated amongst the breathtaking peaks of the Western Ghats, this district is the perfect place to relax and rejuvenate after visiting Mysore and Bangalore. Stroll through misty forests, emerald hills and coffee, cardamom and pepper plantations. Interact with elephants at the Dubare Elephant Camp – if you arrive before 9:00am you’ll have the chance to give them a bath. Near the camp is the oldest Tibetan settlement in India, Bylakuppe, where you can visit the lavishly decorated Golden Temple, its interiors decorated with colourful, traditional friezes.

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Hassan

Hassan is the place to be for lovers of history, heritage and old architecture in India, famed for its temples and ancient monuments. Many of the district’s temples were built between the 10th and 14th centuries, when the Hoysala dynasty ruled Karnataka, and are well known for their intricate carvings. Most of these temples are to be found in the scenic countryside of Hassan District. Hassan City itself is clean and modern, and pulls in crowds to see the Hasanamba temple, an important Hindu pilgrimage site.

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Badami

This former capital of the ancient Chalukya Empire is located on the shores of Agastya lake, and surrounded by striking red sandstone cliffs. As you wander the narrow backstreets of Badami you’ll catch sight of ruins and carved wooden doors, vestiges of this ancient civilization. Here you’ll also find Badami’s famous rock cut cave temples, which were carved into the rock in the 6th and 7th Centuries. In the evening, the last rays of sun tinge the entire landscape a deep golden colour. The Bhutanatha temple is the perfect location to watch the sunset.

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Aihole, Karnataka

Aihole is a small village in the fertile Malaprabha River Basin, surrounded by red sandstone hills. The village is a site of huge archeological importance, housing around 120 temples, all built between the 4th and 12th centuries. Viewing these temples in such close proximity allows you to see the developments in the architecture of these Indian landmarks. Visit the iconic Durga temple and marvel at the ornate carved stone interiors. Make sure you take a trip to the Ravanaphadi temple complex, a series of caves carved into the sandstone cliffs.

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Pattadakal, Karnataka

Pattadakal is a complex of 7th and 8th Century Jain and Hindu temples, built from the red sandstone rock that surrounds them. This UNESCO heritage site provides an excellent example of the eclectic architecture of the Chalukya dynasty, which combined aspects of North and South Indian styles. The most awe-inspiring of these Indian landmarks is the Virupaksha Temple, built by Queen Lokamahadevi to commemorate her husband’s victory in battle.

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Belur, home to the Chennakeshava Temple

A small town in Hassan District, located on the banks of the River Yagachi, Belur was once the capital of the Hoysala dynasty. It’s famed for the 900-year-old Chennakesava Temple, a renowned UNESCO heritage site. The entire temple is built from soft soapstone, which allowed sculptors to carve intricate patterns and deities into every surface. In the middle of the courtyard is the 42 metre high Gravity Pillar, which has stood for hundreds of years and is supported only by its own weight.

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Halebidu and the Hoysaleshwara Temple

The ancient temple town of Halebidu is located on the serene shores of Lake Dwarasamudra. Halebidu is well known for the Hoysaleswara and Kedareswara Temples, both built in 1121 AD, which have recently been named as UNESCO heritage sites. You can spend hours poring over the intricate carvings that cover every surface of the temples. There’s also an architectural museum, where you’ll find hundreds of bronze and stone idols from different ages.

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Goa

Goa is India’s smallest state, yet it boasts over 100km of coastline. It’s well known for its golden sand beaches fringed with coconut palms, and for its legendary nightlife. But there’s far more to laid back Goa than this. Formerly a Portuguese colony, Goa is an intriguing melting pot of Indian and European cultural influences, which is reflected in its colonial architecture and unique cuisine. Inland you’ll find lush jungle, spice plantations and waterfalls, making Goa a state where you can get in some beach time along with your culture fix.

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Hampi World Heritage Site

The ancient ruins and temples of Hampi are surrounded by paddy fields, banana plantations and surreal hillsides littered with large, rust-coloured boulders. Despite the village’s small size, there’s a lot to see at this UNESCO heritage site. One of the most intriguing is the Virupaksha Temple, which dates back to the 7th Century.

In Hampi Bazaar you’ll find gorgeous handwoven fabric and other traditional handicrafts for sale. To find a quieter side to Hampi, take a traditional coracle ride across the River Tungabhadra, where you can hike up to Sunset Point for a view of these awe inspiring surroundings.

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Pricing and Inclusions

The price guide for this 15 day Karnataka tour package is £1925. Prices vary depending on the number of people, length of tour, accommodation & season. Reductions are normally available for groups of three or more. This is a private tour and can be tailor-made to meet your exact requirements.

Included with this South India tour are the following:

  • Authentic India Tours meet & greet assistance on arrival
  • All internal transfers and sightseeing tours using an air-conditioned vehicle
  • Accommodation for 14 nights on twin sharing basis
  • Standard category rooms at all hotels unless otherwise mentioned
  • Meal plan: Kaav Safari Lodge & School Estate on full board; Bed & Breakfast elsewhere
  • English speaking guide for sightseeing tour of Mysore, Hassan, Hampi & Badami
  • Entrances at all national parks, museums and monuments as per the itinerary
  • Mineral water on all days of travel

Price does not include:

  • International flight tickets
  • Travel insurance & Visas
  • Expenses of personal nature like laundry, tips, beverages etc
  • Meals other than mentioned in the above meal plan
  • Camera & video fees at national parks, museums & monuments

Prices mentioned above are per person based on two people sharing a twin room. The prices which were valid at the time of publication may be subject to change, based on your date of travel and local market fluctuations. You will be informed of any price differences prior to booking.

For a quote based on your dates of travel, any alternative accommodation or changes to this itinerary, please call Authentic India Tours on 01792 315499 or email us at info@aitholidays.comg