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This tour takes you across the coffee growing region of Coorg and Malnad in Karnataka, South India. It is an escorted private tour, which has been designed to stimulate five of your senses! The highlights of this tour are the marvelous stone temples of Belur and Halebidu, a rainforest in Sakleshpur, coffee plantations at Chikmagalur and Coorg, wild life, Tibetan culture in a settlement, and the royal Mysore.
On the first night, you will either stay at Yogaksheema Yoga Retreat or Mallige Residency in Hassan depending on availability. On the second night, you will stay at Hulivana, but if it's not available, then a similar alternative will be used. On nights three to four, you will stay at Thotadahalli or an equivalent home stay accommodation. On the fifth to sixth nights, your stay will be at Victoria Verandez or an equivalent home stay accommodation.
At 7 a.m., you will start from Bangalore towards your destination, Belur, the ancient capital of Hoyasala Empire, located 220 kilometers from Bangalore. The drive will take four hours and you will reach Belur by 11 a.m. including a breakfast break along the way. After check-in at your accommodation, lunch will be served.
You depart at 2 p.m. towards the famed Chennakesava temple of Belur which took over a 100 years to build. The next couple of hours will be spent inside this temple complex. You ride next towards Halebidu, the old capital of the Hoyasala Empire.
You spend a couple of hours in the two magnificent temples inside the complex dedicated to Hoysalesvara and Shantalesvara. You end the tour of Halebidu with a visit to the archaeological museum, which showcases a variety of Hoyasala-style sculptures. Around 7 p.m., you ride back from Halebidu to your hotel. Dinner and your stay overnight will be at the same hotel.
You drive the 45 kilometers distance between Belur and coffee area of Sakleshpur. Then, you go 11 kilometers deep into the dense forest with not a trace of civilization for miles. Your stay is planned in an eco-resort inside the forest. The only lights you will ever see are fireflies flitting by.
Activities to choose range from birding (29 species of migratory and endemic avifauna are here), herpwatch (watch and identify with a field guide the diverse species of herpetafauna endemic to this part of the western ghats), lepidoptera (photo data collection and document of butterfly species of this region: spot bluebottles, red parrot, Tamil oak blue, and common imperial), apiary (assist in bee keeping and extraction), and mountain (hard tail) cycling.
You say good-bye to the wild and move to the coffee country of Chikmagalur. Your stay is in an ancestral plantation home which offers a glimpse into the planter’s life. Over the next two days, you will do a coffee tour across the plantation, as well as cycling and wildlife safari at Bhadra National Park: a Project Tiger reserve and home to a wide variety of flora and fauna.
You leave Chikmagalur and come south towards the other coffee growing district of Coorg. Your stay is in a home stay. This place is surrounded by magnificent rainforests and a lush green coffee estate where black pepper and cardamom are also grown. The highlight of this stay would be a ride to the place of origin of a sacred river.
After checking out in the morning, you visit the Tibetan settlement at Kushalanagar where 10,000 exiled Tibetans are living their traditional lifestyle. You will get to experience Tibet and Tibetan lifestyle through the golden temple, educational monastic institutions, and monasteries like Namdroling and Tashilunpo.
You move to Mysore to visit the world famous Mysore Palace. It is the former residence of the royal family of Mysore, who ruled the princely state from 1350 to 1950. You return to Bangalore for an end to a magnificent week that flew past you.
The tour will take place in India.
Karnataka is a state located in the south west part of India. It is a fantastic destination for experiential tourism courtesy of its diversity in people, culture, and natural landscapes. Kannada is the language of the majority of its people and those who natively speak this language are called Kannadigas.
Karnataka is also home to Tuluvas, Kodavas, Konakanis, Tibetan Buddhists, and tribes like Oligas, Yeravas, Todas, and Siddhis. The colorful landscape, people, and cultures makes Karnataka a great choice for experiential tours. The fact that it is not yet in the main route of experiential tourism as well as motorcycle tours, makes it a hidden gem.
Bangalore is the capital city of Karnataka. Though it is widely assumed that Kempe Gowda was the founder of Bangalore city, records found in Begur referring to the city from 890 CE shows it has a much older history. In 1906, Bangalore became one of the first cities in India to have electricity from hydro power, powered by the hydroelectric plant situated in Shivanasamudra.
Today, it is a hub for the Information Technology industry. A not so well known fact is that Bangalore is also the base for nearly 47% of the 265 biotechnology companies in India. A strange fact is that Bangalore has too many dogs. In fact it the ratio of dogs vs. humans is 1:37, one of the highest in India.
Mysore is a city with a rich legacy of art, culture, royal traditions, and wild life. The legendary Mysore Palace is of course the single biggest attraction of the city and attracts more than six million people every year, next only to the Taj Mahal. There are seven palaces in Mysore with The Amba Vilas Palace, the seat of the Wodeyar Kings, and Jaganmohan Palace, the art gallery, being the most popular.
However, there is much more to Mysore than its royal heritage. Mysore is often called the cultural capital of Karnataka and is most famous for its colorful Dasara festival where the Goddess Chamundeshwari’s idol is placed on a heavily decorated elephant and taken on a procession. It is accompanied by elephants, horses, camels, musicians, and dancers. Mysore is also a haven for Carnatic musicians, the classical museum form of South India.
Mysore has a thriving sericulture industry and is famous for its silk sarees which are woven from silk and gold threads. The city also has thousands of craftsmen who work on rosewood inlays. The other specialty of Mysore is its unique painting style. The gesso work with gold foil is a specialty in this style of painting.
Mysore is also home to Ranganathitu, one of the finest bird sanctuaries in India. While it is only 40 acres of islands spread across the River Kaveri, it attracts 40,000 birds from far away Siberia and Latin America.
Belur and Halebid are masterpieces of Hoyasala-style architecture and are located 220 kilometers away from Bangalore. Belur temple is dedicated to Lord Chennakesava and took a 100 years to build. This temple built by King Vishnuvardhan features several episodes from the great epics Ramayana and Mahabarata in the form of sculptures.
Halebid was the old capital of Hoysala Empire in the 12th and 13th centuries. The capital shifted to Belur after it was ransacked by forces of Allaudin Khilji led by Malik Kafur. There are two magnificent temples inside the complex dedicated to Hoysalesvara and Shantalesvara. A highlight at Halebid is a magnificent statue of Nandi which took 86 years to complete. The craftsmen have even shown the blood veins on the face of Nandi.
The price of the package includes daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Families can choose to experience this private guided coffee plantation tour in an SUV, while couples can do this in a car. Groups can choose the coach option which again comes with a full time guide. Motorcycle enthusiasts can take the thrilling option of a guided motorcycle tour in a Royal Enfield.
Kempegowda International Airport
Transfer available for additional US$25 per person
Please book your flight to arrive at Kempegowda International Airport (BLR). Transfer from and to this airport is available at an additional cost of 25 USD.
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