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Karnataka

Culture & history

Our most recommended Karnataka Culture & History

Bangalore: Private Full-Day City Tour w/ Lunch

1. Bangalore: Private Full-Day City Tour w/ Lunch

In the morning after breakfast, you will be picked up between 8:30 – 9:00am, a chauffeur and guide will pick you up from the hotel for Bangalore sightseeing. With its beautiful gardens, boulevards, wonderful cinema and shopping complexes, the city is full of life and vigor. Start your tour by visiting the ISKCON temple which offers a truly commendable experience to visitors and devotees from a spiritual and architectural perspective. A happy blend of tradition and modernity, the temple is built in a neo-classical style. Later, proceed to the Tipu's Palace which has now been converted into a museum. The two-storied palace is entirely built of teakwood with exquisitely carved pillars, arches and balconies.  Afterwards, move on to visit the Lalbagh Botanical Gardens which houses over 1000 species of plants. You will also find a glass house inspired by the Crystal Palace of England which was built to commemorate the visit of Prince of Wales. After Lalbagh, enjoy lunch at Local Restaurant and then drive to Bangalore Palace. Bangalore Palace was built by Rev. Garrett, who was the first principal of the Central High School in Bangalore, now known as Central College. This tour only includes the outside view of Bangalore Palace. You will also drive past through High court, Cubbon Park & Vidhan Sabha to take a look at this magnificent building. Vidhan Sabha houses the legislative chambers of the state government and presently accommodates around twenty-two departments approximately. Later, visit the old Bull Temple and Gavi Gangadhareshwara. Bull temple is dedicated to a sacred Hindu demi-god, Nandi who is a close devotee and attendant of Shiva and is a fine example of Dravidian-style architecture. Gavi Gangadhareshwara Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and was cut out from rocks in the 9th century but later renovated by Kempe Gowda. It houses a unique image of Agni, the God of Fire, probably the only one of its type in all of South India. After visiting the temples, you will be driven back to the hotel/ your residence. Tour order can be changed based on your hotel location.

Goa: Spice Plantation Tour and Traditional Local Lunch

2. Goa: Spice Plantation Tour and Traditional Local Lunch

Escape the crowds and noise of the beaches for a few hours and visit a spice plantation located in Ponda, a city in southern Goa. Discover tropical plants laden with fruits, herbs, and spices on a guided walk of the plantation before enjoying a homely meal. Try authentic Goan cuisine and taste the local drink, Feni, made from cashews. Start off with a private hotel pickup in an air-conditioned car. En route, sit back and take in the views of the paddy fields and villages, or ask your driver for suggestions about Goa and for stories about its people. Upon arrival at the spice plantation, receive a traditional welcome of a warm, soothing herbal tea. Then, set off on a short guided walk around a section of the plantation. Feel free to touch, smell, and taste the different fruits and trees. Depending on the season, you can observe cinnamon, black and green cardamom, mace, piri-piri chilies, coconuts, green pepper, and allspice. Learn more about the uses and health benefits of each spice with the plantation's staff, including tips on how you can incorporate them for your own well-being. After the tour, savor a Goan lunch spread, prepared fresh on the plantation and served in earthen pots. Lunch includes both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes and incorporates the spices grown locally. Sample feni with your lunch, a favorite liquor among the locals produced from fresh cashew fruit and distilled in a traditional pot. Before heading back to your hotel, have the opportunity to purchase spices from the on-site shop and visit a local Hindu temple, if you want.

Mysuru: Day Trip from Bengaluru

3. Mysuru: Day Trip from Bengaluru

Enjoy a memorable day trip from crowded Bengaluru to the city of royalty. Start early from your hotel and relax on a 3.5-hour drive to Mysore. Your friendly local guide will walk you through the splendid buildings of the Mysore Palace and the Gothic-inspired St. Philomena's Cathedral. You will also have a chance to visit the Chamundeshwari Temple, located atop the Chamundi Hills, for a fascinating history of the people of Mysore. Start your day trip with an early morning pickup from your hotel. Sit back and relax on your drive to Mysore, which will take approximately 3-4 hours (depending on your pick up location and road conditions). Mysuru, formerly known as Mysore, is famous for its World Heritage buildings. Your first stop is the magnificent Mysuru Palace. Home of the Wodeyar dynasty, this grand palace is embellished with stained glass, majestic wooden doors, and intricate mosaic tiles. A fine collection of armors, sculptures, and paintings add to the glamour. Spend up to 1.5 hours exploring the Palace with your guide, building up an appetite for a traditional vegetarian lunch at a local's favorite spot. Next, head to the Chamundeswari Temple, located atop a hill. Dedicated to a form of Shakti, the goddess is revered by Hindus across the region. The location offers stunning views of the Karnataka countryside. Lastly, visit the St. Philomena's Cathedral which was built in 1941. Constructed in a Neo-Gothic style, its architecture is said to be inspired by the Cologne Cathedral in Germany and is one of the tallest churches in Asia. At the end of the tour, drive back towards Bengaluru where you will be dropped off at your hotel around 6:30-7 PM.

Goa: Private Full-Day Sightseeing Highlights Tour

4. Goa: Private Full-Day Sightseeing Highlights Tour

Visit all the landmarks of Goa on this cultural and heritage sightseeing tour. Travel comfortably from one landmark to the next with a friendly local guide in a private air-conditioned car. Trace the history of Goa from its capital city and beautiful places of worship. Start your day with an early pick-up and head towards Panjim. Appreciate the significance of the Portuguese rule in Goa through the neighborhood known as Fontainhas, Asia's oldest Latin Quarter. Walk amongst the narrow winding lanes and remember to take photos against the bright yellow, green, blue and red walls. Next, head to the former capital Old Goa, now home to World Heritage churches. Marvel at the architecture of the Se Cathedral and the Church of St. Cajetan, and pay a visit to the Basilica of Bom Jesus. Next, visit the Mangueshi Temple, which is of great significance to the Hindu community. After a full day of culture, head to a Spice Plantation located in Southern Goa. Here, you will have a chance to taste a delicious buffet lunch of Goan food preparations. Walk through the Spice Plantation and gain more information on the different herbs and spices used in India. Relax in the green surroundings and peaceful outdoors away from the crowds and noises. At the end of the tour, you will be dropped back to your hotel.

Shivanasamudra Waterfalls & Ancient Somnathpur Tour

5. Shivanasamudra Waterfalls & Ancient Somnathpur Tour

In the morning around 6:30 am, your chauffeur will pick you up from the hotel and drive to Shivasamudra falls situated on the banks of river Kaveri. It is the second biggest waterfall in India and also the location of one of the first Hydro-electric Power stations in Asia. The island, Shivasamudra, divides the river Kaveri into twin waterfalls named Gaganachukki & Bharachukki Falls. These magnificent waterfalls plunges 320 feet into gorge, breaking into a cloud of misty foam. The waterfalls are surrounded by the lush green hill forests of the Kaveri Wildlife Sanctuary. The spectacular waterfalls will certainly take your breath away. The sound of gushing waters has a soothing effect. Enjoy the calm and tranquil ambiance. The place is just picture perfect. Gaganachukki & Bharachukki Falls are at a distance of 13 km from each other. Later, drive to Somnathpur that was set up during the 13th century and was ruled by rich and powerful rulers. The Hoysalas were the last dynasty that ruled this region. They had played a major role in constructing temples in the region and surrounding places. Have a sumptuous lunch at a local restaurant. Later, proceed to visit the Chennakesava Temple, also known as a Keshava Temple. The temple is built on a star-shaped platform and has three carved pinnacles and shrines. The temple is dedicated to Lord Janardhana, Venugopala and Kesava. Somnathpur is also famous for sandalwood oil, incense sticks and other handicrafts. There are many local artisans that are involved in production of teak, ivory, rosewood and sandalwood carvings. Somnathpur is also famous for Mysore style painting of gods and goddesses. After your day tour, drive back to Bangalore. You will be dropped at the hotel. 

Panaji: Heritage Walk through Goa's Latin Quarter

6. Panaji: Heritage Walk through Goa's Latin Quarter

Meet your guide at the Panjim Head Post Office near the Mala district of Panjim. Walk through the lesser-known but culturally-rich Fontainhas area of Goa, the oldest and largest Latin quarter in Asia. See heritage homes, appreciate Portuguese architecture, meet friendly locals, and experience the cultural side of Goa. Developed in the late eighteenth century, Fontainhas derived its name - "little fountain" in Portuguese - from the springs found at the base of the Altinho hills. A strong Portuguese influence still prevails in this neighborhood, evident from the architectural style and the road names. Begin your walk at Tobacco Square and trace the arrival of the Portuguese in Goa. Along the way, your knowledgable guide will be happy to share information based on your personal interests. Pass by the small Church of San Thome. Stop into the quaint 31st January Bakery for a quick bite. Take photos against the neighborhood’s colorful backdrop as you make your way to the Chapel of San Sebastian. Explore interesting buildings around Panjim Inn, Fundacao Orient, and Galerie Gitanjali. Lastly, visit a famous Goan musician and learn about the Portuguese influence on Goan music. Before heading back to the meeting point, you can stop by a studio which makes handcrafted ceramic souvenirs.

Hampi 2-Day Sightseeing Tour from Goa

7. Hampi 2-Day Sightseeing Tour from Goa

Spend time in Hampi, a magnificent city of ruins on the UNESCO World Heritage list, on a 2-day trip from Goa. During your tour, you will visit this city located in the state of Karnataka beside the Tungabhadra River. Enjoy valuable insight into the history of the area as you learn about the artistic excellence and power of the former rules of Hampi, once the capital of the Vijaynagara Empire. Detailed Itinerary Day 1: Goa - Hampi In the morning you will be picked up from Goa and make the drive to Hampi. Upon arrival, check into a 4-star hotel. Take a walk along the Tungabhadra River toward the Hampi market, which you will have time to explore. Then enjoy free time and spend the night in Hampi.  Day 2: Hampi - Goa (Meals: B) Wake up early for a trip to Matunga Hill to watch the sunrise. Then visit Virupaksha Temple, the most famous and oldest temple housing the deity of Shiva. You will also see the Vittala Temple complex, Malyavanta Raghunathaswamy, and more. After lunch, begin the journey back to Goa.

Bangalore: Sightseeing Day Tour with Lunch

8. Bangalore: Sightseeing Day Tour with Lunch

The first stop of your Bangalore day tour is the 240-acre Lalbagh Botanical Garden. Home to more than 1,800 species of plants, shrubs, and trees, see why the garden serves as the lungs of the city and what makes it such a prominent landmark. Escape the concrete jungle of Bangalore as you take refuge here before heading to your next destination. Continue on to Bull Temple, dedicated to Nandi Bull the vehicle of Lord Shiva. Admire the temple's architecture and presence as one of the oldest temples in Bangalore that draws devotees from all over the country. Enter the temple to see the huge idol of Nandi Bull and learn about its mythical origins.  After the temple, visit Vidhan Soudha, one of the most famous buildings in Bangalore. As it houses the legislative chambers of the state government and is a working office, be impressed by the massiveness of the building while viewing it from outside. Hear about its construction and fine architectural details from your guide.  Head to the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) Bangalore temple cultural complex and learn about this interesting branch of the Hindu religion. Then go to Bangalore Palace which belonged to the Wodeyar Kings of Mysore. Built-in the Tudor style, the palace has fortified towers, battlements, and turrets. Its interior houses elegant wood carvings, floral motifs, relief paintings, and furniture in Edwardian and Victorian themes. Take an audio tour of the palace and hear in rich detail about the lives and times of the kings. During your tour, enjoy a stop for lunch that is included.

Bangalore: Full-Day Historical Guided Tour

9. Bangalore: Full-Day Historical Guided Tour

After hotel pick-up, stop at the ISKCON temple, a religious place known for its beautiful paintings and Vedic exhibitions. Do not forget to check out the artificial waterfall while you are here. Move on to the Tipu Sultan Palace to see the Indo-Islamic architecture, the famous painting of Tipu Sultan, and learn the history of the palace. Visit the Lalbagh Botanical Gardens to see 1000 species of trees, plants, and flowers, and the beautiful glasshouse, inspired by the Crystal Palace of England. Savor lunch at a local restaurant before your visit to Bangalore Palace, a Tudor-style architectural marvel, known for its graceful interior work. Check out the High Court, Cubbon Park, and the Vidha Sabha. See the highly popular Bull Temple dedicated to Nandi, believed to be a vahana (vehicle) of Lord Shiva, carved from a single rock. Visit the Gavi Gangadhareshwara Temple, a religious place dedicated to Lord Shiva, before you head back to your hotel.

Bangalore: Walking Tour of Fort, Palaces, and Market

10. Bangalore: Walking Tour of Fort, Palaces, and Market

Meet your guide at the meeting point at the designated time. Dive straight into the history of the city as you navigate the streets. The bustling market areas with narrow streets are bursting with stories that reflect the real soul of Bangalore. Depending on the starting time of the tour, have an indulgent breakfast or snack of the locals' favourite Masala Dosa and South Indian Filter Coffee. With a true Bangalorean as your guide, navigate the older parts of the city as you learn about its origins, including the fascinating history of Tipu Sultan and the British. Explore some of Bangalore's oldest neighbourhoods. Enjoy delicious snacks for a memorable day to an area often ignored by other travellers. Proceed to KR Market, which is one of the largest wholesale market places in India. Walk through the busy market as you take in the smells and sights of colourful flowers and fresh produce. Next, head to the ruins of the Bangalore Fort, built in the 1700's and compare it the paintings done by the British in the same period. Our final stop will be the Summer Palace of Tipu Sultan. Marvel at the teak wood columns and the influence of the Indo-Islamic culture on the frescoes. Learn about the maze-like dungeons designed for defence strategy. At the end of the memorable walking tour of Old Bangalore, your guide will assist you with booking a taxi or finding public transport for you to head back.

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What people are saying about Karnataka

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 50 reviews

Such splendid experience. Our guide was very knowledgeable and explained everything so nicely. Really put spirit into the beautiful architecture and history.

Such a nice walk down history that was very nicely explained by our guide. He was friendly and knowledgeable, which really enhanced the experience.

Wonderful tour guide. Very knowledgeable and helpful. The driver was wonderful as well and the car was clean and well maintained. highly recommend

I really enjoyed this tour! The driver Divaka and the guide prashant had put a lot of effort into it. We recommend!

All perfect. The driver was very professional and good. The clear guides in the explanations