The Heart of the Deccan

Ancient ruins, opulent palaces and wildlife

The vast southern triangular peninsula of India is known as the Deccan, derived from ‘dakshin’, meaning ‘south’. Rich in mineral wealth, it has been the stage of countless battles and has seen some of India’s most remarkable Hindu and Muslim empires rise and fall. Despite the constant power struggles, art, literature and music flourished under each dynasty, making the region a cultural treasure trove. Equally impressive are the distinctive architecture styles that evolved here, that can be seen today in the form of citadels, temples and tombs.

This off-beat southern India tour explores not only the historical legacy of the Deccan plateau but also its 21st century avatar, its wildlife, local communities and crafts.

The heart of the Deccan Mysore nandi
The heart of the Deccan Mysore
The heart of the Deccan Mysore palace
The heart of the Deccan Mysore Palace interior
The heart of the Deccan Mysore market
The heart of the Deccan Kabini National Park
The heart of the Deccan Hyderabad Market masks
The heart of the Deccan Hyderabad Charminar
The heart of the Deccan Hampi Lotus Mahal
The heart of the Deccan Hampi Hazara Rama Temple
The heart of the Deccan Hampi coracle
The heart of the Deccan Hampi Boulders
The heart of the Deccan Chikamagalur, Home to the first coffee plantations in India

Tour Snapshot

12 day tour
Best time to visit: November – February
Routing: Hyderabad – Hampi – Chikmagalur – Kabini – Mysore – Bangalore

Tour reference number: SI-002

Tour highlights

  • Explore the City of Nawabs, Hyderabad with its incredible architecture and history and food
  • Discover the ruins of the mighty Vijayanagar Empire at Hampi.
  • Wildlife safaris at Kabini and Nagarhole parks
  • Learn India’s history of coffee at Chikmagalur, relax in nature
  • Learn all about silk weaving and sarees of south India
  • Meet indigenous communities at Kabini
  • Visit the extraordinary Mysore Palace
The heart of the Deccan Tour Map By Jasmine Trails

Interested in this tour? Or a customized tour based on this theme?

Brief Programme

Begin your journey in Hyderabad, the city of the Nizams. Its most iconic landmark, the Charminar, was built in 1591 by the fifth ruler of the Qutb Shahi dynasty. Visit the busy and colourful bazaar around the gateway.

Visit the official residence of the Nizams, the Chowmahalla Palace. Another royal palace, Purani Haveli, houses the Nizam Museum.

One of the largest museums in the world is the Salar Jung museum and is well worth a visit.

A brilliant historic site, Golkonda Fort, is a medieval era forted citadel which served as the capital of the Qutb Shahi dynasty in the 16-17th century. Nearby are the Qutub Shahi Tombs, where several aesthetically striking tombs and mosques stand in landscaped gardens.

Jasmine Trails recommends a stay at the Taj Falaknuma Palace to really live in the style of the Nawabs.

Travel to Hampi via Hubli airport to spend two days in the city that was the capital of the mighty Vijayanagar dynasty.

This 600-year-old UNESCO World Heritage Site is known as the “World’s Largest Open-air Museum”.

Explore the extensive and fascinating ruins of opulent palaces, temples, massive fortifications, baths, markets, aqueducts, pavilions, and stables. Get stunning views of this archaeological site as well as of the Tungabhadra river from atop the innumerable boulders that dot the terrain.

Home to the first coffee plantations in India, Chikmagalur lies hidden in the lush rainforests of Karnataka.

Acres of rolling hills covered with coffee shrubs and the natural beauty of the region offer the weary traveller blissful relaxation. Enjoy treks to splendid viewpoints, walks in picturesque coffee plantation and birding. Our local experts will also introduce you to the local life of this serene, quaint town.

Once a private hunting area for the British, Kabini forest is named after the river Kabini which flows through it. Wildlife safaris here and in the Nagarhole national park reveal the beauty of the flora and the rich variety of animals such as tigers, leopards, elephants, and bison. Bird lovers too will be rewarded with excellent sightings.

Forest treks and coracle rides add to the adventure. Visit indigenous tribes in hamlets near the forest.

Visit Mysore Palace, residence of the erstwhile ruler of Mysore. The early 20th century Indo-Saracenic building is an exuberant display of grandeur. Every Sunday it is brightly lit up.

Drive up to Chamundi Hills, named after goddess Chamunda, whose temple is located here. The popular pilgrimage site is a wonderful place to rub shoulders with local people and to get magnificent views of the city. On the way down visit the 5-meter tall, stone Nandi Bull, Lord Shiva’s faithful gatekeeper.

Meet master silk weavers who create the famous Mysore silk sarees. The local vegetable and flower market are excellent places for photography.

Drive to Bangalore stopping en route at Srirangapatna. The 9th century island fortress town was the capital of Mysore under the fiercely independent Tipu Sultan. It is also the site of the fourth and last Anglo-Mysore battle. Explore the exquisite three-layered stone wall of the fort with impressive bastions and gates, as well as Tipu Sultan’s summer garden palace.

International departure tonight from Bangalore.

This tour is a sample of one of the popular routings and experiences. We will be delighted to customize it to your interests and budget.

What can we add on to this programme?

  • If you are a railway enthusiast, then adding Ooty (short for Udhagamandalam) to your programme will be perfect. A summer hill resort since the days of the British Raj, it still operates the mountain train service that relies on steam engines.
  • Fancy some sun and sand? This trip can include Goa at the end of the trip to unwind before heading home
  • This tour can be combined with a tour to Sri Lanka

The tour price will depend on many factors such as time of travel, hotel selection, and add-on experiences and services.

Recommended Hotels:

  • Hyderabad– Taj Falaknuma, Taj Krishna
  • Hampi- Heritage Resort Hampi, Evolve Back Resort Kamalapura Palace
  • Chikmagalur –Primrose Villas, Gateway IHCL SeleQtions
  • Kabini– Evolve Back Kabini, Kaav Safari Lodge
  • Mysore – Royal Orchid Metropole, Radisson Blu Plaza
  • Bangalore– Taj Westend, The Leela Palace

Write to us now  to get this tour customized for you with a price proposal.