Best of Karnataka with Ooty is an easy paced itinerary that combines popular destinations that offer a combination of heritage, wildlife, plantation and hill station experience. Here you visit the magnificent Mysore Palace, experience superb plantation drives, explore Bandipur National Park and enjoy pleasant climate at Ooty. Best of Karnataka with Ooty is popular with summer travellers looking for pleasant climate and a relaxed itinerary.
Highlights of this holiday would be
Mysore (2000+ ft asl) - Mysore Palace, Chamundi Hills (Temple and View Point)
Day 1 - Arrive at Bangalore and drive to Mysore Arrive at Bangalore and drive to Mysore (150 kms - 3.5 hours), a renowned heritage destination in the heart of popular tourist circuits of Karnataka. You arrive at Mysore by the afternoon and thereafter proceed to visit the magnificent Mysore Palace, a 100+ year old palace renowned for its superb architecture and amazing royal collection. In the evening, you visit Chamundi Hills, a renowned temple (One of the Shaktipeetha Temples) set on a hilltop offering superb views of Mysore. You return to the hotel by the evening.
Note: Mysore Palace Timings - 10 AM to 5:30 PM (It is fully lit on evenings on a Sunday and all public holidays).
Day 2 - Travel to Coorg via Bylakuppe Monastery and Dubare Elephant Reserve Today you travel to Coorg (2500 ft asl - 100 kms from Mysore), a renowned coffee plantation area visited for its superb drives and retreats overlooking superb plantation views. Enroute you travel to Bylakuppe, a settlement of Tibetans in exile and home of the renowned Bylakuppe Monastery. After spending some time at the monastery, you travel to Dubare Elephant Camp, a settlement of elephants across Cauvery river (you take a short boat ride). Dubare is where you can feed elephants, bathe them and enjoy an elephant ride. After spending some time at Dubare, you proceed to your hotel / resort.
Day 3 - Morning Plantation Tour. Afternoon sightseeing in and around Madikeri Today you take a short walk in coffee plantations around the resort. Coffee plantations are rich in birdlife and therefore excellent for bird photography. Coffee plantation walk is typically through narrow trails, offers you an insight into different types of coffee, its plucking, sorting, processing and packing process. The entire tour is 3 hours long. Later in the afternoon you visit Abbey Falls (waterfall), Omkareshwar temple (a popular Lord Shiva Temple) and Rajas Seat, a view point offering stunning views of Coorg region. You return to your hotel after sunset.
Day 4 - Travel to Bandipur - Afternoon Safari Today you travel to Bandipur National Park (200 kms - 5 hours), a wildlife experience renowned for its tiger sightings and wide-ranging exotic birds. In the afternoon, you undertake a jeep safari in the Bandipur National Park for a chance to sight the elusive tiger and wide-ranging animals (such as Wild Elephants, Wild Dog (Dhole), etc.) along with exotic birds. You return to your lodge by late evening.
Day 5 - Travel to Ooty. Visit lake area for Boating Today you proceed to Ooty (6500+ ft asl - 50 kms - 1.5 hours), the most popular hill station in South India, renowned for its colonial heritage character, lakeside, viewpoints and tea plantations. The drive to Ooty is scenic through Bandipur - Mudumalai forests and you may get to sight some wildlife enroute (such as Spotted Deers and Wild Elephants). Arrive at your hotel by noon. Later in the day proceed to visit lake area for boating.
Note:You have an option to take an additional morning safari at Bandipur before departure.
Day 6 - Explore Ooty Today you explore areas in and around Ooty such as Dodabetta Peak (View Point), Raj Bhawan (Colonial Character), St. Stephens Church (19th Century), Rose garden, Botanical garden, Shooting point (where Bollywood movies have been shot) and Wax Museum. You return to your hotel by late afternoon. Rest of the day is for you to explore Ooty on your own.
Note: Adayar Ananda Bhavan is the best option to explore authentic vegetarian South Indian cuisine in Ooty, popular for lunch option for travellers.
Day 7 - Excursions from Ooty - Coonoor Or Kalahatty Today you undertake a half day excursion to Pykara Falls (24 kms), Kalhatty Falls (13 kms) and Kalhatty viewpoint (25 kms). Hang gliding is organised at Kalhatty in summer and is therefore a major attraction here. Alternatively, you may take an excursion to Coonoor (4000+ ft asl - renowned for its tea plantations) and neighbouring areas of Kotagiri. Some of the popular areas to visit in Coonoor are Sim's park, Droog's Fort, some viewpoints (e.g. Dolphin's nose) and waterfalls.
Note: You may also opt for a short Nilgiri heritage train ride between Metupalayam and Ooty (Tickets to be booked in advance).
Day 8 - Depart for Coimbatore Today you depart for Coimbatore (80 kms - 2 hours) for a train / flight to onward destination.
Accommodation at Hotels / Resorts with breakfast
AC Toyota Innova for transfers and sightseeing with experienced driver
1 Jeep Safari at Bandipur National Park
1 Plantation Tour at Coorg
Airfare / Train fare
Entrance fees (e.g. Mysore Palace) and activity charges (At Dubare)