Detailed Itinerary (Page 3)
All itineraries subject to slight change

Please contact Baraka Journeys for most current itinerary

January 13 - February 7, 2014 (26 days)

Helibid is 17 kms east of Belur.  The temples of Halebid - like those of Belur - bear mute testimony to the rich, cultural heritage of Karnataka.  The Hoysaleswara Temple, dating back to the 12th century, is astounding for its wealth of sculptural details.  The walls of the temple are covered with an endless variety of gods and goddesses, animals, birds and dancing girls.  No two facets of the temple are the same.  This magnificent temple (guarded by a Nandi Bull) was never completed, despite 86 years of labor.

Continue to the village of Dodda Gadavalli, a typical village and its 12th century temple before returning to the hotel
for overnight stay in Hassan.

The Hoysala Village resort or the Gateway at Chcikmanglur
Day 17 Wednesday, January 29
Hassan/Hospet (in Karnataka state)
This morning begin a long drive of about 7 hours (214 miles) to Hospet, the starting point for Hampi, the site of the medieval Vijayanagar Empire.  

Upon arrival transfer to hotel and later in the afternoon visit the Tungabhadra Dam and gardens.  In the evening attend a performance of the Yakshagana, a theatrical form that combines, dance, music, dialogue, costume, make-up and is sometimes compared to the western tradition of Opera.  Dinner and overnight at your hotel the Royal Orchid Kireeti

Day 18 Thursday, January 30
Hospet/Hampi/Hospet (in Karnataka state)
Today will offer a full day’s tour of Hampi, visiting important sites like the Virupaksha temple, the King’s balance, the Lotus Mahal, Vithala Temple etc.  

Hampi, the seat of the famed Vijayanagara Empire, was the capital of the largest empire in post-Mogul India, covering several states.  The Vijayanagara Empire stretched over at least three states - Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Andhra Pradesh.  The destruction of Vijayanagar by marauding Mogul invaders was sudden, shocking and absolute.  They reduced the city to ruins amid scenes of savage massacre and horrors beyond description.  

Although in ruins today, this capital city once boasted riches known far beyond the shores of India.  The ruins of Hampi of the 14th century lies scattered in about 26 sq. km area, amidst giant boulders and vegetation.  Protected by the tempestuous river Tungabhadra in the north and rocky granite ridges on the other three sides, the ruins silently narrate the story of grandeur splendor and fabulous wealth.  The splendid remains of palaces and gateways of the broken city tells a tale of men of great talent and power and creativity, together with a capacity for senseless destruction.  

Return to Hospet for dinner and overnight at your hotel Royal Orchid Kireeti
Day 19 Friday, January 31
Hospet/Bangalore/fly to Colombo, Sri Lanka 
Final day in India.

Drive from Hospet to Bangalore (Karnataka state) approximately 8 hours (371 km), stopping en route for lunch.  In the evening fly to Colombo. 
Depart Jan Air Lanka Flight #172 20:55 (8:55 pm)
Arrive  22:15 (10:15 pm)

On arrival in Sri Lanka you will be met and driven about one hour to the Galle Face Hotel for overnight.  1st of 2 nights.

Day 20 Saturday, February 1 
Colombo, Sri Lanka
The morning will offer a sightseeing tour in Colombo.  Drive through the commercial and city center known as the “Fort”, built by the Portuguese in the 16th century where grand colonial era buildings stand alongside modern office structures.  See the vibrant markets and bazaars of Pettah, and the National Museum with its fine collection of lovely antiques and art of Sri Lanka.  Visit a Buddhist temple, a Hindu Kovil and The Wolvendaal Church to experience the diversity of religion, ethnicity and customs of the people.  In Colombo visit the unique Barefoot Shop famous for textiles.  Galle Face Hotel for overnight.  2nd of 2 nights.

Day 21 Sunday, February 2
Dambulla to Habarana
After breakfast head for Dambulla, approximately 4 Hours (136 km away) and explore the famous Golden Rock cave temple which has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  This cave monastery has been a sacred pilgrimage site for 22 centuries.  It is a vast isolated rock mass, and with its five caverns it is the largest best preserved cave-temple complex in Sri Lanka.  The Buddhist mural paintings (covering an area of 2,100 sq. meters) are of particular importance as are the 157 statues including a 47 foot long statue of the recumbent Buddha.

Following this visit will be an optional elephant ride.

Afterwards, depart for Habarana approximately 1 hour away (25 km).  Dambulla is a small village with excellent hotel accommodations, a central location for all the ancient city sites.  Dinner and overnight at the Cinnamon Lodge.

Day 22 Monday, February 3
Sigiriya to Kandalama
After breakfast leave for Sigiriya, approximately a 1/2 hour drive.  Begin the morning by climbing the rock fortress of Sigiriya ‐ a 5th Century "Fortress in the Sky".  Built by King Kassapa, the fortress was a Royal Citadel for more than 18 years.  The Lion Rock (A UNESCO world heritage site) is a citadel of unusual beauty, rising 200 meters from the scrub jungle.  The base of the rock is ringed by a moat and rampart and extensive gardens including the renowned water gardens.  The majestic Lion’s Paw picturesquely guards the stairway of the palace on the summit.  See the famous frescoes of the “Heavenly maidens” of Sigiriya in a sheltered pocket of the rock and the 10’ high Mirror Wall.

Continue to Hiriwaduna Village a ride of approximately 1 hour (27 km).  Start a journey by bullock cart along Habarana lakeside viewing the natural surroundings and beautiful atmosphere.  Arriving at Paranagama village you can see the people cultivating and gardening.  Visit a small village house made out of mud.  When you reach the lake, the bullock cart stops near a boat where you will be offered a drink of Kurumba or Thambili (Young Coconut or King Coconut).  Later sail the Habarana Lake by Oruwa (a local made catamaran) to see the villagers who are fishing in the lake.

On the way back, enjoy late lunch served on a lotus leaf.  Lunch includes red rice, fish and vegetables cultivated in the village farm. See a short cooking demonstration.  This memorable village visit takes nearly three hours.  Depart for Kandalama and check in at the exquisite Hotel Heritance designed by Sri Lanka’s most famous architect Geoffrey Bawa.  1 night.

Day 23 Tuesday, February 4
Depart for Kandy, a drive of approximately 3 hours (72 km).  En route you will visit a spice garden in Matale.  After check-in and a brief rest you will be given a tour of Kandy, the bustling hill country capital which is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Kandy is famous for the pink painted Temple of the Tooth which houses the most sacred religious relic, (the tooth of the Buddha), and the Kandy Lake built in 1807 which is an attractive centerpiece to the town.  

In the late evening visit the Temple of Tooth Relics and see a cultural show which features the graceful and rhythmic dancers and drummers culminating in an impressive fire walking display.  Return to Hotel for dinner and overnight at the Mahaweli Reach Hotel.  1st of 2 nights.

Day 24 Wednesday, February 5
After breakfast drive around in the city of Kandy and visit a local market.  After the market visit, leave for Pinnawala and visit an elephant orphanage approximately 1/2 hour away.  This orphanage was set up by the government to take care of baby elephants lost or abandoned in the wild.  Watch the feeding of the elephants and as they take their daily bath in the river nearby.  Both present marvelous photo opportunities.  Bath time is enjoyed by all elephants, young and old alike and it is a good time to closely observe their tightly knit family structure.
Email:  Telephone: (626) 570-1700   Contact: Christine Robison


In India visit Dravidia

(the states of Karnataka, Andrha Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala)


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Email:  Telephone: (626) 570-1700   Contact: Christine Robison