See lesser-visited corners of the south on this enchanting itinerary, a great choice for returning visitors to India who are looking to branch out. Explore key palaces and temples, capture superb views from famous hill stations and board a colourful toy train for a UNESCO-listed mountain railway journey.

12nights INDEPENDENT TOUR

Suggested route & duration

12 nights round trip from Bengaluru (Bangalore)

  • Mysuru (Mysore): 2 nights

  • Ooty: 2 nights

  • Nagarhole: 2 nights

  • Coorg: 2 nights

  • Chickmagalur: 2 nights

  • Bengaluru: 2 nights

About this independent tour

This is a private itinerary including a car and driver and local English-speaking tour guides for sightseeing. The itinerary is completely flexible, so you can choose your own number of nights, change accommodation, add excursions and extend your holiday.

Recommended highlights

MYSURU Fly into Bengaluru before transferring to the ‘City of Palaces’ where you'll discover opulent architecture and captivating history on a half-day city tour of Mysuru, the former capital of the Hindu Wodeyar dynasty. Highlights include the magnificent Mysore Palace with its red marble domes and the Brindavan Gardens, which is one of the best terrace gardens in the world.

OOTY Known as the ‘Queen of Hill Stations’, nestled in the Nilgiri hills in Tamil Nadu is the town of Ooty. Surrounded by green tea plantations, tranquil lakes and eucalyptus trees, you'll see 650 species of plants at the Government Botanical Garden and a real highlight will be weaving your way through the forest from Ooty to Coonoor on board a colourful and scenic Toy Train. Stay at the almost 200 year hold heritage property, The Savoy, a Taj property which will allow you to escape into the colonial era lifestyle with high tea and croquet on the lawn.

NAGARHOLE Continue by road to Nagarhole National Park, a well-known park and premier tiger reserve, between the Mysuru and Coorg districts. Take in 248 square miles of diverse landscapes including jungle, swamps and streams on your morning and afternoon game drives in the hope of some unforgettable wildlife sightings. If you are lucky, you may spot elusive animals such as sloth bears, Indian bison, tigers and elephants.

COORG Travel to the rural district of Kogadu in the Western Ghats mountains, known as the ‘Coffee Cup of India’. Head to the hill station of Coorg for breathtaking views, great coffee and delicious cuisine.

CHIKMAGALUR This entrancing hill station stands at an elevation of 3,400 feet, providing wonderful views of the surrounding tea and coffee plantations. Use Chikmagalur as a base to explore the ancient twin cities of Belur and Halebid. These remote and beautiful temple sites were at the heart of the Hoysala dynasty in the 12th Century. They are renowned for their incredibly intricate carvings including depictions of animals, dancers and sceens from Indian mythology.

BENGALURU The state capital of Karnataka is a cosmopolitan metropolis now dubbed the 'Silicone City' and formerly known as the 'Garden City' due to its number of parks and green spaces. You'll visit Lal Bagh Botanical Garden, which was completed in the 18th Century and is home to a huge Glass House based on The Crystal Palace which once stood in Hyde Park, London. Other highlights of your half day tour of the city include Vidhana Sudha which is the legislative assembly building, and Tipu Sultan's Summer Palace.

Tailor your tour

We’ve crafted this itinerary based on our own experiences and our customers’ feedback. It’s fully flexible, so talk to us and we can create your perfect trip.

We recommend Evolve Back (formerly Orange County) properties in both Coorg and Nagarhole National Park. These boutique safari-style lodges are in luxurious countryside surroundings, with thatched cottages and private plunge pools. Add a touch of historic class to your itinerary by staying in heritage hotels such as the Royal Orchid Metropole in Mysuru.

You’ll stay for two nights at each place on this itinerary – we feel this is ideal for seeing the highlights without feeling rushed. Wildlife enthusiasts may wish to add extra nights in Coorg or at Nagarhole National Park. There are direct flights from Bengaluru to Goa, so a laid-back beach extension after plenty of travelling is a lovely way to end your adventure. Or you could divert into Kerala for an even slower pace and leafier landscapes.