Itinerary idea: from Bombay to Bangalore
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With a little bit of luck and a persuasive promotional work, life abroad is also rewarded by the regular visit of friends and family from your home country. Our family is giving us the pleasure to visit us once a year (for now!). Once the easy and simple itineraries are already done (notably the close and must-do Kerala), you have to be a little bit more innovative to maintain interest and make sure your loved ones will come back.
So this year, we had to find an itinerary from Bombay to Bangalore with some stops on the way where we could join them. Here it is:
Stop 1. Urban exploration and small cultural shock in Bombay
Bombay is the city of our first love with India. It’s also the best and the worst of this crazy country. So it’s an experience we like to share even if we know that it’s a little bit risky as you never know how people will react to this explosive blend. Even if you limit yourself to South Bombay (also known as ‘SoBo’ in an attempt to “Newyorking” Bombay), there are many things to see and to keep you busy: the iconic Victoria Station, a walk through the lively neighborhoods around Chor Bazaar (with some antic shopping on the way), some action at the Dhobi Ghats and the Haji Ali mosque in the middle of the sea, Fort area with all the glamorous colonial buildings and a sunset walk on Marine Drive. We also sent our family to have a little “cruise” up to Elephanta Island.
Stop 2. Panjim and Old Goa
Merely an hour away by plane (you can also reach by night bus or train) and you change completely of scenery in Goa. More than beaches, Goa is also an incredible place for Portuguese heritage, better maintained along the streets of Panjim or at the foot of the impressive cathedrals of Old Goa.
Stop 3. South Goa beaches around Palolem
As you may know it already, that’s our favorite beach spot in Goa where we actually come several times each year. It was time to share it with our family, they’ve heard too much about it. So we served them the usual program: stay in Patnem, scooters renting to explore the different beaches around, “apéro” and dinner, feet in the sand. We also scheduled them a trek with Goa Jungle Adventure (they’re also organizing canyoning trips). Our family loved it and we never get tired of this part of Goa on our side.
Stop 4. Jog Falls
So that was the blind spot of our itinerary. When you need to reach Bangalore from Goa, you don’t have many choices of places to visit on the way. Hampi would have been great but they already went last year. So we pinned those falls ideally right in the middle between Palolem and Chikmagalur, cutting this long drive with just two 4 hours trips. So, the area is pretty nice and Jogg falls can be quite impressive at monsoon time but that wasn’t the time and the path going down the falls was closed due to security problems… Anyway, our parents were still glad to experience “reomote India”. And there’s a governement-run KTDC hotel to sleep there.
Stop 5. Chikmagalur and its coffee plantations
Tucked in small mountains (with a peak above 2000m high though), near Bangalore, this region is one of the most reputated for its coffee plantations and its homestays. Thanks to the altitude and the green around, temperature are milder here, specially at night and this is why it’s one of the favourite week-end getaways for Bangaloreans during summer. Quite like Coorg, maybe less commercial. A good place to enjoy night under the stars, calm and to wander through the millenial trees protecting by their shadows the small coffee trees. So there’s not much to do there, but it’s perfect if you need to get rest.
Stop 6. Hoysalas temples in Belur, Halebid
Those temples, quite far away from everything else are among the most magnificent we have visited in India. Their facades are like vibrating as being completely carved and depicting Hindu epics in a kind of comic style. Inside, the pillars, also carved and polished are also quite nice and giving a mysterious and solemn atmosphere.We had already visited previously the massive temples of Belur and Halebed, we added this time a smaller one and less visited, Sri Veeranarayana which was a really good surprise, particularly for its endless pillars and its peaceful atmosphere.
That’s it, 3-4 hours away, with a recommended stop at Sravanabelagola for its Jain temples (with a giant statue at the top of a hill) vous permettront de rejoindre Bangalore !