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Stop At: Hidden Gems Tours, Koramangala, Bengaluru 560034 India
In this awe-inspiring journey, you will discover that stone was clay in the hands of a breed of legendary sculptors, the likes of which are no longer around.
Our first stop is for a sumptuous South Indian breakfast. We then quickly make our way to an ancient town having one of the tallest monolithic sculpture in the world carved over a millennia ago. This incredible statue belonging to the Jain religion is perched on a hill with expansive views of the idyllic countryside. We will access the hilltop barefoot via 700 steps in the morning hours.
Our next stops are a couple of enchanting Hindu temples with the best collection of stone works not seen anywhere else in the world.
Among the many unique features of the first temple at Belur is a glittering collection of 42 sculptures of richly decorated maidens in various poses and moods, thought to have been inspired by the beautiful 12th-century queen Shantala. The intricately carved inside pillars and the ceiling are standout features too.
We then make our way to the second temple at Halebidu. The richness in detail and the sheer volume of carvings on the outer walls of this temple - of Hindu gods, scenes from Indian epics, animals, flowers, mythical beasts and design patterns are spellbinding and sure to leave you speechless.
After a break for a cup of coffee in the evening hours, we are back in Bangalore by about 8 pm
Duration: 15 hours