Karnataka luxury tour in India

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Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Karnataka luxury tour in India

Environment

We put a lot of thought in working with local providers, making sure that everyone involved in your trip is committed to sharing advice on how best to leave a lighter footprint. We promote excursions and wildlife experiences which foster a more sustainable tourism and commit to maintaining small-group sizes to limit negative environmental impacts in accordance to the carrying capacity of the visited site.

We are trying to keep the extra unneeded waste to a minimum in all our tours through our “bring it in, bring it out” policy for litter and rubbish such as food packaging and recycling wherever possible.

We have a recycling policy in our UK and local offices and re-use or recycle the information booklets we provide to every client on arrival wherever possible. Moreover, we do not produce a glossy brochure, concentrating on a comprehensive website, and providing as much information to our travellers as possible electronically, reducing the use of paper and inks.

Responsible Accommodation:
For your tour we have chosen responsible resorts like the Leela Palace. The Leela hotel group uses biodegradable detergents in its properties, avoids plastic and exercises strict controls on the usage of electricity, water, heating and lighting, with numerous international and national awards for initiatives towards environment conservation. The resorts implement state-of-the-art waste management practices with the emphasis on conserving all possible natural resources and complying with every applicable legislative and regulatory strictures and procedures. The group moreover landscaped wide swathes of urban property with over 6000 coconut palms and thousands of trees to beautify and cleanse the air.

You will also stay at the Luxury Shreyas Ashram, an environmentally friendly retreat spread over 25 acres of landscaped garden. Extra care has been taken to retain the original landscape and natural beauty of the place. Every effort has been made to preserve the precious natural resources with initiatives such as rain water harvesting, solar heating, ayurvedic and medicinal herb plantations and organic farming.

Another special ecological experience will be a dinner on unique tree houses at the responsible eco-resort The Machan. 100% off grid and run only on sustainable resources, The Machan is an island of green unto itself.

Buildings:
Through this trip you will contribute to the preservation, conservation and authenticity of precious ancient monuments and buildings like the Ranganathaswamy Temple in Srirangapatna, a temple of considerable antiquity, or the Gommateshwara statue, one of the largest free standing statues in the world, or the Tibetan Monastery in the settlement of Bylakkuppe, the largest teaching center of the Nyingma lineage of Tibetan Buddhism in the world. With your visit you will moreover contribute to the Unesco World Heritage site in Hampi. The austere and grandiose site of over 4000 hectare comprises mainly the remnants of the Capital City of Vijayanagara Empire from the 14th to 16th centruy, the last great Hindu Kingdom. It is of outstanding value due to the sophistication of the varied urban, royal and sacred systems (forts, riverside features, royal and sacred complexes, temples, shrines, pillared halls, memorial structures, gateways, defence check posts, stables, water structures, etc.).

Wildlife:
Our guides receive special training in how to leave a lower impact on the nature trips and in regional conservation projects. To support the protection of nature, wilderness areas and parks, our guides are actively promoting practices such us not disturbing wildlife, keeping a safe distance to wildlife, reducing production of disturbing sounds, prohibiting feeding, avoiding litter at all times, using water sparingly and not polluting with harmful detergents, avoid being intrusive when taking photographs, dressing appropriately and in subdued colours when wildlife watching, etc. We encourage guests to respect and follow the lead.

Your tour will help preserve the Nagarhole National Park, it was declared the thirty seventh Project Tiger tiger reserve in 1999 and is part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. The area including the park is under consideration by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee for selection as a World Heritage Site. The park protects the wildlife of Karnataka, and many tigers, Indian bison and elephants are found here.

Transport:
We try to include no-emission transport modes or walking tours as much as possible. You will for example go on a walking tour in Mysore, discovering the city in a slow-paced healthy mode. You will also be able to enjoy ecologically friendly boat rides on coracles, round little boats made out of bamboo or branches. Both will also give you the opportunity to meet and interact with the local people. If motorized forms are unavoidable, we make sure that vehicle sizes are as small as appropriate and proper licensing on vehicles and certifying to national emission standards are maintained.

Community

We make sure we only work with local guides that come from the very region you are visiting, for example with your personal local naturalist guide who shows you the park in Kabini or with your local drivers. Through this trip you are hence giving back to their families and communities.

While many operators pay per day or per tour, our guides receive an hourly rate which allows a fair and fruitful reward for their expertise. We provide staff with written employment contracts and fair working conditions (e.g. overtime payment, national wage requirements, no discrimination, grievance mechanisms in place and no child labour).

Furthermore we ensure that our drivers do not more than 9 hours of driving per day and are provided adequate accommodation and do not drive at night (with the exception of airport pick-ups/drop-offs). After a driving period of 4.5 h the driver must take a break of at least 45 min. Our tour guides receive special training in how to leave a lower impact on the trips and in regional conservation projects.

By staying at our hand-picked hotels that promote social responsibility practices you will encourage local employment and give back to the communities, such as the Hoysala Village that has a partnership with the local organic village and its farmers.

You will further help preserve ancient wisdom and health practices that you can share with others once you are back home at the Shreya Ashram. At Shreyas, the aim is to demonstrate that Yoga can be learnt and practiced by all, irrespective of age, health and faith. The belief is that you do not have to compromise on your creature comforts to get access to authentic teachers and teachings from this eternal, vibrant and universally applicable philosophy.

For your souvenir shopping we will take you to local markets like the night market in Bangalore, or the Devaraja market in Mysore, where locals of that very region craft their products to help keep the money earned in that very community. We will also bring you to a local traditional stone carving artist where your purchase will help not only keep the traditions and the skill alive for future generations, but also brings money back into the same local community. When we take you to other local shops or markets we change the selected shops on a rotating basis. Also we make sure food stops are at locally owned cafes or restaurants and give customers recommendations on locally owned shops and restaurants, especially new start-ups.

We ensure customer awareness by familiarizing our guests with local history, culture, religions and traditions, by informing on culturally appropriate behavior, (e.g. dress codes for religious sites, taking photographs of people, language tips, etc.). On your trip you can live special experiences which will help keep local wisdoms and traditions alive, encouraging local artisan and culture, for example by participating in a traditional ritual ceremony at the 150 year old Shiva temple and a session with the Astrologer at your stay at the Leela Palace in Bangalore.

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