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Central India Cultural Highlights

Journey from Mumbai's Bollywood scene to the historic temples of Hampi via the Old Town of Hyderabad and the palaces of Bangalore. Our 11-day luxurious Central India Cultural Highlights itinerary takes you throughout the fascinating heart of this incredible, diverse country. 

Highlights   Pricing
  • Stay in some of India’s most luxurious, palatial hotels
  • Rub shoulders with India’s celebrities in the world-famous Bollywood district
  • Explore the ruins of an ancient Indian Kingdom
  • Rock climb in the boulder paradise of Hampi
 
Starting at
$650
per person per day
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Day by Day Itinerary

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Day 1

Arrive in vibrant Mumbai, home of India’s exciting film and arts culture, and check into your luxury suite at the Taj Mahal Palace & Tower. You may rub shoulders with royalty and celebrities here, who are frequent guests of the palatial hotel. Settle in, adjust to your new surroundings, have a delicious dinner, and rest for your next few busy days.

Day 2

Spend some time exploring Mumbai today. Begin with the Prince of Wales Museum, the city’s main museum, housing 50,000 exhibits of ancient Indian history. Next, head to a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Victoria Station, and the upmarket area of Malabar Hill.

Day 3

Today, you’ll take in some of Mumbai’s more modern arts, starting with the elegant National Gallery of Modern Art, and followed by a visit to the ever-flamboyant Indian take on Hollywood, Bollywood. Bollywood is the largest film producer in India, and indeed among the world’s largest as well.

Day 4

Leave Mumbai today, embarking on a 6-hour drive to Aurangabad, a tourist hub filled with historical charm and UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Visit one such site today, the Ellora Caves, which are known for representing the epitome of Indian rock-cut architecture.

Day 5

Head to Hampi today, home to the ruins of the ancient Vijayanagara Empire, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You’ll fly to Hubli Airport and then drive three hours to Hampi. Check into your room at one of our two recommended luxury hotels, Hampi Boulders or The Hyatt Place. Once settled in, take in the exotic smells and sights of Paan Supaari Street, dedicated to the Indian traditional snack of betel leaf filled with a mixture of chopped or coarsely ground areca nuts and spices. Finish off with a visit to Matanga Hill, famous for its stunning views.

Day 6

Take a peek into India’s past today with a tour of Hampi’s temples, many of which are decorated in fascinating ancient motifs and elaborate frescoes. Finally, if you happen to be visiting in November, take part in the Utsav Festival, Hampi’s largest festival, featuring music, dance and puppet performances, as well as fireworks and more.

Day 7

Take off for Bangalore today, well-known as the country’s information technology capital, and India’s third-largest city. Transfer to your suite at the Taj West End, which holds the title of the city’s first hotel, and become acquainted with your new surroundings.

Day 8

Explore Bangalore today, on a tour that takes you to Lal Bagh, a botanical garden with India's largest collection of tropical plants; Dodda Basavana Gudi, also known as the Bull Temple, representing a sacred Hindu demi-god, and Bangalore Palace. Spend the rest of your day relaxing in the palatial surroundings of your hotel, or exploring the city as you like. 

Day 9

Today you’re off to Hyderabad, where you’ll check in to your historic suite at the Taj Faluknama Palace. Get acquainted with the city by paying a visit to two of the city’s most important sites: the ruins of the capital of ancient Kingdom of Golkonda and one of the city’s oldest mosques, Mecca Masjid.

Day 10

After a leisurely breakfast this morning, take a stroll through Hyderabad’s historic Public Gardens, located in the heart of the city. These gardens are home to not only the State Legislature, but also an open-air theater. Wind up your time in Hyderabad with a tour of its Old City, before turning in for the night at your palatial hotel.

Day 11

On your final day of your Central India itinerary, fly to Mumbai and check-in for your flight to your next destination.

 

Suggested Accommodations

Location
Accommodation
MUMBAI
Taj Mahal Palace & Tower

Taj Mahal Palace & Tower

For over a century, the Taj Mahal Palace and Tower has been the haunt of India's elite, and has played host to princes, kings, maharajas, presidents, CEOs and countless celebrities. Built in 1903, it is an architectural marvel, bringing together Moorish, Oriental, and Florentine styles. Inside, the hotel showcases contemporary Indian art framed by vaulted alabaster ceilings, onyx columns, graceful archways, hand-woven silk carpets, crystal chandeliers, and an eclectic collection of furniture. There are 519 rooms and 46 opulent suites with panoramic views of the Arabian Sea and the Gateway of India. The Taj's excellent dining options include Golden Dragon - voted the best Chinese restaurant in Mumbai; Masala Kraft - Indian cuisine with a contemporary twist; Souk, which has stunning views of Mumbai from its rooftop location and serves Middle Eastern cuisine; The Zodiac Grill, where a special menu is offered for each month's star sign, and the stellar Wasabi By Morimoto - Mumbai's first contemporary Japanese restaurant, helmed by the Iron Chef himself. There is also the Harbour Bar, Mumbai's first drinking establishment, and the Insomnia nightclub, filled with "Bombabes" and their millionaire boyfriends. Guests can unwind at the luxurious spa, the fitness center, equipped with cardiovascular and weight training equipment, steam shower and sauna and swimming pool, or with a game of badminton, squash, tennis or billiards. The hotel also has a private yacht available for day trips on the Arabian Sea or to nearby Elephanta Island. There is a business center with wired and wireless Internet access, secretarial services and cell phones and laptops for hire. Wi-fi available throughout the hotel. The Taj Mahal Palace is 45 minutes from Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (BOM).

 
 
HAMPI
Hampi Boulders, The Hyatt Place

Hampi Boulders

A unique, creative resort set less than an hour from the ruins of Hampi, the Hampi Boulders resort overlooks the swift rivers of the Tungabhadra River. Each of the resort’s luxury cottages were designed and built to co-exist in harmony with the local environment; indeed, several were built to resemble local boulders, for which the area is famous. The onsite restaurant serves authentic Southern Indian food, complemented by a decent selection of wine and exotic cocktails. Amenities include a rock swimming pool and a clubhouse, which offers a variety of games from billiards to table tennis.
 

The Hyatt Place

Less than an hour’s drive from the UNESCO World Heritage ruins of Hampi, arguably the world’s largest outdoor museum, the Hyatt Place is set amidst the greenery of the nearby Vidyanagar Township. The Hyatt Place’s 155 rooms include a signature Hyatt Grand Bed, a media center, Wi-Fi, satellite television, a work desk, and a refrigerator; seven of the suites have their own private pool. The on-site restaurant serves Indian and western cuisine as well as a breakfast buffet, and a well-stocked bar that offers beer and wine from across the globe. Other facilities include a fitness center, a games room, an outdoor pool, a business center, and a coffee shop.
 
 
BANGALORE
Taj West End

Taj West End

Set amidst twenty acres of gardens, this luxury hotel in central Bangalore was the city’s first hotel. Constructed in 1887, the Taj West End has been meticulously preserved throughout the decades, and remains a fine example of colonial-era luxury, opulence, and hospitality. Each of the Taj’s ninety-one rooms feature twenty-four hour room service, electronic safes, mini-bar, a plasma television with satellite channels, telephones with an international calling capability, and queen size beds. On-site restaurants include Blue Ginger, which serves refined, elegant versions of classic Vietnamese food within a tasteful, atmospheric setting; Masala Klub, which features light, refreshing twists on traditional north and south Indian dishes; Mynt, which offers refreshing, authentic Mediterranean cuisine; and Blue Bar, an open air bar located in the gardens adjacent to Blue Ginger. Other amenities include a business center, a fully-equipped fitness center, swimming pools, and a full-service spa. The Taj West End is located approximately 45 minutes away from Bangalore airport (BLR).
 
 
HYDERABAD
Taj Faluknama Palace

Taj Faluknama Palace

Built in the 19th century as a guesthouse for visiting dignitaries, the Faluknama was once one of India's finest palaces; today, it is one of the country's most luxurious hotels. Local artifacts, Italian marble, and fixtures & fittings from around the globe make the Taj Faluknama a fascinating attraction in and of itself. Its sixty rooms and suites combine contemporary amenities, such as high-speed internet access, in-room safes, plush beds, and DVD players, with classic design features including hardwood floors and colorful, hand-painted walls. The Royal Presidential Suite, the most luxurious of these rooms, even has its own private swimming pool. The Taj’s culinary options include Adaa, which serves slow cooked, traditional Hyderabadi cuisine such as biryani, or rice slow-cooked with meat, vegetables, spices, and saffron; Celeste, an Italian and Mediterranean eatery that is open all day; Jade Verandah, a breakfast only venue; and a hookah lounge and a poolside bar. Amenities include a spa, pool, library and billiards room, as well as an in-house historian who will walk guests through the property's fascinating history.

 
 
Meet An Asia Expert
From Our Blog
Our co-founder Jay Tindall is a regular visitor to India, where he loves staying in the palace hotels of Rajasthan. His favourite experience? The amazing Kumbh Mela festival.
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