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.
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.
Rise early this morning and get a glimpse of the city before dawnbreak. Witness a hive of activity as merchants, fishermen, deliverymen zip around in preparation for the day. Visit 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
On your final day of your Central India itinerary, fly to Mumbai and check-in for your flight to your next destination.
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).
Bask in the ultimate luxury at The Oberoi Mumbai, a spectacular building with incredible ocean views and a front-row seat for the Queen’s Necklace, the name for the golden crescent of lights that glimmer on the shoreline after the sun sets. From the moment guests arrive on the spectacular grounds, they are whisked away into a world of elegance and luxury. Inside the lobby, floor-to-ceiling windows offer unparalleled views of the ocean and the incredible shoreline. And within each incredibly-decorated guest room, guests may marvel at the views as they enjoy personalised butler services. The hotel also features a variety of world-class restaurants serving delicious cuisine from around the world, as well as a state-of-the-art spa, fitness center and temperature-controlled, outdoor pool in a private courtyard.
Step into the Taj Residency Aurangabad, a sprawling, luxurious palace of a hotel located near the city center. The hotel features five acres of mani- cured gardens and 63 rooms and suites, all of which overlook either the pool or the garden, and each of which features climate control, in-room safes, plush, comfortable beds, modern décor, internet access, and ensuite bathrooms. Amenities include a large, centrally located pool, dining facili- ties, a business center, and the same, world-class service that made the Taj famous. The Taj Aurangabad is located around 9 kilometers from the airport and railway station, an easy, 15 minute drive away. In addition, the hotel lies a short drive from the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Allora and the Ajanta Caves.
Just as Hampi, 14th Century Vijayanagara Empire’s capital, was once described as “the best-provided city in the world,” the Evolve Back, Hampi resort can arguably be regarded as housing “the world’s best-pampered guests.” Surrounded by rugged forests and boulder-strewn plains, the resort’s glorious architectural and interior design are inspired by the royal flavor of that ancient city, which is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and readily accessible for guests of the Evolve Back. When not exploring the ruins on a guided walk, guests can take a dip in the infinity pool, lounge by the family pool, relax at the Ayurveda spa, or lose themselves in a book with a cup of famous Sidapur coffee in hand. Four types of accommodations boast balconies overlooking the natural splendor of the area, private pools, en-suite Jacuzzis, and grand bathrooms. Exploring the ancient civilization’s history and culture is not limited to the heritage site as the resort’s two restaurants offer dishes inspired by the empire’s cuisines. For visitors who want a more private experience, customized meals are served by personal butlers beside the hotel’s infinity pool or even their suite’s private pool.
The Ultimate Travelling Camp (TUTC) brand that is known for perfectly balancing a nomadic lifestyle with ultra-luxury comforts lives up to its name at the TUTC Hampi. Equipped with all the accommodations expected of a top-tier hotel while also showcasing the natural wonders of Hampi all around, this tent hotel provides a spacious, opulent space to relax and unwind after a day of adventure and exploring. Whether guests decide to enjoy exciting excursions that teach them about the region’s history or participate in vibrant local festivals, the TUTC Hampi is certain to give guests the ultimate experience of the nearby UNESCO World Heritage Site and former Vijayanagara Empire, all from the comfort of the best camping experience ever conceived.
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.
Price is based on double or twin hotel room occupancy and includes accommodation, transfers, car/driver, English-speaking guide, activities and entrance fees, breakfasts and some casual lunches while touring. Flights and optional special activities will be quoted separately. Most personal expenses, including dinners, alcoholic beverages, spa treatments and gratuities can be paid on the spot while traveling. Prices may vary depending on season, choice of accommodation and other factors.
With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.
With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, in the continent that our north American founders Catherine and Jay have adored and explored for decades, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.
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