In the middle region of South India, there are two hidden treasures, which are recommended by Lonely Planet. The difficulties with access have never stopped explorers. This 7-day South India tour includes the Ajanta Caves, the Ellora Caves, and Hampi, which are ignored by most ordinary tourists. It is the best choice for people who want to get off the beaten path.AH-IN-79
- Discover the oldest grottoes, the Ajanta Caves, which highlight the mysterious side to ancient India.
- Be amazed by a marvel that was created by hand, the Kailasa Temple in the Ellora Caves.
- Travel back in time to a forgotten empire with the magnificent ancient ruins at Hampi.
- Discover the past and the future of India in the most energetic city, Mumbai.
Itinerary in Detail
This sample itinerary provides inspiration, yet your preferences design the real journey. Following our Tailor-made Guidelines to create a wonderful India holiday in your way.
Meet your guide at the airport. He/she will escort you to your hotel and help you to check in.
Hidden in a mountain cliff about 100 kilometers from Aurangabad, the Ajanta Caves are famous for their great architecture, exquisite stone carvings, and beautiful murals. The frescoes inside tell stories about Shakyamuni Buddha, court life, and people's social lives, including houses, farming land, forests, wars, dances, hunting, and working in ancient India. The site enjoys the reputation of being the Louvre of ancient India.
The Ellora Caves are a World Heritage Site and are masterpieces created by monks to reflect Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism. The cave complex took about 500 years to finish. The famous Ajanta Caves were abandoned after this site appeared. The most remarkable aspect is the Kailasa Temple in Cave 16. It is dedicated to Mount Kailash, which is the home of Shiva. The huge stone-carved decorations and the delicate sculptures are marvels that were created by 7,000 monks with hammers and chisels. Your guide will show you some hidden carvings in wet corners and take you to the top of the cave for a great view of the group of temples.
You will visit the Gateway of India, which was built to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary to India in 1911. Then you will continue to the Prince of Wales Museum, built to commemorate the visit of King George V to India and opened in 1923. Then, drive past Flora Fountain (Mumbai's nerve center), the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, and travel along Marine Drive. Next, visit Dhobi Ghat. Ghat means laundry and you will see row upon row of concrete wash pens, each fitted with a flogging stone.
After lunch, you will have a half-day Bollywood tour. This includes visiting the shooting location for the main studio activities, such as live shoots, visiting the Bollywood Museum, watching a Bollywood dance show, and driving past the homes of Bollywood stars. If possible, you will be able to have a look at the stars' makeup rooms and to take a picture with a Bollywood actor.
Continue your adventure to discover another hidden treasure in South India. You will fly from Mumbai to Hubli and then your driver will meet you at the airport and drive you to Hampi.
Hampi, dotted with magnificent ancient ruins from a forgotten empire, is the most mysterious World Heritage Site in India. It includes two parts: the Sacred Center and the Royal Center.
In the Sacred Center which is also called Hampi Bazaar, you will visit Virupaksha Temple. As one of the oldest architecture in Hampi, Virupaksha Temple is the last ancient temple which is still used by local people. And then you can climb up the Hemakuta Hill to overlook the temple and the huge sculptures of Narasimha and Ganaesha. Another highlight in this area is Vittala Temple. The incredible sculptures in the temple stand for the peak of art of the Vijayanagara Empire. On the way from Hampi Bazaar to Vittala Temple, the abandoned Sule Bazaar hides among the rocks. It used to be an important business center in ancient Hampi
In the afternoon, you will explore the Royal Center. Go to the Mahanavami-diiba for the exquisite stone carvings, a panorama view of the temples group in the courtyard and a king's hall for ceremonies and festival celebrations. Continue to Zenana Enclosure, you will find the queen's villa, Lotus Mahal. Go to the upstairs to overlook the 11 magnificent Elephant Stables. The Queen's Bath is another highlight in the area. You will be impressed by the dedicated fountains and its India-Islam style.
Our Service Includes:
- Private transfers and English-speaking tour guide
- All guided sightseeing as detailed in the itinerary
- Hotel accommodation mentioned in the itinerary
- Breakfasts at hotels and lunches for every guided day
- Governmental taxes
We have selected hotels with different styles and for different budgets. Let us know your preferences and we will help you find the right one.
We recommend to experience palace hotels, heritage hotels, or nice resorts in order to get the high-quality service and to your experience.
Why Travel with Asia Highlights
- Tailor-made experience: All of your ideas/needs will be carefully considered to create your ideal trip.
- Worry-free planning: Every step of your trip, you will be looked after by your 1:1 travel consultant based in Asia.
- No-risk booking: We refund as much as we can and adapt flexibly to unexpected changes.
Get Inspired with Our Sample Itineraries
At Asia Highlights, we create your kind of journey — your dates, your destinations, at your pace. You can have any trip tailor made for your travel.