Discover the Secrets of South India
This seven-day South India tour is markedly different from other group tours. The tour includes attractions such as the Ajanta and Ellora Caves and Hampi. It will take you deep down the cultural and religious history of South India.
Oct. to Mar.
We have just returned from an amazing trip to Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. Our travel adviser Albee Ning prepared a wonderful itinerary taking us to great locations with creative activities highlighting local culture.
We traveled with Asia Highlights (Lissie was our agent) several years ago when we went to Saigon, and the experience was so positive, we automatically went to Asia Highlights again for an extensive trip to Southeast Asia.
The itinerary as below is only suggested for your reference. You can choose to explore India in your own way. Just tell your travel advisor about your interests, requirements, and budget.
Your local guide and driver will escort you from the airport and transfer you to the hotel. The rest of the day is for you to spend as you wish.
Today, you will start your day by visiting the ancient Indian Buddhist art site — the Ajanta Caves. The drive will take about 2½–3 hours from Aurangabad. The Ajanta Caves are located in the Indian state of Maharashtra, facing Godavari River. The caves are famous for their mural art and represent one of India's unique artistic traditions known as rock-cut temples. Ajanta consists of 30 caves, filled with sculptures, wall murals, and ceiling paintings — all dedicated to the life of the Buddha.
In the morning, your guide will accompany you to the Ellora Caves — one of the best rock-cut temple cave complexes in the world. The temples were cut from basaltic cliffs and have elaborate facades and interior walls. The most famous among these is the Kailasa Temple in Cave 16. Unlike other temples at the site, which were first delved horizontally into the rock face, the Kailasa complex was excavated downward from a basaltic slope and is therefore largely exposed to sunlight.
You will take a flight to Mumbai in the afternoon, where your new guide will take you around the city.
Don't forget to visit the top tourist attraction in Mumbai — the Gateway of India. A prominent landmark in the city, the Gateway of India is a favorite gathering place for tourists and locals, bustling with photographers, tea vendors, and local food stalls.
Next, head off to the Prince of Wales Museum (now known as Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya), which was built following a visit by the Prince of Wales to India in 1905. As you pass by Marine Drive, you will see Flora Fountain, which is a representative architecture of Mumbai.
Later, visit the Dhobi Ghat (Indian laundry), where you can see hundreds of people beat the dirt out of thousands of kilograms of soiled Mumbai clothes and linen in 1026 open-air troughs.
In the afternoon, you will visit Bollywood, or the center of Hindi cinema. It is one of the largest film production bases in the world. You will visit the Bollywood Museum, watch a dance show, see actors' makeup rooms, etc. If you are lucky, you may even see some live shoots and take pictures with stars.
Take a flight from Mumbai to Hubli in the morning, where you will meet your new driver who will transfer you to Hampi in about four hours. Once you reach Hampi, relax in the hotel.
Proceed to dig Indian treasure at Hampi — one of the most beautiful cities of the medieval world. There are two parts to Hampi: the Sacred Center and the Royal Center.
First, you will explore its Sacred Center, or, as it is popularly called, the Hampi Bazaar. Move on to visit Virupaksha Temple. The sculpture of Lord Shiva carved out of stone is the predominant feature of this spectacular temple. Built under the ruler Deva Raya II of the great Vijayanagara Empire, the temple is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Next, visit Hemakuta Hill, where you can enjoy the panorama of Virupaksha Temple. Don't miss the Vittala Temple for its unique architecture. Next, head off to Sule Bazaar, which was the most significant business center in ancient Hampi.
Next, discover Hampi's Royal Center. Enjoy the stunning carvings and a full view of the temple group in Mahanavami-diiba. Then head out to Zenana Enclosure, where you will see the Lotus Mahal. Climb up to the top to have a panoramic view of the 11 grand Elephant Stables. The most famous one is Queen's Bath, which will leave a lasting impact on you with its rich history and artistic carvings.
Your driver and guide will see you off at Hubli airport. Have a safe trip to your home.
Price from: $1,656 (Tour code: gh-ah-in-79)