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Heart of India: Mumbai, Hampi and Goa

Group Tour

15 Days From C$5,941

Overview

For the committed Indiaphile Central India has it all. Often overlooked in favour of the more tourist-friendly regions to the north and south, the centre of the country offers a magical mix of experiences well off the beaten track.

Starting in Mumbai we take the train to Aurangabad and visit the famous Buddhist caves of Ellora and Ajanta before visiting the jewel of India’s southern crown, Hyderabad. From here we travel to the 15th-17th century sites of Bijapur, ...

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HIGHLIGHTS

At a glance

MEALS

14 x Breakfasts
13 x Lunches
12 x Dinners

TRANSPORT

 On this tour we will use a day and an overnight train, mini-bus coasters and auto rickshaws.

GROUP SIZE

Maximum: 12

CARBON CONTRIBUTIONS

A carbon-offsetting contribution to Eco Act for all bookings

EXPERT TEAM

The full services of a Wild Frontiers Tour Leader with local guides where appropriate

ACCOMMODATION

All accommodation as outlined in the itinerary

ACCOMMODATION

As an overall ethos, wherever possible we aim to use characterful accommodation that enhances the overall travel experience, not just offers a bed for the night. This can obviously vary dramatically from country to country and from trip to trip.

On this particular tour we will use hotels, resorts and an overnight train. Please be aware that the accommodation in places like Bijapur and Badami is of a more basic 2/3 star standard. On Day 5 of this tour we will be using day rooms in Aurangabad, these are based on three people sharing a day room.

Please note that the accommodation mentioned in the itinerary is intended as a guide only and is always subject to availability.

ENTRANCE FEES

All entrance fees for sights mentioned in the itinerary

FITNESS RATING

Low

FITNESS RATING

LOW: You should be comfortable walking around towns and cultural sites. May include some optional walks (typically 1-2hrs).

LOW/MODERATE: May be of a long duration and/or involve numerous border-crossings. May include easy/moderate day walks (up to 2-3hrs/day). You should be relatively fit and lead a generally active lifestyle.

MODERATE: May include several easy/moderate day walks (up to 2-5hrs/day) possibly at altitude. You should be relatively fit and lead a generally active lifestyle. Previous experience of similar trips helpful.

MODERATE/HIGH: May involve several days of moderate hiking (up to 3-6 hrs/day) possibly at altitude. You must be a fit and active traveller with appropriate trekking experience.

HIGH: May involve several days of moderate/strenuous trekking (up to 4-7 hrs/day) possibly at altitude. You must be a very fit and active traveller with appropriate trekking experience.

Map & Itinerary

Individual departures may vary so please refer to the information in the tour specific links in the Dates and Prices section below

Heart of India: Mumbai, Hampi and Goa
EXPAND ALL ITINERARY DAYS
COLLAPSE ALL ITINERARY DAYS

DAY 1: TOUR STARTS IN MUMBAI

DAY 1: TOUR STARTS IN MUMBAI

The tour starts this afternoon at the joining hotel. From here we’ll take a wander around this fascinating city, with time at the famous arch that is the ‘Gateway to India’. We’ll end the day with a visit to the Taj, which overlooks the harbour and is a great place for a drink, before having dinner at a local restaurant.

Fariyas hotel or similar
Dinner

DAY 2: IN MUMBAI

DAY 2: IN MUMBAI

After breakfast we’ll head out to visit the ‘Mahalaxmi Dhobi Ghat’, otherwise known as the largest non-mechanised laundry facility in the world! Although there are some machines on site, most of the washing is still done by hand in a long series of concrete wash basins, each with its own flogging stone to beat the clothes against. From here we will take a walking tour of the Dharavi slum, the heart of small-scale industry in Mumbai. As we wander through 'India's largest slum' we will witness a wide range of business enterprises and activities: recycling, pottery-making, embroidery, bakery, soap factory, leather tanning, poppadom-making and much more. People from all over India live in Dharavi, making it a cultural melting pot, and a tour through its narrow alleys is quite an adventure. More recently Dharavi has become a focus of artists from all over the world, who in collaboration with the locals have painted murals on the walls of houses, and as we explore Dharavi it’s worth looking out for the abundant street art which the local community is very proud of. We’ll also visit a number of the most famous buildings Mumbai is noted for, including Chhatrapati Shivajitrain train station (formerly Victoria Terminus), the Mahalakshmi temple, the Rajabai Clock Tower and library, and the colonial general post office.

Fariyas hotel or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 3: MUMBAI - AURANGABAD

DAY 3: MUMBAI - AURANGABAD

This morning we’ll transfer to Mumbai station and take the day train to Aurangabad. The journey should take around 8 hours, offering us a chance to take in the scenery and meet the local people. Arriving by the late afternoon we’ll transfer to our hotel for dinner.

Lemon Tree or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 4: AURANGABAD - AJANTA CAVES - AURANGABAD

DAY 4: AURANGABAD - AJANTA CAVES - AURANGABAD

After breakfast we’ll drive north for a couple of hours to visit the Ajanta Caves. Predating those at Ellora, the Ajanta Caves are entirely Buddhist and famous for their exquisite paintings. After the decline in Buddhism, the caves were forgotten only to be ‘rediscovered’ in 1819 by a group of British soldiers out on a hunting trip. Their beauty was soon unveiled and they now represent one of Maharashtra’s best-known sites. In the afternoon we will drive back to Aurangabad where the rest of the day will be at your leisure.

Lemon Tree or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 5: AURANGABAD - ELLORA CAVES - OVERNIGHT TRAIN TO HYDERABAD

DAY 5: AURANGABAD - ELLORA CAVES - OVERNIGHT TRAIN TO HYDERABAD

After breakfast we’ll visit the Ellora Caves, a truly amazing series of underground temples, some with extraordinary sculptures, built between the 7th and 11th centuries AD. From here we’ll travel back to Aurangabad, stopping on the way to visit Devagiri-Daulatabad fort, an imposing structure built by King Bhillam of the Yadava dynasty in the late 12th century. Its strategic location on a large rock outcrop was so impregnable that it was never taken by force. We’ll then have an early dinner before boarding our overnight train to Hyderabad.

Overnight train
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 6: IN HYDERABAD

DAY 6: IN HYDERABAD

Arriving early into Hyderabad we will transfer to our hotel for the chance to freshen up. Once in the ‘city of pearls’ we’ll walk around the Old City and the 16th century Charminar, which houses Hyderabad’s oldest mosque. We’ll also explore the bazaars around the Charminar selling all manner of items from bangles to budgerigars and look around the Mecca Masjid which can house up to 10,000 worshippers. Tonight we’ll have drinks at the historic Taj Falaknuma Palace, without doubt one of the most opulent hotels on the subcontinent. The former residence of the Nizam of Hyderabad, the hotel exudes the elegance and gilded grandeur of a bygone age. Boasting Venetian chandeliers, priceless art, Japanese Gardens and a library of rare distinction, the hotel affords us a truly unique insight into the lives of one of India’s richest dynasties.

Taj Banjara hotel or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 7: IN & AROUND HYDERABAD

DAY 7: IN & AROUND HYDERABAD

This morning we head out of town to visit Golconda Fort, the capital of Telangana until 1590 when a terrible drought forced the people of the city to move and the founding of Hyderabad. We then return to town, stopping en route to wander around the serenely set tombs of the Qutb Shahi Kings. This afternoon/evening you will be free to wander and discover more of this fascinating city for yourself. Dinner tonight will be at your own expense.

Taj Banjara hotel or similar
Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 8: HYDERABAD - BIJAPUR

DAY 8: HYDERABAD - BIJAPUR

After breakfast we’ll say goodbye to this glorious city and drive to the neighbouring state of Karnataka, and on to Bijapur with its dominating Islamic architecture. The drive will take most of the day but we should have a bit of time on arrival to stretch our legs and view some of the local sites before dinner.

Madhuvan hotel or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 9: BIJAPUR - BADAMI

DAY 9: BIJAPUR - BADAMI

This morning we’ll explore the magnificent Golgumbaz which is the town’s largest monument with an imposing 38 metre diameter dome – second only to St Peter’s Basilica in Rome! Climbing the narrow stairs brings us out onto the whispering gallery, where secrets whispered into the wall are directed across the dome to listening ears. Also in this sleepy town is the beautiful Ibrahim Rouza, which is considered by many to be one of the most finely proportioned Islamic monuments in India. The focus here is not the size but the elegance and detail. The 24 metre high minarets are said to have inspired those of the Taj Mahal. Adil Shah II built the monuments for his queen at the height of Bijapur’s prosperity in the 17th century; though sadly he died before his Queen was laid to rest alongside his family. Following lunch we’ll drive on to Badami for the night.

Heritage Resort Badami or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 10: IN BADAMI

DAY 10: IN BADAMI

This morning we’ll visit the wonderful 5th century temples at Aiholé before moving on to the world heritage site of Pattadakal. In the afternoon we will have plenty of time to enjoy the sensational rock carved temples at Badami.

Heritage Resort Badami or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 11: BADAMI - HAMPI

DAY 11: BADAMI - HAMPI

Arguably saving the best until last, this morning we will drive to Anegundi – the ruined fortified stronghold across the river from Hampi. After checking into our hotel we’ll have a bit of time to relax in this often overlooked village, just a stone’s throw from the stunning UNESCO World Heritage Site of Hampi. From here we’ll take our first look around this incredible place.

Hampi Boulders or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 12: IN HAMPI

DAY 12: IN HAMPI

Today we explore the scattered ruins of the 15th century city of Vijayanagar. We will visit the highlight of the Hampi ruins, the Vittala Temple, as well as the other main sights including the Elephant Stables and the Lotus Mahal, before heading back into town. Having lunch at a beautiful spot by the river we’ll escape the heat and relax, after which the rest of the afternoon and evening will be free to explore at your leisure. Dinner tonight will be at your own expense.

Hampi Boulders or similar
Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 13: HAMPI - GOA

DAY 13: HAMPI - GOA

After breakfast we say goodbye to Hampi and travel west to the coastline of the Arabian Sea and Goa. This will be a long day on the road, but we’ll break it up along the way and the relaxed atmosphere that Goa offers at the end of the journey will make it all worthwhile.

Beleza by the Beach Resort or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 14: IN GOA

DAY 14: IN GOA

This morning we’ll take a guided tour of Goa Velha (old Goa), visiting numerous sites of interest including the UNESCO listed Portuguese churches of Igreja de Nossa Senhora do Rosário, the Basilica of Bom Jesus, the church of St. Francis of Assisi and the Chapel of Santa Catarina. After lunch the afternoon will be free to do as you choose. Most people like to relax by swimming in the pool or by taking a dip in the sea nearby, but there’s plenty more besides. The town houses an arts centre as well as offering options for cycling, fishing and yoga. Tonight we will have a farewell dinner at a lovely local restaurant.

Beleza by the Beach Resort or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 15: TOUR ENDS IN GOA

DAY 15: TOUR ENDS IN GOA

The tour ends after lunch in Goa, with some free time this morning and this afternoon to relax or visit other sites of interest. Those on the suggested group flights will transfer to the airport in time for this evenings flight.

Breakfast

ACCOMMODATION USED ON THIS TOUR

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards without the big price tag
Mid-Range
Good quality service and overall comfort
Superior
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards without the big price tag
Mid-Range
Good quality service and overall comfort
Superior
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards without the big price tag
Mid-Range
Good quality service and overall comfort
Superior
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Accommodation displayed here should be taken as a guide only. *Please refer to the Detailed Itinerary of your individual departure for more information.

PRIVATE HOLIDAYS: DATES DON’T FIT?

All group tours can be taken on a private basis.

REVIEWS OF THIS TRIP

Additional Details

Responsible Travel

Responsible travel and sustainable tourism are fundamental ideas that Wild Frontiers has been committed to since our birth. It is our strong belief that these words should not be simply ‘tagged on’ to itineraries and websites but should be at the very core of each trip, and our adventures are therefore designed with the local people, culture and eco-system in mind. We believe that a successful trip not only delivers a unique and unsurpassable journey for our clients, but that it also benefits the peoples whose lands we are privileged to visit. For more information, please see our responsible travel page.

Getting There

If you would like us to send you a quote for the suggested tour flights or on any alternative flight that may suit you better, please let us know, noting that for our US clients, we will most likely refer you to one of our preferred partners. For this trip our suggested flights from the UK (subject to change) are shown below.

If you wish to arrange your own flights you are completely free to do so and in this case we can arrange any transfers or supplementary accommodation that you may require. However please note that if you are planning on making your own flight arrangements, we recommend that you first check with us to see if the trip is guaranteed. We then suggest that you purchase flights that are flexible and ideally refundable as due to the nature of adventure travel, itineraries and destination accessibility can change at any time. For more information, please refer to our booking conditions.
 

Flight Code Departing Arriving
WY 102 London Heathrow (LHR) 20:05 Muscat Airport (MCT) 07:15
WY 203 Muscat Airport (MCT) 09:00 Mumbai Airport (BOM) 13:10
WY 208 Goa Dabolim Airport (GOI) 20:20 Muscat Airport (MCT) 22:00
WY 103 Muscat Airport (MCT) 01:45 London Heathrow (LHR) 05:55

Visas

Visas are necessary for many of the destinations we travel to and while we aim to provide you with the most up-to-date information, requirements frequently change and as such for the latest advice we advise that you check with the relevant embassies or contact our recommended visa agency, Travcour www.travcour.com 

For this tour UK passport holders currently require a visa for India.

Non-UK passport holders or non-UK residents should contact the relevant embassies for individual requirements.

Further details will be sent out to you on booking, however ensuring that correct and valid visas are obtained remains the sole responsibility of the client.

Extensions

If you have more time available, why not arrive early to adjust to a new time zone or just to get a feel for the country before your tour starts? Or alternatively you might choose to allow a few extra days after the tour to relax or to undertake some further exploration.

The choice is completely yours and we can usually arrange anything from simply additional accommodation and transfers to full tailor-made itineraries.

Below is just a small sample of what you could do. Please contact the office for more details and to discuss your individual requirements.

Goa

Spend a few extra days relaxing on the famous beaches or exploring the hinterland.

National Parks

Visit the Tiger Parks of Tadoba, Satpura and/or Kanha.

Rajasthan

Enjoy a 3 day trip to the pink city of Jaipur to visit the Amber Fort, Royal Observatory and City Palace. This could also be combined with a couple of additional nights in the blue city of Jodhpur with a visit to the imposing Mehrangarh Fort.

Amritsar

Enjoy a 4 day trip to marvel at the Golden Temple and witness the unique Wagah border ceremony

Governmental Travel Advice

Many governments issue advice which highlights potential hazards their citizens might experience when travelling abroad. We strongly suggest you refer to your country’s particular advisory site before booking and contact us if you have any queries or concerns. Click to follow links to the advice of the British Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) or the US State Department.

Non-UK citizens should consult the travel advice of their respective governments.

Key Information

CLIMATE

Travelling in central India at this time of year will be warm to hot, though the nights may be chilly. It is a lovely time to be in India just as the colours turn. You should bring some warm clothes just in case for the evenings and early mornings.

IS THIS TRIP FOR ME?

It may sound obvious but Wild Frontiers tours are not always for everyone and it is important to us that the tour you choose is the most suitable. All our tours have a fitness rating as a guideline but you should check the day-by-day itinerary carefully. In certain instances we may ask you to complete a travel questionnaire before confirming your booking in order to ensure your suitability. Should you have any concerns about your ability to partake in any aspect of the tour then please contact the office.

KEY ASPECTS TO CONSIDER

Anyone in a reasonable state of health, with an open mind and a sense of adventure should be perfectly able to cope with this tour, as many of the activities are optional.

THE NATURE OF ADVENTURE TRAVEL

We feel that it’s worth pointing out that while we will always strive to stick as close to the stated itinerary as possible, it may be necessary from time to time to make changes to our itineraries or services (due to weather, political and religious influences etc.) and this can happen with little or no notice. This unpredictability can be one of the most exciting aspects of adventure travel and for many of our clients often leads to unexpected highlights as the tour-leader necessarily adapts the tour to the changing conditions. However we are aware that this lack of assuredness may not suit everyone. As such, with the greatest respect, if you are someone who needs to know that everything will happen exactly as planned, we would kindly suggest that perhaps our tours are not for you. Adventure travel can be infectious and once you’ve caught the bug, it is likely to never leave you, but especially if this is your first such tour we would strongly urge you to give us a call if you have any concerns whatsoever about your suitability for this trip.

TRAVELLING SOLO AND SINGLE SUPPLEMENTS

As a company approximately 70% of our clients are solo travellers, so it’s very unlikely you’ll be alone!

Our prices are typically based on twin-share accommodation but single supplements are not compulsory for any Wild Frontiers tour. If you prefer not to pay a single supplement we’ll pair you with someone else of the same sex for you to share with throughout the trip.

On this trip, if you do opt to pay for a single supplement then please note that it will cover you for all nights of the tour except when on the overnight train and the nights in Badami. A single supplement here is dependent upon overall group size due to the limited number of rooms.

Please note that paying a single supplement entitles you to lone occupancy of a single room. In many cases these rooms will be of the same size as a double/twin room, but in some cases they may be smaller.
 

INSURANCE

Insurance that provides cover for emergency repatriation in case of a medical emergency is compulsory for all tours. You should be aware that due to some of the geographical areas visited and some of the activities included on certain of our trips some standard insurance policies may not always provide adequate cover. As such we strongly recommend that you purchase a policy that adequately covers your trip. Please see the Insurance section for more details.

General Information

TOUR PRICE

All our tours are priced on a land-only basis, giving you maximum flexibility when deciding how to get to and from your tour.

DEPOSIT

A £200 (or equivalent) deposit is required to confirm your booking.

PROTECTION FOR YOUR MONEY

For further details please see our travelling with peace of mind page

WILD MILES

This tour will earn you 8952 Wild Miles

WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED

We believe in a completely transparent approach to pricing with no hidden extras. As such, please note that the following are not included in the cost of the tour.

Visas & Travel Insurance: Visas will always be tour/nationality dependent but travel insurance is mandatory
Tips: Always optional but some guidance will be given in the pre-departure information documents
International Flights: Please ask us for an obligation-free quote for flights which originate in the UK
Airport Transfers: We include complimentary transfers if arriving/departing on the suggested group flights
Beverages & any costs of a personal nature: This will include items such as laundry and souvenirs

WILD FRONTIERS COMMUNITY

If you’re still not sure if this trip is right or just want to see get some different perspectives, then why not have a look at the wide variety of resources we have on our website? Browse our community section to read our blogs, watch videos and find out about our events. 

WHY WILD FRONTIERS?

We are frequently asked what makes Wild Frontiers different from other tour operators. Visit our Why Wild Frontiers page to find out.

INSPIRATION