THE VAST DECCAN Plateau straddles a core area of central India. Having been the scene of countless battles, it has seen some of India's most remarkable empires flourish and decline. The rich architectural legacies of these mighty dynasties still remain today and are explored during the course of this journey which travels north-south across the heart of The Deccan. See the exceptional palaces of Hyderbad's Nizams before visiting the remains of the great Vijayanagar capital at Hampi. Continue to the beautiful early Hoysala temples at Belur and Halebid prior to exploring Karnataka's second largest city - Mysore where there is a treasure trove of monuments. All very different, they range from the Hoysala and Vijayanagar periods, through Tipu Sultan's era, and culminate in the resplendent, Indo-Saracenic City Palace.
DAY 1 - ARRIVE MUMBAI (BOMBAY) On arrival stay at The Taj Lands End.
DAY 2 - MUMBAI - HYDERABAD Morning flight to Hyderabad and stay 2 nights at the Taj Krishna hotel.
DAY 3- HYDERABAD
Explore Hyderabad's stunning sites. Visit the Charminar, the Mecca Masjid and the Salar jung Museum. Also drive out to the mighty Golconda Fort.
DAY 4 - HYDERABAD - HOPSET Morning visit the nearby ancient city of Secundarabad. Afternoon board an overnight train to Hospet.
DAY 5 - HAMPI
Early morning arrival and transfer to Hampi Boulders. Optional excursion to the exceptional ruins at Hampi, set in a beautiful, rockstrewn landscape, interspersed with meandering rivers.
DAY 6 - HAMPI Return to Hampi to continue exploring the ruins of this ancient Vijayanagar capital, once one of the largest Hindu empires in the world.
DAY 7 - HOPSET - CHIKMAGALUR Long drive south to Chikmagalur, at the southern tip of the huge Deccan Plateau. Stay 2 nights at the Taj Garden Retreat
DAY 8 - BELUR & HALEBID Excursion to the fascinating early Hoysala temples at Belur and nearby Halebid.
DAY 9 - CHIKMAGALUR - MYSORE Continue driving south to the 'Sandalwood' city of Mysore. En route visit the impressive hilltop monolithic statue at Sravanbelagola. Stay 2 nights at Metropole Hotel.
DAY 10 - MYSORE Explore the city this morning, visiting the ornate city palace and drive to the top of Chamundi Hill, passing the huge monolith Nandi Bull, en route. Afternoon visit to the Keshava Temple at Somnathpur.
DAY 11 - MYSORE - BENGALURU Morning drive to nearby Srirangapatnam which boasts the ruins of Tipu Sultan's summer palace. Continue to the bustling city of Bengaluru and stay 1 night at the Taj.
DAY 12 - BENGALURU - MUMBAI Morning exploration of 'the Garden City' before an afternoon flight to Mumbai. After dinner, depart for the airport.
DAY 13 - DEPART MUMBAI Early morning departure for onward destination.