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MUMBAI, HAMPI & KERALA

Fly into Mumbai, India’s most exciting city, where you'll stay at the historic Taj Mahal Palace, one of India's most iconic hotels. You'll see the famous Dabbawallas at work and explore the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus and the Gateway of India. Continue south into Karnataka and Hampi, a lost civilisation dating back to the 14th century Vijayangar Empire. This vast former metropolis was abandoned in the 16th century, though the ruins of the temples, kitchens and even the ancient elephant stables remain. Your home here is Kishkinda Camp where 10 classic African-style tents offer understated luxury amidst banana plantations and rice paddies.  Complete your adventure with four nights on India’s finest beach and a night on a lotus boat on the Backwaters of Kerala.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Three nights at one of India’s most iconic hotels, the Taj Mahal Palace.
  • Seeing the Dabbawallas of Mumbai at work, carrying lunch to 200,000 city workers.
  • Exploring Hampi and the spectacular ruins of the Vijayanagar Empire.
  • Relaxing in a stunning sea view cottage on a Keralan beach.
  • Exploring the Backwaters of Kerala by converted rice barge.
£4,495
per person

Price from

Travel Specialist Rachel Cooper

RACHEL COOPER

Tailor-Made Travel Specialist

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  1. Arrive
  2. Day 1 Arrive Mumbai

    Arrive in Mumbai, transfer to your historic hotel and enjoy your first day at leisure to relax after your journey. 

    Overnight: Taj Mahal Palace

  3. Day 2 Mumbai

    After breakfast, meet your private guide for a full day to discover this Arabian Sea–facing megalopolis. Explore the booming art scene, markets and boutiques, see the historic Gateway of India and enjoy a delicious lunch in a hip bistro.  Return to the Taj Mahal Palace in the afternoon to relax by the pool before cocktails in the Harbour Bar.

    Overnight: Taj Mahal Palace

  4. Day 3 Mumbai

    Rise early and visit the Mumbai Dabbawalas.  In 1890 a small group of people started delivering home-cooked food to city workers and as the city grew, so did the demand for the Dabbawalas.  There is now a whole army of around 5,000 satisfying the hunger of almost 200,000 work forces and still it continues to grow, so this visit will be a fascinating insight in to the daily system that is today, an incredible success story.  Return to the hotel for a rest then in the afternoon explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, formerly known as Victoria Terminus, an extravagant Gothic building and historic railway station, which is overflowing with people.  Continue to the city’s biggest and best art and history museum - the Chhatrapati Shivaji  Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (formerly the Prince of Wales Museum of Western India) - before your final stop of the day The Gateway of India.  The arch monument was built to commemorate the landing of King George V and Queen Mary; today it is a gathering spot for many locals and a great place to people-watch.  When you are ready return to the hotel to relax.

    Overnight: Taj Mahal Palace

  5. Day 4 Arrive Hampi

    Enjoy a final morning at leisure then fly to Bellary and transfer by road to Kamalapura, with a journey time of around 50 minutes. Your home for the next four nights is the stunning Evolve Back Kamalapura, which is Hampi's first luxury hotel, a vast and idyllic complex with 46 gorgeous rooms and suites that have been inspired by the medieval kingdom.  Each room is beautifully designed with plush fabrics, grand bathrooms, a spacious living area and in some cases, a private plunge pool.

    Overnight: Evolve Back Kamalapura

  6. Day 5 - 6 Hampi

    Spend two full days with a private guide exploring the fascinating ancient Vijayanagar Empire, located on the Tunghabhadra River. Hampi, once a vast Indian metropolis, is now a fairy tale of calved stone monkey and elephant gods and where  ruins inspire notions of fantasy and riches that belong to an earlier and grander era.  Almost overnight in 1565, the kingdom was abandoned following the Battle of Talitkota that was fought between the Vijaynagar Kingdom and Sultanates of Deccan.  For the last five centuries, the ruins have become a lost civilisation amongst miles and miles of impressive volcanic boulders that stretch all the way from Hyderabad, some 400 kms away. 

    Explore the magnificent giant stones, paddies, rugged plantations, forgotten temples and market places before you enjoy a gentle ride down the Tungabhadra river in a locally made coracle.

    Overnight: Evolve Back Kamalapura

  7. Day 7 Hampi

    Rise early to enjoy a short walk up Matanga Hill, just 6 km away from the camp.  Offering rare glimpses of Hampi’s ecological wealth, it also makes for a wonderful opportunity to see birds like the yellow throated-bulbul, the painted spurfowl, sloth bear and leopard.   As the sun rises and a gentle breeze sets in, enjoy the stunning aerial views of the ruins and the natural architectural grandeur of the Vijaynagara Kingdom with spectacular views of the Achyuta Deva Raya temple, the Virupaksha and the Vittala temple complexes.  Return to the camp for breakfast and enjoy a day at leisure to relax.

    Overnight: Evolve Back Kamalapura

  8. Day 8 Bangalore

    Enjoy a final morning at leisure before transferring by road to Bellary (45 minutes), to board your flight to Bangalore.  This evening, you will spend the evening in the Taj Hotel Bangalore Airport, which is comfortable and conveniently located for your flight tomorrow to Mangalore.

    Overnight: Taj Bangalore Airport

  9. Day 9 Neeleshwar, Kerala

    Fly to Mangalore early morning, meet your private driver on arrival and transfer to Neleeshwar, with a journey time of around three hours. Check-in to your gorgeous Sea View Cottage and spend the rest of the day at leisure. Overlooking the Arabian Sea, Neleeshwar sits on India’s finest beach with just 18 cottages, some of which offer private pools and outdoor bathrooms. The property is a hybrid of a health, wellness and stylish hideaway with excellent wholesome local cuisine, great service and wonderful coastal views.

    Overnight: Neeleshwar Hermitage

  10. Day 10 - 12 Neleeshwar, Kerala

    Three full days at leisure.  Spend your days relaxing in the Ayurvedic Spa, strolling down the quiet palm-fringed beach, doing yoga or meditating.    On certain days in the month (between October & April), visit a local Theyyam dance, a trance ritual unique to Malabar, which involves the whole community - truly fascinating to watch.

    Overnight: Neleeshwar Hermitage

  11. Day 13 Kerala Backwaters by boat

    After breakfast, check-out and leave the majority of your luggage at Neleeshwar.  You will be transferred to the Lotus Boat, which is exclusively yours for the day and overnight.  The Lotus Boat is a traditional rice barge that has been beautifully converted to a comfortable houseboat. On hand, are your private team of three who will look after you as you meander the Backwaters, which are lined with colourful birds, local villages and coconut palms.   

    Overnight: Lotus Boat

  12. Day 14 Home

    After a traditional Keralan breakfast, you will sail gently to the dock where you will be met and transferred to the airport for your flight home.

  13. Depart

Currency
Mid £ 5,165 $ 7,036
Low £ 4,495 $ 6,123

BOOKING NOTES

  • ​Prices are per person based on two people sharing a room.

INCLUSIONS

  • All accommodation as detailed in the itinerary.
  • Daily breakfast.
  • Private transfers throughout.
  • All sightseeing, entrance fees and guide services as detailed in the itinerary.
  • Internal flights where detailed in the itinerary.

EXTRAS

  • International flights.
  • Meals not indicated in the itinerary.
  • Items of a personal nature such as laundry, drinks, gratuities (discretionary).
  • Entance fees and excursions not specifically mentioned as included.
  • Travel insurance or visa fees.
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