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Elephant Stables, Hampi, India

Hampi and the Treasures of the Deccan Plateau



11 Days

Prices Start from

£3,445pp (ex. flights)

This 11-day holiday idea has been designed to showcase some of the treasures of the Deccan Plateau in Central India, from the finest examples of rock-cut architecture to one of the most enchanting sites in India.

Key Highlights of this Itinerary

Temple on top of the rock, Badami, India 1

Explore Badami Caves

Visit the extraordinary ancient rock-cut cave temples of Badami.

Hemakuta Hill, Hampi, India 2

Forgotten Hampi

Discover an unusual landscape and extraordinary ancient ruins by bicycle or on foot.

Jonty Rajagopalan 3

Hyderabad with Jonty

Meet Jonty, our resident expert, for an unforgettable introduction to this city.

Ajanta Caves, India 4

Visit Ajanta Caves

The Unesco World Heritage site is a breathtaking horseshoe of 30 rock-hewn caves.

Why we like it

If you are planning a return trip to India and aren’t sure where to go next, this itinerary suggestion is a perfect option for those seeking to explore deeper into the heart of this extraordinary country. With regular domestic flights in and out of the region and a much-improved infrastructure, Karnataka is well and truly on people’s radar.

Set at a pace that allows you time to explore and absorb the sheer enormity of what you are seeing and kept to a length of eleven days, means that this fascinating exploration can be extended to include another part of India.

Included as Standard

Airport VIP meet and greet, a bottle of wine on arrival, a spa treatment, a dedicated member of our team available 24/7, an upgrade at one of your chosen hotels and cars with Wi-Fi connectivity.

Explore our suggested itinerary

India on your wishlist? Talk to our experts about tailoring this trip for you.

  • Day 1


  • Day 2

    Mumbai - Badami

  • Day 3


  • Day 4

    Badami - Hampi

  • Day 5 - 6


  • Day 7

    Hampi - Hyderabad

  • Day 8 - 9


  • Day 10

    Ajanta Caves

  • Day 11

    Aurangabad - Mumbai

Day 1


Mumbai, India

Mumbai, formerly Bombay, is a city teeming with culture, architecture and people.

Day 2

Mumbai - Badami

Day 3


Badami, India

Visit the extraordinary ancient rock-cut cave temples of Badami.

Day 4

Badami - Hampi

Boulders and Temple, Hampi, Karnataka, India

Discover an unusual landscape and extraordinary ancient ruins by bicycle or on foot.

Day 5 - 6


Day 7

Hampi - Hyderabad

Day 8 - 9


Qutbshahi Tomb, Hyderabad, India

Take a city tour with our resident experts who will show you a side of Hyderabad that never fails to capture your imagination.

Day 10

Ajanta Caves

Ajanta Caves, India

Hidden in a horseshoe-shaped canyon in the Deccan plateau, the caves of Ajanta were lost for hundreds of years.

Day 11

Aurangabad - Mumbai

Our travel experts can tailor this itinerary to suit you.

More details

Badami, India

Beautiful Badami

Be prepared to climb a lot of stairs when you go to visit Badami and watch out for the monkeys who are curious and brave! However, once you’ve reached the top you are truly rewarded. What you discover here is perfectly exquisite. The monolithic rocks and carvings are some of the earliest cave temples in India, created from the soft sandstone in the surrounding hills. Linger in each of the four caves until the tourists disperse and enjoy them to yourselves. The sunset from the top is well worth the wait.

Aihole, India

Hindu and Jain temples of Aihole and Pattadakal

Experience distinct Hindu and Jain architectural styles amongst more than 150 temples both in Pattadakal and Aihole. Regarded as extremely influential on later Indian temple architecture, these sites exhibit a mix of northern and southern styles. Both Aihole and Pattadakal contain large groups of impressively preserved temples, the most spectacular of which were constructed around the seventh century.

Hampi, India
Hampi, India

Rock Strewn Landscapes and Ancient Sites

Hampi is beyond epic. Spend two full days exploring this mysterious ancient kingdom with our specialist guide, from your comfortable base at Evolve Back Kalampura Palace.

Now a ghost town, this 14th century Vijayanagara Empire was said to rival Rome. Ancient temples and statues carved from boulders are strewn throughout the area – relics of the settlements rich history. Until recently this area was largely inaccessible, keeping away large crowds of tourists. Today, even though it is far easier to reach, you still find much of this expansive site empty and all to yourself. Those that visit Hampi are blown away.


Kailas temple in Ellora caves complex, Maharashtra state in India
Kailas temple in Ellora caves , India
Ajanta Caves, India
Ajanta caves near Aurangabad, Maharashtra state in India
Ajanta Cave, Maharastra, India
Aurangabad, India
Ellora, India

Marvel at the World Heritage Sites of Ajanta and Ellora Caves

Ajanta was accidentally discovered and brought to Western attention in 1819 by a British colonial officer Captain John Smith. What an accident. Walking down the 700 steps through teak forest is the most evocative way to arrive. The path was overgrown – very few of today’s 300,000 visitors to Ajanta take this route – parakeets squawk overhead and the roar of the waterfall acts as your compass. We highly recommend taking this route when you visit and be one of the first into the cave complex, bang on opening time.

Whilst in Aurangabad, visit Ellora. The caves at Ellora are the largest rock-cut monastery-temple complexes in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage site.


Below you can see some of the wonderful places we have recommended for this journey.

Evolve Back Hampi £££££

  • India

Evolve Back Kamalapura Palace lies just four kilometres from the UNESCO heritage site of Hampi. This luxury palace-style hotel is the perfect base from which to explore the many ancient ruins found in this extraordinary boulder-strewn landscape. Evolve Back Kamalapura Palace offers 46 rooms and suites, all spacious, opulent and exquisitely designed, some with private balconies, terraces and jacuzzis. The resort has an adult infinity pool and extensive spa facilities, the atmosphere is one of pampered unhurried living. Children are catered for, with a dedicated kids club and dedicated swimming pool.

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Taj Mahal Palace Mumbai £££££

  • India
  • City

More than a hotel, the lavish Taj Mahal Palace is an iconic landmark of Mumbai. Undoubtedly the city’s grandest choice of accommodation and a spectacle in its own right, this beautiful structure sits next to the Gateway to India, overlooking the harbour. 285 beautiful rooms fill the hotel’s palatial interior, exuding colonial-era grandeur. Several restaurants and bars are housed within the hotel, including the famous Harbour Bar, which was the city’s first licensed drinking establishment.

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Oberoi Mumbai £££££

  • India
  • City

Located in the heart of Mumbai’s business district, this elegant luxury hotel, overlooking the Arabian Sea, offers impeccable service, understated luxury and excellent facilities including an exclusive spa and fitness centre by Banyan Tree.

View Property

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Everything went smoothly, we were met as arranged by extremely knowledgeable personnel. The guides and drivers came up to and exceeded, our expectations.


Joe was wonderful and very knowledgeable about India. He was patient with us as we made numerous changes to the itinerary and very quick to respond.  


All guides, drivers and vehicles were superb and it was such a great way to see everything and know everything. The service was excellent.


A great itinerary for an introduction to India. It has given us lots of ideas and enthusiasm for a return trip.


A note on price

Prices will vary depending on the time of year you are travelling. Prices do not include international flights. Please ask one of our Travel Experts for an accurate quote. Flights purchased through Steppes Travel departing from the UK are ATOL protected.

This Itinerary
From £3,445 Per person

When to travel

India in January

January is a very popular time to travel to India, due to mild temperatures and very little rainfall. The climate varies across India from snow in the Northern States to the Southern regions experiencing daily sunshine – perfect for an escape to Kerala’s beaches.

India in February

During peak season, February is an ideal month to travel to India, experiencing all regions of the country from Rajasthan in the North to Karnataka in the South.

India in March

Temperatures begin to rise with March typically being the last month of the peak season. A significant month for religious, Hindu festivals, March can become busy in some regions however also a perfect time to travel to experience Indian culture and wildlife.

India in April

With temperatures starting to rise, regions in Northern India start to become more accessible with excellent opportunities to discover hiking trails and the wildlife of these regions. Temperatures can sometimes exceed 40°C, with high levels of humidity in Southern India.

India in May

From May to September, Monsoon rains affect the North and Central states of India with daily rainfall and thunderstorms. During the Monsoon season, it is best to experience high altitude regions and avoid beach resorts.

India in June

Most regions of India will experience the Monsoon season in June alongside high daily temperatures and high levels of humidity. Whilst, not a popular time to travel, experience the mountainous regions as opposed to Central India to experience slightly cooler temperatures at the start of the month.

India in July

At the peak of the Monsoon season, most of the country experiences frequent, heavy rainfall. Whilst travel plans may be interrupted due to the climate, it is a great time to visit India to experience the national parks and the great outdoors.

India in August

As the Monsoon continues, the climate is very similar to that of June and July. Whilst not a suitable time to travel to India’s Southern beaches, other Northern Regions are popular with locals for hiking and outdoor pursuits.

India in September

As the final month of the Monsoon season, rainfall will be less frequent with the occasional sunny spell showcasing the lush, green vegetation that has flourished during the heavy rains.

India in October

As the monsoon rains have finished, humidity levels remain high and the peak travel season begins. During the month of October, there are lots of religious festivals, including Diwali, where some regions may become busier with domestic tourists.

India in November

As one of the best times to visit the country, November brings comfortable temperatures for sightseeing with the monsoon rains dying out from October. As the temperatures drop, however, Northern India and the Himalayas will become less accessible.

India in December

In December, temperatures and climate will be dependant on the region. In the Southern States, India will see a pleasant and mild climate, ideal for sightseeing, whereas, in Northern India and mountainous regions, snow and cold temperatures are likely.

Holiday Inspiration

Our experts have created and curated these tailor-made holiday ideas to get you started. Take the time to search through them and find something that is the spark for your unique adventure.

Why Choose Steppes?

Our knowledge and expertise set us apart. So too our curiosity. It is this that drives us to create a journey that is really bespoke to you, all the while ensuring we travel and operate sustainably.

Are you ready to discover extraordinary once again?

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