Hyderabad to Hampi: A Historical Journey

Embark on a journey to uncover the cultural and historical wonders of these ancient, yet lesser-known, regions of Southern India. Visit forgotten kingdoms and archaeological highlights aboard your private helicopter and marvel as the past is brought to life through fantastic storytelling and immersive experiences.

When to go
From Price
£20,600 PP*
Ideal Length
7 Nights

Experience Highlights

  • Explore the majestic monuments, mosques and markets of Hyderabad
  • Uncover the unique heritage, hidden kingdoms and stunning hiking trails of Hampi
  • Revel in India’s fascinating history, brought to life by expert historian and world-renowned author William Dalrymple
  • Hop aboard helicopters to visit the architectural marvels of Gulbarga, Kanaganahalli, Bijapur and Badami
  • Hike and cycle to scenic hidden look-out sites for sunset picnics, far from the crowds
  • Wander through bustling bazaars, home to bangle-makers, bling merchants and the best biryani in India


The journey begins in the unique cultural hub of Hyderabad, historically a flourishing trade centre of pearls, diamonds and horses. Alongside your private guide, gaze upon Golconda Fort, one of the least visited but most magnificent fortress complexes in India, followed by an exploration of Charminar, a brilliant mosaic of history, culture, modernity, crafts, business and old-world charm. Walk through Laad Bazaar, meeting the craftsmen renowned for their bangles and bracelets, before venturing to the Mecca Masjid courtyard and Nizam’s tombs. Discover the four palaces of the Chowmahalla Complex. Spend the afternoon enjoying a private audience with William Dalrymple, an extraordinary storyteller, who will delve into the mysteries of the seven Nizams of Hyderabad, whose destinies and decisions shaped the history and culture of this region. Walk through the imposing Durbar Hall, before visiting the Paigah tombs, featuring a unique architectural style with a combination of Turkish, Mughal, Persian and Rajasthani influences, unlike anywhere else in India.

Walk through the gardens of the British Residency, which was one of the most impressive British buildings in the country. Listen as the 18th century tragic love story of James Kirkpatrick, the British Resident and Khair‐un-Nissa, a Muslim noblewoman, is brought to life before your eyes. End the day by indulging in a delicious dinner of sublime biryani and other regional specialities, delighting in the huge handis of fragrant rice and the secret combination of meat and spices that make this dish fit for a king.

Gulbarga and Kanaganahalli

Using your private helicopter, gain access to Gulbarga’s Jami Mosque and Fort, which covers an area of several hectares and is reminiscent of the Cordoba in Spain. The pulpit can be seen unobstructed from any part of the hall through arches and between pillars and is truly a majestic sight to behold. A quick scenic helicopter flight to Kanganahalli, situated on the left bank of the Bhima River, awaits, where the remains of these excavation sites can be dated to between the 1st century BC to the 3rd century AD. This Buddhist site is of significant historical importance, housing an ancient Mahastupa, one of the oldest discovered.

Bijapur and Badami

Take to the skies once more and travel to visit Gol Gumbuz, Adil Shah's 17th century mausoleum, climbing to the top of the tomb (108 steps) and get a bird's eye view of the city. Explore the old town, which is still within the fort walls, giving an old charm feeling. Here, a collection of fine carvings, mausoleums and intricate tombs allow you to further immerse yourself in the dynasties of old. Fly onward to where temple complexes and caves await at Badami, situated on the Deccan Plateau, once the capital of the Chalukiya Kings in the 6th – 8th centuries and depicting one of the finest examples of rock-cut temples in South India. More than 150 temples, including two World Heritage sites, both here and at Pattadakal and Aihole, have been discovered. Step into the shoes of an archaeologist with an astounding visit to the caves, masterfully cut into the hillside and each featuring beautiful carvings, dedicated to Shiva, Vishnu, Buddha and the 24 Jain “Tirthankaras” (enlightened religious teachers).


Your journey culminates in mystical Hampi, a World Heritage Site and the bygone capital of the lost Hindu kingdom of Vijayanagar. Guarded by rivers and granite ridges, the opportunities for cycling and hiking are second to none, with scenic trails leading to sunrise and sunset lookout spots, perfect for picnic dining experiencs in one of the most special places in all of Asia. The Hampi Bazaar and the Royal Centre await, and an exploration of the numerous temples is a must. Here, the Vitthala Temple is an excellent example of Vijayanagara style, while the monolithic statues of Lakshmi, Narasimha and Ganesa are noted for their massive stature and grace, which have to be seen to be believed.

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