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Mark Moxon's Travel Writing

Great Journeys: India: Central India

Hot and dusty, the centre of India is home to the some of the most stunning monuments man has ever created.

Map of central India

Click on the links below to find out more about individual destinations.

Journey Summary

Starting in the relaxing beach state of Goa, we head east to the ancient desert civilisation of Hampi. Turning north we reach Bijapur, home to the amazing Golcumbaz and the incomparable Ibrahim Roza, before continuing north to explore the breathtaking cave complexes of Ellora and the rock fortress at Daultabad (both a day trip from Aurangabad) and Ajanta. Further on is the eerie desert fortress of Mandu, which has to rate as one of the most atmospheric places in the subcontinent, and the Buddhist stupas of Sanchi, which are an easy day trip from Bhopal. We follow this with Gwalior's huge hilltop fortress and palace (not to mention the Maharaja's completely bizarre museum), and Agra's stupendous Taj Mahal, which needs no introduction. There's then time for a day trip to the deserted city of Fatehpur Sikri before finally arriving in Delhi.

Suggested Itinerary

The following is only a suggested itinerary – one of the things about India is how it manages to make all carefully laid plans irrelevant after just a few hours. In India planning as you go is pretty much the only thing to do, and you might like to consider reversing this journey so you have more flexibility built into the last two destinations; that way missed trains and broken down buses won't force you to miss your plane home. Also, bear in mind that in India, transit days are often just as fascinating as days spent exploring, especially if you're taking the train...

Day Suggested Itinerary
1 Fly to Goa
2-6 Five days in Goa
7 Goa to Hampi
8-12 Five days in Hampi
13 Hampi to Bijapur
14 One day in Bijapur
15 Bijapur to Aurangabad
16 Day trip to Ellora Caves and Daultabad
17 Aurangabad to Fardapur
18 Day trip to Ajanta Caves
19 Fardapur to Indore
20 Indore to Mandu
21-22 Two days in Mandu
23 Mandu to Bhopal
24 Day trip to Sanchi
25 Bhopal to Gwalior
26-27 Two days in Gwalior
28 Gwalior to Agra
29-30 Two days in Agra
31 Day trip to Fatehpur Sikri
32 Agra to Delhi
33-34 Two days in Delhi
35 Fly from Delhi