From the economic powerhouse of Mumbai (formerly known as Bombay) to countryside villages, central India is home to some of the country's most striking monuments to past Hindu and Muslim kingdoms.
Invasions, battles, conquests, wealth and destruction have all left their mark. Parts of the region are barren, rocky and covered in scrub, while forested hills descend to Goa's sandy beaches and the Arabian Sea.
Tourism has been slow to reach much of the Deccan interior and many sites are difficult to reach but this remoteness is often part of their charm.
Though the accommodation may sometimes be modest, the experience of traveling here is full of rich rewards.
Start planning your trip to Mumbai, Goa & Central India
Our Mumbai, Goa and Central India highlights
Visit the sacred caves of Elephanta Island
Comprising of seven islands, Mumbai lends itself to exploration by boat, which is a great way to see the beautiful surroundings of this unique city. A visit to Elephanta Island is a must, where you can explore the sacred subterranean site within the cave, which is home to an 18-foot statue of Lord Shiva.
Spend time relaxing on the beaches at Goa
Goa, on India's west coast, is home to some of the country's best beaches. as well as white sandy beaches and clear, emerald waters, Goa offers fine seafood and delicious Indian cuisine.
Discover the ancient ruins at Hampi
Hampi, a small village in the state of Karnataka, was once the capital of the Vijayanagara Empire. Today, ancient temples and statues carved from the boulders that are strewn throughout the area remain as relics to the settlement's rich history. The area is also an important agricultural center, home to banana plantations.
Spot the elusive sloth bear at Kanha National Park
Kanha National Park is home to 200 bird species and 22 species of mammal, including tiger, leopard and swamp deer. The elusive sloth bear can be spotted here on an early morning or late evening game drive. Their twilight habits meaning that sightings are limited to these hours, however females with cubs can be spotted throughout the day.
See tigers at Bandhavgarh National Park
The smallest of three parks in the Madhya Pradesh region, Bandhavgarh boasts a healthy population of Bengal tiger, spotted and sambar deer, wild boar and a variety of birds.