Heritage Caves & Temples
Trip Highlights :- Mumbai | Aurangabad | Shirdi | Aurangabad | Delhi |
Tour duration : 14 Nights | 15 Days
Mumbai : Mumbai (formerly known as Bombay) is one of the most happening cities in India. Mumbai is known as much for its throbbing night life as it is famous for being the busiest and economically prosperous city of India. Mumbai is a busy metropolis, nevertheless, it is a tourist hot-spot because of its energy and vigour. It is a wonderful tourist destination. This erstwhile insignificant port city has now developed to become one of the foremost metropolis of the world. Other than the charms of being in a beautiful metropolis, Mumbai has monuments of historical importance. The Gateway of India is one such magnificent monument and prime tourist attraction in the city. The city also has wonderful beaches and these beaches have become wonderful leisure spots for people. As the capital city of the state of Maharashtra, Mumbai is politically one of the most important cities in western India. It also has its own culture and traditions, festival of Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated with full fervour. The people in this part of the country speak Marathi but like a true cosmopolitan city, Mumbai is a fine melting pot where you will find people from different parts of India living in harmony in spite of the difference in language, dress codes and food habits. The city also has a multi-million dollar film-making industry. Popularly referred to as Bollywood, Mumbai film industry is not only big but also very charismatic. Every year a number of Hindi pot-boilers are produced here. The actors and actresses enjoy a massive fan following throughout India as well as abroad.
Aurangabad : Aurangabad city, commonly used as a base for a visit to the World Heritage Sites of Ajanta and Ellora is steeped in medieval history. Named for Aurangzeb, the last of the great Mughal Emperors, Aurangabad acquired plenty of monuments and a rich culture as its heritage from the middle ages. The one single factor that determined Aurangabad's role in the history of medieval India is its location. So strategic is its location at the cross roads of north and south India, that Mohammed-bin-Tughlak and Aurangzeb, two powerful kings attempted to translocate their capital from Delhi to Aurangabad. Their vision was clear, from Aurangabad, they would be better able to control both northern and southern regions of their empires. Under Aurangzeb, it became the seat of the powerful Mughal Empire for a short while. Built during his years in Aurangabad were such architectural gems as the Bibi-ka-Maqbara, a mausoleum with a marked resemblance to the Taj Mahal and a medieval watermill. Aurangabad became a thriving industrial centre with many fine academic institutions. Its textiles became much sought after and even today, the weavers of Aurangabad produce fine textiles like Pathani, Himroo and Kimkhwab. But Aurangabad's crowning glory for tourists is undoubtedly the famous Buddhist caves at Ajanta & the magnificent rock temples of Ellora. Built between 200 BC and 650 AD, the Viharas and Chaityas at Ajanta are masterpieces as are the incredibly ornate temples carved out of hard rock at Ellora.
Arrival at Mumbai International airport. Our representative will meet and welcome you at the lounge and provide transfer assistance from airport to hotel. Upon reaching your hotel, you will be handed over the travel documents with a complete briefing of tour by the representative. Check-in and proceed to your room. Overnight stay at hotel.
Morning breakfast at hotel. Start your day with an excursion to Elephanta Island an hour away from Mumbai Harbour. Motorboats ferry tourists across to the island from the jetty at the Gateway of India. The boat ride, itself, is interesting as you go past fishing boats, anchored ships, yachts and little islands. The island resembles twin hillocks rising from the sea. Hewn out of solid rock, the caves at Elephanta date between the 5th and 8th centuries, designated as World heritage site by UNESCO in 1987. The temple plan is designed in symmetry with the focal points worked out in a geometric Mandala, representing the cosmic field of energy. This complex is a collection of shrines, courtyards, inner cells, grand halls and porticos arranged in the splendid symmetry of Indian rock-cut architecture, and filled with exquisite stone sculptures of Hindu Gods and Goddesses. At the entrance to the caves is the famous Trimurti, the celebrated trinity of Elephanta: there's Lord Brahma the Creator, Lord Vishnu, the preserver and Lord Shiva the Destroyer. Nothing has disturbed the sublime beauty of this place for centuries.
Return and visit Gateway of India, It is one of the architectural marvel, located on the southern part of Mumbai on the shores of Arabian Sea. It is a combination of the "Indo-Sarcenic" architecture and was built in Yellow Basalt stone in 1924 to celebrate the arrival of King George V and Queen Mary. It was inaugurated by the Viceroy, the Earl of Reading on 4th Dec 1924. The Gateway of India became all the more symbolic when the last British Force left our country on 28th February 1948.
Afterwards, proceed to Prince of Wales Museum, was set up in the early 20th century to commemorate the visit of the then Prince of Wales (King George V) to India. Designed by an eminent architect, George Wittet, the museum is an impressive heritage building of Mumbai. Built in 1905 to 1915, this museum served as a Children's Welfare Centre and a Military Hospital during the First World War. In 1922 however, it was transformed into Prince of Wales Museum. Artifacts from the Indus Valley Civilization and relics from the Gupta and Maurya periods. The rare Sculptures, Miniature Paintings, Decorative Arts, Arms and Armours, Bronze and Textile. Sections on Nepal / Tibet and Far Eastern Art lend the museum a larger perspective.
Visit Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, earlier known as Victoria Terminus is an UNESCO World Heritage building. An architectural splendor, it was built in year 1888, after nearly 10 years of construction, as the rail terminus based on the model of St Pancras Station in London and is designed by English architect Frederick William Stevens.
Later drive to the Flora Fountain for a photo stop - This marvellous fountain was built in 1869, in honor of Sir Henry Bartle and Edward Frere. It is situated in the heart of the Mumbai city at a junction of five streets. The fountain has a figure of "Flora", the Roman Goddess of Flowers at the top.
Proceed to visit Dhobi Ghat - The traditional open air laundry of Mumbai, where 200 dhobi families work together and continue to maintain their hereditary occupation.
Return to hotel for overnight stay.
Breakfast and check-out from the hotel by noon. Later in-time transfer to Dadar Railway Station to board train for Aurangabad [Train# 12071 Jan Shatabdi Express, Departure - 1400 hrs / Arrival - 2035 hrs].
Arrival in Aurangabad, meeting assistance at railway station and transfer to hotel.
Overnight stay at hotel.
Breakfast, proceed for the full day tour / excursion to visit: Bibi ka Maqbara - Tomb of the Empress, Panchakki, where an old mill and Tomb of an important Sufi Saint are set in serene Gardens. There is also the Dualatabad Fort just outside the city, built by Muhammad Bin Tughlaq.
Later visit Ellora caves, - Three distinct groups of temples relate the story of the evolution of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism. Chiseled out of rock by religious monks over the centuries, the sites were chosen for their seclusion. Over 2000 years old, they are compared to the Pyramids for their amazing construction, sculptures and frescoes. The most marvelous of all is the Stupendous Rock Temple of Kailash.
Overnight stay at hotel.
Breakfast, proceed for a excursion to Ajanta Caves - 112 Kms from Aurangabad, the caves here which are over 2000 years old hewn out of a solid rock. The wall paintings and frescoes of these caves have a beautiful flow of line and a wealth of colour. 30 caves at Ajanta are decorated with remarkable murals that universally regarded as some of India's finest artistic treasures. They depict scenes from the life of the Buddha and Buddhist fables with skill and devotion. Return to hotel for overnight stay.
Breakfast and check-out. In the morning drive to Shirdi. Arrive Shirdi and check-in at hotel. Later visit most reputed temple in Shirdi, "The Temple of Sai Baba" spend your day at the sacred atmosphere of Shirdi and roam around in the spiritual atmosphere. Overnight stay at hotel.
Early breakfast and check-out, this morning drive to Aurangabad. Upon reaching proceed to airport to board flight for Delhi. Arrive, transfer assistance from airport to hotel. Check-in at hotel for overnight stay.
Breakfast at hotel, this morning explore India's capital city by touring its magnificent monuments, start your tour by visiting - Old Delhi: An ancient walled city earlier known as Shahjahanabad. Take a photo stop at Red Fort: the most opulent Red sandstone fort and palace of the Moghul Empire (1639-1648 built by Shah Jahan the 5th Mughal Emperor of India and the builder of the Taj Mahal in Agra), visit Jama Masjid, Largest mosque in India, the foundation of the historic Jama Masjid was laid on a hillock in Shahjahanabad by Emperor Shah Jahan in 1650 AD, this mosque was the result of the efforts of over 6,000 workers, over a period of six years (1650-1656 AD). The cost of the construction in those times was 1 million rupees. This Mosque has three great gates, four towers and two 40 m-high minarets constructed of strips of red sandstone and white marble. About 25,000 people can pray here at a time. The mosque has a vast paved rectangular courtyard, which is nearly 75 m by 66 m. The whole of the western chamber is a big hall standing on 260 pillars.
Visit Chandni Chowk, the bustling and colorful market of the old city, designed by Emperor Shah Jahan's daughter Jahanara Begum. Jahanara laid the foundation of Chandni Chowk, which is the largest trading center of Delhi as well as India. At present the street is a busy thoroughfare and is really congested. This area is renowned for 'Kuchas and Katras' also known as Alleys. These alleys house traditional Havelis, places of worship: Temples, Mosques, Church and Gurudwara, popular specialised markets and century-old eating joints. Enjoy a cycle-rickshaw ride.
Visit the Raj Ghat, the memorial site of Mahatma Gandhi - Father of Nation.
Later visit New Delhi designed and built by the British in the 1920's it's a city of wide boulevards impressive Government buildings, green parks and gardens. First drive past Connaught Place, the heart and main shopping district of the capital, then drive to Rajpath (King's Way), India Gate - the 42mt high stone ‘Arch of Triumph', erected in the memory of Indian soldiers who died in First World War. Drive past Rashtrapati Bhawan (President Palace) and Parliament House.
Sightseeing will also include drive past the elegant Lodhi Garden and Safdarjung's tomb.
Visit the exquisite Humayun's Tomb, built in 1570 is of particular cultural significance as it was the first garden-tomb in the Indian subcontinent, the structure was built inspired by Persian Architecture, it's architect was Mirak Mirza Ghiyath. This memorial of Emperor Humayun, second Mughal ruler of India was built by his widow, Hajji Begum 14 years after his death.
Later visit Qutab Minar 12th century minaret built by Qutub-ud-din Aibek of the Slave Dynasty - this building complex dates back to the onset of Muslim rule in India and is fine example of Afghan architecture which is graceful and well sculptured and stands 75 mt. Also visit the Baha'i Temple (Lotus Temple) Lotus being a symbol of peace and prosperity all around the world, the shape of the temple personifies the purpose for which the foundation of this marvelous man-made architectural was laid. Lotus temple is made of pristine marble blocks, cement, dolomite and sand and the entire ascetic value is coddled by the group of nine pools filled with crystal clear water. In accord with the mores of Baha'i religion, the temple is open to everyone from anywhere in the world who is looking for inner peace & tranquility.
Return to hotel for overnight stay.
Breakfast and check-out from hotel.
OPTIONAL - Day return trip to Agra for the visit's to Agra Fort and Taj Mahal.
Visit Akshardham Temple in Delhi - Swaminarayan Akshardham temple with its monumental creations and breathtaking grandeur stands apart amongst the country's most fascinating structures. The intricately carved pillars, statues of Deities and Divinities adorned on its walls, Akshardham aptly showcases the jist of Indian culture, architecture and spiritual messages through its 10,000 years of existence. The monolithic construction was accomplished in just five years with the untiring efforts of 11,000 artisans and contributions of thousands of devotees of Lord Swaminarayan from all over the world. The entire temple consists of 234 beautifully carved giant pillars, 9 ornamented domes, a series of stone elephants or Gajendra Pith and 20000 life like statues of India's great Sadhus and divine men. The 356 feet long, 316 feet wide and 141.3 feet high monument is built of pink stone and pure white marble that together signify absolute purity and eternal peace.
Dinner at a local restaurant, before transfer to international airport to board flight for return journey.
End of our services
All distances in KMS mentioned are based approximately.
Excursion to Elephanta caves - Boat service will depend upon weather conditions
The Ajanta caves are closed on Mondays, and the Ellora caves are closed on Tuesdays.
Any additional services during the trip must be paid by the customers.
1. Accommodation in Double room in 05 Star or 04 Star category hotels on CP Basis (Room + Breakfast Basis) inclusive of all presently applicable taxes.
2. Welcome Garlanding upon arrival in India at Mumbai airport.
3. All Arrival / Departure transfers from hotel to airport and vice-versa.
4. Monument entrance fees to places of visit as per the itinerary.
5. Accompanying English speaking Guide.
6. All Transfers, City sightseeing/excursions and long drives as per itinerary using chauffeur driven air-conditioned Car / Mini Van / Coach.
7. Boat cruise from Gateway of India to Elephanta caves and vice-versa in Mumbai & Cycle rickshaw ride in Old Delhi.
8. 01 bottle packaged drinking water per person per day.
9. All presently applicable interstate & toll taxes.
1. Day return trip from Delhi to Agra on Day 09, which mentioned as OPTIONAL in the programme.
2. Return international air tickets from the city of origin.
3. Travel Insurance and Indian Visa.
4. Personal expenses such as: Any Meals other than specified above / Drinks / Laundry bill & Telephone calls at hotel. Tips for Guides & Driver / Camera Fees at the monuments or any other expenses not included in the clause "inclusions".