Highlights of India Tour
Trip Highlights :- Mumbai | Aurangabad | Indore | Mandu | Maheshwar | Ujjain | Bhopal | Bhojpur | Bhimbetka | Sanchi | Orchha | Khajuraho | Gwalior | Agra | Jaipur | Delhi |
Tour duration : 21 Nights / 22 Days
Jahaz Mahal : The Jahaz Mahal (Ship Palace) in Mandu, was constructed in the 15th century by Ghiyas-ud-din Khilji, son of Emperor Mohammed Shah, is the piece de resistance of the Royal Enclave and is an example of typical Indian romantic craziness. The palace which resembles a ship was built between two beautiful lakes, Kapur Talao and Munj Talao, to make it look like floating ship. When the Jahaz Mahal was used to accommodate the harem of Ghiyas-ud-din, the ship had the crew of only ladies. Numerous fountains and cascades were built in the Jahaz Mahal which makes the palaces more beautiful. The charming image of the palace is further highlighted by the reflection of the pavilions in the water. Apart from this romantic ambience, the northern end of the terrace leads to a bath with broad steps leading into it. Jahaz Mahal is an unique construction, which reflects the art and architecture of the past and also defines the romantic taste of the Muslim rulers.
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.
Indore : With its rich history, unique tradition, numerous tourist attractions and beautiful surroundings, there are lots of interesting facts about Indore. One of the most popular historical cities, Indore belongs to the central state of India, Madhya Pradesh. It is at present, the biggest city in Madhya Pradesh. The place has been blessed with natural beauty and is drained by various rivers. The place has derived its name from the Indreshwar Temple, which was built in the 18th century. Rani Ahilyabai Holkar planned and built the beautiful city of Indore. The city boasts of its glorious past as well as its rapidly developing modern outlook. Due to its beautiful landscape, historical sites and other popular tourist attractions, Indore is one of the most favorite tourist destinations in India. There are a lot of interesting places for sightseeing that speak volumes about Indore city. Some of the important tourists' destinations in and around the city are – Rajwada, Kanch Mandir, Chattri Baugh & Lal Baugh palace.
Mandu : Mandu is a celebration in stone, of life and joy, of the love of the poet-prince Baz Bahadur for his beautiful consort, Rani Roopmati. The balladeers of Malwa still sing of the romance of these royal lovers, and high up on the crest of a hill, Roopmati's Pavilion still gazes down at Baz Bahadur's Palace, a magnificent expression of Afghan architecture. Under Mughal rule, Mandu was a pleasure resort, its lakes and palaces the scenes of splendid and extravagant festivities and the glory of Mandu lives on, in legends and songs, chronicled for posterity. Perched along the Vindhya ranges at an altitude of 2,000 feet, Mandu, with its natural defenses, was originally the fort capital of the Parmar rulers of Malwa. Towards the end of the 13th century, it came under the sway of the Sultans of Malwa, the first of whom named it Shadiabad - 'city of joy'. And indeed the pervading spirit of Mandu was of gaiety; and its rulers built exquisite palaces like the Jahaz and Hindola Mahals, ornamental canals, baths and pavilions, as graceful and refined as those times of peace and plenty. Under Mughal rule, Mandu was a pleasure resort, its lakes and palaces the scenes of splendid and extravagant festivities. And the glory of Mandu lives on, in legends & songs, chronicled for posterity. Each of Mandu's structures is an architectural gem; some are outstanding like the massive Jami Masjid and Hoshang Shah's tomb, which provided inspiration to the master builders of the Taj Mahal centuries later.
Ujjain : The city of Ujjain is one of the ancient cities of the country. It is considered to be one of the seven sacred places to attain Moksha. The city attracts a great deal of pilgrims, as it is the abode of one of the Jyotirlingas. Ujjain is located on the banks of River Shipra and exists from the early days of the Indian civilization. It once used to serve as the capital of Avanti and a center of learning. It is also regarded as the Greenwich of Hindu astronomers and astrologers. According to Hindu mythology, Gods and Demons churned the Ocean to acquire Amrit (the immortal nectar). Once the vessel of Nectar was retrieved, Gods were chased by the Demons and, in the process, some drops of the Nectar fell on Earth. Ujjain is considered to be one of those places. It also served as the host to many renowned historical figures, like King Vikramaditya, Raja Bhoj, Kalidasa, etc. It is famous for its Mahakaleshwar Temple; this temple enshrines one of the twelve Jyotirlingas. The Lingam of the temple is considered as Swayabhu (itself born). Mahakaleshwar temple is located in a spacious courtyard, surrounded by massive walls. Brass lamps illuminate the underground sanctum. On Shivratri, a huge fair is organized here and worshipping takes place throughout the night. Ujjain is also one of the venues of the Kumbh Melas, Apart from the Mahakaleshwar Temple; the other places worth watching in Ujjain are Bhartrihari Caves, Sandipani (Shri Krishna's Guru) Ashram, Jai Singh ancient observatory, etc.
Bhopal : Bhopal is located in the heart of India and is the capital of Madhya Pradesh which is the mid most state of the nation and is also called the 'heart of India'. Bhopal is blessed with natural beauty and pleasant climatic conditions. It consists of several natural and man-made lakes which get watered every year by the rainfall. These lakes are the main source of water supply in the city. Some of the prominent and important lakes of Bhopal are Upper Lake, Lower Lake and Manisha Lake. The prominent source of water in the city is upper lake or Bada Talaab – as referred by the locals. The rainy season of the city changes its climate and makes it a pleasant place to visit. This season is mostly preferred by tourists. There are several tourist attractions in and around Bhopal. Some of them are Bheem Baithika caves, Bhojpur temple, Sanchi Stupas, etc located around Bhopal, and the ones located in Bhopal are Taj-Ul-Masjid, Shaukat Mahal, Moti Masjid, Sadar Manzil, Bada Talaab, Van Vihar, Bharat Bhawan, Manav Sanghralaya, etc.
Orchha : A quaint little town situated in Madhya Pradesh is an erstwhile princely state in the Bundelkhand region basks prettily along the banks of the Betwa River. Located in the vicinity of the historically famous Jhansi. The former Bundela chief Rudra Pratap Singh was the first monarch of the princely state of Orchha. It was Rudra Pratap Singh who founded the city of Orchha, way back in the 16th century. The only Bundela state that did not subjugate to the Maratha power. The Maharajahs of Orchha were highly esteemed and were recipients of the honorable title. The majestic Orchha fort whose origin can be traced back to the 17th century houses numerous spectacular palaces and other edifices. The chaste Raja Ram Mandir, elaborate and intricately decorated Jehangir Mahal as well as a host of other cenotaphs, tombs and temples are interspersed all over Orchha. The ancient Chaturbhuj temple that rests on a stone pedestal is another big draw with erudite scholars, savant researchers and tourists sightseeing in and around Orchha.
Khajuraho : Situated in the northern part of Madhya Pradesh, the town of Khajuraho has been recognized as a world heritage site by UNESCO. The town is famous for its imperial temples. The temples were built by the rulers of Chandela dynasty between 10th and 11th century. The construction of the temple just took around 100 years to complete. There were around 85 temples in the area but now only 22 exist. Rest are nothing more than ruins. They sure have gained popularity due to the erotic sculptures carved on the walls. However such sculptures cover only a small portion. The major share of sculptures are depicting the daily life of people in the rural India.
Gwalior : This city basks in the warmth of its glorious past, in the state of Madhya Pradesh. The erstwhile Kingdom of Gwalior has been witness to the rise and fall of several dynasties, which reigned over this princely state of Gwalior. The last ruling royal family of the Scindhia's still live in Gwalior and is honored with all the dignity deserved. The landscape of Gwalior is dominated by the Gwalior Fort that stands majestically on a rock outcrop. The fort is one of the best of its kind in the world. Spread over an area of 5214.00 Sq Km, the city is divided into three parts, namely the Old Gwalior, New Gwalior or Lashkar and Morar. Morar is the cantonment area and is an air base. The city of Gwalior is known for its magnificent fort, the palace of the Scindhia's and the tombs of Ghaus Mohammed and the music maestro Miya Tansen. Situated in the Chambal river valley, it is easily accessible from the major cities of India and well connected by various means of transportation. Gwalior gained new dimensions from warrior Kings, Poets, Musicians and Saints, contributing to making it a capital renowned throughout the country. Since then, it is considered to be a city where a rich cultural tradition has been interwoven into the fabric of modern life.
Agra : Agra is a major tourist attraction as it contains one of the Seven Wonders of the World - Taj Mahal. Agra is an ancient city situated on the river Yamuna within the state of Uttar Pradesh. The city has been described as Agraba in the epic Mahabharata. The city was capital of Lodhi Kingdom and later on served the same for Mughals. During 16th and 17th century the city was developed as art, culture, commerce and learning center by Mughal Emperors like Akbar, Jehangir and Shah Jahan. Some wonderful buildings were erected in Agra City by the Mughal's. Agra city is famous for monuments and crafts. The monuments and crafts have preserved the cultural heritage for centuries.
Jaipur : Capital of Rajasthan - the 'Pink City'. Jaipur means "the city of victory" & was founded in 1727 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II and designed by architect Vidyadhar Bhattacharya in accordance with the principles of town planning set down in "Shilp Shastra" an epochal treatise on the Hindu architecture. This colorful city is enriched with royal tradition & culture, attractive monuments, Forts, Palaces like the Magnificent City Palace, Hawa Mahal, Jantar Mantar, Amer, Nahargarh and Jaigarh fort which are some of the most exquisite blend of Hindu architecture. The whole city was painted pink to welcome the visit of Prince Albert in 1853. City today has a population of more than 5 million residents. Presently, Jaipur is a major business and tourist centre with all the requisites of a metropolitan city. Jaipur extends from latitude 26.92 degrees in the north to longitude 75.82 degrees in the east. The city covers an area of 200.4 sq. kms and lies at an altitude of 431 m above sea level.
Delhi : On the path of rapid growth and progress today, Delhi has evolved from the fabled "seven cities" established between the 13th and 17th centuries. The haunting Landmarks of yesteryears co-exist with the modern marvels of today. Ancient Forts, Mughal Architecture is juxtaposed with the state of the art architecture, modern residential projects, sky scrapers and commercial hubs of today. City boasts of some of the finest museums and centers of art and excellence. The shopping centers here offer rich heritage of traditional Indian craft as well as rich, fashionable and contemporary ensemble of products
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 and the caves are located halfway up the higher of the two. Hewn out of solid rock, the Elephanta Caves date between the 5th and 8th centuries, these caves were 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. Unfortunately, many of the sculptures inside have been damaged by iconoclastic Portuguese rulers who took potshots at Hindu Gods with their rifles. And yet somehow, 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 Jehangir Art Gallery located near Prince of Wales Museum in Kala Ghoda. Built in 1952, this mansion was founded by Sir Cowasji Jehangir on being constantly urged by K. K. Hebbarand and Dr. Homi Bhabha. This gallery is a great specimen of Indian Arts and sculpture and is a historic monument related with the renaissance of Indian arts. This gallery is a perfect place for all artists to exhibit their talent under common roof and for the art connoisseurs to take a look at their works. The gallery exhibits famous works by well-known Indian artists. There's plenty of art is displayed outside as well. It is full of artists offering their work for sale and also for commission assignments.
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. Presently VT station or CST is the headquarters of Central Railways. The architectural style is a blend of traditional Indian style and Victorian Gothic style. The building is highly attractive with Brass or Ornamental Iron Railings, Tiles, Woodcarvings and Iron grills. The building is adorned with the statue of Queen Victoria on the dome.
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 hotel. Before your train journey to Aurangabad during the day time, proceed for a half day tour, visit the following places of interest:
Visit Mani Bhavan, a veritable memoir of Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of the Nation, located at Laburnum road. Also known as Gandhi Museum, Mani Bhavan served as the residence of the great freedom fighter of India between 1917 and 1934. Infact, Mahatma Gandhi started various struggle movements like Non-Cooperation, Satyagraha, Swadeshi, Khadi and Khilafat while residing here. This mansion came under the stewardship of the Gandhi Smarak Nidhi in 1955 and since then it has become a veritable memorial to Gandhi capturing all the facets of Gandhi leading to India's freedom movement. It now houses a reference library with over 2000 books, a photo exhibition of the Mahatma's life, and well preserved memorabilia, including an old charkha or spinning wheel that Gandhiji used to use. This house belonged to Shri Revashankar Jhaveri, Gandhi's friend and host in Mumbai.
Drive past Marine Drive, it is one of the most scenic stretches amid the concrete jungle of Mumbai. Six lane roads alongside the Arabian Coast, this C shaped natural bay connects the leafy green slopes of Malabar hills and Nariman Point - Mumbai's Manhattan. Marine Drive's well-maintained pathways, is used by the public as a place to relax in the evenings, take a walk with or just sit down & soak in the beauty of its surroundings. Marine Drive is termed as Queen's necklace, strung with glittering street lights like an enormous strand of imperious jewels.
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. The station was christened to commemorate Victoria Jubilee Day in 1887 when India's first steam engine puffed out to neighbouring Thane, about 45 Kms away. The building is adorned with the statue of Queen Victoria on the dome.
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.
Morning breakfast at hotel and leave for full day excursion of Ajanta and Ellora caves. Ajanta caves – UNESCO World Heritage Site, these 3rd century caves are considered the finest masterpiece of Buddhist art and architecture. These historical manmade caves comprise of beautiful paintings on the walls and ceilings that depict the life of the Buddha. Visiting these caves is like travelling back to the past. At Ajanta, the paintings on the walls, illustrate the events in the life of Gautama Buddha.
These caves are believed to see the rise and spread of both the two sects of Buddhism, the Hinyana and the Mahayana, and enough examples of architecture are available still in the caves. The 30 caves, including the unfinished ones, seem to carry a distinct charm and represent the true faces of the flourishing Buddhist architecture, art, and obviously the religious influence at that period of time. The fact that these caves were inhibited by Buddhist monks and religious devotees for more than 800 years. These caves were discovered by a British Captain, John Smith in 1819, while on a hunting expedition.
Interestingly, the caves include both Chaitya (Prayer Halls) and monasteries and have both types of architecture and art besides paintings and scriptures, of the two sects Hinyana and Mahayana. Caves numbered 8, 9, 10, 12, 13 and 15 are of the older Hinayana sect. Mahayana related caves are numbered 1, 2, 16, 17, 19 and 26 where, 19 and 26 are Chaityas.
There are some unsurpassable paintings in the caves 1 and 2, mainly depicting the Jataka Tales. Buddha preaching in sitting position is the other common example of sculptures. Cave 10 is also quite attractive for its Buddha images and the depiction of Jataka tales. Cave 16 and 17 are monasteries full with images of Jataka tales, child and youth of Buddha, the Sravasti tales etc and are good examples of architecture. Caves 1,2,3,5,6,8, 14, 15,16 and 17 are Viharas or monasteries, 19 and 26 are prayer halls while caves 20 to 25 were used for residential purposes.
Though all the caves are interesting to watch and noteworthy, if one has only a little time in hand caves, remember 1, 2, 16, 17, 19 and 26 are must see.
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. 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 at hotel. This morning proceed for the sightseeing in and around Aurangabad. 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. Overnight stay at hotel
Early breakfast and check-out from hotel. In-time transfer to airport to board flight for Mumbai – Indore.
• Flight S2 5811 IXU / BOM 0740 / 0830 hrs (Layover at Mumbai airport 02 hrs & 15 mins)
• Flight S2 5053 BOM / IDR 1045 / 1210 hrs
Arrival in Indore, transfer assistance from airport to hotel. Check-in at hotel, relax and refresh in your
room for some time.
Later during the day, get ready for the city tour of Indore, visit the Kanch Mandir (Glass Temple) of the Digamber Jains, the walls, floor and ceiling of this temple are lavishly inlaid with glass and mother of Pearl.
Rajwada two hundred year ago, this seven storeyed historical building formed the nerve centre of all trading activities,
Lal Baugh Place currently this is the residence of Usha Raje, direct descendent of the Holkars. Exquisitely constructed with great detailing, it reflects the Royal taste of the Holkars and Chhatri Baugh tradition of erecting Chhatris or Cenotaphs was rather prevalent, cenotaphs were erected in memory of the Holkar rulers and their family.
Return to hotel for overnight stay.
Morning breakfast at hotel and 0800 hrs excursion to Mandu known in the 15th century as Shadiabad, city of Joy, its excellent natural defenses are reinforced by massive 45 Km long Fort walls, Dominated successively by Hindu and provincial Muslims dynasties, Mandu later the favorite Monsoon resort of Mughals. A fine mist shrouds its fairy tale Palaces and the lakes around which town is built are planted with masses of Lotuses. Visit Jahaz Mahal, an elegant two story Ship Palace set between two lakes; Hindola Mahal resembling a swing with its sloping outer walls, Hoshang Shah's Tomb the first marble structure in India and forerunner of Taj; Jami Masjid perhaps the finest examples of Afghan architecture in India, Asharfi Mahal once the largest building in Mandu; Baz Bahadur's palace, resonant with legends of his romance with Roopmati and Roopmati's pavillion, from which she viewed the holy Narmada river each morning. Later also visit nearby town Maheshwar, this town was earlier known as Maheshmati. It gained importance under Rani Ahilya Bai Holkar who constructed many Temples and Ghats on the banks of river Narmada. In the evening return to Indore for overnight stay at hotel.
Early breakfast and later check-out from hotel. This early morning drive to Bhopal, the capital city of Madhya Pradesh state. En-route visit Ujjain one of the seven sacred cities of India. Situated on the banks of the river Shipra. The Mahakaal temple dedicated to Lord Shiva enshrining a Jyotirlinga is believed to be of great antiquity. It is one of the venues of the Kumbh Mela. Visit Bharatahari Cave, Gopal Mandir, Jantar Mantar, Kailadah Palace, Mahakali Temple, Sandipani Ashram, Shipra Ghats etc.
Thereafter continue your drive to Bhopal, arrive and check-in at hotel. Bhopal city spreads over seven hills and around two lovely lakes. Named for its 11th century founder Raja Bhoj. Overnight stay at hotel.
Early breakfast at hotel and Excursion to Bhojpur, 28 kms southeast of Bhopal is 11th century massive but incomplete Shiva temple built during the reign of Raja Bhoja. It is remarkable for its soaring strength of line and elegant sculpture, it houses huge Lingam - a ritual phallic symbol. Thereafter proceed to Bhimbetka, over 500 painted neolithic caves chronicle the life of prehistoric site hedged by the Vindhya Ranges. Bhimbetka consists of 600 rock shelters dating back to 5,500-1000 BC. Drive back to Bhopal for overnight stay at hotel.
Morning breakfast at hotel and leave for excursion to Sanchi. Inspiring peace with its very name, Sanchi lies to the north east of Bhopal, UNESCO declared "the oldest Buddhist Sanctuary in the existence and a major Buddhist centre. Sanchi is an unmatched repository of Buddhist art and architecture.
Visit and see following places of interest:
Great Stupa no. 1: The oldest stone structure in India. 36.5 mt in diameter and 16.4 mt high, with a massive hemispherical dome, the stupa stands in eternal majesty, the paved procession path around it worn smooth by centuries of pilgrims.
The Eastern Gateway: Depicts the young prince, Gautama leaving his father's palace on his journey towards enlightenment and the dream his mother had before his birth. The Western Gateway: Depicts the seven incarnations of the Buddha. The Northern Gateway: Crowned by a wheel-of-law, this depicts the miracles associated with the Buddha as told in the Jatakas. The Southern Gateway: The birth of Gautama is revealed in a series of dramatically rich carvings.
Stupa no. 2: The stupa stands at the very edge of the hill and its most striking feature is the stone balustrade that rings it.
Stupa no. 3: Situated close to the great stupa. The hemispherical dome is crowned, as a mark of its special religious significance, with an umbrella of polished stone. The relics of Sariputta and Mahamogallena, two of the Buddha's earliest disciples, were found in its inmost chamber.
The Ashoka Pillar: Lies close to the Southern gateway of the Great Stupa, and is one of the finest examples of the Ashokan pillar and is known for its aesthetic proportions and exquisite structural balance.
The Buddhist Vihara: The sacred relics of the Satdhara Stupa, a few km away from Sanchi, have been enshrined in a glass casket on a platform in the inner sanctum of his modern monastery.
The Great Bowl: Carved out of one block of stone, this mammoth bowl contained the food that was distributed among the monks of Sanchi.
The Gupta Temple: In ruins now, this 5th century AD temple is one of the earliest known examples of temple architecture in India.
The Museum: The Archaeological Survey of India maintains a site museum at Sanchi. Noteworthy antiquities on display include the lion capital of the Ashokan pillar and metal objects used by the monks, discovered during excavations at Sanchi. Some of the earliest known stone sculptures in Indian art from the 1st to 3rd century BC.
In the evening return to Bhopal for overnight stay at hotel.
Early breakfast at hotel and check-out. This morning get ready for the sightseeing of Bhopal, the capital of Madhya Pradesh.
Visit Taj-ul-Masjid: one of Bhopal's more recent monuments began under Shah Jahan Begum who ruled from 1868 to 1901, but completed only in the 1970s. Amongst the largest mosques in the country, built by Shah Jehan Begum, Mosque constructed around a huge courtyard and a big tank in the centre. The gateway is double storeyed with four archways and nine cusped manifold openings that open in main prayer hall of the impressive Masjid. Eleven arches adorn the Quibla wall of the prayer hall. The pillars of the hall are heavily patterned with intricate designs and finally culminate topped with twenty seven ceilings. The octagonal mirrors rising to a height of eighteen storeys are a marvel in itself. The mosque is one of the most important Muslim landmarks in the city of Bhopal, and is multi-purpose as it is used as a Madarsa, an Islamic religious school during the day.
Upper and Lower Lakes: The Upper Lake is divided from the Lower Lake by an overbridge. M. P. Tourism's Boat Club on the Upper Lake provides facilities for exciting trips by sail, paddle and motor boats.
Jama Masjid: Gold spikes crown the minarets of this beautiful mosque built in 1837 by Kudsia Begum.
Moti Masjid: Architecturally akin to Delhi's Jama Masjid, this imposing mosque was built by Sikander Jehan, daughter of Kudsia Begum, in 1860.
Shaukat Mahal and Sadar Manzil: Situated at the entrance to the Chowk area in the heart of the walled city, Shaukat Mahal is an architectural curiosity. Its mixture of styles in Occidental idioms sets it apart from the predominantly Islamic architecture of the area. It was designed by a Frenchman, said to be a descendent of an offshoot of the Bourbon Kings of France. Post Renaissance and Gothic styles are combined to charming effect here. Nearby is the elegant once-opulent Sadar Manzil, Hall of Public Audience, of the former rulers of Bhopal.
Gohar Mahal: Situated behind Shaukat Mahal on the banks of the Upper Lake is Gohar Mahal, which is an architectural gem dating back to the times of Kudsia Begum, also known as Gohar Begum, who built this sprawling palace in 1820. The Mahal is a magnificent expression of the fusion of Hindu and Mughal architecture.
After the tour, in-time transfer to Railway station to board the train for Jhansi. [Train # 12001 Shatabdi - Express, departure at 1445 hrs from Bhopal / arrival at 1751 hrs in Jhansi]. Arrival transfer assistance at railway station and drive to Orchha. Arrive and check-in at hotel.
Overnight stay at hotel.
Morning breakfast at hotel. This morning proceed for the sightseeing of Orchha - Once the capital city of the mighty Bundelkhand Empire. Visit various Temples and Palaces such as Raja Ram temple, Chaturbhuj Temple, Laxmi Narayan Temple, Shiva Mandir, Panch Mukhi Mahadev Mandir and other cenotaphs 'Chhatries' on the bank of river Betwa and also visit Fort Palace of Raj Mahal, Jehangir Mahal and Rai Praveen Mahal.
After the completion of tour, drive to Khajuraho. Khajuraho was the first capital of the Chandelas, who rose to rule the region in the 9th century. The Creators of Khajuraho claimed descent from the moon and the legend behind the founding of this great dynasty and the temples is a fascinating one. Hemwati, the lovely young daughter of a Brahmin priest, was seduced by the Moon-God while bathing in a forest pool. The child born of this union was Chandravarman, founder of the Chandela dynasty. Ethereal enchanting and erotic Khajuraho conjures up images of a society that celebrated life and was not abashed by sex.
Upon arrival proceed to hotel for check-in and overnight stay.
Morning breakfast at hotel and leave for city tour of Khajuraho discovered the great erotic temple complex of western and eastern group. The temples in the western group complex are large and lavishly decorated, displaying the wealth and power of its rulers; these are dedicated to either Lord Vishnu or Shiva. and the eastern group temples dived into two rough clusters. Rest of the day free to stroll the city. Evening optional visit to cultural dance show (ticket on direct payment basis). Overnight stay at hotel.
Breakfast at hotel and later check-out, this morning drive to Gwalior city - the seats of the several great dynasties, each contributing a rich legacy of monuments and extending Royal patronage to Poets, Musicians and Artisans. Upon arrival proceed to hotel for check-in. Overnight stay at hotel.
Breakfast at hotel. Afterwards proceed for the city tour of Gwalior visiting Fort built by Tomar Raja Man Singh symbolizes the grandeur of Gwalior within the fort is the Gujari Mahal, a magnificent Palace in stone which was built by Raja Man Singh for his favourite wife Mirgnayani The Palaces now houses a museum with fine sculptures and replica of the Bagh Cave Murals. Nearby is six towered Palace crowned with domes the Man Mandir with its lattice work windows and vivid colours, other spots in the fort worth visiting are Jehangir & Shah Jahan Palace, Chaturbhuj Temple, Sas - Bahu Ka Mandir and Teli Ka Mandir and outside the Fort is Scindia's Jai Vilas Palace. Overnight stay at hotel.
Early breakfast at hotel and later check-out. This early morning drive to Agra. The Royal seat and capital of the province of yesteryears, "Agra the City of Mughals". Upon arrival check in at hotel and proceed to your room to relax and refresh.
In the evening visit Itmad-Ud-Daulah's tomb, along with the main building, the structure consists of numerous outbuildings and gardens. Tomb of Mirza Ghiyas Beg - A Wazir (Chief Minister) in the court of Mughal Emperor Jehangir. Ghiyas Beg was honored with the title of Itmad-ud-Daulah or the Pillar of the State. Emperor Jehangir married her beautiful widowed daughter Mehr-un-Nissa, she was later christened Noor Jahan and went down in the history as one of the most beautiful and artistically gifted women in the world. After the death of Mirza Ghiyas Beg in 1622, Noor Jahan undertook the project to build his mausoleum, which took six years to get complete. It is entirely made of white marble. This tomb represents the transition between the first phase of monumental Mughal architecture - primarily built from red sandstone with marble decorations with mosaic and lattice.
Return to hotel for overnight stay.
This early morning visit world famous Taj Mahal, one of the Seven Wonder of the World. A pristine monument of undying love, built by Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife, Mumtaj Mahal. It took 22 years and hard toil of more than twenty thousand workers to construct Taj Mahal. The beauty of the Taj Mahal is enchanting and it reflects the marvellous beauty of architecture. Taj Mahal symbolize the richness of art and architecture of the Mughal period. Return to hotel for breakfast.
Later during the day visit the Agra Fort a World Heritage Site, located near to the Taj Mahal gardens on the banks of River Yamuna. The real specimen of architectural marvel, this fortress was constructed in the 15th century. The construction of this mammoth structure started during 1565 during the reign of Emperor Akbar and continued the developments up to the period of Emperor Shah Jahan. The fort, in a length of 2.5 km marvelous enclosure walls, is built in red sandstones and encloses many monuments which are real architectural wonders. Many exquisite palaces such as the Jehangiri Mahal, Shah Jahani Mahal, the Khas Mahal, Diwan-i-Aam - which was used as a communications ground between the public and the aristocracy and once housed the Peacock Throne, Diwan-i-Khas - a hall of private audience, it was used to welcome Kings and dignitaries and Mussaman Burj - a large, octagonal tower with a balcony facing the Taj Mahal are enclosed in the Fortress. Other monuments include the Fish Pavilion, the Nagina Masjid, Garden of Grapes and the Pearl Mosque. Views of the Taj Mahal from the Fort are amazing.
Afterwards, visit Sikandra - Tomb of Mughal Emperor Akbar - The Great.
Overnight stay at hotel.
Early morning breakfast at hotel and drive to Jaipur, en-route stop to visit Fatehpur Sikri - Built in 1571, it is a synthesis of the flourishing styles of the Persian courts and the prevailing Hindu Islamic trends. It was planned as a great town by Emperor Akbar with great care and planning, but it had to be abandoned after fifteen years due to scarcity of water in the town. Constructed mainly as a tribute to the great Sufi Saint Shaikh Salim Chisti who had blessed Akbar with a son. His son was named after the Saint as Salim and he succeeded the Emperor Akbar and was known as Emperor Jehangir. The town was originally named Sikri after the village, where it was founded but its twin city Fatehpur (Victory Town) was erected to celebrate Akbar's conquest of Gujarat. However, ruins of the temple dating back to 12th century suggest the reign of Rajputs in the area long before Mughals took over the area. The two mosques in the village of Sikri have inscriptions, which announce their conception in 1314 under Mohd. Khilji. There have been records that Babur renamed the village 'Sikri' as 'Shukri', meaning 'thanks to the god'. It was also the famous dwelling place and Khanqah of Shiekh Salim Chishti, the famous Sufi saint whom Akbar revered for blessing him with child. Built in Red Sandstone, an example of robust stability combined with originality each important edifice here represents a type by itself. Notable among them is the Buland Darwaza, Tomb of Shaikh Salim Chisti, Jama Masjid, Diwan-e-Aam, Diwan-e-Khas, Panch Mahal, Palace of Jodha Bai, Birbal Bhawan, Miriam's Palace, Karawan Serai and Hiran Minar.
Thereafter continue your drive to Jaipur - The picturesque capital of Rajasthan, Jaipur is colour washed in Pink - the colour associated with hospitality in Rajput culture. Upon arrival check in at hotel.
Late in the afternoon visit Albert Hall Museum and Birla Temple.
Overnight stay at the hotel.
Morning after breakfast and leave for the excursion to Amber Fort and ride the hill on the back of decorated elephant and feel like Maharaja. Amer originally, was the capital of the state before Jaipur. It is an old fort, built in 1592 by Raja Man Singh. This fort was built in red sandstone and marble and the Maota Lake adds a certain charm to the entire Fort. Though the fort is quite old and may even look so from the outside, it is beautiful on the inside and boasts of various buildings of prominence like the 'Diwan-i-Aam', the 'Sheesh Mahal' and even the 'Sukh Mahal'. It has influences of both Hindu and Muslim architecture. It also has the 'Shila Devi' Temple and the 'Ganesh Pol' which is a gate that leads to the private palaces of the kings. Later proceed for the city tour of the Pink city built in the 1727 A. D. to visit Hawa Mahal - Palace of winds for a photo stop - a seven storied façade of pink sandstone and one of the most picturesque landmarks with semi-octagonal and delicately honeycombed windows overlooking the main street of the old city. It was built in 1799 so that veiled royal women could see the royal processions through its 593 stone screens without being seen by the outsiders. City Palace Complex which houses the rare and rich collection of ornaments, arms, royal costumes, carpets and decorative art objects of traditional Rajasthani and Mughal art and architecture; Jantar Mantar - A 18th century observatory. Overnight stay at hotel.
Breakfast at hotel, remaining morning at leisure. Check-out from hotel by noon (1200 hrs). Afterwards drive to Delhi, enchanting capital of India, a mixture of both modern times and by-gone eras. Arrive and check-in at hotel. Overnight stay at hotel.
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. 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.
Overnight stay at hotel.
Breakfast at hotel. Morning at leisure for independent activities. Check-out from hotel at 1200 hrs. Later visit the Akshardham Temple, in the evening proceed to a local restaurant for farewell dinner and afterwards transfer to International airport to board flight for return journey.
Departure early in the morning by an international flight.
End of our services
All Flight and Train timings mentioned are subject to last minute change
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.
Taj Mahal is closed on Fridays.
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 railways station / airport and vice - versa
4. Monument entrance fees to places of visit as per the itinerary
5. Boat ride from Gateway of India to Elephanta Caves and vice versa, Elephant joy ride in Jaipur's Amber fort and Cycle rickshaw ride in Old Delhi.
6. Accompanying English speaking Guide.
7. Air ticket/s for sector AURANGABAD to MUMBAI to INDORE in economy class.
8. Ticket/s in AC express train for sector BHOPAL / JHANSI.
9. All Transfers, City sightseeing/excursions and long drives as per itinerary using chauffeur driven air-conditioned Car / Mini Van / Coach.
10. 01 bottle packaged drinking water per person per day
11. All presently applicable interstate & toll taxes
1. Return international air tickets from the city of origin.
2. Travel Insurance and Indian Visa.
3. 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".