Magical Maharashtra

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Magical Maharashtra

Trip Highlights :- Mumbai | Lonavala | Matheran | Nashik | Shirdi | Aurangabad | Pune | Mahabaleshwar | Mumbai |

Tour duration : 10 Nights / 11 Days

Bhutan and Sikkim Tours, East India Tour Packages, East India Tourism, India Tourism

Cities visited :-

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.

Lonavala : The term 'Lonavala' has been originated from the Sanskrit term 'Lonavli', which suggests numerous caves. Perhaps the nearby caves like Karla, Bhaja and Bedsa serve as the answer to resort's name. Lonavala is located in the western part of the state of Maharashtra, Lonavala was once a sleepy hill station famous for its chikki, a type of caramelized sweet. It has now become an extremely popular weekend getaway for city dwellers from nearby Mumbai. Spread around the bustling main street, lined with souvenir shops, the town offers pleasant walks and is a convenient base for exploring the surrounding hills. The weather in Lonavala is pleasant. Summers are mild, while winters are cool. It experiences heavy southwestern monsoon rains between June and September. Lonavala is a charming little hill stations on the western slopes of the Sahyadris, at an altitude of 625m. In 1871, this hill station was discovered by Sir Elphinstone, who was the Governor of Bombay Presidency during those times. Lonavala also known as the "Jewel of the Sahyadri" offers breathtaking views of cascading waterfalls during the monsoon, and the surrounding mountains of the plains spread out to the horizon, is a place where nature is present in its entire splendor. It has become famous because of nature's gift of beautiful valleys, hills, milky waterfalls, lush greenery, and pleasant cool winds.

Matheran : Asia's only pedestrian hill retreat, Matheran, is a declared ecologically sensitive zone, perched atop the Sahyadri range. It was explored by Hugh Poyntz Malet, the British Collector of Thane District in 1850. Shortly after that the hill Station was established. Malet's bungalow, The Byke, was followed by others - Barr Cottage, Walker's bungalow and W. Fawcett's The Hermitage. Soon after this many a bungalow sprang up. This lush green solitary woodland became a popular weekend getaway from the heat of Mumbai. This little hill station, meaning 'mother forest' or 'wooded head' retains its tranquility as all forms of motor vehicles are prohibited within the town. Matheran is covered with dense woods interspersed with stately bungalows built by the British, the Parsis and the Bohras. Overall the place evokes an old-world charm. The beautiful pathways, the cool air and the dramatic views from the vantage points, the scenic valleys below, and the occasional mist are its main attractions. In the rains the hills are topped by rain clouds - the incessant downpour, the swirling mist and the gurgling waterfalls look majestic. Adding to the experience is the journey by a quaint little train that chugs its way up the scenic ghat from Neral to Matheran. The Neral - Matheran narrow gauge hill track celebrated its centenary in year 2007 - the route opened on 15th Apr 1907. Constructed by Mr. Abdul Hussein Adamjee Peerbhoy between 1901 and 1907. Four steam engines, which came from Orenstein & Koppel, were put on the line, after their service of 77 years these engines were replaced by diesel locomotives. The journey from Neral to Matheran takes two hours along a 22 kms long track composed of 281 curves.

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.

Mahabaleshwar : Located at 4000 ft above sea level, in lush green mountain ranges of the Western Ghats in the state Maharashtra. Mahabaleshwar is a tranquil summer retreat and boasts of some of the most amazing natural wonders. This fascinating hill station attracts tourists from all parts of India. Old records mentioned it as Malcolm Peth. Its picturesque points, temples and pleasant climate draw nature lovers or seekers of seclusion. Mahabaleshwar is derived from the Sanskrit word which means God of Great Power. It was the summer capital of the Bombay Presidency during the British Raj. The Britishers built various Mansions, Cottages and Bungalows around the town which added to the overall charm of the city. Mahabaleshwar is also famous for honey and strawberry gardens.

Day 01: Arrive Mumbai

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.

Day 02: In Mumbai

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. Gallery exhibits famous works by well-known Indian artists. There's plenty of art is displayed outside as well.
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.

Day 03: Mumbai / Lonavala (89 Kms)

Breakfast and check-out from the hotel. In the morning drive to Lonavala. Arrive and proceed to hotel for check-in.
Later during the day visit Karla & Bhaja to explore the caves.
Karla, is the site of the largest Chaitya caves (prayer halls), located around 12 Kms.of India built in 80B.C. The caves have the best-preserved Buddhist temples in India. The temples represent the purity in design and excellent temple architecture.The interiors of the caves have lion pillars, huge elephant forms, carved images of Buddha and dancing couples. The entrance gate is in the shape of a "Peepul" leaf, which is the main entry to the huge Chaitya grihaor hall. The high roof is semicircular in shape.
Bhaja, The caves similar to Karla caves, houses several caves and monasteries. The rays of the setting sun gilds the dark interiors of these caves, where one can see carved images of deities. One can also see the impressive fort of Lohagarh here.
Bedsa, Situated very close to Lonavala, it lies north of the Pawan Dam. From Bedsa there is a hike up hill around 3 Kms for the caves. These caves have huge pillars, lions and humans figures and ahuge Chaitya hall with resting rooms. The special feature of Bedsa is anarched roof supported by 2,000-year-old woodwork, which provides lighting to the entire cave.
Return to hotel for overnight stay.

Day 04: In Lonavala

Breakfast at hotel. Visit the following places of interest:
Lonavala Lake - Lonavala Lake is also known as Monsoon Lake as it dries up during the winters and gets filled with gushing water during monsoons. This lake, built around 1876, is a picturesque picnic spot in Lonavala. This location is gorgeous with natural beauty and scenic surroundings. The source of the Lonavala Lake is the famous river Indrayani. This lake is a natural habitat of many water bodies. Many varieties of birds can be spotted over the lake.
Lohagarh Fort - Literally means Iron fort, is an important hill fort used extensively by Chatrapati Shivaji. It has a long history and was used by all dynasties who ruled Vidharbha and Maratha kingdoms. The fort is placed at an altitude of more than 1050 mt. This fort is situated on the Sahyadri ranges and divides the Pavna basin and Indrayani basin. The fort site is a fine destination for tourist with interests in architecture, archeology and history. The actual date of original fort is not clearly known but the known records points out some additional constructions such as a step well and big tank during 18th century. The ancient fort's four mammoth gates are still intact and are in good condition.
Tiger's Leap - This is a special spot in this area. If one looks at the valley carefully from this spot it appears as if a tiger is leaping into the valley, that is why this name. It gives a fascinating view of the valley. There is provision for viewing the valley from the safe confines of a big hole. A stone thrown down from here ricochets at many places and gets destroyed here.
Return to hotel for overnight stay.

Day 05: Lonavala / Matheran (62 Kms)

Breakfast and check-out from the hotel. This morning drive to Matheran, reach Neral railway station to board the toy train to Matheran.
Arrive in Matheran and check- in at hotel. Day free to relax and explore the fabulous surroundings. Matheran, means jungle topped and is a hill station.
Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 06: Matheran / Nashik (172 Kms)

Breakfast and check-out from the hotel. In the morning drive to Nasik. Upon arrival in Nasik, proceed to hotel for check-in. Afternoon city tour covering Sunder Narayan Temple & Gupta Caves. Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 07: Nashik / Shirdi (83 Kms)

Breakfast and check-out from the hotel. 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.

Day 08: Shirdi / Aurangabad (119 Kms)

Breakfast and check-out, this morning drive to Aurangabad. Arrive and check-in at hotel. PM 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.

Day 09: In Aurangabad

Breakfast and 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. 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.

Day 10: Aurangabad / Pune (239 Kms)

Breakfast and check-out from the hotel. Later drive to Pune, arrive and proceed to hotel for check-in.

Day 11: Pune / Mahabaleshwar

Morning sightseeing tour of Pune including The Shaniwar Wada, now mostly in ruins, was once the multi-storey home of the mighty Peshwas. The Raj Bhavan, built in 1866, housed the government of Bombay Presidency during the colonial times in the summers. The Saras Baug is a popular evening spot in Pune. The Kasturba Samadhi contains the ashes of Kasturba Gandhi. Later drive to Mahabaleshwar. Arrive Mahabaleshwar and check – in at hotel.

Day 12: In Mahabaleshwar

After breakfast, visit the following places of interest located in and around this beautiful hill station:
Lodwick Point - Formerly this location was known as the Sydney Point. The altitude of Lodwick Point is 1240 meter from sea level. The present name of this location is given after General Lodwick. The scenery of the surrounding region can be enjoyed from this point.
Elphinstone Point - This beautiful location is one of the tourist spots in Mahabaleshwar. On the left of Elphinstone Point lies the Koyna valley and on the right lies the Savitri valley. This point derives its name from the governor of Mumbai.
Panchgani - From Mahabaleshwar, one has to travel about 20 km to reach Panchgani. The beauty of this tourist destination is often compared with that of Kashmir and Switzerland. The altitude of this place is about 1334 meter. Panchgani is the first hill station one will reach on the Pune Road from Mahabaleshwar. This destination is favourite among the tourists due to its enjoyable climatic condition.
Pratapgad Fort - This fort was constructed by Moropant Trimbak Pingale in 1656 AD. It is built at an altitude of 900 meter from sea level. Temples of Hanuman and Mahadev are built at the fort premise. A statue of Shivaji is also placed here. Makarandgad and Raigad forts can be viewed from the Pratapgard Fort. A splendid view of the surrounding valley can also be enjoyed from this fort.
Bombay Point - This point is popularly known as the Sunset Point. This is one of the oldest point in Mahabaleshwar. From this part of Mahabaleshwar, a magnificent view of the sunset can be enjoyed. From this point, the Sahyadri range and Pratapgard can be seen.
Arther's Seat - This is one of the beautiful points in Mahabaleshwar. The stratification of rock of this part of Mahabaleshwar is compared to the stratification of the rocks in Grand Canyon in USA. The beauty of the surrounding valley region can be enjoyed from Arther's Seat. The geographical distinction between Deccan and Konkan is evident at this point.
Panchaganga Mandir - The five holy rivers of Koyna, Gayatri, Savitri, Venna and Krishna appear at this part of Mahabaleshwar in small springs. These 5 springs flow very close to each other. Later they join together to flow in a half channel and flow towards the Goumukhi spout.
Kate's Point - This location is also called the Echo Point. The view of the surrounding countryside is clearly visible from this tourist spot of Mahabaleshwar. This point is situated at an altitude of 1473 meter.

Day 13: Mahabaleshwar / Mumbai (264 Kms)

Breakfast at hotel. Check-out by noon and drive to Mumbai, upon reaching Mumbai, proceed to a local restaurant for farewell dinner. Afterwards transfer to international airport to board flight for return journey.


End of our services


Notes :-

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.

PACKAGE INCLUSIONS: -

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. Joy ride in Toy train from NERAL to MATHERAN.

7. All Transfers, City sightseeing/excursions and long drives as per itinerary using chauffeur driven air-conditioned Car / Mini Van / Coach.

8. Boat cruise from Gateway of India to Elephanta caves and vice-versa in Mumbai.

9. 01 bottle packaged drinking water per person per day.

10. All presently applicable interstate & toll taxes.

PACKAGE EXCLUSIONS: -

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".

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