IndiaTour - Caves and Temples Of Central India
Day 01 : Arrive Mumbai
Arrive Mumbai international airport met by our representative and transfer to the hotel. Overnight at hotel.
Day 02 : Mumbai
Morning transfer to Gateway of India to board the boat for an excursion to Elephanta Cave. Elephanta Caves : The celebrated cave on the island excavated from a cliff high above the water during the Golden age of the Gupta's the worshipers of Lord Shiva derives its name from a stone elephant carved in here. Sculptures in caves are beautifully executed and most outstanding of them is the "Trimurthy", a three headed bust hewn from a single rock representing the trinity viz. Lord Bramhan the Creator, Lord Vishnu the Preserver and Lord Shiva the Destroyer.
Afternoon city tour of Mumbai includes visit to Prince of Wales Museum (Monday closed) magnificent heritage building built in 1909 is an exquisite example of the Indo-Saracenic architecture. The Museum is expanded into various sections, including the Maritime Heritage gallery, the first of its kind in India. Watch washermen in action at "Dhobighats"- the unique and colourful out door laundry. Drive to the Malabar hill to visit lovely Hanging Gardens and Kamla Nehru Park which commands a wonderful view of Mumbai and the Arabian Sea spread out before. Overnight at hotel.
Day 03 : Mumbai (Day return excursion to Kanhari Caves)
Morning proceed on an excursion to Kanhari Caves that dates back to 2nd - 9th centuries and are found to have been carved out by Buddhist monks. Situated at the centre of Mumbai's Borivali National Park, the Kanheri caves are one of the biggest Buddhist monastic establishments on the Konkan coast. Return to Mumbai in the afternoon with rest of the Day at leisure or free for optional activities. Overnight at hotel.
Day 04 : Mumbai to Pune (163 Km)
Morning depart Mumbai by surface for Pune stopping by en route to visit Karla and Bhaja Caves. Karla and Bhaja Caves dating back to the 2nd Century BC are one of the best Buddhist Cave monasteries. The magnificent Chaitya or the hall of prayer at Karla is the largest one of its kind. Three unique features of the interior these caves are their pillars, roof vault and the light windows.
Arrive Pune and check in at hotel with rest of the Day at leisure or free for optional activities. Overnight at hotel.
Day 05 : Pune to Aurangabad (226 Km)
Morning depart Pune by surface for Aurangabad. Arrive Aurangabad and check in at hotel. Afternoon visit Bibi-ka-maqbara often referred as poor man's Taj Mahal, built in 1679 as a mausoleum for emperor Aurangzeb's wife, Rabia-ud-daurani, Panchakki a water wheel which was considered marvel of engineering during its time. Overnight at hotel.
Day 06 : Aurangabad (Day return excursion to Ajanta)
Full Day excursion to Ajanta Caves "A World Heritage Site" (Closed to visitors on Mondays) - nestled in panoramic gorge of Sahyadri hills about 107 km from Aurangabad city, the Caves of Ajanta are the finest examples of some of the earliest Buddhist architecture, cave paintings and sculptures. The caves comprise of Chaitya or prayer halls and monasteries dedicated to Lord Buddha which were used by Buddhist monks for meditation and the study of Buddhist teachings. The murals on the walls and ceilings of the Caves depict incidents from the life of the Buddha, Jataka tales, illustrating diverse stories relating to the previous incarnations of the Buddha as Boddhisatava, a saintly being who is destined to become the Buddha. Overnight at hotel.
Day 07 : Aurangabad
Morning proceed on an excursion to Ellora Caves "A World Heritage Site" (Closed to visitors on Tuesday) - the cave temples and monasteries at Ellora, excavated out of the vertical face of an escarpment contain Buddhist monasteries, prayer halls, Hindu and Jai temples. Carved between the 5th and 11th century AD, the earliest excavation here is of the Dhumar Lena. Kailash Temple at Cave 19 largest monolithic structure in the world is the most imposing excavation without doubt. Overnight at hotel.
Day 08 : Aurangabad to Indore (380 Km)
Morning depart Aurangabad by surface for Indore. Arrive Indore and check in hotel with rest of day at leisure or free for optional activities. Overnight at hotel.
Day 09 : Indore to Bhopal (via Ujjain 245 Km)
Morning depart Indore for Bhopal visiting Ujjain en route. Ujjain - Situated on the banks of the river Shipra, Ujjain is the one of the sacred place for Hindu pilgrimage. It is believed that mythological tale search of immortal nectar took place here and one of the four drops which spilled from the jar fell on Ujjain. Thus Maha Kumb takes place in Ujjain every 12 years. Ujjain has a great tradition of learning and culture. It was used as the base for calculations of Hindu astronomy, astrology and geography.
Visit the Temple of Mahakaleshwar, Observatory of masonry, Jantar Mantar, Bathing Ghats of Shipra river and the Gopal Mandir, a 19th century temple of Maratha-Style architecture.
Arrive Bhopal and check in at hotel with rest of the Day at leisure or free for optional activities. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 10 : Bhopal (Day return excursion to Sanchi & Bhimbetka)
KhajurahoMorning depart on a Day return excursion to Sanchi and Bhimbetka. Sanchi - Sanchi is on the finest specimens of almost all Buddhist architectural forms. Known for its Stupas, monasteries, temples and pillars dating from the 3rd century B.C. to the 12th century A.D, the most famous of them is Sanchi Stupa 1 originally built by the Mauryan Emperor Ashoka. Also visit Ashoka Pillar. Bhimbetka - Located in the northern fringe of the Vindhyan ranges at Bhimbetka lies over 600 Neolithic age rock shelters where one can witness vivid panoramic detail, paintings describing life of the pre-historic cave-dwellers providing an invaluable chronicle in the history of man. Murals depicts activities of every day life such as hunting, dancing, music, horse and elephant riders, animals fighting, honey collection, decoration of bodies, disguises, masking and household scenes, Popular religious and ritual symbols etc. Animal figures appearing in some such as bison, tiger, lion, wild boar, elephant, antelope, dog, lizards, crocodile, etc. in some caves also contributes in providing information in natural history. Return to Bhopal by late afternoon with rest of the day at leisure or free for optional activities.
Day 11 : Bhopal to Jhansi and Orcha
Morning drive along the upper lake and visit some import sites in Bhopal. Afternoon transfer to railway station to board the train Shatabdi Express for Jhansi. Arrive Jhansi and transfer to Orcha (30 km). Overnight at hotel.
Day 12 : Orcha to Khajuraho (140 Km)
Orcha's grandeur has been captured in stone, frozen in time, a rich legacy to the ages. In this medieval city, the hand of time has rested lightly and the palaces and temples built by its Bundela rulers in the 16th and 17th centuries retain much of their pristine perfection.
Morning visit Orcha Palace and royal cenotaphs that line along the bank of Betwa river. Afternoon depart Orcha by surface for Khajuraho. Arrive Khajuraho and check in at hotel. Evening witness sound and light show a magnificent light display on the temples of Khajuraho with tale of Khajuraho. Overnight at hotel.
Day 13 : Khajuraho
Full day explore the western and eastern group of temples. Khajuraho occupies a unique place in the temple architecture of India. Thousand years old intricately carved 85 temples built in short span of 100 years, from 950 AD - 1050 AD only 22 stand today. Erotic carvings are another very important features of Khajuraho temples. Also, visit newly excavated 10th century Chandela temple. Overnight at hotel.
Day 14 : Khajuraho to Jhansi and Agra
After a leisurely morning depart Khajuraho by surface for Jhansi to connect train Shatabdi Express for Agra. Arrive Agra in the evening and check in at hotel. Overnight at hotel.
Day 15 : Agra to Delhi
Morning excursion (44 km one way) deserted capital of Fatehpur, which shortly served as capital of Mughal dynasty during the reign of emperor Akbar. However, it was quickly abandoned due to lack of portable water but it remains as a perfect example of preservation till date.
Afternoon visit Agra Fort from where four of the mighty ruler from Mughal dynasty ruled their vast empire and the most beautiful monument of love the Taj Mahal, which is flawless to its conception and execution. Stay on the view the monument in the soft light of the setting sun. Later in the evening transfer to railway station to board the train Shatabdi Express for Delhi. Arrive Delhi and transfer to hotel. Overnight at hotel.
Day 16 : Depart Delhi
Full day combined sightseeing tour of Old and New Delhi - visiting Qutab Minar one of the tallest tower of it's time, Humayun Tomb one of the forerunner of the Taj Mahal, drive past India Gate and President House and other government buildings, Red Fort symbol of mighty Mughal empire, Jama Masjid one of the biggest mosque in India, Chandni Chowk and Raj Ghat (Mahatma Gandhi Memorial). Late evening transfer to international airport to board the flight for onward destination.