15 Days |
MP - 03
When you come to India, the one thing that mesmerises you the most is effervescence of it all. Everything is endlessly diverse, relentlessly bright and colourful and tells a thousand stories. And that is exactly what you will get to experience in your India Heritage Tour. We will take you on a ride through some of the best parts of central, western and northern India, covering both the administrative and financial capital of the country.
Your trip starts in Mumbai, the city where dreams come true and ends in Delhi, the city where dreams are born. From the Arabian Sea-washed Marine Drive of Mumbai to the 17000 years old caves of Bhimbetka, from the Hindu, Buddhist and Jain stories of Ajanta and Ellora caves to the tragic love story of Shah Jahan and Mumtaz that resonates in the walls of Taj Mahal – every part of this tour will leave you spellbound and asking for more.
One day is far from enough to witness the true appeal of the City of Dreams. However, one has to make do with what time they have, especially on such a studded tour itinerary. Land in Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport and our tour operator will assist you to check into your hotel. After lunch and rest, visit some of the main destinations in Mumbai in the afternoon, like Kamala Nehru Park and Hanging Gardens, located on the lush slopes of Malabar Hills offering a magnificent view of the Marine Drive. Next, drive to Chowpatty Beach, Prince of Wales Museum, Mani Bhawan, Dhobi Ghat and the famous Gateway of India. Drive through Marine Drive, Crawford Market and Flora Fountain on your way back to hotel for overnight stay.
On second day, all you have to day is repack and board your flight to Aurangabad from Mumbai airport. Assistance will meet you at Aurangabad airport and help you check into your hotel there.
Prepare yourself for an all-day tour of the best attractions of Aurangabad after breakfast. On top of the list is the group of Ellora Caves, which is the largest rock-cut monastery and temple complex, pertaining to Hindu, Buddhist and Jain beliefs. Built during 600-1000 BCE, these caves and shrines are together a UNESCO World Heritage Site and an exemplary location to witness the best art forms of that era. Your morning will go in visiting Ellora, so in the afternoon after lunch proceed towards Daulatabad Fort, tomb of last prominent Mughal emperor Aurangzeb after whom the city is named and Bibi Ka Maqbara, which is the tomb of his wife and resembles Taj Mahal in its architecture.
On day four, a long drive from Aurangabad to Burhanpur waits for you after breakfast. To break the monotony of the drive, you will be stopping at Ajanta Caves, 2.5 hours from Aurangabad. Ajanta Caves are a collection of 30 rock-cut caves with Buddhist scriptures and art inscriptions, dating back to 2nd century BCE to 480 CE. After exploring this historical marvel, you will be headed towards Burhanpur.
Your day five of Heritage Tour of India is packed with several gems of attractions in Burhanpur. Your first stop will be Jama Masjid built way back in 1590 and then the royal abode of the Farooqui rulers, Shahi Quila, which is now kind of in ruins. Next, stop at some more destinations like Dargah-e-hakimi, Gurudwara Badi Sangat Badshahi Dus and Kundi Bhandara, a unique underground water management system from the old days.
Today, you will yet again embark on a long drive through the highways of Maharashtra. This time you will be travelling to Maheshwar. But before that, you have two interesting stops on the way. Your first visit is to the Asigarh Fort, which is considered as the gateway to the Deccan as it commands a pass through the Satpura ranges connecting the valleys of Narmada and Tapti. The second stop is at Omkareshwara Temple in Mandhata Island. This shrine of Lord Shiva is one of the twelve Jyotirlingams that are scattered around India. After offering prayers, reach Maheshwar and check into your hotel for the night.
In the morning on the seventh day, you will go around Maheshwar and see the famous Maheshwar Fort from outside, where the mighty queen of Central India, Maharani Ahilyabai ruled from 1765 to 1796. Following this stop, drive to Mandu and see some of its beautiful destinations like Jahaz Mahal which resembles a ship anchored at dock, Hindola Mahal and Jahangir Mahal. After lunch, go see the Tomb of Hoshang Shah – the first official Islamic ruler of Malwa, Baz Bahadur Palace and Roopmati Pavilion. Stay overnight at Mandu.
See some of the attractions in Mandu, like Jahaz Mahal, Hindola Mahal and Jahangir Mahal if you had not yesterday, before driving to the historic city of Ujjain, by the banks of Shipra River. Recharge yourself the best you can, as you start on the second week of your India Heritage Tour come tomorrow.
In Bhopal, you will find some of the most active Hindu shrines of Central India. Visit the centuries old Mahakaleshwar Temple, which also happens to be one of the twelve Jyotirlingams of the country. Harsiddhi Temple and Kal Bhairav temple are also there on your itinerary. Kal Bhairav is considered to be the guardian of the city of Ujjain. After sunset, catch a lovely light and sound show at Kothi Palace before heading towards Bhopal for overnight stay.
The vibrant capital of Madhya Pradesh is home to a good many archaeological sites, and you will have the time of your life if history and culture interests you. On the first day, your India Heritage travel Package takes you to the Udaygiri Caves, which is a collection of twenty rock-cut caves with some of the oldest surviving temples and iconographies of India, dating back to 5th century BC. One can associate the inscriptions with the Golden Era of the Gupta Period. Next, visit one of the most important Buddhist sites in India, the towering white dome of Sanchi Stupa, built by Emperor Ashoka in 3rd century BCE after he quit war and embraced peace. Also visit Taj-Ul-Masjid, Gohar Mahal and and Shaukat Mahal in the evening before returning to hotel for night stay.
The first half of the eleventh day has two very interesting destinations for you. First, you visit one of the largest Shiva Lingams in the country, of 18ft height and 7.5ft in circumference carved out of a black monolith in Bhojpur Temple. Later, explore the earliest trace of human settlement and civilization in the Indian Subcontinent at Bhimbetka. The caves of Bhimbetka have drawings that prove that the Stone Age at this site started around the Acheulian times. With your spiritual and artistic quests satiated, head towards Gwalior on a train from Bhopal and meet your tour assistance at the station. Drive to hotel for overnight stay at Gwalior.
Gwalior is yet another gem on your India Heritage Tour that awaits you with some very appealing historical destinations. On your full day in the city, pay visit to the tombs of Muslim saint Ghaus Muhammad and Akbar’s favourite musical maestro Tansen. Also visit Jai Vilas Palace with distinct British influence in its architecture. Before heading towards hotel, you can cover Gwalior Fort, Man Singh Palace, Teli Ka Mandir and Sahastra Bahu Temple as well. The main attraction here is the Gwalior Fort – the grand structure that has stood in the hills since as early as 6th century.
Agra waits for you on Day thirteen of your trip. Repack your bags again for a long drive to the former Mughal capital and on the way stop at the significant triad of Bateshwar, Mitawali and Padawali Temples dating back to the Gurjaras and Pratiharas. Check into hotel in Agra and get some rest for the day.
Taj Mahal is India’s pride and prejudice when it comes to historical monuments, and what makes the already magnificent architecture even more beautiful is the tragic love story behind it. Visit the eternal symbol of love on the banks of Yamuna where Emperor Shah Jahan and his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal lie next to each other in the core of the stark white structure. Also visit Agra Fort, which used to be royal Mughal residence till mid-17th century. Drive to Delhi for the last leg of your tour and stay overnight at your Delhi hotel.
Before catching your flight, take a quick look around the capital of India. Visit the world’s tallest brick minaret, Qutub Minar and the ethereal Jama Masjid in the morning as well as parts of Old Delhi. Drive through President’s House, India Gate and Red Fort while getting back to hotel. Our operator will transfer you to Delhi airport in time for your flight back home.