MP - 05
The state of Madhya Pradesh, lying right in the heart of India, is an absolute hotspot for art, culture and historic monuments. Whether you are someone who loves to take a plunge into the eclectic history of India that Madhya Pradesh has witnessed or you are a more unconventional traveller choosing the offbeat tracks more often than not, MP has something for everyone.
In this Madhya Pradesh Heritage Tour, you definitely get more than what you expect. Our itinerary does not only cover the state of MP but important attractions of Delhi and Agra as well. After you are done with these two cities, you will enter Madhya Pradesh with a visit to the lovely gems of Morena district – Mitawli, Padawli and Bateshwar temples. You have tours of Khajuraho and Bhimbetka Caves for the art-history enthusiast in you, boat rides in Narmada and sunsets in Lake Bhojtal if you are a nature lover and visits to Sanchi Stupa and Chaturbhuj Temple if it is spirituality that draws you.
Land at Indira Gandhi International Airport at Delhi and meet your tour assistant there. After that, take your ride to your Delhi hotel for changing, freshening up and your meals. Later in the day, proceed to see some of the beautiful destinations that the Indian capital has to offer, like Qutub Minar – the tallest brick minaret in the world and then drive past India Gate, Red Fort and Parliament House. Take your time with Old Delhi. Visit Jama Masjid built by Shah Jahan and do indulge in some retail therapy in Chandni Chowk.
On day two after breakfast, get ready for a 5-hour drive to Agra for overnight stay. Today is one of the highlights of your Madhya Pradesh Heritage Tour. Although you are not in the state of MP yet, the mesmerising beauty of Taj Mahal – one of the Seven Wonders of the World, is not to be missed. Try to catch in moonlight if you can – it simply looks ethereal. Also visit Agra Fort here, which was the residence of the Mughal Emperors up until 1638, when the capital was shifted to Delhi by Shah Jahan.
On your way to Gwalior from Agra, visit the famous triad of Mitawli, Padawli and Bateshwar temples in Morena. The ancient shrine of Chausath Yogini in Mitawli, located atop a hill reached by a hundred steps, is the inspiration behind the circular architecture of the Indian Parliament House, while Padawli used to be a divine temple of Lord Shiva. Bateshwar is a collection of around 200 small temples made of sandstone, dating back to Gurjaras and Pratiharas.
Today you take a full-day tour of the historic city of Gwalior. Start with a visit to the tomb of Ghaus Muhammad, the Muslim sage who is known for assisting Babur annexe the city back in 1526. Then pay a visit to the tomb of Akbar’s favourite court musician, Tansen. After enjoying lunch at a local restaurant, proceed to visit Gwalior Fort in all its grandeur. Under the rule of the Scindias, this fort denied refuge to Rani Laxmi Bai when she fought against the British in the Indian Revolution of 1857, but it also a bloody battle around it between the Queen and her forces and the British army. Later see Man Singh Palace, Teli Ka Mandir and Saahastra Bahu Temple to end the day.
Day five awaits you a long drive from Gwalior to Chanderi along with a visit to Sonagir and Datia on your way. Sonagir is known for the numerous Jain temples that dot its streets, while in Datia you will find a magnificent seen-floored palace built by Vir Singh Dev in the 17th century. Drive ahead for overnight stay at Chanderi.
Today, you will be taking a complete tour of Chanderi, starting with Koshak Mahal built by Sultan Mehmud Shah Khilji to commemorate his victory over Sultan Mehmood Sharki in the Battle of Kalpi. Next visit Chanderi Fort, whose exact date of origin is clouded in mystery but it sure has stood here since before 1030, when Persian scholar Alberuni mentions the fort in his writing. Go on to see Jama Masjid, Bada Mahal Gate and Battisi Baoli. After lunch, have the unique experience of visiting a weaver’s village at Pranpur. See with your own eyes how the looms are created in the remotest of villages away from the city. You can see the weavers at their art, interact with them and pick a drape of your choice as well.
Today morning after a heavy breakfast at hotel, head towards Orchha and also see some attractions of the city. Jahangir Mahal is first on the list. This palatial mansion is an exemplary Mughal architecture, built in the 17th century by Vir Singh Dev as a sign of warm welcome to Emperor Jahangir to his estate. Also see Raja Mahal and witness a brilliant sunset at Chaturbhuj Temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Check into your hotel, freshen up and rest well because next day you will be visiting some attractions of Orchha and driving to Khajuraho as well.
Drive to Khajuraho today, the city known for its brilliant collection of temples. On your way there, stop at Dhubela, the land of Peshwa Queen Mastani. Here in Dhubela Museum, you will find the stories about different Bundelkhandi rulers, including her father King Chhatrasal and how he kept fighting against the British instead of surrendering. Reach Khajuraho in the afternoon and proceed towards visiting the Western and Eastern Group of Khajuraho Temples. These UNESCO World Heritage Sites are a phenomenon in itself and a sculptural beauty to look. Check into your hotel in the evening for overnight stay.
A long drive waits for you on day nine from Khajuraho to Jabalpur after breakfast. Upon reaching and checking into hotel, get some rest before you go out again in the evening. The second half of the day takes you to the roaring and raging Dhuandhar Waterfalls over River Narmada near Bhedaghat. After witnessing its majestic beauty, go ahead for a lovely boat ride in the same river, cruising between the 100 feet tall glittering Marble Rocks carved for 8km by the river. In the evening, witness Aarti ceremony at Gauri Ghat along the river before retiring for the night in your hotel.
As your Madhya Pradesh heritage Tour slowly draws to and end, you will be visiting some more marvels of the state today on your drive from Jabalpur to Bhopal, the capital of MP. Udaygiri Caves are said to be some of the oldest in India, dating back to 5th century CE, the time of the Gupta Kings. Sanchi Stupa needs no introduction, as it is one of the most revered Buddhist sites in India. Reach Bhopal in the evening and check in for overnight stay.
As per today’s itinerary, you go for a same-day excursion to Bhojpur Temple, known for being home to one of the largest Shiva lingams in India with a height of 18ft and a circumference of 7.5ft. Later, proceed to visit the oldest surviving signs of human settlement in Indian Subcontinent – Bhimbetka Caves dating back to Palaeolithic, Mesolithic and Pre-Historic periods. In the evening, take a leisurely stroll in the streets of Old Bhopal and enjoy a lovely sunset by Lake Bhojtal.
Before your Madhya Pradesh Heritage Tour comes to an end, visit Taj-ul-Masjid, Gohar Mahal and Shaukat Mahal today. Later board your train to arrive at Delhi where our tour agents will help you transfer to Delhi airport for your further journey home.