MP - 08
Over 2500 years of royal reign has left significant mark on the entire stretch of Central India. Starting from the lush green slopes of Sahyadri in Maharashtra to the rugged terrains of Malwa and Bundelkhand in Madhya Pradesh, the lands are unbelievably rich in history and culture that all the Hindu, Buddhist, Jain, Islamic and Christian regimes have left behind. .
On your Madhya Pradesh Tour from Mumbai, you explore every part of it in bits and pieces. The tour starts at the shore of the Arabian Sea, in the financial capital of India, the country’s lifeline, Mumbai. From there you reach Aurangabad – the base city to explore the beauties of Ajanta and Ellora. Later in the trip, you will explore similar caves in Bhimbetka, but the latter is much, much older – almost 17000 years – dating back to the Stone Age here in the Subcontinent. From visiting legendary monuments to small but unique experiences like going to a weaver’s village or taking a safari in a river ravine, the trip will take you far and wide into the very soil of India.
Land at Mumbai airport and set off on your 21 days tour with a bang. Our assistance will meet you right at the airport and transfer you to your Mumbai hotel. After sufficient rest, go out for local sightseeing in the city of dreams. Visit Kamala Nehru Park in Hanging Gardens along the lish slopes of Malabar Hills and enjoy a spectacular view of the Marine Drive from up there. Later visit more destinations that define the city of Mumbai like Chowpatty Beach, famous for its Ganesh Visarjan celebrations, Prince of Wales Museum – an ode to the city’s colonial past, Mani Bhawal, the laundry of Mumbai – Dhobi Ghat and Gateway of India overlooking the Arabian Sea. Drive through Crawford Market, Marine Drive and Flora Mountain before retiring for the night.
You have the second day morning free to walk around the city and do some shopping if you like. Later in the afternoon, you have your flight tickets ready for your trip to Aurangabad. Your tour operator will arrange for your transfer to the Mumbai airport. Upon reaching your destination, you will be met by your assigned agent at Aurangabad and check in at your hotel here for overnight stay.
Aurangabad is known for its proximity to the famous Ajanta and Ellora caves. On day three, you will visit one half of it. Ellora caves complex is one of the largest clusters of rock-cut monastery-temples in the world, identified by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The site features numerous Buddhist, Hindu and Jain temples with intricate art and sculptures dating back to 600-1000 CE era. After lunch, drive to Daulatabad Fort, Aurangazeb Tomb and Bibi Ka Maqbara. The city is named after the last prominent Mughal emperor as he moved his capital from Delhi to here in around 1681. Bibi Ka Maqbara is the tomb of his wife, built by his son Azam Shah resembling the architecture of Taj Mahal.
You finally enter MP on your fourth day of Madhya Pradesh Tour from Mumbai and arrive at Burhanpur. But on your way there, you will also visit the ancient Ajanta Caves. They are a collection of 30 rock-cut monastery caves pertaining to Buddhist faiths. Archaeologists have dated their origin back in 2nd century BCE to around 480 CE. After you are done exploring Ajanta Caves, arrive at Burhanpur for overnight stay.
There are a bunch of attractions for you to see in this small Madhya Pradesh town as well. On your full day city tour of Burhanpur, you will visit Jama Masjid, Shahi QIla, Mughal Bagh Palace, Dargah-e-hakimi, Gurudwara Badi Sangal Badshahi Dus and Kundi Bhandara. All these places have their own stories, which your guide will inform you about.
Your next day will be more or less on the road as you drive from Burhanpur to Maheswar for two nights’ stay. After checking in at your hotel and taking sufficient rest, go out and visit Maheshwar fort. This fort has stood here since the 10th-11th century as per historical records, but it came into limelight when Holkar Queen of Malwa, Maharani Ahilyabai remodelled it and ruled from it for the last few years of his life. Also enjoy a lovely boat ride in the idyllic Narmada and feel the undercurrent of the river before calling it a night.
On day seven of the trip, an excursion to Mandu awaits you that will take up the whole day. Start with visiting Jahaz Mahal which artistically resembles a maritime vessel about to set sail. Also visit Hindola Mahal, Jahangir Mahal, Hoshang Shah Tomb, Jami Masjid, Roopmati Pavilion and Baz Bahadur Shah Palace. Hoshang Shah was the first Sultan of the Malwa Sultanate, while Baz Bahadur was the last before the Mughals took over almost all of north and central India.
After an overnight stay in Maheshwar, get ready today for your drive to Bhopal, the lovely and vibrant capital of Madhya Pradesh soaked in history and culture. After reaching the city, check in at your hotel, freshen up and later enjoy a peaceful stroll through the streets of Old Bhopal. The antiquity of the city’s architectures will leave you mesmerised, but not as much as the sunset at Bhopal’s Bhojtal Lake later on.
Day nine of your Madhya Pradesh Tour from Mumbai is going to be packed with a day-long excursion to Bhojpur Temple and Bhimbetka Caves. Bhojpur Temple is famous for being abode to one of the largest Shiva lingams of the world. The lingam here is a monolith of 5.5m (18ft) in height and 2.3m (7.5ft) in circumference, carved out of a single rock. Later, proceed towards Bhimbetka Caves to explore mankind’s oldest remnants here in the Indian Subcontinent. The caves of Bhimbetka are dated back to the Palaeolithic and Mesolithic era, with evidence of Stone Age starting here around Acheulian times. Finish your long day with a visit to Taj-ul-Masjid, Gohar Mahal and Saukat Mahal before returning to your hotel for overnight stay.
After breakfast, head towards some more historically important sites today in Madhya Pradesh. Your first stop will be at Sanchi Stupa, which is one of the most important Buddhist complexes in India located on a hilltop with its great white dome. Next in the line is the Udaygiri Caves, which are considered to be the oldest surviving architecture from the Golden Age of the Gupta kings, dating back to 5th century CE. Arrive at Jabalpur, check in at your hotel and later take a stroll to Gwarighat on River Narmada to witness a magnificent Aarti ceremony.
In the first half today, you get to explore the beautiful city of Jabalpur. First visit the raging and majestic Dhuandhar Falls on Narmada and then take a boat ride in the river to cruise between 100 feet tall White Marble Rocks at Bhedaghat that Jabalpur is so well-known for. In the second half of the day, drive to Khajuraho for overnight stay.
Once again, your day will be divided between two cities. In the morning, explore the tantalising beauty of the Western and Eastern Group of Temples of Khajuraho and take in their artistic appeal to the full. Most of these temples were built between 950-1050 CE by Chandela dynasty kings. The temples are nor exemplary monuments of art and history. In the afternoon, you will drive to orchha for a night’s stay there.
Today in the hours leading up to lunch, visit some of the main attractions of Orchha like Jahangir Mahal, Raja Mahal and Chaturbhuj Temple. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before taking the highway to Chanderi and checking in at your hotel.
On day 14 of your Madhya Pradesh Tour from Mumbai, take some time to enjoy the beautiful destinations of the ancient city of Chanderi. Persian poet and philosopher Al Beruni mentioned Chanderi Fort in his work way back in the 11th century. The fort’s importance was of great strategic importance because of its location on the borders of Malwa and Bundelkhand. After the fort, proceed to visit Jama Masjid, Bada Mahal Gate and Battisi Baoli – a medieval water management system. In the afternoon, a lovely visit to the Pranpur village awaits your. Here you can see for yourself how the authentic Indian handloom is created and weaved into the magnificent yards of apparels. You will see the workers weave magic and also interact with them and get a customised drape for yourself as well.
Today you have the chance to see Jahangir Mahal, Raja Mahal and Chaturbhuj Temple if you had not the earlier day for some reason. After a quick visit, drive to Gwalior for two nights’ stay in the historic city. On the way, stop at Sonagir to visit some of the many Jain temples located here and admire the stunning beauty of the Datia Palace. Arrive at Gwalior in the afternoon and check in for overnight stay.
Day 16 is kept for a complete tour of Gwalior. This city was once under the rule of Marathas and then the Scindias, who are infamous for denying refuge to Rani Laxmibai during the 1857 Revolutions. In the morning you will be visiting the tombs of Ghaus Muhammad, the Muslim saint from Babur’s time and court and Tansen, the musical maestro from Akbar’s time and court. Jai Vilas is an important stop as well before lunch. In the afternoon, go back in time with your visit to Gwalior Fort and soak in the splendour of it all. After that, also see Palace of Akbar’s favourite minister, Man Singh, Teli ka Mandir and Saahastra Bahu Temple dedicated to Vishnu.
On your way to Dholpur from Gwalior, you will come across the district of Morena. Here lies the trinity of Bateshwar, Padawli and Mitawli dating back to the times of Gurjaras and Pratiharas. Take a good look at the architecture of the Chausath Yogini Temple in Mitawli, as this is the inspiration behind the structure of Indian Parliament House. Arrive at Dholpur in the afternoon and rest in your hotel. After a late lunch, go out for a unique experience of Chambal Ravines Safari. Tread the path of Chambal’s unique flora and fauna for 4-5 hours in the once-infamous land of the most notorious dacoits.
After a night’s stay in Dholpur, make your way towards Agra. But before that, enjoy a nice boat ride on Chambal River which will take only an hour. After reaching Agra in the afternoon, you get the rest of the day to spend in leisure after a hectic two-and-a-half weeks’ tour.
In the morning, pay a visit to the main reason Agra is so famous in the map of the world. Stand in front of Taj Mahal and hear the story from your guide how Shah Jahan built this with all his love and grief for his late wife Mumtaz Mahal. The monument stands to be one of the Seven Wonders of the World and also one of the most beautiful things ever created. After Taj Mahal, visit Agra Fort which was the seat of Mughal Power up until 1638.
You finally arrive at the capital of India on the penultimate day of your trip. Do not waste time and quickly visit the best places of the city. Stop at Jama Masjid and Chandni Chowk first, both landmark destinations in Old Delhi and then visit Raj Ghat where stands a memorial for Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi. After lunch, drive past India Gate, Red Fort and President’s House and then the tallest brick minaret of the world – Qutub Minar, before returning to hotel.
Our tour agent will transfer you to Delhi airport in time for your flight back home or for onward journey.