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  India Tours & Travel Plans >> Discover India Tours >> Central to North India Safari

Central to North India Safari
Mumbai (Bombay) - Aurangabad - Dhar - Mandu - Omkareshwar - Bhopal - Ujjain - Sanchi - Orchha - Gwalior - Agra - Jaipur - Delhi (Duration - 17 Days)

Day 1: Home - Mumbai (Bombay)
Assistance on arrival by our tour representative at Bombay International airport, transfer to hotel, relax & overnight at the hotel.

Day 2: Mumbai (Bombay)
Morning take a city tour visiting Gateway of India – The imposing stone archway in Indo-Saracenic architecture built in 1911, later cruise by motor boats to Elephanta island lies 9 km north-east to Apollo Bunder or Gateway of India. The island which was known as Gharapuri earlier is the glorious abode of Lord Shiva. This island was renamed, Elephanta by the Portuguese who landed here, after they saw the majestically carved elephant on this island. Spread over an area of 500 sq mt is the cave temple of Elephanta. A flight of 100 steps takes you to the top of the hill where it is set. The temple houses large pillars that seem to hold the ceiling which is made of cross beams. The picturesque presentation of the 9 marvelous sculptured panels, set on the walls are awe-inspiring. The most famous of the panels is the Trimurthi, or triple-headed Shiva, where the God is depicted as the destroyer, the preserver and the creator. Later in the afternoon cruise back to Gateway of India. Later visit Prince of Wales Museum, Afghan Church, Parliament House, Marine Drive, Jain Temple, Hanging Gardens, Towers of Silence which is Symmetry of Parsi and next to Hanging Gardens you can have a look from outside but not allowed inside the Tower of Silence besides Parsi Community, Later visit Mani Bhawan, Mahalaxmi Temple and Haji Ali Shrine. Evening free for leisure, overnight in Bombay.

Day 3: Bombay - Aurangabad (By air)
Morning transfer to the airport to board the flight for Aurangabad at 0700 hrs, assistance on arrival in Aurangabad at 0800 hrs, transfer to hotel. The city – named after Mughal emperor Aurangzeb, is now more renown for its close proximity to Rock hewn caves of Ajanta and Ellora. In the afternoon visit Bibi-ka-Maqbara. Return to Hotel. Overnight in Aurangabad.

Day 4: Aurangabad
Morning visit Ellora Caves carved between 7th & 11th century AD. Carved in sickle shaped hill, spread north to south in a area of 3 kms. Of these caves 12 are Buddhists, 17 are Hindus and 5 are Jains. The most remarkable of the carved shrines at Ellora is the Kailasa Temple, chiseled out by hand from single rock with Gateway, Pavilion, Courtyard, Assembly Hall, Vestibule, Sanctum and Tower-hall. Thereafter return to Aurangabad. Overnight in Aurangabad.

Day 5: Aurangabad - Ajanta Caves - Dhar (380 kms - 7 hours)
Morning checkout and drive to Dhar enroute visiting Ajanta caves. Dated back to 200 BC and 650 BC. These 30 Buddhist caves hewn painstakingly are cut into the scrap of a cliff are Chaityas (Chapels) & Viharas (Monasteries). These caves are known for their architectural beauty and for their remarkable frescoes- paintings with infinite charm , which speak about the civilization of more than 2000 years. Painting in the caves and sculptures outside speak of some kind of transformation from Hinayana in the earlier caves to Mahayana in the latter caves where Buddha is shown in an human form. Later continue your journey towards Dhar. Upon arrival at Dhar check in at hotel and overnight.

Day 6: Dhar - Mandu (35 km s- One Hour) – Dhar
Morning excursion tour of Mandu which has over 40 monuments to choose from. For convenience, these are divided into three broad groups: the Central Village Group, the Royal Enclave Group, and the Rewa Kund Group. You can easily spend all day in Mandu, wandering in and out of palaces, pausing to admire the beauty of the Champa Baoli, the former baths, and the huge 15th-century Jama Masjid, the finest example of Afghan architecture in India. Then there are the beautiful Jahaz Mahal (ship palace), where the architectural illusion is completed by the two surrounding lakes; the Hindola Mahal, or swing palace; the romantic Baz Bahadur’s Palace and Roopmati’s Pavilion; and Hoshang Shah’s Tomb, the final resting place of the founder of Ghuri Dynasty. Besides, there are many palaces, pavilions, and reservoirs where you can spend a leisurely day taking in the city’s rather turbulent history, which is not revealed by the monuments that speak of luxurious royal lifestyles. Later drive back to Dhar for overnight, as good hotels are not available in Mandu.

Day 7: Dhar - Maheshwar - Omkareshwar - Indore(60 kms - 01 hour)
This day filled of rich visits on the course towards Indore with a first stop at Maheshwar is one of the most beautiful palace-temple- city located on the banks of river Narmada. Maheshwar temples are known for their carved overhanging balconies and their intricately worked doorways. This city is also famous for its silk saris. Thereafter we continue towards Omkareshwar, the sacred island, shaped like the holiest of all Hindu symbols, 'Om', Shri Omkareshwar Mahadeo temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is located at the confluence of Narmada and Kaveri . The devout Hindus come here to kneel before the Jyotirlingams - one of the 12 in India, proceed Indore on arrival transfer to hotel. Evening free to relax overnight in Indore.

Day 8: Indore - Ujjain - Bhopal (186 kms – 4 hrs)
In the morning, visit Indore on the banks of the rivers Saraswati , built by Ahilyabai, the brave Holkar queen, visit the archaeological museum and the temple of Digamber Jains, Kanch Mandir. Later departure towards Ujjain situated on the right bank of River Shipra, Ujjain is, one of the oldest and holiest of Indian cities, it is one of the venues of the Kumbh Mela. Visit of Mahakaleshwara temple. Continuation towards Bhopal, on arrival transfer to hotel. Evening free to relax, overnight in Bhopal.

Day 9: Bhopal – Sanchi – Vidisha – Udaigiri – Bhopal
After breakfast take an excursion tour to Sanchi, Vidisha & Udyagiri. Located about 46 km northeast of Bhopal, the town of Sanchi is famous for the Buddhist works of art dating from the 3rd century BC to the 12th century AD. The ancient stupas, monasteries, temples, and pillars form a major source of attraction here. Of these, the most famous is the Sanchi Stupa 1, originally built by the Mauryan Emperor Ashoka. Later drive to Vidisha 10 kms from Sanchi, Vidisha or Besnagar as it was known then, was an important trade centre in Emperor Ashoka's time. On his way to Ujjayani, when he was still a viceroy, he stopped here and married the daughter of a wealthy local businessman. The ruins of a 2nd century BC Brahmin shrine dedicated to Lord Vishnu, show traces of lime mortar – the earliest use of cement in India. Located at the confluence of the Betwa and Beas rivers, Vidisha was renamed Bhilsa by the Muslims, who built the now ruined Bija Mandal, a mosque constructed from the remains of Hindu temples and the Gumbaz-ka-Maqbara. Vidisha later passed on to the Malwa Sultans, the Mughals and then the Scindias. Later proceed to UDAIGIRI CAVES Just 5 kms from Vidashi is Udaigiri Groups of rock cut sanctuaries carved into the sandstone hillside form the Udaigiri Caves, There are 20 caves, out of which 18 are Hindu and the other 2 are Jain. An inscription in one of the caves indicates that they were produced during the reign of Chandragupta II, between 382-401 AD. The caves have been numbered, probably in the sequence in which they were excavated. Cave 5 depicts Lord Vishnu in a beautiful carving in his Varaha (boar) incarnation holding the earth goddess Prithvi on one tusk. Another large sculpture is that of a reclining Lord Vishnu. Cave 20 is particularly interesting, with detailed Jain carvings. On top of the hill are the ruins of a 6th century AD Gupta temple. Later early evening drive back to Bhopal for overnight.

Day 10: Bhopal – Bhojpur – Bhimbhetka – Bhopal (46 kms)
Morning take an excursion tour to Bhojpur & Bhimbhetka. Bhojpur known for the remains of a Shiva temple, sometimes referred to as the "Somnath of the East" and its dams. Later proceed to famous Bhimbetka caves surrounded by the northern fringe of the Vindhyan ranges, are believed to have provided shelter to the primitive man. The caves or the rock shelters belonging to the Neolithic age number more than 600. Inside most of these caves are the paintings that depict, in vivid panoramic detail, the life of the pre-historic cave dwellers. The oldest paintings are believed to be up to 12,000 years old. Drive back to Bhopal in the evening. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 11: Bhopal - Jhansi - Orchha (By train)
In time transfer to railway station to board the Shatabdi Express train for Jhansi, assistance on arrival drive to Orchha, on arrival transfer to hotel. Evening free to explore Orchha on own. Overnight in Orchha.
Day 12: Orchha - Gwalior (120 kms - 3 hours)
Morning sight seeing tour of Orchha visiting Jehangir Mahal - the largest of the palaces, the Raj Mahal with its murals and the Raj Praveen Mahal built near a garden ,You would also visit Dinman Hardaul`s palace with its interesting story. The temples of Orchha are highly preserved. The two main temples are the Ram Raja Temple with its lofty spires and the Chaturbhuj temple. Later in the afternoon drive to Gwalior, on arrival transfer to hotel. Evening free to relax, overnight in Gwalior.

Day 13: Gwalior - Agra (110 kms - 2 hours)
Gwalior is called, the pearl of Hindustan, old princely state of the family of Rajput Sindhia. for the visit the imposing and magnificent Gwalior Fort made of sandstone, visit Man Mandir a six-towered palace. In the afternoon visit the enormous, 19th century Jai Vilas Palace. This Palace is famous for its ornate chandeliers & crystal. Also visit the, Gujari Mahal, the Tomb of Muhammad Ghaus, a saint worshipped by the Mughals & the Tomb of the famous musician Tansen. Afternoon drive to Agra, on arrival transfer to hotel. Evening visit Taj Mahal to see it over the sunset. Overnight in Agra.

Day 14: Agra - Jaipur (230 kms - 5 hours)
In the morning visit the world famous Taj Mahal, whose eternal beauty will astonish and mesmerize the visitors. The Taj Mahal, was built by the Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal who died in 1631. Thereafter visit the Visit the beautiful mausoleum of the tomb of Itam-Ud-Daulah, the first monument in India to feature Persian mosaic style inlay work or "Pietra Dura" Greatly resembling the Taj in its use of inlay on white marble, and is known as the "mini-Taj". Also visit Agra Fort comprising of Durbar Halls. Later in the afternoon drive to Jaipur, enroute visiting the Mughal Dynasty of Fatehpur & Sikri, visit Panch Mahal, Bulund Darwaza & Shrine of Shaikh Salim Chisti. Later proceed to Jaipur, on arrival transfer to hotel. Evening free to relax, overnight in Jaipur.

Day 15: Jaipur
Morning take an excursion tour to Amber Fort - 11kms, and enjoy elephant ride to ascend/ descend this great fort. Later take sight seeing tour of Jaipur visiting City Palace, Hawa Mahal made for the ladies of Royal Family to see the Processions from this Palace and without being seen from the people and Jantar Mantar Observatory all within the vicinity of City Palace. After lunch the day is kept free for shopping or individual activities.

Day 16: Jaipur - Delhi (259 kms - 5 hours)
Morning checkout and drive to Delhi, on arrival transfer to hotel. Later in the day visit Old Delhi to see majestic Red Fort, the historical Chandni Chowk and Raj Ghat the Memoir of Mahatma Gandhi. Overnight at the hotel in Delhi.

Day 17: Delhi - Back Home
Morning take a sight seeing tour of New Delhi, visit the Rashtrapati Bhawan, the one-time imperial residence of the British viceroys; the India Gate, a memorial raised in honour of the Indian soldiers martyred during the Afghan war; the Laxmi Narayan Temple, built by the Birlas, one of India’s leading industrial families; Qutab Minar, built by Qutub-ud-din Aibek of the Slave Dynasty; and the lotus-shaped Baha’i Temple. Later afternoon is kept free for last minute souvenir shopping if wish to or individual activities. After farewell dinner checkout & transfer to International airport to board the flight back home.

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