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Cultural Treasures of India: Mumbai to Varanasi Expedition

0/5
Duration

13 Nights / 14 Days

Tour Type

Daily Tour

Group Size

10 people

Languages

English

Overview

Embark on a captivating journey through India’s rich cultural tapestry with the “Cultural Treasures of India: Mumbai to Varanasi Expedition.” Begin in Mumbai, exploring its bustling markets and iconic landmarks like the Gateway of India. Fly to Aurangabad to discover the ancient caves of Ajanta and Ellora, marveling at intricate rock-cut temples. Traverse through Delhi’s vibrant streets, then on to Jaipur’s royal palaces and the architectural wonder of Agra’s Taj Mahal. Explore Orchha’s medieval charm before reaching Khajuraho’s famed temples adorned with exquisite sculptures. Conclude in Varanasi, India’s spiritual heart, where ancient rituals on the Ganges River offer a glimpse into timeless traditions.

Highlights

  • This is a private tour/activity only for your group.
  • Enhanced cleaning/ traveler safety.
  • In-depth cultural experience.
  • Flexible sightseeing & stopover.
  • Most travelers can participate.

Bulk discount (by Percent)

Bulk discount adult
# Discount group From adult To adult Value
1 Discount on 2-person group 2 2 %
2 Discount on 3-person group 3 3 %
3 Discount on 4-person group 4 4 %
4 Discount on 5-person group 5 5 %
5 Discount on 6-person group 6 6 %
6 Discount on 7-person group 7 7 %
7 Discount on 8-person group 8 8 %

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Mumbai

Arrive in Mumbai and transfer to your hotel. Depending on your arrival time, spend the day relaxing or explore nearby attractions independently.

Day 2: Mumbai

After breakfast, visit the Gateway of India, an iconic arch overlooking the Arabian Sea, built to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary in 1911. Enjoy views of the bustling harbor and take a boat ride to Elephanta Caves, a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its ancient rock-cut temples dedicated to Lord Shiva. Explore the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (formerly Prince of Wales Museum), housing a vast collection of artifacts, sculptures, and decorative arts depicting India's history. Drive along Marine Drive, a picturesque promenade also known as the Queen's Necklace, offering stunning views of the Arabian Sea. Stop for a photo opportunity at the Hanging Gardens on Malabar Hill, known for its manicured lawns and panoramic city views. Visit Dhobi Ghat, the world's largest outdoor laundry, to witness Mumbai's unique washermen (dhobis) at work.

Day 3: Mumbai - Aurangabad (flight)

Early morning flight to Aurangabad. Upon arrival, check into your hotel and unwind. Visit the Bibi Ka Maqbara, often referred to as the "Taj of the Deccan," built in the 17th century by Aurangzeb's son in memory of his mother. Admire the intricate marble work and serene garden surroundings. Explore Panchakki, an ancient water mill known for its ingenious fountain system powered by water flowing from a nearby mountain stream. Optionally, visit the Aurangabad Caves, rock-cut Buddhist caves dating back to the 6th and 7th centuries. Admire the intricate carvings and sculptures depicting Buddhist motifs.

Day 4: Aurangabad

After breakfast, embark on a full-day excursion to the Ellora Caves, a UNESCO World Heritage site featuring rock-cut temples representing Hindu, Jain, and Buddhist faiths. Marvel at the monumental Kailasa Temple, the largest monolithic structure in the world. Explore Daulatabad Fort, an ancient hilltop fortress known for its defense architecture and panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. Return to Aurangabad and enjoy free time to relax.

Day 5: Aurangabad - Ellora (36km) / Flight to Delhi

Fly to Delhi. Upon arrival, check into your hotel and relax. Visit Qutub Minar, a UNESCO World Heritage site and the tallest brick minaret in the world, known for its intricate carvings and historical significance. Explore Humayun's Tomb, another UNESCO World Heritage site and an early example of Mughal architecture with beautiful gardens and red sandstone structures. Visit the Lotus Temple, a Bahá'í House of Worship known for its distinctive lotus-shaped architecture and serene atmosphere. Enjoy a drive through Lutyens' Delhi, the central part of New Delhi designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, featuring wide boulevards, government buildings, and impressive architecture.

Day 6: Delhi - Jaipur (265km)

Drive to Jaipur, famously known as the "Pink City" of India, renowned for its historic palaces and vibrant culture. Upon arrival in Jaipur, check into your hotel. In the evening, explore local markets such as Johari Bazaar and Bapu Bazaar, known for their traditional handicrafts, textiles, jewelry, and vibrant atmosphere.

Day 7: Jaipur

Begin your day with a visit to the Amber Fort, a magnificent blend of Hindu and Mughal architecture, located on a hilltop overlooking Maota Lake. Take an elephant ride or jeep ride to the fort entrance. Explore the City Palace, a sprawling complex housing museums, courtyards, and gardens displaying royal artifacts and costumes. Visit Jantar Mantar, an astronomical observatory with impressive stone instruments used for measuring time, predicting eclipses, and tracking celestial bodies. Visit the Birla Temple (Laxmi Narayan Temple), a modern Hindu temple known for its intricate marble carvings and peaceful ambiance. Enjoy a shopping experience in Jaipur, known for its vibrant markets offering traditional handicrafts, textiles, jewelry, and more.

Day 8: Jaipur - Agra (245km)

Drive to Agra. En route, visit Abhaneri Stepwell, one of the largest and deepest stepwells in India, known for its intricate architecture and historical significance. Upon arrival in Agra, visit the Agra Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage site with impressive Mughal architecture and views of the Taj Mahal. Visit Mehtab Bagh for a sunset view of the Taj Mahal across the Yamuna River.

Day 9: Agra - Orchha (220km)

Early morning visit to the Taj Mahal at sunrise, India's most iconic monument and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Drive to Orchha, a medieval town known for its palaces and temples built by the Bundela rulers. Explore Orchha Fort Complex, including Jahangir Mahal and Raj Mahal, showcasing exquisite Rajput architecture and intricate frescoes. Visit Ram Raja Temple, a unique blend of temple and palace architecture, dedicated to Lord Rama.

Day 10: Orchha - Khajuraho (178km)

Drive to Khajuraho, known for its UNESCO-listed temples adorned with intricate sculptures and erotic art. Visit the Western Group of Temples, including Kandariya Mahadev Temple, known for its architectural splendor and erotic sculptures. Explore the Eastern Group of Temples, including Parsvanath Temple and Ghantai Temple, showcasing Jain architecture and intricate artwork. Visit the Archaeological Museum to see sculptures and artifacts excavated from the temples.

Day 11: Khajuraho - Varanasi (flight)

Explore more of Khajuraho's temples in the morning. Fly to Varanasi, one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world and a major pilgrimage site for Hindus. Upon arrival, check into your hotel. In the evening, attend the mesmerizing Ganga Aarti ceremony on the ghats of the Ganges River.

Day 12: Varanasi

Early morning, enjoy a boat ride on the Ganges River to witness the sunrise and see the ghats come alive with rituals and prayers. Visit the Kashi Vishwanath Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, and explore Varanasi's narrow alleys and vibrant markets. Visit Sarnath, where Lord Buddha gave his first sermon after attaining enlightenment. Explore Dhamek Stupa, Mulagandha Kuti Vihar, and Sarnath Archaeological Museum.

Day 13: Varanasi - Mumbai (flight)

Fly back to Mumbai. Upon arrival, visit the iconic Siddhivinayak Temple, dedicated to Lord Ganesha. Explore the bustling markets of Mumbai for souvenirs and local delicacies.

Day 14: Mumbai - Departure

Depart from Mumbai, concluding your journey through India's cultural and historical treasures, from ancient caves to vibrant cities and spiritual centers.

Included/Excluded

  • Assistance on arrival at airport.
  • 13 Nights' accommodation in 4-star hotels.
  • Daily breakfast and meal as per day plan.
  • Private air-conditioned deluxe car for airport transfer, sightseeing and excursion as per program.
  • English speaking tour guide on sightseeing days (local guide in each city), as per program.
  • Monuments entrances and activities charges mentioned in the itinerary.
  • Bottled drinking water in car.
  • Government taxes.
  • Mumbai - Aurangabad - Delhi, Khajuraho - Varanasi - Mumbai flight fare approx. INR 20,500 per person in economy class.
  • Camera charges at monuments.
  • Expenses of personal nature like liquor, laundry, tips, telephone, fax, internet etc.
  • Gratuities & optional activities.
  • Anything not mentioned in inclusions.

Tour's Location

FAQs

What is the standard of the hotels on this tour?
Can travelers upgrade the accommodation to 5-star hotels?

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