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Timeless India: Discovering Historic Caves and Grand Temples

0/5
Duration

12 Nights / 13Days

Tour Type

Daily Tour

Group Size

10 people

Languages

English

Overview

Embark on an unforgettable journey through Timeless India: Discovering Historic Caves and Grand Temples, where you will explore the architectural marvels and ancient wonders of India. Start your adventure in Mumbai, with visits to iconic landmarks and the UNESCO-listed Elephanta Caves. Delve into the rock-cut splendors of Ellora and Ajanta Caves in Aurangabad, and uncover the Mughal elegance in Hyderabad. Traverse the historical landscapes of Gulbarga, Bijapur, and Badami, each offering unique insights into India’s rich heritage. Experience the majestic ruins of Hampi and the cultural vibrancy of local villages. Conclude your tour with a memorable visit to Hubli before returning to Mumbai, enriched by the diverse cultural and historical treasures of India.

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 at Mumbai International Airport and transfer to your hotel in South Mumbai. Explore the iconic Gateway of India, a monumental arch overlooking the Arabian Sea, built to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary in 1911. Learn about its historical significance and enjoy views of bustling Mumbai harbor.

Day 2: Mumbai

Visit Elephanta Caves, a UNESCO World Heritage Site on Elephanta Island. Explore the ancient rock-cut temples dedicated to Lord Shiva, marveling at the intricate sculptures and cave architecture. Take a ferry ride to the island for a scenic approach. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (formerly Prince of Wales Museum), housing a diverse collection of artifacts, from ancient sculptures to decorative arts. Gain insights into India's cultural heritage through its extensive exhibits. Walk through the vibrant markets of Crawford Market, known for its bustling atmosphere and diverse range of goods, from spices to souvenirs. Experience the local culture and shop for Mumbai specialties. Visit the Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum, showcasing Mumbai's history and development through interactive displays and historical artifacts. Learn about the city's transformation from its colonial past to modern-day metropolis.

Day 3: Mumbai - Aurangabad (flight)

Fly to Aurangabad and check-in at your hotel. Aurangabad is known for its historical monuments and rich Mughal heritage. Discover the Ellora Caves, a UNESCO World Heritage Site showcasing rock-cut architecture spanning Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain faiths. Marvel at the Kailasa Temple, carved from a single rock, and intricate sculptures depicting mythological tales. Visit Daulatabad Fort, a medieval fortress known for its robust defense mechanisms and stunning views from its ramparts. Explore its secret passageways and ancient cannons, experiencing its strategic importance in history. Visit the lesser-known Aurangabad Caves, dating back to the 6th and 7th centuries, featuring Buddhist artwork and sculptures.

Day 4: Aurangabad

Excursion to visit Ajanta Caves, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its magnificent rock-cut caves adorned with exquisite paintings and sculptures depicting the life of Buddha. Explore the intricate frescoes and marvel at the ancient craftsmanship. On return, visit Bibi Ka Maqbara, a mausoleum built in 1678 by Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb's son in memory of his mother. Admire its resemblance to the Taj Mahal with its intricate marble work and serene garden setting. Visit Panchakki, an ancient watermill with a mosque attached, known for its architectural ingenuity and historical significance in Aurangabad.

Day 5: Aurangabad - Hyderabad (flight)

Fly to Hyderabad, a city blending historical splendor with modernity. Check-in at your hotel and prepare for a cultural exploration.

Day 6: Hyderabad

Begin your day at Golconda Fort, a sprawling citadel known for its acoustics and strategic design. Attend the light and sound show narrating its history, from medieval glory to British conquest. Visit Qutb Shahi Tombs, a royal necropolis housing the tombs of the Qutb Shahi dynasty. Admire the Persian, Indian, and Pathan architectural styles and serene atmosphere amidst landscaped gardens. Visit Charminar, Hyderabad's iconic monument and mosque built in 1591. Climb its minarets for panoramic views of the bustling Old City and shop at nearby Laad Bazaar for traditional bangles and artifacts. Explore the Chowmahalla Palace, once the seat of the Nizams of Hyderabad. Admire its opulent architecture, Persian gardens, and collection of vintage cars, offering a glimpse into royal life. Explore the Salar Jung Museum, home to a vast collection of art, manuscripts, and artifacts from around the world. Highlights include the Veiled Rebecca statue and Nizam's jewelry collection.

Day 7: Hyderabad - Gulbarga (260kms)

Drive to Gulbarga (now Kalaburagi), known for its historical monuments and rich heritage. Visit Gulbarga Fort, a medieval structure with bastions and gateways. Explore its architecture and historical significance, offering views of the cityscape from its ramparts. Explore Jama Masjid, an architectural masterpiece with Indo-Saracenic influences. Admire its intricate artwork, prayer halls, and serene ambiance, reflecting Gulbarga's cultural diversity.

Day 8: Gulbarga - Bijapur (170kms)

Proceed to Bijapur (Vijayapura), renowned for its architectural marvels from the Adil Shahi dynasty. Visit Gol Gumbaz, a mausoleum known for its massive dome and whispering gallery. Experience the acoustics of its interior and climb to the top for panoramic views of Bijapur. Explore Ibrahim Rauza, a tomb complex known for its elegant architecture and serene gardens. Admire its Persian-style arches, calligraphy, and detailed carvings.

Day 9: Bijapur - Badami (120kms)

Drive to Badami, a town known for its rock-cut cave temples and ancient sculptures. Visit the UNESCO-listed Badami Cave Temples, carved into the sandstone cliffs. Explore Hindu and Jain temples adorned with intricate carvings and sculptures depicting mythological tales. Explore Bhuthanatha Temples and Agastya Lake, offering scenic views and a serene atmosphere amidst ancient architectural wonders.

Day 10: Badami

Visit Aihole, a historic site known as the "Cradle of Indian Temple Architecture." Explore its complex of temples dating from the 4th to 12th centuries, representing various architectural styles and intricate carvings. Explore Pattadakal, another UNESCO World Heritage site known for its group of 8th-century temples. Admire the blend of North Indian Nagara and South Indian Dravidian architectural styles, with detailed sculptures and narrative panels. Visit the Hemakuta group of temples, known for their hilltop location offering panoramic views of the Badami region.

Day 11: Badami - Hampi (180kms)

Drive to Hampi, the UNESCO-listed ancient city of the Vijayanagara Empire. Along the way, enjoy the picturesque landscapes and rural scenes of Karnataka, giving a glimpse into the region's natural beauty. Visit Anegundi village, believed to be the maternal home of Lord Hanuman. Explore the village's ancient structures, traditional homes, and historical sites that reflect the rich cultural heritage of the area. Enjoy a coracle ride on the Tungabhadra River, experiencing the local way of life and scenic landscapes. The traditional round boats, made of bamboo and tar, offer a unique perspective of the river and its surroundings. Explore the Pampa Sarovar, a sacred lake mentioned in the Ramayana, believed to be the place where Lord Rama met Shabari. The serene lake, surrounded by temples and hills, provides a tranquil atmosphere for reflection and relaxation. Visit the Anjanadri Hill, considered the birthplace of Lord Hanuman. Climb the steps to the top for a panoramic view of the region and visit the temple dedicated to Hanuman, adding a spiritual touch to your journey.

Day 12: Hampi

Explore the Royal Center of Hampi, including Vittala Temple known for its iconic stone chariot and musical pillars. Attend cultural performances and rituals that bring the temple's history to life. Visit the Virupaksha Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva. Marvel at its intricate carvings, towering gopuram (gateway tower), and annual festivals that attract pilgrims and tourists alike. Visit Queen's Bath, Lotus Mahal, and Elephant Stables, showcasing the grandeur of Vijayanagara architecture and royal lifestyle. Learn about Hampi's cultural and architectural legacy through guided tours and interactive exhibits. Explore the Hemakuta Hill temples, offering panoramic views of Hampi's sprawling ruins and boulder-strewn landscapes. Witness stunning sunrise and sunset vistas amidst historical remnants. Visit the Achyutaraya Temple and Sasivekalu Ganesha, adding to your exploration of Hampi's rich architectural and cultural heritage.

Day 13: Hampi - Hubli (180kms)/ Mumbai (flight)

Drive to Hubli, passing through scenic countryside and small towns, offering a final look at the rural beauty of Karnataka. Take in the diverse landscapes and agricultural fields that define the region's charm. Fly back to Mumbai for departure, concluding your journey with fond memories of India's historic caves and grand ancient temples.

Included/Excluded

  • Assistance on arrival at airport.
  • 12 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.
  • Monument entrances and activities charges mentioned in the itinerary.
  • Bottled drinking water in car.
  • Government taxes.
  • Mumbai - Aurangabad - Hyderabad & Hubli - Mumbai flight fare approx INR 15,500 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

Can travelers upgrade the accommodation to 5-star hotels?

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