Highlights of Central India

Explore the a number of the best heritage monuments in India in the central India tour, visit the heart of India - Madhya Pradesh, witness the superb part of Indian history and culture.

Day 01 Abroad – Delhi

Arrive Mumbai. Upon arrival, the guest will be met by our representative and transferred to hotel.

Overnight at hotel

Day 02 Delhi – Bhopal

Morning transfer to the railway station for train to Bhopal.

On arrival, you would be met by our representative and transferred to the hotel.

Bhopal, capital of Madhya Pradesh combines scenic beauty, historicity and modern urban planning. It is situated on the site of 11th century city, Bhojapal, founded by Raja Bhoja. Bhopal today presents a multi-faceted profile; the old city with its teeming market places and fine old mosques and palaces still bear the aristocratic imprint of its former rulers; among them the succession of powerful Begums who ruled Bhopal from 1819 to 1926. Equally impressive is the new city with its verdant, exquisitely laid out parks and gardens, broad avenues and streamlined modern edifices.

Visit the Taj-ul-Masjid, Jama Masjid, Moti Masjid, Lakshmi Narayan temple, Bharat Bhawan, Sadar Manzil.

Overnight at hotel.

Day 03 Bhopal – Sanchi – Udaigiri – Bhopal

Morning excursion to Sanchi (45 kms) - Crowning the hilltop of Sanchi nearly 91 metres in height, a group of Buddhist monuments commands a grand view even from a distance. It is unique not only in its having the most perfect and well-preserved stupas but also in its offering a wide and educative field for the study of the genesis, efflorescence and decay of Buddhist art and architecture for a period of about thirteen hundred years, from 3rd century B.C. to 12th century A.D., almost covering the whole range of Indian Buddhism. It was the great Emperor Ashoka who built the first stupas here in the 3rd century BC and a great number of stupas and other religious structures were added over the succeeding centuries.

Afternoon proceed to Udaigiri (14 kms from Sanchi) – famous for its Jain and Hindu caves. The Cave number 20 merits a visit because of its unique feature – it is entered from ground level.

Return to Bhopal.

Overnight at hotel.

Day 04 Bhopal – Ujjain – Indore

Morning drive to Indore (200 kms) enroute visit Ujjain.

Ujjain is one of the seven sacred cities of the Hindus. The Mahakaleshwar Temple is a recent reconstruction in the traditional central Indian style. The curved superstructure, adorned with tower like motifs on all sides, rise above projecting colonnaded porches. Mughal screens and pavilions are combined with marbled colonnades that lead to the sanctuary. Visit the Jai Singh Observatory which was the place where scientific mathematical astronomy was first evolved, and the meridian was fixed here for the purpose of astronomical calculations. Also visit Chowis Khamba Darwaza (11th century), a massive ancient gateway with pillars of carved black stone.

Thereafter continue drive to Indore and check-in at hotel.

Overnight at hotel

Day 05 Indore – Mandu

Indore – is the fourth largest textile center. This city was given to the Holkar dynasty in 1733 by the Maratha Peshwar for whom they fought, Indore has an outstanding temple which is called the Glass temple and was built from 1882 to 1922. Every inch of its surface is inlaid with mother of Pearl and Italien cut-glass. Nearby is the Lal Bagh Palace constructed by the Holkar dynasty and it is a wonderful architectural blend of East & West. Its exterior resembles an Italian villa and most of the interior resembles Versaille.

Thereafter drive to Mandu (100 kms). Upon arrival, check-in at hotel.

Mandu is one of the most interesting sites of Central India. Perched along the Vindhya ranges at an altitude of 2,000 feet, Mandu, with its natural defenses, was originally the fort capital of the Parmar rulers of Malwa. Towards the end of the 13th century, it came under the sway of the Sultans of Malwa, the first of whom named it Shadiabad - 'city of joy'. And indeed the pervading spirit of Mandu was of gaiety; and its rulers built exquisite palaces, ornamental canals, baths and pavilions, as graceful and refined as those times of peace and plenty.

Spend rest of the day exploring this isolated town, dotted with elegant mosques and palaces and made famous by the romance between Baz Bahadur and Rupmati.

Overnight at hotel

Day 06 Mandu – Aurangabad

Morning drive to Aurangabad (340 kms). Upon arrival in Aurangabad, check-in at hotel.

Overnight at hotel

Day 07 Aurangabad

Full day excursion to Ajanta caves (100 kms.). Nestled in an inner fold of the Sahyadri hills, 100 kms away from Aurangabad are the 30 rock-cut caves of Ajanta, famous for its cave painting or frescoes of many colors. These magnificent rock-cut caves, date from 2nd BC to 7th Century AD. They are exclusively Buddhist; unique in the way they combine three forms of art - architecture, sculpture and painting. The superb frescoes and paintings depict episodes from the Jataka stories and the life of Lord Buddha. Caves 1,2,16 and 17 have the best-preserved paintings. The magnificent depictions of the bodhisattvas Avalokitesvara and Padmapanin are particularly well known.

Overnight at hotel.

Day 08 Aurangabad – Mumbai

Morning visit the Ellora Caves (30 kms) from Aurangabad lie the finest rock cut cave temples of Ellora - 10th & 11th century, which encompasses the three religion Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. Of the 34 caves that are both monasteries and temples, the most remarkable is the magnificent Kailasa temple. The entire structure was carved out of a monolith and took over 100 years to complete. The temple itself is decorated with themes and incidents from the ancient legends and puranas in a manner that leaves one in rapturous delight.

Afternoon transfer to the airport for flight to Mumbai.

Upon arrival – the guests will be met and transferred to the hotel.

Overnight at hotel

Day 09 Mumbai – Hyderabad

Morning transfer to airport for flight to Hyderabad.

Upon arrival, you will be met by our representative & transferred to the hotel.

Afternoon sightseeing tour of Hyderabad - The places of interest include Charminar (the arch of triumph), a monumental landmark of the city with 180ft high minarets. Also visit the Mecca mosque built in 1964 entirely in stone with a congregation capacity of 10000. Visit Salarjung Museum, one of the finest collection of the various treasures.

Overnight at hotel.

Day 10 Hyderabad – Kurnool

Morning visit Golconda is one of the historic fortresses of Hyderabad, founded originally by the Kakatiyas in the year 1140. Golconda was expanded by the Qutub Shahi kings into a massive fort of granite with walls and ramparts extending to a length of 5 km in circumference. It is of outstanding interest for both its fort and the royal tombs, which represents the third and final phase of the Deccan style of Islamic architecture. The fortress city within the walls was famous for the diamond trade and is said to been the origin of the famous Koh-i-noor diamond. The historic fort lies 11kms west of the city of Hyderabad.

Afternoon drive to Kurnool (200 kms). Upon arrival, check-in at hotel. Kurnool - In 12th century AD, the Odders, who carted stones for the construction of the temple Alampur, used the site on which the town now stands as a halting place before crossing the Tungabhadra and greased their cart wheels with oil locally supplied by some of the oil mongers, and called the place 'Kandanavolu' (Town of grease) which in course of time came to be known as Kurnool.

Overnight at hotel

Day 11 Kurnool – Hospet

Morning drive to Hospet (197 kms) en route visit Alampur.

Alampur (27 kms from Kurnool), known as the western gate of Srisailam temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is one of the most sacred "Shaivite" centers in Andhra Pradesh. Built in the Kadamba Chalukyan style, the two groups of temples, called Brahmeswara and Papanatham temples, are situated on the banks of the Tungabhadra river on either side of Alampur village. It is a paradise for tourists interested in archeological studies.

Continue drive to Hospet and check-in at hotel. Overnight at hotel

Day 12 Hospet – Hampi – Hospet

Full day sightseeing excursion to Hampi.

Hampi - A world heritage centre, Hampi is the most beautiful and evocative of all the ruins in Karnataka. The erstwhile capital of Vijayanagara kingdom, Hampi is full of delightful surprises. Like the King's balance where kings were weighed against grain, gold or money, which was then distributed to the poor. The Queen's bath with its arched corridors, projecting balconies and the lotus-shaped fountains that once sprayed perfumed water, the two storied Lotus Mahal with recessed archways, the huge Elephant stables. The splendid Vithala temple with its musical pillars and the stone chariot, the Virupaksha temple - still used for worship and many other interesting sites that are still being excavated. Return to Hospet.

Overnight at hotel.

Day 13 Hospet – Badami

After breakfast drive to Badami (166 kms) enroute visiting Aihole & Pattadakal.

Pattadakal has 10 major temples representing early Chaalukyan architecture. It lies on the banks of the river Malaprabha and used to be the place where the Chalukyan Kings (7 to 9 century) were crowned. The oldest temple in this group is the Sanghmeshwara. The Mallikarjuna temple has pillars depicting the birth and life of Krishna. The largest of the temples, the Virupaksha has sculptures and panels depicting scenes from the epics, the Ramayana and Mahabhararta. The Papanath temple in the northern style has impressive carvings on pillars and on the ceiling.

Aihole - famous as the cradle of Indian temple architecture - has over 125 temples, all intricately carved and rich in detail. The oldest temple here, is perhaps the 5th century Lad Khan. The Durgigudi is particularly interesting and unique, being circular in shape and surmounted by primitive gopuram. The Hutchmall temple, the Ravalpadi cave temple, the Konti temple complex, the Uma Maheshwari temple, the Jai Meguthi temple and the two-storeyed Buddhist temple are the other attractions at Aihole.

Thereafter continue drive to Badami and upon arrival, check-in at the hotel. Overnight at hotel

Day 14 Badami – Goa

Morning sightseeing tour of Badami - once the former second capital of the Chalukya dynasty. Here the cave temples are cut out of solid rock, in a magical setting of hills above a lovely reservoir. Overnight at the hotel.

Afternoon drive to Goa (340 km). On arrival, check-in at the hotel. Goa's 450 years under Portuguese domination produced a unique, syncretic blend of East and West. The stretches of silver sand wetted by a rush of blue waters, the sky mirroring the sea below, the strumming of guitars from distant taverns, white churches resting against green paddy fields and coconut groves, long nights spent over brewed feni, longer days of sun, sand and sea. Rest of the day at leisure for your own activities.

Overnight at the hotel.

Day 15 Goa – Mumbai

Morning at leisure for own activities.

Afternoon transfer to the airport for your flight to Mumbai.

The guests will be met and proceed for city tour of Mumbai. Afternoon city tour of Mumbai - the great port city with its Victorian Gothic buildings from the British Raj Era mingling with the modern. The tour includes Gateway of India overlooking the Harbour, the Towers of Silence, Marine Drive and the Dhobi Ghat, the unique and colourful outdoor 'laundry'. Also visit Mani Bhawan, a small museum dedicated to the life and works of Mahatma Gandhi.

Late at night transfer to the international airport for flight back home.

Day 16 Mumbai – Onward journey

Depart: Mumbai

 Duration : 16 Days / 15 Nights

 Route : Delhi-Bhopal-Indore-Mandu-Aurangabad-Mumbai-Hyderabad-Kurnool-Hospet-Badami-Goa-Mumbai

 Theme(s) : Cultural Tours, Pilgrimage Tours

 Destination(s) : Goa, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra

 Zone(s) : Central India Tours

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