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Heartland of India

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Destinations Covered: Delhi - Jaipur - Agra - Varanasi - Khajuraho - Orchha - Bhopal - Sanchi -Bhimbetka - Mandu - Aurangabad - Mumbai

Duration of stay: 16 nights / 17 days

Day 01 - Arrive Delhi

On arrival at Indira Gandhi International Airport Terminal II you will be taken to your hotel. Spend rest of the day at leisure.
Overnight in Delhi.

Day 02 - In Delhi

After breakfast, full day sightseeing tour of Old and New Delhi.Red fort and lotus temple
The visit of the old city ( belongs to XVIIth century) includes the Great Mosque, Jama Masjid and the Red Fort, a perfect example of Mughal architecture built by Emperor Shah Jahan between 1639 and 1648. Enjoy cycle rickshaw ride around the colorful giant bazaar, Chandni Chowk.
In the new part of the city visit - the Qutab Minar (built in XIIth century), a splendid monument minaret of the Afghan period. Raj Ghat, the memorial of Mahatma Gandhi, and the Mausoleum of Humayun - a huge building that inspired Persians, is the precursor of the Taj Mahal. Rajpath, the equivalent of the Champs Elysees in France, the India Gate (erected in the memory of unknown soldiers died during First World War), The Parliament, and the house of the President. Later evening to escape the crowds, visit the Birla Mandir - a Hindu temple which is modern and colorful.
Overnight in Delhi

Day 03 - Drive Delhi - Jaipur (265 kms / 06 hrs)

After breakfast drive by surface for Jaipur. Popularly known as the Pink City, was built in 1727 AD by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II. Designed in accordance with Shilpa Shastra, an ancient Hindu treatise on architecture.
On arrival in Jaipur, check into hotel. Rests of the day spend at leisure visiting the surroundings.
Overnight in Jaipur.

Day 04 - In Jaipur

After breakfast full day sightseeing tour of Jaipur visiting -- The Amber Fort situated on the one of the ancient ranges Aravali Hills, 11 kms from Jaipur which was the ancient capital of Jaipur Maharaja,  a good example of Rajput style architecture. A slow elephant ride takes you  to the top of the Fort, which houses several graceful buildings and a temple of Kali. Later visit City Palace and Observatory. City palace is a blend of Rajasthani and Mughal architecture. The son of the last maharaja and his family still reside in the part of the palace. Observatory – Jantar Mantar, built by Jai Singh in 18th Century which is the finest observatory built by Jai Singh out of five Observatories.
Overnight in Jaipur.

Day 05 - Drive Jaipur - Agra (250 kms / 05 hrs) enroots Fatehpur Sikri

After breakfast drive by surface for Agra, the city of Seventh wonder of the world. En-route visit Fathepur Sikri, this magnificent fortified city was the capital of the Mughal Empire between 1517 and 1585, but had to leave because of Shortage of water. After the visit, continue your drive for Agra.
Agra which is known for its world famous buildings constructed by the Great Mughals, situated on the bank of the river. On arrival in Agra, check into hotel. Spend rest of the day at leisure.
Overnight in Agra.

Day 06 - Overnight Train Agra - Varanasi

Early morning the sunrise visit of the famous TAJ MAHAL This spectacular white marble mausoleum was built by Emperor Shah Jehan for his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal. It is a most extravagant monument ever built for love. The shimmering reflection in the water channels is truly breathtaking. After viewing Taj Mahal, return back to the hotel. After having a relaxed breakfast continue your city tour visiting - Agra Fort, the construction of the massive fort was began by Emperor Akbar following with the additions by the different Mughal emperors, followed by visit to Tomb of Itimad-ud-Daulah -- which was built for the Chief Minister of Jehangirs who was also the father of Nur Jahan, wife of Jehangir. Very often it is also called the « Baby Taj « because its design foreshadows the Taj Mahal. Later in time transfer to Agra railway station to board overnight train to Varanasi.
Overnight on board train.

Day 07 - Arrive Varanasi

Met on arrival at Varanasi railway station and drive to hotel. Varanasi - the city of Lord SHIVA, situated on the bank of the sacred Ganges is one of the holiest places in India and an important destination for pilgrims. Varanasi has been a center of knowledge and civilization for over 2,000 years. It is probably the oldest city of India, and one of the oldest in the world. Varanasi has always been a major cultural center for music, knowledge, and the art of silk weaving. After a short rest proceed for an excursion to the  ancient Buddhist site of Sarnath, a centre of Buddhist worship built by the emperor Ashoka in the 3rd century BC. Later sightseeing tour of Varanasi visiting Vishwanath Temple, dedicated to lord Shiva, Durga Temple and Benares Hindu University.
Overnight in Varanasi.

Day 08 - Fly Varanasi - Khajuraho

Red fort and lotus templeVery early morning take a dawn boat ride on the Ganges where you will see the Hindu rituals of thread ceremony, removing of hairs, offering food to the departed souls, bathing, laundry and the cremation of the dead. After the boat ride walk through the fascinating narrow twisting lanes of the city to watch the performance of various Hindu rituals by the pilgrims.
Later after breakfast transfer to Varanasi airport in time to board flight for Khajuraho. Met on arrival at Khajuraho airport and transfer to hotel. Khajuraho - a place famous throughout the world for its erotic temples. Beautiful temples are the unique gift of India to the world. They represent life, love, happiness, shown in all shapes and emotions of life. On arrival in Khajuraho, check into hotel. The temples of Khajuraho are one of the India’s major attraction.
Overnight in Khajurao.

Day 09 - Drive Khajraho - Orchha (180 kms / 04 hrs)

Morning sightseeing tour of the spectacular ninth to thirteen century temples of Khajuraho, built by Chandela kings. The temples are beautifully carved with graceful statues of Gods and Goddesses. After the visit, drive for the delightful village of Orchha, once the capital of the Bundela rulers. A place less known than others, is a beautiful complex of palaces and temples coming from the sixteenth century. On arrival check into hotel. Orchha is a just a village, set among a wonderful complex of well preserved palace and temples situated near betwa river. 
Overnight in Orchha.

Day 10 - Drive Orchha - Jhansi (16 kms / 30 mins) & Train Jhansi - Bhopal

Morning sightseeing tour of Orchha visiting the Rajmandir, Jahangir MahalRed fort and lotus templeand the temples. Later in time drive to Jhansi railway station to board train for Bhopal - the capital of Madhya Pradesh, is a fascinating amalgam of scenic beauty, old historic city and modern urban planning. It is the 11th century city Bhojpal, founded by Raja Bhoj, but the present city was established by an Afghan soldier, Dost Mohammed (1707-1740). His descendants build Bhopal into a beautiful city. Met on arrival at Bhopal railway station and transfer to hotel. Spend rest of the day at leisure.
Overnight in Bhopal

Day 11 - In Bhopal

Morning after breakfast excursion to Sanchi-- located 46 km north east of Bhopal. It is the location of several Buddhist monuments dating from the third century BCE to the twelfth century CE. The 'Great Stupa' at Sanchi was originally commissioned by the emperor Ashoka the Great in the third century BCE. Its nucleus was a simple hemispherical brick structure built over the relics of the Buddha. It was crowned by the chatra, a parasol-like structure symbolizing high rank, which was intended to honor and shelter the relics
later visit Bhimbetka, at the southern edge of the Vindhyachal hills. The rock shelters and caves of Bhimbetka have a number of interesting paintings which depict the lives and times of the people who lived in the caves, including scenes of childbirth, communal dancing and drinking, and religious rites and burials, as well as the natural environment around them
Overnight in Bhopal

Day 12 - Drive Bhopal - Mandu (286 kms / 06 hrs)

Morning after breakfast drive to Mandu - a ruined city in the Dhar district in the Malwa region of western Madhya Pradesh. Mandu celebrates in stone the life and love of the poet-prince Baz Bahadur for his consort, Rani Roopmati. The balladeers of Malwa still sing of the romance of these royal lovers. High on the crest of a hill, Rani Roopmati's pavilion gazes down at Baz Bahadur's palace, a magnificent expression of Afgan architecture. On arrival in Mandu, check into hotel. Later after a short rest proceed for the sightseeing tour of Mandu visiting Baz Bahadur Palace, Rani Roopmati Pavilion, Jama Masjid, Hoshang Tomb, Jahaz Mahal, Traveli Mahal, Hindola Maha, Champa Baodi, Jain Temples and Ashrafi Mahal.
Overnight in Mandu.

Day 13 - In Mandu

Red fort and lotus templeMorning excursion to Maheshwar and Omkareshwar. Maheshwar is abode of Lord Shiva and has a number of Shiv mandirs (temples). Some of the temples are named after different incarnations of Lord Shiva, such as Kashivishwnath temple, Rajrajeshwar temple, Omkareshwar temple, Tilbhandeshwar temple, Kaleshwar temple, Jaleshwartemple and Pandrinath temple. There are many other places to visit in Maheshwar. The main attraction of Maheshwar is the Maheshwar fort which situated on the banks of the holi river Narmada, on top of a small hill.
Later visit Omkareshwar - an island called Mandhata or Shivapuri in the Narmada river. It is one of the 12 revered Jyotirlinga shrines of Shiva. The shape of the island is said to be like the Hindu Om symbol. There are two temples here, one to Omkareshwar and one to Amareshwar Omkareshwar is formed by the sacred river Narmada. This is one of the most sacred of rivers in India and is now home to one of the world's biggest dam projects.
Overnight in Mandu

Day 14 - Drive Mandu - Aurangabad (340 kms / 08 hrs)

Morning after breakfast drive to Aurangabad. The city got its name from the Mughal emperor Aurangazeb who made it his capital. Its a logical base for visiting the famous Ellora and Ajanta caves. The city is also a major industrial hub for Maharashtra. On arrival in Aurangabad, check into hotel.
Overnight in Aurangabad.

Day 15 - In Aurangabad

Morning after breakfast drive about 106 kms for an excursion of Ajanta caves. Ajanta Caves classified as World Heritage  are rock-cut cave monuments dating from second century BCE, containing paintings and sculpture considered to be masterpieces of both Buddhist religious art and universal pictorial art. The 29 Buddhist caves of Ajanta are cut into the steep face of a horseshoe-shaped rock gorge on the wagthehore  river. They are sequentially numbered, the oldest are mainly in the middle and the newer ones are close to each end. Experience the beautiful architecture and painting. Later visit Ellora caves-  are the pinnacle of Deccan rock-cut architecture. The 34 "caves" – actually structures excavated out of the vertical face of the Charanandri hills – being Buddhist, Hindu and Jain cave temples and monasteries, were built between the 5th century and 10th century. The 12 Buddhist (caves 1–12), 17 Hindu (caves 13–29) and 5 Jain caves (caves 30–34), built in proximity, demonstrate the religious harmony prevalent during this period of Indian history. Spend the day experiencing the beautiful caves and later drive back to the hotel.
Overnight in Aurangabad.

Day 16 - Fly Aurangabad - Mumbai

Red fort and lotus templeMorning after breakfast drive to Aurangabad airport  in time to board flight for Mumbai. Mumbai is the commercial and entertainment centre of India The city also houses India's Hindi film and television industry, known as Bollywood. In 1661, Charles II of England received the islands of Bombay as dowry when he married Princess Catherine of Braganza. The British government leased the islands to the British East India Company, and they made it an important port. Mumbai's business opportunities, as well as its potential to offer a better standard of living, attract many migrants from all over India and, in turn, make the city a potpourri of many communities and cultures. Met on arrival at Mumbai airport and transfer to hotel.
Overnight in Mumbai.

Day 17 - Depart Mumbai

Morning after breakfast proceed for the half day sightseeing tour of Mumbai visiting the Gateway of India, which was created as a symbol, to welcome the Queen Mary and King George V of England on their visit to India in 1911. Next visit the Hanging Gardens, constructed at the top of Malabar Hills, which provide a lovely view over the Arabian sea, Marine Drive etc. Later in time transfer to Mumbai airport in time to board flight for onward destination.

 

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