In The Heart Of India

This sixteen day trip takes us across the central India showcasing unique and dynamic faces. This heritage trip allows us to learn about majestic traces of former empires and offers the beautiful sceneries on the way.



Our trips begin on our arrival in capital of India. Following the trails of heritage tour, we arrive in Agra where magnificent Red fort and Taj Mahal, true epitome of love are the main attractions. Moving to the next destination-Gwalior where the fort and its premises are well maintained and house many historic monuments including palaces, temples and water tanks. Route between Gwalior and Khajuraho allows us to visit small but important cities from historical point of view such as Orcha, Datia. The erotic and other carvings that swathe Khajuraho’s three groups of World Heritage–listed temples are among the finest temple art in the world. Now, proceeding to Bhopal where we visit Sanchi stupa - Buddhist complex. Visiting the cities Enroute such as Indore, Ujjain, Dhar, Mandu, we finally reach Aurangabad. Alongside other historic relics, such as a group of ancient Buddhist caves, these Mughal relics make Aurangabad a good destination to explore. But the real reason for traipsing here is that the town is an excellent base for exploring the World Heritage Sites of Ellora and Ajanta. After having submerged in historical fast, we fly to Mumbai. The heart of the city contains some of the grandest colonial-era architecture on the planet but explore a little more and we’ll uncover unique bazaars, hidden temples, hipster enclaves. Our trip concludes here.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The magnificent Taj Mahal in its full glory
  • Visit the immense fort of Gwalior
  • The medieval city of Orcha,
  • Eastern and western group of Temples in Khajuraho
  • Beautiful city of Dhar, Omkareshwar et Maheshwar
  • Beautiful sculptures, paintings and frescoes of Ajanta and Ellora caves
  • Mumbai - Commercial capital of India

Day 1. Traditional welcome on arrival

  • Arrive at the International airport of Delhi. After the traditional welcome, transfer to hotel for overnight stay.

Day 2. Delhi - Agra

Delhi - Agra
  • After the breakfast, we drive to Agra and on arrival, transfer to hotel.
  • Visit the Agra Red Fort, a historical fort in the city of Agra and its walls are richly adorned with red sandstone. Till 1638, this fort was main residence of the emperors of the Mughal Dynasty. Thereafter the capital of Mughal was shifted from Agra to Red Fort in Delhi.
  • Visit of Taj Mahal, a 17th century marvel in poetic description. One of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Taj is a dream in white marble with exquisite pietra dura (stone inlay) work. Shah Jahan, the fifth Moghul King, built this beautiful mausoleum in memory of his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal, who died at the birth of her fourteenth child.

Day 3. Agra - Gwalior

Agra - Gwalior
  • After the breakfast, leave Agra for Gwalior by surface, on arrival check-in at Hotel.
  • In the afternoon, leave for the half day visit of Gwalior the emblematic city of the proud Rajputs warriors. The fort, a majestic structure, set on a sandstone base dominates the city. Theater of many historical events of India, battles and jauhars (terrible customs of the additions obliging the women of the warriors to immolate themselves "voluntarily" on the funeral pyre of their husband). Inside the fort, we can admire some wonders of medieval architecture. The Gujari Mahal (15th century), monument erected by the Raja Mansingh Tomar in memory of its intrepid wife, Queen Mriganayani. The temple of Sas Bahu and finally the palace Jai Vilas, built in 1874 , by Maharadja Jayajirao Scindia. Now transformed into a museum. Designed by Sir Michael Filose, famous architect of his time, it is a remarkable example of European architecture: Tuscan ground floor, Italian first floor, Corinthian third floor. At the entrance to the vast Durbar Hall, beautifully furnished with magnificent chandeliers, gilded furniture and a huge carpet, do not miss the enormous golden leaves, the heaviest in the world. Finally the tomb of Tansen, the most famous musician of the court of the Mughal Emperor, Akbar. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 4. Gwalior-Sonagiri-Datia-Orchha

Gwalior - Orchha
  • After breakfast, drive to Orchha, with visits to Sonagiri and Datia. Upon arrival in Gwalior, check-in at the hotel. In the afternoon, visit Orchha. The Raja Rudra Pratap (1501-31) chose, for its capital, an easy site to defend. Located on an islet, in a meander of the Betwa River, it overlooks the surrounding wooded countryside. Formerly the capital of an independent state, Orchha is decorated with three palaces: the Raj Mahal, the Rai Parveen Mahal and the Jahangir Mahal. Built by successive Maharajas in a unique style, they form an architectural complex as remarkable as the palaces of Udaipur. The temples of Ram Raja and Chaturbhuj are also among the tourist attractions of the city. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 5. Orchaa - Khajuaraho

Orchha - Khajuraho
  • After the breakfast, leave Orchha for Khajuraho, on arrival check-in at Hotel.
  • In the afternoon, visit Khajuraho. Founded in the 9th century by the Chandella dynasty, temples hidden by the jungle have escaped destruction. Rediscovered in 1840, their original architecture and amazing sculptures make it a unique artistic creation. Of the 85 temples originally built, 22 still exist, scattered over an area of 6 square kilometers. Influenced by Buddhism and Jainism, they derive their fame from the many erotic sculptures of Tantric doctrines. But these scenes, often inspired by the Kama Sutra, represent only 5% of the total surface carved. Scenes from everyday life, others from battles, share the bas-reliefs. Late afternoon, visit the temples of the western group, the most important, particularly the temple of Kandariya Mahadeva, 30 meters high. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 6. Khajuraho - Bhopal

Khajuraho - Bhopal
  • After the breakfast, leave for Bhopal. On arrival check-in at Hotel. Rest of the day at leisure. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 7. Excursion to Sanchi and Udaigiri

  • In the dynasty of the emperors Maurya (326 to 180 BC), Ashoka occupies a special place. Converted to Buddhism, patron of the arts, he owes the remarkable Sanchi Stupa, a 36-meter-diameter mausoleum that attracts almost as many visitors as the Taj Mahal to Agra. The pilgrims walk round it in a clockwise direction. The pillar of Ashoka, strongly influenced by Greek culture, has admirable proportions. Udayagiri, a Hindu archaeological site dating back to the Gupta emperor dynasty (320-550 AD), consists of a group of caves in which one can admire the splendid sculptures of the god Vishnu.

Day 8. Bhopal - Indore via Ujjain

Bhopal - Indore
  • After the breakfast we drive to Ujjain, one of the holy cities of Hinduism as Varanasi. Every twelve years (the last time in 2016), a sacred festival Kumbhamela, takes place there. Located on the river Khipra, a tributary of the Ganges, the city is dedicated to Shiva. After the visit, we continue our journey to Indore. Upon arrival, check-in at the hotel. Visit the Kanch Mandir (temple jain), called the temple of glass, due to its interior walls, decorated with glass panels and mosaics. If we have time, visit the palace of Lal Baag extravagant Italian paintings, or the museum. Overnight at hotel.

Day 9. Indore - Dhar

  • After the breakfast, drive to Dhar where we arrive in the morning. Check-in at the hotel. Before the partition of 1947, India had almost 562 princely states! The state of Dhar, of average importance, served for a long time as capital of the Holkar dynasty. The fort, built of red sandstone from the hill on which it stands, witnessed epic battles, especially during the revolt against the British in 1857.

Day 10. Dhar - Maheshwar

  • After the breakfast, drive to Maheshwar. Located on the banks of the Narmada River, the Holkar dynasty made it its capital. In this part of India, many monuments date from this dynasty. Erected along the rivers, more than a hundred temples testify to a rich historical past.

Day 11. Excursion to Omkareshwar

  • Day dedicated to the visit of the holy city of Omkareshwar, where a beautiful temple dedicated to the god Shiva is built. The Mamaleshwar Setu Bridge provides access to the sanctuary. The temple of Varhdheshwar, another fine artistic example, also deserves our visit. Boat trip on the river Narmada. Return to Maheshwar at the end of the day.

Day 12. Maheshwar - Aurangabad

Maheshwar - Aurangabad
  • After the breakfast, leave Maheshwar for Aurangabad by surface, on arrival check-in at Hotel. Rest of the day at leisure. Overnight at hotel..

Day 13. Excursion to Ellora Caves

  • After the breakfast, we leave for the famous Ellora caves, 29 km northwest of Aurangabad. These caves relate the historical evolution of Buddhism (caves 1 to 12) and Jainism (caves 30 to 34).

Day 14. Excursion to Ajanta Caves

  • The day is devoted to the Ajanta caves, 109 km from Aurangabad. Discovered by the British troops in 1819. 24 monasteries and 5 temples, some of which are more than 2000 years old. The frescoes describe, in a very lively way, the life of Buddha. Return to Aurangabad.

Day 15. flight Aurangabad - Mumbai

Aurangabad - Mumbai
  • After the breakfast, leave for the airport to catch flight of Mumbai. On arrival, we would be received by driver and transfer to the Hotel.
  • Thereafter, we begin the tour with a visit to the Gateway of India, one of Mumbai’s most famous landmarks. This gate-like structure was built by the British to commemorate the visit of King George-V and Queen Mary for the Delhi Durbar meaning "Court of Delhi" in 1911. We also visit the Prince of Wales Museum that was used as a hospital during World War I, and now housing a priceless collection of artefacts that is considered to be one of the best in India. We drive past the University of Bombay, the High Court and Crawford Market on our way to the Hanging Gardens located on the crest of Malabar Hill. The gardens are a welcome oasis of green in a city built almost entirely of concrete. Next, we drive through the residential area of Mumbai’s rich and famous on Malabar Hill. We also visit the most interesting city laundry called Dhobi Ghat, the Gandhi Memorial Museum and Victoria Terminus.

Day 16. Departure

  • Check-out from the hotel and transfer to the international airport or any point of convenience for onward journey to respective countries.

Individual price per person

1-23-56-89-12
1920$1710$1800$1600$

Included

  • Accommodation for 15 nights in a double room in the hotels mentioned or equivalent on breakfast basis
  • All ground transportation included in the program using private air-conditioned vehicle with English speaking driver
  • Boat Ride in Omkareshwar
  • Entrance fees to the park and monuments as described in the program
  • Local English-speaking guides as described in the program (Till 05 Pax)
  • Professional English-speaking tour leader throughout India (From 06 Pax onwards)
  • Govt. Taxes

Not included

  • International flights tickets
  • Domestic flight tickets for the Sector: (Aurangabad - Mumbai)
  • Travel insurance
  • Lunches and dinners during the trip
  • Miscellaneous Expenses - drinks, souvenir, personal expenses etc.
  • Tips for driver and other local staff
  • Charges for Camera in the monuments and Parks
  • The cancellation and baggage insurance, assistance and repatriation
  • Indian Visa
  • All services not mentioned in "Inclusion"

16 days from 1600$ per person. International flight not included.

Need advice?

Contact us via

+91 11 2561 3968
active.india.holidays
info@activeindiatours.com

Departures

29 mai 2015 3 available
8 juin 2015 6 available
25 juin 2015 5 available
20 juillet 2015 8 available
17 août 2015 10 available
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