Caves & Temples Architectural Wonder of India
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Product Code : AGORA354
Caves & Temples Architectural Wonder of India Private tour will begin in Mumbai the commercial capital of India a bustling city with Bollywood industry. Explore magnificent monuments of colonial era and Historical Elephanta cave. Thereafter fly to Aurangabad gateway to Ajanta & Ellora Caves. Next fly to Hyderabad an imperial city with historic Golconda Fort & Salarjung Museum. Then proceed to Bidar, Gulbarga and Bijapur ruled by Muslims dynasties having many landmark admire their art. Further drive to Badami & Hampi to see centuries old UNESCO World Heritage Monuments expanded in complexes. Fly back to Mumbai from Hubli for onward flight to your home.
Day 1: Arrive Mumbai
On arrival at Mumbai airport assistance & transfer to hotel. (Standard hotel check in time 12pm, early check in subject to room availability).
Rest time free to relax and personal activities. Overnight at hotel.
Day 2: Mumbai
Breakfast at hotel, morning excursion to Elephanta Caves (Monday closed). A flight of 100 steps takes you to the top of the hill where caves are located. Afterwards cruise back to Gateway of India.
Later city of Mumbai, drive pass Marine Drive one of the most beautifully laid boulevards in the city, CST & Parliament House. Visit The Gateway of India an arch-monument built to commemorate the landing of King-Emperor George V & Queen-Empress Mary in December 1911 at Apollo Bunder. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalay, a grade I Heritage Building of the city counted amongst one of the most prominent museums of India. The complex exhibits a myriad collection of ancient artefacts, artwork and sculptors of the country which give a unique insight into our past. Kala Ghoda Art Precinct area that stretches from the Regal Circle at the Southern end of Mahatma Gandhi Road, up to the Mumbai University at the northern end, flanked by the Oval Maidan to the west and the Lion Gate to the east. Its curious name, meaning Black Horse, can be traced back to a bronze equestrian statue of King Edward VII that existed there during the colonial era. Dhobhi Ghat to see the city famous open air laundry in action. Overnight at hotel.
Day 3: Mumbai - Aurangabad (flight)
Breakfast at hotel, transfer to airport to board flight for Aurangabad.
On arrival transfer to hotel. Later visit Bibi ka Maqbara built in 1678 is a sons loving tribute to his mother, Panchakki which discharged water on the wheel to power the flourmill and grind grain for the pilgrims & Aurangabad Caves artificial caves that were dug out of soft rock during the 6th & 7th century. Overnight at hotel.
Day 4: Aurangabad - Ajanja - Aurangabad (210kms round)
Breakfast at hotel, excursion to Ajanta (Monday closed). The Buddhist Caves of Ajanta were discovered by the British officers in 1819 while hunting tiger. Ajanta Caves were first mentioned in the writings of the Chinese pilgrim Hiuen Tsang who visited India between AD 629 and 645. The Caves at Ajanta are older than those at Ellora which date from about 200 BC to 650 AD. Thirty beautiful Buddhist Caves with mesmerizing sculptures and paintings depicting Buddha`s life as well the lives of the Buddha in his previous births. Five of these Caves are Chaityas (Place of worship) while the other twenty-five are Viharas (monasteries). Ajanta Caves are divided in two categories based on two schools of Buddhist thought - Hinayana Caves and Mahayana Caves.
Drive back to Aurangabad for overnight stay. Overnight at hotel.
Day 5: Aurangabad - Hyderabad (flight)
Breakfast at hotel. Excursion to visit the Ellora Caves (Tuesday closed), a UNESCO World Heritage Site from about 200 BC. to 650 AD. There are 34 monasteries and temples at Ellora, belonging to the three different religions Buddhism, Hinduism & Jainism. Grishneshwar Temple one of the 12 Jyotirlinga shrines mentioned in the Shiva Purana.
On way back visit Daulatabad Fort one of the most powerful forts of the medieval Deccan. Later transfer to airport to board flight for Hyderabad.
On arrival transfer to hotel, check in at hotel. Overnight at hotel.
Day 6: Hyderabad
Breakfast at hotel, city tour of Hyderabad, explore 400 year old metropolitan city teeming with bustling bazaars & Muslim monuments.
Visit Golconda Fort renowned for its diamond mines that have given the world famous Kohinoor and Darya-i-noor diamonds. The ancient fort complex of Golconda will charm you with its history, tinged with legends and anecdotes. Qutub Shahi Tombs a group of small and big mosques and tombs built by the rulers of the Qutub Shah dynasty on a raised platform and have a dome-shaped structure. Charminar built in 1591 by Quli Qutub Shah is an identifying landmark of Hyderabad. It is also famous for the market that sprawls around it called Laad Bazaar. Salar Jung Museum (Friday closed) a treat for tourists famous for being the third largest museum in the country, having the largest antiques collection dating back to the first century. Chowmahalla Palace (Friday closed) the seat of the Asaf Jahi dynasty where the Nizams entertained their official guests and royal visitors. Birla Mandir made of pure white Rajasthani marble the temple beauty leaves you awestruck.
Also drive pass Hussain Sagar Lake one of the largest man made lake renowned for its monolith of Lord Buddha placed right at the center of the lake. Overnight at hotel.
Day 7: Hyderabad - Gulbarga (260kms)
Breakfast at hotel, drive to Gulbarga via Bidar. In Bidar visit Bidar Fort one of the magnificent forts rebuilt by Sultan Ahmed Shah Wali of Bahmani Dynasty, when his capital was moved from Gulbarga to Bidar in 1430 AD along with a number of Islamic monuments. The Bidar fort is a specimen of the Persian architecture, surrounded by three miles long walls and comprising 37 bastions, triple moat & seven gates. Bahmani Tombs the 12 tombs of Bahmani Sultans are huge structures with beautiful arches, niches and lofty domes. The Rangeen Mahal built in the mid-16th century, the tile work and the granite with mother-of-pearl inlay work are the exclusive features of the citadel walls. Narasimha Jhira a wonderful cave temple situated on the outskirts of Bidar town dedicated to the lion god Narasimha, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The Temple is known for its natural beauty and is considered to be very sacred.
Arrive Gulbarga check in at hotel. Overnight at hotel.
Day 8: Gulbarga - Bijapur (170kms)
Breakfast at hotel. Visit the Gulburga Fort a leftover of the Brahmani era, originally built by Raja Gulchand. Later 15 towers were added by Allah-ud-din Bahmani in the existing structure of the fort. The fort contained 15 towers and 26 guns of which one was 8 metres long. Jama Masjid a 14th-century mosque in Fort complex which marks the establishment of the Bahmani Kingdom in the Deccan. Jama Masjid interior are similar to the Great Cathedral-Mosque of Cordoba in Spain. Sharana Basaveshwara Temple built in the twelfth century, this temple is a marvel of Hindu stone carvings. The pillars, walls and towers of the site are covered with intricate carvings of Hindu gods, goddesses, demigods, damsels, animals and events from local lore. Tomb of Sufi mystic Khwaja Bande Nawaz a unique confluence of religious diversity. The Persian, Indo-Saracenic and Arabic influences on the building are evident from the dome and towers that surround the tomb.
Later drive to Bijapur, check in at hotel. Overnight at hotel.
Day 9: Bijapur - Badami (120kms)
Breakfast at hotel, city tour of Bijapur.
Visit The Bijapur Fort which has a plethora of historical monuments of architectural importance built during the rule of Adil Shahi dynasty. Prominent attraction includes Asar Mahal built in 1640 used to serve as a Hall of Justice, Bara Kaman the unfinished mausoleum of Ali Adil Shah II, Gol Gumbaz the second largest dome in the world, Jama Masjid noted for graceful twin minarets, Malik-e-Maidan the biggest cannon ever made in the history of world & Mehtar Mahal built in 1620 the most elegant structure within the fort & the Ibrahims Rouza built in the 15th century.
Later drive to Badami check in at hotel. Overnight at hotel.
Day 10: Badami
Breakfast at hotel. Excursion to visit Aihole a historical site & home to over 125 beautiful Chalukyan temples and monuments from 6th to 12th century. Few important monuments in Aihole include the Durga Temple, Lad Khan Temple, Ravanaphadi Cave Temples, Huchimalli Temple, Meganagudi Group Temple, Gowda Temple and the Huchappayyagudi Temple amongst numerous others. And Pattadakal a treasure trove of Hindu and Jain temples complex built-in 7th and 8th century CE. The various temples that one must visit are Virupaksha Temple, Jain temple, Papanatha temple, Galaganath temple, and Sangameshwara temple.
Also visit Badami Cave consist of four separate temples, each holding intricate carvings & depictions. Badami Fort perched on the top of a cliff accompanied by two Shivalaya complexes dating back to the 5th century & watchtower atop hill. And Agastya Lake surrounded by red sandstone temples. Overnight at hotel.
Day 11: Badami - Gadag - Lakkundi - Hampi (180kms)
Breakfast at hotel, drive to Hampi.
Enroute visit Gadag a place of historical importance, famous for its ancient Hindu & Jain temples and medieval architecture. Constructed between the 10th to 12th CE by the Kings of Chalukyan Empire, the Trikuteshewara Temple is famous for its style of architecture and the temple has three Shivalingas carved out of a single rock. And Lakkundi a heaven of ancient temples ruins and step wells. It is a place of antiquarian interest with more than 50 ancient temples scattered all over the village, 101 stepped wells built during the rule of the Chalukyas, Seuna, Kalachuris and Hoysalas. These temples are most famous for their ornate and elaborate furnishing.
Arrive Hampi check in & overnight at hotel.
Day 12: Hampi
Breakfast at hotel, city tour of Hampi an UNESCO world Heritage sites dotted with numerous ruined temple complexes from the Vijayanagara Empire on the bank of the River Tungabhadra. Although the city was destroyed by marauding Moghul invaders in the 16th century, much of it remains today. The vast site of monuments and ruins are a mute witness to an ear of glories, triumphs and tragedies. The ruins of Hampi are so majestic and imposing that they leave the visitor totally dumbfounded, awestruck and humbled.
Visit Hazara Rama Temple, Kings Balance, Mahanavami Dibba, Royal enclosures, Statue of Ugra Narasimha Temple, Virupaksha Temple, Vithala Temple Complex, Lotus Mahal & ASI Museum. Overnight at hotel.
Day 13: Hampi - Hubli (180kms)/ Mumbai
Breakfast at hotel. Drive to Hubli airport to board flight for Mumbai.
From Mumbai board connecting flight for onward destination.
Assistance on arrival at airport.
12 Nights' accommodation in selected price category hotels.
Daily breakfast at hotels. Any other meal (lunch/ dinner) if clearly mentioned in the itinerary).
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.
Hotels used or similar for 12 night accommodation
Mumbai x 2 nights
3* - Hotel Suba Palace/ BW Hotel Sahil
4* - Sun-N-Sand Hotel/ Fariyas Hotel
5* - Trident Hotel/ ITC Grand Central
Aurangabad x 2 nights
3* - 7 Apple Hotel Aurangabad / Ginger Aurangabad
4* - Sun-N-Sand Hotel/ Fariyas Hotel
5* - WelcomHotel Rama International / Lemon Tree Hotel
Hyderabad x 2 nights
3* - Aditya Park/ Lemon Tree Hotel
4* - Lemon Tree Hotel/ Fortune Park Vallabha
5* - ITC Kakatiya, a Luxury Collection/ Trident Hotel
Gulbarga x 1 nights
3*/4*/5* - Hotel Heritage Inn
Bijapur x 1 nights
3*/4*/5* - Sun Hotel/ Hotel Mayura Adilshahi
Badami x 2 nights
3* - Krishna Heritage/ The Heritage Resort
4*/5* - Badami Court/ Krishna Heritage
Hospet/ Hampi x 2 nights
3* - Krishna Palace/ Kishkinda Heritage Resort
4* - Heritage Resort/ Malligi Hotel
5* - Hyatt Place/ Hampi Boulders
Mumbai - Aurangabad - Hyderabad & Hubli - Mumbai flight fare approx INR 15, 500 per person in economy class.
Camera charges at monuments.
Meals other than mentioned in day plan.
Expenses of personal nature like liquor, laundry, tips, telephone, fax, internet etc.
Gratuities & optional activities.
Anything not mentioned in inclusions.