Three Jyitirlinga & Caves in Maharashtra
Package price On Request
Product Code : AGORA327
On this Jyitirlinga & Caves in Maharashtra tour you will visit three active Jyotirlinga Temples a devotional representation of the Supreme God Shiva. Jyoti means 'radiance' and lingam the 'Image or Sign' of Shiva; Jyotir Lingam thus means the Radiant Sign of The Almighty Shiva. The tour will begin in Mumbai the financial capital of India. You will explore the few famous caves which are UNESCO world heritage sites viz The Elephanta, Ajanta Caves, Ellora Caves, Karla & Bhaja Caves. Accommodation with breakfast, private AC vehicle, guided sightseeing & entrances to monuments are well included in the package tour.
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 - Nashik (170kms)
Breakfast at hotel. Drive to Nashik check in at hotel. Excursion to visit Trimbakeshwar Jyotirlingas Temple, constructed by the third Peshwa Balaji Bajirao (1740-1760) at the site of an even older temple at the foot of the Brahmagiri Hill, flanked by the hills of Nilagiri and Kalagiri. Made entirely of black stone, it is a beautiful pilgrimage center for Hindus, dedicated to Lord Shiva. River Godavari originates from Kusavarta, a pond within the temple premises. While you are here, you can also explore the impressive Brahmagiri Fort, and Gangadwar, located in close vicinity to the temple. Overnight at hotel.
Day 4: Nashik - Aurangabad (170kms)
Breakfast at hotel. Drive to Aurangabad via visiting Shirdi known as home of revered spiritual leader Sai Baba. The Samadhi Mandir shrine has an ornate marble statue of Sai Baba, alongside his tomb. Close by are Dwarkamai, a mosque where Sai Baba once lived, and tree-lined Lendi Garden.
Arrive Aurangabad check in at 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 5: 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. After sightseeing drive back to Aurangabad. Overnight at hotel.
Day 6: Aurangabad, Ellora & Daulatabad Fort
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. Rest time free and easy to relax. Overnight at hotel.
Day 7: Aurangabad - Pune (240kms)
Breakfast at hotel. Drive to Pune via visiting Shani Temple & Shani Shingnapur Village. Lord Shanidev the personification of the planet Saturn is worshipped with utmost reverence and devotion. There is only a simple platform on which stands the swayambhu idol, in black stone. One of the unique aspects of the village Shiganapur is that houses here have no door frames or locks on them for safety. They are in fact not needed. The people here believe that it is the benediction of the god that no crime ever occurs in this village where homes have no front doors, shops are always left unlocked and locals never feel unsafe where villagers eschew security because of their undying faith in Lord Shani who is considered the guardian of the village.
Arrive Pune check in at hotel. Later visit Shaniwarwada Fort, Aga Khan Palace & The Pataleshwar Cave Temple. Overnight at hotel.
Day 8: Pune - Bhimashankar - Lonavala (220kms)
Breakfast at hotel. Drive to Lonavala via visiting Bhimashankar Temple one of 12 Jyotirlinga located away from the tumult of city in the laps of Sahyadri Hills. The modest yet graceful temple dates back to the 13th century and is ornated with Buddha cravings as well. The holy shrine of Bhimashankar is a work of Naga style of architecture. The temple brilliantly showcases the intelligent work of Vishwakarma sculptors of ancient times. Situated atop the hills, the place is perfect for all nature lovers and trekkers. The forest nearby is said to be a treasure of medicinal herbs. The site is highly picturesque and gives mind-boggling views of the nearby locations.
Continue drive to Lonavala check in at hotel. Overnight at hotel.
Day 9: Lonavala
Breakfast at hotel. Visit The Karla Caves and the Bhaja Caves the ancient Buddhist shrines in Lonavala. These caves ware carved from solid granite rocks around 160 BC. It has an Ashoka stambh at the entrance. The caves have rooms for the monks who resided here a prayer hall and a huge stupa. It also has the temple of Ek Veera the goddess of the Koli flock who are the original residents of Mumbai. They feature massive pillars and intricate relief sculptures. South of the Bhaja Caves sits the imposing Lohagad Fort with its 4 gates. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj used this edifice to keep all his treasures safe. This mighty structure of the Maratha empire is interlinked with the Visapur Fort and is one of the best hill fortresses of the region. West of here is Bhushi Dam, where water overflows onto a set of steps during rainy season. Overnight at hotel.
Day 10: Lonavala - Mumbai (85kms)
Breakfast at hotel. Drive to Mumbai check in at hotel. Optional shopping tour in Mumbai with your driver. You can visit famous malls & markets in Dadar, Fort & Colaba Causeway. Overnight at hotel.
Day 11: Mumbai - Departure
Breakfast at hotel. As per flight schedule departure transfer to airport.
Assistance on arrival at airport.
10 Nights' accommodation in selected price category hotels.
Daily breakfast at hotels.
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 10 nights accommodation
Mumbai x 3 nights
3* - Hotel Suba Palace/ BW Hotel Sahil
4* - Sun-N-Sand Hotel/ Fariyas Hotel
5* - Trident Hotel/ ITC Grand Central
Nashik x 1 nights
3* - Lily Sarovar Portico/ Holiday Inn Express
4* - Express Inn/ Hi 5 Hotel
5* - The Gateway Hotel Ambad/ The Source at Sula
Aurangabad x 3 nights
3* - Keys Hotel The Aures/ Aurangabad Gymkhana Club
4* - Ambassador Ajanta / VITS Hotel
5* - WelcomHotel Rama International / Lemon Tree Hotel
Pune x 1 night
3* - Lemon Tree Hotel Hinjewadi/ Royal Orchid Golden Suites
4* - Lemon Tree Premier City Center/ The Pride
5* - JW Marriott Hotel Pune/ Hyatt Regency Pune & Residences
Lonavala x 2 nights
3* - Chandralok Hotel/ Viola Beacon Resort
4* - Countryside - Resort by Meritas/ Citrus Hotel
5* - Fariyas Resort Lonavala/ The Machan
Any flight tickets.
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.