Vadodara to Hyderabad Drive to Explore the Man-made Wonder of India
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Vadodara to Hyderabad Drive to Explore the Man-made Wonder of India Tour will begin with pick up from Vadodara airport. Visit grand palaces and museum in Vadodara, then head to visit the UNESCO WHS of Pavagadh-Champaner and worlds tallest Statue of Unity in the backdrop of Sardar Sarovar Dam. Next drive to Nashik a spiritual city with jyorirlinga temple. Continue to Aurangabad and explore the caves of Ajanta & Ellora two unique UNESCO WHS dating from 2nd century BC to and 11th century AD. Visit the grand Aundha Nagnath temple & Sikh gurudwara at Nanded. On the way to Hyderabad visit magnificent Bidar Fort & tombs of Bahmani Sultans. End the tour with visit to Golconda Fort & 400 year-old metropolitan city Hyderabad teeming with bustling-bazaars and Muslim monuments.
Day 1: Arrive Vadodara
On arrival at Vadodara airport assistance and transfer to hotel check in.
Later visit Lakshmi Vilas Palace, reputed to have been the largest private dwelling built till date and four times the size of Buckingham Palace. At the time of construction, it boasted the most modern amenities such as elevators and the interior is reminiscent of a large European country house. It remains the residence of the royal family, who continue to be held in high esteem by the residents of Baroda. The Palace compound is of over 500 acres and houses a number of buildings, particularly the LVP Banquets & Conventions, Moti Bagh Palace and the Maharaja Fateh Singh Museum building. Maharaja Fatehsingh Museum, originally built as a school for the Maharaja's children, now houses a wide range of antiques and art pieces that once belonged to the Maratha royal family. The exhibits range from portraits of the royal family and depictions of Hindu mythologies to flawless marble and bronze sculptures. Kirti Mandir, Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III built this monument to celebrate the fifty years of his mighty administration by commemorating the cremation of his family members. The 33 m high central arch is also ornamented with the sun, the moon and the earth and the rooms behold the sculptures and photographs of the members of the Gaekwad family.
Day 2: Vadodara - Sardar Sarovar Dam, Statue of Unity (90kms/ 2hrs approx)
Breakfast at hotel drive to Statue of Unity via visiting UNESCO World Heritage Site of Pavagadh - Champaner. The site encompasses forts, temples, mosques, mausoleum complexes, pavilions, wells and tanks and Champaner’s Jami Masjid, built around 1523, is considered the high water mark of 16th century Indo-Saracenic architecture. There are three groups of temples here. The first one is the Bhavanaderi temple also known as Navlakha Temple. The second group is the temples of Suparshvanath and Chandraprabhu. The third group of temples is located on the south-east point of Pavagadh Hill next to the Dudhia tank. It is said the temples were built in or around the 14th/15th centuries in white stone. However, they could be even more ancient. Unfortunately, Mahmud Begada laid waste the temples but devotees undertook repairs in 1880.
Continue drive to Sardar Sarovar Dam, Statue of Unity, check in at Tent City or hotel near Statue of Unity.
Later visit Sardar Sarovar Dam, Selfie Point and Valley of Flowers. Evening Laser Show - A Light and Sound show using laser technology projected on the Statue of Unity takes place every evening except Monday. The colourful laser lighting system is accompanied by an excellent narration of the history and life of Sardar Patel, his contribution to the Independence Movement and the unification of India as one nation. Dinner at the Dining Area along with Live Music. Overnight in Tent/ Hotel.
Day 3: Sardar Sarovar Dam, Statue of Unity - Nashik (310kms/ 6hrs)
Breakfast at hotel. Visit Statue of Unity world’s tallest statue with a height of 182 metres. A huge exhibition hall covering an area of 4,647 square metres has been set up in the pedestal of the Statue of Unity. The hall showcases the life of Sardar Patel, his contributions to the Freedom Movement against British rule and his role in the merger of princely states. The high-speed elevators will take you to a height of about 400 feet through the core of the statue where you can get panoramic view of the surroundings.
After sightseeing drive to Nashik check in at hotel. Rest time free and easy to relax. Overnigtht at hotel.
Day 4: Nashik
Breakfast at hotel, excursion to visit Trimbakeshwar Temple one of the 12 jyotirlingas located on the outskirts of Nashik. The ancient Trimbakeshwar Temple was 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. The focal point of the shivling here is the fact that it is a three-faced linga embodying Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva. The linga is adorned by a crown made of diamonds, emeralds and other precious stones. The crown is displayed every Monday for an hour in the evening. Within the temple, you will also come across images of other gods and goddesses such as Goddess Gangadevi, Lord Jaleswara, Lord Rameswara, Lord Gautameswara, Lord Kedarnath, Lord Rama, Lord Krishna, Lord Parasurama and Lord Lakshmi Narayana. It is located near the town of Trimbak, from where River Godavari originates. Kusavarta, a pond within the temple premises, represents the origin point of the holy river. While you’re here, you can also explore the impressive Brahmagiri Fort, and Gangadwar, located in close vicinity to the temple.
Later city tour known for its links to the “Ramayana” epic poem. On the Godavari River is Panchavati, a temple complex. Nearby, Lord Rama was thought to have bathed at Ram Kund water tank. Shri Kalaram Sansthan Mandir is an ancient shrine to Rama, while Rama and Sita are said to have worshipped at Sita Gufaa caves. Sundarnarayan Temple marks the site of a legend of Lord Vishnu. Tapovan is a pilgrimage site next to the Nasardi River, close to where Lord Rama purportedly lived. Colorful statues of Hindu gods fill ISKCON, a modern temple for the worship of Lord Krishna. The temple complex Muktidham, in white sculpted marble, has painted scenes depicting the lives of Krishna and several chapters of the "Bhagavad Gita," an ancient Hindu scripture. On a small hill to the southwest are the 24 Pandavleni Caves, dating back millennia. They are marked by Buddha carvings, rare inscriptions and cisterns. Vineyards dot the land west of the city. Overnight at hotel.
Day 5: Nashik – Shirdi - Aurangabad (170kms/ 4hrs)
Breakfast at hotel drive to Aurangabad via visiting Shirdi. Shirdi is known as home of revered spiritual leader Sai Baba, and as a major pilgrimage site. Devotees gather daily at the Sai Baba Temple complex to honor his legacy. Here 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.
Continue drive to Aurangabad check in at hotel.
Later city tour of Aurangabad visit Bibi ka Maqbara Built by Azam Shah in 1678, the Bibi ka Maqbara is a son's loving tribute to his mother. Due to its similar design standing spectacularly on the lawns of the landscaped garden with ponds, fountains and water channels, the white marbled monument is popularly known as the mini Taj of the Deccan. Overnight at hotel.
Day 6: Aurangabad – Ajanta (105kms/ 2hrs approx one way)
Breakfast at hotel. Full day excursion to Ajanta Caves (Monday closed). The Buddhist Caves of Ajanta were discovered by the British officers in 1819 while tiger hunting. Ajanta Caves were first mentioned in the writings of the Chinese pilgrim Hiuen Tsang who visited India between A.D 629 and 645. The Caves at Ajanta are older than those at Ellora, which date from about 200 B.C to 650 A.D. 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.
Evening back to hotel in Aurangabad for overnight stay.
Day 7: Aurangabad – Ellora (36kms/ 1hrs approx one way)
Breakfast at hotel, excursion to visit Grishneshwar jyotirlinga & Ellora Caves. Visit Grishneshwar Temple one of the 12 Jyotirlinga shrines mentioned in the Shiva Purana. The temple is an important pilgrimage site in Shaivism tradition of Hinduism, which considers it as the last or twelfth Jyotirlinga. Made of red and black stones boasting intricate carvings and patterns the temple was constructed by Queen Ahilyabai Holkar of Indore, in the Maratha style of architecture.
Ellora Caves a UNESCO World heritage sites (Tuesday closed). It houses 34 monasteries and temples with some exclusive uninterrupted sequence of monuments that date back from 600 to 1000 AD. The temples of Ellora are dedicated to Brahmanism, Jainism, and Buddhism. It also has some of the excellent stonework depicting the legends related to Lord Shiva.
On way back visit Daulatabad Fort one of the most powerful forts of the medieval Deccan. The defense system that made Daulatabad virtually impregnable comprises fortifications with double and even triple rows of massive walls.
Rest time free and easy to relax and shopping in the local market. Overnight at hotel.
Day 8: Aurangabad – Aundha Nagnath - Nanded (265kms/ 5hrs approx)
Breakfast at hotel drive to Nanded via visiting Aundha Nagnath (Nageshwaram Temple), supposed to be the eighth of the twelve jyotirlingas and an important place of pilgrimage. The present temple is said to have been built by the Seuna (Yadava) dynasty in 13th century. The first temple is said to be from time of the Mahabharata and is believed to have been constructed by Yudhishthira, eldest of the Pandavas, when they were expelled for 14 years from Hastinapur. It has been stated that this temple building was of seven-storyed before it was sacked by Aurangzeb.
Continue drive to Nanded check in at gurudwara sarai/ hotel. Later visit Hazur Sahib one of the five takhts in Sikhism located on the banks of the River Godavari in Nanded. The gurudwara within the complex is known as Sach-Khand. The structure is built at the place where Guru Gobind Singh Ji left his earthly life. The inner room of the gurdwara is called the Angitha Sahib and is built over the place where Guru Gobind Singh was cremated in 1708. The gurdwara was built between 1832 and 1837 by order of Maharaja Ranjit Singh Ji. Overnight at gurudwara sarai/ hotel.
Day 9: Nanded - Bidar - Hyderabad (305kms/ 6hrs approx)
Breakfast at hotel, drive to Hyderabad via Bidar. Visit Bidar Fort one of the magnificent forts built by Sultan Ahmed Shah Wali of Bahmani Dynasty, in 1430 along with a number of Islamic monuments. The Bidar fort is a specimen of the Persian architectural style having 1.21 km in length and 0.80 km in breadth, with a quadrangular layout. Surrounded by three miles long walls and comprising 37 bastions, it is surrounded by a triple moat. There are seven gates in the fort.
The 12 tombs of Bahmani Sultans are huge structures with beautiful arches, niches and lofty domes. Among all the tombs of Ahmad Shah Wali is most popular. Ahmad Shah Wali the 9th Bahmani Sultan died in 1436 and his son Alauddin built a majestic tomb for his father. The walls are about twelve feet thick supporting a huge dome on the top. The Rangeen Mahal believed to be built in the mid-16th century by Mahmud Shah Bahamani. The tile work and the granite with mother-of-pearl inlay work are the exclusive features of the citadel walls. The external hall has intricately engraved wooden pillars. The palace has a six-bay hall with remarkable carved wood columns forming a rectangular foyer. The columns too enclose convoluted capitals and intricately engraved brackets, which shows the skills of the artisans of those days.
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. This ancient temple is excavated in a 300 m tunnel under the Manichoola hill range. Within the cave, a stream of water is said to be flowing continuously since the foundation of the temple. Devotees have to walk waist deep in the water for 300 m for the darshan of Lord Narasimha. Guru Nanak Jhira one of holiest places for Sikhs. Legend has it that Guru Nanak visited the palace while the land was in the grip of a famine. The Guru performed a miracle at the request of the local people and a spring of water from the laterite rock mountain burst out. Till this day crystal clear water flows from the laterite trap. The belief is that drinking of these water cures many ailments.
Continue drive to Hyderabad check in at hotel. Overnight at hotel.
Day 10: Hyderabad
Breakfast at hotel, explore this wondrous capital, a 400 year-old metropolitan city teeming with bustling-bazaars and Muslim monuments. Visit Golconda Fort renowned for its diamond mines that have given the world the famous Kohinoor and Darya-i-noor diamonds. The ancient fort complex of Golconda will charm you with its history, tinged with legends and anecdotes. Qutubshahi Tombs the tombs differ in size but all are comparable to each other in architectural grandeur and beauty. Charminar built in 1591 by Mohammed Quli Qutub Shah, the fifth sultan of the Qutub Shahi dynasty. The Mecca Mosque the biggest mosque in Hyderabad and lies 100 yards south-west of Charminar. The hall is 67 metres by 54 metres and 23 metres high. The roof is supported by 15 arches, five on each of the three sides. The western side is blocked by a high hall to provide the Mehrab.
Chowmohalla Palace (Friday closed) once regarded as the center of Hyderabad, the magnificent Chowmahalla Palace was the seat of the Asaf Jahi dynasty where the Nizams entertained their official guests and royal visitors. Purani Haveli (Friday closed) located to the the south of Salar Jung Museum, built by the second Nizam for his son in 1777. The sixth Nizam Mir Mehboob Ali Khan spent most of his life here. He built a 240-foot long wooden chamber with some 150 walk-in-cupboards, arguably the world’s largest wardrobe. Salarjung 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. Established in 1951, the museum was under Mir Yousuf Ali Khan, better known as Salar Jung.
Birla Mandir dedicated to the supreme incarnation of Lord Vishnu, Lord Venkateshwara. This temple’s marvellous beauty leaves you awestruck as does the legend associated with the God. A blend of various types of architectural styles, this temple is made of 200 tonnes of pure white Rajasthani marble. Hussain Sagar Lake one of the largest man made lake situated at the confluence of Hyderabad, Secunderabad and Begumpet. It is a sprawling artificial lake that holds water perennially. Its uniqueness lies in the fact that it connects the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad.
Rest time free and easy to relax. Overnight at hotel.
Day 11: Hyderabad – Departure (flight)
Breakfast at hotel. As per flight schedule transfer to airport to board flight for onward destination.
Private airport transfer with assistance of office executive.
10 Night accommodation in selected category hotels or similar.
Daily breakfast at hotels
Deluxe air-conditioned private vehicle with English speaking chauffeur as per tour program.
Monuments entrances of sightseeing mentioned in the itinerary.
English speaking tour guide on sightseeing days (local guide).
Bottled water in car
Applicable GST (government taxes).
Hotels used or similar for 10 nights accommodation
Vadodara x 1 night
3* - Tansha Comfort Regency/ Suba Elite Fatehganj
4* - Royal Orchid Central/ Lemon Tree Hotel
5* - Welcomehotel Vadodra/ Vivanta Vadodara
Kevadia x 1 night
3* - Tent City Narmada / Brg Budget Stay
4* - Statue of Unity Tent City 1 - Royal Cottages/ Ramada Encore
5* - Statue of Unity Tent City 1 - Royal Villa
Nashik x 2 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
Nanded x 1 night
3* / 4* / 5* - Gurudwara Sarai/ NRI Complex (Neat & clean)
Hyderabad x 2 nights
3* - Aditya Park/ Lemon Tree Hotel
4* - Lemon Tree Hotel/ Fortune Park Vallabha
5* - ITC Kakatiya, a Luxury Collection/ Trident Hotel000000
Any air fare
Camera charges at monuments
Main Meals, Lunch or dinner unless mentioned
Expenses of personal nature like liquor, laundry, tips, telephone, fax, internet etc.
Or anything not mentioned above.