A journey that traverses the heart of India, through the state of Madhya Pradesh, this route begins in the nation’s commercial capital, Mumbai and proceeds to the City of Gates, Aurangabad the home of the replica of the Taj Mahal. From Aurangabad the route heads to the remote oasis of peace, Dhar from where it winds its way the impressive medieval fort town of Mandu to and on the same day to the temple town of Maheshwar. It then goes to the largest city in Madhya Pradesh, Indore. From Indore it will take the traveller to Bhopal, the state’s glorious capital and then to the medieval hamlet of Orchha. From Orchha it will chug its way to the capital Delhi to end there.
Arrival in Mumbai
Upon arrival in Mumbai, our representative will provide assistance at the airport and will transfer the guests to the hotel. After the check-in formalities, they may choose to rest or to explore the city for the remainder of the day (if they arrive during the day time).
Following breakfast, the guests will venture into the city for a tour. They will be ferried across the bay to the ancient Elephanta Caves that stand as a silent testimony to the Golden Age of Indian history during the Gupta period. The guests will then head to the iconic Taj Mahal Palace for high-tea and later take a walk around the Colaba area and the Gateway of India. They can also stroll along Marine Drive and relish the exotic street-food.
The day will begin with a professionally guided tour of the southern heritage quarters of the city with an architect. After the walk they can head to the Crawford Market, and then the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, one of the busiest railway stations in Asia. They will then ride the local train from Church Gate to Mahalaxmi and visit the nearby Gandhi Mani Bhavan. Then they will head to an enclave of serenity in the midst of the urban chaos at Banaganga area near Malabar Hill.
1 hour flight journey
They will board an early morning flight to Aurangabad. After breakfast, they will head for a sightseeing of Ellora Caves (closed on Tuesday) –A World Heritage site, it is one of the finest examples of rock-cut caves. After Ellora Caves, they will return to Aurangabad and visit Bibi-ka-Maqbara, built in memory of Aurangazeb’s wife RabiaDurrani and meant to surpass the TajMahal. Later, they will walk around quaint streets of the city.
3 hour drive, 110 kms (one way)
After breakfast, they will proceed for a full day excursion to Ajanta –(closed on Monday). These 2nd century caves are fine achievements by Buddhist monks. Beautiful frescoes, wall paintings and vivid sculptures reflect the peak of ancient Indian art and architecture.
3 hour flight + 2 hours drive, 110 kms
After breakfast, check out from the hotel and drive to the Airport for flight to Mumbai from where they will catch their connection flight to Indore. Later, they will drive to Dhar. This evening is free for leisure.
2 hours and 30 minutes drive, 75 kms
After breakfast, the guests will drive to Maheshwar. En route they will visit Mandu. Mandav or Mandu, is a ruined medieval town in the Malwa region of Madhya Pradesh. It houses an enormous fort which encloses a number of monuments, palaces, temples, mosques and tombs of Islamic rulers within its walls. Later, they will drive to Maheshwar.
After the breakfast, the guests will visit the temples of Maheshwar. Maheshwar is a temple town on the banks of the holy river Narmada. An hour’s drive from Maheshwar is another holy town of Omkareshwar also on the banks of the Narmada, which houses one of the nation’s twelve most revered temples dedicated to Lord Shiva. Another temple from the tenth century called the Mamleshwar Temple and the ruins of the ancient Siddhinath Temple are also close by.
This day the guests will visit the Rehwa society, a centre for handloom weaving, where craftsmen create the world famous gossamer Maheshwari textiles. They can also visit Ahilya School, started by prince Holkar 25 years ago, the school offers guests the possibility of sponsoring the education of a child. In the evening, they can go for a boat ride to the thousand cascades and go for a swim in the unpolluted Narmada.
2 hour drive, 85 kms
The day will start with a drive to Indore after breakfast. The guests will visit Digambar Jain Kanch Mandir, temple which is entirely made up of glass and mirrors. It is also known as the Seth Hukamchand Temple, as it was built by the “Cotton King” Sir Hukamchand Seth in the early 20th century. Later, they will also visit Rajwada, also known as Holkar Palace showcases a blend of architectural influences from the Holkar Dynasty along with many other ruling dynasties of medieval India. Evening will be free for leisure.
4 hour drive – 195 kms
After breakfast, the guests will drive to Bhopal. On this day they will spend the day in exploring the hotel itself, which is a heritage structure. JehanNuma Palace nestled on the slopes of Shamla Hill is set in five acres of lush green lawns & splashes of colorful bougainvillea.
1 hour drive, 48 kms (one way)
1 hour drive, 45 kms (one way)
The day begins with a visit to the ancient Buddhist site of Sanchi. Sanchi contains the oldest stone monuments in India. The Great Stupa is said to be the first structure to be built here and dates back to the third century BCE. They will then return to Bhopal for lunch and then drive to Bhimbetka Cave Shelters. These palaeolithic caves are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. These cave shelters have been home to some of the earliest human inhabitants on the Indian subcontinent.
3 hour train
The first half of the day will be spent touring the city of Bhopal. The visits will begins with the Bhoj Temple. Built in the eleventh century in Bhojpur just outside the city, is still a place of intrigue. Later, the Taj-ul-Masajid, the “crown of mosques”, whose construction began in 1887 but completed seventy years later is an impressive sight. After visit they will head to the railway station to board a train to Jhansi. From Jhansi, they will drive to the tiny hamlet of Orchha.
5 hour train
The guests will get a glimpse of rural India with a tour of this medieval town of Orchha, amidst thick forests, on the banks of the Betwa River. The Chaturbhuj Temple, dedicated to the four armed Lord Vishnu and dating from the ninth century was rebuilt by a devout queen in the sixteenth century. The Ram Raja Temple, the Jahangir Mahal, and the numerous cenotaphs or Chhatris dot the banks of the river Betwa that make for a beautiful riverside view. After the visits, they can have lunch and relax at the hotel. They will then drive to Jhansi to board a train back to Delhi. Spend the night at the hotel in Delhi.
Departure from Delhi
Following breakfast they will go on a sightseeing tour of Old Delhi. They will visit the Red Fort, and Jama Masjid in Old Delhi. Here they will take a ride in a rickshaw and on the Delhi Metro from ChandniChowk up to JorBagh. Following lunch and a walk around Lodi Gardens, they will head to the National Museum. It is the government’s impressive collection of artefacts from the annals of India’s long enviable history. After the visit of the museum, they will head back to the hotel freshen up. Later, they will be driven to the airport for their flight back home. They will be assisted at the airport by a Tushita representative.