Day 01 : Delhi
Arrive Delhi in the evening. Transfer to Hotel by private vehicle. The capital of modern India, Delhi is a bustling metropolis which successfully combines in its fold the ancient & the modern. Its strategic location was one of the prime reasons why successive dynasties chose it as their seat of power. New Delhi also reflects the legacy the British left behind. The division between New & Old Delhi is the distinction between the capitals of the British & the Moghuls respectively. So, wherever the visitor goes, he will invariably confront the city's past.
Day 02 : Delhi
After breakfast, full day city tour of Delhi. Visit Jama Masjid, the largest mosque in India ; the massive 17th century Red Fort ; walk through the colourful bazaars of Chandni Chowk. Rajghat, memorial of Mahatma Gandhi. Drive past India Gate - a war memorial, President's House & the Parliament. Visit the UNESCO Word Heritage Sites : Humayuns Tomb : built in mid 16th century this is an early example of Mughal architecture ; Qutub Minar, at 120 meters, is the tallest brick minaret in the world. The tour ends with a visit to Laxmi Narayan Temple.
Day 03 : Delhi - Agra
(200 kms., 4 hrs. drive)
Morning, drive to Agra. Arrive Agra, check-in at prebooked hotel.
Afternoon, visit the ancient mughal city of Fatehpur Sikri : built by Emperor Akbar in 1569, was the old capital of the Mughals, which was abandoned after 15 years due to scarcity of water. See the graceful buildings including the Jama Masjid, Tomb of Salim Chisti, Panch Mahal & other Palaces which are still preserved in its original glory.
Day 04 : Agra - Gwalior
(120 kms, 02 hrs.)
Morning, sightseeing of Agra. Visit the highlight of the day, The Taj Mahal, which was constructed by Shah Jahan in memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal. Construction of the Taj began in 1631 and was not completed until 1653.
Visit the impressive Agra Fort, which was built by Emperor Akbar in 1565, and additions were made up until the time of his grandson, Shah Jahan. It contains the hall of public and private audiences amongst many other beautiful structures.
Afternoon, drive to Gwalior. Arrive Gwalior, check-in at prebooked hotel.
Day 05 : Gwalior - Orchha
(110 kms, 02 hrs.)
Morning, visit the Gwalior Fort - The Mughal emperor Babar referred to the Gwalior Fort as "the pearl amongst fortresses in India" and although you may beg to differ, you will probably agree that this, the dominating feature of Gwalior's skyline, is definitely a citadel worth seeing. With a turbulent and pretty eventful past, the Gwalior Fort spreads out over an area of 3 square km, bounded by solid walls of sandstone, which enclose three temples, six palaces and a number of water tanks.
Afternoon, drive to Orchha : Once the capital of Bundelas, Orchha is a village, set amongst a complex of well preserved palaces and temples. Though Orcha was founded in 1531, it's golden age was during the first half of 17th century. When Jahangir visiting the city in 1606, a special palace, the Jehangir Mahal was built for him.
Day 06 : Orchha - Jhansi (15 kms., 30 min.) ; Jhansi - Bhopal (Train)
Morning, visit the Jehangir Mahal, Raj Mahal & Ram Raja temple which also dates back to the 17th century.
Transfer to the railway station to board train for Bhopal, the capital city of the state of Madhya Pradesh, which is the largest state in India. The city is also referred to as the City of Lakes because of the two beautiful lakes that are situated in the center of the city. Apart from its natural beauty, Bhopal is also famous for its mosques. The Taj-ul-Masjid in Bhopal is the largest mosque of India. Arrive Bhopal and transfer to prebooked hotel.
Day 07 : Bhopal
After breakfast, day return trip to Sanchi - The Great Stupa at Sanchi, built by Emperor Ashoka, has become the icon of India's cultural heritage, and is another World Heritage site. It is the most famous of a host of stupas, monasteries, temples and pillars on this hill, dating from the 3rd century BC to the 12th century AD. A sandstone pillar fragment here carries Ashoka's famous edict warning schism in the Buddhist community.
Day 08 : Bhopal
After breakfast, day return trip to Bhimbetka - Embraced by Northern Vindya range and covered with huge rocks Bhimbetka is where India's richest collection of prehistoric cave paintings was discovered in 1957. Over 600 rock shelters - the largest group in the work - harbour painting that date back to early stone age. This marvellos ancient art, found in about 500 caves depicts hunting, dancing, music, horse, elephant, religious and ritual symbols. The treasures at Bhimbetka have recently been designated a World Heritage site.
Day 09 : Bhopal - Satpura
(180 kms, 04 hrs.)
After breakfast, drive to Satpura - an amalgamation of the Satpura National Park, the Bori Wild Life Sanctuary and the Pachmarhi Sanctuary. This prime wildlife habitat is relatively unknown. The park offers a diverse and unique range of activities. Apart from Jeep, Elephant and Boat Safaris, Satpura is the only park of its kind in Central India that offers Walking Safaris, giving enthusiasts a ‘one of a kind’ opportunity to explore tiger country on foot. You are likely to sight Leopards, Sloth Bear, Indian Wild Dogs, hordes of Indian Gaur, Sambhar plus other herbivores found in Central India and if lucky the magnificent Tiger. Arrive Satpura and check-in at prebooked hotel.
Day 10 : Satpura
Morning and afternoon, jungle safaris in the reserve.
Day 11 : Satpura - Maheshwar
(270 kms, 06 hrs.)
After breakfast, drive to Maheshwar. Arrive Maheshwar and check-in at prebooked hotel.
Day 12 : Maheshwar
After breakfast, visit Maheshwar : This town finds mention in the Ramayana and Mahabharata. It was restored to its pre-eminent position in the 18th century by the revered Holkar queen, Rani Ahilyabai of Indore. The town is renowned for its bathing ghats and rows of pretty tiered temples, which are distinguished by their over hanging balconies and intricately ornamented doorways. The important temples include the Kaleshwar, Rajarajeshwara, Vithaleshwara and Ahileshwara. We will visit a shop where the famous Maheshwar silk sarees are created and observe weaving.
Omkareshwar : Renowned for its medival Brahmanic Temples. This tiny island consists of two hills and a valley, thought to resemble the Hindu symbol "Om". The exquisitely carved Shri Omkar Madhata temple of the island houses one of the twelve Jyotirlingas. The Siddhartha temple is a fine example of 10th century architecture. The 24 Avatars, a cluster of Jain temples and the Satmatrika Temples are also worth visiting.
Day 13 : Maheshwar - Dhar
(70 kms, 01 hr.)
Morning, drive to Dhar enroute visit Mandu, a deserted city located across a broad hilltop and known for its fine Hindu and Muslim architecture. Mandu was known in the 15th century as the 'City of Joy' and was the magnificent capital of the central Indian kingdom of Malwa. Renowned for its fine Rajput and Muslim architecture Mandu also fostered the development of both Hindu and Jain art and literature.
Arrive Dhar and check-in at Hotel Jhira Bagh Palace - Originally built in 1865 this exquisitely restored Palace is an exclusive heritage hotel for travelers seeking a unique experience in hospitality. Featuring rich period interiors and situated amidst acres of lush estate in the tranquil Malwa countryside, the Jhira Bagh is a dream destination in itself
Day 14 : Dhar - Aurangabad
Morning, drive to Aurangabad. Arrive Aurangabad, check-in at prebooked hotel.
Day 15 : Aurangabad
Excursion to Ajanta and Ellora caves.
Ajanta caves : It was only in the 19th century, that the Ajanta group of caves, lying deep within the Sahyadri hills, cut into the curved mountain side, above the Waghora river, were discovered. They depict the story of Buddhism, spanning a period from 200 BC to 650 AD. The 29 caves were built as secluded retreats of the Buddhist monks, who taught and performed rituals in the Chaityas and Viharas, the ancient seats of learning, and nerve centers of the Buddhist cultural movement. Many of the caves house panels depicting stories from the Jatakas, a rich mine of tales of the several incarnations of the Buddha. Images of nymphs and princesses amongst others, are also elaborately portrayed.
Ellora caves - 34 in number, are carved into the sides of a basaltic hill. The finest specimens of cave - temple architecture, they house elaborate facades and exquisitely adorned interiors. These structures representing the three faiths of Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism, were carved during the 350 AD to 700 AD period. The 12 caves to the south are Buddhist, the 17 in the centre dedicated to Hinduism, and the 5 caves to the north are Jain.
Day 16 : Aurangabad - Delhi
After breakfast, sightseeing of Aurangabad. Visit Daulatabad Fort and Bibi ka Maqbara.
Afternoon, transfer to the airport to board flight for Delhi. Arrive Delhi and transfer to prebooked hotel.
Day 17 : Depart Delhi
Morning, transfer to the airport to board onward/return flight.