Ellora & Ajanta Caves + Taj Mahal Tour
Day 01 :- Arrive Mumbai.
This morning on your arrival in Mumbai, you will be transferred to your hotel. Mumbai earlier called “Bombay” consists of seven islands and is the finance capital of India. It is a city of people shrouded in wealth as well as people rolling in extremely poverty. Asia’s biggest slum Dharavi is in Mumbai. We start this West India & North India holiday package with a city tour of Mumbai. This afternoon, you will be taken to the Hanging Gardens located on the beautiful slopes of the Malabar Hills as well as Kamla Nehru Park offering a marvelous and panoramic view of the Chowpatty Beach as well as the Marine Drive. You will continue with your tour and will be taken to Mani Bhawan, Prince of the Wales Museum, Gate of India and Dhobi-Ghat and will drive through Marine Drive, Flora Fountain and Crawford market. Overnight is in Mumbai.
Day 02 :- Fly Mumbai to Aurangabad.
You will be transferred to Mumbai airport in time for your Aurangabad flight. On arrival in Aurangabad, you will be transferred to your hotel. Aurangabad built in 1610 AD by Malik Ambar was named after the Emperor Aurangzeb. Some of the places of interest in Aurangabad are Bibi Ka Maqbara, Panchakki, Kali Masjid, Jumma Masjid, Quila-E-Ark, Aurangabad Caves. Bibi Ka Maqbara built in 1678 is the tomb of Aurangzeb’s wife Dilras Banu Begum and is called the Baby Taj as it has a similar design as Taj Mahal.
The Panchakki from the 17th-century is a water mill. The Quila-E-Ark from the 17th century is a palace. Aurangabad Caves are 12 Buddhist caves from 3 AD. Kali Masjid and Jumma Masjid are mosques built by Malik Ambar in the 17th century. Aurangabad is known as the City of Gates due to its 52 gates. Aurangabad is famous for being in the proximity of the world famous caves of Ajanta and Ellora which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Ajanta dates back to 100 B.C. while Ellora dates from 5th to 11th century AD. The Ajanta caves have been carved out of solid rock with hammers and chisels by Buddhist monks. The lost caves of Ajanta were re-discovered in the 19th century by British soldiers. Overnight in Aurangabad.
Day 03 :- Aurangabad to Ellora Caves to Ajanta Caves to Aurangabad.
Your Aurangabad sight-seeing consists of a full day excursion to Ajanta and Ellora Caves. The sightseeing of Ellora Caves dating back from 5th century to 11the century takes you to the monasteries & temples excavated out of the vertical face of a rock. These 34 caves of Ellora have Buddhist monasteries, Hindu temples and Jain temples. The amazing and wonderful Kailasa Temple is the largest monolithic structure in the world. Ellora caves are closed on Tuesdays.
The Ajanta sight-seeing takes you to the Buddhist Chaityas and Viharas with carvings and fantastic wall paintings. The paintings show Buddha’s life and rituals of the Mahayana Buddhism period. The Mural paintings prove that the ancient Indians had mastered a fluent style, dealing with large groups of people and were painted on top of a dry plaster surface rather than into a wet plaster. The paintings show in detail the life of a wealthy court. The ceilings are painted with detailed decorative motifs and some of them represent the Jataka tales showing the previous lives of Buddha as a ruler. Ajanta Caves are closed on Mondays. Overnight in Aurangabad.
Day 04 :- Fly Aurangabad to Delhi.
You will be taken to the Aurangabad airport in time for your Delhi flight. On your arrival in Delhi, you will be met by our representative and transferred to hotel.Delhi was the capital of Indraprastha and capital of the Pandavas during the Mahabharata. This magnificent city has been inhabited from the 6th century BC and has been a capital of many kingdoms. It has been destroyed and rebuilt many times and is called the “city of cities”. Delhi’s culture has been influenced by its different rulers and the city is full of beautiful monuments. The Mughal rulers influenced the food habits of the residents and Mughlai cuisine originated here. Due to the proximity of different states, all festivals are celebrated here. Old Delhi is a maze of small lanes lined and old buildings and New Delhi has large road with huge buildings. Delhi is the capital of India and is the hub for politics. Overnight in Delhi.
Day 05 :- Delhi.
Your morning tour starts with Old Delhi, built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in 1639 AD. You will visit the Raj Ghat where the father of our nation Mahatma Gandhi was cremated. You will be visiting the museum that was built to commemorate him. You will be driven past the iconic Red Fort and Chandni Chowk, a very popular and a busy market in Old Delhi to the next stop – Jama Masjid, one of the iconic, historic and largest mosques in India – built by Shah Jahan. A rickshaw ride in Chandni Chowk could be quite interesting as this part of the city is quite crowded as it is full of shops. These numerous shops sell delicious mouth-watering food, clothes, jewels, household things, etc. and are virtually a shopper’s paradise.
In the afternoon, you will visit Qutub Minar, touted as India’s largest Minaret. Qutub Minar, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was built in 1192 by Turk ruler Qutub-Ud-Din Aibak. You will then move forward to Humayun’s tomb, yet another UNESCO world heritage site. Your next stop is India Gate, built in memory of the Unknown Soldiers. You will be driven past the Parliament House, President’s House and other Government Secretarial Buildings to your final destination which will be Lakshminarayan Temple, a temple dedicated to Lakshmi and Lord Narayana. Overnight in Delhi.
Day 06 :- Drive Delhi to Agra (231 kms).
You will be transferred from Delhi to Agra in the morning. Agra the former capital of Hindustan is a city on the banks of the river Yamuna. Agra is a major tourist destination of India and a part of the Golden Triangle tourist circuit along with Delhi and Jaipur. Agra also known as Akbarabad went through its peak during the time of Mughals and was the capital of under the Mughal rulers Akbar, Jahangir and Shahjehan. In the morning visit of Agra, you will be taken to Taj Mahal, one of the wonders of the world. This beautiful building is elegantly built with white marble by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan between the years 1631 to 1648 and it was built in the memory of his favorite beloved Queen Mumtaz Mahal. Standing majestically on banks of Yamuna River, this breathtaking, immensely beautiful monument is synonymous to romance and love.
Your next stop Agra Fort is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and known for its architectural structure and was built in the 16th century during the Mughal Empire. This place comprises of several fairy-tale palaces like Khas Mahal and Jahangir Palace. Over here you will also get a chance to see Diwan-e-Aam and Diwan-e-Khas, which are also known as private audience hall and public audience hall. Afternoon can be spent visiting more places of interest or shopping. Agra is famous for inlaid marble work and handicrafts made of marble, wood and metal. The transport is at your disposal with-in the city limits. TAJ MAHAL IS CLOSED ON FRIDAYS.
Day 07 :- Drive Agra to Fatehpur Sikri to Jaipur (244 kms).
This morning, you will be transferred from Eastern IndiaAgra to Jaipur and on the way, you will visit Fatehpur Sikri, which was built by Emperor Akbar in the year 1569 and served as Mughal Empire’s capital from 1571-1585.Fatehpur Sikri holds exceptional testimony to Mughal civilization and is one of well-known UNESCO World heritage site of India and has various historical monuments. You will visit the Jama Masjid, followed by the Tomb of Salim Chishti, the five storied Panch Mahal and Buland Darwaza- a graceful monument and stupendous piece of beautiful architecture. It is central portico with a total of three arched entrances and is locally known as Horseshoe gate. You will visit the other graceful buildings of this place such as Ibadat Khana, Mariam-uz-Zamani’s palace, Naubat Khana and Birbal’s house.
After the visit of Fatehpur Sikri, you will be driven to Jaipur. Jaipur, also known as the pink city is the capital of Rajasthan. Many captivating palaces are present here having breathtaking design and architecture. In the 18th century Prince of Wales had visited Jaipur and the entire city was painted in pink color and due to these pink buildings the city is known as the pink city. Origin of Jaipur is 260 years back. It was built by Maharaja Jai Singh and Jaipur got its name from this king. The rest of the day could be spent visiting the Jaipur bazaars or walking down the crowded colorful streets. The transport is at your disposal with-in the city limits. Overnight in Jaipur.
Day 08 :- Jaipur to Palace to Jaipur.
The morning journey starts from Amer fort also known as Amer Palace, the earlier capital of Jaipur. This magnificent fort was constructed in red sand-stone and marble by Raja Man Singh and is divided into four sections each with a courtyard. The main entrance gate is Surajpol having a fascinating architecture. Near the Ganesh Gate, there is a temple dedicated to the Goddess Sila Devi. The Diwan-e-Aam – hall of public audience, Diwan-e-Khas – hall of private audience, Sheesh Mahal – palace of mirrors and Sukh Niwas are quite beautiful. At the Sukh Niwas, a pleasant climate is created by winds that blow over a water cascade. You could ascend the fort by walking up the steps or on an elephant’s back or in jeep.
In Jaipur you will be taken to Maharaja City Palace, a royal palace with seven storeys as well as Jantar Mantar, the observatory. This wonderful observatory attracts mathematicians as well as astronomers from the whole world. City palace is perfect blend of all three excellent styles (Mughal, Rajput and European). Another palace, Hawa Mahal is popular all over world for its magnificent architecture. You will be taken through Pink Rose Garden as well business centers of Jaipur. A tour of Jaipur is not complete without shopping. Jaipur is famous for clothes, carpets, precious and semi-precious stones and jewelry and various handicrafts made of wood, metal, etc. and also for silk paintings and miniatures. The transport is at your disposal with-in the city limits. Overnight in Jaipur.
Day 09 :- Drive Jaipur to Pushkar (143 kms).
Today you will be transferred from Jaipur to Pushkar.In the afternoon, you will be visiting Pushkar – one of the most sacred pilgrimages for Hindus and considered to be one of the oldest existing cities in India and it is said that Lord Brahma created this holiest of cities for the Hindus. When a demon Vajra Nabha killed Brahma’s children, Brahma hit him with a lotus flower which killed the demon. A lotus petal fell in Pushkar and a lake was formed where Brahma performed a sacrifice on a full moon day. A temple dedicated to Brahma is the only one of its kind in the world. Hindus believe that bathing in the lake will ensure salvation. Pushkar is famous for its Camel fair when thousands of camels and cattle are traded. The transport is at your disposal with-in the city limits. Overnight is in Pushkar.
Day 10 :- Drive Pushkar to Udaipur (320 kms).
In the morning you will be transferred by road from Pushkar to Udaipur. Udaipur known as the City of Lakes, or the Venice of the East was the historic capital of the kingdom of Mewar and founded by Rana Udai Singh in 1559. The legendary Maharana Pratap was born in Udaipur who fought against Emperor Akbar in 1576 and is remembered for his bravery. Maharana means the Great Warrior, and the one from Udaipur is the head of all the Rajput clans. In the 12th century the Parihara prince of Mandore awarded the title of Rana to the Prince of Mewar. The rulers from this dynasty are called Suryavanshis (descendents of the Sun) and have the Sun as their insignia. A stay in the Lake Palace hotel situated in the middle of a lake is like a dream. The transport is at your disposal with-in the city limits. Overnight in Udaipur.
Day 11 :- Fly Udaipur to Mumbai.
In the morning, your tour starts with the City Palace, situated on the bank of Pichola Lake. This Palace was constructed by Maharana Udai Mirza Singh in 1559 A.D. Your next stop is the Jagdish Temple built by Maharana Jagat Singh. The architecture of this temple is based on Indo-Aryan style and is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and is one of the biggest shrines of Udaipur. You will be taken on a drive around Fatehsagar Lake, built in 1678 by Maharana Fateh Singh. Your next stop will be at Bhartiya Lok Kala Mandir located near Chetak Circle. It is one of most renowned museums of Udaipur, exhibiting the dazzling gathering of folk articles of Rajasthan. Your final destination will be at Sahelion ki Bari (Queen’s resort for her friends). Afternoon transferred to Udaipur airport in time for your Mumbai flight. As most of the flights depart after mid-night, hotel is not included in Mumbai. You could also alternately, take a flight to Delhi to connect your return/onward flight.