Grand Heritage Tour of India

Home Grand Heritage Tour of India
Grand Heritage Tour Of India
(17 Nights / 18 Days)

Day 01: – Arrival Delhi                                         

Welcome upon arrival at Delhi International airport. You will be assisted upon arrival and transferred to Hotel.Hampi

Overnight stay at Hotel.

Day 02: – Delhi                          

Delhi is a city that bridges two different worlds. Old Delhi, once the capital of Islamic India, is a labyrinth of narrow lanes lined with crumbling havelis and formidable mosques. In contrast, the imperial city of New Delhi created by the British Raj is composed of spacious, tree-lined avenues and imposing government buildings. Delhi has been the seat of power for several rulers and many empires for about a millennium. Many a times the city was built, destroyed and then rebuilt here. Interestingly, a number of Delhi’s rulers played a dual role, first as destroyers and then as creators.

Today you will enjoy full day city tour of Old and New Delhi.

Humayun’s Tomb was the first Persian architecture building with surrounding gardens to come up during the Mughal era and marked the beginning of building large exquisite tombs for the erstwhile emperors. This gave birth to Indo-Islamic architecture which is dominant in the architecture of the Mughal era. Humayun’s tomb was build in the center of fours parts of a quadrilateral garden known as the Char Bagh Garden – it was the largest garden in Asia at the time covering an area of 30 acres. The tomb was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993

Qutub Minar a UNESCO World Heritage Site is the tallest minaret in India. Construction of Qutub Minar was started in 1192 by Qutub-ud-din Aibak, his successor Iltutmush added 3 more sections and Firoz Shah Tughlak added two more sections in 1368. The 72.5 meter tall minaret is built of red sandstone and marble, this victory tower was used as a watch tower. Qutub Minar was repaired by Firoz Shah Tughluq (Late 1300s) and Sikandar Lodi ( early 1500s). Qutub Minar was built on the ruins of Lal Kot or the Red Fortress, in the then city of Dillika – the capital of the last Hindu Rulers

Tomars and Chauhans of Delhi. The 7 meter tall Iron Pillar in the Qutub Complex is an alloy made of many metals and has Sanskrit inscriptions in Brahmi script dating back to the 4th Century.

Visit the Lotus Temple, also called Bahai Temple. This distinctive lotus shaped marvel in marble is surrounded by a landscaped garden and is a symbol of peace. Similar in style to the Sydney opera house is this white marble and concrete structure in the shape of a lotus flower. This is the Asian headquarters of the Bahai faith (Closed on Mondays).

India Gate (war memorial dedicated to the lives of laid down by the Indian soldiers), pas thru the president’s residence – Formerly the Viceroy’s Palace, parliament House and the Secretariat buildings, – an interesting blend of the Victorian and 20th century architecture. Then visit Raj Ghat, Set in the midst of deep green lawns, Rajghat is the place where Mahatma Gandhi was cremated. A memorial to the father of the nation, Rajghat is a simple square platform with a black memorial stone with “Hey Ram” inscribed on it. Jama Masjid (Mosque) – which is the largest mosque in India.

Overnight stay at Hotel.

Day 03: – Delhi – Agra

 Morning you will be transferred to Agra (205 Kms – Approx 4.30 Hours).

Agra has a rich historical background, which is amply evident from the numerous historical monuments in and around the city. Though the heritage of Agra city is linked with the Mughal dynasty, numerous other rulers also contributed to the rich past of this city. Modern Agra was founded by Sikandar Lodhi (Lodhi dynasty; Delhi Sultanate) in the 16th century. Babar (founder of the Mughal dynasty) also stayed for sometime in Agra and introduced the concept of square Persian-styled gardens here. Emperor Akbar built the Agra fort and Fatehpur Sikri near Agra. Agra came to its own when Shahjahan ascended to the throne of Mughal Empire. He marked the zenith of Mughal architecture, when he built the Taj in memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal.

Upon arrival at Agra, visit Taj Mahal and Agra Fort.

Taj Mahal built by Shah Jahan in 1630 for his queen Mumtaz Mahal to enshrine her mortal remains. This architectural marvel is a perfectly proportioned masterpiece fashioned from white marble that stands testimony to the still of 20,000 craftsmen brought together from Persia, Turkey, France and Italy and who took 17 year to complete this ‘Love Poem in Marble’(Closed on Fridays).

Agra Fort is a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is about 2.5 km northwest of famous sister monument, the Taj Mahal. The fort can be more accurately described as a walled city.  Akbar made it his capital and arrived in Agra in 1558. His historian, Abdul Fazal, recorded that this was a brick fort known as ‘Badalgarh’. It was in a ruined condition and Akbar had it rebuilt with red sandstone from Barauli area in Rajasthan. Architects laid the foundation and it was built with bricks in the inner core with sandstone on external surfaces. Some 4,000 builders worked on it daily for eight years, completing it in 1573.

Later check in at Hotel.

Overnight stay at Hotel.

 Day 04: – Agra – Jhansi – Khajuraho                                     

Morning you will be transferred to Agra railway station to board your train to Jhansi.

Upon arrival at Jhansi railway station you will be met and transferred to Khajuraho (175 Kms – Approx 4 Hours).

Khajuraho home to the most famous erotic temples built in the 10 & 11th century by the Chandella Rulers, with the Vindhyan Hills as a backdrop. Of 85 temples only 20 survive. This is a world heritage site.

Upon arrival at Khajuraho, check in at Hotel.

Later visit visit the Eastern Group of temples are mainly dedicated to the Jain teachers – tirthankaras – The Parsvanatha Temple, the Adinatha Temple and the Santinatha Temple. There is a 4.5m statue of Adinatha in the main place of Jain worship. The temples are ornately carved on the outside with beautiful figures of Hindu gods, goddesses.

The Western Group consists of a group of artistic temples built in sandstone. The sculptures of Hindu deities, dancers and musicians appear to be so natural as if they would come alive any time. We will visit the Varaha Temple dedicated to Vishnu, and also the Lakshmana Temple dedicated to Vishnu. It is one of the earliest of the western enclosure temples dating from 930 to 950 AD.
The Kandariya Mahadeva Temple is not only the largest of the temples, it is also artistically and architecturally the most perfect. Built between 1025 and 1050 it represents Chandella art at its most finely developed phase.

Overnight stay at Hotel.

Day 05: – Khajuraho – Orchha                                    

 Morning you will be transferred to Orchha (172 Kms – Approx 04 Hours).

Upon arrival at Orchha, Check in at Hotel.

Later enjoy city tour of Orchha.

Orchha means ‘hidden’. Situated on banks of the river Betwa, it used to be the capital of the region (Bundelkhand) but now is a small village. The palaces are of impressive size and there are pleasant views of the countryside from their upper levels.After some rest, visit the Raj Mahal with its Hall of Private Audience and Public Audience and royal chambers with beautiful painted murals on the walls and ceilings of religious and secular themes. The Rai Parveen Mahal named after the musician courtesan (1592-1604). The Jahangir Mahal (7th century) palace built to commemorate the Emperor’s visit.

Orchha also has a series of magnificent temples, dating back to the 17th century. They are still in use today and visited regularly by thousands of devotees. The soaring spires of Ram Raja Temple.

 Overnight stay at Hotel.

Day 06: – Orchha – Jhansi – Bhopal                                                                                  

Morning you will be transferred to Jhansi railway station to board train to Bhopal.

Bhopal capital of Madhya Pradesh combines scenic beauty, historicity and modern urban planning. It is situated on the site of an 11th century city, Bhojapal, founded by Raja Bhoja.
Bhopal today presents a multi-faceted profile; the old city with its teeming market places and fine old mosques and palaces still bear the aristocratic imprint of its former rulers; among them the succession of powerful Begums who ruled Bhopal from 1819 to 1926. Equally impressive is the new city with its verdant, exquisitely laid out parks and gardens, broad avenues and streamlined modern edifices.

Upon arrival at Bhopal railway station you will be met and transferred to hotel. Check in at Hotel.

Later you will be given excursion to Bhimbetka (44 Kms – Approx 1.30 hours).

Bhimbetka Caves known for their prehistoric paintings. The caves, surrounded by the northern fringe of the Vindhyan ranges, are believed to have provided shelter to the primitive man. The caves or the rock shelters belonging to the Neolithic age number more than 600. Inside most of these caves are the paintings that depict, in vivid panoramic detail, the life of the pre-historic cave dwellers. The oldest paintings are believed to be up to 12,000 years old. The caves lying in the rocky terrain of dense forest and craggy cliffs have become an invaluable chronicle in the history of man.

After visit of Bhimbetka Caves, return back to Bhopal.

Overnight stay at Hotel.

Day 07: – Bhopal                                                                                                                      

Full day excursion to Sanchi & Udaigiri.
Sanchi located on the foot of a hill– Sanchi is 46 kms from Bhopal. Sanchi is a religious place with historical and Archaeological significance. Sanchi is a site for the numerous stupas which were built on a hill top. The place is related to Buddhism but not directly to the life of Buddha. It is more related to Ashoka than to Buddha. Ashoka built the first stupa and put up many pillars here. The crown of famous Ashoka pillars, with four lions standing back to back, has been adopted as the national emblem of India. In Sanchi, visit The Great Sanchi Stupa & The Ashok Pillar.
The Great Sanchi Stupa (World Heritage Site) This probably is the most visited and most photographed structure in Madhya Pradesh. This dome shaped building and the panels are inscribed with many drawings that depict the life of Buddha. You will also find Brahmi script carved at different places in the stupa. The stupas of Sanchi have been recognized as world heritage site by UNESCO. The construction of the Stupa was approved by Emperor Ashoka in the third century. This hemispherical dome structure was built to house the relics of Buddha.
The Ashoka Pillar The magnificent Ashoka Pillar was built by Emperor Ashoka in 3rd century. The pillar is located close to the southern gate of Sanchi Stupa. The pillar here is known for its ‘aesthetic proportions and superb structural balance. However the pillar does not have the 24 spoked dharmachakra or wheel of life that you will find on the pillar in Sarnath. The base of the pillar is intact but the top of the pillar which was crowned with the famous four lions, is not the same any more. The four lions have been removed and have been kept in the Archaeological museum nearby.
Later drive to Udayagiri.

Udayagiri caves Hardly 03 Kms further to Sanchi stand the Udayagiri caves. These rock cut caves find an inscription dating back to 4th and 5th century A.D. during the time of Chandragupta Maurya. He rock cut images carry the distinctive features of the Gupta dynasty. Most of these caves are dedicated to Hindu Gods other than two which are dedicated to Jain religion. The caves have massive structures of Lord Vishnu in his Boar incarnation holding the earth on his tusks. Another idol is that of reclining Vishnu.

After sightseeing return back to hotel in Bhopal.

Overnight stay at Hotel.

Day 08: – Bhopal – Mumbai – Aurangabad

Morning you will be transferred to the Bhopal Airport to board the flight to Mumbai. Upon arrival in Mumbai catch the connecting flight to Aurangabad.

Upon arrival at Aurangabad, transfer to the Hotel.

Aurangabad commonly used as a base for a visit to the World Heritage Sites of Ajanta and Ellora is steeped in medieval history. Named for Aurangzeb, the last of the great Mughal Emperors, Aurangabad acquired plenty of monuments and a rich culture as its heritage from the middle ages. The one single factor that determined Aurangabad’s role in the history of medieval India is its location. So strategic is its location at the cross roads of north and south India, that Mohammed-bin-Tughlak and Aurangzeb, two powerful kings attempted to translocate their capital from Delhi to Aurangabad.

 Overnight stay at Hotel.

Day 09: – Aurangabad                                                                                            

Full day excursion to Ajanta & Ellora Caves. (Unesco World Heritage Site).
Ajanta Caves are one of the most magnificent Buddhist caves in the whole of India. They are situated at a distance of approximately 100 km from Aurangabad. Counted amongst the UNESCO World Heritage Site, There are approximately 30 caves at the site of Ajanta, of which cave number are 9, 10, 19, 26 and 29 are chaitya-grihas. The rest of the caves have been found to comprise of monasteries.

The caves were discovered during the 19th century by a group of British officers who were on a tiger hunt. The Ajanta group of caves, located deep within the Sahyadri hills above the Waghora, depicts the story of Buddhism that prevailed here during 200 BC to 650 AD. Ajanta’s wondrous cave temples are cut into the rocky sides of a dramatic crescent-shaped gorge, at the head of which is a waterfall that drops over the mountain rim in a series of seven steps to a pool far below. Deep inside the mountain are the Buddhist chaitya vihara prayer and monastery caves. They cover a span of 800 years where, under the royal patronage of ruling dynasties, professional artists helped Buddhist monks to create magnificent murals narrating the story of Buddha in his cycle of incarnations, while simultaneously creating a painted record of the panorama of life in ancient India. Etched and painted in mineral dyes, the paintings have a languorous stylized beauty and magical eloquence (Closed on Mondays).

After visiting Ajanta caves visit Ellora Caves. (World Heritage Site).

Ellora Caves are one of the highly visited World Heritage sites of India. 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 (Closed on Tuesdays).

After the sightseeing of Ellora Caves, drive back to Hotel.

 Overnight stay at Hotel.

Day 10: –   Aurangabad – Mumbai                                                                                         

Morning transfer to the Aurangabad airport to board the flight to Mumbai.

Mumbai formerly known as Bombay is India’s most cosmopolitan city, an ancient port and trading centre. This palm -fringed shore of the Arabian Sea was the British Empire’s entrance to its Crown Jewel’. Mumbai is also the centre for Hindi films and is therefore also called “Bollywood”. It has to its credit the production of almost 900 films a year.

Upon arrival at Mumbai airport, transfer to the Hotel.

After some rest this afternoon we leave for a short tour of Mumbai. The tour includes the 26 meters high British-built Arch “Gateway of India“, Mumbai’s landmark built to honour the visit of George V and Queen Mary in 1911. Marine Drive dubbed, as the Queen’s Necklace is Mumbai’s most popular promenade and a favourite sunset watching spot. The Kamla Nehru Park from where you have a picturesque view of the city, Hanging Gardens are so named since they are located on top of a series of tanks that supply water to Mumbai. Pass by the `towers of silence’ the crematorium of the Parsis.

Also visit Prince of Wales Museum (Closed on Mondays) designed in Indo Saracenic style. The museum houses a superb collection of paintings and sculpture. The foundation stone was laid in 1905 by the future King George v, then Prince of Wales. The design of the museum was carried out by George Wittet-the architect of Gateway of India.

Overnight stay at Hotel.

Day 11: – Mumbai

Morning excursion to The Elephanta Island (Unesco World Heritage Site).

The Elephanta caves forms the focal point of the Elephanta Islands that are located in ten harbor of Mumbai off the Mumbai coast at a distance of 10 kms from the Gateway of India. It is regarded as a major world heritage site due its cultural and historical importance. The existence of the Elephanta dates back to the Silhara Kingdom from the 9th to 13th century BC. The prehistoric cave forms a great tourist attraction in the vicinity of the large metropolis of Mumbai. The Elephanta caves houses numerous rock cut temples that are dedicated to the Hindu Lord Mahadeva also known as Shiva and are indeed a rich sculptural content. The Island was named Elephanta by the Portuguese after the statue of the Elephant near the landing area of the island.
The rock cut temples of the Elephanta caves were created by carving out huge boulders of rocks and then creating columns and internal spaces and images within them. The entire temple of the Elephanta caves is very much similar to the structure of a huge sculpture with internal corridors and chambers through which one can walk. It is a perfect example of rock removal process. The entire Elephanta cave spreads out through an area of 60000 square feets that comprises of a main chamber and two lateral ones along with courtyards and several subsidiary shrines. The temple has three main entrances and the ones on the eastern western part marks the axis of the temple. There is a hall of 20 pillars that lines the axis and on the western side is the cella that is enshrined with a Shiva lingam. The pillars depict a rich work of art and architecture consisting of fluted columns standing on square bases and are crowned with fluted cushion capitals (Closed on Mondays).

After visiting Elephanta Caves visit the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) formerly Victoria Terminus – World Heritage Site) VT is now known as Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) and is Mumbai’s architectural masterpiece. It stands on the old Bori Bunder station from where Asia’s first train departed on 6th April, 1853. It is said that in the 17th century the Portuguese used to hang their criminals in the station’s vicinity. This solid Gothic structure was designed in 1878 by F W Stevens and cost 1.6 million rupees to build. The statue atop the dome and the intriguing figures of animals and birds represent ‘Progress’ and ‘Prosperity’. It is the headquarters of the Central Railway system consisting of 14 platforms. It offers passenger amenities and also operates local trains.

 Rest of the day free for own activities.

Overnight stay at Hotel.

Day 12: – Mumbai – Goa – Badami                                                                          

Morning you will be transferred to Mumbai airport to board the flight to Goa.

Upon arrival at Goa airport you will be met and transferred to Badami (248 Kms – Approx 06.30 Hours).

Badami today a sleepy little town on a red sandstone ridge, was once the capital of the great Chalukyan Empire that controlled most of peninsular India between the 4th and 8th centuries AD. The Chalukyas are credited with some of the best traditions of Dravidian architecture including an experimental blend of older South Indian temple architecture and the nagara style of north India, which passed into the Dravidian temple-building convention.

Upon arrival at Badami, check in at Hotel.

Overnight stay at Hotel.

Day 13: – Badami

Today excursion to Aihole and Pattadkal – the cradle of Hindu Temple architecture.

Aihole (35 Kms – Approx 01.15 Hours)  was the first Chalukyan capital, but the sight was developed over a period of more than 600 years from the 6th century and includes important Rashtrakuta and late Chalukyan temples, dedicated to Hindu, Buddhist and Jain divinities.

Pattadakal (13 Kms from Aihole), on the banks of the Malaprabha River, a World Heritage Site, the 2nd of the Chalukyan capitals between the 7th –8th centuries.

Visit the largest temples, the Virupaksha (740-44) with its three-storyed vimana dedicated to Shiva. The richly carved columns inside are delicate depicting episodes from the Ramayana, Mahabharata and the Puranas, as well as the social life of the Chalukyas.

After sightseeing of Pattadakal, return back to hotel in Badami.

Overnight stay at Hotel.

Day 14: – Badami – Hospet

Morning you will be transferred to Hospet (135 Kms – Approx 03.30 hours).

 Hospet is at a distance of 325 kilometers from the capital city of Bangalore has a place of its own on the tourist map of Karnataka in India. The significance of Hospet lies in its propinquity to the World Heritage Site of Hampi.

Upon arrival at Hospet, check in at Hotel.

 Ovenight stay at Hotel.

Day 15: – Hospet

Today visit Hampi (Unesco World Heritage Site).

Hampi is the most beautiful and evocative of all ruins in Karnataka. The erstwhile capital of the Vijayanagara kingdom, Hampi is full of delightful surprises like the King’s Balance where Kings were weighed against grain, gold or money which was then distributed amongst the poor, the Queen’s bath with its arched corridors projecting balconies and lotus-shaped fountains that once sprouted perfumed water, the two storied Lotus Mahal with recessed archways, the huge Elephant Stables, the Splendid Vithala temple with its ‘Musical pillars’ and the stone chariot, the Vrupaksha Temple, still used for worship, Ugra Narasimha, the 6.7 m tall monolith and the Pushkarini the Mahanavami Dibba

After sighseeing of Hampi, return back to hotel.

Overnight stay at Hotel.

Day 16: – Hospet – Goa

Morning you will be transferred to Goa (306 Kms – Approx 08 Hours).

Goa variously known as “Pearl of the Orient” and a “Tourist Paradise”, the state of Goa is located on the western coast of India in the coastal belt known as Konkan. The magnificent scenic beauty and the architectural splendours of its temples, churches and old houses have made Goa a firm favorite with travelers around the world.

Upon arrival at Goa, check in at Hotel.

Overnight stay at Hotel.

Day 17: – Goa

Morning enjoy the sightseeing tour of Goa. Visit Basilica of Bom Jesus, Se Cathedral and St. Anne Church

Basilica of Bom Jesus One of the most popular churches in Goa, the Basilica of Bom Jesus truly deserves to be given the status of a World Heritage Site. It is located in Old Goa which was the capital city during the Portugal rule. The Basilica of Bom Jesus is famous for the preserved mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier.

Se Cathedral The Se Cathedral of Goa is located in old Goa, and is around 9 kilometers from the capital city Panaji. The Se Cathedral of Goa is dedicated to St. Catherine of Alexandria.

St. Anne Church The church of St. Anne of Goa is noted for its remarkable architecture in India. The present day church was reconstructed by Mons Francisco do Rego with his own money.

Afternoon is free for own activities or relax at the beach.

Overnight stay at Hotel. 

Day 18: – Goa – Mumbai

Today you will be transferred to Goa airport to board the flight to Mumbai.

Upon arrival at Mumbai airport you will be transferred to Mumbai international airport to board you flight for your onward destination.

Visit ends

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