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Home Western India Tour Packages Caves Tour
Caves Tour
India is having some of the most famous world heritage sites of the world such as Elephanta, Karla, Bhaja, Bedsa, Ajanta & Ellora caves in Maharashtra has indeed a rich heritage of ancient monuments representing different phases of development in art and architectural style. The rock cut architectural beauty witnessed in almost all the cave temples spread over entire Maharashtra is a fine example of the majestic architectural glory of ancient India. These Indian caves are not only famous Jain pilgrimage centers; they are also the hallmarks of the rich cultural heritage and traditions of India.

DAY 01 ARRIVE MUMBAI
Arrive Mumbai by International flight. Meeting on arrival and transfer to hotel. Overnight at the Hotel.

DAY 02 IN MUMBAI
AM: Excursion to Elephanta Caves The Elephanta Island is the site of the magnificent Elephanta caves, containing beautiful carvings, sculptures, and a temple to the Hindu God, Lord Shiva. ElephantaThese caves are thought to date back to the Silhara kings belonging to the period between 9th - 12th centuries. With the Brahminical resurgence during the reign of Gupta dynasty in 3rd century AD, these great cave dedicated to Lord Shiva exploded into existence at Elephanta. Legends and history suggest that the great warrior prince of Chalukya dynasty Pulkesin ll raised the shrine to celebrate his victory. Historians also suggest that the Kalchuri King Krishnaraja built these caves in 6th century AD.

PM: City tour of Mumbai city visiting Prince of Wales Musuem (closed on Mondays), Fish Aquarium, Jain Temples, Hanging Gardens on the slopes of Malabar Hills offering nice view of Marine Lines and Chowpatty Beach, Kamla Nehru Park and Marine drive. Overnight in Mumbai.

DAY 03 IN MUMBAI
AM: Visit the Buddhist caves at Kanheri, about 42-km away from Mumbai, situated on Salsette Island amidst wooded hills and valleys. These caves are an excellent work of architecture. According to the historians the caves were caved between 200 BC and 600 AD. MumbaiFew sculptures excavated in these caves are amazing and beautiful. In these Buddhist caves or monasteries, which are Spartan and bear, monks practiced their austerities around the second century AD. The complex contains 109 caves cut by hand on the flank of a hill; each fitted with a stone plinth that evidently served as a bed. One can also see a congregation hall supported by huge stone pillars that contains the 'Dagoba', a kind of Buddhist shrine. Kanheri dedicated to one of the world's great religions houses colossal Buddhas more than 20 feet tall, an 11-headed "Bodisattva" (Buddhist saint) and even a "Nagaraja", an ancient pre-Buddhist serpent king guarding the most famous Buddhist Chaitya hall.

PM: Free at leisure. Overnight in Mumbai.

DAY 04 MUMBAI/PUNE
Leave Mumbai for Pune (163 kms) visiting Karla, Bhaja & Bhedsa Caves enroute. Karla is the finest example of rock-cut architecture in Maharashtra, which is carved out of living rock by monks and artisans. Some of its 2000-year-old wooden beams are still intact. The Karla Cave is the largest Hinayana Buddhist chaitya (temple) in India built in the time of the Hinayana sect, during the Satavahanas (also spelt as Satavahan) rule. A pillar topped by four back - to - back lions stands outside the cave and is reputed to be very old. At the entrance there is a temple, which was recently built, accompanied by a pillar from the Buddhist period. Carved temple screens, sculpted with railing ornaments and human couples, form the facade of the caves. The panels of the wooden doors and windows are finely decorated with intricate sculptures of couples embracing. One will also come across a 45-meter (148-foot) long Chaitya, possibly the finest of its kind in the country.

The Bhaja caves, on the southern flank of the Visapur fort, are among the earliest, dating from the second to the early 1st century BC, during the Hinayana phase of Buddhism. They are located 3-km from the main road that consists of Viharas and Chaityas, set in lush green surroundings. The last cave has some fine sculptures. It is very peaceful out here and there is a waterfall near the caves, which is considered ideal for a refreshing dip. Nearby are the Lohagad and Visapur Fort, which are worth a visit. On arrival check-in at the hotel.

Bedsa caves are one of the most old in Maharashtra. These are 15 kms to the South of Kamshet railway station. Bedsa completes the Trio kept incomplete by Karla and Bhaja. There is a village named Bedsa near the caves. These are at the south of Raut wadi. Though a very good place to visit is not very often crowded. The beauty of these caves is best viewed in the mornings. These caves are 1000 years old. There is a strange story told by villagers about these caves that - The details about the caves and the entire history of the caves was painted and carved on the walls of the cave. But it so happened that a Senior British Officer was to visit the caves, hence a local officer painted the entire caves and the details were lost behind the paint. The truth of this story is not yet known but still it is an interesting story to listen.

On arrival check-in at the hotel. Overnight in Pune

DAY 05 IN PUNE
Full day city tour of Pune visiting the Kelkar Museum, Osho Ashram & Shaniwar Wada. Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum in Pune houses an enormous number of over 20,000 collections of objects and artifacts collected from all over the world. Built in a Rajasthani-style, the museum has a vast collection of paintings, handicrafts, armour-suits, musical instruments and many other objects of art. The galleries give the onlooker a clear depiction of the life and culture of the Marathas.

Bajiroa first constructed Shaniwar Wada - The palace in the 1730. It was a 13-storey building. There is a story told about why this place was chosen for the construction. The story says-The Thorale (Elder) Bajirao once saw a rabbit chasing a dog in this place. Taking inspiration from this Shaniwar Wada was built, a place, which would never see defeat. It used to be the head quarter of the Peshwas and it symbolizes Pune's culture. Looking at the construction one understands how the structure was built giving highest priority to the security. The main entrance is known as 'Delhi Darwaja', others have named like Ganesh, Mastani, Jambhal, Khidki.

Evening: Attend Sound & Light Show at Shaniwar Wada. Overnight in Pune .

DAY 06 PUNE/AURANGABAD
Leave Pune for Aurangabad (214 kms) and on arrival check-in at the hotel. Aurangabad

Aurangabad is a historical city located in the west central part of Maharashtra State, on the banks of Kham River. Aurangabad is located 630m above sea level and is also the district headquarters of Aurangabad district. The Sahyadri (Western Ghat) Mountains dominate its physiography. This is the largest city in the Northern Maharashtra region extending over an area of 158.9-sq-kms. Overnight in Aurangabad .

DAY 07 IN AURANGABAD
AM: Excursion to Ellora caves lay in the lap of the Chamadari hills extending over a mile and a quarter in the north-south direction and are situated 18 miles northwest of Aurangabad. Ellora represents some 300 years of great experiments carried out by different faiths with their very different iconography and structural compulsions. Ellora first appears to the visitors as an irregular ridge of rock, rising vertically from the ground.Aurangabad

PM: Visit the Aurangabad Caves which are a Travellers paradise that illustrate the tales from the "Jatakas", a large collection of stories about the previous incarnations of Lord Buddha. Overnight in Aurangabad.

DAY 08 AURANGABAD/JALGAON
Leave Aurangabad for Jalgaon (156 kms) visiting en route Ajanta caves which were carved out from the 2nd century BC to 6thjalgaon century AD. They were hidden in the midst of a lonely glen with a streamlet flowing down below. They were scooped out into the heart of the rock so that the pious Buddhist monk could dwell and pray. These are the caves that the followers of Lord Buddha, embellished with architectural details with a skilful command of the hammer over the chisel, with sculpture of highest craftsmanship and above all, with the paintings of infinite charm. The entire course of the evolution of Buddhist architecture can be traced in Ajanta. During this time, images of Buddha interpreting his different life stories and several types of human and animal figures were carved out of rock in-situ.

On arrival check-in at the hotel. Overnight in Jalgaon.

DAY 09 JALGAON/DHAR
Leave Jalgaon for Dhar and on arrival check-in at the hotel.

Historically and culturally, Dhar District has occupied an important place through its epoch-ancient, mediaeval and morden. Dhar, known as Dhar Nagari in ancient period and Piran Dhar in mediaeval period, has had the privilege of being of the capital city, both in the ancient and in the early mediaeval periods. PM: City tour of Dhar. Overnight in Dhar.

DAY 10 IN DHAR
Full day excursion to Omkareshwar, Maheshwar & Mandu. Omkareshwar, the sacred island, shaped like the holiest of all Hindu symbols, 'Om', has drawn to it hundreds of generations of pilgrims. Here, at the confluence of the rivers Narmada and Kaveri, the devout gather to kneel before the Jyotirlinga (one of the twelve throughout India) at the temple of Shri Omkar Mandhata. And here, as in so many of Madhya Pradesh's sacred shrines, the works of Nature complement those of man to provide a setting awe-inspiring in its magnificence. Dhar

Maheshwar was a glorious city at the dawn of Indian civilization when it was Mahishmati, capital of king Kartivarjun. This temple town on the banks of the river Narmada finds mention in the epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata. Revived to its ancient position of importance by the Holkar queen Rani Ahilyabai of Indore. Maheshwar's temples and mighty fort-complex stand in quiet beauty, mirrored in the river below.

Mandu - Perched along the Vindhya ranges at an altitude of 2,000 feet, Mandu, with its natural defenses, was originally the fort capital of the Parmar rulers of Malwa. Towards the end of the 13th century, it came under the sway of the Sultans of Malwa, the first of whom named it Shadiabad - 'city of joy'. And indeed the pervading spirit of Mandu was of gaiety; and its rulers built exquisite palaces like the Jahaz and Hindola Mahals, ornamental canals, baths and pavilions, as graceful and refined as those times of peace and plenty. Overnight in Dhar.

DAY 11 DHAR/UJJAIN/INDORE
Leave Mandu for Indore enroute visiting Ujjain. Bhartrihari caves are situated just above the bank of the Shipra River near the temple of Gadkalika. According to popular tradition, this is the spot where Bhartrihari, who is said to have been the stepbrother of Vikramaditya, lived and meditated after renouncing worldly life. He is believed to have been a great scholar and poet. His famous works, Shringarshatak, Vairagyashatak, and Nitishatak, are known for the exquisite use of the Sanskrit meter. On arrival check-in at the hotel.Dhar

Indore - Planned and built by Rani Ahilyabai, the brave Holkar queen, Indore lies to the extreme west of Madhya Pradesh on the banks of the rivers Saraswati and Khan, which unite at the centre of the city. The bustling and vibrant city derives its name from the 18th century Indreshwar temple. The founder of the House of Holkars was Malhar Rao Holkar, born in 1693 AD. His soldierly qualities brought him to the forefront under the Peshwa and he was rewarded with the gift of territories comprising the Indore region. His grandson, on whose death, without issue, his mother, Maharani Devi Ahilya Bai ascended the throne, succeeded Malhar Rao. Overnight in Indore.

DAY 12 INDORE/BHOPAL
AM: City tour of Indore
Later leave Indore for Bhopal by surface (186 kms) and on arrival check-in at the hotel.
bhopal Bhopal, capital of Madhya Pradesh combines scenic beauty, historic city and modern urban planning. It is situated on the site of an 11th century city, Bhojapal, founded by Raja Bhoja. Overnight in Bhopal.

DAY 13 IN BHOPAL
AM: Excursion to Sanchi - known for its Stupas, monasteries, temples and pillars dating from the 3rd century B.C. to the 12th century A.D. The most famous of these monuments, the Sanchi Stupa 1, was originally built by the Mauryan Emperor Ashoka, the then governor of Ujjayini, whose wife Devi was the daughter of a merchant from adjacent Vidisha. Their son Mahindra and daughter Sanghamitra were born in Ujjayini and sent to Sri Lanka, where they converted the King, the Queen and their people to Buddhism.

PM: Excursion to Bhojpur & Bhimbetka Bhojpur - Founded by the legendary Parmar King of Dhar, Raja Bhoj (1010-1053), and named after him, Bhojpur, 28 km from Bhopal, is renowned for the remains of its magnificent Shiva temple and Cyclopean dam. The temple, which has earned the nomenclature of the Somnath of the east, is known as the Bhojeshwar Temple. The temple was never completed and the earthen ramp used to raise it to dome-level still stands. Had it been completed, it would have had very few rivals. As it is, even with the ravages of time, it remains one of the best examples of temple architecture of the 11th - 13th centuries. bhopal

Bhimbetka is the largest collection of prehistoric art in India. It was discovered and explored by Dr. V S WAKANKAR, one of India's greatest archaeologists. After unearthing rock shelters in the Chambal region he was on his way to Nagpur. From the train he noticed caves dotting the hills in the distance. He cut through the deep forests of Teak and Tendu and climbed up to the caves. The name Bhimbetka is derived from the Sanskrit epic Mahabharata, Bhim-bait-ka meaning Bheem who sat upon these rocks.

The area of Bhimbetka is riddled with caves, most of them containing paintings. More than 600 small caves, most of them only rock shelters or overhanging cliffs were found in the craggy cliffs. The caves were used for many thousands of years, so paintings of all eras can be found, Paleolithic, Mesolithic, and Neolithic. Overnight in Bhopal.

DAY 14 BHOPAL/GWALIOR
AM: City tour of Bhopal
Transfer to railway station to board train Shatabdi Express [1450/1855 hrs] to Gwalior. Meeting on arrival and transfer to hotel. Overnight in Gwalior.

DAY 15 GWALIOR/AGRA
Morning sightseeing tour of Gwalior city - Steeped in the splendour of its past, the ancient capital of Gwalior has yet made a successful transition into a modern Indian city, vibrant and bustling. GwaliorA multitude of reigning dynasties, of the great Rajput clans of the Pratiharas, Kacchwahas and Tomars have left indelible etchings of their rule in this city of palaces, temples and monuments. Gwalior's tradition as a royal capital continued until the formation of present day India, with the Scindias having their dynastic seat here. The magnificent mementoes of a glorious past have been preserved with care, giving Gwalior an appeal unique and timeless.

Transfer to railway station to board train Shatabdi Express [1900 /2010 hrs] to Agra. Meeting on arrival and transfer to hotel. Overnight in Agra.

DAY 16 AGRA/DELHI
AM: Excursion to Fatehpur Sikri - This exquisite city built by Akbar the Great in 1569, in red sandstone, with its forts, palaces and mosques was abandoned 14 years after its construction due political reasons. The Diwan-I-am - a vast courtyard where the Emperor met the public, when in residence, Diwan-I-khas a large quadrangle which contained all the major functions of the palace, the Emperors private living quarters, palaces of Birbal the minister, the Queens, Jodha Bhai, Mariam and Turkish Sultana. The Panch Mahal is some of the important buildings of this residential complex. The Friday mosque and the exquisite tomb of Sheikh Salim Chistiare in the religious grounds set aside in a separate enclosure adjacent to the secular buildings.Taj Mahal

PM: City tour of Agra visiting the Agra Fort built by Emperor Akbar over the years 1565 - 1573 with its maze of courtyards, mosques, and private chambers. Most of the buildings originally built by Akbar were destroyed and were replaced by his grandson Shah Jehan. The only surviving structure from Akbar's period apart from the solid sand stone ramparts and the gateway is the Jehangir Mahal. It is the biggest private residence in the complex and its architecture indicates strong influences from Hindu overtones.

Visit the Taj Mahal - the inimitable poem in white marble. Built over a period of 22 years, by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in 1630, for his queen Mumtaz Mahal to enshrine her mortal remains. It is one of the seven modern wonders of the World.

Transfer to railway station to board train Shatabdi Express [2018/2240 hrs] to Delhi. Meeting on arrival and transfer to hotel. Overnight in Delhi.

DAY 17 IN DELHI
Full day city tour of Old & New Delhi. Among some of the most interesting highlights of your city tour of Old and New Delhi are the Red Fort, the Jama Masjid, Chandni Chowk and Raj Ghat in the old city area and the Government Buildings, a drive through the majestic Rajpath to the India Gate, the Laxmi Narayan Temple, the Humayun's Tomb, the Qutab Minar etc. Evening : Witness the folk dance of India followed by dinner at Chor Bizarre - a specialty restaurant. Overnight in Delhi.

DAY 18 DEPART DELHI
Day free till departure
Later transfer to International airport to board onward flight.
 
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