Mumbai - Bhopal - Sanchi - Bangalore - Mysore - Hassan - Hospet - Badami - Goa - Hyderabad - Mumbai
26 Jul 2019 - 08 Aug 2019 ** Indicates tentative date.
2 people in 1 Room (s)
You will be met on arrival at the International airport. Transfer to your hotel close to the airport and relax for the morning. Overnights stay will be at Hotel.
Breakfast and lunch are at leisure. In the afternoon, you will be met and taken on a tour of Mumbai, a spectacular city of contrasts with its skyscraper skyline and traditional outdoor laundries. Originally a group of islands inhabited by fisher-folk, Mumbai is today India's busiest port and most affluent and commercial city. You will see a variety of Victorian and Georgian buildings including the landmark Churchgate Station and the Museum of Modern Art. Return to your hotel for overnight stay.
Breakfast at leisure- This morning walk across from the hotel to the busy promenade of the Gateway of India, built on land once owned by the Sassoon family. The British constructed the Gateway of India in 1927 as a ceremonial entrance to Mumbais harbor. Board a motor-launch at the boat jetty for a pleasant one-hour cruise to Elephanta Island. With your guide, explore several cave temples carved with fantastic sculptures, dating back as far as the 5th century. Sail back to Mumbai in time light for Bhopal. Upon Arrival You will be met and transferred to the hotel. Overnight at the hotel.
After an early breakfast leave for a full day return excursion to Sanchi (a World Heritage site) and the Udaygiri Caves. Sanchi is considered to be amongst one of the finest surviving Buddhist monuments in India. It flourished from 3rd century BC to 14th century AD. It was rediscovered in the early 20th century. The four Gateways of the Stupa built in the first century BC depict stories of Budd ha's past and present and are the finest specimens of early classical art. Later in the afternoon visit the nearby Udaygiri Caves. Most of the shrines are Hindu and a particularly notable one is an image of Vishnu in his boar head incarnation. A short stop will also be made to see the Heliodorus Pillar erected in 140 BC when he was the Greek Ambassador in the city. Time permitting we will visit the adjacent town of Vidisha which has a State Museum housing important medieval sculptures. Return to Bhopal after the excursion for Overnight stay at the hotel.
This morning we explore Bhopal. The capital of Madhya Pradesh, Bhopal is a fascinating amalgamation of scenic beauty, a proud heritage and modern urban planning. The modern city was developed by Dost Mohamed Khan, one of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb's Afghan Governors. He planned wide roads and flanked them with monuments and vibrant, newly planted gardens. From 1857 to 1926 Bhopal was ruled by two Muslim women, and to this day retains a very strong Islamic influence. Your tour today will include visits to two mosques, the Taj-ul-Masjid and Moti Masjid, and the State Archaeological Museum. Also tour the Bharat Bhavan, a center for creative and performing arts designed by the Indian architect Charles Correa. The center also houses an impressive collection of rural and tribal arts, a modern art gallery, crafts gallery, print maker's studio, and a theatre for performing arts. End your tour with a visit to the Tribal Habitat (Museum of Man), an open air permanent exhibition of tribal huts with detailed interiors from different parts of India. Later in the afternoon transfer to the airport in time for flight to Mumbai. Upon arrival, you will be met and assisted with your connecting flight to Bangalore. Upon arrival in Bangalore, you will be met and transferred to the hotel. Overnight at the hotel.
Breakfast at leisure. After checking out, leave by air-conditioned motor coach for the drive to Mysore. En route stop at the fort in Srirangapatnam. This was the stronghold of Britains most implacable and formidable foes in India: Hyder Ali and his son Tipu Sultan. Upon arrival in Mysore, check into the hotel. Time permitting visit the market. Overnight at the hotel.
Breakfast at leisure in hotel will be followed by checkout. First visit the famed Maharaja's Palace with its high domed ceilings, pillared halls, murals of mythological tales, painted tiles, chandeliers, stained glass windows, intricately carved wooden doors, and thrones of gold and silver evoking a time of pomp and glory. Also take a trip to see Chamundi Hill where you are welcomed by a large colorful statue of Mahishasura, the demon after whom Mysore is named. Legend says that this demon was slain in battle by Durga, the consort of Shiva. The gigantic bull, vehicle of Shiva is still worshipped atop Chamundi Hill. After the tour, your guide will transfer you to Mysore Railway Station where you will board the Golden Chariot train. The trains stewards will show you to your reserved air-conditioned compartments. 1.00 PM: Lunch on board the Golden Chariot train. The afternoon is at leisure so you may settle in and explore the various facilities on board. 7.00 PM: Leave via motor coach with your fellow travelers for the Lalita Mahal Palace to attend a special cultural show followed by dinner. 10.00 PM: Return via motor coach to the Golden Chariot. Overnight on board the Golden Chariot
8.15 AM: Train arrives in Hassan. Breakfast on board. 9.00 AM: Depart to see the massive Jain statue at Shravanbelgola. 1.00 PM: Return to the Golden Chariot for lunch and to freshen up before the afternoons program. 2.45 PM: Depart for the tour of the Hoysala temples in Halebid and Belur. These stellar-shaped temples are the finest examples of Hoysala Art. The soft stone used by builders was chiseled with the same clarity of detail as is found in the ivory and wood craftsmanship of the area. The temple at Belur is famed for its profusely ornamented exterior, and the one at Halebid for its sculptured figures and open air museum. 7.15 PM: Return to the Golden Chariot for dinner. Overnight on board the Golden Chariot
6.00 AM: Arrive Hospet. Breakfast on board. 8.30 AM: After breakfast, depart by motor coach for Hampi to explore Vijayanagara (City of Victory), a World Heritage Site, an imperial city and center of one of Indias greatest Hindu-ruled empires. Over 200 years after its founding in the mid-14th century, Vijayanagara became a remarkable center of elegant stone architecture characterized by lofty towers, multiple-pillared halls, and large sculptures. Abandoned after a 16th century siege, the city boasts an astounding array of ruined temples, palaces, colonnades, and sculptures all set amid boulders and resonating with past glories. You will see the famed stone chariot, the Lotus Palace, Elephant Stables, the Narasimha image and the Queens Bath. You will also visit the local Crafts Bazaar. Return to the train after the tour in time for a Yakshagana program (musical dance program) before lunch. 4.00 PM: Leave to visit the Daroji Sloth Bear Sanctuary. 6.00 PM: Special Hampi-by-night program including the Sound and Light show at the Vijaya Vittal Temple. 8.30 PM: Return to the train for dinner. Overnight on board the Golden Chariot
5.00 AM: The Golden Chariot departs for Badami. 7.30 AM: Breakfast on board. 8.30 AM: The train arrives in Badami. Leave the train via motor coach for the excursion to Badami to see its sculpted cave temples. Also visit the temples at Pattadakal. 1.30 PM: Return to the train to freshen up before a late lunch. 2.00 PM: The train departs for Goa. Relax and enjoy the spa or gym facilities on board the train. Overnight on board the Golden Chariot
Arrive in Goa this morning. Breakfast on board. At 9:30 AM: You will be met and assisted with checking out of the train. En route to Goa Airport, stop for lunch at a local restaurant. Continue to the airport and upon arrival, board the flight for Hyderabad. Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to the hotel. Overnight at the hotel.
Breakfast at leisure in your hotel- After breakfast leave for a full day return excursion to Bidar, about 75 miles from Hyderabad. This was the capital of the Bahmani kings, and likened by one writer to an exquisite Persian city transported to the harsh Deccan country. Visit the fort which you enter through a series of massive gates. See the elaborately tiled walls and inlaid wood of the Rangin Mahal as well as the 16-Pillared mosque and the ruined palaces. In the town we visit the 15th century college which might have been moved bodily from Registan at Samarkhand. Also see the brooding domes of the mausoleum of the Bahmani Kings. Later return to Hyderabad and the remainder of the evening is at leisure. Overnight at the hotel.
Breakfast at leisure in your hotel- After breakfast, drive to Golconda, the fortress which was the capital of the Qutb Shahi Dynasty until the founding of Hyderabad in 1591. We tour the citadel and then visit the striking 16-17'" century tombs of the Qutb Shahi kings close by. Hyderabad is famous for its cuisine and culinary skill and lunch will be arranged in one of the several new restaurants that have opened in this great city.After lunch, visit the Salar Jang Museum, built by Golconda Fort one of the Nizams prime ministers and which houses an eccentric and prized collection of both eastern and western objects and paintings. It also has an enormous Bidriware library of rare books and manuscripts. Continue your tour this afternoon and visit the famous monuments of Hyderabad in the old city - The Royal House of mourning; the 17th century Mecca Masjid; the Charminar a 16th century regal arch which is the symbol of the city and finally take a walk through the bazaars that are adjacent to the Charminar. Hyderabad has a lot to offer to arts and crafts enthusiasts. The handicrafts and handlooms of this state are well known all over the world. Several other crafts also thrive in this city including Bidriware and Kalamkari that were brought from Persia and are still very popular. This evening is at leisure to explore independently, shop, or to use the spa facilities of your beautiful hotel. Overnight at the hotel.
Breakfast at leisure in your hotel. After checking out of your hotel, you will be transferred to the airport in time for your flight to Mumbai. Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to the International airport for onward journey.
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