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Indian Sculptural Wonders

Tour Duration: 17 Nights/ 18 Days
Itinerary: Chennai - Mahabalipuram(2N) - Thanjavur(1N) - Madurai(1N) - Mumbai(1N) - Aurangabad(1N) - Jalgaon(1N) - Maheshwar(1N) - Mandu(3N) - Sanchi(1N) - Khajuraho(1N) - Agra(2N) - Delhi(2N)
Best Season: October to March
Tour Theme: Covers sculptural wonders, cave arts, rock-art, cave paintings and monuments of India.
Highlights: Historical colourful temples and rock-art of south India, cave art and paintings of Ajanta Ellora, riverside temples and palace, Mandu forts & palaces, Buddhist Stupa, Khajuraho erotic temples and fabulous Taj Mahal.

TOUR FLOW MAP
DAY 01: CHENNAI - MAHABALIPURAM
India Heritage Tourism On arrival at Chennai airport, meet our representative and transfer to nearby town Mahabalipuram. It is a popular tourist destination, close to Chennai. At hotel, all travel documents will be handed over to you. Do some local sightseeing.
Overnight at hotel in Mahabalipuram.
DAY 02: MAHABALIPURAM
In this day we will visit local temples and encarved statues. Speciality of Mahabalipuram monuments is that they are encarved on a single rock-block. Later we will visit Kanchipuram temples and painting. Here we can also do some shopping of silk items as it is popular here.
Overnight at hotel in Mahabalipuram.
DAY-03: MAHABALIPURAM - THANJAVUR (240kms/05:00hrs.)
After breakfast, drive from Mahabalipuram to Thanjavur or Tanjore in South-West direction. It is known for UNESCO World Heritage Chola temples. It is a important center of South Indian art and culture. Here 11th century Brihadeeswarar Temple is a important attraction, built by Chola king Raja Raja-1. It is a hindu temple dedicated to lord Shiva. Famous historian Percy Brown described about Brihadeeswarar as "Landmark in evolution of building art in South India". During those days Tanjore was capital of Chola empire. Just like temples, "Tanjore Painting" is equally popular and maintains its unique identity and popularity. In addition to temples, Thanjavur Fort and palace are also other places to see. City in located on Cauvery delta which provides fertile soil that makes this place most suitable for rice production.
Overnight at hotel in Thanjavur.
DAY-04: THANJAVUR - MADURAI (200kms/04:30hrs.)
Early morning we will drive to Madurai which is in South-West of Thanjavur. Here we will Madurai is known for Hindu temples with large courtyards. It is third largest city in Tamil Nadu state, located on bank of river Vaigai. It is important place to see South Indian Temples and celebration of festivals like Jalikattu (game with ox) and Pongal. Popular Madurai tourist attractions are Meenakshi Amman Temple and Tirumalai Palace (built in 1636 AD). Temples and culture are the main attractions here.
Overnight at hotel in Madurai.
DAY-05: MADURAI - MUMBAI (By Flight)
In this morning we will visit some more tourist places and later drive to Madurai airport to take flight to Mumbai. It is on North-West of Madurai in Maharashtra state. It is economic capital of India. On reaching Mumbai airport, drive to hotel.
Overnight at hotel in Mumbai.
DAY 06: MUMBAI - AURANGABAD
On this day we will visit to sculptural wonder and World Heritage Site Elephanta caves where rock-cut statues dates back between 5th to 8th century. These caves are located on an island. Their are about 7 caves which can be divided into two groups of caves in which one group consisting 5 caves shows Hindu gods & goddesses where as second caves having 2 caves group is dedicated to Buddhism. Later in evening we will take flight to our next destination i.e. Aurangabad in North-East direction. On reaching Aurangabad, drive to hotel.
Overnight at hotel in Aurangabad.
DAY 07: AURANGABAD - ELLORA - JALGAON
After breakfast, we will proceed to visit magnificent rock-art site Ellora caves. It is a World Heritage Site and located about 30 kms. North-West to Aurangabad city. It is a collection of 34 caves mainly belonging to Hindu, Buddhist and Jain religions. Here temples, viharas and muths are excavated out from Charanandri Hills between 5th to 10 century. Here Caves 1 to 12 are Buddhist caves, 13 to 29 are Hindu caves and 30 to 34 are Jain caves. Considering visit to Ajant Caves in next day we will further drive to Jalgaon city. It is small in size but close (40kms) to Ajanta caves. Here we will get budget and standard category hotel only.
Overnight at hotel in Jalgaon.
DAY 08: JALGAON - AJANTA - MAHESHWAR (350kms/08:00hrs)
On this day we will visit Ajanta caves which is about 50 kms from Jalgaon hotel. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here we will see 30 rock-cut caves depicting sculptural work and painting masterpieces of 2nd BC. These caves encompasses Buddhist religious paintings and sculptural work. It was rediscovered in 28/Apr/1819 by British India officer John Smith while he was on a hunting expedition. Ajanta caves are spread over a horse-shoe shape valley.
Overnight at hotel in Maheshwar.
DAY 09: MAHESHWAR - MANDU (70kms/02:00hrs)
Maheshwar is a small sacred place on the bank of holy Narmada river. Here tourist attractions are scenic beauty, riverside temples and Maheshwar Fort. Early morning sunrise and sunset offers a great view with boating on river. Most of the historical buildings and fort belongs to Holkar Dynasty in which Queen Ahilyabai did a great job during her time. She was a religious lady who didn't hesitate to sacrifice her own son for sake of justice. Later in afternoon we will drive to Mandu located in North-West direction and also known as "City of Joy".
Overnight at hotel in Mandu.
DAY 10: MANDU - DHAR - MANDU
In this day we will visit famous Bagh Caves in Dhar district of Madhya Pradesh state. It is quite similar to Ajanta caves, i.e. excavated from Vindhya slopes by ancient craftsmen. It is a collection of 9 rock-cut caves dating 400 to 700 AD. Inside caves we can find inscriptions and mural painting work done by painters expressing messages of Buddhism. These caves were used by Buddhist monks as a shelter and meditation. Its name "Bagh" means Tiger. In past Tigers have their strong presence in this region due to which it was given this name. In evening we will return back to hotel in Mandu.
Overnight at hotel in Mandu.
DAY 11: MANDU
In this day we will explore the "City of Joy". It is town on rocky outcrop and known for forts, palaces and monuments. It was a flourishing city from 6th century to 16th century. Earlier it was under Hindu Parmar rulers later it came under Muslim rule. In both the rules, it gains was a flourishing city. Mandu is always referred with the love story of Sultan Baz Bahadur and Rani Roopmati. Their impression can be adjudged in every historic place in Mandu. City was in their golden era during their rule. For sake of Rani Roopmati, Mughal emperor Akbar's army attacked on them and captured the city and Sultan Baz Bahadur but before they caught Rani Roopmati, she committed suicide by consuming poison. Mughal army generals killed lot of civilians including women and children. Since then, city lost its real charm and people avoids to settle their.
Overnight at hotel in Mandu.
DAY 12: MANDU - SANCHI (340kms/07:30hrs)
After breakfast, we will drive to Sanchi, near Bhopal city. It is a World Heritage Buddhist pilgrim site having collection of Stupas, excavated building bases and museum at a hill-top. These Stupas are of different sizes and about 2nd century BC to 12th century AD. old. These stupas are hemispherical structure based on Buddhist relics. Here you can do photography and audio guide facility is available.
Overnight at hotel in Sanchi.
DAY 13: SANCHI - KHAJURAHO
In this day we will take afternoon train from Bhopal railway station to Jhansi station to visit Khajuraho. Till afternoon, we can either do Bhopal local city tour, visit museum, boating in lake or visit Bhembetka rock shelters which are again a World Heritage Site. It is about 32kms from Bhopal city. By evening we will reach Jhansi station and further drive to Khajuraho which is about 200kms from Jhansi. In evening, we may attend light & sound show or just relax at hotel.
Overnight at hotel in Khajuraho.
DAY 14: KHAJURAHO - AGRA
After breakfast,we will visit Khajuraho temples. These temples were made during Chandela dynasty rule from 9th to 11th century. They are made of sand stone carried out from nearby Panna hills through Ken river. These Hindu temples are known for erotic images sculptured outside wall of some temples. Along with Hindu temples, we will find some Jain temples also. By afternoon we will leave for Jhansi railway station to take train to Taj city Agra.
Overnight at hotel in Agra.
DAY 15: AGRA
In this day we will do full-day sightseeing of Agra. At first we will visit wonder of world Taj Mahal (Closed Every Friday), situated on the bank of Yamuna river. Here video cameras are not allowed to carry during visit. It is a beautiful white marble mausoleum of Mughal queen Mumtaz Mahal and emperor Shahjahan. Later we will visit world heritage site Agra fort. It was capital of Mughal dynasty. Fort is about 3 kms from Taj Mahal and built close to Yamuna river. It is built of red-sandstone and marble.
Overnight at hotel in Agra.
DAY 16: AGRA - DELHI
After breakfast take train to Delhi. On reaching Delhi, relax for sometime in hotel and later proceed for evening visit to Qutab Minal which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Overnight at hotel in Delhi.
DAY 17: DELHI
In this day we will proceed for full-day sightseeing of historic Delhi city. Will visit remaining 2 World Heritage Sites: Humayun Tomb and Red Fort. Both the monuments were built by Mughal emperors. Humayun Tomb is a mausoleum of Mughal emperor Humayun (father of Akbar) and other royal family members. Later we will visit Red Fort of Delhi and narrow passages old Delhi which is also known as Shahjahanabad. In addition to this we will also see Sir Edwind Lutyens engineering work in New Delhi region which includes Indian Parliament, India Gate, President House, Connaught Place.
Overnight at hotel in Delhi.
DAY 18: DELHI - Departure
In this day we will be free to spend as per your own. We may visit to museum or do some shopping. Later in evening, drive to Delhi Airport for final departure.
SUGGESTED TOUR EXTENSIONS
DESTINATIONS
DURATION
ATTRACTIONS
Trichy
01 Days
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Alleppey
02 Days
Beautiful backwater and beach destination of Kerala.
Bandhavgarh
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Famous wildlife destination known for tiger photography.
Jaipur
02 Days
City of forts and palaces in Rajasthan.
Bharatpur
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UNESCO World Heritage Natural Site for Birding.

Tour Duration: 17 Nights/ 18 Days
Itinerary: Chennai - Mahabalipuram(2N) - Thanjavur(1N) - Madurai(1N) - Mumbai(1N) - Aurangabad(1N) - Jalgaon(1N) - Maheshwar(1N) - Mandu(3N) - Sanchi(1N) - Khajuraho(1N) - Agra(2N) - Delhi(2N)


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