Package Details

    Splendors of India with Mumbai & Aurangabad

    Duration: 14 Days and13 Nights    Location : Central Delhi

Tour Description

The commercial capital and most cosmopolitan city of Kerala is Cochin (Kochi), is also known as Queen of Arabian Sea. It is one of the finest natural harbours of the world, this was once a major center of commerce and trade with British, Arabs, Chinese, Portuguese, Dutch etc.

Itinerary

01-May-2017 (Mon) : Arrive Mumbai

Arrive Mumbai by international flight. Mumbai, which was previously known as Bombay is a major metropolitan city of India. It is the state capital of Maharashtra. Mumbai city is known as the business capital of India, it being the country's principal financial and communications centre. The city has the largest and the busiest port handling India's foreign trade and a major International airport. Bombay can not be complete without the mention of Bollywood, the biggest Indian film industry which churns out hundreds of Hindi block-busters every year. Upon arrival you will be met and transferred to HOTEL. Overnight at the hotel.

02-May-2017 (Tue) : In Mumbai

Breakfast at hotel. Morning visit Elephanta caves - one hour boat ride across Mumbai Harbour brings you to the lush green Elephanta Island. Here, visit some of the huge and intricately carved Elephanta Caves that date back to the 8th century. For rows of massive columns cut into solid rock from three magnificent avenues, lead to the outstanding three-headed sculpture representing Brahma the Creator, Vishnu the Preserver and Shiva the Destroyer. Dedicated to Shiva, the beauty and power of these phenomenal sculptures depicting the various manifestations of Shiva is overpowering (Elephanta Caves is closed on Mondays). Later in the afternoon enjoy the city tour of Mumbai - the great port city with its Victorian Gothic buildings from the British Raj Era mingling with the modern. The tour includes 'Gateway of India' overlooking the Harbour, the 'Towers of Silence', 'Marine Drive', the 'Colaba Causeway' - the commercial heart of Bombay and the Dhobi Ghat, the unique and colourful outdoor 'laundry'. Drive upto the Malabar Hill to the lovely 'Hanging Gardens' and the Kamla Nehru Park from where you will get a wonderful view of Mumbai and the Arabian Sea, spread out before you. Also visit Mani Bhawan, a small museum dedicated to the life and works of Mahatma Gandhi. Overnight at the hotel.

03-May-2017 (Wed) : Mumbai – Aurangabad (By Fight)

Breakfast at hotel. Early in the morning you will be transferred to the airport to connect your flight for Aurangabad. The history of Aurangabad is incomplete without mentioning the short but very important Mughal period. The city of Aurangabad was established in 1610, on the site of a village named Khirki, by a local Muslim noble Malik Ambar. It was then ruled by his son Fateh Khan who named the city as Fatehpur in 1626. Aurangzeb, the last great Mughal ruler, took the charge of this city in 1653 and renamed it as Aurangabad. Aurangzeb made Aurangabad his capital keeping in mind its strategic location in peninsular India. He used this city as a base to suppress the thriving power of the Marathas. After the Mughals, this historical city was also ruled by the Nizam of Hyderabad until 1948 when it was unified with the state of Maharashtra. Upon arrival you will be assisted at the airport and driven straight to Ajanta Caves - located 100 kms, a 2½ hour drive, northeast of Aurangabad in the Waghora valley. These magnificent rock-cut caves, 30 in number, date from 2nd BC to 7th Century AD. They are exclusively Buddhist, unique in that they combine three forms of Art - architecture, sculpture and painting. The superb frescoes and paintings depict episodes from the Jataka stories and the life of Lord Buddha. (Ajanta Caves is closed on Mondays). After you visit you will return to Aurangabad city and check in at HOTE. Overnight at the hotel.

04-May-2017 (Thu) : In Aurangabad

Breakfast at the hotel. Morning you will visit Ellora Caves - 30 kms from Aurangabad lie the finest rock cut cave temples of Ellora - 10th & 11th century, which encompasses the three religion - Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. Of the 34 caves that are both monasteries and temples, the most remarkable is the magnificent Kailasa temple. The entire structure was carved out of a monolith and took over 100 years to complete. The temple itself is decorated with themes and incidents from the ancient legends and puranas in a manner that leaves one in rapturous delight (Ellora Caves is closed on Tuesdays). Afternoon you will visit Khuldabad - In the 14th century, several Sufi saints of the Chishti order, chose to reside in Khuldabad or the Abode of Eternity. The dargah, or tomb of Moinuddin Chishti, the spiritual guide of the Mughal emperor, Aurangzeb, is within this sacred complex. The austere emperor himself rests nearby, in a grave as simple as that of a common man's, in striking contrast to the grand mausoleums of his predecessors. Eloquent testimony to Aurangzeb's simplicity is the inscription on his plain tombstone: "No marble sheets should shield me from the sky as I lie there one with the earth. Overnight at the hotel.

05-May-2017 (Fri) : Aurangabad – Mumbai – Chennai (By Flight)

Breakfast at the hotel. Morning you will be transferred to the airport to connect your flight for Mumbai. Upon arrival connect your onward flight for Chennai. A city of Contrasts and diversities, Chennai is the fifth-largest city in India. Known world wide as Madras until recently, the city was renamed Chennai, evolved from the age-old name, Chennapattinam. The city grew into modern day Madras City merging all neighboring areas. In the 19th century the city became the seat of Madras Presidency, the southern division of British Imperial India. After independence in 1947 it became the capital of Madras State that was renamed Tamil Nadu. Recently Madras was renamed Chennai. Upon arrival you will be met and transferred to HOTEL. Later in the afternoon sightseeing tour touching Fort St. George, San Thome Cathedral and the museums that contain the world's most complete and impressive selection of Chola bronzes and stone sculptures from South India and the Deccan. Overnight at the hotel.

06-May-2017 (Sat) : Chennai – Mahabalipuram (By Surface)

Breakfast at the hotel. Morning you will drive to Mahabalipuram, en-route visit Kanchipuram. Kanchipuram(75 kms from Chennai) is one of the seven holy cities in the country, and a visit is believed to bestow salvation. Kanchipuram once had over a thousand temples. Today, there are more than a hundred extant, and all are worth a visit. Kanchipuram also has some notable churches and mosques. Ancient Kanchipuram is the city of thousand temples and is one of the seven most sacred pilgrim centres for the Hindus. This city is also known as Kanchi. There now remain about 126 temples in Kanchi and a few more in its outskirts. The city was the capital of the early Cholas and it was the Pallava capital between the 6th and 8th centuries. Kanchipuram is a major seat of Tamil learning as well as an important place of pilgrimage for Buddhists, Jains and Saivite Hindus. Apart from its temples, this small town is also known for its thriving handloom industry. The weavers of Kanchi have settled in the temple town more than 400 years ago and have given it an enviable reputation as the producers of the best silk and cotton sarees in the country. Woven from pure mulberry silk, these sarees woven in dazzling colours are embellished with fine gold thread (zari) and are available in every imaginable design and variety. This makes the choice of selection quite challenging for the buyer. Temple festivals are held throughout the year and apart from the temple car or the ratha festivals are held in January, April and May. There are other days when the idols are taken out in procession on their respective vahanas or vehicles. Mamallapuram (Mahabalipuram) also close to Chennai (Madras) is on the shores of the Bay of Bengal, along the eastern coast. Mamallapuram known for its rocks carvings and monolithic sculptures has the famous shore temple, the only one to have survived the ravages of nature. Also known as the Seven Pagodas (temples), six now lie submerged in the sea. Arrive Mahablipuram, upon arrival check in at HOTEL. Overnight at the hotel.

07-May-2017 (Sun) : In Mahabalipuram

Breakfast at the hotel. Morning sightseeing tour of Mahabalipuram, which, too was part of the Pallavas dynasty and exhibits some of the most outstanding examples of the Dravidian style of art and architecture. Experience the Arjuna’s Penance, the rock cut caves, the Krishna Mandapam, the famous five rathas and the Shore Temple. Afternoon is at leisure. Overnight at the hotel.

08-May-2017 (Mon) : Mahabalipuram – Pondicherry (By Surface)

Breakfast at the hotel. Later in the morning you will drive to Pondicherry. All the French tradition, the quiet atmosphere of the town influenced by the Ashram of Aurobindo and the beach, make a whole to give to Pondicherry an attractive destination. The Union Territory of Pondicherry includes 4 enclaves located in three states of South India. It includes the coastal towns of Pondicherry and Kerala in the Tamil Nadu, Yanam in Andra Pradesh and Mahe in Kerala. The old French colony has retrieved its Indian character, but the scent of the French influence in "Puducheri" as we call now, can be found again in the red kepis of the police officers, French spelling on signboards and traffic signs and some buildings and old stones. Upon arrival check in at HOEL. Afternoon sightseeing tour of Pondicherry. More than anything else, the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, where Sri Aurobindo and the Mother lived for the most parts of their lives, attracts tourists to this little city. The Pondicherry Museum is home to some of the most exquisite collections on architecture and sculpture. Pondicherry also has a pleasant beach alongside promenade and historical monuments. Some of the other interesting sites include the Bharti and Bharthidasan Memorial museums and the Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Overnight at the hotel.

09-May-2017 (Tue) : Pondicherry – Madurai (By Surface)

Breakfast at the hotel. Morning you will drive Madurai, en-route visit Trichy. Rock Fort Temple, visiting the ancient temples dedicated to Lord Ganapathi 434 steps cut out into the rock side and interspersed with shrines, lead to the temple, yet another flight leads to the temple of Lord Shiva. The ascend is climaxed by magnificent view of the sacred Kaveri river, Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple - This superb temple complex at Srirangam, about three km from the Rock Fort, is surrounded by seven concentric walls with 21 gopurams and is probably the largest in India. Most of it dates from the 14th to 17th centuries, and many people have had a hand in its construction, including the Cheras, Pandyas, Cholas, Hoysalas and Vijayanagars and St. John's Church, built in1812, St. John's Church has louved side doors which can be opened to turn the church into an airy pavilion. Rouse the doorkeeper to let you in. The surrounding cemetery is also interesting. Continue your drive to Madurai. Madurai is one of the oldest cities of India, with a history dating all the way back to the Sangam period. The Sangam age or the Golden age of Tamil literature – produced masterpieces way back in the Pre Christian era and in early 1st millennium. Madurai was the seat of the Tamil Sangam or Academy of learning. During the 16th and 18th centuries, Madurai was ruled by the Nayak Emperors, the foremost of whom was Tirumalai Nayakar. The Sangam period poet Nakkeerar is associated with some of the Tiruvilayaadal episodes of Sundareswarar - that are enacted as a part of temple festival traditions even today. The entire city of Madurai is built around the Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple – the temple par excellence. Concentric rectangular streets surround the temple, symbolizing the structure of the cosmos. Upon arrival check in at HOTEL. Overnight at the hotel.

10-May-2017 (Wed) : In Madurai

Breakfast at the hotel. Today enjoy the city tour of Madurai - Visit Madurai’s main attraction – Sri Meenakshi temple which attracts thousands of pilgrims from all over India. The temple is named after the daughter of a Pandyan King. Designed in 1560 by Vishwanatha Nayak, the present temple was substantially built during the reign of Tirumalai Nayak (1623-55 AD), but its history goes back 2000 years to the time when Madurai was the capital of Pandya Kings. Overnight at the hotel.

11-May-2017 (Thu) : Madurai-Thekkady (By Surface)

Breakfast at the hotel. Moring you will drive to Thekkady. This area is of historical importance for more than one reason. It has been and still is an important spice plantation area. Thekkady is one of the finest known natural wildlife sanctuaries and it has a history dating back to the year 1934, when the then state government took initiative to establish the Nellikampathy Sanctuary. This wildlife sanctuary was later developed into the 780 square kilometer Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary by the year 1950. Upon arrival, check-in at the HOTEL. Afternoon enjoy plantation tour. Overnight at the hotel.

12-May-2017 (Fri) : Thekkady- Alleppy (By Surface)

Breakfast at the hotel. Morning you will drive to Alleppy Alleppy to embark the house boat. This laid-back market town Alappuzha, previously known as Alleppy, is built on canals that form a web, which serves the coir industry. All around are coconut palms, and obviously, coir making, boat building, toddy tapping and fish farming are mainstays of the village economy. Have you ever gone cruising in a houseboat on the backwaters of Kerala? If you haven't, make sure you do. This one is really a wonderful and unforgettable experience! Present day houseboats are huge, slow moving exotic barges used for leisure trips, and are in fact reworked version of kettuvallams of olden times. The original kettuvallams were used to carry tons of rice and spices. A standard kettuvallam can hold up to 30 tons from Kuttanad to the Kochi port. The Kettuvallam is held together with coir knots. Not even a single nail is used during the construction of the boat. The boat is made of planks of jack-wood joined together with coir. This is then coated with a caustic black resin made from boiled cashew kernels. With careful maintenance, a Kettuvallam can last for generations. A portion of the Kettuvallam was covered with bamboo and coir to serve as a restroom and kitchen for the crew. Meals would be cooked onboard and supplemented with freshly cooked fish from the backwaters. When the modern trucks replaced this system of transport, someone found a new way that would keep these boats, almost all of which were more than 100 years old, in the market. By constructing special rooms to accommodate travelers, these boats cruised forward from near-extinction to enjoy their present great popularity. Now these are a familiar sight on the backwaters and in Alappuzha alone, there are as many as 500 houseboats. While converting kettuvallams into houseboats, care is taken to use only natural products. Bamboo mats, sticks and wood of the areca nut tree are used for roofing, coir mats and wooden planks for the flooring and wood of coconut trees and coir for beds. For lighting though, solar panels are used. Today, the houseboats have all the creature comforts of a good hotel including furnished bedrooms, modern toilets, cozy living rooms, a kitchen and even a balcony for angling. Parts of the curved roof of wood or plaited palm open out to provide shade and allow uninterrupted views. While most boats are poled by local oarsmen, some are powered by a 40 HP engine. Boat-trains - formed by joining two or more houseboats together are also used by large groups of sightseers. What is truly magical about a houseboat ride is the breathtaking view of the untouched and otherwise inaccessible rural Kerala that it offers, while you float! Now, wouldn't that be something? Overnight on the houseboat.

13-May-2017 (Sat) : Alleppy – Cochin (By Surface)

Breakfast at the hotel. Morning you will drive to Cochin. The commercial capital and most cosmopolitan city of Kerala is Cochin (Kochi), is also known as Queen of Arabian Sea. It is one of the finest natural harbours of the world, this was once a major center of commerce and trade with British, Arabs, Chinese, Portuguese, Dutch etc. Upon arrival you will be met and transferred to HOTEL. Afternoon city sightseeing tour of Kochi, visiting the Dutch Palace, Chinese fishing Nets, St. Francis Church. Overnight at the hotel.

14-May-2017 (Sun) : Depart Cochin

Breakfast at the hotel. Today you will be transferred to the airport to connect your flight for Mumbai. Upon arrival in Mumbai you will be assisted to connect your onward flight for Mexico.