|Destinations : Arrive Mumbai - Arrive Aurangabad- Hyderabad (by train) - Chennai (overnight train) - Arrive Chennai - Kanchipuram - Mahablipuram - Chennai - Mysore (by train) - Bangalore (by surface) - Chennai (Shatabdi Express)
Duration : 13 Days
Day 01: 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 the Hotel.
Day 02: In Mumbai
Breakfast at the hotel. Morning you will be given city tour of Mumbai.
City tour of Bombay - 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, and the bustling Crawford Market.
Later in the evening transfer to the railway station to board train for Aurangabad. Overnight on board.
Day 03 : Arrive Aurangabad
Morning arrive 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 met and transferred to the hotel. Later you will be given full day tour of Ajanta Caves.
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. (Closed on Mondays)
Overnight at the hotel.
Day 04: In Aurangabad
Breakfast at the hotel. Morning visit Ellora Caves.
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.
Overnight at the hotel.
Day 05: Aurangabad - Hyderabad (by train)
Breakfast at the hotel. Rest of the day is free. Check-out from the hotel 1200 hrs. Evening transfer to railway station to board overnight train for Hyderabad. Overnight on board.
Day 06: Arrive Hyderabad
Morning arrive Hyderabad and transfer to Hotel.
Hyderabad has an estimated metropolitan population of 6.7 million, making it an A-1 status city and the second largest (in terms of area) in the country. It is also the 5th largest metropolitan area in India. Hyderabad is known for its rich history, culture and architecture representing its unique character as a meeting point for North and south India, and its multilingual culture, both geographically and culturally.
Also known as The City of Nizams and The City of Pearls, Hyderabad is today one of the most developed cities in the country and a modern hub of information technology, ITES, and biotechnology.
Afternoon you will be given city tour of Hyderabad. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 07: Hyderbad - Chennai (overnight train)
Day is free or you also have an option to take a tour to Golconda.
Golconda consists of four distinct forts with a 10 km long outer wall with 87 semi circular bastions; some still mounted with cannons, eight gateways, four drawbridges and number of royal apartments & halls, temples, mosques, magazines, stables etc, inside. The lowest of these is the outermost enclosure into which we enter by the "Fateh Darwaza" (Victory gate, so called after Aurangzebs triumphant army marched in through this gate) studded with giant iron spikes (to prevent elephants from battering them down) near the south-eastern corner. At Fateh Darwaza can be experienced the fantastic acoustic effects, characteristic of the engineering arvels at Golconda. A hand clap at a certain point below the dome at the entrance reverberates and can be heard clearly at the 'Bala Hisar' pavilion, the highest point almost a kilometre away, this worked as a warning note to the royals in case of an attack.
Bala Hissar Gate is the main entrance to the fort located on the eastern side. It has a pointed arch bordered by rows of scroll work. The spandrels have yalis and decorated roundels. The area above the door has peacocks with ornate tails flanking an ornamental arched niche. The granite block lintel below has sculpted yalis flanking a disc. The design of peacocks and lions is a blend of Hindu - Muslim architecture.
Evening transfer to railway station to board overnight train for Chennai. Overnight on board.
Day 08: Arrive Chennai
Morning arrive Chennai.
A city of Contrasts and diversities, Chennai is the forth-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 the hotel. Afternoon you will be given city tour of Chennai. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 09: Chennai - Kanchipuram - Mahablipuram - Chennai
Today you will be given full day tour of Mahabalipuram & Kanchipuram.
Mahabalipuram (or Mamallapuram, its ancient name) is one of history's intriguing enigmas. Situated just 60 km off Chennai on the Bay of Bengal coast in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu, Mahabalipuram was a flourishing port town of the Pallava rulers of South India who chiselled in stone a fabulous open-air museum of sculptures under the vault of a burning sky. Its sculptural extravaganza is a living testament of the virile artistic temperament of the Pallavas who were trendsetters in South Indian art.
Kanchipuram, the Golden City of a thousand temples, is the capital of the Pallavas, the Cholas and the Rayas of Vijayanagar. During the 6th and 7th centuries, some of the best temples in the city were built by the Pallavas. The city was also a great seat of learning. Sri Sankaracharya, Appar, Siruthonder and the great Budddhist Bhikku lived, and worked here. Today, it is known not only for its temples, but also for its hand-woven silk fabrics
Overnight at the hotel.
Day 10: Chennai - Mysore (by train)
Morning transfer to railway station to board train for Mysore.
Mysore was the Capital City of the Wodeyar Dynasty. The name 'Mysore' has been derived from 'Mahishasurapura', name of the demon who was slained by Goddess Chamundeshwari. It has seen untold glory and the rich heritage of the Wodeyars.Mysore has retained its studiously built character of a princely city. This is confirmed by the palaces, vast gardens, shady avenues and temples which are present even today
Arrive Mysore and transfer to hotel. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 11: In Mysore
Full day tour of Belur and Halebid.
Belur was the early capital of the Hoysala Empire. With Halebidu which is only 16 km away, this is one of the major tourist destinations in Karnataka, India. Belur is located in Hassan district. According to inscriptions discovered here, it was also referred to as Velapuri. The main attraction in Belur is the Chennakesava temple complex which contains the Chennakesava Temple (dedicated to Lord Chennakeshava, meaning handsome Vishnu) as the centre piece, surrounded by the Kappe Chennigraya temple built by Shantaladevi, queen of king Vishnuvardhana. There are two more shrines here that are still in use by devotees and there is a Pushkarni or stepped well to the right side of the main entrance. The Dravida style rayagopuram at the entrance which was a later addition by the Vijayanagar kings, who considered this deity as one of their Kuladevata or family god.
The temple is one of the finest examples of Hoysala architecture. It was built by king Vishnuvardhana in commemoration of his victory over the Cholas at Talakad in 1117 CE. Legend has it that it took 103 years to complete and Vishnuvardhana's grandson Veera Ballala II completed the task. The facade of the temple is filled with intricate sculptures and friezes with no portion left blank. The intricate workmanship includes elephants, lions, horses, episodes from the Indian mythological epics, and sensuous dancers (Shilabalikas). Inside the temple are a number of ornate pillars. Darpana Sundari (Lady with the mirror) carved on walls of Belur Temple is one of major attraction in complex.
Halebid is located in Hassan District, Karnataka, India. Halebid was the regal capital of the Hoysala Empire in the 12th century. It is home to one of the best examples of Hoysala architecture in the ornate Hoysaleswara and Kedareswara temples.
The temple complex comprises of two Hindu temples, the Hoysaleshawara and Kedareshwara temples and two Jain basadi. In front of these temples there is a big lake. The town gets its name from the lake, Dhwara samudhra which means entrance from ocean. The two nandi bull statues which are on the side of the Hoysaleshwara temple are monolithic. Soap stone or Chloritic Schist was used for the construction of these temples. However a number of sculptures in the temple are destructed by invaders. So the temple is incomplete. Halebid means ruined city. There is an archeological museum in the temple complex.
The Hoysaleswara temple, dating back to the 1121 C.E., is astounding for its wealth of sculptural details. The walls of the temple are covered with an endless variety of depictions from Hindu mythology, animals, birds and Shilabalikas or dancing figures. Yet no two sculptures of the temple are the same. This magnificent temple guarded by a Nandi Bull was never completed, despite 86 years of labour. The Jain basadi nearby are equally rich in sculptural detail. Belur and Halebid are 222 and 216 km from Bangalore, respectively. This temple is now being proposed as UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Overnight at the hotel.
Day 12: Mysore - Bangalore (by surface)
Drive to Bangalore.
Bangalore is now what we call India's Silicon Valley and the country's pub capital, along with aerospace research, biotechnology and dozens of premier education institutions it is perhaps the most westernized city in India.
The city has grown in magnitudes, emerging into what you see it and know it. The city has slowly found a place in the country's history and off recently a place on the world map Afternoon you will be given city tour of Bangalore. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 13: Bangalore - Chennai (Shatabdi Express)
Transfer to railway station to board train for Chennai. Arrive & transfer to city centre (No hotel). Later in the evening, transfer to international airport to board flight for onward destination.