Delhi Deccan Plateau Tours 13 Nights / 14 Days

Destinations Covered :
Delhi - Agra - Gwalior - Bhopal - Mandu - Indore - Mumbai - Aurangabad - Ellora - Hyderabad

Delhi Deccan Plateau Tour is another unique tour based on unveiling the undulated heritage of various Badshahs, Kings, Nizams, scattered in regions like Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh. Beginning with exploring the new city with an old character, Delhi, the tour moves towards Agra, the city of Taj Mahal, Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri. The tour then enters the center of India - Madhya Pradesh where the travel includes discovering Gwalior Fort, Sanchi Stupa, Bhimbetka cave paintings, ruins of Pashtun’s architecture in Mandu and Indore’s Holkar’s heritage. The next halt is in Aurangabad, the erstwhile Mughal capital, which currently serves as a base to explore the heritage of cave group in Ajanta and Ellora. The Delhi Deccan Plateau Tour reaches its crescendo in Hyderabad, the aboriginal city of Nizams where the fascinating heritage merges beautifully with the modernity. The tour sums up in the magical metropolis of Mumbai, where the unique metro culture forms the backdrop to explore an enticing culture of the city.

Upon arrival in New Delhi you will be met and transferred airport/ hotel. Delhi is the capital of India. Her history dates back to 3000 years. Various rulers built eight successive cities in and around present day Delhi. Few capitals in the world have as many monuments of which Delhi is justly proud. Overnight at the hotel.
Morning tour of New Delhi. Designed in 1911 by the British, New Delhi is one of the greenest capitals in the world. Your tour today includes a visit to the impressive Qutab Minar, a 234 foot sandstone tower and Humayun's tomb, a predecessor to the famous Taj Mahal. Later drive past the government buildings and presidential palace along the broad and majestic Rajpath, Diplomatic Enclave etc. Afternoon tour of Old Delhi. Drive past the Red Fort, a symbol of Mughal power, the Chandni Chowk (old shopping street) and the Jama Mosque area. Later visit Raj Ghat, a memorial to the great Mahatma Gandhi. Overnight at the hotel.
Early morning transfer to the rail station for a train ride to Agra (about 2 hours).The earliest reference to Agra is in the epic "The Mahabharat". Ptolemy, Alexander the Great's geographer, also called it Agra. It was however in the medieval period that Agra earned prominence as a capital city under the Mughals. It's many wonderful monuments and the Taj Mahal, the greatest of them all, have given it a unique position as a major tourist centres. Taj Mahal, simply, is beauty - not just in design and technique, but in desire and intent. It was built as a monument of love, a manifestation of life's most powerful emotion. When his wife died unexpectedly, Emperor Shahjahan vowed to honour her with a memorial of unmatched beauty. He commissioned the world's best craftsmen and 20,000 workers to build this beautiful structure. The result stands before you today - a delicately carved, white marble jewel, which seems to float on a sea of red limestone.
Visit Taj Mahal and the Agra Fort in the morning. Afternoon excursion to Fatehpur Sikri, the once fabled Mughal capital which has taken on a sleeping beauty quality, lying quietly but wonderfully preserved. We will see the Halls of Public and Private Audiences, the tower of Victory and the tomb of
Salim Chisti which is laced with mother-of-pearl. Overninght at the hotel.
Morning transfer to the rail station for a train ride to Gwalior. (about 1-1/2 hours). Gwalior is famous for it's old and very large fort, which is over a thousand years old. Within the fort walls are several interesting temples and ruined palaces. Gwalior's legendary beginning stems from a meeting between a warrior called Suraj Sen and a hermit, Gwalipa, who lived on the hilltop where the fort stands. It is said, that the hermit cured Suraj Sen of an incurable disease who as a gesture of gratitude founded Gwalior. Over the centuries, Gwalior became a city if immense importance and remained the scene of continual intrigues and clashes with the neighbouring powers. It became the birthplace of many dynasties whose rulers patronized it's strategic location, each leaving it's own indelible mark over the city. We will visit the Gwalior Fort and Palace. Overnight at the hotel.
Morning transfer to the rail station for a train ride to Bhopal. Upon arrival you will be met and transferred Airport/Hotel. Bhopal, the capital city of Madhya Pradesh, was founded by Raja Bhoja in the 11th century. The city and it's surroundings are a good example of the co-existance of the old and the new. Bhopal is really important as the base from which one can visit Bhimbetka, Sanchi and Ujjain than for what the city itself can offer the tourist. Afternoon a brief sightseeing tour of the city as we drive past picturesque lakes visiting the Jama Masjid, the Taj-ul-Masjid, the Birla Mandir and Archaeological Museum, the Laxmi Narayan Temple, and a museum of modem, urban and rural arts. Overnight at the hotel.
Full excursion to sanchi and the Bhimbeltka caves. The Sanchi Stupa, located 48 Kms from Bhopal, is a world heritage monument and one of the most important Budhhist pilgrim centres. The construction of the stupa began during the rule of Emperor Ashoka. The four gateways of the stupa are exquisitely carved and recount the life of Gautam Buddha. 8 Kms away at Vidisha is the famous Besnagar monolithic pillar dating back to 90B.c., which states that Heliodorus – the Greek Ambassador in the court of Takshashila (Taxila) raised the pillar. Helidorous refers to himself as the worshipper of Vishnu.

The Bhimbetka ruins are famous for a large number of cave paintings dating back from the old Stone age to medieval times. Like the Aboriginal rock paintings in the outback of the bushmen in the Kalahari Desert in Africa or the Paleolithic Lascaux caves of France, the Bhimbetka caves are a must-see. Amongst forests of teak and sal in the craggy cliffs of an almost African setting, some thousand rock shelters have been discovered. These remarkably well preserved natural pigment paintings depict the Vibrant social life of our ancestors and are breath- takingly life-like! Overnight at the hotel.
Morning we drive to Mandu (275 kms / 5 hrs). The extensive hilltop fort of Mandu is one of the most interesting sights in Central India. Founded as a fortress and retreat in the 10th century by Raja Bhoj, Mandu is a celebration in stone of life and joy, of the love of the poet-prince Baz Bahadur for his beautiful wife, Rani Roopmati. Perched along the Vindhyan ranges at an altitude of about 2000 feet, Mandu with it's natural defences, was originally the fort capital of the Parmar rulers of Malwa. Towards the end of the 13th century, it came under the Sultans of Malwa, the first of whom renamed it Shadiabad - the city of joy. It's rulers built exquisite palaces like the Jahaz and Hindola Mahals, ornamental canals, baths and pavilions. Each of Mandu's structures is an architectural gem. Some are outstanding like the Jami Masjid and Hoshang Shah's Tomb, which provided inspiration to the master builders of the Taj Mahal centuries later. Under Mughal rule, Mandu was a pleasure resort, it's lakes and palaces, the scene of splendid and extravagant festivities. The glory of Mandu lives on in it's palaces and mosques, in legends and songs. Afternoon sightseeing tour of Mandu. Overnight at the hotel.
Morning you drive to Indore (90 kms - 1-1/2 hrs). The city derives it's name from the 18th century Indreshwar Temple. Situated in the heart of the Malwa plateau it was the base of the Holkars, the former rulers of this erstwhile state. Indore, in fact was planned and built by Rani Ahilyabai Holkar. Today it is a throbbing, vibrant city coloured by it's brave past. It is naturally endowed with a beautiful landscape and a salubrious climate. Of interest here are numerous monuments associated with the Holkars. Overnight at the hotel.
Morning transfer to the airport for your flight to Aurangabad via Mumbai. Upon arrival in Aurangabad you will be met and transferred airport/hotel. Aurangabad, once a Mughal capital , is now a thriving industrial metropolis and an important base for visiting the Ajanta and Ellora Caves. Northern Maharashtra's largest city, Aurangabad is located almost 410 kms northeast of Mumbai and is situated on the northern part of the elevated Deccan Plateau in the region known as Marathwada. It stands along the River Kham and is a pleasant spacious town. Overnight at the hotel.
This morning, you will visit Ajanta. Buddhist monks spent centuries carving 29 caves into a horse-shoe shaped cliff on the Waghora River. Completed around the 7th century AD, these masterpieces were lost for centuries until a Britishhunting party stumbled upon them in 1819. These dramatically cut caves contain some of India's most magnificent paintings. Their murals exquisitely depict scenes from Buddhist legends and reveal telling details of the culture of the time when they were painted. Five of the caves were temples and 24 were monastries, thought to have been occupied by some 200 monks and artisans. Return to Aurangabad late in the afternoon and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure. Overnight at the hotel.
Morning you take a short drive to Ellora to visit the temples. Stonecutters removed an estimated 200,000 tonnes of rock to build the 34 caves with statues, columns and decorative facades. Over 2000 years old, these ternples are a wonder of ancient art and have been compared to the pyramids for their amazing construction. The highlight of the 34 caves is the mighty Kailasa Temple, the zenith of Hindu rock-cut temple architecture. Later in the afternoon transfer to the airport for your flight to Hyderabad via Mumbai. Upon arrival you will be met and transferred airport/hotel.

Hyderabad is an important centre of Islamic culture and central India's counterpart to the Mughal splendours of the northern cities of Delhi and Agra. Hyderabad is also famous as the former seat of the fabulously wealthy Nizams. Overnight at the hotel.
Full day sightseeing tour of Hyderabad. You will visit the Golconda Fort, one of the most fascinating fort complexes in India and the tombs of the Qutab Shahi kings, the builders of the fort. Also visit the Salar Jung Museum which is often said to be India's answer to the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, which houses exhibits from all corners of the world. Also visit the Charminar, standing in the heart of the old walled city, surrounded by lively bazaars and the triumphant arch built to commemorate the end of the plague in Hyderabad in 1591. Also visit the Mecca Masjid, one of the largest mosques in the world, built in 1687 which can accommodate upto 10,000 worshippers. You will also visit the Bir1a Mandir, a modern Hindu temple built out of white marble. Overnight at the hotel.
Morning transfer to the airport for your flight to Mumbai. Upon arrival you will be met and transferred airport/hotel. A beautiful harbour studded with hilly islands and a palm-fringed shore rising gradually to the peaks of mountain ranges form a fine waterfront for Mumbai, "the Gateway of India". Besides being the major port of India, Mumbai is also a great industrial centre. A cosmopolitan city, it owes it's prosperity to the industry and enterprise of it's population of about eight million. It is the commercial capital of India. Afternoon tour of Mumbai city. Visit the Gateway of India, a 262 feet highway overlooking the sea, built to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary in 1911. Drive past the Victorian Railway Station to the Flora Fountain. Known by the natives as Hutatma Chowk, this spot is the centre of Mumbai's life. Also visit the Hanging Gardens, the Prince of Wales Museum, the Gandhi Museum and the Dhobi Ghats- the public laundry. Overnight at the hotel.
Day at leisure and transfer to the airport for your flight back home.

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