Mumbai Aurangabad Deccan Tour sums up the enticing culture of west & south and brings them together in this unique itinerary. Beginning from exploring the cosmopolitan culture of Mumbai, the tour moves towards Aurangabad, once the Mughal capital which is currently a strong base to explore the ancient marvels of Ajanta and Ellora caves. These caves are an apogee of Indian art containing some important rock paintings and scenes of various religious legends. The tour then furthers towards Mysore via Bangalore’s brief orientation drive. The refined city of Mysore is known ideally for its tree-lined boulevards, beautiful gardens and stately palaces. The journey then moves towards Sravanbelagola, a prime Jain pilgrim site revered for one of the tallest monolithic statue of Gomateshwara. The next halt at Halebid Temples showcasing the astounding wealth of Hoysala dynasty sums up this magical Mumbai Aurangabad Deccan Tour.
Upon arrival, transfer to the hotel. Mumbai (Bombay) - the "Gateway of India", a cosmopolitan city and the commercial capital of India. Overnight at the hotel.
Morning visit the Gateway of India, drive past the Victoria Railway Station to the Flora Fountain, the centre of Bombay's life. Also visit the Hanging Gardens, Prince of Wales museum, the Gandhi Museum and the Dhobi Ghats - the public laundry. In the afternoon, fly to Aurangabad, once a Mughal capital, but now an important base for visiting the Ajanta and Ellora caves. Upon arrival, transfer to the hotel. Overnight at the hotel.
This morning - visit the Ajanta caves. Buddhist monks spent centuries carving 29 caves into a horse-shoe shaped cliff on the Waghora river. Completed around the 7th century AD and lost for centuries to be rediscovered in 1819, these caves contain some of India's most magnificent paintings. Their murals exquisitely depict scenes from Buddhist legends and reveal telling details of the culture at the time they were painted. Overnight at the hotel.
Morning visit the Ellora temples. The temple's stonecutters removed an estimated 200,000 tons of rock to build the 34 caves. The highlight is the mighty Kailasa Temple. The temple measures about 55 yards cube of one piece of stone hewn from solid rock - top down now appears free standing. In the afternoon take a flight to Bangalore via Mumbai. Upon arrival, transfer to the hotel. Overnight at the hotel.
Morning a brief orientation drive through the city driving past the Vidhan Sabha, the Secretariat, gardens and the main shopping district. Later drive to Mysore (140 kms /3 hrs) visiting en route the Somnathpur Temple, built around 1260 AD - the walls of this star shaped temple are covered with superb sculptures in stone depicting various scenes from the great epics - the Ramayana, the Mahabharata, the Bhagvad Gita and also of the life and times of the Hoysala kings. Mysore has a long history of eminent dynasties that ruled from here and created a city, that even today, is one of the finest in Southern India with tree-lined boulevards, beautiful gardens and stately palaces. Overnight at the hotel.
Morning tour of Mysore city. As the principal residence of a former royal family - Mysore offers palaces with a profusion of exquisite domes, arches and turrets. On Chamundi hill, we find the summer palaces and the 2000 year old temple of Chamundeswari, dedicated to the deity of the Mysore royal family. Nearby we see the 16 foot high monolithic sculpture of the Nandi bull adorned with garlands and bells. Afternoon, excursion to the summer palace of Karnataka's ruler, Tipu Sultan at Srirangapatnam and the Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple, a popular place of pilgrimage for the Hindus. Overnight at the hotel.
Morning drive to Hassan (120 kms /3 hrs), en route see the 17 metre tall naked statue of Mahavira at Sravanbelgola, one of the tallest monolithic statue, oldest and most important Jain pilgrimage centres in India. Later visit Belur Temple - with it's exquisite temples. The Chenakeshava Temple is covered with intricate sculptures and friezes. Later visit the Halebid Temples. What astounds one about the Hoysaleswara Temple here is the wealth of sculptural detail. The walls of the temple are carved endlessly, yet no two facets of the temple are the same. Overnight at the hotel.
Morning drive to Bangalore for your flight to your onward destination.