Mumbai, Gujarat and Rajasthan Exotic Cities
Mumbai, Gujarat, and Rajasthan Exotic Cities tour itinerary is designed to provide glimpses of the cultural diversity of India. Explore Mumbai a city famous as the heart of the Bollywood film industry & the country’s financial powerhouse dotted with British Raj monuments and ancient caves. Then fly to Vadodara and visit a host of architectural feats & historical places. Continue to the culturally rich state of India & visit magnificent forts, palaces & museums that narrate the success stories of bravery of the soil & the delicacy of the stonework. See the monument of love, iconic Taj Mahal & end the tour in Delhi a city of living history & heritage of close to three millennia.
Day 1: Arrive in Mumbai
On arrival at Mumbai airport meet with our office executive assistance and transfer to hotel (hotels check-in time 1200hr afternoon, early check-in subject to room availability).
Mumbai is a city that is disciplined by no time frame neither day nor night. It is also the country’s financial powerhouse, the nation’s industrial heartland, and its economic nerve center. Dazzling shopping arcades, exciting sports activity, nightclubs & discotheques, theater & music, gourmet restaurants, and interesting sightseeing. It offers visitors a heady mix of all this and more.
Rest time free for personal activities relax, you can take a walk to have a glance of the city, visiting local markets and restaurants. Overnight at the hotel. (Hotel: Sun-N-Sand Hotel or similar)
Day 2: Mumbai (B)
Breakfast at hotel, city tour of Mumbai. Drive to Marine Drive: one of the most beautifully laid boulevards in the city. Afterward visit Elephant caves (Monday closed), from Gateway of India here cruise by motorboats to Elephanta Caves. A flight of 100 steps takes you to the top of the hill where it is set.
Afterward in the afternoon cruise back to Gateway of India and then city tour starts visiting Parliament House: The Maharashtra State Assembly (view from outside), Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST), formerly Victoria Terminus, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site (view from outside), Dhobhi Ghat: to see the city’s famous open-air laundry in action, Prince of Wales Museum (Monday closed): is a heritage museum comprises of a number of ancient artifacts, Mani Bhawan: Known also Gandhi Museum, here Gandhi laid the foundation for many independence movements; The three-storied building has now converted into a museum in honor of Father of Nation.
If time permits visit to Bandra and Juhu area where Bollywood celebrity houses are located like Shahrukh Khan, Amitabh Bachchan, Salman Khan, etc, (can be seen from outside). Mount Mary Church, an ancient church, built-in 1640 and then rebuilt in 1761, The Basilica of Our Lady of the Mount is also an important religious place in Mumbai. In the evening, visit Iskcon Temple: dedicated to Lord Krishna, The architectural splendor of the ISKCON Temple is adorned with murals and sculptures. Afterward, return to the hotel for an overnight stay. (Hotel: Sun-N-Sand Hotel or similar)
Day 3: Mumbai – Vadodara (B)
Breakfast at hotel transfer to airport to board flight for Vadodara. On arrival at Vadodara airport assistance and transfer to hotel check-in.
Later visit Lakshmi Vilas Palace, reputed to have been the largest private dwelling built to date and four times the size of Buckingham Palace. At the time of construction, it boasted the most modern amenities such as elevators and the interior is reminiscent of a large European country house. It remains the residence of the royal family, who continue to be held in high esteem by the residents of Baroda. The Palace compound is of over 500 acres and houses a number of buildings, particularly the LVP Banquets & Conventions, Moti Bagh Palace, and the Maharaja Fateh Singh Museum building. Maharaja Fateh Singh Museum, originally built as a school for the Maharaja’s children, now houses a wide range of antiques and art pieces that once belonged to the Maratha royal family. The exhibits range from portraits of the royal family and depictions of Hindu mythologies to flawless marble and bronze sculptures. Kirti Mandir, Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III built this monument to celebrate the fifty years of his mighty administration by commemorating the cremation of his family members. The 33 m high central arch is also ornamented with the sun, the moon, and the earth and the rooms behold the sculptures and photographs of the members of the Gaekwad family. Overnight at the hotel. (Hotel: Royal Orchid Central or similar)
Remarks: Domestic flight from Mumbai to Vadodara is not included.
Day 4: Vadodara – Pavagadh – Champaner – Sardar Sarovar Dam – Statue of Unity (B)
Breakfast at hotel drives to Statue of Unity via visiting UNESCO World Heritage Site of Pavagadh – Champaner. The site encompasses forts, temples, mosques, mausoleum complexes, pavilions, wells and tanks, and Champaner’s Jami Masjid, built around 1523, which is considered the high watermark of 16th century Indo-Saracenic architecture. There are three groups of temples here. The first one is the Bhavanaderi temple also known as Navlakha Temple. The second group is the temples of Suparshvanath and Chandraprabhu. The third group of temples is located on the south-east point of Pavagadh Hill next to the Dudhia tank. It is said the temples were built in or around the 14th/15th centuries in white stone. However, they could be even more ancient. Unfortunately, Mahmud Begada laid waste the temples but devotees undertook repairs in 1880.
Continue drive to Sardar Sarovar Dam, Statue of Unity, check-in at Tent City, or hotel near Statue of Unity.
Later visit Sardar Sarovar Dam, Selfie Point, and Valley of Flowers. Evening Laser Show – A Light and Sound show using laser technology projected on the Statue of Unity takes place every evening except Monday. The colorful laser lighting system is accompanied by an excellent narration of the history and life of Sardar Patel, his contribution to the Independence Movement, and the unification of India as one nation. Dinner at the Dining Area along with Live Music. Overnight in Tent/ Hotel. (Hotel: Statue of Unity Tent City or similar)
Day 5: Sardar Sarovar Dam, Statue of Unity – Ahmedabad (B)
Breakfast at the hotel. Visit the Statue of Unity world’s tallest statue with a height of 182 meters. A huge exhibition hall covering an area of 4,647 square meters has been set up on the pedestal of the Statue of Unity. The hall showcases the life of Sardar Patel, his contributions to the Freedom Movement against British rule, and his role in the merger of princely states. The high-speed elevators will take you to a height of about 400 feet through the core of the statue where you can get a panoramic view of the surroundings.
After sightseeing drive to Ahmedabad check-in at the hotel. Rest time free and easy to relax. Overnight at the hotel. (Hotel: Ramada Hotel or similar)
Day 6: Ahmedabad (B)
Breakfast at hotel, city tour of Ahmedabad. Visit Hatheesing Jain Temple established in 1850 by Seth Hatheesing, who was a rich Jain merchant. This temple is dedicated to the 15th ‘Jain Tirthankar’, known as Dharamnath. Bhadra fort a beautiful monument that is famous for its intricate carvings, pattern works, and beautiful frescos suits. Arches at the entry gate have some inscriptions that represent the history of the fort. Jama Mosque there are different entrances to the mosque. Near the eastern entrance, stands the tomb of the Sultan Ahmed Shah, which houses the graveyard of three great rulers, namely Ahmed Shah, his son, Mohammed Shah, and his grandson, Qutub-Ud-Din Ahmed Shah. Kite Museum the city of Ahmedabad is popular for the Kite Festival so it doesn’t come as a surprise if you find an entire museum dedicated to kites. The popular Kite Museum that houses some of the rarest kites in the world is a first of its kind in India and second in the world. Shaking Minarets one of the most unique monuments in Ahmedabad, located in Siddi Bashir’s Mosque near the Sarangpur gate this is one of the beautiful tourist places in the city.
Also, visit Sabarmati Ashram – on his return from South Africa, Gandhi’s first Ashram in India was established in the Kochrab area of Ahmedabad on 25 May 1915. The Ashram was then shifted on 17 June 1917 to a piece of open land on the banks of the river Sabarmati. Reasons for this shift included: he wanted to do some experiments in living eg farming, animal husbandry, cow breeding, Khadi, and related constructive activities. Overnight at the hotel. (Hotel: Ramada Hotel or similar)
Day 7: Ahmedabad – Dungarpur – Udaipur (B)
Breakfast at hotel, drive to Udaipur via visiting Dungarpur.
Dungarpur is as exotic as the green marble found here and shipped globally. Dungarpur is famous for the exceptional architecture of its palaces and royal residences. These stone structures are adorned with ‘jharokhas’ (windows) and built-in a style that was born during the times of Maharawal Shiv Singh (1730-1785 AD). Dungarpur’s goldsmiths and silversmiths are skilled artisans famous for Their lacquer-painted toys and picture frames. Visit Udai Bilas Palace, Juna Mahal, Gaib Sagar Lake, Vijay Rajrajeshwar Temple, The Badal Mahal, The Beneshwar temple & Surpur Temple.
Continue to drive to Udaipur check-in at the hotel. Evening enjoys a boat cruise on Lake Pichola, see the ghats along the lake, and the interesting buildings on the banks. The view of the city palace from the lake is spectacular. Lake Pichola is an artificial freshwater lake, created in the year 1362 AD, named after the nearby Picholi village. It is one of the several contiguous lakes and developed over the last few centuries in and around the famous Udaipur city. The lakes around Udaipur were primarily created by building dams to meet the drinking water and irrigation needs of the city and its neighborhood. Two islands, Jag Niwas and Jag Mandir are located within Pichola Lake and have been developed with several palaces to provide views of the lake. Overnight at the hotel. (Hotel: Hotel Lakend or similar)
Day 8: Udaipur (B)
Breakfast at the hotel city tour of Udaipur. The city of lakes is located around azure water lakes and is hemmed in by lush green hills of Aravallis. The famous Lake Palace, located in the middle of Lake Pichola is one of the most beautiful sights of Udaipur. It is also home to Jaisamand Lake, claimed to be the second-largest man-made sweet water lake in Asia. The beautiful City Palace and Sajjangarh (Monsoon Palace) add to the architectural beauty and grandeur of the city. The city is also known for its profusion of zinc and marble. Solar observatory in Lake Fateh Sagar is the only observatory in India located on an island and has been made on the pattern of Big Bear Lake in Southern California. Visit City Palace, Museum, Jagdish Temple, Saheliyon Ki Bari, Eklingji & Nagda Temple.
In the evening watch “Dharohar” folk dance show at Bagore-ki-Haveli. A gorgeous 18th-century haveli that has been converted into a museum showcasing Mewar art and architecture. The haveli puts on one of the best Rajasthani folk dance shows in Rajasthan. For an hour, performers dance to Rajasthani folk music wearing bright colored ethnic dresses. The dances are varied and demonstrate the tradition and culture of Rajasthani folklore. Overnight at the hotel. (Hotel: Hotel Lakend or similar)
Day 9: Udaipur – Ranakpur – Bishnoi Village – Jodhpur (B)
Breakfast at hotel drive to Jodhpur, Enroute visit Ranakpur. The Ranakpur Temple complex comprises 1444 intricately carved pillars, 24 pillared halls accompanied by 80 domes which are borne by 400 columns. The apogee of this entire temple architecture is the fact that no two pillars here are the same! The temple structure has five spires, each of which houses a shrine underneath, and it is under the largest spire in the axis of the main entrance (Chaumukha Shrine) that one can locate the 6 feet tall statue of Lord Adinath. Another exquisite aspect that has also earned the temple its name is the carving of the four-headed image of Adinath, sheltered by a 108-headed snake with numerous tails. The four heads face four directions, suggesting the pursuit of the Tirthankaras. The entire ceiling of this temple complex is bedecked with geometric designs and scrollwork. However, it is the carvings of the nymphs and celestial maidens playing musical instruments, at the height of nearly 45 feet that really draws the eye.
Continue drive visit Guda village, a Bishnoi village, home to a vivid range of exotic wildlife and nature. It is a habitat for thousands of migratory birds in the area. One can often catch the Demoiselle crane frolicking at the lake. Antelopes and blackbucks can also be spotted by the pond. This place is a must-visit for nature lovers. The Bishnoi community inhabits the village. The villagers are staunch worshippers of nature in all its forms, especially the sanctity of plant and animal life. They even pray to the green trees and animals that inhabit their land and make every effort to conserve the environment. Another fact about the Bishnoi tribals is that they worship Lord Vishnu and are vegetarians. It is the perfect place to experience the traditions and customs of tribal life. It is a place caught in a delightful time warp, where life still goes on like the days of the past.
Thereafter drive to Jodhpur check-in at the hotel. Overnight at the hotel. (Hotel: The Ummed or similar)
Day 10: Jodhpur (B)
Breakfast at the hotel city tour of Jodhpur, popularly known as the Blue City. The name is clearly befitting as most of the architecture – forts, palaces, temples, Havelis, and even houses are built in vivid shades of blue. The strapping forts that tower this magnificent city sum up to a spectacle you would not want to miss. The mammoth, imposing fortress of Mehrangarh has a landscape dominating a rocky ridge with the eight gates leading out of the fortress. Jodhpur marks its origin back to the year 1459 AD. Rao Jodha, the chief of Rathore Clan is credited with the origin of Jodhpur. Mandore, the ancient capital of Marwar is a major historical site lying just 10kms out from Jodhpur where you will find the cenotaphs of Jodhpur’s former rulers. Unlike the original chhatri-shaped cenotaphs that are typical patterns of Rajasthan architecture, these are built along the lines of Hindu temples.
Visit Mehrangarh Fort, Jaswant Thada, Umaid Bhawan Palace & Mandore Temples, Gardens & Cenotaphs. Overnight at the hotel. (Hotel: The Ummed or similar)
Day 11: Jodhpur – Pushkar – Jaipur (B)
Breakfast at hotel, drive to Jaipur en-route visit Pushkar, one of the oldest cities in India surrounded by hillocks on three sides. Along with an interesting mythological history, a legacy of timeless architectural heritage makes Pushkar a fascinating city. According to legends, Lord Brahma, believed to be the creator of the Universe dropped a lotus to the ground leading to the immediate creation of a lake. He then decided to name the place after the flower, and thus the name, Pushkar. The city of Pushkar is home to the only temple dedicated to Lord Brahma in the whole world. Hindus consider a journey to Pushkar to be the ultimate pilgrimage that must be undertaken to attain salvation.
Visit of Pushkar Lake one of the holiest lakes in the country, has 52 bathing ghats, Brahma & Savitri Temple. Excursion to visit Khwaja Dargah E Sharif, Adhai Din Ka Jhonpda, Anasagar Lake in nearby town Ajmer.
Continue to drive to Jaipur check-in at the hotel. In the evening explores the pink city and visits the colorful bazaars. You can also visit the Albert Hall Museum. The building gets inspiration for its design & name from The Victoria and Albert Museum in London. The museum displays a wide range of metal objects, wood crafts, carpets, stone and metal sculptures, arms and weapons, natural stones, and ivory goods. It also houses a large collection of miniatures from Bundi, Kota, Kishangarh, Udaipur, and Jaipur schools of art. Overnight at the hotel. (Hotel: Holiday Inn City Centre or similar)
Day 12: Jaipur (B)
Breakfast at hotel, city tour of Jaipur. Jaipur holds the distinction of being the first planned city of India. Established in 1727 by Jai Singh II, the king of Amber when he shifted his capital from Amber to the new city because of the rapidly-growing population and increasing water scarcity. Noted architect Vidyadhar Bhattacharya used the established principles of Vastu Shastra to build the city. In 1876, the Prince of Wales visited Jaipur and the entire Jaipur city was painted in pink the symbolic colors of hospitality to welcome him. The pink that colors the city makes for a marvelous spectacle to behold. Jaipur rises up majestically against the backdrop of the forts Nahargarh, Jaigarh, and Garh Ganesh Temple.
In the morning visit, Amber Fort followed by Jaigarh Fort & Sisodia Rani Garden. Afternoon city tour visits City Palace, Observatory & Hawa Mahal. Further, explore the local market the famous bazaars of Pink City. In the evening attend Aarti Ceremony at Birla temple. Overnight at the hotel. (Hotel: Holiday Inn City Centre or similar)
Day 13: Jaipur – Abhaneri – Fatehpur Sikri – Agra (B)
Breakfast at hotel drives to Agra Enroute visit Abhaneri a small village popular for the amazing Chand Baoris (step wells) and Harshat Mata Temple. Chand Baori is one of India’s deepest and largest step wells. The huge tank with delicate carvings is certainly delightful to the eyes. Continue to Fatehpur Sikri founded in 1569 by Mughal emperor Akbar and abandoned after 15 yrs due to scarcity of water. Predominately, a red sandstone construction sprawling over a huge area, the architectural style is very much in tune with the emperor’s dream & partakes of both Hindu & Muslim styles. See the graceful buildings including Diwan-E-Khas hall, Jodha Bais Palace, Jama Masjid, Tomb of Salim Chisti, Panch Mahal & Buland Darwaza. (Hotel: Prime Plaza or similar)
Further, drive to Agra check-in at the hotel. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 14: Agra – Delhi (B)
Sunrise visit Taj Mahal an ivory-white marble mausoleum on the bank of the Yamuna river commissioned in 1632 by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan to house the tomb of his favorite wife Mumtaz Mahal, it also houses the tomb of Shah Jahan himself.
Breakfast at hotel visits Agra Fort the main residence of the emperors of the Mughal Dynasty until 1638 when the capital was shifted from Agra to Delhi. Itmad-ud-Daula Tomb a Mughal mausoleum commissioned by Nur Jahan, the wife of Jahangir, for her father Mirza Ghiyas Beg.
Afternoon drive to Delhi, check-in at the hotel. Rest time free and easy to relax. Overnight at hotel. (Hotel: The Royal Plaza or similar)
Day 15: Delhi (B)
Breakfast at hotel, city tour of Delhi. Visit the landmark of Old Delhi which includes Red Fort the residence of the Mughal emperor for nearly 200 years until 1857. Jama Masjid one of the largest mosques in the world, built by Shah Jahan. Cycle Rickshaw ride in Chandni chowk & Khari Baoli Spice Market a busy shopping area with markets full of spices, dried fruit, silver jewelry, and vivid saris, while the narrow side streets are crowded with tiny shops selling essential oils, stationery, and traditional Indian sweets. Raj Gath the memorial of Mahatma Gandhi where he was cremated after his assassination.
In New Delhi visit Humayun Tomb the first garden-tomb in the Indian subcontinent and an early example of Mughal architecture commissioned by Humayun’s first wife Empress Bega Begum in 1569-70. Qutab Minar a 73-meters tall minaret that forms part of the Qutb complex fine examples of Afghan architecture. Lotus Temple a Baháʼí House of Worship notable for its flowerlike shape open to all, regardless of religion. Drive through VVIP areas passing President House, Parliament & India Gate, etc.
Later in the evening or late night transfer to airport to board flight for onward destination.
Specification: Mumbai, Gujarat and Rajasthan Exotic Cities
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