Historic Caves & Backwater of India
The private tour will begin in Mumbai the commercial capital of India. Explore magnificent monuments of the colonial era and Elephanta cave. Thereafter fly to Aurangabad gateway to Ajanta & Ellora Caves. Next, fly to Cochin and tour the lush green natural land of Kerala. Here you will explore tea estate, spice plantation, wildlife, backwater. Private transport, local guide in each city & monuments entrances are part of our package price.
Day 1: Arrive in Mumbai
On arrival at Mumbai airport assistance & transfer to hotel (check-in/out time 12pm). Mumbai is disciplined by no time frame neither day nor night. Dazzling shopping arcades, exciting sports activities, nightclubs & discotheques, theatre, music & gourmet restaurants offer visitors a heady mix of all this and more. Rest time free for personal activities. Overnight at hotel.
Day 2: Mumbai (B)
City tour of Mumbai. Drive via Marine Drive one of the most beautifully laid boulevards in the city to reach the Gateway of India. Board a ferry from here to reach Elephanta Caves (Monday closed). A flight of 100 steps takes you to the top of the hill where caves are located. Afterward, cruise back to Gateway of India and then a city tour. Drive pass CST & Parliament House. Visit Dhobhi Ghat to see the city’s famous open-air laundry in action. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalay, a Grade I Heritage Building of the city counted amongst one of the most prominent museums of India. The complex exhibits a myriad collection of ancient artifacts, artwork, and sculptors of the country which give a unique insight into our past. Overnight at hotel.
Day 3: Mumbai – Aurangabad (B)
Transfer to airport to board flight for Aurangabad. On arrival assistance & transfer to hotel. Excursion to visit Ellora Caves, Grishneshwar Temple & Daulatabad Fort. Also Visit Bibi ka Maqbara, the white marbled monument, a son loving tribute to his mother. Panchakki, which literally means water mill. An artificial waterfall has been created near the mill, through which this water is discharged onto the wheel to power the flour mill and grind grain for the pilgrims. And Aurangabad Caves the twelve rock-cut Buddhist shrines located on a hill running roughly east to west, close to the city of Aurangabad. The first reference to the Aurangabad Caves is in the great chaitya of Kanheri Caves. The Aurangabad Caves were dug out of comparatively soft basalt rock during the 6th and 7th centuries. Overnight at hotel.
Day 4: Aurangabad (B)
Excursion to Ajanta (Monday closed). The Buddhist Caves of Ajanta were discovered by the British officers in 1819 while hunting the tiger. Ajanta Caves were first mentioned in the writings of the Chinese pilgrim Hiuen Tsang who visited India between AD 629 and 645. The Caves at Ajanta are older than those at Ellora which date from about 200 BC to 650 AD. Thirty beautiful Buddhist Caves with mesmerizing sculptures and paintings depicting Buddha`s life as well the lives of the Buddha in his previous births. Five of these Caves are Chaityas (Place of worship) while the other twenty-five is Viharas (monasteries). Ajanta Caves are divided into two categories based on two schools of Buddhist thought – Hinayana Caves and Mahayana Caves. Drive back to Aurangabad for an Overnight at the hotel.
Day 5: Aurangabad – Cochin (B)
Transfer to airport to board flight for Cochin. On arrival at Cochin airport assistance & transfer, hotel check-in. In the evening enjoy Kathakali, a traditional dance form of Kerala with lavish costumes, exotic makeup, masks, etc. Overnight at hotel. Overnight at hotel.
Day 6: Cochin – Munnar (140kms) (B)
Visit Fort Cochin a charming seaside area known for its Dutch, Portuguese & British colonial architecture and elaborate bamboo fishing nets at Fort Kochi Beach. St. Francis Church was the original burial site of explorer Vasco da Gama. Upscale eateries and chic cafes serve Keralan specialties, and quaint shops sell cotton clothing and handmade souvenirs. Heritage buildings house contemporary art galleries. Also, visit Jewish Synagogue & the Mattancherry Dutch`s Palace. After sightseeing drive to Munnar, check-in at the hotel. Later tea estate visit & tea testing. Overnight at hotel.
Day 7: Munnar (B)
Visit Pothamedu which offers an excellent view of the tea, coffee, and cardamom plantations in Munnar. Mattupetty dam and its reservoir, a concrete gravity dam built between the hill ranges for water storage for hydroelectric projects. Rajamala a hill station in Eravikulam National Park a natural habitat of the Niligiri tahr 2695 Mts above sea level. Half the world’s population of the rare mountain goat or tahr which is fast becoming extinct is now found here. Mattupedi Dairy Farm, famous for the Indo-Swiss Farm, a highly specialized dairy farm that comes under Indo-Swiss Livestock Project. Echo Point, go there and scream as loud as you can and wait for a minute to hear your echo back! Also, visit the Tea Museum to know more about the century-old culture a lively glimpse of how the tea culture flourished across South India Overnight at the hotel.
Day 8: Munnar – Thekkady (110kms) (B)
Drive to Thekkady via Ramakkalmedu one of the windiest places in Asia and being so, one can find here a wind farm generating electricity. Visit Frog Rock, Turtle Rock, and the highest twin-statue in Kerala called Kuravan & Kurathi. Visit Frog Rock, Turtle Rock & twin – statue Kuravan & Kurathi.
Continue to drive to Thekkady check-in at the hotel. Evening attends Martial Arts & Kathakali Dance show. Overnight at hotel.
Day 9: Periyar – Kumarakom (140kms) (B)
Explore Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary on a boat. The tropical evergreen and deciduous forests teeming with elephants, bison, sambar deer, wild dogs, jungle cats, tiger, and wild boar along with various species of snake including cobras, vipers, kraits, and many non-poisonous snakes is a wildlife lover`s dream. A variety of birds such as grey jungle fowl, Malabar grey hornbill, woodpeckers, and bulbuls also have found a home in this sanctuary. Afterward take a spice plantation tour to see crops of cardamom, cinnamon, pepper, coffee, tea estates, etc. You could stop at the local market and pick some fragrant spices Afternoon drive to Kumarakom check-in & overnight at a backwater resort.
Day 10: Kumarakom – Alleppey (B,L,D)
Transfer to Alleppey boat jetty to board the houseboat and sail through the tropical countryside enchanting backwaters. While sailing enjoys palm fringed narrow canals winding through the vast expanse of paddy fields and the neat tiny hamlets lined up along either side of the canals, the panoramic sights one can never forget. Pass through one of the few areas in the world where farming is done below sea level. Alleppey is referred to as the Venice of the East, due to canals, backwaters, and lagoons. Boats are the main mode of transportation here, you can see Shikara boats, small motorboats, passenger boats, cargo boats, and houseboats. Evening enjoys the sunset from the sun-deck of the houseboats. The Houseboats have generated electricity, sitting cum dining area, separate bedroom with attached English toilets, sun deck and fully loaded kitchen with a chef & driver. The Houseboats have generated electricity, sitting cum dining area, separate bedroom with attached English toilets, sun deck and fully loaded kitchen with a chef & driver. Overnight in houseboat.
Day 11: Alleppey – Cochin (60kms) (B)
After breakfast, disembark from the houseboat and drive to Cochin airport to board a flight for onward destination.
Specification: Historic Caves & Backwater of India
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