Central India Tours
A trip to Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra is a journey into an unusual India, far from the classic tourist routes. Culturally interesting, in addition to the cave paintings of Bimbetka (UNESCO), dating back to about 10,000 years ago, and the Buddhist paintings of Ajanta and Ellora (UNESCO), it houses some of the most important Hindu, Islamic and Buddhist monuments in India such as the temples of Ujjain, the Bhopal mosque (the largest in India), the Afghan-style buildings of Mandu, and the ancient Sanchi stupa (UNESCO), commissioned by the great emperor Ashoka in the 3rd century BC The spiritual aspect is always present, particularly felt in Ujaiin, one of the most sacred cities of India where the great religious gathering of the Khumba Mela takes place, and in Maheshwar and Omkareshwar, destinations of pilgrims and ascetics.
Day 01: Arrival in Delhi
Upon arrival at the airport in Delhi, meet with our staff for presentations. Transfer to the hotel. Continuation to the new Delhi to the government palaces and Connaught Place. Stop at India Gate, an arch erected in memory of Indian soldiers who died fighting for the British army in the First World War. Visit to the Qutub Minar complex, a 73 meter high tower, engraved with verses from the Koran, built in 1193 by Qutab-ud-din Aibak, which is one of the most beautiful monuments in India. Visit the Sikh Temple, the most important place of worship of Sikhs in Delhi. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 02: Delhi / Bhopal (with Shatabdhi Express train)
Breakfast and transfer to the station to take the train to Bhopal. Upon arrival, transfer to the hotel. In the afternoon, stroll through the bazaars and markets of the city of Bhopal, the capital of Madya Pradesh. Overnight at Hotel.
Day 03: Bhopal (Bhojeshwar, Bhimbetka, Sanchi)
Breakfast and visit of the Bhojeshwar Temple, on a hill, dedicated to Shiva, one of the best examples of 12th and 13th century architecture with a richly carved dome; inside, a lingam, sacred phallic symbol, 2 meters high with a circumference of 3 meters. Continue on to Bhimbetka, where, among forests of teak and salt trees, more than 600 rock shelters have been discovered (UNESCO), some inhabited for over 100,000 years, which present the first traces of human life. Half of them show stone age cave paintings, scenes of daily life, animals, religious symbols and rituals from the Upper Paleolithic to the Medieval. Return to Bopal and excursion to Sanchi where, on a hill strewn with Buddhist sculptures among the oldest in India, stands a majestic, large stupa (UNESCO) wanted in 262 BC. from the great emperor Ashoka converted to Buddhism (closed on Friday). Return to Bhopal. Overnight at Hotel.
Day 04: Bhopal / Ujjain / Indore ( Kms. 200 - approx 5 hrs)
Breakfast and departure for Ujjain, one of the four holy cities of India, where every 12 years the great religious festival of Kumbh Mela takes place, on the banks of the Shipra. Visit of Ujjain: the famous Jyotirlinga Mahakaleshwar temple, on the shores of a lake, dedicated to Shiva, is one of the twelve Jyotirlingams, the holy houses of Shiva. The Jyotirlingas resemble any other Shiva lingam. However, it is believed that a person who has reached a certain degree of spirituality sees these lingams as columns of fire penetrating through the earth; visit of the Temple of Gopal, a magnificent building with marble spiers, in typical Maratha style, built by the Scindia in the 19th century; then, the Kaliadeh Palace, built in 1458 by the Mandus on an islet of the Shipra river, which takes the place of an ancient temple dedicated to the Sun God; Noteworthy is the central dome of the building which is a beautiful example of Persian architecture and two Persian inscriptions that record the visits of Akbar and Jehangir to this palace. Walk on the ghats along the river, where pilgrims express all their devotion. Continue to Indore. Overnight at Hotel.
Day 05: Indore / Mandu ( Kms. 95 - approx 02 hrs)
Breakfast and departure for Mandu, a mountain village surrounded by the jungle on a rugged plateau where the most beautiful Afghan-style buildings in India are located. Visit of: Jahaz Mahal, an elegant two-storey building from the end of the 15th century, is located between two artificial lakes and is called, due to its shape, the ship's palace; the Dilawar mosque, from 1405, is the oldest mosque in Mandu with a central courtyard surrounded by a colonnade, a prayer room with a Hindu-style ceiling, a style that influences all its architecture; the great tomb of Hoshang, India's first marble building, crowned by a half-moon from Mesopotamia is a fine example of Afghan architecture that inspired the architects of Shah Jehan, the creator of the famous Taj Mahal; the Hindola Mahal, a durbar where the sovereigns of India held their formal and informal meetings, is also called Palazzo Oscillante for the sensation of swaying deriving from the walls tilting inwards; the Hathi Mahal or Palace of the Elephant, probably a vacation pavilion for idling, then transformed into a tomb with its mosque, owes its nickname to the enormous proportions of the columns that support the dome; the Baz Bahadur Palace, the palace of the last ruler of Mandu, musician, built in 1509, characterized by the Rajasthani-Mughal architectural mix and protagonist of the legend of the king and Roopamati. Overnight at Hotel. Day 06: Mandu / Maheshwar Breakfast and departure for Maheshwar, a city mentioned both in the Hindu epics, the Mahabarata and the Ramayana, a pilgrimage destination for sadhus and pilgrims who work ablutions in the Narmada river where its temples are also reflected. It was a flourishing city in the 18th century under Queen Ahilyabai, of the Holkor dynasty, who renounced her kingdom. Visit of the fort she wanted that includes a palace and various temples within its walls. Maheshwar is famous for its handicraft and particularly for its saris introduced to Maheshwar 250 years ago by Rani Ahilyabai and known for their unique weaving all over India. Overnight at Hotel.
Day 07: Maheshwar / Omkareshwar / Burhanpur (kms. 190 - approx 4 hrs)
Breakfast and departure for Omkareshwar whose name means "Lord of the Omkaara or Lord of the Om sound". This holy island, with a particular cave-shaped temple, the Shri Omkar Mandhata, has, as a natural gift, the shape of the holiest of all Hindu symbols, the "Om". The Shri Omkar Mandhata houses one of the 12 "jyothi lingams" of India. Lunch in a restaurant. Afternoon departure for Burhanpurr. Overnight at Hotel.
Day 08: Burhanpur / Ajanta / Aurangabad (kms. 220 - approx 07 hrs)
Breakfast and departure for Aurangabad, Maharashtra, with a stop at the archaeological site of Ajanta, the complex of 30 Buddhist caves of a period between 200 BC and 650 BC, (UNESCO), which preserve splendid paintings and which are located on the side of a cliff above the Waghora river, dug directly into the volcanic lava completely surrounded by thick vegetation. Lunch at local restaurant. In the afternoon departure for Aurangabad. Overnight at Hotel.
Day 09: Aurangabad / Ellora / Mumbai (by flight)
Breakfast and visit to the fort of Daulatabad, in a dominant position, in ruins but still magnificent and imposing, surrounded by 5 km. of walls and built by the kings of Yadava in the 14th century. The defensive purpose of the fort is confirmed by the excavated hill which makes it difficult to access easily only by a single bridge that can be crossed by a maximum of two people, which becomes a tunnel. Excursion to visit the Ellora caves (closed on Tuesdays), UNESCO heritage. These are 34 monasteries and temples, finely decorated, dating back to 600-1000 AD, excavated successively in a high basalt cliff, dedicated to Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism, which testify to the spirit of tolerance of ancient India. Proceed to Mumbai. Overnight at Hotel.
Day 10: Departure from Mumbai
Breakfast and transfer to the airport for boarding the flight to Italy.
We inform you that all our trips can be modified, on request, according to your needs!