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Mumbai - or Bombay, as it was formerly known - remains India’s city of dreams. Despite extreme poverty and eye-watering pollution, it is so dynamic that paupers still flock there in the hope of becoming successful entrepreneurs. Built largely by the British around one of the best-protected natural harbours in the world, Mumbai is India’s strategic economic centre. The city is also is home to the country’s prolific Bollywood film industry, which cranks out more feature flms than any place in the world and of course the setting for the hit flm ‘Slum Dog Millionaire’. On arrival you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel.
Enjoy a cruise to the Elephanta caves in the morning. The island of Elephanta is about 10 kms from Mumbai. The 4 rock-cut temples are believed to have been cut between 450-750AD. After an hour’s boat trip to the island, walk the steps up the hillside to the caves. Shiva is the most depicted form. This afternoon city tour leads us to the Gateway of India – a former colonial monument and now a popular emblem of the city and a hubbub of life. The gate was built 1924-1927 to commemorate King George V’s visit in 1911. The biggest museum in India is next door - the Prince of Wales Museum. Sample bhelpuri (Mumbai’s favourite snack) at Chowpatty Beach along what is known as Marine Drive. It’s one of the city’s mot popular promenades.
Today is a free day for you to explore independently. There’s plenty to see and do in Mumbai - maybe go in search of wildlife at the Sanjay Gandhi National Park - home to leopards cobras and more, or feed the holy cows at Bombay Panjrapole trust. You can also take a scenic horse and buggy ride along Marine drive towards Chowpatty Beach
Early morning transfer to the airport for your included fight to Aurangabad. Onward transfer to hotel. In the afternoon, we undertake a city sightseeing tour of Aurangabad. The Pani Chakki is a late 17th century water mill that displays the engineering skills of Malik Ambar, the architect of Aurangabad City. It is surrounded by a picturesque garden-landscape dotted with fish tanks. The Bibi-ka-maqbara was built by Aurangzeb’s son as a tribute to his mother, Begum Rabia-ud-Durani. It is a replica of the Taj Mahal, and stands out as the only example of Mogul architecture on the Deccan Plateau. Also visit the Aurangabad Caves No. 7 & 8, caves from the Mahayana school of Buddhism.
Enjoy a full day excursion to Ajanta Caves. Nestling in an inner fold of the Sahyadri hills, 100 kms from the city of Aurangabad in the shape of a mammoth horseshoe are the 30 rock-hewn caves of Ajanta, dating from 2nd century B.C. Discovered in 1819, by a group of British Offcers, these startling achievements took around 600 years to create. Carved with little more than a hammer and chisel, Ajanta, once the retreat of the Buddhist monastic orders features several ‘Chaityas’ and Viharas. The exquisite paintings and sculptures of Buddha’s life belong to the Mahayana period.
In the morning head out to Ellora Caves. Impressive in their own right are the rock-hewn temples and monasteries of Ellora that lie just 30 kms away from Aurangabad City and are the meeting point of the Buddhists, Jains and Hindus. In all, there are 34 elaborate cave temples. This afternoon enjoy an excursion to Daulatabad Fort, a labyrinthine structure that was once covered in Persian tiles
Aurangabad - Mumbai. This afternoon you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Mumbai. you will be transferred to your hotel for a free evening.
Today our arrangements come to an end with a departure transfer to the airport.
A flamboyant showcase of Rajasthani architecture and a firm favourite on tourist itineraries as the third corner of India’s ‘Golden ...