Settled in the early 18th century by the French, Pondicherry on the Bay of Bengal in the state of Tamil ...
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Welcome to India and the start of your holiday! We will pick you up from the airport and transfer you to the hotel.
Free day to relax after your long flight.
Mumbai or Bombay, as it was formerly known - remains India’s city of dreams. Today we embark on a glittering city tour, with a morning visit to the cave temples of Elephanta Island sculpted during the 5th to the 8th centuries. In the afternoon visit the Prince of Wales museum, Marine Drive and the Mani Bhawan Jain temple.
This morning take a guided heritage walking tour, visiting the main buildings in South Mumbai. Late this afternoon embark upon further exploration of the city, visiting the Afghani Church and the holy Banganga Tank - an ancient water tank built over a freshwater spring. This evening enjoy a leisurely horse and buggy ride along Marine Drive toward Chowpatty beach.
Flying south to the former Portuguese enclave of Goa we enjoy some fun in the sun. Goa is reknown for palm-fringed sandy beaches, exotic cuisine and heavy Portuguese influence in the form of white-washed, terracotta tile-clad architecture and Catholicism. Goa can be explored at ease with long sandy beaches in the south and Panaji - the old city in the north.
Mid morning embark upon the old city sightseeing tour of the Convent and Church of St Francis of Assisi built in 1661 and the Basilica of Bom Jesus, famous throughout the Roman Catholic world. Late this afternoon, all aboard as you journey on the exclusive Deccan Odyssey - an opulent train comprising 10 luxurious carriages, each with around 4 themed cabins.
Enjoy breakfast as your wagon pulls into Kolhapur City, known as Karveer or Dakshin Kashi of Maharashtra and situated on the banks of river Panchaganga. Today we board the bus to visit the New Palace, a royal palace partly converted into museum housing rare paintings and artifacts used by the royal family. Next visit to Bhawani Mandap - Antiques found during the excavations at Brahmagiri, old sculptures, filigree work in sandal wood and ivory, old coins and paintings are all displayed here. Then move on to see an exquisitely carved Mahalaxmi Temple, a temple of goddess Ambabai visited by millions of pilgrims. We continue onto the Shalini Palace, built of intricately carved black stone & Italian Marble standing on the west side of Lake Rankala.
Much of the old city was built by Mughal emperor Aurangzeb in 1682. Our morning is spent spend touring the majestic Fort Daulatabad built in 12th century. We then explore Ellora caves, with 34 cave temples dedicated to three different religions - Hinduism, Buddhism & Jainism. Our last stop is Bibi-ka-Maqbara, a 17th century mausoleum dedicated to Aurangzeb’s wife.
After breakfast we leave by jeeps for visit to Tadoba Wildlife Sanctuary which is among the most attractive sanctuary in the country. The park was established in 1935 and declared as a National Park in 1955 and since 1995, was designated as Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve. After lunch on board and time to relax, visit Sevagram or the 'Village of Service', a small and unpretentious village symbolizing the Gandhian way of life.
Older than the Ellora caves, the UNESCO World Heritage Listed Buddhist caves of Ajanta are also cut from the volcanic lava. They reside on the near-vertical, horse-shoe shaped ravine known as the ‘Deccan Trap’. We also stop at Nashik - located on the Godavari River, one of the holiest rivers of the Deccan. This evening marks your last night on board as you continue travelling westward.
After breakfast on board, we transfer you to your hotel. The rest of the day is free to explore at your leisure.
Free day in Mumbai to explore independently.
Today we bid you farewell with a transfer to Mumbai International Airport as you say goodbye to Incredible India!