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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.
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 Pune, the capital of the Maharashtra state. Visit the Raja Kelkar Museum which houses an eclectic collection of artworks and curios and Shaniwar Wada - a 17th century ruined fortress-like palace. Later we tour to the famous Rajneesh (Osho) ashram and Aga Khan’s Palace. Late evening departure for Aurangabad.
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.
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 Nasik - 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.
Breakfast on board and onward transfer and hotel check in. Free day at leisure, perhaps a final walk along Chowpatty Beach or a spot of shopping in the popular Kalbadevi and Bhuleshwar bazaars.
We will transfer you to the airport in time for your departure flight.
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