Palace Trail of Central India

Tour Type:
Private Escorted Tours
Start:
Bhopal
Duration:
9 Days
End:
Indore
Departs:
Daily

Starting From

NZ$ 3589
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Steeped in heritage, history and culture, this is a popular tour to India to step back in time and adventure through the historical heart of India. Here your journey will zigzag across a vast Indian region which has witnessed all the major influences that have borne fruit in India’s diverse culture possessing great unspoilt tracts, one of India’s best cultural triangle, the largest concentration of India’s tribal people. Rock paintings at Bhimbetka can be dated back to Stone Age and approximately 30,000 years. Bhopal is famous for its lakes and Sanchi for its UNESCO world heritage site known to preserve stupas from 3rd century BC, Ujjain for famous Jain temples, Dhar and Amla for its grand palace, Maheshwara for its temple and Indore for metropolitan culture. Yet for all that, it remains off the beaten track. All the more reason we think you’ll agree to explore it as you stay in some of the finest Heritage & Palace hotels of the region. 

Itinerary

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DAY 1

On arrival at the airport, meet your Tour Executive who will assist you to transfer to the hotel for three nights stay in Bhopal.

DAY 2

After breakfast, proceed for a half-day excursion to UNESCO heritage site Sanchi known for its stupas, monasteries, temples and pillars dating back from the 3rd Century BC to 12 Century AD. Sanchi situated 44 km east is UNESCO heritage site. The site of Sanchi comprises a group of Buddhist monuments (monolithic pillars, palaces, temples, and monasteries) all in different states of conservation most of which date back to the 2nd and 1st centuries B.C. It is the oldest Buddhist sanctuary in existence and was a major Buddhist centre in India until the 12th century A.D. Afternoon, return back to the city doing city tour visiting the famous Moti Masjid. This beautiful mosque has some great carving on each piece of stone added. Muslims out here come every day and pray with deep devotion. Continue visiting Lakshmi Narayan Temple situated to the south of the Lower Lake, the temple is devoted to Vishnu and his wife Laxmi it is also called the Birla Mandir. Before returning back to hotel visit the Tribal Museum. Overnight Bhopal.

DAY 3

After breakfast leave for full day excursion tour to Rock Shelters of Bhimbhetka the site of South Asia's richest collection of prehistoric cave paintings and Bhojpur. Rock Shelters of Bhimbhetka are UNESCO recognized heritage site prehistoric caves that preserve some fascinating paintings dating back to Palaeolithic times. On your way back to Bhopal you can check out the impressing Bhojeshwar temple (Shiva temple, Bhojpur) that began its construction in the 11th century but was never completed. It boasts of the largest Shiva-linga in India. Return back to the hotel. Overnight stay at Bhopal.

DAY 4

After breakfast travel east of Bhopal, 200km to Fort Amla en route visiting temples of Ujjain. Ujjain is one of the seven holy cities situated on banks of Shipra. Ujjain is situated on the banks of the river Shipra, regarded since times immemorial as sacred. Continue your journey to Fort Amla. On arrival check into Fort Amla. The Fort is an architectural delight to behold with bold sweeping arches and long open terraces. With a peaceful atmosphere, it is a perfect getaway close enough to major towns (Indore- 120kms; Ratlam-45kms and Ujjain-45kms) to be easily accessible. The Fort has now opened a section for guests, giving them an opportunity to live the grandeur and the history. Overnight stay at Fort Amla.

DAY 5

Morning explore this small town before travelling to Dhar, once the princely state of Madhya Pradesh ruled by Puars, entitled to 15 gun salutes. It is picturesquely situated among lakes and trees surrounded by barren hills, and possess, besides its old ramparts, many interesting buildings, some of them containing records of cultural, historical and national importance. On arrival, check-in at Jhirabagh Palace a 19th century Royal Palace built by the Puar Kings, it was one of the first buildings to come up in Art Deco style in India. Stay three nights in historical Jhirabagh Palace.

DAY 6

After leisurely breakfast, explore the rich heritage of the city of Dhar visiting the Fort thought to be built by Mohammad Bin Tughlag in 12th Century with the addition of ramparts and gateways till the 18th century. Tomb of warrior saint Shaykh Changal, Lal Masjid, Bhojshala and Kamal Maula Mosque. evening free to explore the town.

DAY 7

The hill city of Mandu is just 33 km away (1 hr). You will explore here the ruins of the beautiful, ancient city of Mandu, once known as the `City of Joy', and noted for its fine Hindu and Muslim architecture. Mandu is an ancient town and history suggests it is a fortified town as back as 6th century BC. This town came in prominence in 10th century AD and under the various Muslim rulers developed as the Capital of Malwa Region. Morning, proceed for an excursion of Mandu & Maheshwar. Jahaz Mahal – The Royal Harem, situated between two lakes is an architectural marvel as it looks like a ship floating in the water, Hindola Mahal or the swing Palace, Baz Bahadur’s Palace etc are some of the interesting sights at Mandu. Continue your journey to Maheshwar. Maheshwar was a glorious city at the dawn of Indian civilization when it was Mahishmati, capital of king Kartiviryarjun. This temple town on the banks of the river Narmada finds mention in the epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata. Revived to its ancient position of importance by the Holkar queen Rani Ahilyabai of Indore. Maheshwar's temples and mighty fort-complex stand in quiet beauty, mirrored in the river below. Today, Maheshwar is also known for its distinctive hand-woven sarees called Maheshwari. Visit the Maheshwari textile weavers; the shop next to the workshop is great for souvenirs. The Ghat of the city, named after the various dynasties are the other characteristic features that give Maheshwar a distinctive look. A true reflection of rural India, these Ghats present a vivid picture of a perfect religious Indian city. Also, visit the temple by the Ghats of Narmada River where the pilgrims and holy men spent hours in silent meditation. Evening, enjoy boat ride at River Narmada before returning back to Dhar for dinner and overnight stay.

DAY 8

Morning drive to Indore – the largest city of the state of Madhya Pradesh. There are different theories explaining the origin of the city's name. According to the most popular theory, the present name of the city derives from its earlier name Indrapur in 1716, which was named after Lord Indra, the chief temple deity of Indreshwar temple in the city. The temple is said to have been constructed in 10th century by Parmar King Bhoj. During the Maratha reign, the city was renamed as "Indur" which is still used by the local Marathi community. This name was eventually transliterated as "Indore" during the British rule in India. Arrive and check-in at the hotel. Afternoon, proceed for the sightseeing tour of the city's main landmark the 200-year-old Rajwada palace. Take a tour of the mirror temple known for its beautiful interiors of multicoloured glass mosaic, Central Museum of Indore which houses a magnificent album of terracotta, old coins, paintings, shields, armours etc and the neoclassical wonder Lal Bagh Palace. Overnight stay at Indore.

DAY 9

After breakfast, the day is spent at leisure. Later in time transfer to airport to board the flight for onward journey.

Inclusion


Accommodation in hotel with private facility

Private air-condition vehicle with Chauffeur

Meals as specified (B=Breakfast, D=Dinner)

Services of an English speaking guide at Bhopal, Indore, Ujjain, Omkareshwar and Maheshwar

Entry fee/Monument entrance charges

Arrival Departure Assistance

All currently applicable taxes

Exclusion


Any international or domestic airfares

Train fares other than specified in the what's included section 

Airport taxes, visa & passport fees

Extra baggage charges

Early check in or late check out

Meals other than specified in the what's included section

Tips & gratuities

Travel & medical insurance

Camera & video permits

Expenses incurred due to flight/train cancellation or delay

Any expense of a personal nature, like drinks, laundry, telephone calls, mini bar, postage etc

Any optional excursion or tour

Entry charges at monuments/forts etc

Any other expense not mentioned in the what's included section