Highlights: Aurangabad, Pani Chakki, Ajanta Caves, Bibi-ka-maqbara, Ellora Caves, Buddhist, Jain & Hindu Sculptures Kailasanath Rock cut Cave Temple
Destinations Covered: Mumbai, Aurangabad, Mumbai
Duration: 4 Nights & 5 days
Day 1: Mumbai
On arrival Mumbai airport get transferred by our representative to the pre booked hotel. Check in and relax. Spend time with your own taste and interests.
Formerly Bombay remains as India’s city of dreams. One of the best-protected natural harbours in the world, Mumbai is India’s strategic economic centre. Mumbai is also the home to the country’s prolific film industry called Bollywood which produces feature films than any place in the world. Some attractions are below.
Gateway of India: A former colonial monument built in 1924 to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary in 1911 and now a popular emblem and hubbub of the city. The downtown area contains numerous sights such as the Prince of Wales Museum, the Kala Ghoda Art Galleries and the vast green Oval Maidan, Horniman Circle, the Town Hall, St Thomas’ Cathedral and Victoria Terminus.
Marrine Drive: Do not forget to taste the bhelpuri (Mumbai’s favourite snack) when you visit Marine Drive (Chowpatty Beach), one of the city’s most popular promenades. Complete your tour in Mumbai if you have enough time by visiting bazaars of Kalbadevi and Bluleshwar, north of Crawford Market.
Elephanta Island: Rock-cut temples on Elephanta Island is another attraction you have to reach by boat. These temples are believed to have been cut between 450-750AD.
Day 2: Mumbai-Aurangabad.
Early morning transfer to the Mumbai airport for your fight to Aurangabad. On arrival get transferred to hotel. In the afternoon, we go for a city sightseeing of Aurangabad.
Attractions in Aurangabad: The Pani Chakki, late 17th century water mill surrounded by a picturesque garden-landscape dotted with fish tanks. The Bibi-ka-maqbara, built by Aurangzeb’s son as a tribute to his mother, Begum Rabia-ud-Durani. It is a replica of the Taj Mahal, stands out as the only example of Mogul architecture on the region. Also visit the Aurangabad Caves No. 7 & 8, caves from the Mahayana school of Buddhism. Back to hotel. Spend the night at Aurangabad
Day 3: Ajanta Caves (100 k.ms from Aurangabad, 2 hours drive)
Today after breakfast you will enjoy a full day excursion to Ajanta Caves. Nestling in an inner fold of the Western Ghats (100 k.ms from 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 hunters. 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. Back to the hotel in Aurangabad and spend the night with a Marathi dinner.
Ajanta Caves & Paintings: This UNESCO World Heritage Site is the first Buddhist cave monuments dates from the 2nd and 1st centuries B.C. During the Gupta period (5th and 6th centuries A.D.), many more richly decorated caves were added to the original group. The paintings and sculptures of Ajanta, considered masterpieces of Buddhist religious art, have had a considerable artistic influence. The Ajanta site cut into the side of a cliff which rises above a meander in the Waghora River. Out of these, five (cave no. 9, 10, 19, 26, and 29) are chaityagrihas and the rest are viharas. These caves are datable to the pre-Christian era, the earliest among them being Cave 10 dating from the second century B.C. The object of worship is a stupa here and these caves exhibit the imitation of wooden construction to the extent that the rafters and beams are also sculpted even though they are non-functional.
The area was previously heavily forested, and after the site ceased to be used the caves were covered by jungle until accidentally rediscovered in 1819 by a British hunting party. They are Buddhist monastic buildings, apparently representing a number of distinct “monasteries” or colleges. The caves are numbered 1 to 28 according to their place along the path, beginning at the entrance. Several are unfinished and some barely begun and others are small shrines. The refined lightness of the decoration, the balance of the compositions, the marvelous beauty of the feminine figures place the paintings of Ajanta among the major achievements of the Gupta dynasty.
Day 4: Ellora Caves (30 K.ms from Aurangabad, 1 hour drive)
In the morning drive to see the Buddhist, Jain & Hindu temples and Sculptures in the Ellora Caves. This impressive rock-hewn temples and monasteries of Ellora are the meeting point of the Buddhists, Jains and Hindus. In all, there are 34 elaborate cave temples. Afternoon drive to Daulatabad Fort, a labyrinthine structure that was once covered in Persian tiles. Back to Aurangabad and relax in your hotel.
This archaeological site in Aurangabad (Maharashtra state of India) is listed as one of the world heritage site by UNSECO. It is the finest example of rock cave temple in India with 34 caves in total. And is believed to be built by the rulers of the Rashtrakuta dynasty. The structures were carved between 350 AD and 700 AD, representing the faiths of Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. There are 12 caves in the southern part of the site which belong to Buddhism, 17 caves in the center which belong to Hinduism and 5 caves in the north which belong to Jainism.
Buddhist caves: The caves 1 to 12 are made for Buddhism, built during 550-750 AD. These caves are adorned with striking sculptures and murals of Lord Buddha. The cave number 12 is a significant here known for its three stories structure.
Hindu caves: The caves 13 to 29 are made for Hinduism, built during 600-875 AD. These caves are completely filled with sculpture of “Apsaras” (beautiful woman), gods and goddesses. Cave number 16 should not be missed as it has a Kailash temple which is known to be the largest monolith structure of the world.
Jain caves: After passing through the Hindu caves, there comes the Jain caves (from 30-34) built between 800 AD and 1000 AD. These caves even comprise of various images of lord and mythological paintings.
An impressive thing to observe is the 15 feet statue of Buddha seated in two story structure of stupa with all the grace. It took about five centuries to complete the structure made with 200,000 tones of rock which is a splendid achievement by human. In the year 1819, John Smith, a British officer discovered these caves while he was on a hunting expedition.
Day 5: Departure Transfer (Aurangabad-Mumbai)
After breakfast we transfer you to the airport for your flight to Mumbai. You may continue with your flight to the next destination or if you want to get transferred to a hotel in Mumbai a car, driver and room will be made available to you on your arrival Mumbai.
Please Note: Ajanta Caves are closed on Monday, Ellora Caves are closed on Tuesday.
- Mumbai-Aurangabad-Mumbai flights,
- Accommodation as per the itinerary,
- Daily breakfast,
- All airport transports,
- Sightseeing as per the itinerary,
- Mumbai sightseeing if you have time,
- And all taxes and service charges.
Price as per request