The Deccan Plateau is a dominant geographical entity of South India. For miles the amazing scenes of large boulders carefully kept over smaller rocks form the landscape
The rocky terrain has been witness to fiercely fought battles of supremacies. Through the rocks rose the fabled kingdoms of Vijaynagara and Hyderabad. The granite rocks here were in different times shaped into most extraordinary architectural pieces as temples, forts, caves and palaces; some excelled in craftsmanship and others in sheer size. And one of the rocks unearthed here is the famed diamond- Kohinoor (Mountain of light)! The tour moves through some of the unexplored fabled sites of the Deccan
Day 01: Mumbai:
Arrival at airport is followed by transfer to your hotel. Rest of the day free at leisure.
Day 02: Mumbai:
First half of the day will have a trip to Elephanta cave island for seeing the astonishing looking ancient sculptures. Later during the day visit notable attractions of the city which includes Dhobi Ghat, Crawford market, Marine drive and old mansions at Khotachiwadi. A special tour may be organized to sense the vibrancy of the city, a tour that has mix of walking, cab rides, street food sampling and meeting social groups.
Day 03: Aurangabad:
From Mumbai fly to Aurangabad. We may keep the first half of the day free or visit the exceptional medieval era sample of strategic planning, the Daulatabad Fort. Late afternoon will be perfect for visit to Ellora caves that are famed for their extraordinary sculptures. Noteworthy is the unbelievably sculptured monolith Kailasnath Temple.
Day 04: Aurangabad:
Excursion to Ajanta caves site, a scenic gorge having a series of caves. The caves have ancient sculptures and some of the most stunning murals of Buddhist era. At the onset to any visitor, it seems impossible to imagine how such extraordinary murals were painted in the dark interiors of caves, some 2500 years ago! Back in Aurangabad, you may visit the silk weavers known for weaving specific patterns which are called Paithani and Himroo.
Day 05: Hyderabad:
Fly to Hyderabad, a pleasant city known for great food and Nizam era legends. The city today is also well known as an education and software technology hub. During the day visit the Golconda Fort, a massive fort having a long history behind its existence. The famed Kohinoor Diamond was mined here. Also visit the impressive tombs of Golconda kings. Try exceptionally delicious biryanis of this city in a popular local restaurant.
Day 06: Hyderabad:
In sightseeing tour of the city visit the Salar Jung Museum (unparalleled collections by a single person), Birla Temple, Osmania University, Chaumahla Palace (beautiful chandeliers), Purani Haveli (largest wardrobe in the world) and the Historic Charminar. Evening is free to explore and shop in the bustling and extremely interesting old bazaars around Charminar.
Day 07: Bidar:
Drive to Bidar and check in. Visit the still intact Bidar Fort- once the stronghold of Bahmani kingdom, the fort is still impressive in its sheer size and expanse. Later visit the Mahmud Gawan madarsa and Bahmani Tombs. In the bazaar visit some craftsmen working on silver filigree work known as Bidri (The name derived from Bidar).
Day 08: Bijapur:
Drive to Bijapur and on arrival check in. Bijapur was once the center of most distinguished Muslim empire of the Deccan, hence it has abundance Muslim architectural marvels. Visit Gol Gumbaz (World’s second largest dome, you may visit again early next morning to experience the acoustics under the dome), Ibrahim Rouza and various other graceful looking buildings in the town. It's great fun to explore the town on a horse drawn carriage which is locally known as Tonga.
Day 09: Badami:
Driving further into North Karnataka reach the little town of Badami. Badami was once the capital of Chalukyan empire and today it boasts some of the most beautiful rock cut temples of that period. Keeping Badami as your base, you'll visit three extraordinary sites of ancient temple construction which also help you in understanding the long and prosperous rule of Chalukyas as well as the evolution of South Indian styled temple architecture known as Dravidian style. After keeping the noon time at leisure, we'll use the early evening to first orient ourselves around the atmospheric setting of Badami village and the tank that faces the caves. With your guide, visit the cave temples with cave 3 being most impressive.
Day 10: Badami:
Sightseeing of Aihole temples. The village of Aihole is scattered with temple ruins. Aihole temples depict the conception stage of Dravidian temple style. Transfer to Pattadakal, a UNESCO world heritage site. The ceremonies here including the coronation ceremony used to be quite elaborate. The temples here, like the Virupaksha temple, are the most refined in style and perfection.
Day 11: Hampi:
Reach Hampi in a short drive. Visit Hampi that has extraordinary remnants of once great city Vijayanagara. The sheer size and majestic appearance of this historical site is amazing! Day is free to explore around the great monuments that dot the whole area. Take a walking tour of the Hampi bazaar and temples. Cross the picturesque Tungabhadra River on a primitively designed corracle- a very different experience!
Day 12: Hampi:
Guided sightseeing tour of the enormous archaeological wonderland which is mostly concentrated around two clusters known as Royal area and Sacred area. You will discover that liberal amount of wisdom, planning, technological advancement and imagination was involved in making this one of the greatest cities of its times.
Day 13: Hampi:
The day today will be left mostly for unplanned activities. Travelers in Hampi usually take interest in varied activities like boulders climbing, exploring the ruins on own, cycling through the ruined city, spending some quiet time at riverside, hiking or simply wandering around. You may also try relaxed Thali lunch at the Mango Tree Restaurant.
Day 14: Departure:
You will be transferred today to Hubli airport for your onward connection to Mumbai or Bangalore. The tour ends.
|Aurangabad||Vivanta By Taj||Superior|
Tour Price per person: USD 2922 (on twin/double sharing basis)
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