INDIA: WESTERN HERITAGE
Cultural tour of India

A 17-day small group journey through Western India’s centuries of cultural heritage. We start in bustling Delhi, then cover the magnificent legacy of the Moghul Empire in Agra, Bhopal and Mandu. From here, we visit the ancient Buddhist and Hindu monuments at Sanchi, Ajanta, Ellora and Elephanta Island. After a chance to explore the great diversity of Gujarat, we end our tour in the vibrant metropolis of Mumbai.

UNESCO World Heritage Sites covered in this tour
1. Agra Fort 6. Monuments at Mandu
2. Humayun's Tomb, Delhi 7. Ajanta Caves
3. Qutub Minar and its Monuments, Delhi 8. Ellora Caves
4. Red Fort Complex, Delhi 9. Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (formerly Victoria Terminus), Mumbai
5. Taj Mahal 10. Monuments at Sanchi

Tour Information
Tour Duration : 17 days
Min. Tour Size : 02 persons
Max. Tour Size : 08 persons
Includes international air
Tour Price (from) : US$
Day 01: Arrive Delhi
Day 02: Delhi
(B, D)
Day 03: Delhi/Agra (Train)
(B)
Day 04: Agra/Bhopal (Train)
(B)
Day 05: Bhopal/Sanchi/Bhimbetka/Bhopal (Drive)
(B)
Day 06: Bhopal/Ujjain/Indore (Drive)
(B)
Day 07: Indore/Mandu (Drive)
(B)
Day 08: Mandu/Ahmedabad (Drive)
(B)
Day 09: Ahmadabad
(B, D)
Day 10: Ahmedabad/Rajkot (Drive)
(B)
Day 11: Rajkot/Bhuj (Drive)
(B)
Day 12: Bhujodi
(B)
Day 13: Bhuj/Mumbai/Aurangabad (Flight)
(B)
Day 14: Aurangabad
(B)
Day 15: Aurangabad/Mumbai (Flight)
(B)
Day 16: Mumbai
(B)
Day 17: Depart Mumbai
(B)
B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner

Day 01: Arrive Delhi

Namaste! We are warmly welcomed at the airport in the traditional Indian way with hands clapped together and transferred to our hotel. The remainder of the day is free to relax.

Overnight: Hotel in Delhi (2 nights)

Day 02: Delhi

We start our morning tour with a visit to New Delhi’s Birla House, the former residence of Mahatma Gandhi before he was assassinated by Nathuram Godse in 1948. Next we visit the famous India Gate followed by the Houses of Parliament, Connaught Place and Humayun's Tomb*, built in 1570 as the first garden-tomb on the Indian subcontinent. We continue to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Qutub Minar and its Monuments*. Built over the course of 300 years, the red sandstone tower of Qutub Minar is 72.5 meters and five stories high. The surrounding archaeological area also includes the magnificent Alai-Darwaza Gate, a masterpiece of Indo-Muslim art. Our afternoon concentrates on Old Delhi, starting with the Red Fort Complex*, named for its massive walls of red sandstone. The Red Fort and its sister construction, the 16th-century Salimgarh fort, are considered the zenith of Moghul creativity. After our visit, we embark on a captivating journey by rickshaw, passing through the narrow lanes of the famous Chandni Chowk Bazaar. Constructed by Moghul emperor Shah Jehan in the 17th century, this bazaar remains one of Old Delhi's oldest and busiest markets. We end our rickshaw ride at Jama Masjid, India's largest mosque. After visiting the mosque, we proceed to Raj Ghat, the cremation site of Mahatma Gandhi. In the evening, we enjoy a welcome dinner at a well-known local restaurant. (B, D)

Day 03: Delhi/Agra (Train)

After breakfast, we are transferred to the railway station for our Shatabdi Express train to Agra. These trains are fully air-conditioned and travellers enjoy complimentary meals. On arrival in Agra, we are transferred to our hotel.
Later we start our tour of Agra with a visit to one of the most well-known wonders of the world, the Taj Mahal*. An immense 17th century mausoleum of white marble built by order of the Moghul emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his favorite wife, the Taj Mahal is the jewel of Muslim art in India and a universally admired masterpiece of world heritage. We then visit Agra Fort*. This powerful fortress of red sandstone encompasses the imperial city of the Moghul rulers within its immense walls.  Here we explore fairy-tale palaces, audience halls and two very beautiful mosques. We also visit Itmad-Ud -Daulah, often referred to as the Baby Taj. A highly ornate edifice with elaborate carvings and inlay work, this mausoleum is considered to be the precursor of the Taj Mahal. We end our tour by visiting some of the local factories famous for their marble work and witnessing the complex art of inlaying precious and semiprecious stones on the marble from the Makrana Mines.

Overnight: Hotel in Agra (1 night) (B)

Day 04: Agra/Bhopal (Train)

This morning, we are transferred to the railway station for our train to Bhopal, the capital of Madhya Pradesh. On arrival, we check in at our hotel. This fascinating and labyrinthine settlement is also known as the City of Mosques. Today we will be able to sample much of its Islamic splendour, with visits to the Jama Masjid, the Moti Masjid, and Taj-ul-Masajid, one of the largest mosques in Asia. This spectacular monument boasts two 18-storey high minarets and two massive domes. The massive pillars in the hall hold 27 ceilings through squinted arches of which 16 ceilings are decorated with ornate designs.

Overnight: Hotel in Bhopal (2 nights) (B)

Day 05: Bhopal/Excursion to Sanchi & Bhimbetka

The Monuments at Sanchi*, the oldest Buddhist sanctuary in existence, are our destination today.  Consisting of monolithic pillars, palaces, temples and monasteries in different states of conservation, most of which date back to the 2nd and 1st centuries B.C., this ancient jewel was a major Buddhist centre in India until the 12th century A.D. On our way back to Bhopal, we visit Udaygiri Caves. Carved into a sandstone hill from 4th to 5th century A.D., these caves feature some of the oldest Hindu images and cave temples in India. In the afternoon, we visit the ancient Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka* in the foothills of the Vindhyan Mountains.  Five clusters of natural rock shelters mark the earliest traces of human life on the Indian subcontinent. The paintings found in the shelters appear to date from the Mesolithic Period over 30,000 years ago right through to the historical period.  Inhabitants of the 21 villages close to the site still have cultural traditions similar to those represented in the rock paintings. (B)

Day 06: Bhopal/Ujjain/Indore (Drive)

After breakfast, we drive to Indore. En route we visit the Mahakaleshwar Temple in Ujjain, one of the twelve shrines said to be the most sacred abodes of Lord Shiva. We arrive in Indore and visit the Kanch Mandir. This building boasts doors, pillars, ceilings and walls inlaid with thousands of pieces of glass. The temple also has paintings depicting stories from the Jain scriptures. We then continue to lavish Lalbagh Palace, one of the best neoclassical palaces in India.

Overnight: Hotel in Indore (1 night) (B)

Day 07: Indore/Mandu (Drive)

We continue our journey after breakfast, driving to Mandu*, which features some of the finest examples of Afghan architecture in India. We explore this beautiful town, filled with rich and elaborate mosques, palaces and tombs that have been declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Our tour visits Jahaz Mahal, Taveli Mahal, Asharafi Mahal, Tomb of Hoshang Shah, the Jain Temple, Jama Masjid, Baz Bahadur’s Palace, Rupmati’s Pavalion, Darya Khan‘s Tomb and Nil Kanth Palace. After our tour, we proceed to our hotel for check in.

Overnight: Hotel in Mandu (1 night) (B)

Day 08: Mandu/Ahmedabad (Drive)

Following our morning meal, we drive to Ahmedabad, the largest city of Gujarat. The city was founded by Sultan Ahmad Shah in 1411 A.D. . On arrival, we check in to our hotel. The remainder of the day is free to explore the diverse mix of ancient monuments and cutting-edge modern architecture that Ahmedabad offers.

Overnight: Hotel in Ahmedabad (2 nights) (B)

Day 09: Ahmedabad

After breakfast, we explore Mahatma Gandhi's Sabarmati Ashram, formerly known as Satyagraha Ashram. Scenically situated on the west bank of Sabarmati River, the ashram houses a museum that features the largest collection of original manuscripts of Gandhi's letters and articles. Next we visit the Siddhi Sayad Masjid and the Swaminarayan Temple. In the evening, we are treated to a traditional Thali dinner. (B, D)

Day 10: Ahmedabad/Rajkot (Drive)

A beautiful journey ahead as we drive through rural Gujarat to Rajkot, the former capital of the princely state of Saurashtra. We visit Kaba Gandhi No Delo, the ancestral house of Mahatma Gandhi where he spent his childhood, now converted into Gandhi Smriti and Watson Museum.

Overnight: Hotel in Rajkot (1 night) (B)

Day 11: Rajkot/Bhuj (Drive)

Following breakfast, we drive to Bhuj. This city boasts walls within walls, crenellated gateways, old palaces with intricately carved wooden pavilions, and brightly decorated Hindu temples. Our visit starts with Aina Mahal, a palace built in traditional Kutchi style. We then explore Maharao Sinh Madansinhji Museum, which has a varied collection of paintings, photos and embroideries, as well as the Hall of Mirrors, which was built in the 18th century. Later we visit Prag Mahal, the new palace built with ornate Italian marble and sandstone. Parts of it are now used as government offices but the vast Durbar Hall and the Clock Tower are open to the public. We also visit the Kutch Museum, built in 1877, which is the oldest museum in Gujarat. The exhibits include a picture gallery, an anthropological section, archeological finds, textiles, weapons, musical instruments and a ship.

Overnight: Hotel in Bhuj (2 nights) (B)

Day 12: Bhujodi

Today we enjoy a tour of the village of Bhujodi, a major textile center of Kutch. The vast majority of the city’s 1200 inhabitants are involved in textile handicraft production. Here we can meet weavers, tie-dye artists and block printers, most of who belong to the Vankar community. (B)

Day 13: Bhuj/Mumbai/Aurangabad (Flight)

After breakfast, we are transferred to the airport to board our flight to Mumbai, where we connect to our flight to Aurangabad. On arrival in Aurangabad, we are transferred to our hotel. The remainder of the day is free.

Overnight: Hotel in Aurangabad (2 nights) (B)

Day 14: Aurangabad

Today we enjoy a full day exploring the Ajanta Caves*, one of the oldest UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India. The first Buddhist cave monuments at Ajanta date from the 2nd and 1st centuries B.C. During the Gupta period between the 5th and 6th centuries A.D., many more richly decorated caves were added to the original group. The series of paintings at Ajanta are unparalleled in the history of Indian art, both for the wide range of subjects illustrated and the assured mastery of the medium. Ajanta’s paintings and sculptures are also considered masterpieces of Buddhist religious art. (B)

Day 15: Aurangabad/Mumbai (Flight)

An exciting day ahead with a visit to one of Western India’s cultural highlights, the Ellora Caves*. These 34 monasteries and temples, extending over more than 2 kilometers, were carved out of the wall of a massive basalt cliff. The uninterrupted sequence of monuments dates from A.D. 600 to 1000 and brings the civilization of ancient India to life. Later we also visit the Daulatabad fort and Bibi-Ka-Maqbra, the beautiful mausoleum of Rabia-ul-Daurani, wife of the Moghul Emperor Aurangazeb. In the late afternoon, we are transferred to the airport for our flight to Mumbai. On arrival in Mumbai, we are transferred to our hotel.

Overnight: Hotel in Mumbai (2 nights) (B)

Day 16: Mumbai

We start our day with a visit to the Gateway of India, Mumbai's most famous monument. Here we embark on an excursion to the Elephanta Caves*, located on an island in the Sea of Oman. The caves contain a stunning collection of rock art linked to the cult of Shiva, with huge reliefs adorning the main cavern. We return to Mumbai by motor launch, visiting the Prince of Wales Museum. Next we explore Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus*, an outstanding example of Victorian Gothic Revival architecture. This building became the symbol of Bombay as the ‘Gothic City’, with its remarkable stone dome, turrets, pointed arches and eccentric ground plan. Our next stop is Mani Bhawan museum, where Mahatma Gandhi stayed during the Freedom Struggle. From here we enjoy the Hanging Gardens, the Zoroastrian Towers of Silence and bustling Crawford Market. We also drive past Haji Ali, the tomb of a wealthy Muslim merchant. We end our tour at the Dhobi Ghat, the world's largest outdoor laundry. The word Dhobi Ghat is used all over India to refer to any place where many washers are present. (B)

Day 17: Depart Mumbai

Our exciting journey through India’s Western Heritage comes to an end today as we are transferred to the airport for our departure flight. Or a convenient option here to extend our adventure with one of Bestway’s many other India holiday tour packages to different regions of the country. (B)

B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner

Departure Dates
English Speaking Departures (Please contact us for information on French, German, Italian and Spanish speaking departures).

2018

Every Friday

2019

Every Friday

Tour Price

We accept payment in US $ (US Dollars), CA $ (Canadian Dollars) or equivalent EURO (for clients outside North America). Bestway Tours & Safaris offers conversion rate protection. Once full payment has been received, and no modification has been made to the tour itinerary, we will honour that rate. For complete payment procedures, please click here

VALIDITY (Apr 16, 2018 to Sep 30, 2018)
Departure Per Person on Twin Sharing Single Room Supplement
Option 1 US$ 2800 • CA$ 3640 US$ 780 • CA$ 1014
Option 2 US$ 3025 • CA$ 3933 US$ 990 • CA$ 1287
Option 3 US$ 3285 • CA$ 4271 US$ 1150 • CA$ 1495
VALIDITY (Oct 01, 2018 to Apr 15, 2019)
Departure Per Person on Twin Sharing Single Room Supplement
Option 1 US$ 3195 • CA$ 4154 US$ 965 • CA$ 1255
Option 2 US$ 3565 • CA$ 4635 US$ 1295 • CA$ 1684
Option 3 US$ 4020 • CA$ 5226 US$ 1560 • CA$ 2028
VALIDITY (Apr 16, 2019 to Sep 30, 2019)
Departure Per Person on Twin Sharing Single Room Supplement
Option 1 US$ 3060 • CA$ 3978 US$ 855 • CA$ 1112
Option 2 US$ 3305 • CA$ 4297 US$ 1085 • CA$ 1411
Option 3 US$ 3585 • CA$ 4661 US$ 1260 • CA$ 1638
Supplements for Domestic Airfare

Sectors: Bhuj/Mumbai/ Aurangabad, Aurangabad/Mumbai

US$ 395 • CA$ 514-

Hotels below or similar for Option 1, Option 2 & Option 3

City Option 1 Option 2 Option 3
Delhi
(2 Nights)
The Royal Plaza (4 Star)
Deluxe Room
Hyatt Regency (5 Star)
King Room
Taj Palace (5 Star Deluxe)
Superior Room
Agra
(1 Night)
Crystal Sarovar Premier (4 Star)
Superior City View Room
Jaypee Palace (5 Star)
Standard Room
ITC Mughal (5 Star Deluxe)
Mughal Room
Bhopal
(2 Nights)
Noor-Us-Sabah Palace (Heritage)
Standard Room
Jehan Numa Palace (Heritage)
Regal Room
Jehan Numa Palace (Heritage)
Regal Room
Indore
(1 Night)
Country Inn by Carlson (4 Star)
Superior Room
Radisson Blu Hotel Indore (5 Star)
Superior Room
Radisson Blu Hotel Indore (5 Star)
Superior Room
Mandu
(1 Night)
Malwa Resort (Basic 3 Star)
Standard Room
Malwa Resort (Basic 3 Star)
Standard Room
Malwa Resort (Basic 3 Star)
Standard Room
Ahmedabad
(2 Nights)
The Pride (4 Star)
Deluxe Room
Hyatt Regency (5 Star)
King Room
Hyatt Regency (5 Star)
King Room
Rajkot
(1 Night)
Imperial Palace (4 Star)
Standard Room
Imperial Palace (4 Star)
Standard Room
Imperial Palace (4 Star)
Standard Room
Bhuj
(2 Nights)
Hotel Prince (3 Star)
Standard Room
Hotel Prince (3 Star)
Standard Room
Hotel Prince (3 Star)
Standard Room
Aurangabad
(2 Nights)
ITC WelcomHotel Rama International (4 Star) Corporate Floor Vivanta By Taj Aurangabad (5 Star)
Superior Charm Room
Vivanta By Taj Aurangabad (5 Star)
Superior Charm Room
Mumbai
(2 Nights)
Vivanta BY Taj President (5 Star)
Superior Charm Room
Trident Nariman Point (5 Star)
Superior City View Room
The Taj Mahal Palace & Tower (5 Star Deluxe)
Superior City View Room - Tower Wing

Notes

The price are on Per Person basis - All prices are subject to any revision of tax and tariff structure.
Domestic air subject to change.

Please consider the below monument restrictions while deciding travel dates:
- Red fort and Birla House are closed on Monday and Chandni Chowk is closed on Sunday
- Taj Mahal is closed on Friday
- Museum at Rajkot remains closed on Wednesday
- Kutch Museum at Bhuj remains closed on Wednesday
- Ajanta Caves at Aurangabad remain closed on Monday
- Ellora caves at Aurangabad remain closed on Tuesday
- Elephanta caves at Mumbai remain closed on Monday



Inclusions


Tour Price Includes
  • Accommodation as mentioned or similar, including hotel taxes
  • Train Fare in Executive Class (from Delhi to Agra & Agra to Bhopal)
  • 18 Meals as mentioned (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
  • All sightseeing and transfers by private transportation
  • Services of local English speaking guides
  • Entrance fees to museums and sites included in the itinerary
  • Rickshaw Ride in Delhi
Not Included
  • Any airfares
  • Supplement for Domestic airfare (within tour itinerary, Bhuj/Mumbai/Aurangabad & Aurangabad/Mumbai (based on current application fares)) (Quoted Separately)
  • Insurance/visas
  • Tips/gratuities

Estimated International Airfare
(International airfare is NOT included in this tour)

CANADA(West Coast)
US$ 1600

USA(West Coast)
US$ 1400

CANADA(East Coast)
US$ 1200

USA(East Coast)
US$ 1000

Participants

This tour operates on a minimum of 02 and a maximum of 08 participants

Customised Itinerary

If you would like to have a tour on dates other than the above ones or with a customised itinerary, please contact us and we will be happy to work out an exclusive program for you.

Contact Info
You may e-mail us at bestway@bestway.com or call 1-604-264-7378. Residents of U.S.A./Canada may call us toll free at 1-800-663-0844.