INDIA: WESTERN HERITAGE
Cultural tour of India

India is many times rightfully referred to as a subcontinent. Our tour through Western India starts in Delhi and covers the magnificent legacy of the Mughal Empire in Agra, Bhopal & Mandu; visits the Buddhist and Hindu monuments at Sanchi, Ajanta, Ellora & Elephanta Island; explores the great diversity of Gujarat and ends in the bustling metropolis of Mumbai. India features many different geographical regions where diverse civilizations and cultures flourished. At Bestway Tours & Safaris we have developed several tours that focus on India’s regions. Combine these tours and gain in-depth knowledge of this vast subcontinent.

UNESCO World Heritage Sites covered in this tour
1. Agra Fort 7. Humayun's Tomb, Delhi
2. Ajanta Caves 8. Qutb Minar and its Monuments, Delhi
3. Buddhist Monuments at Sanchi 9. Red Fort Complex, Delhi
4. Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (formerly Victoria Terminus) 10. Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka
5. Elephanta Caves 11. Taj Mahal, Agra
6. Ellora Caves    

Click to enlarge
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/Excursion to Sanchi & Bhimbetka
(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

Arrival. Namaste! We are warmly welcomed the traditional Indian way with hands clapped together at the airport 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 with a tour in New Delhi, with a visit to Birla House, the former residence of Mahatma Gandhi, before his assassination in 1948. We then visit the famous India Gate, a war memorial located astride the Rajpath, on the eastern edge of the ‘ceremonial axis’ of New Delhi. We then drive by the Houses of Parliament and Connaught Place to Humayun's Tomb*. This tomb, built in 1570, is of particular cultural significance as it was the first garden-tomb on the Indian subcontinent. It inspired several major architectural innovations, culminating in the construction of the Taj Mahal. We continue to the Qutub Minar and its Monuments*. Built in the early 13th century the red sandstone tower of Qutub Minar at 73 metres (240 ft.), is the tallest brick minaret in the world. The surrounding archaeological area contains funerary buildings, notably the magnificent Alai-Darwaza Gate, a masterpiece of Indo-Muslim art and two mosques. In the afternoon we explore Old Delhi, visiting the Red Fort Complex*. Named for its massive enclosing walls of red sandstone, it is adjacent to an older fort, the Salimgarh, built by Islam Shah Suri in 1546, with which it forms the Red Fort Complex. The Red Fort is considered to represent the zenith of Mughal creativity which, under Shah Jahan, was brought to a new level of refinement. Each pavilion reveals architectural elements typical of Mughal building, reflecting a fusion of Persian, Timurid and Hindu traditions. After visiting the Red Fort, we embark on a captivating journey on board a rickshaw, travelling through the narrow lanes of the renowned Chandni Chowk Bazaar, dating to the 17th Century. To this day it remains one of the busiest markets in Delhi. Our rickshaw ride ends at the Masjid-i Jahan-Numa commonly known as Jama Masjid. Built in the 17th century it is one of India's largest mosques. We then proceed to Raj Ghat, a black marble platform that marks the spot of Mahatma Gandhi's cremation. In the evening we enjoy a sumptuous welcome dinner at a renowned local restaurant. (B, D)

Note: Birla House and Red Fort are closed on Mondays.

Day 03: Delhi/Agra (Train)

After breakfast we are transferred to railway station for our express train to Agra. Shatabdi Express trains are fully air-conditioned and travelers enjoy complimentary meals. On arrival in Agra, we are transferred to our hotel. Afterwards we visit the most famous monuments in the world, the Taj Mahal*. An immense mausoleum of white marble, built in Agra between 1631 and 1648 by order of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his most beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal. Situated on the right bank of the Yamuna river in a vast Mogul garden, this funerary monument combines elements and styles of Persian, Central Asian and Islamic architecture. For its construction, masons, stone-cutters, inlayers, carvers, painters, calligraphers, dome builders and other artisans were requisitioned from the whole of the empire and also from the Central Asia and Iran. After our visit to the Taj Mahal we return to hotel for breakfast. Later we visit Agra Fort*, also known as the Red Fort of Agra. This powerful fortress of red sandstone encompasses, within its 2.5-km-long enclosure walls, the imperial city of the Mughal rulers, dating to the 16th century. It comprises many fairy-tale palaces, such as the Jahangir Palace and the Khas Mahal, built by Shah Jahan; audience halls, such as the Diwan-i-Khas; and two very beautiful mosques. We also visit Itmad-Ud -Daulah, often referred to as the Baby Taj. A highly ornate edifice, this mausoleum is considered as the imminent precursor of the Taj Mahal in terms of elaborate carvings and inlay work are concerned. We end our tour visiting some of the local factories famous for marble inlay work and witness the complex art of inlaying precious and semiprecious stones on the marble from the Makrana Mines.
Overnight: Hotel in Agra (1 Night) (B)

Note: Taj Mahal is closed on Fridays. On nights with a Full Moon the Taj Mahal's pure white marble shimmers silver in the moonlight and is open to visitors. We can arrange for an optional tour to enjoy this very special occasion.

Day 04: Agra/Bhopal (Train)

After breakfast we are transferred to railway station for our train to Bhopal, the capital of Madhya Pradesh. On arrival, we are met and transferred to our Hotel. Bhopal is known as the city of Mosques. We will visit the Jama Masjid with its gold spikes crowns the minarets, the Moti Masjid, architecturally similar to Delhi's Jama Masjid, and the Taj-ul-Masajid, one of the largest mosques in Asia. It has a double-storied gateway with four recessed archways and nine cusped multifold openings in the main prayer hall. The Quibla wall in the prayer hall is carved with eleven recessed arches and has fine screens of trellis work. 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

Today we explore the Buddhist Monuments at Sanchi*, a group of monolithic pillars, palaces, temples and monasteries in different states of conservation, most of which date back to the 2nd and 1st centuries BC. It is the oldest Buddhist sanctuary in existence and was a major Buddhist centre in India until the 12th century AD. On our way back we visit Udaygiri Caves, a group of rock-cut cave sanctuaries carved into a sandstone hill in the 4th and 5th centuries AD. In the afternoon we visit the Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka* in the foothills of the Vindhyan Mountains on the southern edge of the central Indian plateau. Within massive sandstone outcrops, above comparatively dense forest, are five clusters of natural rock shelters, displaying paintings that appear to date from the Mesolithic Period right through to the historical period. The cultural traditions of the inhabitants of the twenty-one villages adjacent to the site bear a strong resemblance to those represented in the rock paintings. (B)

Day 06: Bhopal/Ujjain/Indore (Drive)

After breakfast we drive to Indore, visiting the Mahakaleshwar Temple in Ujjain along the way. Upon arrival in Indore check into our hotelwe visit the Kanch Mandir Temple, featuring doors, pillars, ceilings and walls that are entirely inlaid with beautiful pieces of glass. The temple also has paintings, which are depicting stories from the Jain scriptures. We then continue to Lalbagh Palace, one of the best neoclassical palaces in India.
Overnight: Hotel in Indore (1 Night) (B)

Day 07: Indore/Mandu (Drive)

Today we are driven to Mandu. The city was originally founded in the 11th century by the Parmar rulers who made it their capital. Mandu, due to its strategic position and natural defenses, was an important place with a rich and varied history. It was an important military outpost and its military past can be gauged by the circuit of the battlemented wall, which is nearly 37 km (23 mi) and is punctuated by 12 gateways. The wall encloses a large number of palaces, mosques, Jain temples of 14th century and other buildings. Mandu features some of the finest examples of Afghan architecture in India. We explore the haunting ruins of this beautiful town, visiting the Jahaz Mahal, the Taveli Mahal, the Asharafi Mahal, the Tomb of Hoshang Shah, the Jain Temples, the Jama Masjid, Baz Bahadur’s Palace, Rupmati’s Pavalion, Darya Khan‘s Tomb and the Nil Kanth Palace. After our visit we procced to our hotel.
Overnight: Hotel in Mandu (1 Night) (B)

Day 08: Mandu/Ahmedabad (Drive)

After breakfast we drive to Ahmedabad, the largest city of Gujarat. The city was founded by Sultan Ahmad Shah in 1411 AD and lies on the left bank of the Sabarmati River. On arrival we check in to our hotel. The remainder of the day is free.
Overnight: Hotel in Ahmedabad (2 Nights) (B)

Day 09: Ahmedabad

After breakfast we start visit Mahatma Gandhi's Sabarmati Ashram, formerly known as Satyagraha Ashram. It is situated on the west bank of Sabarmati River and houses a museum that features the largest number of original manuscripts of Gandhi's letters and articles that shook up the British Rule in India. Next we visit the Siddhi Sayad Masjid and the Swaminarayan Temple. In the evening we are treated to the traditional Gujarati Thali dinner. (B, D)

Day 10: Ahmedabad/Rajkot (Drive)

Today we embark on a drive through rural Gujarat to Rajkot, to explore the former capital of the princely state of Saurashtra. Here we visit Kaba Gandhi No Delo (Kaba Gandhi's house) museum, the place where the Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi stayed during his stay in Rajkot in the early years of his life. We also visit the Watson Museum, which features collections of precious objects from the princely State of Rajkot.
Overnight: Hotel in Rajkot (1 Night) (B)

Note: The Museums are closed on Wednesdays and Public Holidays.

Day 11: Rajkot/Bhuj (Drive)

After Breakfast we drive to Bhuj, an old walled city in Kutch. The old city was surrounded by the fort-wall. There are walls within walls, crenellated gateways, old palaces with intricately carved wooden pavilions, and brightly decorated Hindu temples. Our visit includes a visit to Aina Mahal, a palace built in traditional Kutchi style, followed by a visit of the Maharao Sinh Madansinhji Museum, which features a varied collection of paintings, photos and embroideries and the Hall of Mirrors, 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, featuring 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

After breakfast we visit the village of Bhujodi, a major textile center of Kutch. The vast majority of its inhabitants is involved in hand-made textiles. Here we get to meet weavers, tie-dye artists and block printers, most of who belong to the Vankar community. (B)

Day 13: Bhuj/Mumbai/Aurangabad (Flight)

Today we are transferred to airport for our flight to Mumbai and transfer to our connecting flight to Aurangabad. On arrival in Aurangabad we are met and transferred to our hotel. The remainder of the day is free.
Overnight: Hotel in Aurangabad (2 Nights) (B)

Day 14: Aurangabad

Today we take full day excursion to Ajanta Caves*. The first Buddhist cave monuments at Ajanta date 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 series of paintings at Ajanta that cover the walls and ceilings are unparalleled in the history of Indian Art, both for the wide range of subjects illustrated and the assured mastery of the medium. The paintings and sculptures of Ajanta are considered masterpieces of Buddhist religious art. (B)

Note: Ajanta Caves are closed on Mondays.

Day 15: Aurangabad/Mumbai (Flight)

In the morning we visit the Ellora Caves*. These 34 monasteries and temples, extending over more than 2 km, were dug side by side in the wall of a high 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 Daulatabad Fort and Bibi-Ka-Maqbra, the beautiful mausoleum of Rabia-ul-Daurani, wife of the Mughal Emperor Aurangazeb. In the late afternoon we are transferred to airport for our flight to Mumbai, formerly known as Bombay. On arrival in Mumbai, we are transferred to our hotel.
Overnight: Hotel in Mumbai (2 Nights) (B)

Note: Ellora Caves are closed on Tuesdays.

Day 16: Mumbai

We start our day with a visit to the Gateway of India, Mumbai's most famous monument. Here we embark on our excursion by motor launch to Elephanta Island, located on an island in the Sea of Oman. We explore the Elephanta Caves*, which contain a collection of rock art linked to the cult of Shiva. Here, Indian art has found one of its most perfect expressions, particularly the huge high reliefs in the main cave. We return to Mumbai and visit the Prince of Wales Museum and Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus*, formerly known as Victoria Terminus Station. The station is an outstanding example of Victorian Gothic Revival Architecture in India, blended with themes deriving from Indian traditional architecture. The building, designed by the British Architect F. W. Stevens, became the symbol of Bombay as the ‘Gothic City’ and the major international mercantile port of India. Its remarkable stone dome, turrets, pointed arches and eccentric ground plan are close to traditional Indian palace architecture. Our next stop is at Mani Bhawan, a house converted into a museum, where Mahatma Gandhi stayed during the Freedom Struggle. We then explore the Hanging Gardens, the Zoroastrian Towers of Silence, the bustling Crawford Market and 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 washers, locally known as Dhobis, work in the open to wash the clothes from Mumbai's hotels and hospitals. The word Dhobi Ghat is used all over India to refer to any place where many washers are present. (B)

Note: The Prince of Wales Museum is closed on Mondays.

Day 17: Depart Mumbai

After a memorable journey through Western India, we are transferred to the airport for our departure home or to our next exciting destination. (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).

2017

Jan 22; Mar 03; Aug 18; Sep 15; Oct 20

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

Hotel Category Per Person on Twin Sharing Single Room Supplement
VALIDITY (Jan 01 to April 15, 2017 except between Dec 23 to Jan 05)
Option 1 US$ 2895 US$ 875
Option 2 US$ 3195 US$ 1145
Option 3 US$ 3575 US$ 1335
VALIDITY (Apr 16, 2017 to Sep 30, 2017)
Option 1 US$ 2770 US$ 775
Option 2 US$ 3000 US$ 980
Option 3 US$ 3250 US$ 1095
VALIDITY (Oct 01, 2017 to Dec 31, 2017 except between Dec 23 to Jan 05)
Option 1 US$ 2975 US$ 900
Option 2 US$ 3325 US$ 1205
Option 3 US$ 3750 US$ 1450
Supplements for Domestic Airfare in Special Economy Class (Subject to change till not ticketed)
Sector: Bhuj-Mumbai-Aurangabad, Aurangabad-Mumbai US$ 365 -

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.



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, D=Dinner)
  • All sightseeing and transfers by private transportation
  • Services of local English speaking guides cum drivers
  • Entrance fees to museums and sites included in the itinerary
  • Rickshaw Ride in Delhi
Not Included
  • Any airfares
  • Supplement for Domestic airfare: Bhuj/Mumbai/Aurangabad & Aurangabad/Mumbai (based on current application fares)
  • 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.