OUR REPRESENTATIVE will receive you on arrival at the airport and transfer to the hotel. Reach Aurangabad and check into the hotel.
The city of Aurangabad was founded in 1610, on the site of a village, Khirki by Malik Ambar - the Prime Minister of Murtaza Nizam Shah II. When Fateh Khan, Malik Ambar`s son turned successor in 1626, he gave the city the name `Fatehpur`. Later in 1653, when Prince Aurangzeb became Viceroy of the Deccan, he made the city his capital and called it Aurangabad. Aurangzeb added the walls that enclose the central part of the city in 1686 in order to withstand attacks from the Marathas. There are four principle gateways to the city - the Delhi Darwaza, the Jalna Darwaza, the Paithan Darwaza and the Mecca Darwaza. Nine secondary gateways also formed a part of the defensive system of this city.
Aurangabad district has always been a prominent region on the Deccan plateau. Having been inhabited since the Stone Age, it has a long artistic and cultural history - to which several dynasties have made major contributions over the years. Maurya rule marked the arrival of Buddhism in Maharashtra.
Aurangabad today is a bustling city of Maharashtra with diverse big and small industries, fine silken textiles, and exquisite hand woven brocades of silver and gold fabrics, Himroo of world frame. To scholars and lovers of art and culture the city is more familiar as the gateway to the ancient caves of Ajanta and Ellora, both famous as treasure houses of Indian Art and Sculpture.
Overnight will be at Aurangabad.
Breakfast will be served at the hotel.
Proceed for a full day sightseeing with excursion to Ajanta Caves and Daulatabad fort.
Ajanta caves: Nestling in an inner fold of the Sahyardi hills, 100 km from Aurangabad in the shape of a mammoth horse- shoe, are the 30 rock-hewn caves of Ajanta. The Caves date from the 2nd century BC. Discovered in 1819 by a group of British army officers, these startling achievements took around 600 years to create. Carved with little more than a hammer and chisel, Ajanta, once the retreat of Buddhist monastic orders features several `chaityas` (chapels) and `viharas` (monasteries). The exquisite wall and ceiling paintings, panels and sculptures of Buddha`s life are famous throughout the world as the earliest and finest examples of Buddhist pictorial art.
Return to Aurangabad and visit the Daulatabad Fort.
Once known as `Devgiri`, this magnificent 12th century fortress stands on a hill just 13 km. from Aurangabad. It was given the name Daulatabad, the `city of fortune`, by Muhammad Tughlaq, Sultan of Delhi. Initially a Yadav stronghold, it passed through the hands of several dynasties in the Deccan. One of the world`s best preserved fort of medieval times, surviving virtually unaltered, Daulatabad yet displays the character that made it invincible. This is a Fortress that was conquered only by treachery. A series of secret, quizzical, subterranean passages lie coiled like a python amidst the fort. Here flaring torches were thrust upon an unwary enemy. Or hot oil poured down his path, as he deliberated in the labyrinth. Also the heat from a brazier was blown into the passage by a process of suction suffocating the entire garrison within. The Fort itself lies in the body of an isolated hill; the steep hill - sides at the base falling so sharply to the moat that no hostile troops could scale the height. The moat, 40 ft. deep with mechanical drawbridges teemed with crocodiles. A 5-kilometer sturdy wall, artificial scarping and a complicated series of defenses made Daulatabad impregnable. The 30-meter high Chand Minar (Tower) built much later with 3 circular galleries had a defensive and religious role in the fortress.
Overnight will be at Aurangabad.
Breakfast will be at the hotel.
Proceed for a visit to the Ellora Caves and Aurangabad Caves.
Ellora Caves: Impressive in their own right is the rock-hewn temples and monasteries of Ellora that lie just 30 km away from Aurangabad city. In all, there are 34 cave temples, 12 Mahayana Buddhist caves (550-750 AD), 17 Hindu caves (600-875 AD) and 5 caves of the Jain faith (800-1000 AD) 22 more caves, dedicated to Lord Shiva, were recently discovered. Kailas Temple (cave16), the central attraction at Ellora, is the most remarkable. Chiseled by hand from a single massive rock, it includes a gateway, pavilion, courtyard, vestibule, sanctum, sanctorum and tower which bear testimony to the excellence of Dravidian art. It is believed to have taken 7000 laborers, working in continuous shifts and 150 years to build. Ever since the first European visitors in 18th Century, Ellora has attracted chroniclers, antiquarians, scholars and in more recent years, ever- increasing number of tourists.
Aurangabad Caves: The almost forgotten caves of Aurangabad lie just outside the city. Excavated between the 2nd and 6th century AD, they reflect TANTRIC influences in their iconography and architectural designs. In all there are nine caves which are mainly viharas (monasteries). The most interesting among these are Caves 3 and 7. The former is supported on 12 highly ornate columns and has sculptures depicting scenes from the legendary `Jakata` tales. Cave 7 with its detailed figures of bejeweled women also has a dominating sculpture of a `Bodhisattva` praying for deliverance.
Overnight will be at Aurangabad.
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel.
Later as per the flight timings, you will be transferred to the airport for the onward journey with sweet memories of the caves.
We have successfully returned from India and are back in Texas. I have finally downloaded my photos and I`m am thoroughly enjoying the editing process as I relive my wonderful experiences in India. If our children had been with us, we would have stayed a month more. My favorite thing in all of India-- more esteemed than the food, the architecture, or the religious and cultural learning--was the people. India is its people--warm, gracious, friendly and open.
I wanted to take a moment to tell you how pleased we were with everything that pertained to our trip. The guides in each town were very knowledgeable and unique in different ways. Some were spiritual, some political, some very worldly--regardless, it was refreshing to go to another town and have a different perspective from each guide.
We cannot say enough good things about our driver, Mr. Kulmant Singh. As you are aware, it takes a lot of bravado and luck to get from point A to point B in India. We are thankful we did so without incident and that we got to experience India "as close to a local experience" as possible. I think the only way to have traveled more like an Indian would have been to put all four of us on one motorbike!
I cannot wait to return to India. I would return to Varanasi to be part of the mass of humanity that lives and breathes with a city that encircles all of life. I would return to Jodhpur and Udaipur to spend more time in the streets, the markets, and with the people of India. I liked the smallness and openness of these cities. (I have to admit, we gave our guides some work trying to keep up with our random wanderings down side streets and off the tourist path!) I would return to Jaipur if only to stay at the Rambagh Palace again. It was my favorite hotel as was the Imperial. My husband`s favorites were the Oberoi`s in Udaipur and Agra. The Orchard hotel was quite a surprise and we would return if only to sit and visit with the host, a most gracious man.
Once again, thank you for your help in preparing our trip. I look forward to working with you again when we decide to travel to the south!
Question : Health advice for UK citizens
Vaccinations are not required when you travel in India; however anti malaria medication is strongly recommended. If you have visited or transited a yellow fever area ten days prior to your scheduled trip to India a yellow fever inoculation certificate will be mandatory. Like all tropical countries, there are precautions that need to be followed while travelling. Indian medical professionals have reputably high standards. Should you need to consult a doctor; most hotels have doctors on call. We would be happy to assist you in visiting the specialist, although appointments are likely to be limited to a certain time of the day. Should you be using prescription medicines, please carry adequate supply - what you use may not be locally available and substitutes may not be suitable. In the unlikely event of hospitalisation, primary and secondary metros offer very high standards of health care. As a primary precaution, always drink bottled water. Ensure your liquid intake is consistent throughout the day. We always recommend that you consult your personal physician prior to any travel. We advise you to consult your doctor or the British Airways Travel Clinics, allowing at least 4 weeks before the date of travel for all medical advice. Some areas including Bhutan and Nepal may be at high altitudes so please check with our staff before confirming your itinerary. You can also check health advice for UK citizens at below link: Http://www.fitfortravel.scot.nhs.uk/destinations/asia-(east)/india.aspx
OUR TOUR INCLUDES:
Accommodation at mentioned hotels,
Buffet breakfasts at the hotels,
Sightseeing tours as mentioned in the itinerary,
Ac vehicle for all transfers & sightseeing as per the itinerary,
Local english speaking guides for all mentioned tours,
Assistance at the airports on arrival / departure,
Internal airfare in economy class for the sector delhi - aurangabad delhi,
Monument entrance charges,
All applicable taxes and service charges,
All road taxes, government taxes and driver allowances.