Undiscovered Central India
Delhi – Bhopal – Maheshwar – Kathiwada – Vadodara – Ahmedabad
Madhya Pradesh is a popular destination where tourists come to experience the charm of nature and culture. The state is known for its carved temples, Buddhist Stupas, forts, palaces and wildlife parks. In this itinerary you will discover the unique treasures of Madhya Pradesh. Maheshwar possesses a treasure trove of beautiful temples that calm the soul, alongside man-made creations that please the eyes. Kathiwada visit the local houses decorated with Pithora paintings which are more a ritual than an art form.
Arrive at Delhi International Airport. Please clear immigration and visa formalities, collect your baggage and proceed to the arrival lounge through the green channel. MAGADH TRAVELS executive will wait at the arrival hall with a placard in your name to greet you. Thereafter you will be assisted with a transfer and check in at the hotel. Stay overnight at hotel in Delhi.
The Oberoi, New Delhi: An incomparable hotel for business or pleasure, The Oberoi, New Delhi, enjoys views of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Humayun's Tomb on one side and a calming view of the forested golf course on the other. It is a storied landmark and a celebrated example of Oberoi's reputation for taking care of its guests. The contemporary interpretation of Sir Edwin Lutyens' New Delhi in the interiors combines with a state of the art clean air technology offering the healthiest air in the city. Thoughtfully detailed throughout its public spaces, with superlative rooms, restaurants and guest facilities, this is a city hotel perfectly conceived for work or play.
Morning after breakfast transfer to Delhi airport to board flight to Bhopal. Assisted arrival at Bhopal and transfer to hotel and check-in. Afternoon city tour of Bhopal which include Bharat Bhavan Museum, Birla Temple, Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya, Moti Masjid and Taj-UL-Masjid. Stay overnight at hotel in Bhopal.
Jehan Numa Palace, Bhopal: A regal 19th-Century residence, the Jehan Numa Palace in Bhopal is a rare fusion of contemporary comfort and care. Settled on the slope of the vibrant Shamla Hills is the majestic Jehan Numa Palace Hotel, Bhopal. The palace is an amalgamation of British Colonial, Italian Renaissance, and Classical Greek architecture. Fringed with hues of floral appeals such as Bougainvillea, Champa and more, this abode of fine hospitality lives up to its royal status, so much that it compelled a visitor to claim, 'It is too intimate to be called a palace, too friendly to be called a hotel'. The 100 rooms which include 6 suites open into green courtyards or balconies overlooking trees, the swimming pool, the riding track – natural and pleasing views.
Morning after breakfast, full day tour of Bhimbetka and Sanchi is on the cards. Start with a trip to the massive stupas and museum of Sanchi, a famous pilgrimage destination for Buddhists. It was Emperor Ashoka who commissioned the design of Sanchi Stupa in the 3rd century B.C. The beautiful Stupa is surrounded by toranas which reflect love, peace, trust and courage. The central chamber of Stupa is made up of large hemispherical domes, which comprise of different relics of Lord Buddha. It is one of the well preserved ancient stupas in central India and is ranked among the world Heritage sites. Also, it is a great relic of Buddhist school of Architecture dating back to 3rd century B.C. During the Shunga period, the Sanchi Stupa was renovated and decorated with staircase, railings and a harmika. The entrance of the stupa is curved with beautiful sculptures which represent various Bhuddhist traits and adorned with grand sculptures which depicts incidents from the Life of Lord Buddha.
Thereafter, head straight to Bhimbetka rock caves, famous for its paintings and sketches dating back to the pre-historic times. The Bhimbetka caves were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the year 2003. Out of the 760 rock shelters found here, 500 are adorned with paintings. The cave paintings here date back to 3,000yrs. Later, return back to the hotel. Stay overnight at hotel in Bhopal.
Morning after breakfast, full day tour of Bhojpur & Udaigiri. The magnificent Shiva temple of Bhojpur has the largest Shiva Lingam in the world, 28 km from Bhopal. Bhojpur Shiva Lingam 5.5 m (18 ft) tall and 2.3 m (7.5 ft) in circumference and is crafted out a single rock. Standing on a 21 ft. tall platform, devotees are only able to access the Shivlinga by climbing an iron staircase. Talking about the architecture of this exquisite temple, it was built in accordance to the principles of Vastu Shastra and is decorated with an intricately carved arch at the entrance. Thereafter, head straight to Udayagiri Caves are the oldest Hindu cave temples, located in the city of Vidisha. This tourist site is under the protection of the Archaeological Survey of India and best known for a series of rock-cut sanctuaries. The site is also full of Sanskrit inscriptions dating back to the reigns of Chandragupta II and Kumaragupta I. On top of the hills dotted by these caves, one can also see some fine archaeological remains of Buddhist stupas and Hindu temples. Stay overnight at hotel in Bhopal.
Morning after breakfast travel to Maheswar, situated on the banks of river Narmada. The town possesses a treasure trove of beautiful temples that calm the soul, alongside man-made creations that please the eyes. A centre of handloom weaving since the 5th century, Maheshwar has been producing the exquisite Maheshwari saris and fabric. The town also holds the distinction of being the capital of Rajmata Ahilya Devi Holkar's empire during the 18th century. On arrival check-in at hotel. Afternoon walking tour of Narmada Ghat and visit few ancient temples like Kaleshwara Temple, Rajarajeshwara Temple, Akhileshwara Temple and Vithaleshwara Temple, which are popular for the unique overhanging balconies and beautiful crafted walls. Also visit the famous handloom shops to know more about the Maheswari Sarees. The city is famous for delicate cotton and silk textiles. There are plenty of handloom shops that offer woven and designed silk sarees which are known as Maheswari Sarees. Evening enjoy the sunset boating to the center of the universe. Boat ride to Baneshwar Temple, considered to be the Centre of the Universe. Watch the sun setting as you glide down the Narmada on a hand-poled boat to the Temple. Have a cup of tea and then release diyas as an offering to the River. Stay overnight at hotel in Maheswar.
Ahilya Fort, Maheswar: Sits high above the sacred river Narmada. Maharani Ahilyabai Holkar ruled here from 1765 to 1796 and built Ahilya Wada, her personal residences, offices, and darbaar audience hall, within the fort. In the year 2000, Prince Richard Holkar, her descendant and son of the last Maharaja of Indore, converted his home in Ahilya Wada into a guest residence, today known around the world as the Ahilya Fort Hotel. The Ahilya Fort Hotel has 19 rooms of character, set in six buildings of the 18th century, with modern amenities and comforts. Guests stroll through 3 acres of courtyards, fountains, and gardens that link areas within the Wada. It is easy to find a secluded spot to read a book, sip some tea, or just watch the butterflies flutter by.
Morning after breakfast excursion to Omkareshwar, is one of the 12 most revered temples of followers of Shiva. The main idol is a lingam or phallic symbol of Shiva's creative power, which is believed to have sprung out of the earth by itself. A very important Hindu pilgrimage site; all visitors are welcome. A side trip to Bakawa, the sole place in India that hand-crafts shivalings, can be arranged. Also visit the Baji Rao Samadi, was a very important Peshwa ruler in the 18th century. His scenic chattri, or crematory cenotaph, is perched above the Narmada River in the village of Rewa Khedi. After visit return back to Maheswar. Stay overnight at hotel in Maheswar.
Morning after breakfast excursion to Mandu, visit the Hoshang's Tomb: a massive, foursquare monument with a huge dome, constructed in AD 1435, it is the oldest marble structure in India and depicts typical Hindu influences An inscription on the right jamb of the door mentions the name of Ustad Hamid who was involved with the building of the Taj Mahal in Agra. Jahaz Mahal (Ship Palace): It is one of the most popular monuments in Mandu, this ship-like structure was erected by Ghiyas-ud-din, son of Mohammed Shah, for his harem. According to the legends, this harem was home to 15,000 maidens. There are two lakes on the east and west side of the palace that create a perfect illusion of a ship with its rectangular shape. Hindola Mahal (Swing Palace): It is near the Jahaz Mahal. It's a large hall supported by sloping buttresses which, resembled the supports of a swing. According to legends, both the Jahaz and Hindola Mahal were popular with the Mughals for partying on monsoon evenings. Also visit Ashrafi Mahal, and the Rupmati's Pavilion.
After visit return back to Maheswar. Stay overnight at hotel in Maheswar.
Morning after breakfast travel Kattiwada. En-route stop at Bagh to visit The Bagh Caves are nine rock-cut sculptures dug out by Satavahanas during the 5th and 6th centuries. Out of the nine monuments, only five have survived and each of them are viharas, where Buddhist monks still rest. A small chamber at the back of the monument forms the "chaitya" which means the "prayer hall". The walls and ceilings of these rock cut monasteries are adorned with paintings which are more materialistic than spiritual. Also visit the Bagh Printing shop to know more about the tradition hand block printing. After visit continue to Kattiwada. On arrival check in at hotel. Stay overnight at hotel in Kattiwada.
Raj Mahal, Kathiwada: It is an erstwhile principality dating back to 1434. The Raaj Mahal is the centerpiece of Kathiwada Estates and was formerly a royal hunting lodge commissioned by Rana Onkarsinhji in 1895. This fully renovated plush mansion sits on 120 acres of privately owned farm land which is surrounded by the Vindhya range of hills offering delightful visuals in every direction. Modern interiors are finely tuned to meet the aesthetic sense of forgone royalty with each room having its own unique identity. Our 11 room property studded with ancient memorabilia, photographs and modern art is a treat for the discerning guest.
Morning after breakfast a guided village walk through the tribal settlements of Muljhipura & Juna Kathiwada. Visit the local houses decorated with Pithora paintings which are more a ritual than an art form. The age-old Indian tradition of mud architecture is not just sustainable but also versatile. The time-tested building technique has become a reference point for contemporary architects. Evening the magical forests of Kathiwada lure you to take a guided trek into the dense jungles abound with indigenous trees. En route, bask in the beauty of the Jholia waterfall onward to Ratanmaal plateau, a sloth bear and leopard sanctuary. Stay overnight at hotel in Kattiwada.
Morning after breakfast travel Vadodara. En-route visit The Statue of Unity (Closed on Monday) is a colossal statue of Indian statesman and independence activist Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel (1875–1950). It is the world's tallest statue with a height of 182 metres (597 ft). It is located on a river island facing the Sardar Sarovar Dam on the river Narmada in Kevadiya colony. It was designed by famous Indian sculptor Ram V. Sutar. After visit continue to Vadodara. On arrival check in at hotel. Stay overnight at hotel in Vadodara.
Madhav Bagh, Vadodara: This is an old ancestral mansion built, by Shrimant Madhavrao Gaekwad in an oasis of greenery of 2 acres. Shivrajsinh Gaekwad, the present owner and his wife Indrayani have breathed life into their historic home and restored and converted it into a luxurious abode. The Gaekwad Enclave, now meticulously restored, has four palatial bedrooms, lounges, a courtyard and gardens. The old world charm of the place is enhanced by the interspersing of antiques, restored furniture and old photographs in nooks and corners.
Morning after breakfast visit The Laxmi Vilas Palace is one of the most majestic structures in India and was the private residence of Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III. Known to be the largest private dwelling of the size equivalent to four times of the Buckingham Palace. Sprawling across an area of about 700 acres, it is still home to the royal family of Vadodara, the Gaekwads. The lush gardens of the palace add to the beauty of the entire experience of being here. Lucky tourists can spot monkeys or peacocks strutting around. The grounds also include a 10-hole golf course. Later visit Sayajirao Park & The Maharaja Sayajirao Museum - The museum exhibits a fine collection of European paintings, sculptures, industrial arts and royal family memorabilia. It also contains an excellent collection of the famous Akota Bronzes. Akota lies on the western fringes of the city and was the seat of Jain culture in the 5th century. Also visit Sri Arvindo Ashram. Stay overnight at hotel in Vadodara.
Morning after breakfast travel Ahmedabad. On arrival check in at hotel. Later visit The Adalaj Sepwell. Set in the quiet village of Adalaj, this vav has served as a resting place for hundreds of years for many pilgrims and caravans along their trade routes. Built in 1499 by Queen Rudabai. It is believed that villagers would come every day in the morning to fill water, offer prayers to the deities carved into the walls and interact with each other in the cool shade of the vav. There is an opening in the ceilings above the landing which allows the light and air to enter the octagonal well. However, direct sunlight does not touch the flight of steps or landings except for a brief period at noon. Hence some researchers say that the atmosphere inside the well is six degrees cooler than the outside. Stay overnight at hotel in Ahmedabad.
The House of MG, Ahmedabad: is an iconic heritage hotel in India's first UNESCO World Heritage City of Ahmedabad. Was built by one of the city Fathers and it wonderfully represents the colonial heritage architecture of the early 20th century. Formerly residential homes, they are all beautifully restored with modern amenities while retaining their homelike ambience. With just 47 rooms between them, three restaurants/cafes, a stunning textile gallery, shop for handcrafted gifts and a bookstore with Heritage books as well as a host of other unique features, our properties are like no other in the city. The main property is conveniently located in the centre of the city, close to every corner (including the airport and railway station that are less than twenty minutes away). There is a wide range of eating options a short distance from each property as well.
Morning after breakfast enjoy The Heritage Walk of Ahmedabad is a guided walk of two and a half hours. The walk begins from the picturesque Swaminarayan Mandir in Kalupur and ends in the most glorious architectural legacies the Jumma Masjid, covering in between the numerous pols, havelis, ornamental facades, workplaces of artisans and number of magnificent Hindu and Jain temples. Later visit The Gandhi Ashram known as "Sabarmati Ashram" because it is situated on the banks of Sabarmati River. The beautiful ashram complex of Ahmedabad, with shady trees populated by thousands of paraketers, Beaters, sunbirds, squirrels, offers a refuge from the loud streets of the city and is one of the foremost tourist attraction of Ahmedabad. This ashram was Gandhi's headquarters during the long struggle for Indian independence. His ashram was founded in 1915 and still makes handicrafts, handmade paper and spinning wheels. Continue to visit Sidi Sayed Mosque: One part of the wall in the old citadel of the mosque built by Ahmed Shah's slave, SidiSayed, is celebrated the world over for its exquisite stone window tracery – a superb & peerless example of delicate carving that transforms stone into filigree. Although there are many rozas across Gujarat, the Sarkhej Roza is the most revered. Sarkhej was once a prominent centre of Sufi culture in the country, where influential Sufi saint Shaikh Ahmed Ganj Baksh lived. It was on the saint's suggestion that Sultan Ahmed Shah set up his capital on the banks of the Sabarmati, a few miles away from Sarkhej. Stay overnight at hotel in Ahmedabad.
Morning after breakfast transfer to Ahmedabad international airport to board your schedule flight to onward destination.
Delhi – Bhopal – Maheshwar – Kathiwada – Vadodara – Ahmedabad
Delhi – Bandhavgarh – Kanha – Pench – Delhi