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India Group Tour

SUGGESTED PROGRAM FOR GROUP TOURS:

UNKNOWN TREASURES OF ORISSA AND KARNATAKA

Duration : 16 nights / 17 days

Cities
covered : Delhi, Bhubhaneshwar, Puri, Hyderabad, Bidar, Gulbarga, Bijaipur, Badami, Hospet, Goa, Mumbai

Highlights :
Through this tour visit the lesser known medieval set South Indian towns. Once these towns were the stronghold of Hindu Empires and the fascinating sights & sounds of the monuments leave one spellbound.
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[These Group Tour Programs are best run with minimum 6 travelers to a group & more]

Day 1 - DELHI
Arrive Delhi. Meeting and transfer to hotel. (Check in time 12 Noon).
Overnight at hotel.

Day 2 - DELHI
Morning combined city sightseeing tour of Old and New Delhi. In Old Delhi visit Red Fort, Jama Masjid, drive past Chandni Chowk and visit Raj Ghat - the cremation site of Mahatma Gandhi.

In New Delhi visit Qutab Minar - 234 feet hight tower, nearby stands the Iron pillar, the Tomb of mughal Emperor Humayun, the modern Birla Mandir Temple. Drive past India Gate (War Memorial), President’s House, which was once the viceroy’s Palace, Parliament House and Secretarial Buildings.

Evening witness a pageant of Indian Music and Folk dances at the backdrop of flood-lit 16th century haus Khas Monument followed by Dinner at Village BISTRO.
Overnight at hotel.

Day 3 – DELHI / BHUBANESHWAR
Morning free. In time transfer to the airport to board flight for Bhubaneshwar.
Depart Delhi by IC 897 at 1500 hrs
Arrive Bhubaneshwar at 1820 hrs
(Flight operates on Mon/Wed/Fri/Sat)
                       OR
Depart Delhi by IC 477 at 1215 hrs
Arrive Bhubaneshwar at 1515 hrs
(Flight operates on Tue/Thur)

Arrive and transfer to hotel. Overnight at hotel.

Day 4 – BHUMANESHWAR / KONARK / PURI
Morning depart by coach for Konark. En route visit Dhauligiri Shanta Stupa & Ashokan rock edicts where the Great King Ashoka denounced brutality & embraced Buddhism. Also visit Artisan’s village at Pipli. The beautiful Sun Temple at Konark built in the 13th century in honour of the Sun God, containing exquisite carvings, of life-like Lions and Elephants, collosal figures of warriors on Horse, Scenes of battle and the Chase - all carved, testifying to the high standard of ancient Indian art and engineering skill. Proceed for Puri, enroute visiting Chaitana, Artisan’s village. (stone carving).
Arrive and check in at hotel in Puri. Overnight at hotel.

Day 5 - PURI
Morning sightseeing tour visiting the palace of pilgrimage for the Hindus. The renowed Jaganath Temple built in the 15th century A.D. and crowned with Vishnu’s Wheel and flag dominates the landscape of Puri. The temple with its elaborate carvings and mouldings are very fine examples of Orissa architecture.

Rest of the day relax on Balighai beach, where the sky kisses the sea, golden sunshine, miles of golden sands, turquise waves and white surf.
Overnight at hotel.

Day 6 – PURI / BHUBANESHWAR / HYDERABAD
Morning depart by coach for Bhubaneshwar. En route visit Raghurajpur artisan village, known for excellent patchwork and aplique decoration pieces. Arrive Bhubaneshwar and visit Lingraj temple, Rajrani temple and Mukteshwar temple. These temples are some of the best specimens of the Orissa Temple architecture.
Thereafter, proceed to the airport to board flight IC 769 for Hyderabad.

Depart Bhubaneshwar at 1745 hrs
Arrive Hyderabad at 2055 hrs
Arrive and transfer to hotel. Overnight at hotel.

Day 7 - HYDERABAD
Morning sightseeing tour visiting the Charminar: built in 1591,architectural jewel of statetly rectangular monument with a four slender minarets, each 53 metres high, and tiny mosque of the second floor. The monumental gate often described as the “The Arch of Triumph of the East”.

The Mecca Mosque: the most impressive mosque in South India, the lofty colonnades and door arches are made out of single slabs of granite brought from a quarry 11 kms from north of Charminar and pulled by 1400 bullocks.

Salar Jung Museum: It displays the collection Salar Jung III and said to be fine one/man collection. The museum 35 halls are filled with intriguing array of treasures of illiminating manuscripts, miniature paintings, priceless collections of jade, ivory and bronze and fabulous jewelled ancient weapons, including Aurangzeb’s own diamond encrusted. Afternoon visit Golconda Fort and the royal cenotaphs of the Qutab Shahis.

Golconda Fort: Lies 11 kms of the city, once famous for its diamond mines, and the capital of the Qutab Shahi Kings who ruled the surrounding territories for nearly two centuries. It was they who designed the fantastic acoustical system by which a handclap sounded at the gates can be heard right up at the citadel. Now partly in ruins, once it was a massive structure with a surrounding wall with eight gates. The water was raised by an ingenious system through laminated clay pipes and Persian wheels to cool the roof gradens and high walled palaces.

Adjacent to the fort lies the royal cnotaphs of Qutab Shahis. The domed mausoleum lie, silent and nostalgic, in what used to be the old gardens where fountains played and koel birds called.
Overnight at hotel.

Day 8 – HYDERABAD / BIDAR
(150 KMS)
Depart by coach for Bidar.
Arrive and check in at hotel.
Afternoon explore Bidar, the capital of the Bahamani Kingdom. Visit the 15th century Fort, the Muhammad Gawan ‘madrasa’ and the tombs of the Bahamani and Barids king.

Bidar is famous for ‘bidriware a distinct and exquisite craft of this district.
Rest of the day free. Overnight at hotel.

Day 9 – BIDAR / GULBARGA
(120 KMS)
Morning depart by coach for Gulbarga.
Arrive and check in at hotel.
Afternoon sightseeing tour visiting Dargah of Bande nawaz, the great Sufi saint, and the Hindu shrine of Sharana Basaveshwara. The Gubarga Fort, has within the Junna Masjid, modelled on the great mosque of Cardove in Spain.
Overnight at hotel.

Day 10 – GULBARGA / BIJAPUR
(145 KMS)
Depart by coach for Bijapur.
Arrive and check in at hotel.
Afternoon sightseeing tour of this ancient town of Bijapur, once the capital of the Adil Shahi dynasty. Visit -

Gol Gumbaz: containing the tomb of Mohammad Adil Shahi, has the fourth largest dome in the world. The interior of the dome, mysterious unsupported, has a whispering gallery under it, whose acousties are superb.

Jumma Masjid: still used for worship, has been called one of the first mosques in India and holds an exquisite copy of the Koran, written in gold letters.

Ibrahim Roza: was probably the inspiration for Agra’s Taj Mahal. Facing it is a mosque, as delicately designed.

Rhe Malik-e-Maidan: is an enormous cannon, fourteen feet long and weighing 55 tons. Rest of the day free. Overnight at hotel.

Day 11 – BIJAPUR / BADAMI
(132 KMS)
Depart by coach for Badami.
Arrive and check in at hotel.
Afternoon sightseeing tour visiting the picturesquely situated, Badami. There are four cave temples in Badami overlooking them is a reservoir, its banks dotted with temples dedicated to Vishnu and Shiva.
Rest of the day free. Overnight at hotel.

Day 12 – BADAMI / HOSPET
(219 KMS)
Depart by coach for Hospet. En route visit Aihole: The ‘cradle of Indian temple architecture’ has 125 temples - intricately carved, rich in detail. The oldest temple is perhaps the 5th century Lad Khan Temple. The Durga (Fort) Temple has a semicircular apse and a complete potico.

Thereafter, visit to Pattadakal: A world famous heritage centre, it has 10 major temples representing early Chaluykan architecture. The biggest temple dedicated to Virupaksheshvara, has a huge gateway and several inscriptions.
Continue journey to Hospet.
Arrive and check in at hotel. Overnight at hotel.

Day 13 - HOSPET
Its importance lies in its proximity to Hampi, the site of the medieval Vijayanagra empire situated about 13 kms from Hospet. The Tungrabhadra Dam here harness the sweet waters of the Tungabhadra river.
Depart for a full day excursion to Hampi and visit one of the World Heritage Centres.

The erstwhile capital of the Vijayanagara Kingdom, Hampi is full of delightful surprises. Like the King’s Balance where kings were weighed against grain, gold or money which has then distributed to the poor, the Queen’s Bath with its arched corridors, projecting balconies and lotus-shaped fountains that once sprouted perfumed water, the two storied Lotus mahal with recessed archways, the huge Elephant Stables, the splendid Vithala Temple with its ‘musical pillars’ and the stone chariot, the Virupaksha Temple still used for worship, Ugra Narasimha, the 6.7 meter tall monolith, the Pushkarni and the Mahanavami Dibba.

The once - powered Vijaynagra empire was compared to Rome by the Portuguese traveller Paes.
Lunch at “Hampi Ruins” along Tungabhadra river bank.
Return to Hospet. Overnight at hotel.

Day 14 – HOSPET / GOA
(299 KMS)
Depart by coach for Goa.
Arrive and check in at hotel.
Rest of the day relax on beach. Overnight at hotel.

Day 15 - GOA
Full day relax on beach.
Evening Seafood Barbeque Dinner at poolside.
Overnight at hotel.

Day 16 – GOA / MUMBAI
In time transfer to the airport to board flight IC164 for Mumbai.
Depart Goa at 1415 hrs
Arrive Mumbai at 1515 hrs
Arrive and transfer to the hotel. Overnight at hotel.

Day 17 – DEPART MUMBAI
In time transfer to the airport to board flight for onward destination.

Note: Flight schedule subject to change.

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