West India Tour takes you to ancient rock-cut caves, classic monuments, thickly carpeted hills and valleys. Discover western state of Maharashtra through this guided tour.
West India Tour
Destinations Covered: Mumbai - Aurangabad - Ajanta & Ellora - Mahabaleshwar - Koyna - Ganapatiphule - Mumbai
West India Tour Duration: 08 Nights / 09 Days
Western India Tour - Discover the many secrets of the western state of Maharashtra through this guided tour, which takes you to ancient rock-cut caves, classic monuments, thickly carpeted hills and valleys, gushing waterfalls, pure white beaches and frothy sea waves. A holiday that's truly complete and satisfying.
Day 01: Mumbai
Arrive in Mumbai and check into hotel.
Depending on flight and time available, relax, shop or take a sightseeing tour.
Mumbai is India's most adored city - it's vibrant and dynamic, and enjoyable in spite of the crowds and the traffic. No tourist gets lost here; he just gets absorbed into the milieu, ensuring a real 'India' experience.
Night stay in hotel.
Day 02: Mumbai
After breakfast, take a full-day tour of the city's many attractions.
These include the splendid Victorian buildings that line South Mumbai's commercial district - the Victoria Terminus, also known as the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Flora Fountain, University of Mumbai, Rajabhai Tower, Prince of Wales Museum. Other monuments on the must-see list are the Gateway of India, the Jehangir Art Gallery, Mahalakshmi Temple, Siddhi Vinayak Temple and Haji Ali Shrine. Mumbaikars love their beaches - visit any of these at Juhu, Chowpatty, Malad or Gorai. There's the Sanjay Gandhi National Park as well where you can sight the big cats, and some rare birds, right in the heart of the city!
Return to hotel for night stay.
Day 03: Mumbai - Aurangabad
Take the first flight out to Aurangabad (tentatively 7:15 am).
Flying time: 45 min to 1 hr 05 min.
Check into hotel and rest a while.
After an early lunch, proceed to Daulatabad, 26 km and Ellora, 26 km ahead The fort at Daulatabad is atop a 600 ft high hillock, built by Mohammed bin Tughlaq in the 12th century. The fort is known for its intricate network of secret passageways and its impregnable walls. Within the fort, structures to look out for are the Chand Minar, Chini Mahal and Jami Masjid.
Continue journey to the magnificent Ellora caves.
Built by the Chalukya and Rashtrakuta kings between the 7th and the 10th centuries, these 34 rock-cut temples belong to the Hindu, Buddhist and Jain religions. Within the caves are fine carvings and paintings, ensconced by wooden beams and angles, steps and figures of various deities.
Return to hotel for overnight stay.
Day 04: Aurangabad - Ajanta
After breakfast, depart for Ajanta Caves, 88 km
30 ancient caves were carved between the 2nd to the 6th centuries AD along the Wagura River which falls from a height of 200 ft. These are Buddhist caves with carvings and paintings depicting the life of Buddha, besides etching of human figures and animals Spend enough time exploring these caves, a World Heritage site.
Return to Aurangabad for night stay.
Day 05: Aurangabad - Mahabaleshwar 320 km, via Pune
After an early breakfast, depart for Mahabaleshwar, 320 km, via Pune.
Arrive in Mahabaleshwar and check into hotel.
Mahabaleshwar, 4400 ft, is a delightful hill resort on the Sahyadris with excellent trekking routes and breathtaking views of quiet, lush valleys. Besides the Venna Lake which is popular with tourists for boating, there are several peaks and waterfalls which can be visited. Panchgani is 20 km from Mahabaleshwar and can be visited on the way from Aurangabad.
Day 06: Mahabaleshwar
After breakfast, visit the Pratap Gadh fort, 25 km, which has the tomb of Afzal Khan and a temple dedicated to Goddess Bhawani. En route, visit the Panchaganga Mandir, Shri Shankar Mandir and the Krishnabai Mandir, known for their religious and historical significance.
Alternatively, you can trek up to any of the peaks in Mahabaleshwar - the views and the bracing temperatures are worth the effort.
Return to hotel for night stay.
Day 07: Mahabaleshwar - Koyna Lake - Ganapatiphule
Depart soon after breakfast towards Ganapatiphule, via the scenic Koyna Lake.
The Koyna Lake is the confluence of the River Koyna and its tributaries Solishi and Kandati, and extends for 51 km. Also called the Shivajisagar. The Koyna Wild life Sanctuary flanking the lake is the home of elephants, bears, tigers, leopards and deer. A short trek will take you up to the old Jaigad fort which has an outstanding view of the Sahyadris. The Rambaan Tirtha and the lovely Nehru Garden are other attractions here.
Continue journey to Ganapatiphule.
Arrive in Ganapatiphule and check into hotel.
Day 08: Ganapatiphule
You have the expanse of the white beach to yourself. Spend your day at will. There is a 400 year old temple with an interesting story.
Enjoy the local fish delicacies, the mango pulp preparations and the locally grown cashew nuts.
Overnight stay in hotel.
Day 09: Ganapatiphule - Mumbai
You can choose to return to Mumbai either by road which is a very pleasant drive through 375 km of charming tree-lined roads, red tiled cottages and paddy fields; or fly back to Mumbai from the nearest airport at Ratnagiri, 50 km fom Ganapatiphule.
Arrive in Mumbai and proceed to your next destination.