Maharashtra is an ancient region inhabited for centuries and hence a place where much of the culture of this country has been developed… a place where much of the tumultuous history of India, both war and political, has played out. The UNESCO World Heritage sites of Elephanta caves with their ancient carvings (dating back to the 5th-8th century), the famous Ajanta and Ellora cave complex (2nd century BC onwards), the 3rd century BC Pandavaleni caves, and the ancient temples en route give us a great peek into the culture of this land that have contributed to the enduring culture of India. The various forts and monuments take us on a journey back in time to get a glimpse of the history of this great land and the wars fought over territory, wealth and freedom… And after a dose of the heady brew of culture and history, kick back your shoes and relax in the invigorating mountain air of the hills in Lonavala. Come Beyonder with us on a trip to get a glimpse of all this in an immersive experience, while also enjoying the pleasures of the modern cities of Mumbai and Pune…
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Arrive in Mumbai by train/flight and get transferred to your hotel. Depending on the time of arrival, head out to do a quick tour of the must-see sights of urban Mumbai including include Prince of Wales Museum, Hanging Gardens, Juhu Beach, Sidhi Vinayak Temple, Marine Drive etc and get back in time to walk the streets of this bustling city and experience the frenetic pace it sets. (B)
Enjoy an overnight stay in Mumbai.
Head out early to the network of sculpted caves located in Elephanta Island and marvel at the beauty and detail in the ancient carvings (5th-8th century AD) depicting scenes from Indian mythology. Relax and soak in this UNESCO World heritage site and get back by evening to chill out a bit ahead of a hectic few days ahead starting tomorrow. Overnight stay at Mumbai
Mumbai – Nasik, Vineyards Tour
Head to Nashik, visit a vineyard along a scenic stretch of road and sample the different varieties of wine. Visit the Coin museum, and the Artillery centre. Take some time out to shop for Silver Jewellery and figurines from the local market. Overnight stay at Nashik
Explore Nashik, Temples and caves
Visit the key temples like Trimbakeshwar and Saptashrungi (consisting seven hills). Head to the Pandavaleni caves, a group of 24 caves carved between the 3rd century BC and the 2nd century AD. Later in the day, get refreshed at the Dudhsagar Falls. Overnight stay at Nashik
Nashik- Aurangabad, Monuments tour
Drive to Aurangabad, also known as city of gates, has 52 gates and each of which has a local history. In the evening take a leisurely walk to explore the surroundings. Visit Bibi ka Maqbara shrine, styled on the Taj Mahal, Shivaji Maharaj Museum, dedicated to the Maratha king Shivaji, which displays war weapons and a coin collection and Salim Ali Bird Park.
Aurangabad: Ellora Caves
Drive to the World Heritage site of Ellora caves. These caves have a strong spiritual connection with 5 caves dedicated to Jainism, 12 caves to Buddhism and 17 to Hinduism. The Ellora caves also house 34 monasteries. After the visit to these stunning caves return back to Aurangabad for an overnight stay at the hotel.
Ajanta Caves, transfer to Pune
We continue with history and artistic masterpiece. The Ajanta Caves are 31 rock cut cave monuments which date from the 2nd century BC. The caves include paintings and sculptures considered to be masterpieces of both Buddhist religious art as well as frescos which are reminiscent of the Sigiriya paintings in Sri Lanka. Get transferred to Pune, enjoy the night life, go pubbing or simple walk around. Overnight stay at Pune
Explore the heritage and history of Pune, the Aga Khan Palace, David Synagogue, Pataleshwar Cave Temple and the Shaniwar Wada.
Pune to Lonavala
Drive down to the hill town, Lonavala for some magnificent views and a relaxed colonial atmosphere. Stroll around the town and try out the local food and fresh fruits. You could also go out on a short trek – choose from the many routes there. Overnight stay at Lonavala
Visit the Lohagad Fort, an important hill fort used extensively by King Chatrapati Shivaji. Later in the day visit the Tikona Fort (also a great trekking destination) and the Satvahan caves. Overnight stay at Lonavala
Transfer to Mumbai Airport and Departure
Get transferred to the Mumbai airport for your flight for the onward journey