Day 1: Arrive Ahmedabad
On arrival at Ahmedabad airport assistance & transfer to hotel (hotel check in/ out time 12pm).
Later visit Hatheesing Jain Temple established in 1850 by Seth Hatheesing a rich Jain merchant, the temple is dedicated to 15th Jain Tirthankar Dharamnath. Bhadra Fort a beautiful monument that is famous for its intricate carvings, pattern works and beautiful frescos suits. Located in the middle of lush greenery the huge 44 acre Fort got its name from the Bhadrakali Temple that it houses. Sabarmati Ashram once the residence of Mahatma Gandhi located on the tranquil and serene stretch of Sabarmati River. The museum is one of the most interesting sections of the ashram as it has on display some of Gandhi`s personal letters and photographs. Shaking Minarets one of the most intriguing architectural wonders & an unsolvable mystery that the world has ever seen. VECHAAR Utensils Museum it house an elaborate collection of utensils ranging from hundreds of years back to the current times. Kite Museum in the premises of Sanskar Kendra the museum had an elaborate display of about 125 uniquely carved kites including mirror embroidered kites, block print kites and Japanese kites such as Rokuku. Overnight at hotel.
Day 2: Ahmedabad
Breakfast at hotel. Full day excursion to visit Adalaj Stepwell a magnificent structure built in 1498 to provide access to groundwater in this arid region. Walk in to witness astonishing beauty captured in stone and feel soothing drop in temperature. The tale of its creation is full of love and war, devotion and betrayal, Modhera Sun Temple a Hindu temple dedicated to the solar deity Surya built wetbeen 1026-27 CE during the reign of Bhima I of the Chaulukya dynasty. The temple complex has three components: Gudhamandapa, the shrine hall; Sabhamandapa, the assembly hall and Kunda, the reservoir. The halls have intricately carved exterior and pillars. The reservoir has steps to reach the bottom and numerous small shrines. Rani ki Vav 11th century Solanki era step well built by the Queen Udayamati & Karna in memory of her husband Bhima I. The stepwell is designed as an inverted temple highlighting the sanctity of water, divided into seven levels of stairs with sculptural panels, more than 500 principal sculptures and over a thousand minor ones combine religious, mythological and secular imagery. Evening back to Ahmedabad. Overnight at hotel.
Day 3: Ahmedabad - Kevadia (200km)
Breakfast at hotel. Drive to Kevadia enroute visit Vadodara Visit Lakshmi Vilas Palace the largest private dwelling built till date four times the size of Buckingham Palace. Also visit Maharaja Fateh Singh Museum & Kirti Mandir. Next visit UNESCO World Heritage Site of Pavagadh-Champaner. The site encompasses forts, temples, mosques, mausoleum complexes, pavilions, wells and tanks built around 1523 in Indo-Saracenic architecture.
Arrive Kevadia, check in at hotel. Evening light & sound show at Statue of Unity (Monday closed). The colorful laser lighting system is accompanied by an excellent narration of history & life of Sardar Patel, his contribution to the independence movement & the unification of India as one nation. Overnight in tent city/ hotel.
Day 4: Kevadia - Maheshwar (265kms)
Breakfast at hotel. Visit world tallest Statue of Unity. The high-speed elevators will take you to a height of about 400 feet through the core of the statue where you can get panoramic view of the surroundings. Next Visit Sardar Sarovar Dam, world’s second-largest concrete gravity dam, located on the mighty Narmada river near the Statue of Unity. Sardar Sarovar Dam provides electricity, drinking, and irrigation water to four states in India. Valley of Flowers, a beautifully landscaped garden with the mighty Narmada river and the Statue of Unity in the background. Made to give a glimpse into local ecology, featuring hundreds of species of native flowers, shrubs, trees, bamboo, grasses, and more. Also featuring many selfie points for all visitors to capture photos from the most scenic spots.
Later drive to Maheshwar check in & overnight at hotel.
Day 5: Maheshwar and Mandu
Breakfast at hotel. Morning excursion to visit Mandu an ancient fort city dotted with gateways, adorned with spell-binding Afghan architecture, surrounded by baobab trees, native to Africa. The grand palaces are still alive with royal romance while the gateways speak of a history of imperial conquests. Landmark buildings include Hoshang Shah`s Tomb, a domed marble mausoleum, the vast Jami Masjid mosque, with courtyards framed by colonnades and the imposing centuries-old Jahaz. Floating over it`s own reflection, the Jahaz Mahal looks like a ship that`s about to sail. However, for centuries this ship made of stone and mortar never did. Instead, it stood floating over the twin lakes, bearing a silent witness to Mandu`s long, rich and varied history.
Drive back to Maheshwar and visit Fort of Maheshwar built during 4th to 5th century, the best example of ancient Indian material construction, war tactics & defense policy. The present structure belongs to 17th to 18th century. There are five main entrance & several rooms for watching soldiers. It also has a five feet wide footpath to supervise the area around it. The monuments inside the fort are Rajwada Palace, having golden jhula & Rajrajeshwar temple. Overnight at hotel.
Day 6: Maheshwar - Omkareshwar - Indore (145kms)
Breakfast at hotel. Drive to Indore via visiting Omkareshwar one of the 12 Jyotirlinga temples dedicated to Lord Shiva, nestled in the Omkar mountain, an island in the middle of River Narmada. The five storeys temple has a large sabha mandap (prayer hall) standing on 60 brown huge stone pillars. Taking a dip in the Narmada river before going inside the temple is considered auspicious.
Arrive Indore check in at hotel. Later visit Lal Bagh Palace Museum. Overnight at hotel.
Day 7: Indore - Mahakaleshwar - Bhopal (255kms)
Breakfast at hotel. Drive to Bhopal via visiting Mahakaleshwar Temple one of the 12 jyotirlingas in Ujjain, dedicated to Lord Shiva. Built in Bhumija, Chalukya and Maratha styles of architecture, the temple is an architectural marvel. Three floors of the building are occupied by lingams of Mahakalesvara, Omkaresvara and Nagachandresvara, respectively. There is also a kunda (tank) in the premises called Koti Tirtha that has been built in the sarvatobhadra style. On the path from the stairs of the kunda to the temple you will come across several images of the original structure of the temple, reflecting its grandeur during the period of the Paramaras (9th and 14th centuries).
After sightseeing drive to Bhopal check in & overnight at hotel.
Day 8: Bhopal - Bhimbetka - Bhojpur
Breakfast at hotel. Excursion to visit Bhimbetka rock shelters an archaeological site dating back to the Paleolithic age inhabited by the homo erectus more than 100,000 years ago. Bhimbetka is a world heritage site and houses one of the oldest cave paintings in the world, a must-visit site for all history enthusiasts. Next visit Bhojpur an incomplete 11th CE Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The construction was abandoned for unknown reasons, with the architectural plans engraved on the surrounding rocks. It houses a 7.5 feet high lingam in its sanctum, considered to be one of the finest examples of temple architecture in the region.
On return city tour of Bhopal. Visit two historic mosques the Jama Masjid a classic Islamic architecture with two tall minarets & Moti Masjid an architectural marvel. Only Muslim can enter Taj-Ul-Masjid a stunning and elegant architecture with enormous domes, a spectacular hallway and elegant minarets. Also visit arts center in Bharat Bhawan a centre of performing arts, a unique institution with an unparalleled and impactful architecture. Evening boat ride in Upper Lake. Overnight at hotel.
Day 9: Bhopal - Sanchi - Udayagiri
Early morning visit Bhoj Wetland a Ramsar site consists of two lakes Upper and & Lower Lake a man-made reservoir and home to diverse flora & fauna. 179 species of birds, 43 species of fishes, over a dozen species of reptiles and amphibians (including five species of tortoise), 206 species of phytoplankton and 98 species of insects, all of which add up to a vibrant and thriving ecosystem. over a hundred sarus cranes (India’s largest avian species) have been observed congregating here. Other species sighted at this birders paradise are Eurasian wrynecks, roufous-tailed finch larks, white-throated kingfishers, white-bellied drongoes, black-headed orioles, western reef herons, grey-headed canary-flycatchers, Egyptian vultures and bay-backed shrikes.
Breakfast at hotel. Later excursion to visit Sanchi a serene hill crowned by a group of stupas, monasteries, temples and pillars dating from 3rd BCE to 12th CE. Sanchi Stupa, a UNESCO world heritage site is home to the relics of Buddha and his followers. Built by the Mauryan emperor Ashoka in the 3rd century BCE, it is a remarkable specimen of Buddhist art and architecture. Sanchi’s uniqueness lies in the fact that Buddha isn’t represented by figures but through symbols. Next visit Udayagiri Caves, early Hindu ritual site, extensively carved and reworked under the command of Chandragupta II, Emperor of the Gupta Empire, in the late 4th & 5th CE. Udayagiri has a series of rock-shelters and petroglyphs, ruined buildings, inscriptions, water systems, fortifications and habitation mounds, all of which have been only partially excavated. Drive back to Bhopal to board flight for onward destination.