THE HEART OF INDIA


15 Days / 14 Nights

BHOPAL

Bhopal, the vibrant capital of the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, was founded by the legendary Raja Bhoj, who is credited with constructing the lakes around which the city is built. The present city was laid out by the Afghan chief Dost Mohammad Khan, who was in charge of Bhopal during Aurangzeb’s reign but took advantage of the confusion following Aurangzeb’s death in 1707 to carve out his own small kingdom.
Today, the aristocratic influence of the former rulers is still visible in the old city’s bustling markets, beautiful mosques and exquisite palaces. The city is also an excellent base to visit the prehistoric cave paintings at Bhimbetka and the Buddhist temples at Sanchi. Saffron suggests a minimum stay of at least 2 nights at Jehan Numa Retreat.

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ORCHHA

Straddling the Betwa river, Orchha, abandoned and somewhat neglected, is perhaps one of the most picturesque places that you can visit in central India. Founded in 1531, it remained the capital of the Rajput kingdom until 1783. The sleepy town, a remarkable legacy of the Bundela rulers, has three beautiful palaces, which combine to form an imposing complex scattered with small shrines and cenotaphs. Temples such as the Chatrabhuj and Lakshmi Narayan, along with the Jahangir Mahal Palace, are still in good condition, while nearby you can enjoy fabulous panoramas of the surrounding countryside. Orchha’s convenient location makes it an ideal overnight stop, either between Gwalior and Khajuraho or when combining Agra and Khajuraho.

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MAHESHWAR

The historic fort-city of Maheshwar is located on the banks of the Narmada river. A pilgrimage centre since medieval times, it is now renowned for its bathing ghats and rows of ancient temples. The town first came to prominence in the 18th century during the reign of Queen Ahilyabai Holkar. Under her patronage, the Maheshwar fort was strengthened and modernised and a number of temples and ghats were built. The queen also promoted the use of the handloom and, 250 years later, saree weaving is a thriving industry in the town. Saffron recommends a stay of at least 3 nights at the Ahilya Fort, the former home of Queen Ahilyabai and now a delightful hotel with stunning views of the river and ancient temples.

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PACHMARHI

On the northern slopes of the Satpura range, Pachmarhi is central India’s only hill station, surrounded by tranquil forests interspersed with deep pools, ravines and caves. Introduced to the western world by Captain Forsyth in 1857, the British developed Pachmarhi as the summer capital of the central provinces. Today, the sprawling civil area within the town retains a distinct colonial ambience. It is also now a biosphere reserve and an ideal place from which to trek to the neighbouring Mahadeo hills, known for their astonishing wealth of rock paintings. There are numerous walks into the countryside of varying difficulty, with opportunities to meet local tribes.

CONTACT US

BHOPAL

Bhopal, the vibrant capital of the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, was founded by the legendary Raja Bhoj, who is credited with constructing the lakes around which the city is built. The present city was laid out by the Afghan chief Dost Mohammad Khan, who was in charge of Bhopal during Aurangzeb’s reign but took advantage of the confusion following Aurangzeb’s death in 1707 to carve out his own small kingdom.

Today, the aristocratic influence of the former rulers is still visible in the old city’s bustling markets, beautiful mosques and exquisite palaces. The city is also an excellent base to visit the prehistoric cave paintings at Bhimbetka and the Buddhist temples at Sanchi. Saffron suggests a minimum stay of at least 2 nights at Jehan Numa Retreat.


ORCHHA

Straddling the Betwa river, Orchha, abandoned and somewhat neglected, is perhaps one of the most picturesque places that you can visit in central India. Founded in 1531, it remained the capital of the Rajput kingdom until 1783. The sleepy town, a remarkable legacy of the Bundela rulers, has three beautiful palaces, which combine to form an imposing complex scattered with small shrines and cenotaphs. Temples such as the Chatrabhuj and Lakshmi Narayan, along with the Jahangir Mahal Palace, are still in good condition, while nearby you can enjoy fabulous panoramas of the surrounding countryside. Orchha’s convenient location makes it an ideal overnight stop, either between Gwalior and Khajuraho or when combining Agra and Khajuraho.


MAHESHWAR

The historic fort-city of Maheshwar is located on the banks of the Narmada river. A pilgrimage centre since medieval times, it is now renowned for its bathing ghats and rows of ancient temples. The town first came to prominence in the 18th century during the reign of Queen Ahilyabai Holkar. Under her patronage, the Maheshwar fort was strengthened and modernised and a number of temples and ghats were built. The queen also promoted the use of the handloom and, 250 years later, saree weaving is a thriving industry in the town. Saffron recommends a stay of at least 3 nights at the Ahilya Fort, the former home of Queen Ahilyabai and now a delightful hotel with stunning views of the river and ancient temples.


PACHMARHI

On the northern slopes of the Satpura range, Pachmarhi is central India’s only hill station, surrounded by tranquil forests interspersed with deep pools, ravines and caves. Introduced to the western world by Captain Forsyth in 1857, the British developed Pachmarhi as the summer capital of the central provinces. Today, the sprawling civil area within the town retains a distinct colonial ambience. It is also now a biosphere reserve and an ideal place from which to trek to the neighbouring Mahadeo hills, known for their astonishing wealth of rock paintings. There are numerous walks into the countryside of varying difficulty, with opportunities to meet local tribes.

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Day 1 : Fly to Mumbai (Bombay)
On arrival transfer to the Trident Nariman Point for a 2-night stay. (N)

Day 2 : Mumbai
Explore colonial Mumbai and the Chor Bazaar. (B)

Day 3 : Maheshwar
Travel to Maheshwar for 3 nights at the stunning Ahilya Fort. (B, L, D)

Day 4 : Maheshwar
Day at leisure to explore the historic fort-city or take a sunset river cruise. (B, L, D)

Day 5 : Mandu
Visit the ghost city of Mandu. (B, L, D)

Day 6 : Bhopal
Travel to Bhopal visiting Omkareshwar, a sacred Hindu island, en route. Spend 2 nights at Jehan Numa Palace. (B)

Day 7 : Sanchi
Visit the stupas at Sanchi. (B)

Day 8 : Satpura National Park
Visit the Bhimbetka cave paintings en route to Satpura. Stay 3 nights at Forsyth’s Lodge. (B, D)

Day 9-10 : Satpura National Park
Explore the park by 4x4, canoe, walks and a night drive. (B, L, D)

Day 11 : Orchha
Travel to Orchha by train and car to visit the beautiful palaces and shrines. Overnight at the Amar Mahal. (B)

Day 12 : Gwalior
Travel to Gwalior, stopping en route at the stunning fort at Jhansi. Stay 2 nights at the Taj Usha Kiran Palace. (B)

Day 13 : Gwalior
Visit the magnificent Gwalior fort. Afternoon at leisure. (B)

Day 14 : Delhi
Take the train to Delhi. Overnight at The Claridges. (B)

Day 15 : Fly home (B)

GUIDE PRICE $4,605 PER PERSON

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