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Mumbai is a bustling, chaotic, seaside city that is home to over 16 million people. It is a city of contrasts, of old and new, rich and poor. See the Elephanta Caves, the Gateway of India and take a cruise around Mumbai’s harbour. Take a day trip to nearby Aurangabad to visit the astonishing Ellora Caves.
Our “Simply” itineraries are perfect add-ons to your holiday. Discuss options with our Asia Travel Experts.
Fly to Mumbai, meet your guide on arrival at the airport and transfer to hotel for check-in. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.
Squeezed into a narrow stretch of land between mangrove marshes and the Arabian Sea, Mumbai is technically an island, connected to the mainland by a series of bridges and causeways. Once an aboriginal fishing settlement, the Maharashtra capital has transformed into a heaving metropolis of more than sixteen million people - one of the most densely populated cities on the planet. This fast moving and rapidly evolving city is the most industrialised place in India, but tucked amidst its gleaming skyscrapers, malls, and stylish restaurants lie warrens of teaming medieval bazaars, a wealth of colonial and Art Deco architecture and clusters of resplendent temples.
After breakfast set out with your guide on a tour of the city. First stop are the Elephanta caves, a must for any visitor to India. Situated on a small island in Mumbai Harbour, this ancient cluster of elaborately carved caves bear a unique testimony to an ancient civilisation founded on art, mysticism and religion. The collection of astonishing rock art here was constructed in the 6th century in honour of Shiva. Take time to admire the huge sculptures depicting manifestations of Shiva in the main cave and soak up the surprising tranquillity of this scenic world heritage site that lies just 10km east of the chaos of Mumbai.?
Return to the city and visit the Prince of Wales Museum. The museum is a striking and unique structure crowned by clusters of Gothic inspired pinnacles and a sparkling white dome. The building houses a fascinating collection of ancient Indus Valley artefacts dating back to 2000 BC, as well as a selection of Tibetan bronzes and Nepali Art and more than 2000 miniature paintings representing the various art schools of India.
Just a stone's throw from the museum is the Gateway of India, Mumbai's principal landmark. This magnificent, yellow basalt stone archway was built to commemorate the visit of the first ever British Monarch, King George V and Queen Mary in 1911. Standing 26 metres high, it is crowned with four regal looking turrets and adorned with intricate latticework. Behind the arch, there are steps leading down to the water. Here you can board a small motor launch for a short cruise around Mumbai's splendid natural harbor.
Continue on to pay a visit to a local "dhobi ghat". A unique feature of Mumbai, the "dhobi" is a traditional laundryman who will collect your dirty linen, wash it, and return it neatly pressed to your doorstep. The laundries are known as "ghats", where you will see row upon row of concrete wash pens, each fitted with its own flogging stone. The most famous of these dhobi ghats is at Saat Rasta near Mahalaxmi Station where almost two hundred dhobis and their families work together in what has always been a hereditary occupation.
Later enjoy a walk through the famous Crawford Market. Named after Bombay's first municipal commissioner, Arthur Crawford, the Crawford Market is at the northern end of the old British part of the town. An elegant covered market, it dominates the skyline with its clock tower and steeple. The cavernous spaces inside are divided into sections for fruits, vegetables and meat.
Enjoy the evening at leisure, your guide can provide you with dining recommendations.
After breakfast in the hotel, depart to the Mumbai airport to board a flight to Auranagabad. You will be met upon arrival at Aurangabad airport and proceed on a half day excursion to Ellora caves.
Ellora first appears to the visitors as an irregular ridge of rock rising vertically from the ground although its true splendour lies concealed within. This outcrop of basalt rock is the culmination of some five centuries of great experimentation, carried out by different faiths with their very different iconography and structural compulsions. There are 34 caves in all, the grandest being the Kailasa Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, which is the worlds largest monolithic structure and one of the best examples of ancient Indian architecture.
In the afternoon take a guided tour of Aurangabad city. Visit the Daulatabad Fort, known as "the city of fortune", it was named by the Delhi Sultan Muhammad Tughlaq and is known to be the oldest existing fort in India.
Visit Bibi-qa-Maqbara, built in the memory of Begum Rabia Durani by her son Prince Azam Shah, Bibi-qa-Maqbara is a complete, although somewhat less grand, replica of the Taj Mahal.
Later drive back to the airport to board your return flight to Mumbai.
Today you will transfer to the airport for your departure flight from Mumbai.
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All Get About Asia trips have been designed to make sure you have an unforgettable travel experience. We have developed several trip styles to cater for our diverse range of travellers. Read what your ideal Get About Asia experience might look like here.
|Superior:||from AU $896|
|Deluxe:||from AU $1,119|
All GetAboutAsia prices are based on twin share and depend on availability and season. All our itineraries can be customised including international flights and extra nights. For questions or further information, Enquire Now!
Hotels/lodges each night of the itinerary (excluding your departure day).
• Accommodation on bed and breakfast basis
• All transfers, sightseeing's & excursions by air-conditioned vehicle
• All site visits as per the program
• Services of English-speaking local guides in each city at the time of city tour
• All currently applicable entrances at the monuments. Camera fees will be extra.
• Return airfare Mumbai to Aurangabad
Visas for India
All nationalities need to apply for an Indian visa in advance. Give yourself at least 4 weeks.
The Indian Government has advised that from December 2014, all visa applicants will need to be physically present at a visa application centre, by appointment, to submit their applications and biometric data, including fingerprints and facial imagery.
ALL Australian travellers to India will need to personally attend their nearest consulate to complete their visa formalities. There is NO visa on arrival in India for all nationalities. Indian visas CANNOT be obtained in Nepal.
Availability of accommodation and season.
"My tour guides were marvellous, the representative that met me at the airport was an absolute delight, the gifts were a lovely touch. It was a pleasure to have guides that you could chat to and have a laugh. Again the tour guide for Best of southern India was a treasure, very informative, relaxed very easy to get along with and willing to do options with us during our free time. The highlights for me were the homestays, in Kalpetta (Villa Wayanard) l could have stayed there for awhile, clean, relaxing and great food. The trip to the waterfall and village was a favourite for me. To me India is not a holiday as such but an in-creditable experience, and if l was younger l would go back. " — Lynda, Farmborough Heights NSW, September 2018