Day 1. March 2, 2024, Saturday. Delhi to Mumbai.
Arrival in Delhi at 4:20 am from Moscow (you can fly from any other city / country, any flights, it is better to arrive in Delhi early in the morning). Domestic flight to Mumbai.
Mumbai (formerly Bombay) is a huge metropolis and port on the west coast of Hindustan, and the capital of the state of Maharashtra. A gentle introduction to Mumbai gives you the opportunity to see different India in one place and fall in love with this vibrant unusual multi-colored country.
Accommodation and rest at the hotel.
After lunch at the legendary Leopold Café, an evening stroll along Marine Drive, the city’s five-kilometer promenade overlooking the Arabian Sea.
Cafe Leopold has been in business since 1871. Gained immense popularity after the release of the novel Shantaram. A must-visit place for Shantaram lovers.
Another name for the Marin Drive waterfront is the Queen’s Necklace. Evening lights along the waterfront resemble a string of pearls around your neck. This is one of Mumbai’s upscale neighborhoods, with lots of cute restaurants and cafes, a warm atmosphere and a cool view of the Arabian Sea.
Day 2. March 3, 2024, Sunday. Mumbai.
Getting to know Mumbai. We will visit the most significant and interesting places of the city.
Gateway of India – Gateway of India, a symbol of the beginning and end of the British Empire in India. This arch was originally built of basalt to commemorate the arrival of British King George the Fifth and Queen Mary in 1911. They were the first British monarchs to visit India. Interestingly, the monarchs themselves only saw a cardboard model of the Gate, and they did not begin to build it until four years after the kings’ arrival.
The Gate was later used to welcome other dignitaries from Britain. Also, the last British troops left India Gate in 1948, marking the end of India’s colonial period.
Shree Siddhivinayak is a Hindu temple dedicated to the god Ganesha. All Hindu India goes here to receive the blessings of the god with whose prayers every business, every service in the temple begins. Ganesha, the elephant-headed god is the god of wisdom and material prosperity, the god of astrologers, businessmen and people seeking perfection on the spiritual path. And it also symbolizes our inner child, protecting it and guiding it to a favorable destiny.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus – Chhatrapati Shivaji Station (Victoria Railway Station). India’s oldest and most famous railway station, opened for Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee in 1988. It could be called a museum of Victorian Gothic architecture. It looks more like a huge castle than a train station, with a huge dome, numerous arched entrances, tall marble columns, lancet windows, carved balconies, stained glass windows and statues.
Mahalakshmi Temple – Mahalakshmi Temple, one of the main Hindu temples in Mumbai, is visited to receive the blessings of Goddesses Lakshmi (bestows happiness, luck, wealth), Saraswati (supports creativity, wisdom and knowledge, bestows beauty and eloquence) and Kali (symbolizes eternal life and unlocks feminine power). There are always many visitors and a wonderfully benign atmosphere. Goddesses don’t come empty-handed. As an offering to the goddesses, you can buy lotuses sold at the entrance of the temple.
The peculiarity of this temple is that its main shrine, the image of Goddess Mahalakshmi, has the status of a ‘jagarut’, that is, it is a living deity.
Day 3. March 4, 2024, Monday. Nashik.
Transfer to Nashik, an ancient religious town named after a relic from the great epic Ramayana. There are many famous vineyards and wineries, forts and waterfalls around the city.
Today we are scheduled to visit India’s largest winery, Sula. The program includes a tasting of top Indian wines.
Day 4. March 5, 2024, Tuesday. Trekking to Mount Kalsubai, the “Everest of Maharashtra”.
Trek on the famous Mount Kalsubai, the “Everest of Maharashtra”.
This is our first trek of four through the legendary mountain forests of India.
The altitude is 1646 meters. Track distance 8 km. Duration 4-6 hours.
Day 5. March 6, 2024, Wednesday. Nashik to Aurangabad.
Transfer to Aurangabad. A city named after Aurangzeb, the last of the Mughals, son of Shah Jahan, who built the Taj Mahal, which later became the symbol of India and a symbol of eternal love.
The program includes a visit to Bibi Ka Makbar complex built by Aurangzeb in memory of his wife.
Day 6. March 7, 2024, Thursday. Ajanta Caves – UNESCO World Heritage Site.
A visit to Ajanta Caves, India’s most mysterious and beautiful architectural structures. They are a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The caves are an ancient Buddhist monastery complex of 29 caves carved into the rock. The first caves appeared in the 1st century BC, the last in the 17th century. The caves were abandoned for about two centuries until they were accidentally discovered by the British military in the mid-19th century.
Ajanta’s architecture, statues, frescoes, and wall paintings mystically embody ancient Egyptian, Old Russian, early European, and ancient Indian works of art.
Day 7. March 8, 2024, Friday. Ellora’s caves and temples. UNESCO World Heritage. Kailas Temple.
Visit the caves and temples of Ellora, grandiose creations of ancient craftsmen. Like Ajanta, Ellora is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The cave temples belong to three religions: Buddhism, Jainism and Hinduism.
Huge three-story temples carved out of basalt, incredible sculptures of gods and goddesses, and the mystical story of the disappearance of Ellora’s creators await us.
The central temple at Ellora is the famous temple dedicated to Mount Kailas, the abode of the god Shiva. It is the world’s largest monolithic structure, carved into the rock in time immemorial. The temple is covered with intricate stone carvings – sculptures and writings about Mount Kailas and the gods associated with this mountain.
Day 8. March 9, 2024, Saturday. Trekking in Gupta Bhimashkar Wildlife Sanctuary
Gupta Bhimashkar track. Travel through a nature reserve with jungles, waterfalls, lakes, ancient temples.
The altitude is 930 meters.
The distance of the track is 10 kilometers. Duration 5-6 hours.
Transfer to Mulshi.
Day 9. March 10, 2024, Sunday. Trekking in Andharban Reserve
Andharban Trek. A charming journey through the most picturesque nature reserve, the name of which translates as Dark Forest. Overnight in Mulshi, at the legendary One Earth Hotel.
Altitude 660 m.
The distance of the track is 13 kilometers. Duration 5-6 hours.
Day 10. March 11, 2024, Monday. Trekking to Devcund Falls through jungle – Pune.
Trek to Devcund Falls through Sandhan valley. The waterfall is created by three waterfalls and forms the Kundalika River below. A beautiful uncomplicated track through the jungle.
The altitude is 914 meters.
The distance of the track is 8-9 kilometers. Duration 4-5 hours.
Transfer to Pune.
Day 11. March 12, 2024, Tuesday. Pune
Pune, a big city combining ancient traditions and colonial style. This land of the Maratha Empire, who ruled this land even before the Mughals came. The war with the Marathas significantly weakened the Mughal Empire.
Here we will visit several significant landmarks and holy sites.
Bhimashankar Temple – Brimashankar Temple. It is dedicated to the god Shiva and ranks sixth among the 12 Jyotirlingams (Shiva shrines) in India. Scenes from the Indian epics Mahabharata, Ramayana, Krishna Leela and Shiv Leela can be seen on the outer walls of the shrine. The temple has been mentioned in written sources since the 13th century. Bhimashankar is also the source of the Bhima River, which merges with the Krishna River near Raichur.
Shaniwaar wada – Shaniwaar wada, an 18th century palace, a historical fortress and residence of the rulers of Maharashtra in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Agakhan palace – Aga Khan Palace and Mahatma Gandhi National Memorial. One of the most important monuments of modern Indian history.
Day 12. March 13, 2024, Wednesday. Pune to Delhi
The day of return to Delhi. There is an option of morning and evening domestic flight Pune-Delhi. If you choose an evening flight, it arrives in time for the international flight from Delhi.
If you choose a morning flight, the organizers will help you book accommodation at the Aurobindo Ashram, which is a 20-minute drive from the airport. It’s a historic place to learn about the history of integral yoga, meditate in the beautiful meditation hall and relax before your flight home.
Day 13. March 14, 2024, Thursday. Delhi. Homecoming Day.
Aeroflot Delhi-Moscow flight at 5:00 am (you can take any other flights, the organizers will help you with transfers and hotel arrangements if needed).