Mumbai, Aurangabad, Ajanta, Ellora
Mumbai is the capital of the western state of Maharashtra, built on an archipelago of seven islands, namely Bombay Island, Parel, Mazagaon, Mahim, Colaba, Worli and Old Woman's Island. The city is a natural harbour lying at the mouth of the Ulhas River on the west coast of India. Mumbai has a lot of structures, monuments, cultural centres that are a standing testimony to its rich history. It is also home to a number of gardens and a national park, which are must-visits for travellers visiting Mumbai.
Declared as the World Heritage Site, Elephanta caves are situated on Elephanta Island in Mumbai harbor. The island has two groups of caves in the rock cut architectural style. Five caves situated on the western hills of the Island are devoted to the Hindu sect Shaiva and various Hindu sculptures are chiseled in these caves. In the second group of caves, various Buddhist architectures can be spotted depicting numerous pictures of Gautam Buddha and several sculptures from Buddhist literature, Jatak Kathayein.
Essel World & Water Kingdom is the largest amusement and water theme park in India. The park is divided into two major sections, Essel World (amusement park) and Water Kingdom (water park). The amusement park offers a variety of exciting rides, games and other attractions like standard roller coaster and adventure themes. Water Kingdom has waterslides for adults and kids, a drifting river and various theme cruises.
The Ajanta Caves are located 107 km away from Aurangabad city, just outside the village of Ajanta. This complex comprises 29 rock-cut cave monuments, which date back to around 2nd century BC. Nestled in the semi-arid Sahayadri Hills above the Waghur River, the caves at Ajanta are famous for beautiful paintings and sculptures that depict tales of Jatakas. Built using only hammer and chisel, these caves served as secluded retreats for Buddhist monks, who performed their rituals in the chaityas and viharas of these caves.
Located 30 km from the city of Aurangabad, the Ellora cave complex is an archaeological site. The cave complex comprises of 34 caves that were hewn out of solid rocks of the Charanandri Hills. Built between the 5th and 10th centuries, these caves are monasteries for Buddhists as well as temples for Hindus and Jains. A symbol of religious harmony of that time, the Ellora complex includes 12 Buddhist, 17 Hindu and 5 Jain caves.
Goa is located on the western coast of the country, adjoining the Arabian Sea, which provides the beach holidays that Goa is internationally famous for. Beaches apart, rice fields and coconut plantations dominate the landscape. From north to south, the Goa coastline is marked by a number of beach towns, with relaxed ambience, seafood and water sports such as wind surfing, water skiing, sailing, water-scooters, and dolphin spotting cruises. The beaches of Calangute and Baga are the most visited while other famous beaches include Arambol, Anjuna, Candolim, Colva and Palolem.
Old Goa was the capital of the Bahmani Sultan Adil Shah. The large palace of Adil Shah, surrounded by fort walls, towers and a moat was located here as well as many temples and mosques. Unfortunately none of these structures remain in existence today except for the ruins of the gateway to the palace.St. Cathedral. After the Portuguese conquest, Old Goa went on to become a bustling metro glittering with gold and glamour. Old Goa is a World Heritage site. There is a small village around the huge churches and convents. The city no longer bustles with crowds and trading people, but with a little imagination, you can picture the thriving city that used to be at the site.
MANDOVI RIVER CRUISES
The Goa Tourism Development Corporation runs a variety of river cruises on the Mandovi river daytime, sunset and moonlight. There are two types of day cruises -- from the Panaji jetty, down the Mandovi into the Zuari bay and up the Mandovi to Aldona and a mineral water spring.