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  • India’s western gateway is Mumbai, with a major international airport and harbour. The city’s rise from the dowry of a Portuguese queen to the country’s foremost sea port, commercial centre and producer of films has been nothing short of meteoric.Mumbai’s Gothic architecture is embodied in the Gateway of India, Mumbai High Court, Old Secretariat, University Buildings and Victoria Terminus. Open spaces in this crowded city include Chowpatty Beach, Juhu Beach and Sanjay Gandhi National Park, the latter a fine wildlife park at Borivili. Mumbai is the country’s premier cultural centre. Jehangir Art Gallery attracts regular art exhibitions; Prithvi Theatre is well known for its theatrical performances, and the National Centre for Performing Arts periodically hosts Indian and international concerts of music and dance. The city’s shopping embraces informal fashion and accessories at Colaba Causeway, antiques – and clever reproductions of antiques – at Chor Bazar, gold and diamond jewellery at Jhaveri Bazar, high fashion at Kemps Corner, Bhulabhai Desai Road and the airconditioned shopping plaza at The Oberoi.


    Gateway to India & capital of Maharashtra, Mumbai was once a cluster of seven islands called Heptanasia by Plotemy in AD 150. The word Mumbai (locally called) however, is derived from Mumba Devi or Maha Amba Aai, the patron goddess of the kolis or fisherfolk, who have been its original inhabitants.


    Afghan Church (4.5 kms), Chowpatty Beach (4 kms), Gateway Of India (2.4 kms), Haji Ali Tomb (2.4 kms), Headquarters of Western Railway, High Court, Hutatma Chowk or Flora Fountain, (1 km), Kamala Nehru Park (5.6kms), Crawford Market (2 kms), Malabar Hill (5.6 kms), Mahalakshimi (7.2 kms), Municipal Corporation Building (12 kms), Marine Drive, Hanging Garden (6 kms), Race Course (7 kms), Rajabai Towers & Mumbai University (1 km), Raudat Tehra Mosque & Mausoleum (3 kms), Town Hall (2 kms), Victoria Terminus (1 km), Weaver's Service Centre (2.4 kms), Nehru Planetarium [Daily show except Mondays at 3 p.m & 6 p.m (Eng) 4.30 p.m (Hindi), Saturdays & Sundays 3 p.m & 6.30 p.m (Eng), 4.30 p.m (Hindi) 1.30 p.m (Marathi), Charges Rs.10 (adult), Rs.4.50 (child), Tel: 4920510;  Taraporewala Acquarium (3.2 kms), Timing: 1100-2000 hrs except Mondays.  Fees Rs.2.50 (adult), Rs.1.00 (child); Jijamata Udyan Tel: 8725799.

    Mani Bhavan (Gandhi Memorial) Tel : 3677864, 3.6 kms.
    It houses a pictirial gallery and a library of books by and on Mahatma Gandhi.
    Timings: 0930-1800 hrs. Entry Fee: Rs.3.50.

    Nehru Science Centre Tel: 4932667, 8 kms.
    The museum has permanent gallery called light and sight and a children's science park. There are also antique exhibits like railway engine, tramcar, supersonic aeroplane & steam lorry. Timings: 1200-1900 hrs. (Except Mondays)

    Prince Of Wales Museum Tel: 24484/4519, 2 kms.
    It is famous for its collection of miniature paintings.Timings: 1015-1800 hrs. (Except Mondays). Entry Fee: Rs.4 (Free on Tuesdays).

    Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum. Tel: 3077121, 5.6 kms.
    Timmings (Except Wed.): Mon. to Sat. 1030-1730 hrs, 0830-1645 hrs on Sundays.
    Entry Fee: Re.0.50 (Adult); Re.0.25 (Child).


    Aarey Milk Colony (35 kms), Timing: 0900-1200 hrs; Ambarnath (74 kms); Bassein Fort (77 kms); Elephanta Caves (9 kms); Gorai Beach (59 kms); Juhu Beach (21 kms); Kanheri Caves (42 kms); Ghodbunder (43.2 kms); Karla Caves (100 km); Karnala Bird Sanctuary (61 kms), Madh, Marve & Manori Beaches (45, 38.4 & 40 kms respectively); Powai Lake (26.6 kms); Vihar Lake (28.6 kms); Tansa Lake (10.3 kms)); Tulsi Lake (32 kms); Uran Sea Side Resort (74 kms); Vaitarna Dam (122 kms); Vajreshwari (88 kms); Versova Beach (29 kms); National Park & Lion Safari Park (35 kms), Vehicle charges per trip Rs.15 (Adult), Rs.7.50 (child).


    Altitude : Sea level.
    Temperature (deg C): Summer- Max 33.3, Min 22.7; Winter- Max 29.5, Min- 19.4.
    Rainfall : 212 cms (June to September).
    Season : Throughout the year.


    Located in Sahyadri hills near the west coast of India, Pune is a fascinating city with a healthy climate all year around. Known until not so long ago as Poona, the city was the capital of the powerful Maratha empire and is closely associated with the great warrior king Shivaji. Today, Pune is distinctly divided into the spacious cantonment and the crowded old city, where locali-ties have been named after days in the week.


    Shaniwar Wada, Saras Baug, Parvati Hill, Raja Kelkar Museum, Shinde's Chhatri, Bund Garden, Kasturba Smarak (Inside Agha Khan Palace) etc.


    Alandi-22 kms, Dehu-29 kms, Karla-55 kms, Purandhar-40 kms, Sinhagad-25 kms,  Panchgani-98 kms, Mahabaleshwar-120 kms, Shivneri Fort-94 kms, Bhima Shankar- 95 kms, Ashtavinayak Temples at Theur-20 kms, Ranjangaon-50 km, Morgaon-65 km, Madh-75 kms, Ojhar-75 kms, Pali-80 kms, Lenyadri-90 kms & Siddhatek-95 kms, Lonavala-64 kms, Bhatghar Dam-52 kms.


    Altitude: 598 mtrs.
    Temperature (deg C): Summer- Max 40, Min 26; Winter- Max 29, Min 19.
    Rainfall: 70 cms(June to September).
    Season: Throughout the year.



    Aurangabad, 400 km from Mumbai, is linked by Indian Airlines flights. Spectacular rock cut caves and cave paintings exist at two nearby places, Ajanta and Ellora. The most notable feature of these cave temples is that entire hillsides were cut away with the artisan’s chisel to produce some of the world’s most exquisite sculpture. Ellora’s 34 caves are over 10 centuries old and represent elaborate sculptures of Hindu, Buddhist and Jain faiths. The caves at Ajanta date back to the 5th century and contain paintings and sculptures of major events in the life of the Buddha.

    Aurangabad is a convinent base for organising visits to the famous rock-cut temples of Ajanta & Ellora. The town is named after Aurangzeb, the last of the six great Mughal Emperors, who built a mausoleum here for his wife.


    Aurangabad Caves, State Archaeological Museum, Nehru Udyan,

    History Museum of Marathwada University, Bibi ka Maqbara, Panchakki, Siddharth Udyan.


    Daulatabad Fort (13 kms), Khuldabad (26 kms), Grishneshwar Temple (30 kms), Paithan (56 kms), Shirdi (136 kms), Pithalkhora Caves (78 kms), Aundha Nagnath (203 kms), Ajanta (106 kms), Ellora (30 kms)


    Altitude: 513 metres.
    Temperature (deg C): Summer- Max 39, Min 21.5; Winter- Max 31.3, Min 10.
    Rainfall: 557 mms.
    Best Season: Throughout the year.
    STD Code : 02432 (0240 ?).


    The thirty rock-hewn caves at ajanta which are cut into the scrap of a cliff are Chaityas (Chapels) & Viharas (Monastries). Most of these are carved so that a flood of natural light pours into them at any given time of the day. Both the facade & the inside of the chambers faithfully reproduce the structural patterns known to those ancient builders. On the walls are paintings, many still glowing with their original colours. The outer walls are covered with brilliantly executed sculpture. The caves are not numbered in chronological order. Cave nos. 9,10, 12, 13 are the earliest belonging to Hinayana sect of Buddhism. Cave no 1 to 8, 11 and 14 to 30 are of Mahayana sect among these Mahayana Caves nos. 19, 26 & 30 are the Chaityas and rest of them are Viharas. The most notable of all these caves are 1,2,9,10,16,17,19 and 26, here ancient Indian art attained the zenith of its development and revealed a dynamic rhythm of life.


    There are 24 caves at Ellora, carved between 7th & 11th century AD. These cave temples represent 3 religious faiths. Carved in sickle shaped hill, spread North to South in a area of 3 kms, they were dug into the slope of a hill. Of these 12 are Buddhists, 17 are Hindus and 5 are Jains. The most remarkable of the carved shrines at Ellora is the Kailasa Temple. It is 50 metres in length, 33 metres wide & 30 metres high. The fantastic edifice has been chiselled out by hand from single rock with Gateway,Pavillion,Courtyard,Assembly Hall,Vestibule,Sanctum and Tower-hall those out of the same enormous rock.


    Special Permission from Archaelogical Survey of India needed for use of Tripod & Artificial lights to take photographs of Archaelogical monuments.However video shooting from the exterior of the monuments is permitted by paying a nominal fee.

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