Unseen Central India

Unseen Central India

In some corners of Central India not frequented by tourists, there are untold treasures for the curious traveler. There are energetic cities and ancient monuments, grand palaces and prehistoric art, intricately carved temples and rare wildlife. There are so many experiences to be had on a tour in Central India, and so many travelers never see these less traveled areas of this riveting region of India.

Unseen Central India

On thisCentral India tour, you will see both popular sights as well as some lesser-known nooks of this region. For example, you’ll see the riveting temples of Orchha and Khajuraho and the wondrous wildlife of Bandavgarh and Panna National Parks. the Neolithic cave paintings in Bhimbetka. From Indore to Maheshwar, Mandu to Bhopal, you can experience the many faces of this lesser visited region. 

Tour Highlights

  1. Religious ceremony on banks of Narmada River
  2. Mythic sites of Mandu
  3. Coracle ride passing through Marble Rocks
  4. Safari in Bandhavgarh National Park
  5. Visit of temples in Khajuraho


Delhi – Indore – Maheshwar – Mandu – Bhopal – Pachmarhi – Jabalpur –  Bandhavgarh –  Khajuraho – Orchha – Gwalior – Agra – Delhi

Day 01: Arrive in Delhi
Airport welcome and transfer to your hotel.
Day 02: Delhi
Breakfast at hotel. This morning you will be introducing the children to Delhi in style, on a morning's private bicycle rickshaw tour. Your rickshaw driver/guides will cycle you through the winding alleys of the markets of Old Delhi where you and the children will witness Indian city life up close as you pass street barbers and stall keepers selling colourful garments, spices and sweets. Hop off whenever you want a closer look, lunch and visit to the white marble Gurudwara Sikh temple which has a community kitchen as well as a very interesting museum on the history of the Sikh community. After lunch, it is time for an introduction to Indian history and architecture with a visit to Humayun's Tomb, also in New Delhi and somewhere for the children to run around in the shaded formal gardens surrounding the elegant tomb of a Mughal king.
Day 03: Delhi – Indore (flight)
After breakfast transfer to the airport to board the flight for Indore. On arrival, transfer to hotel for check in. Later enjoy the sightseeing tour of the city visiting the Rajwada or the Old Palace (a major centre of attraction), Lalbagh palace, Kanch Mandir (a marvellous Jain temple), Chattri Bagh (the memorial with some canopies) and the Bada Ganapati (the largest lord Ganesha statue in the world).
Day 04: Indore – Maheshwar (95 kms – 02 kms)
After breakfast leave by Private Vehicle for Maheshwar.  Maheshwar is a beautiful city known for its unique, colorful saris and its fabric tradition. Maheshwar also bears the distinction of having been an imperial capital; its many temples and examples of regal architecture and design attest to this. In the afternoon excursion to  Omkareshwar is a Hindu temple dedicated to the God Shiva, one of 12 revered "Jyotirlinga" shrines of Shiva. This morning you will set out to visit this ancient pilgrimage site. Omkareshwar is also located along the holy Narmada River, and it has been around for more than a millennium. Although fiercely persecuted during certain periods of history, a great many of the original, ancient relics remain here, and even to this day the temple persists as a living community. Upon entering the temple, vendors circulate distributing Bilwa patras, flowers, and sweets for people who wish to worship Shiva. Even aside from the religious and archaeological appeal, the architecture and scenery alone are worth the trip.
Day 05: Maheshwar – Mandu (40 kms)
After breakfast leave for Mandu. On arrival visit to Mandu – or Mandavgarh, You'll stroll through the tentative UNESCO heritage sites that include such landmarks as the rock-cut caves from the 11th Century, the early Indo-Islamic architecture at Dilawar Khan's Mosque, and the massive 15th Century meeting hall Hindola Mahal. In total, there are 61 protected monuments in the town, along with a host of other archaeological remnants, including the ruins of the Rajput kingdom and scenic African baobab trees that have found their way into the heart of India likely as a result of human devices.
Day 06: Mandu – Bhopal (290 kms – 05½ hrs)
After breakfast drive to  Bhopal. Check-in at hotel. Free time to visit local markets and old alleys of Bhopal.
Day 07: Bhopal – Excursion to Sanchi
After breakfast leave for excursion to Sanchi, Sanchi is home to the Sanchi Stupa, one of the oldest stone structures in India that date back to the 3rd Century BCE. It was originally commissioned by the emperor Ashoka and built on a hill atop relics of the Buddha. In the 1st Century BCE, four elaborately carved stone gateways were added, which pictorially express the story of the Buddha’s journey and central themes of the Buddhist religion. After spending some time exploring the Great Stupa, For the afternoon, you will return to Bhopal and take a heritage tour through Old Bhopal City, meandering your way through its narrow lanes past hand-embroidered goods and on to the old market that is filled with all manner of curious finds.
Day 08: Bhopal – Excursion to Bhimbekta & Bhojpur
After breakfast, take a short ride to visit the Bhimbetka rock shelters. This UNESCO world heritage site contains some of the earliest evidence of human life on the Indian subcontinent. There are shelters with evidence indicating they were inhabited by Homo Erectus more than 100,000 years ago and prehistoric cave paintings depicting animals, dance rituals, and hunting excursions that are estimated to have been produced 30,000 years ago. You will also visit the nearby religious town of Bhojpur to see its famous, incomplete temple to Shiva, Bhojesvar Temple. The structure features intricate stone carvings, a massive lingam, and – on account of its abandonment before construction was completed – blueprints that were engraved in nearby stones shed a light on 11th Century Indian building techniques.
Day 09: Bhopal – Pachmarhi (196 kms – 04½hrs)
After breakfast drive to Pachmarhi, where you can relax and acclimatise over a leisurely lunch. In the afternoon, you may wish to explore the colourful bazaars of this verdant hill-station, the highest point in Madhya Pradesh and formerly a Victorian summer retreat. You stay two nights in a comfortable guesthouse.
Day 10: Pachmarhi
In the morning you meet your guide to discuss the forthcoming days, after which he will take you to visit the five rock-cut Buddhist temples known as the Pandav Caves. These five caves were hewn out of the rock by Buddhist monks, and probably date from the 9th-10th centuries AD. The façades of each are adorned with columns, pilasters and simple carvings. They are named after five brothers of the Hindu epic, the Mahabharata, and give their name to the town – ‘Panchmarhi’ means ‘five caves’. Another excursion will take you to the atmospheric Jata Shankar cave temple – a natural cave in a deep ravine which serves as a Hindu shrine to the God Shiva.
Day 11: Pachmarhi – Jabalpur (270 kms – 06 hrs)
Early morning breakfast then drive to Jabalpur, you’ll check into your hotel.   Come evening, you will head to Gwari Ghat, just outside the city, to experience a traditional Aarti ceremony. Sanskrit for "remover of darkness," this ancient Hindu ritual of offering takes place along the scenic Narmada River.
Day 12: Jabalpur
Take a day trip to Bhedaghat, which is about 50 minutes outside of Jabalpur. This land is famous for its Marble Rocks, where the river has carved through the soft marble to produce a gorge of nearly 5 miles in length. The first stop here is the famed Chaunsath Yogini temple. One of only four major extant temples that contain carvings of the 64 yogini, this beautiful temple dates back to the 10th Century CE. Following the temple visit, take a boat ride directly through the stunning Marble Rocks Gorge. Afterward, you will be transferred back to the city for a chance to explore the Rani Durgavati Museum. This museum is dedicated to the memory of the Queen Durgavati and houses an expansive collection of sculptures, inscriptions, and other prehistoric relics.
Day 13: Jabalpur – Bandhavgarh NP (170kms – 03½ hrs)
From ancient temples to captivating wildlife—today, you venture to Bandhavgarh National Park, a compact tract of land that is full of game. In fact, the density of the tiger population at Bandhavgarh is the highest known in India.
Day 14: Bandhavgarh NP
Explore the park on morning and evening game safaris. The park is home to 22 species of wildlife, including the regal “gaur,” many varieties of deer, the striped hyena, jungle cat and sloth bear and over 250 species of birds. The ruins of Bandhavgarh Fort hover mightily over the park and are now largely overrun by the surrounding forest.
Day 15: Bandhavgarh NP – Khajuraho (230 – 05 hrs)
After breakfast drive to Khajuraho, home of the world famous Kama Sutra carvings. The temples of Khajuraho are a fusion of superb architecture and remarkable art, and you will witness their grandeur today. From Eastern Group of Temples—(Parsunath, Ghantai and Adinath) to the Western Group (Kandariya Mahodeo, Chausath Yogini, and Vishwanath Temple), you’ll be immersed in this World Heritage recognized wonderland.
Day 16: – Khajuraho – Orchha (200 kms – 04½ hrs)
sleepy village has much to show of its glorious past. Huge crumbling temples and palaces rise out of the surrounding jungle, overlooking the undulating hills and the wide boulder-strewn Betwa River. A small village can be found amongst the ruins of this once mighty city which was capital of the Bundela kingdom from 1531 to 1783. Visit this beautiful medieval town, was once the capital of Bundela Kings. Built along the banks of the river Betwa, flowing through a rugged country century side, it still retains the captivating air of a bygone era. Amongst the various imposing edifices, of particular interest are the Jehangiri Mahal, built by Raja Bir Singh Deo to commemorate the visit of Mughal Emperor Jehangir, the Raj Mahal and the Laxmi Narayan temple, both noted for their fine Frescoes and Mural paintings.
Day 17: Orchha - Gwalior (130 kms – 02½ hrs)
After breakfast leave for Gwalior, The city offers a treasure of heritage in its palace, temples and monuments, where a rich cultural tradition has been interwoven into the fabric of modern life, where the past princely lives on in great palaces and their museums. Afternoon half-day sightseeing of Gwalior Fort, Gujari Mahal, the tomb of Mohammed Gaus and the Mausoleum of Tansen, the famous court singer of Akbar Afternoon sightseeing of the Fort and Palace.
Day 18: Gwalior - Agra (120 kms – 03 hrs)
Travel onward by road to Agra. Enroute, just before Agra, stop at Fatehpur Sikri. This ancient Mughal capital was built by Emperor Akbar who raised three palaces for each of this favorite wives. Though quickly abandoned after his death, the red sandstone buildings remain intact and the mosque is still in use today. Upon arriving in Agra, check in to your hotel and freshen up before heading out to see the Taj Mahal at sunset. This stunning landmark is made even more beautiful during sunset as the white marble is set aflame in orange and red hues
Day 19: Agra – Delhi (210 kms – 04 hrs)
After breakfast leave for Delhi and free time in capital of India. In the evening transfer to International airport to fly back.
  • Best Season: 01 Sep to 30 April
map of Nawabs of Lucknow

The highlights of this trip


Jabalpur is a city that offers tourists many natural wonders, mythological lore and historical heritage. The most popular attraction is the marble rocks. It is a deep gorge lined by gigantic mountains of marble carved by the Narmada river that flows through. The intriguing marble rock formations rise as high as 100 ft and the sight of the river rushing through the 8-km-long gorge is awe-inspiring.


Orchha could make towns many times its size green with jealousy. At heart, Orchha is nothing but a tiny, agricultural village that shouldn’t really be of much interest to anyone, but it was blessed by history: for nearly 300 years it was one of the most important urban areas in this part of India. This has left the small town with a supreme display of Mughal-influenced Rajput architecture in the shape of spectacular palaces, temples and royal chhatris (cenotaphs). And thanks to an important temple dedicated to Rama, it’s also a major pilgrimage and spiritual centre.


If stones could speak, the Khajuraho temples would create melodies! Situated in Madhya Pradesh and cradled by the Vindhya mountain range, the heritage town of Khajuraho is famed for being home to the UNESCO World Heritage Site listed temple complex that features Hindu and Jain houses of worship. These temples are famous for their stunning intricate sculptures depicting different aspects of life: spirituality, love, friendship, sports, royalty and most significantly, awe-inspiring art. Based on their geographical location, the temples are categorised into three groups: Eastern, Western and Southern. Believed to have been built in a relatively short period of time spanning over 100 years, i.e. between 950-1050 AD, the complex boasts 22 temple structures that remain from the initial group of 85. Forgotten for centuries, they were rediscovered in the 1850s and restored. 

  • Monuments 95% 95%
  • Culture 90% 90%
  • Architect 85% 85%
  • Local Experiences 95% 95%

So much to see and so much to learn.

“Thanks for planning our amazing Unseen Central India trip. Our experience working with you was nothing short of excellent from day 1 of speaking with you.  We thought that the itinerary that you suggested for us was perfect and that the specific details were so well organized.”

Yanick  & Sév – Toulon, France

Yet another satisfied customer..

“YET ANOTHER SATISFIED CUSTOMER And it isn’t easy for me to be satisfied. I am a professional photographer and my wife is an interior designer and we have traveled to a lot of wonderful places on this planet. We have traveled for both work and pleasure, but India was going to be a personal adventure.“

Yolonde & Raul – New Jersy, USA.

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