We'll pass briefly through Delhi again to catch our flight to Varanasi to rejoin with the Ganges. Varanasi, also known as Kashi, the city of spiritual light, is one of the oldest living cities in the world and is the holiest of all pilgrimages in India. We'll watch the dawn rise over the Ganges, walk along the bathing ghats, listen to the chanting of hymns and sacred mantras and shop in the narrow bazaars. While here we'll make a short drive to Sarnath, where Lord Buddha first began preaching his message of the "middle way".
Passing through Delhi again, we'll travel to Agra to visit the stunningly beautiful Taj Mahal and the massive Red Fort. Returning to Delhi, for completing our pilgrimage, there'll be time for last minute shopping before catching our homeward flights.
Day 1: Arrive late night or early morning at Delhi Airport and be transported to our hotel. For those arriving in the early hours, your room will be covered for the night of Feb 18th.
Day 2: Early morning we'll check out of the hotel and take the train to Haridwar, where the River Ganges descends from the Himalayas. We'll visit the bustling bazaars and join the pilgrims for the evening aarti, where dozens of priests offer huge flaming lamps to the river. Dinner and overnight at hotel.
Day 3: We’ll visit some of Haridwar’s famous temples, and then take a short drive to Rishikesh. Here we’ll visit Rishikesh’s oldest temple the Bharat Mandir and the Triveni Ghat for aarti. Overnight at hotel.
Day 4: We’ll make a short drive along the bank of the Ganges to meditate in the cave where the great teacher Vasistha stayed. We'll take a boat ride on the Ganges and walk by the river before enjoying aarti at the Paramath Niketan Ashram. Overnight in Rishikesh.
Day 5: We'll continue to explore this town of yogis, sadhus and pilgrims, take time for shopping and just enjoying Mother Ganga before driving to Haridwar for our train back to Delhi. Overnight in Delhi.
Day 6: We'll take a short flight to Khajuraho and begin exploring the intricately carved temples that fill this small village. We'll return to the hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 7: Time to relax or continue enjoying the sublime and erotic beauty of the Hindu and Jain temples. Then we'll take a flight to Varanasi to rejoin the Mother Ganges. The afternoon is for rest and relax in the hotel.
Day 8: We’ll begin the day with a boat ride to watch the sunrise over the holy river as thousands of devotees take their ceremonial dip. After breakfast we'll visit the nearby village and Buddhist community of Saranath, where the Budha preached His first sermon on the middle Way.
Day 9: This Shiva city has many interesting temples for us to explore in its narrow lanes, which also make up the bazaars of this “shopper’s paradise”. After lunch we'll have time to walk into the city and then return to the river for an evening boat ride before we overnight at the hotel.
Day 10: Time for last minute shopping before we fly to Delhi. At Delhi we'll check into the hotel and overnight.
Day 11: We'll travel to the Mughal city of Agra. Here we'll rest before a sunset visit to the majestic Taj Mahal.
Day 12: After breakfast we'll visit the Red Fort and then take the train to Delhi. We'll rest and relax at the hotel.
Day 13: The Day will be for sightseeing and last minute shopping in Delhi. Prepare for our evening departures for home.
Also see tour packages in:
Asia India Spiritual Odyssey Pilgrimage/Spirituality Archeology/History