- July, 11 - 23
- August, 15 - 28
- September, 12 - 24
- October, 10 - 22
- October 31 - November 12
- December, 05 - 17.
Day 1: Arrive Delhi. We are warmly welcomed the traditional Indian way with hands clapped together. After immigration and custom formalities, we are transferred to our Hotel. Rest of the day is free. Overnight: The Park Hotel.
Day 2: Delhi. The capital of India is a true reflection of the old and new of India. We start our morning tour with New Delhi and visit Birla House - the former residence of Mahatma Gandhi. Mahatma Gandhi spent his later years at Birla House before he was assassinated by Nathu Ram Godse on January 30, 1948. Later we visit the famous India Gate followed by the Houses of Parliament, Connaught Place, Humayun's Tomb and the Qutub Minar - a perfect minaret towering 72.5 meters/80.5 yards into the sky and there are 379 stairs inside the tower. New Delhi is a blend of Mughal India, Hindu India, British India and certainly of modern independent India.
Later we visit Old Delhi, starting with the famous Red Fort. Built by Shah Jehan, this was once the most opulent fort of the Mughal Empire. Next we visit another Mughal majesty, the Jama Masjid, India's largest mosque. We end our tour with a bazaar experience at Chandni Chowk, the street of silver and goldsmiths. In the evening we enjoy Welcome Dinner at Garam Masala Restaurant. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 3: Delhi – Varanasi. Today we are transferred to airport for our flight to Varanasi. Varanasi is the spiritual centre of Hindus, Buddhists and Muslims alike. This is also the pilgrim centre for the Hindus who come daily to dip themselves in the holy water of the Ganges. Late afternoon, we start our experience of Varanasi by visiting the Bharat Mata Temple which houses a big relief map of India made from marble. Varanasi is famous for its many temples and we visit the Durga temple, the Tulsi Manas Mandir, the Banaras Hindu University and the Mosque of Mughal Emperor, Aurangzeb.
The city is famous also for its Banarasi silk sarees and we visit some of the houses where such silk sarees are still being weaved. Evening is free to enjoy this 5000 years old city and experience sunset at the Ganges. Every evening at sunset, on the banks of the river Ganges, the devotional ceremony of Aarti is performed. Thousands of Hindus and tourists flock to the Ghats, particularly in the pilgrimage town of Varanasi. In the evening we witness the Aarti ceremony on the Ghats of Ganges. Overnight: The Gateway Hotel Ganges. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 4: Varanasi – Khajuraho. Early morning a serene experience begins as we take a sunrise cruise on the River Ganges. One of the cardinal principles of Hinduism is the belief in the holiness of the Ganges. Every morning scores of pilgrim and priests fill the riverbanks performing the holy dip and various other rituals. This is a site that has to be seen and experienced as it is so different from anything else what may have seen anywhere in the world. Later we leave for Sarnath the site of Lord Buddha's first sermon after attaining enlightenment.
At Sarnath we meet many Buddhist monks and followers before visiting local homes to see in-home silk weaving and soak up some local customs, culture and hospitality. Later we are transferred to airport for our flight to Khajuraho. On arrival we are transferred to our Hotel. Our Khajuraho visit starts with the temples that have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The temples were built during the apogee of the Chandela dynasty between 950 and 1050 AD. Today only 20 temples remain and they fall into three distinct groups and belong to two different religions - Hinduism and Jainism. These beautiful temples strike a perfect balance between architecture and sculpture. The Kandariya is decorated with a profusion of sculptures that are among the greatest masterpieces of Indian art. Overnight: Taj Chandela. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 5: Khajuraho – Jhansi – Agra. Today we drive to Jhansi en-route visiting Orchha, an amazing medieval fortress-city located on the shores of the Betwa River. After our visit to Orchha we proceed to the Railway Station in Jhansi to embark on the luxury first class train to Agra. This is a very comfortable train journey lasting just over 2 hours with four brief stops en route. It offers air-conditioned "business class airline" seating with meal services on board. We are welcomed in Agra and transferred to our Hotel. Overnight: The Gateway Hotel. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 6: Agra. We visit one of the most well known wonders of the world, the Taj Mahal. Built by Shah Jehan as a mausoleum for his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal, the Taj is built of white marble, beautifully carved and inlaid with semi-precious stones. Next we visit Agra Fort, where Shah Jehan, in the later years of his life, was imprisoned by his son to prevent him from spending the family fortunes on a black echo of the Taj Mahal. Later we drive to Fatehpur Sikri, the beautiful capital built in 1640 by the Mughal King, Akbar the Great. The city was later abandoned for lack of water. We also visit the artistically designed mausoleum of Salim Chisty who is reputed to have prayed for a son for Akbar leading to the birth of Salim Jehangir. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 7: Agra – Ranthambore. In the morning after breakfast we drive to Ranthambore, the former hunting ground of the Maharajas of Jaipur, the Ranthambore National Park is situated in Eastern Rajasthan at the confluence of the Aravali hill ranges and the Vindhyan plateau. Two rivers flow through the Ranthambore National Park - the Chambal River in the South and the Banas River in the North. Six man-made lakes and many perennial streams pass through the entire national park. The Ranthambore National Park is nestled between the Aravali and Vindhya mountain ranges.
The rugged terrain and the dense deciduous forests are major features of this national park, which has among the largest and most diverse collection of wildlife species in India. On arrival in Ranthambore, we check in our Hotel. In the afternoon we take a jeep safari through the National Park. On our journey we will see various indigenous animals such as: Nilgai, Chausingha, Chital, Chinkara, wild Boar and tiger! Other habitants of the Park include the Muntjac, jungle cat, Ratel, Hyena, porcupine, the Rhesus Macaque and the black-faced Langur. About 150 species of bird are also found here including migratory birds, like the Steppe Eagle, that arrive in winter. Overnight: Tiger Moon Resort. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 8: Ranthambore – Jaipur. Ranthambore is famous for the famous Royal Bengal Tigers and spotting the big cat in her natural habitat will be of great experience. Relying on our luck and how much lucky we are today, we take another jeep safari in morning through the National Park. If we are lucky enough we may be able to spot the big cat in her natural environment. After morning safari, we drive to Jaipur, the rose pink capital of Rajasthan. In the evening we enjoy Dinner at Spice Court Restaurant with Rajasthan Cultural Dance performance. Overnight: Four Points by Sheraton. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 9: Jaipur. A royal experience awaits us as we take an elephant ride uphill to the intriguing Amber Palace, a distinguished example of 17th Century Rajput architecture. After the tour and enjoying a panoramic view, we return to Jaipur to visit the old astronomical observatory built by the founder of the city, Jai Singh. We also visit the majestic Palace, which houses a rare collection of Indian art, and the colorful bazaar. Jaipur is noted for its craftsmen, skilled in brass inlay, lacquer work and stone setting. Evening is free to enjoy both shopping and a cultural experience in the bazaars of Jaipur. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 10: Jaipur – Pushkar. In the morning after breakfast we drive to Pushkar. Pushkar is bewitching but touristy little town, like a beautiful mirage on the edge of the desert, with temples, bathing Ghats, onion domes and chalk colored buildings clustering around its holy lake , which is said to have appeared when Brahma dropped a lotus flower. It's an important pilgrimage centre and you'll see plenty of Sadhus (spiritual men), as well as countless chilled-out travelers experimenting variously with spirituality, Bhang and the facial hair. Pushkar boasts temples, though few are as ancient as you might expect at such an important pilgrimage site, since many were desecrated by Aurangzeb and subsequently rebuilt. We visit the most famous temple of Lord Brahma Temple, said to be one of the few temples in the world dedicated to this deity. Overnight: Hotel Pushkar Palace. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 11: Pushkar – Udaipur. In the morning after breakfast we drive to Udaipur. No city in Rajasthan is quite as romantic as Udaipur. Misty ochre-shadowed hills and pale, intricate buildings encircle the mirror glass of Lake Pichola. If Jaipur is a study in pink then Udaipur is a vision in white. The City of Dawn, surrounded by the ancient Aravali Mountains and set on the edge of three lakes, is a brilliant kaleidoscope of narrow lanes flanked by bright stalls, gardens, lakes, palaces and temples. Eight marble porticos mark the spot where the Mewar sovereigns were weighed in gold, the equivalent value of which was then distributed to the poor.
Within the City Palace are several architectural and artistic highlights such as the MOR Chowk, known for its stunning peacock mosaics and the Bhim Vilas Palace with its series of lovely wall paintings. The most memorable parts of Udaipur are its lake palaces, shimmering like jewels on Lake Pichola. Jag Mandir, the other island palace with a marble dome, is a marvel in red sandstone. It was a refuge for the Moghul Emperor Shah Jahan when he was in exile following a quarrel with his father, Emperor Jehangir. On arrival we check in our Hotel. Rest of the day is free. Overnight: Hotel Hilltop Palace. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 12: Udaipur. We start our experience of Udaipur by visiting the City Palace. The palace has several architectural and artistic highlights such as the Mor Chowk, known for its stunning peacock mosaics and the Bhim Vilas Palace with its series of lovely wall paintings. From City Palace we can see the most memorable part of Udaipur lake palace, shimmering like jewels on Lake Pichola. Later we visit Jagdish Temple, Fateh Sagar lake and Saheliyon Ki Bari or the Garden of Maids. We end our tour of Udaipur with a boat ride at Lake Pichola and visit Jag Mandir, the other island palace with a marble dome, is a marvel in red sandstone. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 13: Udaipur – Delhi – Home. Today we are transferred to airport for our flight to Delhi. In Delhi we enjoy our Farewell Dinner, after Dinner we are transferred to International airport for our flight to onward destination. Includes: (B), (D).
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