From the holy River Ganges in Varanasi to the erotic temples of Khajuraho, this tour will open your eyes to spiritual India. Visit Sarnath Temple, where Buddha gave his first sermon after achieving enlightenment. At night take the boat out on to the Ganges and witness the incredible atmosphere of the Aarti ceremony. At sunrise watch the river come to life as people bathe and offer prayers to the mighty River. Then continue to Khajuraho, scene of the intricately carved erotic temples. On the final day venture off the beaten track to Raneh Falls - and spot alligators from the boat in the dramatic river canyon.
Day 1: Arrive in the morning into Delhi airport. Transfer to guesthouse. Freshen up and relax. Half day tour of Delhi, lunch en-route. Drive by India Gate, the Presidential Palace, lunch en-route, and then on to Old Delhi – visit impressive Red Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage site - a symbol of India’s Mughal past, and now of India’s sovereignty. Immerse yourself in the chaos of Chandni Chowk on cycle-rickshaw. Stroll around magnificent Humayun’s Tomb and its gardens, and watch it change colour as the sun starts to set. Evening to relax and enjoy sumptuous Indian cuisine. Overnight in Delhi. Meal plan: N/A.
Day 2: After breakfast, transfer to Delhi airport for flight to Varanasi. Relax and lunch at hotel located by Asi Ghat (Ghat is a series of steps leading into the river). After lunch, depart for Sarnath Temple, where Lord Buddha gave his first sermon after achieving Enlightenment. The temple attracts pilgrims from all over the world. Take a walk around the serene temple gardens. Return to Varanasi for your evening boat ride on the holy River Ganges to witness the amazing Aarti ceremony on the Ghats. Float a candle in lotus flower on the river. This is an experience like no other and will leave you feeling at peace. Dinner on the roof terrace of hotel overlooking Ghats. Overnight in Varanasi. Meal plan: B, L.
Day 3: Early morning wake-up call for boat ride on the Ganges at sunrise. Watch the River come to life with devout Hindus bathing in the holy water, listen to the sound of prayer bells and even laughing yoga! Return to hotel for breakfast and freshen up. Set off for Temples tour, taking in Benares University (the world’s largest Hindu university) and other intricate Hindu temples. Lunch locally and relax. Early evening, free evening to walk around Varanasi’s labyrinth of alleys. Have dinner in one of the city’s restaurants overlooking the Ganges at sunset. Overnight in Varanasi. Meal plan: B, L.
Day 4: After breakfast, transfer to airport for flight to Khajuraho. On arrival, transfer to hotel close to airport. Freshen up and then leave for tour of the magnificent Western and Eastern Temples. A UNESCO World Heritage site, these famous erotic temples date back hundreds of years, and are the largest group of Hindu and Jain temples in India. Marvel at the extraordinary detail of their intricate carvings. Lunch at local restaurant. Return to hotel for a rest and then return to the temples for the sound and light show where they are transformed at night. Dinner at restaurant close to the temples, then return to hotel. Overnight in Khajuraho. Meal plan: B, L.
Day 5: Early breakfast. Set off for Raneh Falls. Off-the-beaten-track and visited by very few, you will witness stunning rock formations, waterfalls and small lagoons. Glimpse wildlife such as Indian alligators and langur monkeys. Take a boat ride in the dramatic river canyon. Return to hotel for lunch and transfer to airport. Arrive in Delhi. Relaxing dinner and then transfer to airport for return flight. Meal plan: B, L.
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