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16 Day Cultural Tour in North India

offered by supplier M09563 (read about supplier)

Key Information:
Tour Duration: 16 day(s)
Group Size: 2 - 50 people
Destination(s): India  
Specialty Categories: Cultural Journey   Archeology/History  
Season: January - December
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: Yes
Minimum Per Person Price: 1699 US Dollar (USD)
Maximum Per Person Price: 1699 US Dollar (USD)

We bring you this unusual adventure and cultural combination tour which showcases Camel safari in the Thar Desert of Jaisalmer, along with cultural and historical glimpses of the Capital city Delhi, the Mughal splendor of Agra, Well planned city of Jaipur, Lake city of Udaipur, Jain temples of Ranakpur and the blue city of Jodhpur in Rajasthan concluding with wildlife tracking in Ranthambore tiger reserve in Uttrakhand.

Rajputana, the modern-day state of Rajasthan, has been the scene of some of India's most famous battles and infamous court intrigues, and is home to its finest forts and palaces. The forts at Jodhpur and Chittorgarh encapsulate the romance and chivalry of India's powerful Rajput Kings, while at the ancient capital of Amber an ascent on elephant-back recreates the majesty of a bygone era. Unique fresco styles and intricate miniature paintings adorn the Rajasthani palaces which were once inhabited by the most flamboyant ruling dynasties. While relaxing in the royal palaces, this tour rediscovers the majesty of this “Land of the Kings".

Day 01: Arrive Delhi.
You are greeted on arrival at the Delhi Airport and driven to your Hotel. Delhi is a city built and rebuilt seven times over several centuries. The capital city today marries the quaint and unique elements of different historical eras with the pace of the bustling, growing economy. At every turn of the road, the past and the present coexist. Balance day is at leisure. Overnight stay (Room check –in 1400 hrs).

Day 02: Delhi.
Morning, after breakfast proceed for Half Day guided tour of New Delhi. The city designed by Sir Edward Lutyens and Herbert Baker, redefined the architecture and urbanism of Delhi in the process of addressing contemporary imperatives- are truly majestic. The Presidential Palace, Parliament House and India Gate are all reminiscent of the British “Raj”.

Drive through Delhi’s beautiful tree-lined avenues and the Diplomatic Enclave Enroute to the 12th century, 234-foot high fluted minaret of Qutab Minar (UNESCO World Heritage site) a soaring, 73 m-high tower of victory, built in 1193 by Qutab-ud-din Aibak immediately after the defeat of Delhi's last Hindu kingdom. Your tour will terminate with a visit to Humayun’s Tomb (UNESCO World Heritage site). This was built in 1565 A.D. nine years after the death of Humayun, by his senior widow Bega . Afternoon, is free to explore the exotic and colorful markets, handicraft and jewelers shops, clothes boutiques, museums and art galleries of Delhi (Vehicle and driver at disposal) Overnight stay. (B)

Day 03: Delhi - Jodhpur.
Morning after breakfast, transfer to IGI terminal 3 to board flight to Jodhpur. On arrival, meeting, assistance by our company representative and transfer to your chosen hotel. Afternoon embark on a thrilling guided village safari on Jeeps The safari gives you an opportunity to meet the Bishnoi’s, a native tribe and learn the skills of indigenous artists. The scenic beauty of the village marked with khejri trees, natural lake and deer’s makes your village safari even more adventurous and exciting. Return to your hotel for Overnight stay (B)

Day 04: Jodhpur – Jaisalmer. Morning after breakfast, embark on a 6 hours’ drive to Jaisalmer through the Thar Desert. On arrival, check into your chosen hotel, where you will be met by our company representative who will facilitate your check in. Afternoon visit the ancient city of Lodurva, once the capital of the Bhatti rulers, now deserted. See the house of Queen Moomal, the Kalpa Vriksa (tree of life) Toran Dawar, ancient temples and water tanks, before continuing to Sam Sand Dunes to experience a memorable Sunset and Camel rides over the dunes of the great Thar Desert. Return to your hotel for overnight stay. (B)

Day 05: Jaisalmer.
Morning after breakfast, proceed for guided city tour of this “Golden City”. Visit the Patwon-Ki and Salim Singh Haveli, which is about 300 years old and housed the Prime Minister of Jaisalmer State. Also visit Gadisar Lake, which once provided the entire water supply of the city. Next stop takes us to the 800 year Jaisalmer Fort (also known as “Sonar Kila”) built of golden yellow sandstone by Prince Jaisal on the Trikuta Hill. Within its walls defended by 99 turrets lies the old city, which is nearly a quarter of modern day Jaisalmer. Visit the 10th century Jain temple located inside the fort before walking down the fort into the narrow and fascinating by lanes to your waiting vehicles for returning to hotel. Afternoon is at leisure. Overnight stay. (B)

Day 06: Jaisalmer -Osian - Jodhpur.
Morning after breakfast at 0800 hrs depart by surface for Jodhpur, en-route visiting desert hamlets and remnants of 16 Jain and Brahmanical Hindu Temples, built between the 8th and 11th century AD in Osian, the commercial city of yore which lies 242 kms from Jaisalmer and takes 4.5 hrs to reach. The Jain temple of the last Tirthankar Mahavir is visit worthy. Continue your journey of remaining 68 kms to Jodhpur and on arrival after 1.5 hours, check into your chosen hotel, where you will be met by our company representative who will facilitate your check in. Afternoon is reserved for guided city sightseeing tour of “The Sun City" founded by Rao Jodha, a chief of the Rathore clan, in 1459 lying on the southern edge of the Thar Desert is also nicknamed the “blue city” due to most of the houses painted blue in the old city. You get a magnificent bird’s eye view of the city from top of the hill on which the majestic Mehrangarh Fort stands.

Begin your tour visiting Jaswant Thada the white marble cenotaphs of Maharana Jaswant Singh surrounded by 4 others of later rulers followed by a visit to the magnificent Mehrangarh fort situated on a 150 m high hill is one of the largest forts in Rajasthan. Seven gates have to be crossed to reach the fort. The gates still bear the marks of the various battles fought in the bygone era. Its second gate still stands witness to canon ball hits by attacking armies of Jaipur during wars. Other attractions include several palaces inside the fort, with their sprawling and huge courtyards. One of the fort's palaces, The Moti Mahal or the Pearl Palace, has the royal throne of Jodhpur, the Sringar Chowki. The fort also has galleries, temples, etc. Marvel at the exquisite carvings and lattice works on the sandstone walls of the fort. Visit the armoury and the museum located inside the fort premises .On your return journey to your hotel walk thru Sojati gate to Sadar Bazar in old town, famous for its ornate and ancient clock tower. Overnight in hotel. (B)

Day 07: Jodhpur - Ranakpur - Udaipur.
Morning after breakfast at 0800 hrs departs by surface for Udaipur, en route visiting the Ranakpur group of temples. Set in a remote valley in the Aravalli range it showcases some of the finest stone carvings and sculptures in this 15th century Jain temple complex. The temples with its 29 halls and 1444 beautifully carved marble pillars are believed to have been built around 1439 A.D. The temple is dedicated to Tirthankar Adinath. Local legend has it that Dharma Shah, a local Jain business-man, started construction of the temple in the 15th century following a divine vision.

The town of Ranakpur and the temple are named after the provincial ruler monarch, Rana Kumbha who supported the construction of the temple. Also visit the Sun Temple and Chaumukha – finest examples of Jain ecclesiastical architecture. After enjoying your unique experience at these temples, continue your drive to the city of lakes Udaipur. On arrival, check-in to your chosen hotel, where you will be met, by our company representative who will facilitate your check in. Balance day at leisure. Overnight stay (B)

Day 08: Udaipur.
Morning after breakfast is reserved for guided sightseeing excursion. Udaipur is also known as the city of Lakes, and is famous for its history, culture, scenic locations and the Rajput-era palaces. It was voted as the best city in the world in 2009 by the Travel + Leisure magazine. Maharana Udai Singh of the Sisodia clan of Rajput founded the city in 1553 and shifted his capital from the city of Chittorgarh to Udaipur.

Begin your tour with an excursion to Haldighati, 40 Km from Udaipur a site of immense historic interests as the memorable battle between Maharana Pratap and Mughal Emperor Akbar was fought here in 1576 AD. The Rana was badly wounded and defeated while his faithful horse Chetek died while crossing the moat. A memorial pillar has been set up here to honor the Royal horse. Next visit the ancient temples of Eklingji, built in 734 AD a complex of 108 temples enclosed by high walls devoted to Eklingji - the Deity of the Maharanas of Mewar, followed by a visit to Nagda, the first capital of Bappa Rawal. See the magnificent Tirana exquisitely carved with graceful Asparas and the Sas- Bahu Temple sphere built in 10th century AD. Finish your tour with a visit to the temple shrine of Nathdwara built in 17th century AD dedicated to Lord Krishna. It is one of the most celebrated of the Vaishnavas shrines. Return to hotel. Evening enjoy a boat ride on lake Pichola visiting Gangaur Ghat, small islands inhabited by migratory birds, and the Jag Mandir Palace, where Shah Jahan (Mughal Emperor who built the Taj Mahal) stayed for a while during his exile. Enjoy sunset before returning back to hotel for Overnight stay (B)

Day 09: Udaipur - Chittorgarh Fort - Udaipur.
Morning, after breakfast, depart by surface transportation for a full day historical guided excursion to the impressive and historical important Chittorgarh Fort. (UNESCO World Heritage site) It is one of the largest forts in India, popularly known as Chittor. It was the capital of Mewar Rajas and was initially ruled by Guhilot and later by Sisodias, the Suryavanshi clans of Chattari Rajputs, from the 7th century, until it was finally abandoned in 1568 after the siege by Emperor Akbar in 1567. It sprawls majestically over a hill 180m in height spread over an area of 691.9 acres above the plains of the valley drained by the Berach River. The fort precinct with an evocative history is studded with a series of historical palaces, gates, temples and two prominent commemoration towers. Inside the fort -you have to enter through 7 gates to get into the main fort.

Visit Queen Padmini's Mahal surrounded by water, the Sat Bis Deuri (Jain ornamented temple adorned with Hindu God's and Goddesses) the Tower of fame and the Victory tower erected by one of the greatest Rajput warrior kings, Maharana Rana Kumbha in the year 1440 to commemorate his victory over Sultan Khilji of Malwa. Also see the 8th-century Chitoreswari, Khumbsham Ji and Krishna temple, Rana Kumbha's Palace and Babur's (First Mughal Emperor of India) cannon before continuing your drive to Udaipur known as the city of Lakes, and famous for its history, culture, scenic locations and the Rajput-era palaces. It was voted as the best city in the world in 2009 by the Travel + Leisure magazine. Maharana Udai Singh of the Sisodia clan of Rajput founded the city in 1553 and shifted his capital from the city of Chittorgarh to Udaipur. Return to Udaipur hotel for overnight stay (B)

Day 10: Udaipur - Jaipur (Flight).
Morning after breakfast is reserved for half day guided city sightseeing tour where you visit the City Palace to marvel at rooms with mirrored walls and ivory doors, colored glass windows and inlaid marble balconies and not to be missed the Peacock Courtyard, followed by a visit to the 300-year-old Jagdish Temple and the Royal Cenotaphs of the Rajput kings, the Sahelion- ki-Bagh, Fathesagar Lake, Pratap Samarak and the Sajjan Niwas Gardens before returning to hotel to complete check out formalities. Later on time transfer to Dabok airport to board flight to Jaipur. On arrival, meeting, assistance by our company representative and transfer to your chosen hotel. Balance time is free to explore the exotic and colorful markets, handicraft and jewelry shops, clothes and boutiques of Jaipur. (Vehicle with personal chauffeur at disposal for local city running) Return to hotel for Overnight stay. (B)

Day 11: Jaipur.
Morning, after breakfast, proceed at 0930 hrs for Half Day guided excursion to see two of the most impressive forts of Rajasthan. Visit the impressive Amber Fort the former capital of the Royal Family of Jaipur. On arrival mount an elephant to ride to the main entrance of the fort located on a hilly mountain top. Next visit Jaigarh Fort, built in 1726, housing the world’s largest cannon on wheels, Return to hotel. PS: (Those who do not want to ride an elephant can walk up or take a jeep ride to Amer fort- (2 persons per elephant). Afternoon, is reserved for guided sightseeing tour of the City Palace situated in the heart of the old City, it occupies about one seventh of the old city area. The City Palace SMS Museum displaying a collection of clothes, armory and weapons located within the Palace grounds and Jai Singh's observatory also called “Jantar Mantar” built in the18th century by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, where huge Masonry instruments were used to study the movement of constellations and Stars in the sky.

Drive past Hawa Mahal (Palace of winds) built in 1799 AD, by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh, is the most recognizable monument of Jaipur. The 5 storied stunning semi-octagonal monument having 152 windows with over hanging latticed balconies is a fine piece of Rajput architecture. Originally designed for the royal ladies to watch and enjoy the processions and other activities, on the street below. Stop here for photos, before continuing on to Albert Hall Museum, located in the premises of Ram Niwas Garden. Its Indo- Saracenic architecture and stone ornamentation became a source of reference for varied classical Indian styles of design from Mughals to Rajputs. The foundation stone of Albert Hall was laid during the visit of the Prince of Wales, Albert Edward to Jaipur in 1876 and was completed in 1887. Return to your hotel for Overnight stay (B)

Day 12: Jaipur - Swai Madhopur - Ranthambore Tiger Reserve.
Morning, after breakfast drive to Ranthambore Wild Life Sanctuary (3.5 hrs) this exciting journey through the countryside takes you home to the nearly a thousand-year-old Fortress where countless battles have raged around its walls. The Great Mughal emperor Akbar laid siege here and built the Lake Palace, summer gardens, temples, mosques, tombs and hunting towers, all overrun now by grass and shrubs. Today leopards and tigers prowl the ruins. On arrival, check into your chosen Forest resort

After Lunch proceeds, on a Game Drive in safari vehicles in search of wildlife. You sometimes chance upon a tiger, a fleet –sure-footed and silent creatures, the embodiment of grace. This could be the highlight of your tour. You will be accompanied and guided by Driver cum Park Ranger. Later free time to explore on your own the imposing Ranthambore Fort. Return to your hotel for overnight stay. (B, L, and D)

Day 13: Ranthambore - Agra.
Ranthambore covers an area about 400 square Kms and is surrounded by beautiful jungle scenery. Ranthambore National Park is very special and unison area where a natural present meets a historical past. This park has up to 27 tigers and has a considerable population of birds. It is one of the few reserves where the Camera - shy Tigers may be seen in daylight. Early Morning before breakfast, proceed for another Game Drive in safari vehicles to watch and spot wildlife in their natural surroundings. If you missed a tiger spotting the day before, you just might get lucky to see one today. You will be accompanied and guided by Driver cum Park Ranger. Return to jungle resort for Breakfast. After breakfast, depart for the Mughal splendor of Agra. A 5.5 hour’s drive gets us to this fascinating historically rich city of the Taj Mahal. Later on, arrival, drive to our chosen hotel, where upon arrival you will be met by our company representative who will facilitate your check-in. Afternoon, at 1600 hrs proceed on “Tonga” (Horse driven chariots) with your guide to visit the Taj Mahal to witness sunset (subject to weather condition) Taj Mahal, (UNESCO Heritage site), is a fine example of fusion of many architectural styles is one of the wonders of the modern world. Built in 1652 by Emperor Shah Jahan, It took 22 years and 20,000 skilled artisans to complete this poem in white marble. Take your time to marvel at this unfathomable beauty built by human hands and enjoy the changing colors of the “Taj” as the sun goes down. Return to hotel for Overnight stay. (B)

Day 14: Agra.
Early Morning before sunrise (subject to weather condition) at 0530 hrs proceed with your guide to Mehtab Bagh which is the best place to see Taj at sunrise. The garden complex is perfectly aligned with the Taj Mahal on the opposite bank. This was the last of the eleven, Mughal- built gardens, along river Yamuna flowing opposite the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort.

Next visit Itmaudualla - a Mughal mausoleum, often described as a "jewel box", and sometimes called the "Baby Taj", the tomb is often regarded as a draft of the Taj Mahal. Queen Noor Jahan, wife of Emperor Jahangir, commissioned this mausoleum for her father Mirza Ghiyās Beg, originally a Persian Amir in exile who had been given the title of I’timād-ud-Daulah (pillar of the state). Noor Jahan was also responsible for the construction of the Tomb of Jahangir and her own at Lahore. Mirza Ghiyās Beg was the grandfather of Mumtaz Mahal (originally named Arjūmand Bāno, daughter of Asaf Khan), the wife of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, responsible for the construction of the Taj Mahal. Return to hotel at 0800 hrs for breakfast.

After breakfast day is reserved for guided sightseeing tour of the Agra City and its surroundings. Begin your tour at 0900 hrs driving 20 Kms outside the city to visit Sikandra, tomb of the Mughal Emperor, Akbar the Great. Return to Agra city and visit the mighty Agra Fort (UNESCO Heritage Site) which lies across River Yamuna. An era marked by invasions and fortifications, where power was symbolized by grand palaces and grander forts…..during such time was built this awesome Fort and It was here that Aurangzeb, the 3rd son of Shah Jahan (the then Mughal Emperor) kept his father under house arrest till his final demise. Afternoon is free to explore the exotic and colorful markets, handicraft and jewelers shops, clothes boutiques, museums and art galleries of Agra (Vehicle and driver at disposal). Overnight stay (B)

Day 15: Agra – Fatehpur Sikri - Delhi.
Today being a long day, you depart after early breakfast at 0730 hrs, by surface for the capital city of Delhi, en-route visiting Fatehpur Sikri (UNESCO Heritage site) the well preserved ghost city, located 35 kms from Agra. An hour’s journey brings us to this magnificent fort, built in red sandstone. Once the political capital of India's Mughal Empire under Akbar's reign, from 1571 until 1585, it was abandoned, ostensibly due to lack of water. Sikri shared its imperial duties as a capital city with Agra, where a bulk of the arsenal, treasure hoards and other reserves were kept at its Red Fort for security. During a crisis, the court, harem, and treasury could be removed to Agra, less than a day's march.

Visit the tomb of Salim Chisti built by Mughal emperor Akbar in honor of this Sufi saint in 1571 who foretold the birth of 3 sons to the Emperor Akbar, is an example of robust stability combined with originality. Each important edifice here represents a type by itself. Notable among them are the Diwane Khas, Punch Mahal, and the Buland Darwaza. Later drive on to Delhi. A 3 hour’s drive gets us to Delhi. On arrival, check into your chosen hotel.

Afternoon proceed for a guided tour of Old Delhi to explore the magnificent Red Fort (UNESCO Heritage site), built at the zenith of the Mughal Empire in India. The centuries-old international market- place that sprawls at its feet is still one of Delhi’s most important commercial hubs: Chandni Chowk, or as also known as the “Moonlight Square”. Walk through the bustling silver market and the wholesale spice market. The sounds, smells and colors of the bazaar, and the throngs of people who animate it make this an unforgettable spectacle. Visit Jumma Masjid, the largest mosque in Asia and Raj Ghat - Final resting place of Mahatma Gandhi, before returning to your hotel for Overnight stay. (B)

Day 16: Depart Delhi. On time departure transfer to Indira Gandhi International airport –Terminal 3 to connect your outbound flight for onward destination (B) (Room Check-out 12 Noon).

Supplemental Tour Information:
Price Excludes:
- Airfare
- Breakfast on day of Arrival, Meals wherever not mentioned
- Travel and Personal
- Insurance, medical and personal expenses like beverages, tips and gratitude’s, telecommunication charges, Wi-Fi charges, laundry and what is not mentioned under “Price Includes".

Tour Guide Credentials:
English speaking professional guide under licence by Department of Tourism, Government of India. Other language guides are also available on request at extra cost

Member discount:
10% discount for InfoHub customer. Request a free gift certificate.

Airfare is not included in the tour price.

Price Includes:
- 15 Nights’ Accommodation in standard (Base) category Double AC rooms on twin sharing basis with private attached toilet and bath in 5 /4 star Luxury / Deluxe and Heritage hotels/ Jungle Resort
- 14 Breakfast, 1 Lunch and 1 Dinner (at Ranthambore)
-Transportation at all places using 1 AC 4 door Sedan Car with your private chauffeur for the entire duration of the tour except where air travel is involved starting from and finishing in Delhi including arrival / departure transfers, at all places as mentioned in tour itinerary.
- Elephant ride in Jaipur (Amber Fort) -1 elephant to accommodate 2 persons. In case of non-availability Jeeps will be used
- 2 times game safari with services of a qualified Game Ranger and tracker cum driver, at Ranthambore National Park. Safaris take place each morning and evening in open safari vehicles which drive through a wide variety of habitats, allowing visitors to view the vast interactions of the wild.
- 2 time visit to the Taj Mahal (Sunrise and Sunset) with Guide
- 2 time Tonga ride to Taj Mahal and Back
- 1 time common boat ride on Lake Pichola in Udaipur
- 1 time camel ride in Sam dunes in Jaisalmer (1 camel per person)
- 1 time Village Safari by non- air conditioned Jeep in Jodhpur
- Sightseeing and Excursions as per tour itinerary using one air -conditioned car.
- Services of an accompanied local English-speaking guide during sightseeing, at all places mentioned in tour itinerary.
- Entrance charges at all monuments of visit at all cities including audio guide charges at Ranakpur
- All presently applicable Central and State Government Taxes on hotels, road, toll and bridge. It is also inclusive of GST, driver’s daily allowance, parking charges, gasoline, and vehicle insurance and state taxes including
- Service Charges for preparing and executing the tour program.

About This Supplier
Location: India
Joined InfoHub: Feb 2003

M09563 constantly aims at providing better and higher quality service at competitive prices. We take care of all the little travel details while you enjoy your vacation. Our staff views the success of your trip as their most important goal and achievement. We offer a range of customized tour packages covering India...

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