This journey will allow you to experience not only the spiritual side of India by taking you to Varanasi, located on the banks of the Holy Ganges, but will also introduce you to the rich architecture and history with trips to the famous temples of Khajuraho and to other magnificent forts and palaces of Rajasthan.
You will be met on arrival at the International airport. Transfer to your hotel. Relax.
Delhi, the capital of kingdoms and empires is now a sprawling metropolis with a fascinating blend of the past and the present. Delhi is a perfect introduction to the composite culture of an ancient land and a window to the kaleidoscope – that is India. Overnight will be at Delhi.
After breakfast we will start a guided tour of the city. We start with sightseeing of New Delhi wich was built by the British. The tour includes a drive through the Embassy area, the Parliament building and the Rasrapathi Bhawan, the President’s residence. There is also the famous India Gate. Continue with a drive to the Connaught Place, the heart and main shopping district of the capital. You will see the Qutab Minar, with 72 m one of the most beautiful stone tower in India.
Afternoon we will visit Old Delhi and drive through the fabled area of Chandni Chowk. Continuing to the Jama Masjid, one of Asia’s largest mosques. Visit the Red Fort, was built during 1639-48 when the Mogul Empire was at its peak. Nearby is the Raj Ghat, a memorial to the founder of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi.
Evening transfer to the train station to board your train to Udaipur. Overnight First Class Air Conditioned Sleeper.
Reach Udaipur early in the morning, transfer to your hotel. After rest we proceed for a guided tour of Udaipur the famed “City of sunrise”. Founded in 1567 by Maharana Udai Singh, from the lineage of the legendary Sisodias of Mewar – the decedents of the sun God. Udaipur is a lovely land around the azure lake, hemmed in by the hills of the Aravallis. The huge City Palace towering over the Lake Pichola is the largest palace complex in Rajasthan. The Jagadish Temple next to the City Palace enshrines a black stone image of Lord Vishnu and his vehicle, a might bird called Garuda, in a brass image. Later in the afternoon we enjoy a boat cruise on the serene and beautiful Lake Pichola. The island palace on the Lake called Jagmandir Palace is quite fascinating. From the boat you will be able to view the city. Relax in the evening. Overnight at hotel.
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After breakfast you have time for independent activities. Discover the city on a stroll through the narrow streets. Udaipur is famous for the miniature paintings, you’ll find anywhere. Very impressive is a visit to the cenotaphs of the rulers of Mewar, with its domed roofs of more than 250. You will find in Udaipur very good Ayurvedic shops, where you can enjoy ayurvedic massages. In the evening you can climb a hill and watch the sunset. You will never forget this moment.
Overnight at hotel.
(290 km/6 h)
Morning after breakfast we will drive to Jodhpur. Check in at hotel. Afternoon we proceed on a guided tour of Jodhpur also known as “Blue City” because of the blue houses. The Mehrangarh Fort, home of the Rathore clan of Rajputs, looms on the top of a rocky hill, overlooking the city. Inside the Fort are a number of palaces added by successive rulers. You will visit one of the most beautiful and impressive palaces of India.
Evening we will ride horse carriages to the Clock Tower Bazaar. This is one of India’s largest and most colourful wholesale markets with respect to clothes, spices, vegetables, fabrics and more. It’s a fantastic experience to walk there watching this incredible colourful spectacle. Overnight at hotel.
After breakfast we will drive to Pushkar. Reach and check in at hotel.
Pushkar is a sacred place for Hindus and is one of five important pilgrimage centres of Hindus, where a lake sprung into being. Sacred to Brahma, Pushkar boasts of its temple dedicated to him, which is the only one of its kind in the world. As per Hindu mythology Lord Brahma “the Creator” wanted to perform a yagna and to decide the most auspicious place a Swan was released with a lotus flower in its mouth, the place the flower was dropped and The same was earmarked for yagna named Pushkar, which now has a lake with 5 famous temples and 52 Ghats (Bathing Places). At afternoon walk through this amazingly fascinating religious town. Overnight at hotel.
(150km, 2.5 h)
At morning after breakfast depart for Jaipur. Reach and check in at hotel.Jaipur is the capital of the state of Rajasthan and takes its name from its founder Jai Singh II. Jaipur is known as the “Pink City” on account of the distinctive colour of its buildings. It dates back to 1856 when the city was given a wash of pink in honor of a state visit from Prince Albert.At rest of day at leisure for independent activities. Relax or enjoy a cycle rickshaw ride through the bazaars. Jaipur is renowned for textile block printing, semi-precious stones, local crafts and spices. Overnight at hotel.
After breakfast we will go for an excursion to Amber Fort. The Fort offers a fascinating insight into the lifestyle of the Moghul ruling families. The construction was started by Man Singh I. in 1592 and completed in the early 18thcentury. We will ride up to this hilltop palace on a caparisoned, painted elephant, passing through the ancient main gate where Maharajas of Jaipur have entered.
Later we proceed on a tour of the City Palace in the heart of the old city. The Palace is a blend of Rajasthani and Moghul architecture. After we will see Jantar Mantar, the largest and the best preserved of the five observatories (built by Jai Singh II.) in different parts of the country.
A highlight of our stay in Jaipur will be the visit of Hawa Mahal. The ornamental facade of this “Palace of Winds” is a prominent landmark in Jaipur. The palace has 953 niches and windows. Built in 1799 by Pratap Singh the Mahal was a royal grandstand for the woman in the palace. Overnight at hotel.
(221 km/ 4 h)
After breakfast at hotel we drive to Agra and visiting en-route Fatehpur Sikri.Built during the second half of the 16th century by the Emperor Akbar, Fatehpur Sikri (the City of Victory) was the capital of the Mughal Empire for only some 10 years. The complex of monuments and temples, all in a uniform architectural style, includes one of the largest mosques in India, the Jama Masjid. An Epic on Red Stone – this is Fatehpur Sikri. You’ll be impressed.
Continue drive to Agra (35 km) and check in at the hotel.Agra is a city on the banks of the Yamuna River in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh. The golden age of the city began with the Mughals. It was known then as Akbarabād and remained the capital of the Mughal Empire under the Emperors Akbar. His son Jahangir had a love of gardens and flora and fauna and laid many gardens inside the Red Fort. Shah Jahan, known for his keen interest in architecture, gave Akbarabad its most prized monument, The Taj Mahal. Overnight at hotel.
Very early in the morning we will visit the Taj Mahal to see the sunrise there. Agra’s Taj Mahal is one of the most famous buildings in the world. It is one of the New Seven Wonders of the world, and one of three World Heritage Sites in Agra. After breakfast we will visit Agra Fort and later Baby Taj, located on the left bank of the Yamuna River, often described as ‘jewel box’. Near the gardens of the Taj Mahal stands the important 16th-century Mughal monument known as the Red Fort of Agra. This powerful fortress of red sandstone encompasses, within its 2.5-km-long enclosure walls, the imperial city of the Mughal rulers. It comprises many fairy-tale palaces, such as the Jahangir Palace and the Khas Mahal, built by Shah Jahan; audience halls, such as the Diwan-i-Khas; and two very beautiful mosques. Overnight at hotel.
Transfer to the Train station after early breakfast. Reach Jhansi and transfer to Orchha. Orchha was founded in the16th century by the Bundela Rajput chieftain, Rudra Pratap, who chose this stretch of land along the Betwa river as an ideal site for his capital. Of the succeeding rulers, the most notable was Raja Bir Singh Ju Deo who built the exquisite Jehangir Mahal, a tiered palace crowned by graceful chhatris. From here the view of soaring temple spires and cenotaphs is spectacular. Orchha’s grandeur has been captured in stone, frozen in time, a rich legacy to the ages. Enjoy the afternoon in this medieval city. Overnight at hotel.
After breakfast drive to Khajuraho. Check in at hotel. Khajuraho is one of the most popular tourist destinations in India. Khajuraho has the largest group of medieval Hindu and Jain temples, famous for their erotic sculpture. The Khajuraho group of monuments has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. After a break we will visit the temples. The 9th to 12th century temples of Khajuraho is the evidences of the architectural geniuses during the times of Chandela dynasty. Situated in Madhya Pradesh, Khajuraho oozes with passion, eroticism, dance and music and other finesses of creative arts depicted in sculpture and images of the temples. The 85 temples were built in North Indian ‘Nagara’ style of architecture, though only 20 of them have survived the rough weather conditions over long years of time. The two richer distinctive groups of temples are the Western and Eastern group of temples.The afternoon is at leisure. It is very interesting to walk through the old village. Or you make a trip into the surrounding area: 20 km from Khajuraho you can find Raneh Falls, are famous for the lovely rock formations on the River Ken. Besides the multihued pure crystalline granite canyon, which is 5 km long and about 100 ft deep, in varying shades of pink, red and gray, there are a number of seasonal waterfalls in the nearby wooded area making it a perfect picnic spot. Relax and spend evening watching the amazing Sound & Light Show in the Western Temple Complex. Overnight at hotel.
The morning is free for you to relax in the Garden of the hotel or to get an ayurvedic massage. Transfer in time to the airport for flight to Varanasi. Transfer at hotel and check in. The land of Varanasi has been the ultimate pilgrimage spot for Hindus for ages. Often referred to as Benares, Varanasi is the oldest living city in the world. These few lines by Mark Twain say it all: “Benaras is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend and looks twice as old as all of them put together”. Hindus believe that one who is graced to die on the land of Varanasi would attain salvation and freedom from the cycle of birth and re-birth. The city is a center of learning and civilization for over 3000 years. With Sarnath, the place where Buddha preached his first sermon after enlightenment, just 10 km away, Varanasi has been a symbol of Hindu renaissance. Knowledge, philosophy, culture, devotion to Gods, Indian arts and crafts have all flourished here for centuries. Varanasi has also been a great center of learning for ages. Many exponents of dance and music have come from Varanasi like Ravi Shankar, the internationally renowned Sitar maestro. Spend the evening shopping in the lanes of the old city and visiting the Ghats. Overnight at hotel.
In the morning drive to the Ghats and take a boat ride on the sacred river Ganges to see the cremation Ghats and witness the living traditions of one of the world oldest religions. Every morning at dawn hundreds of worshippers can be seen bathing in the sacred waters. We will be there before the sun rises! After a good breakfast we start to explore the inner city with many temples, home shrines and pilgrim shops. Life here hasn’t changed over the centuries. Afternoon we will visit Sarnath, where Gautama Buddha first taught the Dharma. Sarnath is located 13 kilometres north-east of Varanasi. While travelling to Sarnath, Gautama Buddha had to cross the Ganges. Sarnath is one of four holy Buddhist sites sanctioned by the Buddha himself for pilgrimage. All of the ancient buildings and structures at Sarnath were damaged or destroyed by the Turks. However, amongst the ruins the Dharmekh Stupa is impressive at 128 feet high and 93 in diameter. This dates from around 200 BC and is the spot where the Buddha is said to have preached his first sermon. Evening we visit the Ghats of Varanasi to witness the performance of Ganges Aarti. We enjoy a special evening cruise on the Ganges. See the Hindu devotes performing the Puja with lighted lamps. Be impressed by this incredible atmosphere. Overnight at hotel.
At morning at leisure for independent activities. At afternoon transfer to the airport for flight to Delhi. Transfer to the hotel. We spend the last hours in Delhi. Proceed for Farewell Dinner together.
Transfer to the airport. Arrival at home.