Alluring North India and Rajasthan Tour
Delhi – Varanasi – Khajuraho – Orcha – Gwalior – Agra – Jaipur –
Pushkar – Jodhpur – Jaisalmer – Bikaner – Mandawa – Delhi
19 Nights & 20 Days
Day 01 : Arrival Delhi
Meeting and assistance on arrival at the Delhi airport. Our representative welcomes and escorts you by a private car and transfers you to the hotel. Whilst the room keys and check-in is organized and hand over the documents and brief the tour programme to you. Overnight at the hotel.
Delhi capital city of the Federal Republic of India. It is one of India's fastest growing cities. It has sprawled over the West Bank of the river Yamuna, straddling the river. Delhi blends an historic past and a vibrant present. Delhi has some of the finest museums in the country. New Delhi was proclaimed the capital of India by the British architect Sir Edwin Lutyens (1869-1944) & is tree-lined & spacious. Legend has it that the Pandavas, the august heroes of the epic Mahabharata, originally founded Delhi, then called Indraprastha, around 1200 B.C. Present day Delhi is built around the ruins of seven ancient cities.
Day 02 : Delhi
After breakfast take sightseeing tour of historic city visiting Old Delhi: the majestic Red Fort, a marvel in red sandstone, Jama Masjid, the largest mosque in India, both built by emperor Shah Jahan of Taj Mahal fame, Rajghat - memorial of Mahatma Gandhi & a Rickshaw ride past through the silver street in Chandani Chowk, Later take a sightseeing tour of New Delhi includes Rashtrapati Bhawan, one-time imperial residence of the British viceroys; the India Gate, a memorial raised in honour of the Indian soldiers martyred during the Afghan war;the Laxmi Narayan Temple, built by the Birlas, one of India’s leading industrial families; Humayun’s Tomb, lotus shaped Bhai’s Temple , Qutub Minar , built by Qutub-ud-din Aibek of the Slave Dynasty; in the evening you can visit see light and sound show at Red fort. Return to the hotel for overnight at the hotel.
Light and Sound Show: A spectacular sound and light show at the Red Fort. Which makes the 5,000 years old history of the city come alive. Amidst the tranquility of the splendidly panoramic and historic environs of the Red Fort, select episodes from the annals of Delhi's historic and legendary past are vividly brought to life. Special effects combine with the unique ambience to make this show a hauntingly unforgettable experience.
Day 03 : Delhi – Varanasi (By Air)
After breakfast, check out from the hotel and drive to the airport to board the flight for Varanasi. On arrival, transfer to the hotel. Later take an excursion tour to Sarnath, located at 10 Kms from Varanasi where Lord Buddha gave his first sermon to the five holy men; visit at Dharmarajika Stupa The 110 ft tall Dhamekh Stupa marks the place where Buddha preached first sermon., also visit to Archaeological museum, the collection of ancient Buddhist relics and antiques comprising numerous Buddha and Bodhisatva images, also see the Ashok Pillar with 4 lions, built in 3rd Century BC., symbolize both Ashoks's imperial rule and the kingship of the Buddha. The four-lion capital was adopted as the emblem of the modern Indian republic. After visit drive back to Varanasi for overnight stay.
Varanasi: Sandwiched between the rivers Varuna and Ashi as they join the Ganges, Varanasi takes its name from its location. It is also called Kashi, the city of light, but the British, in an endeavor to simplify matters, had coined their own name for the place—Benaras. Varanasi is the city of a thousand temples. The main object of all devotees is the Kasi Vishwanath Temple. According to Hindu belief, Benaras or Varanasi as it is known is the cosmic center of the Universe. The renowned American novelist Mark Twain once wrote, "Benaras is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend and looks twice as old as all of them put together.
Day 04 : Varanasi
Early morning take a boat ride for a pilgrimage from ghat to ghat. People bathe early in the morning to offer the prayers to the rising sun. The two cremation ghats are Manikarnika & Harishchandra where funeral pyre burns day and night. Every pious Hindu believes that to die in Kashi and to be cremated on banks of the Ganges is to attain release from the cycle of birth and death. Varanasi - Hindus holiest city and one of the oldest living cities in the world. Varanasi was already old when Rome was founded, a flourishing trade centre when the Buddha came to Sarnath to preach his first sermon. It was a city of great wealth and religious important when the Chinese travellers Hiuen Tsang visited in the 7th century. Also visit the Banaras Hindu University which has an Art Gallery and the Mosque of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb built on the site of an ancient Hindu temple. Later in the evening a walk through the myriad of narrow lanes in the old city, past the many ancient temples, shrines and little shops crammed with customers looking for the famous silver & gold brocades for weddings or even for cremation cloth. Explore the oldest cultural city of India, by visiting the most famous temple; Kashi Vishvanath or Golden temple which, though off-limits to non-Hindus, can be seen from the top floor of the old house opposite it, strolling in narrow lanes of the colourful bazaar of ancient city. Followed by the Bharat Mata temple with a big relief map of India in marble, Durga temple, Tulsi Manas Mandir. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 05 : Varanasi – Khajuraho (By Air)
After breakfast, checkout and transfer to the airport to board the flight for Khajuraho. On arrival, transfer to the hotel. Khajuraho is worldly known for its magnificent temples of Erotica built between 950 A.D. and 1050 A.D. Khajuraho - The very name, Khajuraho, arouses strange dreams even in daytime. Of full bodied feminine forms frozen in stone, so real that you wonder whether they might come alive at a touch. The temples are scattered in an area of 8 sq km. after relaxation take a sightseeing tour of Western group of Templesconsisting of the massive Laxman Templededicated to lord Vishnu, the Laxmi and Varaha templesdedicated to Vishnu’s consort Laxman, the Kandariya Mahadev temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and the Chausath Yoginitemple dedicated to goddess Kali. Also visit Archaeological museumwith its collection of stone sculptures of the Chandela dynasty. Overnight at the hotel.
Khajuraho: The fascinating temples of Khajuraho, India's unique gift of love to the world, in the state of Madhya Pradesh, were built between 950 and 1050 A.D. It derives its name from the Khajur tree (the date palm tree), which can be found in abundance in the area. The divine sculptures in these temples are a tribute to Life itself, embodying everything that is sublime and spontaneous about it. With the wane of the Chandela Empire, these magnificent temples lay neglected, and vulnerable to the ravages of Nature. It was only in this century, that they were rediscovered, restored and granted the recognition that they justly deserve. Originally there were 85 temples, of which only 22 still exist. These magnificent temples dedicated to Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu and the Jain Tirthankaras. The three main compartments are the entrance (ardhamandapa), assembly hall (mandapa), and the actual sanctum (garbha griha). The temples are grouped into three geographical divisions: western, eastern and southern.
Day 06 : Khajuraho (Excursion to Panna)
Today early morning take sightseeing tour of Eastern group of Templeswhich consists of 3 Hindu and 3 Jain temples, their proximity attests to the religious tolerance of the times in general and of the Chandela rulers in particular, visit the Jain temples of Parsvanath, Adinath, and Shanti Nath. Later take an excursion to Panna National Park; About 50 km from Khajuraho, the road to Satna passes through the Panna National Park along the River Ken. Here you may opt for a jungle safari in the National Park. It contains large areas of virgin forest and a whole load of wildlife. There are tigers here but don’t count on seeing one! The numerous waterfalls in this area are popular picnic spots. The day trips from Khajuraho to the park usually include a visit to the diamond mines at Majhgawan, the Rajgarh Palace (soon to be converted into a hotel) and the temples of Panna town. Later return to Khajuraho. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 07 : Khajuraho – Orchha (180 kms: 4 hrs)
Morning after breakfast check out of the hotel and drive to Orchha. On arrival transfer to the hotel. After relaxation take a sightseeing of Orchha visiting Jehangir Mahal, Raj Mahal, Raj Praveen Mahal, Ram Raja Temple, Chaturbhuj Temple, Laxmi Narayan Temple, Phool Bagh, Dinman Hardaul's Palace, Sunder Mahal, Cenotraphs, Shahid Smarak.Orcha Palace. In the evening you can enjoy the scenic beauty of Betwa River surrounded by Sheesh Mahal, & Chattaris and Ram Temple. Overnight at the hotel.
Orcha: The medieval city of Orchha, in the state of Madhya Pradesh, seems to have frozen in time, its palaces and temples still retaining their original grandeur. Orchha had the distribution of being the capital of one of the largest and most powerful kingdoms of Central India. The Bundela Rajput chieftain, Rudra Pratap, founded the city, located by the side of the beautiful Betwa River, in the 16th century. The word Orchha means 'hidden'. When the Tughlaqs, who were ruling Delhi in the 15th century, pushed the Bundelkhand rajas out of Garkhundar, they retreated to distant Orcha.
Day 08 : Orchha – Gwalior – Agra (208 kms: 6 hrs)
Morning after breakfast check out the hotel and drive to Agra, en route visit Gwalior; sightseeing of the majestic Gwalior fort is one of the largest and mightiest forts in India. Also visit Sas-Bahu Temples are 11th-century temples of Lord Vishnu while Teli-ka-Mandir is a 300-metre-high Vishnu temple of the 9th Century. You can opt to have lunch at Gwalior; later continue to drive to Agra, on arrival check in to the hotel. Optionally in the evening you may visit to the souvenirs market of Agra, one should visit Oswal Emporium where they have built a Mini Taj Mahal inside their showroom and it took 10 years for the artists to complete the mini replica of the Taj. Overnight at the hotel.
Agra is famous as being home to one of the seven wonders of the world-the Taj Mahal. A pleasant town with comparatively slow pace, Agra is known for its superb inlay work on marble and soapstone by craftsmen who are descendant of those who worked under the Mughals. The city is also famous for its carpets, gold thread embroidery and leather shoes. Agra, and the nearby city of Fatehpur Sikri, is conveniently close to Delhi. Besides the Taj Mahal are Agra Fort, Sikandra, Ram Bagh and Itmad-Ud-Daulah.-35 kms away are the imperial ruins of the Mughal city,FatehpurSikri. Agra is an old city and it is said that its name was derived from Agrabanad, a forest that finds mention in the epic Mahabharata.
Day 09 : Agra
Early morning visit to witness incomparable Taj Mahalwith its’ speculative view at the time of Sunrise. Taj Mahal, the architectural modern day wonder of the world; this monument is a fine example of the fusion of many architectural styles is one of the wonders of the modern world. Taj, endowed it with some of the loveliest buildings in the world. The tour continues with a visit Agra Fort, designed and built by Akbar in 1565 A.D., built with barricaded wall of red sand stone; it houses the beautiful Pearl Mosque and numerous palaces including the Jahangir Mahal, Diwan-i-Khas, Diwan-i-Am and Moti Masjid. Taj Mahal is visible in all its beauty from one side of the fort. So very ironically, Emperor Shahjahan, a prisoner of his son Aurangzeb in his old age was put in a cell from where he could gaze at the Taj Mahal at a distance, from his cell in the fort. . The visit followed by Itmad-Ud-Daulah's Tomb, The tomb was built by Empress Noor Jahan, in memory of her father, Ghias-ud-Din Beg in 1622-25A.D. This ornate tomb is considered a precursor of the Taj Mahal; this small garden tomb reflects the taste and sophistication of the gifted queen. Later return to the hotel for overnight stay. Overnight at the hotel.
Note: Taj Mahal is closed on every Friday.
Day 10 : Agra - Jaipur (240 kms: 4 hrs)
Morning after breakfast checkout from the hotel and drive to Jaipur en route visit Old deserted town of Mughal Dynasty - Fatehpur Sikri built in red sandstone in honour of Saint Salim Chisti who foretold the birth of 3 sons to Emperor Akbar, is an example of robust stability combined with originality. Each important edifice here represents a type by itself. Notable among them is the Diwane Khas; Punch Mahal, the Tomb of Salim Chisti, and the Buland Darwaza. Later continue to proceed to Jaipur. On arrival transfer to hotel. After relaxing in the evening visit to Birla Temple, speculator white marble temple, glitters in the in the night, at the time of dinner visit to Chokhi Dhani - an ethnic 5 star resort serving Rajasthani & Continental cuisine with live music, astrology, games, folk dances and music, puppet shows in an ambiance of an ethnic village. Return to the hotel for overnight.
Jaipur Widely known as the ‘Pink City. This city is color washed pink to welcome Prince Albert, the consort of Queen Victoria of England who visited India in 1883 A.D. The city was founded in 1727 A.D by one of the greatest ruler Jai Singh II. Jaipur is surrounded by hills on three sides, crowned by formidable forts and majestic palaces, mansions and gardens. Jaipur is the only city in the world, which is sub-divided in to nine rectangular sectors symbolizing nine divisions of universe. Jaipur is the first planned city designed in accordance with ‘Shilpa Shastra’- epochal treatise of Hindu architecture.
Day 11 : Jaipur
Today after breakfast explore the Pink City with an excursion to Amber Fort, situated just outside the city, enjoy the experience of ride on elephant back to and from the top of the hill on which the fort is situated. Afternoon sightseeing tour of City Palace in the heart of Jaipur is known for its blend of Rajasthani and Mughal architecture. Not far away is the Central Museum. Jantar Mantar is the largest of the five observatories built by Sawai Jai Singh. The Hawa Mahal or the Palace of Winds was constructed for the royal ladies to watch the royal processions without being seen, all monuments are located in the vicinity of City Palace Complex of Jaipur. Later late afternoon is kept free to visit the famous Markets of Textiles, Gems, Carpets, and handicrafts. Jaipur is an ideal place for buying souvenirs. In the evening you may opt to explore the colourful bazaar of Jaipur by cycle Rickshaw ride. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 12 : Jaipur – Pushkar (135 kms: 3 hrs)
After breakfast, check out of the hotel and drive to Pushkar, known for world’s biggest cattle fair every year in month of November, with glorious celebration. A city of Pilgrimage from time immemorial with over 500 temples and ghats Pushkar begets a legacy of timeless architectural heritage. Pushkar radiates an ambience of peace and spirituality that casts a lure to visit again and again. On arrival, transfer to the hotel. Later take a sightseeing tour of the city visiting temple of Lord Brahma surrounded by Pushkar Lake. On the banks of the lake you will see devotees taking dip into the holy waters of Pushkar & offering prayers. Also visit the Pushkar Fair site, which is right opposite the Pushkar Lake. Then visit at Dargah of Khwaja Sahib at Ajmer ( 11 kms ) It is India’s most significant shrine for Muslims and thousands of devotees of all religions visit the holy place through the year. Legend has it that the Mughal emperor, Akbar visited the saint in the 16th century in pursuit of a boon for a child, the saint obliged the Emperor. Overnight at the hotel.
Pushkar: Amongst the grandeur of Rajasthan, discover a unique gem - Pushkar. Lord Brahma - The creator of the world in a search for his abode on earth, performed the supremely spiritual Vedic yagna at Pushkar. It is thus the site of the only Brahma Temple in the world. A city of Pilgrimage from time immemorial with over 500 temples and ghats Pushkar begets a legacy of timeless architectural heritage. Pushkar radiates an ambience of peace and spirituality that casts a lure to visit again and again.
Day 13 : Pushkar – Jodhpur (225 kms: 5 hrs)
After breakfast check out from the hotel and drive to Jodhpur, on arrival transfer to hotel. Later take an excursion tour to the Heritage Palace of Balsamand - 20 kms away overlooking the lake of Balsamand. In the evening you may opt to visit On the Rocks a garden restaurant serving ethnic food followed by live music and folk dance, located at Ajit Bhawan. Overnight at the hotel.
Jodhpur: The home of Rathors – The awesome princely city of Rajasthan. Founded in 1459 A.D. by Rao Jodha, today Jodhpur is one of the largest city of Rajasthan. Once the capital city of the Marwar State, crowning it is the imposing Mehrangarh Fort. The old city is situated at foothill of a hillock. The city built in a high wall 10kms, long with 8 gates and innumerable bastions. Umaid Bhawan Palace could be defined as Taj Mahal of North India. The city carries rich heritage and culture and flourishing industry of wood, cattle, camels, salt and agricultural crops.
Day 14 : Jodhpur – Bishnoi Village – Jodhpur (Excursion 25 kms 45 min)
After breakfast take a sightseeing tour of Jodhpur including Clock Tower, Mehrangarh Fort situated at an altitude of about 125 meters and is spread over an area of 5 sq. km and it has seven gates, Jaswant Thada is a white marble memorial built in memory of Maharaja Jaswant Singh, followed by visit to Umaid Bhawan Palace which is a majestic Palace building that presently functions as a hotel and museum. Later take an excursion to Bishnoi Village, the villagers known by cast “Bishnois” Protectors of animals, wildlife and tree, there is a list of 29 rules, among other things don't kill any animals, don't cut down green trees, take from the fields only what you need, etc. These 29 rules (Bish-noi means '29' in the Hindi language) forms the base of the Bishnoi-philosophy. Of course they are vegetarians and therefore they have great respect for all living things. Sure they keep buffaloes, sheep and goats but only for the milk, the wool and the manure. Later visit to the local handicrafts viz shoe makers, pottery hand weaving clothes and also men in their traditional attire, women clad with ancestral silver Jewellery, en-route watch and photograph wildlife black buck, chinkaras, peacock etc. freely moving in abundance of care by villagers. Later drive back to Jodhpur for overnight stay.
Bishnoi villages: the principles of the ecology were already thought of centuries ago by a survivor of a great famine which raged in 1485. His name: Jambeshwar or Jambhoji. He observed that the famine was the result of the deforestation in the region (already at that time!). He formulated a list of 29 rules, among other things don't kill any animals, don't cut down green trees, take from the fields only what you need, etc. These 29 rules (Bish-noi means '29' in the Hindi language) forms the base of the Bishnoi-philosophy. Of course they are vegetarians and therefore they have great respect for all living things. Sure they keep buffaloes, sheep and goats but only for the milk, the wool and the manure. The last one they use as fuel and as construction material for they houses. The Bishnoi people accordingly expect that the tourist respect their way of life, the nature.
Day 15 : Jodhpur - Jaisalmer (300 kms: 6 hrs)
After breakfast drive to Jaisalmer en route visit to Osian Village, ruins of an ancient city called Osian, an oasis in the desert. A drive to this ancient township takes one past undulating terrain, punctuated by desert stretches and little hamlets. Osian has 15 beautifully sculpted Jain and Brahmanical temples. Of these, the most outstanding ones are the earlier Surya or Sun Temple and the later Kali temple, Sachiya Mata Temple and the main temple dedicated to Lord Mahavira. On arrival transfer to the hotel. In the evening you can visit Gadisar Lake in the main city or the local market to acclimatize with the city atmosphere. Overnight at the hotel.
Jaisalmer, the city of the golden fort is a fantasy in yellow sandstone in the heart of the Thar Desert. Rawla Jaisal, a Bhatti Rajput King, founded the city in the year 1156 A.D. Perched atop the Trikuta Hill; it stands tall against miles of gleaming sand. The sunset has a peculiar glow here. As the night descends, the sky goes up in flames, which fade leaving a few embers, till it becomes black. A breathtaking sight indeed! Every house, here, is exquisitely carved, having filigreed work all over. These houses date back to 12th – 15th century. And hence Jaisalmer is called ’the Museum city’.
Day 16 : Jaisalmer
After breakfast take a sightseeing tour of Jaisalmer covering Jaisalmer Fort, builton the highest point of the Tricuta hill, consisting of 99 bastions. Outstanding features are Megh Durbar & various temples, Salim Singh-Ki-Haveli & Patwon-Ki-Haveli - some of the beautiful mansions with stone carving and latticework of breath taking intricacy, later after lunch drive to Sam Sand Dunes - 45 kms en route visit the ancient Temple of Lodurwa, Amar Sagar and Mool Sagar Complex, built in 1815 AD, The complex also houses a summer palace where some beautiful paintings and pictures are displayed.On arrival at Sam Sand Dunes and transfer on Camels and enjoy camel safari to discover the various sights and sounds, the ruins and the temples in and around Jaisalmer in an authentic and leisurely fashion with entertainment by folk performers, visits to villages, and chatter from colorful guides thrown in. After safari drive back to Jaisalmer for overnight stay.
Note: Optionally you can stay overnight at the Sam Sand dunes in luxury tented accommodation, enjoying the starry night with ethnic food, folk dances, bone fire and camel safari in dues in nights hours. This has to be confirmed in advance by the guests.
Day 17 : Jaisalmer – Bikaner (330 kms: 6- 7 hrs)
After breakfast checkout and drive to Bikaner on arrival transfer to hotel. After relaxation take an excursion tour to Deshnok to see the Temple of Karni Mata - at this temple rats are held sacred & roam freely within the temple complex. Spotting a white rat in this temple is believed to be lucky. Evening is free for relaxation. Overnight at the hotel.
Bikaner: This is 500-year-old town standing still in time. The rulers here built beautiful forts that echo of opulence and images of monsoon clouds in this dry land. The wealth of its architectural heritage lies in its forts, palaces and temples– magnificent creations in red and yellow sandstone, are living. Here is a temple where rats are held sacred. Today the city is known for flourishing industries of food, wool and camel breeding .The genesis of Bikaner dates back to 1488A.D, when a Rathors prince, Rao Bikaji, son of Rao Jodhaji of Jodhpur, chose a barren wilderness called ’Jangladesh’ and transformed it to a charming city called ’Bikaner’, after the founder’s name. Not only do the traditions come alive here in colourful bazaars and Havelis, Bikaner is also famous for the best riding camels in the world.
Day 18 : Bikaner – Mandawa (185 kms: 5 hrs)
After breakfast take a sightseeing tour of Bikaner covering Junagadh Fort - constructed between 1588 and 1593 by Raja Rai Singh, fort has a 986 meter long wall with 37 bastions & two entrances, Bhand Sagar Temple - The 16th century Jain temple, is the most important temple of this complex, after sightseeing drive to Mandawa, on arrival transfer to heritage hotel. In the evening a walk through the bustling bazaars and pick up things of your interest. Overnight at the hotel.
Mandawa: Founded in the mid 18th century. Manawa skyline today is dominated by an imposing mirage like fort now a heritage hotel that is maintained in the classic medieval theme with the modern luxuries. The painted archway is painted with interesting forms of paintings of Lord Krishna and his cowherds. The sprawling architecture houses a different theme in different wings. The spacious rooms are adorned by intricate interior wall paintings and mirror work with open terrace that offers a panoramic view of the whole town.
Day 19 : Mandawa – Delhi (280 kms: 6 hrs)
After breakfast take a sightseeing tour of the medieval Fort of Mandawa (Shekhwati) gradually rises on the horizon like a mirage. Mandawa is popularly known as the 'open-air art gallery' of Rajasthan. A breathtaking view of the town can be seen from the terrace of Castle Mandawa. Precious collection of arms with jade handles, traditional ceremonial costumes can be seen at the Museum at the Castle, visit to Havelis in Mandawa notably the Chokhani Saraf & Ladia Havelies. The Castle, now a 51 room’s hotel has no two rooms alike. It also houses an interesting collection of paintings, jade, costumes and antiques. Later drive to Delhi. On arrival transfer to the hotel for overnight stay.
Day 20 : Delhi – Hometown (By Air)
**** Back home with great memories. ****
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