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Rajasthan, Taj Mahal Hill Stations Tour

Delhi – Mathura - Agra - Fatehpur Sikri – Jaipur - Shimla - Kullu - Manali –Dharamshala - Dalhousie – Khajjiar- Amritsar – Delhi – Home town
( 18 NIGHTS & 19 DAYS )

Details of North India Rajasthan, Taj Mahal and Himachal’s Hill Stations Tour

Day 01 : Arrival Delhi
Welcome at Indira Gandhi nternational Airport in Delhi, our representative assist and escort the group by a private a/c car and transfer to the pre-booked hotel. After check in, you will be given all the required documents related to your tour plan; he will explain all your queries about the entire tour plan. If you are arriving by morning flight, after relaxation you may opt to visit famous Swaminarayan Akshardham Temple, showcasing 10000 years of Indian glorious art, culture and harmony of mankind. Overnight at the hotel in Delhi.

Delhi, towering capital city of independent and largest democratic country in the world: India. It is one of India's modern and fastest developing cities with charismatic charm on its visitors. Delhi is located and sprawled on the both side banks of Yamuna River. The city is enriched with culture, architecture and human diversity, Delhi city is blend of ancient past of India with vibration of modern world. Delhi houses finest museums, historical monuments, sightseeing places, and temples in the country. Delhi is designed by the British architect Sir Edwin Lutyens (1869-1944) & is tree-lined & spacious. Legend has it that the Pandavas of epic Mahabharata, the august heroes, founded Delhi, in the ancient time around 1200 BC the name of the city was Indraprastha, Delhi is developed and construed time to time on 7 ancient cities of the old age.

Day 02 : Delhi:
After breakfast take a city sightseeing tour to explore this historic city, firstly visiting Old Delhi: (Shahajahanabad) the majestic Red Fort, a marvel in red sandstone, Jama Masjid, the largest and most splendid mosque in India, both built by emperor Shah Jahan of Taj Mahal fame, Rajghat, memorial of Mahatma Gandhi, where he was cremated. Later in you opt cycle rickshaw ride past through the bustling and colorful bazaar of Chandani Chowk. The sightseeing continue to explore the best tourist attractions of New Delhi include President House (Rashtrapati Bhawan), the regal residence of British rulers, a palace built for British Viceroys. India gate, this monument was built to honour and tribute to the Indian soldiers, sacrificed themselves during the Afghan war, then visiting Birla Mandir (Laxmi Narayan Temple) built by wealthiest Birla family. Humayun’s Tomb, lotus shaped Bhai’s Temple, Qutub Minar: built by Qutub-ud-din Aibek of the Slave Dynasty; in the evening witness the Light and Sound show at Red fort. The show projects splendid history of 5000 years old city, a truly memorable experience. 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 tranquillity 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 – Mathura - Agra: (210 kms 4 hours)
Today morning check out and drive to Agra, the city of world famous Taj Mahal. Enroute you may opt to stop over at Mathura- Vrindavan, the birth palace of Lord Krishna, to visit some of notable temples Bankey Bihari and Iskcon. Later continue to drive to Agra, on the way visit at ‘Sikandra, a marvelous mausoleum of Mughal Emperor Akbar, spectacularly designed structure of Hindu and Muslim architecture, afterwards proceed to Agra. On arrival, transfer to the hotel, after relaxation. Later start the tour of visiting the Tomb of Itamad-ud-Daula, 35 kms from Agra, built by Empress Noorjehan daughter of Shahjahan, this monument a tribute to her great father. Overnight at the hotel in Agra.

Agra is famous as being home to one of the Seven Wonders of the World-the Taj Mahal. Built by the great Mughal emperor Shahjahan, an eternal love story written on the shimmering marble for his wife Mumtaz. Agra is 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 is Agra Fort, Sikandra, Ram Bagh and Itmad-Ud-Daulah-35 kms away are the imperial ruins of the Mughal city, Fatehpur Sikri. The world famous town for Taj and amazing monuments of India.

Day 04 : Agra
Early morning visit world’s most popular and beautiful monument: Taj Mahal with its’ fabulous view at the time of sunrise. Taj Mahal, beautiful architectural monument among the 7 wonders of the world; this historical masterpiece is illustration of the fusion of diverse architectural styles. Taj Mahal is crown of all the loveliest buildings in the world, a symbol of eternal love. The tour continues to visit Agra Fort, was built in 1576 AD., by great Mughal Emperor Akbar, structured and designed with red stoned barricaded; in the fort you will find most splendid Pearl Mosque and various other classic example of art: Jahangir Mahal, Moti Masjid, Macchhi Bhawan, Nagina Masjid, Diwan-i-Khas, Sheesh Mahal, Diwan-e-Am, Meena Bazaar and Musamman Bhurj where from Emperor Shahjahan, prisoner of his son rebellious Aurangzeb, he put his father in the cell of Agra fort, where from he could see his love reflecting through the Taj Mahal, where his loveliest wife was cremated. In the evening one should visit Oswal Emporium to watch the replica of Taj Mahal it took 10 years for the artists to built this artistic epitome, also enjoy light and sound show “Mohabbat-the-Taj: the saga of love”, the only show of its kind in India! Later return to the hotel for overnight stay.

Note: Taj Mahal is closed on every Friday.

Day 05 : Agra - Fatehpur Sikri - Jaipur (240 kms 5 – 6 hours)
After breakfast check out the hotel and drive pink city Jaipur. Enroute stop over at Fatehpur Sikri, the old deserted town of the Mughal kingdom, built in red sandstone in honour of Saint Salim Chisti who blessed birth of 3 sons to Emperor Akbar, is an example of robust stability combined with originality. Each important structure here represents a type by itself. Notable among them is the Diwane e Khas; Punch Mahal, the Tomb of Salim Chisti, and the Buland Darwaza, one of the largest and tallest gateways in the world. In the evening you can explore the bustling market of Jaipur by cycle rickshaw ride, which is paradise for shopping lovers, Jaipur is worldly famous for hand woven carpet, precious stones, handicraft, marble, textile, blue pottery, handmade papers. Later return to the hotel for overnight stay.

Jaipur widely known as the ‘Pink City’ of India. The entire walls houses and buildings of the city were washed with pink colour for a grand and royal welcome of Prince Albert and Queen Victoria from Britain, who visited Jaipur in 1853 A.D. This splendid city as was founded in 1727 A.D by one of the greatest ruler Jai Singh II. Jaipur is surrounded by hills on three sides. Jaipur is the only city in the world, which is designed accordance of Hindu architecture science called Shilpa Shastra, the town is had been designed in rectangular shape of 9 blocks, depicting the 9 partition of universe. This fascinating city houses majestic forts, grand palaces, lavish gardens, havelis and museums, while visiting these places you will have a true vision of Royal golden past of Rajasthan.

Day 06 : Jaipur
Today after breakfast explore the Pink City with an excursion to splendid Amber Fort, situated just outside the city, built in 15th Centaury by Rajput King Man Singh, later visit another mighty and majestic Nagargarh fort, which is nearby to Amber fort. Later drive back to the main city to visit imperial ‘City Palace’, a miraculous places to witness the real Rajasthani and Mughal architecture. Present residence of the royal family of Jaipur. Distinguishing Jantar Mantar innovated and constructed by Jaipur King Swai Jai Singh, he built 5 observatories, and Jantar Mantar in Jaipur is one of them. Visiting splendid Hawa Mahal, also known ‘Palace of Winds’ built with a concept for the woman of royal families to speculate the royal ceremonies and festivals being hidden from the public eyes. City palace houses both the monuments. The afternoon is for relaxation. In the evening visit at modern artistic Birla Temple, speculator in white shimmering marble glitters during the night. Afterwards enjoy your evening at ethnic village resort: called Chokhi Dhani: designed on the theme of an ethnic village of Rajasthan with lots of traditional environment and entertainment like folk dances, puppet shows, astrology, music, astrology, camel ride, here you can enjoy the traditional Rajasthani food. Later return to the hotel for overnight stay.

Day 07 : Day: Jaipur – Samode – Neemrana- Delhi – (272 kms: 4 hrs) - Kalka (By Train):
After breakfast you may opt to take an excursion to Samode, the village is quite popular for ancient Havelis and forts with beautiful gardens located in extensive stony Aravali hills. Here you can visit to most popular splendid Samode Palace (converted into a heritage hotel) Samode Garden; you can enjoy camel ride or camel cart to see the village life and culture of Samode Village. Later drive back to Jaipur to check out the hotel and drive to Delhi, en route you can visit Neemrana Fort, enchanting the old world charm of Indian majesty and hospitality. One of the magnificent forts of Rajasthan converted into a heritage hotel, an astonishing architectural marvel. Here you can experience the adventure of India’s first ZIP Tour and have your lunch also (of your own). After visit continue to drive to Delhi, later check out the hotel and drive to Delhi, on arrival transfer to the Delhi Railway stations to board the train no. 12311 Kalka Mail departing at 2125 hrs Overnight at the board.

Samode is situated in the royal Indian state of Rajasthan around 42 km from Jaipur, the capital city. Located on way to Shekhavati, this small village is famous for its Haveli and fort. Samode is connected to Jaipur through a good network of roads. Samode is an ideal desert getaway. During the day, a camel ride through the Samode village and the surrounding countryside is a good idea. Riding this gentle animal with its rocking gait is the best way to relax on a sunny morning.

Neemrana Fort- The Neemrana Fort Palace is situated on an elevated hillock and offers magnificent picturesque views of the surrounding region. In 1467, The Chauhan's capital shifted from Mandhan to Neemrana when the fort was established by Raja Dup Raj. It was subsequently conquered by the Mughals and the Jats before reverting back to the Rajputs in 1775 when the princely state of Alwar was established. It was made into a heritage resort back in 1986 and is among India's oldest heritage resort hotels. Note: Optionally you can drive to Shimla next day 350 kms 8 hours drive, or fly to Delhi- Shimla.

Day 8 : Kalka - Shimla (By toy Train 5-6 hrs)
Arrival at Kalka at 0430 hrs in the morning at Kalka Railway station, later board toy train no: 52451 Shivalik Express at 0530 hrs from Kalka to Shimla, to enjoy a memorable journey by the heritage toy train through splendid mountains, waterfalls and greenery. Assistance on arrival at 1015 hrs at Shimla transfer to the hotel. After relaxation visit State Museum (3 kms): This houses a representative collection of Himachal's rich heritage. Exhibits include archaeological artefacts, carvings, paintings and sculptures. Overnight stay at hotel.

Note: State Museum Closed on Monday and regional holidays.

Toy Train: Taking train journey by historic UNESCO World Heritage Kalka-Shimla toy train is like travelling back in time. The Indian railway, built by the British in 1903 to access Shimla, provides one of the most picturesque train journeys in mountains of Himachal Pradesh. It enlivens passengers as it gradually winds its way steeply upwards along the narrow track, though mystical mountains and pine forest. Shivalik Express a one of luxurious and well maintained toy train, wide glass windows that open, carpent, cushioned seats, and relaxing music. It fits 120 passengers. Food is provided. There are no stops along the way.

Shimla: Shimla is bounded by Mandi and Kullu in the north, Kinnaur in the east, and Solan & Sirmaur to the south. Shimla is well known as a hub for India's tourism sector as it is among the top 10 preferred entrepreneurial locations in India. In the days before independence, Shimla was the most important British hill station, and in the summer season became the summer capital. The British in 1819A.D first discovered Shimla, but it was not until 1822 A.D that the first permanent house was erected and not until many years later that Shimla became the summer capital. The name Shimla is derived from the Himalayan Goddess Shamla a synonym of Kali.

Day 09 : Shimla (Excursion to Kufri and Naldhera)
After breakfast depart for the winter sports capital - Kufri 16 kms, where you can photograph yourself in Pahari or Himachal outfit, available on hire. You can also enjoy horse riding or Yak riding. (On own your own) Afternoon proceed to Naldhera, which is famous for its Golf Course & scenic beauty. On a clear day you can also view the Kailash Ranges. Later visit the famous Mall Road that still has some building built in the British Style. Evening will be at your leisure. Overnight stay at Shimla.

Day 10 : Shimla
After breakfast Indian Institute of Advanced Study (4 km): At 1983m, this magnificent English renaissance structure was the former vice regal Lodge. Its lawns and woodland are added attractions. A portion of the interior is also open to the public. Mashobra (12 km): At 2149m, this beautiful suburb is surrounded by thick forests. From here, a track leads down to Sipur which is an exquisite glade shaded by ancient deodar trees. There are old temples a fair is held every April. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.

Day 11 : Shimla – Kullu - Manali (280 kms: 8 hrs)
After breakfast checkout and drive to Manali. On the way you can glance scenic spots like Pandoh Dam, Mandi, Beas River, and Dashehra Maidan. Optionally en route stop over Kullu for refreshment you may also visit to Shawl factories to purchase warm cloth material. Later continue to drive to Manali, on arrival transfer to the hotel. Evening free at leisure. Overnight at the hotel.

Manali is the Northern end of the Kullu Valley and is the main resort in the area. It is beautifully situated and there are many pleasant walks around the town. Surrounded by towering peaks at arm length, Manali’s major asset is its proximity to the snowline, never more than few hours drive from the town nestling at comfortable 2050meters. It is the centre of the flourishing orchard industry a popular honeymoon destination and trailhead for numerous treks.

Day 12 : Manali
After breakfast take a sightseeing tour of Manali town, visiting Hadimba Temple, dedicated to goddess, Manu Temple of Manu Rishi (Holy man) who was the creator of human race on the earth. Tibetan monasteries, 3 colorful monasteries, on the bank of beas river you can buy Tibetan handicraft over here, Vashist Kund, it is a small village located on the left bank of river Beas renowned for its hot springs and temples. Nearby is the pyramidal stone temple dedicated to Vashist Muni. There is another Temple of Lord Ram here; if time permits you can visit to Mountaineering institute. Evening will be at your leisure or for shopping. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 13 : Manali
Today morning after breakfast take an excursion to Rohtang pass, on highway to Keylong/Leh. It offers a panorama and spectacular Mountain View. Rohtang, it is a gateway to Lahaul Spiti, Pangi and Leh valley just as Zojila pass is a gateway to Ladakh. En route Stop over to enjoy breathtaking beauty of Kothi, Rahalla Falls to enjoy the sight of fascinating waterfalls, and Marrhi. Continue to drive to Rohtang, There are a beautiful sight of glaciers, peaks and Chandra river flows down in the Lahaul valley. Slightly to the left are the twin peaks of the Geypan. Enjoy skiing and trekking and snow capped mountains. Later drive back to Manali. Evening free for leisure and relax. Overnight at the hotel.

Rohtang Pass - Situated at an altitude of 3979 mtrs above sea level and 51 kms outside Manali is the mighty Rohtang Pass - the gateway to Lahaul-Spiti valley. Open for just about four months a year, it affords a wide panoramic view of the mountains. Here one sees the majesty of the mountains at its height and splendour. At the top of the pass the air seems to glitter against the snow as you look down over herringboned ridges into the Lahaul valley. There is the beautiful Dashohar Lake left of the pass. A few km away from the pass is the Sonapani glacier and slightly to the left are the twin peaks of the Gaypan-jagged pyramid of rock, snow streaked and snow crowned.

Day 14 : Manali - Dharamshala (260 kms: 8 hrs)
After breakfast, check out of the hotel and drive to Dharamshala. A beautiful journey kisses crossing the Green Himalayas and then arrive Manali. En route bow Darshan at Baijnath and on the way to enjoy the most beautiful & picturesque part of the Himachal Pradesh, which takes you through some exhilarating scenery. On arrival, transfer to the hotel. Rest of the evening is for leisure. Overnight at the hotel.

Dharamshala came into being in 1849, when it was selected as a site to accommodate a native regiment that was being raised in the town. Dharamshala originally formed a subsidiary cantonment for the troop stationed at Kangra was fully occupied by its garrison and there was insufficient space for the civil station, a search for an alternate location was made. The ideal location for the cantonment was found at the slopes of the Dhauladhar, upon which stood an old Hindu sanctuary or 'Dharamshala' the name adopted for the town. Dharamshala stands at the foot of Dhauladhar and has a magnificent view of snowy peaks, deodar and pine forests, tea gardens and beautiful hills. The snow line is perhaps more easily accessible at Dharamshala than any other hill station in India.

Day 15 : Dharamshala
After breakfast visit the McLeod Ganj - This is best known as the headquarters of the Tibetan Government in Exile and is the home of the His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso. Dalai, Tsuglagkhang or Central Cha pel, is the exiled government's equivalent of the Jokhang Temple in Lahaska and as such in the most important Buddhist monument in McLeod Ganj. Kalachakra Temple, Kangra Art Museum, Jwalamukhi Temple (The goddess of light). The temple is topped by a golden dome and spire. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 16 : Dharamshala - Dalhousie (145 kms: 4-5 hours)
After breakfast check out the hotel and drive to Dalhousie, on arrival transfer to the hotel, later take a sightseeing tour of Dalhousie, it has charming colonial architecture, including some beautiful churches. Its location presents panoramic views of the plains- and like a long silver line, the river Ravi twists and turns below Dalhousie. The spectacular snow-covered Dhauladhar Mountains are also visible from this enchanting town. Overnight at the hotel in Dalhousie.

Dalhousie: A picturesque and popular hill station, Dalhousie was set up in 1854, as a retreat for the British soldiers and bureaucrats. Located atop the five hills of Kathalagh, Potreyn, Terah, Bakrota and Bhangora, it was named after the British Viceroy Lord Dalhousie. Surrounded by snow-capped mountains, and situated on the western side of the mountainous ranges of Dhauladhar, it is known not only for its captivating beauty, but also for the ancient temples, the valleys of Chamba and Pangi which are great trekking grounds.

Day 17 : Dalhousie (Excursion Khajjiar 26 kms: 1 hr)
Morning after breakfast take an excursion tour to Khajjiar, Often known as India's Switzerland, the exquisite glade of Khajjiar (1960m) has a circumference of about 5 km along its fringes, thick forests of deodar climb the slopes and the snow-line rests above these woods and in the centre of the glade, is a small lake fed by streams that traverse the green carpet. Khajjiar was probably a glacial bowl formed during the last Himalayan ice age and left with a lake that gradually withered away. Khajjiar is part of the notified Kalatop – Khajjiar sanctuary. The Monal Pheasant, a bird which was fairly common till recent times has become relatively difficult to spot nowadays. At Khajjiar there is a 12th century temple dedicated to Khajjair. Within the temple are life size wooden images of the five Pandav brothers. Later return to the hotel for overnight stay.

Day 18 : Dalhousie – Amritsar (200 kms 3- 4 hours)- Delhi ( By Train)
Today morning after breakfast check out the hotel and drive to Amritsar, on arrival transfer to the hotel, after relaxation visit Golden Temple - the most sacred temple for Sikhs. It is a symbol of the magnificence and strength of the Sikh people all over the world. In the evolution of the Darbar Sahib, is entwined the history and ideology of Sikhism. Then visit Jalianwalla Bagh- Martyrs’ Memorial built in the shape of eternal flame of liberty is situated on the outskirts of Golden Temple. Here about 1500 and 2000 persons who were attending a peaceful meeting during the freedom movement fell under the bullets of the British General Dyer on 13 April 1919 and the city of Amritsar. Early evening visit Wagah Border to watch Border Retreat Ceremony. The pageant of the beating of the retreat and the change of guard within handshaking distance of the Indian and Pakistani forces here makes the most charming of the spectacles as a daily evening drill. Ascertain the timings before you leave to see this spectacle since these are changed seasonally. Wagah is the only land border open between Pakistan and India. Later transfer to the railway station to board night train for Delhi. Overnight on board.

Note: Optionally you can take next day morning flight from Amritsar to Delhi and direct transfer to the airport to board the international flight for onwards journey.

Amritsar City is one of the most ancient and captivating cities of India. The holiest pilgrimage of the Sikhs, is most significant to Sikh history and culture. Gateway for the visitors coming to India on the overland route from central Asia, it soon became the centre of various commercial activities. There are various historical and religious sites in & around Amritsar. The most famous of them all in the Golden Temple which was founded by the fourth Guru of Sikhs, Guru Ramdas and completed by his successor Guru Arjan Dev.

Day 19 : Delhi – Home Town (By Air)
**** Back home with great memories. ****


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