10 DAYS/9 NIGHTS
Arrival at Delhi
The capital of India is a bustling metropolis that successfully combines the ancient and the modern in its folds. Delhi can broadly be divided into two parts, Old Delhi and New Delhi. Old Delhi was the capital of Delhi’s Muslim rulers notably the Mughals between 17th & 19th centuries. New Delhi on the other hand is referred to as the Imperial city when the British decided to move their capital from Calcutta in 1911.
Upon arrival in Delhi, you will be received at the airport and transferred to the hotel. Overnight in Delhi.
This morning after breakfast proceed to full day tour of old and New Delhi.
Visit Jama Masjid (the largest mosque of India with capacity of approx 25000 people at a time), and drive pass through the Red fort and Chandni Chowk.
Rickshaw ride in Chandni Chowk –
Chandni Chowk, the famous historic street of Old Delhi was established in the 17th century. Though built almost 300 years ago, the streets of Chandni Chowk have an irresistible kind of energy. A rickshaw ride in narrow lanes of old market. In this part of the city, enjoy the glimpse of local people having mouth-watering street food and vibrant bazaars with some old buildings. The mesh of electric wires you see looming over your heads is quite an enticing sight. The smells, the sounds and the sights are sure to create an unforgettable experience.
Spice Market Walk –
In continuation with Rickshaw ride, a small walk in largest spice bazaar of Asia, seated very close to the magnificent Red Fort and Jama Masjid – this place is not only a wholesale market for spices, but is also a very popular tourist destination. To watch how spices of different colours, aroma and flavour are loaded by rusty hands, carried and unloaded – is a magical marvel in itself.
Continue to New Delhi to see the colonial architecture that defined the British era in India. Visit Raj Ghat (memorial to Mahatma Gandhi, known as the father of nation) . Drive pass through President House (formerly the viceroy’s residence) and India gate (memorial to the Indian army soldiers who died in the World War I) and some more colonial buildings.
A short visit to a Hindu and Sikh temple. Laxmi narayan temple, known as Birla Mandir, a famous temple dedicated to hindu deities. Then visit to a famous Sikh Temple, known as Gurudwara Bangla Sahib, to see the Sikhs. Sikhism is a progressive religion (and in many respects, ahead of its time). At Bangla Sahib, you will see how this religion blends practices from Hinduism and Islam into something new. You can watch (and join if you like) the langar, the voluntary group cooking and feeding program at the Gurudwara.
Qutub Minar Complex-
After lunch,proceed to visit Qutub Minar the tallest stone tower erected by first Islamic rulers of India and still the most imposing, artistically carved and engraved sandstone pillar.
and the ruins of Quwat-ul-Islam ( Might of Islam) Mosque.
Overnight at hotel.
Delhi-jaipur (258 Kms)
After breakfast drive to Jaipur.
Maharaja Jai Singh II built Jaipur in the 18th century. It is a planned city built with ancient Hindu rules as the colonial capital of a richly colourful state. The whole city was painted pink to welcome the visit of Prince Albert in 1853.
On arrival in Jaipur, check in the hotel. Overnight at hotel.
This morning after breakfast visit the Amber fort built in 16th century. Located approximately 11km outside Jaipur, this majestic monument was created using elements of both Hindu and Islamic architecture and design. Murals, frescos and paintings depict daily life of a bygone era on walls also etched with carvings and decorated with mosaics and mirror work.
Enjoy an elephant ride at Amber. (Elephant ride optional).
A photo-stop at the Hawa Mahal often called the Palace of Winds and is a striking landmark. Built in 1799 by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh specifically for the women in the royal family, this building allowed them to watch the city’s processions through tiny, latticed windows and balconies without ever being seen.
In the afternoon, visit the City Palace (the principal residence of the ruling family) The City Palace Museum is a home to a priceless collection of antiques, costumes and armoury of the Mughals and Rajputs. It also has an art gallery that displays a collection of miniature paintings. Later visit Jantar Mantar, a UNESCO World heritage site. It’s a stone astrological and astronomical Observatory built by Maharaja Jai Singh in the 18th century. You can experience the carpet weaving, the block printing demonstration and the Turban wearing which plays a vital role in the Rajasthani life. Rest of the evening is at leisure. Enjoy the Dinner with folk dance performed by various artists (Optional). Stay overnight at hotel.
Jaipur- Agra via Fatehpur Sikri (237 Kms)
After breakfast drive to Agra, capital of the mighty Mughal Empire and currently home to some of the world’s top tourist sites.
En-route visit Abhaneri village. The Chand Baori is a step well which is regarded as a unique invention of the people of Abhaneri; it was created for rainwater harvesting. This colossal step well has a depth of 20 meters, with 13 levels. Chand Baori is regarded as one of deepest and largest step wells in India. Despite being so huge, the well still has delicate and intricate carvings which are a visual treat. Various structures are also built around the step well.
Further, on the way, visit Fatehpur Sikri, the abandoned capital from the Mughal Empire between 1570 and 1586. Akbar built this city to celebrate the birth of his son and future heir to the throne, Emperor Jahangir. While Akbar is believed to have been illiterate, he took great interest in the arts and architecture; Fatehpur Sikri is one of his masterworks. Sadly, it served as capital for little more than a decade, eventually abandoned for lack of accessible water.
On arrival in Agra, check in the hotel. Overnight at hotel.
Sunrise visit to Taj Mahal (Closed on Friday). Built out of white marble by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal, The entire monument is a masterpiece of symmetry. Tajmahal, perhaps the most photographed monument in the world. Tajmahal’s glory and its beauty surpasses beyond all human imaginations.
Later visit Agra Fort, one of the largest fort in India, built by Emperor Akbar. Agra Fort served as the residence of Mughals for successive three generations. Also enjoy marble craftsmanship with the demonstration of the inlay work. Overnight at Hotel.
Itmad-ud-daula Tomb and Mehtab Bagh
After lunch, visit Itmad-ud-Daulah Tomb, also known as the ‘Baby Taj’, the first Mughal structure totally built from marble. Late afternoon you can enjoy different shade of Taj Mahal from other side of river Yamuna. Overnight in the Hotel.
Agra – JHANSI –ORCHA-KHAJURAHO (train + drive)
After breakfast, transfer to the railway station to connect train Bhopal Shatabadi – 0817 / 1048 Hrs to Jhansi. On arrival, visit temples of Orcha. Later continue drive to Khajuraho. On arrival in Khajuraho check in at the hotel. Khajuraho is the home to the most famous erotic temples built in the 10 & 11th century by the Chandella Rulers. Overnight in the hotel.
After breakfast, visit The Eastern Group of temples mainly dedicated to the Jain teachers – Tirthankaras – The Parsvanatha Temple, the Adinatha Temple and the Santinatha Temple. The temples are ornately carved on the outside with beautiful figures of Hindu gods, goddesses. Also visit the Western Group of temples, which consist of a group of artistic temples built in sandstone. The sculptures of Hindu deities, dancers and musicians appear to be so natural as if they would come alive any time.
Later transfer to the airport to connect flight to Varanasi, on arrival check in at the hotel.
In the evening walk through the oldest and most famous narrow and winding lanes of the city, past the endless human panorama – pilgrims, worshipers, sadhus, children selling flowers and floating lights to place in the river – to arrive at the ghats at the Ganges to witness the Aarti Ceremony which is part of the evening pooja or prayers. During the ceremony deepas (oil lamps) are offered to Mother Ganga with thanks and devotion for the light of the sun and for her divine light. As the aarti fire ceremonies take place, bells are rung and chanting and singing provide a fascinating, magical and spiritual conclusion to the day’s end. Overnight stay in the hotel.
Today early morning, experience the life of this ancient city. See the beauty of the rising sun on the Ganges Boat Ride. Experience the early morning rituals of the Hindus being performed, thousands of people taking a bath in the holy river believing they will be free from the circle of rebirth. It is interesting to see the pilgrims offering sweets, flowers and holy water to the Sun God.
After breakfast, take an excursion trip to Sarnath, 9 km from Varanasi, one of Buddhism’s major centers in India. Evening at leisure.
Optional: Visit the Ganga Ghat again for Aarti ceremony.
Overnight in Hotel.
Varanasi- Delhi (flight)
After breakfast, transfer to the airport and connect flight to Delhi. On arrival in Delhi transfer to International Airport and connect flight for onward journey.
• 9 nights accommodation on twin sharing basis.
• Daily breakfast.
• All transfer and sightseeing by air-conditioned vehicle.
- Services of local English guide (or Tour manager for Groups) for the sightseeing.
- Rickshaw ride in Delhi.
- Elephant ride in Jaipur.
- Boat ride in Varanasi
- Demonstration of Marble craftsmanship in Agra.
- Demonstration of Carpet weaving and block printing in Jaipur.
- Service tax.