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NORD INDIA & EXTENSION TO VARANASI





"Art and architecture: the buildings Mughal style of Old Delhi and the style Neoclassical style of New Delhi- the fabled palaces of the princes of Jaipur - the sublime beauty of the Taj Mahal in Agra - the monumental complex of temples and the erotic sculptures of Khajuraho - the encounter with the spirituality and faith on the banks of the Ganges"





Tour Lenght: 10 Nights - 11 Days
Destination tour: New Delhi-Jaipur-Bharatpur-Fatehpur Sikri-Agra-Orchha-Khajuraho-Varanasi-Delhi



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Day 1: Departure flight from your country


Day 2: flight arrive New Delhi


Arriving Delhi , you will clear customs and immigration. Leaving the airport, you will be met by our representative, holding a play card with your name on it in the arrival lounge. Arrival transfer to hotel. After check-in and breakfast, full day city tour of Delhi which is India's bustling capital city. It was from here that Hindu, Muslim and Mughal dynasties as well as the British ruled. First of all visit Red Fort - Delhi's most magnificent monument, the Red Fort, was built by Emperor Shah Jehan, in 1638 A.D. Later on visit India Gate which is a famous war memorial at the east end of Rajpath. Also visit Rajghat (the cremation site of Mahatma Gandhi ). Later on visit Lotus Temple(Bahai Temple) which is the newest most extravagant architectural wonder of the Bahai faith, located in Kalkaji, south of Delhi. The temple in white is shaped like a half opened lotus flower. Made of marble, cement, dolomite and sand, the Lotus Temple is a marvel of 20th century architecture. The lotus shaped temple in a modern and represents the Bahai faith, - an independent world religion. In the late afternoon visit Qutab Minar which is 72.5 m in height and has a mosque at the base. It is a magnificent structure whose construction started in 1199 by a Muslim King Qutab-ud-din Aibak (after whom it was named) and was finished by his heir IItutmish. Later on drive past President's House, Parliament House & Secretariat Building . Overnight at hotel.

Day 3 : Delhi Jaipur


After breakfast check-out from the hotel and drive to Jaipur. Arrive Jaipur and check-in into hotel. Rest of the day free to relax at your hotel. OR you can explore the local markets for souvenir shopping the Jaipur is famous for Je- wellery, precious stones, paintings, hand printed textiles etc. Jaipur enjoys a high reputation for the manufacture of jewellery. It is one of the most active jewel markets of the world and is famous for precious and semi-precious stones and also for the cutting, polishing and setting of these stone, particularly that of diamonds, topaz and emeralds. Jaipur brass work is of immaculate quality. The Jaipur brass worker is successful in infusing life like charm into the dull metal. Two kinds of work is done in Jaipur on brass viz. Lacquered brass carved brass. Jaipur enamel or Minakari, mostly done on gold and silver has always been a class of its own. The Jaipur artist is renowned not nonly for the purity of the colours, but also for its evenness. Jaipur is also famous for its textiles. Sanganeri and Bagru block prints are the fashion designer's craze these days. The Bandhej (tie and dye)print is very typical of the region. Overnight at hotel.

Day 4: Jaipur


After breakfast half day sightseeing of Jaipur. In the morning visit Amber Fort - The royal family's residence at Amber is only 11 km away. The palaces and forts of yesteryear, once witness to royal processions, now shine amid the splendor of modern monuments, a juxtaposition accepted quite naturally into the lifestyles of an amazing people. It is an example of fascinating blend of Hindu and Muslim architecture built in red sandstone and white marble. The highlight of the fort is the Seesh Mahal (Mirror Palace) , a palace known for its craftsmanship in mirrors. Amber is the classic romantic Rajasthanfort palace. Amber was the ancient capital of the Kachhwaha Rajputs until Sawai Jai Singh II moved down the hill to his newly created capital, Jaipur. This is one of the most magnificent destinations located on the hills just outside Jaipur. It was built by Raja Man Singh in 1600 AD and completed by Sawai Jai Singh in the 18th century. Ascend on elephant back, the hill, on which the fort is situated. Afternoon covering Hawa Mahal or "Palace of Winds," one of the major landmarks of Jaipur, although it is actually little more than a facade. The five-storey building overlooks the main street of the old city and is a stunning example of Rajput artistry with its pink, semi- octagonal, honeycombed, sandstone windows. It was originally built to enable the ladies of the royal household to watch the everyday life and processions of the city. The City Palace which is blend of Mughal and Rajasthani architecture and the royal family still lives in a part of the palace. The palace is now a fine museum. It houses a remarkable collection of textiles, paintings, manuscripts, and extraordinary weapons. On display there are two huge urns of silver, said to be the largest silver vessels in the world. Nakkarkhana-ka-Darwaza, the imposing gateway of the City Palace guarded by stone elephants, is monumental. Adjacent to the City Palace is Jantar Mantar , the ancient Astronomical O bservatory built by Raja Jai Singh, whose passion for astronomy was even more notable than his prowess as a warrior. Overnight at hotel.

Day 5 : Jaipur Bharatpur Fathepur Sikri- Agra


After breakfast check-out from the hotel and drive to Agra. En-route visit Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary - one of the finest bird sanctuaries in the world. You will enjoy a Rickshaw ride inside the Sanctuary for Bird Watching . Bharatpur is world renowned for its World Heritage listed Bird Sanctuary, the Keoladeo Ghana National Park. It is one of the finest bird sanctuaries in the world inundated with over 400 species of water birds. Exotic migratory birds from Afghanistan, Central Asia, Tibet as well as Siberian cranes, come here to spend the winters. Other common bird life to be seen are cormorants, spoonbills, storks, egrets, herons, pelicans, ibis and herons that can be spotted all over the park. Also visit Fatehpur Sikri - Built by Akbar the Great in the 16th century to serve as the capital of his vast empire, Fatehpur Sikri was mysteriously abandoned 13 years later. The mosque at Fatephur Sikri is considered a copy of the mosque at Mecca and is extremely elegant, containing elements of Hindu and Persian design. The main entrance to the complex Buland Darwaza or "Great Gateway" is reached by an impressive flight of stairs. Inscribed on the inside of the archway is the quote: "The World is a bridge. Pass over it, but build no house upon it. He who hopes for an hour, may hope for eternity." On arrival to Agra , check in into hotel. Overnight at hotel.

Day 6 : Agra


Early morning, after breakfast, visit the Taj Mahal which is India's most fascinating and beautiful masterpiece. Set amidst landscaped gardens on the banks of the Yamuna river, this edifice was built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan as a memorial to his wife, Mumtaz Mahal. After her untimely death, Shah Jahan had her mortal remains buried in this mausoleum. And after his own demise he was placed to rest next to his beloved queen in the same mausoleum. The Taj is most enthralling in the quietness of early morning. With the rising Sun the white marble changes its colour and hues and it is excellent for photography.
In the afternoon visit Agra Red Fort which is surrounded by a 70 feet high wall. It is home to the beautiful Pearl Mosque and numerous palaces including the Jahangir Mahal, Diwan-i-Khas, Diwan-i-Am and Moti Masjid. Later it was used by his son Jehangir as the seat of power. With four gates the Fort is enclosed by a double barricaded wall of red sand stone. The Jahangir Mahal is reached through an impressive gateway and its inner courtyard consists of beautiful halls, profuse carvings on stone, exquisitely carved heavy brackets, piers and cross beams.
Rest of the day free to relax at your hotel, or you can explore the local markets for shopping. Agra is also known for its fabulous handicrafts such as Marble and soft stone inlay work, gold thread embroidery (zari and zardozi), metalware, exquisite hand -knotted silk and woollen carpets and leather goods including bags, shoes and clothing. The Mughals were great patrons of arts and crafts. Empress Nur Jahan took personal interest and was an accomplished artist herself in zari embroidery work. Semi-precious and precious jewelry in Mughal style is also available. Overnight at hotel.

Day 7 : Agra Orchha - Khajuraho


After an early breakfast check-out from the hotel and drive to Khajuraho . En-route visit Orchha which is a small village, but like Mandu, it too has an old world charm and is surrounded by history. Located on an island in the Betwa river, this 16th century capital is famous for its magnificent chattris or tombs and monuments. As you drive up the road, into the city, the buildings around give a sense of what it must have been like to be in Orchha a few centuries ago. Later on continue drive to Khajuraho. The Temples of Khajuraho are India's unique gift to the world, built by the Chandela kings some 1000 years ago- which probably forms one of the best examples of Indian Erotic art. The Temples are divided into 3 parts according to location- Western, Eastern & Southern occupying 13 sq kms out of which the Western Group is the most acclaimed. Khajuraho is a World Heritage Site. Arrive Khajuraho and check-in into hotel. Overnight at hotel.

Day 8 : Khajuraho flight Varanasi


After an early breakfast check-out from the hotel and enjoy half day visit of the Western & Eastern group of Temple complex of Khajuraho . The Khajuraho temples were built during the reign of the Chandelas. While some show marks of a Shaivite sensibility, others clearly manifest the influence of Vaishnaism, Jainism, and tantrism. These temples have an architectural character distinct from that of any other group of temples elsewhere in the country. Instead of being contained within the customary enclosure wall, each temple stands on a high and solid masonry terrace. Though none of the temples are very large, they are still imposing structures because of their elegant proportions and rich surface sculpture. You will see exquisitely sculptured Temples of Kandariya Mahadeb, Laxman, Vishwanath, Parvati, Chittragupta, Varaha & Jagdamba in the western complex, dedicated to different Gods & Goddess, which presently comprises of 12 temples. The Eastern Group of temples, adjoining the Khajuraho village comprises of 3 temples each of Hindus & Jains. Later on transfer to airport to catch flight to Varanasi . On arrival you will be met by our representative, holding a play card with your name on it in the arrival lounge. Arrival transfer to hotel. In the late afternoon an excursion to Sarnath - where Buddhism first made its appearance nearly 2500 years ago and where Lord Buddha gave his first sermon to his 5 disciples. It's an important centre of Buddhism. It's remarkable that nowadays "only" 6.6 million Buddhists (on a population of 670 million with 80% Hindu). At that time Buddha came to that small village to preach the "middle" way to the Nirvana after he gained the state of enlightenment in Bodhgaya. Due to the support of the great Buddhist emperor Ashoka Sarnath developed to a big en mighty Buddhist centre, among other things as the erection of magnificent stupas and Buddhist monasteries. In the year 640 AD Sarnath was visited by a Chinese traveller who noticed that 1,500 priests accommodated here and that there was a 100m high stupa. Due to Moslem invasions and afterwards ruled by the Hindus Sarnath declined and diapered out of the history. Excavations started in 1836 by British archaeologists. In the evening enjoy boat ride on the holy river Ganges and you will be taken to the Ganga Ghats to watch evening Aarti (Hindu ritual). Overnight at hotel.

Day 9 : Varanasi


Early in the morning, enjoy a boat ride on the holy river Ganges , which presents an incredible scene as multitudes of devotees come to the river to pay homage to the Sun God. The riverfront, as seen from a boat at sunrise, is a spiritually uplifting sight. Hinduism, deep and mystical, is everywhere: in a decorated doorway; in a glimpse of a glittering temple; in the sound of a sacred bell; in the chant of the priests; and in the fragrance of flower oblations. Pass the bathing ghats where thousands of pilgrims immerse themselves in the holy water of the Ganges and the burning ghats where cremations are conducted. Later on come back to the hotel for breakfast. In the afternoon half day city tour of Varanasi. One of the holiest cities in India, Varanasi is one of the most important pilgrimage sites and also a major tourist attraction. It has been the religious capital of Hinduism since time immemorial. Situated on the banks of the sacred Ganges, Varanasi has been a center of learning and civilization for more than 2,000 years. Written records of the Skanda Purana and the Mahabharata mention its existence as long as 3,000 years ago. It is probably the oldest living city in India, and one of the world's most ancient. As a place of devotion and worship, Varanasi attracts thousands of pilgrims every year. Many Hindus in the latter part of their lives wish to spend their retirement here. The mythological name of the city was Kashi, meaning light or luminescence, and the city indeed illuminates with a spiritual light. Two rivers, the Varuna and the Assi, meet the holy Ganges River at the northern and southern tips of the city. In medieval times and until as recently as the mid-20th century, the city was known as Banares. Varanasi seems to have been the result of putting together the names of the rivers Varuna and Assi. This religious city is crowded with temples, and its labyrinth of streets swells with throngs of people. Varanasi is a city that cannot be described--only experienced. Overnight at hotel.

Day 10 : Varanasi flight Delhi - departure your destination


After breakfast rest of the morning free to relax at your hotel. In the afternoon check-out from the hotel and in time transfer to airport to catch flight to Delhi. On arrival you will be met by our representative, holding a play card with your name on it in the arrival lounge. Arrival transfer to hotel (day use). After check-in rest of the evening free to relax at your hotel or for independent activities. Car and driver will be at your disposal until departure transfer to International airport to catch flight back to home.

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11 Day : flight Leave


Depart by homebound flight



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