• aurangabad-ajanta
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21 Days Extensive India Vacation Tour

21 Days Extensive India Vacation Tour


Itinerary Summary

India has a horde of cities worth visiting. The cities carry their own historical and present importance. If you wish to head on a tour to witness the best cities in India, head on an extensive India tour. The cities covered under this tour are Mumbai, Cochin, Aurangabad, Jodhpur, Jaipur, Udaipur, Delhi and Agra. Covering the major attractions in these cities, the tour promises a wonderful experience. Get to see different cultures and variations in each city as you enjoy finger licking good food at each place. The tour offers a luxurious and comfortable stay with sight seeing and can well be the best gift you can give to your family.

SUGGESTED HOTELS:
 

Destination

Luxury & Theme Hotels

Nights

Mumbai

TAJ MAHAL (HERITAGE WING)

02

Cochin

BRUNTON BOATYARD

03

Aurangabad

TAJ RESIDENCY

03

Udaipur

OBEROI UDAIVILAS

03

Jodhpur

TAJ UMAID BHAWAN PALACE

02

Jaipur

OBEROI RAJVILAS

02

Agra

OBEROI AMARVILAS

02

Khajuraho

TAJ CHANDELA

01

Varanasi

TAJ GANGES

02

Delhi

IMPERIAL

01 & 1/2


TOUR PRICING: (PER PERSON IN US$)

PARTICULARS

TOUR PRICE

Sharing a double room / suite as applicable

15555

  • Day 1:

    Arrive at Mumbai

    We will receive you at the international airport in Mumbai early in the morning.

    Transfer to hotel and relax for the rest of the night. Its young, its lively and a confluence of varied cultural currents and cross currents have given Mumbai a unique position of the most multi-ethnic city of India. The capital city of Maharashtra State, formerly known as Bombay lies in the southwestern part of India and occupies a peninsular site originally composed of seven islets lying off the Konkan Coast of western India. Oozing with the self-confidence of a maverick moneymaker and "Bindass" (carefree) attitude, Mumbai is also country's financial and commercial hub and has a principal port on the Arabian Sea.

    Proceed for a city tour of Mumbai after a relaxed breakfast.

    Mumbai Fort: The area north of Colaba is known as Mumbai Fort, since the old British fort was once located here. There are a lot of impressive buildings from Mumbai's golden period here. St. John's church, dedicated to the soldiers, who laid down their lives in the Sindh campaign of 1838, and the first Afghan war of 1843, is also worth a visit.

    Marine Drive in Mumbai: Marine Drive located in the central Mumbai, built in the 1920s and 30s on land reclaimed from the sea, is Mumbai's most famous thoroughfare. It is also referred to as the Queen's Necklace because of the dramatic line ofstreet lamps lit up at night. Recently it has come to known as Netaji Subhashchandra Bose Road with Nariman Point on one end to Babulnath, at the foot of Walkeshwar on the other.

    Gateway of India: Mumbai's principal landmark, the Gateway of India is a huge archway on the water's edge at Apollo Bunder. It is the starting point for most tourists who want to explore the city. This famous monument was built to commemorate the visit of the first ever British Monarch, King George V and Queen Mary in 1911.

    Chowpatty Beach: Chowpatty beach situated at the end of Marine Drive has a moderate expanse of sand and is the only beach in the central part of Mumbai. One can witnesses many Hindu religious ceremonies taking place at Chowpatty like the Annual Thread-Tying Ceremony initiating young boys into the Brahmin caste, 'Nariel Purnima' towards the end of the monsoons and 'Ganesh Chaturthi' immersions.

    Flora Fountain/ Hutama Chowk: This fountain situated in the heart of the city was erected in 1869 in honour of a British Governor of Bombay. Sir Brtle Frere. Flora Fountain marks a junction of five streets and known as the 'Picadilly Circus 'of Mumbai, which is decorated at its four corners with mythological figures, the Fountain is a structure in dull stone with a figure the Roman Goddess of flowers, at the top.

    Hanging Gardens in Mumbai: Also known as Pherozeshah Mehta Gardens, the Hanging Gardens were built in 1880 and renovated in 1921. These gardens are popularly known as Hanging Gardens, because of their location on the slope of a hill. The terrace garden looks south from Malabar Hill towards Colaba, and affords a panoramic view of the city or a breathtaking sunset. It is built over three reservoirs, which store 30 million gallons of water pumped here for cleaning before being supplied to the town.

    Victoria Terminus/Western Railway Station: At the site of the Koli's original temple to Mumba Devi now stands Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus - one of Mumbai's most prominent buildings and architecturally one of the finest stations in the world. It is built in a style that combines Gothic and Indian influences. It was completed in 1885. Designed by F.W. Stevens the building commenced in 1878. This Italian gothic Building has a frontage of over 1500 feet. The administrative offices form three sides of a rectangle enclosing an ornamental garden, the entrance gate guarded by a massive stone Lion and Tiger. The most prominent feature of this building is the high 160 feet dome crowning the centre. On top of the giant dome is a figure of a women with a torch held aloft to symbolise progress.

    Mumbai High court: An attractive building in early English Gothic style, situated next to the Oval Ground is well worth a visit for its impressive architecture. Statues representing Justice and Mercy surmount the Central structure.

    Rajabai Clock tower: Rajabai Clock tower, situated at the gardens of the Bombay University building rises above the portion of the library section. Consisting of five elaborately decorated storeys the tower is 280ft.in height. The top of the cupola is ornamented with sixteen statues depicting various Indian castes.

    Finish the tour and then in the afternoon and return to the hotel.

    In the evening enjoy the beach close to the hotel.

    Chowpatty Beach: Chowpatty beach situated at the end of Marine Drive has a moderate expanse of sand and is the only beach in the central part of Mumbai. One can witnesses many Hindu religious ceremonies taking place at Chowpatty like the Annual Thread-Tying Ceremony initiating young boys into the Brahmin caste, 'Nariel Purnima' towards the end of the monsoons and 'Ganesh Chaturthi' immersions.

    Enjoy the local flavor and a horse drawn carriage ride.

    Overnight will be in Mumbai.

  • Day 2:

    Mumbai – Cochin

    Breakfast will be at the hotel.

    Take flight to Cochin.

    Arrive Cochin and transfer to Hotel.

    The eventful history of this city began when a major flood in AD 1341 threw open the estuary at Kochi, till then a land locked region, turning it into one of the finest natural harbors in the world. Kochi thus became a haven for seafaring visitors from all over the world and became the first European town-ship in India when the Portuguese settled here in the 15th century.

    The Dutch wrested Fort Kochi from the Portuguese in AD 1663 and later in the last phase of the colonial saga, the British took over, the town in 1795. During 1660's, Fort Kochi peaked in stature as a prime commercial centre and its fame spread far and wide - variously as a rich trade centre, a major military base, a vibrant cultural hub, a great ship building centre, a centre for Christianity and so on. Today, centuries later, the city is home to nearly thirteen communities.

    In the early evening proceed for a private harbor cruise.

    Enjoy watching the dolphins, the fishing island and the Bolghatty Palace. Cruise till the mouth of the sea and enjoy the sunset.

    Overnight will be in Cochin.

  • Day 3:

    Cochin

    Breakfast will be at hotel.

    Today you will visit Cochin, one of the oldest Jewish communities in the world. The Jewish community traces its history to nearly 2000 years ago. In 1948 the community numbered 2500 and today there are fewer that 30 people. The community is still centered round JEWTOWN where you will visit its crown Jewel, the Paradesi Synagogue. Built in 1568 and reconstructed after a Portugese bombardment in 1662, the synagogue is distinguished by its tile roof and bell tower. The small synagogue is also known for its hand-painted, willow-patterned, blue and white Chinese floor tiles, and the many brass and crystal lamps that hang from the ceiling. Later visit the interesting International Pepper Exchange, also located in Jewtown.

    A few other interesting sites included in the tour are the:

    Chinese fishing nets: The Chinese fishing nets erected on teak wood and bamboo poles work on the principle of balance. Records say they were first set up here between AD 1350 and 1450. Vasco Da Gama Square, the narrow promenade that parallels the beach, is the best place to watch the nets being lowered and pulled out of the sea.

    The Vasco Da Gama Square, Santa Cruz Basilica, St. Francis Church, VOC Gate, Bastion Bungalow etc. are also nice for sightseeing. Take a boat ride and visit BOLGATTY PALACE and VYPPIN ISLAND.

    In the evening proceed for KATHAKALI DANCE PRESENTATION. Over night stay at hotel.

  • Day 4:

    Cochin

    Excursion to the magical backwaters

    Proceed for Aleppey by surface after a leisurely breakfast.

    Board the houseboat. Our backwater journey will start from Aleppey (also known as Alappuzha) which is known as the Venice of the East. It was here that traders from across the seven seas came in search of black gold and souvenirs.

    Plunge into a crystal maze of one of the greatest gifts of nature that god has bestowed upon us. As the boat glides silently forward through the largest vast expanse backwater body, The Vembanad Lake, you will drift into a world of peace andserenity. At this point, we will serve you the mouth watering local cuisine and you will agree that it is truly God’s own country.

    After a short siesta be prepared for the most fascinating journey through the panoramic view of the paddy fields admiring duck farming, watching divers diving for mussels via Mangalam, Chithira, R-block and C block with a cup of steaming tea/coffee in your hand.

    On our way a stop at the St. Mary’s Church at Champakulam is a must. One of the oldest churches in Kerala, the St. Mary’s church is believed to be one of the seven established by St Thomas. You will see the 130 feet long snake racing boat here as they originally belong to this place.

    Drive back to Cochin and transfer to hotel. Overnight will be at Cochin.

  • Day 5:

    Cochin – Mumbai

    Mumbai – Aurangabad:
    By Flight

    Breakfast will be at the hotel.

    Proceed to the airport for flight to Mumbai. Reach and check into the hotel close to the airport.

    In the afternoon visit the FILM CITY which is famous for the HINDI MOVIE SHOOTINGS. Enjoy the day and in the evening take flight to Aurangabad.

    Reach and check into the hotel.

    The city of Aurangabad was founded in 1610, on the site of a village, Khirki by Malik Ambar - the Prime Minister of Murtaza Nizam Shah II. When Fateh Khan, Malik Ambar's son turned successor in 1626, he gave the city the name 'Fatehpur'. Later in 1653, when Prince Aurangzeb became Viceroy of the Deccan, he made the city his capital and called it Aurangabad. Aurangzeb added the walls that enclose the central part of the city in 1686 in order to withstand attacks from the Marathas. There are four principle gateways to the city - the Delhi Darwaza, the Jalna Darwaza, the Paithan Darwaza and the Mecca Darwaza. Nine secondary gateways also formed a part of the defensive system of this city.

    Aurangabad district has always been a prominent region on the Deccan plateau. Having been inhabited since the Stone Age, it has a long artistic and cultural history - to which several dynasties have made major contributions over the years. Maurya rule marked the arrival of Buddhism in Maharashtra.

    Aurangabad today is a bustling city of Maharashtra with diverse big and small industries, fine silken textiles, and exquisite hand woven brocades of silver and gold fabrics, Himroo of world frame. To scholars and lovers of art and culture the city is more familiar as the gateway to the ancient caves of Ajanta and Ellora, both famous as treasure houses of Indian Art and Sculpture.

    Overnight will be at Aurangabad.

  • Day 6:

    Aurangabad

    Breakfast will be served at the hotel.

    Proceed for a full day sightseeing with excursion to Ajanta Caves.

    Ajanta caves: Nestling in an inner fold of the Sahyardi hills, 100 km from Aurangabad in the shape of a mammoth horse- shoe, are the 30 rock-hewn caves of Ajanta. The Caves date from the 2nd century BC. Discovered in 1819 by a group of British army officers, these startling achievements took around 600 years to create. Carved with little more than a hammer and chisel, Ajanta, once the retreat of Buddhist monastic orders features several 'chaityas' (chapels) and 'viharas' (monasteries). The exquisite wall and ceiling paintings, panels and sculptures of Buddha's life are famous throughout the world as the earliest and finest examples of Buddhist pictorial art.

    Return to Aurangabad and visit the Daulatabad Fort.

    Once known as 'Devgiri', this magnificent 12th century fortress stands on a hill just 13 km. from Aurangabad. It was given the name Daulatabad, the 'city of fortune', by Muhammad Tughlaq, Sultan of Delhi. Initially a Yadav stronghold, it passed through the hands of several dynasties in the Deccan. One of the world's best preserved fort of medieval times, surviving virtually unaltered, Daulatabad yet displays the character that made it invincible. This is a Fortress that was conquered only by treachery. A series of secret, quizzical, subterranean passages lie coiled like a python amidst the fort. Here flaring torches were thrust upon an unwary enemy. Or hot oil poured down his path, as he deliberated in the labyrinth. Also the heat from a brazier was blown into the passage by a process of suction suffocating the entire garrison within. The Fort itself lies in the body of an isolated hill; the steep hill - sides at the base falling so sharply to the moat that no hostile troops could scale the height. The moat, 40 ft. deep with mechanical drawbridges teemed with crocodiles. A 5-kilometer sturdy wall, artificial scarping and a complicated series of defenses made Daulatabad impregnable. The 30-meter high Chand Minar (Tower) built much later with 3 circular galleries had a defensive and religious role in the fortress.

    Overnight will be at Aurangabad.

  • Day 7:

    Aurangabad

    Breakfast will be at the hotel.

    Proceed for a visit to the Ellora Caves, Daulatabad Fort and Aurangabad Caves.

    Ellora Caves: Impressive in their own right is the rock-hewn temples and monasteries of Ellora that lie just 30 km away from Aurangabad city. In all, there are 34 cave temples, 12 Mahayana Buddhist caves (550-750 AD), 17 Hindu caves (600-875 AD) and 5 caves of the Jain faith (800-1000 AD) 22 more caves, dedicated to Lord Shiva, were recently discovered. Kailas Temple (cave16), the central attraction at Ellora, is the most remarkable. Chiseled by hand from a single massive rock, it includes a gateway, pavilion, courtyard, vestibule, sanctum, sanctorum and tower which bear testimony to the excellence of Dravidian art. It is believed to have taken 7000 laborers, working in continuous shifts and 150 years to build. Ever since the first European visitors in 18th Century, Ellora has attracted chroniclers, antiquarians, scholars and in more recent years, ever- increasing number of tourists.

    Aurangabad Caves: The almost forgotten caves of Aurangabad lie just outside the city. Excavated between the 2nd and 6th century AD, they reflect TANTRIC influences in their iconography and architectural designs. In all there are nine caves which are mainly viharas (monasteries). The most interesting among these are Caves 3 and 7. The former is supported on 12 highly ornate columns and has sculptures depicting scenes from the legendary 'Jakata' tales. Cave 7 with its detailed figures of bejeweled women also has a dominating sculpture of a 'Bodhisattva' praying for deliverance.

    In the evening enjoy the TEXTILES tour in the city. Overnight will be in Aurangabad.

  • Day 8:

    Aurangabad – Mumbai

    Mumbai – Udaipur:
    By Flight

    Proceed to the airport for flight to Mumbai after breakfast.

    Reach and we will transfer you around for a short tour of the FILM CITY and lunch before taking you back to the airport for flight to Udaipur.

    Reach Udaipur and check in to hotel. The city of Dawn, Udaipur is a lovely land around the azure lake, hemmed in by the lush hills of the ARAVALLIS. A vision in white drenched in romance and beauty, Udaipur is a fascinating blend of sights, sound and experiences and inspiration for the imagination of poets, painters and writers.

    Its kaleidoscope of fairy-tale palaces, lakes, temples, gardens and narrow lanes strewn with stalls, carry the flavor of a heroic past, epitomizing valor and chivalry. Their reflection in the placid waters of the LAKE PICHOLA is an enticing sight.

    Udaipur is the jewel of MEWAR -a kingdom ruled by the Sisodia dynasty for 1200 Years.

    Overnight stay will be at Udaipur.

  • Day 9:

    Udaipur

    Breakfast will be at hotel.

    Proceed for sightseeing tour of Udaipur, stopping first at City Palace. Here you will marvel at rooms with mirrored walls and ivory doors, colored glass windows and inlaid marble balconies and the Peacock Courtyard.

    Also visit the lovely Sahelion-ki-Bari Gardens, the Jagdish Temple and the local folk Museum.

    Proceed for Evening Motor launch cruise on the placid waters of Lake Pichola. From the boat you will be able to view the city of Udaipur as it rises majestically above the lake in the middle of the Rajasthan desert. Also visit the Jag Mandir - the other island palace in the middle of the lake and spend some time. (Currently water level is very low and is subject to increase water level)

    Enjoy the visit to the CENOTAPHS of the royal rulers and in the evening proceed for a dinner with dances show.

    Overnight will be at Udaipur.

  • Day 10:

    Udaipur

    Breakfast will be at the palace.

    Spend the day relaxing at the beautiful spa hotel and you could go out for exploring the old city also.

    A visit to the DEVIGARH PALACE close to the city will be a beautiful experience too and you could have dinner there. The village here is very rustic.

    Overnight will be at Udaipur.

  • Day 11:

    Udaipur – Jodhpur

    (250 km in 6 hr )

    Drive to Jodhpur after a relaxing breakfast.

    On your way you will stop at the beautiful temples of RANAKPUR for sightseeing.

    The RANAKPUR TEMPLES, dating back to the 15th century have 200 pillars, none of which are alike, support its 29 halls. The Temple abounds with intricate friezes and sculptures. Includes visits to two more Jain temples and the Temple of the Sun God with its erotic sculptures.

    Enjoy a hot lunch in a nice village restaurant or at the FATEH BAGH PALACE and continue drive to Udaipur.

    Continue drive to Jodhpur and reach later in the afternoon and in the evening relax at the palace.

    Set at the edge of the THAR Desert, the imperial city of Jodhpur echoes with tales of antiquity in the emptiness of the desert. Once the capital of the Marwar state, it was founded in 1459 AD by Rao Jodha – chief of the RATHORE clan of Rajputs who claimed to be descendants of Rama - the epic hero of the RAMAYANA. The massive 15th century AD Mehrangarh Fort looms on the top of a rocky hill, soaring 125 Mts. Above the plains. The city is included by a high wall -10 km long with 8 gates and innumerable bastions.

    Enjoy the dinner at MEHRAN PALACE on top of the fort.

    Overnight will be at Jodhpur.

  • Day 12:

    Jodhpur

    Enjoy breakfast at the hotel.

    Morning sightseeing tour of Jodhpur – gateway to the desert beyond, home of the Rathors of Marwar, visit the Mehrangarh Fort, rising up a hilly scarp, built on the advice of a hermit, overlooking the city in the image of a long sentinel. Inside the Fort are a number of palaces added by successive rulers. In this palace you would see different miniature paintings & cradle room. After this you would visit Jaswant Thada Memorial.

    Enjoy the palace museum in the afternoon.

    Overnight will be at Jodhpur.

  • Day 13:

    Jodhpur – Jaipur

    (250 km in 6 hr)

    Enjoy the breakfast at hotel.

    Drive to Jaipur at leisure and on your way you will visit CHATTRASAGAR.

    The fort of Nimaj was built in 1733 by the valiant ruler- Thakur Jagram Singh. Situated in the heart of the town, it is a massive structure built in traditional Rajput style with courtyards and separate wings for men & women. The little township is surrounded by places of historical interest, like the 9th century temple Magar Mandi, 3 kms away. Visit nearby villages to see local craftsmen at work & a little further see blackbucks, blue bulls etc. Lakes in the desert region are a rarity having their own charm. Chhatra Sagar, 4 kms from the fort is a beautiful water body nestled between two hillocks. Built as a summer retreat, the lush green lawn, flowering trees and clear waters are like an oasis in the otherwise dry region. Boating and angling is possible. It is surrounded by lush green fields and vast grazing pastures. Chhatra Sagar, a hundred-year old reservoir with a periphery of about 10 kilometers, is an ideal destination for nature lovers and a perfect getaway from the chaotic city life.

    Watch the birds, go for nature walks and experience the warm hospitality, and enjoy some truly delicious Indian and traditional Rajasthani meals cooked with farm fresh vegetables in the family kitchen.

    Continue drive to Jaipur.

    Jaipur is the capital of the state of Rajasthan a romantic realm of resplendent palaces, mighty fortresses and regal Maharajahs that lies in the western deserts and is an utterly unique part of India. Proudly belonging to the KSHATRIYA warrior caste and fiercely independent, the Rajput princes made fearsome foes. However, many of them realized that to maintain their wealth and authority locally, it was expedient to proclaim allegiance to the central power. Thus, many enjoyed a privileged position under the Mughal emperors and also the British Raj that followed.

    The bustling Rajasthan capital of Jaipur takes its name from its venerated founder Jai Singh II, who was given the title Sawai Maharaja by the Mughal. Literally translated this would mean ’one and a quarter’, suggesting that the Mughal thought this emperor to be more valuable than just ‘one’. Jaipur is known as the ’Pink City’ on account of the distinctive colour of its buildings. This did not, however, form part of the original plan, but dates back to 1856, when the city was given a wash of pink in honor of a State Visit from Prince Albert.

    This evening, visit the Birla Temple to learn more about the fascinating religious life of Jaipur. The marble structure, built as recently as 1985, houses ornate statues including one of Lakshmi (goddess of Wealth and Beauty) and Narayan dressed in gaudy robes, representing a Hindu vision of heavenly luxury. Carvings in the temple and on pillars supporting the covered walkways include images of the Hindu pantheon, as well as Jesus, the Blessed Virgin Mary and St Francis of Assisi. Your visit will coincide with the AARTI Ceremony, which involves oil lamps being lit and waved, in order to awake and invoke the deity. Enjoy the experience and spend night at Jaipur.

    Relax in the evening and overnight will be in Jaipur.

  • Day 14:

    Jaipur

    Proceed for a morning excursion to Amber Fort after breakfast. Elephant ride ascent to the fort.
     
    AMBER FORT PALACE - Amber is the classic romantic Rajasthani fort palace. Its construction was started by Man Singh I in 1592, and completed by his descendent Jai Singh I. Its forbidding exterior belies an inner paradise where a beautiful fusion of Mughal and Hindu styles finds its ultimate expression.

    Continue sightseeing.

    CITY PALACE - A delightful blend of Mughal and traditional Rajasthani architecture, the City Palace sprawls over one-seventh of the area in the walled city. It houses the Chandra Mahal, Shri Govind Dev Temple and the City Palace Museum.
     
    JANTAR MANTAR - This is the largest and the best preserved of the five observatories built by Jai Singh II in different parts of the country. This observatory consisting of outsized astronomical instruments is still in use.
     
    HAWA MAHAL - The ornamental facade of this "Palace of Winds" is a prominent landmark in Jaipur. It is a five-storey structure of sandstone plastered pink encrusted with fine trelliswork and elaborate balconies. The palace has 953 niches and windows. Built in 1799 by Pratap Singh, the Mahal was a royal grandstand for the palace women.

    This afternoon is free for you to relax, shop or explore independently. Shopping is superb in Jaipur, particularly for gold and silver jewellery, pottery, tie-dye materials, silk, saris, wooden handicrafts and carpets.

    Overnight will be at Jaipur.

  • Day 15:

    Jaipur – Agra

    (221 km in 5 hr)

    Drive to Agra after breakfast. On your way, stop at Fatehpur Sikri.

    Fatehpur Sikri is 37 km west of Agra. Jajal-ud-din-Muhammad Akbar, Humanyun's son, accessed the throne at the tender age of 14. While hunting around Sikri his curiosity was aroused by the songs of some minstrels about the celebrated Khwaja -Mu'inu'd-din Chisti, the founder of the Chisti order of SUFIS. Akbar, who was without a male heir heard about Saint Salim Chisti and visited him in the year 1568. The saint blessed him with 3 sons and in gratitude Akbar ordered the great mosque of Fatehpur Sikri built under his supervision. As a mark of respect to the saint, Akbar shifted his capital to Fatehpur Sikri and built various secular buildings like the Diwan -I-Am, Diwan-I-Khas, Jodhabai palace, Birbal's house, Marian's house and the Panchmahal.

    Continue drive to Agra after sightseeing.

    AGRA: Two great Mughal monarchs, Akbar and Shah Jahan, transformed the little village of Agra into a befitting second capital of the Mughal Empire – giving it the name Dar-ul-Khilafat {seat of the Emperor}. Today a visitor to Agra is caught up in a world of contrasting edifices, of red sandstone and white marble, narrow galleys and quaint buggies, and that irresistible charm that this favorite city of the Mughals still retains. It is not surprising, that modern Agra still reflects its Mughal heritage most conspicuously. A walk down the narrow bustling streets of the city will introduce the visitor to the wafting aroma of Mughlai cuisine.

    Reach and check in at the beautiful spa hotel next to Taj Mahal.

    Enjoy the sunset at TAJ MAHAL.

    TAJ MAHAL: Little needs to be said about this architectural wonder which is always the soul raison-de-etre for every tourist's visit to Agra. Built by Shah Jahan, the Taj is a white marble memorial to his beautiful wife Mumtaz Mahal. This monument took 22 years to be completed and was designed, and planned by Persian architect Ustad Isa. Apart from its stunning design balance and perfect symmetry, the Taj is also noted particularly for its elegant domes, intricately carved screens and some of the best inlay work ever seen.

    Overnight will be at Agra.

  • Day 16:

    Agra

    Proceed for day sightseeing of Agra after breakfast.

    AGRA FORT - Built by the famed Mughal emperor Akbar in 1565 AD, the fort is predominantly of red sandstone. Ensconced within is the picture perfect Pearl Mosque, which is a major tourist attraction. It lies on the bend of the river Yamuna, almost in the heart of the town. Akbar built it as his citadel over the years 1563-73 in the finest architectural style. It has imposing gates and walls of red sandstone and a moat.

    After Agra Fort we will visit BABY TAJ – The interiors of which are considered better than the Taj.

    Overnight will be at Agra.

  • Day 17:

    Agra – Jhansi

    By deluxe train at 0825 hr reaching at 1040 hr
    Jhansi – Khajuraho:
    By Road 175 km in 4 hr

    Enjoy breakfast at the hotel.

    Take the deluxe express train (first class) to Jhansi which is the nearest railhead for Khajuraho.

    Start for Orchha by surface.

    It is a medieval city founded by the BUNDELA rulers with palaces and temples of the 16th & 17th century – which has remarkably withstood the onslaught of time. The town is known for its CHATTRIS which were built in the memory of the kings and the place is flanked by the river BETWA.

    Proceed for sightseeing of ORCHHA sites within the Fort Complex.

    Enjoy your lunch at Orchha.

    Drive to Khajuraho and reach by late afternoon.

    Situated in the northernmost part of Madhya Pradesh, Khajuraho is famous for its enchanting temples and its legendary Khajuraho dance festival. The name Khajuraho is derived from the Khajur tree (the date palm tree) which is grown abundantly in the region. The Khajuraho Temples are dedicated to a celebration of womanhood, her myriad moods and facets. Famous for its erotic architecture, the carvings include, women writing a letter, applying eye makeup, combing her tresses, dancing & playing with her child. Her innocent, blushed, charming, seductive, ardent beauty, all depicted in exquisitely sculptured details. These temples have been designed and carved to lead the eyes from ground level upward till you seem to be looking at heaven.

    Visit the EASTERN SET OF TEMPLES in the afternoon.

    In the evening enjoy the SOUND & LIGHT SHOW at the temple complex.

    Overnight will be at Khajuraho.

  • Day 18:

    Khajuraho – Varanasi

    Breakfast will be at the hotel.

    Visit the Western set of temples.

    The remote location of Khajuraho meant that the temples were unharmed by Muslim invaders and as a result, the intricately fine carvings are in very good condition and are said to represent life in heaven. They were built during the mighty Chandela dynasty, the majority were constructed in a sudden burst of creative and religious energy, between the mid-10th and 11th centuries. After ruling for about 500 years the Chandela dynasty fell to the might of Islam and consequently the religious centre of Khajuraho was abandoned. The temples remain as a reminder of a society that believed in the full enjoyment of life, with all the senses being a path to nirvana. Of the eighty-five original temples only 22 remain, but many are in very good condition including the Kandariya Mahadeva, the Chatrabhuj, Parswanath and Ghantai Temples, each remarkable for its beautiful design and architecture.
    Proceed to the airport for flight to Varanasi.

    Picturesquely situated on the crescent shaped left bank of the holy River Ganges, Varanasi, one of the ancient seats of learning in India, is said to be a compound of the names of two streams, the Varuna and the Assi, which still flow in the north and south of the city respectively. This name seems to have been corrupted, in medieval times to Varanasi, which was in use till May 1956, when it was changed to Varanasi, by an order of the Government of India. Varanasi is probably one of the most ancient living cities in India. From time immemorial it has been a great religious center for Hindus and one of their most sacred places of pilgrimage, being visited by millions of people every year. To every visitor Varanasi offers a breathtaking experience. The rays of the dawn shimmering across the Ganges; the high-banks; the temples and shrines along the banks bathed in a golden hue …soul stirring hymns and mantras along with the fragrance of incense filling the air…and the refreshing dip in the holy waters gently splashing at the Ghats. Varanasi – The land where experience and discovery reach the ultimate bliss. Varanasi is also renowned for its rich tapestry of music, arts, crafts and education. Some of the world – renowned exponents India has produced in these fields were schooled in Varanasi’s cultural ethos. Luminaries apart, Varanasi abounds in the art of silk weaving, an exotic work of art which manifests itself in precious Banarasi silk sarees and silk brocades which are cherished as collector’s items across the world today.

    Visit Sarnath�� 5 miles out of Varanasi: The great Buddha enhanced the sanctity of Varanasi by choosing the environs of the city to preach his first sermon at Sarnath, (only 10 Kms away) after attaining enlightenment. Later, Ashoka, the great Mauryan Emperor erected magnificent stupas and other buildings along with his mighty stone pillar, Dharmarajika Stupa. The 110 ft. tall Damekh Stupa marks the place where Buddha preached first sermon.Sarnath has been a premier centre for Buddhism. It is a rich collection of ancient Buddhist relics and antiques comprising numerous Buddha and Bodhisatva images on display at the Archaeological Museum (1000 hrs to 1700 hrs. Open all days except Friday)

    Enjoy the evening AARTI at the GHATS. The guide will be giving a commentary to you on the proceedings and meanings of the chants during the AARTI of the river.

    Overnight will be spent at Varanasi.

  • Day 19:

    Varanasi

    In the early morning drive to Daswamedh Ghat 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's oldest and most important religions. (To start at 0500 hrs. for the best lifetime experience) For you to appreciate this remarkable city, we'll transfer you to the banks of the River Ganges before the sun rises. Board a boat with your guide and proceed to the middle of the river, where at sunrise the sight unfolds before you. Thousands of faithful come daily to the banks to bathe and pray while in the background, temples and palaces rise in tiers from the water's edge. Then return for a walk through the cobblestone streets along the banks of "Ganga". As shops are opening, the place now becomes a beehive of activity as the faithful are coming and going. Visit the Kashi Vishwanath Temple while returning to the hotel.

    Return for breakfast to the hotel.

    Proceed for day guided tour of Varanasi including the Bharat Mata Temple, which features a big relief map of Mother India engraved in marble. Also visit the 18th century Durga Temple, commonly known as the Monkey Temple due to the huge population of the monkeys. Proceed to the Tulsi Manas Temple, crafted from white marble which features the entire Ramayana inscribed on its walls. Also visit the BHU considered as the biggest residential university in Asia. The University Campus houses an Art Gallery and the Mosque of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb.

    Vishwanath Temple: Dedicated to Lord Shiva, this temple is the most sacred shrine in Varanasi. The original temple was destroyed by the Mughal Emperor, Aurangzeb which was later restored by Rani Ahilyabai of Indore in the 18th century. The Gold plating of the dome was done during the 19th century by Maharaja Ranjit Singh of Punjab. Foreigner’s entry restricted.

    Banaras Hindu University: Founded by Pundit Madan Mohan Malviya it is considered to be the largest residential university in Asia. Within the university campus, Vishwanath Temple and Bharat Kala Kendra (Museum) are well worth a visit.

    Overnight will be in Varanasi.

  • Day 20:

    Varanasi – Delhi

    Enjoy breakfast at the hotel.

    Proceed to the airport for flight to Delhi.

    You will be met on arrival at the domestic 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.

    Enjoy the DANCES OF INDIA SHOW in the evening. We will meet for the FAREWELL DINNER which could be at BUKHARA in Sheraton or SPICE ROUTE in Imperial.

    Overnight will be at Delhi.

  • Day 21:

    Delhi

    After breakfast proceed for a day sightseeing tour of the city.
     
    Start with the sightseeing of Old Delhi. The tour will begin with a visit to Raj Ghat, a simple memorial to Mahatma Gandhi; drive past the Red Fort continuing to the Jama Masjid by bicycle rickshaws, one of Asia’s largest mosques. The magnificent Red Fort, overlooking the river Jamuna was built during the years 1638 - 48 when the Moghul Empire was at its peak. The tour continues to Jama Masjid, one of Asia’s largest mosques and which is viewed from the outside.

    People stream in and out of the mosque continuously and the presence of a nearby bazaar means that the area is rarely quiet.

    Enjoy the rickshaw ride at Old Delhi.

    After visiting Old Delhi, you will be driven to New Delhi, which reflects the legacy the British left behind. The division between New and Old Delhi is the division between the capitals of the British and the Mughals respectively. The division in the walled city and New Delhi also marks the division in the life-styles. The walled city is all tradition where one will be able to glean a past life-style in all its facets, colours and spells. New Delhi in contrast, is a city trying to live up to the best of 21st century standards.

    Imperial Delhi will include the Qutub Minar, the tallest stone tower in India. The tour also includes a drive past the imposing India Gate, the Parliament building and the Rastrapathi Bhawan, the President’s residence. If time permits then visit the Lotus temple located in south of Delhi. It is lotus shaped and has rightly been given the name. It is made of marble, cement, dolomite and sand. It is open to all faiths and is an ideal place for meditation and obtaining peace and tranquility. Its founder, Bahaullah (1817-1892), is regarded by Bahai as the most recent in the line of Messengers of God that stretches back beyond recorded time and that includes Abraham, Moses, Buddha, Zoroaster, Christ and Muhammad.

    Enjoy shopping during the day.

    Relax in the evening at the hotel.

    Depart by midnight and then proceed to the airport for flight home with sweet memories of India.

    TOUR ENDS


THE TOUR INCLUDES:

  1. ACCOMMODATION AT SUGGESTED HOTELS,
  2. DAILY BREAKFASTS,
  3. SIGHTSEEING TOURS AS MENTIONED IN THE ITINERARY,
  4. ALL TOURS AND TRANSFERS IN AC PRIVATE SUV,
  5. ENGLISH SPEAKING GUIDE FOR ALL MENTIONED TOURS,
  6. SARNATH EXCURSION AT VARANASI,
  7. SUNRISE & SUNSET GANGES CRUISE IN VARANASI,
  8. EVENING AARTI IN GANGES GHATS AT VARANASI,
  9. SOUND & LIGHT SHOW AT KHAJURAHO,
  10. LUNCH AT ORCHHA,
  11. FIRST CLASS RAIL TRAVEL FOR MENTIONED SECTOR,
  12. RANAKPUR EXCURSION,
  13. ALL MONUMENT ENTRANCE FEES,
  14. AJANTA & ELLORA EXCURSIONS IN AURANGABAD,
  15. ASSISTANCE AT THE AIRPORTS ON ARRIVAL / DEPARTURE,
  16. ALL APPLICABLE TAXES AND SERVICE CHARGES,
  17. DAY HOUSEBOAT CRUISE AT BACKWATERS,
  18. LUNCH ON THE HOUSEBOAT,
  19. ALL LOCAL AIRFARE IN FULL SERVICE BUSINESS CLASS,
  20. KATHAKALI DANCE SHOW AT COCHIN,
  21. HARBOUR CRUISE AT COCHIN,
  22. PRIVATE BOAT RIDE AT UDAIPUR,
  23. ELEPHANT RIDE AT AMER FORT – JAIPUR AND
  24. ALL ROAD TAXES, GOVERNMENT TAXES AND DRIVER ALLOWANCES.

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Guest Experiences
"

Guest Name: Maria Veronica Galli 
Tour Taken: Delhi - Agra - Mumbai 

Hi

Thanks for your wishes of 2017 and the same for you. Here I am sending you the photos of my trip as requested.If you want you can add my comments to your website, delighted, the truth is that whatever I contracted surpassed my expectations. Everything even the  vehicles, were excellent, just like the drivers and the friendly guides, of quality and loving .I felt at ease and was able to enjoy my trip. You never know I might return to India , the truth is  I liked it a lot and would love to know  a lot more. Many Thanks!

Greetings

"

Thanks
Maria Veronica


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