On arrival meet and assist at the airport and transfer to your hotel and overnight stay Delhi: India’s capital & a major gateway to the country, Delhi also reflects the legacy the British left behind. The division between New & Old Delhi is the distinction between the capitals of the British & the Moghuls respectively. So, wherever the visitor goes, he will invariably confront the city’s past. Overnight at hotel.
After breakfast, full Day city tour of Old & New Delhi. Tours to Jama Masjid, the largest mosque in India – Built by Shah Jahan. Tours to the Red Fort (Lal Quilla), Visit Humayun’s Tomb: built in mid 16th century this is an early example of Mughal architecture also Visit Qutab Minar, witness the India Gate, President House and the Laxmi Narayan Temple (Birla Mandir).Overnight at hotel.
After breakfast drive to Jaipur. The city owes its names, foundation and its careful planning to the great warrior (astronomer Maharaja Jai Singh II. In 1727) with Mughal power on the wane, Jai Singh decided to move down from his hillside fortress at nearby Amber to a new site on the plains. He laid out the city, with its surrounding walls and six rectangular blocks, according to the principles of town planning set down in Shilpa Shastra, an ancient Hindu treatise on architecture. Arrive Jaipur and check in at hotel. After lunch, visit Hawa Mahal, Birla Temple etc. Rest of the Day free for individual activities. Overnight at hotel.
After breakfast, excursion to Amber Fort: At a distance of 11 kms from Jaipur, Amber was the ancient capital of Jaipur state. Construction of the fort began in 1592 by Raja Man Singh, the Rajput commander of Akbar’s army and is a superb example of Rajput architecture. Elephant ride from the foothills of the Aravallis to the fort entrance Afternoon, city tour of Jaipur. Visit the City Palace which has museum having an extensive collection of art, carpets, enamel ware and weapons; Jantar Mantar – the observatory built my Maharaja Jai Singh in 1728 and the façade of Hawa Mahal. Overnight at hotel.
After breakfast, leave for Agra, enroute visiting the abandoned Mughal city of Fatehpur Sikri which was built by Emperor Akbar in 1569, was the old capital of the Mughals, which was abandoned after 15 years due to scarcity of water. See the graceful buildings including the Jama Masjid, Tomb of Salim Chisti, Panch Mahal & other Palaces which are still preserved in its original glory. After lunch drive to Agra. Arrive Agra in the afternoon and check-in at hotel.
After breakfast, start the city tour of Agra. Visit Red fort, which was built by Emperor Akbar in 1565, and additions were made up until the time of his grandson, Shah Jahan. It contains the hall of public and private audiences amongst many other beautiful structures. Itmad-ud-daulah, which was constructed by Nur Jahan between 1622 and 1628 and is very similar to the tomb she constructed for her husband, Jahangir, near Lahore in Pakistan. The highlight of the Day – The Taj Mahal, which was constructed by Shah Jahan in memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal. Construction of the Taj began in 1631 and was not completed until 1653. Afternoon, free for individual activities & overnight at hotel.
After an early breakfast transfer to Agra Cantt. Railway station to catch train for Jhansi. Arrive Jhansi and proceed to Orchha which is a medieval city founded by Bundela rulers with palaces & temples of the 16th & 17th century – which have remarkably withstood the onslaught of time. The city is picturesquely flanked by the river Betwa. Visit of the surrounding fortress & local Ram Raja temple. After lunch, continue drive to Khajuraho, upon arrival, check in at hotel & overnight stay.
After breakfast, visit Khajuraho, built by the warrior Chandela dynasty that rose to power in Central India between 10th & 11th centuries, the 25 odd surving temples display different facets of life, including the sensual. These erotic carvings on some panels have given rise to much speculation since Khajuraho’s re-discovery by a British officer in 1838. To preserve it for posterity, Khajuraho has been declared a World Heritage Site. Visit the eastern & western group of temples famous for their erotic sculptures. Evening at dances of India show. Back to hotel for dinner and overnight..
Breakfast at hotel. Morning free. In time transfer to airport to board flight for Varanasi. Arrive Varanasi. Sightseeing of Sarnath. Varanasi was formerly known as Kashi – the city that illuminates. The religious capital of Hinduism, Varanasi is the oldest living city of India & one of the worlds’ most ancient. The present name is derived from the fact that the city is at the confluence of the rivers Varuna & Asi. After breakfast, excursion to Sarnath – the buried Buddhist city where Buddha preached his first sermon. After attaining enlightenment at Bodh Gaya the Buddha went to Sarnath, and it was here that he preached his first discourse in the deer park to set in motion the ‘Wheel of the Dharma’. It is one of the most holy sites as in this place the stream of the Buddha’s teaching first flowed. Sarnath was a renowned school of learning from 16th century BC to 12th century AD. Visit the ruins, the stupa, the Buddhist temple & the museum (closed on Friday). At the museum is the Ashok Pillar with its four guardian lions, used as independent Indias’ National Emblem.Overnight at hotel.
Early morning, leave for boat ride on the Ganges to see the bathing Ghats (river bank) & cremation site. Sunrise on the riverfront, as seen from a boat, can be a spiritually uplifting sight. Return to hotel for breakfast. After breakfast, city tour of Varanasi – Visit the Bharat Mata temple with a big relief map of India in Marble, Durga temple, Tulsi Manas Mandir, Banaras Hindu University, . Afternoon, excursion to Ramnagar. Return by boat in the evening, enroute witness the religious ceremonies along the banks of river Ganges. Overnight at hotel.
Morning, free for individual activities. Afternoon, transfer to the airport to board flight scheduled to depart to Delhi for your onwards journey.