Classic North India
14 nights / 15 days
DAY 01: ARRIVE DELHI BY: INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT
DAY 02: DELHI
DAY 03: DELHI – VARANASI BY: FLIGHT
DAY 04: VARANASI - KHAJURAHO BY: FLIGHT
DAY 05: KHAJURAHO – ORCHHA - JHANSI BY: SURFACE
JHANSI – AGRA BY: TRAIN
DAY 06: AGRA
DAY 07: AGRA – BHARATPUR BY: SURFACE
BHARATPUR – SAWAI MADHOPUR BY: TRAIN
DAY 08: SAWAI MADHOPUR (RANTHAMBORE)
DAY 09: SAWAI MADHOPUR - JAIPUR BY: SURFACE
DAY 10: JAIPUR
DAY 11: JAIPUR – BUNDI - KOTA BY: SURFACE:
DAY 12: KOTA – UDAIPUR BY: SURFACE:
DAY 13: UDAIPUR
DAY 14: UDAIPUR - DELHI
DAY 15: DEPART DELHI
Delhi * Khajuraho * Varanasi * Delhi * Udaipur * Rohetgarh * Jodhpur * Pushkar Jaipur * Agra
DAY 01: ARRIVE DELHI (BY AN INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT)
You will arrive in the evening at New Delhi’s International Airport. Following Customs/Immigration formalities and baggage collection, a Representative will meet you as you exit the arrivals terminal building after which you would be transferred to your hotel.
Upon arrival at the hotel, proceed for check-in at the hotel.
India’s capital and a major gateway to the country, contemporary Delhi is a bustling metropolis, which successfully combines in its folds - the ancient with the modern. Amidst the fast spiraling skyscrapers the remnants of a bygone time in the form of its many monuments stand as silent reminders to the region’s ancient legacy. The first impressions for any visitor traveling in from the airport are of a specious, garden city, tree-lined with a number of beautiful parks.
Overnight stay at Hotel
DAY 02: IN DELHI
In the morning proceed for Full day combined city tour of Old and New Delhi. Old Delhi had been the capital of Mughal India between the 12th and 19th centuries. See the 17th century Jama Masjid and walk through the narrow, winding lanes of colourful and bustling Chandni Chowk. You have the option of taking a rickshaw ride through these bazaars. Also visit the Mughal Empire’s most opulent fort, the Red Fort.
Afternoon proceed for New Delhi. Visit Presidential Palace, the one-time imperial residence of the British viceroys; the India Gate, a memorial raised in honour of the Indian soldiers martyred during the Afghan war and a drive along the Rajpath past the Parliament House and secretarial buildings. Visit Qutab Minar, the 12th century tower of victory built by a slave king and prototype of all minars (towers) in India. Also visit the 16th century Humayun’s tomb, a precursor to the Taj Mahal.
Overnight stay at Hotel
DAY 03: DELHI – VARANASI [By Flight]
Today morning you will be transferred to the Domestic Airport by a representative to board your flight to Varanasi.
Upon arrival in Varanasi, you will be received by a representative and will transfer you from the airport to your hotel for check in.
The antiquity of Varanasi is veiled in immortal times and has been the centre of religion, learning and civilization since ages. It has an endearing universal mystique, which has to be experienced to be understood. The city gets its inherent charm from the location as it’s situated on west side of the Holy Ganges. The principal attraction being the bathing Ghats that are always bustling with life at any given time of the day.
In the afternoon, you will proceed for an excursion to Sarnath, a major Buddhist center in the world. After achieving enlightenment at Bodhgaya, Buddha, the 'Awakened One', delivered his first sermon here. It was the sixth century then, when he also set in motion the wheel of law, the Dharma-chakra. This dwelling place of the rishis, it was also known as 'Rishipatana' (the place of the Rishis or sages). Buddha gave his first sermon in the Deer Park where he initiated his first five disciples into Buddhist monkshood. Buddhism found its roots in Sarnath, the birthplace of this way of life.
In the evening you would be taken to the Ghats to see the illuminated Ganga Aarti ceremony – an experience of life. The Ganga Aarti is a spectacular sight. Hundreds throng to the ghats to participate in this ceremony. Offerings of lamps and flowers are made to the river immediately following this ceremony and it is a moving sight to watch hundreds of miniature lamps float along the river.
Overnight stay at Hotel
DAY 04: VARANASI – KHAJURAHO [By Flight]
Very early in the morning you will take a boat ride along the Ghats on the Holy River Ganges. At sunrise the Hindu faithfuls flock to the river to cleanse themselves of their sins. It is said that ‘To die in Varanasi is to end the Hindu cycle of re-birth’ thereby making it a popular place to end one's life. After sunrise you will visit some of the temples in the surrounding area.
Return to the hotel for breakfast and later proceed for a visit to ‘Bharat Kala Bhavan’ which lies within the sprawling grounds of Benaras Hindu University. Its outstanding collection of sculpture, paintings and textiles began with the private collection of the enlightened Rai Krishnadasa. The sculpture collection includes terracotta and clay objects, stone and bronze and cast metal objects. Ancient terracotta varying from ritual icons to toys to utilitarian objects date to the Indus Valley Civilization, Mauryan, Sunga and Gupta period.
Later you will be transferred to the Airport by a representative to board your flight to Khajuraho. Upon arrival you will be transferred from the airport to your hotel for check in.
In the afternoon visit the Western Group of Temples which represent the finest examples of Temple architecture in Northern India.
In the realm of architecture, Khajuraho holds a unique position. The temples here were built between 950 and 1050 A.D. by the Chandela dynasty, which claims descent from the Moon God and a mortal, Hemavati, with whom the god fell in love. The Chandelas built 85 temples and some 22 survive today. Architecturally the temples have some unique features. Although famous for erotic depictions, these form only a small part of the wealth of the site. Taken in totality, the sculptures of Khajuraho depict the everyday life of the people and the court in the 10th and 11th centuries. Khajuraho is not something that can be described in words; it has to be experienced. Overnight stay at Hotel
DAY 05: KHAJURAHO – ORCHHA – JHANSI [By Surface 175 kms / 06 hrs]
JHANSI – AGRA [By Train : Shatabdi Express]
Today morning you will drive to Jhansi with an enroute stop at Orchha for sightseeing of a city frozen in time.
Orchha was founded in the 16th century by the Bundela chieftain, Rudra Pratap Singh, who built this new capital on large wooded islands on the River Betwa. Today, remains of the fort and palaces speak eloquently of Orchha's time of glory, of its splendid legacy of art and culture. Upon arrival at Orchha you will proceed for the orientation tour of Orchha.
Later you will be transferred to Jhansi Railway Station to board an Express Train to Agra.
Departure Jhansi At: 1755 hrs By: Shatabdi Express Train
Arrive Agra Cantt At: 2025 hrs
Upon arrival transfer to your hotel for check-in. Overnight stay at Hotel.
DAY 06: IN AGRA
In the morning proceed for sightseieng of Taj Mahal monument (closed on Fridays) and Agra Fort. Enjoy a short ride on a Tonga (horse-driven carriage) from the Parking area to the gate of the Taj Mahal monument.
The Taj Mahal is everything that has been said about it and more. Taking 22 years and 20,000 men to build, the white marble was quarried 200 miles away and was transported to the site by a fleet of 1000 elephants. Built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan as an expression of his love for his wife Mumtaz Mahal, in mid 17th century, the Taj Mahal is truly one of the wonders of the world. Though the Taj appears to be amazingly perfect from almost any angle, it is the close-up marble inlay work, which is really astounding. You will have ample time to view and be mesmerized by this outstanding piece of architecture.
Agra Fort – the seat and the stronghold of the Mughal Empire under successive generations. This was the seat of Mughal rule and administration and the present structure owes its origins to Akbar who erected the walls and gates and the first buildings on the eastern banks of Yamuna River. Shah Jehan added the impressive quarters and the mosque while Aurangzeb added the outer ramparts. Visit its Hall of Public Audience and its Royal Pavilions.
Afternoon is at leisure for independent activities. Overnight stay at Hotel.
DAY 07: AGRA – FATEHPUR SIKRI – BHARATPUR [By Surface 62 kms / 02 hrs]
BHARATPUR – SAWAI MADHOPUR [By Train]
In the morning you will drive to Bharatpur, visiting Fatehpur Sikri enroute.
Fatehpur Sikri is the deserted red sandstone city, built by the Great Mughal Emperor Akbar as his capital and palace in the late 16th century. Fatehpur Sikri (the City of Victory) was the capital of the Mughal Empire for only some 10 years. It was abandoned soon after it was built when the local wells went dry and it remains today in much the same condition that it was over 300 years ago. It is complete with palaces and mosques and used to be a town larger than London when it was originally constructed. Visit the Panch Mahal, Diwan-i-Khas, Diwan-i-Aam, Jama Masjid & Buland Darwaja.
After sightseeing, continue your drive to Bharatpur Railway Station to board an Express Train to Sawai Madhopur.
Departure Bharatpur At: 1543 hrs By: Jan-Shatabdi Express Train
Arrive Sawaimadhopur At: 1802 hrs
Upon arrival transfer to your hotel for check-in. Overnight stay at Hotel.
DAY 08: IN SAWAI MADHOPUR (RANTHAMBORE)
After early morning refreshments proceed for a Jungle Safari inside the National park.
Later return to the hotel for Breakfast. You will be at leisure till Noon.
In the afternoon proceed for another Jungle Safari into the National Park. Return to the hotel in the evening. Overnight stay at Hotel.
DAY 09: SAWAI MADHOPUR – JAIPUR [By Surface 175 kms / 04 hrs]
Morning is at leisure for independent activities.
In the afternoon drive from Sawai Madhopur to Jaipur. Upon arrival transfer to your hotel for check-in. Overnight stay at Hotel.
DAY 10: IN JAIPUR
After buffet breakfast at the hotel, you will be driven to Jaipur to see the fabulous Amber Fort. Maharaja Mansingh, Mughal Emperor Akbar’s most successful General, started the construction of Amber Fort in the 17th century. Before the City Palace was constructed in Jaipur, Amber was the seat of power. The fort is surrounded by fortified battlements and overlooks the Moat Lake. Ruins and remains are spread over the Aravalli hills and sprawling crenulated walls lattice the surrounding area.
An elephant (Subject to availability/alternatively by jeep) will spare you the trouble of reaching up to the fortress. Once you reach on top, stroll through the sprawling complex of courtyards and halls. Many of the rooms have delightful wall paintings, with precious stones and mirrors inlaid in the walls. Most fascinating, perhaps, is the Sheesh Mahal (hall of mirrors) where a single lamplight is reflected in the many mirrors, lighting up the room.
In the afternoon, you will visit the city of Jaipur. Among the highlights to be seen while touring Jaipur include the `Palace of Winds’, otherwise known as Hawa Mahal. It is really an elaborate facade behind which the ladies of the court used to watch the daily goings on in the street below. It is extremely intricate in its pink sandstone carving. The cool wind blows through its facade of windows and latticed screens through which the queens of the court once viewed the streets of the city. The palace museum houses collections of rare manuscripts, armory, costumes, carpets and miniature paintings. Walk to the adjacent Jantar Mantar or Astronomical Observatory made by the Maharaja of Jaipur, built in 1726 and is one of the five such astronomical wonders built by Sawai Jai Singh and makes accurate predictions even to this day. You will also have the opportunity to wander about the local markets.
Overnight stay at Hotel
DAY 11: JAIPUR – BUNDI – KOTA [By Surface 250 kms / 06 hrs]
In the morning you will drive to Kota, visiting Bundi enroute.
Set in a narrow encircling gorge, the palaces and fortress of Bundi have a fair tale like quality about them. Few other palaces in India have such a picturesque location. Isolated and independent, the entire township appears like a miniature painting, frozen in time for the traveller. Bundi is surrounded by the Aravalli hills on three sides and is circumscribed by a massive wall with four gateways.
The monuments of Bundi are Garh Palace – a fine example of the Rajput architecture, housing some of the superb Bundi murals. Garh Palace is not a single palace but actually a whole complex of different palaces, built by different rulers at different times. Taragarh Fort – which dominates the top of a thickly wooded hill, with a magnificent view of the Aravali Hills on the side and the dusty plains on the other. Chaurasi Khambon ki Chatri - This Cenotaph with the eighty-four Pillars was raised in the memory of Deva, son of the wet nurse of Rao Raja Anirudh Singh, in 1683. Built on a high platform, this unique double chhatri has a large Shivalinga in the center, which makes it both a temple and a cenotaph. Then there are Nagar Sagar Kund and the Raniji-ki Baori which are worth visiting. Raniji ki Baori is rather impressive and is about 46m deep. It boasts of some fine carvings and was built in 1699. The Nagar Sagar Kund is a pair of matching baoris in the old part of the city.
Later continue to Kota. Upon arrival transfer to your hotel for check-in. Overnight stay at Hotel.
DAY 12: KOTA – UDAIPUR [By Surface 280 kms / 07 hrs]
In the morning you will drive to Udaipur, visiting Chittorgarh enroute.
Chittorgarh - A story of valour, victory and blood written on stones and pillars of intricate designs, Chittor is an excellent example of medieval construction at its best. Steeped in the terrors and triumphs of Rajput battles, the colossal Chittorgarh Fort sits on a rocky plateau high above the smooth plains of Rajasthan. Seen from afar, only a few towers and turrets, protruding above the protective walls, betray its mighty existence with its massive, bastions and gates. The focal point of the fort is the `tower of victory’, erected to commemorate the Rajput victory over the Muslim sultan.
Continue drive to Udaipur. Upon arrival transfer to your hotel for check-in. Overnight stay at Hotel.
DAY 13: IN UDAIPUR
After breakfast you will proceed to visit the vast and exquisite City Palace, a well-fortified, majestic white monument. The main entrance, a triple-arched gate named the Tripolia, was built in 1725 and is a marvel. The Suraj Gokhada, the Balcony of the Sun, where the Suryavanshi Maharanas of Mewar presented themselves in times of trouble to the people to restore their confidence, is also a fascinating sight.
Afternoon visit the Jagdish Temple, a 16th-century temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu, it is the largest and most splendid temple in Udaipur
Drive past Fateh Sagar Lake and visit Sahelion-ki-Bari, the Garden of the Maids-of-Honor, which has numerous fountains in four pools, embellished with delicately chiseled kiosks and elephants. The garden brings to the fore the unique lifestyle of the royal ladies, who once strolled through these gardens.
Later in the afternoon, take a boat cruise on Lake Pichola to visit Jag Mandir Palace by common boat, which covers almost four acres and is noted for its marble pavilion and an imposing dome. You’ll see people doing their laundry on the shores of the lake against the backdrop of the massive City Palace and the old city. Overnight stay at Hotel
DAY 14: UDAIPUR – DELHI BY: DOMESTIC FLIGHT
Today you will be transferred to airport to board the flight for Delhi.
Upon arrival transfer to Delhi’s International Airport to board a flight for onward journey
DAY 15: DEPARTURE DELHI : INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT
Board the International flight for onward journey.
*** End of Tour ***