New Delhi, the capital of India and its third-largest city, consists of two parts: OLD DELHI and NEW DELHI. Steeped in history, the city is the perfect combination of the old and the new. Busy thoroughfares weave around modern buildings while the architectural marvels of yesterday; maintain their dignity and history of centuries.
The capital of Muslim India between the 17th and 19th centuries, Old Delhi seems somewhat anachronistic as compared to New Delhi. It draws one through congested roads and lanes, interesting mosques, monuments and forts relating to its chequered history. New Delhi as a sharp contrast is spacious and modern. It was created by the British as their capital in India after they shifted base from Calcutta.
The 17th-century walled city of Shahjahanabad with city gates, narrow alleys, the enormous Red Fort and Jama Masjid, temples, mosques, bazaar and the famous street Chandni Chowk is known as Old Delhi today.
New Delhi is a planned city of wide, tree-lined streets, parks and fountains. Areas around Connaught Place and around Rajpath to the south are subdivided into the business and residential areas. The India Gate memorial in the east and Rashtrapati Bhavan, the residence of the President of India, in the west, flank Rajpath. Janpath, running off Connaught Place to the south, is one of the most important streets of the city.
Meet, Greet & Welcome at the international Airport by our representative & transfer to hotel.
Overnight stay at the hotel.
Breakfast at the hotel
Morning city tour of New Delhi
New Delhi designed and built by the British in the 1920's – it's a city of wide boulevards impressive Government Buildings, Green Parks and Gardens. First your drive takes you along the Ceremonial Avenue, India Gate and Parliament House. Then you will visit the monument from Delhi's past Qutub Minar.
India Gate - At the centre of New Delhi stands the 42 m high India Gate, an "Arc-de-Triomphe" like archway in the middle of a crossroad. Almost similar to its French counterpart, it commemorates the 70,000 Indian soldiers who lost their lives fighting for the British Army during the World War I. The memorial bears the names of more than 13,516 British and Indian soldiers killed in the Northwestern Frontier in the Afghan war of 1919.
The foundation stone of India Gate was laid by His Royal Highness, the Duke of Connaught in 1921 and it was designed by Edwin Lutyens. The monument was dedicated to the nation 10 years later by the then Viceroy, Lord Irwin. Another memorial, Amar Jawan Jyoti was added much later, after India got its independence. The eternal flame burns day and night under the arch to remind the nation of soldiers who laid down their lives in the Indo-Pakistan War of December 1971.
The entire arch stands on a low base of red Bharatpur stone and rises in stages to a huge moulding. The cornice is inscribed with the Imperial suns while both sides of the arch have INDIA, flanked by the dates MCMXIV (1914 left) and MCMXIX (1919 right). The shallow domed bowl at the top was intended to be filled with burning oil on anniversaries but this is rarely done.
During nightfall, India Gate is dramatically floodlit while the fountains nearby make a lovely display with colored lights. India Gate stands at one end of Rajpath, and the area surrounding it is generally referred to as 'India Gate'.
Qutab Minar is a soaring, 73 m-high tower of victory, built in 1193 by Qutab-ud-din Aibak immediately after the defeat of Delhi's last Hindu kingdom. The tower has five distinct storeys, each marked by a projecting balcony and tapers from a 15 m diameter at the base to just 2.5 m at the top. The first three storeys are made of red sandstone; the fourth and fifth storeys are of marble and sandstone. At the foot of the tower is the Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque, the first mosque to be built in India. An inscription over its eastern gate provocatively informs that it was built with material obtained from demolishing '27 Hindu temples'. A 7 m-high iron pillar stands in the courtyard of the mosque. It is said that if you can encircle it with your hands while standing with your back to it your wish will be fulfilled.
Lunch at city restaurant
Further visit of Old Delhi area
Old Delhi an ancient walled city. Here you will drive past Red Fort, the most opulent fort and palace of the Mughul Empire; Raj Ghat, the memorial site of the Mahatma Gandhi;
and Jama Masjid.
is a memorial to Mahatma Gandhi. It is a black marble platform that marks the spot of Gandhi's cremation on 31 January, 1948. It is left open to the sky while an eternal flame burns perpetually at one end. It is located on the banks of the river Yamuna in Delhi in India. A stone footpath flanked by lawns leads to the walled enclosure that houses the memorial. Two museums dedicated to Gandhi are located near by. The memorial has the epitaph Hē Ram, (literally 'O' Ram', but also translated to 'O God'), believed to be the last words uttered by Gandhi. The memorial was designed by Vanu G. Bhuta. It was originally designed to reflect the simplicity of Mahatma Gandhi's life. The design that won the Govt. of India invitational competition had the black marble slab surrounded by red earth as none of Gandhiji's ashram residences had any "english lawn". The memorial has gone through a number of design changes since then. A few at the behest of Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of independent India.
In recent years, it has become customary for foreign dignitaries visiting India to pay their respects to Gandhi at the Raj Ghat by laying flowers or wreaths on the platform. As a sign of respect, visitors are required to remove footwear before approaching the memorial. A commemorative ceremony is held every Friday. Prayer sessions are held at the Raj Ghat on Gandhi's birth and death anniversaries.
Jama Masjid (Mosque): This great mosque of Old Delhi is the largest in India, with a courtyard capable of holding 25,000 devotees. It was begun in 1644 and ended up being the final architectural extravagance of Shah Jahan, the Mughal emperor who built the Taj Mahal and the Red Fort. The highly decorative mosque has three great gates, four towers and two 40 m-high minarets constructed of strips of red sandstone and white marble. Travelers can hire robes at the northern gate. This may be the only time you get to dress like a local without feeling like an outsider, so make the most of it.
Check-out from hotel & transfer to Apt to board flight to Udaipur (Morning Flight; Details afterwards..)
Udaipur: Possibly no city in Rajasthan is quite as romantic as Udaipur, even though the state is replete with fantastic hilltops fortresses, exotic fairy-tale palaces and gripping legends of medieval chivalry and heroism.The French Impressionist painter's, Brother Grimm‘s justification Udaipur is the "Venice of the East".
Founded in 1568 by Maharana Udai Singh, following the final sacking of Chittorgarh by the Moghul emperor Akbar, Udaipur rivales any of the world-famous creations of the Mughals with its Rajput love of the whimsical and its superbly crafted elegance. The city is full of palaces, temples and havelies ranging from the modest to the extravagant. There are plenty of parks and gardens, many of which line the lake shores. The city was once surrounded by a wall and, although the gates and much of the wall over the higher crags remain , a great deal of it has disappeared. The old city, bounded by the remains of a city wall, is on the east side of Lake Pichola.
Assistance on arrival at Udaipur Apt & transfer to hotel
Lunch at hotel
Afternoon sightseeing of Udaipur city includes: City Palace Museum, Jagdish Temple & Sahelion Ki Bari.
City Palace Museum - The main part of the palace is now preserved as a museum displaying a large and diverse array of artifacts. As we go down the steps from the entrance is the armoury museum exhibiting a huge collection of protective gears and various kinds of weapons including the lethal two-pronged sword. The City Palace museum is then entered through the Ganesh Deori. This leads to the Rajya Angan or the royal courtyard. This is the spot where Maharana Udai Singh is said to have met the sage who advised him to found a city here. The rooms of the palace are superbly decorated with mirror tiles and paintings. Manak Mahal or the Ruby Palace has a lovely collection of glass and mirror work while Krishna Vilas displays a rich collection of miniature paintings. Moti Mahal (the pearl palace) has beautiful mirror work and the Chini Mahal has ornamental tiles all over. The Surya Chopar (the sun square) depicts a huge ornamental sun symbolizing the sun dynasty to which the Maharajas and their ancestors belonged. The Bari Mahal is a central garden giving a view of the city. Some more beautiful paintings can be seen in the ‘Zenana Mahal' (the ladies chamber). Then, there is the Lakshmi Chowk which is a beautiful white pavilion.
Jagdish Temple - Built by Maharana Jagat Singh I in 1651, the temple enshrines a black stone image of Lord Vishnu. There is a brass image of Garuda, the Lord of Birds, and mount of Vishnu. The exterior and the plinth are covered with base relief of alligators, elephants, horsemen and celestial musicians rising in tiers. Chanting, ringing of bells and music can be heard throughout the day. It is the largest and most splendid temple of Udaipur.
Ranakpur: home to one of the biggest and most important Jain temples in India, the extremely beautiful Ranakpur complex lies in a
remote and peaceful valley of the Aravalli range. The main temple in the complex is the Chaumukha Temple, dedicated to Adinath. Built in 1439 this huge, beautifully crafted and well-kept marble temple has 29 halls supported by 1444 pillars, no two alike. Within the complex are two other Jain temples dedicated to Neminath and Parasnath and a little distance away is a Sun temple.
Reach Jodhpur in the late afternoon
Jodhpur: At the edge of the Thar Desert, stands the 2nd largest city of Rajasthan - Jodhpur. The city is totally dominated by the massive fort, topping a sheer hill which rises right in the middle of the town. Founded in 1459 by Rao Jodha, a chief of the Rajput clan known as the Rathores. The Rathore kingdom was once known as Marwar, the Land of Death. Its fascinating to wander around the jumble of winding streets in the old city. Eight gates lead out from the walled city. It's one of India's most interesting cities and, yes , it was from here that those baggy-tights horse-riding trousers, Jodhpuries took their name.
After lunch, Jodhpur city tour includes: Mehrangarh Fort & Jaswant Thada
Mehrangarh Fort: Perched on a 150 m high hill its sprawl is the most formidable and magnificent fort in Rajasthan. Rao Jodha founded it in 1459 but subsequent rulers of Jodhpur have also added to it over the centuries. A meandering road leads to the from the city 5 kms below. Battle scars of canon ball hit by attacking armies of Jaipur can still be seen on the second gate. To the left is chhatri of Kirat Singh Soda, a soldier who fell on the spot while defending the fort against the armies of Amber. There are seven gates, which include Jayapol meaning victory built by Maharaja Man Singh to commemorate his victories over Jaipur and Bikaner armies.
Fatehpol also meaning victory gate was built by Maharaja Ajit Singh to mark the defeat of Mughals. The palm imprints still attract devotional attention and are covered by vermilion paste and paper-thin silver foil.
Jaswant Thada:An imposing white marble cenotaph built to commemorate the acts of bravery and generosity of the rulers in 19th century.
Followed by transfer to railway station (With Packed Dinner) to board train to Jaipur:
Departure Jodhpur 2000 Hrs (Scheduled timings; Subject to change)
Arrival Jaipur 0050 Hrs (+01)
Jaipur: The capital city of the state of Rajasthan is popularly know as the “ Pink City “because of the pink paint applies to the buildings in the old walled city. (In Rajput culture , pink was traditionally a colour associated with hospitality.) The city owes its name, its foundation and its careful
planning to the great warrior, astronomer Maharaja Jai Singh II (1699-1744). In 1727, with Mughal power on the wane , Jai Singh decided the time was ripe to move down from his
somewhat cramped hillside fortress at nearby Amber to the new site. He laid out the city , with its surrounding walls and six rectangular blocks, according to principals of town
planning set down in the Shilpa-Shastra , an ancient Hindu treatise on architecture.
On arrival assistance & transfer to hotel
Breakfast at the Hotel
Morning visit Amber fort by Jeep or Elephants (Subject to availability)
Amber Fort: Amber (pronounced Amer) is situated about 11 Kms from Jaipur and was the ancient citadel of the ruling Kachwahas of Amber, before the capital was shifted to the plains, the present day Jaipur.
The Amber Fort set in picturesque and rugged hills is a fascinating blend of Hindu and Mughal architecture. Constructed by Raja Man Singh I in 1592 and completed by Mirja Raja Jai Singh the fort was made in red sand stone and white marble. The rugged forbidding exterior belies an inner paradise with a beautiful fusion of art and architecture. Amber is the classic and romantic fort-palace with a magnificent aura. The interior wall of the palace depicts expressive painting scenes with carvings, precious stones and mirror settings. In the foreground is the Maota Lake providing a breathtaking
view. Built mainly for the warring enemies as a safe place, the heavily structured walls could defend the residents within the ramparts of the fort.
Lunch at city Restaurant
Afternoon enjoy Rickshaw ride in the Bazaars of the city area
Dinner & Overnight stay at hotel
Breakfast at hotel
Proceed for City Tour
Make photo stop at Hawa Mahal
Hawa Mahal: The poet king Sawai Pratap Singh built this palace of winds. This is easily the most well-known landmarks of Jaipur and is also its icon. Located in the City Palace complex, it is best viewed from the road outside. This five-storey building overlooking the busy bazaar street is a fascinating example of Rajput architecture and artistry with its delicately honeycombed 953 pink sandstone windows known as 'Jharokhas'.
It was originally built for the ladies of the royal household to watch everyday
life and processions in the city from their veiled comfort.
Continue visit of City Palace and Observatory
City Palace: Located in the heart of the walled city, the City Palace Complex gives you an idea about the farsightedness of the founder of Jaipur Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh. He left behind a legacy of some of the most imposing and magnificent architecture in the city. Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh built many buildings but some of the structures were also built by later rulers. The palace is a blend of Mughal and Rajput architecture and the ex-royal family still lives in a part of the palace.
On entering the complex and before the proper palace lies the Mubarak Mahal, the palace of welcome or reception. Maharaja Sawai Madho Singh built the palace in the nineteenth century. It was used as a reception centre for the visiting personage. The building now forms the Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum and on display here are a wide array of royal costumes, some very exquisite and precious Pashmina (Kashmiri) shawls, Benaras silk saris, Sanganeri prints and folk embroidery. An unusual display is that of voluminous clothes worn by Maharaja Sawai Madho Singh I (ruled 1750-68).
Jantar Mantar: Across the road from the palaces is the famous Jantar Mantar, one of the five observatories in India, built by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh. This is one of the largest and the best preserved. The king was passionate about astronomy and numerology
- small wonder then that it led to the setting up of the observatory. The astronomer prince with the help of skilled laborers managed to create a collection of complex astronomical instruments chiseled out of stone, most of which continue to provide accurate information to this day. The most striking instrument is the Brihat Samrat yantra Sundial, the biggest sundial in the world an imposing yellow edifice to the far right of the observatory complex which has a 27m high gnomon arm set at an angle of 27degrees.The shadow that this casts moves up to 4m in an hour and aids in the calculation of local and meridian pass time and various attributes of the heavenly bodies, including declination, the angular distance of a heavenly body from the celestial equator and altitude. This highlight of the observatory which stands as a testimony to the genius of the Maharaja has made it a centre of attraction for the tourist visiting Jaipur.
Lunch at city restaurant
Afternoon at leisure to relax and explore the city
Check-out from hotel around 0730 Hrs & drive to Agra
En-route visit Fatehpur Sikri (210 Km / 04 Hrs, from Jaipur) Fatehpur Sikri the deserted red sandstone city that was built by emperor
Akbar as his capital. It was a veritable fairy tale city and its ‘ruins are still in a pristine condition. It is not hard to imagine what the court life must have been like in the days of its grandeur.
After visit of Fatehpur Sikri, drive to Agra. (40 Km / 01 Hrs)
Agra: became the capital of Sikandar Lodi in 1501, but was soon passed on to the Mughals, both Babur and Humayun made some early Mughal constructions here. It was under Akbar that Agra first aspired to its heights of magnificence from 1570-85 he ruled from nearby Fathepur Sikri , when he abandoned that city he moved to Lahore ( now in Pakistan ) but returned to Agra in 1599 , all later Mughal rulers ruled from Agra till 1761 it fell to the Jats who did much damage to the city.
On arrival check-in & Lunch at Hotel
Afternoon sightseeing of Agra city including Taj Mahal & Red Fort
Taj Mahal: If there's a building, which represents a country
- like Eiffel Tower for France, then it has to be the Taj Mahal for India.
Emperor Shah Jahan constructed this most famous Mughal monument made out of White marble in memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal; it has been described as the most extravagant monument ever built for love. Started in 1631 it took 20,000 people, 22 years to complete this magnificent complex. The high red sandstone entrance gate is inscribed with verses from the Koran in Arabic, paths leading from the gate to the Taj are divided by long watercourse in which the Taj is beautifully reflected. The ornamental gardens through which the paths lead are set out along the classical Mughal lines of a square quartered by watercourses.
The Taj Mahal itself stands on a raised marble platform. Tall, purely decorative white minarets grace each corner of the platform. Twin red sandstone buildings frame the building when viewed from the river. The central Taj structure has four small domes surrounding the huge, bulbous, central dome. The tombs of Mumtaz Mahal and Shah Jahan are in the basement room.
*Taj Mahal is closed on every Friday*
Agra Fort: Construction of this massive fort was began by Emperor Akbar in 1565 , and additions were made up until the time of his grandson, Shah Jahan . While in Akbar's time the fort was principally a military structure, by Shah Jahan's time it had become partially a palace. There are many fascinating buildings inside the massive walls which
stretch for 2.5 km, surrounded by a moat over 10 meters wide. The fort is on the bank of the river Yamuna, and only the south gate can be used to enter.
Orchha's grandeur has been captured in stone, frozen in time, a rich legacy to the ages. In this medieval city, the hand of time has rested lightly and the palaces and temples built by its Bundela rulers in the 16th and 17th centuries retain much of their pristine perfection.
Orchha was founded in the 16th century by the Bundela Rajput chieftain, Rudra Pratap, who chose this stretch of land along the Betwa river as an ideal site for his capital. Of the succeeding rulers, the most notable was Raja Bir Singh Ji Deo who built the exquisite Jehangir Mahal, a tiered palace crowned by graceful chhatris. From here the view of soaring temple spires and cenotaphs is spectacular.
Lunch at Restaurant
After sightseeing of Orchha, drive by surface to Khajuraho (175 Km / 04 Hrs, Approx)
Khajuraho: The World famous erotic temples of Khajuraho are one of India's major attractions. Khajuraho is just a quite village with just over 10000 people. The temples are superb examples of Indo-Aryan architect, but it's the decorations with which they are so liberally embellished that has made Khajuraho so famous. Around the temples are bands of exceedingly fine and artistic stonework. The sculptors have shown many aspects of Indian life 1000 years ago- god and goddesses, warriors and musicians, real and mythological animals. These temples were built during the Chandelled period, a dynasty which survived for 5 centuries before falling to the onslaught of Islam.
Assistance on arrival & Check in at the Hotel
Dinner & Overnight stay
Breakfast at hotel
Morning sightseeing of Western group of temples including Kandariya Mahadeo & Chosath Yogini
Enjoy a short transfer by Bullock Carts – the traditional means of transport is till widely used by the farmers to carry their produce to the market
The Khajuraho temples, constructed with spiral superstructures, adhere to a
northern Indian shikhara temple style and often to a Panchayatana plan or layout. A few of the temples are dedicated to the Jain pantheon and the rest to Hindu deities - to God's Trio, Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, and various Devi forms, such as the Devi Jagadambi temple. A Panchayatana temple had four subordinate shrines on four corners and the main shrine in the center of the podium, which comprises their base. The temples are grouped into three geographical divisions: western, eastern and southern.
The Khajuraho temples do not contain sexual or erotic art inside the temple or near the deities; however, some external carvings bear erotic art. Also, some of the temples that have two layers of walls have small erotic carvings on the outside of the inner wall. There are many interpretations of the erotic carvings. They portray that, for seeing the deity, one must leave his or her sexual desires outside the temple. They also show that divinity, such as the deities of the temples, is pure like the atman, which is not affected by sexual desires and other characteristics of the physical body. It has been suggested that these suggest tantric sexual practices. Meanwhile, the external curvature and carvings of the temples depict humans, human bodies, and the changes that occur in human bodies, as well as facts of life. Some 10% of the carvings contain sexual themes; those reportedly do not show deities, they show sexual activities between people. The rest depict the everyday life of the common Indian of the time when the carvings were made, and of various activities of other beings. For example, those depictions show women putting on makeup, musicians, potters, farmers, and other folks. Those mundane scenes are all at some distance from the temple deities. A common misconception is that, since the old structures with carvings in Khajuraho are temples, the carvings depict sex between deities.
Kandariya Mahadeo:The 31m high temple is the largest and most typical Khajuraho temple with exquisite carvings and intricate and detailed craftsmanship in stone depicting divine deities, celestial maidens, eternal lovers, gods and goddesses. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and enshrines the 'linga'.
Chosath Yogini: The temple is the earliest temple of the group that has survived. It belongs to 900 AD and is dedicated Goddess Kali. It has the distinction of being the only granite temple here
Lunch at hotel
Afternoon visit to Eastern Group of Temples including – Parsvanatha, Ghantai & Aadinath temples.
Parsvanatha Temple: The largest Jain temple of the Eastern group, Parsvanath temple has intricate stone carvings, especially, the sculptures on the northern outer wall of the temple are certainly praiseworthy. It enshrines a throne facing the bull emblem that represents the first tirthankara, Adinatha.
Ghantai Temple: This Jain temple has remarkable frescos depicting the 16 dreams of the mother of Lord Mahavira at the time of his birth and a Jain goddess mounted on a winged Garuda.
Adinatha Temple: This temple is richly ornamented with delicate and pretty
sculptures including those of yakshis. It is dedicated to the first Jain tirthankara (saint), Adinath.
Further transfer to Airport to board Varanasi flight
Varanasi: the "eternal City" is one of the most important pilgrimage sites in India. Situated on the banks of the sacred river Ganges, Varanasi has been a centre of learning and civilization for over 2000 years. It was at Sarnath only 10 km away that the Buddha first preached his message of enlightenment, 25 centuries ago. Later the city became a great Hindu centre, but was looted a number of times by Muslim invaders. Aurangzeb destroyed almost all of the temples and converted the most famous one into a mosque.
Assistance on arrival at Varanasi Airport & transfer to hotel
En-route visit to Sarnath
Sarnath: 10 kms from the centre of the city, Sarnath symbolises the birth of Buddhism. It was here that Buddha revealed his doctrine and founded his monastic community. The museum at Sarnath is amongst the most important in India and contains carvings representing a whole range of styles
- archaic, the mathura school, Gupta, past Gupta and medieval
- covering work of sculptors from the 3rd century b.c. to the 12th century a.d.
Dinner & Overnight at hotel
Early morning Boat ride at River Ganges
The exciting time to visit the Ghats is at down when pilgrims take their early morning dip - the city is coming alive, the light is magical at sun rise. Look out for the people on the ghats
- the women bathing discreetly in their saris, the young men going through contortionist yoga exercises, the Brahmin priests offering blessing. Varanasi is the city of Lord Shiva with many temples close to the ghats.
Later continue visit to the famous Vishwanath Temple and Durga Temple also known as the monkey temple owing to the large number of monkeys present there.
Return to the hotel for breakfast; later proceed for remaining City tour of religious Varanasi city.
After lunch at hotel, check-out & transfer to Airport to board Delhi flight.
On arrival assistance at Delhi Airport & transfer to hotel (Near Airport) for Dinner
Late evening departure transfer to International Airport
Board returns flight for your home destination
End of The Tour
Imp: All Distances and Traveling time is approximate.
Hotels mentioned above or similar will be provided.