Delhi – Jaipur – Agra – Khajuraho – Varanasi – Delhi (9 Days/ 8 Nights)
Meet on arrival and transfer to hotel.
In the morning proceed for a sightseeing tour of the Old Delhi – a multi – layered city. Our first stop is the Red Fort built by the great Mughal Emperor Shah Jehan when he shifted his capital from Agra. A short drive brings us to the Great Mosque – The Jama Masjid. Drive on to see the memorial built for Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat.
Afternoon Sightseeing tour of New Delhi includes a visit to the Qutub Minar – the tallest stone tower in India built in 1191 AD. Chhatarpur Temple – the most popular Hindu temple with blissful tranquility and serene ambience. Continue to Humayun’s Tomb believed to have been designed by his widow. Its plan is based on the description of Islamic paradise gardens and is known to have inspired the Taj Mahal and many later Mughal tombs. Also visit the Bahai Temple – a lotus shaped structure. 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.
Evening at leisure. Overnight at the hotel.
Morning proceed for Jaipur by road on arrival check-in at the hotel.
Afternoon sightseeing tour of Jaipur and visit the City Palace is a visitors delight. Within the walls are several Palaces and museums resplendent with collections of the princely era. The Outdoor Observatory – the Jantar Mantar- built in 1726 by Jai Singh, a notable astronomer King. It houses instruments of astonishing accuracy, which give accurate predictions to this day. Drive to the Palace of Winds (Hawa Mahal), a five story high Palace having a facade of windows and latticed screens which allowed the Ladies of the Court, in bygone days, to sit and view the streets of the city.
Morning excursion to the Amber Fort which is perched on a hill. An Elephant transports us inside the fort which houses a Marble Palace, Temple of Victory and a Hall of Mirrors.
In the afternoon lose yourself free in the colorful bazaars of Jaipur, overnight stay.
After early breakfast proceed to Agra by road en-route visiting Fatehpur Sikri – A fascinating deserted capital of Emperor Akbar. Abandoned in a few years for lack of water.
Arrive Agra and check-in at hotel, later in the day visit Taj Mahal – built by a grief-stricken emperor, Shah Jahan, as a memorial of eternal love for his
beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal, Agra Fort which perhaps offers the most moving view of the Taj Mahal from its octagonal tower situated across the River Jamuna.
(Shatabdi Express – 0815 / 1040 hrs)
Jhansi – Khajuraho (Drive: 172 km / 4 hrs)
Morning transfer to railway station in time to board train for Jhansi. Upon arrival transfer to Khajuraho.
Arrive Khajuraho and check-in at the hotel. Later in the afternoon proceed for a sight seeing tour of temples. The Khajuraho temples were built in the span of a hundred years, from 950 – 1050 AD, in a truly inspired burst of creativity. Of the 85 original temples, 22 have survived till today to constitute one of the world’s great artistic wonders.
Kandariya Mahadeo Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Other temples in the group are Chausath Yogini, Chitragupta, Vishwanath, Lakshmana, Matangeshwara, Devi Jagadamba, Parvati, Lakshmi and Varaha temples, each with its own history, presiding deity and points of interest.
The eastern group consists of three Jain temples in an enclosure and four others scattered around the old village of Khajuraho. The southern group has two temples – the Duladeo, which is fairly close to the Jain (eastern) group, and the Chaturbhuj temple, adorned with a huge, intricately carved image of Lord Vishnu.
(9W 724 – 1330 / 1410 hrs)
Check-out of the hotel and transfer to the airport in time to board flight for Varanasi, assistance on arrival and transfer to hotel.
Later in the afternoon proceed for a sightseeing tour of the city visiting the Vishwanath Temple, erected by Rani Ahalayabai Holker of Indore in 1776. The gold plating on the shikharas was a gift of Maharaja Ranjit Singh in 1835. It is therefore popularly known as Golden Temple. Bharat Mata Temple is a novel temple dedicated to Mother India, which instead of the customary gods and the goddesses houses one of the most perfect relief maps of India carved out of marble.
Tulsi Manas Temple was constructed in 1964 by a philanthropist family of Varanasi and is dedicated to Lord Rama. The temple is situated at the place where the great seer of the medieval ages, Tulsidas, lived and wrote the epic Ramcharitmanas expounding the history and deeds of Lord Rama who was an incarnation of the god Vishnu.
Evening at leisure to explore the local market bustling with tourists and pilgrims. Overnight at the hotel.
(IC 805 – 1640 / 1755 hrs)
Early morning proceed for an exciting boat ride on the Ganges. Later in the day proceed for an excursion to Sarnath – one of the three holiest sites for Buddhists, it has the Deer Park, where Lord Buddha preached his first sermon more than 2500 years ago. The site is marked by the massive Dhamek stupa which is believed to date back to 500 AD. Ashoka, the great Buddhist emperor erected many magnificent stupas here. The remains of the great Ashoka Pillar still stand before the main shrine. The capital can be seen at the nearby Sarnath Museum. This has now been adopted as the state emblem of modern India.
Later check-out of the hotel and transfer to the airport in time to board flight for Delhi. Upon arrival transfer to the hotel and check-in.
Overnight at the hotel.
Check-out of the hotel and transfer to the international airport in time to board your flight for onward destination.
India offers a unique opportunity to see and experience the Himalayas at close quarters, both in Northern and Eastern India.
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