MUST SEE TOUR OF INDIA
From Mughal Delhi to ancient mystical Varanasi. From exquisite erotic temple sculptures to the ethereal Taj Mahal. From rugged Rajput fortresses to a palace on a lake. And finally a fascinating tour of India’s most buzzing metropolis, the home of Bollywood. The India you can’t miss.
1. Guaranteed hotels,
2. Colonial fusion cuisine lunch at Delhi,
3. Bollywood musical show during tour,
4. Rickshaw ride at old Delhi,
5. Old city walking tour in Delhi,
6. Evening Aarti ceremony in Varanasi,
7. Sunrise Ganges cruise in Varanasi,
8. Sarnath excursion in Varanasi,
9. Sound & light show in Khajuraho,
10. Tonga ride to Taj Mahal in Agra,
11. Elephant ride at Amer fort in Jaipur,
12. Walking tour of the old Jaipur city,
13. Boat ride at lake Pichola in Udaipur and
14. Farewell dinner at Udaipur.
1. Accommodation at mentioned hotels,
2. Buffet breakfasts,
3. Sightseeing tours as mentioned in the itinerary,
4. Private air conditioned vehicle for all transfers & sightseeing as per the itinerary,
5. Local English speaking company authorized guides for all mentioned tours,
6. English speaking escort for the entire tour,
7. Assistance at the airports on arrival / departure,
8. Monument entrance charges,
9. Train fare in the first class from Jhansi – Agra,
10. Personal pre allotted mobile phones for all the travellers,
11. Concierge services for meal & theatre bookings,
12. All local flights by full service airlines,
13. All applicable taxes and service charges,
14. All road taxes, parking, government taxes and driver allowances.
Tour Not Includes
Please note that lunches and dinners are not included (if not mentioned in the inclusions) along with movie camera, etc. fees at the monuments, tips and personal expenses. All hotels / flights mentioned are guaranteed at the time of quotation. Indian Visa along with international return airfare is not part of the tour package.
Day – 01 : Delhi Arrival
We will receive you on arrival at the airport and transfer to the hotel.
Delhi is a perfect introduction to the composite culture of an ancient land and a window to the kaleidoscope – that is India.
Overnight will be at Delhi.
Day 02: Full Day Delhi Trip
After breakfast at the hotel, a guided tour 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 peddling through the narrow by lanes of Chandni Chowk.
After lunch proceed for a sightseeing tour of New Delhi.
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.
Overnight will be at Delhi.
Day 03: Delhi to Varanasi by air
Breakfast will be at the hotel.
Transfer in time to airport for flight to Varanasi. Upon arrival at Varanasi, you will be met and transferred to hotel.
Enjoy the evening AARTI at the Varanasi 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 04: Varanasi Full Day Sightseeing
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.
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 Bodhisattva images on display at the Archaeological Museum (1000 hrs to 1700 hrs. Open all days except Friday).
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.
Overnight will be at Varanasi.
Day 05: Varanasi to Khajuraho by air
Breakfast will be at hotel.
Transfer in time for flight to Khajuraho. Reach Khajuraho. Transfer to hotel and relax.
Proceed for a tour of the famous Western & Eastern Temples of Khajuraho.
Enjoy the Sound & Light Show at the Western Temples.
Overnight will be at Khajuraho.
Day 06: Khajuraho – Orchha – Jhansi by road
Jhansi – Agra by deluxe train
After breakfast drive to Jhansi visiting Orchha enroute.
ORCHHA: Orchha 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.
Later proceed to Jhansi railway station to take train for Agra. Reach Agra and transfer to hotel.
Overnight will be at Agra.
Day 07: Full Day Trip of Agra
Have a leisurely breakfast at the hotel.
Proceed for day sightseeing of Agra.
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.
SIKANDRA – This beautifully maintained monument is where EMPEROR AKBAR was buried. It is a very low profile monument but it has one of the most awe – inspiring tombs. It is surreal how one of the greatest emperors has been put to rest. The manicured lawns has spotted and other varieties of deer roaming in them. Named after the Afghan ruler Sikander Lodi, Sikandra is the final resting place of Emperor Akbar. The Emperor began the construction of his own garden mausoleum during his lifetime. However, the construction was completed by his son Jahangir in 1613. An impressive marble – inlaid gateway leads to the spacious four – tiered monument which is crowned by a white marble cenotaph and screen. What is interesting is that the structure imbibes the best of Hindu, Christian, Islamic, Buddhist, Jain motifs, signifying the new religion started by Akbar – the DEEN E ILAHI.
AGRA FORT – The red sandstone structure is surrounded by chahar-bagh, a four-square formal garden. 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 or the ITMAD-UD-ULLAH – The interiors of which are considered better than the Taj. One of the most beautiful Mughal tombs, Itmad-Ud-Daulah’s Tomb was built by Nur Jahan, the Empress of Jahangir for her father in 1628. The tomb is a resting place of the powerful personality in Mughal Court, Itmad-Ud-Daulah, whose life is very interesting. Formerly a very poor Persian merchant then named Mirza Ghiyas or Ghiyas Beg he became a minister and a trusted treasure in Akbar’s court. After Akbar’s death in 1605, his son Jahangir rose into power. Jahangir made Ghiyas Beg his chief minister and honored him with the title of Itmad-Ud-Daulah, the Pillar of State. Later, Jahangir met a beautiful daughter of Ghiyas Beg named Mehr-Un-Nissa and married her. Mehr-Un-Nissa soon played a significant role in the Jahangir’s court and was called Nur Mahal, the light of the Place. Owing to her influence, her father and brother were granted with privileges in the court. When Ghiyas beg (Itmad-Un-Daulah) dies in 1622, Nur Mahal decided to build a mausoleum for him. Queen Mumtaz Mahal or the lady of the Taj was also from this prevailing family. The mausoleum is entirely made of white marble and graced with intricate decoration of inlay work, and marble-screen work belonging to the Islamic style. With its tranquil, small garden on the bank of Yamuna River, the tomb stands impressively elegant from a distance.
Overnight will be at Agra.
Day 08: Agra – Fatehpur Sikri – Jaipur by Road
Drive to Jaipur after breakfast visiting Fatehpur Sikri en-route.
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 your drive to Jaipur and on arrival check-in at Hotel.
Pink City 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.
Overnight will be in Jaipur.
Day 09: Trip to Jaipur
Breakfast will be at hotel. Proceed for a morning excursion will be taken to the Amber Fort. Enjoy the fort ascent on elephant back in a royal manner.
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.
Afternoon sightseeing tour of Jaipur visiting…
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.
Free in the evening for some exciting shopping.
Overnight will be at Jaipur.
Day 10: Jaipur – Jodhpur by road
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel.
Drive to Jodhpur. Reach and check into the hotel.
Overnight will be at Jodhpur.
Day 11: Jodhpur Full Day Tour
Breakfast will be at the hotel.
Proceed for morning sightseeing tour of Jodhpur – gateway to the desert beyond, home of the Rathors of Marwar.
Mehrangarh Fort: Situated on a steep hill, Mehrangarh fort is one of the largest forts in India. The beauty and the grandeur of numerous palaces in the fort narrate a saga of hard sandstones yielding to the chisels of skilled Jodhpuri sculptures. Mehrangarh Fort, spreading over 5 km on a perpendicular hill and looking down 125 meters, presents a majestic view on city horizon. It was built on advice of a saint in 1459 to establish an impregnable head-quarter. This Fort is one of the best in India with its exquisitely latticed windows, carved panels, elaborately adorned windows and walls of Moti Mahal, Phool Mahal, and Sheesh Mahal. A collection of musical instruments, palanquins, royal costumes, furniture and the cannons on the fort’s ramparts are well preserved.
Jaswant Thada: Close to the fort complex, lies Jaswant Thada. This 19th century royal cenotaph built in white marble in commemoration of Maharaja Jaswant Singh II and three other cenotaphs stand nearby. The cenotaph of Maharaja Jaswant Singh holds the rare portraits of the rulers and Maharajas of Jodhpur. A visit inside the cenotaphs, with some villagers of the region, would bring forward the reverence they still hold for their brave kings.
Umaid Bhawan Palace: The romantic looking Umaid Bhawan Palace was actually built with the purpose of giving employment to the people of Jodhpur during a long drawn famine. The royal family of Jodhpur still lives in a part of the palace. Another part of the palace houses a well-maintained museum, displaying an amazing array of items belonging to the Maharaja and the royal family – weapons, antiques & fascinating clocks, crockery and trophies.
Overnight will be in Jodhpur.
Day 12: Jodhpur – Ranakpur – Udaipur by Road
Breakfast will be at the hotel.
Start for Udaipur visiting Ranakpur enroute.
En-route, visit the RANAKPUR TEMPLES, dating back to the 15th century. 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.
Continue drive to Udaipur. Reach and check into the 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 will be at Udaipur.
Day 13: Udaipur Trip
Breakfast will be at hotel.
Proceed for sightseeing tour of Udaipur, stopping first at City Palace.
City Palace: Standing on the east bank of Lake Pichola, is a massive series of palaces built at different times from 1559 A.D. The balconies of the palace provide panoramic views of “Jag Niwas” (the world wide famous Lake palace hotel), Jag Mandir on one side and on the other the city of Udaipur. Its main entrance is through the triple-arched gate – the Tripolia, built in 1725. The way now leads to a series of courtyards, overlapping parations, terraces, corridors and gardens – a harmonic profusion hard to describe. There is a Suraj Gokhda, where the maharanas of Mewar presented themselves in the times of trouble to the people to restore confidence. The Mor-chowk (Peacock courtyard), gets its name from the vivid mosaics in glass decorating its walls. The chini chitrashala is noteworthy while a series of wall paintings of KRISHNA are on display in Bhim Vilas. There are numerous other places such as Dilkhush Mahal, Sheesh Mahal, Moti Mahal and Krishna villas – in memory of a princess of striking beauty who poisoned herself to avert a bloody battle for her hand by rival princess. Now the palace contains many antique articles, paintings, decorative furniture and utensils and attracts thousands of visitors every day.
Here you will marvel at rooms with mirrored walls and ivory doors, colored glass windows and inlaid marble balconies and the Peacock Courtyard.
Saheliyon Ki Bari: Maharana Sangram Singh builds this in the mid-18th century. The ‘garden of the maidens’ brings to mind the lifestyle of the ladies of the court. The delightful gardens appear discreet and in impeccable taste. There are four pools with dainty kiosks, and all around are flowerbeds, lawns, pools and fountains protected by a series of walls and shady trees. The Foundation of the Sahelion Ki Bari functions solely by water pressure and no pumps are used. The garden has a lotus pool, a sitting room decorated with paintings and glass mosaics. The whole ambiences are flavored by the nostalgia of those beautiful bells enjoying themselves in a lavish aura.
Bagore Ki Haveli: This is a very congenial old building built right on the waterfront of Lake Pichola at Gangori Ghat. Amir Chand Badwa, the Prime Minister of Mewar built it in the eighteenth century. The palace has over hundred rooms and some very interesting display of costumes and modern art. The glass and mirror in the interiors of the Haveli delicate work and well preserved too. It also preserves a fine example of Mewar Painting on the walls of Queen’s Chamber. The two peacocks made from small pieces of colored glasses are fine examples of glasswork. After the death Badwa the building became the property of Mewar State. It came to be occupied by Maharana Shakti Singh of Bagore who built the palace of the three arches also in 1878 and it acquired its name of Bagore-Ki-haveli, the house of Bagore. After independence the structure lay in neglect until 1986 when it housed the West Zone Cultural centre.
Jagdish Temple: The temple is situated in the middle of the city. The temple of Jagannath Rai, now called Jagdish-ji, is a major monument and should be seen carefully. Raised on a tall terrace and completed in 1651, it is a tribute alike to the tenacity of its builders and the resilence of the art tradition it represents. It attaches a double storeyed Mandapa (hall) to a double – storied, saandhara (that having a covered ambulatory) sanctum. The mandapa has another storey tucked within its pyramidal samavarna (bell – roof) while the hollow clustered spire over the sanctum contains two more, non – functional stories. Lanes taking off from many of the sheharpanah (city wall) converge on the Jagdish Temple and walking leisurely through them brings you face with the many layers of the cultural palimpsest that Udaipur is. It was built by Maharana Jagat Singh Ist in 1651 A.D.
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 Palace – the other island palace in the middle of the lake. Spend some time at the Jag Mandir Palace.
Overnight will be at Udaipur.
Day 14: Udaipur – Mumbai by air
Breakfast will be at the hotel.
Spend morning in leisure.
Later transfer to the airport for your flight to Mumbai. Reach and check into the hotel.
Mumbai is dubbed as the commercial capital of India and it also serves as the capital city of the state of Maharashtra. The city was created from seven islands and they are Mazagaon, Colaba, Wadala, Old Woman’s Island, Parel, Mahim, and Matunga-Sion. Today, Mumbai or erstwhile Bombay ranks as the biggest metropolitan region in the country. The city is home to above 13 million people. As a result, Mumbai is among the most populous cities in the globe.
Overnight will be at Mumbai.
Day 15: Mumbai – Departure
Proceed for city tour of Mumbai after a leisurely breakfast the hotel.
Gateway of India: Mumbai’s most famous monument, this is the starting point for most tourists who want to explore the city. It was built as a triumphal arch to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary, complete with four turrets and intricate latticework carved into the yellow basalt stone. Ironically, when the Raj ended in 1947, this colonial symbol also became a sort of epitaph: the last of the British ships that set sail for England left from the Gateway. Today this symbol of colonialism has got Indianised, drawing droves of local tourists and citizens. Behind the arch, there are steps leading down to the water. Here, you can get onto one of the bobbing little motor launches, for a short cruise through Mumbai’s splendid natural harbor.
Marine Drive: Marine Drive is possibly the best way to discover Mumbai. This is a windswept promenade, flanked by the sea and a row of buildings. Looped between the concrete jungle of Nariman Point, Mumbai’s Manhattan, and the leafy green slopes of Malabar hill, Marine Drive was once called the queen’s Necklace, strung with glittering street lights like an enormous strand of imperious jewels. Dhobi Ghat: A unique feature of Mumbai, the dhobi is a traditional laundryman, who will collect your dirty linen, wash it, and return it neatly pressed to your doorstep. The most famous of these Dhobi Ghats is at Saat Rasta near Mahalaxmi Station where almost two hundred dhobis and their families work together in what has always been a hereditary occupation.
Queen Victoria Terminus: No photograph collection of Mumbai is complete without a photo of the Queen Victoria Terminus station in the “Fort Area” of Mumbai. Belovedly referred to as VT station, it was acknowledged as a ‘World Heritage Site’ by UNESCO in 2004. And “Slumdog Millionaires” famous song was shot here on these platform.
The Prince of Wales Museum: This museum stands not too far from the Gateway of India. It has a priceless collection of art, sculpture, china and other antics. Carefully preserved, this mid-Victorian Gothic style building built in 1904 with beautiful gardens surrounding it, is worth visiting in Mumbai.
As per the flight timings you will be transferred to the international airport to take flight back home with sweet memories of the India tour.