Your flight arrives into Terminal 3 (T3), Indira Gandhi International Airport. After you have passed through immigration, take the Green channel exit gate and our Luxury Rajasthan Tour Representative will be there to greet you. Every effort will be made for your comfort. He will escort you to your air-conditioned limousine for transfer to your hotel and assist you with your hotel check-in formalities.
You will spend two luxurious nights at The Imperial Hotel in central Delhi. This grand and centrally located five star hotel has been listed in Fodor as one of the World’s 15 Legendary Hotels. The Hotel boasts some of the best facilities available including a spa and swimming pool, four restaurants and health club.
Known as the City of Djinns, Delhi is one of the oldest surviving cities in the world and is home to 25 million people. Scattered with the relics of lost empires, Delhi is a rich tapestry of different religions, North-India-Sojourns and architecture evolving from its 1000 years of history. An amalgam of eight cities, Delhi today is a fascinating mixture of medieval fortifications, Mughal mausoleums, old bazaars, colonial-era architecture, and shopping malls.
Overnight in Imperial Delhi.
Delhi has always been the preferred capital of India and continues to retain its status as the administrative capital of the country. Over the years, the Moghul rulers, who reined in this city, have left it with a rich heritage. This afternoon, we take you on a guided tour to some of the most famous historical structures in New Delhi as well as Old Delhi, and then, it would be time for some royal food.
There’s nothing like exploring Delhi the way locals do by rickshaw, and this is precisely what we bring you. Making our way through the narrow, bustling streets adorned by temples, mosques and stalls, we take you to Jami Masjid, the Friday mosque, the largest of its kind in India.
From here, we make our way to the majestic Red Fort that stands as an ode to the Moghul architecture at its pristine best. Wandering through the courtyards of this historic wonder, you will enjoy the intricate design of this structure comprised of red sandstone etched with white marble.
We then walk though Khari Baoli Spice Market. This is one of the oldest wholesale spice markets in the world. You will smell the aroma of spices and Garam Masalas sold by masked women eagerly awaiting the next customer, as you walk and simultaneously make way to porters carrying bagfuls of nuts, herbs and spices. Test your bargaining prowess in these markets and freely interact with the local vendors. If spices are not your thing, try the colorful glass bangles, bindis, silk saris, traditional wedding attire, and more. It’s traditional shopping galore here. You also get the chance to view the abode of the celebrated Persian poet, Mirza Galib, in Ballimaran.
By the time you’ve covered the narrow alleys, it’s already time for lunch and we head towards the renowned Karims Restaurant. This is where you get to experience the spices that you’ve just witnessed. You’ll savor the traditional cuisines dear to Moghuls, in their unadulterated form at Karims. The restaurant itself goes back about 80 years! You’ll love digging your fingers (or forks) into the sheek kabas and mutton burras.
After lunch, we set out to explore New Delhi. The credit of planning this comparatively modern part of Delhi goes to the British with lush green surroundings that are befitting of a capital city. The Presidential Palace, which was once the residence of the British Viceroy to India, forms the core of New Delhi with architecture designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens. You will see the majestic Parliament Building and other Government Buildings, and visit the India Gate that was originally built to honor the 90,000 men of the British-Indian Army who had laid down their lives for the Raj during World War I and the Third Afghan War.
We then head to Birla Temple or the Lakshmi Narayan Temple. This modern temple is among the most beautiful in the country and celebrates the lord of wisdom, Vishnu and his wife, the deity of wealth, Lakshmi. You will have a guided walk around the temple seeing the spotless marble surroundings glistening against the dusk sun. You’ll come across several smaller shrines dedicated to various Hindu gods. Note the attention to detail in every aspect of the temple.
Our final stop of the day is at Humayun’s Tomb that dates back to 1570. The Tomb is onf of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites and has the distinction of being the first garden tomb in the country. It is believed that the tomb was commissioned for construction by King Humayun’s widow and took a decade to complete. The intricacy of design and the symmetry of the structure will leave you admiring the Moghul architecture. It is also worth noting that the tomb laid the foundation of inspiration for the Taj Mahal that was to be built a century later.
Overnight in Delhi.
Your morning will be spent with your guide exploring the wonderful sights of New Delhi. You will drive past avenues of stately colonial buildings, designed by the architect Edwin Lutyens to be the capital of the British Indian Empire.
You will visit the peaceful Sikh Temple, Gurudwara Bangla Sahib. Constructed from spotless white marble it is instantly recognizable by its stunning Golden dome and tall flagpole. You may hear Sikh pilgrims singing devotional songs as you stroll through the grounds which include a kitchen, a large (holy) pond known as the ‘Sarovar’, a school and an art gallery. Everyone, regardless of race or religion may eat in the Gurudwara kitchen where you can admire the gigantic kitchen utensils that help prepare meals for thousands of people every day. You may even get a chance to volunteer.
Today’s notable excursion is to the National Museum of India which offers an insight into the 5000 years of India’s history with over 200,000 works of art. The exhibits are designed to be exciting and accessible as they take you through the mysterious Harappan Civilization, which existed between 3000 and 1500 BC. You’ll see items the merchants, soldiers and monks carried as they journeyed the Silk Road, and a wonderful range of exhibits and works including artefacts from Pre-History Archaeology, Manuscripts, Arms & Armour, Central Asian Antiquities, Pre-Columbian Art and Jewelry. An audio guide is available and recommended.
Later that evening you will explore a traditional craft bazaar Dilli Haat. Located opposite the bustling INA Market, this open-air food-and-crafts market is a profusion of color and activity. There are some fascinating pieces on offer and you can barter for the best price. With plenty of food stands offering a delightful amalgam of craft, food, and cultural activities, you can indulge in mouth-watering cuisine from every corner of India. There are permanent stalls devoted to intricate rosewood and sandalwood carvings, decorated footwear, jewelry, brassware and sophisticated fabric and drapery.
Overnight in Imperial Delhi.
Leaving the excitement of Delhi, your journey continues as you fly to the historic and beautiful city of Udaipur where you will transfer to the renowned luxury hotel Taj Lake Palace on the shimmering Lake Pichola, for two nights of relaxation where you can indulge in leisurely sightseeing in the old city, rejuvenating spa therapies and private yoga and meditation sessions with the in-house Yogacharya. Enjoy a stunning view through scalloped arches from the Palace hotel rooftop and absorb its charm reminiscent of days gone by, which includes ornate fretwork screens and unique stained glass. With the wooded Aravalli Hills stretching away in every direction, Udaipur’s setting is considered one of the most romantic cities in Rajasthan with its fantastical palaces, temples, havelis (townhouses) and networks of narrow streets.
Overnight stay in Udaipur.
Founded in 1568, Udaipur has been known as the most romantic spot on the continent of India and has a magic and excitement of its own, created by the tranquil lakes, the ancient bazaars and beautiful countryside.
Start your day with a trip to the eastern shores of Lake Pichola and the beautiful palace of Fateh Prakash and its Crystal Gallery. The interiors are laden with royal artefacts and miniature paintings. You may also view armory of the Mewar dynasty. The Crystal Gallery is full of paintings, objects, arts and an exquisite collection of 600 crystals ordered from F&C Osler England by Maharana Sajjan Singh.
Next, your guide will bring you to the imposing majestic City Palace. Surmounted by balconies, towers and cupolas and towering over Lake Pichola and Lake Palace, the City Palace is Rajasthan’s largest palace and a conglomeration of 11 separate smaller palaces. The rooftop garden, with its hanging gardens, fountains, terraces and fabulous view is not to be missed. The luxurious and elegant surroundings, incorporating countless rooms walled with mirrors, antique miniature paintings, stained glass and elaborate mosaics will astound you. Inside, eight arches commemorate the eight times Maharanas were weighed here and their weight in gold or silver distributed to the lucky locals.You can purchase jewelry, fabrics and miniature paintings in galleries within the Palace walls or strike a bargain in the many shops which fill the streets just outside.
During the afternoon you will visit the 16th century Jagdish Temple, dedicated to Lord Vishnu it is an example of Maru-Gurjara Architecture. Reached by an elephant-flanked flight of steps, this Indo-Aryan temple was built by Maharana Jagat Singh in 1651. The main structure enshrines a black stone image of Vishnu as Jagannath, Lord of the Universe. With impressive intricate carvings, friezes and sculptures, it is the largest temple in Udaipur.
We then drive past Fateh Sagar Lake, said to be the pride of the City of Lakes. This beautiful lake is overlooked by a number of hills on the three sides and the Pratap Memorial on the north built by Maharana Fateh Singh. In the middle of the lake you will see Nehru Park – a lovely garden island with a boat-shaped cafe accessible by boat. Next we visit Sahelion-ki-Bari, the Garden of the Maids-of-Honor, a pavilion of rain fountains in the form of sculpted birds to form an illusion of rain dancing in cadence with dancing maids. The Kings used to enjoy the pools and fountains of this garden. The main reservoir has four black marbled kiosks in its corners and one white marbled kiosk in its center. On the top of kiosks, these fountains are.
During the evening, you will take a private cocktail cruise on Lake Pichola, to visit the resplendent Jag Mandir Palace. Your cruise will provide you with views of the ghats, against the backdrop of the City Palace complex. Built-in marble and yellow sandstone, the towering structure displays unforgettable architecture.
Overnight in Udaipur.
Following a leisurely breakfast, your Luxury India Tour takes you to Ranakpur, one of India’s biggest and most important Jain temple complexes. The main temple, the 15th century Chaumukha Mandir, or Four-Faced Temple, constructed with luminescent milk-white marble is a masterpiece of architecture temple ceilings, festooned with foliate scrollwork, and geometric patterns, 29 halls, 80 domes and 1444 exquisitely carved pillars.
Continue your drive to the city of Jodhpur, known as the ‘Blue City‘, so-called because of the striking blue-painted dwellings of the fascinating medieval Old City, at their most impressive when viewed from the ramparts of the grand Mehrangarh Fort. The old city circles the fort and is bounded by a wall with several gates which keeps out the Thar desert sands. Exploring the palaces, forts and temples will reveal the city’s historic grandeur and you will be delighted by the colorful bazaars offering beautiful textiles, embroidered leather goods, lacquer ware, antiques, carpets, puppets and figurines.
Upon arrival in Jodhpur, transfer to your luxurious hotel.
During the afternoon you will be taken on a Jeep excursion to the Bishnoi village and community. The Bishnoi people are an eco-friendly Hindu sect, famous for their rich cultural Rajasthani Life and their true love for nature and animals. They cherish the rare migratory birds, such as the godawan and sara cranes, that pass through the area as well as the Indian gazelle, blackbuck and many other species of the region. The Bishnoi people are hospitable and friendly, they will invite you into their home to enjoy a cup of chai and you will have the chance to experience their rich culture.
Your night is spent in your luxurious hotel suite with romantic views across to Balsamand Lake Palace. Located just outside of Jodhpur, on the banks of the 12th century Balsamand Lake, this 17th-century palace are a magical setting for royal rest and relaxation and an exquisite example of Rajput architecture, with its elegant swimming pool, lush green gardens, peacocks, decades-old trees, birds and friendly monkeys.
After the visit of Bishnoi Village, you will return to Jodhpur!
Overnight stay in Jodhpur.
You will start the day, after a leisurely breakfast, with a visit to the outstanding Mehrangarh Fort, one of the largest forts in India. Built around 1460 the fort is situated 120 metres (400 ft) above the city and is enclosed by imposing thick walls. You may choose to climb the steep walkway, which passes under seven huge gates or, for an easier ascent, you can take the elevator up two levels from the ticket office. The fort also contains several exquisitely decorated palaces, not to be missed with their ceilings, walls, and floors covered with murals, mirror work, and gilt. The Fort Museum is one of the most well-stocked museums in Rajasthan, with a selection of royal palanquins, arms, costumes, paintings and decorated period rooms. Stand on the ramparts and admire the spellbinding views across the city of Jodhpur and beyond.
Having enjoyed a most rewarding visit to the fort, we begin our journey to Deogarh. The road takes us through the oldest fold mountains in the country, the Aravalli Range.
On arrival, we check into the Heritage Palace Hotel, or Deogarh Mahal. As the name indicates, the building used to be the private residence of a prominent aristocratic family, the Chundawats, who still occupies part of the hotel and keep a proud eye on things. Dating from the 17th century, it has been carefully restored and is lavishly decorated with mirror and colored glass mosaics. The hotel is located on top of the hill in a romantic setting with a spacious central courtyard, sturdy battlements, turrets, domes, jharokha balconies and large gateways. In the olden days the palace was one of sixteen original thikanas, or feudal estates serving the Maharaja of Udaipur and is encircled by a traditional village. From the hilltop, it overlooks the beautiful countryside and the Gokal Garh Fort with its surrounding moat atop a nearby hill. The climate is refreshing and slightly cooler than the rest of Rajasthan.
After check-in you are lead through numerous courtyards, under tiny archways, walking on stone steps, shiny and smooth after centuries of wear and millions of shuffling feet. Your suite will take you back in time and could tell you many stories after 300 years of housing guests.
The afternoon is spent exploring Deogarh’s narrow streets, encountering sacred cows, sari-clad women and oxcarts along the way. You can cast your eye into some of the many shops selling colorful textiles, bags of tobacco, clay pipes, or follow the scent of dried jasmine and cumin to the stores that sell exotic spices.
Just before the sun sets, you will meet up with your local host family to take a pleasant drive in their vintage jeep through the countryside. You will find this Rajasthan region especially picturesque with low walls surrounding well-tended farms and tiny rural settlements where peace and tranquility reign. The drive takes you to a nearby lake where there will be time to relax with some refreshments and interesting conversation. You will be back at the hotel for dinner.
Stay in Deogarh for the night.
Prepare yourself for this morning you are heading for a different kind of experience. You are taking the so-called local Monkey Train from Khambli to Phulad Village. This scenic railway line came into being in 1930 after cooperation between the Maharajas of Jodhpur and Udaipur.
The train meanders through tunnels and around hillsides all through the beautiful Kamlighat area. You can expect stunning views of the mountains and countryside on this short but fun filled ride. Joining you on the train will be many locals who depend on it for transaction, so there will be plenty of time for friendly chats and jolly banter. Although called the Monkey Train, there are no monkeys on board, they will be waiting at the remote stations, somehow always in time for the train’s arrival. And if they do not receive anything to nibble on, they might just join you on the train!
Your car or bus will be waiting for you on arrival at Phulad station from where you will be continue by car to Jaipur, the rose-hued capital of Rajasthan. Also known as the Pink City, because of the Terra-cotta colored lime plaster that coats the old part of the city’s walls, buildings, and temples. Jaipuris a thriving global commercial city with a multitude of enterprises including the production of precious and semi-precious stones and hand block printing textiles.
In Jaipur you will spend two nights at the beautiful Samode Haveli hotel in Jaipur, which combines stately architecture with intimate hospitality. The 150-year-old Samode Haveli is full of ancient character with an elegant painted dining room and an airy passage. Individually decorated suites surround beautiful ornate courtyards, and the lush gardens surrounding the hotel provide peaceful quiet. Located in the heart of the old city you can stroll easily around the city’s historic sites and colorful shops.
Overnight stay in Jaipur.
Surely the best way to see this beautiful city, you may choose to take an optional Hot Air Balloon trip. Enjoy the mesmerizing sight of the massive balloons being inflated before you embark on a bird’s eye view of some of the most enchanting sights of Rajasthan. Serenely float over forts, castles, mountains and green plains and laugh as you see the crowds of children below racing to follow.
After breakfast, your Luxury North India Tour takes you to the 10th century Amer Fort, also known as the Amer Palace and former residence of the Rajput Maharajas, where massive ramparts, towers and domes surround a chamber of rooms and palaces. At the entrance to the palace near the fort’s Ganesh Gate, there is a temple dedicated to Shila Devi, a goddess of the Chaitanya cult. Within the fort you will discover ornate courtyards, lavish halls and Jai Mandir, also known as the Mirror Palace. Pierced screen windows of the enclosed pavilion offer enchanting glimpses of the surrounding countryside and water below.
During your tour of Jaipur, you will take a photo stop at Hawa Mahal, the Palace of Winds or Palace of the Breeze. Built in 1799, this five-story pink-stone masterpiece with its delicately honeycombed window was designed to enable the ladies of the royal household to view the city’s everyday life and royal processions in privacy.
Next we visit the 18th century complex of City Palace whose impressive array of courtyards, gardens and buildings provide a wonderful contrast to its many palatial structures including Mubarak Mahal, Chandra Mahal, Badal Mahal. See the biggest silver pots in the world, each filled with 900 gallons of the holy Ganges river sitting next to a huge stone chess set. Wander along elegant galleries displaying illuminating images of the historic royal family alongside cabinets of the clothes they wore.
Continue on to the World Heritage Site observatory, Jantar Mantar, housing the vast marble sundials invented by Maharaja Jai Singh II in the 18th century. The observatory features masonry, stone and brass instruments built using astronomy and instrument design principles of ancient Hindu Sanskrit texts and with data from Islamic astronomy during the Mughal Empire.
After lunch, a rickshaw ride will take you into the colorful bazaars and narrow streets of this cultured city. After the ride, your guide will introduce you to another gastronomical delight ‘the Indian sweets’, of the Lakshmi Misthan Bhandar Hotel, known as LMB which opened in 1727 and is still run by the Ghodawat family founders. They produce more than 500 different kinds of delicious sweet, the most popular of which, are the highly colored, sticky paneer ghewar.
Following these sweet treats, you will be charmed by a late afternoon elephant safari through the Nahargarh Reserve. After a welcome drink and a chance to feed the elephants, you will be seated in comfortable carriers on top of your pachyderm (two travelers per elephant). With the assistance of a local tribal guide, you will meander along a picturesque track, passing villages, monuments and a medieval fortress, and monuments, until you come to the center of the forest and the Dera Amer camp for a splendid private dinner.
You will then return to the Samode Haveli Hotel for a luxurious and relaxing night in Jaipur.
This morning, you will be driven to the 392 km² Ranthambhore National Park. Famous for its Bengal tigers and over 300 species of bird, this luscious and mysterious environment attracts photographers and wildlife enthusiasts from around the world.
Upon arrival, you will check-in to Indian,s most luxurious jungle resort, the Oberoi Vanya Vilas, with elaborate tents, wooden floors, a luxurious four-poster bed and private walled gardens with an outside deck for relaxing, and a butler.
Located at the junction of the Aravalli and Vindhya hill range, Ranthambhore National Park and wildlife sanctuary is known for its Bengal tigers and is one of the best places in India to see these animals in their natural jungle habitat. The park’s deciduous ancient forests are typical of Central India and you can discover here one of the largest banyan trees in India and a wide variety of trees, plants, birds and reptiles. Other major wild animals include leopard, nilgai, wild boar, sambar, hyena, sloth bear and chital. Steep rocky hills, lakes and lush meadows contribute to one of the most diverse and beautiful parks rich in birdlife such as the crested serpent eagle, paradise fly-catcher, and the Great Indian horned owl. The park’s royal past can be seen in its imposing fort and ruined vine-covered pavilions.
During the afternoon you will be driven, in a six-seater Jeep, deep into the park to experience the rich diversity of flora and fauna. You will be able to search the bush for the elusive Bengal tiger and encounter this super-predator at close proximity. You will also have the opportunity to look for crocodiles and monitor lizards that can be found on the banks of lakes within the park.
Returning to your jungle resort, enjoy the ambiance of the evening and be lulled to sleep by local musicians playing traditional Rajasthani music.
INFO: According to the 2019 census, India’s tiger population has risen by nearly 33 to 2967 from 2226 in 2014
Your Luxury North India Tour offers you the chance to join an early morning Jeep safari.
After breakfast, we will drive you to the ancient city of Agra with its many splendid Mughal-era architectural examples including the unique and beautiful Taj Mahal. Emperor Shah Jahan, said of the beauty of the Taj Mahal ‘the sun and the moon shed tears from their eyes’.
On the way to the Agra you will visit the perfectly preserved and ghostly city of Fatehpur Sikri, a UNESCO World Heritage site with linkages since the Mahabharat period and Mahirshi Angira in 1000 BC. Founded by Akbar the Great in 1569, with the intention to join with Agra, it was deserted just 16 years later following his death – the water system was not able to support residents. It is at Fatehpur Sikri that the legends of Akbar and his famed courtiers, the nine jewels or Navaratnas, were born.
Upon arrival in Agra, you will check-in for two nights at the sumptuous Oberoi Amarvilas Hotel and marvel at the timeless monument to love, the Taj Mahal, just 600m distant, Gaze upon the magnificent Taj Mahal from the comfort of your room and watch the changing colors of the Taj Mahal and see its elegant dome by moonlight. The Taj Mahal is yours from dawn to dusk, without the crowds.
Overnight stay in Agra.
Early morning, before breakfast, you will head towards the east gate of the Taj Mahal to visit this magnificent monument to love at the most atmospheric time of day. Emperor Shah Jahan constructed the Taj Mahal in memory of his second wife, Mumtaz Mahal, whose death in childbirth in 1631 left the Emperor so heartbroken that his hair is said to have turned gray overnight. The world’s best craftsmen and 20,000 workers created this glistening white marble jewel which seems to float on a sea of red limestone.
After returning to your hotel for breakfast, you will visit the 16th century walled city of Agra Fort. Built by Akbar, close to the gardens of the Taj Mahal, this powerful fortress of red sandstone encompasses, within its 2.5-km-long enclosure walls, the imperial city of the Mughal rulers. It comprises many fairy-tale palaces, such as the Jahangir Palace and the Khas Mahal, built by Shah Jahan; audience halls, such as the Diwan-i-Khas; and two very beautiful mosques with exquisitely chaste, inlaid marble pavilions set in formal gardens with ornamental pools and fountains.
Your visit to the Red Fort of Agra is followed by a 90 minute motorized tuk tuk tour where you will be able to fully experience the myriad sights and sounds of the bazaars of Agra, and immerse yourself if the local culture. You will travel past the famous Kinari Bazaar, Bijli Ghar Bazaar, Johri Bazaar where you will be able to barter for fined clothing, shoes, fabrics, jewellery, spices, marble work. You will see monkeys jumping from house to house. Cows and buffaloes and even elephants meander slowly amongst the traffic and squeeze through the crowds.
Your fun continues on into the evening as you enjoy the show, Mohabbat, a song and drama spectacle about the history of the Taj Mahal and depicting the eternal love story of the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan and his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal.
Overnight in Agra.
This morning, you will embark on the super-fast and air-conditioned Shatabdi Express train to the city of Jhansi. Relax and enjoy the beauty and kaleidoscopic sights of this colorful country as your train speeds towards your destination where you will be met by our driver and guide.
From Jhansi, you will travel along scenic routes to the well preserved medieval city of Orchha, on the banks of the charming river Betwa lined with ornate palaces and ornamental temples built by the 16th and 17th-century Bundela rulers.
Arriving in the relaxing and laid back Orchha, you will enjoy a delicious lunch before you visit Orchha’s Fort, and its impressive palaces. You will visit the tiered palace Jehangir Mahal, crowned by graceful chhatris – elevated, dome-shaped pavilions – where you will traverse staircases and walkways featuring jeweled walls, naturally air-conditioned rooms and drive in elephant facilities. This 17th-century palace represents a zenith of medieval Islamic architecture. Behind the palace, camel stables overlook a green landscape dotted with monuments and you will be able to climb on the roof of the Unth Khana (Camel Stable) and get a fantastic view of Orchha town. Wander among the silent ruins behind the fort complex and you will be taken on an atmospheric journey back in time; an integral part of a visit to Orchha.
At the center of a bustling and colorful square, your guide will escort you to the Ram Raja Temple with its sumptuous bed chambers, fountains, dance platforms, and wall paintings. A guard of honor is held everyday and this sacred Hindu pilgrimage receives devotees in large numbers.
Finally you will visit the Cenotaphs of the Kings of Orchha on the banks of the river Betwa. Constructed during the 17th and 18th centuries, these fifteen intricate and beautiful tombs were built as memorials to celebrate the lives of the deceased.
From Orchha, you will continue your drive to Khajuraho, the City of the Gods, famed for its UNESCO World Site temples featuring the Kama Sutra engravings and depictions. There are more than 85 elaborately decorated red sandstone structures covered with griffins, nymphs, beasts, demons, and gods.
You will check in to your Khajuraho hotel, The Lalit Temple View Hotel, where you can relax as you take in the mesmerizing temples of Khajuraho. Enjoy your minibar, DVD player, 42-inch plasma TV, or pamper yourself with a massage and body treatment at the full-service spa. You can also take advantage of the outdoor pool, sauna, and steam room.
Your guide will lead you to explore the Western temples with over 800 sculptures of beasts and warriors, gods and goddesses, musicians and dancers. Almost every facet is covered in erotic carvings representing a distinct pattern of art and temple architecture of the Chandela rule.
Continuing to the Eastern group of temples these Jain and Hindu sanctuaries, with their intricate stone carvings, lofty terraces and adorned shrines are honored as India’s unique contribution to humanity and are an epic representation of expressive art.
During the afternoon, you will take a 45-minute flight to Varanasi, one of the oldest cities in the world and located on the banks of the holy Ganges River. Varanasi has drawn Hindu pilgrims from all over India for hundreds of years.
You will transfer to your Luxury Heritage Hotel, with magnificent views and just moments away from the ghats of the Ganges where Hindu pilgrims come to cleanse their souls of sin in the waters of the River.
After you have enjoyed some rest and relaxation, as evening approaches you will be gently transported on a sunset boat trip to witness the Hindu prayer, Ganga Aarti (religious ceremony on the bank of river Ganges). As hundreds of pilgrims arrive, enjoy the scent of sandalwood and incense and listen to the chanting and cymbals. The sight of devotees lighting little flicking oil lamps to float down the river is unforgettable in the early evening light.
The Suryauday Haveli (mansion) or Brij Rama Palace is one of those grand houses on the Ganges River which has been renovated to give a classy experience to their guests.
Overnight stay in Surya Uday Haveli or Brij Rama Palace.
You will arise before the sun for an early morning boat excursion on the sacred River Ganges, to witness devotees perform their ablutions, offer prayers, flowers, milk, sandalwood, and sweetmeats and to achieve moksha, liberation from the endless cycle of rebirth. Time seems to have stood still as you take time to appreciate the architecture of ancient palatial buildings, the sound of bells from the temples and the colorful sight of saffron-robed sadhus.
After the cruise, you meander along the network of n
arrow lanes, to experience life in the galis where you’ll see shops selling silk, crafts, food, tucked-away shrines, candlelit deities in alcoves, and you can practice your haggling skills at the chaotic bazaar.
SARNATH: Late Morning, after a leisurely breakfast, your guide will take you to the charismatic Sarnath where Buddha delivered his first sermon, and shared the Four Noble Truths with his five disciples, preaching the path to attain Nirvana.Sarnath, or Sarangnath. This is one of the most important Buddhist and Jain pilgrimage centres in India. In the third century, Emperor Ashoka built many exquisite monuments here, set in beautiful gardens. North of the main temple, you may explore the ruins of monasteries surrounded by the beautiful Deer Park, and view Ashoka’s pillar, a symbol of the cosmic axis, which was adopted as the national emblem of India and is depicted on the one rupee note and the two rupee coin. You can see the world’s greatest Indian Buddhist art at the elegantly arranged Archaeological Museum – the oldest museum of Archaeological Survey in India and a huge attraction for visiting school parties, tourists and academics.
Finally, later this afternoon, you will fly from Varanasi back to Delhi for transfer to Delhi International Airport, or you may opt to stay in Delhi for a further night in your luxury accommodation.
Price based on two persons in a double room
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New Delhi ➜ Jaipur ➜ Sawai Madhopur (Ranthambhore Tiger National Park) ➜ Chittorgarh ➜ Udaipur ➜ Jaisalmer ➜ Jodhpur ➜ Bharatpur (Keoladeo Bird National Park) ➜ Agra ➜ Delhi