Indian Museum Tour

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Indian Museum Tour

Trip Highlights :- Delhi | Jaipur | Agra | Gwalior | Khajuraho | Varanasi | Kolkata | Hyderabad | Mumbai

Tour duration : 13 Nights / 14 Days

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Cities visited :-

Delhi : On the path of rapid growth and progress today, Delhi has evolved from the fabled "seven cities" established between the 13th and 17th centuries. The haunting Landmarks of yesteryears co-exist with the modern marvels of today. Ancient Forts, Mughal Architecture is juxtaposed with the state of the art architecture, modern residential projects, sky scrapers and commercial hubs of today. City boasts of some of the finest museums and centers of art and excellence. The shopping centers here offer rich heritage of traditional Indian craft as well as rich, fashionable and contemporary ensemble of products.

Jaipur : Capital of Rajasthan - the 'Pink City'. Jaipur means "the city of victory" & was founded in 1727 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II and designed by architect Vidyadhar Bhattacharya in accordance with the principles of town planning set down in "Shilp Shastra" an epochal treatise on the Hindu architecture. This colorful city is enriched with royal tradition & culture, attractive monuments, Forts, Palaces like the Magnificent City Palace, Hawa Mahal, Jantar Mantar, Amer, Nahargarh and Jaigarh fort which are some of the most exquisite blend of Hindu architecture. The whole city was painted pink to welcome the visit of Prince Albert in 1853. City today has a population of more than 5 million residents. Presently, Jaipur is a major business and tourist centre with all the requisites of a metropolitan city.

Agra : Agra is a major tourist attraction as it contains one of the Seven Wonders of the World - Taj Mahal. Agra is an ancient city situated on the river Yamuna within the state of Uttar Pradesh. The city has been described as Agraba in the epic Mahabharata. The city was capital of Lodhi Kingdom and later on served the same for Mughal's. During 16th and 17th century the city was developed as art, culture, commerce and learning center by Mughal Emperors like Akbar, Jehangir and Shah Jahan. Some wonderful buildings were erected in Agra City by the Mughal's. Agra city is famous for monuments and crafts. The monuments and crafts have preserved the cultural heritage for centuries.

Gwalior : This city basks in the warmth of its glorious past, in the state of Madhya Pradesh. The erstwhile Kingdom of Gwalior has been witness to the rise and fall of several dynasties, which reigned over this princely state of Gwalior. The last ruling royal family of the Scindhia's still live in Gwalior and is honored with all the dignity deserved. The landscape of Gwalior is dominated by the Gwalior Fort that stands majestically on a rock outcrop. The fort is one of the best of its kind in the world. Spread over an area of 5214.00 Sq Km, the city is divided into three parts, namely the Old Gwalior, New Gwalior or Lashkar and Morar. Morar is the cantonment area and is an air base. The city of Gwalior is known for its magnificent fort, the palace of the Scindhia's and the tombs of Ghaus Mohammed and the music maestro Miyan Tansen. Situated in the Chambal river valley, it is easily accessible from the major cities of India and well connected by various means of transportation. Gwalior gained new dimensions from warrior Kings, Poets, Musicians and Saints, contributing to making it a capital renowned throughout the country. Since then, it is considered to be a city where a rich cultural tradition has been interwoven into the fabric of modern life.

Khajuraho : Situated in the northern part of Madhya Pradesh, the town of Khajuraho has been recognized as a world heritage site by UNESCO. The town is famous for its imperial temples. The temples were built by the rulers of Chandela dynasty between 10th and 11th century. The construction of the temple just took around 100 years to complete. There were around 85 temples in the area but now only 22 exist. Rest are nothing more than ruins. They sure have gained popularity due to the erotic sculptures carved on the walls. However such sculptures cover only a small portion. The major share of sculptures are depicting the daily life of people in the rural India.

Varanasi : The land of Varanasi (Kashi) has been the ultimate pilgrimage spot for Hindus for ages. Often referred to as Benares, Varanasi is the oldest living city in the world. Hindus believe that one who is graced to die on the land of Varanasi would attain salvation and freedom from the cycle of birth and re-birth. Abode of Lord Shiva and Parvati, the origins of Varanasi are yet unknown. Ganges in Varanasi is believed to have the power to wash away the sins of mortals. There are a number of historical and religious places and towns around Varanasi that are worth visiting. Such as Sarnath, Chunar, Jaunpur and Kaushambi, Sarnath is famous for being the place where Lord Buddha preached his first sermon after getting enlightenment.

Kolkata : The bustling capital city of West Bengal it is the hub of Bengali culture in India. The city which is the cultural capital of whole India and the commercial capital of Eastern India was earlier known as Calcutta as it was pronounced since the British rule and has changed to Kolkata officially in 2001. It has derived the name from Kalikata, which is a village name in the area before the British arrival, means the land of Goddess "Kali". Kolkata boasts of a rich cultural heritage, evident in its distinct cuisine, clothing, lifestyle, its literature and even architecture. It is a cosmopolitan city where people, technology and ideas have blended together with the socio-political culture to give the city a new shape and hence it is the second largest city of India. The city is full of historical monuments and palaces. Its glorious history dates back to 1690 when it was selected by the British for their trade settlements and you definitely won't forget the city on the Hooghly river bank.

Hyderabad : Capital city of the state of Andhra Pradesh is located on the Deccan Plateau on the banks of the River Musi. Hyderabad was founded by Muhammad Quli Qutab Shah, the fifth sovereign of the Qutab Shahi dynasty, in the year 1591. Initially, Golconda was the capital of the Qutab Shahi dynasty, who ruled over Deccan during the period 1512-1687. The name Hyderabad literally means 'city of Hyder' since it was named after Queen Hyder Mahal, wife of King Qutab Shah. With the help of Iranian architects, this city was modelled on the city of Isfahan of Iran. With the construction of Hyderabad city, it became the capital city of Qutb Shahi rulers. The cultural facet of Hyderabad is distinctly different from the Telugu culture of the rest of Andhra Pradesh. Hyderabad has a rich Hyderabadi culture of its own, a blend of Persian and Telugu cultures, which flourished under the reign of the Qutb Shahis. Hyderabad is crowned with many names such as The City of Nizams and The City of Pearls, it was ruled for a long time by the Nizams. The Nizams of Hyderabad were famous as the wealthiest royals in the history of India. Today, Hyderabad is one of the leading centres of information technology. The emerging Biotech and IT industries have given the city a global platform with thriving tourism. The deep rooted cultural history of Hyderabad is evident from its Monuments, Mosques, Temples, varied art forms, crafts and the famous Nawabi cuisine. Deccan Festival is celebrated for five days every year in the month of February which is organised by the Department of Tourism - Andhra Pradesh.

Mumbai : Mumbai (formerly known as Bombay) is one of the most happening cities in India. Mumbai is known as much for its throbbing night life as it is famous for being the busiest and economically prosperous city of India. Mumbai is a busy metropolis, nevertheless, it is a tourist hot-spot because of its energy and vigour. It is a wonderful tourist destination. This erstwhile insignificant port city has now developed to become one of the foremost metropolis of the world. Other than the charms of being in a beautiful metropolis, Mumbai has monuments of historical importance. The Gateway of India is one such magnificent monument and prime tourist attraction in the city. The city also has wonderful beaches and these beaches have become wonderful leisure spots for people. As the capital city of the state of Maharashtra, Mumbai is politically one of the most important cities in western India. It also has its own culture and traditions, festival of Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated with full fervour. The people in this part of the country speak Marathi but like a true cosmopolitan city, Mumbai is a fine melting pot where you will find people from different parts of India living in harmony in spite of the difference in language, dress codes and food habits. The city also has a multi-million dollar film-making industry. Popularly referred to as Bollywood, Mumbai film industry is not only big but also very charismatic. Every year a number of Hindi pot-boilers are produced here. The actors and actresses enjoy a massive fan following throughout India as well as abroad.

Day 01: Arrival in Delhi

Arrival in India (New Delhi) upon arrival you will be met and greeted at the airport for transfer assistance to hotel. Check-in at hotel for overnight stay.

Day 02: In Delhi

Breakfast at hotel, Later proceed for the full day sight-seeing tour of Delhi including a visit to the World Heritage Sites of The Red Fort, Humayan's Tomb and The Qutub Minar also drive past Government Sectariat, Parliament House, President House and do a photo-stop at India Gate. Visit the National Museum of India. It exhibit's over 2,00,000 works of exquisite art, both of Indian and Foreign origin covering more than 5,000 years of our cultural heritage. Its rich holdings of various creative traditions and disciplines which represent a unity amidst diversity, an unmatched blend of the past with the present and strong perspective for the future, bring history to life. Apart from the collections of Pre-historic Archaeology, Archaeology, Jewellery, Paintings, Decorative arts, Manuscripts, Central Asian Antiquities, Arms and Armour, etc. Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 03: Delhi / Jaipur

Breakfast at hotel and check-out. This morning visit The National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA), the leading Indian Art Gallery. The main museum at Jaipur House in New Delhi was established on March 29, 1954 by the Government of India. Its collection of more than 14,000 works includes artists such as Thomas Daniell, Raja Ravi Verma, Abanindranath Tagore, Rabindranath Tagore, Gaganendranath Tagore, Nandalal Bose, Jamini Roy, Amrita Sher-Gill as well as Foreign Artists, apart from sculptures by various artists. Some of the best sculptors in India have their works displayed in the museum gardens. Some of the oldest works preserved here date back to 1857. Situated at the end of Rajpath, facing the India Gate, the building was a former residential palace of the Maharaja of Jaipur, hence known as Jaipur House. It was designed by Sir Arthur Bloomfield. Hermann Goetz (1898–1976) a noted German art historian became its first curator and in time it added new facilities such as Art restoration services, a Art reference Library and a Documentation Centre. After the visit drive to Jaipur. Upon arrival proceed to hotel for check-in and relax. In the evening, visit the Birla Temple to learn more about the Hindu religion. 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. Witness the Aarti Ceremony (Prayer ceremony) which involves oil lamps being lit and waved, in order to awake and invoke the deity. Return to hotel for overnight stay.

Day 04: In Jaipur

Breakfast at hotel, this morning take an excursion to Amber Fort, located at short distance of 11 kms from the city, this complex stands amidst wooded hills, with its threatening battlements reflected in the motionless waters of the Maota Lake below. You can have the unique experience of riding on a decorated elephant to the top of the hill. One of the premium examples of Rajput architecture, it was the ancient capital of the Kachhawaha rulers. The original palace was built by Raja Man Singh and additions were made later by Sawai Jai Singh. Here are the personal chambers of the Queens with windows having latticed screens so that the ladies could look at the events of the Royal court in privacy. There is also the Jai Mandir or the "Temple of Victory", with its well-known Sheesh Mahal, the sparkling "Hall of Mirrors". Within the Palace are the Diwan-e-Aam or the "Hall of Public Audience", the Diwan-e-Khas or the "Hall of Private Audience" and the Sukh Niwas where a cool breeze blows across channels of water for the purpose of air-conditioning. Return to city and visit City Palace complex in the heart of Jaipur known for its Rajput architecture, the museum houses the rare and rich collection of Ornaments, 15th century Arms & Weapons, Royal Costumes, Carpets, Sanganeri block prints, Kashmiri Pashmina Shawls, folk embroideries and Decorative Art objects of traditional Rajasthani and Mughal art and architecture. Complex has several palatial structures like the Chandra Mahal, Mubarak Mahal, Badal Mahal, Shri Govind Dev Ji Temple and the City Palace Museum and is divided into two parts- One part Sawai Man Singh Museum and other is still the Residential Palace of the former Maharaja. Next we visit the Jantar Mantar, a solar observatory - It is the largest of the five astronomical observatories built by Sawai Jai Singh-I, the founder ruler of Jaipur. It is an astronomical treasure house, with solar device that give accurate predictions till date, it is classified as a world heritage site. Photo-stop at Hawa Mahal or the Palace of Winds, a four storied façade of pink sandstone and one of the most picturesque landmarks with semi-octagonal and delicately honeycombed windows overlooking the main street of the old city. It was built in 1799 so that veiled royal women could see the royal processions through its 593 stone screens without being seen by the outsiders. Return to hotel for overnight stay.

Day 05: Jaipur / Agra

Breakfast at hotel and later check-out. In the morning visit the Albert Hall Museum - supposed to be the oldest museum in Rajasthan. It was designed by Colonel Swinton Jacob in 1876 to welcome King Edward VII as Prince of Wales on his visit to Jaipur. It was brought to life by Thomas Holbein Hendley. The collection that he put together is a valuable inheritance today: Arms and Armour, Sculptures, International Art, Pottery, Stone work, Wood work, Ivory, Jewellery, Clay models, Musical Instruments, Coins and Seals, Carpets, colourful Crystal work and Miniature Paintings. It is also home to the rare Persian Garden Carpet and also an Egyptian Mummy. Initially Maharaja Ram Singh II wanted this building to be a town hall, but his successor, Sawai Madho Singh II, decided it should be a museum for the art of Jaipur and included as part of the new Ram Nivas Garden. Afterwards drive to Agra, en-route stop at Fatehpur Sikri for sightseeing. Fatehpur Sikri - Built in 1571, it is a synthesis of the flourishing styles of the Persian courts and the prevailing Hindu Islamic trends. It was planned as a great town by Emperor Akbar with great care and planning, but it had to be abandoned after fifteen years due to scarcity of water in the town. Constructed mainly as a tribute to the great Sufi Saint Shaikh Salim Chisti who had blessed Akbar with a son. His son was named after the Saint as Salim and he succeeded the Emperor Akbar and was known as Emperor Jehangir. The town was originally named Sikri after the village, where it was founded but its twin city Fatehpur (Victory Town) was erected to celebrate Akbar's conquest of Gujarat. However, ruins of the temple dating back to 12th century suggest the reign of Rajputs in the area long before Mughals took over the area. The two mosques in the village of Sikri have inscriptions, which announce their conception in 1314 under Mohd. Khilji. There have been records that Babur renamed the village 'Sikri' as 'Shukri', meaning 'thanks to the god'. It was also the famous dwelling place and Khanqah of Shiekh Salim Chishti, the famous Sufi saint whom Akbar revered for blessing him with child. Built in Red Sandstone, an example of robust stability combined with originality each important edifice here represents a type by itself. Notable among them is the Buland Darwaza, Tomb of Shaikh Salim Chisti, Jama Masjid, Diwan-e-Aam, Diwan-e-Khas, Panch Mahal, Palace of Jodha Bai, Birbal Bhawan, Miriam's Palace, Karawan Serai and Hiran Minar. Afterwards continue your drive to Agra, arrive and check-in at hotel, relax for sometime in your room/s. In the evening visit Itmad-Ud-Daulah's Tomb. Along with the main building, the structure consists of numerous outbuildings and gardens. Tomb of Mirza Ghiyas Beg - A Wazir (Chief Minister) in the court of Mughal Emperor Jehangir. Ghiyas Beg was honored with the title of Itmad-ud-Daulah or the Pillar of the State. Emperor Jehangir married her beautiful widowed daughter Mehr-un-Nissa, she was later christened Noor Jahan and went down in the history as one of the most beautiful and artistically gifted women in the world. After the death of Mirza Ghiyas Beg in 1622, Noor Jahan undertook the project to build his mausoleum, which took six years to get complete. It is entirely made of white marble. This tomb represents the transition between the first phase of monumental Mughal architecture - primarily built from Red sandstone with marble decorations with mosaic and lattice. Return to hotel for overnight stay.

Day 06: In Agra

Early morning visit the Taj Mahal at sun-rise one of the Seven Wonders of the World, little needs to be said about this architectural wonder. It was constructed of White marble inlaid with masterfully cut colored stones and some semi-precious by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, it is a 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. The Taj has continued to be a mark of love since ever. Also visit the Taj Museum, located within the compound of the Taj Mahal. The museum comprises of three galleries in addition to the main hall and has on display various exhibits relating mostly to the construction of the Taj Mahal and to the period of its builders. Totally 121 antiquities are on display, which are broadly categorized as Mughal Miniature Paintings, Manuscripts, Government Decrees, Specimen of Calligraphy, Arms, Utensils, Plans and Drawings of Taj Complex, Paintings, Specimen Inlay Work, Marble Pillars, etc. In main hall the paintings of Shah Jahan and his most favourite wife Mumtaz Mahal both on ivory, encased in ornamental wooden frame, replicas of coins minted Akbarabad (Agra) are on display. Paintings from the famous Persian epic Shahnama of Firdausi, an interesting manuscript of Chaihl Majlis dated to 1612 AD bearing the signature of Shah Jahan under the Royal seal dated 4th February 1628 and other are displayed in this gallery. Afterwards return to hotel for breakfast, PM - Visit the Agra Fort a World Heritage Site, located near to the Taj Mahal gardens on the banks of River Yamuna. The real specimen of architectural marvel, this fortress was constructed in the 15th century. The construction of this mammoth structure started during 1565 during the reign of Emperor Akbar and continued the developments up to the period of Emperor Shah Jahan. The fort, in a length of 2.5 km marvelous enclosure walls, is built in red sandstones and encloses many monuments which are real architectural wonders. Many exquisite palaces such as the Jehangiri Mahal, Shah Jahani Mahal, the Khas Mahal, Diwan-i-Aam - which was used as a communications ground between the public and the aristocracy and once housed the Peacock Throne, Diwan-i-Khas - a hall of private audience, it was used to welcome Kings and dignitaries and Mussaman Burj - a large, octagonal tower with a balcony facing the Taj Mahal are enclosed in the Fortress. Other monuments include the Fish Pavilion, the Nagina Masjid, Garden of Grapes and the Pearl Mosque. Views of the Taj Mahal from the Fort are amazing. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 04: Agra / Gwalior (By Train)

Breakfast at hotel and later check-out. Drive to Gwalior, arrive and check-in at hotel. Remaining day is at leisure for independent activities. Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 05: In Gwalior

Breakfast at hotel, in the morning proceed for a tour of the Majestic Gwalior Fort. This massive fort had the distinction for being the most invincible forts of India. It stands on a steep mass of sandstone and towers above the Gwalior city. The winding steep road to the fort is flanked by the statues of Jain Tirthankaras, carved into the rock face. Within the fort are some of the most beautiful examples of the medieval architecture. The 15th century Gujari Mahal, a monument of love built by Raja Mansingh Tomar for his Gurjar Queen, the interior of this palace has been converted into an Archaeological Museum. Another monument built by him between 1486-1517 is Man Mandir Palace. Most of the Palace stands stripped of its former glory, the tiles that once adorned its exterior have not survived, but at the entrance, traces of these still remain. There is a charming frieze of ducks paddling in turquoise waters. Within, the palace rooms stand bare, stripped of their former glory, mute testimony to the passing of the centuries. Vast chambers with fine stone screens were once the music halls, and behind these screens, the royal ladies would learn music from the great masters. The Teli Ka Mandir, a 9th century structure with a height of 100 ft. It has blend of two different architectural styles, the shape of the roof is distinctively Dravidian, while the decorative embellishments have the typically Indo-Aryan characteristics, the Sas Bahu temple, built in 11th century dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Visit Jehangir and Shah Jahan Palace, also visit the Jai Vilas Palace, current residence of the Royal Family. It also has a museum offering a glimpse into the rich culture and lifestyle of the princely India. In the afternoon we visit the Gwalior Museum, the museum is enriched with a large and varied collection of antiquities, collected from Gwalior and its adjoining areas. Sculptural wealth of the museum can be classified under Shaiva, Vaishnava, Jaina and miscellaneous groups. They reflect the development of sculptural art and style in India from 1st century BC to 17th century A.D. to which they belong. Sculptures from Mitawali are the earliest collection of the museum. They belong to Sunga and Kushana period. These are life size and colossal figures shown in heavy Garments and Ornaments. Noted sculptures of the period are Balarama, Kartikeya and Lakulisa. Sculptural repertoire found from Nareshwar, Bateswar, Kherat, Ater, Rannod, Surwaya and Padawali are of Pratihara period (8th century A.D. to 10th century AD). Images of the period have retained the rich art traditions and plasticity of the Gupta period. They appear slim, slender, graceful and divine. Among them Nataraj, Ekmukha Sivalinga, Maha Pasupatinath Siva, Saptamatrika, Adinath, Parsvanath etc. are few examples, enriching the display of the museum. Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 06: Gwalior / Khajuraho (278 Kms)

Breakfast at hotel, later check-out. AM - Visit the Jai Vilas Museum, it is a splendid residence of the Scindia family. Part of the residence has been turned into the Scindia Museum (also known as Jivaji Rao Scindia Museum) where one can see a regal lifestyle. Established in year 1964, the museum is controlled by a private trust. Keeping the past alive, Jai Vilas Palace architecture dominates Italian style. The palace is adorned with Belgium artworks, huge China bowl, two famous central chandeliers weighing a couple of tons, intricate gold work ceiling in the Darbar Hall, fine Persian carpets, antique French and Italian furniture. Every corner of the palace is decorated with gifts and artifacts. The dining hall of the palace is a Silver train with glass cut wagons which takes round on the dining table used for serving food to guests. It also has collection of swords which were once worn by Shah Jahan and Aurangzeb. Later drive to the temple town of Khajuraho, arrive and check-in at hotel. In the afternoon visit the world famous exotic Western and Eastern group of temples. Western Group These groups of temples are completely Hindu, and represent some of the finest examples of Chandela art at its peak. Kandariya Mahadeo Temple, Chaunsath Yogini – the earliest temple was built in 900 AD. It is made of granite & dedicated to Goddess Kali. The Chitragupta Temple is dedicated to the Sun God; the Lakshmana Temple is superbly decorated, while the Devi Jagdambi Temple is dedicated to Goddess Kali. Other temples in the Western Group include the Varaha Temple with a 9 foot high boar–incarnation of Lord Vishnu, the Matangeshwara Temple with a 8 feet high lingam. In the South part of the temple it has an open air Archaeological Museum, which has a gorgeous displayed compilation of statues and frieze's collected from the remains of long vanished temples. Eastern Group Situated near the village of Khajuraho, the Eastern Group of temples consists of the well–known temples like Brahma, Vamana and Javari. The group further includes Ghantai, Adinath and Parsvanath (Jain pilgrims) that are located near the Khajuraho Sagar. Adinatha Temple Is richly ornamented with delicate and pretty sculptures including those of yakshis. It is dedicated to the first Jain Tirthankara (Saint), Adinath and the Parsvanath Temple, the largest Jain temple, of the Eastern group. Parsvanath temple is devoted to Lord Parsavanath, the temple is ornamented with picturesque sculptures & has intricate stone carvings. Ghantai Temple - a Jain temple famous for its astonishing frieze. This frieze depicts the 16 dreams of Lord Mahavira mother in conjunction with a multi–armed Jain goddess mounted on a Garuda. Hindu Temples - Amongst the Hindu temples, the Brahma temple, the Vamana temple and the Javari temple are the renowned shrines in the eastern group. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 07: Khajuraho / Varanasi (By Flight)

Breakfast at hotel and later check-out. In the morning we visit the Khajuraho Museum. The present museum was established in 1967 making use of the representative collection of Khajuraho sculptures from the open-air museum. The most important sculptures of this museum represent Brahmanical, Jaina, and Buddhist faiths and are displayed in the five galleries inclusive of the main hall. Afterwards, transfer to airport to board flight for Varanasi. Upon arrival transfer to the hotel. Later in the evening visit the river Ghats along the banks of Holy River Ganges to see the evening prayers being performed. Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 08: In Varanasi

Early morning boat ride on the Ganges to see the rituals being performed by the devotees on the banks of river Ganges. Return to hotel for breakfast. Later excursion to Sarnath - a place where Lord Buddha gave his first sermon. Varanasi is very important city for Hindus and has a history of 5000 years. A visit to this city is highly enriching and rewarding experience. We also visit the Sarnath Museum; this is oldest site museum in India. There are five galleries and two verandahs. The antiquities in the museum date from 3rd century BC to 12th century AD. The galleries have been christened on the basis of their contents; the northern most gallery is Tathagata while next one is Triratna. The main hall is known as Shakyasimha gallery and adjacent to it on south is named as Trimurti. The southernmost is Ashutosh gallery; the verandahs on northern and southern side are named as Vastumandana and Shilparatna respectively. The Shakyasimha gallery displays the most prized collections of the museum. In the centre of this gallery is the Lion Capital of the Mauryan Pillar which has become the National Emblem of India. Apart from the images of Buddha in different posture and Tara, the inscribed colossal standing images of Bodhisattva in red sand stone dedicated by Bhikshu Bala, octagonal shaft, umbrella are also exhibited. Triratna gallery exhibits the images of Buddhist deities and some associated objects. A standing image of siddhakavira which is a form of Manjusri, standing Tara, leopgraph, seated Bodhisattva Padmapani, stele depicting miracle of Sravasti, Jambhala alongwith vasudhara, depiction of Ramgrama stupa being protected by Nagas, Inscriptions of Kumardevi, stele depicting Astamahasthana (eight great places) related to Buddha's life, Sunga railings are of considerable eminence. Tathagata gallery displays images of Buddha in different attitude, Vajrasattva, Bodhisattva padmapani, Nilakantha Lokesvara with a cup of poison, Maitreya, preaching Buddha the most notable sculpture of Sarnath School of art. Trimurti gallery contains pot bellied seated Yaksha figure, image of Trimurti (Brahama, Vishnu and Mahesh) Surya, Saraswati, Mahisasur mardini and some secular objects like figures of birds, animals, male and female heads as well as some stucco figures. Ashutosh gallery exhibits Brahmanical deities like Shiva in different forms, Vishnu, Ganesh, Kartikeya, Agni, Parvati, Navagrahas, Bhairava and a colossal Andhakasuravadha (killing of demon Andhaka) by Shiva. Return back to hotel in the evening for overnight stay.

Day 09: Varanasi / Kolkata (By Flight)

Breakfast at hotel, later check-out. We will leave for the city of Joy - Kolkata formerly known as Calcutta. In-time transfer from hotel to airport to board the flight. Arrive in Kolkata and transfer assistance from airport to hotel. Check-in at hotel. Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 10: In Kolkata

Breakfast at hotel, Proceed for the city tour - The Heritage tour will give insight in to the historical aspect of old Calcutta. This square has many old historic buildings, to name a few - Silver Mint (1824-31) built in Greek style is presently in a dilapidated condition, The Writers Building - designed by Thomas Lyon as a trading house for East India Company in 1780 has 57 sets of identical windows on 3 storeys built like a barrack inside. The Old Mission Church, built by Swedish missionary Johann Kiernander was consecrated in 1770, General Post Office designed by Walter Granville in 1868 has a white dome and Corinthian pillars, The Raj Bhawan, once a residence of British Governors-General and Viceroys, it is now the home of Governor of West Bengal, next to it is the most important Gothic building of Kolkata - the Calcutta High Court, built in 1872. The Mother Teresa's Home - Mother Teresa came as a Loreto Sister in 1931 to teach in a local school in Kolkata and 19 years later with Pope's permission started her Order of the Missionaries of Charity to serve the destitute. The Nuns of this order always work in pairs and the mission has many Homes, Clinics and Orphanages. Nirmal Hriday (pure heart) was opened in 1952 for the dying among the poorest. The Pareshnath Jain Temple is an ornate Digambar Jain temple built in central Indian Style in 1867 by a jeweller. The interior is richly decorated in European baroque and Italianate styles with mirrors and Venetian glass mosaics. The gardens have formal geometric flower beds. Belur Math was founded in 1899 by Swami Vivekanand, a disciple of Saint Ramakrishna. It is presently the international headquarters of Ramakrishna Mission and preaches the unity of all religions. Symbolizing the belief of "Math" (monastery) it has Hindu, Christian and Islamic style of architecture. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 11: Kolkata / Hyderabad (By Flight SG 872 1720 / 1925 hrs)

Breakfast at hotel, start the day with a visit to the Ninth oldest regular Museum of the world, Indian Museum, Kolkata. It was established in the year 1814 at the Asiatic Society and was transferred to the present site in 1878. It has over sixty galleries of Art, Archaeology, Anthropology, Geology, Zoology and Botany sections, spreading over 10000 sq. feet area. Many rare specimens both Indian and Trans - Indian origin relating to Humanities and Natural Science are preserved and displayed in the galleries of these sections. It has a collection of more than 50,000 coins of Gold, Silver and other metals. It also has a mummy in its Egyptian section. In the afternoon visit the Victoria Memorial - a gift by Lord Curzon to Queen Victoria in honor of her commemoration and as a symbol of her Indian Empire. It has been designed in Italian Renaissance -Mughal style and built in White Marble in 1921 and has many galleries with over 3000 exhibits. At the entrance it has an impressive 'weather vane' in form of a 5mt tall bronze figure of Victory, weighing over 3 tons. In the evening, in-time transfer to airport to board flight for Hyderabad. Upon arrival transfer assistance from airport to hotel, check-in at hotel. Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 12: In Hyderabad

Breakfast at hotel, this morning proceed for the full day city tour and visit the Charminar, it is as much the signature of Hyderabad as the Taj Mahal is of Agra or the Eiffel Tower is of Paris. Mohammed Quli Qutb Shah, the founder of Hyderabad, built Charminar in 1591 at the centre of the original city layout. Four graceful minarets soar to a height of 48.7 m above the ground. It has 45 prayer spaces and a Mosque in it and it is illuminated in the evenings. Visit the Chowmahalla Palace, the Asif Jahi dynasty made this palace as their seat. The official guests as well as royal visitors were entertained here. Salabat Jung in 1750 initiated its construction but it was completed in 1869 during the period of Nizams. Known for its unique style and elegance, the palace mainly comprises of two courtyards – southern courtyard and northern courtyard, featuring beautiful palaces, the grand Khilwat (the durbar hall), fountains and gardens. The southern courtyard which consist four palaces Afzal Mahal, Mahtab Mahal, Tahniyat Mahal and Aftab Mahal is the palace's oldest part. It was built in the neo-classical style. Among the four palaces, Aftab Mahal is the grandest. The northern courtyard of the palace features Mughal Domes and Arches. This part consists of the Bara Imam, a long corridor of rooms at the east side which was once used as the administrative wing. Shishe-Alat, opposite to the Bara Imam was the guestroom for the officials. The Khilwat Mubarak is undoubtedly the heart of the palace. The northern courtyard also has the Clock Tower, Council Hall and Roshan Bungalow. Roshan Bungalow was named after the 6th Nizam's mother, Roshan Begum. The Council Hall houses the rare collection of manuscripts and priceless books of the Nizams. It is also the place where Nizam met important officials. Today, temporary exhibitions from the Palace collection also takes place here. Visit Falaknuma Palace, this palace is located on a 2000-foot-high hill. Nawab Vikar-ul-Umra built this palace and Nizam VI purchased this palace from Nawab Vikar-ul-Umra in 1897. The latter used this palace as a royal guest house. The grandson of Nizam VII, Nawab Mukarramjah Bahadur, owns this palace now. With lavishly decorated interiors and built by an Italian architect, this palace stands as a witness to the late 19th century architectural taste of Hyderabad. The palace is modeled like a scorpion whose two 'stings' are spreading out towards north. The palace has as many as 220 lavishly designed rooms as well as 22 halls. The rosewood dining table here is known for its ability to take 100 guests at a time. With its Venetian chandeliers, marble staircase, carved balustrades, a massive library with one of the unique collection of the Holy Quran. (Prior permission is a must to visit this exotic palace) Visit Golconda Fort, the name originates from the Telugu words "Golla Konda" meaning "Shepherd's Hill". The origins of the fort can be traced back to the Yadava dynasty of Deogiri and the Kakatiyas of Warangal. Golconda was originally a mud fort, which passed to the Bahmani dynasty and later to the Qutb Shahis, who held it from 1518 to 1687 A.D. The first three Qutb Shahi Kings rebuilt Golconda, over a span of 62 years. The fort is famous for its Acoustics, Palaces, Ingenious water supply system and the famous Fateh Rahben Gun, one of the cannons used in the last siege of Golconda by Aurangzeb, to whom the fort ultimately fell. Golconda was once the market city for its diamond trade. Darya-e-Nur, meaning 'sea of light', measuring 185 carats and housed now in Iran, was mined here. Many other famed diamonds - including the Koh-I-Noor Diamond, Nur-Ul-Ain Diamond, the Hope Diamond, and the Regent Diamond are believed to belong to the mines in this region. Birla Planetarium is India's most modern planetarium and first of its kind in the country. It is equipped with advanced technology from Japan and is built on Naubat Pahad. The Science Museum stands tribute to the advancement achieved by Science and Technology. Salar Jung Museum - This museum houses one of the biggest one-man collections of antiques of the world by Mir Yousuf Ali Khan, Salar Jung III. The objects d'art include Persian carpets, Mughal miniatures, Chinese porcelain, Japanese lacquerware, famous statues including the Veiled Rebecca and Marguerite and Mephistopheles, a superb collection of Jade, Daggers belonging to Queen Noor Jehan and the Emperors Jehangir and Shah Jahan, Aurangzeb's sword and many other fabulous items. AP State Archaeological Museum - A visit to this museum is a delight for art lovers, located in the picturesque Public Gardens, the museum boasts of one of the richest repositories of antiques and art objects in the country. Built in 1920 by the Nizam VII, the museum building itself is a fine example of Indo-Saracenic architecture. The museum contains a Buddhist gallery, Brahmanical & Jain gallery, Bronze gallery, Arms & Armour gallery, Numismatics gallery, Ajanta gallery and more. The Nizam's Silver Jubilee Museum - The stately Purani Haveli, the palace acquired around the year 1750 by the second Nizam, is now converted into a museum with a fascinating collection. The museum exhibits the gifts and mementos presented to the last Nizam on the occasion of the silver jubilee celebrations in 1937. A 1930 Rolls Royce, Packard and a Mark V Jaguar are among the vintage cars displayed. There is an interesting collection of models made in silver of all the prominent buildings of the city and citations in Urdu about H.E.H. Mir Osman Ali Khan, gold burnished wooden throne used for the silver jubilee celebrations, Gold Tiffin box inlaid with Diamonds, and a gold model of Jubilee Pavilion. Return to hotel for overnight stay.

Day 13: Hyderabad / Mumbai (By Flight 9W 458 09:55 / 11:10 hrs)

Breakfast and check-out from hotel. In-time transfer to airport to board flight for Mumbai, upon arrival in Mumbai, transfer assistance from airport to hotel. Check-in at hotel. PM - Excursion to Elephanta Island Caves, board the boat / ferry from Gateway of India in-time (last boat leaves at 1400 hrs). The rock cut architecture of the caves has been dated to between the 5th and 8th centuries, it is situated on Gharapuri Island in Mumbai's harbour. These caves were designated as World heritage site by UNESCO in 1987 and attract more visitors each year than the entire city of Mumbai. No wonder this place resonates with the spiritual energy of India. The cave complex is a collection of shrines, courtyards, inner cells, grand halls and porticos arranged in the splendid symmetry of Indian rock-cut architecture and filled with exquisite stone sculptures of Hindu Gods and Goddesses. At the entrance to the caves is the famous Trimurti, the celebrated trinity of Elephanta: there's Lord Brahma the Creator, Lord Vishnu, the preserver and Lord Shiva the Destroyer. Unfortunately, many of the sculptures inside have been damaged by iconoclastic Portuguese rulers who took potshots at Hindu Gods with their rifles. And yet somehow, nothing has disturbed the sublime beauty of this place for centuries. In the evening return to the city and visit Gateway of India, It is one of the architectural marvel, located on the southern part of Mumbai on the shores of Arabian Sea, this huge monument speaks at length about the history of our country. The Gateway of India is a combination of the "Indo-Sarcenic" architecture and was built in Yellow Basalt stone in 1924 to celebrate the arrival of King George V and Queen Mary. The design and the plan was given by George Wittet which was approved by the then Governor General of Mumbai, Sir George Sydenham Clarke. The construction began in 1911 and took thirteen years for the entire project to be completed. It was inaugurated by the Viceroy, the Earl of Reading on 4th Dec 1924. The Gateway of India became all the more symbolic when the last British Force left our country on 28th February 1948. Return to hotel for overnight stay.

Day 14: In Mumbai

Breakfast at hotel. This morning proceed for the full day city tour. Visit the Victoria and Albert Museum built in 1872 is the oldest museum in Mumbai. In the 1840s when Bombay came into East India Company hands Dr. Buist, a collector conceived the idea of having a museum in Bombay. Lord Elphinstone, the Governor of Bombay Presidency, was among its early patrons. It showcases archaeological findings, maps and photographs that depict the history of Mumbai. Constructed in Greco-Roman style. The rich collection of the museum comprises of more than six thousand relics. These include items like Bronze sculptures, Pottery, Coins, Ivory work, Paintings, Metal ware, Weapons, Fossils, 17th century maps, reliefs of the city and a scale model of the Parsi Towers to illustrate Mumbai's history. It also serves as sort of reference center on the history of the country, with its compilation of over 4,000 books and manuscripts. There is an elegant collection of clay models illustrating Indian types, costumes, and trades. There are fossils, minerals, delicate ivories and models of temples made from pith. The most eye-catching sight, however, is the elephant sculpture from Elephanta Island. Afterwards proceed to Prince of Wales Museum now known as the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, was set up in the early 20th century to commemorate the visit of the then Prince of Wales (King George V) to India. Designed by an eminent architect, George Wittet, the museum is an impressive heritage building of Mumbai. Built in 1905 to 1915, this museum served as a Children's Welfare Centre and a Military Hospital during the First World War. In 1922 however, it was transformed into Prince of Wales Museum. The architecture of the colonial building is worth observing. The dome is the replica of the famous Gol Gumbaz in Bijapur, Karnataka. The various features of the Museum include small Bulbous Cupolas on Towers, semi-open Verandahs Saracenic Arches with Muslim 'Jalis' as fillers and Rajput 'Jharokhas'. You will find every form of the Indian style of construction present here. The museum can be categorised into three main sections namely, Art, Archaeology and Natural History. One of the standout collections is the rare and ancient exhibits on Indian history. Artifacts from the Indus Valley Civilization and relics from the Gupta and Maurya periods. The rare Sculptures, Miniature Paintings, Decorative Arts, Arms and Armours, Bronzes and Textile. Sections on Nepal / Tibet and Far Eastern Art lend the museum a larger perspective. Visit Jehangir Art Gallery located near Prince of Wales Museum in Kala Ghoda. Built in 1952, this mansion was founded by Sir Cowasji Jehangir on being constantly urged by K. K. Hebbarand and Dr. Homi Bhabha. This gallery is a great specimen of Indian Arts and sculpture and is a historic monument related with the renaissance of Indian arts. The gallery has four exhibition halls for their exhibition and other shows. Jehangir Art Gallery is a perfect place for all artists to exhibit their talent under common roof and for the art connoisseurs to take a look at their works. The gallery exhibits famous works by well-known Indian artists. There's plenty of art is displayed outside as well. It is full of artists offering their work for sale and also for commission assignments. Visit Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, earlier known as Victoria Terminus is an UNESCO World Heritage building. An architectural splendor, it was built in year 1888, after nearly 10 years of construction, as the rail terminus based on the model of St Pancras Station in London and is designed by English architect Frederick William Stevens. Presently VT station or CST is the headquarters of Central Railways. The architectural style is a blend of traditional Indian style and Victorian Gothic style. The building is highly attractive with Brass or Ornamental Iron Railings, Tiles, Woodcarvings and Iron grills. The building is adorned with the statue of Queen Victoria on the dome. Later drive to the Flora Fountain for a photo stop - This marvellous fountain was built in 1869, in honor of Sir Henry Bartle and Edward Frere. It is situated in the heart of the Mumbai city at a junction of five streets. The fountain has a figure of "Flora", the Roman Goddess of Flowers at the top. Proceed to visit Dhobi Ghat: The traditional open air laundry of Mumbai, where 200 dhobi families work together and continue to maintain their hereditary occupation. Afterwards proceed to a local restaurant for farewell dinner. After the dinner transfer to International airport to board flight for return journey.

Day 15: Departure from Mumbai

Departure at early morning by an international flight.


End of our services

PACKAGE INCLUSIONS: -

1. Accommodation in Double room in 05 Star or 04 Star category hotels on CP Basis (Room + Breakfast Basis) inclusive of all presently applicable taxes.

2. Welcome Garlanding upon arrival in India at New Delhi airport.

3. All Arrival / Departure transfers from hotel to railways station / airport and vice - versa

4. Monument entrance fees to places of visit as per the itinerary

5. Air tickets for sector 1. KHAJURAHO / VARANASI, 2. VARANASI / KOLKATA, 3. KOLKATA / HYDERABAD & 4. HYDERABAD / MUMBAI in economy class.

6. Cycle rickshaw ride in Old Delhi, Elephant ride in Jaipur's Amber Fort, early morning boat ride in River Ganges in Varanasi and Boat ride from Gateway of India to Elephanta caves and return.

7. Accompanying English speaking Guide.

8. All Transfers, City sightseeing/excursions and long drives as per itinerary using chauffeur driven air-conditioned Car / Mini Van / Coach.

9. 01 bottle packaged drinking water per person per day

10. All presently applicable interstate & toll taxes

PACKAGE EXCLUSIONS: -

1. Return international air tickets from the city of origin.

2. Travel Insurance and Indian Visa.

3. Personal expenses such as: Any Meals other than specified above / Drinks / Laundry bill & Telephone calls at hotel. Tips for Guides & Driver / Camera Fees at the monuments or any other expenses not included in the clause "inclusions".

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