Kashmir and Rajasthan with Ganges
Trip Highlights :- Delhi | Amritsar | Srinagar | Gulmarg | Delhi | Udaipur | Jodhpur | Jaipur | Agra Orchha | Khajuraho | Varanasi | Delhi |
Tour duration : 17 Nights / 18 Days
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
Amritsar : Amritsar, literally a Pool of Nectar, derives its name from Amrit Sarovar, the holy tank that surrounds the fabulous Golden Temple. First time visitors to Amritsar could be forgiven for the impression that Amritsar is like any other small town in northern India. But Amritsar stands head and shoulders above any other city, its status elevated and sanctified by the presence of the venerable Golden Temple. Located in the heart of Amritsar, the temple complex is surrounded by a maze of narrow lanes, or katras, that house one of the busiest markets in India. But the Golden Temple is a serene presence, radiating a calm that makes people bow their heads in reverence. The Gurudwara, as Sikh temples are called, is the holiest of Sikh shrines. It is not just Sikhs who travel to the Golden Temple to pay homage, the sacred shrine is equally revered by Hindus and people of other faiths who, too, make the pilgrimage to offer prayers at the temple. There more to Amritsar than that - Amongst other sights is Jallianwala Bagh, site of the gruesome massacre of unarmed Indians by British troops. A major tourist attraction these days is the Indo-Pakistan border crossing at Wagah, just a short distance from Amritsar, with its elaborate change-of-guards drill by both sides.
Srinagar : Srinagar, arguably a city that embodies romance and beauty is the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir; perfectly placed in the centre of the Kashmir Valley. Srinagar has an average elevation of 5200 feet above sea level. It is situated on the banks of Jhelum river, a tributary of the Indus. The beauty of Srinagar can not only be seen in its lakes, gardens, springs, mountains, and the rich heritage, but also in the people who embrace the guests with open arms. And the city itself is a gateway to some of the most beautiful scenic places of the Indian subcontinent. It is also known for traditional Kashmiri handicrafts, dry fruits and mouth watering cuisine. The Dal and Nagin lakes enhance its picturesque setting, while the changing play of the seasons and the clean climate ensures that the city is equally attractive to visitors around the year. Name of this city is composed of two Sanskrit words, śrī (venerable) and nagar, which means "city". One theory of the origin of the name is that a Pandava King Ashoka (not to be confused with the Mauryan Emperor Ashoka) built the city of Srinagari. Another theory is that Mauryan Emperor Ashoka founded the original city of Srinagar, then situated on the site of the present village of Pandrethan, 05 kms to the North of the existing capital.
Gulmarg : The best Skiing resort in India, Gulmarg's legendary beauty, prime location and proximity to Srinagar naturally make it one of the premier hill spots in the country. It lies at the western end of the Himalayas in a subsidiary range called the Pir Panjal and close to Nanga Parbat - mountain. It is an all-weather resort and attracts tourists for Trekking, Mountain Biking, Horse riding, Water Skiing, Fishing, Skiing, Heli-skiing, Snowboarding, Sledding and Snow-shoeing. An International Tourism destination for Winter Adventure Sports - Gulmarg is one of the best powder snow resorts of the world owing to regular and considerable snowfalls all winter long. Originally called 'Gaurimarg' by shepherds, its present name was given in the 16th century by Sultan Yusuf Shah, who was inspired by the sight of its grassy slopes emblazoned with wild flowers. A clear day offers some breathtaking views from Gulmarg: fields of rice; clusters of walnut, pear and mulberry; meadows, ridges and forests that lead to the snow slopes. Gulmarg's international lush green golf course is the highest in the world. Gulmarg is also an important trekking base. Sports gear such as Skis, Boots, Sticks, Gloves and Goggles are available for rent at the Ski shop which is owned and run by the Government where you would also find skiing instructors. You would be surprised to know that the world's second highest Cable Car operates in Gulmarg.
Pahalgam : Located at the confluence of River Aru and River Sheshnag. River Lidder runs right through the town of Pahalgam. River Aru originates in the Kolahoi Glacier and River Sheshnag from Sheshnag Lake and other glaciers in the Himalayas. Before it became a tourist hot-spot, Pahalgam was a quiet 'Village of Shepherds' from whom it derived its name. Whether in summer or in winter - Pahalgam offers breath-taking views of the Valley, the Meadows, the Rivers and the Mountains. Situated at an altitude of 2130 mt above sea level, it has a golf course at 2400 mt above the sea level. The bubbling Lidder harbours a sizeable population of rainbow Trout and Mahaseer. The nearby forested slopes are home to the Himalayan brown bear. Around Pahalgam are many places of interest, and because the resort is set between fairly steep hills, it is worth hiring a pony rather than walking. The most beautiful of these is the huge, undulating meadow of Baisaran, surrounded by thickly wooded forests of pine. Hajan an idyllic spot for a picnic. Extremely popular with tourists, it is an important trekking base. Chandanwari, is also the starting point of the journey to the Amarnath Shrine which takes place every year in the month of July/August
Udaipur : Capital of the legendary Sisodias of Mewar, who fought the fiercest battles against the foreign intruders, Udaipur was built on the shores of Lake Pichola by Udai Singh II in 1559, when his former capital, Chittorgarh was sacked by the Mughal emperor Akbar. The 5 lakes that dot Udaipur have earned for it the sobriquet of 'The City of Lakes'. The history savants throng the city to explore its palaces, havelis and museums while its fabled lakes and beautiful surroundings make it a hot spot for the honeymooners. The picturesque city has lured many Hollywood and Bollywood big shots to shoot here some of the legendry movies here.
Jodhpur : Jodhpur, the erstwhile kingdom of Marwar, is its cultural capital. The city of Jodhpur, popularly known as the Gateway of Desert Thar, history of Jodhpur is the history of the Rathore clan which ruled over this land for over six centuries and endowed it with traditions of higher values and rich heritage. The chief of the Rathore clan, Rao Jodha, 13th in the line of succession from Rao Siha, after wandering in different parts of Marwar for 15 years, succeeded in recapturing Mandore in 1453, lost by his father Rao Ridmal, founded Jodhpur - formerly known as Marwar, in 1459. Rao Jodha was crowned in 1453 and six years later laid the foundation of Mehrangarh fort. Sturdy, beautiful and the fame of Rathores, the Mehrangarh fort, remained inaccessible and impossible to capture in the battlefield. The 36th ruler of Marwar, Maharaja Umaid Singh (1918-47) is known as the maker of Modern Jodhpur. He introduced the concept of a Welfare-State. The regular droughts made the people of his State economically challenged and forced them to rush to other States. The foresighted Maharaja Umaid Singh ordered the construction of a new palace on the mountains area of Chhitar in 1929, which provided employment to 3000 people for 14 years. Construction of hospitals, railway stations, library and museum, stadium, cinema hall and dams.
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 Mughals. 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.
Orchha : A quaint little town situated in Madhya Pradesh's Tikamgarh District. Orchha, an erstwhile princely state in the Bundelkhand region basks prettily along the banks of the Betwa River. Located in the vicinity of the historically famous Jhansi. The former Bundela chief Rudra Pratap Singh was the first monarch of the princely state of Orchha. It was Rudra Pratap Singh who founded the city of Orchha, way back in the 16th century. The only Bundela state that did not subjugate to the Maratha power, Orchha has many a claim to its fame. The Maharajahs of Orchha were highly esteemed and were recipients of the honorable title, First of the Princes of Bundelkhand. Orchha is also opulent in tourist attractions. The majestic Orchha fort whose origin can be traced back to the 17th century houses numerous spectacular palaces and other edifices. The chaste Raja Rammandir, elaborate and intricately decorated Jehangir Mahal as well as a host of other cenotaphs, tombs and temples are peppered all over Orchha and are the must see destinations on a Central Indian sojourn. The ancient Chaturbhuj temple that rests on a stone pedestal is another big draw with erudite scholars, savant researchers and tourists sightseeing in and around Orchha.
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.
Arrival in India (New Delhi), traditional welcome by our representative at airport, transfer assistance to hotel. Check-in at hotel, before you proceed to your room/s, our representative will hand-over the travel documents and brief you about the tour programme. Overnight stay at Hotel.
Check-out from hotel in the morning and transfer to New Delhi railway station to board train for Amritsar.
(Train # 12029 Swarna Shatabdi Express, departure at 0720 hrs / arrival at 1335 hrs). Tea / Coffee & Breakfast will be served on board.
Or (You can carry packed breakfast from the hotel.) Upon arrival in Amritsar, you will be met by our representative, transfer assistance from railway station to your hotel. Late in the afternoon, take the short excursion to the border at Wagah located 29 Kms away from the city, where both Indian and Pakistani troops take part in flag lowering ceremony at dusk. The march-past is followed by the singing of national anthem. It is a martial custom that the security forces of India (Border Security Force) and Pakistan (Pakistan Rangers) perform daily. Return to Amritsar for overnight stay at hotel.
Breakfast at hotel. This morning you will visit the spectacular Golden Temple - the most sacred site in the Sikh religion. On the way visit Jallianwala bagh, the memorial to commemorate the 2000 Indians who were killed and wounded, shot indiscriminately by the British under the command of Gen Michael O'Dyer on April13, 1919 while participating in a peaceful public meeting. Sri Harmandir Sahib, also known as Sri Darbar Sahib or Golden Temple, (on account of its scenic beauty and golden coating), is named after Hari (God) the temple of God. The Sikhs all over the world, daily wish to pay visit to Amritsar and to pay obeisance at Sri Harmandir Sahib in their Ardas. The Harmandir Sahib was envisioned by Guru Arjan Dev. It was conceived by him to reflect the resoluteness, clarity and simplicity of the Sikh religion. Akal Takht faces the Golden Temple was built by the 6th Guru Hargobind (1606-44) in 1609. All commandments affecting the community as a whole were and are issued from here. A number of weapons used by Guru Hargobind, Guru Gobind Singh and other Sikh heroes are preserved at Akal Takht. You can also visit the Guru-ka-Langar, a dining hall where around 35,000 people a day are fed for free by temple volunteers. Return to hotel, remaining day at leisure. Overnight stay at hotel.
(Flight # SG 151 departure from Amritsar at 1310 hrs / arrival in Srinagar at 1410 hrs)
Breakfast and check-out from hotel. In-time transfer to airport to board flight for Srinagar. Upon arrival transfer assistance from airport to hotel / Deluxe Houseboats. Enjoy your Lunch in houseboat. Late afternoon Shikara ride on Dal Lake visiting floating Flower and Vegetable markets etc. Also witness Walnut woodcarving and Papier Machie making demonstration. Return to your houseboat and relax, enjoy the views of lake and surrounding peaks. Overnight stay at houseboat.
Breakfast at houseboat. This morning proceed for the full day sightseeing and visit important sights of Srinagar City. Visit Shankaracharya Temple - This Temple, known to be built by Jaluka, the son of Emperor Ashoka around 200 BC, is an ancient shrine located on the Takht-e-Suleiman hill. This sacred site, situated at a height of about 1100 ft on the south-east of the city, offers splendid views of the valley and the snow clad mountains of the Pir Panjal range. Local folks tell a story that saint Shankaracharya spent some of his time at this site during his visit to Kashmir to revitalize Sanatan Dharma. It is constructed on an elevated octagonal plane, can be reached through a flight of steps bounded by side-walls. The inner sanctum adorns a modern ceiling & several Persian inscriptions. Visit Hazratbal Mosque - Also known as Dargah Sharif, Assar-e-Sharif and Madinat-Us-Sani, this Mosque on the western banks of the majestic Dal Lake is considered to be one of the most important shrines for Muslims. With the impressive Nishat Bagh in the vicinity, this enchanting white marble mosque offers great views of the Lake in the back drop of the majestic Himalayas. The Mosque is a combination of Kashmiri and Mughal styles of architecture, with historical significance dating back to the 17th century. The distinctiveness of the Hazratbal Mosque is that it enshrines the 'Moi-e-Muqaddas' (the sacred hair) of the prophet Mohammed, which is shown to public only on special occasions. Visit Khanqah of Shah Hamadan, also known as Khanqah Mosque, Shah Hamadan Masjid, Khanqah-e-Moula and so on, is one of the oldest Muslim Shrines in Kashmir. It is ideally situated on right bank of the River Jhelum. This mosque was built in 1395 by Shah Sikandar in the memory of Mir Sayyid Ali Hamdani, a preacher from City of Hamdan in Persia. The shrine bears aesthetically designed wooden structure with surprising carved roofs, rich interiors carved with ancient religious sermons and historical inscriptions, with antique chandelier and carved hanging bells. This shrine was gutted in a devastating fire twice in year 1480 and in 1731 and was reconstructed by ruler Sultan Hassan Shah and by Abul Barkat Khan respectively. Later visit the famous Mughal gardens – Nishat Bagh (Garden of Pleasure) - The largest Mughal garden situated on the banks of world famous Dal-Lake in the backdrop of Zabarwan hills encircles the Dal Lake. Empress Noor Jahan's brother Asif Khan laid the Garden in 1633 AD. Nishat has seven terraces with a beautiful central water course flowing right in the middle. These terraces rise dramatically off the mountains from the eastern part of the lake. Shalimar Bagh - It was planted by Mughal Emperor Jehangir for Empress Noor Jahan in 1619 and later extended in 1727 by Shah Jahan. Shaded by magnificent Chinar trees, the Shalimar is a series of stone pavilions and flowing water with paint box bright flower beds. The Garden blooms with innumerable varieties of flowers in spring and autumn. Chashme Shahi Garden, founded in 1632, is a small beautiful garden, the smallest among the famous Mughal gardens it is also known as Royal Spring, by road. The garden is established in three sections with an aqueduct with fountains and waterfalls located along the middle. Different varieties of beautiful fragrant flowers and manicured lawns are the main attractions in this garden. It is believed that the fresh water spring in the garden has medicinal value. Overnight stay at houseboat.
Breakfast and check-out from hotel, afterwards drive to Gulmarg, upon arrival proceed to hotel for check-in. Later during the day, proceed for the sightseeing in Gulmarg. Enjoy a ride on Gondola Lift, a cable car system, popular among tourists for the aerial breathtaking view it offers. Gulmarg boasts Asia's highest and longest cable car project, situated at the height of 13500 ft above sea level, this lift covers a distance of 5 km in 2 stretches from Gulmarg to Kungdoori and from Kungdoori to Apparwath. The second stage of the gondola ride is exhilarating. Visit Khilanmarg, It remains carpeted with beautiful flowers in the Spring season and offers a spectacular view of the Great Himalayan range and the Kashmir Valley. Overnight stay at hotel.
Breakfast at hotel. Visit Baba Reshi Shrine (Ziarat) built and dedicated to the famous Muslim Scholar and Sage - Baba Reshi who breathed his last in Gulmarg in 1480. He was a prominent member of the court of Zain-ul-Abidin - a Kashmiri King of the early 15th century. This shrine was built amidst a luxuriant garden and is a major tourist attraction apart from the visits from its devotees. Remaining day at leisure for independent activities. Overnight stay at hotel.
After early breakfast check-out from hotel. This morning drive to Pahalgam (Valley of Shepherds). Arrive and check-in at hotel. Afterwards proceed for the sightseeing and visit following places in and around:- Baisaran is situated at an altitude of 2438 m above sea level, at a distance of a mere 5 km from Pahalgam. Magnificent snow covered mountains, dense pine forests, and sprawling unspoilt meadows attract tourists from far-flung places. The top of the hill allows for a mesmerizing view of the Lidder River Valley and Pahalgam Valley. The place is considered similar to European resorts and serves as a picnic and camp site for tourists. Visit, Aru Valley which is a small yet self-sufficient scenic village located 15 km from Pahalgam. The drive up to the village is alluring too. The location of the village among the grasslands, make this place a tourist delight. It is reachable by walking along a mountain path. The village also serves as the start point for trekking to Kolahoi glacier. Later visit Hajan valley also known as Betaab valley, because of its scenic location few movies have been shot here. Overnight stay at hotel.
After early breakfast, check-out from hotel. Early in the morning drive from Pahalgam to Srinagar en-route visit at Saffron fields of Pampora, see the beautiful countryside, lots of rice fields and Awantipura ruins on the way, Awantipura Ruins (1100 years Old Temple) - Built in 09th century AD by King Avantivarman and dedicated to Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva, the temple ruins at Awantipura represent some of the finest examples of architecture of this region.
Later continue your drive through the pine forest, the confluence of the streams flowing from the river Lidder & Sheshnag Lake which are famous for their scenic beauty.
Reach Srinagar city, in-time transfer to airport to take flight for Delhi.
(Flight # 9W 604 departure from Srinagar at 1235 hrs / arrival in Srinagar at 1410 hrs)
Upon arrival in Delhi take a connecting flight for Udaipur city from the same terminal of airport.
(Flight # 9W 707 departure from Delhi at 1635 hrs / arrival in Udaipur at 1755 hrs)
Upon arrival in Udaipur transfer assistance from airport to hotel. Remaining time of the evening at leisure. Overnight stay at hotel.
Breakfast at hotel. This morning set out to explore the romantic city of Lakes - Udaipur, with the palaces built around Lake Pichola and the Aravalli Hills forming the backdrop.
The highlight will be the City Palace, the former home of the Maharanas of Udaipur, the musuem is entered through the Ganesh Deori meaning the door of Lord Ganesh, this leads to the Rajya Angan, the royal courtyard. The rooms of the palace are superbly decorated with mirror tiles and paintings. The Ruby Palace has a lovely collection of glass and mirror work while Krishna Vilas display a rich collection of miniature paintings. Pearl palace has beautiful mirror work and the Chini Mahal has ornamental tiles all over. The Surya Chopar depicts a huge ornamental Sun symbolising the Sun dynasty to which the Mewar dynasty belongs. The Bai Mahal is a central garden with view of the city. This Palace being a majestic architectural marvel, within the four walls are mosaics of Peacocks, exquisite mirror work and exotic paintings. It is a conglomeration of courtyards, pavilions, terraces, corridors, rooms and hanging gardens.
Also visit Crystal Gallery, which has been hailed as probably the single largest private collection of crystal anywhere in the world. The collection includes a bewildering number of objects d'art, dinner sets, perfume bottles, decanters, glasses, washing bowls and even furniture. The Crystal Gallery also houses the only crystal bed in the world.
From here you will drive to the Palace Garage to see private collection of Vintage & Classic cars of House of Mewar. The grand limousines and cars showcased here are Rolls-Royce, 1939 Cadillac open convertibles, rare Mercedes models, 1936 Vauxhall and 1937 Opel models.
Visit Sahelion ki Bari, a spot once reserved for the royal ladies who strolled here, this well-planned garden is blessed with extensive and shady lawns on the banks of the Fateh Sagar Lake. The garden's lotus pools and fountains show ancient science since they've been placed at a lower level than the Lake, thus being gravity-driven. The main fountain lies in the center on a white marble deck with black marble marking its four corners. On the western face are pavilions, delicately sculptured of black stone that are embraced by more fountains on all sides.
Late Afternoon - Take a boat ride of Lake Pichola and visit the beautiful 17th century Jagmandir Island Palace and Jagat Niwas (Lake Palace : a luxury hotel) set amidst the lake.
In the evening visit the Jagdish Temple, an Indo-Aryan temple, this temple with Lord Vishnu as the main deity was built by Maharana Jagat Singh in 1651. The temple is constructed by perfectly following the Shipa Shastra, an art and science of construction theories for temples and other buildings. Excellent Carvings showing musicians playing musical instruments, dancing and singing of beautiful lady folks adorn the large hall in the temple. Return to hotel for overnight stay.
Check out from your hotel after breakfast and drive to Jodhpur, en-route stop at Ranakpur for a temple tour. Acclaimed world-wide for their intricate and superb architectural style, one of the five major pilgrimages of the Jains. These temples lies at a distance of 95 kms in the north of Udaipur city. Built in the 15th century by Seth Dharna Sah (a Jain businessman) with the aid of Rana Kumbha, who ruled Mewar in the 15th century. This complex is positioned in an isolated valley on the western side of the Aravalli Range. This temple is wholly constructed in light colored marble and comprises a basement covering an area of 48000 sq feet. There are more than 1400 exquisitely carved pillars that support the temple.
In the complex, there are several temples including Chaumukha temple, Parsavanath temple, Amba Mata Temple and Surya Temple. Amongst all of them, Chaumukha Temple is the most important and as the term Chaumukha suggests, this temple is four-faced. Chaumukha temple is dedicated to Lord Adinath, who is the first 'Tirthankara' of the Jains. The Temple structure is highly compound having four different doorways to get into the chambers. These chambers ultimately take you to the main hall where the image of Adinath is positioned.
The four faced image also symbolizes the Tirthankara's quest for the four directions and ultimately the cosmos. The image is surrounded by many small shrines and domes. One more range of cells with separate roofs encircles these shrines and domes all over again. The five spires elevate above the walls and around 20 cupolas rise from roof of the pillared hall. Each spire houses a shrine and the largest shrine is the important one that addresses the central altar. The temple is a masterpiece of architecture and boasts of not less than four additional shrines. It has 24 pillared halls with 80 domes that are supported by 400 columns. The upper and lower parts of the domes are linked by brackets that have deities' sculptures. Above all, you would be amazed to see at a height of 45 ft engraved nymphs playing the flute in various dance postures. Each column is intricately carved and it is surprising to know that no two columns have the similar design. In the Mandap (prayer hall), the two big bells of 108 kg each produce a harmonious sound on the movement. Chaumukha temple is formed like a Nalinigulm Vimana (heavenly aircraft) and provides this whole structure a celestial appearance. Conceivably, it is due to the intricacy of the structure that the temple took approximately 65 years to complete.
The Temple of Parsavanath is renowned for its engraved windows embellished with Jain figures. Also known as Patriyon Ka Mandir, in close proximity to this temple, you can trace two other temples dedicated to Neminath (22nd saint) and Surya Narayan (Sun God) respectively. Here, Surya Narayan Temple has innumerable wall projections with circular structure. The sight of Lord Surya driven in his chariot of seven horses is truly pleasing.
After the tour, continue your drive to Jodhpur, Arrive in the evening and check in to your hotel. Overnight stay at hotel.
Breakfast and check out from hotel. Proceed for the city tour of Jodhpur, Visit the aptly named majestic Meherangarh Fort, which dominates the skyline. Entered through gates, which bear the evocative handprints of the "Sati" queens women of the royal harem, who took their own lives when their men were defeated in battle. The fort has a series of spectacular palaces and museum, each decorated with exquisite engravings, lattice and mirror work. Of particular note is the museum that exhibits a magnificent collection of royal memorabilia; we stop to admire the graceful cenotaph at Jaswant Thada, A prime attraction of the city is clock tower and the colorful sadar Market near to it. Narrow alleys lead to quaint bazaars selling vivid tie and dye fabric, textiles, antiques, glass bangles, silverware and handicrafts. These colorful markets with tiny shops are situated in the heart of city. During the day time drive to Jaipur, known as Pink city the capital of enchanting state of Rajasthan. Arrive Jaipur in the evening and check in to your hotel. Overnight stay at hotel.
Breakfast at hotel, in the morning take an excursion to Amber Fort the former royal capital, situated outside the walled city, is perhaps the most beautiful example of Rajput forts. You can have the unique experience of riding on a decorated elephant to the top of the hill on which the fort is situated. This fort is an architectural masterpiece with its mirror-studded alcoves, dazzling and mosaics. Amer originally, was the capital of the state before Jaipur, built in 1592 by Raja Man Singh. Though the fort is quite old and may even look so from the outside, it is beautiful on the inside and boasts of various buildings of prominence like the 'Diwan-I-Aam', and the 'Sheesh Mahal'. It has influences of both Hindu and Muslim architecture. It also has the 'Shila Devi' Temple and the 'Ganesh Pol' which is a gate that leads to the private palaces of the Kings.
Return to the city, for the city tour and visit the City Palace, located in the heart of Jaipur known for its blend of Rajput and Mughal architecture. This sprawling complex, with its gorgeous buildings and marvelous collection of art and artifacts. A major part of the 'City Palace' now consists of the 'Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum'. It is also the residence of the Jaipur Royal Family. This complex which houses the rare and rich collection of Ornaments, Arms, Royal costumes, Carpets and Decorative art objects of traditional Rajasthani Art and Architecture. Another monument near the City Palace is Jantar Mantar, 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 UNESCO 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. Overnight stay at hotel.
Breakfast at hotel and later check-out. In the morning drive to Agra en-route visit Fatehpur Sikri. 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 the Taj Mahal - One of the Seven Wonders of the World, a pristine monument of undying love, built by Emperor Shah Jahan to enshrine the body of his beloved wife Arjumand Banu Begum (Mumtaz Mahal) after she died in 1631 at Burhanpur. The Taj has continued to be a mark of love since ever. This monument took 22 years to be completed and was designed, and planned by Persian architect Ustad Isa. The construction started in 1632 and was completed in 1653. The workforce of some 20,000 and 1,000 elephants, included Masons, Stonecutters, Inlayers, Carvers, Calligraphers, Dome-builders and other artisans were requisitioned from the empire and also from Italy, Central Asia and Persia. In accordance with Islamic tradition, verses from the Quran were inscribed in calligraphy on the arched entrances to the mausoleum, in addition to numerous other sections of the complex. 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. Witness the White marble reflect the nuances of the changing light from the Sun. Taj Mahal symbolize the richness of art and architecture of the Mughal period. Overnight stay at Hotel.
Check-out from hotel in the morning, in-time transfer to railway station to board train for Jhansi. (Train # 12002 Bhopal Shatabdi Express, departure at 0811 hrs / arrival at 1045 hrs). Arrival assistance at railway station at Jhansi and you shall be driven to Orchha (12 Kms). Orchha was founded by former Bundela chief Rudra Pratap Singh in 16th century. It is renowned for its graceful monuments, which exhibit unique and exclusive architectural magnificence. Visit Jehangir Mahal - built by Raja Bir Singh Ju Deo in the 17th century to honor the visit of Mughal Emperor Jehangir to Orchha. Raj Mahal - located to the right of the courtyard was built in the 17th century by Madhukar Shah. The simple exteriors, crowned by Chhatris, give way to the interior of Mahal with wonderful murals, strongly colorful on a range of religious themes. Ram Raja Temple - an extraordinary temple, it is well known for its elevated spires and lavish architecture. Built upon a huge stone platform and reached by a steep flight of steps. Also visit Chaturbhuj Temple, Laxmi Narayan Temple, Shiva Mandir and other cenotaphs "Chhatries" on the bank of river Betwa. Lunch will be at Orchha Raja Temple. After lunch drive to Khajuraho, arrive and check-in at hotel. Overnight stay at Hotel.
Early breakfast at hotel and check-out. In the morning visit the Eastern & Western 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 ft high boar–incarnation of Lord Vishnu, the Matangeshwara Temple with 8 ft 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: This 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 - 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. After your sightseeing, you will be transferred to airport to board flight for Varanasi. (Flight # SG 2395 departure from Khajuraho at 1455 hrs / arrival in Varanasi at 1550 hrs) Upon arrival in Varanasi transfer assistance from airport to hotel. In the evening witness the Aarti at the river Ganges Ghats (evening prayer ceremony). Overnight stay at hotel.
Early in the morning, proceed to River Ghat and take a boat ride on the sacred river Ganges to see and witness the living traditions of one of the world's oldest and most important religions. 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. 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. Return to hotel for breakfast. Proceed for a day tour of Varanasi including the Bharat Mata Temple, which features a big relief map of Mother India, engraved in marble. Visit the 18th century Durga Temple. Proceed to the Tulsi Manas Temple, crafted from white marble which features the entire Ramayana inscribed on its walls. Also visit the Benaras Hindu University, considered as the biggest residential university in Asia and visit the new Vishwanath temple located in the campus itself. PM - Excursion to Sarnath - one of the holiest Buddhist sites in the world, where Buddha preached his first Sermon in 590 BC. Witness the ruins of a once flourishing Buddhist monastery, There are many Buddhist monuments and structures in Sarnath. Some of the significant Buddhist monuments at Sarnath are the Dhamekha stupa, the Chaukhandi stupa and monasteries and temples. There is also an enormous stretch of ancient ruins at Sarnath. Numerous Buddhist structures were raised here between the 3rd century BC and the 11th century AD, and today it presents the most expansive ruins amongst places on the Buddhist trail. The Ashoka Pillar is the National emblem of India. Also visit Museum - Numerous sculptures, arts, and other artworks on Lord Buddha are stored in the Museum of Sarnath. Return to hotel for overnight stay.
Breakfast and later check-out from hotel. (heck-out time at noon 1200 hrs) In-time transfer to airport to board flight for Delhi. (Flight # AI 433 departure from Varanasi at 1710 hrs / arrival in Delhi at 1825 hrs) Arrival and departure transfer assistance at Delhi airport. Board your return journey flight. * Departure early in the morning (next day) by an international flight.
End of our services
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. 02 Nights stay in Srinagar in Deluxe Houseboat on Dal Lake on AP Basis (Full board).
3. Welcome Garlanding upon arrival in India at New Delhi airport.
4. All Arrival / Departure transfers from hotel to railways station / airport and vice - versa
5. Monument entrance fees to places of visit as per the itinerary
6. Tickets for AC express train for sector/s NEW DELHI / AMRITSAR and AGRA / JHANSI.
7. Air tickets for sector/s 1. AMRITSAR / SRINAGAR, 2. SRINAGAR - NEW DELHI / UDAIPUR, 3. KHAJURAHO / VARANASI & 4. VARANASI / NEW DELHI in economy class.
8. Cycle rickshaw ride in Old Delhi, Shikara (boat) ride in Dal Lake in Srinagar, Gondola (Ropeway Cable car) ride in Gulmarg, evening boat ride Udaipur's Lake Pichola, Elephant joy ride in Jaipur's Amber Fort and early morning boat ride in River Ganges in Varanasi.
9. Accompanying English speaking Guide.
10. All Transfers, City sightseeing/excursions and long drives as per itinerary using chauffeur driven air-conditioned Car / Mini Van / Coach.
11. 01 bottle packaged drinking water per person per day
12. All presently applicable interstate & toll taxes
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".