North India Temple Tour
Trip Highlights :- Delhi | Haridwar | Rishikesh | Mathura | Agra | Allahabad | Varanasi | Delhi |
Tour duration : 11 Nights / 12 Days
Hindu Priest : A Hindu priest is called a Pundit or Purohit. He usually has extensive knowledge on religion as well as the scriptures. He is also a master of the Sanskrit language and is responsible for preaching the scripture to the people. He is one who carries out all religious ceremonies (Pooja) by chanting the Mantras and Shalokas as prescribed in the sacred texts. On every auspicious occasion, it is the responsibility of the Pundit to invoke the mighty spirits to bless the ceremonial function, be it the fixation of a marriage, entering a newly built house or the opening ceremony of a shop.
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
Haridwar : It is situated at the base of the Shivalik hills, where the Ganga, comes down from the mighty Himalayas meets the plains. Haridwar literally is 'The gateway to the Gods'. "This place is very beautiful", at one sight one will say so and fall in love with the scenic beauty of the blend of height and plains. A Gateway to the four pilgrimage of Uttarakhand, Haridwar is also known as Gangadwar, Tapovan and Mayapuri. According to the mythology it is known as Kapilsthan. legend goes that the suryavnshi Prince Bhagirath performed penance here to salvage the souls of his ancestors who had perished due to the curse of the sage Kapila. The penance was answered and the river Ganga trickled forth from Lord Shiva's locks and its bountiful waters revived the sixty thousand sons of King Sagara. Mythologically, drops of nectar churned out from the primordial ocean fell at the four sites of the Kumbh mela including Haridwar. The Kumbh mela, happening once every 12 years and the Ardha Kumbha Mela (Coming once every six years) are big draws. One of the oldest living cities, Haridwar has been in people's mind from the period of Buddha to the British advent and now even is the 21st century. Besides being a religious place, it has served as the center for learning arts, science and culture.
Rishikesh : The divine city of Rishikesh is located in the laps of Himalayas. This beautiful city is encircled by the picturesque hills on all three sides. The setting becomes even more charming with Sacred Ganga flowing through the valley. The divine land offers a perfect meditation center where pilgrims from all over the world come to attain salvation. The city of Rishikesh houses many new and ancient temples along the Holy River Ganga. It is an important pilgrimage centre closely related to the Ramayana, and many Hindu religious and spiritual centers all over the city. The place is also renowned for a Yoga Centre, ashrams, and Yoga institutes. Rishikesh is the commencing point for many journeys to Chardham including Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri, and Yamunotri. Apart from religious significance, Rishikesh is also a beloved destination for adventure sportsmen. You can enjoy white water rafting and many other sports, trekking, rock climbing, and hiking in the Himalayas. Tourists from across the world haunt Rishikesh to enjoy various trekking expeditions and excursions. Every year thousands of tourists visit Rishikesh during the International Yoga week, which is held at Rishikesh from 2nd -7th Feb on the banks of the Ganga River.
Mathura : The abode of Lord Krishna, the geographical location of Mathura, popularly known as the Brajbhoomi is in the western part of the state of Uttar Pradesh. It occupies the rolling plains in the northern part and is situated on the western bank of river Yamuna. As the hometown and birthplace of Lord Krishna who is considered to be the re-incarnation of Lord Vishnu., Mathura is one of the most important pilgrimage for the Hindus. Brajbhasi and Hindi are the main languages of the people of Mathura. Hinduism is the dominant religion, followed by Islam. The history of Mathura dates back to the ancient times, Mathura and Vrindavan along with its surrounding areas are associated with the childhood memories of Lord Krishna. Mathura was a part of the Mauryan Empire. During the reign of King Ashoka, Mathura was the seat of Buddhism and was an important center of arts. After the decline of the Mauryan Empire, the influence of Hinduism spread its roots far and wide. This historic and spiritual destination has numerous tourist attractions. Jama Masjid, Dwarkadheesh Temple, Govardhan Hill and Archaeological Museum are popular tourist spots.
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.
Allahabad : Allahabad or Prayag is also called the "Tirth Raj", the king of all pilgrimage centers. There are many references to Prayag or Allahabad in Indian epics, Vedas and Puranas. Allahabad stands at the confluence of the Ganga and Yamuna (two of India's holiest rivers) and Saraswati River (a mythical river which is not visible). The place where river Ganga and river Yamuna meet is called Sangam (union). Sangam is the venue of many sacred fairs and rituals, and attracts thousands of pilgrims throughout the year. The most important event at Prayag is the Kumbha Mela. Millions of people from all over India and the world gather at Prayag to take a holy dip at Sangam. Though Prayag has been in existence for ages, the name Allahabad was given by the great Mughal emperor, Akbar. Realizing the strategic position of Allahabad, Emperor Akbar built a magnificent fort on the banks of the holy Sangam. During the British period too, it remained an important center, which is reflected in the remnants of the colonial architecture. Allahabad has remained on the National forefront all the times, more importantly, during the Indian independence struggle. Allahabad, with its religious, cultural and historical traditions, has produced several renowned scholars, poets, writers, thinkers, statesmen and freedom fighters.
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.
Breakfast at hotel. This morning explore India's capital city by touring its magnificent monuments, start your tour by visiting - Old Delhi: An ancient walled city earlier known as Shahjahanabad. Take a photo stop at Red Fort: the most opulent red sandstone fort and palace of the Moghul Empire (1639-1648 built by Shah Jahan the 5th Mughal Emperor of India and the builder of the Taj Mahal in Agra), visit Jama Masjid, Largest mosque in India, the foundation of the historic Jama Masjid was laid on a hillock in Shahjahanabad by Emperor Shah Jahan in 1650 AD, this mosque was the result of the efforts of over 6,000 workers, over a period of six years (1650-1656 AD). The cost of the construction in those times was 1 million rupees. This Mosque has three great gates, four towers and two 40 m-high minarets constructed of strips of red sandstone and white marble. About 25,000 people can pray here at a time. The mosque has a vast paved rectangular courtyard, which is nearly 75 m by 66 m. The whole of the western chamber is a big hall standing on 260 pillars.
Visit Chandni Chowk, the bustling and colorful market of the old city, designed by Emperor Shah Jahan's daughter Jahanara Begum. Jahanara laid the foundation of Chandni Chowk, which is the largest trading center of Delhi as well as India. At present the street is a busy thoroughfare and is really congested. This area is renowned for 'Kuchas and Katras' also known as Alleys. These alleys house traditional Havelis, places of worship: Temples, Mosques, Church and Gurudwara, popular specialised markets and century-old eating joints. Enjoy a cycle-rickshaw ride. Visit the Raj Ghat, the memorial site of Mahatma Gandhi - Father of Nation. Later visit New Delhi designed and built by the British in the 1920's it's a city of wide boulevards impressive Government buildings, green parks and gardens. First drive past Connaught Place, the heart and main shopping district of the capital, then drive to Rajpath (King's Way), India Gate - the 42mt high stone 'Arch of Triumph', erected in the memory of Indian soldiers who died in First World War. Drive past Rashtrapati Bhawan (President Palace) and Parliament House. Sightseeing will also include drive past the elegant Lodhi Garden and Safdarjung's tomb. Later visit Qutab Minar 12th century minaret built by Qutub-ud-din Aibek of the Slave Dynasty - this building complex dates back to the onset of Muslim rule in India and is fine example of Afghan architecture which is graceful and well sculptured and stands 75 mt. Also visit the Baha'i Temple (Lotus Temple) Lotus being a symbol of peace and prosperity all around the world, the shape of the temple personifies the purpose for which the foundation of this marvelous man-made architectural was laid. Lotus temple is made of pristine marble blocks, cement, dolomite and sand and the entire ascetic value is coddled by the group of nine pools filled with crystal clear water. In accord with the mores of Baha'i religion, the temple is open to everyone from anywhere in the world who is looking for inner peace & tranquility. Return to hotel for overnight stay.
Breakfast and check-out, before driving to Haridwar visit Akshardham Temple in Delhi - Swaminarayan Akshardham temple with its monumental creations and breathtaking grandeur stands apart amongst the country's most fascinating structures. The intricately carved pillars, statues of Deities and Divinities adorned on its walls, Akshardham aptly showcases the jist of Indian culture, architecture and spiritual messages through its 10,000 years of existence. The monolithic construction was accomplished in just five years with the untiring efforts of 11,000 artisans and contributions of thousands of devotees of Lord Swaminarayan from all over the world. The entire temple consists of 234 beautifully carved giant pillars, 9 ornamented domes, a series of stone elephants or Gajendra Pith and 20000 life like statues of India's great Sadhus and divine men. The 356 feet long, 316 feet wide and 141.3 feet high monument is built of pink stone and pure white marble that together signify absolute purity and eternal peace.
After the visit drive to Haridwar, arrive and check in at hotel. In the evening proceed for the sightseeing tour of temples and other holy places in Haridwar. Visit Har-Ki-Pauri, Chandi Devi Temple, Gauri Shankar Temple, Mansa Devi Temple, Bharat Mata Temple, Maya Devi Temple, Bhimgoda, Shanti Kunj and Vaishno Devi Temple. Overnight stay at hotel.
Breakfast and check-out. Afterwards drive to Rishikesh in the morning. Arrive in Rishikesh and check in at the hotel and relax. In the evening, attended the Aarti at the Triveni Ghat of River Ganges. Overnight stay in Rishikesh.
Breakfast at hotel. Enjoy a full day sightseeing tour of Rishikesh. Explore at leisure the temples along the River Ganges. Also visit the Lakshman Jhula, Ashrams, Gita Bhawan, Yoga and Meditations centers, and Neelkanth Mahadev. (Optional) River rafting and trekking can be arranged. Overnight stay in Rishikesh.
Early breakfast and check-out from hotel. Drive to the hometown of Lord Krishna - Mathura. Arrive at Mathura. Check in at the hotel, remaining day at leisure. Overnight stay at hotel.
Breakfast and check-out. Before driving to Agra, proceed for sightseeing in Mathura. Shri Krishna Janmabhoomi - This Temple is also known as Keshava Deo or Keshava Dev Temple and it is the most venerated Hindu temples, it is the place of birth of Lord Krishna. The temple is believed to have constructed at the site where Lord Shri Krishna was born nearly 5000 years ago to Devki and Vasudeo in the underground prison of King Kansa. The prison cell, popularly known as 'Garbha Griha' is the exact place where lord Krishna was born. The prison cell was later turned into the present beautiful temple. The temple had been destroyed number of times by Mohammed Ghazni, Sikander Lodi and Aurangzeb but has been restored every time. Later visit the Dwarkadhish Temple - It is one of the most visited shrines of Mathura. Built in 1814, this Temple is said to have been constructed by Seth Gokul Das Parikh, who was the treasurer of the Gwalior Estate. He was a great devotee of Lord Krishna and erected the shrine to commemorate the deity. In the present day, this Temple is administered by the followers of the Vallabhacharya sect. Visit Jama Masjid - The mosque of Abd-un-Nabi Khan, built in year 1662, who was the governor during the reign of Aurangzeb. The main attractions of the mosque are the four decorated minarets and the mosaic plastering on the lofty structure. It is situated close to the Janmabhoomi temple, symbolizing the peaceful co-existence between the Hindus and Muslims. Rangbhumi - It was the wrestling arena where lord Krishna killed Kansa, his maternal uncle and got his parents out of the prison, also visit the Vishram Ghat along the River Yamuna - it is the most important ghat in Mathura, as the traditional parikrama starts and ends at this place. The Parikrama is the circumambulation of all the major religious and cultural places of Mathura. As per the legend, Lord Krishna rested at the Vishram Ghat after killing Kansa. It is bordered with numerous beautiful temples. Drive to Agra, arrive and check in at hotel for overnight stay.
Agra stands on the right bank of the river Yamuna, was once the seat of the Mughal rulers, the zenith of art and an enshrined romance. A town famous for its beautiful medieval monuments. The passion of the Mughals for building endowed it with some of the loveliest buildings in the world.
A visit to the Taj Mahal early in the morning at the time of Sunrise, (Closed on Fridays) - A poignant poetry in marble and the most extravagant monument ever built for love is a tribute to the timelessness of art and love. 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.
Return to hotel for breakfast, afterwards visit - Agra Fort which retains the irregular outline of the demolished mud-wall fort of the Lodhis. It is 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, was 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-e-Aam - which was used as a communications ground between the public and the aristocracy and once housed the Peacock Throne, Diwan-e-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.
After the visit to the fort, drive to visit 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.
After the visit return to Agra, for overnight stay at hotel.
Early breakfast and check-out. Drive to Allahabad early in the morning. Arrive and check in at the hotel and relax for some time in your room/s. Early evening proceed for a sightseeing tour of Allahabad city. Visit the Triveni Sangam where Ganga, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati meet followed by tour of Allahabad temples - Mankameshwar Temple, Hanuman Mandir, All Saints Cathedral (Patthar Girjaghar) and Shankar Viman Mandapam. Overnight stay in Allahabad.
Breakfast and check-out. Drive to Varanasi in the morning. En route, you can also visit the Allahabad Fort, Allahabad museum and Jawahar Planetarium. Arrive in Varanasi. Check in at the hotel and relax. In the evening, attend the prayer service on the banks of Ganga (Ghats) marked by thousands of lighted diyas. Eat and shop for curios and souvenirs at the local market. Silk saris and handlooms are a specialty of Varanasi. You can also visit a silk and handloom factory to study the process behind the art. Overnight stay in Varanasi.
Breakfast at hotel. Proceed for a full day sightseeing, Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Durga Temple, Bharat Mata Temple, Tulsi Manas Temple and PM - Take an excursion to the Buddhist city of Sarnath. 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 and then visit a fine Museum which houses an excellent collection of Buddhist art and sculptures found at the site. Overnight stay in Varanasi.
At dawn visit the sacred river Ganges for a boat ride. Every morning at dawn hundreds of worshippers can be seen bathing in the sacred waters. The great river banks are lined with an endless chain of stone steps - the ghats - that stretch from one end of the city to the other. The Ghats form an impressive part of the religious landscape of the city. Proceeding downstream at a leisurely pace, you would be pointed out the significant temples and buildings as well as the changing architectural style. Life and death go hand in hand in Varanasi. While young people seek prosperity and protection from harmful influences, the older generation comes to Varanasi to cleanse their souls in the forgiving waters in preparation for their ultimate dissolution. Following the boat ride we set off on foot to explore the inner city. Through a maze of narrow alleys, home to numerous shrines and shops. Return hotel for breakfast and check-out. Afterwards visit Banaras Hindu University is an internationally reputed temple of learning, situated in the holy city of Varanasi. This Creative and innovative university was founded by the great nationalist leader, Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya, in 1916 with cooperation of great personalities like Dr Annie Besant, who viewed it as the University of India. Banaras Hindu University was created under the Parliamentary legislation - B.H.U. Act 1915. It played a stellar role in the independence movement and has developed into the greatest center of learning in India. It has produced many great freedom fighters and builders of modern India and has immensely contributed to the progress of the nation through a large number of renowned scholars, artists, scientists and technologists who have graced its portals. The university, which occupies a large piece of land at the southern end of town, is also home to the New Vishwanatha Temple. The New Temple is modern in design and open to Hindus and non-Hindus alike. After the tour transfer to airport to board flight for New Delhi, arrive and proceed to local restaurant for farewell dinner, later transfer to International airport to board flight back to your country.
Departure early in the morning 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. Welcome Garlanding upon arrival in India at New Delhi airport.
3. All Arrival / Departure transfers from hotel to airport and vice - versa
4. Monument entrance fees to places of visit as per the itinerary
5. Cycle rickshaw ride in Old Delhi and early morning boat ride in River Ganges in Varanasi.
6. Accompanying English speaking Guide.
7. All Transfers, City sightseeing/excursions and long drives as per itinerary using chauffeur driven air-conditioned Car / Mini Van / Coach.
8. Air tickets for sector : VARANASI / NEW DELHI in economy class.
9. 01 bottle packaged drinking water per person per day
10. 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".