Wild Expedition with Taj & Ganges

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Wild Expedition with Taj & Ganges

Taj Mahal and Pink city of Jaipur would be heritage and culture attraction and Ranthambore National park is also one of the major attraction for wildlife safari. Elephant Ride at Amer Fort, Rickshaw Ride at Chandni Chowk in Delhi and Bird watching trip in Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary. Lucknow the City of Nawabs and the Primitive Varanasi and its River Ghats

Trip Highlights :-Delhi | Jaipur | Ranthambore | Bharatpur | Agra | Lucknow | Allahabad | Varanasi | Delhi

Tour duration : 14 Nights / 15 Days

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. Jaipur extends from latitude 26.92 degrees in the north to longitude 75.82 degrees in the east. The city covers an area of 200.4 sq. kms and lies at an altitude of 431 m above sea level.

Ranthambore – Ranthambore lies on the easternmost spur of the Aravalis, located near Sawai Madhopur which is 12 kms away. Ranthambore was a private Tiger reserve of the Maharajas of Jaipur. It is studded with Pavilions and Watch Towers. The town of Ranthambore is watched over by the massive Fort. The main attractions here are the National Park and Ranthambore Fort. The Fort also houses the Temple of Lord Ganesha, where annual fair is held on the eve of Ganesh Chaturthi in September. The famous ruler of Ranthambore was Rao Hammir Deo Chauhan who fought against Allauddin Khilji in 1301 AD. Many battles were fought and many rulers won and lost. In the middle of 15th century, Rana Kumbha captured the fort and later handed over to his son. Thereafter, the Hada Chauhans of Bundi and the Mughal Emperors Akbar and Aurangzeb occupied this fort. When Aurangzeb died, the Mughal Emperor Shah Alam gifted it to Sawai Madho Singh I of Jaipur in 1754 and since then it was maintained as the private hunting reserve of the Maharajas of Jaipur. Among the more famous who were part of these hunting parties were Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh. This national park is one of the finest Tiger reserve in the country under the project Tiger. Apart from Tiger this park is a haven to wild animals and birds. Some of the animal species found here are Leopards, Jungle Cats, Sloth Bears, Indian mole Rats, Indian Fox, Toddy Cats, Five striped Palm Squirrels, small Indian Mongoose and in Reptiles - Rat Snakes, Indian Chameleon, North Indian flap shelled Turtles, Indian Pythons and more.

Bharatpur - Bharatpur is a small city and famous for its bird sanctuary - Keoladeo Ghana National Park. This park is one of the finest National Park in Asia. Once the hunting ground of the princes of Bharatpur, today it is ranked among the world's best bird sanctuaries. In 1956, this reserve was turned into a sanctuary and in year 1981 the sanctuary was designated as a National park. Every year rare Siberian cranes come to spend the winter in the warmer climate of Bharatpur, it is also visited by over 400 species of migratory water birds. Bharatpur is not only famous for its Bird sanctuary but also for its historical forts and palaces like Lohagarh Fort, Jawahar Burj and Fateh Burj. This history of Bharatpur traces the rise and fall of Jat power in eastern Rajasthan. Bharatpur was founded by Maharaja Suraj Mal in 1733 AD. He fortified the city by building a massive wall around the city. He also built the Lohagarh Fort (Iron Fort) in year 1732. This fort shaped the history of this region.

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 Emperors. Agra city is famous for monuments and crafts. The monuments and crafts have preserved the cultural heritage for centuries.

Lucknow - It is the capital city of Uttar Pradesh in India. Located in what was historically known as the Awadh region, Lucknow has always been a multicultural city and is situated on the banks of the Gomti River. It has been renowned for its Silks, Perfumes (Itar - flower essence extracted from scented flowers), Jewellry, mouth-watering Fine Cuisines, and Nawabi (Courtly) etiquettes since ages, Chikan or traditional hand-woven embroidered cloths, beautiful Gardens, Poetry and Music patronized by the Persian-loving Shia Nawabs of the city are well known amongst Indians and students of South Asian culture and history. Lucknow is popularly known as The City of Nawabs. It is also known as the Golden City of the East, Shiraz-i-Hind and The Constantinople of India.

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.

Day 01: Arrival in Delhi

Arrival in India at New Delhi International airport. Our representative will meet you and provide transfer assistance to the Hotel. Check-in at hotel for overnight stay.

Day 02: In Delhi

After breakfast, proceed for the full day tour of Old and New Delhi. Old Delhi in earlier times known as Shahjahanabad has impressive monuments built by Mughal Emperor Shahjahan, visit the Red Fort for a photo stop - 17th century imposing fortress built of red sandstone, the Jama Masjid, India's largest mosque where more than 20,000 people can kneel in prayer at a time, visit Chandni Chowk, the bustling and colourful market of the old city with a cycle-rickshaw ride and Raj Ghat - Mahatma Gandhi's Memorial.
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, visit the Laxmi Narayan Temple - Garishly coloured modern temple built by the industrialist Birla. 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. Later visit the Qutab Minar - the building complex dates back to the onset of Muslim rule in India and are fine examples of Afghan architecture, built by Qutabuddin Aibek - Slave dynasty ruler in 12th century.
Return to hotel for overnight stay.

Day 03: Delhi / Jaipur (Distance 260 kms approx)

After breakfast check-out from hotel, afterwards drive to Jaipur, upon arrival check-in at hotel. In the evening visit the Birla Temple to learn more about the fascinating religious life of Jaipur. The marble structure, built as recently as 1985, houses ornate statues including one of Lakshmi (Goddess of Wealth and Beauty) and Narayan dressed in gaudy robes, representing a Hindu vision of heavenly luxury. Witness the Aarti Ceremony (Prayer ceremony) which involves oil lamps being lit and waved, in order to awake and invoke the deity. Also visit the Albert Hall for a photo stop. 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.
Later return to the city for the sightseeing, visit the City Palace located in the heart of Jaipur known for its blend of Rajput and Mughal architecture, the complex which houses the rare and rich collection of Ornaments, Arms, Royal Costumes, Carpets and Decorative Art objects of traditional Rajasthani and Mughal Art and Architecture. Another monument near the City Palace is 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. Later do a Photo-stop at Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds), a seven 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 / Ranthambore (Distance 185 kms)

Breakfast and later check-out from hotel. This morning drive to Ranthambore, famous for its Tiger Reserve (National Park). Upon arrival check-in at hotel. Remaining day will be at leisure for independent activities Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 06: In Ranthambore

Breakfast at hotel. Morning and Evening drives in the park. Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 07: In Ranthambore

Breakfast at hotel. Morning and Evening drives in the park. Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 08: Ranthambore / Bharatpur (Distance 225 kms)

Breakfast and check-out from hotel. This morning drive to Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary. Visit the Bird Sanctuary with a rickshaw ride and the naturalist. Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 09: Bharatpur / Agra (Distance 50 kms)

Breakfast and check-out from hotel. Afterwards drive to Agra. En-route visit Fatehpur Sikri. Mughal Emperor Jalal-ud-din-Muhammad Akbar, Humanyun's son, accessed the throne at the tender age of 14. Emperor Akbar, who was without a male heir heard about Saint Salim Chisti and visited him in the year 1568, Saint blessed him with 3 sons and in gratitude Akbar ordered the great mosque of Fatehpur Sikri built under his supervision. As a mark of respect to the Saint, Akbar shifted his capital to Fatehpur Sikri and built various secular buildings like the Buland Darwazah, Diwan-I-Am, Diwan-I-Khas, Jodhabai palace, Birbal's house, Marian's house and the Panch Mahal.
Later continue your drive to Agra, upon arrival check-in at hotel. 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.
Later 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.
Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 10: Agra / Lucknow (Distance 368 kms)

Early morning a visit to Taj Mahal – One of the Seven Wonders of the World, little needs to be said about this architectural wonder which looks breathtaking at the time of dawn. A pristine monument of undying love, built by Emperor Shah Jahan, the Taj is a white marble memorial to his beautiful wife Mumtaz Mahal. This monument took 22 years to be completed and was designed, and planned by Persian architect Ustad Isa. Taj Mahal symbolize the richness of art and architecture of the Mughal period. 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.
After the visit return to hotel for breakfast. Check-out from hotel. Afterwards drive to Lucknow. Upon arrival proceed to hotel for check-in.
Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 11: In Lucknow

Breakfast at hotel, this morning proceed for the full-day sightseeing of the city. The various architectural wonders in Lucknow are absolute must visits. One of the most famous monuments, the Bada Imambada is significant not only from historical, but also cultural and heritage point of view. The complex dates back to the year 1784 and was founded by the then Nawab of Awadh, Asaf-ud-Daula. It is a complex that is made up of a number of buildings, including Asafi mosque, the Bhul-Bhulaiyah (the Maze) and a summer palace with running water. Nawab Asaf-ud-Daula came to Lucknow in 1777 and in 1784, a harsh famine hit the city. In order to provide food relief to the famine-hit people, the Nawab decided to build the great Imambada, on food-for-work basis. He employed approximately 22,000 people to work day and night. This complex comprises of a great hall, situated at the end of an impressive courtyard. It is largest hall in Asia, without any external support of wood, iron, or stone beams; the hall has a ceiling that is more than 15 m high. The roof of the hall is said to be 16 feet thick, with a weight of nearly 20,000 tons. People marvel at this roof, which has been built without girders or beams to uphold it. The architect of the Bada Imambada is believed to be a Persian, by the name of Kifait-Ullah. The acoustics of the hall are such that one can even hear the strike of a matchstick across the length of the hall. The top terrace is reached through a narrow flight of steps and has a tangled set of passages. These passages were designed to confuse even the most alert minds, thus creating a maze called Bhul Bhulaiya. The main reason for the construction of the maze was to support the thick walls of the Imambada. The terrace of the monument provides a magnificent view of old Lucknow, along with its numerous Mosques and Minarets. A number of monuments are situated inside the complex.
Visit Rumi Darwazah 'Turkish Darwazah' whose beauty and majesty will brush you off your feet. This huge 60-feet-high door was also built by Nawab Asaf-ud-Daula. It is a massive gate on the the western side of the front of Bara Imambara. Its uppermost part consists of an eight-faceted Chhatri, which is approachable by a staircase.
Hussainabad (Chhota Imambada) was built by Muhammad Ali Shah – 3rd Nawab of Awadh in 1837, to serve as his own mausoleum. The interior of this magnificent building has lamp shades and chandeliers from Belgium, the extensive use of glass work in the building reflects Persian style of architecture. The walls are inscribed with Arabic calligraphy. Thousands of labourers worked on the project to gain famine relief and the end result was a fantastic-looking tomb. The large courtyard encloses a raised rectangular tank on each side. The main building of the Imambara is topped with numerous minarets and domes -- the main one is golden.
Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 12: Lucknow / Allahabad (Distance 202 kms)

Breakfast at hotel and check-out, this morning drive to Allahabad city. Upon arrival check in at hotel. PM - proceed for the sightseeing tour of city, visit the Triveni Sangam where river 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.

Day 13: Allahabad / Varanasi (Distance 121 kms)

Early breakfast at hotel and later 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.
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 and then visit a fine Museum which houses an excellent collection of Buddhist art and sculptures found at the site. In the evening enjoy the Aarti at the river Ganges Ghats (evening prayer ceremony). Overnight stay in Varanasi.

Day 14: In Varanasi

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. Afterwards 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.
Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 15: Varanasi / Delhi (By Flight)

Breakfast at hotel and later check-out. In-time transfer to airport to board flight for Delhi. Upon arrival in Delhi, proceed to visit the Akshardham Temple, after the visit drive to a local restaurant for farewell dinner. After dinner transfer for International airport to board flight for return journey.