Taj Mahal & North India
Places to See : Delhi - Alwar - Jaipur - Agra - Khajuraho - Varanasi - Delhi
Taj Mahal is one of the Seven Wonders of the World. But it has its own specialty. Love and Romance are integrally bound with the name Taj Mahal. This is because this marvelous monument was built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan with an ambition to eternize his love for his beloved Mumtaj Mahal. This monument of love stands unaltered and display the depth of love and affection of the emperor. The monument is built in white marvel. Any tour to India is incomplete without a visit to this amazing place. The monument is superbly maintained by the authorities. Well trained guides are available who describe the intricacies of the monument.
This particular tour also includes a visit to the Sariska Tiger Reserve. It is one of the most visited tiger reserves in the country. Apart from tigers one can find various flora and fauna. One can have an elephant safari and explore the interiors of the jungle. Jeeps are also available and the experience can be extremely thrilling.
The tour includes Gwalior which has amazing fort and palace. This tour is extremely fulfilling as it covers some of the most coveted travel destinations in India.
Day 01: Delhi Sight-Seeing
You will be picked up from your hotel and proceed for a full-day tour of Old & New Delhi. (Start at 0900 hrs).
OLD DELHI - A sightseeing tour of Old Delhi would entail visiting the Raj Ghat - the memorial site where Mahatma Gandhi was cremated; Jama Masjid - the largest mosque in India and the Red Fort - once the most opulent fort and palace of the Moghul Empire.
Cycle rickshaw ride from Jama Masjid to Chandni Chowk.
NEW DELHI - An extensive sightseeing tour of New Delhi would include a visit to the Humayun's Tomb, the Qutub Minar, a drive along the ceremonial avenue - Rajpath, past the imposing India Gate, Parliament House, the President's Residence and would end with a drive through the Diplomatic Enclave.
After the sightseeing, check in at THE PARK in Connaught Place. Relax in the evening or roam the Connaught Place market.
Proceed for LIGHT AND SOUND SHOW and then for dinner. Overnight at Delhi.
Day 02: Delhi - Alwar
Breakfast at hotel. Proceed for ALWAR and reach by noon.
150 Km from Jaipur and 170 Km from Delhi - ALWAR nest between a cluster of small hills of the ARAVALLI range. Perched on the most prominent of these hills is a massive ancient fort that whispers tales of the rich history of the city. Apart from its longhistory, the city has a rich natural heritage with some beautiful lakes and picturesque valley thickly wooded in parts.
Some of the finest variety of birds and animals are spotted here. ALWAR has one of the finest wild life sanctuaries in Rajasthan - SARISKA, which is an excellent tiger country.
Visit the PALACE and complete all sightseeing and stay at SARISKA PALACE for the night.
Day 03: Alwar - Jaipur
Proceed to Jaipur after breakfast. Reach by noon.
JAIPUR - The origins of the beautiful city of Jaipur can be traced back to the eighteenth century, during the reign of Jai Singh II who ascended the Amber throne in 1699. Jaipur today, epitomizes the spirit of Rajputana. In-spite of growing into a bustling metropolis, it still retains it's character and history - Beautiful fusion of the yesteryears and modernity. Popularly known as the Pink City because of the extensive use of the locally abundant pink plastered stone, painted so in honor of the visit of the royal consort of Queen Victoria. Jaipur thrills the soul with its massive forts, magnificent palaces, exquisite temples and lush gardens.
Shopping in the city. Overnight at Jaipur.
Day 04: Jaipur
Breakfast at hotel. Proceed for morning excursion to Amber Fort. Elephant ride ascent to the fort.
AMBER FORT PALACE - Amber is the classic romantic Rajasthani fort palace. Its construction was started by Man Singh I in 1592, and completed by his descendent Jai Singh I. It's forbidding exterior belies an inner paradise where a beautiful fusion of Mughal and Hindu styles finds it's ultimate expression.
Continue city sightseeing.
CITY PALACE - A delightful blend of Mughal and traditional Rajasthani architecture, the City Palace sprawls over one-seventh of the area in the walled city. It houses the Chandra Mahal, Shri Govind Dev Temple and the City Palace Museum.
JANTAR MANTAR - This is the largest and the best preserved of the five observatories built by Jai Singh II in different parts of the country. This observatory consisting of outsized astronomical instruments is still in use.
HAWA MAHAL - The ornamental facade of this "Palace of Winds" is a prominent landmark in Jaipur. Its five-storey structure of sandstone plastered pink encrusted with fine trelliswork and elaborate balconies. The palace has 953 niches and windows. Built in 1799 by Pratap Singh, the Mahal was a royal grandstand for the palace women.
Relax in the evening. Overnight at Jaipur.
Day 05: Jaipur - Agra
Breakfast at hotel. Proceed to Agra.
Visit Fatehpur Sikri en-route.
The deserted, red Sandstone City, Emperor Akbar built that as his capital and palace in the late 16th century is an exhilarating experience. It a veritable fairytale city and its "ruins" are in pristine condition ... it's not hard to imagine what the court life must have been like in the days of its grandeur. Also visit the Bulund Darwaza, the largest gateway in the world.
Reach Agra and check in at hotel.
Badal Singh established the city of Taj in 1475. Agra finds mention in the Mahabharat as Agraban. This city in those days was considered to be the sister-city of Mathura, which was more prominent than Agraban. Agra came into its own when the Lodhi Kings chose this place beside the RIVER YAMUNA to be their capital city. Sikander Lodhi made Agra his capital but Babar defeated the Lodhis to capture not only Agra but also laid the foundation of the Mughal empire.
The coming of Babar heralded a new era, which was to see Agra at its zenith during the reign of Akbar, Jehangir and Shah Jahan. It was during Akbar's period that Agra became the center of art, culture and commerce and learning. This trend reachedits height when Shah Jahan became the ruler.
In the Mid 16th century and earlier 17th century Agra witnessed a frenzied building activity and it was during this time when the symbol of love Taj Mahal was built. The buildings made during this era were purely in the contemporary Mughal style and of very high quality. The same is still reflected in whatever monuments remain in Agra. The narrow lanes of Agra filled with aroma of Mughlai cuisine, the craftsman who are busy in crating master pieces with their skill all remind of the Mughal royalty which this city had once experienced. Today whatever remains, has become a major tourist attraction which has taken Agra again to the heights of glory but this time as a major tourist destination of India.
Visit the TAJ MAHAL - one of the Seven Wonders of the World was built by Shah Jahan in 1631 AD and was completed in 1651AD. Taj Mahal - The symbol of Love was built in the memory of Mumtaz Mahal (Shah Jahan' s second Wife).
Overnight at Agra.
Day 06: Agra - Khajuraho
Proceed for city sightseeing after breakfast.
AGRA FORT - Built by the famed Mughal emperor Akbar in 1565 AD, the fort is predominantly of red sandstone. Ensconced within is the picture perfect Pearl Mosque, which is a major tourist attraction.
After Agra Fort we will visit BABY TAJ - The interiors of which are considered better than the Taj.
Transfer to the airport for flight to Khajuraho. Reach and transfer to hotel.
Situated in the heart of India, in the state of Madhya Pradesh, Khajuraho is a fascinating village with a quaint, rural ambience and a rich cultural heritage, honored by the world as India's unique contribution to human civilization. The Chandela dynasty built eighty-five temples here. Only twenty remain as embodiments of Indian architectural and sculptural art at its most evolved state. Even ten centuries after they were constructed, the temples of Khajuraho reflect an eternal philosophy relevant to all mankind. The temple of Khajuraho is a world heritage site and belong not just to India but to the world. The nearby Panna national park is a project tiger park making the area a unique combination of outstanding cultural and natural heritage - one of the few millennium destinations of the world.
Afternoon visit the WESTERN TEMPLES.
Overnight at Khajuraho.
Day 07: Khajuraho - Varanasi
Breakfast at hotel.
uided tour of EASTERN TEMPLES.
Transfer in time to airport for flight to Varanasi. Upon arrival at Varanasi, you will be met and transferred to hotel.
Varanasi is the World's most ancient living city. Sunrise on the rivetfront, as seen from a boat, can be spiritually uplifting sight. Crowded with temples, and it's labyrinth of streets, the city attracts the maximum number of tourists. The religious capital of Hinduism, Varanasi is the carpet manufacturing place of India. It was previously known as Kashi - the city that illuminates. The present name is derived from the fact that the city is at the confluence of the rivers Varuna and Asi.
Overnight at Varanasi.
Day 08: Varanasi
Morning drive to Daswamedh Ghat and take a boat ride on the sacred river Ganges to see the cremation Ghats and witness the living traditions of one of the world's oldest and most important religions. (To start at 0500 hrs. for the best lifetime experience) For you to appreciate this remarkable city, we'll transfer you to the banks of the River Ganges before the sun rises. Board a boat with your guide and 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. Then 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. Visit Kashi Vishwanath Temple while returning to the hotel.
Return for breakfast to the hotel. Proceed for day guided tour of Varanasi including the Gyanvapi Mosque and Benaras Hindu University. Overnight at Varanasi.
Day 09: Varanasi - Delhi
Breakfast at hotel. Proceed for sightseeing of SARNATH.
Sarnath ? 5 miles out of Varanasi for a day excursion: 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.
Transfer to airport for flight to Delhi.
Reach Delhi and you will be transferred to your hotel or airport.