Cultural India Tour
Places to Visit: Delhi , Jaipur , Fatehpur Sikri , Agra , Gwalior, Khajuraho , Varanasi, Kathmandu, Delhi
North India is a mix and match of different cultures, traditions, climate and landscape. Different people and their lifestyle has led to variety of culture and cuisines pan India.
Delhi is the capital and the seat of high culture. Its historical monuments exhibit the past in detail. The crowded places like Chandni Chowk explain the real Delhi, the Delhi of the common man. Here you can find the age old culture and tradition and it is truly amazing that in this age of jet planes people here stick to their age old traditions.
The Sariska Tiger Reserve is another place where you can find well preserved local tradition and culture. You will find nature in its unspoilt avatar and the animals here are free to live a life of their own.
In Rajasthan, you still find people wearing traditional dresses like the turban and the skirt. They speak traditional language and the age old festivals are celebrated with equal gusto. An elephant ride at the Amber Fort takes one backward to the age of the Kings.The artistic temples at Khajuraho still have the age old charm and one gets fascinated by their sheer artistic splendor.
Day 01 - Arrive Delhi
Meet and assist by our representative upon your arrival at the airport. Then drive to your hotel with your driver and car.
Day 02 - Delhi
Morning after breakfast a full day city tour of this imperial British capital of the 20th century awaits you. Visit the Qutub Minar – the tallest free standing minaret in stone in the world; then onto Humayun’s tomb – the first Mughal construction in India from 1565 AD. Also see the Rashtrapati Bhawan, the India gate built in the earlier half of the 20th century. Drive through the old city past the Red Fort and visit the Jama Masjid – the biggest of its kind in India. Here take a rickshaw through the winding streets of the old city to see the life of the people in this part of the world. A perfect introduction of your tour. The rickshaw puller pulls you through, the imperial avenue of the yesteryears, the Chandni Chowk. Finally, reach Rajghat, the memorial of Mahatma Gandhi, where your car and chauffeur is waiting for you to take you to your next stop the Birla Mandir, a Hindu temple in activity.
Day 03 - Delhi – Samode – Jaipur
Leave in the morning for Jaipur on the way visiting Samode Palace. See the Sheesh mahal and the hall of private audiences. This palace was the royal second home of the kings of Jaipur. Visit the palace and the village with its small marketplace where they make bangle of lac. A delightful experience. Arrive Jaipur by early evening.
Day 04 - Jaipur
Visit the Amber fort in the morning; included is an elephant ride at the Amber fort. See the marvelous Shish mahal built in the 17th century in a fusion style of Hindu and Islamic art. Also see the hall of public audiences and Maharaja Man Singh’s Palace who had twelve queens.
After lunch set off to see the Pink city visiting the observatory Jantar Mantar built in 1727 by Sawai Maharaja Jai Singh II who was a mathematician, an astronomer an astrologer and a great musician of his era. Then visit the City Palace of the Maharaja of Jaipur with a fabulous collection of robes and saris in cotton and silk with gold latticed work. The city palace houses a collection of paintings also in the painting gallery and of course a collection of arms and ammunitions in the ammunition gallery.
Day 05 - Jaipur – Agra
Leave in the morning for Jaipur and enroute visit the phantom city of Fatehpur Sikri: the erstwhile capital of the Mughal emperor Akbar the Great.
Visit the Diwan-i-am the hall of public audiences where the emperor used to give justice to his oppressed subject. See Jodhabai’s palace (Akbar’s Hindu wife) that is even bigger than his own private palace. Later visit Salim chisti’s tomb at the nearby mosque. Salim chisti was a Sufi saint who blessed Akbar and his Hindu wife with a long awaited son. Akbar was so overwhelmed that he built a mosque in his remembrance to thank the Sufi saint.
Day 06 - Agra
After breakfast in your hotel proceed to see the Agra Fort built by Akbar in 1567 where Shahjahan was imprisoned by his own son Aurangzeb.
Don’t forget Taj Mahal is awaiting your arrival today. A must see with the rising sun as the Taj Mahal is bathed in the golden rays of the morning sun. Little needs to be said about this architectural wonder which is always the sole raison d’être for every tourist'svisit to Agra. Built by Shah Jahan, the Taj is a white marble memorial that houses the tomb of his beautiful wife Mumtaz Mahal. This monument took 22 years to be completed and was designed, and planned by Persian architect Ustad Isa. Apart from its stunning design balance and perfect symmetry, the Taj is also noted particularly for its elegant domes, intricately carved screens and some of the best inlay work ever seen anywhere in the world
Later visit the tomb of Itmad ud Daulah the finance minister of the Mughals and the father of Noor Jehan: Jehangir’s wife. It is the first mughal building built out completely of marble. In many contexts it is referred to being the predecessor of the Taj Mahal. Then visit Sikandara the tomb of the great emperor Akbar.
Day 07 - Agra – Orcha - Khajuraho
Today we go to Orchha the erstwhile stronghold of the Bundela clan of rajput rulers of central India. Orchcha is a medieval village where time has stopped. You feel the timelessness of this spot. Orchha is a medieval city founded by Bundela rulers with palaces and temples of the 16th and 17th century – which have remarkably withstood the onslaught of time. The river Betwa picturesquely flanks the city.
Reach Orchha and see the beautiful Palace Complex – Jahangiri Mahal and the Raja Mahal. Closely study the intricacies of the mural paintings in the Raja Mahal and visit the Laxminarayana Temple.
Post lunch continue towards Khajuraho about 182 km away by road.
Day 08 - Khajuraho
Morning sight seeing shows us the temples built during the 9th to the 11th centuries by the powerful dynasty of Chandela rajputs. The temples with their erotic sculptures are a feast to the eyes. Visit the eastern and western group of temples
The Chandelas built 85 temples in all but today only 20 temples stand intact. Even ten centuries after they were constructed, the temples of Khajuraho reflect an eternal philosophy relevant to all mankind. The temples of Khajuraho are 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.
Day 09 - Khajuraho – Varanasi By flight (45 minutes)
Breakfast at your hotel and transfer in time to airport for flight to Varanasi. Upon arrival at Varanasi, you will be met and transferred to hotel. In the afternoon visit the temple of Bharat mata and then witness the evening prayers at the banks of the river Ganges.
Day 10 - Varanasi – Kathmandu By flight (1 hr)
Early in the morning (0500hrs) we take you to banks of the river Ganges where we board a boat to see the morning ablutions of the Hindus from the security of our boat. The boat ride starts from Dasashwamedh Ghat and ends at Manikarnika Ghat along the sacred Ganges. Varanasi is the world’s most ancient city and the home of Hinduism. The sunrise on the riverfront is spiritually uplifting as seen from the boat, crowded eith temples and people and its labyrinth` of streets. It was earlier called Kashi. The present name is derived from the fact that it is at the confluence of the two rivers Varuna and Asi that flows across the city See the Kashi Vishwanath temple and the Gyanvyapi kund and the mosque attached to it. Also visit the Benares Hindu University the largest residential university in India with more than 3000 residential students
Return to your hotel for breakfast.
Later visit Sarnath the sacred city for the Buddhist all over the world. It was here that Lord Buddha preached his first sermon to his first five disciples. Also worth visiting is the museum with artifacts dating back to 3rd century BC. Visit the nearby ruins of the ancient seat of learning in Sarnath.
In time transfer to the airport for your flight to Katmandu. Upon arrival transfer to your hotel. Rest of the day is at leisure.
Day 11 - Katmandu
After breakfast sightseeing of Kathmandu city, Swayambhunath stupa & Patan city.
Swayambhunath Stupa: Swayambhu, the Buddhist temple is situated on the top of a hill west of the city, is one of the popular and instantly recognizable symbols of Nepal. The temple is also known as the monkey temple after the large tribe of monkeys which guards the hill. This huge stupa is surrounded by other famous temples and gompas. The great thunderbolt which is known as vajra is on the edge of the stupa was built during the Malla kings period. On the top of the stupa is a gold-colored square block from which the watchful eyes of the Buddha gaze out across the valley in each direction. The question mark-like nose is actually the Nepali number one is a symbol of unity.
Kathmandu Durbar Square is a world heritage site. It's a complex of places, courtyards and temples, built between the 12th and 18th century, used to be the seat of the ancient Malla kings of Kathmandu. Kathamandap is one of Kathmandu's oldest buildings. It was constructed 800 years ago. From this ancient edifice Kathmandu derives its name. Basantapur is residential place of Living Virgin Goddess Kumari, where girl is chosen to be Living Goddess.
Patan City: Patan is separated form Kathmandu only by the Bagmati River and is the second largest town in the valley. It is also known as Lalitpur, which means city of beauty. Patan has a long Buddhist history and have stupas at four corners. Like Kathmandu Durbar Square, Patan Durbar Square is also packed with temples. Most of these temples are built during the Malla kings period. As in Kathmandu, Patan also has an old royal palace built during the Malla kings period. There is a stone column holding up a statue of Sidhinarsimha Malla, King of Patan. Remarkable monument here is the 17th century temple of Krishna Temple dedicated to the Hindu God Krishna, entirely built on stone. Golden Temple is a Buddhist monastery with wall painting, 14th century statues and ancient scriptures. Mahabouddha, the 14th century Buddhist monument is an excellent example of terra cotta art form.
Day 12 - Katmandu
After breakfast sightseeing of Pasupatinath temple, Boudhanath stupa & Bhaktapur city. Boudhanath Stupa was constructed in 5 c. AD. Boudhanath is one of the largest stupa in the world and the largest in Nepal.(It looms 36m high and 100m in diameter). It is surrounded with prayer wheels that content religious texts. There are many Tibetian Buddhist monasteries in vicinity of stupa.
Pashupati Nath: Pashupati Temple is is one of the most important and world renowned Hindu temple stands on the banks of Bagmati River, between the airport and Boudha. This Shiva temple on the subcontinent draws numerous Devotees, sadhus and holy men from all around the world. Lord Shiva is known as the destroyer and creator of the Hindu religion and appears on many forms. Although Shiva is often bloodthirsty god, no animal sacrifices are made here. Outside the temple you will see numerous people selling flowers, incense and other offering materials. In-front of the temple there is a bull known as Nandi facing towards the temple. Only Hindus are allowed to enter the temple and you are not allowed to take photographs of the Lord shiva inside the temple. Bagmati River Bank on the side of Pashupati, is also a popular place for cremation. Just beside this temple lies Guheyeshwari temple.
Bhaktapur is also known as Bhadgaon or the city of Devotees, is the third major town of the Kathmandu Valley. Bhaktapur was the capital of the whole valley during the 14th to 16th century. Much of the town's great architecture dates from the end of 17th century. This town is also well known as Newari Architecture town. Bhaktapur rises upon the northern bank of Hanumante River. Bhaktapur Durbar Square (World Heritage Site) the place of the famous Lion's and Golden gates, the palace of 55 windows (12th century) the magnificent Chowkot Palace and Bell of Barking Dogs. The Nyatapola Temple (17th century) stairway leading to the temple is flanked by stone figures of deities and mythical beasts, each 10 times more powerful than the one immediately below. The Dattatreya Temple located nearby is dedicated to the three headed combination of the Hindu deties Brahma, Bishnu and Shiva.
Day 13 - Katmandu – Pokhara
In the morning transfer to the airport for your domestic flight to Pokhara. Upon arrival check in to your hotel. Time is free to unwind.
Day 14 - Pokhara – Katmandu - Home
Free time to relax. In the evening flight to Katmandu and upon arrival transfer to the international terminal for your flight back home.
USD 1300 PER PERSON ON TWIN SHARING
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|JAIPUR||HOLIDAY INN or similar||5 STAR||2|
|AGRA||HOLIDAY INN or similar||5 STAR||2|
|KHAJURAHO||HOLIDAY INN or similar||5 STAR||2|
|VARANASI||CLARKS VARANASI or similar||5 STAR||1|
|KATHMANDU||SHANGRI – LA or similar||5 STAR||3|
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the tour will include:
1. daily breakfast
2. accommodation in chosen hotels,
3. vehicle with driver for all land arrangements,
4. all applicable airfares included ie Khajuraho – Varanasi - Katmandu – Pokhara – Katmandu.
5. elephant back ascent at Amer fort in Jaipur,
6. train fare Agra - Jhansi,
7. early morning Ganges boat ride at Varanasi,
8. farewell dinner in Pokhara,
9. all applicable taxes and service charges
10. all meals in Nepal only
11. rickshaw ride in the old city of Jaipur
12. local English speaking guides wherever applicable.
13. baterry bus ride in Agra