• 37 Days India with Kingdom of Nepal & Bhutan
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37 Days India with Kingdom of Nepal & Bhutan

Destination to Visit: Delhi, Amritsar, Aurangabad, Mumbai, Udaipur, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Bikaner, Jaipur, Ranthambhore, Agra, Gwalior, Khajuraho, Varanasi, kathmandu, Pokhara, Thimpu, Punakha, Paro, Delhi

Trip Highlights:

Accommodation at mentioned hotels,

Hotel government surcharge and & tourist fee,

Daily buffet breakfasts,

Ac vehicle at disposal with the driver for the tour,

Sightseeing tours as mentioned in the itinerary,

English speaking guides for all mentioned tours,

Assistance at the airports on arrival / departure,

All local flights,

Bhutan visa & government taxes,

All monument & national preserve fees,

All applicable taxes and service charges,

All road taxes, government taxes and driver allowances,

Mount everest flight at kathmandu,

Sunrise visit at dhulikhel or nagarkot in katmandu,

Sherpa village visit at kathmandu,

A local fencing match in bhutan,

Bhutanese dinner at paro,

Local monk house visit with chanting at bhutan &

Cultural dance & farewell dinner in kathmandu.

 


Trip Highlights & Experiences

Please explore some of our selected itineraries here for North India Tour, Rajasthan Tours, India, Nepal & Bhutan

  • Agra
  • Amritsar
  • Aurangabad Airport
  • Bikaner
  • Gwalior
  • Jaipur
  • Jaisalmer
  • Jodhpur
  • Katmandu
  • Khajuraho
  • Mumbai
  • New Delhi
  • Paro
  • Pokhara
  • Punakha
  • Ranthambhore
  • Thimphu
  • Udaipur
  • Varanasi
This trips specializes in crafting holiday tours in the Indian subcontinent. This trip incorporate following themes and activity.
Days 1 Delhi

Our representative will receive you on arrival at the International airport and transfer to your hotel.

DELHI, the capital of kingdoms and empires is now a sprawling metropolis with a fascinating blend of the past and the present. Delhi is a perfect introduction to the composite culture of an ancient land and a window to the kaleidoscope that is India.

Check into the hotel and relax. Overnight stay will be at hotel.

Enjoy a guided tour of Old Delhi after breakfast.

The tour will begin with a visit to Raj Ghat, a simple memorial to Mahatma Gandhi. He is also famously known as the father of the nation.

One of the most important buildings of Old Delhi is the RED FORT. The magnificent Red Fort was built during the years 1638 48 when the Mughal Empire was at its peak. In 1638 Shahjahan transferred his capital from Agra to Delhi and laid the foundations of Shahjahanabad, the seventh city of Delhi. It is enclosed by a rubble stonewall, with bastions, gates and wickets at intervals. Of its fourteen gates, the important ones are the Mori, Lahauri, Ajmeri, Turkman, Kashmiri and Delhi gates, some of which have already been demolished. His famous citadel, the Lal-Qila, or the Red Fort, lying at the town`s northern end on the right bank or the Yamuna and south of Salim Garh, was begun in 1639 and completed after nine years. The Red Fort is different from the Agra fort and is better planned, because at its back lies the experience gained by Shahjahan at Agra, and because it was the work of one hand. It is an irregular octagon, with two long sides on the east and west, and with two main gates, one on the west and the other on the south, called Lahauri and Delhi gates respectively. While the walls, gates and a few other structures in the fort are constructed of red sandstone, marble has been largely used in the palaces.

Continue your tour to Jama Masjid by bicycle rickshaws, one of Asias largest mosques. People stream in and out of the mosque continuously and the presence of a nearby bazaar means that the area is rarely quiet.

Enjoy the rickshaw ride at Old Delhi peddling through the narrow by lanes of Chandani Chowk.

After lunch proceed for a sightseeing tour of New Delhi, which reflects the legacy of the British left behind. The division between New and Old Delhi is the division between the capitals of the British and the Mughals respectively. The division in the walled city and New Delhi also marks the division in the life-styles. The walled city is all tradition where one will be able to glean a past life-style in all its facets, colors and spells. New Delhi in contrast, is a city trying to live up to the best of 21st century standards.

Imperial Delhi will include the Qutub Minar, the tallest stone tower in India. Qutub-Minar in red and buff stand stone is the highest tower in India. It has a diameter of 14.32 m at the base and about 2.75 m on the top with a height of 72.5 m. Qutbu`d-Din Aibak laid the foundation of Minar in AD 1199 for the use of the mu`azzin (crier) to give calls for prayer and raised the first floor, to which were added three more floors by his successor and son-in-law, Shamsu`d-Din Iltutmish (AD 1211-36). All the storeys are surrounded by a projected balcony encircling the Minar and supported by stone brackets, which are decorated with honeycomb design, more conspicuously in the first floor.

Next stop would be the majestic Humanyuns Tomb. Humayun died in 1556, and his widow Hamida Banu Begum, also known as Haji Begum, commenced the construction of his tomb in 1569, fourteen years after his death. It is the first distinct example of proper Mughal style, which was inspired by Persian architecture. It is well known that Humayun picked up the principles of Persian architecture during his exile, and he himself is likely to have planned the tomb, although there is no record to that effect.

The tour also includes a drive past the imposing India Gate, the Parliament building and the Rashtrapati Bhawan, the Presidents residence.

Overnight will be at Delhi.


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Day 2 Delhi

Enjoy a guided tour of Old Delhi after breakfast.

 

The tour will begin with a visit to Raj Ghat, a simple memorial to Mahatma Gandhi. He is also famously known as the father of the nation.

 

One of the most important buildings of Old Delhi is the RED FORT. The magnificent Red Fort was built during the years 1638 48 when the Mughal Empire was at its peak. In 1638 Shahjahan transferred his capital from Agra to Delhi and laid the foundations of Shahjahanabad, the seventh city of Delhi. It is enclosed by a rubble stonewall, with bastions, gates and wickets at intervals. Of its fourteen gates, the important ones are the Mori, Lahauri, Ajmeri, Turkman, Kashmiri and Delhi gates, some of which have already been demolished. His famous citadel, the Lal-Qila, or the Red Fort, lying at the town`s northern end on the right bank or the Yamuna and south of Salim Garh, was begun in 1639 and completed after nine years. The Red Fort is different from the Agra fort and is better planned, because at its back lies the experience gained by Shahjahan at Agra, and because it was the work of one hand. It is an irregular octagon, with two long sides on the east and west, and with two main gates, one on the west and the other on the south, called Lahauri and Delhi gates respectively. While the walls, gates and a few other structures in the fort are constructed of red sandstone, marble has been largely used in the palaces.

 

Continue your tour to Jama Masjid by bicycle rickshaws, one of Asias largest mosques. People stream in and out of the mosque continuously and the presence of a nearby bazaar means that the area is rarely quiet.

 

Enjoy the rickshaw ride at Old Delhi peddling through the narrow by lanes of Chandani Chowk.

 

After lunch proceed for a sightseeing tour of New Delhi, which reflects the legacy of the British left behind. The division between New and Old Delhi is the division between the capitals of the British and the Mughals respectively. The division in the walled city and New Delhi also marks the division in the life-styles. The walled city is all tradition where one will be able to glean a past life-style in all its facets, colors and spells. New Delhi in contrast, is a city trying to live up to the best of 21st century standards.

 

Imperial Delhi will include the Qutub Minar, the tallest stone tower in India. Qutub-Minar in red and buff stand stone is the highest tower in India. It has a diameter of 14.32 m at the base and about 2.75 m on the top with a height of 72.5 m. Qutbu`d-Din Aibak laid the foundation of Minar in AD 1199 for the use of the mu`azzin (crier) to give calls for prayer and raised the first floor, to which were added three more floors by his successor and son-in-law, Shamsu`d-Din Iltutmish (AD 1211-36). All the storeys are surrounded by a projected balcony encircling the Minar and supported by stone brackets, which are decorated with honeycomb design, more conspicuously in the first floor.

 

Next stop would be the majestic Humanyuns Tomb. Humayun died in 1556, and his widow Hamida Banu Begum, also known as Haji Begum, commenced the construction of his tomb in 1569, fourteen years after his death. It is the first distinct example of proper Mughal style, which was inspired by Persian architecture. It is well known that Humayun picked up the principles of Persian architecture during his exile, and he himself is likely to have planned the tomb, although there is no record to that effect.

 

The tour also includes a drive past the imposing India Gate, the Parliament building and the Rashtrapati Bhawan, the Presidents residence.

 

Overnight will be at Delhi.

 

Day 3 Delhi – Amritsar

Amritsar, home to the Golden Temple, is one of the most ancient and fascinating cities of India. It is an important seat of Sikh history, religion and culture. Being the gateway for travelers coming to India on the overland route from central Asia, it soon became the centre of various commercial activities. There are various historical and religious sites, the most famous of them is the Golden Temple which was founded by the fourth Guru of Sikhs, Guru Ramdas and completed by his successor Guru Arjan Dev. Amritsar is Indias leading exporter of goods to the Middle-East, leading distribution centre of dry fruits, tea and condiments. It is also a shoppers paradise and a gourmets delight. 

 In the evening visit the INDIA PAKISTAN border for gate closing ceremony.

 Wagah Border: The international border between India and Pakistan. The pomp and pageantry of the Beating Retreat and the Change of Guard within handshaking distance of the Indian and Pakistani forces makes for a most charming spectacle. 

 Overnight will be in Amritsar.

 

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Day 4 Amritsar

Breakfast will be served at the hotel.

 Proceed for a tour of Golden Temple.

 Golden Temple: Sri Harmandir Sahib, also known, as the Golden Temple in Amritsar, is the holiest shrine of the Sikh religion. Also known as the Shri Darbar Sahib, it is in the center of the old part of Amritsar. The Golden Temple sits on a rectangular platform, surrounded by a pool of water called the Amrit Sarovar from which the City is named. The entrance to the Golden Temple complex is through an ornate archway with intricate inlay work. Verses from the Granth Sahib are inscribed on the doorway. The architecture of the golden temple is a blend of the Hindu and Muslim styles. The temple building has four entrances instead of the usual single entry. This is symbolic of the openness of Sikhism and indicates that followers of all faiths are allowed inside. The walls within are decorated with carved wooden panels and elaborate inlay work in silver and gold.

 The Adi Granth, compiled by Guru Arjan Dev, rests on a throne beneath a jewel-encrusted canopy. Priests conduct continuous recitation of verses from the holy book in 3-hour shifts. A complete reading of the text stakes 48 hours. The original copy of the Guru Granth Sahib is kept under pink shroud in the, Golden Temple during the day and at around 10 p.m. each day is ceremoniously returned to the Akal Takht (Sikh Parliament) building. The Akal Takht, next to the Golden Temple, is the seat of the Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee, the religious governing body of the Sikhs. The building of the Akal Takht was begun by Guru Arjan Dev and completed in 1609 by Guru Hargobind.  If you miss the early morning or evening processions, the palanquin that bears the Adi Granth can be seen in the treasury room on the first floor of the Akal Takht. The palanquin is set with precious stones and has silver poles and a gold canopy.

 You could visit the JALIANWALA BAGH or take a tour of the old city.

 Overnight will be at Amritsar.

 

Day 5 Amritsar – Delhi - Aurangabad

Proceed to the airport to board the flight to Aurangabad connected via Delhi.

 Reach Aurangabad. Check into the hotel and relax.

 The city of Aurangabad was founded in 1610, on the site of a village, Khirki by Malik Ambar - the Prime Minister of Murtaza Nizam Shah II. When Fateh Khan, Malik Ambar`s son turned successor in 1626, he gave the city the name `Fatehpur`. Later in 1653, when Prince Aurangzeb became Viceroy of the Deccan, he made the city his capital and called it Aurangabad. Aurangzeb added the walls that enclose the central part of the city in 1686 in order to withstand attacks from the Marathas. There are four principle gateways to the city - the Delhi Darwaza, the Jalna Darwaza, the Paithan Darwaza and the Mecca Darwaza. Nine secondary gateways also formed a part of the defensive system of this city.

 Aurangabad district has always been a prominent region on the Deccan plateau. Having been inhabited since the Stone Age, it has a long artistic and cultural history - to which several dynasties have made major contributions over the years. Maurya rule marked the arrival of Buddhism in Maharashtra.

 Aurangabad today is a bustling city of Maharashtra with diverse big and small industries, fine silken textiles, and exquisite hand woven brocades of silver and gold fabrics, Himroo of world frame. To scholars and lovers of art and culture the city is more familiar as the gateway to the ancient caves of Ajanta and Ellora, both famous as treasure houses of Indian Art and Sculpture.

 Overnight will be at Aurangabad.

 

 

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Day 6 Aurangabad

Breakfast will be at the hotel.

Proceed for a visit to the Ellora Caves and Aurangabad Caves.

Ellora Caves: Impressive in their own right is the rock-hewn temples and monasteries of Ellora that lie just 30 km away from Aurangabad city. In all, there are 34 cave temples, 12 Mahayana Buddhist caves (550-750 AD), 17 Hindu caves (600-875 AD) and 5 caves of the Jain faith (800-1000 AD) 22 more caves, dedicated to Lord Shiva, were recently discovered. Kailas Temple (cave16), the central attraction at Ellora, is the most remarkable. Chiselled by hand from a single massive rock, it includes a gateway, pavilion, courtyard, vestibule, sanctum, sanctorum and tower, which bear testimony to the excellence of Dravidian art. It is believed to have taken 7000 labourers, working in continuous shifts and 150 years to build. Ever since the first European visitors in 18th Century, Ellora has attracted chroniclers, antiquarians, scholars and in more recent years, ever- increasing number of tourists.

 Aurangabad Caves: The almost forgotten caves of Aurangabad lie just outside the city. Excavated between the 2nd and 6th century AD, they reflect TANTRIC influences in their iconography and architectural designs. In all there are nine caves, which are mainly viharas (monasteries). The most interesting among these are Caves 3 and 7. The former is supported on 12 highly ornate columns and has sculptures depicting scenes from the legendary `Jakata` tales. Cave 7 with its detailed figures of bejewelled women also has a dominating sculpture of a `Bodhisattva` praying for deliverance.

 Overnight will be at Aurangabad.

 

Day 7 Aurangabad – Mumbai

Ajanta caves: Nestling in an inner fold of the Sahyardi hills, 100 km from Aurangabad in the shape of a mammoth horse- shoe, are the 30 rock-hewn caves of Ajanta. The Caves date from the 2nd century BC. Discovered in 1819 by a group of British army officers, these startling achievements took around 600 years to create. Carved with little more than a hammer and chisel, Ajanta, once the retreat of Buddhist monastic orders features several `chaityas` (chapels) and `viharas` (monasteries). The exquisite wall and ceiling paintings, panels and sculptures of Buddha`s life are famous throughout the world as the earliest and finest examples of Buddhist pictorial art.

 Return to Aurangabad and visit the Daulatabad Fort.

Once known as `Devgiri`, this magnificent 12th century fortress stands on a hill just 13 km. from Aurangabad. It was given the name Daulatabad, the `city of fortune`, by Muhammad Tughlaq, Sultan of Delhi. Initially a Yadav stronghold, it passed through the hands of several dynasties in the Deccan. One of the world`s best-preserved fort of medieval times, surviving virtually unaltered, Daulatabad yet displays the character that made it invincible. This is a Fortress that was conquered only by treachery. A series of secret, quizzical, subterranean passages lie coiled like a python amidst the fort. Here flaring torches were thrust upon an unwary enemy. Or hot oil poured down his path, as he deliberated in the labyrinth. Also the heat from a brazier was blown into the passage by a process of suction suffocating the entire garrison within. The Fort itself lies in the body of an isolated hill; the steep hill - sides at the base falling so sharply to the moat that no hostile troops could scale the height. The moat, 40 ft. deep with mechanical drawbridges teemed with crocodiles. A 5-kilometer sturdy wall, artificial scarping and a complicated series of defenses made Daulatabad impregnable. The 30-meter high Chand Minar (Tower) built much later with 3 circular galleries had a defensive and religious role in the fortress.

 After the full day sightseeing, you would be dropped back to your hotel.

 Transfer to the airport in the evening to take the flight to Mumbai.

 Reach Mumbai and check into the hotel.

 Its young, its lively and a confluence of varied cultural currents and cross currents have given Mumbai a unique position of the most multi-ethnic city of India. The capital city of Maharashtra State formerly known as Bombay lies in the southwestern part of India and occupies a peninsular site originally composed of seven islets lying off the KONKAN COAST of western India. Oozing with the cocksure self-confidence of a maverick moneymaker and "Bindass" (carefree) attitude, Mumbai is also country`s financial and commercial hub and has a principal port on the Arabian Sea.

Yet, there`s another face of Mumbai too that is of the most densely populated cities in the world. Mumbai is located on a site of ancient settlement and took its name from the local Goddess "Mumba" - a form of Parvati, the consort of Shiva, one of the principal Gods of Hinduism - whose temple once stood in what is now the south-eastern section of the Mumbai city.

 Overnight will be at Mumbai.

 

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Day 8 Mumbai – Udaipur

Breakfast will be at the hotel.

Transfer to the airport to take the flight to Udaipur. Reach and check into the hotel.

The city of Dawn, Udaipur is a lovely land around the azure lake, hemmed in by the lush hills of the ARAVALLIS. A vision in white drenched in romance and beauty, Udaipur is a fascinating blend of sights, sound and experiences and inspiration for the imagination of poets, painters and writers.

Its kaleidoscope of fairy-tale palaces, lakes, temples, gardens and narrow lanes strewn with stalls, carry the flavor of a heroic past, epitomizing valor and chivalry. Their reflection in the placid waters of the LAKE PICHOLA is an enticing sight.

Udaipur is the jewel of MEWAR a kingdom ruled by the Sisodia dynasty for 1200 Years.

Walk around the old city and proceed to the MONSOON PALACE in the evening for sunset. Enjoy a cup of tea in FATEHGARH PALACE with a beautiful view of the city below.

Overnight will be in Udaipur.

 

Day 9 Udaipur

Breakfast will be at hotel.

 

Proceed for sightseeing tour of Udaipur, stopping first at City Palace.

 

City Palace: Standing on the east bank of Lake Pichola, is a massive series of palaces built at different times from 1559 A.D. The balconies of the palace provide panoramic views of "Jag Niwas" (the world wide famous Lake palace hotel), Jag Mandir on one side and on the other the city of Udaipur. Its main entrance is through the triple-arched gate - the Tripolia, built in 1725. The way now leads to a series of courtyards, overlapping parathions, terraces, corridors and gardens - a harmonic profusion hard to describe. There is a Suraj Gokhda, where the maharanas of Mewar presented themselves in the times of trouble to the people to restore confidence. The Mor-chowk (Peacock courtyard), gets its name from the vivid mosaics in glass decorating its walls. The chini chitrashala is noteworthy while a series of wall paintings of KRISHNA are on display in Bhim Vilas. There are numerous other places such as Dilkhush Mahal, Sheesh Mahal, Moti Mahal and Krishna villas - in memory of a princess of striking beauty who poisoned herself to avert a bloody battle for her hand by rival princess. Now the palace contains many antique articles, paintings, decorative furniture and utensils and attracts thousands of visitors every day.

 

Here you will marvel at rooms with mirrored walls and ivory doors, colored glass windows and inlaid marble balconies and the Peacock Courtyard.

 

Saheliyon ki Bari: Maharana Sangram Singh builds this in the mid-18th century. The `garden of the maidens` brings to mind the lifestyle of the ladies of the court. The delightful gardens appear discreet and in impeccable taste. There are four pools with dainty kiosks, and all around are flowerbeds, lawns, pools and fountains protected by a series of walls and shady trees. The Foundation of the Saheliyon ki Bari functions solely by water pressure and no pumps are used. The garden has a lotus pool, a sitting room decorated with paintings and glass mosaics. The whole ambiences are flavored by the nostalgia of those beautiful bells enjoying themselves in a lavish aura.

 

Bagore ki Haveli: This is a very congenial old building built right on the waterfront of Lake Pichola at Gangori Ghat. Amir Chand Badwa, the Prime Minister of Mewar built it in the eighteenth century. The palace has over hundred rooms and some very interesting display of costumes and modern art. The glass and mirror in the interiors of the Haveli delicate work and well preserved too. It also preserves a fine example of Mewar Painting on the walls of Queen`s Chamber. The two peacocks made from small pieces of colored glasses are fine examples of glasswork. After the death Badwa the building became the property of Mewar State. It came to be occupied by Maharana Shakti Singh of Bagore who built the palace of the three arches also in 1878 and it acquired its name of Bagore-ki-haveli, the house of Bagore. After independence the structure lay in neglect until 1986 when it housed the West Zone Cultural centre.

 

Jagdish Temple: The temple is situated in the middle of the city. The temple of Jagannath Rai, now called Jagdish-ji, is a major monument and should be seen carefully. Raised on a tall terrace and completed in 1651, it is a tribute alike to the tenacity of its builders and the resilience of the art tradition it represents. It attaches a double storied Mandapa (hall) to a double - storied, saandhara (that having a covered ambulatory) sanctum. The mandapa has another storey tucked within its pyramidal samavarna (bell - roof) while the hollow clustered spire over the sanctum contains two more, non - functional stories. Lanes taking off from many of the sheharpanah (city wall) converge on the Jagdish Temple and walking leisurely through them brings you face with the many layers of the cultural palimpsest that Udaipur is. It was built by Maharana Jagat Singh Ist in 1651 A.D.

 

Proceed for Evening Motor launch cruise on the placid waters of Lake Pichola. From the boat you will be able to view the city of Udaipur as it rises majestically above the lake in the middle of the Rajasthan desert. Also visit the Jag Mandir Palace - the other island palace in the middle of the lake. Spend some time at the Jag Mandir Palace.

 

Overnight will be at Udaipur.

 

 

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Day 10 Udaipur – Jodhpur (via Ranakpur)

Breakfast will be at the hotel.

 

Start for Jodhpur visiting Ranakpur enroute.

 

En-route, visit the Ranakpur Temples, dating back to the 15th century. 200 pillars, none of which are alike, support its 29 halls. The Temple abounds with intricate friezes and sculptures. Includes visits to two more Jain temples and the Temple of the Sun God with its erotic sculptures.

 

Continue drive to Jodhpur. Reach and check in at hotel.

 

Set at the edge of the Thar Desert, the imperial city of Jodhpur echoes with tales of antiquity in the emptiness of the desert. The capital of the Marwar state, it was founded in 1459 AD by Rao Jodha-chief of the Rathore clan of Rajputs who claimed to be descendants of Rama - the epic hero of the Ramayana. The massive 15th century AD Mehrangarh Fort looms on the top of a rocky hill, soaring 125 Mts. Above the plains. A high wall -10 km long with 8 gates and innumerable bastions encompasses the city.

 

Visit museum in Umaid Bhawan Palace: The romantic palace was built with the purpose of giving employment to the people of Jodhpur during a long drawn famine. The erstwhile royal family of Jodhpur still lives in a part of the palace. Another part of the palace houses a well-maintained museum, displaying an amazing array of items belonging to the Maharaja and the royal family weapons, antiques & fascinating clocks, crockery and trophies

 

Enjoy the blue city during the evening.

 

Overnight will be at Jodhpur.

 

 

Day 11 Jodhpur

reakfast will be at the hotel.

 

Morning sightseeing tour of Jodhpur gateway to the desert beyond, home of the Rathores of Marwar, visit the Mehrangarh Fort, rising up a hilly scarp, built on the advice of a hermit, overlooking the city in the image of a long sentinel. Inside the Fort are a number of palaces added by successive rulers. In this palace you would see different miniature paintings & cradle room. After this you would visit Jaswant Thada Memorial.

 

Mehrangarh Fort: Situated on a steep hill, Mehrangarh fort is one of the largest forts in India. The beauty and the grandeur of numerous palaces in the fort narrate a saga of hard sandstones yielding to the chisels of skilled Jodhpuri sculptures. Mehrangarh Fort, spreading over 5 km on a perpendicular hill and looking down 125 meters, presents a majestic view on city horizon. It was built on advice of a saint in 1459 to establish an impregnable head-quarter. This Fort is one of the best in India with its exquisitely latticed windows, carved panels, elaborately adorned windows and walls of Moti Mahal, Phool Mahal, and Sheesh Mahal. A collection of musical instruments, palanquins, royal costumes, furniture and the cannons on the fort`s ramparts are well preserved.

 

Jaswant Thada: Close to the fort complex, lies Jaswant Thada. This 19th century royal cenotaph built in white marble in commemoration of Maharaja Jaswant Singh II and three other cenotaphs stand nearby. The cenotaph of Maharaja Jaswant Singh holds the rare portraits of the rulers and Maharajas of Jodhpur. A visit inside the cenotaphs, with some villagers of the region, would bring forward the reverence they still hold for their brave kings.

 

Drive to the Bishnoi Villages for a short jeep safari.

 

Visit the Bishnoi Villages and have a rare glimpse into the rich culture and true essence of India. The Bishnoi community inhabits this village. They are staunch believers in the sanctity of plant and animal life. Villages are marked by Khejri trees and deer, which thrive. Memorable moments of the great desert landscape fascinate one while driving along the countryside. You could try your hand at the 4 X 4 jeep driving through the countryside.

 

Overnight will be in Jodhpur.

 

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Day 12 Jodhpur – Jaisalmer

Breakfast will be at the hotel.

 

Thereafter proceed to Jaisalmer by road. Reach Jaisalmer and check into the hotel.

 

Rising from the heart of the Thar Desert like a golden mirage is the city of Jaisalmer. A commanding fort etched in yellow sandstone stands, with its awesome splendor, dominating the amber-hued city.

 

The city has an interesting legend associated with it, according to which, Lord Krishna the head of the Yadav Clan, foretold Arjuna that a remote descendent of the Yadav Clan would build his kingdom atop the Trikuta Hill. His prophecy was fulfilled in 1156 AD when Rawal Jaisal, a descendent of the Yadav Clan and a Bhatti Rajput, abandoned his fort at Lodurva and founded a new capital Jaisalmer, perched on the Trikuta Hill. His Yadav descent can be traced back to the Mahabharata and the Rajputs were famed for courage and gallantry.

 

Jaisalmer is studded with magnificent tourist haunts that encapsulate the vivacious culture of this lovely locale. It is laced with beautiful forts, sacred shrines and stately havelis reminiscent of the yester years, well-stacked museums and a rippling lake.

 

Overnight will be in Jaisalmer.

Day 13 Jaisalmer

After a relaxed breakfast proceed for full day sightseeing tour of The Golden City Jaisalmer. It is in the heart of the Great Indian Desert. Its temple, fort and palaces are all built of yellow stone. The city is a mass of intricately carved buildings, facades and elaborate balconies.

 

Visit the Jaisalmer Fort The oldest living Fort in the world. (This is the highlight of the tour)

 

The fort stands almost 30 metres over the city and houses an entire living area within huge ramparts. Walking through the narrow lanes is an experience worth savoring. It is approached through Ganesh Pol, Suraj Pol, Bhoot Pol and Hawa Pol. Also, within it are many beautiful havelis and a group of Jain temples dating from the 12th to the 15th centuries. The golden - yellow sandstone of Jaisalmer Fort, over 800 years old, crowns the Trikuta Hill. Within its walls, defended by 99 turrets, lies the old city, nearly a quarter of modern Jaisalmer. Seen from outside, the sight must be almost identical to what was seen by merchants on their overland camel caravans to central Asia.

 

Once this desert outpost was an important gate for the trade route, and Jaisalmer grew wealthy on the proceeds. But the advent of commercial shipping relegated the town to relative obscurity. Known as Sonar Quila, rising from the sand, the mega structure merges with the golden hues of the desert ambience and the setting suns in its most colourful shades gives it a fairy tale look. Its simply a magic, the bastions envelops a whole townships that consist of palace complex various security sources and the havelis of rich merchants carved with an incredibly light touch, several temples and the residential complexes of the armies and traders placed strategically on the trade route, from where the ancient caravans passed.

 

Enjoy the sightseeing of the following places out of which the Jain Temples are inside the fort.

 

Nathmal Ki Haveli: Two architect brothers built it in the 19th century. Interestingly, while one concentrated on the right, the other concentrated on the left and the result is a symphony epitomizing the side-by-side symmetry during construction. Paintings in miniature style monopolies the walls in the interior. Mighty tuskers carved out of yellow sandstone stand guard to the havelis.

 

Salim Singh Ki Haveli: This haveli was built about 300 years ago and a part of it is still occupied. Salim Singh was the prime minister when Jaisalmer was the capital of the princely state and his mansion has a beautifully arched roof with superb carved brackets in the form of Peacocks. The mansion is just below the hill and it is said that once it had two additional wooden storeys in an attempt to make it as high as the maharaja`s palace, but the maharaja had the upper storey torn down.

 

Patwon Ji Ki Haveli: This is one of the largest and most elaborate Haveli in Jaisalmer and stands in a narrow lane. It is five storeys high and is extensively carved. It is divided into six apartments, two owned by archaeological Survey of India, two by families who operate craft-shops and two private homes. There are remnants of paintings on some of the inside walls as well as some mirror work.

 

Tazia Tower: The delicate pagoda like Tazia Tower rises from Badal Mahal (Cloud Palace). Rising in its five-tiered splendor, with each storey graced by a delicately carved balcony, the tower is of historical significance. Muslim craftsmen built it in the shape of a Tazia and gifted it to their royal patron

 

Godi Sagar Lake: This tank, south of the city walls, once held the town water supply, and befitting its importance in providing precious water to the inhabitants of this arid city, it is surrounded by small temples and shrines. The beautiful yellow sandstone gateway arching across the road down to the tank is the Tilon-ki-Pol, and is said to have been built by a famous prostitute, Tilon. When she offered to pay to have this gateway constructed, the Maharaja refused permission under it to go down to the tank and he felt that this would be beneath his dignity. While he was away, she built the gate, adding a Krishna temple on top so that king could not tear it down.

 

Jain Temples: These fine Jain temples were built in the 12th to 15th century, within the Jaisalmer Fort. They are beautifully carved and dedicated to Rikhabdevji and Sambhavnathji. The Gyan Bhandar, a library containing some extremely old manuscripts, is within the temple complex.

 

In the late afternoon, proceed to the SAND DUNES for visiting the typical Rajasthani Desert Village. View the sunset from the dunes, as the sky is set on fire. Return to the village for dinner amidst Rajasthani musicians playing haunting tunes.

 

Overnight will be in Jaisalmer.

 

 

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Day 14 Jaisalmer – Bikaner

After breakfast proceed to Bikaner. Reach and check in at hotel.

 

Bikaner retains the medieval splendor that pervades the city`s lifestyle. More popularly called the camel country, the city is renowned for the best riding camels in the world. The ship of the desert is an inseparable part of life here - Be it pulling heavy carts, transporting grains or working on wells. Camels are the prime helpers. Bikaner stands on a slightly raised ground and is circumscribed by a seven km long embattled wall with five gates. The magnificent forts and palaces created with delicacy in reddish-pink, sandstone, bear testimony to its historical and architectural legacy.

 

Bikaji chose a barren wilderness called "jangladesh" and transformed it to an impressive city, called Bikaji after the Founder`s Name. The strategic location of Bikaner on the ancient caravan routes that came from west/Central Asia made it a Prime trade center in the times of the year.

 

Visit the Junagarh Fort, constructed between 1588 and 1593 by Raja Jai Singh, a general in the Mughal Emperor Akbar`s army. Visit the Old City and the Karni Mata Temple. Also visit the one of the wells of Bikaner - an important source of water is other attractions of the city. These are built on high plinths with slender minaret towers on each of the Four Corners and can be noticed even from a distance.

 

Overnight will be in Bikaner.

 

Day 15 Bikaner – Jaipur

After breakfast proceed to Jaipur. Reach and check in at hotel.

 

Jaipur is the capital of the state of Rajasthan a romantic realm of resplendent palaces, mighty fortresses and regal Maharajahs that lies in the western deserts and is an utterly unique part of India. Proudly belonging to the KSHATRIYA warrior caste and fiercely independent, the Rajput princes made fearsome foes. However, many of them realized that to maintain their wealth and authority locally, it was expedient to proclaim allegiance to the central power. Thus, many enjoyed a privileged position under the Mughal emperors and also the British Raj that followed.

 

The bustling Rajasthan capital of Jaipur takes its name from its venerated founder Jai Singh II, who was given the title Sawai Maharaja by the Mughal. Literally translated this would mean one and a quarter, suggesting that the Mughal thought this emperor to be more valuable than just one. Jaipur is known as the Pink City on account of the distinctive color of its buildings. This did not, however, form part of the original plan, but dates back to 1856, when the city was given a wash of pink in honor of a State Visit from Prince Albert.

 

This evening, you can enjoy an exuberant Rajasthani Folk Dance Performance and a puppetry show, performed by a local tribe, followed by dinner consisting of typical Indian cuisine.

 

In the magical land of Rajasthan where the heat shimmers like phantom water, where the things you see are not really there and where the things that vanish behind veils of illusion, stands Chokhi Dhani, an ethnic village resort with a blend of rustic environment and modern amenities making it an important destination in Pink City.

 

Enjoy the experience and spend the night at Jaipur.

 

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Day 16 Jaipur

Proceed for a morning excursion to Amber Fort after breakfast. 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. Its forbidding exterior belies an inner paradise where a beautiful fusion of Mughal and Hindu styles finds its ultimate expression.

 

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. It is a 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 or visit the markets. You could take a RICKSHAW RIDE or visit the BIRLA TEMPLE for the evening AARTI.

 

Overnight will be at Jaipur.

 

 

Day 17 Jaipur – Ranthambore

Proceed to Ranthambore by road after breakfast. Reach and check into the hotel.

 

Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve, at the junction of the Aravalis and the Vindhyas, is a unique example of natural and historical richness, standing out conspicuously in the vast, arid and denuded tract of eastern Rajasthan, barely 14 kilometers from Sawai Madhopur. Get in tune with nature for a luxury holiday in the heart of the jungle. Most of the resorts are close to the National Park Gate, Tiger Den being the closest.

 

It spreads over a highly undulating topography varying from gentle to steep slopes; from flat-topped hills of the Vindhyas to the conical hillocks and sharp ridges of the Aravalis, from wide and flat valleys to narrow rocky gorges. An important geological feature the Great Boundary Fault where the Vindhya plateaus meet the Aravali Hill range meanders through the Reserve. The rivers Chambal in the south and Banas in the north bind the National Park.

 

Tiger, at the apex of the food chain, lord over the kingdom in a subtle way. Solitary by nature, it operates in stealth. Therefore tiger sightings, frequent as they are, are always a matter of chance. However, even evidences of tiger`s activities are very exciting.

 

Overnight will be in Ranthambore.

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Day 18 Ranthambore

Wake up early morning and leave for your safari into the National Park. Track the tigers and other wildlife through the morning. Return to the resort in the morning and have breakfast.

 

Freshen up and spend time at the pool or visit the town. You could also go for a nice visit to the temple on top of the fort.

 

In the afternoon have lunch and then leave again for your afternoon safari.

 

Dinner will be at the resort and retire early for the night.

 

Overnight will be in Ranthambhore.

 

Day 19 Ranthambore - Agra

Proceed to Agra by road after breakfast. (It could be that we divide this journey in two rail ride and a road journey of two hours each depending on the road conditions)

 

Stop for lunch at BHARATPUR hunting lodge.

 

Proceed to visit FATEHPUR SIKRI.

 

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 ... its 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.

 

Continue your drive to Agra and on arrival check-in at Hotel.

 

Agra: Two great Mughal monarchs, Akbar and Shahjahan, transformed the little village of Agra into a befitting second capital of the Mughal Empire - giving it the name Dar-ul-Khilafat {seat of the Emperor}. Today a visitor to Agra is caught up in a world of contrasting edifices, of red sandstone and white marble, narrow galleys and quaint buggies, and that irresistible charm that this favorite city of the Mughals still retains. It is not surprising, that modern Agra still reflects its Mughal heritage most conspicuously. A walk down the narrow bustling streets of the city will introduce the visitor to the wafting aroma of Mughlai cuisine.

 

Reach and check into the hotel.

 

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Day 20 Agra

Proceed to the TAJ MAHAL at sunrise for the best view and exploration.

 

Taj Mahal: Little needs to be said about this architectural wonder, which is always the soul raison-de-etre for every tourist`s visit to Agra. Built by 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. 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.

 

Return to the hotel for breakfast and freshening up.

 

Proceed for sightseeing of Agra.

 

Sikandra: This beautifully maintained monument is where EMPEROR AKBAR was buried. It is a very low profile monument but it has one of the most awe inspiring tombs. It is surreal how one of the greatest emperors has been put to rest. The manicured lawns has spotted and other varieties of deer roaming in them. Named after the Afghan ruler Sikander Lodi, Sikandra is the final resting place of Emperor Akbar. The Emperor began the construction of his own garden mausoleum during his lifetime. However, his son Jahangir completed the construction in 1613. An impressive marble - inlaid gateway leads to the spacious four - tiered monument, which is crowned by a white marble cenotaph and screen. What is interesting is that the structure imbibes the best of Hindu, Christian, Islamic, Buddhist, Jain motifs, signifying the new religion started by Akbar the DEEN E ILAHI.

 

Agra Fort: The red sandstone structure is surrounded by chahar-bagh, a four-square formal garden. 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. It lies on the bend of the river Yamuna, almost in the heart of the town. Akbar built it as his citadel over the years 1563-73 in the finest architectural style. It has imposing gates and walls of red sandstone and a moat.

 

After Agra Fort we will visit Baby Taj or the Itmad-Ud-Ullah The interiors of which are considered better than the Taj. Noor Jahan, the Empress of Jahangir for her father in 1628, built one of the most beautiful Mughal tombs, Itmad-Ud-Daulahs Tomb. The tomb is a resting place of the powerful personality in Mughal Court, Itmad-Ud-Daulah, whose life is very interesting. Formerly a very poor Persian merchant then named Mirza Ghiyas or Ghiyas Beg he became a minister and a trusted treasure in Akbar`s court. After Akbar`s death in 1605, his son Jahangir rose into power. Jahangir made Ghiyas Beg his chief minister and honored him with the title of Itmad-Ud-Daulah, the Pillar of State. Later, Jahangir met a beautiful daughter of Ghiyas Beg named Mehr-Un-Nissa and married her. Mehr-Un-Nissa soon played a significant role in the Jahangir`s court and was called Noor Mahal, the light of the Place. Owing to her influence, her father and brother were granted with privileges in the court. When Ghiyas beg (Itmad-Ud-Daulah) dies in 1622, Noor Mahal decided to build a mausoleum for him. Queen Mumtaz Mahal or the lady of the Taj was also from this prevailing family. The mausoleum is entirely made of white marble and graced with intricate decoration of inlay work, and marble-screen work belonging to the Islamic style. With its tranquil, small garden on the bank of Yamuna River, the tomb stands impressively elegant from a distance.

 

Overnight will be at Agra.

Day 21 Agra – Gwalior

Drive to Gwalior after breakfast.

 

Reach Gwalior. Check into the hotel and relax.

 

A little southward of Agra is the ancient city of Gwalior. Centuries of history can be witnessed even today in its monuments, temples, museums and cultural traditions. The magnificent Gwalior Fort, with its reflections of art, religion and military might, is an enduring symbol of this glorious past. The colorful history of this city dates back to the eight century and is a mosaic of Rajput clans of the Pratihasas, Kachwahas and Tomars, each leaving their marks on the citys magnificent monuments. Gwalior`s history is traced back to a legend in 8th century AD when a chieftain known as Suraj Sen was struck by a deadly disease and cured by a hermit-saint Gwalipa. As a gratitude for that incidence, he founded this city by his name. The new city of Gwalior became existence over the centuries. The cradle of great dynasties ruled the city Gwalior. With different Dynasty, the city gained a new dimension from the warrior kings, poets, musicians, and saints who contributed to making it renowned throughout the country. The city is also the setting for the memorials of freedom fighters such as Tantya Tope and the indomitable Rani of Jhansi. Today the old settings stand side by side with the trappings of modernity.

 

Explore your hotel, which in itself is a palace and museum.

 

Enjoy the SOUND & LIGHT SHOW at the fort.

 

Overnight will be at Gwalior.

 

 

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Day 22 Gwalior

Breakfast will be served at the hotel.

 

Proceed for a sightseeing tour of the city visiting the following interesting monuments.

 

Gwalior Fort: Standing on a steep mass of sandstone, Gwalior Fort dominates the city and is its most significant monument. It has been the scene of momentous events, imprisonment, battles and jauhars. A steep road winds upwards to the fort, flanked by statues of the Jain Tirthankaras, carved into the rock face. The magnificent outer walls of the fort still stand, two miles in length and 35 feet high, bearing witness to its reputation for being one of the most invincible forts of India. This imposing structure inspired Emperor Babur to describe it as the pearl amongst the fortresses of Hind ".

 

Man Mandir Palace: Built between 1486 and 1517 by Raja Mansingh. The tiles that once adorned its exterior have not survived, but at the entrance, traces of these still remain. Vast chambers with fine stone screens were once the music halls, and behind these screens, the royal ladies would learn music from the great masters of the day. Below, circular dungeons housed the state prisoners of the Mughals. Emperor Aurangzeb had his brother, Murad imprisoned, and later executed here. Close by is Jauhar Pond, where in the Rajput tradition, the Ranis committed mass sati after their consorts had been defeated in battle. At Man Mandir Palace, a poignant ambience of those days of chivalry and heroism still lingers in the silent chambers.

 

Gujari Mahal: Within the fort are some marvels of medieval architecture. The 15th century Gujari Mahal is a monument to the love of Raja Mansingh Tomar for his intrepid Gujar Queen, Mrignayani. The outer structure of Gujari Mahal has survived in an almost total state of preservation; the interior has been converted into Archaeological Museum housing rare antiquities, some of them dating back to the 1st century A.D. Even though many of these have been defaced by the iconoclastic Mughals, their perfection of form has survived the ravages of time. Particularly worth seeing is the statue of Shalbhanjika from Gyraspur, the tree goddess, the epitome of perfection in miniature. The statue is kept in the custody of the museum`s curator, and can be seen on request.

 

Sas Bahu ka Mandir: Two architecturally beautiful 11th century temples.

 

Jai Vilas Palace: A splendor of a different kind exists in the Jai Vilas Palace, current residence of the Scindia family. Jai Vilas is an Italianate structure which combines the Tuscan and Corinthian architectural modes. The imposing Darbar Hall has two central chandeliers weighing a couple of tonnes, and hung only after ten elephants had tested the strength of the roof. Ceilings picked out in gilt, heavy draperies and tapestries, fine Persian carpets and antique furniture from France and Italy are the features of these spacious rooms. Eye catching treasures include: a silver train with cut glass wagons which served guests as it chugged around the table on miniature rails; a glass cradle from Italy used for the baby Krishna each Janmashtami, silver dinner services and swords that were once worn by Aurangzeb and Shah Jahan. These are, besides, personal mementoes of past members of the Scindia family: the jeweled slippers that belonged to Chinkoo Rani, four-poster beds and gifts from practically every country in the world, hunting trophies and portraits. The Scindia Museum offers an unparalled glimpse into the rich culture and lifestyle of princely India.

 

Sun Temple: Located near the Residency at Morar, the newly constructed Sun Temple takes its inspiration from the famous Konark Sun Temple in Orissa.

 

Ghaus Mohammed`s Tomb: The sandstone mausoleum of the Afghan prince, Ghaus Mohammed, is also designed on early Mughal lines. Particularly exquisite are the screens, which use the pierced stone technique as delicate as lace.

 

Gurudwara Data Bandhi Chhod: It was built in the memory of Guru Hargobind Saheb, the 6th Sikh Guru who was imprisoned here by Emperor Jehangir for over two years. It is located on the Gwalior Fort.

 

Sarod Ghar: This Museum of Music has been set up in the old ancestral house of the legendary Ustad Hafiz Ali Khan. It houses ancient instruments of the great Indian Masters of yesteryears. It also houses an impressive collection of photographs and documents. Sarod Ghar is a unique institution devoted to promoting Indian classical music, heritage and culture. Through this `window` to the past, music lovers can gain a better understanding of the evolution and history of our classical music and a deeper perspective and insight into the context of the art as it exists today.

 

Overnight will be in Gwalior.

 

Day 23 Gwalior – Orchha – Khajuraho

Enjoy breakfast at the palace.

 

Drive to ORCHHA through the famous CHAMBAL RAVINES.

 

Orchha is a medieval city founded by the BUNDELA rulers with palaces and temples of the 16th & 17th century which has remarkably withstood the onslaught of time. The town is known for its CHATTRIS, which were built in the memory of the kings, and the river BETWA flanks the place.

 

Proceed for sightseeing of ORCHHA sites within the Fort Complex. Enjoy your lunch at Orchha.

Continue drive to Khajuraho.

 

Situated in the northernmost part of Madhya Pradesh, Khajuraho is famous for its enchanting temples and its legendary Khajuraho dance festival. The name Khajuraho is derived from the Khajur tree (the date palm tree), which is grown abundantly in the region. The Khajuraho Temples are dedicated to a celebration of womanhood, her myriad moods and facets. Famous for its erotic architecture, the carvings include, women writing a letter, applying eye makeup, combing her tresses, dancing & playing with her child. Her innocent, blushed, charming, seductive, ardent beauty, all depicted in exquisitely sculptured details. These temples have been designed and carved to lead the eyes from ground level upward till you seem to be looking at heaven.

 

Reach Khajuraho. Transferred to hotel and relax.

 

Spend evening watching the amazing sound and light show in the WESTERN TEMPLE COMPLEX. (Optional) We could also have you booked at the Italian Restaurant facing the temples it is really nice experience.

 

Overnight will be at Khajuraho.

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Day 24 Khajuraho

After breakfast proceed for a tour of the FAMOUS WESTERN & EASTERN TEMPLES of Khajuraho.

 

The Western group of temples: Primarily built in one style the temples have the ardhamandapa or the entrance, the mandapa or the assembly hall, the antarala or the vestibule and finally a pradakshina or a circumambulation running around the grabha griha or the inner sanctum. The temples are divided in three major zones, the western, the eastern and the southern temples of which the western temples are the most popular ones.

 

The arch of Kandariya Mahadev shrine has meticulously carved various themes of life. Celestial beings, lovers serenading musicians all the movements captured in stone, frozen in time, yet retaining a quality of warm, pulsating life. The very stone seems to have taken on the living, breathing quality of the carved figures. Outer walls have three horizontal panels showing deities of the Hindu pantheon, and groups of lovers, a pageant of sensuousness, vibrantly alive. The Chousat Yogini temple dedicated to kali is also present but without the deity in the sanctum. The Matangeshwara temple is the only shrine used for worshipping. The temple is almost devoid of ornamentation. The Varaha Temple stands opposite the Matangeshwara temple and is dedicated to the fourth incarnation of Lord Vishnu in form of a Boar. The monolithic figure is exquisitely carved with 764 divine figures around it. The Lakshmana Temple, dedicated to the four armed and three headed man-lion-boar statue of Vaikuntha, is the best preserved and the most evolved Vishnu temples. There are sculptures depicting many mythological stories such as the churning of the ocean and Kalia mardan. O n the exterior the entire range of the Khajuraho temples is on display. Ecstatic street singers and the architect of the temples, surrounded by his apprentices are among the noteworthy images on this temple. The Vishwanath temple was supposed to be embedded with jewels, but only a stone lingam is what remains now. The exteriors of this temple however are the most stunningly beautiful. Here one can see nymphs can be seen playing on their flutes, removing thorns from their feet, fondling children and looking into a mirror. Some of the most erotic depictions are seen as well. Another interesting temple is dedicated to the Sun God, the Chitragupta temple. It shows the Sun God driving the chariot drawn by seven horses. The exteriors show, royal processions, elephant-fights, hunting scenes, group dances and the lavish lifestyle of the Chandela kings and their court in its all pomp and glory

 

The Eastern Group of temples: The Brahma and the Hanuman temples are the most famous and well-preserved temples of this group. The Vamana temple shows all the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu.

 

This place also has a few temples belonging to the Jain religion, probably because one of the descendants of the Chandela dynasty may have adopted Jainism. The prominent among these are the Ghantai temple, the Parsvanath and the Shantinath temple.

 

Overnight will be at Khajuraho.

 

 

Day 25 Khajuraho – Varanasi

Breakfast will be at the hotel.

 

Transfer in time to airport for flight to Varanasi after breakfast.

 

Picturesquely situated on the crescent shaped left bank of the holy River Ganges, Varanasi, one of the ancient seats of learning in India, is said to be a compound of the names of two streams, the Varuna and the Assi, which still flow in the north and south of the city respectively. This name seems to have been corrupted, in medieval times to Varanasi, which was in use till May 1956, when it was changed to Varanasi, by an order of the Government of India. Varanasi is probably one of the most ancient living cities in India. From time immemorial it has been a great religious center for Hindus and one of their most sacred places of pilgrimage, being visited by millions of people every year. To every visitor Varanasi offers a breathtaking experience. The rays of the dawn shimmering across the Ganges; the high-banks; the temples and shrines along the banks bathed in a golden hue soul stirring hymns and mantras along with the fragrance of incense filling the airand the refreshing dip in the holy waters gently splashing at the Ghats. Varanasi The land where experience and discovery reach the ultimate bliss. Varanasi is also renowned for its rich tapestry of music, arts, crafts and education. Some of the world renowned exponents India has produced in these fields were schooled in Varanasis cultural ethos. Luminaries apart, Varanasi abounds in the art of silk weaving, an exotic work of art, which manifests itself in precious Banarasi silk saris, and silk brocades, which are cherished as collectors items across the world today.

 

Spend the evening shopping in the lanes of Varanasi. Later in the evening visit the GHATS for the auspicious and breath-taking AARTI OF LIGHTS offered to Goddess Ganges.

 

Overnight will be at Varanasi.

 

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Day 26 Varanasi

In the morning drive to Dasaswamedh 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, well 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 waters 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 a sumptuous breakfast.

 

Proceed for a sightseeing tour of the ancient city.

 

Visit Bharat Mata Temple, which features a big relief map of Mother India, engraved in marble. Also visit the 18th century Durga Temple, commonly known as the Monkey Temple due to the huge population of the monkeys. Proceed to the Tulsi Manas Temple, crafted from white marble, which features the entire Ramayana inscribed on its walls. Also visit the BHU considered as the biggest residential university in Asia. The University Campus houses an Art Gallery and the Mosque of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb.

 

Visit 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. Here he revealed the eightfold path that leads to the attainment of inner peace, Enlightenment and Ultimate Nirvana. 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 at the site.

 

Overnight will be in Varanasi.

 

Day 27 Varanasi – Kathmandu

Transfer to the airport in time for the flight to Kathmandu.

 

Reach Kathmandu and check into the hotel.

 

The Katmandu Valley, the political, commercial and cultural hub of Nepal, is the first for the majority of visitors to Nepal. Once a separate kingdom in itself, it contains three fabled cities Katmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur. Each is an artistic exposition of graceful temples, elegant palaces, brick paved courtyards and quaint streets. There are seven UNESCO World Heritage sites in the valley.

 

In the afternoon visit the DURBAR SQUARE. It is the historic seat of royalty. The Durbar Square, with its old temples and palaces, epitomizes the religious and cultural life of the people. It is here that kings of Nepal are crowned and their coronations solemnized. Interesting things to see here are: Taleju Temple built by King Mahendra Malla in 1549 AD, the temple of Kal Bhairav, the God of destruction, Nautalle Durbar, Coronation Nasal Chowk, the Gaddi Baithak, the statue of King Pratap Malla, the Big Drum and the Jagannath Temple.

 

On the right hand corner, a large wooden lattice screen hides an enormous gilded face of Sweta Bhairav. The screen is removed only during the Indra Jatra festival. There are also the Numismatic Museum and Tribhuvan Museum inside the Hanuman Dhoka Palace building. Photography is prohibited inside the museum. Both the museums remain closed on Sundays, Mondays and government holidays.

 

In the evening enjoy a local dance program with an authentic NEPALI DINNER at the cultural centre.

 

Overnight will be at Katmandu.

 

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Day 28 Kathmandu

Breakfast will be at hotel.

 

OPTIONAL: Take an early morning EVEREST FLIGHT for a view of the majestic HIMALAYAS and the MOUNT EVEREST.

 

Proceed for visits to PASUPATINATH, SWAMBHUNATH & BOUDDHNATH.

 

The temple of Lord Shiva, Pashupatinath, with two tiered golden roof and silver door is considered one of the holiest shrines for Hindu. It is Top Hindu temple of the world. Although only Hindus are allowed inside the temple, visitors can clearly see the temple and the activities performed in the temple premises from the eastern bank of the Baghmati River.

 

The Buddhist temple of Swayambhunath situated on the top of a hill west of the city is on the most popular and instantly recognizable symbols of Nepal. The temple is colloquially know as the `monkey temple` after the large tribe of handsome monkeys which guards the hill and amuses visitors and devotees with tricks, including sliding gracefully down the double banisters of the main stairway to the temple. The roving monkeys quickly snatch up any offerings of food made by devotes and will just as quickly grab anything you may be carrying.

 

Proceed to visit BOUDDHANATH. The Stupa of Bouddhanath lies 8 km east of Kathmandu. This ancient colossal Stupa is one of the biggest in the world, and the center of Tibetan Buddhism in the world.

 

Overnight will be at Kathmandu.

 

Day 29 Kathmandu

Proceed for a full day visit of PATAN & BHAKTAPUR after breakfast.

 

Patan, the second-largest city in the valley, lies just across the Baghmati River from Kathmandu, but it`s a much quieter and less frenetic place to visit. The city is justly proud of its temples and artisans and it is their handiwork that provides the focus of the stunning Durbar Square - choc-a-block with the largest display of Newari architecture in Nepal. It includes the Royal Palace, which contains a richly decorated bathtub, and the two-tiered brick Jagannarayan Temple.

 

Look up to the roof struts to see carvings of figures engaged in quite athletic acts of intercourse. A few minutes` walk north of the square is the Golden Temple, a Buddhist monastery guarded by sacred tortoises that potter around the courtyard; and the Kumbeshawar, reputedly the oldest (1392) temple in Patan. South of the square is an area of charming streets lined with metal smiths and Brassware shops. Patan`s other attractions are flung further. Among them is a collection of four stupas, thought to have been built over 2500 years ago, and Nepal`s only zoo, which features a reasonable assortment of rhinos, tigers, leopards and bird life. Palm readers gather in the park outside - they may be able to point out which animal you`ll be reincarnated as.

 

Situated at an altitude of 1,401m, Bhaktapur covers an area of four square miles. Bhaktapur or the city of Devotees still retains a medieval charm and visitors to this ancient town are treated to myriad wonders of cultural and artistic achievements. The past glory of the Malla rulers continues to be reflected at the Durbar Square. Pottery and weaving are its traditional industries. Bhaktapur is famous for woodcarving, the Bhadgaolen topi (cap) and curd. The city lies about 14 km east of Kathmandu.

 

Overnight will be at Kathmandu.

 

 

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Days 30 Kathmandu – Pokhra

Breakfast will be at hotel. Proceed to the tranquil valley Pokhra.

 

Reach Pokhra, transfer to hotel, refresh & relax with the spectacular panorama of Annapurna range forming the backdrop.

 

Stretching from the east to west, the Annapurna massif includes Annapurna I to IV and Annapurna South. Although the highest among them is Annapurna I (8091m), it is Machhapuchhre (the fishtail), which dominates all others in this neighborhood. Boastfully levitating in the skyline, the fish-tailed pinnacle is the archetypal snow-capped, needle-pointed mountain.

 

Pokhra is a remarkable place of natural beauty. Situated at an altitude of 827m from the sea level and 200km west of Katmandu valley, the city is known as a center of adventure. The enchanting city with a population of around 95,000 has several beautiful lakes and offers stunning panoramic views of Himalayan peaks. The serenity of lakes and the magnificence of the Himalayas rising behind them create an ambience of peace and magic. It is part of a once vibrant trade route extending between India and Tibet. To this day, mule trains can be seen camped on the outskirts of the town, bringing goods to trade from remote regions of the Himalaya. This is the land of Magars and Gurungs, hardworking farmers and valorous warriors who have earned worldwide fame as Gorkha soldiers. The Thakalis, another important ethnic group here, are known for their entrepreneurship. The climate of Pokhra is slightly warmer than Katmandu with daytime temperature hovering around 15 degrees Celsius in winter and 35 degrees in summer. The monsoon season which last from mid-June to mid-September is very wet; in fact Pokhra records the highest rainfall in the country.

 

The activities of foreign visitors to Pokhra focus around two districts known as Damside and Lakeside (or Pardi and Baidam, in Nepali, respectively). These two areas, with their strips of hotels and restaurants, are a few kilometers southwest of the main Pokhra bazaar.

 

Overnight will be in Pokhra.

 

Day 31 Pokhra

Start your day with an early morning visit to Sarangkot for the fabulous sunrise. After the spectacular sunrise, we drive back to our hotel to start our remaining activities for the day with the breakfast at the hotel.

 

Today, we take you to the famous Devis Fall (also known as Devins or Davids) locally known as Patale Chhango (Hells Fall), an awesome waterfall lying about 2 km south-west of Pokhra Airport on the highway to Tansen.

 

Bindhyabasubu Temple at the old bazaar, Seti Gandaki, the boisterous river running completely underground at the places, Mahendra cave (House of Bats), the natures wonder at Pokhra & Pokhra Museum.

 

After lunch, start exploring the city by driving to the Begnas Lake & Rupa Lake located 15 Km from Pokhra divided by a forested hillock called Panchabhaiya Danda, offering the perfect nature retreat with their relative seclusion.

 

End your trip by visiting the Tibetan Monastery.

 

Overnight will be at Pokhra.

 

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Day 32 Pokhra – Kathmandu - Paro

Breakfast will be at the hotel.

 

Transfer to the airport to take the flight to Paro via Kathmandu.  On a clear day the panoramic views of the Himalaya are sensational, including Everest, but particularly exciting is the approach through the Bhutanese foothills and the landing, including a few steep turns to land at the tiny airstrip of Paro.

 

In Paro you will be received by your Bhutanese guide and transferred to the capital town of Thimphu.

 

There are a good many things to see in the capital, which has a very relaxed, laid-back feel about it. Thimphu is relatively small having a population of approximately 90,000 people and the streets are wide and tree lined. 

 

In the afternoon proceed to visit the market and Traschichhoedzong, beautiful medieval fortress/monastery.

 

Overnight will be at the hotel.

 

Day 33 Thimpu

Breakfast will be at the resort.

 

Explore THIMPU.

 

Takin Preserve: TAKIN is the National animal of Bhutan. They are like a mix between cows and goats. These oddball mammals are really harmless and just lazily roam around.

 

Trashi Chhoe Dzong: Situated on the West bank of River Wang Chhu, it is a whitewashed brilliant building with red and gold triple tiered roofs looks more like a monastery. The outer walls are lined neatly with granite blocks unlike other dzongs, which have rough stones as walls.

 

Dechen Phodrang: It is the state monastic school and 15 teachers take classes of around 400 pupils over 8 years. Walking around the school feels special as different chants and hymns could be heard drifting out of the windows.

 

Return to the beautiful hotel and you would watch a fencing match today if time permits.

 

Overnight will be in Thimpu.

 

 

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Day 34 Thimpu – Punakha

After breakfast drive to Punakha.

 

Start your tour and exploring of the region.

 

Punakha Dzong: Placed strategically at the junction of the Pho Chu and Mo Chu rivers, the dzong was built in 1637 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to serve as the religious and administrative seat of the region. It was here that the dual system of government was introduced in the 17th century and in 1907, enthroned the first King Gongsr Ugyen Wangchuck. Damaged over the centuries by four catastrophic fires and an earthquake, the dzong has been fully restored in the recent years by the 4th King Jigme Singye Wangchuck. At the dzong enrich your trip with the opportunity to see the highest standards in woodwork. Do not miss the massive Kuenray, the Coronation Hall of all Bhutanese kings, the Dzongchung at the entrance to the dzong and the cantilever bridge over the Mochu that has been recently renovated.

 

Khamshum Yalley Temple: There is no temple in Bhutan built elaborately as this. The Queen Mother of the 5th King to bring universal peace in this world built this fascinating temple. The best of the spiritual art works are painted on the inner walls. There are also paintings of Buddhist teachers and tutelary deities of the country. This is a great temple to study the symbolic meanings from frescoes and sculptures.

 

Chhimi Lhakhang: The divine madman also known, as Drukpa Kinley is a famous teacher with whom the phallic symbol is associated. Tales told by your guide would have excited you to visit Chhimi Lhakhang. The Divine Madman sits there though a statue this time. Do not miss the masters deeds painted on the walls.

 

Overnight will be at Punakha.

 

Day 35 Punakha – Paro

Breakfast will be at the resort.

 

Proceed for excursion of Wangdue Phodrang.

 

Wangdue Phodrang Dzong: Stretched along the hilltop above the confluence of the Punatsangchhu and Dhangchhu rivers, the imposing Wangdue Phodrang Dzong is the towns most visible feature. During pre-monarchy days, the governor of this dzong played an important role. The annual festival takes place in autumn so be the guest and enjoy the tour of the dzong.

 

Later drive to Paro and check into resort and relax.

 

Overnight will be at Paro.

 

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Day 36 Paro

Breakfast will be at the hotel.

 

In the afternoon, visit Ta Dzong (national museum) and then walk down the trail to visit Rinpung Dzong the fortress, which has a long and fascinating history.

 

Later visit the Kyichu Lhakahng.

 

Kyichu Lhakhang: Kyichu is one of the oldest temples in Bhutan built in the 7th century by Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo. The story goes that a giant daemon lay across Tibet and the Himalayas, which was preventing the spread of Buddhism. To overcome her, King Songtsen Gampo decided to build 108 temples in a single day to pin the ogress to the earth forever in 659AD. Of these 108 temples, 12 were built in accordance with precise plans at key points. The temple of Jokhang in LHASA was built over the very heart of the daemon while KICHU was built on the left foot. Dungtse Lhakhang was constructed by the great bridge-builder Thangtong Gyelpo in 1433. It was built on the head of daemon that was causing illness to the inhabitants. The building was restored in 1841 and is a unique repository of Kagyu lineage arts. You may or may not be permitted inside but can walk around this three-storey Chorten-type building.

 

Overnight will be at Paro.

 

Day 37 Paro – Delhi

Departure from Delhi

 

Breakfast will be at the hotel.

 

Proceed to the airport to take the flight to Delhi.

 

Relax and enjoy last moment shopping. (We will book day use room at Delhi for you)

 

Transfer in time to the airport to take the flight back home with sweet memories of the tour.

 

TOUR ENDS

 

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IVAT  specializes in crafting highly customized  holiday tours in the Indian subcontinent. The India tour packages provided here are itinerary ideas.   You can take directly any of these itinerary or ask us to design tailor made trip for you. Our travel  expert will work out itineraries made specific to your requirements and desires. Price of the tour depends on lots of factors including Number of People, Experience Type, Hotels, Room Type,  Activities Wanted, Routings and date of travel.  So we have not placed price directly. Please ask us with different options .

Hello Victor,
We have successfully returned from India and are back in Texas.  I have finally downloaded my photos and I`m am thoroughly enjoying the editing process as I relive my wonderful experiences in India.  If our children had been with us, we would have stayed a month more.  My favorite thing in all of India-- more esteemed than the food, the architecture, or the religious and cultural learning--was the people.  India is its people--warm, gracious, friendly and open.
 
I wanted to take a moment to tell you how pleased we were with everything that pertained to our trip.  The guides in each town were very knowledgeable and unique in different ways.  Some were spiritual, some political, some very worldly--regardless,  it was refreshing to go to another town and have a different perspective from each guide.
 
We cannot say enough good things about our driver, Mr. Kulmant Singh.  As you are aware, it takes a lot of bravado and luck to get from point A to point B in India.  We are thankful we did so without incident and that we got to experience India "as close to a local experience" as possible.  I think the only way to have traveled more like an Indian would have been to put all four of us on one motorbike!
 
I cannot wait to return to India.  I would return to Varanasi to be part of the mass of humanity that lives and breathes with a city that encircles all of life.  I would return to Jodhpur and Udaipur to spend more time in the streets, the markets, and with the people of India.  I liked the smallness and openness of these cities.  (I have to admit, we gave our guides some work trying to keep up with our random wanderings down side streets and off the tourist path!)  I would return to Jaipur if only to stay at the Rambagh Palace again.  It was my favorite hotel as was the Imperial.  My husband`s favorites were the Oberoi`s in Udaipur and Agra.  The Orchard hotel was quite a surprise and we would return if only to sit and visit with the host, a most gracious man.
 
Once again, thank you for your help in preparing our trip.  I look forward to working with you again when we decide to travel to the south!
 
Best wishes,
Stephanie Routh
Stephanie Routh

Question : Health advice for UK citizens

Vaccinations are not required when you travel in India; however anti malaria medication is strongly recommended. If you have visited or transited a yellow fever area ten days prior to your scheduled trip to India a yellow fever inoculation certificate will be mandatory. Like all tropical countries, there are precautions that need to be followed while travelling. Indian medical professionals have reputably high standards. Should you need to consult a doctor; most hotels have doctors on call. We would be happy to assist you in visiting the specialist, although appointments are likely to be limited to a certain time of the day. Should you be using prescription medicines, please carry adequate supply - what you use may not be locally available and substitutes may not be suitable. In the unlikely event of hospitalisation, primary and secondary metros offer very high standards of health care. As a primary precaution, always drink bottled water. Ensure your liquid intake is consistent throughout the day. We always recommend that you consult your personal physician prior to any travel. We advise you to consult your doctor or the British Airways Travel Clinics, allowing at least 4 weeks before the date of travel for all medical advice. Some areas including Bhutan and Nepal may be at high altitudes so please check with our staff before confirming your itinerary. You can also check health advice for UK citizens at below link: Http://www.fitfortravel.scot.nhs.uk/destinations/asia-(east)/india.aspx

THE INDIA TOUR INCLUDES:

Accommodation at mentioned hotels,

Daily buffet breakfasts,

Ac vehicle at disposal with the driver for the tour,

Sightseeing tours as mentioned in the itinerary,

All meals in ranthambore,

English speaking guides for all mentioned tours,

Assistance at the airports on arrival / departure,

All local flights,

Bhutan visa & government taxes,

All local trains in first or best class,

All monuemtn& national park fees,

All applicable taxes and service charges and

All road taxes, government taxes and driver allowances.

 

INDIA SPECIAL HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDED:

Personal mobile phones with pre-alotted numbers,

Rickshaw ride in delhi,

Akshardham temple visit in delhi,

Welcome dinner at kingdom of dreams,

Bollywood musical at delhi,

Wagah border ceremony with vip seating,

Old city walking tour with rickshaw ride in delhi,

Tonga ride to taj mahal in agra,

Thali lunch at aurangabad a feast not to be missed,

Three shared jeep safaris in ranthambore with a naturalist,

Excursion to ranakpur with local priest,

Horse drawn carriage city tour in bikaner,

Ajanta & eloora excursions,

Bishnoi village visit in jodhpur,

Sand dunes camel ride & dinner in jaisalmer,

Palace dinner at udaipur,

Tea at monsoon palace and sunset with village visit in udaipur,

Boat ride at lake pichola in udaipur,

Elephant ride to amber fort in jaipur,

Craftsman tour in jaipur,

Chokhi dhani visit in jaipur,

Evening prayer ceremony at the banks of river ganges in varanasi,

Sarnath excursion,

Sound and light show at gwalior,

Sound & light show at khajuraho,

Srchha excursion with lunch

Hunting lodge lunch at bharatpur,

rickshaw ride in varanasi &

Sunrise ganges tour in private boat.