North India Trip - 16 Nights / 17 Days
Delhi / Varanasi /
Khajuraho / Jhansi / Agra / Jaipur / Ajmer / Udaipur / Jodhpur / Jaisalmer /
Bikaner / Mandawa / Neemrana Fort Palace / Delhi
Day 01 Your Country/ Delhi
Arrive early morning Delhi Airport where you be met and Transferred to the
Hotel. Morning : Full day city tour of Delhi. The tour of Delhi starts with
the visit of Red Fort in Old Delhi. This palace citadel was built Shah Jehan
in 1648 and was a veritable city within a city. When Shah Jehan transferred
his capital from Agra to Delhi he built the Red Fort as his residential palace
as well as his military fortress. The fort is a complex of marble buildings
with balconies, filigreed windows, massive red sandstone walls, ramparts and
gateways. The most elegant building is the DIWAN I KHAS or the Hall of Private
Audience. From the Red Fort you will take a cycle rickshaw to Chandni Chowk
or the Moonlit Square. It is a medieval area in which you will recognize not
just Cairo or Istanbul, but also Chester and Heidelberg. This is perhaps one
of the Delhi's most populated areas and the largest marketplace - jewelers,
spice merchants, food vendors, money lenders, shopping arcades, workshops
as well as residences, are crammed here. Within this area is the British built
Town Hall, the St. James Church built by colonel Skinner in the early 19th
century, the old St. Stephen's college and the office of the state department
of Archaeology with a colonnaded facade going back to the 19th century when
it was the British Residency.
Overnight at the Hotel Day 02
Delhi / Varanasi
Morning : At leisure.
Afternoon : Transfer to
Railway station to take the train to Varanasi
( DEL / VNS ON KASHI
VISHAWANATH EXP 1330 / 0605 HRS )
Overnight in the train Day
Morning : Arrive Varanasi Railway station. Where you be met and then directly
taken to Sarnath which is 10 Kms from Varanasi. Sarnath is a major Buddhist
centre. The Buddha came to Sarnath to preach his message of love. It was here
that he delivered his first sermon. Later Ashoka the Great erected magnificent
stupas and other buildings here. When the famous Chinese travelers Fa Hian
Tsang visited Sarnath in 640 AD, Sarnath had 1500 priests. Next to Sarnath
there is an excellent Archaeological Museum.
Afternoon : Half Day city tour of Varanasi.
at the Hotel Day 04 Varanasi / Khajuraho
: An early morning boat ride on the river Ganges. Drive to Ghats which are
Varanasi's principal attractions. Here the pilgrims make their soul
cleansing dip in the river. Others perform yoga, priests offer blessings.
Many of the Ghats are owned by the erstwhile maharajas and other princely
rulers. Each ghat has its own history and healing capabilities. After the
boat ride visit the Durga Temple commonly known as Monkey Temple built in
the 18th century - the recent Tulsi Manas temple whose walls are engraved
with verses and scenes from the famous epic, Ramayana. Proceed to the
Banares Hindu University built in the early 20th century and which was
founded as a centre of education in Indian art, culture and music and also
for the study of Sanskrit. The university has a fine collection of miniature
paintings and sculptors from the 1st to the 15th centuries. Visit Bharat
Mata Temple dedicated to "Mother India". This temple has a marble
relief map of India instead of the usual images of Gods and Goddesses.
transfer to the Airport to take your flight to Khajuraho.
(DEL / HJR CD
408 1330 / 1410 HRS )
Arrive Khajuraho, where you be met and
transferred to your Hotel.
Afternoon : Visit the erotic temples of
Khajuraho which are one of India's major attractions. They are superb
examples of Indo - Aryan architecture and the sculptors around the temples
depict various aspects of Indian life over 1000 years ago - gods, goddesses,
warriors, musicians, real and mythological animals and above all women and
sex. Khajuraho temples date from 950 - 1050 AD.
Overnight at the Hotel
Day 05 Khajuraho / Orcha / Jhansi / Agra
: After breakfast drive to Jhansi via Orcha.
Lunch at Orcha and then
proceed to Jhansi to catch your train to Agra.
( JHANSI / AGRA ON
SHTABADI EXP 1755/ 2010 HRS )
Arrive Agra, where you be met and then
transferred to your Hotel
Dinner at the Hotel Overnight at the Hotel
Day 06 Agra
Morning : Breakfast at The
Full Day visit of the Agra city the world famous monument of Love
,Taj Mahal, the city of the Moguls made famous by Emperor Akbar. Visit Agra
Fort - its construction was started by Emperor Akbar in 1565 when he was
just 23 years of age. Within the fort are several fascinating buildings -
the Pearl Mosque built of marble, the Hall of Public Audience where the
famous "peacock throne" was kept, the Octagonal Tower, the
Jehangir Palace built by Akbar for his son Jehangir and the Khas Mahal, a
beautiful white marble structure used as a private palace. Proceed to the
Taj Mahal - often described as the most extravagant monuments ever built for
love. It took 22 years for the Taj Mahal to be built and in total 20000
people worked on the Taj. Several experts contributed to the designing of
the Taj Mahal such as Frenchman Austin of Bordeaux and the Italian Veroneo
of Venice. The Taj Mahal is amazingly graceful from almost any angle. The
semi-precious stones inlaid in marble in beautiful designs are through a
process called "pietra dura" Afternoon: Visit Dayal Bagh. Dayal
Bagh is a very special place where a monument is being built since 1911 and
which is dedicated to a saint who died in the last century. It will take
another 25 tears before this masterpiece is completed. It is made entirely
of marble with intricate carvings.
No visit to Agra is complete without
a visit to Dayal Bagh
Overnight at Hotel
Day 07 Agra / Jaipur
Depart for Jaipur via Fatehpur Sikri
Visit Fatehpur Sikri which is
perched atop a rocky ridge. Fatehpur Sikri is the work of one man - it was
vigorous city built with inspiration and genius by a king who had not yet
turned 28 - the Emperor Akbar. Unfortunately, at that time Akbar had no son
and heir to his vast empire. He visited several holy men and shrines to seek
blessings for the birth of a son, but in vain - till one day he visited the
saint Salim Chisti who predicted the birth of a son. Akbar quickly built a
few royal palaces close to the saints hermitage and the queen who had just
conceived moved in. Thus was born Mohammed Salim named after the saint.
Akbar was so overjoyed that he decided to move his court from Agra to
Fatehpur Sikri in gratitude. Fateh pur Sikri - the " City of Victory "
was thus built as an affirmation of faith, hope and of joy.. But 15 years
later this dream city with lofty mosque, pleasure pavilions, sunken gardens
and multi level courts was abandoned. Many believed that due to shortage of
water the city was abandoned, another reason was that Akbar found it
impractical to maintain 2 establishments - at Agra and at Fatehpur Sikri -
simultaneously. Walking through the Fatehpur Sikri's empty palaces, one
cannot but be transported back 400 years, and visualise the glory and the
splendour that must have existed.
Arrive Jaipur - Rest of the day at
leisure.Day 08 Jaipur
Morning : A tour of
Amber Fort. About 11 Kms from Jaipur is Amber, the former capital of Jaipur
state stunningly situated on a hillside and overlooking a lake which
reflects its terraces and ramparts. Ascend the hill on elephant back.
Construction of the palace - fortress began in 1592 by Raja Man Singh, the
Rajput commander of Akbar's army. It was later he extended and completed by
Jai Singh. An imposing stairways leads to the "Hall of Public Audience "
which has a double row of columns and latticed galleries. Next to the hall
is the Kali Temple whose entrance doors are made of silver. Walk over the :
Hall of Victory, noted for its inlaid panels and glittering mirror ceiling.
On the opposite side is the "Hall of Pleasure " with an ivory -
inlaid sandalwood door. The "Hall of Private Audience " is
decorated with delicate murals. But the jewel of the fort is the "Hall
of Mirrors " whose interior is encrusted with tiny mirrors. With doors
closed and candle lit, it is like being inside a vast twinkling diamond, The
oldest part of the palace are the apartments of Raja Man Singh, where each
of his dozen wives had a separate suite. Afternoon : City tour of Jaipur.
The city is a living testament to one of the most remarkable men of his age
- Jai Singh II, he was an extremely talented politically as well as on the
battle field. Indulging in his passion for science and the arts resulted in
the creation of Jaipur. However, much of the pinkness of the city goes to
the credit of Maharaja Mansingh who dressed up the city in the symbolic
welcoming colour when the prince of Wales, later Edward VII visited Jaipur
in 1876. A tour of the city visiting the City Palace and Museum comprising
of several courtyards, gardens and buildings and is a blend of Rajasthani
and Mogul architecture. The former Maharaja still lives in part of the
palace. The museum has an extensive collection of art, carpets, enamelware,
old weapons, miniature paintings, an armoury of guns and swords, costumes
and dresses of the former Maharajas and Maharanis of Jaipur. On display are
2 huge silver vessels which have found their way into world record of being
the largest single pieces of silver in the world. A former Maharaja used
them to carry his drinking water to England a he was a devout Hindu.
Adjacent to the city palace is the observatory built by Jai Singh in 1728,
who had a passion for astronomy. Stop at the Hawa Mahal or the Palace of
Winds built in 1799. It is a stunning example of Rajput artistry and was
originally built to enable ladies of the royal household to watch the
everyday life in the streets below through the delicately honeycombed
Overnight at Hotel
Day 09 Jaipur / AjmerAfternoon
Drive to Ajmer. Visit Pushkar lake and Dargah of Sheikh Chisthi
Pushkar - located about 11km away and separated from Ajmer by 'Nag Pahar'
(Snake Mountain) is the abode of Lord Brahma, the Creator. The Lake at
Pushkar, situated on the edge of the desert and surrounded by hills on three
sides, is believed to have been created by Lord Brahma himself and has the
same sanctity for Hindus as the Mansarover Lake in Tibet. Legend has it that
this is the first place on Earth that was created by Lord Brahma. The town
clings to the side of the Lake with its many temples and bathing ghats. For
Hindus, no pilgrimage to complete without a visit to Pushkar. During the
month of Kartik (October/November), devotees throng in large numbers here to
take a dip in the sacred lake. Temples -
There are as many
as 400 temples though few are as ancient as can be expected from such an
important pilgrim site. Many were desecrated by the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb
and subsequently rebuilt. The most famous of the temples is the Brahma
Temple, said to be one of the very few temples in the world dedicated to the
deity. A red spire marks the temple, and over its entrance gate is the
figure of "hans" or the goose the vehicle of Lord Brahma. The
other important temple is the Savitri Temple located on a hilltop
overlooking the lake. It is dedicated to Brahma's consort Savitri.Ghats
There are about 52 ghats that run down the lake. The water around each
ghat is supposed to have special powers. Pilgrims can be seen constantly
bathing in the lake's sacred waters. Pushkar Palace
Located near the lake this was once the residence of the Maharaja of nearby
Kishangarh. It has now been converted into a heritage hotel.Pushkar
- is one of the most colorful cattle fairs of India. Besides
trading of horses, camels, cows and bulls, there are exciting camel races,
street theatre and cultural events. There are a variety of stalls selling
interesting handicrafts, clothes, household items and leather goods. The
place becomes a flurry of activity with musicians, mystics, comedians,
tourists, traders, animals and devotees all converging on the small town.
The exact dates of the Fair depends on the lunar calendar, but in Hindu
chronology it falls on the full moon (Purnima) of the month of Kartik
(October/November) when devotees cleanse away their sins by bathing in the
Overnight at the Hotel.Day 10
Ajmer / Udaipur
After Breakfast Drive to Udaipur.
Udaipur and check into Hotel. Rest of the day free.
Overnight at the
Day 11 UdaipurMorning :
Breakfast at the Hotel - Full Day visit of Udaipur cityMorning :
City tour of Udaipur. Udaipur is often called the "Venice of the East"
and the most romantic city in the state of Rajasthan. Udaipur nestles like a
gem in a valley surrounded by green hills, reflected smooth and white in the
clear blue waters of Lake Pichola. Visit the city Palace which once was the
home of the Mewar rulers. Most of the Palace is converted into a museum and
a luxurious hotel. Wander through the markets and bazaars to get a feel of
the city situated close by behind the City Palace. Visit the Jagdish Temple
built in 1651 ornamented with excellent carvings and a bronze figure of the
Garuda. Proceed to the Garden of the Maidens of Honour constructed in the
early 18th century which was used as venue for royal parties. Drive on to
the abandoned Mansoon Palace which is situated on the highest point in
Udaipur from where the views are spectacular.Afternoon :
cruise on Lake Pichola.
Overnight at the Hotel Day
12 Udaipur / Ranakpur / Jodhpur
Morning Breakfast at the Hotel - Drive on to Ranakpur.
Visit Ranakpur, one of the biggest and most important Jain
Temples complex in India. The main temple in this complex called Chamaukha
( four faced ) built in 1439 and is the most complex and extensive of Jain
temples in India covering over 40,000 sq. Feet. It has 29 halls containing
1444 pillars each carved with intricate, delicate carvings. No two pillars
are alike. Later proceed to Udaipur via Eklingji and Nagda. A tour of the
temple complex at Eklingji and Nagda is known for its 108 temples. The present
structure dates from the 16th century. The walled complex includes an elaborately
pillared hall and features the four faced image of Lord Shiva in black marble.
Close by is Nagda which has fine intricate architecture and carvings including
some erotic figures.
Arrive Jodhpur and the rest of the day at leisure.
at The Hotel
Overnight at the Hotel
Day 13 Jodhpur / Jaisalmer
Morning Breakfast at the Hotel
Beginning in 1549, when the city was called Jodhagarh, the Rathore clan of
Rajputs fought and ruled from virtually impregnable fort until their
territory covered 35000 sq. Miles making it the largest Rajput state. Today
the former capital of the state of Marwar retains much of its medieval
City tour of the Jodhpur. Visit the Meherangarh Fort or the "Majestic
Fort" which is still managed by the former Maharaja of Jodhpur, Inside
the fort there is a whole series of courtyards and palaces which house a
fantastic collection of Indian Royalty including an amazing collection of
elephant howdahs, miniature paintings, folk music instruments, the Rajput
armoury, palanquins, furniture and costumes. There's also an enormous and
luxurious tent originally made for the emperors. The palace apartments are
beautifully decorated and painted and have delicately carved latticework
windows of red sand stone. From the ramparts of the fort ancient cannons
look out at the city below. The views from the rampart are almost magical.
Visit the royal cenotaphs closeby built in 1899. Drive out to the local
market area where the clock tower is a popular landmark in the old city near
which narrow alleys that lead to bazaars selling textiles, silver and
Drive to Jaislamer : Arrive Jaislamer late in the evening .
at the Hotel
Overnight at the Hotel
Day 13 Jaisalmer
Tour of Jaisalmer - the desert citadel.
This magical and incomparably romantic desert city fortress is straight out
of the tales of the Arabian Nights. Because of its strategic location on the
route between India and Central Asia , Jaislamer was once a very wealthy
place. The merchants and townspeople built magnificent houses and mansions
all exquisitely carved from wood and red sand stone. Visit the Fort built in
1156 which has 99 bastions around its circumference. Houses temples and
palaces are packed within the fort complex between narrow and winding lanes.
The views from the fort's walls provide superb views. Within the fort are a
group of beautifully carved Jain temples between 12th and 15th centuries.
Enjoy a camel ride from the fort to the Patwa haveli which is the most
elaborate and magnificent of all havelis in Jaislamer. The other havelis
worth visiting are the Salim and Nathamal.
Dinner at the Hotel
at The Hotel
Day 14 Jaisalmer / Bikaner
Breakfast at the hotel
Drive to Bikaner. Bikaner is a true desert
country and part of the ancient caravan route that came from west and
central Asia. Located in the north of the State of Rajasthan, it was founded
in 1488 by a Rathore Prince Rao Bika, a descendent of Jodha, founder of
Jodhpur. Rao Bika chose a barren wilderness called 'Jangladesh' and
transformed it to an impressive city. The old city is surrounded by a
crenellated wall and was once an important staging post on the great caravan
trade routes. The Ganga Canal, built between 1925-27, irrigates a large area
of previously arid land around Bikaner.
Sheer beauty in the desert is
the royal fortified city of Bikaner. Bikaner stands on a slightly raised
ground and is circumscribed by long embattled wall having five gates.
Bikaner's forts, palaces and temples - magnificent creations in red and
yellow sandstone, are living manifestations of its rich historical and
architectural legacy. One can feel the medieval aura prevailing in the
city's lifestyle. Not only do the traditions come alive here in colourful
bazaars and havelis, but Bikaner is also famous for the best riding camels
in the world. Undulating lanes, colorful bazaars and bright and cheerful
folks make Bikaner and interesting experience.
These are built on high
plinths with slender minarets on each of the four corners and can be noticed
even from a distance.Places to See -Junagarh Fort
Built between 1588-93 by Raja Rai Singh, a general in the army of
Mughal Emperor Akbar, this impressive fort is a formidable structure
encircled by a moat. The Suraj Pol or Sun Gate, is the main entrance to the
fort. Within the fort are thirty-seven palaces, pavilions and temples, which
make a picturesque ensemble of courtyards, balconies, kiosks and windows.
The palaces exquisitely built in red sandstone and marble are ornate with
mirror work, carvings and paintings. Among the notable palaces are the Phool
Mahal (Flower Palace), which is decorated with paintings and carved marble
panels, the Hawa Mahal, Badal Mahal and Anup Mahal. A major feature of the
complex is the magnificent stone carving. The fort also has a fine
collection of Rajput weapons and an old World War I biplane presented to
Maharaja Ganga Singh by the British. This is one of the only two models of
this plane in the world.
Lallgarh Palace - Located 3km north of the city centre, this red
sandstone palace was built by Maharaja Ganga Singh (1881-1942) in memory
of his father
Maharaja Lal Singh. The palace has beautiful latticework and filigree work.
Part of the palace has been converted into a luxury hotel and a museum known
as Shri Sadul Museum. The museum covers the entire first floor of the palace
and houses old photographs of royal hunts, trophies of wildlife and an extraordinary
collection of the former Maharaja's personal possessions.
Ganga Golden Jubilee Museum - has an interesting collection of sculptures,
terra cottas, weapons, miniature paintings and musical instruments.
Jain Temples - the narrow streets of the old city have a couple of
notable Jain temples. The Bhandasar and Sandeshwar temples date from around
the 15th century. They have colourful wall paintings and some intricate
Camel Research & Breeding Farm - located about 8km away, this
centre is probably unique in Asia. The British army had a camel corps drawn
from Bikaner during World War I. The farm extends over 2000 acres of semi
arid land. The Camel Corps of Bikaner are still an important part of the
desert warfare and defence through the Border Security Force(BSF).
Devi Kund - located about 8km east of Bikaner, this is the royal
crematorium with several ornamented 'chhatris' (cenotaphs) built in the
memory of the Bika dynasty rulers. Maharaja Suraj Singh's cenotaph is the
most impressive of all, created entirely in white marble with spectacular
Rajput painting on the ceiling.
Deshnok - is a village located about 30km south of Bikaner. It is
the site of the famous Karni Mata Temple. The famous 600 years old temple
is dedicated to Karni Mata, a form of Goddess Durga. The temple has huge
intricately carved silver gates, which were donated by Maharaja Ganga Singh.
But the most unusual feature of the temple is the rats that scamper freely
within the sanctum sanctorum. They are regarded as sacred and are fed by
priests and devotees. Spotting a white rat is considered to bring good fortune.
Gajner Wildlife Sanctuary - located about 32km from Bikaner on the
Jaisalmer road, the lake and forested hills of this reserve are home to
a number of wildfowl, deer and antelopes. Imperial sand grouse migrate here
in winter. On the bank of the lake stand the Gajner Palace, the former winter
palace. It is an impressive building made of red sandstone and is set in
serene surroundings. It has now been converted into a heritage hotel
Overnight at the Hotel
Day 15 Bikaner / Mandawa
Morning Breakfast at the hotel.
Later drive to Mandawa - founded in the 18th century, this is a compact
and busy little market town. It was fortified by the dominant merchant families
and its fort dominates the town with a painted arched gateway adorned with
Lord Krishna and his cows. The Chokhani, Ladia and Saraf havelis are some
of the splendid examples of this region's havelis. A Shiva temple with a
rock crystal lingam is also worth a visit. The fort is now converted into
a heritage hotel. Dundlod - is a small village, right in the heart of the
Shekhawati region. The fort here dates back to 1750 and has now been converted
into a heritage hotel. The Diwan-I-Khas (Hall of Private Assembly) is in
still a good condition and has stained glass windows. The noteworthy havelis
include the Tuganram Goenka and Jagathia havelis. The Satyanarayan Temple
is also another attraction.
Fatehpur - this town was established in 1451 as a capital for Muslim
Nawabs but was taken by the Shekhawati Rajputs in the 18th century. Some
of the main
havelis of interest are the Mahavira Prasad Goenka haveli, Geori Shankar
haveli, Nand Lal Devra haveli and the Harikishan Das Sarogi haveli. there
is also the remains of a 17th century baoli (step well). Ramgarh - was founded
by the powerful Poddar merchant family in 1791 after thy had left the village
of Churu following a disagreement with thee thakur (landlord). It had its
heyday in mid 19th century and was one of the richest towns of the area.
Apart from the Poddar havelis, the Ram Gopal Poddar Chhatri (cenotaph) is
also noteworthy. The town is also known for its local handicrafts.
Nawalgarh - founded in the 18th century it has the finest of Shekhawati's
frescoes. The main building of this town is the fort built in 1737. The
havelis of interest here are Anandi Lal Poddar haveli, the Aath havelis,
Hem Raj Kulwal haveli, Bhagton ki Haveli and the Khedwal Bhawan. There is
also the Roop Niwas Palace that has now been converted into a hotel.
Jhunjhunu - is one of the largest towns of the region and also the
district headquarters. The town was founded by the Kaimkhani Nawabs in mid
15th century AD. It remained under their control until it was taken over
by the Rajput ruler Sardul Singh in 1730. It was in Jhunjhunu that the British
based their Shekhawati Brigade, a troop raised locally in the 1830's to
try to halt the activities of the dacoits (bandits). The town is known for
the Khetri Mahal, a palace dating from around 1770. It is one of the most
sophisticated buildings of the region and it offers splendid views from
its top. The Bihariji Temple is from a similar period and contains some
fine murals. The noteworthy havelis include the Modis haveli and the Kaniram
Narsinghdas Tibrewala haveli. There is also a Mertani Baoli (step well),
a mosque, the Kamruddin Shah ki Dargah and a Jain temple in the area.
Overnight at the Hotel
Day 16 Mandawa / Neemrana Fort Palace
Morning Breakfast at the hotel. Later drive to Neemrana.
Day 17 Neemarana Fort / Igi Airport
Morning Breakfast at the hotel. Later drive to IGI Airport for your flight