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Trip to India

India Trip
North India Trip  

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
Overnight in the train

Day 03 Varanasi
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.
Overnight at the Hotel

Day 04 Varanasi / Khajuraho
Morning : 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.
Later 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
Morning : After breakfast drive to Jhansi via Orcha.
Lunch at Orcha and then proceed to Jhansi to catch your train to Agra.
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 Hotel
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
After Breakfast 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 sandstone windows.
Overnight at Hotel

Day 09 Jaipur / Ajmer
Afternoon : 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 Fair - 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 holy lake.
Overnight at the Hotel.

Day 10 Ajmer / Udaipur
After Breakfast Drive to Udaipur.
Arrive Udaipur and check into Hotel. Rest of the day free.
Overnight at the Hotel

Day 11 Udaipur
Morning : Breakfast at the Hotel - Full Day visit of Udaipur city
Morning : 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 : Boat cruise on Lake Pichola.
Overnight at the Hotel

Day 12 Udaipur / Ranakpur / Jodhpur
Morning Breakfast at the Hotel - Drive on to Ranakpur.
Afternoon : 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.
Dinner at The Hotel
Overnight at the Hotel

Day 13 Jodhpur / Jaisalmer
Morning Breakfast at the Hotel
Jodhpur - 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 character.
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 handicrafts.
Drive to Jaislamer : Arrive Jaislamer late in the evening .
Dinner at the Hotel
Overnight at the Hotel
Day 13 Jaisalmer
Morning : 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
Overnight at The Hotel

Day 14 Jaisalmer / Bikaner
Morning 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 carvings.
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 back home.










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