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Artistic India Tour



Duration : 18 Nights / 19 Days

Places covered : Delhi - Varanasi - Khajuraho - Orchha - Agra - Jaipur - Jodhpur - Udaipur - Aurangabad - Mumbai

Day 01 : Arrival at Delhi
You will be met on arrival at the International airport. Transfer to your hotel. Relax. Overnight will be at Delhi.

Day 02 : Delhi
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast at the hotel. Start an afternoon tour of Old Delhi. OLD DELHI - A sightseeing tour of Old Delhi would entail visiting the Raj Ghat , Jama Masjid and the Red Fort - once the most opulent fort and palace of the Moghul Empire. Enjoy the rickshaw ride at Old Delhi. Enjoy shopping in Delhi and explore the markets close to the hotel. Overnight will be in Delhi.

Day 03: Delhi
Breakfast will be at Hotel. Later - proceed for the sightseeing tour of NEW DELHI - Humayun's Tomb, the Qutub Minar, - Rajpath, past the imposing India Gate, Parliament House and the President's Residence and would end with a drive through the Diplomatic Enclave.Evening - free to explore. Overnight will be at Delhi.

Day 04 : Varanasi By flight
Breakfast will be at the hotel. Proceed to the airport for flight to Varanasi. Varanasi is called CITY OF TEMPLES. 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. In the evening you can visit the GHATS for the evening ceremony and the cremations. Overnight stay will be at Varanasi.

Day 05 : Varanasi
Morning drive to Daswamedh Ghat and take a boat ride on the sacred river Ganges to see the cremation Ghats and witness the living traditions of one of the world's oldest and most important religions. Visit the Kashi Vishwanath Temple while returning to the hotel.Breakfast will be at the hotel. Proceed for day guided tour of Varanasi. Visit Bharat Mata Temple 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. Overnight stay will be at hotel.

Day 06 : Varanasi - Khajuraho (By flight)
Breakfast will be at hotel. Take an afternoon flight to Khajuraho. Reach and after lunch visit the EASTERN SET OF TEMPLES in the afternoon. In the evening enjoy the SOUND & LIGHT SHOW at the temple complex. Overnight will be at Khajuraho.

Day 07 : Khajuraho - Jhansi (By Road) 175 km in 4 hr Jhansi - Agra (By deluxe train at 1800 hr reaching at 2000 hr)
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel. Visit the Western set of temples. Start for Orchha by surface. It 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 place is flanked by the river BETWA. Enjoy your lunch at Orchha. Proceed for sightseeing of ORCHHA sites within the Fort Complex. Take the deluxe train for Agra and reach by evening. Overnight will be at Agra.
Day 08 : Agra
Have a leisurely breakfast at the hotel. Proceed for day sightseeing of Agra.

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.

AGRA FORT - Built by the famed Mughal emperor Akbar in 1565 AD, the fort is predominantly of red sandstone. Ensconced within is the picture perfect Pearl Mosque, which is a major tourist attraction. 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 - The interiors of which are considered better than the Taj. Enjoy TAJ MAHAL from your room at sunset.
Visit SIKANDRA - A 10 MINUTES DRIVE FROM THE CITY.
Overnight will be at Agra.




Day 09 : Jaipur
By Road 250 km in 6 hr
Breakfast will be at the hotel.
Drive to Fatehpur Sikri.

Fatehpur Sikri is 37 km west of Agra. Jajal-ud-din-Muhammad Akbar, Humanyun's son, accessed the throne at the tender age of 14. While hunting around Sikri his curiosity was aroused by the songs of some minstrels about the celebrated Khwaja -Mu'inu'd-din Chisti, the founder of the Chisti order of SUFIS. Akbar, who was without a male heir heard about Saint Salim Chisti and visited him in the year 1568. The saint blessed him with 3 sons and in gratitude Akbar ordered the great mosque of Fatehpur Sikri built under his supervision. As a mark of respect to the saint, Akbar shifted his capital to Fatehpur Sikri and built various secular buildings like the Diwan -I-Am, Diwan-I-Khas, Jodhabai palace, Birbal's house, Marian's house and the Panchmahal.

Enjoy sightseeing and drive to Jaipur.

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 colour 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, visit the Birla Temple to learn more about the fascinating religious life of Jaipur. The marble structure, built as recently as 1985, houses ornate statues including one of Lakshmi (goddess of Wealth and Beauty) and Narayan dressed in gaudy robes, representing a Hindu vision of heavenly luxury. Carvings in the temple and on pillars supporting the covered walkways include images of the Hindu pantheon, as well as Jesus, the Blessed Virgin Mary and St Francis of Assisi. Your visit will coincide with the AARTI Ceremony, which involves oil lamps being lit and waved, in order to awake and invoke the deity. Enjoy the experience and spend night at Jaipur.

Overnight will be in Jaipur.

Day 10 : Jaipur
Proceed for a morning excursion to Amber Fort after breakfast.

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.

Continue sightseeing.

CITY PALACE - A delightful blend of Mughal and traditional Rajasthani architecture, the City Palace sprawls over one-seventh of the area in the walled city. It houses the Chandra Mahal, Shri Govind Dev Temple and the City Palace Museum.

JANTAR MANTAR - This is the largest and the best preserved of the five observatories built by Jai Singh II in different parts of the country. This observatory consisting of outsized astronomical instruments is still in use.

HAWA MAHAL - The ornamental facade of this "Palace of Winds" is a prominent landmark in Jaipur. 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.

This afternoon is free for you to relax, shop or explore independently. Shopping is superb in Jaipur, particularly for gold and silver jewellery, pottery, tie-dye materials, silk, saris, wooden handicrafts and carpets.

Overnight will be at Jaipur.

Day 11 : Jaipur - Jodhpur
By Road in 6 hrs
Breakfast will be at Hotel.
Drive to Jodhpur.

Set at the edge of the THAR Desert, the imperial city of Jodhpur echoes with tales of antiquity in the emptiness of the desert. Once 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. It is also referred as the Blue City, due to the indigo tinge of the whitewashed houses around the Mehrangarh Fort (the old city). The blue houses were originally for Brahmins but non-Brahmins soon joined in, as the colour was said to deflect the heat and keep mosquitoes away. Jodhpur lies near the geographic center of Rajasthan state, which makes it a convenient base for travel in a region much frequented by tourists. The old city of Jodhpur is surrounded by a thick stone wall. The wall has six huge gates called Nagauri gate, Merati gate, Sojati gate, Jalori gate, Siwanchi gate and Chand pol.

Reach and transfer to the hotel.

Evening visit the Umaid Bhawan Palace: The romantic looking Umaid Bhawan Palace was actually built with the purpose of giving employment to the people of Jodhpur during a long drawn famine. The 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

Overnight will be at Jodhpur.



Day 12 : Jodhpur
Breakfast will be at Hotel.

Enjoy the sightseeing tour of the city.

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 narrates 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, 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.

Rai-ka-Bag Palace: This palace is situated near Raika Bag palace railway station. It was constructed in 1663 by Hadiji, queen of king jaswant Singh-I. King Jaswant Singh-II liked this palace very much. He mostly
stayed in the octagonal bunglow of this palace. In 1883 when Swami Dayanand Saraswati came to Jodhpur, his sermons were arranged for the public in the public ground of this palace. Even Jaswant Singh used to listen to Swami Dayanand in this palace only. Now income tax office functions in this palace.

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. This village is inhabited by the Bishnoi community. 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 fascinates one while driving along the countryside.

Overnight will be at Jodhpur.

Day 13 : Jodhpur - Udaipur
By Road in 6 hrs

Breakfast will be at Hotel.

Drive to Udaipur. En-route visit Ranakpur Temples.

The RANAKPUR TEMPLES, dating back to the 15th century have 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.

Reach Udaipur and check in to 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.

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 and spend some time. (Currently water level is very low and is subject to increase water level)

Overnight will be at Udaipur.

Day 14 : Udaipur
Breakfast will be at the hotel.

Proceed for sightseeing tour of Udaipur, stopping first at City Palace. Here you will marvel at rooms with mirrored walls and ivory doors, colored glass windows and inlaid marble balconies and the Peacock Courtyard.

Also visit the lovely Sahelion-ki-Bari Gardens, the Jagdish Temple and the local folk Museum.

In the evening relax at the hotel or take a walk of the old city around the lake.

Overnight stay will be at Udaipur.

Day 15 : Udaipur - Aurangabad
By Flight

Breakfast will be at the hotel.

Proceed to the airport for flight to Aurangabad.

Reach and check into the hotel.

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.




Day 16 : Aurangabad
Breakfast will be served at the hotel.

Proceed for a full day sightseeing with excursion to Ajanta Caves.

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 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.

Overnight will be at Aurangabad.

Day 17 : Aurangabad - Mumbai
By Flight
Breakfast will be at the hotel.
Proceed for a visit to the Ellora Caves, Daulatabad Fort 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. Chiseled 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 laborers, 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 bejeweled women also has a dominating sculpture of a 'Bodhisattva' praying for deliverance.

Proceed to the airport for flight to Mumbai.

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 southeastern section of the Mumbai city.

Reach and check in at hotel. Overnight will be at Mumbai.

Day 18 : Mumbai
Proceed for a city tour of Mumbai after a relaxed breakfast.

Mumbai Fort : The area north of Colaba is known as Mumbai Fort, since the old British fort was once located here. There are a lot of impressive buildings from Mumbai's golden period here. St. John's church, dedicated to the soldiers, who laid down their lives in the Sindh campaign of 1838, and the first Afghan war of 1843, is also worth a visit.

Marine Drive in Mumbai : Marine Drive located in the central Mumbai, built in the 1920s and 30s on land reclaimed from the sea, is Mumbai's most famous thoroughfare. It is also referred to as the Queen's Necklace because of the dramatic line of street lamps lit up at night. Recently it has come to known as Netaji Subhashchandra Bose Road with Nariman Point on one end to Babulnath, at the foot of Walkeshwar on the other.

Gateway of India : Mumbai's principal landmark, the Gateway of India is a huge archway on the water's edge at Apollo Bunder. It is the starting point for most tourists who want to explore the city. This famous monument was built to commemorate the visit of the first ever British Monarch, King George V and Queen Mary in 1911.

Chowpatty Beach : Chowpatty beach situated at the end of Marine Drive has a moderate expanse of sand and is the only beach in the central part of Mumbai. One can witnesses many Hindu religious ceremonies taking place at Chowpatty like the Annual Thread-Tying Ceremony initiating young boys into the Brahmin caste, 'Nariel Purnima' towards the end of the monsoons and 'Ganesh Chaturthi' immersions.

Flora Fountain/ Hutama Chowk : This fountain situated in the heart of the city was erected in 1869 in honour of a British Governor of Bombay. Sir Brtle Frere. Flora Fountain marks a junction of five streets and known as the 'Picadilly Circus 'of Mumbai, which is decorated at its four corners with mythological figures, the Fountain is a structure in dull stone with a figure the Roman Goddess of flowers, at the top.

Hanging Gardens in Mumbai : Also known as Pherozeshah Mehta Gardens, the Hanging Gardens were built in 1880 and renovated in 1921. These gardens are popularly known as Hanging Gardens, because of their location on the slope of a hill. The terrace garden looks south from Malabar Hill towards Colaba, and affords a panoramic view of the city or a breathtaking sunset. It is built over three reservoirs, which store 30 million gallons of water pumped here for cleaning before being supplied to the town.

Victoria Terminus / Western Railway Station : At the site of the Koli's original temple to Mumba Devi now stands Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus - one of Mumbai's most prominent buildings and architecturally one of the finest stations in the world. It is built in a style that combines Gothic and Indian influences. It was completed in 1885. Designed by F.W. Stevens the building commenced in 1878. This Italian gothic Building has a frontage of over 1500 feet. The administrative offices form three sides of a rectangle enclosing an ornamental garden, the entrance gate guarded by a massive stone Lion and Tiger. The most prominent feature of this building is the high 160 feet dome crowning the centre. On top of the giant dome is a figure of a women with a torch held aloft to symbolise progress.

Mumbai High court : An attractive building in early English Gothic style, situated next to the Oval Ground is well worth a visit for its impressive architecture. Statues representing Justice and Mercy surmount the Central structure.

Rajabai Clock tower : Rajabai Clock tower, situated at the gardens of the Bombay University building rises above the portion of the library section. Consisting of five elaborately decorated storeys the tower is 280ft.in height. The top of the cupola is ornamented with sixteen statues depicting various Indian castes.

Finish the tour and then in the afternoon and return to the hotel.
In the evening enjoy the beach close to the hotel.

Chowpatty Beach : Chowpatty beach situated at the end of Marine Drive has a moderate expanse of sand and is the only beach in the central part of Mumbai. One can witnesses many Hindu religious ceremonies taking place at Chowpatty like the Annual Thread-Tying Ceremony initiating young boys into the Brahmin caste, 'Nariel Purnima' towards the end of the monsoons and 'Ganesh Chaturthi' immersions.

Overnight will be in Mumbai.

Day 19 : Mumbai - Home
Breakfast will be at the hotel.
Enjoy shopping during the day and then proceed to the airport in time for flight home with sweet memories of India.

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