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This 6 night offer features a minimum of 1 night at either, The Taj Mahal Hotel, New Delhi or The Taj Mahal Palace & Towers, Mumbai, and the balance totalling up to 5 nights in any of the 3 Luxury Palaces, viz. Taj Lake Palace Udaipur, Rambagh Palace Jaipur or Umaid Bhawan Palace Jodhpur. 6 nights @ INR 65,000 on CPAI (Bed & breakfast basis incl. current taxes) on single occupancy; and INR 75,000 on CPAI (Bed & breakfast incl. current taxes) on double occupancy .
Pushkar is among the five principal places of Hindu pilgrimage. People consider the water of the Pushkar lake to be very sacred and the ritual of taking dips in the holy water IS believed to bestow salvation. It I s customary to float lighted eastern lamps ed on pattals (plates made of leaves) on the waters of lake.
Wildlife Safari means exploration of the lesser known wilds, but Lion Safari!! Yes, this safari is basically done sighting a Lion, while you are in a jeep on an elephant back. And the major attraction about this kind of a safari is ofcourse, watching the Lions in their natural habitat.
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Home :: India Tour Packages :: Cultural Highlights of India
CULTURAL HIGHLIGHTS OF INDIA
Duration : 10 Days
Destination : Delhi - Jaipur - Agra - Jhansi - Khajuraho - Varanasi - Delhi

Jantar Mantar, Delhi, Cultural Tours IndiaDay 01 Delhi: Arrival at Delhi
You will be met on arrival at the International airport. Transfer to your hotel. Relax.
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.

Overnight will be at Delhi.

Day 02: Delhi
After breakfast proceed for a day sightseeing tour of the city.

Start with the sightseeing of Old Delhi. The tour will begin with a visit to Raj Ghat, a simple memorial to Mahatma Gandhi; drive past the Red Fort continuing to the Jama Masjid by bicycle rickshaws, one of Asia's largest mosques. The magnificent Red Fort, overlooking the river Jamuna was built during the years 1638 - 48 when the Moghul Empire was at its peak. The tour continues to Jama Masjid, one of Asia's largest mosques and which is viewed from the outside.

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.

After visiting Old Delhi, you will be driven to New Delhi, which reflects the legacy 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, colours 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. The tour also includes a drive past the imposing India Gate, the Parliament building and the Rastrapathi Bhawan, the President's residence.

Overnight will be at Delhi.

Day 03: Delhi - Jaipur
Breakfast will be at hotel. 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.
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Overnight will be in Jaipur.

Day 04: Jaipur
Proceed for morning excursion will be taken to the Amber Fort. Ride to the Fort on elephant back in a royal manner.

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.

Afternoon sightseeing tour of Jaipur visiting...

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.

Taj Mahal, Agra, Cultural Tours IndiaDay 05: Jaipur - Agra
Drive to Agra visiting Fatehpur Sikri en-route after breakfast.

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 ... it's 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 Shah Jahan, 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.

Overnight will be at Agra.

Day 06: Agra
Proceed for sightseeing of Agra after breakfast.

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 carvedscreens 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.

Overnight will be at Agra.

Day 07: Agra - Jhansi - Khajuraho

Breakfast will be at hotel. You will be transferred to station for train to Jhansi.

Reach Jhansi and transfer to Orchha, 12 km away. 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.

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.

In the evening enjoy the SOUND AND LIGHT SHOW at the WESTERN TEMPLES complex.
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Overnight will be at Khajuraho.

Day 08: Khajuraho - Varanasi
Breakfast will be at hotel.

Proceed for a tour of the FAMOUS WESTERN & EASTERN TEMPLES of Khajuraho.

Transfer in time to airport for flight to Varanasi. Upon arrival at Varanasi, you will be met and transferred to hotel.

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 air…and 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 Varanasi's cultural ethos. Luminaries apart, Varanasi abounds in the art of silk weaving, an exotic work of art which manifests itself in precious Banarasi silk sarees and silk brocades which are cherished as collector's items across the world today.

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 eight fold 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 found at the site.

Enjoy the GANGES AARTI in the evening at the GHATS. Overnight will be at Varanasi.

Ganga Ghat, Varanasi TravelDay 09: Varanasi
Drive to Daswamedh Ghat early in the morning 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, we'll 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 water's 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 for breakfast to the hotel.

Proceed for day guided tour of Varanasi including the 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.
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Retire early as this would be a long day.

Overnight will be in Varanasi.

Day 10: Varanasi - Delhi
Breakfast will be served at the hotel.

Relax in the morning and finish last minute shopping. Explore the city or visit the GHATS once more.

Proceed to the airport for flight to Delhi.

Reach Delhi and take connecting flight home.

TOUR ENDS

THE TOUR INCLUDES:
a) ACCOMMODATION AT MENTIONED HOTELS,
b) SIGHTSEEING TOURS AS MENTIONED IN THE ITINERARY,
c) ALL TRANSFERS FROM STATIONS AND AIRPORTS,
d) ENGLISH SPEAKING GUIDE FOR ALL MENTIONED TOURS,
e) ASSISTANCE AT THE AIRPORTS ON ARRIVAL / DEPARTURE,
f) ASSISTANCE AT STATIONS ON DEPARTURE AND ARRIVAL,
g) TRAIN FARE IN AC CHAIR CAR BETWEEN AGRA - JHANSI,
h) ALL APPLICABLE TAXES AND SERVICE CHARGES,
i) RECONFIRMATION OF RETURN INTERNATIONAL AIR TICKETS,
j) ALL ROAD TAXES, GOVERNMENT TAXES AND DRIVER ALLOWANCES,
k) ELEPHANT RIDE AT AMER FORT - JAIPUR,
l) GANGES AARTI AT VARANASI,
m) LUNCH AT ORCHHA,
n) MONUMENT ENTRANCES AT ALL PLACES,
o) VILLAGE VISIT WITH FAMILY DINNER AND
p) BOAT-RIDE AT RIVER GANGES IN VARANASI.




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