Dive Deeper into India's Rich Culture and Heritage
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Dive Deeper into Indias Rich Culture and Heritage tour will begin in Delhi. Visit the historical city Delhi, witness the immortal beauty of the Taj Mahal, admire the graceful cenotaphs of Orchha and the sensuous moods of the temples at Khajuraho. Then fly to the sacred city of Varanasi and cruise on the River Ganges to observe ancient spiritual rites. Fly to Mumbai, visit Elephanta Caves & colonial era monuments. Fly to Aurangabad to get close look at the stunning Ajanta and Ellora Caves two unique UNESCO World Heritage sites dating between 2nd century BC and 6th century AD. Fly back to Delhi for your onward connection. Private local guide at all destinations will ensure you have the time you need to fully soak in all the history you had hoped to.
Day 1: Arrive Delhi
On arrival at Delhi airport assistance & transfer to hotel. Rest time free to relax and personal activities. Overnight at hotel.
Day 2: Delhi (B)
City tour of Delhi. In Old Delhi visit the majestic Red Fort (closed on Monday) the residence of the Mughal emperor for nearly 200 years until 1857. Jama Masjid one of the largest mosques in the world built by Shah Jahan. Cycle Rickshaw ride in Chandni chowk & Khari Baoli Spice Market a busy shopping area with markets full of spices, dried fruit, silver jewelry and vivid saris, while the narrow side streets are crowded with tiny shops selling essential oils, stationery and traditional Indian sweets. Raj Gath the memorial of Mahatma Gandhi where he was cremated after his assassination.
In New Delhi visit Humayun Tomb the first garden-tomb in Indian subcontinent and an early example of Mughal architecture commissioned by Humayun`s first wife Empress Bega Begum in 1569-70. Qutab Minar a 73-metres tall minaret that forms part of the Qutb complex a fine examples of Afghan architecture. Lotus Temple a Bahai House of Worship notable for its flower-like shape. Also drive pass President House, Parliament & India Gate etc. Overnight at hotel.
Day 3: Delhi - Agra (204kms) (B)
Drive to Agra check in at hotel.
Later visit Taj Mahal an ivory-white marble mausoleum commissioned in 1632 by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan to house the tomb of his favourite wife Mumtaz Mahal, it also houses the tomb of Shah Jahan himself. Agra Fort the main residence of the emperors of the Mughal Dynasty until 1638. And Itmad-ud-Daula Tomb commissioned by Nur Jahan for her father Mirza Ghiyas Beg. Overnight at hotel.
Day 4: Agra - Orchha (220kms) (B)
Drive to Orchha enroute visit Gwalior Fort, situated on top of a hill is one of the best fortresses of India, known for its great architecture and rich past. The fort complex includes several temples, palaces and water tanks. Siddhachal Caves and Gopachal rock-cut Jain monuments are the two areas, complete with thousands of Jain Tirthankar idols defaced during the Mughal invasion. Teli Ka Mandir and Sas-Bahu Ka Mandir are the two architecturally rich Hindu temples here. Gurudwara Data Bandi Chhor is another holy place built inside the fort complex. Man Mandir Palace, Gujari Mahal, Assi Khamba Ki Baoli, and Suraj Kund are other important monuments found in the complex. Jai Vilas Palace has the largest carpet in the world and two most massive chandeliers in the world that weight close to 3.5 tonnes.
Arrive Orchha check in at hotel. Later city tour of Orchha a historical town known for its grand palaces, intricately carved temples adorned with classic mural paintings, frescos and cenotaphs that were constructed to commemorate the Bundela rulers. Visit the Orchha Fort complex, which houses a large number of ancient monuments. These are Raja Mahal, Sheesh Mahal, Jahangir Mahal, a temple, gardens and pavilions. Chaturbhuj Temple a multi-storied structure noted for having one of the tallest Vimana among Hindu temples. Chattris (Cenotaphs) situated on the banks of Betwa river, are magnificent royal tombs of the Maharajas, placed on a platform and supported by the pillars. Overnight at hotel.
Day 5: Orchha - Khajuraho (178km) (B)
Drive to Khajuraho check in at hotel.
Later visit well maintained UNESCO World Heritage Site, exploring eastern, western & southern group of temples adorned by erotic and sensuous carvings. The architecture of these temples depict the erotic forms of love, the carvings on the walls display passion in the most sensuous yet aesthetic ways. Built between 950 to 1050 AD by Chandela dynasty the temples of Khajuraho are India`s unique gift to the world, representing, as they do, a paean to life, to love, to joy, perfect in execution and sublime in expression. Of the 85 original temples, 22 have survived till today to constitute one of the world`s great artistic wonders. Overnight at hotel.
Day 6: Khajuraho - Varanasi (flight) (B)
Morning free to explore the village with your driver. As per flight schedule transfer to airport to board flight for Varanasi. On arrival transfer to hotel.
Evening attend Holy Ganga Aarti, a magical ritual held every evening at sunset on the banks of the Holy Ganges. The entire Ghat gets illuminated with a divine light that can be felt strongly. The magnificent ritual involves huge brass lamps lit with oil and the priests chant the holy mantras that reverberate in the entire location. The entire Ghat gets illuminated with a divine light that can be felt strongly. The magnificent ritual involves huge brass lamps lit with oil and the priests chant the holy mantras that reverberate in the entire location. Overnight at hotel.
Day 7: Varanasi (B)
Early morning boat ride & Ghat visit along the Ganges and catch the scene of devotees bathing and praying in the sacred water.
Later city tour visit Banaras Hindu University. With 5.3 sq kms campus and 30,000 residing students it is the largest residential university in the continent. Bharat Mata Temple built in 1936 houses a relief map of undivided India, carved out of marble. Tulsi Manas Mandir one of the most famous temples in Varanasi. The temple has beautiful images of Lord Rama, Mother Sita, Lakshman and Lord Hanuman. The walls of temple are adorned with verses from Ramcharitmanas, the Hindi version of the epic Ramayana. Continue to Sarnath, it was here Lord Buddha preached his first sermon after attaining the Enlightenment at Bodh Gaya. The great Dhamekh Stupa and glistening pillar established by Emperor Ashoka in 273-232 B.C. stand testimony to the importance the place enjoyed at that time.
If time permit visit Ram Nagar Fort located on the eastern bank of River Ganga. The Fort includes an eccentric museum boasting a royal collection of vintage cars, swords, palanquins, ivory works, an old weaponry section and an extremely unusual astrological clock. Overnight at hotel.
Day 8: Varanasi - Mumbai (flight) (B)
As per flight schedule transfer to airport to board flight for Mumbai. On arrival at Mumbai airport assistance & transfer to hotel check in. Mumbai is disciplined by no time frame neither day nor night. Dazzling shopping arcades, exciting sport activity, nightclubs & discotheques, theatre, music & gourmet restaurants offers visitors a heady mix of all this and more. Rest time free for personal activities. Overnight at hotel.
Day 9: Mumbai (B)
City tour of Mumbai. Drive via Marine Drive one of the most beautifully laid boulevards in the city to reach Gateway of India. Board a ferry from here to reach Elephanta Caves (Monday closed). A flight of 100 steps takes you to the top of the hill where caves are located. Afterwards cruise back to Gateway of India and then city tour. Drive pass CST & Parliament House. Visit Dhobhi Ghat to see the city famous open air laundry in action. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalay, a grade I Heritage Building of the city counted amongst one of the most prominent museums of India. The complex exhibits a myriad collection of ancient artefacts, artwork and sculptors of the country which give a unique insight into our past. Overnight at hotel.
Day 10: Mumbai - Aurangabad (flight) (B)
Transfer to airport to board flight for Aurangabad.
On arrival transfer to hotel. Excursion to visit Ellora Caves, Grishneshwar Temple & Daulatabad Fort. Also Visit Bibi ka Maqbara, the white marbled monument, a son loving tribute to his mother. Panchakki, which literally means water mill. An artificial waterfall has been created near the mill, through which this water is discharged on to the wheel to power the flourmill and grind grain for the pilgrims. And Aurangabad Caves the twelve rock-cut Buddhist shrines located on a hill running roughly east to west, close to the city of Aurangabad. The first reference to the Aurangabad Caves is in the great chaitya of Kanheri Caves. The Aurangabad Caves were dug out of comparatively soft basalt rock during the 6th and 7th century. Overnight at hotel.
Day 11: Aurangabad (B)
Excursion to Ajanta (Monday closed). The Buddhist Caves of Ajanta were discovered by the British officers in 1819 while hunting tiger. Ajanta Caves were first mentioned in the writings of the Chinese pilgrim Hiuen Tsang who visited India between AD 629 and 645. The Caves at Ajanta are older than those at Ellora which date from about 200 BC to 650 AD. Thirty beautiful Buddhist Caves with mesmerizing sculptures and paintings depicting Buddha`s life as well the lives of the Buddha in his previous births. Five of these Caves are Chaityas (Place of worship) while the other twenty five are Viharas (monasteries). Ajanta Caves are divided in two categories based on two schools of Buddhist thought - Hinayana Caves and Mahayana Caves. Drive back to Aurangabad for Overnight at hotel.
Day 12: Aurangabad - Delhi (flight) (B)
Transfer to airport to board flight for Delhi. On arrival transfer to the hotel. Rest time free and easy to relax and visit any place of your interest with your driver. Overnight at hotel.
Day 13: Delhi - Departure (flight) (B)
As per flight schedule transfer to airport to board flight for onward destination.
Assistance on arrival at airport.
12 Nights accommodation in selected price category hotels.
Meal as per day plan (B- Breakfast, L- Lunch, D- Dinner)
Private air conditioned deluxe car for airport transfer, sightseeing and excursion as per program.
English speaking tour guide on sightseeing days (local guide in each city), as per program.
Monuments entrances and activities charges mentioned in the itinerary.
Bottled drinking water in car.
Hotels used or similar for 14 nights accommodation
Delhi x 3 nights
3* - Madhuban Hotel/ Emarald Hotel
4* - The Royal Plaza/ Country Inn & Suite Saket
5* - Le Meridien/ The Claridges
Agra x 1 night
3* - Howard Plaza the Fern/ Atulyaa Taj
4* - Radission Hotel/ Crystal Sarovar Premier
5* - Trident Hotel/ Courtyard by Marriott
Orchha x 1 night
3* & 4* - Orchha Resort/ Amar Mahal
5* - Orchha Palace and Convention Centre x 1 night
Khajuraho x 1 night
3* - Ramada/Clarks Hotel
4* - Radisson Hotel/ Hotel Chandela
5* - The Lalit Temple View
Varanasi x 2 nights
3* - Meraden Grand/ Amaya Hotel
4* - Rivatas by Ideal/ Palace On Ganges
5* - Radisson Hotel/ Gateway Hotel Taj
Mumbai x 2 night
3* - Hotel Suba Palace/ BW Hotel Sahil
4* - Sun-N-Sand Hotel/ Fariyas Hotel
5* - Trident Hotel/ ITC Grand Central
Aurangabad x 2 nights
3* - Keys Hotel The Aures/ Aurangabad Gymkhana Club
4* - Ambassador Ajanta / VITS Hotel
5* - WelcomHotel Rama International / Lemon Tree Hotel
Khajuraho - Varanasi - Mumbai - Aurangabad - Delhi flight fare approx INR 20500 per person in economy class.
Camera charges at monuments.
Meals other than mentioned in day plan.
Expenses of personal nature like liquor, laundry, tips, telephone, fax, internet etc.
Gratuities & optional activities.
Anything not mentioned in inclusions.