East India Cultural Tour visit Monuments, Temples & Monasteries
Package price On Request
Product Code : AGORA658
On this East India Cultural Tour explore Mughals & Colonial era monuments, Hindu Temples, Bodhist Monasteries & scenic hill resort. The itinerary cover visits to sightseeing attractions in Delhi, Agra, Bhubaneshwaar, Dhaulgiri, Udaygiri, Khandagiri, Ratnagiri, Lalitagiri, Konark, Puri Chila Lake, Kolkata, Darjeeling, Gangtok & Kalimpong. Package tour includes accommodation, transport, and guide during sightseeing & monuments entrances. Also enjoy joy ride on Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (Toy Train) and walk in Tea Estate.
Day 1: Arrive Delhi
On arrival at airport assistance & transfer to hotel (Standard hotel check in time 12pm, early check in subject to room availability).
Rest time free to relax and personal activities. Overnight at hotel.
Day 2: Delhi
Breakfast at hotel, 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 flowerlike shape. Also drive pass President House, Parliament & India Gate etc. Overnight at hotel.
Day 3: Delhi - Agra - Delhi (400kms round)
Breakfast at hotel, full day excursion to Agra.
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.
After sightseeing drive back to Delhi. Overnight at hotel.
Day 4: Delhi - Bhubaneswar (flight)
Breakfast at hotel, transfer to airport to board flight for Bhubaneswar. Arrival transfer to hotel.
Visit Lingaraja Temple, the 11th century temple described as fusion of dream & reality, a rare masterpiece, and one of the finest examples of purely Hindu temple. Every inch of the 55 m-high Lingaraja temple is covered with elaborate carvings. Sculpture & architecture fused elegantly to create a perfect harmony. Mukteshwara Temple, build in 7th-8th century AD, one of the most ornate temples in Bhubaneswar. The intricate carvings of the deities stand testimony to the influence of Hindu, Buddha & Jain style of architecture. The carvings on the roof are specially striking. Parashurameshwara Temple, a small but richly decorated shrine of Shiva that was built in the 7th century. It is one of the best examples of the Orissa style of temple architecture.
Also visit Dhauli, where Mauryan Emperor Ashoka the Great renounced bloody warfare & embraced the teachings of Buddha after victory over kingdom of Kalinga. Visit Peace Pagoda known as Shanti Stupa built in early 1970 by Japanese.
Also visit two ancient rock edicts, today eclipsed by the presence of the Pagoda dating from 260 BC they outline Ashoka`s detailed instructions to his administrators to rule with gentleness & fairness. Udaigiri & Khandgiri caves, largest Buddhist Complex in Orissa. These hills provide some solid examples of Jain & Buddhist art of the 2nd Century BC. There are monasteries, Chaitya & Stupas that represent a vibrant culture that flourished in these hills. Overnight at hotel.
Day 5: Bhubaneswar
Breakfast at hotel. Full day excursion to visit Lalitgiri, Ratnagiri & Udaigiri famous for Jain & Buddhist Monasteries. Lalitgiri, earliest Buddhist Complex dating back to the 1st century AD. The majestic ruins of the huge brick monastery, the remains of the chaitya hall, a number of votive Stupas & a renovated stone stupa at the apex of a small rugged sandstone hill dominate the rural greenery around.
Next visit Ratnagiri, famous for many significant Buddhist sculptures scattered around in the hill range. The excavations have revealed the relation of this place with the Gupta Dynasty, dates back to 6th Century AD. The huge monastery showing that Buddhism spread through these areas in the later part, especially due to the influence of the great King Ashoka. Overnight at hotel.
Day 6: Bhubaneswar - Puri (65kms)
Breakfast at hotel, drive to Puri enroute visit Pipili & Raghurajpur village & The Konark Sun Temple a 13th-century Temple (also known as the Black Pagoda), at Konark. Located on the east coast of the Bay of Bengal in the Mahanadi Delta, it is built in the form of the chariot of Surya (Arka), the sun god with 24 wheels, and is heavily decorated with symbolic stone carvings and led by a team of six horses. It was constructed from oxidizing weathered ferruginous-coloured sandstone by King Narasimhadeva I of the Eastern Ganga Dynasty. The temple is one of the most renowned temples in India and is a World Heritage Site inscribed in 1984 as a cultural property under categories (i).
Arrive Puri check in at hotel. Evening visit lord Jagannath temple (non-Hindus are not allowed to enter center sanctum of the temple. Overnight at hotel.
Day 7: Puri - Chilika Lake (55kms)
Breakfast at hotel. Excursion to visit Chilika Lake a brackish water lagoon, at the mouth of the Daya River, flowing into the Bay of Bengal, covering an area of over 1,100 km. It is the largest coastal lagoon in India and the second largest brackish water lagoon in the world after The New Caledonian barrier reef. It has been listed as a tentative UNESCO World Heritage site. It is the largest wintering ground for migratory birds on the Indian sub-continent & home to a number of threatened species of plants and animals. The lake is an ecosystem with large fishery resources. It sustains more than 150,000 fisher–folk living in 132 villages on the shore and islands. The lagoon hosts over 160 species of birds in the peak migratory season. Birds from as far as the Caspian Sea, Lake Baikal, Aral Sea and other remote parts of Russia, Kirghiz steppes of Kazakhstan, Central and southeast Asia, Ladakh and Himalayas come here. These birds travel great distances; migratory birds probably follow much longer routes than the straight lines, possibly up to 12,000 km, to reach Chilika Lake. Enjoy boat ride & drive back to Puri. Overnight at hotel.
Day 8: Puri - Kolkata (flight)
Breakfast at hotel. Transfer to Bhubaneswar airport to board flight for Kolkata.
Arrival transfer to hotel check in at hotel. Overnight at hotel.
Day 9: Kolkata
Breakfast at hotel, city tour of Kolkata. Visit Fort William one of most enduring Raj-era edifices built during the early years of the Bengal Presidency of British India, on the eastern banks of the River Hooghly. Victoria Memorial the immaculate white memorial bounded by verdant greenery and broad roads dedicated to Queen Victoria. Inside the memorial there is a museum where you can see the dresses of the queen as well as different kinds of weapons used during that era. Netaji Bhawan a building maintained as a memorial and research center to the life of the Indian nationalist Netaji`s Subhas Chandra Bose. The house, built by Bose`s father in 1909, is owned and managed by the Netaji Research Bureau and includes a museum, archives and library. Howrah Bridge one of the most popular bridges of India, built on the river Hooghly. It is one of the major Kolkata attractions and people from different part of the country come here especially to witness this amazingly structured bridge. Dakshineswar Kali Temple one of the major pilgrimage center dedicated to Goddess Kali. Located on the bank of River Hoogly, the temple compound maintains a large courtyard with rooms along the boundary walls, twelve shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva, a bathing ghat on the river and a shrine dedicated to Rani Rashmoni. Overnight at hotel.
Day 10: Kolkata - Bagdogra/ Darjeeling (62kms)
Breakfast at hotel, transfer to airport to board flight for Bagdogra.
Arrival transfer from Bagdogara airport to Darjeeling check in at hotel. Darjeeling the Queen of India`s hills, a Victorian town of old world charm surrounded by fragrant tea gardens which seem to flow over the layered slopes like emerald swells on a rough sea.
Rest time free to relax and explore The Mall. Overnight at hotel.
Day 11 : Darjeeling
Early morning 4am pick up for visiting Tiger Hill to witness the first rays of sun hitting the twin peaks of Kangchenjunga, along with a panoramic view of Everest peeping through the peaks standing by its side, then Tiger Hills make for a perfect sunrise for you. You can see Kurseong to the south along with multiple rivers flowing down. On way back visit Ghoom Monastery & Batasia Loop.
Breakfast at hotel. Visit Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, Zoological Park (closed on Thursday) Tenzing Rock, Ropeway view point, Tibetans Refuge Center (closed on Sunday), Happy valley Tea Garden (outer view) and Lioyed botanical garden. Enjoy toy train ride on Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visit a Tibetan village & Buddhist monasteries Chholing & Darli. Evening free to explore the market. Overnight at hotel.
Day 12: Darjeeling - Gangtok (75kms)
Breakfast at hotel, drive to Gangtok check in at hotel.
Later visit Rumtek Monastery a three stories high standout most imperative and noteworthy monastery of Black Hat sect of Tibetan Buddhism. Bakthang Waterfall an eye-catching attraction flowing from Ratey Chu a broad waterfall that creates a soothing environment. Tashi Viewpoint you can observe the glorious Himalayas snow peaks from here. Ganesh Tok an ancient temple of Lord Ganesha that has a pleasant aura, colourful buntings surrounding the temple. Enchey Monastery a 200 years old monastery which was initially established as a small gompa by a tantric artist and renowned exponent among highlander Buddhists, Lama DrupthobKarpo. Directorate of Handicraft and Handloom here you can buy the majestic artefacts such as Thanka painting, traditional carpets, wooden carved and colourfully painted sculptures and much more. Overnight at hotel.
Day 13: Gangtok
Breakfast at hotel. Excursion to Tsongmo Lake a paradise for bird lovers. It hosts a number of migratory birds prominent among them are Brahminy ducks, a large number of Blue Whistling Thrush, Redstarts & Fork tails. Next visit Do Drul Chorten, two exquisite Stupas built to commemorate the victory of good over evil.
Also visit Himalayan Zoological Park known as Bulbuley. Government Institute of Cottage Industries, which produces crafts in authentic Sikkimese designs. Explore Lal bazaar, various ethnic groups from different villages gather here to haggle, bargain & gossip their wares.
Next visit Do Drul Chorten, two exquisite Stupas built to commemorate the victory of good over evil. Also visit Himalayan Zoological Park known as Bulbuley. Government Institute of Cottage Industries, which produces crafts in authentic Sikkimese designs. Explore Lal bazaar, various ethnic groups from different villages gather here to haggle, bargain & gossip their wares. Overnight at hotel.
Day 14: Gangtok - Kalimpong (75kms)
Breakfast at hotel, drive to Kalimpong check in at hotel. Rest time free and easy to relax. Overnight at hotel.
Day 15: Kalimpong
Breakfast at hotel. City tour of Kalimpong perched on a ridge above the Teesta River. It`s home to colonial-era buildings like MacFarlane Memorial Church named after a Scottish missionary & Dr. Grahams Homes a missionary of the Church of Scotland.
Also visit Durpin Monastery which contains sacred Buddhist scriptures. Deolo Park the landscaped garden offers views of the town and surrounding hills. Thongsa Gompa the oldest monastery in Kalimpong founded in the year 1692. Zong Dog Palri Fo-Brang Gompa on the Durpin hill famous for the Tibetan wall paintings. It also has a religious debating society along with a school of Tibetan medicine. Overnight at hotel.
Day 16: Kalimpong - Bagdogara (80kms)/ Delhi
Breakfast at hotel. As per flight schedule departure transfer to Bagdogara airport to board flight for Delhi.
Assistance on arrival at airport.
15 Nights' accommodation in selected price category hotels.
Daily breakfast at hotels. Any other meal (lunch/ dinner) if clearly mentioned in the itinerary).
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.
Monument entrances and activities charges mentioned in the itinerary.
Bottled drinking water in car.
hotels used or similar for 15 nights' accommodation
Delhi x 3 nights
3* - Madhuban Hotel/ Meridian Plaza
4* - The Royal Plaza/ Country Inn & Suite Saket
5* - Le Meridien/ The Claridges
Bhubaneswar x 2 nights
3* - Kalinga Ashok/ The HHI
4* - Fortune Park Sishmo/ Mayfair Convention
5* - Mayfair Lagoon/ Trident Hotel
Puri x 2 nights
3* - Toshali Sands/ Blue Lily Beach Resort
4* - The Hans Coco Palms/ The Chariot Resort & spa
5* - Mayfair Waves
Kolkata x 2 nights
3* - Regenta Orko's/ The Fern Residency
4* - The Peerless Inn/ The Fern Residency
5* - ITC Sonar, a Luxury Collection/ The Lalit Great Eastern
Darjeeling x 2 nights
3* - Central Heritage Resort & Spa/ Omega Residency
4* - Elgin Hotel/ The Royal Plaza
5* - Mayfair/ Windamere Hotel
Gangtok x 2 nights
3* - Tamarind Hotels/ Hotel New Orchid
4* - Elgin NorKhill/ Saramsa Resort
5* - Mayfair Spa Resort & Casino/ WelcomHeritage Denzong Regency
Kalimpong x 2 nights
3* - Kalimpong Village Retreat/ Summit Barsana Resort & Spa
4* - Elgin Silver Oaks/ Sinclairs Retreat
5* - Mayfair Himalayan Spa Resort/ Morgan House Tourist Lodge
Delhi - Bhubaneswar - Kolkata - Bagdogra - Delhi flight fare approx INR 20, 500 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.