Spiritual & Regal Cities (Varanasi, Prayagraj & Lucknow)
Package price On Request
Product Code : AGORA416
Five days private tour will begin with your arrival in Varanasi. Explore the oldest surviving city in the world, its temples, river ghats and archaeological monuments. Enjoy boat ride on holy river Ganges, cycle rickshaw ride in its narrow bazaars. Then drive to Prayagraj another spiritual city lying on the bank of River Ganges & Yamuna famed for hosting largest human gathering. From here proceed to Lucknow a regal city once administered by Nawabs followed by British colonial settlement.
Day 1: Arrive Varanasi
On arrival at Varanasi airport assistance and transfer to hotel check in.
Later visit The Ramnagar Fort located near the Ganga River on its eastern bank. The building was constructed on high ground, which is above the flood level with creamy-coloured chunar sandstone in typical Mughal style of architecture. The fort houses the Veda Vyasa Temple, a museum, and the king's residential complex. There is also a Dakshin Mukhi temple of Hanuman, which faces towards south. The fort has many carved balconies, open courtyards and pavilions. Only a part of the structure is open for public viewing as the rest of it is the residence of Kashi Naresh and his family. There is a museum known as Saraswati Bhawan, what used to be the Durbar Hall or the Public Audience Hall of the fort. It is well known for its unusual and rare collections of American vintage cars, bejeweled sedan chairs, ivory work, medieval costumes, gold and silver brocaded royal Palakis (Palanquins in the shape of a lotus flower). It has elephant saddles carved out of silver, jewellery, costumes made of kimkhwa silk (finest product of the weavers of Varanasi), an impressive armoury hall with swords, old guns from Africa, Burma and Japan. The old armoured matchlocks, ornate hookahs, daggers, portraits of Maharajas, black musical instruments which have turned white because of neglect of maintenance and there is a rare astronomical clock.
Evening walking tour of Ghats’s and temples on ghats. Also sunset boat ride and attend Holy Ganga Aarti, a magical aarti performed at Dasashwamedh Ghat. Overnight at hotel.
Day 2: Varanasi
Early morning boat ride and Ghat visit along the Ganges and catch the scene of devotees bathing and praying in the sacred water. Visit Kashi Vishwanath Mandir (only Hindus are alowed to enter inside sanctum sanctorum) the temple complex consists of a series of smaller shrines, located in a small lane called the Vishwanatha Galli, near the river. The main temple is quadrangle and is surrounded by shrines of other gods. There are small temples for Kaalbhairav, Dhandapani, Avimukteshwara, Vishnu, Vinayaka, Sanishwara, Virupaksha and Virupaksh Gauri in the complex. There is a small well in the temple called the Jnana Vapi also spelled as Gyaan vapi (the wisdom well). The Jnana Vapi well sites to the north of the main temple and during the invasion by the Mughals the Jyotirlinga was hidden in the well to protect it at the time of invasion. It is said that the main priest of the temple jumped in the well with the Shiv Ling in order to protect the Jyotirlinga from invaders.
Return to hotel for breakfast. Thereafter full day to explore Sarnath & Varanasi.
Sarnath - here the Buddha delivered his first discourse, the Dhammacakka Pavattana Sutta (Setting the Wheel of Dhamma in Motion), which explains the four noble truths and the noble eightfold path. It was also in Sarnath that the Buddha appointed his first group of disciples (sangha) to propagate his new teaching. Among the most notable monuments at Sarnath are the Dhamek Stupa, originally built by Ashoka, and the Ashoka Pillar, whose inscription points out the necessity of unity within the sangha. The ruins of various stupas and monasteries at Sarnath bear witness to of the monastic tradition that flourished here for over 1,500 years; among the new temples is the Mulaghandhakuti Vihara, built in 1922 by Anagarika Dharmapala. Today, hundreds of pilgrims visit the Vihara every evening to chant the Dhammacakka Pavattana Sutta, acknowledging with their voices the wisdom and compassion that began to emanate from Sarnath with the Buddha’s first sermon.
City tour of Varanasi visit World famous Benaras Hindu University & Many Temples. Overnight at hotel.
Day 3: Varanasi - Prayagraj (125kms/ 3hrs approx)
Breakfast at hotel, drive to Prayagraj check in at hotel. Later visit Sangam the confluence of Ganges, Yamuna and a mythical river named Saraswati. The place is considered to be one of the most sacred in Hindu religion and is the site for Ardh-Kumbh and Kumbh Mela that takes every 6 and 12 years respectively.
Allahabad Fort stands on the northern banks of Yamuna near the confluence is a must visit destination in Allahabad. Emperor Akbar himself commissioned this magnificently designed fort in the year 1583. There was a time when this fort was considered among the best garrisons in the entire Mughal Empire but little is left of that grandeur today. The fort has massive walls and three gateways that are flanked by high towers. Anand Bhawan: is the ancestral home of Jawaharlal Nehru, the freedom fighter and the first Prime-Minister of India. The place is also home to Indira Gandhi, the "Iron Lady of India". The place has today been turned into a fine museum. The importance of this place also increases because of the fact that several momentous decisions and events, related to the freedom struggle took place here. The main building houses a museum that displays the memorabilia of the Nehru family. Overnitght at hotel.
Day 4: Prayagraj - Lucknow (200kms/ 4hrs approx)
Breakfast at hotel, drive to Lucknow check in at hotel. Later city tour visiting Bara Imambara. Construction of Bara Imambara was started in 1784, a year of a devastating famine, and one of Asaf-ud-Daula's objectives in embarking on this grandiose project was to provide employment for people in the region for almost a decade while the famine lasted. Construction of the Imambara was completed in 1791. British Residency Complex a group of several buildings which served as the residence for the British Resident General who was a representative in the court of the Nawab. The Residency is located in the heart of the city, in the vicinity of other monuments like Shaheed Smarak, Tehri Kothi and High Court Building. The Rumi Darwaza, sixty feet tall an imposing gateway was built under the patronage of Nawab Asaf-Ud-daula in 1784. It is an example of Awadhi architecture, modeled after the Sublime Porte in Istanbul. It used to mark the entrance to Old Lucknow City, but as the City of Nawabs grew and expanded, it was later used as an entrance to a palace which was later demolished by the British insurgents. Rest time to walk in Hazratganj, the downtown area situated in the heart of Lucknow. In addition to bazaars, it also contains shopping complexes, restaurants, hotels, theaters and offices. Overnight at hotel.
Day 5: Lucknow - Departure (flight)
Breakfast at hotel. As per flight schedule transfer to airport to board flight for onward destination.
Private airport transfer with assistance of office executive.
5 Night accommodation in selected category hotels or similar.
Daily breakfast at hotels
Deluxe air-conditioned private vehicle with English speaking chauffeur as per tour program.
Monuments entrances of sightseeing mentioned in the itinerary.
English speaking tour guide on sightseeing days (local guide).
Bottled water in car
Applicable GST (government taxes).
Hotels used or similar for 4 nights accommodation
Varanasi x 2 nights
3* - Meraden Grand/ Amaya Hotel
4* - Rivatas by Ideal/ Palace On Ganges
5* - Radisson Hotel/ Gateway Hotel Taj
Prayagraj x 1 night
3* - Hotel Allahabad Regency/ Hotel Milan Palace
4* & 5* - Hotel Kanha Shyam/ Grand Continental Hotel
Lucknow x 1 nights
3* - Sapna Clarks Inn/ Hotel Lineage
4* - Lemon Tree Hotel/ La Place Sarovar Portico
5* - Renaissance Hotel/ Hyatt Regency
Any air fare
Camera charges at monuments
Main Meals, Lunch or dinner unless mentioned
Expenses of personal nature like liquor, laundry, tips, telephone, fax, internet etc.
Or anything not mentioned above.