14 Days • Delhi, Kathmandu, Varanasi, Khajuraho, Agra, Jaipur, Udaipur, Mumbai
The charm of India lies in its diversity and its elusive quality. As an insight to the cultural and historical diversity of India, combining the tranquility of Nepal, the vibrancy of the Gangentic plains and the colors of Rajasthan, this journey allows the visitor to see and experience the glorious and mystical India.
Day 1 - Arrive Delhi
Today you will arrive in Delhi, India's bustling capital city. Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel.
Day 2 - Delhi
Your morning will be at leisure. Later in the afternoon, your visit will focus on Old Delhi, the seventeenth-century walled city of Shahjahanabad. Visit the Red Fort, or Lal Quila, situated on the banks of the River Yamuna. Its thick, red-sandstone walls bulge with turrets and bastions that have withstood the ravages of both time and nature. Within the walls lie halls of public and private audience, domed and arched marble palaces, plush private apartments, a mosque and elaborately designed gardens. Even today, Lal Quila remains an impressive testimony to Mughal grandeur. Its magnificence leaves many awestruck and breathless. Next, visit the Raj Ghat, a memorial erected on the site where Mahatma Gandhi, the father of the Indian nation, was cremated. You will also view the Ashoka Pillar, a magnificent, fourteen-foot-high structure created in the third century. Made from polished sandstone and tapered toward the top, the pillar is inscribed with an admonition to promote peace in the world through the teachings of Buddha. Later, take a walk through Chandni Chowk, the old marketplace of Shahjahanabad, which is now a picturesque bazaar. It consists of many narrow lanes that are crowded with shops selling everything from authentic Indian food and clothing to electronics.
Day 3 - Delhi Sightseeing
This morning, embark on a tour of New Delhi, driving along Rajpath, the capital's broadest avenue. Along the way, you will see Parliament House, now known as Sansad Bhavan, a low, circular structure that covers more than five acres of land. You will also see Rashtrapati Bhawan, the President's Palace, the official residence of the president of India. Constructed on Raisina Hill, this imposing structure was initially built as the official residence of the British viceroy of India. You will also see India Gate, a 138-foot-high arch that stands at the eastern end of Rajpath. It is inscribed with the names of 85,000 Indian Army soldiers who lost their lives in World War I, the North-West Frontier operations that occurred at the same time and the 1919 Afghan fiasco. Below burns the Amar Jawan Jyoti, the Eternal Flame, in tribute to all martyred soldiers of India. The Amar Jawan Jyoti was lit after the 1971 Indo-Pakistan War. Next, proceed to Humayun's Tomb. The tomb, an elegant example of early Mughal architecture, was commissioned by Humayun's widowed queen, Haji Begum, in the sixteenth century. Architecturally it is the forerunner of the world-famous Taj Mahal. You will also have a chance to visit Qutab Minar, a soaring, 238-foot-high stone tower, which was built by Qutab-Ud-Din Aibak in the twelfth century. The tower has five distinct stories, each with a projecting balcony. At its base is the Quwwat-Ul Islam Mosque, the first mosque to be built in India. A twenty-three-foot-high iron pillar, which was built in the fourth century, stands in the courtyard of the mosque. After viewing Qutab Minar, you will move on to Birla Temple, which is one of the major landmarks of New Delhi. The temple, built in 1939, is dedicated to Vishnu and enshrines almost all the deities of the Hindu pantheon. The entire temple is decorated with relief carvings of mythological scenes. The temple reaches an impressive 165 feet at its highest point. Your afternoon will be at leisure.
Day 4 - Delhi / Kathmandu
This morning fly to Kathmandu, capital of Nepal. This afternoon, visit Durbar Square, Templeof the Living Goddess and Swayambhunath. (B)
Day 4 NEPAL - Arrive Kathmandu
This morning fly to Kathmandu, capital of Nepal. This afternoon, visit Durbar Square, Templeof the Living Goddess and Swayambhunath.
Day 5 - Patan & Bhadgaon Excursion
Your morning tour includes the charming towns of Bhaktapur, Pashupathinath and Bodhnath. In the afternoon by Patan and the Tibetan handi-crafts center. This evening, enjoy a presentation of Nepalese folk dances. (B)
Day 6 NEPAL - Depart Kathmandu
Today you will be transferred to the airport to board your flight bound for Varanasi. (B)
Day 6 - Kathmandu / Varanasi-Sarnath
Today fly to Varanasi (India's holiest city), located on the sacred Ganges River. upon arrival, you are met and transferred to your hotel. In the afternoon visit the stupas, ruins and museum at Sarnath, scene of Buddha's first sermon. In the evening proceed to the ghats in cycle rickshaws to witness the evening aarti ceremony. (B)
Day 7 - Varanasi / Khajuraho
In the early morning enjoy, the sunrise on the Ganges River with a boat ride followed by a walking tour of the old city. Later fly to Khajuraho, upon arrival you are met and trans-ferred to your hotel. Visit the Western group of temples containing the largest and loveliest temples. (B)
Day 8 - Khajuraho / Agra
This morning visit the principal Eastern group of temples. Later, drive to Jhansi to board the train to Agra, en route visiting Orchha, a medi-eval city. upon arrival you are met and trans-ferred to your hotel. (B)
Day 9 - Agra / Fatehpur Sikri / Jaipur
Early morning visit the magnificent Taj Mahal for a sunrise view. After breakfast visit the Agra Fort followed by your drive to Jaipur, en route visiting the abandoned city of Fatehpur Sikri. upon arrival, check in at your hotel. (B)
Day 10 - Amber Fort Excursion & Jaipur Sightseeing
Visit the mountain fortress of Amber where you have a choice of ascending the fort, riding royally atop elegantly draped and painted elephants or by jeep. Amber is a superb example of Rajput architecture with its complex of palaces, temples and ornate apartments. Later, enjoy a tour of Jaipur City, visiting Hawa Mahal, City Palace and the ancient observatory. (B)
Day 11 - Jaipur / Udaipur
Morning drive to udaipur known as 'City of Lakes.' upon arrival, check into your hotel. (B)
Day 12 - Ranakpur Excursion
Today's excursion brings you to the beautifully sculpted 15th century Jain temples of Ranakpur. Enjoy lunch at Maharani Bagh. (BL)
Day 13 - Udaipur / Mumbai (Bombay)
Your morning tour of udaipur includes City Palace, Saheliyon ki Bari and the folklore muse-um where you can see a presentation of the string puppets typical to this area. This after-noon fly to Mumbai, India's most cosmopolitan city. (B)
Day 14 - Mumbai Sightseeing / Elephanta Island
Cruise across the harbor to explore the amaz-ing Elephanta Island and its famous caves, with carvings and sculptures dating back to 550 A.D. Your afternoon tour of Mumbai includes the British-built arch "Gateway of India," the Hanging Gardens and the Malabar Hills, the Prince of Wales Museum, Dhobi Ghat, Marine Drive, the Gandhi Memorial Museum and Jain Temple. This evening transfer to the internation-al airport for flight back home. (B)