Overview Details Hotels Extensions

    This experience takes you from India’s political capital, Delhi, on to a journey into history. From the palaces and forts of Jaipur and the wilderness of Ranthambore to the remains of Orchha and Khajuraho, you go to the land of the Buddha—to Bodhgaya, Rajgir and Nalanda—and then to Lucknow, the land of the Nawabs, known for their ability to combine the best of Islam and Hinduism to create a culture that continued to influence North India well into the modern age. Also experience Varanasi the ancient most and the holiest city in India, a pilgrimage center for many religions.

    Code: Promotion

    Duration: 13 Nights

    Destinations: Delhi, Jaipur, Fatehpur Sikri, Agra, Orccha, Khajuraho, Varanasi, Bodhgaya, Rajgir, Nalanda & Lucknow

    Theme:

    Experience Highlights:

    • Visit UNESCO World Heritage sites—Red Fort, Humayun’s Tomb and Qutab Minar in Delhi; the Taj Mahal, Agra and Fatehpur Sikri in Agra.
    • Drive through crowded markets of Chandni Chowk in a cycle rickshaw.
    • Enjoy an elephant ride to Amber Fort and a trip to heritage monuments of Jaipur.
    • Spot wildlife whilst on safari in Ranthambore.
    • Visit the architectural remains of the great central Indian Rajput dynasty—the Bundelas of Orchha.
    • Visit the temples built by Chandela Rulers in Khajuraho, famous for their erotic sculptures.
    • Relaxing massages therapies to rejuvenate you.
    • Go for a boat ride on the Ganges and witness the mesmerizing prayer ceremony.
    • Visit Varanasi, Sarnath and Bodhgaya—amongst the holiest of places for Hindus and Buddhists.
    • Visit the archaeological remains of Rajgir and Nalanda; the latter known for its university in the ancient world.
    • Explore Lucknow, the city of Nawabs.
    • Savour Indian Cuisine and enjoy a visit to an Indian home.
    • Contact us for reservations & more details. All Experiences can be tailor-made to suit your interests and travel preferences...

    Day 1: Arrive in Delhi, India 
    Arrive at Delhi International Airport.

    Delhi, the administrative and political capital of India, is a major tourist attraction and a perfect start for a holiday in India, because of its rich heritage and cultural past, revealed in its monuments, parks, Government buildings and other places of interest. Delhi’s attractions range from forts and monuments dating back a thousand years to modern shopping malls, nightclubs and golf courses, as well as a wide range of cuisines to suit every taste.

    Upon clearing Customs and Immigration, our representative will meet you, assist you with checking in at your hotel and present you with a welcome pack, including the travel documents. Drive through the Diplomatic Enclave to arrive at the hotel. Enjoy rest of the day / night at leisure.

     
     
    Day 2: In Delhi 
    This morning, join your personal concierge for a visit to Humayun's Tomb, a 16th century monument, which is often considered the predecessor to the Taj Mahal. Proceed to the Lotus Temple, dedicated to the Baha’i religion and considered an architectural delight.

    In the afternoon have lunch at a bustling local restaurant, visit the Qutab Minar, the tallest stone minaret which was a part of the first mosque in India, dating back to the 12th century.

    Enjoy a relaxing hour-long massage at the hotel SPA.

    This evening, we take you for a welcome dinner to an Indian Restaurant in an area bustling with life in a modern setting – an insight into the life of Delhi Folks.

    Meals :: B L D
     
     
    Day 3: In Delhi 
    Go for an escorted heritage walk after breakfast to the Lodhi Gardens, a haven of tranquility and peace, which contains architectural works of the 15th-century Sayyids and Lodhis. Drive through Lutyens’ Delhi to reach Old Delhi, where you visit the Jama Masjid, the largest mosque in India. Then take a rickshaw ride through Chandni Chowk and tour the famous Sikh shrine, Food Streets and the local markets. View the Red Fort, built by Shah Jehan, the fifth Mughal emperor, in the 17th century.

    Continue to enjoy a kebab lunch in one of Delhi’s oldest restaurants – known for its interesting setting and delectable cuisine.

    Pay an after-lunch visit to the Akshardham temple, built of hand-carved stone in the Nagara style by 11,000 artisans over five years. Enjoy a leisurely afternoon.

    In the evening, we take you for cocktails to an Indian Home, to meet local people and witness Indian hospitality at its best. Return to your hotel after a memorable evening.

    Meals :: B L D
     
     
    Day 4: Delhi - Jaipur 
    After breakfast, proceed on a six-hour drive via private transport to Jaipur. Upon arrival, you are given a traditional Rajasthani welcome with garlands, aarti and tika. Spend the afternoon at leisure at your exclusive palace hotel.

    Early evening start with a sky ballooning experience for an aerial view of the Pink City, then drive through the Old City, with a photo stop at the Hawa Mahal--lit up for the evening and use time for shopping.

    This evening enjoy an elephant safari and authentic Rajasthan cuisine at a camp, situated in the foothills of the Aravallis and run by a local family.

    Meals :: B D
     
     
    Day 5: In Jaipur 
    Visit Amber Fort after breakfast, on elephant back, to marvel at the Sheesh Mahal, Dewan-i-Am and the gardens. On your way out, stop at Artchill, a gallery that displays Indian art. Continue the journey - make a photo-stop at Jal Mahal, the monsoon palace of the Jaipur Maharajas. You might get to witness a private show by a child magician.

    Afterwards, enjoy lunch at an ancient Haveli - offering personalized service in an authentic setting with its understated luxury, antique furniture, furnishings and original works of art.

    After lunch, tour the City Palace and its many palatial components--Mubarak Mahal, Chandra Mahal, Badal Mahal and the Sri Govind Dev temple—as well as Jantar Mantar--the observatory, a world heritage site that boasts of the largest Sun Dial clock in the world.

    On arrival at the hotel, enjoy a relaxing hour-long massage at the hotel SPA. Spend the evening at leisure.

    Meals :: B L D
     
     
    Day 6: Jaipur – Ranthambore 
    After breakfast, proceed to Ranthambore (4 hours drive). On arrival in Ranthambore, check-in at your hotel, enjoy lunch and relax.

    Ranthambore, the former hunting ground of the Maharajas of Jaipur, is situated in Eastern Rajasthan at a point where the Aravali hill ranges and the Vindhyan plateau meet. It is watered by the Chambal and the Banas, and includes six man-made lakes and several perennial streams. The rugged terrain and the dense deciduous forests are major features of this national park, which has the largest and most diverse collection of wildlife species in India.

    Embark on an exciting drive into the Ranthambore National Park, a Project Tiger reserve since 1973 to spot various indigenous animals like nilgai, chausingha, chital, chinkara, wild boar and tiger. Other inhabitants of the Park include the muntjac, jungle cat, ratel, hyena, porcupine, the rhesus macaque and the black-faced langur. About 150 species of birds are also found here, including migratory birds, like the steppe eagle, that arrive in winter. Catching a tiger’s gaze is not uncommon in these closely packed surroundings!!

    Meals :: B L D
     
     
    Day 07: Ranthambore – Bharatpur – Fatehpur Sikri – Agra 
    In the early morning, go to the Sawai Madhopur Railway Station to catch an express train for Bharatpur—you will then travel to Agra by a private transport.

    On the way to Agra, you will stop at Fatehpur Sikri to view the remains of Emperor Akbar’s capital. The city boasts of some of the magnificent monuments of the medieval period. Akbar, the great Mughal Emperor, made it the capital but later abandoned it due to scarcity of water. The buildings at Fatehpur Sikri present a unique blend of Hindu and Islamic architectural styles.

    Continue your drive to Agra. Agra Fort is yet another example of the fusion architecture that dominated the Mughal period. The assimilation of these different styles gives the buildings within the fort a distinctive look. For example, the Jahangir Palace built by Akbar blends the Persian and Indian styles, whereas Dewan-i-Am is a mixture of the Persian and Turkish styles.

    Check-in to the hotel, enjoy lunch and leisure time. Later visit Taj Mahal.

    Agra is synonymous with the Taj Mahal, built by Shah Jahan as a tomb for his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal. It is located on the banks of the Yamuna and is the finest specimen of Mughal architecture—a combination of the best from India, Persia and Turkey. In fact, it is a world heritage monument and one of the wonders of the world.

    Enjoy a musical performance, Saga of the Taj, this evening, before returning to the hotel for dinner.

    Meals :: B L D
     
     
    Day 8: Agra - Jhansi – Orchha – Khajuraho 
    After an early breakfast in the morning; go to the railway station to catch an express train to Jhansi and continue by road to Orchha (less than an hour), the once-flourishing capital of the Bundela-Rajput Kings. The palaces and temples that they built in the 16th and 17th centuries continue to stand. Jehangir Mahal, a tiered palace crowned by graceful Chhatris, commands a spectacular view of soaring temple-spires and cenotaphs. Complementing the noble proportions of their exteriors are interiors which represent the finest flowering of the Bundela School of painting. In the Laxminarayan Temple and Raj Mahal, vibrant murals encompassing a variety of religious and secular themes, bring the walls and ceilings to rich life.

    Enjoy lunch at a resort in Orchha and continue your drive to Khajuraho (approx. 4 hours). On arrival, check-in at your hotel. Enjoy an evening of leisure, witness the sound and light show at the Khajuraho Temple from the hotel terrace and savor dinner.

    Meals :: B L D
     
     
    Day 9: Khajuraho – Varanasi by air 
    After breakfast, spend half the day visiting the Eastern and Western groups of temples, built by the Chandela kings. There are three groups of temples—eastern, western and southern—decorated with erotic sculptures. The largest is the Kandaria Mahadev Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva.

    Later in the morning, go to the airport to catch the flight to Varanasi and enjoy a snack lunch on board.

    The city’s name possibly derives from the names of the two rivers Varuna and Assi, for it lies at the confluence of these two rivers. It is believed that city was founded by Lord Shiva, around 5,000 years ago, thus making it one of the most important pilgrimage destinations in the country. It is one of the seven sacred cities of the Hindus. Many Hindu scriptures, including the Rig-Veda, Skanda Purana, the Ramayana, and the Mahabharata, mention the city. Go to the Ghats in the evening and take a boat cruise, to enjoy the sight of the Ganga Aarti and also sail past the Manikaran Ghat where the funeral pyres burn 24x7.

    Meals :: B L D
     
     
    Day 10: Varanasi – Sarnath – Varanasi 
    Go for a boat ride on the Ganges early in the morning. After breakfast, visit Banaras Hindu University; the 18th-century Durga Temple; and Bharat Mata Temple, dedicated by Mahatma Gandhi to Mother India.

    Enjoy a leisurely afternoon at the hotel.

    In the afternoon, visit Sarnath where Lord Buddha preached his first sermon on the ’middle way’ to nirvana. A major Buddhist centre, Sarnath lies 10 kilometers north east of Varanasi. In 234 BC, Emperor Asoka, a follower of Buddhism, erected a stupa. Between the 3rd century BC and the 11th century AD, several Buddhist structures were built in Sarnath. Most of these monuments are set in large gardens, making it quite pleasant for a visitor to spend time here. Return to the hotel where a Master introduces you to Yoga and Meditation. Before dinner enjoy consultation with an astrologer to get an insight into what the future holds.

    This evening enjoy a specialty dinner offer a table d’hôte selection of (Vegetarian) traditional delicacies OR the (Non Vegetarian) Awadhi Cuisine.

    Meals :: B L D
     
     
    Day 11: Varanasi – Bodhgaya 
    After breakfast drive to Bodhgaya (5 to 6 hours).

    Bodhgaya is an important and sacred Buddhist pilgrimage center. Legend says that it was here; under a bodhi (banyan) tree that Gautama attained supreme knowledge to become Buddha, the Enlightened One. Gautama, a Sakya prince of Kapilavastu (now in Nepal) was born in the foothills of the Himalayas—the major events of his religious life, such as his enlightenment and last sermon, took place in Bihar. Buddhism evolved from the Buddha’s sermons, empathetic outlook and simple way of life. The state of Bihar might have got its name from the large number of viharas (monasteries) within its territory. Several centuries after Buddha, the Mauryan Emperor Ashoka (234-198 BC) contributed tremendously towards the revival, consolidation and spread of Buddhism.

    Upon arrival check-in to the hotel and enjoy time for lunch and rest. In the evening meet a master for an insight into Buddhist philosophy, walk around the city and also visit the Mahabodhi Temple for evening prayers.

    Meals :: B L D
     
     
    Day 12: In Bodhgaya 
    After breakfast go sightseeing in Bodhgaya. Visit the Mahabodhi Temple, which stands to the east of the Bodhi Tree. The basement of this temple is 48 square feet and it is shaped like a slender pyramid till the neck, which is cylindrical in shape. The temple is 170 ft high and its top is covered by chatras, which symbolize religious sovereignty, and four graceful towers located at its corners.

    When Siddhartha Gautama gave up extreme ascetic practices, he was given food by a young woman, Sujata, who mistook him for a Yaksha or tree spirit, capable of granting her boon for a suitable husband. This incident took place at the village of Uruvella—it was from this village that Siddhartha crossed the Nairanjana (modern Phalgu), immediately to the west, and on to Bodh Gaya.

    There are numerous modern monasteries put up by Buddhists from other countries around the big Mahabodhi Temple, all of which contribute to the atmosphere of peace and calm around the temple. The Thai Temple, with its splendid roof, is the most magnificent. There are several Tibetan monasteries in the area, which belong to various sects of Tibetan Buddhists, such as the Gelugpa, the Sakya and the Nyingma—the Kagyu monastery, known for its spacious main prayer hall, as well as its beautiful murals, Buddha images and large Dharma Chakra, is located further west. Hundreds of Tibetans come annually to Bodhgaya, from November to February, to set up markets, restaurants and cafes close to the monasteries. There are temples belonging to Nepal, Bhutan and China as well.

    Meals :: B L D
     
     
    Day 13: Bodhgaya – Rajgir – Nalanda – Patna – Lucknow 
    After breakfast, leave for Patna (approx. 3 hours) to board a flight for Lucknow. On the way, visit Rajgir and Nalanda.

    Rajgir is a city and a notified area in Nalanda district in the Indian state of Bihar. It was the first capital of the kingdom of Magadha, a state that would eventually evolve into the Mauryan Empire. Rajgir enjoys a scenic location in a valley and is also known as Panchpahari because of the shrines on five hills.

    Gridhakuta or Vulture's Peak is listed in Buddhist canonical texts as a place where Lord Buddha delivered two important sutras - the Lotus Sutra and the Prajnaparamita (Perfection of Wisdom Sutra). Venuvana or Bamboo Grove was the first park Bimbisara donated to the Buddha and the Sangha. In the vicinity of Venuvana is a large pond with a Buddha image at the centre. This pond is the site of the Karanda tank mentioned in Buddhist texts as the Karanda kanivapa where the Buddha used to take his bath. Not far from here is the prison where Bimbisara was jailed by his son Ajatasatru, who usurped the throne. Evidently, Bimbisara could see the Buddha up in Gridhakuta, which provided great joy to the prisoner.

    Nalanda, the site of an ancient university, is about 92 kilometers south east of Patna. The Buddha visited this town, which later became the site of an important university, where many Buddhist scholars came to teach and study. Nalanda was one of the world’s first residential universities, where students lived in dormitories. In its heyday, it accommodated over 10,000 students and 2,000 teachers. The university was considered an architectural masterpiece, and was marked by a lofty wall and one gate. Nalanda had eight compounds and ten temples spread over an area of 14 hectares and attracted scholars from world over.

    Continue your drive to Patna to board the flight for Lucknow. On arrival in Lucknow, check in at the hotel and spend the evening at leisure.

    Meals :: B L D
     
     
    Day 14: Lucknow – Delhi 
    Lucknow, the city of Nawabs, is the capital of Uttar Pradesh, the largest state in India. It has a glorious history and has been an important cultural centre of Northern India for over two centuries. The arts, including painting, music, and dance, flourished under the generous patronage of the last Nawabs of Awadh, as the region around Lucknow was known, before it was taken over by the British.

    After breakfast, take a half day city tour of Lucknow, which includes a visit to the Baba Imambara, because of its historical, cultural and heritage importance. The Bada Imambara complex was commissioned by Nawab Asaf-ud-Daulah of Awadh in the year 1784. The complex also includes the large Asfi mosque, the Bhul-Bhulaiah (the labyrinth) and a summer palace with running water.

    Imambaras are the replicas of tombs dedicated to the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and his family members, known as Ahl-ul-Bait. Imams are the religious heads of Shiite Islam who are related to the Prophet by blood.

    Also visit the Chota Imambara, also known as the Husseinabad Imambara, as it was the office of the erstwhile Husseinabad trusts that owned the city once. The Chota Imambara is an imposing monument located in the Old City area of Lucknow close to Chowk. The Imambaras were built in the early 19th century, during a famine in Awadh, to provide work for the peasantry. Rumi Darwaza, which lies north-west of the Bara Imambara, was built by Nawab Asaf-ud-Daulah at the same time as the Imambaras, and for the same reasons—to provide work to the peasants. It was modeled on the gates of Constantinople.

    In the afternoon, enjoy lunch at the hotel before taking an express train to Delhi (1535 / 2205 hrs). Enjoy dinner on board the train.

    On arrival in Delhi, we take you to the international airport to board your flight back home / connect with a post tour program.

    Meals :: B L D
     
     
    Contact us for reservations & more details. All Experiences can be tailor-made to suit your interests and travel preferences…
    Day City Hotels
    1DelhiTaj Palace
    2DelhiTaj Palace
    3DelhiTaj Palace
    4JaipurTaj Jai Mahal Palace
    5JaipurTaj Jai Mahal Palace
    6RanthamboreVivanta by Taj – Sawai Madhopur Lodge
    7AgraThe Gateway Hotel
    8KhajurahoThe Lalit Temple View
    9VaranasiThe Gateway Hotel
    10VaranasiThe Gateway Hotel
    11BodhgayaRoyal Residency / Lotus Nikko
    12BodhgayaRoyal Residency / Lotus Nikko
    13LucknowTaj Residency
    Contact us for reservations & more details. All Experiences can be tailor-made to suit your interests and travel preferences...
    :: Paradisiacal Kashmir

    Enjoy the pristine beauty of this city situated on the banks of the Jhelum and famous for its arts and crafts. Visit its lakes, view the mountains and enjoy the several gardens - Chashme Shahi, Pari Mahal, Nishat Bagh, Shalimar Bagh and Naseem Bagh. Visit Hokersar, a world-class wetland close to the city, to watch migratory birds or relax on a houseboat and enjoy the unique Kashmiri cuisine. Take a day excursions to Gulmarg and seize pride in adventure activities, enjoying skiing can add to enthusiasts’ Kashmir experience. It is said that if there is any heaven then it is in Kashmir.

    Duration: 3 Nights

    Destinations: Srinagar

    Theme: Nature, Adventure & Wellness

    :: Mystic Bhutan

    View the gorgeous Himalayan vistas and revered temples in this country that was once hidden from the outside world, visiting Paro and Thimphu.

    Duration: 4 Nights

    Destinations: 1 Night Thimpu, 2 Nights Paro, 1 Night Delhi

    Theme: Heritage

    :: Scenic Nepal

    The Kathmandu Valley features a diverse culture. Enjoy a short flight to Mount Everest, an experience to remember (weather permitting). Continue to Chitwan National Park for a trek on elephant-back. Follow that with a game drive in search of the elusive Bengal tiger, the Asian one-horned rhino, gaur, sloth bear and leopard.

    Duration: 4 Nights

    Destinations: 2 Nights Kathmandu, 1 Night Chitwan, 1 Night Delhi

    Theme: Heritage, Adventure & Wildlife

    Contact us for reservations & more details. All Experiences can be tailor-made to suit your interests and travel preferences…