Theme: The destinations incoporated offer varied experiences. The edifices at Delhi, Agra, Khajuraho, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Bikaner give an idea of prevalent architectural styles over a reasonable period of time……..the ghats and temples of Varanasi and stupas of nearby Sarnath let one experience the kind of spirituality many come searching for…….the colors that submerge the entire state of Rajasthan show how colourful and jubiliant life can be.
DAY 1 – Delhi
Welcome to Incredible India :
Welcome aboard! You are picked up by our executive from the main exit of the airport and transferred to the hotel in your private coach (Our executive will be waiting outside the custom area with a placard of your name). You will be handed over the India travel kit containing all relevant documents of your trip (air/rail tickets, hotel vouchers, transport, guide, sightseeing vouchers, writing pads with other travel related documents).Note: The normal check in – checks out time of the hotels are 1200 hours.
DAY 2 – Delhi
Ruling Impressions: New Delhi is a city that breathes history as well as modernity.Today you see the Red fort (Lal Qila), built by the same Mughal emperor who built the Taj Mahal; Jama Masjid, Raj Ghat & the Qutab Minar & drive through the colonial buildings with (photo stops enroute) which still retain its complete charm.
DAY 3 – Delhi > Varanasi (fly)
Holiest Pilgrimage center: Board flight for Varanasi – the essence of spiritual India. Formerly called Benaras, it is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Take a short excursion to Sarnath, the place where Lord Buddha delivered his first sermon. The most prominent structure here is the Dhameka Stupa.
DAY 4 – Varanasi
Oldest inhabited city of the world : Enjoy an enlightening boat ride at dawn to see the pilgrims doing their devotions in the River Ganges set against the back drop of the centuries old temples – perhaps one of the most impressive sights in the world. Later visit the Banaras Hindu University(a center of education in Sanskrit, Indian Art, culture & music) and Durga (Goddess of Power) Temple.
Rest of the day at your discretion with vehicle at your disposal. In the evening attend Aarti ceremony at ghat of Ganges.
DAY 5 – Varanasi >Khajuraho (fly)
Celebration of life in every form: Fly to Khajuraho – a quaint town famous for 10th century Hindu and Jain temples. After checking in at the hotel visit these temples that are a UNESCO World Heritage Site for their beautiful and erotic rock carvings.
After the decline of the Chandela dynasty, the temples remained obscure under dense forest cover for many years. It was later discovered by a British army engineer.
DAY 6 – Khajuraho> Gwalior (275 km / 6-7 hrs)
Gibraltar of India: Drive to Gwalior. Visit the massive Gwalior Fort, popularly called Gibraltar of India. The great Mughal Emperor Babur described it as, “The pearl in the necklace of the forts of Hind”. Also visit mausoleum of 16th century Sufi saint Ghous Mohammed and tomb of Mian Tansen (one of the ‘Nine Jewels’ of Emperor Akbar’s court) an extraordinary singer who could light lamps with his voice.
Epitome of love: Drive to “Sikendra” where we visit the mausoleum of Mughul emperor Akbar, the most brilliant medieval Indian ruler. Later drive to Agra, home to one of the Seven Wonders of the world-the Taj Mahal. The architectural splendor of the mausoleums, the fort and the palaces is a vivid reminder of the opulence of the legendary Mughal emperors.Visit Taj Mahal – the epitome of love; Agra Fort & in time permits, the tomb of Itmadullah.
DAY 8 – Agra > Jaipur (235 km / 5 hrs)
Architectural & Astronomical genius: Visit Fatehpur Sikri, a UNESCO World heritage site. It was a short lived capital of Mughal Empire (for 10 years only) as it later had to be abandoned due to shortage of water.
The beautiful pink city – Jaipur was painted pink to honor the visit of Price Albert in 1876. Rajputs considered it a color of hospitality & ceremony. Enjoy a traditional Rajasthani meal for Dinner at an ethnic resort in the evening.
DAY 9 – Jaipur
Pink City : Enjoy a guided sightseeing tour of city including a visit to the Amber fort, which you climb on an elephant’s back or by a jeep. The main attractions are the Sukh Mandir (Temple of Contentment – an aptly named pleasure chamber, cooled by a stunning water cascade) and the Sheesh Mahal (Mirror palace) here. Also see the architectural marvels like the Palace of wind, Jantar Mantar (the observatory) & the City Palace complex.
Evening is free for shopping in the colorful bazaars of Jaipur.
DAY 12 – Ranthambhore> Pushkar (284 km / 6 hrs)
Holy city of Rajasthan : Driving northwards we reach the holy city of Rajasthan “PUSHKAR”. With one of the very few temples in India dedicated to lord Brahma, the Creator, Pushkar is the venue of an internationally acclaimed annual camel fair. Also visit the various ghats of Pushkar lake.
DAY 14 – Udaipur
City of Lakes : We visit the city palace complex (the Mor Chowk or the Peacock courtyard in it with its walls covered with a dramatic glass mosaic relief of dancing peacocks catches attention); the Jagdish temple & the garden of the maids (saheliyon ki badi).
Climb up the majestic Mehrangarh fort (one of the best preserved fort with modern techniques of audio guides). Also visit the marble cenotaph at Jaswant Thada. Evening free to shop. You may have a dinner atop the fort.
DAY 16 – Jodhpur >Jaisalmer (305 km / 6 hrs)
Golden Oasis : Drive to reach the golden oasis called Jaisalmer. Here it appears as if a master-craftsman took one huge piece of sandstone and patiently carved out the entire city. For the second half of the day we explore the beautiful man made lake Gadsisar (the only source of water Jaisalmer had for years) & the royal cenotaphs at Bada Bagh.
DAY 17 – Jaisalmer
Rolling Sand Dunes : We visit one of the most exotic forts of Rajasthan in the first half of the day exploring it from every nook and corner and take some delightful pictures. Then drive towards the rolling sand dunes to enjoy camel safari over the dunes.
Start the day by visiting the unusual Junagarh Fort. Unusual because, unlike all the major forts of Rajasthan which are on hilltops, this one was built on the desert plains itself. Also visit the camel breeding farm.
DAY 19 – Bikaner > Mandawa (200 km / 4 hrs)
Paintings, Havelis & Frescos: Drive to the famous rat temple at Deshnok and later to Shekhavati Region, a cluster of closely knit small towns and villages. Unlike other places in Rajasthan where the main attraction is generally forts and palaces, Shekhavati is known for its painted walls. The whole region is dotted with elaborately frescoed Havelis (mansions) most of which were raised by ace Indian businessmen who belonged to this place. It appears as if one is moving in an open-air Art Gallery.
Different Architectural Styles
Ghats, Temples, Stupas, Ganga Aarti
Camel Safari At Jaisalmer
Tiger Sighting At Ranthambore
Open Air Art Gallery At Mandawa