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North India-Taj Mahal and Ganges


North India-Taj Mahal and Ganges

Overview

This is basically motor vehicle based tour, suitable for travelers of all ages with normal health condition. Some monument, fort or castle visit might require climbing stairs. Please, do not expect elevators or escalators! Subject to availability, we might experience elephant and camel trips. We will also occasionally take tricycle rickshaw trips.

No strenuous hiking or climbing or any altitude issues on this trip. Although, no major preparation is necessary for this trip, it's recommendable that you start a soft training program such as walking, jogging, cycling or aerobics about a month ahead of the trip to keep yourself optimally fit. About a month ahead of trip departure, we will mail you final trip dossier that includes the list of hotels and contacts, detailed pre-departure information including clothing recommendation, money matter and health and safety updates and some do's and don'ts.

Trip Attractions

  • Red Fort, Jame Mosque, and Qutub Minaret in Delhi
  • The historic Amer Fort, City Palace, and markets of Jaipur
  • The ghost town of Fatehpuri Sikri
  • Taj Mahal-one of the 7 wonders of the modern world.
  • Kamasutra temples of Khajuraho
  • Holy Ganges and its sacred ghats in Varanasi
  • Colorful bazaars of Old Delhi, Jaipur and Varanasi.
  • Visit the arts and craft workshops.
  • Experience local cuisine
  • Enjoy local folklore dances.

Detailed Itinerary

  • Day 01 ARRIVE IN DELHI

    • Welcome to India. After clearing immigration and custom, exit the airport and meet Highland Asia representative who will transfer you to the hotel. Rest of the day is at leisure.

      Overnight at Crowne Plaza Okhla, 5*
      Meals: Welcome dinner
  • Day 02 DELHI SIGHTSEEING

    • Following a buffet style breakfast at the hotel, you will embark ona tour of Old and New Delhi. Begin at the modern Laxmi Narayan Temple which enshrines Lord Vishnu, the preserver of the Hindu Trinity and the first major Hindu Temple which allows admission to the 'untouchable' class of people. Next, you will head to Old Delhi which is the former center of Mughal power offering ancient monuments, narrow streets, and bustling markets. Begin from Raj Ghat which is a shrine built in the memory of Mahatma Gandhi whom is considered to be the father of India. Continue on to the Red Fort which was built in 1648 by the great Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan whom is famous for his great edifice of love, the Taj Mahal. Also, see the biggest mosque in India the Jama Masjid, constructed by Shah Jahan in 1658 and can accommodate 20,000 devotees at one time. You will take cycle-rickshaw ride through the narrow lanes of Chandni Chowk to see the vibrant markets.

      Following lunch, you drive to the New Delhi which is also known as Lutyens Delhi, taking after the name of a British architect whom was largely responsible in designing the India Gate, Secretariat, Parliament House, and many other buildings in that area. Another attraction you don’t want to miss in Delhi is the tallest known tower known as Qutub Minar, which marked the arrival and rise of Islam in India. Near the foot of the minaret lies the controversial Quwwat-ul-Islam Masjid, the first Muslim mosque in India erected in the 12th century on the site of a Hindu temple from materials salvaged from 27 demolished Hindu and Jain temples.

      Overnight at the Crowne Plaza Okhala or similar
      Meals: Breakfast
  • Day 03 DRIVE TO JAIPUR (09 SEP, 2014)

    • (260 km/63 miles, 5 hrs)

      Following breakfast, you will set out for Jaipur, the capital city of Rajasthan state. About 7 miles before reaching Jaipur, you will stop in the Amber Village to visit the most famous attraction of Jaipur the Amber Fort, also known as Amer Fort. The ancient citadel, situated is on the top of a high hill above the village and was the capital of the ruling Kachhawa clan of Amber from 1037 to 1727 AD. The Fort is a artistic blend of Hindu and Mughal elements. The fort can be reached on foot through stairways, by a 4WD vehicle, or you can take a ride on an elephant's back in the style of the Royals! Once on top, you shall be amazed by the massive structure, and the exquisite paintings on the walls depicting the temperament of the Rajputs, whom were adventurous, revolutionary, and self-indulgent. There are intricate carvings on the walls and ceilings and minute mirror work to the grand appearance and royalty of the halls.

      You will spend a good amount of time exploring the fort, the magnificent gates, courtyards, the chambers of the king, their queens and concubines, and the secret pathways; each piece of architecture carries the heroic stories of the battles they fought, friendship and rivalry, and the love and romance. Overwhelmed by the massiveness of the fort and its stories, you will descend from the fort and continue the trip on to Jaipur.

      Check into the accommodation and after some rest, you will take a ferry to the impressive Jal Mahal which means “palace in the water”. The palace, which was in ruins for more than 2 centuries, has been restored recently and is now opened for travelers. The rest of the day is open for you to pursue your own interests. Time permitting, you can visit the city center and browse the colorful markets.

      Overnight at ITC Rajputana Hotel or similar, 5*
      Meals: Breakfast
  • Day 04 JAIPUR SIGHTSEEING (10 SEP, 2014)

    • After breakfast at your hotel, you will set out to explore the wonders of Jaipur, also known as the Pink City. Drive into the city center and begin from Hawa Mahal, which means the “Palace in the Winds”. The palace has a beehive like structure, made up of a interplay of red and pink sand stone, meticulously outlined white border with an elaborate latticed facade behind it which hid the cloistered ladies of the court as they watched the daily happenings in the street below.

      Next , visit the City Palace which is a massive complex of superb palaces, gardens, courtyards, decorative art, and carved doorways. Visit the museum of the palace which preserves collections of rare documents, shields, uniforms, rugs and paintings. You walk to the adjacent Jantar Mantar which is an astronomical observatory that exhibits a collection of architectural astronomical instruments. The observatory has been listed on the UNESCO’s world heritage site.

      Afternoon, visit the Johari Market (Jeweler's market)-the most beautiful and vibrant market of Jaipur. Despite the rise of shopping mall culture, there is no match to Johari Market for its traditional charm. Besides of Gold and Silver ornaments precious gems and luxury gems are sold in this market. Its note worthy that Jaipur is also known as City of Gems and that's possibly because of the Johari Market. There are several other markets selling from garments to spices and other daily household needs. Depending on available time and interests, your guide will arrange a trip to one or two of the markets.

      In the evening we will take you to an Indian Traditional Restaurant called “ Chokhi Dhani”. You are greeted with traditional arti, garlanding and tikka (blessed red paste bestowed on the forhead). Enjoy your dinner with Folk Dances performed by local artists. Later, drive back to your hotel in Jaipur for overnight stay.

      Overnight at the ITC Rajaputana Hotel or similar, 5*
      Meals: Breakfast
  • Day 05 DRIVE FROM JAIPUR TO AGRA VIA FATEHPUR SIKRI (11 SEP, 2014)

    • (240km/148 miles, 5 hrs)

      Following breakfast at the hotel, you will set out on Jaipur-Agra Highway. The road passes through several roadside villages and towns and farmlands. You will have opportunity to catch glimpses of the daily lives of the people on the way.

      About 24 miles before Agra, we visit the abandoned capital Fatehpuri Sikri. It was built by the Great Mughal Emperor Akbar in the late 16th century, and it was unfortunate that soon after there was a long drought and the water sources dried out so the capital had to be moved to Agra Fort. The palace has very majestic entrances, castles, and tombs which are the finest examples of unparalleled Mughal architecture.

      Upon arrival in Agra, check into your hotel and rest of the day is at leisure.

      Overnight at the ITC Mughal or similar
      Meals: Breakfast
  • Day 06 VISIT TAJ MAHAL AND OTHER ATTRACTIONS OF AGRA

    • You will rise early morning and then head to the Taj Mahal. The Taj Mahal at sunrise is very beautiful and has less traffic and will be quieter at this time. As you approach the mausoleum, it appears as if it is floating on the horizon, overwhelming, spectacular, and incredibly beautiful! As the day breaks, the mausoleum bathes in the golden glow of the rising sun; the beauty of the Taj Mahal holds your gaze and will makes you speechless! Built in the mid 17th century by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan as an expression of his love for his wife Mumtaz Mahal, allowing 22 years and using labor of 20,000 men to build. The white marble was transported by a fleet of 1000 elephants from 200 miles away. The Taj Mahal is truly one of the wonders of the world. You will spend about 2 hours at this amazing creation and then return to the hotel for breakfast.

      In the afternoon, visit the Agra Fort-the 16th century Mughal architecture. More often than not, the Agra Fort is overshadowed by the pristine beauty of the Taj, but for those looking for something beyond romance; the Agra Fort is worth seeing. Situated on the bank of River Yamuna, the Agra Fort today, stands as a citadel of the past that has witnessed centuries slip by.

      Overnight at the ITC Mughal or similar
      Meals: Breakfast
  • Day 07 TRAIN TO JHANSI AND TRANSFER TO KHAJURAHO VIA ORCHA SIGHTSEEING

    • Depart Agra at 0811 hrs by Shatabdi Express. Arrive Jhansi at 1045 hrs. Upon arrival, meet your local transport and transfer to Khajuraho. En route stop to visit Orchha ( Approx. 113 miles, 4 hrs)

      Orchha is a small town placed on the banks of River Betwa and accurately translates to "hidden place "and is a well known traveler Destination. Orchha is residence to Bundella style of structural design and the palaces of Orchha bear observer to the magnificent work of medieval architects. The famous amongst this are Raj Mahal and Jahangir Mahal. The Rajmandir - built on a square base has plain external with projecting windows. The Jahangir Mahal, built to welcome the Mughal emperor Jahangir is the magnificent example of Hindu structural design. The other attractions include the Raj Mahal, The Sheesh Mahal, the chaturbhuj temple. Along with these there are numerous Chhatris of royals or cenotaphs dotting the banks of the river Betwa.

      Upon arrival in Khajuraho check in at hotel.

      Overnight at Radisson Hotel or similar
      Meals: Breakfast
  • Day 08 MORNING KHAJURAHO SIGHTSEEING AND AFTERNOON FLIGHT TO VARANASI

    • Morning proceed to visit Temples of Khajuraho (In the temple architecture of India, the Khajuraho complex remains unique. One thousand years ago, under the generous and artistic patronage of the Chandela Rajput kings of Central India, 85 temples, magnificent in form and richly carved, came up on one site, near the village of Khajuraho. The amazingly short span of 100 years, from 950 AD - 1050 AD, saw the completion of all the temples, in an inspired burst of creativity. Today, of the original 85, only 22 have survived the ravages of time; these remain as a collective paean to life, to joy and to creativity; to the ultimate fusion of man with his creator).

      Afternoon in time transfer to Khajuraho airport to board flight for Varanasi. Depart Khajuraho at 1355 hrs by 9W K 2424 ( Jet Airways). Arrive Varanasi at 1445 hrs and then transfer to hotel.

      Evening we will head towards the Dasaswamedh Ghat (One of the banks of Ganges River close to Kashi Vishwanath Temple) to witness Ganga Aarti (Evening Prayer). Overnight at hotel.

      Overnight at Radisson Hotel or similar

      Meals: Breakfast
  • Day 09 VARANASI SIGHTSEEING.

    • Varanasi Just before dawn when the east starts turning from dark to orange, we will take you for the famed Boat Ride on the River Ganges (Move slowly into the middle of the river on your small boats and sail through the water of Holy Ganges. After some time, none other than the Sun would welcome you with a beautiful new morning which you would love to store among your most beautiful memories.

      As the sun moves upwards, you will see more and more people walking on the ghats to have a dip in the Ganges, pray to Sun God and perform morning meditations. You will see Yogis sitting cross-legged with rudraksha mala (A kind of holy neck less). Return to hotel for breakfast.

      Afternoon excursion to Sarnath.

      SARNATH After attaining enlightenment at Bodh Gaya Buddha went to Sarnath; and it was here that he preached his first discourse in the deer park to set in motion the 'Wheel of the Dharma'. It is one of the most holy sites as in this place the stream of the Buddha's teaching first flowed. At this place, Buddha encountered the five men who had been his companions of earlier austerities. On meeting the enlightened Buddha, all they saw was an ordinary man; they mocked his well-nourished appearance. "Here comes the mendicant Gautama," they said, "who has turned away from asceticism. He is certainly not worth our respect." When they reminded him of his former vows, the Buddha replied, "Austerities only confuse the mind.

      Overnight at Radisson Blue
      Meals: Breakfast
  • Day 10 FLIGHT FROM VARANASI TO DELHI

    • Transfer to the airport for flight to Delhi. Upon arrival, transfer to hotel in Delhi.

      Overnight at Radisson Blue
      Meals: Breakfast
  • Day 11 DEPART DELHI

    • Transfer to the airport for flight back home or the next destination.

      Meals: Breakfast

Trip Info

Accommodations

All your accommodation will be in reputed 5* deluxe hotels with all modern amenities. Our preferred hotels are often times heritage properties with traditional decor and ensuring maximum comfort of our travelers.

Local Tour Guides

They are knowledgeable, friendly and flexible. They will show you the wonders of the areas that you would never discover on your own and share their knowledge on Indian history, culture and religion. Your guide carries necessary vouchers for the hotels and buys admission tickets where necessary. Tour guide and driver is not the same person.

Transportation

Depending on the group size, we use air-conditioned Mini Van or coaches for all transfers and tour. Our drivers are friendly locals with years of experience in driving vehicle in tourism and hospitality industry. Driver may have limited English.

Passport/Indian Visa

Make sure remaining validity on your passport at the time of travel is more than 6 months and that you are not running out of the pages. You need to obtain Indian visa before hand as India does not grant visa on arrival. In US, Indian visa application process is outsourced to COX & KINGS GLOBAL SERVICES. Please, visit the website and follow the procedures. You will need to complete the contact details while you are in India and you can use the address of the hotel we have/will book for you.

Travel Agent Eligibility

You must be an active and full time travel agent and a member of IATA, IATAN, CLIA, ASTA, OSSN or TRUE. A agent is allowed to bring one companion who could be a friend, family or a client.

Dates & Prices

US$ 950 Travel Agent,
US$ 1050 Companion
US$ 450 Single Room Supplement

Group Size:
The trip is guaranteed with minimum 2 participants and maximum 16.

Booking Deadline:
1-10 Sep, 2015 Trip: Book by 01 Mar, 2015

Dates and Price

International and internal airfares

You can purchase your international airfare to India and return on your own. If you need any help on this, certainly feel free to contact us. We will take care of all internal airfares as per the itinerary for you. Local airport taxes may or may not be included in the airfare.

Cost Includes

  • 10 Nights deluxe hotels on double or twin sharing basis.
  • Daily breakfast in the hotel. Some meals may be arranged complimentary.
  • All ground transportation by Air conditioned coach.
  • Service of local English speaking Guides.
  • 01 bottle of packaged water per person during surface travel.
  • Service of internal airfare reservation.
  • Sightseeing admission fees

Cost Excludes

  • Lunch and dinner (Budget $10-15 per meal)
  • International and internal airfare
  • Indian Visa (You need to obtain it beforehand)
  • Tipping and gratuities to the Guide and driver
  • Expenses of your personal nature such as table drinks, telephone, internet usage, laundry, tipping to the housekeeping, room service, luggage help etc.
  • Travel Insurance.
  • Extra expenses or loss due to nature and unforeseen events such as flight delay, cancellation, road blockade, civil unrest etc.

Want to make it a private tour ?

Book this trip as a private departure - for any group, big or small.

Book as Private Tour

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