TOUR NAME: BEST OF NORTH INDIA TOUR DAYS: 18 NIGHTS / 19 DAYS This vibrant tour takes you to the splendid journey of the most beautiful and colourful states of India along with the Medieval India to Modern India. This classic itinerary encompasses iconic architectural and spiritual destinations of north India, including the Moghul highlights of Delhi, sand dunes of Thar Desert, magnificent palaces of the pink city of Jaipur, Ganges Aarti at Varanasi, the erotic sculptures of Khajuraho and off course the majestic Taj Mahal. Landing into the hustling and bustling capital of India, you travel north-west into the most colourful part of the State of Rajasthan which is an open air art gallery of 17th century. The exquisite art and crafts are still practiced to keep the tradition alive gives you chance to see the life continuing to save the heritage. Highlights of this tour includes an Elephant safari at Amber fort, a jeep safari of tribal villages, a camel ride on the sand dunes, a romantic dinner at desert camp and most romantic boat ride on Lake Pichola; as the lake shimmers with evening lights add to the romance. This is a journey into the very heart of a land of staggering colour and culture. The trip continues east, taking you to the Wonder of the world ‘The Taj Mahal’ in Agra and the grand finale of this beautiful journey at the cultural capital of India, Varanasi with an Aarti ceremony at river Ganges, before ending in the heart of India at Delhi. Travel ROUTE: - Day 01: Delhi Day 02: Mandawa 280 km Day 03: Bikaner 190 km Day 04: Jaisalmer 350 km (night stay at hotel) Day 05: Jaisalmer (night stay at luxury desert camp) Day 06: Jodhpur 290 km Day 07: Udaipur 270 km (enroute visit Ranakpur Jain temples) Day 08: Udaipur Day 09: Pushkar 270 km Day 10: Jaipur 140 km Day 11: Jaipur Day 12: Agra 240 km (enroute visit Fatehpur sikri) Day 13: Orchha 240 km (enroute visit Gwalior fort) Day 14: Khajuraho 170 km Day 15: Overnight train to Varanasi Day 16: Varanasi Day 17: Overnight train to Delhi Day 18: Delhi Day 19: Departure Detailed Travel itinerary: - 01 Day: New Delhi (Welcome to the capital of Incredible India!) • Warm welcome to India! You will be received by our representative at Delhi Airport and proceed to your hotel. On the way, your tour guide will present you all your tour documents, helpful information on getting around in India and also your complimentary mobile phone. The rest of the day is at your leisure to settle in. Depending on your arrival time, if you'd like to begin exploring Delhi on the very first day of your arrival, your driver is always available there at your disposal to escort you anywhere you'd like to go. • Introduction: Delhi is the capital of India and its third largest city. Delhi is one of the oldest continually inhabited cities in the world. Having been the capital of several empires in ancient India, Delhi is a major city in the old trade routes from northwest India to the Gangetic Plains. Delhi consists of two parts – New Delhi, the city created in 1911 as the imperial capital of India by the British and the Old Delhi, the Muslim capital of India between the 17th and 19th centuries. • Stay overnight. 02 DAY – Mandawa (Shekhawati Region Silk Route) 250 km/ 4 hours 30 minutes (approx) • After breakfast depart for Mandawa (famous for beautiful old mansions and Havelis and frescoes paintings). On arrival check in hotel and relax. Later visit famous forts and Havelis including Hanuman Prasad Goenka Haveli, Goenka Double Haveli, Murmuria Haveli, Gulab Rai Ladia Haveli etc and enjoy traditional village life. • Mandawa is a remote feudal principality in the centre of the Shekhawati region, Mandawa was a trading outpost for the ancient caravan routes that stopped here from China and the Middle East. Thakur Nawal Singh, the Rajput ruler of Nawalgarh and Mandawa, built a fort in 1755 to protect this outpost. The township that grew around the fort soon attracted a large community of traders, who settled here. These towns and the nearby areas of Shekhawati region are famous for its beautifully painted Havelis (mansions) which were constructed by wealthy merchants of the region in the 18th and 19th centuries. • Stay Overnight. 03 DAY - Bikaner - 190 km/ 02 hour drive • Beauty bloomed in a Desert! Bikaner is located in the northwest of the state of Rajasthan 330 km northwest of the state capital Jaipur. It is known for its architectural splendors. The dusty desert town of Bikaner was formerly the capital of the Princely State of Bikaner and was founded by Rao Bika. Today it has developed into the fifth largest city in Rajasthan. Bikaner is famous for sweets and namkeens. The Royal Family of Bikaner still lives in Lal Garh Palace, which they have converted into a heritage hotel. • Proceed to Bikaner and enroute see the famous Rat temple (optional). In the afternoon you will be taken on a half day city tour where you visit the magnificent 16th century Junagarh fort, which houses within it a series of beautiful old palaces, temples and a mosque. Raja Rai Singh founded the fort, which has 37 bastions. An enormous arched doorway leads to the Joramal temple, after which we visit the Har Mandir, the royal chapel where royal weddings and births were once celebrated and also visit to Asia’s only Camel Research and Breeding farm managed by government. • Overnight in Hotel. 04 DAY - Jaisalmer (The Golden City) 350 km/ 06 hr drive • Jaisalmer, well known as "The Golden city", is located 575 kilometers west from the state capital of Rajasthan, Jaipur. Once known as Jaisalmer state, city stands on a ridge of yellowish sandstone, crowned by a fort, which contains the palace and several ornate Jain temples. Many of the houses and temples are perfectly sculptured. City lies in the heart of the Thar Desert and is regarded as the driest place in India. Jaisalmer is named after its founder Maha Rawal Jaisal Singh, a Rajput king. Jaisalmer fort is the crown jewel of India. Exquisite wood and sandstone buildings are assets to the town. • Proceed for Jaisalmer. Arrive by early evening time. Check in hotel for relax. Later at evening visit Gadisar Lake - Excavated in 1367 by Rawal Gadsi Singh, it is a scenic rainwater lake surrounded by small temples and shrines and enjoy the city atmosphere. • Over night at hotel. 05 DAY - Jaisalmer (Thar Desert visit) • Morning visit Jaisalmer fort – One of the oldest Fort in the world and some sandstone carved Havelis (Mansions) like Salim Singh and Nathmalji ki haveli, as well as the beautiful 5-storey mansion called Patwon ki Haveli, decorated with carved pillars and murals. • In the afternoon, proceed to Thar Desert (the longest desert of India) for a Camel safari and stop at a typical Rajasthan Desert Village. Later enjoy camel safari at sand dunes enjoying view of sunset from the dunes, it is so fascinating and breathe taking to see the sky set on fire. • At evening enjoy romantic candle light dinner with traditional folk dance performed by local dancers and local musician playing mystic tunes. • Stay overnight at luxury Desert camp/Swiss Tents at Thar Desert OR come back to Jaisalmer and sleep in the hotel. (choice left to you) 06 DAY - Jodhpur (The Sun City) 280 km/ 04 hr drive • Jodhpur is the second largest city in Rajasthan, located 335 kilometers west from the state capital Jaipur. It was formerly the seat of a princely state of the Jodhpur and the capital of the kingdom Marwar. Jodhpur is a popular tourist destination featuring many palaces, forts and temples. Jodhpur is known as the "Sun City" for the bright, sunny weather and is also referred to as the "Blue City" due to the blue-painted houses. This 500 year old settlement and princely state was the H.Q. of the daring Rathore Rajputs. • The genius of its sculptors spring alive in its exquisite palaces, forts, temples and Havelis, and is renowned for its vibrant people in bright clothes and beautiful jewellery. • Sightseeing tour of Jodhpur includes visit to the majestic Mehrangarh Fort, the clock tower, the spice markets (Sardar bazaar), the ancient town of Mandore; the white marble memorial of Jaswant Thada and the magnificent Palace of Maharaja of Jodhpur - Umaid Bhawan Palace & Museum. • Over night at hotel. 07 - Udaipur (The City of Lakes or Venice of the East) 260km/ 04 hr drive • Udaipur is one of the most romantic destinations in the world. It is also known as the City of Lakes or Venice of the East and is located 403 kilometers southwest of the state capital Jaipur. Unlike its desert counterparts, Udaipur is situated in the forested hilly region of the Aravalli Ranges; in complete contrast to the arid deserts of Marwar in the northwest. Udaipur is the historic capital of the kingdom of Mewar. The city was found by Maharana Uday Singh, from whom it derives its name. Apart from its history, culture and scenic locations a do-or-die attitude and a fierce sense of independence characterize Udaipur. • After breakfast drive to Udaipur enroute visits Jain temples of Ranakpur (There are 1444 pillars in the temple and none of them are similar). The architecture of Ranakpur is breathtaking. Ranakpur is one of the five holy places of the Jain community. After visit continue drive to Udaipur and check in at hotel. At evening enjoy sunset and boat ride at Lake Pichola and visit the island palace – Jag Mandir; where according to legends the Mughal Emperor Shah Jehan lived and got inspired to build the Taj Mahal. • Stay overnight 08 - Udaipur • After breakfast start sightseeing tour visiting spectacular City Place and Museum (richest palace museum in entire Rajasthan) built in 1725, home to the Dilkhush Mahal, Moti Mahal, the ornately decorated Palace of Lord Krishna and the beautiful Shish Mahal, studded with glittering mirror work. Later visit the Jagdish Temple built in 1651 and dedicated to Lord Vishnu, who is the Preserver in the Hindu Trinity. Also visit Shilp Gram (heritage village) and Saheliyon ki Bari (where Maharana Sangram Singh built this garden complex with fountains and lakes for his beautiful daughter) and then take a leisurely drive around Fatehsagar Lake. • At evening enjoy puppet show and folk dance at Bhartiya Lok Kala Mandal. Evening at leisure. • Stay overnight. 09 DAY – Pushkar (The only Brahma Temple in the world) 270 km/ 04 hr drive • Proceed for Pushkar, which happens to be the holiest places according to the Hindus as it is considered that the lake at Pushkar is believed to have been created by Lord Brahma (the Creator) himself. It is interesting to note that Pushkar is the only place in the world, where the temple of Lord Brahma exists. Although the present temple arrangement dates to the 14th century, the temple is believed to be 2000 years old. • Here we visit the only Brahma temple in the world before intermingling with the local colors in the local bazaar. Pushkar is also world famous for its camel fair, which is held each year in the month of October/November. • At evening enjoy the photography in the colorful environment of this holy place. • Stay overnight. 10 DAY - Jaipur (The Pink City) 140 km/ 02 hr drive • Proceed for Jaipur. The vibrant capital of Rajasthan state, which is also known as ‘pink city” for the colour of the building in its wonderful old city. Founded in the 17th century by Sawai Jai Singh, from whom it derives its name. On arrival check-in and relax. • At evening visit most admired market in the world Johari bazaar, Chhoti chopper (famous for handicrafts, jewelry, stones etc.). • Stay overnight. 11 DAY - Jaipur • Morning enjoy elephant ride at Amber fort. After lunch set off to see the Pink city visiting Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds), Jantar Mantar (the observatory) built in 1727 by Sawai Maharaja Jai Singh II who was a mathematician, an astronomer, an astrologer and a great musician of his era. Then visit the City Palace & Museum of the Maharaja of Jaipur with a fabulous collection of robes and saris in cotton and silk with gold latticed work. • Evening visit Birla Temple and enjoy the colorful Bazaar/market… • Stay overnight. 12 DAY - Agra 240 km / 05 hr drive (*Taj Mahal remains close on every Friday) • Agra; an almost perfectly preserved 400 year old Mughal capital situated on the bank of Yamuna River, is home to India’s most famous landmark, the Taj Mahal. Agra was the capital of Mughal Empire in the 16th & 17th centuries and its superb monuments date from this era. • Proceed for Agra enroute visiting Emperor Akbar’s deserted city; Fatehpur Sikri. Reach by lunch-time and check into hotel. At evening enjoy view of Taj Mahal at sunset time from other side of river Yamuna. • Stay overnight. 13 DAY - Orchha - 250 km/ 05 hr drive (enroute visit Gwalior fort) • Early morning visit Master piece, the world famous monument of Love 'Taj-Mahal' with rising sun. Back to hotel for breakfast then departs for Orchha en route visit Gwalior fort known for its Rajput & Mughal style of architecture. At evening enjoy your time at bank of Betwa River. • Orchha, originally a hunting area it became the centre and capital of the Bundela. Orchha has more temples and palaces than any town of this size deserves! Spend your time to explore the palace and temples scattered across the peaceful countryside, walking in rural areas untouched by modern life and meeting the very friendly local people. The river water is cold but clean enough to swim in. spend the evening taking part in the prayer ceremony between 7pm and 8pm - it's held twice daily at the Ram Raja Temple depending on the season. • Overnight in Hotel. 14 DAY - Khajuraho (The city of Kama sutra temples) 170 km/ 03 hr drive • After breakfast visit Jehangir Mahal and Chaturbhuj temple and relax for some time at the bank of river. Later on drive to Khajuraho (170kms). On arrival visit the most famous erotic and romantic Kama Sutra Temples which is protected as world heritage monument. • Home to the beautifully preserved ancient and famous temples which are famous for their explicit carvings depicting the full range of the Eroticism (Kama Sutra) of human emotions and relationships, as well as exquisite carvings of Gods and Goddesses. Visit to the temples built during the 09th to the 11th centuries by the powerful dynasty of Chandela Rajputs. The temples with their erotic sculptures are a feast to the eyes. The Chandelas built 85 temples in all but today only 20 temples stand intact. • Overnight in Hotel. 15 DAY - Khajuraho to Varanasi (By overnight train journey – 02nd AC sleeper class) (you also have an option to take fight) • After breakfast full day visit to eastern and western group of temple. Later drive to Satna for a memorable overnight train journey to Varanasi. Overnight journey by 02nd AC train with comfortable sleeper seats. 16 DAY - Varanasi (The Ganges) • Formerly known as Benares and Kashi; the cultural capital of India, Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh is a major center for spiritualism, mysticism, Hinduism and Indian philosophy. Varanasi is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world and one the oldest living city in the world (The city is a center of learning and civilization for over 5000 years) and an important pilgrimage destination not only for Hindus, but for Buddhists and Jains as well. • On arrival pick up from train station and transfer to hotel. Later visit Kashi Vishwanath temple and visit nearby Sarnath temple (the place where first prayer of Lord Buddha took place). Also worth visiting is the museum with artifacts dating back to 3rd century BC. • Evening take Rickshaw ride through the narrow lanes of the city takes you down to the river Ganges, where the temples and Ghats are lit with oil-lamps. Participate in a collective prayer ceremony, known as an Aarti and watch the floating oil-lamps on the Ganges and enjoy your time with photography and boat ride. • Stay overnight. 17 DAY - Varanasi to Delhi (By overnight train journey – 01st AC sleeper class) (you also have an option to take fight) • Early morning at sunrise we take you to experience the soul and spirit of Varanasi on boat ride on the holy River Ganges. The city has about 100 Ghats, each marked by a lingam, and from the river, we will see the bathing Ghats, as well as the cremation Ghats. The boat ride starts from Dasashwamedh Ghat and ends at Manikarnika Ghat along the sacred Ganges, You can visit Assi Ghat, Dasashwamedh Ghat, Harish Chandra Ghat, Manikarnika Ghat, and Tulsi Ghat. • Return to the hotel on foot walking through the narrow lanes and bazaars of this religious city. En route we visit many old temples and also a mosque built by the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb on the site of an ancient Hindu temple. • At evening departure transfer to railway station to catch the overnight train to Delhi. Overnight journey by 01st AC train with comfortable sleeper seats. 18 Day - Delhi • On arrival transfer to hotel. After short relax full day sightseeing tour includes visit to Red Fort (always remains closed on Monday), Jama Masjid, Qutab Minar, Humayu’s tomb, Akshardham temple and Gurudwara. New Delhi City tour including some marvelous British Monuments like India Gate, Parliament House, President House, Government Avenue, India gate, Gandhi cemetery (Raj Ghat) and Lotus Temple. • At evening visit the oldest shopping avenue of Delhi - Chandni Chowk (silver street) and spent time in shopping or enjoy photography in the streets of Old Delhi followed by farewell dinner. • Stay overnight. 19 Day - Departure • Today you are free to plan your day according to your departure schedule. Later at appropriate time you will be transferred to airport (03 hours before boarding) according to flight schedule. • Fly back home with sweet memories…! • The services End Here! TOUR PRICE INCLUDES WITH FOLLOWING SERVICES:- 1. A safe and comfortable air-conditioned car with driver, all inclusive. (Fuel for car, Insurance, Road and State taxes, Toll taxes, Parking fees and all transport related expense including Driver's food and lodging. 2. Driver with excellent skills and record, a good knowledge of the area you are visiting and sufficient English to communicate with you. 3. Car will be with luxury pushback seats, safety seat belts for all passengers, mineral water and ice box in cabin. 4. The car will be with you from your arrival to departure with as many stops to sightseeing as you want enroute. 5. Air-conditioned double bed room with breakfast and all taxes included. 6. Transfers and land transportation according to proposed itinerary. 7. Meeting and assistance on arrival/departure at airports, hotels by our company representative. 8. Elephant ride at Amber fort in Jaipur. 9. Camel safari and all meals at Thar Desert Camp, Jaisalmer. 10. Boat ride (sunset time) at Lake Pichola, Udaipur. 11. Boat ride (sunrise and sunset) at river Ganges, Varanasi. 12. Sightseeing tours as per the above itinerary along with an English speaking city tour guide. 13. Farewell dinner on departure at Delhi or Jaipur. 14. Train tickets: - 01. Khajuraho to Varanasi (2nd AC with sleeper seats) 02. Varanasi to Delhi (01st AC with sleeper seats) Excursions to visit: Shekhawati Region, Karni Mata Deshnoke Rat Temple, Ranakpur Jain temples, Kumbhalgarh fort, Chittoregarh fort, Lodurva temples, Bishnoi Villages, Eklingji, Nagda Jain Temples, Mosque in Ajmer, Amber Fort, Fatehpur Sikri, Keoladeo Bird Sanctuary Bharatpur, Sikandara, Gwalior fort etc. FOLLOWING SERVICES ARE NOT INCLUDED IN THE PRICES:- o Tips, laundry, telephone bills, portage and Beverages. o Meals unless specified. o Entrances to Monuments and other specified destination. o Movie/video camera fee at monuments. o Domestic or International airfare unless specified. o Medical or baggage insurance. o Airport Departure taxes, Visa Charges. o Tips and gratuities. o Any other service that has not been specified o Your game safaris in the National Parks unless specified above. O New Year, Christmas, festivals & Events Period (supplements to be advised, if required) SPECIAL NOTE FOR YOUR HELP AND INFORMATION:- o Train & all the flight reservations are subject to availability. o Air Fares are subject to change. o Euro, British Ponds and Dollars easily exchangeable in India. o Any other service that has not been specified but you want to add, please let us know, we will try our best to manage for you. o If any above hotel is sold-out then other similar level hotel is guaranteed. o During the travel if you want to change any hotel because of any reason then you have to inform us at-least 7 days before because at the last moment we both loose money. o We are not responsible for any political demonstration, Natural problems, Traffic jams. o Any flight or train cancellation at the last moment, since their control not in our hands. In such situation the compensation and dealings will be between you and the concerning company, we are not obliged to play role as mediator. But in such situation you are always free to get free information from us. 0 Elephant ride in Jaipur is subject to availability of elephant. o Taj Mahal is always closed on Friday. o Red Fort (Delhi) always closed on Monday.
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