Journey Through A Living Museum
Duration : 11 Days / 10 Nights
Destination Covered : Delhi - Udaipur - Jaipur - Fatehpur Sikri - Agra -
Jhansi - Khajuraho - Varanasi
Day 01: Arrival / Delhi
night arrival. Meeting and assistance upon arrival as our
representatives welcome you and escort you to your car.
Whilst the room keys and check-in is organized, our
representative would introduce the tour to you and hand over the
documents to you.
Welcome to India, or as we say 'atithi devo bhava' (the guest
is an incarnation of God). Thank you for giving us the
opportunity to serve you!
Overnight at The Imperial - a 5* Downtown Hotel
Day 02: Delhi
morning activity begins with the historical part of the city
also known as Old Delhi starting with `Shah Jehanabad' which has
some dramatic remnants of the Mughal Empire in the imposing Red
Fort and Jama Masjid India's largest mosque, built by Emperor
Shah Jehan, creator of the Taj Mahal. You ride rickshaws through
its principal street.
Chandni Chowk, originally renowned throughout the Asia with its
tree-lined canal flowing down its center. These days it's a
bustling jumble of shops, temples, mosques and craftsmen's
workshops of goldsmiths, silversmiths, silk traders and
Explore the hustling and bustling of Old Delhi and streets of
Chandni Chowk sitting in a cycle rickshaw.
Culminate the Old Delhi tour with a photo stop at Raj Ghat the
site of Mahatma Gandhi's cremation. Built on the banks of the
Yamuna River, is a simple memorial that marks the spot where
Mahatma Gandhi was cremated in 1948. A pretty park has been
created around the memorial.
Continue on to Explore New Delhi drive through the boulevards
of New Delhi and pass India Gate which is a memorial built to
the 85000 soldiers who died in World War I and the Afghan
battles of 1919.
the other end of Rajpath stands the official residence of
India's president, the Rashtrapati Bhavan, a complex of
buildings that mix Mughal and Western architectural styles.
Prior to independence, this was the home of India's last
viceroy, Lord Mountbatten. Close by is Sansad Bhavan, the large
though less imposing parliament building.
Lunch will be arranged at 'The Lodi' located next to Lodi
After lunch proceed to visit Qutab Minar, a tower of victory
begun by the Slave Dynasty's founder, Qutb-ud-din-Aybak, in A.D.
1193 and completed by Feroz Shah Tughlaq in 1368. At its base is
India's first mosque, the Might of Islam Mosque, built on the
foundation of a Hindu temple. It was completed in A.D. 1300.
Like the nearly contemporary slave, or Marmeluke, rulers of
Egypt, slave kings of Delhi were anything but servile. The term
simply indicates that they had once been held captives. In a
court awash with intrigue and opportunity, India's Turkish
conquistadors regarded a slave's loyalty as more dependable than
that of their own kin. Purchased, rapidly promoted, eventually
freed, and forever trusted, the erstwhile slave of a royal
patron was ideally placed to act as either power broker or
pretender. His elevated status was equally proclaimed with
monuments. The Qutb Mosque boasts a tower of victory that
doubles as India's, and perhaps Islam's, most massive minaret.
As the afternoon sun recedes, visit the Tomb of the second
Mughal Emperor Humayun, which was commissioned by his senior
wife Haji Begum, in the 16th century. This is an early example
of Mughal architecture. The design elements of this tomb - a
squat building lighted by high arched entrances topped by a
protuberant dome and surrounded by formal gardens, were to be
refined over the years to the magnificence of the Taj Mahal.
Overnight at The Imperial - a 5* Downtown Hotel
Day 03: Delhi / Udaipur (9W 3401 - 0545 / 0810 Hours)
morning, transfer to the airport to board your flight to Udaipur
Welcome to Udaipur, the famed "City of sunrise".
Founded in 1567 by Maharana Udai Singh, from the lineage of the
legendary Sisodias of Mewar - the decedents of the sun God. A
city where the sun truly never set, where tradition and a strict
code of heroism were happily united with a love of fine living.
A city that has come to be an oasis of romance in the warrior
state of Rajasthan
Meeting and assistance upon arrival check into the hotel Lake
Palace, which is a palace on an island girdled by hills.
Built on a rocky island over lake Pichola over two and a half
centuries ago, once it was the summer palace of the rulers of
Mewar. Today the pleasure palace is a luxury hotel like no other
in the world. To stay here is an un missable privilege,
affording as it does a glimpse of pleasure that once were the
sole preserve of princes. The Lake Palaces Hotel amazes and
delights you at every turn. It is pure white marble, every
ancient inch of it - slender carved columns, fountains,
filigreed screens, marble from the pinnacles of its domed
Chatris to the bottom of its swimming pool, created for the
private frolics of a princess.
Following rest and relaxation, we proceed on a tour of this "Lake
City". Udaipur is a cool oasis in the dry heart of
Rajasthan. It is probably the most romantic city in a state
where every city has some romantic or exotic tale to tell. The
huge city palace towering over the Lake Pichola is the largest
palace complex in Rajasthan. Though it is a conglomeration of
buildings built by successive rulers, it manages to retain a
surprising uniformity of design and affords very fine view of
the lake and the city from the upper terraces. The Jagadish
temple next to the city palace enshrines a black stone image of
Lord Vishnu and his vehicle- a mighty bird called garuda - in a
brass image. The temple is a very fine example of Indo-Aryan
Evening we enjoy a boat cruise on the serene and beautiful Lake
Pichola. The island palace on the Lake called Jagmandir Palace
is quite fascinating. The Palace provided inspirations and ideas
to the builder of the Taj Mahal. The banks of the lake provide
interesting glimpses of the daily bathing and the laundry that
takes place here. Looking across the lake, with the city and its
great palace rising up behind the island palace, is a scene of
Overnight at Taj Lake Palace - a 5* Taj Group Hotel
Day 05: Jaipur
After a leisurely
breakfast, we proceed on a guided tour of the Amber Fort. Set on
the dry wrinkled Aravali Hills, the Fort is a superb example of
Rajput (Medieval Hindu) style of architecture. A slow elephant
taxi takes us to the top of the Fort, which houses several
We will ride up to this hilltop palace on a caparisoned,
painted elephant, passing through the ancient main gate where
Maharajas of Jaipur have entered for four hundred years. Our
guide will elaborate on the history of this architectural
masterpiece with its mirror-studded alcoves, dazzling mosaics
and water-cooled swings that delight today's visitors as they
did their former royal residents.
We shall visit the Hawa Mahal or Palace of the Winds, a
five-storied structure of pink sandstone with semi-octagonal and
delicately honeycombed windows overlooking the main street of
the old city. It was built in 1799 so that veiled royal women
could peer down unseen by the world through its 593 stone
Later, we proceed for a guided tour of the City Palace &
Observatory. The City Palace in the heart of the old city is a
blend of Rajasthani and Mughal architecture. The center of the
palace is a seven-storied building called Chandra Palace, with
fine views over the gardens and the city. Next stop the City
Palace is the Solar Observatory - an astronomical treasure
house, with solar device that gives accurate predictions till
Overnight at Rajvilas
Day 06: Jaipur / Fatehpur Sikri / Agra (245 Kms) (04 ½ Hrs
we drive to Agra, stopping at deserted Capital City of Fatehpur
Sikri. This abandoned capital of the Mughals is a perfectly
preserved city at the height of the empire's splendour. The city
divided into religious and secular parts has interesting
well-sculpted buildings. From here we continue our ride to Agra.
Upon arrival you are individually checked in at your rooms at
the luxurious Amarvilas hotel, which is one of the best boutique
hotels in the world. The hotel of whimsical charm has several
attractions. However, being in the city of the Taj Mahal, the
most relevant charm of the hotels is the unhindered view of the
Taj Mahal from your bedroom. It is the most beautiful and an
amazingly uplifting sight. Only 600 meters from the Taj Mahal
stands this luxury resort. Discerning travelers can now
appreciate the fabulous Taj Mahal while enjoying world-class
luxury. The elaborate Mughal gardens, terraced lawns, fountains,
reflection pools and pavilions complement the classical
architecture of the hotel.
Agra is the city of the Taj Mahal, perhaps the most
photographed monument in the world. However, there is a degree
of enigma about the Taj. Once you hear about a building so much
and once you see so many pictures of a building your
expectations are real high; and this is the enigma about the Taj
Mahal. No matter how many pictures you have seen or no matter
how high your expectations are the Taj never lets you down - the
unparalleled glory and beauty of the building surpasses beyond
all human imaginations. At sun set we visit the Taj Mahal to
witness this spectacular monument built for love. Besides
perfect symmetry in every aspect of its construction, the inlay
work of semi precious stones into marble in pietra dura style is
Overnight at Amarvilas
Day 08: Khajuraho / Varanasi (9W 724 - 1300 /1410 Hrs)
morning, proceed on a tour of the world famous western group of
temples depicting erotic sculptures of love making images of
Gods and Goddesses and celestial Nymphs. The sexual fantasies
displayed in the sculptures are mind-boggling. It speaks very
highly of the artistic creativity and imagination of the
sculptors. The frank depiction of uninhibited sex does hint
towards a liberated society and times where people believed in
dealing openly with all aspects of life. The graphic and
realistic illustrated scenes of lovemaking elaborated on the
Later, transfer to the airport to board your flight to Varanasi
Meeting and assistance upon arrival and transfer to hotel Taj
Varanasi is quite possibly the world's oldest living city.
Religious artifacts link it to the sixth century B.C. Said to be
founded by Shiva, Varanasi's Vedic affiliation goes back to the
beginning of time. It is also a city of many names. The present
name, Varanasi (derived from the names of two nearby rivers) is
mentioned in the Mahabharata. The ancient name is Kashi, the
City of Light. To the devout it is also called Kashika, the
shining one, referring to the light of Shiva. Many others prefer
the anglicized Benares. Revered by Hindus, Buddhists and Jain
alike, Varanasi is considered the holiest city in all of India.
It is presided over by Shiva in his manifestation as
Vishwanatha, Lord of the Universe. Buddha delivered a sermon in
nearby Sarnath and Mahavira, the founder of Jainism, lived in
Varanasi. As a result, more Indians will make a pilgrimage to
Varanasi in their lifetime than any other place.
Evening, we visit the ghats of Varanasi to witness the
performance of Ganges Aarti. We enjoy a special evening cruise
on the Ganges. See the Hindu devotees performing the "Puja"
with lighted lamps. The view is very mesmerizing and the
ambience is spectacular in the backdrop of the beating of
cymbals and bells as well as the incessant chantings.
Overnight at Taj Ganges
Day 09: Varanasi
dawn we visit the sacred Ganges for a boat ride. Every morning
at dawn hundreds of worshippers can be seen bathing in the
sacred waters. The great river banks are lined with an endless
chain of stone steps-the ghats-that stretch from one end of the
city to the other. The Ghats form an impressive part of the
religious landscape of the city. Proceeding downstream at a
leisurely pace, you would be pointed out the significant temples
and buildings as well as the changing architectural style. Life
and death go hand in hand in Varanasi. While young people seek
prosperity and protection from harmful influences, the older
generation comes to Varanasi to cleanse their souls in the
forgiving waters in preparation for their ultimate dissolution.
Believing that anyone who dies in the river of life in Varanasi
gains freedom from the cycle of birth and death, the City of
Light has become a haven for the sick and aged waiting out their
final days. The smoke that billows from the crematoriums on the
edge of the river gives testimony to their final release from
life's earthly confines. We would dock our boat at Manikarnika
(Cremation) Ghat. On any given day, anywhere from a few dozen to
a few hundred corpses are cremated here; the ghat is assiduous
with activity as the cremated bodies threw up smoke and fire.
Following the boat ride we set off on foot to explore the inner
city. Through a twisted maze of narrow alleys, home to numerous
shrines and pilgrim shops, we walk back a few centuries. Life
here has stood still for years. The homes, the shops and even
the cattle have not changed over the centuries. It is a
brilliant nostalgic experience of timelessness!
Afternoon, we will visit several temples and the Hindu
University at Benares. First stop would be the Bharat Mata
(temple of Mother India). Inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi, it
features a huge marble map of India on the ground floor. Next
up, the Durga Temple. Known for its bright red color and the
playful, if sometimes aggressive, monkeys that run amok there,
the Durga Temple is one of the most imposing architectural
monuments in Varanasi.
The university, which occupies a large piece of land at the
southern end of town, is also home to the New Vishwanatha
Temple. The New Temple is modern in design and open to Hindus
and non-Hindus alike. Surrounded by palm trees, it is a splendid
white marble structure that shines in the afternoon sun against
a pale blue sky. Inside, the temple is spacious and airy. The
interior walls are covered with Vedic art above inscriptions
from the Bhagavad Gita and Upanishads. In the center of the
first floor is the Shiva linga.
This evening we take a short trip to the Buddhist city of
Sarnath .It is here that the Buddha preached his first sermons
after attaining enlightenment. The highlight of this tour would
be a participation in the evening prayer service (aarti) of the
main Buddhist temple here - the synchronized chanting of hymns
to the accompaniment of traditional temple music is a sole
Overnight at Taj Ganges
END OF SERVICES
We do hope the flavor of India will
remain on your taste buds for all times to come and hopefully would
kindle an indelible fondness for the country and her people; Thank you
for being our guest, and as we say in India 'Please Come back Soon"