ASIA PACKAGES: INDIA DELIGHTS  
 

DAY 01 ARRIVE DELHI

Room is held in Delhi on this day from 1200 hrs for immediate occupancy on arrival

DAY 02 DELHI


Meet and assist upon arrival and transfer to the hotel where rooms have been reserved for you for immediate occupancy on check in

After a late breakfast, proceed for the full day city tour of Old & New Delhi. In Old city visit Red Fort built by Emperor Shah Jahan; Jama Masjid, one of the largest mosques in India; Raj Ghat- the memorial of Mahatma Gandhi and enjoy a walking tour in Chandni Chowk- the silver street of Delhi bustling with activity. In the afternoon visit Qutab Minar, the tallest stone tower in India; Humayun’s Tomb built in the Indo Persian style and a predecessor to The Taj Mahal in Agra; India Gate – A War Memorial Arch. Also drive past the President’s house, Parliament house, Government secretariat buildings and Connaught place – the heart of New Delhi and a busy shopping center. Overnight is at the hotel.

DAY 03 DELHI – AJMER (BY AJMER SHTABDI TRAIN) & DRIVE TO PUSHKAR

In the morning transfer to New Delhi railway station to board the train for Ajmer. On arrival drive to Pushkar which is 17 kms from Ajmer on the edge of the desert lays the tiny tranquil town of Pushkar along the bank of the picturesque Pushkar Lake. This is an important pilgrimage spot for the Hindus, which has the only temple of Lord Brahma in the country and one of the few in the world.

Lord Brahma is known as the creator of the world as per the Hindu mythology. It's marked by red spire, and over the entrance gateway is the Hans, or goose symbol, of Brahma, who is said to have personally chosen Pushkar as its site.
The lake has a mythological significance associated with it. According to myth, Lord Brahma was on his way to search for a suitable place to perform a "Yagna' (a fire sacrifice) while contemplating, a lotus fell from his hand on the earth and water sprouted from that place. One of them was Pushkar where Lord brahma performed "Yagna". Pushkar lake is surrounded by many palaces which were built by former rulers of different states of India and one of the Palace among those is ‘Kishangarh Kunj’ built by Maharaja of Jaisalmer about 400 years ago and later on presented to Maharaja of Kishangarh. Explore the surroundings of Pushkar

DAY 04 PUSHKAR – JODHPUR (BY SURFACE)

After breakfast drive to Jodhpur which is an oasis in the arid Thar Desert, Jodhpur is the second largest city in the state of Rajasthan. Representing this colorful city with shades of blue, Jodhpur has a history that is rich and a present that beckons strongly to the discerning tourist. Forts and palaces, temples and havelis, culture and tradition, spices and fabrics, color and texture, Jodhpur has them all and in plenty. Situated in western Rajasthan, Jodhpur has long attracted both the domestic and outside tourist.

It not only offers tangibles, in terms of what you can see and buy but also fills one with a sense of history and the splendors of an era gone forever. The hospitality of the locals, the demure women, the colourful turbans -all set against the unmerciful desert is something to feel, not just see. Every pore of Jodhpur tells its own tales of heroic tales that made legends out of kings and soldiers, romances that continue to warm the heart and a time when epics were lived out on the streets by everyday man.

In the afternoon visit the MEHRANGARH FORT in the morning. Considered one of India's best forts, this invincible stronghold of the Marwars sits on a steep hill lording over a wonderful view of its surroundings. It is also a beautiful fort and undoubtedly, the jewel of Jodhpur. Intricate latticed windows, elaborately carved panels and elegantly curved porches speak of beauty and taste. No matter what part of the fort you are in, its ambience will leave you in awe and your senses reeling. Take in the sight high up on the rampart where the second largest cannon in Asia rests, the recoil of which requires an area as large as a football field!

Rest of the day is at leisure to explore the colorful markets of the city.

DAY 05 JODHPUR – UDAIPUR (259 KMS DRIVE)

After breakfast, depart for Jodhpur en-route visiting Ranakpur - one of five holy Jain sites, and perhaps the finest Jain Temple complex in India.

Ranakpur’s main temple, built early in the 15th century, is notable for the remarkable beauty of both its architecture and intricate white marble carvings. Watch as Jain priests clad in white robes assist followers with their offering ceremonies. Other priests will cheerfully answer any questions you may have about their fascinating religion. Note that Jain beliefs are greatly respected and admired, even among non-Jains. Continue your drive to Udaipur and check in at the hotel.

DAY 06 IN UDAIPUR

Drive around the Fatehsagar Lake, built by Maharana Fateh Singh in 1754 A.D. Visit the Jagdish Temple, the largest and most venerated temple of Udaipur; Sahelion-Ki-Bari, consisting of an ornamental pool with delicately carved cenotaphs of black and white marble and soft stone. Also visit the Maharani’s City Palace, an imposing edifice of granite and marble. Later in the day you can enjoy a two-hour boat-ride on Lake Pichola visiting many Ghats (banks) of washing, bathing etc and enjoy excellent views of the Lake Palace and City Palace.

Overnight is at the hotel

DAY 07 UDAIPUR – DEOGARH (BY SURFACE)

After breakfast drive to Deogarh, you can see that its rulers must have been serious players in the Mewar aristocracy, their magnificent fort a fitting stronghold for one of its sixteen “umraos” - the most senior feudal

barons attending on the Maharana of Udaipur. Even so, you might not necessarily guess that the Rawats of Deogarh (a local title equivalent to “Raja”) once ruled over the fourth largest jagir in the whole of Rajasthan. At its most extensive, their territory comprised some 210 villages, with one of their defensive forts as far as 100 km away. Yet there is little ostentation and even less gold to be found in their palace. Like most of the Mewar nobility, they spent too much time fighting to have much to spare for amassing great wealth.

And yet if one of their ancestors, had had a better sense of humour, the throne of Mewar might even have been theirs
Rest of the day is at Leisure Overnight is at Hotel.

DAY 08 DEOGARH – JAIPUR (BY SURFACE)

After breakfast drive to Jaipur. The capital of the state of Rajasthan is popularly known as the 'pink city' as the buildings in its old, walled city is all constructed in pink-colored sandstone. Jaipur owes its name, its foundation and its careful planning to the great warrior-astronomer Maharaja Jai Singh II (1699-1744). He laid out the city with its surrounding walls and six rectangular blocks by principles of town planning set out in an ancient Hindu treatise on architecture. In 1728 he constructed the remarkable observatory, which is still one of Jaipur's central attractions. It is worthwhile spending any leisure time wandering through the bazaars. Jaipur is well known for its beautiful carpets, enamelled ornaments, precious and semi-precious stones, brass ornaments and many other arts and crafts.

Rest of the day is at Leisure. Overnight is at the hotel

DAY 09 IN JAIPUR

This morning you will drive 11kms in the outskirts of the city to visit Amber Fort, the ancient capital of the State until 1728. Visit the Temple of Kali, the Hall of Victory or Jai Mahal and Jagmandir. You can have the unique experience of traveling on elephant back to and from the top of the hill on which the fort is situated. In the afternoon visit the Observatory, the Palace of Winds and the City Palace and Museum. The museum has an interesting textile section, which contains dresses and costumes of the former Maharajas and Maharanis of Jaipur. Return to the hotel for overnight stay.

Rest of the day is free to explore the colorful town independently. Spend time in crowded lanes & by lanes of pink city, haggling and souvenir-hunting. Overnigth is at the hotel

DAY 10 JAIPUR – AGRA VIA FATEHPUR SIKRI


After breakfast, drive to Agra visiting the ancient abandoned Moghul capita, FATEHPUR SIKRIl. This 16th century capital of Moghul emperor Akbar is a complex of forts, palaces and mosques built in sandstone. The city had to be deserted because of lack of water. The white marble Tomb of Sheikh Salim Chisti, Akbar's spiritual adviser, is now observed as a Muslim pilgrimage spot here

Continue your drive to Agra and in the afternoon visit the red sandstone Agra Fort, which stands like a crescent on the banks of the Jamuna River enclosed by forbidding 20-meter high walls, with a 12- meter moat between them. Three successive Mughal emperors - Akbar, Jehangir and Shah Jehan - helped create this massive structure which contains Hindu and Muslim architecture. Then proceed for the famous white marble mausoleum, which was built in the middle of the 17th century by the Moghul emperor Shah Jehan for his wife Mumtaz Mahal. Visit the Taj Mahal surely the greatest monument to love and one of the wonders of the modern world. Completed in 1652, skilled craftsmen from Persia, Turkey, France and Italy and some 20,000 labourers worked for 17 years to build this edifice, constructed by emperor Shah Jehan as a mausoleum for his beloved queen Mumtaz Mahal. Marble was brought from Makrana, near Jodhpur and precious stones of onyx, amethyst, malachite, lapis lazuli, turquoise, jade, crystal and mother of pearl were carried to Agra from Persia, Russia, Afghanistan, Tibet, China and the Indian Ocean.

Rest of the day is at Leisure
.
Overnight is at Hotel.

DAY 11 AGRA – JHANSI (BY SHTABDI TRAIN)

JHANSI – KHAJURAHO (BY SURFACE)

After breakfast transfer to Agra railway station to board your train for Jhansi. On arrival you will be met by our representative and drive straight to Khajuraho.

On arrival check in at your hotel. Khajuraho, known for their erotic sculpture on the walls 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.In the afternoon proceed for a half day visit to Eastern & Western group of temples. The magnificent temples built by the Chandela kings.

They are divided into three – eastern, western and southern groups. The largest temple is Kandariay dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temples known for their erotic sculpture are world famous.

Overnight is at the hotel.

DAY 12 KHAJURAHO – BHANDHAVGARH (BY SURFACE)

After breakfast drive to BANDAVGARH. This is a small National Park; compact, yet full of game. The density of the Tiger population at Bandhavgarh is the highest known in India.

Covering 448 sq. km., Bandhavgarh is situated in Shahdol district among the outlying hills of the Vindhya range. At the centre of the park is Bandhavgarh hill, rising 811 mt above MSL. Surrounding it are a large number of smaller hills separated by gently sloping valleys. These valleys end in small, swampy meadows, locally known as 'Bohera'. The lowest point in the park is at Tala (440 mt above MSL). The vegetation is chiefly of Sal forest in the valleys and on the lower slopes, gradually changing to mixed deciduous forest on the hills and in the hotter, drier areas of the park in the south and west. Bamboo is found throughout.

Bandhavgarh is densely populated with tiger and other wildlife species. The great Gaur, or Indian Bison, can be seen with ease, as they come onto the meadows to graze at dusk; Sambar and Barking Deer are a common sight, and Nilgai are to be seen in the more open areas of the park. There are more than 22 species of mammals and 250 species of birds. Common Langurs and Rhesus Macaque represent the primate group.

Carnivores include the Asiatic Jackal, Bengal Fox, Sloth Bear, Ratel, Gray Mongoose, Striped Hyena, Jungle Cat, Leopard and Tiger. The artiodactyls frequently sighted are Wild Pigs, Spotted Deer, Sambar, Chausingha, Nilgai, Chinkara and Gaur. Mammals such as Dhole, the small Indian Civet, Palm Squirrel and Lesser Bandicoot Rat are seen occasionally. Among the herbivores, Gaur is the only coarse feeder. The vegetation along streams and marshes is rich in bird life. The common ones are Little Grebe, Egret, lesser Adjutant, Sarus Crane, Black Ibis, Lesser Whistling Teal, White-eyed Buzzard, Black Kite, Crested Serpent Eagle, Black Vulture, Egyptian Vulture, Common Peafowl, Red Jungle Fowl, Dove, Parakeets, Kingfishers and Indian Rollers. Reptilian Fauna include Cobra, Krait, Viper, Rat-snake, and Python, Turtle and a number of lizard varieties, including Varanus.

In the afternoon, enjoy a jungle safari before retiring in our lodge for the overnight stay.

DAY 13 IN BANDAVGARH

There will be two safaris besides, a visit to the Fort. No records remain to show when Bandhavgarh Fort was constructed. It is thought, however, to be some 2,000 years old, and there are references to it in the ancient books, the Narad-Panch Ratra and the Siva Purana. Various dynasties have ruled this fort: for example, the Maghas from the 1st century AD, the Vakatakas from the 3rd century; the Sengars from the 5th century and the Kalchuris from the 10th century. In the 13th century AD, the Baghels took over, ruling from Bandhavgarh until 1617, when Maharajah Vikramaditya Singh moved his capital to Rewa. The last inhabitants deserted the fort in 1935.

This is also White Tiger country. These have been found in the old state of Rewa for many years. The last known was captured by Maharajah Martand Singh in 1951. This White Tiger, Mohun, is now stuffed and on display in the palace of the Maharajahs of Rewa. The forest of Bandhavgarh can be classified as moist deciduous, and the National Park holds all those animal species which are typical of this habitat in Central India. Certain areas of the park (particularly the south and the west) are drier in character, and hold such species as the Nilgai and the Chinkara.

DAY 14 BHANDAVGARH – KATNI (BY SURFACE)

TO DELHI (BY OVERNIGHT TRAIN)

After breakfast drive to Katni to board your overnight train for Delhi.

You will travel in air-conditioned sleeper carriages, one of the more comfortable ways in which to travel across India!
Overnight on board the train

DAY 15 ARRIVE DELHI (BY TRAIN)

Meet and assist upon arrival and transfer to hotel where wash and change rooms would be provided

Rest of the day is at leisure.

Later in time, transfer to the International airport to check in for your flight

DAY 16 FLIGHT DEPARTS FOR ONWARD DESTINATION

Your flight departs for onward destination

End of the tour

 
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