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Classical & Cultural Tours of India


Duration - 11 Nights / 12 Days
Destinations -Delhi , Varanasi ,Khajuraho, Orchha, Jhansi, Gwalior, Agra , Jaipur

Day 01 : Delhi

Arrival at Delhi

You will be met on arrival at the International airport. Transfer toClassical Tour Packages India your hotel. Relax.

DELHI, the capital of kingdoms and empires is now a sprawling metropolis with a fascinating blend of the past and the present. Delhi is a perfect introduction to the composite culture of an ancient land and a window to the kaleidoscope - that is India.

Overnight will be at Delhi.

Day 02: Delhi

After breakfast proceed for a day sightseeing tour of the city.

Start with the sightseeing of Old Delhi. The tour will begin with a visit to Raj Ghat, a simple memorial to Mahatma Gandhi; drive past the Red Fort continuing to the Jama Masjid by bicycle rickshaws, one of Asia’s largest mosques. The magnificent Red Fort, overlooking the river Jamuna was built during the years 1638 - 48 when the Moghul Empire was at its peak. The tour continues to Jama Masjid, one of Asia’s largest mosques and which is viewed from the outside.

People stream in and out of the mosque continuously and the presence of a nearby bazaar means that the area is rarely quiet.

Enjoy the rickshaw ride at Old Delhi.

After visiting Old Delhi, you will be driven to New Delhi, which reflects the legacy the British left behind. The division between New and Old Delhi is the division between the capitals of the British and the Mughals respectively. The division in the walled city and New Delhi also marks the division in the life-styles. The walled city is all tradition where one will be able to glean a past life-style in all its facets, colours and spells. New Delhi in contrast, is a city trying to live up to the best of 21st century standards.

Imperial Delhi will include the Qutub Minar, the tallest stone tower in India. The tour also includes a drive past the imposing India Gate, the Parliament building and the Rastrapathi Bhawan, the President’s residence.

Overnight will be in Delhi.

Day 03 : Delhi - Varanasi
By Air

Transfer in time to airport for flight to Varanasi. Upon arrival at Varanasi, you will be met and transferred to hotel.

Cultural Tour Packages IndiaPicturesquely situated on the crescent shaped left bank of the holy River Ganges, Varanasi, one of the ancient seats of learning in India, is said to be a compound of the names of two streams, the Varuna and the Assi, which still flow in the north and south of the city respectively. This name seems to have been corrupted, in medieval times to Varanasi, which was in use till May 1956, when it was changed to Varanasi, by an order of the Government of India. Varanasi is probably one of the most ancient living cities in India. From time immemorial it has been a great religious center for Hindus and one of their most sacred places of pilgrimage, being visited by millions of people every year. To every visitor Varanasi offers a breathtaking experience.

The rays of the dawn shimmering across the Ganges; the high-banks; the temples and shrines along the banks bathed in a golden hue …soul stirring hymns and mantras along with the fragrance of incense filling the air…and the refreshing dip in the holy waters gently splashing at the Ghats. Varanasi - The land where experience and discovery reach the ultimate bliss. Varanasi is also renowned for its rich tapestry of music, arts, crafts. Some of the world - renowned exponents India has produced in these fields were schooled in Varanasi’s cultural ethos. Luminaries apart, Varanasi abounds in the art of silk weaving, an exotic work of art which manifests itself in precious Banarasi silk sarees and silk brocades which are cherished as collector’s items across the world today.

Visit Sarnath - 5 miles out of Varanasi: The great Buddha enhanced the sanctity of Varanasi by choosing the environs of the city to preach his first sermon at Sarnath, (only 10 Kms away) after attaining enlightenment. Later, Ashoka, the great Mauryan Emperor erected magnificent stupas and other buildings along with his mighty stone pillar, Dharmarajika Stupa. The 110 ft. tall Damekh Stupa marks the place where Buddha preached first sermon.Sarnath has been a premier centre for Buddhism. It is a rich collection of ancient Buddhist relics and antiques comprising numerous Buddha and Bodhisatva images on display at the Archaeological Museum (1000 hrs to 1700 hrs. Open all days except Friday)

Enjoy the evening AARTI at the GHATS. The guide will be giving a commentary to you on the proceedings and meanings of the chants during the AARTI of the river.

Overnight will be spent at Varanasi.

Day 04 : Varanasi

Cultural Tours of India, India Culture TourIn the early morning drive to Daswamedh Ghat and take a boat ride on the sacred river Ganges to see the cremation Ghats and witness the living traditions of one of the world's oldest and most important religions. (To start at 0500 hrs. for the best lifetime experience) For you to appreciate this remarkable city, we'll transfer you to the banks of the River Ganges before the sun rises. Board a boat with your guide and proceed to the middle of the river, where at sunrise the sight unfolds before you. Thousands of faithful come daily to the banks to bathe and pray while in the background, temples and palaces rise in tiers from the water's edge. Then return for a walk through the cobblestone streets along the banks of "Ganga". As shops are opening, the place now becomes a beehive of activity as the faithful are coming and going. Visit the Kashi Vishwanath Temple while returning to the hotel.

Return for breakfast to the hotel.

Proceed for day guided tour of Varanasi including the Bharat Mata Temple, which features a big relief map of Mother India engraved in marble. Also visit the 18th century Durga Temple, commonly known as the Monkey Temple due to the huge population of the monkeys. Proceed to the Tulsi Manas Temple, crafted from white marble which features the entire Ramayana inscribed on its walls. Also visit the BHU considered as the biggest residential university in Asia. The University Campus houses an Art Gallery and the Mosque of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb.

Overnight will be in Varanasi.

Day 05 : Varanasi - Khajuraho
By Air

Breakfast will be at hotel.
Transfer in time for flight to Khajuraho.

Classical Tours of IndiaSituated in the northernmost part of Madhya Pradesh, Khajuraho is famous for its enchanting temples and its legendary Khajuraho dance festival. The name Khajuraho is derived from the Khajur tree (the date palm tree) which is grown abundantly in the region. The Khajuraho Temples are dedicated to a celebration of womanhood, her myriad moods and facets. Famous for its erotic architecture, the carvings include, women writing a letter, applying eye makeup, combing her tresses, dancing & playing with her child. Her innocent, blushed, charming, seductive, ardent beauty, all depicted in exquisitely sculptured details. These temples have been designed and carved to lead the eyes from ground level upward till you seem to be looking at heaven.

Reach Khajuraho.

Proceed for a tour of the EASTERN & WESTERN TEMPLS. It is best to do the Eastern set of temples first as the Western set is very interesting and takes a lot of time. A lot of our guests want some free time at the Western set as it is really beautiful and quite exhaustive.
Enjoy the SOUND & LIGHT SHOW at the Western Temple Complex. Overnight will be at Khajuraho.

Day 06: Khajuraho - Orchha - Jhansi- Gwalior
By Road 170 km in 4 hr
By Train


Proceed by surface to ORCHHA after breakfast.

ORCHHA - A medieval city founded by Bundela rulers with Palaces and temples of the 16th and 17th century which have remarkable withstood the onslaught of time. The city is picturesquely flanked by the River Betwa.

Classical & Cultural Tours to IndiaProceed for sightseeing of ORCHHA sites within the Fort Complex. Lunch will be at Orchha and then proceed to the station (12 km away) for train to Gwalior. (This is a superfast train with airline type seats and snacks / mineral water is served on board)

Reach Gwalior and check in at the palace.

A little southward of Agra is the ancient city of Gwalior. Centuries of history can be witnessed even today in its monuments, temples, museums and cultural traditions. The magnificent Gwalior Fort, with its reflections of art, religion and military might, is an enduring symbol of this glorious past. The colorful history of this city dates back to the eight century and is a mosaic of Rajput clans of the Pratihasas, Kachwahas and Tomars, each leaving their marks on the city’s magnificent monuments. Gwalior's history is traced back to a legend in 8th century AD when a chief tain known as Suraj Sen was struck by a deadly disease and cured by a hermit-saint Gwalipa. As a gratitude for that incidence, he founded this city by his name. The new city of Gwalior became existence over the centuries. The cradle of great dynasties ruled the city Gwalior. With different Dynasty, the city gained a new dimension from the warrior kings, poets, musicians, and saints who contributed to making it renowned throughout the country. The city is also the setting for the memorials of freedom fighters such as Tatya Tope and the indomitable Rani of Jhansi. Today the old settings stand side by side with the trappings of modernity.

Overnight will be at the palace.

Day 07 : Gwalior

Breakfast will be at the hotel.
Proceed for a sightseeing tour of the city visiting the following interesting monuments.

Gwalior Fort, Gwalior Tour & TravelGwalior Fort: Standing on a steep mass of sandstone, Gwalior Fort dominates the city and is its most significant monument. It has been the scene of momentous events, imprisonment, battles and jauhars. A steep road winds upwards to the fort, flanked by statues of the Jain tirthankaras, carved into the rock face. The magnificent outer walls of the fort still stand, two miles in length and 35 feet high, bearing witness to its reputation for being one of the most invincible forts of India. This imposing structure inspired Emperor Babur to describe it as “the pearl amongst the fortresses of Hind ".

Man Mandir Palace: Built between 1486 and 1517 by Raja Mansingh.The tiles that once adorned its exterior have not survived, but at the entrance, traces of these still remain. Vast chambers with fine stone screens were once the music halls, and behind these screens, the royal ladies would learn music from the great masters of the day. Below, circular dungeons housed the state prisoners of the Mughals. Emperor Aurangzeb had his brother, Murad imprisoned, and later executed here. Close by is Jauhar Pond, where in the Rajput tradition, the Ranis committed mass sati after their consorts had been defeated in battle. At Man Mandir Palace, a poignant ambience of those days of chivalry and heroism still lingers in the silent chambers.

Gujari Mahal: Within the fort are some marvels of medieval architecture. The 15th century Gujari Mahal is a monument to the love of Raja Mansingh Tomar for his intrepid Gujar Queen, Mrignayani. The outer structure of Gujari Mahal has survived in an almost total state of preservation; the interior has been converted into Archaeological Museum housing rare antiquities, some of them dating back to the 1st century A.D. Even though many of these have been defaced by the iconoclastic Mughals, their perfection of form has survived the ravages of time. Particularly worth seeing is the statue of Shalbhanjika from Gyraspur, the tree goddess, the epitome of perfection in miniature. The statue is kept in the custody of the museum's curator, and can be seen on request.

Sas Bahu ka Mandir: Two architecturally beautiful 11th century temples.

Jai Vilas Palace, Gwalior Tour PackageJai Vilas Palace: A splendor of a different kind exists in the Jai Vilas Palace, current residence of the Scindia family. Some 25 luxury rooms have been turned into the Jivaji Rao Scindia Museum, and in these rooms, so evocative of a regal lifestyle, the past comes alive. Jai Vilas is an Italianate structure which combines the Tuscan and Corinthian architectural modes. The imposing Darbar Hall has two central chandeliers weighing a couple of tonnes, and hung only after ten elephants had tested the strength of the roof. Ceilings picked out in gilt, heavy draperies and tapestries, fine Persian carpets and antique furniture from France and Italy are the features of these spacious rooms. Eye catching treasures include: a silver train with cut glass wagons which served guests as it chugged around the table on miniature rails; a glass cradle from Italy used for the baby Krishna each Janmashtami, silver dinner services and swords that were once worn by Aurangzeb and Shah Jahan. These are, besides, personal mementoes of past members of the Scindia family: the jeweled slippers that belonged to Chinkoo Rani, four-poster beds and gifts from practically every country in the world, hunting trophies and portraits. The Scindia Museum offers an unparalled glimpse into the rich culture and lifestyle of princely India. Explore the luxury and classical India

Enjoy the spa and overnight will be at the palace.

Day 08 : Gwalior- Agra
By Road 120 km in 2 hr

Enjoy breakfast at the palace and drive to Agra.
Reach Agra and transfer to hotel.

AGRA: Two great Mughal monarchs, Akbar and Shah Jahan, transformed the little village of Agra into a befitting second capital of the Mughal Empire - giving it the name Dar-ul-Khilafat {seat of the Emperor}. Today a visitor to Agra is caught up in a world of contrasting edifices, of red sandstone and white marble, narrow galleys and quaint buggies, and that irresistible charm that this favorite city of the Mughals still retains. It is not surprising, that modern Agra still reflects its Mughal heritage most conspicuously.

Relax at the beautiful hotel with a view of the TAJ.

Overnight will be at Agra.

Day 09 : Agra

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel.
Proceed for day sightseeing of Agra.

Taj Mahal, Agra Tour PackageTAJ MAHAL: Little needs to be said about this architectural wonder which is always the soul raison-de-etre for every tourist's visit to Agra. Built by Shah Jahan, the Taj is a white marble memorial to his beautiful wife Mumtaz Mahal. This monument took 22 years to be completed and was designed, and planned by Persian architect Ustad Isa. Apart from its stunning design balance and perfect symmetry, the Taj is also noted particularly for its elegant domes, intricately carved screens and some of the best inlay work ever seen.

AGRA FORT - Built by the famed Mughal emperor Akbar in 1565 AD, the fort is predominantly of red sandstone. Ensconced within is the picture perfect Pearl Mosque, which is a major tourist attraction. It lies on the bend of the river Yamuna, almost in the heart of the town. Akbar built it as his citadel over the years 1563-73 in the finest architectural style. It has imposing gates and walls of red sandstone and a moat.

After Agra Fort we will visit

BABY TAJ - The interiors of which are considered better than the Taj.

Overnight will be at Agra.

Day 10 : Agra - Jaipur
By Road 221 km in 5 hr

Drive to Jaipur after breakfast visiting Fatehpur Sikri en-route.

Fatehpur Sikri is 37 km west of Agra. Jajal-ud-din-Muhammad Akbar, Humanyun's son, accessed the throne at the tender age of 14. While hunting around Sikri his curiosity was aroused by the songs of some minstrels about the celebrated Khwaja -Mu'inu'd-din Chisti, the founder of the Chisti order of SUFIS. Akbar, who was without a male heir heard about Saint Salim Chisti and visited him in the year 1568. The saint blessed him with 3 sons and in gratitude Akbar ordered the great mosque of Fatehpur Sikri built under his supervision. As a mark of respect to the saint, Akbar shifted his capital to Fatehpur Sikri and built various secular buildings like the Diwan -I-Am, Diwan-I-Khas, Jodhabai palace, Birbal's house, Marian's house and the Panchmahal.

Continue your drive to Jaipur and on arrival check-in at Hotel.

A Young Folk Musician , Rajasthan Tour PackageJaipur is the capital of the state of Rajasthan a romantic realm of resplendent palaces, mighty fortresses and regal Maharajahs that lies in the western deserts and is an utterly unique part of India. Proudly belonging to the KSHATRIYA warrior caste and fiercely independent, the Rajput princes made fearsome foes. However, many of them realized that to maintain their wealth and authority locally, it was expedient to proclaim allegiance to the central power. Thus, many enjoyed a privileged position under the Mughal emperors and also the British Raj that followed.

The bustling Rajasthan capital of Jaipur takes its name from its venerated founder Jai Singh II, who was given the title Sawai Maharaja by the Mughal. Literally translated this would mean ’one and a quarter’, suggesting that the Mughal thought this emperor to be more valuable than just ‘one’. Jaipur is known as the ’Pink City’ on account of the distinctive colour of its buildings. This did not, however, form part of the original plan, but dates back to 1856, when the city was given a wash of pink in honor of a State Visit from Prince Albert.

This evening, visit the Birla Temple to learn more about the fascinating religious life of Jaipur. The marble structure, built as recently as 1985, houses ornate statues including one of Lakshmi (goddess of Wealth and Beauty) and Narayan dressed in gaudy robes, representing a Hindu vision of heavenly luxury. Carvings in the temple and on pillars supporting the covered walkways include images of the Hindu pantheon, as well as Jesus, the Blessed Virgin Mary and St Francis of Assisi. Your visit will coincide with the AARTI Ceremony, which involves oil lamps being lit and waved, in order to awake and invoke the deity. Enjoy the experience and spend night at Jaipur.

Overnight will be in Jaipur.

Day 11 : Jaipur

Proceed for a morning excursion to Amber Fort after breakfast. Elephant ride ascent to the fort.

AMBER FORT PALACE - Amber is the classic romantic Rajasthani fort palace. Its construction was started by Man Singh I in 1592, and completed by his descendent Jai Singh I. Its forbidding exterior belies an inner paradise where a beautiful fusion of Mughal and Hindu styles finds its ultimate expression. At the foot of the hill you will mount your caparisoned elephant for the slow but steady climb up to the main gate, making your entrance in the time honoured fashion. The Fort, completed in the early 18th century, took over 100 years to build and now, although deserted, offers a fascinating insight into the lifestyle of the Moghul ruling families.
Continue sightseeing.

City Palace, Jaipur Tour PackageCITY PALACE - A delightful blend of Mughal and traditional Rajasthani architecture, the City Palace sprawls over one-seventh of the area in the walled city. It houses the Chandra Mahal, Shri Govind Dev Temple and

JANTAR MANTAR - This is the largest and the best preserved ofthe five observatories built by Jai Singh II in different parts of the country. This observatory consisting of outsized astronomical instruments is still in use.

HAWA MAHAL - The ornamental facade of this "Palace of Winds" is a prominent landmark in Jaipur. It is a five-storey structure of sandstone plastered pink encrusted with fine trelliswork and elaborate balconies. The palace has 953 niches and windows. Built in 1799 by Pratap Singh, the Mahal was a royal grandstand for the palace women.
This afternoon is free for you to relax, shop or explore independently. Shopping is superb in Jaipur, particularlyfor gold and silver jewellery, pottery, tie-dye materials, silk, saris, wooden handicrafts and carpets.
Overnight will be at Jaipur.

Day 12 : Jaipur - Delhi
By Road 260 km in 5 hr

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel.

In the morning enjoy a cycle rickshaw ride through the bustling bazaars. Jaipur is renowned for textile block printing, blue pottery, carpet weaving, semi-precious stones and local crafts which still thrive from the day of Maharaja Jai Singh's patronage when he designed special areas in the city for the 'bandhanas', the 'cheepas' and the 'meenakari' workers.

Proceed for Delhi after lunch and reach the airport and board the flight for home with sweet memories of classical and cultural India.

THE TOUR INCLUDES:

DOUBLE OCCUPANCY ACCOMMODATION AT MENTIONED HOTELS,
SIGHTSEEING TOURS AS MENTIONED IN THE ITINERARY,
PRIVATE AC SUV WITH DRIVER,
ENGLISH SPEAKING GUIDES FOR ALL MENTIONED TOURS,
ASSISTANCE AT THE AIRPORTS ON ARRIVAL / DEPARTURE,
ASSISTANCE AT STATIONS ON DEPARTURE AND ARRIVAL,
FIRST CLASS TRAIN TRAVEL FOR MENTIONED SECTOR,
ALL APPLICABLE TAXES AND SERVICE CHARGES,
ALL ROAD TAXES, GOVERNMENT TAXES AND DRIVER ALLOWANCES,
ELEPHANT RIDE AT AMER FORT - JAIPUR,
LUNCH AT ORCHHA,
SOUND AND LIGHT SHOW AT KHAJURAHO,
EVENING AARTI CEREMONY AT VARANASI,
ALL EXCURSIONS AS MENTIONED,
RICKSHAW RIDE AT JAIPUR,
SARNATH EXCURSION IN VARANASI AND
BOAT-RIDE AT RIVER GANGES IN VARANASI.
TONGA RIDE IN AGRA


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