Varanasi With Rajasthan


15 days | INDIA, JAIPUR | from INR 10000.0000

India
  • Arrive New Delhi

  • Delhi

  • Delhi - Varanasi

  • Varanasi

  • Varanasi - Khajuraho

  • Khajuraho – Orchha – Jhansi – Agra

  • Agra – Jaipur

  • Jaipur

  • Jaipur – Churu

  • Churu

  • Churu –Nagaur

  • Nagaur - Jodhpur

  • Jodhpur

  • Jodhpur – Udaipur

  • Udaipur

  • Udaipur – Delhi

 

Programme

  • 1 . Arrive New Delhi

    Arrive in Delhi today (Flight details TBA). On arrival you will be received and escorted to your hotel (Check in 1200 Noon). Delhi with its Old and New parts — each with its specific charm and glory — makes a very interesting city for its sustenance to medieval and modern cultures at the same time and space. While Old Delhi, built by Mughal Emperor Shahjehan in the 17th century, still retains its medieval character to a great extent and almost indubitably reminds one of the crowded old towns of the Middle East; New Delhi is like any other modern city with tall buildings and massive shopping complex. Accommodation: Delhi Meals: NA



  • 2 . Delhi

    This morning you will be taken to visit the medieval Jama Mosque followed by a walking/cycle rickshaw tour of traditional businesses of Old Delhi (market closed on Sundays) – exploring centuries old arts and crafts with businessmen belonging to the 6th or 7th generation of the men who first started them. While walking through small alleys you might come across an old-fashioned shop selling Indian perfume (attar) from cut-glass bottles. You will saunter through the main bridal street of Old Delhi with its dazzling display of embroidered silk wedding sprees, beautiful bangles and colourful turbans for the bridegroom. If you pass through any spice shops in Old Delhi, the smell of the spices will remain with you even after you have left the market. If you do not walk any more just hop onto a cycle rickshaw and enjoy and feel of the place. Later in the afternoon you will be taken to explore New Delhi – including Humayun’s Tomb, QutabMinar and drive past Lutyens’ Delhi. Humayun's Tomb is another magnificent Mughal building built in 1565-66 and set in a square enclosed garden. This finely proportioned structure in red sandstone and marble served later as a model for the TajMahal. Dominating the ruins of the earliest existing settlement of Delhi is the city's famous landmark - the QutabMinar. This imposing victory tower (73m) has five storeys, each marked by intricately carved projections or balconies. Elaborately carved pillars embellish the courtyard of a nearby mosque. At the centre of the courtyard is the amazing Iron Pillar (4th-5th century A.D.), which has not rusted through the centuries. The interesting buildings of Lutyens’ Delhi are the India Gate, the RashtrapatiBhawan (President's House) and Parliament House. Accommodation: Delhi Meals: Breakfast



  • 3 . Delhi - Varanasi

    Today you would be taken to the airport in time to board your flight to Varanasi (6E-308 at 0900/1020 hours). On arrival you would be received and taken to your hotel (Check in 1200 Noon). Varanasi is a city of temples and places of worship and for more than 2000 years, it has attracted pilgrims from near and far. Many Hindus in the latter part of their lives wish to spend their retirement here. This is the city of Varanasi. According to Hindu belief, Benaras or Varanasi as it is known, is the cosmic center of the Universe. Mark Twain once wrote “Beneras is older than history, older than other tradition, older even than legends and looks twice as old as all of them put together.” Situated between the rivers Varuna and Ashi as they join the Ganges, Varanasi takes its name from its location. It is also called Kashi, the city of lights. In the evening you will be taken to the ghats of the Ganges where you walk around and witness the mesmerising evening aarti ceremony. An aarti is a devotional ritual that uses fire as an offering. The offering is made to the Goddess Ganga, goddess of the most holy river in India. The aarti takes place facing the river. The lamps are lit and circled around by the Hindu priests, accompanied by chanting in praise of Mother Ganga. It is believed that the lamps acquire the power of the deity and after the ritual is complete, devotees will cup their hands over the flame and raise their palms to their forehead in order to get the Goddess's purification and blessing. Accommodation: Varanasi Meals: NA



  • 4 . Varanasi

    Early this morning you will be taken to the ghats once again and enjoy boat ride on the river while watching spectacular sunrise. Viewing the ghats early in the morning from a boat on the river can be an unforgettable experience. The river front, as seen from a boat, early in the morning, at sunrise, is a spiritually uplifting sight. Hinduism, deep and mystical, is everywhere - in a decorated doorway, in a glimpse of a glittering temple, in the sound of a sacred bell and the chants of the priests.... In the afternoon you will be driven a short distance outside to visit Sarnath (Sarnath Museum is closed on Fridays). Sarnath is an important centre for Buddhists pilgrims. Having achieved enlightenment at Bodhgaya, the Buddha came to Sarnath and gave his first message of the middle path to Nirvana. Later, Ashoka, the great Buddhist Emperor, erected magnificent 'stupas' and monasteries here in the 3rd century BC. Sarnath was at its peak when the Chinese travelerFaXien visited the site early in the 5th century AD. In 640 AD, when another Chinese travelerHuien Tsang, visited here, Sarnath had more than 1500 priests. Since then Sarnath was reduced to insignificance and left in ruins. It was as late as 1836, when British archaeologists started excavations, that Sarnath regained some of its past glory. Accommodation: Varanasi Meals: Breakfast



  • 5 . Varanasi - Khajuraho

    Today you would be taken to the airport in time to board your flight to Khajuraho (9W- 2423 at 1240/1325 hours). On arrival in Khajuraho you would be met and taken to your hotel and later you will be visit Khajuraho. Once the capital of great Chandela rulers, Khajuraho today, is a quiet village of only few thousand people. In the temples of Khajuraho, the sculptures have shown many aspects of Indian life 1000 years ago - gods and goddesses, warriors and musicians, real and mythological animals. Indeed, the theme of the sculptures also include erotic life of the period though this aspect of the sculpture has been over-emphasised... at the expense of other themes of the temple sculptures. Khajuraho's temples almost all date from one century-long burst of creative genius from 950-1050 AD. Basically all temples follow a three-part layout. You enter the temple through a porch (Ardhamandapa). Behind this is the hall (Mahamandapa), supported with pillars and with a corridor around it. The inner sanctum (Garbhagriha) is where the image of the god, to which the temple is dedicated, is displayed. The temples are almost all aligned east to west, with the entrance facing east. Most of the temples are made of sandstone. The temples can be divided into three groups: Western, Eastern and Southern. Of these, the Western Group is the most impressive. After the tour return to you hotel and be at leisure. Accommodation: Khajuraho Meals: Breakfast



  • 6 . Khajuraho – Orchha – Jhansi – Agra

    This morning you would be taken to the Jhansi railway station in time to board your train to Agra (Taj Express at 1520/ 1847 hours); en route visit the Orchha. Orchha has three beautiful palaces within the fort complex. The Jehangir Mahal was built by Raja Bir Singh JuDeo in the 17th century to commemorate the visit of Mughal emperor Jehangir to Orchha. The Raj Mahal was built by Madhukar Shah, the deeply religious predecessor of Bir Singh JuDeo. The plain exteriors of this palace give way to interiors with exquisite murals on a variety of religious themes. The Rai Parveen Mahal was built for Rai Praveen, a poetess and musician, who was the beautiful paramour of Raja Indramani (1672-76). This palace is a low two-storeyed brick structure. Accommodation: Agra Meals: Breakfast



  • 7 . Agra – Jaipur

    Start the day with a visit to Taj Mahal where you arrive around sunrise. The Taj Mahal (closed on Fridays) has been described as a 'tear on the face of eternity' and as an enduring monument of love. The unique beauty of Taj Mahal is blended with grandeur and its massive over-all design is matched with immaculately intricate execution. Built by Mughal Emperor Shan Jehan in the memory of his beloved queen Mumtaz Mahal, the Taj Mahal complex took 22 years to be completed and is today counted among the Seven Wonders of the World. It is particularly stunning at the time of sunrise and sunset. Many of the events which led to the construction of the Taj Mahal took place in the famous Agra Fort. Begun by Emperor Akbar in 1565, additions continued to be made until the time of his grandson Shah Jehan. The magnificent palaces, towers, bastions, ramparts and gateways symbolise the power of the mighty Mughals. Made mostly of red sandstone it is strikingly similar to the Red Fort in Delhi. Later continue your drive to Jaipur and en route visit the Fatehpur Sikri. On arrival check into your hotel and be at leisure for the rest of the day. The capital of Rajasthan, Jaipur is known as the 'pink city' because of the pink paint applied to the buildings in its old walled city. Jaipur is steeped in history and culture and the past comes alive here in magnificent forts and palaces, where once lived the maharajas. Jaipur has been widely regarded as the first modern planned city in the world. Even though the city was founded and built in the 18th century, the city amazes any modern town planner and architect for its brilliance of planning and beauty of architecture. Accommodation: Jaipur Meals: Breakfast



  • 8 . Jaipur

    Start the day with a visit to the Amber Fort - one of the more fascinating of Indian forts. It was the ancient capital of the erstwhile Jaipur state. Its construction began in 16th century and was subsequently added on to by successive rulers. Inside the fort, the places worth visiting are the Palace of Mirrors, inlaid with millions of tiny glistening mirrors, the hall of Public Audience and the beautiful manicured gardens. Later explore Jaipur city – visiting the City Palace, JantarMantar (medieval observatory) and drive past Hawa Mahal (palace of winds). The City Palace is situated in the heart of the city. The whole complex is wonderfully laid out with large courtyards, balconies, cupolas, arched entrances and gardens, which are a combination of Rajput and Mughal architecture. The museum here displays the rich heritage of the Jaipur family in miniature paintings, textiles, garments, books & manuscripts, carpets, palanquins and weapons dating back to the 15th century. Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II had a passion for astronomy which led him to build five astronomical observatories in India at Jaipur, Ujjain, Varanasi, Mathura and Delhi. The observatory at Jaipur, built in 1728, is the largest and best preserved of them. The observatory has curious collection of sculptures which enable the calculation of many astronomical and astrological events like eclipses etc. Each of these structures was built after relentless study of books, manuscripts and discussions with scholars from all over the world. Even today they are put to good work. Built in 1799 Hawa Mahal or the palace of winds is one of the landmarks of Jaipur city, although it is little more than a façade. It is a five-storey building in pink, built to enable the women of the harem to see the activities of the outside world without being seen. End your day long visit with a walking tour of Old Jaipur. The bazaars between the Badi (Large) and Chhoti (Small) Chaupar (Square) in the old city of Jaipur feature some of the best sights that the city has to offer. You will be taken through the labyrinth of colourful alleys where artisans make puppets, bangles, and other local handicrafts. You will visit the jewellery market or Johari Bazaar, explore architecturally interesting havelis (mansions), and stop by bangle shops in Maniharonka Rasta and the flower sellers near ChotiChaupar. Accommodation: Jaipur Meals: Breakfast



  • 9 . Jaipur – Churu

    After breakfast you will be collected from your hotel and will drive to Churu. On arrival in Churu check into your hotel and be at leisure for the rest of the day. Although the towns have long since lost any importance they once had, what they have not lost is the amazing painted havelis (mansions), built by the merchants for their families. Most of the buildings date back from the 18th century to early 20th century. These havelis are unremarkable from outside as all the attention has been given to the inner courtyards. They are decorated with murals and the theme of these murals encompasses traditional mythology, local legend, the folklore, personalities from Indian epics to even modernising symbols like trains and the presence of the Europeans in the royal courts of the time. The Shekhawati region also has some forts, a couple of minor castles, distinctive step-wells, cenotaphs and handful of mosques. Such is their splendour that the area has been dubbed by some as ‘open-air gallery of Rajasthan’. The major towns of interest in this region which are worth visiting for their painted havelis are Fatehpur, Mandawa, Dundlod, Churu, Ramgarh, Mukundgarh and Nawalgarh... although virtually every town has at least a few surviving havelis. With so much to see, Shekhawati region is well worth exploring for a couple of days. All these places are close to each and other and hence one can stay at any of the places and make excursions to other places. Accommodation: Churu Meals: Breakfast



  • 10 . Churu

    After breakfast explore the Churu city. Renowned for the grand Kothar Haveli and Kanhaiya Haveli, with marvellous life size paintings of DholaMaru, SassiPunu etc., Churu is located in Rajasthan state, in northwestern India. Founded in 1620 AD by Churu, a chieftain of the Jats (an agricultural people of northern India), the town has a hospital and a college affiliated with the University of Rajasthan. Churu district (16,829 sq. km) comprises a semi-arid sandy plain, watered only by the Katli River in the northeast. The rolling sand hills of the district's southwest portion form part of the Bagar tract, where the breeding of sheep, cattle, and camels is extensive. Bajra (pearl millet), gram, and pulses are the chief crops; gypsum deposits are worked. Accommodation: Churu Meals: Breakfast



  • 11 . Churu –Nagaur

    After breakfast you will be collected from your hotel and will drive to Nagaur. On arrival in Nagaur check into your hotel and be at leisure for the rest of the day. Nagaur or Naga-Pur is referred to in the Mahabharata. The kingdom of Ahichhatrapur which Arjuna is said to have conquered and subsequently offered to his Guru Dronacharya, was perhaps some of the area of the Nagaur district. It was the capital of Jangladesh. The foundation of city dates back to 4th century BC. Nagas originally ruled over this place and about 7th century onwards the Chauhans became the overlords of Nagaur and it was included inSapadalaksha. The city was at the center of Muslim invasion from Central Asia. The fort is of historical importance.[1]The Rajput rulers dominated Nagaur for a longer period. Nagaurruler were repeatedly forced to pay tribute to the Sisodias of Chittor while their lands were slowly annexed by the Rathors of Jodhpur. In fact the case of Nagaur vividly illustrates the turning back of the tide of Islamic conquests in Rajputana in the 14th and 15th Centuries. Nagaur, Accommodation: Nagaur Meals: Breakfast



  • 12 . Nagaur - Jodhpur

    After breakfast you will be collected from your hotel and will drive to Jodhpur. On arrival in Jodhpur check into your hotel and be at leisure for the rest of the day. Accommodation: Jodhpur Meals: Breakfast



  • 13 . Jodhpur

    This morning you will be taken for a half-day tour – visiting Mehrangarh Fort, JaswantThada and walking around clock tower market area. Mehrangarh fort, one of the largest forts in India, is unsurpassed in beauty and grandeur. Innumerable palaces in the fort, MotiMahal, PhoolMahal, Sheesh Mahal, SilehKhana and DaulatKhana are interspersed with sprawling courtyards and intricately carved. A collection of old weapons, arms, musical instruments, palanquins, royal costumes and furniture are preserved and displayed in the SilehKhana. Close to the fort is the 19th century royal cenotaph, JaswantThada, a creation in white marble which displays some rare portraits of Jodhpur’s rulers. Those who want to feel the city are advised to visit the clock tower and the nearby colourful market featuring textiles, silver and handicrafts. Accommodation: Jodhpur Meals: Breakfast



  • 14 . Jodhpur – Udaipur

    After breakfast you will be collected from your hotel and will drive to Udaipur. En route visit the Rankpur temples. On arrival in Udaipur check into your hotel and be at leisure for the rest of the day. Though the entire state of Rajasthan is replete with fantastic hilltop fortresses, exotic fairytale palaces and gripping legends of medieval chivalry and heroism, no city is quite as romantic as Udaipur. ‘The city of lakes’, as Udaipur is called, is one of the most sought after destinations in entire India for relaxing. The city has three huge lakes within its limits and a large number of palaces and other monuments worth visiting. It is surrounded by the ancient Aravali Mountains where wildlife still abounds. Accommodation: Udaipur Meals: Breakfast



  • 15 . Udaipur

    This morning you will be taken for a guided city tour of Udaipur city – including City Palace, Sahelion-ki-Bari and Jagdish Temple. The huge city palace, towering over the lake, is the largest palace complex in Rajasthan. It is a blend of stern Rajput military architecture on the outside and lavish Mughal-inspired decorative art on the inside. The beautiful gardens of Sahelion-ki-Bari were laid out in the mid-18th century for a retinue of forty-eight young ladies-in waiting that were sent to Udaipur as part of a princess's dowry. The gardens have beautiful lawns, lotus pools, marble pavilions and marble elephant-shaped fountains. Situated close to the City Palace is Jagdish temple in Indo-Aryan style. It enshrines a black stone image of Lord Vishnu as Jagannath, the creator of the universe. In the evening, you may go for a relaxing boat ride on lovely Lake Pichola. From the boat one will get unmatched views of the two islands in the lake, the Jagniwas Island and Jagmandir Island. Jagniwas is the island on which beautiful Lake Palace was built by MaharanaJagat Singh II in 1754. Today, it has been converted into a luxurious heritage hotel, with courtyards, fountains and gardens. As for Jagmandir, it is said that Mughal Emperor Shanjehan derived some of his ideas for Taj Mahal from this palace after staying here. The view across the lake from the southern end, with the city and its great palace rising up behind the island palaces, is a scene of rare beauty. Accommodation: Udaipur Meals: Breakfast



  • 16 . Udaipur – Delhi

    This morning will be collected from your hotel and will be transferred to the airport reaching in time to board your flight to Delhi (SG-2634 at 1255/1430 hours). On arrival internally connect your onwards destination flight (flight details TBA). Accommodation: NA Meals: Breakfast