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The Magic of India
Duration: 18 days/ 17 nights
Destination: Delhi - Mandawa - Bikaner - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Udaipur - Pushkar - Jaipur - Agra - Varanasi - Delhi
Day 01 : Abroad / Delhi
On arrival at Indira Gandhi international airport, you would be met by our representative and given assistance for transfer to the hotel. Rest of the day will be free for independent activities. Overnight Stay in Delhi
Day 02 : Delhi - Mandawa
Morning: Drive to Mandawa and on arrival, check in at hotel. Rest of the day visit Havelis in and around Mandawa. Overnight Stay in Mandawa
Shekhawati is a colourful fantasy having a fascination uniquely of its own. The open-air art galley, as it is popularly called, is famous for its plethora of painted havelis, all commendable pieces of the rich artistic tradition of this region. It is famous for its Havelis (mansion) built by rich merchants of the region, display a unique architectural style that evolved around the courtyards to ensure safety and privacy of the women folk and protection from the heat of the long and harsh summers. The Havelis, painted predominantly in blue, maroon, yellow, green and indigo have beautiful wall paintings that adorn their walls.
Day 03 : Mandawa - Bikaner
After breakfast drive to Bikaner. Upon arrival check in Hotel. Rest of the day is to visit city excursions of Bikaner. Overnight Stay will be at Bikaner.
Bikaner, the royal fortified city, with a timeless appeal in the North State of Rajasthan, retains the medieval splendour that pervades the city's lifestyle. More popularly called the camel country, the city is renowned for the best riding camels in the world. This city stands on a slightly raised ground and is circumscribed by a seven-km long embattled wall with five gates. The magnificent forts and palaces, in reddish-pink sandstone created with delicacy, bear testimony to its rich historical and architectural legacy. Undulating lanes, colourful bazaars and bright and cheerful folks make the visit Bikaner an interesting experience. Visit the Junagarh Fort, built in 1593 AD by Raj Rai Singh, one of the best in Rajasthan. It comprises of 37 palaces with pavilions, mosaic courtyards, carved balconies, kiosks and windows dotted all over the structure. The Shish Mahal, the Grand Durbar Hall, the 17th century Karan Mahal, Anup Mahal and the Phool Mahal bring to life the grandeur of a bygone era. The Fort museum has a rare collection of Sanskrit and Persian manuscripts and miniature painting.
Day 04 : Bikaner - Jaisalmer
In the morning enjoy the surrounding of Hotel. After breakfast, drive to Jaisalmer. Upon arrival check-in at hotel. Rest of the day is to visit city excursions of Jaisalmer. Overnight Stay will be at Hotel.
Day 05 : Jaisalmer
After breakfast, visit this perfect Rajput walled desert city which is like a golden jewel shimmering above the hard sand.
Rising from the Thar Desert like a golden mirage is the city of Jaisalmer. The Jaiselmer fort etched in yellow sandstone stands with all its awesome splendour. The life within the citadel conjures up images of medieval majesty visible in its narrow lanes strewn with magnificent palaces, havelies, temples and typical desert life of men women cattle and camels. The 80 meter high fort, perch on the hill, houses the entire township within its ramparts. It has enchanting narrow lanes dotted with exquisite havelis, beautifully sculptured Jain temples of the 12th-15th century and palaces. The fort is approached through four gateways -Akhaiya Pol, Ganesh Pol, Suraj Pol and Hava Pol. Some of the most exotic mansions or havelis, all intricately latticed, are strewn all over Jaisalmer each with a different facade. The Havelis of Nathmalji, Patwon and Salim Singh all in Yellow Marble of Jaisalmer are exquisite works of art. A camel safari through the interesting and remote desert villages of Roopsi, Doojasar, Kanoi, Kuldara and the Cenotaphs of Barabagh can be interesting. The villages are very special, as different communities inhabit them.
Day 06 : Jaisalmer - Jodhpur
Proceed in the morning after a leisurely breakfast and reach Jodhpur. Relax in the hotel and visit the museum of UMAID BHAWAN PALACE. Overnight Stay will be at Jodhpur.
Day 07 : Jodhpur
Morning go for a village safari in the jeep and have a rare glimpse into the rich culture and true essence of India. Abundant wildlife (game) and memorable moments of the great desert landscape fascinates one while driving along the countryside. Overnight Stay will be at Jodhpur.
At the edge of the Thar Desert, the imperial city of Jodhpur echoes with tales of antiquity in the emptiness of the desert. The massive 15th century AD Mehrangarh Fort looms on the top of a rocky hill, soaring 125 mts. above the plains. A high wall encompasses the city -10 km long with 8 gates and innumerable bastions. The lifestyle in Jodhpur is unusually fascinating with people wearing lovely multi hued costumes, artistically designed. Shopping in Jodhpur bazaars is a heady experience with a colourful display of the rich collection of exquisite handicrafts. The tie-and-dye fabric, embroidered "jutis" or slippers in suede, camel skin, velvet and leather, beautiful silks, durries, marble souvenirs from Makrana, an extensive range of useful and decorative items etc., are of interest. The Mehrangarh fort is one of the most impressive and formidable structures. Invincible from the outside, the fort has four gates approached by a winding road. Within the fort are some magnificent palaces with marvellously carved panels with latticed windows These palaces house a fabulous collection of trappings of Indian royalty including a superb collection of palanquins, elephant howdahs, miniature paintings of various schools, musical instruments, costumes and furniture.
Day 08 : Jodhpur - Udaipur
Early morning visit the surrounding villages and witness their daily lifestyle of living and enjoy cup of tea / coffee with them. Breakfast will be at hotel. Later drive to Udaipur. Overnight Stay will be at Udaipur.
Day 09: Udaipur
Morning, city tour of Udaipur - the romantic Lake City in Southern Rajasthan, famous for the stunning white marble Palace built on an island in the Lake Pichola. It was the former Palace of the Maharana and now converted to one of the most glamorous hotels in India. The tour will cover the magnificent City Palace, the Jagdish temple, the pleasure gardens and a drive around the other nearby lakes.
Udaipur, the city of Dawn, is the Jewel of Mewar -a kingdom ruled by the Sisodia Dynasty for 1200 years. Its kaleidoscope of fairy-tale palaces, lakes, temples, gardens and narrow lanes strewn with stalls, carry the flavour of a heroic past, epitomizing valour and chivalry. Their reflection of these building in the placid waters of the Lake Pichola is an enticing sight.
Morning : City tour of Udaipur. Visit the City Palace, a majestic architectural marvel that is perched on a hill and towers over Lake Pichola. The Palace is a majestic conglomeration of courtyards, pavilions, terraces, corridors, rooms and hanging gardens. Each palace within is an outstanding creation of art. Visit the Bharatiya Lok Kala Museum, which has an interesting collection of Indian folk art including costumes, ornaments, puppets, masks, dolls, musical instruments and deities. Later visit Saheliyon-ki-bari the "Ladies Garden", with its rich foliage and intricately designed fountains.
Afternoon : Enjoy a Boat cruise on Lake Pichola on which the majestic Lake Palace Hotel is situated. See the ghats along the lake and the interesting buildings on the banks. The view of the city palace from the lake is spectacular. Dock at the Jagmandir island where the Maharana of Udaipur once gave Shah Jehan sanctuary
Day 10 : Udaipur - Pushkar
After breakfast, drive to Pushkar and on arrival check in at hotel. Rest of the day guided visit to Lake and Bramha temple. Overnight Stay will be at Pushkar
Surrounded by hills on three sides, Pushkar, 11 kms from Ajmer, abounds in temples. of these the most famous is the Brahma temple - the only temple dedicated to Lord Brahma in the country. Once a year, during the Kartik Purnima, the entire region comes alive with a pulsating Camel and Cattle Fair. There is a week long celebration with an explosion of fun, frolic, games and laughter with threads of religious fervour. Bedecked and festooned cattle wait in the clouds of sand and the pious gather at the break of dawn to take a dip in the holy Pushkar Lake to absolve themselves of all their sins.
Day 11 : Pushkar - Jaipur
After breakfast drive to Jaipur. Afternoon tour of "Pink City" - Surrounded on three sides by the rugged Aravali hills, Jaipur is the picturesque capital of Rajasthan. It takes its name from the prince, soldier and astronomer Jai Singh II who moved his capital here in 1727.
Day 12 : Jaipur
Tour of the impressive Amber Fort situated on a ridge just outside Jaipur City. 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.
Jaipur, the vibrant capital of Rajasthan, is popularly known as the ' Pink City ' because of the pink-coloured buildings in its old city. It sits on a dry lake bed in a somewhat arid landscape, surrounded by barren hills surmounted by forts and crenellated walls. This buzzing metropolis is certainly a place of wild contrasts and a feast for the eyes. All through, Jaipur has retained its strong Rajputana flavour tempered by several influences - the mughal being the most prominent. The region's strong cultural heritage is distinctly evident even today. The city is a visitor's delight. From the intricate, delicate looking Hawa Mahal to the graphic forms of the Jantar Mantar - an open air observatory of outsized astronomical instruments, the Badi Chaupar lined with shops and business establishments on both sides to the majestic fort-palace at Amber; from the colorful fountains of life to the sublime Birla Temple; from the architectural delight of the City Palace to the serene Jal Mahal.
Day 13 : Jaipur - Fatehpur Sikri - Agra
After breakfast drive to Agra en-route visiting Fatehpur Sikri. Fatehpur Sikri - the impressive sandstone fortress was built in the 16th century and only occupied for a few years before being abandoned, leaving the buildings in virtually perfect conditions. Overnight Stay will be at Agra.
Day 14 : Agra
Breakfast at hotel. Today you will do sightseeing tour of Agra. In the first half of the day you will visit Sikandara and the Tomb of Itimad-ud-Daulah or the 'Baby Taj'. Thereafter, visit the Red Fort and Taj Mahal. Overnight Stay will be in Train to Varanasi.
One of the Seven Wonders of the World, built by Emperor Shah Jahan in the memory of his beloved consort Mumtaz Mahal. This beautiful mausoleum took 22 years to complete with a work force of 20,000 craftsmen and master builders, who came from all over Asia to join in this great work from Baghdad, Shiraz, Delhi, Samarkand and Turkey. The marble, India s finest; was quarried at Makrana near Jodhpur. Precious and semi precious stones were imported from distant lands : Jasper from Punjab, Jade & Crystal from China, Turquoise from Tibet, Lapis from Afghanistan and Ceylon, Chrysolite from Egypt, Amethyst from Persia, Agate from Yemen, Malachite from Russia, Diamonds from Golconda and Mother of Pearl from the Indian Ocean.
Agra is famous as the home to one of the Seven Wonders of the World -the Taj Mahal. The architectural splendor of the mausoleums, the fort and the palaces in Agra is a vivid reminder of the opulence of the legendary Mughal Empire. Agra was their capital for nearly a hundred years from 1564. A pleasant town, with a comparatively easy pace, Agra is known for its superb inlay work on marble and soapstone by artisans who are hereditary craft persons. The city is also famous for its carpets, gold thread embroidery and leather shoes.
Day 15 : Varanasi
On arrival, transfer to the hotel. Afternoon city sightseeing tour. Varanasi, one of the oldest living cities in the world, believed to be founded 3000 years ago, is one of the 7 holiest cities of Hindus. It was a flourishing trading centre 500 BC when the Buddha came to Sarnath to preach his first sermon. A city of great wealth and religious importance when the Chinese traveler, Hiuen Tsang, visited it in the 7th century. Visit the Vishwanath Golden Temple, the abode of great God Shiva, Bharat Mata Temple, Durga Temple, Tulsi Manas Mandir and Banaras Hindu University.
The land of Varanasi (Kashi) has been the ultimate pilgrimage spot for Hindus for ages. Often referred to as Benares, Varanasi is the oldest living city in the world. These few lines by Mark Twain say it all: "Benaras is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend and looks twice as old as all of them put together". Hindus believe that one who is graced to die on the land of Varanasi would attain salvation and freedom from the cycle of birth and re-birth. Abode of Lord Shiva and Parvati, the origins of Varanasi are yet unknown. Ganges in Varanasi is believed to have the power to wash away the sins of mortals.
Day 16 : Varanasi
Early morning have boat cruise on river Ganges. Thousands of pilgrims throng the water's edge, bathing, worshipping and meditating. On stone platforms under palm leaf umbrellas, the Pandas-Brahmin priests preside over rites and rituals. The boat trip will cover various ghats including the cremation sites. Because every pious Hindu believes that to die in Kashi (Varanasi)and to be cremated on the banks of the Ganges is to attain release from the cycle of birth and death. Afternoon visit Sarnath Sarnath, 7 km from the city where Buddha preached his first sermon more than 2500 years ago.
Day 17 : Varanasi - Delhi
After break-fast transfer to the airport for flight to Delhi. Assistance on arrival and transfer to the hotel. Rest of the day will be free.
Delhi is just not a city but it is a book-- a book which narrates the history of India. The city was built and destroyed seven times and has been witness to the various events which has brought India through the history books. Seven times this city went through the pain of being built and rebuilt. Today as the capital of India Delhi is the seat of administration and the monuments which tell the saga of a bygone era stand there. These icons are testimony to the grandeur of past and also an attraction for the tourists. With an area of 1483 sq. Kms, Delhi is all set to acquire full statehood. The charm of Delhi has attracted Emperors, Conquerors and poor in equally. It is correctly said that Delhi is a land of 'Dilwalas' or for people with heart. This phrase acquires a true colour when one goes around the lanes of Delhi.
Day 18 : Delhi - Home
Breakfast will be at hotel. Day will be free to explore the city and finish last minute shopping. After the show you will have FAREWELL DINNER before reaching the airport for flight home with sweet memories of India
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