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Home India Tours The Majestic Temples & Palaces Tour

The Majestic Temples & Palaces Tour

Travel , Explore, Learn & Enjoy - Nature, Heritage & Culture


 
The Majestic Temples & Palaces Tour will leave you drenched in the quintessential colours of our ancient civilization. The ancient Hindu and Jain temples and the Buddhist stupas at VARANASI, one of the oldest cities in the world, will leave you awestruck; on the other hand your senses will be overwhelmed by the architectural brilliance and the scenic beauty of the royal palaces of JAIPUR and UDAIPUR. But this one ‘stop’ on your trip will excite you like no other, a chance to see one of the Seven Wonders of the World, need we name it, The Taj Mahal in Agra. This particular itinerary has been designed especially, and with great care, for those who have a thirst for art and history ….. and even those who can’t wait to flaunt their trip photos in front of their acquaintances. And we recommend – if you want to see royalty you should go royally.

Duration : 12 Days
Sketch Itinerary :Delhi, Varanasi, Khajuraho, Orchha, Jhansi, Agra, Jaipur, Udaipur, Delhi



Red Fort, Delhi Day 01
Delhi:
By Air
Flight: To be announced
Arrival at Delhi

Take a flight for Delhi.
Reach and you will be met on arrival at the International airport. Transfer to 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
Flight                    : 9W 723
Airlines                : Jet Airways
Aircraft                : Boeing 737
Departure           : 1040 hr
Arrival                  : 1150 hr

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

Picturesquely 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 and education. 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.

Sarnath, Uttar PradeshVisit 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:
In 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
Flight                    : 9W 733
Airlines                : Jet Airways
Aircraft                : Boeing 737
Departure           : 1220 hr
Arrival                  : 1300 hr

Breakfast will be at hotel.

Transfer in time for flight to Khajuraho.

Situated 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 & SOUTHERN TEMPLES.

Enjoy the SOUND & LIGHT SHOW at the Western Temple Complex. Overnight will be at Khajuraho.

Day 06
Orcha TempleKhajuraho – Orchha – Jhansi – Agra:
By Road 170 km in 4 hr
By Train
Number               : 2001
Departure           : 1755 hr
Arrival                  : 2030 hr

Breakfast will be at Hotel.

Proceed for the sightseeing of the Western Set of temples.

Later - Proceed by surface to ORCHHA.

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.

Proceed for sightseeing of ORCHHA sites within the Fort Complex and then proceed to the station (12 km away) for train to Agra. (This is a superfast train with airline type seats and snacks / mineral water is served on board)

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 07
Agra:

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel.

Proceed for day sightseeing of Agra.

TAJ 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 08
Agra – Jaipur:
By Road 221 km in 5 hr

Jantar Mantar, JaipurDrive 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.

Jaipur 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 09
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, JaipurCITY 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 the City Palace Museum.
       
JANTAR MANTAR – This is the largest and the best preserved of the 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, particularly for gold and silver jewellery, pottery, tie-dye materials, silk, saris, wooden handicrafts and carpets.

Overnight will be at Jaipur.

Day 10
Jaipur – Udaipur:
By Road in 6 hrs

Breakfast will be at hotel.

Drive to Udaipur. 

Reach Udaipur and relax.

The city of Dawn, Udaipur is a lovely land around the azure lake, hemmed in by the lush hills of the ARAVALLIS. A vision in white drenched in romance and beauty, Udaipur is a fascinating blend of sights, sound and experiences and inspiration for the imagination of poets, painters and writers.

Its kaleidoscope of fairy-tale palaces, lakes, temples, gardens and narrow lanes strewn with stalls, carry the flavor of a heroic past, epitomizing valor and chivalry. Their reflection in the placid waters of the LAKE PICHOLA is an enticing sight. Udaipur is the jewel of MEWAR -a kingdom ruled by the Sisodia dynasty for 1200 Years.
Enjoy the lovely hotel in the evening and you could also go for a walk in the town.

Overnight will be at Udaipur.

Day 11
Udaipur:Taj lake Palace, Udaipur

Breakfast will be at hotel.

Proceed for sightseeing tour of Udaipur, stopping first at City Palace. Here you will marvel at rooms with mirrored walls and ivory doors, colored glass windows and inlaid marble balconies and the Peacock Courtyard. 

Also visit the lovely Sahelion-ki-Bari Gardens, the Jagdish Temple and the local folk Museum or the VINTAGE CAR COLLECTION.

Proceed for Evening Motor launch cruise on the placid waters of Lake Pichola. From the boat you will be able to view the city of Udaipur as it rises majestically above the lake in the middle of the Rajasthan desert.

Visit the Jag Mandir Palace – the other island palace in the middle of the lake. Spend some time at the Jag Mandir Palace.

Overnight will be at Udaipur.

Day 12
Udaipur – Delhi:
By Air
Flight                    : 9W 708
Airlines                : Jet Airways
Aircraft                : Boeing 737
Departure           : 1530 hr
Arrival                  : 1640 hr

Delhi
By Air
Flight : To be announced

Breakfast will be at hotel.

Proceed to the airport for flight to Delhi. Reach and you will be transferred to the International airport to take a flight for home with sweet memories of India.








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