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Home India Tours Temple Architecture with Pink City & Goa Unwind

Temple Architecture with Pink City & Goa Unwind

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


As the name suggests, the tour gives you the best of India to explore – like AGRA, Khajuraho and AMRITSAR. Amritsar, with its famous GOLDEN TEMPLE, is the birthplace of Sikhism, the fifth largest organized religion in the world. The other destinations include Jaipur- capital of the state of RAJASTHAN, a romantic realm of resplendent palaces, mighty fortresses and regal Maharajas which still remind of the times of the Mughals and our venerated Holy City – Varanasi. After a culturally enriching tour, to drive out your exhaustion, if any, we take you to Goa, a state famous for its scenic coastline with long palm fringed trees and silver sandy beaches. With the rule of the Portuguese for over 450 years and the consequential influence of the Latin culture, Goa presents a somewhat different picture to the foreign visitor than any other part of the country, and this very reason has made it one of the coolest tourist spots in India.

Duration : 21 Days
Sketch Itinerary : Delhi, Amritsar, Jaipur, Agra, Jhansi, Khajuraho, Varanasi, Goa, Mumbai



Lotus Temple, DelhiDay 01
Delhi:
By Air
Flight                    : To be announced Arrival at Delhi
Take a flight for Delhi.

Reach and Company representatives will receive you on arrival at the international airport in Delhi late in the night or midnight. 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. It is a perfect introduction to the composite culture of an ancient land.  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. If time permits then visit the Lotus temple located in south of Delhi. It is lotus shaped and has rightly been given the name. It is made of marble, cement, dolomite and sand. It is open to all faiths and is an ideal place for meditation and obtaining peace and tranquility. Its founder, Bahaullah (1817-1892), is regarded by Bahai as the most recent in the line of Messengers of God that stretches back beyond recorded time and that includes Abraham, Moses, Buddha, Zoroaster, Christ and Muhammad.

Enjoy the DANCES OF INDIA SHOW in the evening.

Overnight will be in Delhi.

Day 03
Delhi – Amritsar:
By Deluxe Train in 6 hr
Breakfast will be at the hotel.

Board Shatabdi Express to Amritsar.
Golden Temple, AmritsarAmritsar, home to the Golden Temple is one of the most ancient and fascinating cities of India. It is an important seat of Sikh history and culture. Being the gateway for travellers coming to India on the overland route from central Asia it soon became the centre of various commercial activities. There are various historical and religious sites - see Amritsar City Map. The most famous of them all in the Golden Temple which was founded by the fourth Guru of Sikhs, Guru Ramdas and completed by his successor Guru Arjan Dev. There are a number of cotton, woollen and art silk textile factories besides other industries dealing with electric goods, sewing machines, auto parts, carpets. The milk processing plant at Verka about 6 kms from the center is the second biggest project of its kind in the country. Amritsar is India´s leading exporter of goods to the Middle-East, leading distribution centre of dry fruits, tea and condiments. It is also a shopper´s paradise and a gourmet´s delight. Amritsar is the world´s leading centre of Punjabi publications.
Reach and during the day visit the GOLDEN TEMPLE.

Golden Temple: Sri Harmandir Sahib, also know as the Golden Temple in Amritsar is the holiest shrine of the Sikh religion. Also known as the Shri Darbar Shaib, it is in the center of the old part of Amritsar. The Golden Temple sits on a rectangular platform, surrounded by a pool of water called the Amrit Sarovar from which the City is named. The entrance to the Golden Temple complex is through an ornate archway with intricate inlay work. Verses from the Granth Sahib are inscribed on the doorway. The main north entrance is under a Victorian clock tower. Known as the Darshani Deori, the entrance is up a flight of steps and down again to the temple and holy tank. The temple is a two storey marble structure reached by a causeway known as Guru´s Bridge. The lower storey is in white marble with the walls decorated with inlaid flower and animal motifs in the pietradura style of the Taj Mahal. The architecture of the golden temple is a blend of the Hindu and Muslim styles. The temple building has four entrances instead of the usual single entry. This is symbolic of the openness of Sikhism and indicates that followers of all faiths are allowed inside. The walls within are decorated with carved wooden panels and elaborate inlay work in silver and gold. The Adi Granth, compiled by Guru Arjan Dev, rests on a throne beneath a jewel-encrusted canopy. Priests conduct continuous recitation of verses from the holy book in 3-hour shifts. A complete reading of the text stakes 48 hours. The original copy of the Guru Granth Sahib is kept under pink shroud in the, Golden Temple during the day and at around 10 p.m. each day is ceremoniously returned to the Akal Takht (Sikh Parliament) building. The morning processional ceremony takes place at 4 AM in summer and at 5 AM in winter, when Sri Guru Granth Sahib is bought from Akal takhat Sahib in a procession to the Sanctum Sanctorum, which is washed with milk. The Akal Takht, next to the Golden Temple, is the seat of the Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee, the religious governing body of the Sikhs. The building of the Akal Takht was begun by Guru Arjan Dev and completed in 1609 by Guru Hargobind.  If you miss the early morning or evening processions, the palanquin that bears the Adi Granth can be seen in the treasury room on the first floor of the Akal Takht. The palanquin is set with precious stones and has silver poles and a gold canopy.

In the evening enjoy the Punjabi Cuisine and roam in the old market of the city.

Overnight will be in Amritsar.

Day 04
Amritsar:

Breakfast will be at the hotel.

Visit the INDIA PAKISTAN BORDER for a dress parade. (GATE OPENING CEREMONY)

Wagha Border: The international border between India and Pakistan. The pomp and pageantry of the Beating Retreat and the Change of Guard within handshaking distance of the Indian and Pakistani forces makes for a most charming spectacle.

In the afternoon visit the JALIANWALA BAGH and the summer palace in the city.

Wagah Border, AmritsarJALIAN WALA BAGH: This place noted for its most notorious massacre under British rule. It is 400 meters north of the Golden Temple. The British General Dyer was the Lieutenant Governor of the province in 1919. He banned all meetings and demonstrations led by Indians against the economical set back by World War I. On 13 April 1919, pilgrims poured into Amritsar to celebrate the Baisakhi festival, a holiday in the Sikh calendar. In the afternoon thousands of people gathered at Jallian Wala Bagh to celebrate the Baisakhi. This ground surrounded by high walls on all sides has only a narrow alley for access. General Dyer personally led the troops to the sight and ordered his men to open fire without any warning. It resulted in the death of 379 and injured more than 1200. India was outraged by Dyers massacre. Gandhiji, called for a nation wide strike and started the Non-cooperation Movement, which became an important mile stone in the struggle for Independence. Today this ground has been changed to a park and it has a pleasant garden. There is a well on the north side in which many people who tried to escape from the bullets were drowned, and remnants of walls have been preserved to show the bullet holes. At the east end of the garden there is a large memorial built in memory of those who died here.

Summer place of Maharaja Ranjit Singh: Is situated in the middle of a beautiful garden called Ram bagh. This garden is laid out on the pattern of Shalimar Bagh at Lahore. Only its architecturally unique ´darshani deorhi´ has remained intact. A museum after the name of the Maharaja is set up here displaying oil paintings, miniatures, coins, abd weapons relating to the Sikh period.

Overnight will be in Amritsar.

Day 05
Amritsar – Delhi:
By Deluxe Train in 6 hr
Delhi – Jaipur:
By road
260 km in 5 hr

Take early morning Shatabdi Express to Delhi. Breakfast will be served on the train.

Reach before noon and drive directly to Jaipur which is a five hour drive from Delhi.

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 06
Jaipur:

Proceed for morning excursion will be taken to the Amber Fort. Ride to the Fort on elephant back in a royal manner.
       
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.
       
Afternoon sightseeing tour of Jaipur visiting...

CITY 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.

Free in the evening or roam the city.

Overnight will be at Jaipur.

Day 07
Jaipur – Taj Mahal, AgraAgra:
By Road
221 km/6 hr

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

The deserted, red Sandstone City, Emperor Akbar built that as his capital and palace in the late 16th century is an exhilarating experience.     It a veritable fairytale city and its  "ruins" are in pristine condition  ...  it’s not hard to imagine what the court life must have been like in the days of its grandeur. Also visit the Bulund Darwaza, the largest gateway in the world.

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

Overnight will be at Agra.

Day 08
Agra:

Proceed for sightseeing of Agra after breakfast.

TAJ MAHAL: The fifth Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan, built it in 1631 in the memory of his second wife, Mumtaz Mahal, a Muslim Persian princess. She died while accompanying her husband in Behrampur in a campaign to crush a rebellion, after giving birth to their 14th child. Her death so crushed the emperor that all his hair and beard were said to have grown snow white in a few months. When Mumtaz Mahal was still alive, she extracted four promises from the emperor: first, that he build the Taj; second, that he should marry again; third, that he be kind to their children; and fourth, that he visit the tomb on her death anniversary. He kept the first and second promises. Construction began in 1631 and was completed in 22 years. Twenty thousand people were deployed to work on it. An Iranian architect designed it and it is best appreciated when the architecture and its adornments are linked to the passion that inspired it. It is a "symbol of eternal love".

Having buried her down at Behrampur, it was time for the emperor to keep his promise and build a tomb there itself. But by and by, it was felt that it was virtually impossible to transfer all the marble there, as it would cost an entire fortune and an entire lifetime. So, when Agra was chosen as the only alternative, astonishingly her grave was uprooted and brought to Agra, only to be finally transferred to the monument, completed twenty-two years later.

After Taj we will visit Agra Fort- which was built by Akbar In 1525 AD. After Agra Fort we will visit Baby Taj – The interiors of which are considered better than the Taj.

Overnight will be at Agra.

Day 09
Jhansi Fort, JhansiAgra – Jhansi – Khajuraho:
By Train
Train Name          : Bhopal Shatabdi Express
Train No.             : 2002
Departure           : 0800 hr
Arrival                  : 1024 hr

Breakfast will be at hotel. You will be transferred to station for train to Jhansi.

Reach Jhansi and transfer to Orchha, 12 km away.

It is a medieval city founded by the BUNDELA rulers with palaces and temples of the 16th & 17th century – which has remarkably withstood the onslaught of time. The town is known for its CHATTRIS which were built in the memory of the kings and the place is flanked by the river BETWA.

Proceed for sightseeing of ORCHHA sites within the Fort Complex. Enjoy your lunch at Orchha.

Continue drive 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. Transferred to hotel and relax. Evening will be free or you can go out for a stroll. Overnight will be at Khajuraho.

Day 10
Khajuraho:

Breakfast will be at the hotel.

Proceed for a tour of the FAMOUS TEMPLES of Khajuraho.

Enjoy lunch at a restaurant close to the temple complex and relax at the hotel for some time.

Later in the day start sightseeing of the EASTERN SET OF TEMPLES and the JAIN TEMPLES.

In the evening proceed for the LIGHT & SOUND SHOW at the Western Temple Complex.

Overnight will be in Khajuraho.

Day 11
Varanasi GhatKhajuraho – Varanasi:
By Air
Flight                    : 9W 724
Airline                  : Jet Airways
Departure           : 1330 hr
Arrival                  : 1410 hr

Breakfast will be at hotel.

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

Varanasi is the World's most ancient living city. Crowded with temples, and its labyrinth of streets, the city attracts the maximum number of tourists. The religious capital of Hinduism, Varanasi is the carpet-manufacturing place of India. It was previously known as Kashi - the city that illuminates. The present name is derived from the fact that the city is at the confluence of the rivers Varuna and ASI. It is also called CITY OF TEMPLES. The shimmering red and golden water of the Ganges when rays of dawn falls on them, the high banks, the temples, the Ashrams, the pavilions all are an experience in themselves.

Visit Sarnath ‑ 5 miles out of Varanasi for a day excursion: One of the holiest Buddhist sites in the world, where Buddha preached his first Sermon in 590 BC. Witness the ruins of a once flourishing Buddhist monastery and then visit a fine Museum which houses an excellent collection of Buddhist art and sculptures found at the site.

Overnight will be at Varanasi.

Day 12
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 13
Varanasi – Delhi:
By Air
Flight                    : 9W 334
Airline                  : Jet Airways
Departure           : 1440 hr
Arrival                  : 1600 hr

Breakfast will be served at the hotel.

Relax in the morning and finish last minute shopping. Explore the city or visit the GHATS once more. Proceed to the airport for flight to Delhi.

Reach Delhi and proceed to the hotel. Overnight will be at the hotel.

Majorda Beach ResortDay 14
Delhi – Goa
By Air
Flight          : S2117
Airline          : JetLite
Departure          : 1215 hr
Arrival          : 1440 hr

Breakfast will be at hotel.

Transfer to airport for flight to Goa.

Goa, variously known as "Rome of the East", "Tourist Paradise" and "Pearl of the Orient", the state of Goa is located on the western coast of India in the coastal belt known as Konkan. The magnificent scenic beauty and the architectural splendors of its temples, churches and old houses have made Goa a firm favorite with travelers around the world. Nestled on the slopes of the Western ghats (Sahyadri ranges), Goa is bounded on the North by Sindhudurg district of Maharasthra, on the East by Belgaum, on the South by Karwar Districts of Karnataka, and on the west by Arabian Sea.

Legends from Hindu mythology credit Lord Parshuram, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu with the creation of Goa. Over the centuries various dynasties have ruled Goa. Rashtrakutas, Kadambas, Silaharas, Chalukyas, Bahamani Muslims and most famously the Portuguese have been rulers of Goa. Goa was liberated by the Indian Army from Portuguese colonization on 19th of December 1961 and became a Union Territory along with the enclaves of Daman and Diu. On 30th of May 1987 Goa was conferred statehood and became the 25th state of the Indian Republic. After all, more than anywhere else on planet earth, this is a place where people really know how to relax.

Reach and transfer to hotel. Relax at the beach in the evening.

Overnight will be at Goa.

Day 15 – Day 20
Goa

Relax at the beaches of Goa. You would also take a tour of the churches and beaches on one of the mornings.

Day 21
Goa – Delhi / Mumbai
By Air

Delhi / Mumbai :

Breakfast will be at the hotel.

Later, take a flight for Mumbai or Delhi (destination from where you have your flight back home).

Reach and Proceed to the International airport for flight back home with sweet memories of India.








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