The Best of North India
The Best of North India
Day 01: New Delhi » Traditional welcome - Atithi Devo Bhava (Guest is god) on arrival with garlanding at Delhi international airport by Holiday India Travel’s executive. Transferred in your exclusive air-conditioned deluxe car to your hotel. After that take tour of historic city of Delhi. The city where one can experience the influence of the many rulers who ruled this region, a city built and destroyed and re-built over seven times. The guided tour takes you to the monuments that depict the different eras. The tour includes visit to a Hindu temple of Goddess of wealth, Laxmi, the magnificent Red Fort (exterior), the Jama Masjid - one of the Asia's largest mosque, Rajghat - the memorial to Mahatma Gandhi - the "Father of the Nation". Afternoon tour of New Delhi to include Humanyun's Tomb, Qutab Minar, India Gate, President's House and drive through Connaught Place.
Day 02: Delhi – Mandawa (Shekhawati Region)- 5 Hrs Drive » Breakfast at hotel. Later drive south west of Delhi to the town of Mandawa. Mandawa was founded in the mid-18th century and has well decorated Havelis (Mansions). Upon arrival check in heritage hotel. Post lunch, you may like to walk to the many painted havelies of some of the leading business families of the country. Some of the better known Havelies of Mandawa are Chowkhani Haveli, Goenka Haveli, Saraf Haveli and Ladia Haveli etc. Overnight at stay in a heritage haveli.
Day 03: Mandawa – Bikaner - 3 Hrs Drive» Breakfast at hotel and then driven 190 Kms west to Bikaner city. Founded in 1486 this fourth largest city of Rajasthan is famous for its spicy snack besides its palaces, handicrafts & leather articles. Wash n change at hotel. Then proceed for half-day guided sightseeing of Junagarh Fort, Lalgarh Palace and Laxmi Nath Temple. Later visit famoud Rat Temple in Deshnoke.
Day 04: Bikaner – Jaisalmer - 5 Hrs Drive » Breakfast at hotel and then proceed to Jaisalmer. Enjoy the drive viewing the lovely life of the deserted land, passing through villages. On the way visit Ramdeora Temple. Arrive Jaisalmer by early evening. Evening, enjoy camel ride & sunset view from Sam Sand Dunes (40 Kms west of Jaisalmer). Optional dinner on sand dunes with folk dance. Overnight stay in a hotel.
Day 05: Jaisalmer » Breakfast followed by a guided tour of the city to visit the Jaisalmer Fort, Jain Temple, Gadsisar Tank, Folk Museum and various havelies such as Patwan Ki Haveli, Salim Singh ki Haveli, Diwan Nathmal ki Haveli, Badal Vilas Palace and evening walk through narrow cobbled streets. Overnight at hotel.
Day 06: Jaisalmer – Jodhpur - 5 Hrs Drive » Breakfast at hotel. Driven to Jodhpur - the city founded in 1459 by Rao Jodha. It is the second largest city in Rajasthan after Jaipur. On arrival transferred to hotel for check-in, followed by a guided city sightseeing tour including Mehrangarh Fort - one of the largest forts in India, Umaid Bhawan Palace (now a grand heritage hotel) an architectural wonder, Jaswant Thada - a 19th century royal cenotaph , Mandore Gardens - The beautiful gardens with high rock terraces make it a popular picnic spot. The garden has a gate known as the Ajitpol, which is decorated with paintings of the gods and goddesses of Indian mythology & walk through the Clock Tower - In the old city, clock tower is a prominent land mark. But main attraction is the Sadar Market. The market has kept alive the old 'haat bazaar' culture. Overnight at hotel.
Day 07: Jodhpur – Ranakpur – 3 Hrs Drive » On the way to Ranakpur, visit Bishnoi village to see the hand pottery, Bishnoi huts and local handicrafts. Bishnois are the famous community which is the protector of the wildlife. Overnight at hotel. In afternoon Visit Unparallel Jain Temples of Ranakpur (the temple here is the largest Jain temple in the world having 1444 carved pillars with no two pillars looking alike! It opens 12 to 5 pm). Overnight at the hotel in Ranakpur.
Day 08: Ranakpur – Udaipur – 2-3 Hrs Drive » Breakfast at hotel and driven to Udaipur via visit of Kumbhalgarh Fort - compared to the Great Wall of China for its immense stone boundary covering the village of Kumbhalgarh over a hilltop.
Further driven to Udaipur via guided visit to Eklingji - the famous temple of Lord Shiva in the state of Rajasthan. This is the only visited Shiva temple by the present Maharaja of Udaipur. Arrive Udaipur, the city of dawn, surrounded by the ancient Aravali Mountains and set on the edge of three lakes, is a brilliant kaleidoscope of narrow lanes flanked by bright stalls, gardens, lakes, palaces and temples. Enjoy a sunset boat ride on Lake Pichola to have lovely views of the Jagmandir Palace (also known as the Lake Garden Palace, is an exquisite palace placed in an estuary Island in Pichola Lake in Udaipur, the Lake Palace hotel, City Palace, Shiw Niwas & Fateh Prakash Palace hotel buildings.
Day 09: Udaipur » Relaxed breakfast at hotel followed by a guided visit to the city's popular Jagdish Temple with it's richly sculptured walls, further walk towards the City Palace compound gates through the narrow street. Visit the City Palace museum. It is located on the east bank of the Lake Pichola and has several palaces built within its complex. Udaipur was the historic capital of the former kingdom of Mewar in the Rajputana Agency and its last capital.The City Palace in Udaipur was built in a flamboyant style and is considered the largest of its type in Rajasthan, a fusion of the Rajasthani and Mughal architectural styles, and was built on a hill top that gives a panoramic view of the city and its surrounding, including several historic monuments such as the Lake Palace in Lake Pichola, the Jag Mandir on another island in the lake, the Jagdish Temple close to the palace, the Monsoon Palace on top of an overlooking hillock nearby and the Neemach Mata temple. You may like to enjoy a tea break or a quick sandwich lunch at the City Palace cafe and further visit the Sahelion-ki-Bari - The 'garden of the maids of honour' brings to mind the lifestyle of the ladies of the court. The delightful gardens appear discreet and in impeccable taste. You may also like to visit the Crystal Gallery which is a fine collection of crystals of every type & shape from the royal families of Udaipur over generations.
Day 10: Udaipur – Pushkar - 5 Hrs Drive » On the way to Pushkar, Take an excursion to Chittorgarh Fort. On the way to Pushkar, In Ajmer visit Nasiya Golden Jain Temple, Chisti’s Mosque, Adhai Din Ka Jhonpra. Afternoon visit Brahma Temples, Surya Temple and Take a Heritage walk to the Ghats of this spiritual city. Later you can move around the beautiful markets having lot of things for you to buy. In the evening, enjoy Sunset near the hotel Pushkar Palace having great views to the holy lake.
Day 11: Pushkar - Jaipur - 3 Hrs Drive » Proceed for a short drive to Jaipur - the Pink city of India. Upon arrival in Jaipur transfer to your hotel for wash 'n' change. Later introduced with your guide for a city tour of Jaipur covering Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds), City Palace, Jantar Mantar (Royal Astronomical Observatory).
Day 12: Jaipur » Breakfast at the hotel followed by excursion to the majestic Amber Fort on elephant back - the erstwhile capital of the Kachwaha Rajputs before they moved to their newly built capital in Jaipur. This is the only fort where one can still go by the elephant back even today like a Maharaja. Then visit Jaigarh Fort & Tiger Fort. Then on the way visit Water Palace. Time at leisure to do shopping in this famous city of gems & jewels or at leisure to enjoy a walk in the local colourful bazaar. In the evening go to Birla Temple. Overnight at hotel.
Day 13: Jaipur – Agra - 5 Hrs Drive» Breakfast at the hotel. Driven to Agra - the city of world famous 'Taj Mahal' - One of the Seven Wonders of the World. En-route visit of Fatehpur Sikri, The erstwhile capital of the Mughal Empire built by Emperor Akbar in 1569 and abandoned after 15 years due to scarcity of water. See Darbar-e-Aam, Palaces, Panch Mahal and Taansen Seat. Continue to Agra & check into hotel for check in. Later meet you guide in Agra in the hotel lobby for visiting Red Fort - built in red sandstone by Mughal Emperor Shah Jehan. Visit the halls of private and public; Itimad-Ud-Daulah (Baby Taj) described as a 'Jewel Box' and often regarded as a draft of the Taj Mahal. It was built between 1622 and 1628 and also visits to a local marble factory to witness the inlay work of precious stones also known as Pietra dura. It's the same art of stone work which is illustrated on the Taj Mahal & Baby Taj. It's a learning experience and a treat to eyes to see the art.
Day 14: Agra – Orccha – 4 Hrs Drive » Dawn-view visit of Taj Mahal to witness the wonder marble seems to change colours due to the rising sunlight. A UNESCO World Heritage Site which was built by Emperor Shah Jahan in the memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal is best viewed & enjoyed in the non-chaotic and less crowded time of the day. Taj Mahal is closed on every Friday. Return to hotel for breakfast. Later drive to Orchha. Afternoon city tour. Orchha's grandeur has been captured in stone, frozen in time & a rich legacy to the ages. For, on this medieval city, the hand of time has rested lightly: the palaces and the temples built by its Bundela rulers in the 16th and 17th century retain much of their pristine glory. Jahangir Mahal, a tiered palace crowned by graceful chhatris has a spectacular view of soaring temple spires & cenotaphs. Overnight Orchha.
Day 15: Orchha-Khajuraho--4 Hrs Drive » Morning drive to Khajuraho. Afternoon city tour. The world famous Khajuraho temples were built by the Chandela kings between 950 AD and 1050 AD. The most important are the Chaunset Yogini Temple dedicated to Goddess Kali, The Mahadev Temple, Chitragupta or Bharatji Temple with a lovely image of 11 headed Vishnu, Vishvanath and Nandi Temples, Lakshmana Temple, Visha Temple of Shiva, which is the largest & most typical of temples. Visit the Eastern group of temples that consist of the Parasvanath Temple - the only Jain Temple surviving at Khajuraho and has excellent sculptures on the outer walls of the Sanctum, the Javeri Temple dedicated to Vishnu. The other temples in this group are those dedicated to Brahma, Yamuna and Adinath. Overnight Khajuraho.
Day 16: Khajuraho – Flight - Varanasi » Transfer to airport to board flight for Varanasi. At Varanasi Airport you will be received by the driver and escorted to the hotel in Varanasi. In the evening take a boat ride at the holy river Ganges. Also in the evening attend the Aarti Ceremony at the Ghats of Varanasi.
Day 17: Varanasi » Morning boat excursion on the river Ganges. People bathe early in the morning to offer the prayers to the rising sun. The two cremation ghats are Manikarnika & Harishchandra where funeral pyre burns Day and night. Every pious Hindu believes that to die in Kashi and to be cremated on banks of the Ganges is to attain release from the cycle of birth and death. Then visit Sarnath & Ramnagar. Overnight at hotel in Varanasi.
Day 18: Varanasi – Flight - Delhi » In the morning take a flight to Delhi. You will be received by the driver at Airport in Delhi. According to your flight timing you can spend some time in Delhi. Later Check-in for international flights commences 3 hours prior to flight departure time for economy class and 2 hrs prior for business/first class.