Trail to India - Impressions of India

Impressions of India

Impressions of India

Delhi - Varanasi - Khajuraho - Agra - Jaipur - Udaipur – Mumbai

This tour will gives us a golden opportunity to explore its numerous flavors and experience the essence of the best of India, virtually a legend. India Tours will let you know that today India is one of the oldest civilizations of the world and are surely the varied country and a globally famous tourist hub with various exciting picturesque places and lots of monuments and heritages.

Day 01: Arrival Delhi

Arrive Delhi. On arrival, you will be greeted and assisted by our representative and transferred to the hotel.

Delhi. It is a city that bridges two different worlds. Old Delhi, once the capital of Islamic India, is a labyrinth of narrow lanes lined with crumbling havelis and formidable mosques. In contrast, the imperial city of New Delhi created by the British Raj is composed of spacious, tree-lined avenues and imposing government buildings. Delhi has been the seat of power for several rulers and many empires for about a millennium. Many a times the city was built, destroyed and then rebuilt here. Interestingly, a number of Delhi's rulers played a dual role, first as destroyers and then as creatorsOn arrival, you will be greeted and assisted by our representative and transferred to the hotel.It is a city that bridges two different worlds. Old Delhi, once the capital of Islamic India, is a labyrinth of narrow lanes lined with crumbling havelis and formidable mosques. In contrast, the imperial city of New Delhi created by the British Raj is composed of spacious, tree-lined avenues and imposing government buildings. Delhi has been the seat of power for several rulers and many empires for about a millennium. Many a times the city was built, destroyed and then rebuilt here. Interestingly, a number of Delhi's rulers played a dual role, first as destroyers and then as creators.

Overnight at the hotel.

Day 02: Delhi

After breakfast, enjoy full day visit of Delhi including following

Drive past the Red Fort The Red Fort, Shah Jahan's elegant citadel in red sandstone, was built on the western bank of the river Yamuna. Shahjahan, started the construction of this massive fort in 1638, when he shifted the capital from Agra to Delhi. The Red sandstone walls of the massive Red Fort rise 33-m above the clamor of Old Delhi as a reminder of the magnificent power and pomp of the Mughals. Inside is a veritable treasure trove of buildings, including the Drum House, the Hall of Public and Private Audiences, the Pearl Mosque, Royal Baths and Palace of Color. (It remains closed on Mondays).

Jama Masjid This great mosque of Old Delhi is the largest in India, with a courtyard capable of holding 25,000 devotees. It was begun in 1644 and ended up being the final architectural extravagance of Shah Jahan, the Mughal emperor who built the Taj Mahal and the Red Fort. The highly decorative mosque has three great gates, four towers and two 40 m-high minarets constructed of strips of red sandstone and white marble. The interior of the prayer hall is divided into aisles by arches. The walls and floors are of marble inlay panels.

India Gate At the centre of New Delhi stands the 42 m high India Gate, an "Arc-de-Triumph" like archway in the middle of a crossroad. Almost similar to its French counterpart, it commemorates the 70,000 Indian soldiers who lost their lives fighting for the British Army during the World War I. The memorial bears the names of more than 13,516 British and Indian soldiers killed in the Northwestern Frontier in the Afghan war of 1919. Under the arch, the Amar Jawan Jyoti commemorating Indian armed forces' losses in the Indo-Pakistan war of 1971.

Govt. Buildings New Delhi houses several government buildings and official residences reminiscent of the British colonial architecture. Today we will drive past few of them, like The Parliament House, designed by Baker is 173m in diameter, the Rashtrapati Bhawan once the Viceroy's residence is now the official residence of the President of India. Designed by Lutyens, it combines western and eastern styles.

Raj Ghat Raj Ghat is a memorial to Mahatma Gandhi. It is a black marble platform that marks the spot of Mahatma Gandhi's cremation, on 31 January 1948, a day after his assassination. It is left open to the sky while an eternal flame burns perpetually at one end. It is located on the banks of the river Yamuna in Delhi on Ring Road officially known as Mahatma Gandhi Road. A stone footpath flanked by lawns leads to the walled enclosure that houses the memorial.

Humayun Tomb Humayun's Tomb is probably one of the most innovative and experimental monuments of its time, incorporating within it Indo-Islamic architectural styles. This magnificent garden tomb is the first substantial example of Mughal architecture in India. It was built in 1565 A.D. nine years after the death of Humayun, by his senior widow Bega Begam. Inside the walled enclosure the most notable features are the garden squares (Charbagh) with pathways water channels, centrally located well proportional mausoleum topped by double dome.

Qutub Minar Qutab Minar is a soaring, 73 m-high tower of victory, built in 1193 by Qutab-ud-din Aibak. The tower has five distinct storeys, each marked by a projecting balcony and tapers from a 15 m diameter at the base to just 2.5 m at the top. The first three storeys are made of red sandstone; the fourth and fifth storeys are of marble and sandstone. At the foot of the tower is the Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque, the first mosque to be built in India. A 7m-high iron pillar stands in the courtyard of the mosque.

It is said that if you can encircle it with your hands while standing with your back to it your wish will be fulfilled.

Day 03: Delhi - Varanasi (By Flight)

After breakfast, transfer to the airport to connect flight to Varanasi, on arrival check in at the hotel.

VARANASI Situated between the rivers Varuna and Assi as they join the Ganges, Varanasi takes its name from its location. It is often referred to as the oldest living city in the world.

It is also known as Kashi, the city of light, but the British, in an endeavor to simplify matters, had coined their own name for the place- Benaras. Varanasi is the city of a thousand temples. Its Prominence in Hindu mythology is virtually unrivalled.

According to Hindu belief, Varanasi is the cosmic centre of the Universe. The renowned American novelist Mark Twain once wrote "Benaras is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend and looks twice as old as all of them put together."

Sarnath A major Buddhist centre, Sarnath lies 10 kilometres north east of Varanasi. It was here that Buddha preached his message of the 'middle way' to nirvana after achieving enlightenment at Bodhgaya. In around 234 BC, Emperor Ashoka, a great follower of Buddhism, erected a stupa here. Between the 3rd century BC and the 11th century AD, several Buddhist structures were built here in Sarnath. Most of the Sarnath's monuments are set in large gardens making it quite pleasant for a visitor to spend some time here.

Overnight at the hotel.

Day 04: Varanasi / Khajuraho 

(By Flight)

Early morning, enjoy boat ride on River Ganges:

Boat Ride Early morning you experience the life of this ancient city. See the beauty of the rising sun on the Ganges. Enjoy the boat ride, experience the early morning rituals of the Hindus being performed, thousands of people taking a bath in the holy river believing they will be free from the circle of rebirth. It is interesting to see the pilgrims offering sweets, flowers and holy water to the Sun God.

Return back to hotel for breakfast. Later transfer to the airport to board your flight for Khajuraho.

On arrival in Khajuraho check in at the hotel.

Khajuraho is the home to the most famous erotic temples built in the 10 & 11th century by the Chandella Rulers.

Overnight at the hotel.

Day 05: Khajuraho - Jhansi -Agra

 (Approx. 172 kms /4 hrs +Train)

After breakfast, visit the city including following

Eastern Group of temples Eastern Group of temples mainly dedicated to the Jain teachers-tirthankaras. The Parsvanatha Temple, the Adinatha Temple and the Santinatha Temple. The temples are ornately carved on the outside with beautiful figures of Hindu gods, goddesses. Also visit the Western Group of temples, which consist of a group of artistic (erotic) temples built in sandstone. The sculptures of Hindu deities, dancers and musicians appear to be so natural as if they would come alive any time.

Post visit transfer to Jhansi railway station to board your train to Agra.

AGRA - The city of the inimitable "TAJ MAHAL". The architectural splendour of the mausoleums, the fort and the palaces is vivid reminder of the opulence of the legendary Mughal Empire. While its significance as a political center ended with the transfer of the capital to Delhi in 1634 by Shah Jahan, its architectural wealth has secured its place on the international map. A pleasant town with a comparatively slow pace, Agra is known for its superb inlay work on marble and soapstone by craftsmen who are descendants of those who worked under the Mughals.

On arrive Agra check in at the hotel.

Overnight at the hotel

Day 06: Agra

After breakfast visit the city including following:

Taj Mahal Taj Mahal or Crown of Palaces is a white marble mausoleum, built by Mughal Emperor Shahjahan as a memorial to his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal. A world-renowned wonder, Taj Mahal looks the same from all the four sides and is widely recognized as "the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world's heritage". The Taj Mahal is phenomenal not in the beauty alone but in the deep planning and design that went into its making. This enchanting mausoleum started in 1631 and it took 22 years to complete with the help of an estimated 20000 workers. (It remains closed on Fridays).

Agra Fort The great Mughal Emperor Akbar commissioned the construction of the Agra Fort in 1666, A.D. although additions were made till the time of his grandson Shahjahan. The forbidding exteriors of this fort hide an inner paradise. There are a number of exquisite buildings like Moti Masjid - a white marble mosque akin to a perfect pearl; Diwan-I-Am, Diwan-I-Khaas, Musamman Burj - where Shahjahan died in 1666 A.D. Jahangir's Palace; Khaas Mahal and Shish Mahal. The massive Agra fort is 2.5 km long and is considered as the predecessor of the Delhi Red fort.

Also enjoy Tonga ride in Agra

Afternoon is free

Overnight at the hotel.

Day 07: Agra - Jaipur

(Approx. 237 kms / 5hrs)

After breakfast, drive to Jaipur.

On arrival in Agra, check in at the hotel.

JAIPUR The fascinating capital of the marvellous state of Rajasthan.

Jaipur is popularly known as the Pink City, thanks to the colour of its buildings. It was built in 1727 A.D by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, followed a grid system, which made it the only planned city of its time. A young Bengali architect Vidhyadhar Bhattacharya designed the city in accordance with Shilp Shastra - an ancient Hindu treatise on architecture. There are innumerable sagas and stories of culture, traditions, practices and valour. This diverse land of rich cultural heritage is a royal treat for tourists all over the world.

Post visit, drive to Jaipur.On arrival in Jaipur, check in at the hotel.

Overnight at the hotel.

Day 08: Jaipur

After breakfast, enjoy full day visit of Jaipur including following:

Amber Fort The Amber Fort set in picturesque and rugged hills is a fascinating blend of Hindu and Mughal architecture. Constructed by Raja Man Singh I in 1592 and completed by Mirja Raja Jai Singh, the fort was made in red sand stone and white marble. Amber is the classic and romantic fort-palace with a magnificent aura. The interior wall of the palace depicts expressive painting scenes with carvings, precious stones and mirror settings. Built mainly for the warring enemies as a safe place, the heavily structured walls could defend the residents within the ramparts of the fort.

Enjoy Elephant ride up to the Amber Fort like the royalty of Rajasthan once did. Mount the animal from a raised platform and sit comfortably in a specially designed, secure seat as the majestic animal winds its way up the ramparts of the fort. The Elephants look beautiful as the mahouts (the person who drives the elephants) decorate them, especially the trunk, with floral and geometric patterns using coloured chalk and powders.

Hawa Mahal Palace The poet king Sawai Pratap Singh built this palace of winds. This is easily the most well-known landmarks of Jaipur and is also its icon. This five-storey building overlooking the busy bazaar street is a fascinating example of Rajput architecture and artistry with its delicately honeycombed 953 pink sandstone windows known as 'jharokhas'. It was originally built for the ladies of the royal household to watch everyday life and processions in the city from their veiled comfort.

City Palace Located in the heart of the walled city, the City Palace Complex gives you an idea about the farsightedness of the founder of Jaipur Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh. He left behind a legacy of some of the most imposing and magnificent architecture in the city. Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh built many buildings but some of the structures were also built by later rulers. The palace is a blend of Mughal and Rajput architecture and the ex-royal family still lives in a part of the palace.

Jantar Mantar The Jantar Mantar is a collection of architectural astronomical instruments, built by Maharaja (King) Jai Singh II between 1727 and 1734. It is modeled after the one that he had built for him at Delhi. He had constructed a total of five such facilities at different locations, including the ones at Delhi and Jaipur. The Jaipur observatory is the largest and best preserved of these. It has been inscribed on the World Heritage List as "an expression of the astronomical skills and cosmological concepts of the court of a scholarly prince at the end of the Mughal period".

Overnight at the hotel.

Day 09: Jaipur - Udaipur

(By Surface: approx 405 Kms/07 hrs)

After breakfast, drive to Udaipur. 

UDAIPUR The "City of Lakes" was founded in 1559 AD as capital town of the former Mewar state by Maharana Udai Singh on the eastern banks of the Lake Pichola.

The rich cultural, social and natural heritage, aesthetic beauty and ecological richness, so far preserved through the surrounding lakes, serene and opulent hilly range of the Aravalis and lush green vegetation and pleasant gardens and harmonious built forms present a unique condition of scenic beauty. The magical beauty of Lake Pichola allures the visitors again and again.

Its historical monuments in the forms of Palaces, Havelis & Temples surrounded by the hills and a pleasant bracing climate have favored its growth from a small princely town to an important tourist destination.

On arrival in Udaipur, check in at the hotel.

Overnight at the hotel.

Day 10: Udaipur

After breakfast, enjoy full day visit of Udaipur including following:

City Palace City Palace towers over the Pichola Lake. Maharana Udai Singh initiated the construction of the palace but successive Maharanas added several palaces and structures to the complex but retained remarkable uniformity in the design. The entry to the Palace is from the Hathi Pol, the Elephant Gate. The Bari Pol or the Big Gate brings you to the Tripolia, the Triple gate. It was a custom to weigh the Maharaja under this gate in gold and silver, which was distributed to the populace. Balconies, cupolas and towers of the palace give a wonderful view of the lake.

Jagdish Temple Jagdish Temple is one of the famous temples of Udaipur. Located in the City Palace complex of Udaipur, this temple is made in the Indo-Aryan style of architecture. In 1651, Jagdish temple was built by Maharana Jagat Singh, who ruled Udaipur during 1628-53. The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu (Laxmi Narayan), the preserver of the Universe. It is celebrated for being the largest temple in the city of Udaipur. The gateway of this temple can be sited at a distance of 150 meters from the Bara Pol of the City Palace.

Sahelion ki bari Maharana Sangram Singh built this in the mid-18th century. The 'garden of the maidens' brings to mind the lifestyle of the ladies of the court. The delightful gardens reflect their discreet and impeccable taste. There are four pools with dainty kiosks. All around are flowerbeds, lawns, pools and fountains protected by a series of walls and shady trees. The fountains of the Sahelion ki bari function solely by water pressure and no pumps are used. The garden has a lotus pool and a sitting room decorated with paintings and glass mosaic.

Boat ride (Public) Evening boat ride on Lake Pichola. Lake Pichola: Fringed with hills, gardens, havelis, ghats and temples, Lake Pichola is the scenic focus of Udaipur. The picturesque boat ride on Lake Pichola not only provides the best scenic view of the lake and the mountains in the city, but also presents some of the most important historical monuments dotted along the lakeside or submerged within the lake.

Overnight at the hotel.

Day 11: Udaipur - Mumbai

(By Flight)

Morning pick up from the hotel and transfer to the airport to connect the flight to Mumbai.

On arrival check in at the hotel.

(Room available from 1200 Hrs)Later enjoy the sightseeing of the city including following:

Gateway of IndiaThe Gateway of India - a 26 mt. triumphal Archway designed Century to commemorate the visit of King George and Queen Mary to India in 1911 - is Mumbai's most famous landmark. Ironically, when the Raj ended in 1947, this colonial symbol also became a sort of epitaph: the last of the British ships that set sail for England left from the Gateway. Behind the arch, there are steps leading down to the water. Here, you can get onto one of the bobbing little motor launches, for a short cruise through Mumbai's splendid natural harbour.

Behind the arch, there are steps leading down to the water. Here, you can get onto one of the bobbing little motor launches, for a short cruise through Mumbai's splendid natural harbour.

Marine Drive Built in 1920, Marine Drive runs along the shoreline of the Arabian Sea from Nariman Point to the foot of Malabar Hill. It passes Chowpatty Beach along the way. It's one of Mumbai's most popular romantic spot and sunset view is amazing. Tourist brochures are fond of stating it as the Queen's Necklace, because of the dramatic curve of its streetlights at night.

Hanging Garden Built in 1920, Marine Drive runs along the shoreline of the Arabian Sea from Nariman Point to the foot of Malabar Hill. It passes Chowpatty Beach along the way. It's one of Mumbai's most popular romantic spot and sunset view is amazing. Tourist brochures are fond of stating it as the Queen's Necklace, because of the dramatic curve of its streetlights at night.

Tower of Silence A peculiar site to visit in Mumbai is the Tower of Silence. Mumbai has a large number of Parsi populations. The Parsis have the custom of leaving their dead in the open. These particular places are called "Towers of Silence", where the vultures come to eat the dead. For the Parsis, this is regarded as the final act of charity. Mumbai's Towers of Silence have virtually disappeared today. Only a handful remains that attract a considerable number of tourists every year.

Kamla Nehru Park Perched on the top of Malabar Hill, Kamala Nehru Park is essentially a vantage point that presents a panoramic view of the glittering city - Mumbai. It extends to 3,300 sq m in the most luxurious and posh residential area of the Bollywood city of India. The park was christened after Kamla Nehru, who was the wife of Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of independent India. The park is a pleasant place with foliage all around and well-maintained green lawns.

Overnight at the hotel.

Day 12: Mumbai

After breakfast, drive out for an Excursion trip to Elephanta caves

Elephanta Cave Located nine kilometres by sea from the Gateway of India, are the Elephanta Caves. The Caves are characterized by rock temples carved out of two hills that emerge from the centre of the island. It is said that the Portuguese named this island after the stone elephant they found here. At Elephanta you can see the cave shrine of Lord Shiva, which belongs to the sixth century, and a massive three-headed sculpture representing Brahma the creator, Vishnu the preserver, and Shiva the destroyer.

IMP: Elephanta Caves are closed on Monday.

Rest of the day is at Leisure.

Overnight at the hotel.

Day 13: Mumbai Departure.

Breakfast at the hotel

Later transfer to International Airport to board your flight for back home / onward destination.

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