Colors of India (18 Nights/ 19 Days)
Destination: Delhi – Varanasi – Khajuraho – Agra – Jaipur – Jodhpur – Udaipur – Bombay – Goa – Delhi
India has stronghold in the aspects of its civilization, culture, heritage and history, which imbibes-the forts, places, temples and monuments. This country has great unity which has made the place even more fascinating and appealing. Be its people or, their celebrated festivals and fairs, the county has always appealed others, here everything is colorful and the cities are really very astonishing. Delhi – Varanasi – Khajuraho – Agra – Jaipur – Jodhpur – Udaipur – Bombay – Goa these area few cities which has created a strong position in the mind of the visitors not because of its past but because of its colorful cultures, festivals, costumes’ and tradition , people and its customs.
Day 01: Arrival Delhi
Arrive 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. Meet assist at the airport and transfer to hotel. Night stay in Delhi.
Day 02: Delhi
After breakfast gear up for your visit of Old & New Delhi :
OLD DELHI – A sightseeing tour of Old Delhi would entail visiting the Raj Ghat – the cremation site of Mahatma Gandhi is one of the most visited sites in Delhi. It consists of a simple square black-marble platform that stands on the spot where Mahatma Gandhi was cremated. Nearby, there are cremation sites of Jawaharlal Nehru – the first Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi, Sanjay Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi and Lal Bahadur Shastri. Jama Masjid – the largest mosque in India. Red Fort – One of the most spectacular pieces of Mughal Architecture is the Lal Quila or the Red Fort. Built by the Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan between 1638 and 1648, the Red Fort has walls extending up to 2 kms. in length with the height varying from 18 mts. on the river side to 33 mts. on the city side. Chandni Chowk – a place that has a history of about 400 years. More evidences of the ancient times that once existed in old Delhi can be found out by winding through the labyrinthine lanes of Chandni Chowk in a rickshaw. The pleasure associated with the Rickshaw Ride here is ultimate. The rickshaw rides gives the passengers an opportunity to see a different prospective of Chandni Chowk, which is otherwise only regarded as one of the favourite shopping avenues of Delhi.
NEW DELHI – An extensive sightseeing tour of New Delhi would include a visit to the Humayun’s Tomb, the Qutub Minar, a drive along the ceremonial avenue – Rajpath, past the imposing India Gate -was built by Edwin Lutyens to pay homage to the Indian soldiers who died in the World War I and the Afgan War. Closely looking at the walls of India Gate would let you know the names of 90,000 soldiers who died during the World War I, the Afgan War and the North-West Frontier operations. The structure was finally completed in the year 1931. India Gate was originally called the All India War Memorial., Laxmi Narayan Temple also known as Birla Temple – one of the landmarks in the nation’s capital New Delhi. It was built in the 20th century by the Birla family of industrialists known for its many other temples in India. It is modern in concept and construction. It attracts several devotees and international tourists. The presiding deity here is Lakshmi Narayan (Vishnu), Parliament House, the President’s Residence and would end with a drive through the Diplomatic Enclave. The evening is free to be spent at your leisure. Night stay in Delhi.
Day 03: Delhi – Varanasi ( By flight )
After breakfast transfer to airport to board the flight for Varanasi-said to be the India’s most sacred city situated on the western bank of the holy river Ganga. It is also the oldest living city in the world. As a place for devotion and worship, with hundreds of temples dotting the city , sunrise on the river front as seen from a boat can be a spiritually uplifting sight. It has a fascination uniquely its own, a quality of sublime beauty, a timeless eternal appeal. Varanasi is the city which cannot be described, only experienced. Arrive Varanasi and transfer to hotel. Evening view “Aarti” ceremony on the Ghats. Night stay in Varanasi.
Day 04: Varanasi
Morning boat cruise at the river Ganges to observe the way of life of pilgrims by the Ghats. Later excursion to Sarnath, 10kms & East of Varanasi, is the place where Buddha chose to deliver his first sermon. The celebrated Mantra, ‘Buddham Sharanam Gachhami’, owes its origin to Sarnath. On the day before his death Buddha included Sarnath along with Lumbini, Bodh Gaya and Kushinagar as the four places he thought to be sacred to his followers. It makes Sarnath one of the most venerated Buddhist places. Besides Buddhism, Sarnath is also connected with Jainism. There are many Buddhist monuments and edifices in Sarnath. Some of the important Buddhist monuments at Sarnath are the Dhamekha stupa, the Chaukhandi stupa and monasteries and temples of different schools of Buddhism from Japan, China, Thailand, Burma and others. The Indian Buddhist society called Mahabodhi Society maintains a park around the Buddha temple. The Mahabodhi Temple within the park has a tooth relic of the Buddha.There is also a vast expanse of ancient ruins at Sarnath. Several Buddhist structures were raised at Sarnath between the 3rd century BC and the 11th century AD, and today it presents the most expansive ruins amongst places on the Buddhist trail. The Ashoka pillar of Sarnath is the National emblem of India. Also visit the deer park and the museum and later back to Varanasi . Night stay in Varanasi
Day 05: Varanasi – Khajuraho ( By flight )
After breakfast transfer to airport to board the flight for Khajuraho .Arrive Khajuraho & transfer to hotel. The legendary temples of khajuraho are an incomparable experience. Acknowledged as one of the world’s artistic wonders, these temples dedicated to the Hindu pantheon of Gods are covered in carvings that are a paean to life and love. Built within a short span of a hundred years by the Chandela Rajputs, the 10th century temples lay forgotten until they were discovered in the present century. Khajuraho has achieved fame for the sensual appeal of its erotic sculptures. Evening free at leisure. Night stay in Khajuraho.
Day 06: Khajuraho
The fascinating temples of Khajuraho, India’s unique gift of love to the world, in the state of Madhya Pradesh, were built between 950 and 1050 A.D. The divine sculptures in these temples, are a tribute to Life itself, embodying everything that is sublime and spontaneous about it. The murals depict the life and times of the Chandelas, and celebrate the erotic state of being. They not only testify to the mastery of the craftsman, but also to the extraordinary breadth of vision of the Chandela Rajputs under whose reign, these temples were constructed. The temples are grouped into three geographical divisions : western, eastern and southern. After breakfast explore the Western, eastern and southern temples of khajuraho while your guide explains the intricate meaning and legends behind each describable sculpture.
Kandariya Mahadeo: This is the largest, and most typical Khajuraho temple. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, it soars 31 m high. The sanctum enshrines a lingam, while the main shrine is ornately carved and depicts various gods, goddesses, apsaras (heavenly maidens) in elaborate detail.
Chaunsat Yogini: The oldest surviving temple in the group (900 A.D.), this is the sole granite temple dedicated to Goddess Kali. Another Kali temple, which was originally dedicated to Lord Vishnu, is the Devi Jagdambe temple.
Chitragupta Temple: Dedicated to the sun-god, Surya, this temple faces eastwards to the rising sun.
Vishwanath Temple: The temple enshrines a three-headed image of Lord Brahma. Lions guard the northern entrance to the structure, while elephants flank the southern flight of steps that lead upto it. A Nandi bull faces the shrine.
Lakshamana Temple: The lintel over the entrance of this temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu, shows the holy trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva with Goddess Lakshmi, Vishnu’s consort. The sanctum is adorned with a three-headed idol of Vishnu’s incarnations, Narasimha and Varaha.
Matangeshwara Temple: This temple, which happens to be outside the precincts of the western group, is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It boasts of an eight feet high lingam. Eastern Group
Parsavanatha Temple: The largest in the group of three Jain temples, the Parsavanath image in this temple, was installed in 1860.
Ghantai Temple: This Jain temple has a frieze depicting the 16 dreams of Mahavira’s mother, and a Jain goddess perched on a winged Garuda.
Adinatha Temple: The last of the Jain temples, is dedicated to the Jain saint, Adinatha, and is gorgeously adorned with sculptures of yakshis among others.
The three Hindu temples in this group are the Brahma temple, which has a four-faced lingam, The Vamana temple which is embellished with images of ravishing apsaras at their alluring best; and finally the Javari temple, with its ornate gateway and lavish carvings.
Duladeo Temple: Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the highlights of this temple are the sensuous images of the apsaras, and other exquisite sculptures. Chaturbhuj Temple: This temple sports a huge, elaborately carved image of Vishnu in the sanctum. Night stay in Khajuraho.
Day 07: Khajuraho – Orchha ( By road approx approx 180kms/ 04Hrs ) Jhansi – Agra ( By Superfast train Dep. 1755Hrs Arrv. 2025Hrs )
Morning drive to Jhansi enroute visiting Orchha – grandeur has been captured in stone, frozen in time, a rich legacy to the ages. In this medieval city, the hand of time has rested lightly and the palaces and temples built by its Bundela rulers in the 16th and 17th centuries retain much of their pristine perfection., Continue drive to Jhansi & transfer to railway station to board the train to Agra . Arrive Agra & transfer to hotel. Night stay in Agra.
Day 08: Agra – Jaipur ( By road approx 235kms/ 05Hrs ) enroute visit Fatehpur Sikri
Morning at sunrise visit the magnificent Taj Mahal – one of the seven wonders of the world surely the most extravagant expression of love ever created. 20,000 men laboured for over 17 years to build this memorial to Shah Jahan’s beloved wife, Also visit Agra Fort – the rusty and majestic red- sandstone fort of Agra stands on the banks of the river Yamuna and the construction was started by Emperor Akbar in 1566. At the Diwan-I-Am (hall of public audience), a colonnaded hall of red-sandstone with a throne alcove of inlaid marble at the back, the Emperor heard public petitions. At the Diwan-I-Khas (hall of private audience) where marble pavilions with floral inlays lend an ethereal ambience, the Emperor sat on his gem-studded peacock Throne and met foreign ambassadors and rulers of friendly kingdoms. After lunch drive to Jaipur – en route visit Fatehpur Sikri, a perfectly preserved Mughal city built at the height of the empire’s splendor. Arrive Jaipur & transfer to hotel. Night stay in Jaipur.
Day 09: Jaipur
Morning excursion to Amber Fort. 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 it’s ultimate expression. Continue sight-seeing.
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. Their five-storey structures 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. Night stay in Jaipur.
Day 10: Jaipur – Jodhpur ( By road approx 325Kms / 07Hrs)
Morning drive to Jodhpur -set on the edge of the world famous vast Thar Desert of Rajasthan, the sun city of Jodhpur is like a retreat in the vast desert. It is dotted with remarkable architectural brilliances including fantastic forts, elegant palaces, grand havelis, terrific temples and breathtakingly beautiful gardens. The city is also known for its superb handicrafts, exotic festivals and folk music & dances. It is capable to impress everyone with its various attractions . Arrive & transfer to hotel. Evening at leisure. Night stay in Jodhpur.
Day 11: Jodhpur
After a relaxed breakfast proceed for city sight seeing tour of Jodhpur visit the Mehrangarh Fort – Mehrangarh is the most major landmark of Jodhpur. One can’t imagine Jodhpur without Mehrangarh Fort. It isa living testimony of the military might of Rajputs. This mammoth fort is located on a 125 m high hill. It is 5 km long. The forts contain several elegant palaces which are also strongly capable to enchant its visitors. Moti Mahal (Pearl Palace), Janki Mahal, Royal Darbar Takht, Rang Mahal (Color Palace), Sheesh Mahal (Mirror Palace), Phool Mahal (Flower Palace), Chandan Mahal and many more are some major attractions of this mammoth Mehrangarh Fort. The majestic Mehrangarh Fort also houses a rich museum. Government Museum – Enriched with a rich collection of armory, textiles, local crafts, miniatures and images of Jain Tirthankaras, the Government Museum is located in the breathtakingly beautiful Umaid Garden. Also visit Jaswant Thada -Like Mehrangarh Fort and Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jaswant Thada is also popular among tourists. It is the 19th century royal cenotaph. It is a shrine which was built in the memory of Maharaja Jaswant II in the year of 1899. Jaswant Thada is enriched and impressive with its breathtakingly beautiful gardens, Girdikot and Sardar Market – Jodhpur tour also offers you a brilliant shopping opportunity in the markets of Jodhpur. Girdikot and Sardar Market are famous shopping areas of Jodhpur. Here you can purchase handicrafts, jewellery, and many Rajasthani goods. After visting all these places return to hotel. Night stay in Jodhpur.
Day 12: Jodhpur – Udaipur ( ( By road approx 265Kms/ 06Hrs) enroute visit Ranakpur
Morning drive to Udaipur. Enroute visiting Ranakpur – is a captivating village which is located between the cities of Jodhpur and Udaipur. It lies in the Pali district of Rajasthan and is known for the spectacular range of Jain temples that can be found here. Ranakpur is a pilgrim destination which is indispensable in the itinerary of a tourist who is on his pilgrim tour of north India. Gather some important facts about Ranakpur that will prove to be of great help before you set out for a tour to this place. Arrive Udaipur in the evening & transfer to hotel. Night stay in Udaipur.
Day 13: Udaipur
Morning city sight seeing tour of Udaipur. The city is built in 1559 A.D. by Maharaja Udai Singh and has been described as the most romantic spot on the continent of India by Col. James Todd. Visit the City Palace museum, The City Palace, one of the largest palaces in the world, can be approached through the Bari Pol or the Great Gate (1600) with the royal drums and then onto the Tripolia Gate (1725). The Tripolia is a triple gate made of marble arches. Between these two gates are eight carved toranas or archways under which the maharanas were weighed against gold and silver which was later distributed to the poor subjects. Popular entertainment like elephant fights took place in the court beyond the Tripolia Gate. Bhartiya Lok Kala Mandir ( Folk art museum) The interesting collection exhibited by this Indian folk arts museum includes folk dresses, ornaments, puppets, masks, dolls, folk musical instruments, folk deities and paintings. Also visit the Pratap Memorial. A stop the Moti Magri or Pearl Hill, overlooking the Fateh Sagar Lake is the memorial of the Rajput hero Maharana Pratap with a bronze statue of the Maharana astride his favorite horse”Chetak”.Night stay in Udaipur.
Day 14 / Udaipur – Bombay ( By flight )
After breakfast transfer to airport to board the flight for Bombay. Arrive Bombay & transfer to hotel. Later half day city tour of Bombay, political capital of Maharashtra, and commercial capital of India, Mumbai is many cities in one. As the world’s largest textiles market, a major industrial centre and the country’s busiest port handling over 40 percent of India’s maritime trade, it contributes around 50 percent of the national exchequer. Bombay’s colonial legacy is the Gateway of India. Built to commemorate the royal visit of George V and Queen Mary in 1911 but only completed in 1924, the gateway is a combination of European and Indian ceremonial architecture. The last British troops marched out through this gate when India became independent in 1947. Today it is a favorite haunt of tourists. Night stay in Bombay.
Day 15 / Bombay – Goa ( By flight )
After breakfast transfer to airport for flight to Goa – abounds with famous churches and temples and a harmonious co-existence prevails between people of various faith. Irrespective of whether they are Catholic, Hindu or Muslim, many Goans prostrate in symbiotic reverence before deities of other faiths than the one they profess. Religion dwells in the hearts of Goans wherever in the world they may. Arrive Goa & transfer to hotel. Evening at leisure. Night stay in Goa.
Day 16: Goa
After breakfast, proceed on a half day sightseeing tour of Goa, visiting Miramar Beach – also known as Gaspar Dias is a lovely golden beach of soft sand griddled with palm trees facing the blue Arabian Sea, where River Mandovi meets the Arabian Sea and a thick grove of shady palms form a dense canopy over the area. The word ‘Miramar’ in Portuguese stands for viewing the sea. On account of its good location, the Miramar Beach Goa is ideal for evening walks. The tourists can spend a nice time in the Palm shaded area that is quite captivating for the tourists visiting the Miramar beach Goa, Basilica of Bom Jesus – basically means “Good Jesus” and is used for Jesus when he was an infant. The Bom Jesus church was constructed around 1695 and it became an important milestone in the historical legacy of Christianity. St. Francis Xavier was a member of the Society of Jesus who preached the enlightening teachings of Christianity when he came to India along with the Portuguese. While on a voyage to China from India, he died on the ship on 2nd December, 1552 and the city of Panjim -bustling with shops and tourists. The afternoon is at leisure to relax on the beach. Laze on the beach, go for swim, explore the shops for cashewnuts, buy holiday wear or take an optional tour visiting “Goa of the past”- a mackup village which portrays Goa what it was 100 years ago .Night stay in Goa.
Day 17: Goa
Day at leisure. Laze on the beach, go for swim, explore the shops for cashewnuts, buy holiday wear. Night stay in Goa.
Day 18: Goa – Delhi ( By flight )
After breakfast transfer to airport to board the flight to Delhi.Arrive & transfer to hotel. Night stay in Delhi.
Day 19: Delhi – Departure
Day at leisure or explore the markets for shopping etc. Later transfer to airport for onward flight.