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Essence of India

Delhi - Udaipur - Jodhpur - Jaisalmer - Bikaner - Jaipur - Agra - Orchha - Khajuraho - Varanasi - Bombay - Aurangabad - Bombay - Goa ( 26 Nights / 27 Days)
 

Day 01 / Arrival Delhi
Arrive Delhi, meet assist at the airport and transfer to hotel. Night stay in Delhi.

Day 02 / Delhi
After a leisurely breakfast proceed for sightseeing tour of New Delhi where ornate buildings recall the days when India was the Jewel in the crown of the British empire. Visit the 11th century Qutab Minar ,India Gate and the grand government buildings, the President’s House , Mahatama Gandhi Memorial. Also visit Laxmi Narayan temple popularly known as Birla Temple. Night stay in Delhi.
City Palace, Udaipur
Day 03 / Delhi - Udaipur ( By flight )
After breakfast transfer to airport to board the flight to Udaipur. Arrive Udaipur, meet assist at the airport & transfer to hotel. Afternoon visit the the Jagdish temple. Maharana Jagat Singh built this temple between 1628-1653 at a whopping cost of Rs 1.5 million. The temple, dedicated to Lord Jagannath, is at a great height and can be approached by a long flight of stairs. Later visit Saheliyon ki Bari- the Garden of Royal Ladies .Saheliyon ki Bari lies just beneath the Fateh Sagar Lake. Maharana Sangram Singh II designed this garden in the early 18th century purely as a pleasure garden and a summer palace for the 48 young maids that formed a part of the prince’s dowry. It is also said that the garden was presented as a peace offering from the Emperor of Delhi. The Maharanas entertained themselves around the four ornamental pools and the five fountains. These fountains were imported from England in 1889. Maharana Bhopal Singh specially was very fond of this place and built a rain fountain, so that it looked like rain dancing on the dancing maids. Night stay in Udaipur.

Day 04 / 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). 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. Atop 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 05 / Udaipur - Jodhpur ( By road )
After breakfast drive to Jodhpur. On arrival transfer to hotel. Night stay in Jodhpur.
Umaid Bhawan, Jodhpur
Day 06 / Jodhpur
After a relaxed breakfast proceed for city sight seeing tour of Jodhpur. Jodhpur - the stronghold of the fierce Rathore clan, was founded in 1459 by Prince Jodha. Visit the Mehrangarh Fort, situated on a low sandstone hill. Within the fort, visit Moti Mahal and Phool Mahal. Also visit Jaswant Thada, an imposing marble cenotaph, built in memory of Maharaja Jaswant singh II around 1899 and Umaid Public gardens. Night stay in Jodhpur.

Day 07 / Jodhpur - Jaisalmer ( By road )
Morning drive to Jaisalmer, on arrival transfer to hotel. Evening at leisure. Night stay in Jaisalmer.

Day 08 / Jaisalmer
Morning city sightseeing tour of Jaisalmer. Throbbing in the heart of the Thar, the burnished sandstone, is an intricately molded wonderland in place of a barren land, today stands a city of gilded magic. The origins of Jaisalmer go back to the 12th century, when Rawal Jaisal abandoned his old fort at Ludarwa and laid the foundation of a new city. Visit the magnificient fort, the Patwon Ki Haveli ( Mansion) and Salim singh Ki Haveli, with their carved balconies and brackets which are supreme examples of the art. Evening camel ride to visit Sam Dunes. Night stay in Jaisalmer.

Day 09 / Jaisalmer - Bikaner ( By road )
Morning drive to Bikaner. On arrival transfer to the hotel. Later city sight seeing tour. Bikaner is named after its founder Rao Bikaji in 1488. But long before this, the city was trade center on the caravan routes from Africa and West Asia. Bikaner’s dominant features are rippling sands and abundant sunshine. The city stands on an elevation, enclosed by a 7 Kms wall, which can be entered from 5 gate. Bikaner City is bolstered by imposing walls and has a 16th century fort housing old palaces, temples and mosque. Founded by Raja Rai Singh the fort is distinguished by its long range of 37 pavilions, a line of balconies and aerial windows of varying designs. Also visit Lallgarh Palace, the museum, Bhanda Sagar Jain and Deshnoke Rat temple. Night stay in Bikaner.

Day 10 / Bikaner - Jaipur ( By road )
Morning drive to Jaipur, on arrival transfer to the hotel. Evening at leisure . Night stay in Jaipur.

Hawa Mahal, JaipurDay 11 / 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 12 / Jaipur - Agra
Morning drive to Agra enroute visiting Fatehpur Sikri, built by Emperor Akbar in 1569 to commemorate the birth of his son and later abandoned due to scarcity of water. Visit the remains, it fortifications within the city including Jama Masjid, Tomb of Salim Chisti, Panch Mahal and other palaces. On arrival transfer to hotel. Evening at leisure. Night stay in Agra.

Day 13 / Agra
Red Fort, AgraMorning at sunrise visit the world famous Taj Mahal, built by the Mughal Emperor Shahjehan in 1630 for his queen Mumtaz Mahal to enshrine her mortal remains, Also visit the Agra Fort, containing the Pearl Mosque - 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-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. Also visit Itmad-up-Dau’s tomb, built by Noorjehan in memory of her father. Night stay in Agra.

Day 14 / Agra - Jhansi ( By train ) Jhansi - Orchha ( By surface )
Morning transfer to railway station to board the train to Jhansi , Arrive Jhansi & drive to Orchha & transfer to hotel. Later tour of this historical site with magnificient temples and monuments. Some of the palaces were decorated with painted murals which represent the finest flowering of the Bundela school of painting. Night stay in Orchha.

Day 15 / Orchha - Khajuraho ( By surface )
After breakfast drive to Khajuraho Khajuraho- 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. Arrive Khajuraho and transfer to hotel. Evening at leisure. Night stay in Khajuraho.

Day 16 / 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 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.

KhajurahoWestern Group
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. The inner sanctum boasts of an impressive image of the presiding deity - the majestic sun-god looming 5 feet high, and driving a chariot.
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. The latter, the boar incarnation also appears as a nine-feet high statue at the Varaha Temple.
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. The sculptures on the northern wall depict everyday activity, in awesome detail. Within the temple, a throne faces the bull emblem of first tirthankara, Adinath.
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.
Southern Group
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 17 / Khajuraho - 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.

VaranasiDay 18 / 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 one of the Buddhism’s major centers of India. After attaining enlightenment, the Buddha came to Sarnath where he gave his first sermon. Today Sarnath is considered as one of the richest place to have antiques since the Ashoka period to the 12th century. The Dharmarajika stupa was also built by Ashoka and it was surmounted by the pillar. This pillar with four lions today forms the national emblem of India. Sarnath has many more ruins of monasteries and stupas. The spot at which the stupa stands is believed to be the place from where Buddha gave his forts sermon. Sarnath has an extremely rich collection of Buddhist statues. Visit the deer park and the museum, later back to Varanasi . Night stay in Varanasi.

Day 19 / Varanasi - Bombay ( By flight )
After a relaxed breakfast transfer to airport to board the flight to Bombay. Arrive Bombay & transfer to hotel. Night stay in Bombay.

Day 20 / Bombay – Aurangabad ( By flight )
After breakfast proceed for half day tour of Mumbai covering Gateway of India – The stone archway designed by Wittett in the 16th century Gujarati style, Prince of Whales Museum , Chowpatty Beach, Dhobhi Ghat, Marine Drive. Later transfer to the airport to board the flight to Aurangabad, the capital of Aurangzeb, who was the last of the great Mughals. Arrive Aurangabad and transfer to hotel. Night stay in Aurangabad.

Day 21 / Aurangabad
Full day excursion to the world heritage sites – Ajanta and Ellora Caves in Aurangabad – as recognised so by UNESCO are renowned the world over for their uniqueness and ancient value
Ajanta caves- offers a rich tapestry of images that speak of palaces, royalty, cultures and tales of everyday life of ancient India. Long buried in the debris of time, these 30 caves were built to offer seclusion to the Buddhist monks, who lived, taught and performed rituals.
Ellora caves-Carved between fourth and fifth century, the rock temples and monasteries of Ellora represent the three major faiths of India - Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. Like Ajanta, Ellora caves too are a fine example of cave temples with almost 34 caves with intricate interiors and ornamental facades . Night stay in Aurangabad.

Day 22 / Aurangabad - Bombay ( By flight )
Morning transfer to airport to board the flight to Bombay. Arrive Bombay and transfer to hotel. Afternoon visit the local markets. Spend the rest of the day at leisure. Night stay in Bombay.

Day 23 / Bombay - Goa
After breakfast transfer to airport for flight to Goa. Arrive Goa & transfer to hotel. Evening at leisure. Night stay in Goa.

Day 24 / Goa
After breakfast, proceed on a half day sightseeing tour of Goa, visiting Miramar Beach, Basilica of Bom Jesus 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 .Night stay in Goa.

Day 25 / Goa
Day at leisure. Night stay in Goa.

Day 26 / Goa
Day at leisure . Night stay in Goa.

Day 27 / Goa - Departure
After breakfast, transfer to airport to board the fligt to Mumbai or Delhi to connect the flight back home.

Cost includes :
» 26 nights accommodation as per the itinerary with daily breakfast.
» Train tickets for Jhansi-Agra in airconditioned chair car.
» Surface Travel by exclusive airconditioned car.
» All transfers, sightseeing as per the itinerary.
» Local English speaking guides.
» Elephant ride in Jaipur ( Subject to availability), Boat ride in Varanasi/ Udaipur
» All taxes, driver allowances, parking etc.

Cost does not include :
» Entrance fee to monuments.
» Any airfare.
» Any meals except breakfast.
» Tips, beverages, laundry etc.
» Any item not shown in cost Includes.

Internal flights
Delhi-Udaipur, Khajuraho-Varanasi-Mumbai - Aurangabad - Mumbai - Goa : USD 837
Goa-Delhi : USD 280.50 by Airsahara or Indian Airlines.
Goa -Delhi : USD 100 approx by Kingfisher or Spice jet (Airfares are subject to change as it is advance purchase fare).
For Delhi-Udaipur, Khajuraho-Varanasi -Mumbai-Aurangabad-Mumbai-Goa flights also we can try for cheaper fares which are advance purchase basis once we know of your travel dates.
All airfares are subject to change any time without any prior notice.

Hotels Selected- Royal ( 5 * hotels)
Delhi: The Park / Metropolitan The Nikko / Radisson
Udaipur: Trident / Shiv Niwas
Jodhpur: Fortune the Ummed
Jaisalmer: Fort Rajwada
Bikaner: Lall Garh Palace / Laxmi Niwas Palace
Jaipur: Trident / Le Meridien
Agra: Jay Pee Palace/ Taj View / Trident
Orchha: Amar Mahal / Orchha Resort
Khajuraho: Taj Chandela
Varanasi: Radisson / Taj Ganges
Mumbai: Hilton Towers / Le Royal Meridien / Leela
Aurangabad: Taj Residency
Goa: Fort Aguada / Taj Holiday Village

Hotels Selected-Classic ( 4 * Hotels )
Delhi: The Connaught / Hotel City Park / De Marks
Udaipur: Shikarbadi / Uday Kothi/ Swaroop Vilas
Jodhpur: Balsamand Palace / Ajit Bhawan / Shree Ram Internatrional
Jaisalmer: Rang Mahal / Gorbandh Palace
Bikaner: Lall Garh Palace / Laxmi Niwas Palace
Jaipur: Alsisar Haveli / Jaipur Palace / KK Royal Days / Clarks Amer
Agra: Agra Ashok / Clarks
Khajuraho: Clarks
Varanasi: Clarks/ Hindustan
Mumbai: Fariyas / Godwin
Aurangabad: Ambassador Ajanta
Goa: Nizmar Resorts / Goan Heritage / Verca Beach Resort/Marquis Beach resort

Hotels Selected-Economy ( Moderate Hotels )
Delhi: Hotel Blue Bell / Hotel De Gold/ Hotel Sunstar / Pablas
Udaipur: Vishnupriya
Jodhpur: Days Inn
Jaisalmer: Narain Niwas
Bikaner: Basant Bihar
Jaipur: Aashish Palace / Royal Palazu
Agra: Deedar-e-Taj / Royale Residency
Khajuraho: Green wood
Varanasi: Meradan Grand / Kashika / Hotel India
Mumbai: Supreme
Aurangabad: Ravi Raj
Goa: Santa Monica / Beira Mar

Tour Booking Form
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E-mail* No. of Persons*
Phone* Children
Country* Date of Tour*
Your Requirements /Queries  

Special care is taken while selecting the hotels , As you may be aware that prices for same category of hotels are NOT the same , we select the hotels based on the quality & services & not just because it is a 4 * or 5 * hotel, Thatswhy some hotels listed in our classic catergory ( 4 * ) are actual 5 * hotels but we use them in 4 * categories. Hotels are subject to availability, please note that due to peak season starting from Oct onwards, most of hotels in 4* - 5* category are already fully booked for many dates starting from october, Once you finalise the booking, we shall start booking the hotels. It may be possible that we may have to go for a higher / lower category of hotels/ rooms in any place & we shall advice you of any supplement / reduction in the price. For Luxury Hotels Suppliment charge 16 nov. to 30th nov., 20 Dec. to 5th jan 2008.and 1st feb. to 29th feb.

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