Taj Mahal, Temples & Ganges
Delhi - Agra - Jhansi - Khajuraho - Varanasi - Delhi
Duration:8 Days / 7 Nights
Arrive Delhi, after clearing Immigration & Customs formalities; you will reach the arrival hall. It is here that you will meet our local guide from Banyan Tours. You will be received and transferred to your hotel. Overnight: The Claridges, Deluxe Room.
FULL DAY SIGHTSEEING TOUR OF OLD AND NEW DELHI
Old Delhi pulses with energy and colour, the hustle and bustle of thronged bazaars and is laced by a maze of narrow lanes that twist and turn between tall, leaning houses. It is full of the sights, sounds and aromas indicative of the Indian sub-continent. In Old Delhi you will see the famous Red Fort surrounded by shops, and bazaars, the Jama Masjid with its tapering minarets and wonderful marble domes and Chandni Chowk. In Old Delhi you will also have an opportunity to experience a rickshaw ride.
As a complete contrast to the medieval Old Delhi, New Delhi stands in formal splendour. It is a city of wide boulevards, which offers ever-changing perspectives of Lutyen's landscaped city. It is a city known for its formal parks, magnificent Parliament Building, the Rashtrapati Bhawan (the official residence of the President of India in the 330 acres of land and designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens) and India Gate. In New Delhi you will also visit Qutab Minar, the 72.5-metre high tower dating back to the 13th century, and Humanyun's Tomb which was built in the 16th century and architecturally considered the forerunner of the Taj Mahal. Overnight: The Claridges, Deluxe Room. B
DELHI - AGRA (TRAIN)
Early this morning you will be driven to New Delhi railway station for your train to Agra (Bhopal Shatabdi departs Delhi at 0615 hrs and arrives Agra at 0812 hrs). On arrival in Agra you will be received at the station and assisted to your hotel.
Later this afternoon you will be taken to visit the incomparable Taj Mahal and Agra Fort, where you stay until sunset. The Taj Mahal is at its best at sunrise and sunset - just when the light, playing on the marble of the tomb and the reflections in the stillness of the waters, presents this incredible building in all its beauty, majesty and splendour. It is a monument of love built by Shah Jehan in 1630 for his Queen, Mumtaz Mahal to enshrine her mortal remains. For twenty-two years 20,000 men laboured day and night to build this masterpiece, which has held the world awe struck ever since. The Taj Mahal is truly one of the wonders of the world.
After visiting Agra Fort you will visit the Tomb of Itimad ud Daulah. Before the Taj Mahal was built, its design was already standing in the form of Itmad-Ud-Daulah's Tomb, hence it is affectionately known as the 'Baby Taj'. Built to represent a silver jewel box in marble, this mausoleum houses the body of Mirza Ghiyas Beg, the father of the Mughal Empress Noor Jahan. Overnight: The Taj Gateway, Superior - Taj View Room. B
AGRA - JHANSI (TRAIN) - KHAJURAHO
This morning you will be driven to Agra railway station for your train to Jhansi (Bhopal Shatabdi departs Agra at 0817 hrs and arrives Jhansi at 1048 hrs). On arrival in Jhansi, you will be received and drive to Khajuraho (approx. 5 hours) via Orchha. Orchha today is little more than a village with a population of only a couple of thousands and Orchha Fort is definitely worth a visit. Arrive Khajuraho and transfer to your hotel. Evening at leisure. Overnight: The Lalit Temple View, Deluxe Room. B
This morning a guided tour of the Eastern and Western group of Khajuraho temples. The 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 and goddesses. The Western group of temples, the famous Chandela Dynasty Temples, built between 950 and 1050 AD, immortalised a wealth of sensuous and erotic sculptures in stone, an exquisite depiction of human life and emotions, equating passion with spiritual union. The sculptures, considered as the most perfect figures achieved in stone, depict gods, goddesses and amorous couples. Overnight: The Lalit Temple View, Deluxe Room. B
KHAJURAHO - VARANASI (BY AIR)
Morning is at leisure. This afternoon you will be transfer by private vehicle to Khajuraho Airport for your flight to Varanasi. (9W 724 - 1325/1410 Hrs). Upon arrival in Varanasi you will be met and transferred by private vehicle to your hotel. Later evening enjoy the Boat ride over fabulous Ganges. Overnight: Taj Gateway Ganges, Executive Room. B
Enjoy an early morning boat ride on the River Ganges followed by a City tour. Over one hundred ghats on the Ganges are the main attraction for visitors to Varanasi. The holy city of Varanasi, the religious capital of Hinduism is crowded with temples and a labyrinth of streets with throngs of people. As a place of devotion and worship, Varanasi attracts millions of pilgrims every year. Overnight: Taj Gateway Ganges, Executive Room. B
VARANASI - DELHI (BY AIR) - DEPARTURE
Early morning excursion to Sarnath, situated twelve kilometres from Varanasi. It is here Lord Buddha is believed to have preached his first sermon after enlightenment. This afternoon transfer to Varanasi Airport for your flight to Delhi (9W 724- 1440/1600 Hrs). Arrive in Delhi where you will be transferred to the International Airport for your onward flight. B