Classical India Tour

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Package Detailed Itinerary

DUration: 26 Nights / 27 Days.

Destinatio covered::Delhi, Varanasi, Khajuraho, Jhansi, Agra, Fatehpur Sikri, Jaipur, Aurangabad, Mumbai, Goa, Bangalore, Mysore, Cochin, Alleppey, Kumarakom, Thekkady, Madurai, Tanjore, Pondicherry, Mahabalipuram, Chennai.

Day 1: Arrive Delhi: India Gate - New Delhi

Namaste! We are welcomed the traditional Indian way with hands clapped together. After immigration and custom formalities, we are met to our representative and driven through the city to our hotel. Overnight at Hotel in Delhi – (2 Nights)

Day 2: Delhi:

The capital of India is a true reflection of the old and new of India. We start our morning tour with New Delhi and visit the famous India Gate followed by the Houses of Parliament, Connaught Place, Humayun's Tomb and the Qutab Minar - a perfect minaret towering 102 meters / 112 yards into the sky. New Delhi is a blend of Mughal India, Hindu India, British India and certainly of modern independent India. Our afternoon concentrates on Old Delhi, starting with the famous Red Fort. Built by Shah Jehan, this was once the most opulent fort of the Mughal Empire. Next we visit another Mughal majesty, the Jama Masjid, India's largest mosque. We end our tour with the visit to Raj Ghat, the cremation site of Mahatma Gandhi. Please note: - Red fort is closed on Monday. (Breakfast)

Day 3: Delhi - Varanasi: By Flight Varanasi Ghats

Today we are transferred to airport for our flight to Varanasi. Varanasi is the spiritual centre of Hindus, Buddhists and Muslims alike. This is also the pilgrim centre for the Hindus who come daily to dip themselves in the holy water of the Ganges. Late afternoon, we start our experience of Varanasi by visiting the Bharat Mata Temple which houses a big relief map of India made from marble. Varanasi is famous for its many temples and we visit the Durga temple, the Tulsi Manas Mandir, the Banaras Hindu University and the Mosque of Mughal Emperor, Aurangzeb. The city is famous also for its Banarasi silk sarees and we visit some of the houses where such silk sarees are still being weaved. Evening is free to enjoy this 5000 years old city and experience sunset at the Ganges. Every evening at sunset, on the banks of the river Ganges, the devotional ceremony of Aarti is performed. Thousands of Hindus and tourists flock to the Ghats, particularly in the pilgrimage town of Varanasi. In the evening we witness the Aarti ceremony on the Ghats of Ganges.Overnight at Hotel in Varanasi (1 Night) (Breakfast)

Day 4: Varanasi - Khajuraho: By Flight

Early morning a serene experience begins as we take a sunrise cruise on the River Ganges. One of the cardinal principles of Hinduism is the belief in the holiness of the Ganges. Every morning scores of pilgrim and priests fill the riverbanks performing the holy dip and various other rituals. This is a site that has to be seen and experienced as it is so different from anything else what may have seen anywhere in the world. Later we leave for Sarnath the site of Lord Buddha's first sermon after attaining enlightenment. At Sarnath we meet many Buddhist monks and followers before visiting local Homes to see in-Home silk weaving and soak up some local customs, culture and hospitality. Later we are transferred to airport for our flight to Khajuraho. On arrival we are transferred to our Hotel. Our Khajuraho visit starts with the temples that have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The temples were built during the apogee of the Chandela dynasty between 950 and 1050 AD. Today only 20 temples remain and they fall into three distinct groups and belong to two different religions - Hinduism and Jainism. These beautiful temples strike a perfect balance between architecture and sculpture. The Kandariya is decorated with a profusion of sculptures that are among the greatest masterpieces of Indian art. The most important ones include the Mahadev Temple, Chitragupta or Bharatji Temple with a lovely image of 11 headed Vishnu, Vishvanath and Nandi Temples, Lakshmana Temple, Visha Temple that was dedicated to Shiva, which is the largest and most typical of temples Overnight at Hotel in Khajuraho – (1 Night) (Breakfast)

Day 5: Khajuraho - Jhansi - Agra: (Drive & Train)

Today we drive to Jhansi en-route visiting Orchha, an amazing medieval fortress-city located on the shores of the Betwa River. After our visit to Orchha we proceed to the Railway Station in Jhansi to embark on the luxury first class train to Agra. This is a very comfortable train journey lasting just over 2 hours with four brief stops en route. It offers air-conditioned "business class airline" seating with meal services on board. We are welcomed in Agra and transferred to our Hotel. Overnight at Hotel in Agra – (2 Nights) (Breakfast)

Day 6: Agra Taj Mahal - Agra

We start our day with a visit to one of the most well known wonders of the world, the Taj Mahal. Built by Shah Jehan as a mausoleum for his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal, the Taj is built of white marble, beautifully carved and inlaid with semi-precious stones. Next we visit Agra Fort, where Shah Jehan, in the later years of his life, was imprisoned by his son to prevent him from spending the family fortunes on a black echo of the Taj Mahal. We also visit Itmad-Ud-Daulah, often called as Baby Taj. A highly ornate edifice, this mausoleum is considered as the imminent precursor of the Taj Mahal as far as elaborate carvings and inlay work are concerned. Though the structure does not have much to offer architecturally, it makes a clear departure from the earlier Mughal tombs built during the period and is more softer and with a lot of inlay carvings. Later we visit to Sikandra. This is where lie the remains of Akbar the Great - one of the greatest of the Mughal rulers. A very simple mausoleum for a person of his stature. The mausoleum brings in a lot of visitors and black-faced monkeys keen to grab food you may be holding in your hand. (Breakfast)
Please Note: Taj Mahal remains closed on Friday’s

Day 07: Agra- Fatehpur Sikri – Jaipur (Drive: 235 Km/ 5 Hrs)

A short drive gets us to Fatehpur Sikri, the beautiful capital built in 1640 by the Mughal King, Akbar the Great. The city was later abandoned for lack of water. A superb example of Mughal architecture, it stands perfectly preserved in the desert. We also visit the artistically designed mausoleum of Salim Chisty who is reputed to have prayed for a son for Akbar leading to the birth of Salim Jehangir. From here we continue on a countryside drive to Jaipur. On arrival we check in our Hotel. Overnight at Hotel in Jaipur – (2 Nights) (Breakfast) Amber Fort - Jaipur

Day 08: Jaipur:

A royal experience awaits us as we take an elephant ride uphill to the intriguing Amber Palace, a distinguished example of 17th Century Rajput architecture. After the tour and enjoying a panoramic view, we visit the old astronomical observatory built by the founder of the city, Jai Singh. We also visit the majestic Palace, which houses a rare collection of Indian art, and the colorful bazaar. Jaipur is noted for its craftsmen, skilled in brass inlay, lacquer work and stone setting. Most of the buildings in the old city are made of pink sandstone and one of the most beautiful is Hawa Mahal, Palace of Winds, where the ladies of the royal harem used to watch the city from behind the intricately carved facade. Evening is free to enjoy both shopping and a cultural experience in the bazaars of Jaipur. (Breakfast)

Day 09: Jaipur- Delhi- Aurangabad (Drive & Flight)

In the morning after breakfast, drive to airport in Delhi in time to board flight to Aurangabad. On arrival in Aurangabad check in to our Hotel. Rest of the day is free. Overnight at Hotel in Aurangabad – (2 Nights) (Breakfast)

Day 10: Aurangabad – Day Excursion to Ajanta Caves (107 Kms one way):-

In the morning drive to Ajanta Caves a world Heritage site. One Hundred and seven Kilometers north-east of Aurangabad are the remarkable rock-cut monuments of Ajanta, containing important examples of Buddhist Architecture and sculpture, and what is undoubtedly the finest and most complete examples of early Buddhist paintings of India. The cave temples are cut into the rocky sites of dramatic crescent shaped gorge at the head of which is a waterfall that feeds the natural pool, the Saptakunda. The earlier monuments date back to the second and first centuries BC.
The Ajanta Carvings of the Mahayana Phase rival those of the Gupta period monuments, to which they are stylistically related, demonstrating the artistic links between Deccan and central India in the fifth century. The series of paintings at Ajanta that cloaks the walls and ceilings is unparalleled in the history of Indian Art, both for the wide range of subjects illustrated and the assured mastery of the medium. The paintings that adorn the walls and ceilings of the caves depict incidents from the life of Buddha and various Buddhist divinities. Among the more interesting paintings are the Jakarta tales, illustrating diverse stories relating to the previous incarnations of the Buddha as Bodhisattva, a saintly being who is destined to become Buddha. (Breakfast)
Please Note: Ajanta Caves are closed on Monday

Day 11: Aurangabad – Mumbai : - Flight

In the morning we visit ELLORA CAVES situated about 18 miles away from the city of Aurangabad - a group of rock temples - posses a magnificent series of Buddhist, Brahmanical and Jain temples of the 9th Century A.D. Kailash Temple, hewn out of a single rock, carved with life size figures of gods and goddesses, is a wonder. There are 34 caves, of which 12 are Buddhist, 17 Hindu and 5 Jain Later we also visit the Daulatabad fort and Bibi-Ka-Maqbra - The Bibi-Ka-Maqbra (19°55’ N; 75°15’ E) is a beautiful mausoleum of Rabia-ul-Daurani alias Dilras Banu Begum, the wife of the Mughal Emperor Aurangazeb (1658-1707 A.D.). This mausoleum is believed to be constructed by Prince Azam Shah in memory of his mother between 1651 and 1661 A.D. Later transfer to the airport in Aurangabad in time to board flight to Mumbai. On arrival check in at Hotel. Overnight at Hotel in Mumbai (2 Nights) (Breakfast)
Please Note: Ellora Caves are closed on Tuesday Gateway of India - Mumbai

Day 12: Mumbai

After breakfast our experience of Bombay or Mumbai starts with - Gateway of India- Mumbai's most famous monument; this is the starting point for most tourists who want to explore the city. We also visit Hanging gardens, the bustling Crawford Market, Haji Ali - Across a rocky path that meanders into the sea from Mahalaxmi Temple, you can see a cluster of ethereal white domes floating on the water. This is Haji Ali Dargah, the tomb of a wealthy Muslim merchant, who renounced all his worldly belongings before embarking on a pilgrimage to Mecca. Next we visit Flora Fountain and the Dhobi Ghats - a vast outdoor laundry & the Prince of Wales Museum & Victoria Terminus which is recently added to the world heritage site. This is a city's most exuberant Gothic building look more like a lavishly decorated palace or cathedral than something as mundane as a transport depot - don't wait until you have to catch a train to see it. It was designed by Frederick Stevens as the headquarters of the Great Indian Peninsular Railway Company and was completed in 1887; 34 years after the first train in India left this site on its way to nearby Thana. Evening is free for shopping and personal activities. (Breakfast) Please Note: Prince of Wales Museum is closed on Monday’s.

Day 13: Mumbai - Goa: - Flight

In the morning we take a short flight to Goa. On arrival in Goa, we are transferred to our Hotel. Goa- The former Portuguese enclave of Goa has a character quite distinct from the rest of the India. Although its renowned 'travelers scene ' and reliance on tourism has changed and shaped aspects of this tiny state in the past two decades, Goa offers much more than just the hedonism of sun, sand and sea. Despite five decades of liberation from Portuguese rule, Roman Catholicism remains a major religion, skirts far outnumbers saris, and Goans display an easygoing tropical indulgence, humor and civility. White washed churches, paddy fields, coconut -palm groves and crumbling forts guarding rocky capes make up the Goan landscape. Markets are lively, colorful affairs, siesta is widely observed during the hot afternoons, and there are feasts and festivities throughout the year. Rest of the day is free to relax on the Beach. Overnight at Hotel in Goa – 2 Nights (Breakfast)

Day 14: Goa

We take a full day tour of Goa visiting South Goa and North Goa, visiting Mapusa town, Mayem Lake, Vagator, Anjuna, Calangute beaches and Fort Aguada in North Goa and the South Goa tour covers Old Goa Churches - Bom Jesus, Se Cathedral, Margao, Colva and Mormugao.
Old Goa is an important pilgrimage Centre visited by thousands of pilgrims and devotees particularly on the occasion of St Francis Xavier's annual feast on 3rd December. At Old Goa, about 15 kms from Panaji, rises a complex of ancient churches, monasteries and convents renowned for their unique architectural style and loftiness.
Church: The Basilica of Bom Jesus built in the 16th century, where the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier are enshrined; the Se Cathedral, which is the most imposing of all churches at Old Goa. Its vaulted interior overwhelms the visitors by its sheer grandeur. The cathedral has five bells of which one is the famous Golden bell, the biggest in Goa and one of the best in the World. (Breakfast)

Day 15: Goa – Bangalore:- (Flight)

Transfer to airport for flight to Bangalore. On arrival, meet-assist and transfer to hotel. PM: Sightseeing of Bangalore, The capital of Karnataka State (formerly Mysore) is modern, well planned and ranks among India's most beautiful cities. Its rolling parks and gardens are famous for their botanical value and beautiful flowers. Also visit the Visveswariah Memorial Museum, Mysore Arts and Crafts Centre and shopping areas. Overnight at Hotel in Bangalore – (1 Night) (Breakfast) Mysore Palace - Mysore

Day 16: Bangalore – Mysore:- (Drive 139 Kms/ 3 Hours)

Leave by surface to Mysore. Also known as the city of Palaces, Mysore has never failed to mesmerize with its quaint charm, rich heritage, magnificent palaces, beautifully laid-out gardens, imposing buildings, broad shady avenues and sacred temples. Our tour includes the Maharajah's Palace, the Shri Chamundeswari Temple and the Nadi Shiva's Mount. The evening is free to enjoy the Vrindavan Garden and City Palace, which is beautifully lit on certain days. Overnight at hotel in Mysore – (1 Night) (Breakfast)

Day 17: Mysore – Bangalore - Cochin (Drive 139 Kms & flight)

Morning, after an early breakfast leave by surface to airport in Bangalore in time to board flight to Cochin. On arrival in Cochin, transfer to your Hotel. Rest of the day is free to relax. Overnight at hotel in Cochin– (2 Nights) (Breakfast)

Day 18: Cochin

In the morning we tour Cochin, the commercial capital of Kerala, with one of the finest natural harbors in the world. We visit the oldest European Chinese Fishingnet - CochinChurch in India "St. Francis Church". Today it is governed by the Church of South India (CSI). Vasco De Gama was buried here before his remains were taken back to Portugal 14 years later. Next we visit the Santa Cruz Cathedral Built by the Portuguese in around the 16th century; this Roman Catholic Church is famous for the beautiful paintings on its ceiling. We visit the Jewish Quarter with its old synagogue, and the Dutch palace built by the Portuguese and given to the Raja of Cochin. Later we take a boat cruise to visit the Bolghatty Palace and observe the fascinating Chinese fishing nets in action. In the evening we enjoy Kathakali Dance Performance. This dramatized presentation of a play usually based on the Hindu epics of Ramayana, Mahabharata and Puranas, has a unique combination of literature, music, painting, acting and dance. (Breakfast)

Day 19: Cochin – Alleppey (Drive) – Houseboat:-

Today we drive to Alleppey. On arrival in Alleppey we board our traditional houseboat (rice boats - "Ketuvallam") and begin our journey through the picturesque backwaters and small lakes relaxing in the tranquility of Kerala's beautiful scenery -Experience the way of life and activity of the local people. An unbelievably beautiful paradise of mangrove forests, emerald green paddy fields and coconut groves interspersed with enchanting waterways and canals adorned with white lilies. Situated on the Vembanad Lake, in this small water world you will come across plenty of traditional country crafts, boats and canoes which will take you into the heart of the scenic lake. Overnight: A.C. Deluxe House Boat (1 night) (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner) Houseboat

Day 20: Kumarakom - Thekkady: (Drive: 185 Km / 5 Hrs):

Morning after breakfast we say good bye to our hosts on the Houseboat and drive to Thekkady. The Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary (Entry: 0600 to 1800 hrs): Lying close to plantations, in the rich jungles of Periyar in Thekkady is one of the world's most fascinating natural wildlife reserves - the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. Spread across 777 sq km, of which 360 sq. km is thick evergreen forest, the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary was declared a Tiger Reserve in 1978. Noted for its geomorphology, diversity of wildlife and scenic beauty, the Reserve attracts visitors from all over the world. On arrival in Thekkady, we check in our Hotel. Later we visit the spice plantation. About 4000 Sq. KM of Idukki district is under spice plantations. The main occupations of the natives are spice farming and trading. The original produce was cardamom, pepper, ginger and turmeric, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, all spice, tea etc. This will give an excellent opportunity to the visitor to see the spice plants and ayurvedic medicinal plants and buy some garden fresh spices from the plantations. This is a guided Tour and it will take 1-1:30 hours. Later in the evening we return back to our hotel. Overnight at Hotel in Thekkady (1 Night) (Breakfast)

Day 21: Thekkady – Madurai: (Drive 160 Kms/4 Hours)

Our day starts with a boat ride over the Lake Periyar to watch animals in their natural habitat on the water's edge. While cruising on Lake Periyar, we are likely to see animals like Wild Boars, Sambars, Wild Dogs, Langur Monkeys, Wild Elephants and water birds; darter, grey heron, egret and kingfisher. We return to the Hotel for Breakfast and checkout. Later drive to Madurai. Madurai situated in southern Tamil Nadu is the second largest city in Tamil Nadu, is an important cultural and commercial centre. On arrival check in to the Hotel. The main city area revolves around Meenakshi Temple, with its baroque example of Dravidian architecture and the four tall gopurams (pillars) with multicolored Gods, Goddesses, demons and deities. Madurai is famous for the imposing Temple, a structure in the Dravidian style of architecture. The history of the city dates back over 2,000 years when it was the capital of the Pandyas. The most interesting feature of the temple is its Hall of a thousand pillars some of which sound like metal when hit with an object. The metal stone or musical pillar, although made of stone, produces sounds of different metals. Other places of interest include the Tirumalai Nayaka Temple and the Temple Art Museum. Overnight at Hotel in Madurai – (1 Night) (Breakfast)

Day 22: Madurai - Tanjore: (Drive: 195 Km / 4 Hrs) Brihadisvara Temple - Thanjavur

In the morning after breakfast we drive to Thanjavur, popularly known as Tanjore, where lies the famous Brihadishwara Temple and its sprawling palace complex. The town is famous also for its distinctive style, a combination of raised and painted surfaces. "Krishna" is the most popular deity depicted, and in the Tanjore School his skin is white, rather than the traditional blue-black. Tanjore was the ancient capital of the Chola Kings whose origins go back to the beginning of the Christian era. Our afternoon tour of World Heritage Site of Tanjore includes Shri Brihadishwara temple built by "Raja-Raja" in 1010 A.D, which is the crowning glory of Chola temple architecture. The temple, set in spacious grounds, has several pillared halls and shrines. Inscriptions record the names of dancers, musicians and poets a reminder of the significance of this area to the development of the arts. We end our tour of Tanjore with a visit to the Tanjore Palace & Museum which has an eclectic collection of regal memorabilia most of it dating from the early 19th century. Overnight at Hotel in Tanjore (1 Night) (Breakfast)

Day 23: Tanjore - Pondicherry: (Drive: 150 Km / 4 Hrs)

In the morning after breakfast we drive to Pondicherry. The Union Territory of Pondicherry is situated on the Coromandel Coast of South India, about 160 kms south of Chennai. Pondicherry traces its origin to Saint Agasthya, the revered sage of the south. It was also the site of many a battle between the British and the French, and was the capital of French India, before it attained its independence. Being a small and quiet enclave of Tamil Nadu, it has imbibed Tamilian culture. Apart from the charming atmosphere, excellent restaurants, and cheap beer, what attracts most travelers to Pondicherry is the Sri Aurobindo Ashram. The ashram, founded by Sri Aurobindo in the year 1926, has brought international reputation to this coastal town. Tours of the ashram, the spiritual tenets of which combine yoga and modern science, are popular within India and abroad. Overnight at Hotel in Pondicherry (2 Nights) (Breakfast)

Day 24: Pondicherry

Day is free to relax or you may visit Sri Aurobindo Ashram. (Breakfast

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Day 25: Pondicherry - Mahabalipuram - Chennai: (Drive: 160 Km / 4-5 Hrs)

In the morning after breakfast we drive to Mahabalipuram. We visit the World Heritage Site of Mahabalipuram. This group of sanctuaries, founded by the Pallava kings, was carved out of rock along the Coromandel Coast in the 7th and 8th centuries. It is known especially for its rathas (temples in the form of chariots), mandapas (cave sanctuaries), giant open-air relief's such as the famous 'Descent of the Ganges', and the temple of Rivage, with thousands of sculptures to the glory of Shiva. Later we continue our journey to Chennai. On arrival we check in our Hotel. Rest of the day is free to relax. Overnight at Hotel in Chennai – (2 Nights) (Breakfast)

Day 26: Chennai

Our tour of Chennai starts with visit to The National Art Gallery & Museum. The museum was established in 1857 and contains one of the best collections of bronzes in the country, including the famous icon of Natraja. Our Next stop is at St. Mary's Church-built in 1680. This was first English Church in Chennai and is India's oldest surviving British church. In the church there are reminders of Clive, who was married here in 1753, and Elihu Yale, the early governor of Madras. We end our tour with a visit to People's Park and the beautiful Marina Beach, the second longest beach in the world, and the clock towers. (Breakfast)

Day 27: Chennai – Home

We are transferred to the airport in Chennai in time to board our flight back home. (Breakfast)

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