The Journey Begun

North India With Tigers Tour: (12 Days)

You will be met on arrival at the International airport. Transfer to your hotel. Relax.
DELHI, the capital of kingdoms and empires is now a sprawling metropolis with a fascinating blend of the past and the present. Delhi is a perfect introduction to the composite culture of an ancient land and a window to the kaleidoscope - that is India. Overnight will be at Delhi.

After breakfast proceed for a day sightseeing tour of the city.
Start with the sightseeing of Old Delhi. The tour will begin with a visit to Raj Ghat, a simple memorial to Mahatma Gandhi; drive past the Red Fort continuing to the Jama Masjid by bicycle rickshaws, one of Asia's largest mosques. The magnificent Red Fort, overlooking the river Jamuna was built during the years 1638 - 48 when the Moghul Empire was at its peak. The tour continues to Jama Masjid, one of Asia's largest mosques and which is viewed from the outside.
People stream in and out of the mosque continuously and the presence of a nearby bazaar means that the area is rarely quiet.
Enjoy the rickshaw ride at Old Delhi.
After visiting Old Delhi, you will be driven to New Delhi, which reflects the legacy the British left behind. The division between New and Old Delhi is the division between the capitals of the British and the Mughals respectively. The division in the walled city and New Delhi also marks the division in the life-styles. The walled city is all tradition where one will be able to glean a past life-style in all its facets, colours and spells. New Delhi in contrast, is a city trying to live up to the best of 21st century standards. Imperial Delhi will include the Qutub Minar, the tallest stone tower in India. The tour also includes a drive past the imposing India Gate, the Parliament building and the Rastrapathi Bhawan, the President's residence. If time permits then visit the Lotus temple located in south of Delhi. It is lotus shaped and has rightly been given the name. It is made of marble, cement, dolomite and sand. It is open to all faiths and is an ideal place for meditation and obtaining peace and tranquility. Its founder, Bahaullah (1817-1892), is regarded by Bahai as the most recent in the line of Messengers of God that stretches back beyond recorded time and that includes Abraham, Moses, Buddha, Zoroaster, Christ and Muhammad.
Overnight will be in Delhi.

After the breakfast, you will be transferred in time to the airport for your flight to Varanasi.
Upon arrival in Varanasi, you will be met and transferred to the hotel.
Picturesquely situated on the crescent shaped left bank of the holy River Ganges, Varanasi, one of the ancient seats of learning in India, is said to be a compound of the names of two streams, the Varuna and the Assi, which still flow in the north and south of the city respectively. This name seems to have been corrupted, in medieval times to Varanasi, which was in use till May 1956, when it was changed to Varanasi, by an order of the Government of India. Varanasi is probably one of the most ancient living cities in India. From time immemorial it has been a great religious center for Hindus and one of their most sacred places of pilgrimage, being visited by millions of people every year. To every visitor Varanasi offers a breathtaking experience. The rays of the dawn shimmering across the Ganges; the high-banks; the temples and shrines along the banks bathed in a golden hue soul stirring hymns and mantras along with the fragrance of incense filling the air.and the refreshing dip in the holy waters, gently splashing at the Ghats. Varanasi - The land where experience and discovery reach the ultimate bliss. Varanasi is also renowned for its rich tapestry of music, arts, crafts and education. Some of the world - renowned exponents India has produced in these fields were schooled in Varanasi's cultural ethos. Luminaries apart, Varanasi abounds in the art of silk weaving, an exotic work of art, which manifests itself in precious Banarasi silk sarees and silk brocades which are cherished as collector's items across the world today.
After wash and change and lunch, proceed for a visit to Sarnath 5 miles out of Varanasi: The great Buddha enhanced the sanctity of Varanasi by choosing the environs of the city to preach his first sermon at Sarnath, (only 10 Kms away) after attaining enlightenment. Later, Ashoka, the great Mauryan Emperor erected magnificent stupas and other buildings along with his mighty stone pillar, Dharmarajika Stupa. The 110 ft. tall Damekh Stupa marks the place where Buddha preached first sermon. Sarnath has been a premier centre for Buddhism. It is a rich collection of ancient Buddhist relics and antiques comprising numerous Buddha and Bodhisatva images on display at the Archaeological Museum (1000 hrs to 1700 hrs. Open all days except Friday)
Enjoy the evening AARTI at the GHATS. The guide will be giving a commentary to you on the proceedings and meanings of the chants during the AARTI of the river.
Overnight will be spent at Varanasi.

In the early morning drive to Daswamedh Ghat and take a boat ride on the sacred river Ganges to see the cremation Ghats and witness the living traditions of one of the world's oldest and most important religions. (To start at 0500 hrs. for the best lifetime experience) For you to appreciate this remarkable city, we'll transfer you to the banks of the River Ganges before the sun rises. Board a boat with your guide and proceed to the middle of the river, where at sunrise the sight unfolds before you. Thousands of faithful come daily to the banks to bathe and pray while in the background, temples and palaces rise in tiers from the water's edge. Then return for a walk through the cobblestone streets along the banks of "Ganga". As shops are opening, the place now becomes a beehive of activity as the faithful are coming and going. Visit the Kashi Vishwanath Temple while returning to the hotel.
Return for breakfast to the hotel.
Proceed for guided day tour of Varanasi including the Bharat Mata Temple, which features a big relief map of Mother India engraved in marble. Also visit the 18th century Durga Temple, commonly known as the Monkey Temple due to the huge population of the monkeys. Proceed to the Tulsi Manas Temple, crafted from white marble, which features the entire Ramayana inscribed on its walls. Also visit the BHU considered as the biggest residential university in Asia. The University Campus houses an Art Gallery and the Mosque of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb.
Evening free for you to stroll or visit the local markets.
Overnight will be at Varanasi.

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast at the hotel. You will be transferred in time to the airport for your flight to Khajuraho.
Met on arrival at the airport and transferred to the hotel.
After wash and change and lunch, proceed for a half-day city tour of the FAMOUS WESTERN & EASTERN TEMPLES of Khajuraho.
The Western group of temples: Primarily built in one style the temples have the ardhamandapa or the entrance, the mandapa or the assembly hall, the antarala or the vestibule and finally a pradakshina or a circumambulation running around the grabha griha or the inner sanctum. The temples are divided in three major zones, the western, the eastern and the southern temples of which the western temples are the most popular ones.
The arch of Kandariya Mahadev shrine has meticulously carved various themes of life. Celestial beings, lovers serenading musicians all the movements captured in stone, frozen in time, yet retaining a quality of warm, pulsating life. The very stone seems to have taken on the living, breathing quality of the carved figures. outer walls have three horizontal panels showing deities of the Hindu pantheon, and groups of lovers, a pageant of sensuousness, vibrantly alive. The Chousat Yogini temple dedicated to kali is also present but without the deity in the sanctum. The Matangeshwara temple is the only shrine used for worshipping.
The temple is almost devoid of ornamentation. The Varaha Temple stands opposite the Matangeshwara temple and is dedicated to the fourth incarnation of Lord Vishnu in form of a Boar. The monolithic figure is exquisitely carved with 764 divine figures around it. The Lakshmana Temple, dedicated to the four armed and three headed man-lion-boar statue of Vaikuntha, is the best preserved and the most evolved Vishnu temples.
There are sculptures depicting many mythological stories such as the churning of the ocean and Kalia mardan. O n the exterior the entire range of the Khajuraho temples is on display. Ecstatic street singers and the architect of the temples, surrounded by his apprentices are among the noteworthy images on this temple. The Vishwanath temple was supposed to be embedded with jewels, but only a stone lingam is what remains now.
The exteriors of this temple however are the most stunningly beautiful. Here one can see nymphs can be seen playing on their flutes, removing thorns from their feet, fondling children and looking into a mirror. Some of the most erotic depictions are seen as well. Another interesting temple is dedicated to the Sun God, the Chitragupta temple. It shows the Sun God driving the chariot drawn by seven horses. The exteriors show, royal processions, elephant-fights, hunting scenes, group dances and the lavish lifestyle of the Chandela kings and their court in its all pomp and glory.
The Eastern Group of temples: The Brahma and the Hanuman temples are the most famous and well-preserved temples of this group. The Vamana temple shows all the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu.
This place also has a few temples belonging to the Jain religion, probably because one of the descendants of the Chandela dynasty may have adopted Jainism. The prominent among these are the Ghantai temple, the Parsvanath and the Shnatinath temple.
Watch the SOUND AND LIGHT SHOW at the Western Temples.
Overnight will be in Khajuraho.

Breakfast will be at hotel. You will be transferred to the station for your train to Agra from Jhansi.
Visit Orchha, 12 km away, on your way to Jhansi. It is a medieval city founded by the BUNDELA rulers with palaces and temples of the 16th & 17th century - which has remarkably withstood the onslaught of time. The town is known for its CHATTRIS, which were built in the memory of the kings. The river BETWA flanks the small rustic town.
Proceed for sightseeing of ORCHHA sites within the Fort Complex.
Continue your drive to Jhansi to board the train to Agra.
AGRA: Two great Mughal monarchs, Akbar and Shah Jahan, transformed the little village of Agra into a befitting second capital of the Mughal Empire - giving it the name Dar-ul-Khilafat {seat of the Emperor}. Today a visitor to Agra is caught up in a world of contrasting edifices, of red sandstone and white marble, narrow galleys and quaint buggies, and that irresistible charm that this favorite city of the Mughals still retains. It is not surprising, that modern Agra still reflects its Mughal heritage most conspicuously. A walk down the narrow bustling streets of the city will introduce the visitor to the wafting aroma of Mughlai cuisine.
Reach and relax in the hotel. Evening visit the local markets.
Overnight will be in Agra.

Breakfast will be at the hotel.
Proceed for day sightseeing of Agra.
TAJ MAHAL - Little needs to be said about this architectural wonder, which is always the soul raison-de-etre for every tourist's visit to Agra. Built by Shah Jahan, the Taj is a white marble memorial to his beautiful wife Mumtaz Mahal. This monument took 22 years to be completed and was designed, and planned by Persian architect Ustad Isa. Apart from its stunning design balance and perfect symmetry, the Taj is also noted particularly for its elegant domes, intricately carved screens and some of the best inlay work ever seen.
SIKANDRA - This beautifully maintained monument is where EMPEROR AKBAR was buried. It is a very low profile monument but it has one of the most awe - inspiring tombs. It is surreal how one of the greatest emperors has been put to rest. The manicured lawns has spotted and other varieties of deer roaming in them. Named after the Afghan ruler Sikander Lodi, Sikandra is the final resting place of Emperor Akbar. The Emperor began the construction of his own garden mausoleum during his lifetime. However, his son Jahangir completed the construction in 1613. An impressive marble - inlaid gateway leads to the spacious four - tiered monument, which is crowned, by a white marble cenotaph and screen. What is interesting is that the structure imbibes the best of Hindu, Christian, Islamic, Buddhist, Jain motifs, signifying the new religion started by Akbar - the DEEN E ILAHI.
AGRA FORT - The red sandstone structure is surrounded by chahar-bagh, a foursquare formal garden. Built by the famed Mughal emperor Akbar in 1565 AD, the fort is predominantly of red sandstone.Ensconced within is the picture perfect Pearl Mosque, which is a major tourist attraction. It lies on the bend of the river Yamuna, almost in the heart of the town. Akbar built it as his citadel over the years 1563-73 in the finest architectural style. It has imposing gates and walls of red sandstone and a moat.
After Agra Fort we will visit BABY TAJ or the ITMAD-UD-ULLAH - The interiors of which are considered better than the Taj. Nur Jahan, the Empress of Jehangir for her father in 1628, built one of the most beautiful Mughal tombs, Itmad-Ud-Daulah's Tomb. The tomb is a resting place of the powerful personality in Mughal Court, Itmad-Ud-Daulah, whose life is very interesting. Formerly a very poor Persian merchant then named Mirza Ghiyas or Ghiyas Beg he became a minister and a trusted treasure in Akbar's court. After Akbar's death in 1605, his son Jahangir rose into power. Jahangir made Ghiyas Beg his chief minister and honored him with the title of Itmad-Ud-Daulah, the Pillar of State. Later, Jahangir met a beautiful daughter of Ghiyas Beg named Mehr-Un-Nissa and married her. Mehr-Un-Nissa soon played a significant role in the Jahangir's court and was called Nur Mahal, the light pf the Place. Owing to her influence, her father and brother were granted with privileges in the court. When Ghiyas beg (Itmad-Un-Daulah) dies in 1622, Nur Mahal decided to build a mausoleum for him. Queen Mumtaz Mahal or the lady of the Taj was also from this prevailing family. The mausoleum is entirely made of white marble and graced with intricate decoration of inlay work, and marble-screen work belonging to the Islamic style. With its tranquil, small garden on the bank of Yamuna River, the tomb stands impressively elegant from a distance.
Evening will be free for you to visit the local markets.
Overnight will be in Agra

After breakfast, proceed for Bharatpur visiting Fatehpur Sikri en-route.
The deserted, red Sandstone City, Emperor Akbar built that as his capital and palace in the late 16th century is an exhilarating experience. It a veritable fairytale city and its "ruins" are in pristine condition ... it's not hard to imagine what the court life must have been like in the days of its grandeur. Also visit the Bulund Darwaza, the largest gateway in the world.
Continue your journey to Bhartpur to board your train to Ranthambore. (Lunch will be at an old royal hunting lodge that has been restored to a heritage hotel now) Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve, at the junction of the Aravalis and the Vindhyas, is a unique example of natural and historical richness, standing out conspicuously in the vast, arid and denuded tract of eastern Rajasthan, barely 14 kilometers from Sawai Madhopur. Get in tune with nature for a luxury holiday in the heart of the jungle. Most of the resorts are close to the National Park Gate, Tiger Den being the closest.
It spreads over a highly undulating topography varying from gentle to steep slopes; from flat-topped hills of the Vindhyas to the conical hillocks and sharp ridges of the Aravalis, from wide and flat valleys to narrow rocky gorges. An important geological feature the 'Great Boundary Fault' where the Vindhya plateaus meet the Aravali Hill range meanders through the Reserve. The rivers Chambal in the south and Banas in the north bind the National Park.
Tiger, at the apex of the food chain, lord over the kingdom in a subtle way. Solitary by nature, it operates in stealth. Therefore tiger sightings, frequent as they are, are always a matter of chance. However, even evidences of tiger's activities are very exciting.
Reach and relax in the lodge watching a slide show on tigers and the park. Evening will be at leisure.
Overnight will be at the lodge.

Wake up early morning and leave for your safari into the National Park. Track the tigers and other wildlife through the morning. Return to the resort / lodge by 1000 in the morning and have breakfast.
Freshen up and you could either spend time at the pool or visit the town. You could also go for a nice visit to the temple on top of the fort.
In the afternoon have lunch and then leave again for you afternoon safari. The safari will be till evening 1700 - 1800 hr and then return to the resort / lodge.
Dinner will be at the resort and retire early for the night. Overnight will be at Ranthambhore.
Overnight will be at the lodge.

Breakfast will be at the hotel.
Drive to Jaipur and on arrival check-in at hotel.
Jaipur is the capital of the state of Rajasthan a romantic realm of resplendent palaces, mighty fortresses and regal Maharajahs that lies in the western deserts and is an utterly unique part of India. Proudly belonging to the KSHATRIYA warrior caste and fiercely independent, the Rajput princes made fearsome foes. However, many of them realized that to maintain their wealth and authority locally, it was expedient to proclaim allegiance to the central power. Thus, many enjoyed a privileged position under the Mughal emperors and also the British Raj that followed.
The bustling Rajasthan capital of Jaipur takes its name from its venerated founder Jai Singh II, who was given the title Sawai Maharaja by the Mughal. Literally translated this would mean 'one and a quarter', suggesting that the Mughal thought this emperor to be more valuable than just 'one'. Jaipur is known as the 'Pink City' on account of the distinctive colour of its buildings. This did not, however, form part of the original plan, but dates back to 1856, when the city was given a wash of pink in honor of a State Visit from Prince Albert.
This evenig, visit the Birla Temple to learn more about the fascinating religious life of Jaipur. The marble structure, built as recently as 1985, houses ornate statues including one of Lakshmi (goddess of Wealth and Beauty) and Narayan dressed in gaudy robes, representing a Hindu vision of heavenly luxury. Carvings in the temple and on pillars supporting the covered walkways include images of the Hindu pantheon, as well as Jesus, the Blessed Virgin Mary and St Francis of Assisi. Your visit will coincide with the AARTI Ceremony, which involves oil lamps being lit and waved, in order to awake and invoke the deity.
Enjoy the experience and spend night at Jaipur.

Proceed for morning excursion to the Amber Fort. Ride to the Fort on elephant back in a royal manner.
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 its ultimate expression.
Afternoon sightseeing tour of Jaipur visiting...
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. It is a five-storey structure 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.
Shopping and relax in the evening.
Overnight will be at Jaipur.

Breakfast will be at the hotel. Drive to Delhi at leisure.
Reach and do last minute shopping.
As per the flight timings you will be transferred to the international airport to take flight back home with sweet memories of the India tour.
TOUR ENDS

Highlights

• ACCOMMODATION AT MENTIONED HOTELS,


• DAILY BREAKFASTS AT ALL HOTELS,


• ALL SIGHTSEEING TOURS AS MENTIONED IN THE ITINERARY,


• PRIVATE AC SUV WITH DRIVER FOR ALL TRANSFERS & SIGHTSEEING,,


• ENGLISH SPEAKING COMPASS GUIDES AT ALL APPLICABLE PLACES,


• ASSISTANCE AT THE AIRPORTS ON ARRIVAL / DEPARTURE,


• ECONOMY CLASS AIRFARE FOR ALL MENTIONED SECTORS,


• TRAINFARE IN EXECUTIVE (BEST POSSIBLE) CLASS FROM JHANSI - AGRA,


• ALL MONUMENT ENTRANCES,


• PERSONAL MOBILE PHONE WITH ALL IMPORTANT NUMBERS,


• ALL APPLICABLE TAXES AND SERVICE CHARGES AND


• ALL ROAD TAXES, GOVERNMENT TAXES AND DRIVER ALLOWANCES.


• GUARANTEED HOTELS,


• UPGRADES AT TWO HOTELS,


• WELCOME DINNER AT DELHI,


• EVENING AARTI CEREMONY AT VARANASI GANGES GHATS,


• SARNATH EXCURSION IN VARANASI,


• SUNRISE BOATRIDE AT RIVER GANGES IN VARANASI,


• BUGGY RIDE IN VARANASI


• SOUND & LIGHT SHOW IN KHAJURAHO.


• TONGA RIDE TO TAJ MAHAL IN AGRA,


• ELEPHANT RIDE AT AMER FORT IN JAIPUR,


• INDIAN MODERN TEMPLE EXPERIENCE AT JAIPUR,


• FAREWELL DINNER AT INDIAN HOME WITH WASH & CHANGE,


• UNLIMITED MINERAL WATER AND WET / DRY TISSUES DURING DRIVES AND,


• DEDICATED TOUR MANAGER / COORDINATOR FOR THE TOUR.


The Great Hospitality

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Call Us- +91 (11) 41605000

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