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10 Days Kerala Backwaters Tour with Mumbai

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Day 01

Arrival at Mumbai

ADHVAN representative will be meeting you upon arrival at the airport and transfer to the hotel. Check-in and relax.

Mumbai is a bustling, diverse metropolis with a flare all its own. The entrepreneurial spirit and pulsing pace of life provide a sharp contrast to much of the rest of India. There has been much debate regarding the original name of the city. Some say the current name of the city Mumbai is the original name; and is an eponym derived from “Mumba”, the name of the local Hindu goddess Mumbadevi, and “Aai”, meaning “mother” in Marathi. Others claim Bombay was an anglicized version of Bom Bahia, a name given by the Portuguese to mean “Beautiful Bay” and later made popular by the British as the name of the Bombay state. Mumbai is the most cosmopolitan city in India. In comparison with the rest of the country, the city is quite liberal. With a regular influx of immigrants from rest of India, the citizens, popularly known as ‘Mumbaikers’, have shown remarkable tolerance towards other cultures, making it a true cultural melting pot.

Mumbai is dubbed as the commercial capital of India and it also serves as the capital city of the state of Maharashtra. The city was created from seven islands and they are Mazagaon, Colaba, Wadala, Old Woman’s Island, Parel, Mahim, and Matunga-Sion. Today, Mumbai or erstwhile Bombay ranks as the biggest metropolitan region in the country. The city is home to above 13 million people. As a result, Mumbai is among the most populous cities in the globe.

Enjoy walk around Marine Drive in Mumbai: Marine Drive located in the central Mumbai, built in the 1920s and 30s on land reclaimed from the sea, is Mumbai’s most famous thoroughfare. It is also referred to as the Queen’s Necklace because of the dramatic line of street lamps lit up at night. Recently it has come to known as Netaji Subhashchandra Bose Road with Nariman Point on one end to Babulnath, at the foot of Walkeshwar on the other.

Overnight will be in Mumbai.

Day 02

Mumbai

Have breakfast at the hotel.

Start for a guided tour of Mumbai.

Mumbai Fort: The area north of Colaba is known as Mumbai Fort, since the old British fort was once located here. There are a lot of impressive buildings from Mumbai’s golden period here. St. John’s church, dedicated to the soldiers, who laid down their lives in the Sindh campaign of 1838, and the first Afghan war of 1843, is also worth a visit.

Gateway of India: Mumbai’s principal landmark, the Gateway of India is a huge archway on the water’s edge at Apollo Bunder. It is the starting point for most tourists who want to explore the city. This famous monument was built to commemorate the visit of the first ever British Monarch, King George V and Queen Mary in 1911.

Flora Fountain/ Hutama Chowk: This fountain situated in the heart of the city was erected in 1869 in honor of a British Governor of Bombay. Sir Brtle Frere. Flora Fountain marks a junction of five streets and known as the ‘Picadilly Circus ‘of Mumbai, which is decorated at its four corners with mythological figures, the Fountain is a structure in dull stone with a figure the Roman Goddess of flowers, at the top.

Victoria Terminus/Western Railway Station: At the site of the Koli’s original temple to Mumba Devi now stands Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus – one of Mumbai’s most prominent buildings and architecturally one of the finest stations in the world.

Mumbai High court: An attractive building in early English Gothic style, situated next to the Oval Ground is well worth a visit for its impressive architecture. Statues representing Justice and Mercy surmount the Central structure.

Rajabai Clock tower: Rajabai Clock tower, situated at the gardens of the Bombay University building rises above the portion of the library section. Consisting of five elaborately decorated storeys the tower is 280ft.in height. The top of the cupola is ornamented with sixteen statues depicting various Indian castes.

Hanging Gardens in Mumbai: Also known as Pherozeshah Mehta Gardens, the Hanging Gardens were built in 1880 and renovated in 1921. These gardens are popularly known as Hanging Gardens, because of their location on the slope of a hill. The terrace garden looks south from Malabar Hill towards Colaba, and affords a panoramic view of the city or a breathtaking sunset. It is built over three reservoirs, which store 30 million gallons of water pumped here for cleaning before being supplied to the town.

Banganga: A sacred tank surrounded by four hundred-year-old temples and modern skyscrapers. Nowhere are Mumbai’s paradoxes more evident than at Banganga. Part of an ancient temple complex, the water in this tank is believed to come from the Holy Ganges.

Enjoy an evening sailing tour along the Queen’s Necklace.

Departing from Gateway, we sail pass some of Mumbai’s oldest lighthouses accompanied by sea gulls and the gentle splash of the water. The sailing experience is also ideal for people who want a relaxing break or a romantic adventure. We will try and catch the sunset for one of the most memorable sights in Mumbai.

Overnight will be in Mumbai.

Day 03

Mumbai – Cochin

By air

Enjoy the breakfast at the hotel.

Transfer to the airport to board the flight for Cochin.

Reach Cochin and you will be transferred to the hotel. Check-in to the hotel and relax.

Cochin is a diverse and colorful port/city, spreading over 4-5 islands and peninsulas. The main town of Ernakulam is on the mainland.All the islands are connected by a ferryboat network and therein lay the charm of an exploratory two days here. Around the headland of Fort Cochin, a phalanx of cantilevered Chinese fishing boats dips into the sea at high tide. In its back streets, there is an aroma of ginger, cardamom and other spices, piled high in every nook and cranny.

Enjoy visit to Kumbalanghi Village.

A village visit helps you to explore the hidden corners of a state and encounter a different side of India wherein the local people adopts a unique lifestyle and culture.

Take a tour of this renowned village with a local family residing in Kallancherry Retreat in the village and get a chance to try your hand in every activity a villager does in his/her day to day life.

Start the tour with a boat ride in the country boat followed by a visit to crab farm. Later enjoy watching coir yarn making and coconut leaves making and also try making one, if interested. Peep in to the agricultural farms and also look at the bio-gas plants and water harvesting pond and obviously not missing out on the Chinese Fishing Nets, known to be a major attraction of the city Kochi.

Return to the hotel with a bag full of memories of a village life and spend evening in leisure.

Overnight will be in Cochin.

Day 04

Cochin

Have breakfast at the hotel.

Embark on a guided tour of Cochin.

Old Cochin Area: This is one of the oldest Jewish communities in the world. The Jewish community traces its history to nearly 2000 years ago. In 1948 the community numbered 2500 and today there are fewer than 30 people. The community is still centered round JEWTOWN where you will visit its crown Jewel, the Paradesi Synagogue. Later visit the interesting International Pepper Exchange, also located in Jew town.

Chinese Fishing Nets: The Chinese fishing nets erected on teak wood and bamboo poles work on the principle of balance. Records say they were first set up here between AD 1350 and 1450. Vasco Da Gama Square, the narrow promenade that parallels the beach, is the best place to watch the nets being lowered and pulled out of the sea.

The other important places are the Vasco Da Gama Square, Santa Cruz Basilica, St. Francis Church, VOC Gate, Bastion Bungalow, Mattancherry Palace, etc. Records say they were first set up here between AD 1350 and 1450.

Take a boat ride and visit BOLGATTY PALACE and VYPPIN ISLAND.

Folklore Museum: Kerala Folklore Museum is the key place to experience the whole of Kerala, her people, art, culture and heritage. This is the biggest biennale and best life style museum in India. British government selected this museum as the venue to visit and experience the culture and heritage of Kerala for Prince Charles and Duchess of Cornwall in last Nov’13.

In the evening proceed for KATHAKALI DANCE PRESENTATION – showcases the various dance forms that have been an integral part of the life of people living in Kerala. Also enjoy the make-up session that goes into before the dance is presented to our guests. It is amazing to watch and enhances the overall experience.

Overnight will be in Cochin.

Day 05

Cochin (Excursion to Kodanad Elephant Camp & Athirapally Falls)

By road 90 km in 03 hrs

Have breakfast at the hotel.

Embark on a day excursion to visit the Kodanad Elephant Centre and Athirapally Falls.

It is recommended to depart Cochin early, between 0600hrs – 0630hrs so as to be at Kodanad by around 0700hrs – 0730hrs in time to see the elephants bathe and feed.

After an hour at Kodanad, enjoy breakfast at a scenic resort on the banks of the Periyar River.

Later drive 2hrs to Athirapally. The Athirappilly Falls are situated on the Chalakudy River, which originates in the upper reaches of the Western Ghats. The Athirapilly-Vazhachal area is a virgin rainforest, with many endangered and endemic species of flora and fauna. At Athirpally, you can spend time at the beautiful waterfalls and enjoy the forest.

After the sightseeing proceed back to Cochin.

The evening will be free for you to enjoy the time at leisure.

Overnight will be in Cochin.

Day 06

Cochin – Munnar

By road 140kms in 3.5hrs

Have breakfast at the hotel.

Drive to Munnar. Reach and check-in to the hotel.

Munnar is situated at the confluence of three mountain streams – Mudrapuzha, Nallathani & Kundala. 1600 meter above sea level this hill station was once the summer resort of the erstwhile British Government in South India. Sprawling Tea plantations, picture book towns, winding lanes, and holiday facilities make this a popular resort town. Among the exotic flora found in the forests and grasslands here is the Neel Kurinji. Munnar also has the highest peak in South India – Anamudi, which towers over 2695 m.

Later proceed for the city sightseeing.

Munnar is a destination of tea and cardamom plantations. There is nothing more invigorating than the spectacular beauty of acres and acres of tea gardens rolling over mountains and hills. The half an hour drive to Chinnakanal from Munnar town, takes you through the heart of these sprawling Tea Estates, giving them the true experience of a tea plantation hill station.

Lockhart Tea Factory: One of the older running Tea factories where you will be given a Guided Tour of the art of Tea processing by the traditional method. Set in a scenic background, this building lends an old world charm with its wooden interiors and aroma of tea. You can also buy fresh jams, pickles and Tea from their sales outlet.

Anayirangal Dam & the Hanging Bridge: Anayirangal is an old watering hole for elephants. The area around the Anayirangal Dam has been developed and the boating started here is a new venture of the department of Hydel Tourism. This Dam has a number of islands and boating here is a unique experience.

Kolukkumalai Hills: The Kolukkumalai Hills are home to the highest Tea Plantations in the world. A Jeep Safari to the Tea Factory would guarantee spectacular views of mist shrouded mountains and the far off plains of Tamil Nadu. Strolls through the pathways on the plantations and for the more adventurous, trek down a bit along the steep and narrow bridle path leading to the plains – this was the only option in the olden days to take down tea chests to the plains and bring up provisions.

Overnight will be in Munnar.

Day 07

Munnar – Thekkady (Periyar)

By road 160 km in 4.5 hrs

Enjoy the breakfast at the hotel.

Drive through the plantations and small Kerala villages. The whole of Kerala including the towns are like villages and the simplicity of the state can be felt while driving. All around would be scenic beauty.

Reach Thekkady (This place is also referred as Periyar because of the Lake Periyar) and check in at the hotel.

The river Periyar is the longest river in Kerala. This is the only perennial river in South India with clean water. The river occupies an important place in the history of Kerala. In the Sangam age Tamil epics such as Chilapathikaram, ‘Akananuru’, ‘Purananuru’ etc much has been said about this mighty river, formerly known as the ‘Choorni Nadi’ or ‘Thamraparni Nadi’. A land route existed in the Sangam age from Mussuris (present-day Kodungalloor) to Madurai, which passed near the banks of the river Periyar. The capital of the old Chera Empire presumably existed on the banks of the river Periyar. It is believed that there was a flood in the 4th century AD that severely damaged the areas along the Periyar and the people living there had to escape to safer locations, abandoning their homes and livelihoods. The flood of AD 1341 resulted in the closing of Kodungalloor port and the opening of a new port at Kochi. The huge landslide that began in the high ranges as a result of the heavy downpours sent massive flows of mud and sand which created an Island at the ‘Azhimugham’ of the Periyar, which is now known as the Vyppin Islands. Periyar wildlife sanctuary is home to nomadic tribes of wild elephant, boar, deer, the great Indian tiger and more.

In the afternoon, spend time with elephants and enjoy activities like bathing the elephant in a small pool, feeding, ride, timber dragging, photo options etc.

Overnight will be in Thekkady.

Day 08

Thekkady

Wake up early and proceed for jungle walk / nature trek at Periyar National Park.

Explore the rare species of plants and animals. The overall duration of the “experience” will be customized to suit your preference.

Return to the hotel and have breakfast.

In the afternoon; visit spice plantations like cardamom, cinnamon, pepper, coffee, tea estates etc. Also visit Kumily spice market (Asia’s largest spice market) and pick up the best spices and fragrant spices available.

Overnight will be in Thekkady.

Day 09

Thekkady – Kumarakom

By road 135 km in 04 hrs

Have breakfast at the hotel.

Proceed to Kumarakom passing through rolling tea gardens and rubber plantations.

Stop at a tea factory and watch the tea making process. There is a beautiful solitary church you pass by and it is a nice place to stop for photography.

Reach Kumarakom and proceed to the boat jetty in Vembanand Lake.

The backwaters of Kerala are a unique product of Kerala and are found nowhere else in the world. Backwaters are a network of lakes, canals and estuaries and deltas of forty-four rivers that drain into the Arabian Sea.

Check-in to a traditional houseboat of Kerala Style and go on a leisurely backwater cruise along the lake on a thatched houseboat. The houseboat with all modern comforts lets you discover the countryside at your own pace. You will have lunch, dinner and breakfast in the Houseboat. A ride on the houseboat is a fabulous way to explore the fascinating beauty of the backwaters.

Cruise through the backwaters towards Alleppey. Lunch will be served on the boat. The menu is simple and traditional. The cook (chef) of the boat prepares the lunch from fresh materials and even you can have a peek at the recipe.

Tea and snacks would be served in the evening. In the evening the boat will anchor in the backwaters by the lush paddy fields and enjoy the tranquility of the water around on the houseboat. You can also go for a stroll into the village to witness local life and culture.

Dinner will be served on the boat.

Overnight will be on the houseboat.

Day 10

Kumarakom – Alleppey

By houseboat

Alleppey – Cochin

By road 55kms in 1.5hrs

Cochin – Mumbai – departure

By air

Have breakfast on the houseboat.

The houseboat will sail to Alleppey. Cruise through the backwaters watching the children going to school and the village markets opening.

Disembark the boat at boat jetty where your driver will be waiting for you to arrive. Drive to Cochin.

Reach Cochin and as per your flight timings, you will be transferred to Cochin airport to take flight for Mumbai. Arrive at Mumbai and proceed to take connecting flight back home / onward destination with pleasant memories of your tour.

END OF THE JOURNEY

THE TOUR INCLUDES:-

TOUR EXCLUSIONS:-

Prices are available upon request. Rates may vary based on the time of the year and the number of people traveling. Email us if you’re interested in this particular itinerary. This can further be customized according to your preferences and requirements.

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10 Days Rediscovering Ladakh

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Day 01

Arrival at Leh

After reaching Leh airport (on your own), you will be greeted by our representative and transferred to the hotel for check-in.

Spend the day in the hotel for rest and acclimatization.

Stay overnight at Leh.

Day 02

Leh – Uleytokpo / Alchi (Sham Valley)

By road 70 km in 03 hrs

After breakfast, proceed for sightseeing on the Leh – Srinagar Highway.

Visit the Hall of Fame (A Museum developed by the Indian Army), Kali Mata Temple & Gurudwara Patthar Sahib.

Proceed further and experience the effects of Magnetic Hill (Defiance of the law of gravity) and admire the confluence of holy Indus & Zanskar Rivers.

Later visit Alchi Monastery.

Stay overnight at Uleytokpo / Alchi.

Day 03

Uleytokpo / Alchi (Sham Valley) – Leh

By road 70 km in 03 hrs

After breakfast, proceed to Lamayuru (the oldest monastery in Ladakh).

Admire the Moon landscape and scenic views on the way.

Return to Leh for an overnight stay.

Day 04

Leh – Nubra Valley

By road 120 km in 04 hrs

After breakfast, drive to Nubra Valley (Known as the Valley of Flowers and the warmest region in Ladakh) via Khardungla pass. This road is one of the highest motorable-road in the world.

After spending some time at Khardungla, proceed to Nubra.

Visit Sand Dunes in the evening and enjoy the double humped camel ride (on your own).

Stay overnight at Nubra.

Day 05

Nubra Valley – Leh

By road 120 km in 04 hrs

After breakfast, visit Diskit & Hunder Villages and monasteries.

Take a stroll around the place to see the life style of people living at the northernmost region of India.

Drive back to Leh via Khardungla pass.

Stay overnight at Leh.

Day 06

Leh – Pangong Lake

By road 140 km in 05 hrs

After an early breakfast, visit sightseeing places like Shey, Thiksey, Hemis and Sindhu Ghat.

Later proceed to Pangong via Changla Pass (17,586 feet) and the third highest pass of the world.

Pangong Lake is a salt water body of 120 km in length and 6 – 7 Km broad at the longest point. It is bisected by the international border between India & China (2/3 of the lake is in China’s possession).

Visit the exact location of the famous movie “Three idiots” & enjoy visit along the banks of the lake.

Stay overnight at Pangong.

Day 07

Pangong Lake – Leh

By road 140 km in 05 hrs

After breakfast, travel back to Leh.

En route take a short stop at Changla Pass to enjoy a cup of hot steaming tea and visit Rancho school on the way.

Visit Shanti Stupa and Leh market in the evening.

Stay overnight at Leh.

Day 08

Leh – Tsomoriri

By road 240 km in 07 hrs

After breakfast, proceed to Tsomoriri Lake via Mahe Bridge.

En route visit Chumthang Hot water springs.

After check-in at Tsomoriri camp, spend the evening at the banks of the lake.

Stay overnight at Tsomoriri.

Day 09

Tsomoriri – Leh

By road 240 km in 07 hrs

After an early breakfast, visit Korzok Monastery in Tsomoriri.

Start the journey back to Leh via Tanglangla Pass & Tsokar Lake.

Reach Leh in the late afternoon.

Stay overnight at Leh.

Day 10

Leh – departure

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel.

As per your flight timings, you will be transferred to Leh airport to take flight back home / onward destination with pleasant memories of your tour.

END OF THE JOURNEY

THE TOUR INCLUDES:-

TOUR EXCLUSIONS:

Prices are available upon request. Prices may vary based on the time of the year and the number of people traveling. Email us if you’re interested in this particular itinerary. This can further be customized according to your preferences and requirements.

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09 Days Delhi with Taj & Backwaters

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ItineraryHighlightsNotesRequest for Quote

Day 01

Arrival at Delhi

ADHVAN representative will be meeting you upon arrival at the airport and transfer to the hotel. Check-in and relax.

DELHI, the capital of India has a great historical background. It was ruled by some of the most powerful emperors in Indian history. The history of the city is as old as the epic Mahabharata. The town was known as Indraprastha, where Pandavas used to live. In due course eight more cities came alive adjacent to Indraprastha. Delhi has been a witness to the political turmoil for over five centuries. It was ruled by the Mughals in succession to Khiljis and Tughlaqs. In 1192 the legions of the Afghan warrior Muhammad of Ghori captured the Rajput town, and the Delhi Sultanate was established (1206). The invasion of Delhi by Timur in 1398 put an end to the sultanate; the Lodis, last of the Delhi sultans, gave way to Babur, who, after the battle of Panipat in 1526, founded the Mughal Empire. The early Mughal emperors favoured Agra as their capital, and Delhi became their permanent seat only after Shah Jahan built (1638) the walls of Old Delhi. In the year 1803 AD, the city came under the British rule. In 1911, British shifted their capital from Calcutta to Delhi. It again became the center of all the governing activities. But, the city has the reputation of over throwing the occupants of its throne. It included the British and the current political parties that have had the honor of leading free India.

Overnight will be in Delhi.

Day 02

Delhi

Have breakfast at the hotel.

Start for a guided tour of Delhi.

Jama Masjid This great mosque of Old Delhi is the largest in India, with a courtyard capable of holding 25,000 devotees. It was begun in 1644 and ended up being the final architectural extravagance of Shah Jahan, the Mughal emperor who built the Taj Mahal and the Red Fort.

Humayun’s Tomb It was built in 1565 A.D. nine years after the death of Humayun, by his senior widow Bega Begam. Inside the walled enclosure the most notable features are the garden squares (chaharbagh) with pathways water channels, centrally located well proportional mausoleum topped by double dome.

There are several graves of Mughal rulers located inside the walled enclosure and from here in 1857 A.D.; Lieutenant Hudson had captured the last Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah II.

Qutab Minar is a soaring, 73 m-high tower of victory, built in 1193 by Qutab-ud-din Aibak immediately after the defeat of Delhi’s last Hindu kingdom. The tower has five distinct storeys, each marked by a projecting balcony and tapers from a 15 m diameter at the base to just 2.5 m at the top. The first three storeys are made of red sandstone; the fourth and fifth storeys are of marble and sandstone. At the foot of the tower is the Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque, the first mosque to be built in India. An inscription over its eastern gate provocatively informs that it was built with material obtained from demolishing ’27 Hindu temples’. A 7 m-high iron pillar stands in the courtyard of the mosque. It is said that if you can encircle it with your hands while standing with your back to it your wish will be fulfilled.

Then visit the Lotus Temple (closed on Mondays) located in south of Delhi. This temple is built in the shape of a lotus flower and is the last of seven Major Bahai’s temples built around the world. Completed in 1986 it is set among the lush green landscaped gardens.

Also drive past India Gate, the Parliament building and the Rashtrapathi Bhawan (the President’s residence).

Overnight will be in Delhi.

Day 03

Delhi – Agra

By road 230 km in 04 hrs

Enjoy the breakfast at the hotel.

Drive to Agra. Arrive and check-in at the hotel.

Agra has a rich historical background, which is amply evident from the numerous historical monuments in and around the city. The earliest reference for Agra comes from the epical age, when Mahabharata refer Agra as Agravana. In the sources prior to this, Agra has been referred as Arya Griha or the abode of the Aryans. The first person who referred Agra by its modern name was Ptolemy.

Though the heritage of Agra city is linked with the Mughal dynasty, numerous other rulers also contributed to the rich past of this city. Modern Agra was founded by Sikandar Lodhi (Lodhi dynasty; Delhi Sultanate) in the 16th century. Babar (founder of the Mughal dynasty) also stayed for some time in Agra and introduced the concept of square Persian-styled gardens here. Emperor Akbar built the Agra fort and Fatehpur Sikri near Agra. Fatehpur Sikri remained his capital for around fifteen years after which the city was left isolated in mysterious circumstances. Jahangir beautified Agra with palaces and gardens despite spending most of his time in Kashmir with which he was passionately attached.

Agra came to its own when Shahjahan ascended to the throne of Mughal Empire. He marked the zenith of Mughal architecture, when he built the Taj in memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal. In his later years, Shahjahan shifted his capital to the new city of Shahjahanabad in Delhi and ruled from there. Shahjahan was dethroned in 1658 by his son, Aurangzeb who imprisoned him in the Agra Fort. Aurangzeb shifted the capital back to Agra till his death. After the death of Aurangzeb, Mughal Empire could not touch its peak and many regional kingdoms emerged. The post-Mughal era of Agra saw the rule of the Jats, Marathas and finally the British taking over the city.

Later proceed for the sightseeing of Sikandra.

Sikandra Located centrally in the square plan, at the junction of four causeways dividing the garden into four quarters, the main tomb building has five storeys built in the shape of a truncated pyramid. It stands on a high stone platform. There are massive iwans in the centre of all sides that are as high as the tomb and have beautiful panels adorned with inlaid mosaic work. Inlaid arabesque work graces its spandrels, semi-soffits boast of paintings and turrets have chevron designs. They are crowned by white marble chhaparkhat with eight pillars. The mortuary chambers are on the ground floor. The vestibule leading to the Akbar’s tomb is decorated with floresque, arabesque and calligraphic designs. The chamber itself is simple and paved with stone. The other chambers entomb graves of Aram Banu and Shukru-n-nisa (daughters of Akbar), Zebu-n-nisa (daughter of Aurangzeb) and Sulaiman Shikoh (son of Shah Alam). The first storey houses a large platform and corridors roofed by stone arches in each façade. The second storey is built of red sandstone and has arched verandah with twenty-three bays. These bays are crowned by cupolas and white marble pyramidal roofs decorated with glazed tiles arranged in geometrical designs. The third and fourth storeys follow similar plans, though they reduce in size with the ascending storeys. The fifth and the top most storey is entirely in white marble and has no roof. It has delicate marble screens as its walls.

Overnight will be in Agra.

Day 04

Agra

Wake-up early and proceed for sunrise visit of the monument of love – TAJ MAHAL (closed on Fridays).

Taj Mahal was known as the tomb of Begum Mumtaz Mahal. Actually this was the title conferred on the first lady, which means “the exalted of the Palace” and whose actual name was Arjumand Banu Begum. Mumtaz Mahal died on June 17, 1631. The whole nation and Mughal Empire was shrouded in grief on the death of this noble lady. Shah Jahan soon announced a memorial to be erected for the Begum and invited designs and layouts from famous architects. Innumerable designs were presented to the Emperor but he one finally selected was that of Ustad Isa Khan Effendi. On her death Mumtaz Mahal was first buried in Burhanpur. Six months later, her remains were temporarily reburied in a garden on the Bank of river Jamuna. The remains of Mumtaz was finally buried inside Taj Mahal. After the death of Shah Jahan on 1st February 1666, he was also buried beside Mumtaz in the Taj Mahal. The end of Shahjahan brought a golden chapter of Mughal Empire to a close, which portrayed magnificence, colour and elegance of those days. He left his memory behind in the Taj Mahal which serves as a pleasant symbol of dedicated love, conjugal harmony and mutual respect of two lovers. The Taj Mahal is unparalleled in beauty. Millions of people have visited it since centuries, but none has had doubts regarding its all-round supremacy. Their methods of compliments are varied but emotions behind them are essentially the same. Shah Jahan by constructing the world famous Taj Mahal has made this period of Mughal history immortal in the minds of art lovers.

Return to the hotel and have relaxed breakfast.

Start for a guided tour of Agra.

Agra Fort is also known as Lal Qila. It is about 2.5 km northwest of its much more famous sister monument the Taj Mahal. The fort can be more accurately described as a walled palatial city Agra Fort built by Akbar In Red Sandstone when he was through with the consolidation of his power after accession to power in 1654. Agra Fort worked both as a military strategic point as well as the royal residence. Ever since Babur defeated and killed Abraham Lodi at Panipat in 1526, Agra played an important center of Mughal Empire it was in a ruined condition and Akbar decided to make it his capital and arrived in Agra in 1558 Akbar had it rebuilt with red sandstone Architects laid the foundation and it was built with bricks in the inner core with sandstone on external surfaces. Some 1,444,000 builders worked on it for eight years completing it in 1573.

Itmad-Ud-Daulah’s Tomb is as interesting as the life of the person for whom it was built. Mirza Ghiyas-ud-din was a poor merchant and lived in Persia. While on his was to India for business, his wife gave birth to a baby girl. As th family was extremely poor and had nothing to eat, the parents decided to abandon the child. However, the wails of the baby girl forced the parents to come back and take her with them. The baby girl brought a strok of good luck to her parents, for Ghiyas Beg found a caraven the straightaway took him to the court of the great Mughal Emperor, Akbar. In the course of time, Ghiyas Beg rose to become a minister and a trusted treasurer in Akber’s court. After Akber’s death in 1605, his son Jahangir became the Mughal emperor, who made Ghiyas Beg his chief minister or Wazir. Ghiayas Beg’s daughter grew up to be a beautiful lady and come to be known as Mehr-un-Nissa or the sun of womankind. In the course of time, the fame of her beauty spread. She was married off, but she soon became a widow. She returned to the court of Jahangir where he father was employed. Emperor Jahangir fell in love with her and married her. She soon became a powerful personality in Jahangir’s court and was called Mur Mahal, the light of the palace, and Nur Jahan, light of the world. When Ghiyas Beg died in 1622, Nur Jahan undertook the project to build his mausoleum. Later she built the tomb of her husband (in a similar style) in Lahore. Nur Jahan had a brother whose daughter was married to Jahangir’s son, Shahjahan. She was known as Mumtaz Mahal in whose memory Shahjahan built the world famous Taj Mahal.

Proceed for a HERITAGE WALK to the other side of River YAMUNA with your guide.

The other side of the TAJ MAHAL across the river Yamuna where Mughal History has been written in edicts of stone, the river Yamuna lined with the residences of mobility was the artery, the very lifeline, which fostered the development of Mughal Agra. These heritage relics have been weaved together for a historic experience of Mughal Agra. You would walk through the various monuments in midst of rural setting intertwined with the communities along with stunning view of the TAJ MAHAL.

Enjoy the extended hospitality of the local villagers sipping a cup of Masala Chai on the Tea Terrace with standard, comfortable, clean, affordable, and safe facilities. The whole village walk through India’s Mughal History and amiable people is an unforgettable experience.

Overnight will be in Agra.

Day 05

Agra – Delhi

By road 230 km in 04 hrs

Delhi – Cochin

By air

Have breakfast at the hotel.

Drive to Delhi. Reach and transfer to the airport to board the flight for Cochin.

Reach Cochin and you will be transferred to the hotel. Check-in to the hotel and relax.

Enjoy the evening at leisure or you can walk around exploring the local culture.

Overnight will be in Cochin.

Day 06

Cochin

Have breakfast at the hotel.

Embark on a guided tour of Cochin.

Old Cochin Area: This is one of the oldest Jewish communities in the world. The Jewish community traces its history to nearly 2000 years ago. In 1948 the community numbered 2500 and today there are fewer than 30 people. The community is still centered round JEWTOWN where you will visit its crown Jewel, the Paradesi Synagogue. Built in 1568 and reconstructed after a Portuguese bombardment in 1662, the synagogue is distinguished by its tile roof and bell tower. The small synagogue is also known for its hand-painted, willow-patterned, blue and white Chinese floor tiles, and the many brass and crystal lamps that hang from the ceiling. Later visit the interesting International Pepper Exchange, also located in Jew town.

Chinese Fishing Nets: The Chinese fishing nets erected on teak wood and bamboo poles work on the principle of balance. Records say they were first set up here between AD 1350 and 1450. Vasco Da Gama Square, the narrow promenade that parallels the beach, is the best place to watch the nets being lowered and pulled out of the sea. Learn the operation of the interesting Chinese fishing nets erected on teak wood and bamboo poles working on the principle of balance.

The other important places are the Vasco Da Gama Square, Santa Cruz Basilica, St. Francis Church, VOC Gate, Bastion Bungalow, Mattancherry Palace, etc. Records say they were first set up here between AD 1350 and 1450.

Folklore Museum: Kerala Folklore Museum is the key place to experience the whole of Kerala, her people, art, culture and heritage. This is the biggest biennale and best life style museum in India. It is basically an architectural museum, combining three architectural schools of Kerala – Cochin, Malabar and Travancore architecture. To provide art education to the society, the museum is adorned with 5000 ethnic artifacts, to project the vibrant tradition of Kerala and other parts of south India. British government selected this museum as the venue to visit and experience the culture and heritage of Kerala for Prince Charles and Duchess of Cornwall in last Nov’13.

Overnight will be in Cochin.

Day 07

Cochin – Thekkady (Periyar)

By road 160 km in 04 hrs

Enjoy the breakfast at the hotel.

Drive through the plantations and small Kerala villages. The whole of Kerala including the towns are like villages and the simplicity of the state can be felt while driving. All around would be scenic beauty.

Reach Thekkady (This place is also referred as Periyar because of the Lake Periyar) and check in at the hotel.

The river Periyar is the longest river in Kerala. This is the only perennial river in South India with clean water. The river occupies an important place in the history of Kerala. In the Sangam age Tamil epics such as Chilapathikaram, ‘Akananuru’, ‘Purananuru’ etc much has been said about this mighty river, formerly known as the ‘Choorni Nadi’ or ‘Thamraparni Nadi’. A land route existed in the Sangam age from Mussuris (present-day Kodungalloor) to Madurai, which passed near the banks of the river Periyar. The capital of the old Chera Empire presumably existed on the banks of the river Periyar. It is believed that there was a flood in the 4th century AD that severely damaged the areas along the Periyar and the people living there had to escape to safer locations, abandoning their homes and livelihoods. The flood of AD 1341 resulted in the closing of Kodungalloor port and the opening of a new port at Kochi. The huge landslide that began in the high ranges as a result of the heavy downpours sent massive flows of mud and sand which created an Island at the ‘Azhimugham’ of the Periyar, which is now known as the Vyppin Islands. Periyar wildlife sanctuary is home to nomadic tribes of wild elephant, boar, deer, the great Indian tiger and more.

In the afternoon; visit spice plantations like cardamom, cinnamon, pepper, coffee, tea estates etc. Also visit Kumily spice market (Asia’s largest spice market) and pick up the best spices and fragrant spices available.

Overnight will be in Thekkady.

Day 08

Thekkady – Kumarakom

By road 135 km in 04 hrs

Have breakfast at the hotel.

Proceed to Kumarakom passing through rolling tea gardens and rubber plantations.

Stop at a tea factory and watch the tea making process. There is a beautiful solitary church you pass by and it is a nice place to stop for photography.

Reach Kumarakom and proceed to the boat jetty in Vembanand Lake.

The backwaters of Kerala are a unique product of Kerala and are found nowhere else in the world. Backwaters are a network of lakes, canals and estuaries and deltas of forty-four rivers that drain into the Arabian Sea. The backwaters of Kerala are a self-supporting Eco-system teeming with aquatic life. The canals connect the villages together and are still used for local transport. Over 900 km of this labyrinthine water world is navigable.

Check-in to a traditional houseboat of Kerala Style and go on a leisurely backwater cruise along the lake on a thatched houseboat. The houseboat with all modern comforts lets you discover the countryside at your own pace. You will have lunch, dinner and breakfast in the Houseboat. A ride on the houseboat is a fabulous way to explore the fascinating beauty of the backwaters.

Cruise through the backwaters towards Alleppey. Lunch will be served on the boat. The menu is simple and traditional. The cook (chef) of the boat prepares the lunch from fresh materials and even you can have a peek at the recipe.

Tea and snacks would be served in the evening. In the evening the boat will anchor in the backwaters by the lush paddy fields and enjoy the tranquility of the water around on the houseboat. You can also go for a stroll into the village to witness local life and culture.

Dinner will be served on the boat.

Overnight will be on the houseboat.

Day 09

Kumarakom – Alleppey

By houseboat

Alleppey – Cochin

By road 55kms in 1.5hrs

Cochin – Delhi

By air

Delhi – departure

Enjoy breakfast on the houseboat.

The houseboat will sail to Alleppey. Cruise through the backwaters watching the children going to school and the village markets opening.

Alappuzha is famous for its boat races, houseboats, coir products, fish and lakes. Alappuzha remains prominent on the tourist trial of Kerala as one of the major centres for backwater boat trips. “Kuttanad” in Alappuzha is one of few places in the world where farming is done below sea level. Kuttanad is a land of lush paddy fields and is called the ‘Rice Bowl’ of Kerala. Kuttanad stretches for 75 Km sandwiched between the sea and the hills.

Disembark the boat at boat jetty where your driver will be waiting for you to arrive. Drive to Cochin.

Reach Cochin and as per your flight timings, you will be transferred to Delhi airport to take flight back home / onward destination with pleasant memories of your tour.

END OF THE JOURNEY

ANY SERVICE NOT MENTIONED IN TOUR INCLUSIONS

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08 Days Kerala Backwaters Tour

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ItineraryHighlightsNotesRequest for Quote

Day 01

Arrival at Cochin

ADHVAN representative will be meeting you upon arrival at the airport and transfer to the hotel. Check-in and relax.

Later in the evening, enjoy a harbor cruise in the evening during sunset. As the sun sets, the fishing islands all around light up while the Fort Cochin area, with its Colonial waterfront, retires for the day.

A few interesting sites included in the tour are the Chinese fishing nets along the Vasco Da Gama Square, Santa Cruz Basilica, St. Francis Church, VOC Gate, Bastion Bungalow etc. The Chinese fishing nets erected on teak wood and bamboo poles work on the principle of balance. Records say they were first set up here between AD 1350 and 1450. Vasco Da Gama Square, the narrow promenade that parallels the beach, is the best place to watch the nets being lowered and pulled out of the sea.

Also visit the BOLGATTY PALACE and VYPPIN ISLAND.

Overnight will be in Cochin.

Day 02

Cochin

Have breakfast at the hotel.

Embark on a guided tour of Colonial Jew Town – Fort Cochin.

Visit the Mattancherry Dutch Palace where the superb series of murals painted on the wooden walls are its main attraction. Also visit the 16th century Jewish Synagogue and the Church of St. Francis. Vasco da Gama was originally buried in the Church’s cemetery.

Walk around the Fort Cochin area and admire the Chinese Fishing Nets from the land. Chinese traders are believed to have introduced them in the late 14th century.

Folklore Museum: Kerala Folklore Museum is the key place to experience the whole of Kerala, her people, art, culture and heritage. This is the biggest biennale and best life style museum in India. It is basically an architectural museum, combining three architectural schools of Kerala – Cochin, Malabar and Travancore architecture. To provide art education to the society, the museum is adorned with 5000 ethnic artifacts, to project the vibrant tradition of Kerala and other parts of south India. British government selected this museum as the venue to visit and experience the culture and heritage of Kerala for Prince Charles and Duchess of Cornwall in November 2013.

In the evening proceed for a Cultural Evening – Kerala’s best known dance drama Kathakali, its martial art form Kalaripayattu, semi – classical dance form Mohiniattam, Theyyam – a ritual dance performed as a surrealistic representation of the Gods & classical Indian music. Start early for the make-up session as it is interesting and intriguing.

Overnight will be in Cochin.

Day 03

Cochin – Thekkady (Periyar)

By road 160 km in 04 hrs

Enjoy the breakfast at the hotel.

Drive through the plantations and small Kerala villages. The whole of Kerala including the towns are like villages and the simplicity of the state can be felt while driving. All around would be scenic beauty.

Reach Thekkady (This place is also referred as Periyar because of the Lake Periyar) and check in at the hotel.

The river Periyar is the longest river in Kerala. This is the only perennial river in South India with clean water. The river occupies an important place in the history of Kerala. In the Sangam age Tamil epics such as Chilapathikaram, ‘Akananuru’, ‘Purananuru’ etc much has been said about this mighty river, formerly known as the ‘Choorni Nadi’ or ‘Thamraparni Nadi’. A land route existed in the Sangam age from Mussuris (present-day Kodungalloor) to Madurai, which passed near the banks of the river Periyar. The capital of the old Chera Empire presumably existed on the banks of the river Periyar. It is believed that there was a flood in the 4th century AD that severely damaged the areas along the Periyar and the people living there had to escape to safer locations, abandoning their homes and livelihoods. The flood of AD 1341 resulted in the closing of Kodungalloor port and the opening of a new port at Kochi. The huge landslide that began in the high ranges as a result of the heavy downpours sent massive flows of mud and sand which created an Island at the ‘Azhimugham’ of the Periyar, which is now known as the Vyppin Islands. Periyar wildlife sanctuary is home to nomadic tribes of wild elephant, boar, deer, the great Indian tiger and more.

Later in the afternoon, proceed to an Elephant Farm to spend time with elephants and enjoy activities like bathing the elephant in a small pool, feeding, ride, timber dragging, photo options etc.

Overnight will be in Thekkady.

Day 04

Thekkady (Periyar)

Wake-up early and proceed for jungle walk / nature trek experience at Periyar National Park.

You will visit the rare species of plants and animals. The “experience” will be customized as per your preference depending on how many hours you want to spend in the park.

Return to the hotel and have relaxed breakfast.

In the afternoon; visit spice plantations like cardamom, cinnamon, pepper, coffee, tea estates etc. Also visit Kumily spice market (Asia’s largest spice market) and pick up the best spices and fragrant spices available.

Overnight will be in Thekkady.

Day 05

Thekkady – Kumarakom

By road 135 km in 04 hrs

Have breakfast at the hotel.

Proceed to Kumarakom passing through rolling tea gardens and rubber plantations.

Stop at a tea factory and watch the tea making process. There is a beautiful solitary church you pass by and it is a nice place to stop for photography.

Reach Kumarakom and proceed to the boat jetty in Vembanand Lake.

The backwaters of Kerala are a unique product of Kerala and are found nowhere else in the world. Backwaters are a network of lakes, canals and estuaries and deltas of forty-four rivers that drain into the Arabian Sea. The backwaters of Kerala are a self-supporting Eco-system teeming with aquatic life. The canals connect the villages together and are still used for local transport. Over 900 km of this labyrinthine water world is navigable.

Check-in to a traditional houseboat of Kerala Style and go on a leisurely backwater cruise along the lake on a thatched houseboat. The houseboat with all modern comforts lets you discover the countryside at your own pace. You will have lunch, dinner and breakfast in the Houseboat. A ride on the houseboat is a fabulous way to explore the fascinating beauty of the backwaters.

Cruise through the backwaters towards Alleppey. Lunch will be served on the boat. The menu is simple and traditional. The cook (chef) of the boat prepares the lunch from fresh materials and even you can have a peek at the recipe.

Tea and snacks would be served in the evening. In the evening the boat will anchor in the backwaters by the lush paddy fields and enjoy the tranquility of the water around on the houseboat. You can also go for a stroll into the village to witness local life and culture.

Dinner will be served on the boat.

Overnight will be on the houseboat.

Day 06

Kumarakom – Alleppey

By boat

Alleppey – Marari

By road 15 km in ½ hr

Enjoy breakfast on the houseboat.

The houseboat will sail to Alleppey. Cruise through the backwaters watching the children going to school and the village markets opening.

Alappuzha is famous for its boat races, houseboats, coir products, fish and lakes. Alappuzha remains prominent on the tourist trial of Kerala as one of the major centres for backwater boat trips. “Kuttanad” in Alappuzha is one of few places in the world where farming is done below sea level. Kuttanad is a land of lush paddy fields and is called the ‘Rice Bowl’ of Kerala. Kuttanad stretches for 75 Km sandwiched between the sea and the hills.

Disembark the boat at boat jetty where your driver will be waiting for you to arrive.

Drive to beautiful and serene beach destination – Mararikulam. Arrive and check-in at the resort.

The day will be free for you to enjoy the beach or relax at the pool.

Overnight will be in Marari.

Day 07

Marari – Cochin

By road 42 km in 1 hr

Cochin – departure

After breakfast at the resort, proceed to Cochin by road.

Reach and as per your flight timings, you will be transferred to Cochin airport to take flight back home / onward destination with pleasant memories of your Kerala Backwaters Tour.

END OF THE JOURNEY

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13 Days Best of Rajasthan Tour

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ItineraryHighlightsNotesRequest for Quote

Day 01

Arrival at Delhi

ADHVAN representative will be meeting you upon arrival at the airport and transfer to the hotel. Check-in and relax.

Overnight will be in Delhi.

Day 02

Delhi

After breakfast start full day Delhi tour with guide, Jama Masjid, Red Fort, Humayin’s Tomb, Qutab Minar.

Overnight will be in Delhi.

Day 03

Delhi – Mandawa

By road 240 km in 06 hrs

After breakfast drive to Mandawa. Arrive and check-in and relax at the hotel.

Overnight will be in Mandawa.

Day 04

Mandawa – Bikaner

By road 195 km in 04 hrs

After breakfast start Mandawa tour and after the tour drive to Bikaner. Arrive and check-in and relax at the hotel.

Overnight will be in Bikaner.

Day 05

Bikaner – Jaisalmer

By road 330 km in 06 hrs

After breakfast start Bikaner tour and after the tour drive to Jaisalmer. Arrive and check-in and relax at the hotel.

Overnight will be in Jaisalmer.

Day 06

Jaisalmer

After breakfast start full day Jaisalmer tour with guide, Nathmal Ki Haveli, Salim Singh ki Haveli, Patwin Ji ki Haveli, Godi Sagar Lake and Jain Temple.

Later in the afternoon, proceed to SAND DUNES for visiting the Rajasthani Desert Village.

Overnight will be in Jaisalmer.

Day 07

Jaisalmer – Jodhpur

By road 290 km in 05 hrs

After breakfast drive to Jodhpur. Arrive and check-in and relax at the hotel.

Later visit the museum of Umaid Bhawan Palace and enjoy shopping in the evening and walk in the blue city.

Overnight will be in Jodhpur.

Day 08

Jodhpur

After breakfast visit Mehrangarh Fort and Jaswant Thada.

Later drive to the BISHNOI VILLAGES for a short jeep safari.

Overnight will be in Jodhpur.

Day 09

Jodhpur – Jaipur

By road 335 km in 06 hrs

After breakfast drive to Jodhpur. Arrive and check-in and relax at the hotel.

Overnight will be in Jaipur.

Day 10

Jaipur

After breakfast start full day Jaipur tour with guide, Amber Fort Palace, City Palace, Jantar Mantar, Hawa Mahal and enjoy shopping in the evening.

Overnight will be in Jaipur.

Day 11

Jaipur – Fatehpur Sikri – Agra

By road 240 km in 04 hrs

After breakfast drive to Agra. En-route visit Fatehpur Sikri.

Continue drive to Agra. Arrive and check-in and relax at the hotel.

Overnight will be in Agra.

Day 12

Agra

After breakfast start full day Agra tour with guide visiting Taj Mahal, Agra Fort and Itmad-UD-Ullah.

Enjoy walking tour in the old town and shopping in the evening.

Overnight will be in Agra.

Day 13

Agra – Delhi

By road 205 km in 03 hrs

Delhi – departure

After breakfast at the hotel, proceed to Delhi by road.

Reach Delhi and as per your flight timings, you will be transferred to the airport to take flight back home / onward destination with pleasant memories of your tour.

END OF THE JOURNEY

THE TOUR INCLUDES:-

TOUR EXCLUSIONS:-

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14 Days North India with Golden Temple & Shimla

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ItineraryHighlightsNotesRequest for Quote

Day 01

Arrival at Delhi

ADHVAN representative will be meeting you upon arrival at the airport and transfer to the hotel. Check-in and relax.

DELHI, the capital of India has a great historical background. It was ruled by some of the most powerful emperors in Indian history. The history of the city is as old as the epic Mahabharata. The town was known as Indraprastha, where Pandavas used to live. In due course eight more cities came alive adjacent to Indraprastha. Delhi has been a witness to the political turmoil for over five centuries. It was ruled by the Mughals in succession to Khiljis and Tughlaqs. In 1192 the legions of the Afghan warrior Muhammad of Ghori captured the Rajput town, and the Delhi Sultanate was established (1206). The invasion of Delhi by Timur in 1398 put an end to the sultanate; the Lodis, last of the Delhi sultans, gave way to Babur, who, after the battle of Panipat in 1526, founded the Mughal Empire. The early Mughal emperors favoured Agra as their capital, and Delhi became their permanent seat only after Shah Jahan built (1638) the walls of Old Delhi. In the year 1803 AD, the city came under the British rule. In 1911, British shifted their capital from Calcutta to Delhi. It again became the center of all the governing activities. But, the city has the reputation of over throwing the occupants of its throne. It included the British and the current political parties that have had the honor of leading free India.

Overnight will be in Delhi.

Day 02

Delhi

Have breakfast at the hotel.

Start for a guided tour of Delhi.

Jama Masjid This great mosque of Old Delhi is the largest in India, with a courtyard capable of holding 25,000 devotees. It was begun in 1644 and ended up being the final architectural extravagance of Shah Jahan, the Mughal emperor who built the Taj Mahal and the Red Fort.

Humayun’s Tomb It was built in 1565 A.D. nine years after the death of Humayun, by his senior widow Bega Begam. Inside the walled enclosure the most notable features are the garden squares (chaharbagh) with pathways water channels, centrally located well proportional mausoleum topped by double dome.

There are several graves of Mughal rulers located inside the walled enclosure and from here in 1857 A.D.; Lieutenant Hudson had captured the last Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah II.

Qutab Minar is a soaring, 73 m-high tower of victory, built in 1193 by Qutab-ud-din Aibak immediately after the defeat of Delhi’s last Hindu kingdom. The tower has five distinct storeys, each marked by a projecting balcony and tapers from a 15 m diameter at the base to just 2.5 m at the top. The first three storeys are made of red sandstone; the fourth and fifth storeys are of marble and sandstone. At the foot of the tower is the Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque, the first mosque to be built in India. An inscription over its eastern gate provocatively informs that it was built with material obtained from demolishing ’27 Hindu temples’. A 7 m-high iron pillar stands in the courtyard of the mosque. It is said that if you can encircle it with your hands while

Standing with your back to it your wish will be fulfilled.

Then visit the Lotus Temple located in south of Delhi. This temple is built in the shape of a lotus flower and is the last of seven Major Bahai’s temples built around the world. Completed in 1986 it is set among the lush green landscaped gardens.

Also drive past India Gate, the Parliament building and the Rashtrapathi Bhawan (the President’s residence).

Overnight will be in Delhi.

Day 03

Delhi – Udaipur

By air

Have breakfast at the hotel.

Proceed for the visit to Gurudwara Bangla Sahib. Enjoy the temple complex and capture its beauty through your lenses. Also offer service in community kitchen, if interested.

Later, transfer in time to airport for flight to Udaipur.

Upon arrival at Udaipur, you will be met and transferred to hotel. Reach and check-in to the hotel.

Udaipur, also known as The City of Dawn, is located just by the Aravalli hill is a beautiful place to visit for a romantic vacation. At night-time, the beauty of this place goes a notch up when the moon light drenches the city making the place look like a white vision. Many writers, artists and poets come here for inspiration of their work. Adding to the picturesque beauty are the beautiful forts, palaces and lakes, which makes this place worth your visit.

Proceed for Evening Boat cruise on Lake Pichola and witness the majestic view of the city and visit the Jag Mandir Palace – the other island palace in the middle of the lake and spend some time.

Overnight will be in Udaipur.

Day 04

Udaipur

Have breakfast at the hotel.

Proceed for sightseeing of Udaipur.

City Palace: On the eastern bank of Pichola lake lays a series of palaces that are quite massive and serves as the main attraction of the city of the city of Udaipur. Built in 1559 A.D. the palace consists of humongous balconies through which you can take a good look of the very famous Jag Niwas. The main entrance of the palace known as Tripolia is a triple arched gate will lead you to the courtyard, corridors, terraces and gardens in the palace.

Saheliyon Ki Bari: Built during the mid of 18th century by Maharana Sangram Singh, Saheliyon Ki Bari (Garden of the Maiden) portrays the lifestyle of the women of that time. This section of the palace seems to be discreet and depicts made with impeccable taste. It has around four pools with all of them being dainty kiosks. In addition to this there are flowerbeds around the pool with shady trees and walls covering the surrounding. There the rooms have beautiful paintings on the wall.

Bagore Ki Haveli: Built in front of Lake Pichola, the building lies on the Gangotri Ghat. Built in the 18th century by the Prime Minister of Mewar, Amir Chand Badwa, the palace has more than hundred rooms and wonderful exhibition of modern art and costumes in it. The interior of the Haveli has been completed with intricate mirror and glass designing. The artist of the era had an expertise in glasswork, which can be seen in the two peacocks made of glass.

Jagdish Temple: Jagdish Temple also known as Jagdish-ji is located in the heart of the city and attracts hundreds of tourists every year due to its fantastic artwork. The temple has been raised in a high terrace and it represents art and tradition within it. The temple is attached to a hall known as Mandapa and a Saandhara. Built in 1651 A.D. Maharana Jagat Singh I commissioned this temple and the royalty of the temple can still be witnessed.

In the evening explore the lanes of City of Lakes by walk and witness day-to-day local life.

Overnight will be in Udaipur.

Day 05

Udaipur – Jaipur

By air

Have breakfast at the hotel.

Later proceed to airport for flight to beautiful Pink City – Jaipur.

Reach and you will be met and transferred to hotel. Check-in and relax.

Jaipur capital of Rajasthan, Jaipur was built in 1727 AD by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II. It is from his name that the city extracts its name. Jaipur happens to be the first planned city of India. Maharaja Jai Singh, who was only 11 years old, came into power after the demise of his father Maharaja Bishan Singh. Kachwaha Rajputs, who came into power in 12th century, are said to be Jai Singh’s ancestors. Their rivalry with Sisodia Rajputs, rulers of Mewar, helped them in their alliance with Mughals. Mughals too helped the Kachwaha Rajputs against Sisodia Rajputs, resulting in Kachwahas attaining a reputed place in Rajasthan. They ruled the kingdoms of Mewar (Udaipur) and Marwar (Jodhpur) from the glorious Amber Fort. Jai Singh supported Aurangzeb’s son Azam Shah in the battle of succession, which created unrest among people. But Azam Shah lost this bid to throne to his brother Bahadur Shah. Azam Shah then demanded the removal of Jai Singh from the throne. With the ally of Mughals, Jai Singh brought himself back to power. The kingdom flourished in his reign and Jai Singh built his capital around Amber Fort and Jaipur was eventually developed as India’s first ever planned city by chief architect from Bengal, Vidhyadhar Bhattacharya. Vidhyadhar Bhattacharya, following the principles of Shilpa Shastra (the science of Indian architecture), and referencing the ancient Indian knowledge on astronomy, further developed and discussed the plan with Jai Singh. It is said that the foundation of the city was laid down on 18th November 1727 by Jai Singh himself. It took minutely plans strategies and 4 years for the city’s major places-the roads, the square, palaces and the fortification of the boundaries-to come to form. After the death of Jai Singh in 1744, his sons fought for power and without a king, the city became open to intrusion by neighboring states. Rajputs and Marathas took over most of Jaipur. Later in 1876, Maharaja Ram Singh adorned the city in pink colour, which is supposed to be associated with hospitality, to welcome the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) to the city; and thus it acquired the name Pink City. Ramgarh Lake was also built by Maharaja Ram Singh to provide water to the budding and prospering city. In 1922, the throne was taken over by Man Singh II, and it was at that time, buildings like secretariat, schools, and hospitals were built. After India got independence, Jaipur merged with Jodhpur, Jaisalmer and Bikaner to form the largest state of India with Jaipur as its capital.

In the evening proceed for the visit of Chokhi Dhani for traditional Rajasthani dinner.

Chokhi Dhani: Enjoy an exuberant Rajasthani Folk Dance Performance and a puppetry show, performed by a local tribe, followed by dinner consisting of typical Indian cuisine. In the magical land of Rajasthan where the heat shimmers like phantom water, where the things you see are not really there and where the things that vanish behind veils of illusion, stands Chokhi Dhani, an ethnic village resort with a blend of rustic environment and modern amenities making it an important destination in Pink City.

Overnight will be in Jaipur.

Day 06

Jaipur

Start for a guided tour of Jaipur after breakfast.

Enjoy Elephant ride at Amer Fort.

Amer Fort: The Amer Fort, situated in Amber, 11 kilometers from Jaipur, is one of the most famous forts of Rajasthan. Amer, originally, was the capital of the state before Jaipur. It is an old fort, built in 1592 by Raja Man Singh. This fort is also very popularly known as the Amer Palace. The Amer Fort was built in red sandstone and marble and the Maotha Lake adds a certain charm to the entire Fort. Though the fort is quite old and may even look so from the outside, it is beautiful on the inside and boasts of various buildings of prominence like the ‘Diwan-i-Aam’, the ‘Sheesh Mahal’ and even the ‘Sukh Mahal’. The Amer Fort has influences of both Hindu and Muslim architecture. This fort also has the ‘Shila Devi’ Temple and the ‘Ganesh Pol’ which is a gate that leads to the private palaces of the kings. The Amer Fort has many pavilions and halls of great interest and other popular attractions.

City Palace: Located in the heart of the Pink City Jaipur, the City Palace was where the Maharaja reigned from. This palace also includes the famous ‘Chandra Mahal’ and ‘Mubarak Mahal’, and other buildings which form a part of the palace complex. The palace is located towards the northeast side of central Jaipur and has many courtyards and buildings. The palace was built between 1729 and 1732 AD by Sawai Jai Singh II. He ruled in Amer and planned and built the outer walls of the palace and later rulers added to the architecture of this palace. These additions have been known to take place right up to the 20th century. The urban layout of the city of Jaipur was commissioned to Vidyadhar Bhattacharya and Sir Samuel Swinton Jacob. The architectural styles are largely based on a fusion of Rajput, Mughal and European styles. Today, the ‘Chandra Mahal’ has been turned into a museum which is home to unique handcrafted products, various uniforms of the rulers and many more things pertaining to the royal heritage of the City Palace.

Hawa Mahal: The renowned ‘Palace Of The Winds’, or Hawa Mahal, is one of the prominent tourist attractions in Jaipur city. Located in the heart of Jaipur, this beautiful five-storey palace was constructed in 1799 by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh who belonged to Kachhwaha Rajput dynasty. The main architect of this palace built of red and pink sandstone, is Lal Chand Ustad and the palace is believed to have been constructed in the form of the crown of Krishna, the Hindu god. Considered as an embodiment of Rajputana architecture, the main highlight of Hawa Mahal is its pyramid shape and its 953 windows or ‘Jharokhas’ which are decorated with intricate designs. The main intention behind the construction of the Mahal was to facilitate the royal women and provide them a view of everyday life through the windows, as they never appeared in public. Read further to know more about Hawa Mahal, its history, architecture and its visiting hours.

Jantar Mantar: There are plenty of observatories all over the world, but the Jantar Mantar is considered to be one of the largest observatories ever built. Combining religion, science and art, the Jantar Mantar is the name given to a series of five, magnificent structures built in Jaipur, New Delhi, Ujjan, Varanasi and Mathura. Jaipur was the seat of Maharaja Jai Singh II during the 1720’s and this is when this magnificent structure was built here. The Jantar Mantar in Jaipur is considered to be the largest of the five observatories and also houses the world’s largest sundial. The Universe and the Cosmos have always been of interest to man, and it was this interest that compelled the Maharaja to build an astronomical observatory. The term ‘Jantar Mantar’ is derived from the Sanskrit terms ‘Yantra’ and ‘Mantra’ meaning ‘instruments’ and ‘formula’ respectively. The term ‘Yantra’ was replaced with ‘Jantar’ which means ‘magical’. The Jantar Mantar houses various architectural and astrological instruments that have caught the interests of astronomers, historians and architects around the world.

After sightseeing, you will be free to visit local markets.

In evening, An Aarti is a prayer ceremony and a fundamental part of Hindu culture. Representing the elements of fire, earth, water and air as well as the senses, the priest has a tray with a diya (lamp), offerings of food, water, flowers, incense and a small bell.  An ‘Aarti lamp’ is passed around a deity and is generally accompanied by the singing of songs in praise of that particular god. In doing so, the plate or lamp is supposed to acquire the power of the deity which is then passed around the people when the priest circulates the plate or lamp to all those present. The ceremony ends with everyone sharing the food which has been offered to the Gods.

Overnight will be in Jaipur.

Day 07

Jaipur – Fatehpur Sikri – Agra

By road 238 km in 5.5 hrs

Have breakfast at the hotel.

Drive to Agra visiting Fatehpur Sikri en-route.

Have a refreshment stop at Bharatpur and enjoy lunch.

Drive to Fatehpur Sikri.

Fatehpur Sikri is a wonderful and interesting history related to the origin of Fatehpur Sikri. The Mughal emperor Akbar had many wives but had no heir. The desire for a son led him to many holy men and finally to the renowned Sufi Saint Sheikh Salim Chisti who lived in an isolated cave near Sikri. The saint blessed Akbar and soon a son was born to him. The emperor named his son Salim after the saint and erected the grand Jami Masjid near the saint’s dwelling. According to the legends if Akbar had to be blessed by a son, a sacrifice was to be made of a very dear one. The saint’s son volunteered to be sacrificed so that the heir to the throne could be born. To the west of the mosque lie two empresses, one of the saint and the other of the saint’s infant son. And thus Salim was born to the empress, Mariam-uz-Zamani on 30th August 1569 and the emperor vowed to build a great city; thus emerged the splendid city of Fatehpur Sikri on a stony ridge. This city was built during 1571 and 1585. But due to shortage of water, the Mughal emperor abandoned the city and within 20 years shifted the capital of Lahore.

Later continue the journey to Agra. Reach and check-in at the hotel.

Agra has a rich historical background, which is amply evident from the numerous historical monuments in and around the city. The earliest reference for Agra comes from the epical age, when Mahabharata refer Agra as Agravana. In the sources prior to this, Agra has been referred as Arya Griha or the abode of the Aryans. The first person who referred Agra by its modern name was Ptolemy.

Though the heritage of Agra city is linked with the Mughal dynasty, numerous other rulers also contributed to the rich past of this city. Modern Agra was founded by Sikandar Lodhi (Lodhi dynasty; Delhi Sultanate) in the 16th century. Babar (founder of the Mughal dynasty) also stayed for some time in Agra and introduced the concept of square Persian-styled gardens here. Emperor Akbar built the Agra fort and Fatehpur Sikri near Agra. Fatehpur Sikri remained his capital for around fifteen years after which the city was left isolated in mysterious circumstances. Jahangir beautified Agra with palaces and gardens despite spending most of his time in Kashmir with which he was passionately attached.

Agra came to its own when Shahjahan ascended to the throne of Mughal Empire. He marked the zenith of Mughal architecture, when he built the Taj in memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal. In his later years, Shahjahan shifted his capital to the new city of Shahjahanabad in Delhi and ruled from there. Shahjahan was dethroned in 1658 by his son, Aurangzeb who imprisoned him in the Agra Fort. Aurangzeb shifted the capital back to Agra till his death. After the death of Aurangzeb, Mughal Empire could not touch its peak and many regional kingdoms emerged. The post-Mughal era of Agra saw the rule of the Jats, Marathas and finally the British taking over the city.

Overnight will be in Agra.

Day 08

Agra

Proceed for sunrise visit to TAJ MAHAL.

Taj Mahal was known as the tomb of Begum Mumtaz Mahal. Actually this was the title conferred on the first lady, which means “the exalted of the Palace” and whose actual name was Arjumand Banu Begum. Mumtaz Mahal died on June 17, 1631. The whole nation and Mughal Empire was shrouded in grief on the death of this noble lady. Shah Jahan soon announced a memorial to be erected for the Begum and invited designs and layouts from famous architects. Innumerable designs were presented to the Emperor but he one finally selected was that of Ustad Isa Khan Effendi. On her death Mumtaz Mahal was first buried in Burhanpur. Six months later, her remains were temporarily reburied in a garden on the Bank of river Jamuna. The remains of Mumtaz was finally buried inside Taj Mahal. After the death of Shah Jahan on 1st February 1666, he was also buried beside Mumtaz in the Taj Mahal. The end of Shahjahan brought a golden chapter of Mughal Empire to a close, which portrayed magnificence, colour and elegance of those days. He left his memory behind in the Taj Mahal which serves as a pleasant symbol of dedicated love, conjugal harmony and mutual respect of two lovers. The Taj Mahal is unparalleled in beauty. Millions of people have visited it since centuries, but none has had doubts regarding its all-round supremacy. Their methods of compliments are varied but emotions behind them are essentially the same. Shah Jahan by constructing the world famous Taj Mahal has made this period of Mughal history immortal in the minds of art lovers.

Return to hotel for breakfast.

Start for a guided tour of Agra.

Agra Fort is also known as Lal Qila. It is about 2.5 km northwest of its much more famous sister monument the Taj Mahal. The fort can be more accurately described as a walled palatial city Agra Fort built by Akbar In Red Sandstone when he was through with the consolidation of his power after accession to power in 1654. Agra Fort worked both as a military strategic point as well as the royal residence. Ever since Babur defeated and killed Abraham Lodi at Panipat in 1526, Agra played an important center of Mughal Empire it was in a ruined condition and Akbar decided to make it his capital and arrived in Agra in 1558 Akbar had it rebuilt with red sandstone Architects laid the foundation and it was built with bricks in the inner core with sandstone on external surfaces. Some 1,444,000 builders worked on it for eight years completing it in 1573.

Itmad-Ud-Daulah’s Tomb is as interesting as the life of the person for whom it was built. Mirza Ghiyas-ud-din was a poor merchant and lived in Persia. While on his was to India for business, his wife gave birth to a baby girl. As th family was extremely poor and had nothing to eat, the parents decided to abandon the child. However, the wails of the baby girl forced the parents to come back and take her with them. The baby girl brought a strok of good luck to her parents, for Ghiyas Beg found a caraven the straightaway took him to the court of the great Mughal Emperor, Akbar. In the course of time, Ghiyas Beg rose to become a minister and a trusted treasurer in Akber’s court. After Akber’s death in 1605, his son Jahangir became the Mughal emperor, who made Ghiyas Beg his chief minister or Wazir. Ghiayas Beg’s daughter grew up to be a beautiful lady and come to be known as Mehr-un-Nissa or the sun of womankind. In the course of time, the fame of her beauty spread. She was married off, but she soon became a widow. She returned to the court of Jahangir where he father was employed. Emperor Jahangir fell in love with her and married her. She soon became a powerful personality in Jahangir’s court and was called Mur Mahal, the light of the palace, and Nur Jahan, light of the world. When Ghiyas Beg died in 1622, Nur Jahan undertook the project to build his mausoleum. Later she built the tomb of her husband (in a similar style) in Lahore. Nur Jahan had a brother whose daughter was married to Jahangir’s son, Shahjahan. She was known as Mumtaz Mahal in whose memory Shahjahan built the world famous Taj Mahal.

Sikandra Located centrally in the square plan, at the junction of four causeways dividing the garden into four quarters, the main tomb building has five storeys built in the shape of a truncated pyramid. It stands on a high stone platform. There are massive iwans in the centre of all sides that are as high as the tomb and have beautiful panels adorned with inlaid mosaic work. Inlaid arabesque work graces its spandrels, semi-soffits boast of paintings and turrets have chevron designs. They are crowned by white marble chhaparkhat with eight pillars. The mortuary chambers are on the ground floor. The vestibule leading to the Akbar’s tomb is decorated with floresque, arabesque and calligraphic designs. The chamber itself is simple and paved with stone. The other chambers entomb graves of Aram Banu and Shukru-n-nisa (daughters of Akbar), Zebu-n-nisa (daughter of Aurangzeb) and Sulaiman Shikoh (son of Shah Alam). The first storey houses a large platform and corridors roofed by stone arches in each façade. The second storey is built of red sandstone and has arched verandah with twenty-three bays. These bays are crowned by cupolas and white marble pyramidal roofs decorated with glazed tiles arranged in geometrical designs. The third and fourth storeys follow similar plans, though they reduce in size with the ascending storeys. The fifth and the top most storey is entirely in white marble and has no roof. It has delicate marble screens as its walls.

Later proceed for a guided HERITAGE WALK.

Overnight will be in Agra.

Day 9

Agra – Delhi

By road 235 km in 04 hrs

Delhi – Amritsar

By Train

Have breakfast at the hotel.

Proceed by road for Delhi.

Reach Delhi and you will be transferred to the railway station to board the train for Amritsar.

Company representatives will receive you on arrival at Amritsar railway station and transfer to hotel.

Inextricably linked with the history of Sikhism, Amritsar is amongst the most revered sites of the world. It was founded as recently as the 16th century. Its name is a derivative of the Amrit Sarovar (pool of nectar) amidst which stands the Golden Temple, the most sacred of Sikh shrines. Accounts suggest that Guru Amardas purchased the land from Emperor Akbar and decided to build a tank at the site. Following his death, it was completed by Guru Ramdas and also came to be known as Chak Ramdas or Guru ka Chak. Some of the oldest markets in Amritsar, notably Guru Ka Bazaar, date back to his time. The construction of the Golden Temple was initiated by Guru Arjan Dev while Guru Hargobind, who accorded the religion a martial temper, built the Akal Takht in 1606. Amritsar has a rich history encompassing various mythical and historical narratives including the epic Ramayana. It is believed that the site called Ram Tirath was Maharish Valmiki’s ashram, where Sita reportedly gave birth to her twin sons, Luv and Kush. The Gobindgarh Fort and Ram Bagh were built by Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the founder of the Sikh Empire. While the Jallianwala Bagh continues to be the most evocative monument to India’s freedom struggle. The Khalsa College, established by visionary leaders at the beginning of the 20th century turned Amritsar into a hub of education. Also a centre of thriving industry since its inception, Amritsar is famed for its textiles, particularly shawls, and for its carpets. Amritsar has gained tremendous popularity for its gourmet traditions; especially the dhabas (roadside eatery) that churn out, amongst an inexhaustible list of delicacies, irresistible kulchas, chola-bhaturas, tandoori chicken and fried fish. Amritsar has all the makings of a well-rounded tourist destination; its ancient legends, historical monuments, places of worship, old bazaars, theatre traditions and colourful festivals all serve as a window to its robust past. Excursions to the Harike Bird Sanctuary and visits to the India-Pakistan border at Wagah are an absolute delight, while breaking bread or celebrating Diwali with the denizens of this hospitable city is without parallel.

Overnight will be in Amritsar.

Day 10

Amritsar

Have breakfast at the hotel.

Proceed for the city sightseeing.

Golden Temple: The most sacred of Sikh shrines, the Golden Temple, is a major pilgrimage destination for devotees from around the world, as well as, an ever increasing popular tourist attraction. Construction of the Amrit Sarovar (pool of nectar) was initiated by Guru Amar Das, the third Guru, in 1570 and was completed by Guru Ram Das, the fourth Guru. His successor, Guru Arjan Dev began work on the building after inviting Mian Mir, the Sufi saint, to lay its foundation stone in 1588. Completed three years later, the Harimandar Sahib, or Darbar Sahib, as it is also known, required substantial restoration following its sacking by the 18th century Afghan invader, Ahmad Shah Abdali. It was Maharaja Ranjit Singh who oversaw the gilding of the shrine in the early 19th century, earning it its English moniker. In step with Sikhism’s basic tenet of universal brotherhood and all-inclusive ethos, the Golden Temple is accessed from all directions. The main entrance is through an imposing clock tower, which also houses the Central Sikh Museum, and provides a stunning view of the shrine and its reflection in the Amrit Sarovar. Another entry is through the magnificent silver doors of the beautifully embellished Darshani Deori. It leads onto the causeway that connects the sanctum sanctorum with the Parikrama, the marbled surface surrounding the Sarovar. The lower facade of the Golden Temple is clad in marble, inlaid with precious and semi-precious coloured stones, using the pietra dura technique to create motifs. Within, the Guru Granth Sahib is enshrined on the ground floor, in a room embellished with splendid frescoes. The Parikrama is marked by a number of shrines and memorials of spiritual and historical importance. These include the Dukh Bhanjani Beri, the gilded chhatri of Ath-sath Tirath, a memorial to Baba Deep SinghandGurdwara Lachi Ber. Close to the Darshani Deori lies the Beri Baba Buddha, another revered site. Baba Buddha lived for a 120 years and had the opportunity to serve five Gurus during his lifetime. He oversaw the construction work at the Amrit Sarovar, and this ancient beri (Zizyphus tree) marks the spot where Baba Buddha sat with his tools. Also part of the complex is the seat of the Sikh temporal authority, the Akal Takht, the foundation of which was laid in 1606 by Guru Hargobind, who felt that the Sikh faith required a martial tenor. The ground floor of the Akal Takht was ready by 1774 while the rest of the five-storied edifice was completed during the reign of Maharaja Ranjit Singh.

Maharaja Ranjit Singh Museum and Panorama: The Ram Bagh Palace was converted into a museum in 1977 and has an interesting collection of archival records from the court of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, including the attire worn by Sikh warriors, paintings, miniatures, coins, and weapons. In close proximity of the museum lies the Maharaja Ranjit Singh Panorama, a permanent visual documentation of the Maharaja’s life. This remarkable feature is housed in a large two-storied circular building and features a magnificent painting depicting six of his major battles on the upper level. Fronted by three dimensional figures replicating the scenes, it is accompanied by a multimedia representation of the sights and sounds of war. Other attractions include life-size paintings, as well as dioramas (three-dimensional scenes) of the Maharaja’s early life and one particularly notable one of his court in Lahore. The latter is a likeness of a painting by the Astro-Hungarian artist, August Schoefft; also called ‘Court of Lahore’, it was completed it in 1852 and exhibited in Vienna for the first time in 1855. (Closed on Monday & Public holidays)

Jalian Wala Bagh: On 13 April 1919, a peaceful crowd of 2000 men, women and children had gathered in Jallianwala Bagh, a walled garden near the Golden Temple, to protest British rule. A group of British soldiers led by Brigadier-General Reginald Dyer opened unprovoked fire at the innocent crowd, relentlessly massacring the protestors even as the crowd dispersed in panic, many of them jumping into a well to escape the gunfire. Today, the furthest end of the Bagh is marked by a Martyrs’ Memorial built in the shape of an eternal flame. A section of the wall, pock-marked by bullets, as also the well, has been preserved as a reminder of the tragic event.

Later proceed to Wagah Border to witness the afternoon parade ceremony. Experience the Beating Retreat Ceremony with ceremonial closing of gates and lowering of flags of India and Pakistan. An unique experience not to be missed while your stay in Amritsar.

Wagha Border: Located at about 29 km from Amritsar on the Grand Trunk, Wagah border post has become famous for the ceremonial closing of gates and lowering of flags of India and Pakistan. BSF and Pakistani Rangers march towards the gates from their respective sides. After the gate is open, the soldiers salute each other and start lowering the flags. The flags are carefully folded and carried back. The ceremony reaches a crescendo with the soldiers returning to the border line for the final handshake and the blowing of the bugle marks the end of the ceremony.

Overnight will be in Amritsar.

Day 11

Amritsar – Chandigarh

By road 230 km in 05 hrs

Have breakfast at the hotel.

Drive to Chandigarh.

Reach and check in at the hotel and relax.

Chandigarh is the best-planned city in India, with architecture which is world-renowned, and a quality of life, which is unparalleled. As the capital of the states of Punjab and Haryana, and the Union Territory of Chandigarh it is a prestigious city. The face of modern India, Chandigarh, is the manifestation of a dream that Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru envisaged and Le Corbusier executed.

Serenity and a city are two diametrically opposite concepts, which however, get belied in the ‘City Beautiful’. Chandigarh is a rare epitome of modernization co-existing with nature’s preservation. It is here that the trees and plants are as much a part of the construction plans as the buildings and the roads. India’s first planned city, is a rich, prosperous, spic and span, green city rightly called “THE CITY BEAUTIFUL”.

Later proceed for the city sightseeing.

Rose Garden: Named after India’s former President Dr. Zakir Hussain, the garden was established in 1967 under the guidance of Chandigarh’s first Chief Commissioner, Late Dr. M.S. Randhawa. The largest Rose Garden in Asia, is spread over an area of 27 acres and has more than 17000 plants representing some 1600 varieties of roses. Along with the roses, emphasis was also given to the trees of medicinal value and some unique species of trees to enhance the beauty of the garden. The annual “Festival of Gardens” is organized in the Rose Garden in the month of February and is listed in the “National Calendar of Events”.

Rock Garden: Chandigarh has the distinction of having a unique world acclaimed Rock Garden. It Consist of art object, fashioned from industrial and urban waste. It is situated between the capital complex and Sukhna lake in Sector 1. It nestles amidst 20 acres of woods in the form of an open air exhibition hall, theatre trove and a miniature maze all rolled into one vast fantasy land of art and landscape. It is without doubt, a tourist spot that is a must on the itinerary of visitor to Chandigarh.

An unpretentious entrance leads to a magnificent, almost, surrealist arrangement of rocks, boulders, broken chinaware, discarded fluorescent tubes, broken and cast away glass bangles, building waste, coal and clay-all juxtaposed to create a dream folk world of palaces, soldiers, monkeys, village life, women and temples. The open air sculptures and concealed gateways separating them are at places enhanced by a waterfall, pools and an open air theatre with proper stage setting. Several prestigious performances have been staged in this small but very artistic and naturalistic open air theatre.

Sukhna Lake: Nestled at the foothills of Shivaliks, Sukhna Lake is a beautiful lake set amid the picturesque surroundings of Chandigarh. Stretching for a distance of 3 kms, the Sukhna Lake is a man-made lake and is one of its kind in the city created in the year 1958 by damming the seasonal stream, Sukhna Choe that comes down from Shivalik Hills. With its pristine blue water, the lake serves as a perfect location for a stream of morning joggers and walkers who can also enjoy the fresh air.

Apart from serving as a delight for artists and photographers, the lake is also a spot for sports activities such as boating, trampoline jumping and a recent addition of Solar Cruise. It is home to several species of fishes and migratory birds such as Siberian ducks and cranes. Being the home to several varieties of fishes and migratory birds, Sukhna Lake has been declared by the Government of India as a reserved national wetland. Bounded by a golf course on the south and popular Rose Garden towards west, the lake offers a mesmerizing view for its visitors at all time of the day. Sukhna Lake is quite popular amid the locals and visitors, the place is a perfect destination for solitude seekers.

Capitol Complex: The Capitol Complex is Le Corbusier’s most spectacular work. The magnificent edifices, set against the Shivalik peaks, stand “as massive concrete sculptures, representing the monumental character authority that the complex represents. It is the seat of the government of the States of Punjab and Haryana. It comprises three epoch-making master-pieces: the Secretariat, the High Court and the Legislative Assembly. Separated by large piazzas, the subtle and most evocative grouping of these buildings is of breath-taking beauty. And in the centre stands the giant metallic sculpture of The Open Hand, the official emblem of Chandigarh, signifying the city’s credo of ‘open to give’ ‘open to receive’.

Overnight will be in Chandigarh.

Day 12

Chandigarh – Kalka

By road 30 km in 1 hr

Kalka – Shimla

By Toy Train in 05 hrs

Have breakfast at the hotel.

Drive to Kalka. Reach and you will be transferred to Kalka railway station for Toy Train to Shimla.

Enjoy the Toy Train ride journey. It is known for dramatic views of the hills and surrounding villages. The Kalka–Shimla Railway was built in 1898 to connect Shimla, the summer capital of India during the British Raj with the rest of the Indian rail system. It has been listed in world heritage list by UNESCO for its altitude, length and tropical conditions in which it operate.

Reach and transfer to the hotel. Check-in and relax.

Shimla: The former summer capital of the British in India, and the present capital of Himachal Pradesh, Shimla has been blessed with all the natural bounties which one can think of. It has got a scenic location and is surrounded by green hills with snowcapped peaks. The spectacular cool hills accompanied by the structures made during the colonial era, creates an aura which is very different from other hill.

Bulging at its seams with unprecedented expansion, Shimla retains its colonial heritage, with grand old buildings, charming iron lamp posts and Anglo-Saxon names. The Mall, packed with shops and eateries, is the main attraction of the town, and Scandal Point, associated with the former Maharaja of Patiala’s escapades, offers a view of distant snow clad peaks.

Shimla is ideally located, and though there is an air service to the town, it is best reached by road that takes in the charms of the HIMALAYAN countryside at its best. There is a sense of nostalgia about SHIMLA, with its old bungalows and their gabled roofs and beautiful gardens.

Refresh and proceed for a walking trail to The Mall or visit Lakkar Bazaar popular for its wood crafts and souvenirs.

Enjoy the evening at The Ridge / Scandal Point.

The Ridge: The Ridge: The large open space in the heart of town presents excellent view of the mountain ranges. Shimla’s landmarks – the Neo-Gothic structure of Christ Church and the new – Tudor Library building is worth seeing. Most major places of the colonial town are connected through The Ridge. It is also famous venue for hosting various administrative functions and fairs including the most famous Summer Festival during April / May bringing colours to whole of Shimla with a bouquet of activities.

Christ Church: Standing tall through the tough rapids of time, the Christ Church is one of the most important buildings of Shimla. It tells the story of a part of the town’s rich history – and its pews mark the seats of the Viceroy, the Commander-in-Chief and the Lieutenant-Governor of the Punjab, while the fascinating memorial tablets in brass and marble sound a roll call for some who shaped what was the British Empire.

Overnight will be in Shimla.

Day 13

Shimla (Excursion to Kufri & Chail)

Have breakfast at the hotel.

Proceed for an excursion of Kufri, located at distance of 16 kms from Shimla and at an altitude of 2510 m above sea level, is a site offering some famous hikes and wonderful snow for skiing in winters. An enjoyable walk leads up to the Mahasu Peak. The Himalayan Nature Park here has a good collection of animals and birds found in the region.

Later drive to Chail.

Chail: Located at 43 kms from Shimla, Chail is a lush green setting with breathtaking views of the Himalayan peaks. It was the former capital of the Patiala State. It has the world’s highest cricket ground at a height of 2250 m, built in 1893. It is also a hiker’s paradise and there is a wildlife sanctuary at a distance of 3 kms from here.

Return to Shimla and for exploration of the famous places of the colonial town.

The Mall: The Mall is the main shopping centre of Shimla with restaurants, the Gaiety Theatre, which is a reproduction of an old British theatre, is a center of cultural activities. A passenger lift of HPTDC can be taken from the Cart Road and the Mall. Lakkar Bazaar adjacent to the Ridge is popular for its wood crafts and souvenirs.

Summer Hill: A picturesque superb on Shimla-Kalka Railway line; offers shady walks in quiet surroundings. The Father of Nation, Mahatma Gandhi during his visit to Shimla lived in the elegant Georgian House of Raj Kumari Amrit Kaur. HP University (Himachal Pradesh University) is situated here.

Chadwick Falls: 7 Km away from the town, past the Summer Hill, surrounded by woods, rain-fed falls greet the visitors here.

Indian Institute of Advanced Study (Viceregal Lodge): 3 kms away, IIAS is housed in the former Viceregal Lodge. Built in 1988 this is a spectacular English renaissance-inspired grey-stone structure with superb Burma teak woodwork on the interiors. It is surrounded by magnificent grounds and also has a small museum.

Jakhoo Temple: Two Km from city centre, this is Shimla’s highest point and offers a panoramic view of the town’s hills and distant mountain ranges. There are spectacular views at sunrise and sunset especially during the monsoons. The peak has a temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman. Legend has it that he stopped here while searching for the sanjivini plant – the herb required to cure Laxman who lay mortally wounded on a battlefield in Lanka in an episode from the epic Ramayana. A variation of the legend says that his sandal fell here. The temple has been exhaustively renovated and this vantage point is being connected by a ropeway. At the top of the hill in the temple complex is a 108 feet tall idol of Lord Hanuman is a big attraction for the tourists.

Tara Devi: This holy place can be visited by foot around 5 kms walk among dense forests. Temple is accessible through motorable road also and it’s around 20 kms journey from the town. Situated on top of a hill that faces Shimla, the temple offers panoramic views of Shimla town and surrounding hills. A thick forest of oak and rhododendron surrounds it. It is also famous picnic spot among visitors.

Overnight will be in Shimla.

Day 14

Shimla – Chandigarh

By road 114 km in 04hrs

Chandigarh – Delhi

By Train

Delhi – departure

By air

Have breakfast at the hotel.

Drive to Chandigarh. Reach and you will be transferred to railway station and board the train for Delhi.

Reach Delhi and as per your flight timings, you will be transferred to Delhi airport to take flight back home / onward destination with pleasant memories of your tour.

END OF THE JOURNEY

THE TOUR INCLUDES:-

TOUR EXCLUSIONS:-

Prices are available upon request. Rates may vary based on the time of the year and the number of people traveling. Email us if you’re interested in this particular itinerary. This can further be customized according to your preferences and requirements.

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17 Days Culture, Nature & Traditions of South India with Nizams

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The astounding ruins of the Vijayanagar Empire at Hampi, exquisite rock cut temples of Badami, Pattadkal and Halebeedu, and giant monolithic statue of Shravanabelagola, Karnataka will surprise you at every step of the tour by the architectural styles and extraordinary craftsmanship of ancient artisans and sculptors. After the architecture and history of Northern Karnataka, prepare […]

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The astounding ruins of the Vijayanagar Empire at Hampi, exquisite rock cut temples of Badami, Pattadkal and Halebeedu, and giant monolithic statue of Shravanabelagola, Karnataka will surprise you at every step of the tour by the architectural styles and extraordinary craftsmanship of ancient artisans and sculptors. After the architecture and history of Northern Karnataka, prepare to be mesmerized by wildlife and natural beauty of Southern Karnataka with the Wildlife Safaris at Kabini, the Coffee plantations of Coorg and finally ending your tour in Northern Kerala’s seaside village at Neeleshwar. This journey is a scintillating smorgasbord of culture, nature and tradition of the Southern States of Karnataka & Kerala.

ItineraryHighlightsNotesRequest for Quote

Day 01

Arrival at Hyderabad

ADHVAN Representative will receive you at Hyderabad airport and transfer to the hotel.

Check-in to the hotel and relax.

In the evening, proceed for a Heritage Walk with your private butler for an insightful and entertaining tour around the palace. You start the Champagne Palace Walk at sunset but end enlightened by the past, on this time traveller’s escape in to the Nizam’s stories. Watch history come alive.

Overnight will be in Hyderabad.

Day 02

Hyderabad

Have breakfast at the hotel.

Tour of the historic city includes Golconda Fort, a former diamond-trading center and the capital of one of India’s richest and oldest medieval sultanates, the Qutb Shahi dynasty.

Next on list the Qutb Shahi Tombs – Seven rulers from the Qutb Shahi dynasty, along with family members and courtesans, lay at rest in these mausoleums – a collection of twenty one beautifully domed granite tombs amid tranquil landscaped gardens. Don’t miss the exquisite colonnades and stucco embellishments that adorn some of these tombs.

Overnight will be in Hyderabad.

Day 03

Hyderabad – Hampi

By air

Have breakfast at the hotel.

Check out – Leave behind Hyderabad – The 600 year old kingdom of Vijayanagara awaits your arrival.

Fly direct to Hampi. Arrive and transfer to the hotel. Check-in and relax.

Evening Tungabhadra Trek introducing you to this beautiful & ancient landscape – Enjoy an offbeat trek that takes you through giant boulders, the ruins of the Achyutaraya Temple and the famed ‘Courtesan Bazaar’. Catch a splendid view of the setting sun behind the boulder hills as you walk along the banks of the scenic Tungabhadra River.

Overnight will be in Hampi.

Day 04

Hampi

Have breakfast at the hotel.

Morning Vitthalapura Walk with your Historian – Hampi had many suburbs or puras. They were self-sufficient settlements centered around a temple and an attached market denoting two of its core activities – worship and commerce.

Explore the Vitthalapura Bazaar that leads to the famous Vijaya Vitthala temple considered by many to represent the pinnacle of temple architecture in India. This temple is renowned for its musical stone pillars and a chariot carved in stone.

Evening The Raya Trail: This trail takes you back five hundred years and gives you a privileged peek at the life and times of the Rayas (Maharajas) of Vijayanagara. Learn about their lifestyle, culture, and the unique social & political dynamics of the period and the magnificent structures of the royal city.

Overnight will be in Hampi.

Day 05

Hampi

Have breakfast at the hotel.

This day we take you on a day trip to magnificent sites almost as old as two millenniums – Aihole, Pattadkal & Badami – These sites are considered to be the Cradle of Indian temple architecture. Witness true Indian religions Hinduism, Buddhism & Jainism on the stone carved monuments – a reflection of their strong influence on early Indian Dynasties at various timelines.

Overnight will be in Hampi.

Day 06

Hampi – Chikmaglur

By road 327 km in 6.5 hrs

Have breakfast at the hotel.

Your compass pointed southwards you head out of Hampi to Hassan – the headquarters of Hoysala Empire (1000 – 1334 CE).

Check in to the hotel & relax.

In the evening trek to Mulyangiri – the highest peak in Karnataka.

Overnight will be in Chikmaglur.

Day 07

Chikmaglur

Have breakfast at the hotel.

Morning tour to witness outstanding rock architecture of Belur & Halebeedu temples that are best known temples of the Hoysala dynasty. The Belur and Halebid temples give a glimpse of Hindu temple art at its glorious best of the 16th century.

Return to the hotel for lunch. Evening will be at Leisure.

Overnight will be in Chikmaglur.

Day 08

Chikmaglur – Kabini

By road 210 km in 5 hrs

Have breakfast at the hotel.

This morning travel through the country sides to beautiful Kabini.

Enroute visit Shravanabelagola.

Continue to drive for Kabini.

Reach and check-in to the hotel.

Enjoy lunch and get to know Kabini closely with our naturalist on a tour to the interpretation centre – enjoy the evening with a lovely sunset cruise.

Overnight will be in Kabini.

Day 09

Kabini

Have breakfast at the hotel.

Early morning Safari to the Nagarhole National park with your Naturalist, Get lucky spotting the Royal Tiger or a Majestic Elephant.

This evening, a myriad of activities await you on the river bank – enjoy a coracle ride, bullock-cart ride followed by a Night Trail to close the day.

Overnight will be in Kabini.

Day 10

Kabini

Have breakfast at the hotel.

In the morning proceed for wing spotting on the banks of Kabini followed by a visit to the Tribal Village to experience the spirit of Kabini.

Later in the afternoon take the boat safari through meandering Kabini between Nagarhole & Bandipur National parks.

In the evening enjoy traditional dance by the Kadu Kurubas followed by “Tales of Kabini”.

Overnight will be in Kabini.

Day 11

Kabini – Coorg

By road 130 km in 4 hrs

Have breakfast at the hotel.

Drive to Coorg. Enjoy lovely weather & Green Canopy of Coorg awaits your arrival.

Reach and check-in to the hotel.

Overnight will be in Coorg.

Day 12

Coorg

Have breakfast at the hotel.

Set out on a Birding Tour and local Village Visit with the in-house Naturalists.

Post Breakfast – we take you Bylekuppe Tibetan Settlement – get ready to know more about the origin of Buddhism, The lamas & The Rimpoches, The Stupas, Prayer wheels & the magnificent temples, the mind blowing concept of Nirvana and Reincarnation.

Post lunch – rest & relax.

In the evening take a tour of the Coffee & Spice plantation.

Overnight will be in Coorg.

Day 13

Coorg

Have breakfast at the hotel.

Today’s highlight will be an Ain Mane Visit – Visit to the 400 year old ancestral house of the Kodavas, a 1200 year old temple followed by a traditional lunch with a Kodava Couple.

Evening will be at leisure.

Late evening soak in the essence of Karnataka with a local cultural program and story-telling.

Overnight will be in Coorg.

Day 14

Coorg – Neeleshwar

By road 150 km in 4 hrs

Have breakfast at the hotel.

Drive to Neeleshwar. Reach and check-in to the hotel and relax.

Enjoy the day at leisure.

Overnight will be in Neeleshwar.

Day 15

Neeleshwar

Have breakfast at the hotel.

Enjoy village tour in the morning.

Later in the day, try your hands in a culinary session with Chef and learn the local recipes.

A Theyyam Show would be the day’s highlights.

Overnight will be in Neeleshwar.

Day 16

Neeleshwar

Have breakfast at the hotel.

Visit to a Turtle Hatchery.

Enjoy boat cruise experience and relax by the beautiful beach.

Overnight will be in Neeleshwar.

Day 17

Neeleshwar – Mangalore

By road 90 km in 2.5 hrs

Mangalore – departure

Have breakfast at the hotel.

Drive to Mangalore.

Reach Mangalore and as per your flight timings, you will be transferred to the airport to take flight back home / onward destination with pleasant memories of your tour.

END OF THE JOURNEY

THE TOUR INCLUDES:-

TOUR EXCLUSIONS:-

Prices are available upon request. Rates may vary based on the time of the year and the number of people traveling. Email us if you’re interested in this particular itinerary. This can further be customized according to your preferences and requirements.

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05 Days Bharatpur & Agra Tour

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ItineraryHighlightsNotesRequest for Quote

Day 01

Arrival at Delhi

Delhi – Bharatpur

By road 220 km in 4.5 hrs

Our representative will receive you on your arrival at Delhi airport and proceed to Bharatpur.

Overnight will be in Bharatpur.

Day 02

Bharatpur

Breakfast will be at the hotel.

Enjoy birding tour in morning and evening.

Spend day in leisure.

Overnight will be in Bharatpur.

Day 03

Bharatpur

Breakfast will be at the hotel.

Birding tour in morning and enjoy short bicycle ride (if interested).

Overnight will be in Bharatpur.

Day 04

Bharatpur – Agra

By road 58 km in 1.5 hrs

Breakfast will be at the hotel.

Drive to Agra. Arrive and check-in at the hotel.

Agra has a rich historical background, which is amply evident from the numerous historical monuments in and around the city. The earliest reference for Agra comes from the epical age, when Mahabharata refer Agra as Agravana. In the sources prior to this, Agra has been referred as Arya Griha or the abode of the Aryans. The first person who referred Agra by its modern name was Ptolemy.

Later proceed for a guided tour of Agra visiting The Taj Mahal (sunset visit) and Agra Fort.

Taj Mahal was known as the tomb of Begum Mumtaz Mahal. Actually this was the title conferred on the first lady, which means “the exalted of the Palace” and whose actual name was Arjumand Banu Begum. Mumtaz Mahal died on June 17, 1631. The whole nation and Mughal Empire was shrouded in grief on the death of this noble lady. Shah Jahan soon announced a memorial to be erected for the Begum and invited designs and layouts from famous architects. Innumerable designs were presented to the Emperor but he one finally selected was that of Ustad Isa Khan Effendi. On her death Mumtaz Mahal was first buried in Burhanpur. Six months later, her remains were temporarily reburied in a garden on the Bank of river Jamuna. The remains of Mumtaz was finally buried inside Taj Mahal. After the death of Shah Jahan on 1st February 1666,  he was also buried beside Mumtaz in the Taj Mahal. The end of Shahjahan brought a golden chapter of Mughal Empire to a close, which portrayed magnificence, colour and elegance of those days. He left his memory behind in the Taj Mahal which serves as a pleasant symbol of dedicated love, conjugal harmony and mutual respect of two lovers. The Taj Mahal is unparalleled in beauty. Millions of people have visited it since centuries, but none has had doubts regarding its all-round supremacy. Their methods of compliments are varied but emotions behind them are essentially the same. Shah Jahan by constructing the world famous Taj Mahal has made this period of Mughal history immortal in the minds of art lovers.

Agra Fort is also known as Lal Qila. It is about 2.5 km northwest of its much more famous sister monument the Taj Mahal. The fort can be more accurately described as a walled palatial city Agra Fort built by Akbar In Red Sandstone when he was through with the consolidation of his power after accession to power in 1654. Agra Fort worked both as a military strategic point as well as the royal residence. Ever since Babur defeated and killed Abraham Lodi at Panipat in 1526, Agra played an important center of Mughal Empire it was in a ruined condition and Akbar decided to make it his capital and arrived in Agra in 1558 Akbar had it rebuilt with red sandstone Architects laid the foundation and it was built with bricks in the inner core with sandstone on external surfaces. Some 1,444,000 builders worked on it for eight years completing it in 1573.

Overnight will be at Agra.

Day 05

Agra – Delhi

By road 230 km in 04 hrs

Delhi – departure

After early breakfast, proceed to Delhi airport to take flight for onward journey.

END OF THE JOURNEY

THE TOUR INCLUDES:-

TOUR EXCLUSIONS:-

Prices are available upon request. Rates may vary based on the time of the year and the number of people traveling. Email us if you’re interested in this particular itinerary. This can further be customized according to your preferences and requirements.

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07 Days Golden Triangle Tour

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ItineraryHighlightsNotesRequest for Quote

Day 01

Arrival at Delhi

ADHVAN representative will be meeting you upon arrival at the airport and transfer to the hotel. Check-in and relax.

DELHI, the capital of India has a great historical background. It was ruled by some of the most powerful emperors in Indian history. The history of the city is as old as the epic Mahabharata. The town was known as Indraprastha, where Pandavas used to live. In due course eight more cities came alive adjacent to Indraprastha. Delhi has been a witness to the political turmoil for over five centuries. It was ruled by the Mughals in succession to Khiljis and Tughlaqs. In 1192 the legions of the Afghan warrior Muhammad of Ghori captured the Rajput town, and the Delhi Sultanate was established (1206). The invasion of Delhi by Timur in 1398 put an end to the sultanate; the Lodis, last of the Delhi sultans, gave way to Babur, who, after the battle of Panipat in 1526, founded the Mughal Empire. The early Mughal emperors favoured Agra as their capital, and Delhi became their permanent seat only after Shah Jahan built (1638) the walls of Old Delhi. In the year 1803 AD, the city came under the British rule. In 1911, British shifted their capital from Calcutta to Delhi. It again became the center of all the governing activities. But, the city has the reputation of over throwing the occupants of its throne. It included the British and the current political parties that have had the honor of leading free India.

Overnight will be in Delhi.

Day 02

Delhi

Have breakfast at the hotel.

Start for a guided tour of Delhi.

Jama Masjid This great mosque of Old Delhi is the largest in India, with a courtyard capable of holding 25,000 devotees. It was begun in 1644 and ended up being the final architectural extravagance of Shah Jahan, the Mughal emperor who built the Taj Mahal and the Red Fort.

Humayun’s Tomb It was built in 1565 A.D. nine years after the death of Humayun, by his senior widow Bega Begam. Inside the walled enclosure the most notable features are the garden squares (chaharbagh) with pathways water channels, centrally located well proportional mausoleum topped by double dome.

There are several graves of Mughal rulers located inside the walled enclosure and from here in 1857 A.D.; Lieutenant Hudson had captured the last Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah II.

Qutab Minar is a soaring, 73 m-high tower of victory, built in 1193 by Qutab-ud-din Aibak immediately after the defeat of Delhi’s last Hindu kingdom. The tower has five distinct storeys, each marked by a projecting balcony and tapers from a 15 m diameter at the base to just 2.5 m at the top. The first three storeys are made of red sandstone; the fourth and fifth storeys are of marble and sandstone. At the foot of the tower is the Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque, the first mosque to be built in India. An inscription over its eastern gate provocatively informs that it was built with material obtained from demolishing ’27 Hindu temples’. A 7 m-high iron pillar stands in the courtyard of the mosque. It is said that if you can encircle it with your hands while

Standing with your back to it your wish will be fulfilled.

Then visit the Lotus Temple located in south of Delhi. This temple is built in the shape of a lotus flower and is the last of seven Major Bahai’s temples built around the world. Completed in 1986 it is set among the lush green landscaped gardens.

Also drive past India Gate, the Parliament building and the Rashtrapathi Bhawan (the President’s residence).

Overnight will be in Delhi.

Day 03

Delhi – Agra

By road 235 km in 04 hrs

Enjoy the breakfast at the hotel.

Drive to Agra. Arrive and check-in at the hotel.

Agra has a rich historical background, which is amply evident from the numerous historical monuments in and around the city. The earliest reference for Agra comes from the epical age, when Mahabharata refer Agra as Agravana. In the sources prior to this, Agra has been referred as Arya Griha or the abode of the Aryans. The first person who referred Agra by its modern name was Ptolemy.

Though the heritage of Agra city is linked with the Mughal dynasty, numerous other rulers also contributed to the rich past of this city. Modern Agra was founded by Sikandar Lodhi (Lodhi dynasty; Delhi Sultanate) in the 16th century. Babar (founder of the Mughal dynasty) also stayed for sometime in Agra and introduced the concept of square Persian-styled gardens here. Emperor Akbar built the Agra fort and Fatehpur Sikri near Agra. Fatehpur Sikri remained his capital for around fifteen years after which the city was left isolated in mysterious circumstances. Jahangir beautified Agra with palaces and gardens despite spending most of his time in Kashmir with which he was passionately attached.

Agra came to its own when Shahjahan ascended to the throne of Mughal Empire. He marked the zenith of Mughal architecture, when he built the Taj in memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal. In his later years, Shahjahan shifted his capital to the new city of Shahjahanabad in Delhi and ruled from there. Shahjahan was dethroned in 1658 by his son, Aurangzeb who imprisoned him in the Agra Fort. Aurangzeb shifted the capital back to Agra till his death. After the death of Aurangzeb, Mughal Empire could not touch its peak and many regional kingdoms emerged. The post-Mughal era of Agra saw the rule of the Jats, Marathas and finally the British taking over the city.

Later proceed for the Taj Mahal sightseeing.

Taj Mahal was known as the tomb of Begum Mumtaz Mahal. Actually this was the title conferred on the first lady, which means “the exalted of the Palace” and whose actual name was Arjumand Banu Begum. Mumtaz Mahal died on June 17, 1631. The whole nation and Mughal Empire was shrouded in grief on the death of this noble lady. Shah Jahan soon announced a memorial to be erected for the Begum and invited designs and layouts from famous architects. Innumerable designs were presented to the Emperor but he one finally selected was that of Ustad Isa Khan Effendi. On her death Mumtaz Mahal was first buried in Burhanpur. Six months later, her remains were temporarily reburied in a garden on the Bank of river Jamuna. The remains of Mumtaz was finally buried inside Taj Mahal. After the death of Shah Jahan on 1st February,1666,  he was also buried beside Mumtaz in the Taj Mahal. The end of Shahjahan brought a golden chapter of Mughal Empire to a close, which portrayed magnificence, colour and elegance of those days. He left his memory behind in the Taj Mahal which serves as a pleasant symbol of dedicated love, conjugal harmony and mutual respect of two lovers. The Taj Mahal is unparalleled in beauty. Millions of people have visited it since centuries, but none has had doubts regarding its all round supremacy. Their methods of compliments are varied but emotions behind them are essentially the same. Shah Jahan by constructing the world famous Taj Mahal has made this period of Mughal history immortal in the minds of art lovers.

Overnight will be in Agra.

Day 04

Agra

Have relaxed breakfast at the hotel.

Start for a guided tour of Agra.

Agra Fort is also known as Lal Qila. It is about 2.5 km northwest of its much more famous sister monument the Taj Mahal. The fort can be more accurately described as a walled palatial city Agra Fort built by Akbar In Red Sandstone when he was through with the consolidation of his power after accession to power in 1654. Agra Fort worked both as a military strategic point as well as the royal residence. Ever since Babur defeated and killed Abraham Lodi at Panipat in 1526, Agra played an important center of Mughal Empire it was in a ruined condition and Akbar decided to make it his capital and arrived in Agra in 1558 Akbar had it rebuilt with red sandstone Architects laid the foundation and it was built with bricks in the inner core with sandstone on external surfaces. Some 1,444,000 builders worked on it for eight years completing it in 1573.

Itmad-Ud-Daulah’s Tomb is as interesting as the life of the person for whom it was built. Mirza Ghiyas-ud-din was a poor merchant and lived in Persia. While on his was to India for business, his wife gave birth to a baby girl. As th family was extremely poor and had nothing to eat, the parents decided to abandon the child. However, the wails of the baby girl forced the parents to come back and take her with them. The baby girl brought a strok of good luck to her parents, for Ghiyas Beg found a caraven the straightaway took him to the court of the great Mughal Emperor, Akbar. In the course of time, Ghiyas Beg rose to become a minister and a trusted treasurer in Akber’s court. After Akber’s death in 1605, his son Jahangir became the Mughal emperor, who made Ghiyas Beg his chief minister or Wazir. Ghiayas Beg’s daughter grew up to be a beautiful lady and come to be known as Mehr-un-Nissa or the sun of womankind. In the course of time, the fame of her beauty spread. She was married off, but she soon became a widow. She returned to the court of Jahangir where he father was employed. Emperor Jahangir fell in love with her and married her. She soon became a powerful personality in Jahangir’s court and was called Mur Mahal, the light of the palace, and Nur Jahan, light of the world. When Ghiyas Beg died in 1622, Nur Jahan undertook the project to build his mausoleum. Later she built the tomb of her husband (in a similar style) in Lahore. Nur Jahan had a brother whose daughter was married to Jahangir’s son, Shahjahan. She was known as Mumtaz Mahal in whose memory Shahjahan built the world famous Taj Mahal.

Sikandra Located centrally in the square plan, at the junction of four causeways dividing the garden into four quarters, the main tomb building has five storeys built in the shape of a truncated pyramid. It stands on a high stone platform. There are massive iwans in the centre of all sides that are as high as the tomb and have beautiful panels adorned with inlaid mosaic work. Inlaid arabesque work graces its spandrels, semi-soffits boast of paintings and turrets have chevron designs. They are crowned by white marble chhaparkhat with eight pillars. The mortuary chambers are on the ground floor. The vestibule leading to the Akbar’s tomb is decorated with floresque, arabesque and calligraphic designs. The chamber itself is simple and paved with stone. The other chambers entomb graves of Aram Banu and Shukru-n-nisa (daughters of Akbar), Zebu-n-nisa (daughter of Aurangzeb) and Sulaiman Shikoh (son of Shah Alam). The first storey houses a large platform and corridors roofed by stone arches in each façade. The second storey is built of red sandstone and has arched verandah with twenty-three bays. These bays are crowned by cupolas and white marble pyramidal roofs decorated with glazed tiles arranged in geometrical designs. The third and fourth storeys follow similar plans, though they reduce in size with the ascending storeys. The fifth and the top most storey is entirely in white marble and has no roof. It has delicate marble screens as its walls.

Overnight will be in Agra.

Day 05

Agra – Fatehpur Sikri – Jaipur

By road 240 km in 05 hrs

Have breakfast at the hotel.

Proceed to pink city – Jaipur en-route visiting Fatehpur Sikri.

Fatehpur Sikri is a wonderful and interesting history related to the origin of Fatehpur Sikri. The Mughal emperor Akbar had many wives but had no heir. The desire for a son led him to many holy men and finally to the renowned Sufi Saint Sheikh Salim Chisti who lived in an isolated cave near Sikri. The saint blessed Akbar and soon a son was born to him. The emperor named his son Salim after the saint and erected the grand Jami Masjid near the saint’s dwelling. According to the legends if Akbar had to be blessed by a son, a sacrifice was to be made of a very dear one. The saint’s son volunteered to be sacrificed so that the heir to the throne could be born. To the west of the mosque lie two empresses, one of the saint and the other of the saint’s infant son. And thus Salim was born to the empress, Mariam-uz-Zamani on 30th August 1569 and the emperor vowed to build a great city; thus emerged the splendid city of Fatehpur Sikri on a stony ridge. This city was built during 1571 and 1585. But due to shortage of water, the Mughal emperor abandoned the city and within 20 years shifted the capital of Lahore.

Have a refreshment stop at Bharatpur and enjoy lunch.

Later continue the journey to Jaipur. Reach and check-in at the hotel.

Jaipur capital of Rajasthan, Jaipur was built in 1727 AD by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II. It is from his name that the city extracts its name. Jaipur happens to be the first planned city of India. Maharaja Jai Singh, who was only 11 years old, came into power after the demise of his father Maharaja Bishan Singh. Kachwaha Rajputs, who came into power in 12th century, are said to be Jai Singh’s ancestors. Their rivalry with Sisodia Rajputs, rulers of Mewar, helped them in their alliance with Mughals. Mughals too helped the Kachwaha Rajputs against Sisodia Rajputs, resulting in Kachwahas attaining a reputed place in Rajasthan. They ruled the kingdoms of Mewar (Udaipur) and Marwar (Jodhpur) from the glorious Amber Fort. Jai Singh supported Aurangzeb’s son Azam Shah in the battle of succession, which created unrest among people. But Azam Shah lost this bid to throne to his brother Bahadur Shah. Azam Shah then demanded the removal of Jai Singh from the throne. With the ally of Mughals, Jai Singh brought himself back to power. The kingdom flourished in his reign and Jai Singh built his capital around Amber Fort and Jaipur was eventually developed as India’s first ever planned city by chief architect from Bengal, Vidhyadhar Bhattacharya. Vidhyadhar Bhattacharya, following the principles of Shilpa Shastra (the science of Indian architecture), and referencing the ancient Indian knowledge on astronomy, further developed and discussed the plan with Jai Singh. It is said that the foundation of the city was laid down on 18th November 1727 by Jai Singh himself. It took minutely plans strategies and 4 years for the city’s major places-the roads, the square, palaces and the fortification of the boundaries-to come to form. After the death of Jai Singh in 1744, his sons fought for power and without a king, the city became open to intrusion by neighboring states. Rajputs and Marathas took over most of Jaipur. Later in 1876, Maharaja Ram Singh adorned the city in pink colour, which is supposed to be associated with hospitality, to welcome the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) to the city; and thus it acquired the name Pink City. Ramgarh Lake was also built by Maharaja Ram Singh to provide water to the budding and prospering city. In 1922, the throne was taken over by Man Singh II, and it was at that time, buildings like secretariat, schools, and hospitals were built. After India got independence, Jaipur merged with Jodhpur, Jaisalmer and Bikaner to form the largest state of India with Jaipur as its capital.

Overnight will be in Jaipur.

Day 06

Jaipur

Start for a guided tour of Jaipur after breakfast.

Amer Fort: The Amer Fort, situated in Amber, 11 kilometers from Jaipur, is one of the most famous forts of Rajasthan. Amer, originally, was the capital of the state before Jaipur. It is an old fort, built in 1592 by Raja Man Singh. This fort is also very popularly known as the Amer Palace. The Amer Fort was built in red sandstone and marble and the Maotha Lake adds a certain charm to the entire Fort. Though the fort is quite old and may even look so from the outside, it is beautiful on the inside and boasts of various buildings of prominence like the ‘Diwan-i-Aam’, the ‘Sheesh Mahal’ and even the ‘Sukh Mahal’. The Amer Fort has influences of both Hindu and Muslim architecture. This fort also has the ‘Shila Devi’ Temple and the ‘Ganesh Pol’ which is a gate that leads to the private palaces of the kings. The Amer Fort has many pavilions and halls of great interest and other popular attractions.

City Palace: Located in the heart of the Pink City Jaipur, the City Palace was where the Maharaja reigned from. This palace also includes the famous ‘Chandra Mahal’ and ‘Mubarak Mahal’, and other buildings which form a part of the palace complex. The palace is located towards the northeast side of central Jaipur and has many courtyards and buildings. The palace was built between 1729 and 1732 AD by Sawai Jai Singh II. He ruled in Amer and planned and built the outer walls of the palace and later rulers added to the architecture of this palace. These additions have been known to take place right up to the 20th century. The urban layout of the city of Jaipur was commissioned to Vidyadhar Bhattacharya and Sir Samuel Swinton Jacob. The architectural styles are largely based on a fusion of Rajput, Mughal and European styles. Today, the ‘Chandra Mahal’ has been turned into a museum which is home to unique handcrafted products, various uniforms of the rulers and many more things pertaining to the royal heritage of the City Palace.

Hawa Mahal: The renowned ‘Palace Of The Winds’, or Hawa Mahal, is one of the prominent tourist attractions in Jaipur city. Located in the heart of Jaipur, this beautiful five-storey palace was constructed in 1799 by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh who belonged to Kachhwaha Rajput dynasty. The main architect of this palace built of red and pink sandstone, is Lal Chand Ustad and the palace is believed to have been constructed in the form of the crown of Krishna, the Hindu god. Considered as an embodiment of Rajputana architecture, the main highlight of Hawa Mahal is its pyramid shape and its 953 windows or ‘Jharokhas’ which are decorated with intricate designs. The main intention behind the construction of the Mahal was to facilitate the royal women and provide them a view of everyday life through the windows, as they never appeared in public. Read further to know more about Hawa Mahal, its history, architecture and its visiting hours.

Jantar Mantar: There are plenty of observatories all over the world, but the Jantar Mantar is considered to be one of the largest observatories ever built. Combining religion, science and art, the Jantar Mantar is the name given to a series of five, magnificent structures built in Jaipur, New Delhi, Ujjan, Varanasi and Mathura. Jaipur was the seat of Maharaja Jai Singh II during the 1720’s and this is when this magnificent structure was built here. The Jantar Mantar in Jaipur is considered to be the largest of the five observatories and also houses the world’s largest sundial. The Universe and the Cosmos have always been of interest to man, and it was this interest that compelled the Maharaja to build an astronomical observatory. The term ‘Jantar Mantar’ is derived from the Sanskrit terms ‘Yantra’ and ‘Mantra’ meaning ‘instruments’ and ‘formula’ respectively. The term ‘Yantra’ was replaced with ‘Jantar’ which means ‘magical’. The Jantar Mantar houses various architectural and astrological instruments that have caught the interests of astronomers, historians and architects around the world.

After sightseeing, you will be free to visit local markets.

In evening, An Aarti is a prayer ceremony and a fundamental part of Hindu culture. Representing the elements of fire, earth, water and air as well as the senses, the priest has a tray with a diya (lamp), offerings of food, water, flowers, incense and a small bell.  An ‘Aarti lamp’ is passed around a deity and is generally accompanied by the singing of songs in praise of that particular god. In doing so, the plate or lamp is supposed to acquire the power of the deity which is then passed around the people when the priest circulates the plate or lamp to all those present. The ceremony ends with everyone sharing the food which has been offered to the Gods.

Overnight will be in Jaipur.

Day 07

Jaipur – Delhi

By road 260 km in 5.5 hrs

Delhi – departure

After breakfast at the hotel, proceed to Delhi by road.

Reach Delhi and as per your flight timings, you will be transferred to Delhi airport to take flight back home / onward destination with pleasant memories of your tour.

END OF THE JOURNEY

THE TOUR INCLUDES:-

TOUR EXCLUSIONS:-

Prices are available upon request. Rates may vary based on the time of the year and the number of people traveling. Email us if you’re interested in this particular itinerary. This can further be customized according to your preferences and requirements.

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