This tour starts out with exploring the northern parts of India, in the city of Rishikesh. Rishikesh is located in the Indian state Uttarakhand and near the Himalayas. The city is considered as one of the holiest to Hindus, and many come to search and meditate for higher knowledge here. The name of the city origins from the name of Lord Vishnu, "Lord of Senses".
In Rishikesh you will get the chance to explore many historic sites and temples, such as Parmarth Niketan, an ashram built in 1942 and located at the banks of the river Ganges. Rishikesh is also famous for their yoga retreats, spiritual centers and adventurous activities.
Next you will travel to the city of Aurangabad, known as "The City of Gates". The name of the city originates from the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb. Some of the historical sites in this city include the famous and UNESCO World Heritage Site listed Ajanta Caves and Ellora Caves. The Ajanta Caves represent stunning developments with Buddhism-carved structures. The Ellora Caves include carvings from Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism. Both caves, dating back to the 2nd century and 5-6th century, represent the art and history of ancient Indian culture.
You will further on be taken to Mumbai, formerly known as Bombay, the financial metropolis of India. Being the most populated city in India, it brings you chaos, character and culture. Here you will get the chance to experience and witness many sites important to Indian history, such as the Gateway of India, Marine Drive and Elephanta Caves. The Gateway of India is a monument built during British rule, in 1911. Construction finished in 1924 and represents a basalt arch. It is called the Taj Mahal of Mumbai and is considered similar to the India Gate in New Delhi, making it one of the top tourist attractions in Mumbai.
Next you will visit Varanasi, one of the most important cities for religious beliefs in India. Located on the banks of the Ganges river, it plays an important role for Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism. It is considered the holiest city out of the seven of Sapta Puri. It is believed by some that death at Varanasi will bring salvation. Here you will experience the closeness to religious belief and witness ceremonies and rituals important for Indian culture and religion.
You will also be taken to Bodh Gaya, known as an important religious site for pilgrimage. It is said to have been the place where Gautama Buddha obtained enlightenment, under the "Bodhi Tree". The Mahabodhi Temple in this area is listed as one of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Jaipur, known as "The Pink City", is the next city which you will travel to. It is located in the northern part of India in the state of Rajasthan. The city was named after the ruler of Amer, Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II. Here you will notice unique and creative architectural structures, monumental developments and breathtaking forts. In the same state is also Ranthambore National Park, which you will be taken to as well to witness stunning wildlife and nature.
Further on you will go to explore Agra, known to be city of three stunning UNESCO World Heritage Sites: The Taj Mahal, The Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri. The Taj Mahal started to be built in 1632 and finished in 1653. It was built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan as a mausoleum for his late wife Mumtaz Mahal. This stunning development will leave you breathless for some time.
To finish up the tour, you will be taken to the capital of India, New Delhi. Here you will get the chance to explore and experience Indian history, culture and adventure. Some of the top sightseeing attraction in Delhi include the India Gate, Qutub Minar and Jama Masjid, which you will all get the chance to experience.
Day 1 07th Jan >>> Arrive Delhi – Rishikesh
Arrive Delhi at 0250 hrs. Met on arrival & straight drive 6 hours to Rishikesh. Rishikesh is one of the holy cities in India. It is located in the foothills of the Himalayas. On arrival check in at Tapovan Resort. Evening enjoy Ganga ceremony at Parmarth Niketan. Overnight stay.
Day 2 08th, 09th Jan >>> Rishikesh
As per instruction of Dr. Looney.
Day 3 10th Jan >> Rishikesh - Delhi - Aurangabad
Early morning drive 7 hours to Delhi Airport to connect Air India Flight (AI -441 at 1500 hrs) for Aurangabad. Arrive Aurangabad at 1645 hrs. Met on arrival & transfer to Keys Hotel. Overnight stay.
Day 4 11th Jan >>> Aurangabad – Ajanta – Aurangabad
This morning full day excursion to the Ajanta Caves. Visit this world famous archaeological masterpiece. It has earned the status of a World Heritage Site. In all the city is renowned for its prehistoric caves, gorgeous locations, towering sculptures and breathtaking caves, the Ajanta Caves being the most famous. It has got Buddhist motifs inside the caves. Return to the hotel and overnight stay at hotel.
Day 5 12th Jan >>> Aurangabad – Ellora – Mumbai
After breakfast excursion to Ellora Caves. These caves are another great archaeological masterpiece that has been awarded the status of World Heritage Site. Also pay a visit to all the 34 Buddhist monasteries, Jain Shrines and Hindu Temples at Ellora. Then come back to hotel.
(After Lunch 4 Pax goes to Jalgaon by Toyota Innova & Rest of Group will take Air India Flight
(AI - 441 at 1720 hrs for Mumbai).
Arrive Mumbai at 1810 hrs. Met on arrival & transfer to Hotel Kohinoor Elite. Dinner & overnight stay.
Day 6 13th Jan >>> Mumbai
Gateway of India
In the morning after breakfast, proceed towards Elephanta caves for a sightseeing tour. These caves are located on an island that is a few miles away from the Gateway. This rock-cut cave temple is dedicated to lord Shiva. The Elephanta caves comprise of seven caves of which Mahesh Murti cave is of great importance. In this cave Lord Shiva is shown as a creator, protector and destroyer, is a sight that should be enjoyed at least once in a lifetime.
Later in the day move out on an excursion to the sightseeing of Mumbai. The major hotspots to visit include Dhobhi Ghat , Mani Bhawan, Hanging Gardens, Juhu Beach, Gateway of India and Marine Drive etc. Overnight stay.
Day 7 14th Jan >>> Mumbai
Full day free at leisure at your own. (Without Transport).
Day 8 15th Jan >>> Mumbai – Varanasi – Bodhgaya
This morning transfer to Mumbai Airport to connect Indigo Flight (6E 578 at 1100 hrs) for Varanasi. Arrive Varanasi at 1320 hrs. Met on arrival & straight drive 6 hours to Bodhgaya. Bodhgaya is the place of the Buddha's Enlightenment, Bodhgaya is the spiritual home of Buhddhists. Bodhgaya situated near the river Niranjana, is one of the holiest Buddhist pilgrimage centres since it was here that Buddha attained enlightenment under the Bodhi tree. On arrival check in at Hotel Lotus Nikko. Dinner & overnight stay.
Day 9 16th Jan >>> Bodhgaya
After breakfast city tour of Bodhgaya visiting Mahabodhi Temple – the Temple, named after the Buddha, is a sacred place for the Buddhists in Bodhgaya, Maha –Bodhi Tree – The tree is considered holy since Lord Buddha attained enlightenment under it. Overnight stay.
Day 10 17th Jan >>> Bodhgaya – Varanasi
Morning free at Bodhgaya. After Lunch drive 4 hours to Varanasi. On arrival check in at Hotel Hindustan International. Dinner & overnight stay.
Day 11 18th Jan >>> Varanasi
In early morning, you will leave for boat ride on the Ganges to see the bathing Ghats (river bank) & cremation site. Sunrise on the riverfront, as seen from a boat, can be a spiritually uplifting sight. Also visit few temples. Return to hotel for breakfast.
After breakfast excursion to Sarnath - the buried Buddhist city where Buddha preached his first sermon. After attaining enlightenment at Bodh Gaya the Buddha went to Sarnath, and it was here that he preached his first discourse in the deer park to set in motion the 'Wheel of the Dharma'. It is one of the most holy sites as in this place the stream of the Buddha's teaching first flowed.
Late Afternoon leave by Cycle Rickshaw for Ganga Prayer on Banks of Ganges. Overnight stay.
Day 12 19th Jan >>> Varanasi – Jaipur
Morning leave by bus for remaining temples in city. Lunch at Hotel. Evening transfer to Varanasi Railway station to connect Marudhar Express Train at 1815 hrs for Jaipur. Overnight on board.
Day 13 20th Jan >>> Arrive Jaipur
Arrive Jaipur at 1205 hrs. Met on arrival & transfer to Hotel Jaipur Palace. After Lunch drive to Jaipur Literature Festival venue to collect passes for festival.
Day 15 24th Jan >>> Jaipur – Ranthambore
After Breakfast drive 4 hours to Ranthamore Tiger Park. On arrival check in at Hotel Om Rudra Priya.
After Lunch leave for Jungle by Cantar Van. Visit to the park where you will have a chance to see Hynas, Jackals, Jungle cats, Chital, Panthers and possibility of the famous Indian Tiger. Also visit Ranthambore Fort. Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 17 Ranthambore – Agra
This morning drive 7 hours to Agra. En-route visit Abhaneri Stepwell. Later continue drive to Agra. On arrival check in at Hotel Howard Plaza. Rest of the free at leisure. Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 18 27th Jan >>> Agra - Delhi
The Taj Mahal
After Breakfast city tour of Agra visiting Taj Mahal explained as “a teardrop on the face of perpetuity is certainly the apex of Mughal structural design. Shah Jahan made this monument in the loving memory of his wife Empress “Mumtaz Mahal”. Also visit Agra Fort - explained as walled splendid city built in 1566 to study the progress of Mughal structural design from red stones to white Marbles.
After Lunch drive 5 hours to Delhi. On arrival check in at Hotel Crown Plaza, Rohini. Overnight stay.
Day 19 28th Jan >>> Delhi – Depart
Laxmi Narayan Temple
Breakfast at the Hotel followed by the full day sight-seeing tour of Old and New Delhi visiting - Laxmi Narayan Temple, India Gate – the war memorial dedicated to martyrs who laid their live for the sake of the country, Parliament House – the government headquarters, Lotus Temple – the only Bahai Temple, Qutub Minar, Jama Masjid – the largest mosque in Asia, Red Fort – the red stone magic and Gandhi Memorial – the memorial of the father of the nation. Later transfer to Rahul Home. Lunch & Dinner at home.
Late night transfer to airport to connect flight for your onward destination.
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