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Taj Mahal, Agra
India Holidays     Rajasthan Tour     Best of India Tour

Best of India Tour


Duration : 18 nights/19 days
Destinations : Delhi, Agra, Fatehpur Sikri, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Aurangabad, Mumbai & Goa

Qutub Minar, DelhiDay 1 : Arrive Delhi by flight
Arrive Delhi airport. After clearing your custom & immigrations you shall be met by our representative outside the exit gate of the arrival hall.  After meeting assistance and traditional welcome at the airport and transfer to hotel.

Delhi - The capital of  kingdoms and empires is now a sprawling metropolis with a fascinating blend of the past and the present. It is a perfect introduction to the composite culture of an ancient land. A window to the kaleidoscope - that is India. Don't let your first impressions of Delhi stick like a sacred cow in a traffic jam: get behind the madcap façade and discover the inner peace of a city rich with culture, architecture and human diversity, deep with history and totally addictive to epicureans. Both Old and New Delhi exert a beguiling charm on visitors. Lose yourself unwinding the secrets of the city's Mughal past in the labyrinthine streets of Old Delhi before emerging into the wide open spaces of imperial New Delhi, with its ordered governmental vistas and generous leafy avenues.

Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 02 :  Delhi
Morning breakfast at hotel at 0900 hrs leave for city tour of Delhi.

New Delhi - An extensive sightseeing tour of  New Delhi would include a visit to the Humayun's Tomb, 12th century Minaret- Qutub Minar graceful and well sculptured and stands 75 meters, Lotus Temple, a drive along the ceremonial avenue - Rajpath, past the imposing India Gate, Parliament House, The President House, once the House of British viceroys and would end with a drive through the Diplomatic Enclave. 

Old Delhi - A sightseeing tour of Old Delhi would entail visiting the Raj Ghat - the memorial site where Mahatma Gandhi was cremated; Jama Masjid - the largest mosque in India and the Red Fort-once the most opulent fort and palace of the Mughal Empire.

Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 03 :  Delhi/Agra (210)
Morning breakfast at hotel and at 0900 hrs leave for Agra - The Royal seat and capital of the province of yesteryears and the City of Mughals.

Agra - Two great Mughal monarchs, Akbar and Shah Jahan, transformed the little village of Agra into a befitting second capital of the Mughal Empire - giving it the name Dar-ul-Khilafat {seat of the Emperor}. Today a visitor to Agra is caught up in a world of contrasting edifices, of red sandstone and white marble, narrow galleys and quaint buggies, and that irresistible charm that this favorite city of the Mughals still retains. It is not surprising, that modern Agra still reflects its Mughal heritage most conspicuously. A walk down the narrow bustling streets of the city will introduce the visitor to the wafting aroma of Mughlai Cuisine. 

Upon arrival in Agra check in at at hotel..   Rest of the day at leisure or free for independent activities.  Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 04 : Agra
Morning breakfast at hotel and at 0900 hrs leave for city tour of Agra.  Enjoy battery van ride to the Taj.

Taj Mahal - One of the seven wonder of the world. A pristine monument of undying love. Little needs to be said about this architectural wonder, which is always the soul raison-de-etre for every tourist's visit to Agra. Built by Shah Jahan, the Taj is a white marble memorial to his beautiful wife Mumtaz Mahal. This monument took 22 years to be completed and was designed, and planned by Persian architect Ustad Isa. Apart from it's stunning design balance and perfect symmetry, the Taj is also noted particularly for its elegant domes, intricately carved screens and some of the best inlay work ever seen.

Agra Fort - The first of the great mughal buildings where three Mughal emperor left there foot prints. Built by the famed Mughal emperor Akbar in 1565 AD, the fort is predominantly of red sandstone. Ensconced within is the picture perfect Pearl Mosque, which is a major tourist attraction.

Itmadullah's Tomb - Built by Empress Noor Jahan in memory of her father (The interiors of which are considered better than the Taj).

Rest of the day at leisure or free for independent activities.  Transport at disposal.  Overnight stay at hotel.

Taj Mahal, AgraDay 05 : Agra/Fathepursikri/Jaipur (265 Kms)
Morning breakfast at hotel and at 0900 hrs leave of Jaipur - The picturesque capital of Rajasthan, built by the warrior-astronomer Raja Sawai Jai Singh II in 1727, it is full of formidable Forts, enchanting Palaces and lovely temples. 

Enroute visit Fatehpur Sikri - The city of victory beautifully preserved.  The sandstone mansions of Sikri are experiments in art and architecture and to a great extent uphold Akbar's ideals and visions.  Thereafter continue your drive to Agra upon arrival check in at hotel.  Upon arrival in Jaipur Check in at hotel.

 Jaipur - The origins of the beautiful city of Jaipur can be traced back to the eighteenth century, during the reign of Jai Singh II who ascended the Amber throne in 1699. Jaipur today, epitomizes the spirit of Rajputana. In-spite of growing into a bustling metropolis, it still retains it's character and history - A beautiful fusion of the yesteryears and modernity.  Popularly known as the Pink City because of the extensive use of the locally abundant pink plastered stone, painted so in honor of the visit of the royal consort of Queen Victoria. Jaipur thrills the soul with its massive forts, magnificent palaces, exquisite temples and lush gardens.

Evening optional visit to Rajmandir cinema hall famous for its beautiful interiors or "Chokhi Dhani" - A five star ethnic village resort for dinner on direct payment basis.

Day 06 : Jaipur
Morning breakfast at hotel and at 0800 hrs proceed to city tour of Jaipur.

Amber Fort Palace - Amber is the classic romantic Rajasthani fort palace. Enjoy ride the hill on the back of decorated elephant ascent to the fort and feel like Maharaja. Its construction was started by Man Singh I in 1592, and completed by his descendent Jai Singh I. Its forbidding exterior belies an inner paradise where a beautiful fusion of Mughal and Hindu styles finds it's ultimate expression.

City Palace - A delightful blend of Mughal and traditional Rajasthani architecture, the City Palace sprawls over one-seventh of the area in the walled city. It houses the Chandra Mahal, Shri Govind Dev Temple and the City Palace Museum. Complex which houses the rare and rich collection of ornaments, arms, royal costumes, carpets and decorative art objects of traditional Rajasthani and Mughal art and architecture

Jantar Mantar - A 18th century Observatory. This is the largest and the best preserved of the five observatories built by Jai Singh II in different parts of the country. This observatory consisting of outsized astronomical instruments is still in use.

Hawa Mahal - The ornamental facade of this "Palace of Winds" is a prominent landmark in Jaipur. Its five-storey structure of sandstone plastered pink encrusted with fine trelliswork and elaborate balconies. The palace has 953 niches and windows. Built in 1799 by Pratap Singh, the Mahal was a royal grandstand for the palace women.

Visit a rug factory and see the ladies at the intricate work or a gem factory and see the gem cutting and polishing process. Also visit Birla Temple.

Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 07 : Jaipur/Jodhpur (330 KMS)
Morning breakfast at hotel and at 0900 hrs drive to suncity Jodhpur - Tales of Grandeur and great heroes. Jodhpur set at edge of the Thar desert, the Imperial city echoes with tales of antiquity in the emptiness of the desert. The city ringed by a high stone wall with seven gates and several bastions.  Upon arrival check in at hotel. 

Jodhpur - Located on the foothill of a sandstone hillock, the city of Jodhpur seems like an oasis in the vast desert.  Jodhpur is one of the favorite tourist destinations in Rajasthan.  The Sun city known for fascinating history is replete with sagas that tell the tales of proud kings, brave warriors, court intrigues, colorful stories of velour and romance. Once the capital of the Marwar state, it was founded in 1459 AD by Rao Jodha-chief of the Rathore clan of Rajput who claimed to be descendants of Rama - the epic hero of the Ramayana. Jodhpur retains much of the medieval flavor and ambience that instantly bring to mind the grandeur and glory of another era.  Dotted with palaces, havelis, temples and houses washed pale blue also known as Blue city.

Evening free for independent activities or explore the local markets.  Overnight stay at the hotel. 

Pearl palace JodhpurDay 08 : Jodhpur
Morning breakfast at hotel and at 0900 hrs leave for full day city tour of Jodhpur.

Mehrangarh Fort - Mehrangarh Fort stands a hundred feet in splendor on a perpendicular cliff, four hundred feet above the sky line of Jodhpur, sentinel to the grandeur of the past.  Burnished red sand stone, imposing, invincible and yet with a strange haunting beauty that beckons. 

Takes pride of place as the first destination on any visitor's list. From the outside its wide, high walls and sheer cliffs appear unassailable, imposing and austere, but once inside you discover several lavishly decorated palaces, with intricate carved 'jalis' and panels that take your breath away. Seven heavily fortified gateways have to be crossed to reach the fort.  The gates still bear the marks of the various battles fought in the bygone era. Its second gate still stands witness to canon ball hits by attacking armies of Jaipur during wars. One of the gates is Jayapol, meaning victory. It was built by Maharaja Man Singh to commemorate his victories over Jaipur and Bikaner armies. Another gate, Fattehpol, again meaning victory, was built by Maharaja Ajit Singh as a celebration for defeating the Mughals, led to the palaces, armoury and royal chambers. Few of these gates remain closed but the palaces are impressive in their variety and ornamentation. 

Other attractions of Mehrangarh Fort, include several palaces inside the fort, with their sprawling and huge courtyards. One of the fort's palaces, Moti Mahal (Pearl Palace) with its Shringar Chowk (coronation seat) has the royal throne of Jodhour, featuring peacock armrests and gilded elephants, Sheesh Mahal (Mirror Palace), Phool Mahal (Flower Palace), with its beautifully painted walls, the Sileh Khana, the Umaid Vilas and the Daulat Khana. At the Daulat Khana, visitors get to see a rich and varied collection of royal memorabilia, fine Rajput miniatures and Ragmala paintings.  The fort also has galleries, temples, etc. To the left of the Mehrangarh Fort is the Chhatri of a soldier, Kirat Singh Soda. It is the spot where he fell while defending the fort against the armies of Amber.  The Mehrangarh Fort Palace Museum and the Umaid Bhawan Palace Museum house a fine collection of royal memorabilia, armours and arms, bejewelled howdahs, palanquins etc.
The Mehrangarh Fort, with its beauty, is the living proof of the hard work and skill of the Jodhpuri sculptors.  Today, it is acknowledged as the finest living example of a Hindu fortress.

Jaswant Thada - Down the road from Mehrangarh fort is Jaswant Thada, an attractive white marble royal cenotaph of Jaswant Singh II and four of his successors, is the site of the white marble.  Famous Jaswant Thada, is an example of architectural brilliance in India. It is a white marble memorial, built out of intricately carved sheets of marble. The carving shows the genius of the sculptors. These stones are extremely thin and polished. As a result, the outside surface of the monument emits a warm glow when the sunrays fall on its surface. There is also beautiful marble jali work on the cenotaph. You can have some nice views from the terrace in front of the cenotaph.

Umaid Bhawan Palace - Umaid Bhavan Palace is one of India's most imposing and recent palaces, built in mid 20th century.  This palace is also known as Chittar Palace as local Chittar stone is used. it is splendid example of indo-colonial style.  The palace was built by Maharaja Umaid Singh. It is named after him only. He utilized the services of a well-known Edwardian architect, Henry Vaughan Lanchester for the construction of this palace. It contains three hundred and forty seven rooms.  Umaid Bhawan Palace was actually built for the welfare of the people. The purpose was to give employment to the people of Jodhpur during a long period of drought and famine.  Over three thousand artisans were employed in the construction of this palace.

The Umaid Bhavan palace was converted into a heritage hotel in 1977. The Palace is now segmented into the Royal residence, the Heritage Hotel and the Museum. In a part of the palace the royal family of Jodhpur still lives. In another part of the palace is a well-maintained museum. India's Umaid Bhavan palace has an amazing Central Rotunda, the cupola rising to a hundred and five feet high. There is also the Throne Room with its exquisite Ramayana murals, a library, a private museum, an indoor swimming pool, a Billiards Room, tennis courts and unique marble squash courts.

Afternoon leave for Madore Gardens - Mandore is located about 8 kms north of Jodhpur. It was the former capital of Maharajas of Marwar. Later it was abandoned for security concerns regarding the Mehrangarh fort. Its extensive Mandore garden, with high rock terrace, makes it a popular tourist attraction.

In the Mandore garden, there are the dewals or cenotaphs of Jodhpur's former rulers. Instead of the usual chhatri-shaped cenotaphs typical of Rajasthan, the cenotaphs of the famous Mandore garden of Jodhpur, Rajasthan are built along the lines of a Hindu temple. They are four stories high, with fine columns and an elegant spire, all in red sandstone. The most impressive dewal is the dewal of Maharaja Ajit Singh. These cenotaphs are set in beautiful landscaped gardens. The cenotaphs of the Maharani are set on a rocky outcrop over the hill.

Greenery of this place makes Mandore an oasis in the vast desert of Rajasthan.

Near to the cenotaphs is the hall of heroes. The hall is dedicated to various deities and Rajput folk heroes. The statues of the deities and heroes we are carved out of rock and painted in bright colors. Also in this garden of Jodhpur, is "The Shrine of the Three Hundred Million Gods", filled with brightly colored images of the various Hindu Gods. As you climb up the hill, you come to the ruined city of Mandore, with its old palace.  In time return to hotel.  Rest of the day at leisure or free for independent activities. 

Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 09 : Jodhpur/Ranakpur/Udaipur (260 Kms)
Morning breakfast at hotel and at 0900 hrs leave for Udaipur.  Enroute visit Ranakpur.

Ranakpur TempleRanakpur - The pilgrimage town of the Jains, renowed for some marvelously carved Jain temples.  later visit Ranakpur temple exquisite architectural Jain temples amidst the peaceful Aravalli range three storied structure, with 29 halls, 80 domes and 1,444 pillars and no two pillars are alike every pillar is intricately carved with equal delicacy in Amber stone.  Ranakpur is also one of the five main pilgrim centres for the Jains. The main shrine in the 500-year old temple complex (preserved in near perfect condition) is the huge Chaumukha Temple dedicated to Adinath, the first Jain saint. It is the largest and most complex Jain temple in India with 29 halls and 80 domes supported by 1444 ornately carved pillars, no two pillars alike. There are two other Jain temples in the complex, and, some distance away, a Sun temple. 

In time continue your drive to Udaipur.  Upon arrival check in at hotel.  Rest of the day at leisure or free for independent activities.  Overnight stay at the hotel.  

Udaipur - City Of Lakes or Veince of East founded by Maharana Udai Singh in 1567 AD surrounded by Lovely land around the azure water lakes hemmed in by the lush hills of the  Aravali ranges. One of the most romantic cities in Rajasthan, Udaipur is also known as the city of lakes. The marble palaces, beautifully laid out gardens and the lakes make Udaipur seem almost like a mirage in the desert. The founder of Udaipur, Maharana Udai Singh, was overcome by the misfortunes that his old capital of Chittaurgarh had to face due to repeated attacks by the Mughal armies. On the advice of a holy man, Udai Singh shifted his capital to the banks of Lake Pichola- the city was named Udaipur after him.   

Day 10 : Udaipur
Morning breakfast at hotel and at 0900 hrs leave for city tour of Udaipur visting......

Lake Palace: The most enchanting tourist attraction of Udaipur, the Lake Palace (also known as Jag Niwas) is a beautiful island palace built by Maharana Jagat Singh II in 1754. Situated on picturesque Lake Pichola, the white marble structure appears like emerging out of the shimmering blue waters on the lake, creating a spellbound effect on visitors.  The pretty white marble palace is now a luxury hotel that attracts thousands of guests each year.

City Palace: One of the largest royal complexes in Rajasthan, the City Palace is situated on a promontory on the picturesque Lake Pichola. The complex has 11 beautiful Mahals (palaces) with balconies and towers, offering a breathtaking view of the lake and the city. Its Durbar Hall, which had been used as a venue for formal occasions like state banquets and meetings, has most luxurious interiors highlighted by some of the largest chandeliers in the world.  There are terraces, courtyards, pavilions, corridors, rooms and hanging gardens, with lavish Mughal-inspired decorative art on their walls, floors and ceilings. Simply astounding !!  The main part of the Palace is now a museum. You should see the Mor Chowk for the gorgeous peacock mosaics, Chini Chitrashala for the striking blue and white ceramics and Dutch inlaid tile work, Manak Mahal for glass and porcelain figures and Krishna Vilas for miniature painting and a rich collection of artifacts.  A ticketed 'Mewar Light & Sound Show' is hosted every evening within the Palace premises.

Jag Mandir: Jag Mandir is another beautiful island palace on Lake Pichola, built by Maharaja Karan Singh in 1615 AD. The palace once sheltered the Mughal prince Khurram (later Emperor Shah Jehan, who built the world-famous Taj Mahal) who rebelled against his father Jehangir in the 1620's. The Palace has a giant stone sculpture of elephants and an impressive chattri (cenotaphs) that add to its beauty.

Saheliyon-Ki- Bari: The Saheliyon-ki-Bari (The Garden of maid's) was built in early 18th century AD as a retreat for ladies of the royal household to spend their time in leisure. The enchantingly beautiful Garden is famous for its lotus pool, fountains (in the shape of birds), lush green lawns, flowerbeds, and marble pavilions, offering a breathtaking view to visitors.

Jagdish Temple: Jagdish Temple is the largest and the most beautiful temple in Udaipur, built by Maharana Jagat Singh in 1651 AD. Dedicated to lord Vishnu, the temple is famous for its beautiful sculpted images and towering Shikara.  It is an impressive, beautifully proportioned structure, covered with carved friezes and heavily decorated inside.

Fateh Sagar: Located in the vicinity of the famous Saheliyon-ki-Bari Garden, Fateh Sagar is a beautiful lake, built by Maharana Fateh Singh in 1678. A canal built at the beginning of the 20th century connects it to the Lake Pichola. Nehru Park, a popular garden island with a boat-shaped café, is situated in the middle of the Lake.

Lake Pichola - The largest and the most beautiful of Udaipur's lakes - it is overlooked by hills while palaces, mansions, bathing ghats, gardens and temples dot its banks. Jag Mahal and Jag Niwas are the two island palaces that add to the lake's romantic ambience.  Evening enjoy the boat ride on lake Pichola and see the spectcular view of the sun set.

A memorial to Maharana Pratap (Pratap Smarak) is located on top of Moti Magri (Pearl Hill), which overlooks the Fateh Sagar Lake. Sahelion Ki Bari, (Garden of the Maids of Honour), a small ornamental garden with fountains, once the site for royal picnics, or the impressive Gulab Bagh (Rose garden).The 18th century monsoon palace, Sajjangarh, sits dramatically on top of a hill just outside Udaipur from where you get spectacular views of the city's lakes, palaces and the surrounding countryside.

Rest of the day at leisure.  Overnight stay at hotel.

Lake Palace UdaipurDay 11 : Udaipur/Aurangabad by flight
Morning breakfast at hotel. Intime meeting assistance at hotel and transfer to airport to board your flight for Aurangabad. Upon arrival in Aurangabad meeting assistance at airport and transfer to hotel.  Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 12 : Aurangabad :
Morning breakfast at hotel and leave for day return excursions to Ellora and Ajanta. First visit the caves of Ellora (30 kms one way). Ellora Caves - An Architectural Wonder. The Caves of Ellora are one of the major architectural wonders, not only in India but also in Asia. There is hardly another instance of such grand building work done anywhere else in the world, in a unique way it has been done. These kingly structures that stand and amaze the tourists from all over the world even today are a result of an exhaustive effort taken by thousand of workers in the from 350 AD to 700 AD.  Every statue, every chamber and every piece of stunning design has been carved into mountains from to the bottom. A range of mountains carved from top to bottom into stunning design reflects three faiths in Indian culture, Hinduism, Budhism and Jainism. A work extended over a span of 350 years.  In the meantime proceed to Ajanta via Aurangabad (130 kms )- Ajanta Caves - famous for its caves and paintings.  Ajanta is one of the few historical and architectural marvels of India. Recognized as the World Heritage site today, it was discovered during the 19th century by a group of British officers who were on a tiger hunt. The Ajanta group of caves, located deep within the Sahyadri hills above the Waghora, depict the story of Buddhism that prevailed here during 200 BC to 650 AD.  Later in the evening return back to Aurangabad. Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 13 : Aurangabad/Mumbai by flight
Morning breakfast at hotel intime meeting assistance at hotel and transfer to aiport to board your flight for Mumbai.  Upon arrival in Mumbai meeting assistance at airport and transfer to hotel.  Rest of the day free for your own activities.  Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 14 : Mumbai
Morning breakfast at hotel and leave to visit Elephanta Cave en route visit the tourist places like Dhobhi Ghat (Open laundry) and than carry on to visit Elephata caves - one hour journey by deluxe ship across the harbour/sea. The Elephanta Island is the site of the magnificent Elephanta caves, containing beautiful carvings, sculptures, and a temple to the Hindu God, Lord Shiva. These caves are located at a distance of 11 kms from Mumbai and are now designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The island of Elephanta, being a commercial, military and religions centre for centuries has traces of early Buddhist culture. The Elephanta caves are thought to date back to the Silhara kings belonging to the period between 9th - 12th centuries. With the Brahminical resurgence during the reign of Gupta dynasty in 3rd century AD, these great cave dedicated to Lord Shiva exploded into existence at Elephanta. Legends and history suggest that the great warrior prince of Chalukya dynasty Pulkesin ll raised the shrine to celebrate his victory. Some historians also suggest that these caves were built by the Kalchuri King Krishnaraja in 6th century AD. As the worship of the figure of the Buddha began to be encouraged with rise of the Mahayana sect of Buddhism, a shrine was introduced to house Buddha's image, replacing the cells at the centre of the back wall. The Monasteries of Ajanta lead us directly to Elephanta.
 
After your return in the city proceed to half day city tour of Mumbai visiting Chowpatti, Gateway of India, Malabar hill, Hanging garden, Kamla Nehru Park, Tower of silence, Marine drive (Queen's necklees), Mani Bhawan (Gandhi Museum), Jain temple. Evening at leisure or free for independent activities. Dinner and overnight stay at hotel.

Day 15 : Mumbai/Goa by flight
Morning breakfast at hotel.  Intime meeting assistance at hotel and transfer to airport to board your flight for Goa.  Upon arrival in Goa transfer to hotel.  Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 16 : Goa
Morning breakfast at hotel. Full day free for your own acitivites.  No transport service for today.  Overnight stay hotel.

Day 17 : Goa
Morning breakfast at hotel. Full day free for your own acitivites.  No transport service for today.  Overnight stay hotel.

Day 18 : Goa
Morning breakfast at hotel. Full day free for your own acitivites.  No transport service for today.  Overnight stay hotel.

Day 19 : Goa/Mumbai by flight……………………Mumbai/Onward destination
Morning breakfast at hotel. Intime meeting assistance at hotel and transfer to airport to board your flight for Mumabi.  Upon arrival in Mumbai meeting assistance at airport and transfer to International airport to board your flight for your onward destination



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