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Classic India

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From£2,300
Price
From£2,300
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203 786 2345

13 days / 11 nights
Availability : June 2019 - March 2020
London
Delhi

Tour Details

India is not a country but a continent and travelling through it is an experience like no other. Overwhelming in its chaos at first, it gradually unfolds unique delights. You may find it in its majestic forts, monuments and temples; in exquisite crafts; in traditional and contemporary arts; in the bustle of its colourful bazaars; landscapes and nature reserves; in diverse cuisines; a meal at home with a family, or in the unexpected beauty that filters through the chaos. This program has been especially curated for the first time visitor to India, who would like to see the main, world-renowned sights accompanied by an expert local guide.

 

 

Departure & Return Location

London

Price Includes

  • International flight tickets: London - Delhi; Delhi - London
  • Domestic flight tickets: Khajuraho - Varanasi; Varanasi - Delhi;
  • Airport fees for domestic and international flights
  • 11 nights accommodation at the mentioned hotels, in the specified type of rooms
  • Meals as mentioned in the itinerary
  • All the transfers and tours as described above
  • Transportation in sharing basis
  • Entrance fees
  • English speaking local guide for the included tours and visits
  • Travel tips
  • Medical & Travel insurance
  • Service fees
  • 24/7 emergency phone number

Price Excludes

  • Visa fee & formalities: £75 / person (£60 visa fee + £15 service fee)
  • Excess baggage charge
  • Tips for local guides and drivers
  • Early check-in, late check-out
  • Optional tours:Visit to Nizamuddin Dargah (£35 / person), Mohabat-E-Taj (£35 / person), Pink City Rickshaw tour (£35 / rickshaw)
  • Non-included meals (lunch and dinner do not include drinks)
  • Personal expenses (minibar items, phone, internet, safe lock, cleaning services, babysitting, etc.)

Itinerary

Day 1Departure London

Day 2Arrival Delhi

Transfer airport – hotel in Delhi (PVT)
Upon arrival you are met by our guest ambassador in the arrival area of the airport after you clear all immigration and customs formalities. Depart for your hotel where you will check in for your stay.

Day 3Delhi

Breakfast
Enjoy breakfast at hotel’s restaurant.

Morning tour of Old Delhi with Rickshaw ride (PVT)
After breakfast start with the visit of Jama Masjid, the largest mosque in India. After this visit, hop on to your rickshaws and enter the colourful, narrow alleys and gullies of Old Delhi. Discover the gems of the main street of Chandni Chowk. Then proceed into busy streets which are forever bustling with the clamour and routine of daily trade, offering a glimpse of life back in the day and age when the city started out as a commercial hub. Proceed to Kinari Bazaar or wedding market where one can buy all the paraphernalia required for an Indian wedding. Visit Asia’s largest spice market, where spices, which in times gone by were once so valuable that they caused invasions and fierce battles. Here you will also drive past Red Fort the most opulent Fort and Palace of the Mughal Empire.

Afternoon tour of New Delhi (PVT)
After Old Delhi continue to Lutyens’s New Delhi. New Delhi was designed and built by the British in the 1920’s – it’s a city of wide boulevards, impressive Government buildings, green parks and gardens. Your drive also takes you along the ceremonial avenue, Rajpath, past the imposing India Gate (At the centre of New Delhi stands the 42m high India Gate, an “Arc-de-Triomphe” like Archway in the middle of a crossroad), President House (The palatial building built on an area of 330 acres with a private garden designed by the illustrious Lutyens, as the official residence of the Viceroy of India during British reign, is now the official residence of the First Citizen) and the Parliament House.

Visit to Qutub Minar (PVT)
Visit monuments from Delhi’s past – Qutub Minar (Historical construction of a landmark in 1199, Qutub-ud-Din raised the Qutub Minar either as a victory tower or as a minaret to the adjacent mosque. From a base of 14.32m it tapers to 2.75m at a height of 72.5m).

Optional experience: Visit to Nizamuddin Dargah Mausoleum
Hazrat Shaikh Khwaja Syed Muhammad Nizamuddin Auliya R.A (1238 – 3 April 1325) also known as Hazrat Nizamuddin, was a famous Sufi saint of the Chishti Order in the Indian Subcontinent, an order that believed in drawing close to God through renunciation of the world and service to humanity. He is one of the great saints of the Chishti order in India. His predecessors were Fariduddin Ganjshakar, Bakhtiyar Kaki and Moinuddin Chishti. In that sequence, they constitute the initial spiritual chain or silsila of the Chisti order, widely prevalent in the Indian subcontinent.

Day 4Delhi - Jaipur

Breakfast
Enjoy breakfast at hotel’s restaurant.

Morning visit Amber Fort with jeep ride (PVT)
After breakfast at the hotel proceed to visit Amber Fort. Amber Fort is a marvellous example of Rajput architecture with its terraces and ramparts reflected in the Maota Lake below. The interiors of the fort have various royal halls decorated with intricate ivory, mirror and glass work complemented by exquisite wall paintings. As you move between the rooms of this magnificent structure feel the history and visualise the pomp and grandeur of a kingdom which was never conquered.

Afternoon city tour of Jaipur (PVT)
After the visit to Amber Fort proceed to visit the City Palace Museum where you can see an imposing blend of traditional Rajasthani and Mughal Art. The museum is resplendent with its collection of robes of royal princes, carpets, an armoury of old weapons, miniature paintings portraying court scenes, battle scenes and processions, also visit the awe inspiring Jantar Mantar (an accurate observatory built in 1726 AD). After that stop for a photo at the Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds) – a five storied wonder with a spectacular pyramidal facade and overhanging windows with latticed screens, domes and spires. Spend some time in the city’s crowded and colourful bazaars that sell a wide variety of artisan goods and semi-precious stones, which are the local speciality.

Optional experience: Pink City Rickshaw tour
Explore the secrets hidden in the walled city of Jaipur on these uniquely designed, eco-friendly e-rickshaw rides through the city. Driven by smart, enthusiastic and well-trained women, all from low-income households, this exciting ride by the Pink City Rickshaw Company offers the best sights and sounds of Jaipur while also providing a new source of income to these women. With a stylized collapsible canopy, ergonomically designed seats, mechanical improvements for greater safety, city maps, guidebooks, mobile phone charging station, and even a locker, the ride itself is a unique experience.

Day 5Jaipur - Agra

Breakfast
Enjoy breakfast at hotel’s restaurant.

Transfer Jaipur – Agra – approximately 5 hours’ drive (PVT)
This morning, after breakfast, you will travel to Agra, the home of the magnificent monument of love – The Taj Mahal.

Visit to Abhaneri Stepwell (PVT)
En route you will make a stop to visit Abhaneri Stepwell. Abhaneri is a small-town village, situated at 95 km from Jaipur, on Jaipur-Agra road. The place is popular for the amazing ‘Baoris’ (step wells) and Harshat Mata Temple. The village of Abhaneri is believed to be established by the King Raja Chand. Originally Abhaneri was named as Abha Nagri, which means the city of brightness, but due to mispronunciation of the term, it is changed to the present name. In the present day, this city of brightness is in ruins; still it attracts tourists from across the globe. Abhaneri is prominent for ‘Baoris’, which are the unique invention of the natives for harvesting rainwater. Amongst the other step wells, Chand Baori is the most popular one. This colossal step well is in front of the Harshat Mata Temple. Chand Baori is one of India’s deepest and largest step wells. The huge tank with delicate carvings is certainly delightful to the eyes. After the visit continue the transfer to Agra.

Optional experience: Live show – Mohabat-e-Taj
You can spend your evening enjoying the amazing Mohabbat- e – The Taj show that depicts the romantic love story of Emperor Shajahan and his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal. You will be blown away by the creative dance and dramatic lighting with the 12’ x 12’ Taj Mahal replica as well as the lavish lifestyle of the Mughal Empire.
Note: The show is in hindi language.

Day 6Agra

Breakfast
Enjoy breakfast at hotel’s restaurant.

Visit to Taj Mahal (PVT)
That magnificent monument of love – The Taj Mahal, was built by an emperor in memory of his beloved queen. Construction of the Taj Mahal began in 1631 and is believed to have taken 22 years to complete, with over 20,000 craftsmen working round the clock. The design and construction are said to be that of the legendary architect, Ustad Ahamad Lahori. Legend has it that once construction was completed, Shah Jehan had Lahori’s hands cut off, and blinded, so he would never be able to duplicate the structure. What makes the Taj Mahal unique is its perfect proportions, distinct femininity, medium of construction and ornamentation. Its marble exterior reflects rose and golden tints at sunrise and sunset, while it is dazzling white during the day. It is impossible to visualize the Taj Mahal in any surrounding others than its paradoxical garden. Paradise, in Islam, is visualized as a lush garden where running streams flow. When the Mughals brought this concept to India they elevated it to heights of incomparable artistry.

Visit to Agra Fort (PVT)
Visit the impressive Agra Fort, where you are taken through the chambers of this royal residence. As you drive through the city, witness the local life and bazaars (markets) and the hustle bustle of everyday India. Agra Fort is a UNESCO World Heritage site located in Agra, India. The fort is also known as Lal Qila, Fort Rouge and Red Fort of Agra. 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. It is the most important fort in India. The great Mughals Babur, Humayun, Akbar, Jehangir, Shah Jahan and Aurangzeb lived here, and the country was governed from here. It contained the largest state treasury and mint. It was visited by foreign ambassadors, travellers and the highest dignitaries who participated in the making of history in India.

Evening village walk tour (PVT)
Later in the evening proceed for a village walk tour, a 1-2-hour walk exploring the village and meeting the villages who live in the shadow of the Taj Mahal. It is a wonderful, unique and interactive experience which gives a rare ‘behind the scenes’ glimpse of the world’s most famous tourist attraction. Take a walk through Kachhpura Village which is in the shadow of the Taj Mahal with one of the village boys. He will show you the lesser known heritage monuments of Humayun’s Mosque and Gyaraha Sidi and walk you through this historic settlement where you can meet its people and discover their way of life as agriculturists next to the Taj. Enjoy tea and pakoras on the roof top of a village house overlooking the monument and see how creating this experience has benefited the local community. The walk ends at Mehtab Bagh, or Moonlit Garden which has exceptional views of the Taj Mahal. The money generated from this tour is used to put sanitation in the village, educate women and provide initiatives for children.

Day7Agra - Gwalior

Breakfast
Enjoy breakfast at hotel’s restaurant.

Transfer Agra – Gwalior – approximately 3 hours’ drive (PVT)
After breakfast you will drive to Gwalior. Upon arrival check in at hotel.

City tour in Gwalior
After having some rest and relax in the hotel proceed on to your city tour in Gwalior. Steeped in a splendid past, Gwalior is one of the finest examples of a traditional city turned modern. This historic city was established by the warrior Suraj Sen for the revered sage Gwalipa, who cured him of leprosy. Of course, there are lots to discover here, towering palaces, ancient temples and mosques. But the favourite for all remains the magnificent Gwalior Fort. Almost impenetrable, with sides leading to a sharp fall in the valley, this Fort houses within it many interesting palaces, temples and gateways. Gwalior is the land of sword fights, rock carved temples and intricate palaces.

Visit to Gwalior Fort & Museum
At the heart of Gwalior is Gwalior Fort, improved by Raja Man Singh Tomar where a previous structure existed, of the Tomar dynasty. This formidable structure was reputed to be one of the most structurally sound forts of India. It occupies an isolated rock outcrop. The hill is steepened to make it virtually unscalable and is surrounded by high walls which enclose buildings from several periods. The old town of Gwalior lies at the eastern base of the fortress. Lashkar, formerly a separate town that originated as a military camp, lies to the south, and Morar, also a formerly separate town, lies to the east. Gwalior, Lashkar and Morar are presently part of the Gwalior Municipality.

Day 8Gwalior - Jhansi - Khajuraho

Breakfast
Enjoy breakfast at hotel’s restaurant.

Transfer to Railway station to board train for Jhansi (PVT)
After breakfast you will be transferred to trainstation to take the train to Jhansi.

Train Gwalior – Jhansi (SIC)

Transfer Jhansi – Khajuraho – approximately 4 hours’ drive (PVT)
Upon arriving in Jhansi you will meet our representative and proceed by road to Khajuraho. You will make a stop enroute to visit Orchha.

Visit to Orchha (PVT)
You will visit the town of Orchha, whose edifices have been built since the 16th century. Here you will see Ram Raja, the first palace built inside the Orchha Citadel by Raja Rudra Pratap and finished by his successor, Madhukar Shah. Then you will admire the Lakshmi Narayan Temple known for its murals. Finally, you will see the Jahangir Mahal Citadel built during the Mogul Empire.

Day 9Khajuraho - Varanasi

Breakfast
Enjoy breakfast at hotel’s restaurant.

Morning half day city tour Khajuraho Group of Temples (PVT)
After breakfast at hotel, proceed for visit to Khajuraho Group of temples. Written by Vatsyayana in the time of the Guptas. The erotic love making images of celestial nymphs, gods and goddesses sculpted in delicate detail have caught the imagination of people from all over the world. Here you would visit western group of temples. Western is the largest and best-known temples. All but three temples, which are built of local granite, are constructed with hard river sandstone dug from the east bank of the Ken River, 13 miles to the east. None of the temples are enclosed; rather they are erected on high masonry platforms, each on an east-west axis. It is their detailed sculpture which gives Khajuraho its appeal and importance. Less than a tenth of it can be called ‘erotic’. Numerous interpretations have been given for the erotic sculpture but there is nothing sordid about these inspired carvings showing beauty and voluptuousness of the female form.

Afternoon transfer to airport in Khajuraho (PVT)
After the visits you will proceed to airport to board the flight to Varanasi.

Flight Khajuraho – Varanasi

Transfer airport – hotel in Varanasi (PVT)
Upon arrival in Varanasi you will meet our representative and be transferred to the hotel.

Day 10Varanasi

Breakfast
Enjoy breakfast at hotel’s restaurant.

City tour in Varanasi (PVT)
There is no Indian attraction like Varanasi. There are no architectural splendours, no exquisitely carved palaces or impregnable forts, and yet the city has an inherent charm. Situated on the west bank of the Ganges, it extends back from the riverbank ghats to a winding maze of picturesque alleys overlooking tall houses alongside, it is a fascinating area to walk around. Varanasi today, is also a centre of education, art and craft. The city has given birth to many academicians, musicians and artists of world acclaim. As a centre of art and craft it has a vast repertoire, right from silver, brass, copper artefacts to perfumeries and trinkets. The magnificent Krishna Balarama Temple built in 1975 by ISKON has today become Varanasi’s most popular temple and has one of the highest principles of Deity worship and cleanliness. Hare Krishna devotees from around the world can be seen here throughout the year. The Kashi Vishwanath Temple built by the temples is another famous tourist attraction of the city. Besides these the Bharat Mata Temple, Alamgir Mosque, Durga Temple, Tulsi Manas Temple, Archaeological Museum and Ram Nagar Fort are some of the place worth visiting on Varanasi Tours, India.

Visit to Sarnath (PVT)
Sarnath is situated 10 Kms from the center of the city, it symbolizes the birth of Buddhism. It was here that Buddha revealed his doctrine and founded his monastic community. The museum at Sarnath is amongst the most important in India and contains carvings representing a whole range of styles – archaic, the Mathura School, Gupta, past Gupta and Medieval – covering work of sculptors from the 3rd century B.C. to the 12th century A.D. After the visit return to the hotel.

Evening visit to Ganges Ghats to witness Aarti Ceremony
In the evening visit the Ghats to witness Aarti ceremony. The “AARATI”, is normally sung at the end of any religious ceremony or puja, or simply by itself each morning and evening as a celebration to the Supreme within us and without. The lighting of the lamps for the Aarati has a manifold significance. On the one hand it denotes the light of spiritual knowledge, the illumination of truth. On the other hand, when camphor is used as the fuel to light up the lamps, the camphor eventually burns out and disappears without a trace. This signifies the destruction of the ego in the light of true knowledge or – the illumination of the self in union with the knowledge or – the illumination of the self in union with the Universe.

Day 11Varanasi - Delhi

Early morning boat cruise on Ganges River
Early this morning proceeds on a boat cruise on River Ganges which is an amazing experience to see the morning activities that take place at various Ghats around the Ganges. After the cruise you will return to hotel for breakfast.

Breakfast
Enjoy breakfast at hotel’s restaurant.

Transfer hotel – airport in Varanasi (PVT)
In the afternoon you will be transferred at the airport to board the flight to Delhi.

Flight Varanasi – Delhi

Transfer airport – hotel in Delhi
Upon arrival to Delhi you will meet our representative and transfer to the hotel.

Day 12Departure Delhi

Breakfast
Enjoy breakfast at hotel’s restaurant.

Transfer hotel – airport in Delhi (PVT)
After breakfast at the hotel you will be transfered to airport to board flight for home.

Meals included: 11 breakfast

Accommodation options

Comfort
Availability Rates
June – September 2019£2,300 per person
October 2019 – March 2020
except 10 – 16 November 2019; 19 December 2019 – 11 January 2020
£2,550 per person

 

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