The Best of India - PI-0461
The tour that shows you India at its best! From beautiful palaces and huge forts to the vast deserts and deep seas, this tour takes you to the most beautiful locations in India. A monument dedicated to Love, The Taj; a divine feeling at the Ghats of the Ganges in Varanasi; the eroticism sculpted on the Khajuraho temples and the life of Buddha depicted in pictures in Ajanta; this tour shows you the best of India. To top it all take a short trip to Goa, a place always on a vaccation... come and enjoy India to the fullest.
Day 1: Delhi
Tuesday, December 12, 2023 - Wednesday, December 13, 2023
Welcome and assistance on arrival at Delhi International Airport. You will be transfer to the hotel where we hold the room on ready occupancy basis. Overnight stay at the hotel.
Day 2: Delhi
Wednesday, December 13, 2023 - Thursday, December 14, 2023
After breakfast take sightseeing tour of historic city visiting Old Delhi visiting the majestic Red Fort
, a marvel in red sandstone, Jama Masjid, the largest mosque in India, both built by emperor Shah Jahan of Taj Mahal fame, Rajghat - memorial of Mahatma Gandhi & a Rickshaw ride past through the silver street in Chandani Chowk, the city tour continues covering New Delhi, visiting Rashtrapati Bhawan, one-time imperial residence of the British viceroys; the India Gate
, a memorial raised in honour of the Indian soldiers martyred during the Afghan war; the Laxmi Narayan Temple, built by the Birlas, one of India-s leading industrial families; Humayun-s Tomb, lotus shaped Bhai-s Temple , Qutub Minar
, built by Qutub-ud-din Aibek of the Slave Dynasty; in the evening you can visit see speculative Light and Sound Show at Red Fort
. Return to the hotel for overnight at the hotel.
Day 3: Delhi - Mandawa
Thursday, December 14, 2023 - Friday, December 15, 2023
After breakfast checkout and drive to Mandawa, on arrival transfer to heritage hotel. The medieval Fort of Mandawa (Shekhwati) gradually rises on the horizon like a mirage. Mandawa is popularly known as the '\open-air art gallery'\ of Rajasthan. A breathtaking view of the town can be seen from the terrace of Castle Mandawa. Precious collection of arms with jade handles, traditional ceremonial costumes can be seen at the Museum at the Castle, visit to Havelies in Mandawa notably the Chokhani Saraf & Ladia Havelies. The Castle, now a 51 rooms hotel has no two rooms alike. It also houses an interesting collection of paintings, jade, costumes and antiques. In the evening a walk through through the bustling bazaars and pick up things of your interest. Evenings there is a special program of music and dance performed by local artists, participate in the dance and feel the life of the people and their hospitality. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 4: Mandawa - Bikaner
Friday, December 15, 2023 - Saturday, December 16, 2023
After breakfast visit the Shekhawati region an important town of the years gone by, to see number of remarkable Havelis and Castles in the nearby towns of Nawalgarh and Laxman Garh. These havelis are museums in themselves, numerous havelis built by the rich merchants as their residence in 18th and 19th century. After lunch, drive to Bikaner on arrival transfer to hotel. After relaxation, take an excursion tour to Deshnok to see the Temple of Karni Mata - at this temple rats are held sacred & roam freely within the temple complex. Spotting a white rat in this temple is believed to by lucky. Evening free for relax. Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 5: Bikaner - Jaisalmer
Saturday, December 16, 2023 - Sunday, December 17, 2023
After breakfast take a sight seeing tour of Bikaner covering Junagadh Fort - constructed between 1588 and 1593 by Raja Rai Singh, fort has a 986 meter long wall with 37 bastions & two entrances, Bhand Sagar Temple - The 16th century Jain temple, is the most important temple of this complex. After lunch drive to Jaisalmer. En route you can visit Pokhran came to the limelight when several nuclear tests were conducted here during the 1970'\s and the 1990'\s. Pokharan Fort is Built in 1532-1584 the yellow sandstone Pokhran fort, though not as grand a fort as some of the others in Rajasthan has a few exquisite palaces like the Mangal Niwas, the Rani Mahal and the Phool Niwas or the Flower Palace, visit to Pokhran Museum : The Pokhran Museum housed inside the fort-s premises is fairly small and contains an assortment of weapons, paintings, pottery and the costumes which the Maharajas wore. After visit continue to drive to Jaisalmer on arrival transfer to the hotel. Rest of the evening free for leisure, overnight at the hotel.
Day 6: Jaisalmer
Sunday, December 17, 2023 - Monday, December 18, 2023
After breakfast take a sight seeing tour of Jaisalmer covering Jaisalmer Fort
- built on the highest point of the Tricuta hill, consisting of 99 bastions. Outstanding features are Megh Durbar & various temples, Salim Singh-Ki-Haveli & Patwon-Ki-Haveli - some of the beautiful mansions with stone carving and latticework of breath taking intricacy, visit followed by Gadisar Lake. Later after lunch drive to Sam Sand Dunes - 45 kms en route visit the ancient Temple of Lodurwa, Amar Sagar and Mool Sagar Complex, built in 1815 AD, The complex also houses a summer palace where some beautiful paintings and pictures are displayed. On arrival at Sam Sand Dunes and transfer on Camels and enjoy camel safari to discover the various sights and sounds, the ruins and the temples in and around Jaisalmer in an authentic and leisurely fashion with entertainment by folk performers, visits to villages, and chatter from colorful guides thrown in. After safari drive back to Jaisalmer for overnight stay.
Day 7: Jaisalmer - Jodhpur
Monday, December 18, 2023 - Tuesday, December 19, 2023
After breakfast checkout and drive to Jodhpur, en route visit to Osian
Village, ruins of an ancient city called Osian
, an oasis in the desert, A drive to this ancient township takes one past undulating terrain, punctuated by desert stretches and little hamlets. Osian
has 15 beautifully sculpted Jain and Brahmanical temples. Of these, the most outstanding ones are the earlier Surya or Sun Temple and the later Kali temple, Sachiya Mata Temple and the main temple dedicated to Lord Mahavira. On arrival transfer to the hotel. In the evening you may opt to visit On the Rocks a garden restaurant serving ethnic food followed by live music and folk dance, located at Ajit Bhawan. Later return to the hotel for overnight stay.
Day 8: Jodhpur - Mount Abu
Tuesday, December 19, 2023 - Wednesday, December 20, 2023
After breakfast take a sight seeing tour of Jodhpur including Clock Tower, Mehrangarh Fort situated at an altitude of about 125 meters and is spread over an area of 5 sq. km and it has seven gates, Jaswant Thada
is a white marble memorial built in memory of Maharaja Jaswant Singh, followed by visit to Umaid Bhawan Palace which is a majestic Palace building that presently functions as a hotel and museum. After lunch check out the hotel and drive to Mount Abu. On arrival transfer to the hotel. In the evening you can visit Sunset Point
and Nakkhi Lake. Relax and overnight at the hotel.
Day 9: Mount Abu - Udaipur
Wednesday, December 20, 2023 - Thursday, December 21, 2023
After breakfast take a sightseeing tour of natural attraction and splendid temples: Dilwara temples consisting of five Jain temples built at the beginning of the 11th century with intricate ornamental carvings represent the climax in the art of decoration in stone, followed by Gomukh temple, Vimala Vasahi, Bhramkumari Temple, Achalgarh Fort. Later drive to Udaipur, En route visiting the Jain temples at Ranakpur Temples of 12 Century - The cluster of temples, made of intricately sculpted white marble, built out of marbles with 108 carved pillars each carved differently from others, Come across as a marvellousfeat of architecture. One can have lunch at Maharani Bagh Hotel in Ranakpur and visit to local families on the way, continue to proceed to Udaipur, on arrival transfer to the hotel. Optionally in the early evening you can take a walk through the narrow lanes and back streets of Udaipur up to the Washing Ghats at the Lake Pichola
. Enjoy Boat ride at Lake Pichola
and also opt for dinner at Lake Palace Hotel, located amidst the Lake. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 10: Udaipur
Thursday, December 21, 2023 - Friday, December 22, 2023
After breakfast take a sightseeing tour of Udaipur, visiting City Palace
built in 1559, a small palace over looking at the Lake Pichola
, the additions were made to it by successive Kings of Udaipur gradually evolved become the larges place in Rajasthan, Main attraction of Place are Durbar Hall, Crystal Gallery, Palace Museum and Jagdish Temple. Later visit Saheli Ki Bari that is a small ornamental garden built in the honour of Royal Ladies for recreational purpose and visit Lok Kala Mandal collection of folk art items like folk dresses, ornaments, puppets ,masks, dolls folk musical instruments, folk deities and paintings. Opened seven days a week, puppet shows and folk dancing are conducted every evening from 1800 to 1900 in an adjacent open air theatre. & Shilpgram to see the village arts & crafts. Followed by visit to Eklingji
& Nagda Temples - built in white marble with a double storied porch on the bank of Lake Bageela - 22 kms from Udaipur. Overnight at Udaipur.
Day 11: Udaipur - Chittourgarh - Udaipur
Friday, December 22, 2023 - Saturday, December 23, 2023
After an early breakfast first take excursion to Chittourgarh Fort is the mightiest Fort in Indian History, The pride and glory of Rajasthan. Chittourgarh echoes with the tales of romance and valour unique to the Rajput tradition. A ruined citadel, where the royal past lives in its imposing forts, graceful palaces and spectacular '\chhatris'\in the fort vicinity visit Kirti Stambha, Rana-Kumbha Palace, Padmini Palace, Meera Temple and Kumbha Shyam Temple and Kalika Mata Temple, State Archaeological Museum. Later drive back to Udaipur. Evening free for leisure and realax. Ovenight at the hotel.
Day 12: Udaipur - Deogarh - Pushkar
Saturday, December 23, 2023 - Sunday, December 24, 2023
After breakfast checkout and drive to Pushkar en route have your lunch at the magnificent Deogarh Mahal with short visit the historical Deogarh Fort. On arrival at Pushkar, transfer to the hotel, evening free for relax or walk at the Ghats of Pushkar Lake. Overnight stay at the hotel.
Day 13: Pushkar - Jaipur
Sunday, December 24, 2023 - Monday, December 25, 2023
After breakfast take a sightseeing tour of Pushkar, known for worlds biggest cattle fair every year in month of November, with glorious celebration. A city of Pilgrimage from time immemorial with over 500 temples and ghats Pushkar begets a legacy of timeless architectural heritage. Pushkar radiates an ambience of peace and spirituality that casts a lure to visit again and again. After relaxation take sightseeing tour of the city visiting temple of Lord Brahma surrounded by Pushkar Lake. On the banks of the lake you will see devotees taking dip into the holy waters of Pushkar & offering prayers. Also visit the Pushkar Fair site, which is right opposite the Pushkar After visit check out the hotel and drive to Jaipur, en route you can visit to Khawaja Dargah ( Muslim Shrine) at Ajmer ( 11 kms from Pushkar), after visit continue to drive to Jaipur, on arrival transfer to the hotel. Evening free for leisure and overnight at the hotel.
Day 14: Jaipur
Monday, December 25, 2023 - Tuesday, December 26, 2023
Today after breakfast explore the Pink City with an excursion to Amber Fort
, situated just outside the city, enjoy the experience of ride on elephant back to and from the top of the hill on which the fort is situated. Afternoon sightseeing tour of City Palace
in the heart of Jaipur is known for its blend of Rajasthani and Mughal architecture. Not far away is the Central Museum
. Jantar Mantar
is the largest of the five observatories built by Sawai Jai Singh. The Hawa Mahal
or the Palace of Winds was constructed for the royal ladies to watch the royal processions without being seen, all monuments are located in the vicinity of City Palace
Complex of Jaipur. Later late afternoon is kept free to visit the famous Markets of Textiles, Gems, Carpets, and handicrafts. Jaipur is an ideal place for buying souvenirs. In the evening visit to Birla Temple, speculator marble temple, glitters in the in the night, later at the time of dinner visit to Chokhi Dhani - an ethnic 5 star resort serving Rajasthani & Continental cuisine with live music, astrology, games, folk dances and music, puppet shows in an ambiance of an ethnic village. Return to the hotel for overnight.
Day 15: Jaipur - Samode - Jaipur
Tuesday, December 26, 2023 - Wednesday, December 27, 2023
Today morning take an excursion to Samode, (45 kms 1 hours) The old caravan city of Samode locked up in its walls and dominated by the castle, on arrival after refreshment visit Samode Palace, the Sheesh Mahal- the hall of mirrors. Late afternoon take camel cart ride to explore the Samode Fort and the semi desert village of Samode, witness the culture and traditional of villagers. Later in the evening drive back to Jaipur. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 16: Jaipur - Agra
Wednesday, December 27, 2023 - Thursday, December 28, 2023
Morning after breakfast check out the hotel and drive to Agra en route visit the Old deserted town of Mughal Dynasty - Fatehpur Sikri
built in red sandstone in honour of Saint Salim Chisti who foretold the birth of 3 sons to Emperor Akbar, is an example of robust stability combined with originality. Each important edifice here represents a type by itself. Notable among them is the Diwane Khas; Punch Mahal, the Tomb of Salim Chisti, and the Buland Darwaza. After visit continue to drive to Agra. On arrival transfer to the hotel. In the evening you may visit to the souvenirs market of Agra, one should visit Oswal Emporium where they have built a Mini Taj Mahal
inside their showroom and it took 10 years for the artists to complete the mini replica of the Taj. The show room conducts free sound & light show showing the eras of Taj Mahal
. Return to the hotel. Overnight at Agra.
Day 17: Agra
Thursday, December 28, 2023 - Friday, December 29, 2023
Early visit to witness incomparable Taj Mahal
with its- speculative view at the time of Sunrise. Taj Mahal
, the architectural modern day wonder of the world; this monument is a fine example of the fusion of many architectural styles is one of the wonders of the modern world. Taj, endowed it with some of the loveliest buildings in the world. The tour continues with a visit to The Agra Fort
from where one can get the most moving view of the Taj from the little octagonal tower in The Agra Fort
, which lies, across the river Jamuna. Later visit the Pearl Mosque and the Tomb of Itamad-ud-Daula built by Empress Noorjehan in memory of her father. In the evening transfer to the railway station to board the schedule train for Satna. Overnight stay at the board.
Day 18: Satna - Khajuraho
Friday, December 29, 2023 - Saturday, December 30, 2023
Assistant on arrival at Satna Railway station early morning and drive to the Khajuraho. On arrival check in to the hotel. After relaxation visit to witness The Western group of temples
consisting of the massive Lakshmana Temple dedicated to lord Vishnu, the Lakshmi and Varaha temples dedicated to Vishnu-s consort Lakshman, the Kandariya Mahadev Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and the Chausath Yogini temple dedicated to goddess Kali. The sightseeing followed by visiting Eastern group of Temples and visit the Jain temples of Parsvanath, Adinath, and Shanti Nath. Also visit Archaeological museum with its collection of stone sculptures of the Chandela dynasty. Overnight at the hotel in Khajuraho.
Day 19: Khajuraho - Varanasi
Saturday, December 30, 2023 - Sunday, December 31, 2023
After an early breakfast, later check out the hotel and drive to airport to board the afternoon flight to Varanasi, assistance on arrival in Varanasi and transfer to the hotel. Relax for some time & take an excursion tour to Sarnath, located at 10 Kms from Varanasi where Lord Buddha gave his first sermon to the five holy men; visit at Dharmarajika Stupa The 110 ft tall Dhamekh Stupa marks the place where Buddha preached first sermon., also visit to Archaeological museum, the collection of ancient Buddhist relics and antiques comprising numerous Buddha and Bodhisatva images, also see the Ashok Pillar with 4 lions, built in 3rd Centaury BC., symbolize both Ashoks'\s imperial rule and the kingship of the Buddha. The four-lion capital was adopted as the emblem of the modern Indian republic. After visit drive back to Varanasi. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 20: Varanasi
Sunday, December 31, 2023 - Monday, January 1, 2024
Early morning boat ride on the Ganges at dawn when it is full of pilgrims is an amazing place to witness the living traditions of one of the world'\s oldest and most important religions. While on the boat you will also see the cremation ceremonies of dead bodies as per Hindi Rituals. After lunch visit to Banaras Hindu University - probably the largest residential university in Asia, in the university visit at Bharat Kala Museum. Later proceed on a tour of the Temples of Varanasi
visiting the Golden Temple dedicated to lord Shiva, the Durga temple dedicated to goddess Durga. Interestingly the Durga Temple is also known as the Monkey Temple due to the large number of monkeys found in the Temple premises, In the evening you can take a walk through the narrow lane to explore and colourful market of the ancient city. Rest of the evening free for leisure. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 21: Varanasi - Mumbai
Monday, January 1, 2024 - Tuesday, January 2, 2024
After breakfast the morning free at leisure. Later check out the hotel and transfer to the airport to board the afternoon flight for Mumbai, assistance on arrival at Mumbai and transfer to the hotel. In the evening you can visit to ISCON Temple at Juhu. And can go to various city restaurant to enjoy dinner and experience Mumbai night life. Return to the hotel for overnight stay.
Day 22: Mumbai
Tuesday, January 2, 2024 - Wednesday, January 3, 2024
After breakfast takes a sight seeing tour of Bombay, drive to Gateway of India
and from here cruise by motorboats to Elephanta caves
. A flight of 100 steps takes you to the top of the hill where it is set. The caves houses large pillars that seem to hold the ceiling which is made of cross beams. The picturesque presentations of the 9 marvelous sculptured panels, set on the walls are awe-inspiring. The most famous of the panels is the Trimurthi, or triple-headed Shiva, where the God is depicted as the destroyer, the preserver and the creator. Later in the afternoon cruise back to Gateway of India
, one can have lunch at the Taj Hotel or other several good Restaurants like Leopold & Mondegar serving continental cuisines. Later visit Prince of Wales Museum
, Parliament House, Marine Drive, Jain Temple, Hanging Gardens, Return back to the hotel for overnight.
Day 23: Mumbai - Aurangabad
Wednesday, January 3, 2024 - Thursday, January 4, 2024
After breakfast the day is free for leisure, you can visit various shopping malls Like Inorbit, Cross Road, West Side and local fort market like fashion street, after lunch transfer to the domestic airport to board the afternoon flight for Aurangabad. On arrival transfer to the hotel. After some relaxation in the evening enjoy the city atmosphere.. Overnight stay in the hotel.
Day 24: Aurangabad
Thursday, January 4, 2024 - Friday, January 5, 2024
After breakfast for excursion to famous Ajanta caves
. A two and half hour drive from Aurangabad takes you to the world heritage site of Ajanta. Although it is nearer to the cities of Jalgaon and Buldhana, Ajanta caves
are better approached from Aurangabad. The caves are built in a horseshoe shaped curve of the steep rocky gorge that rises above the river Waghore. These rock hewn caves, still glowing in their own natural colours, are the finest achievements of the Buddhist monks who arrived here in 2nd century B.C. and reflect the zenith of ancient Indian art and architecture. Though most were carved in the first 400 years span, but the work continued till 7th century A.D. The caves were suddenly abandoned, most probably to the nearby Ellora Caves
. They remained unknown and forgotten for centuries, until, in 1819, soldiers from a British hunting party found them, accidentally.
The exquisite paintings on the walls of the caves and some sculptures depict the development in Buddhism, over the span of eight centuries. The central theme of the frescoes remain the life and times of Buddha. Then there are descriptive Jataka tales, when Buddha assumed forms of animals on the earth in his previous births. There are lions, elephants, monkeys, peacocks and geese with human forms of 'Yakshas', 'Kinneras' (half human and half bird) 'Gandharvas' (divine musicians), 'Apsaras' (heavenly dancers), which were of concern to the people of that time. All of them decorated with intricacy. Their half-closed eyes giving an air of meditation.
After the tour back Aurangabad, for an overnights stay.
Day 25: Aurangabad
Friday, January 5, 2024 - Saturday, January 6, 2024
After breakfast take a sight seeing tour of Ellora. 30 km away from Aurangabad in a small village of Verul, are the impressive Ellora Caves
. Intricately carved into the sides of a basaltic hill of the Sahyadri Mountain this world heritage site is one of the best examples of rock - cut caves in the whole world. It is the meeting point of three faiths, Buddhist, Jain and Hindu. There are 34 caves in all. 12 Buddhist (600 -800 A.D.), 17 Hindu (900A.D.) and 5 Jain caves (800 1000 A.D.).
The most famous of all the Ellora Caves
is the Kailash cave. It is dedicated to lord Shiva and has many stories depicting the life of Shiva and therefore it has assumed the name of Kailash, the abode of Shiva. A figure of goddess Lakshmi seated on a lotus flower in water is shown at the entrance. Before that figures of Ganesh and Durga can be seen. The cave has huge Shivalingam on the first floor.
This lavishly carved cave has been cut from one rock and is world's largest monolithic cave. Moreover this stupendous edifice, was begun from the top of the rock and worked slowly down to the floor, creating gateway, courtyard, pavilion vestibule and tower along the way with beautiful figures. There are figures of Dashavataras of Vishnu, and panels of stories from the great epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata. An important figure of Lanka King Ravana, trying to shake the Kailash, is seen along with various mythological stories related to the life of Shiva, including his wedding with Parvati and Ardha-nari-nateshwar, when Lord Shiva assumed the form of half man and half woman.
Later back to the city. In the evening you may visit the Mini Taj or the Bibi ka Maqbara. Although known as the Taj Mahal of the south, this replica of the Taj fails to create that magic of the actual Taj. It is a mausoleum built in memory of Aurangzeb's wife Rabia-ud-Daurani Begum by his son Prince Azam Shah, in 1678.
Back to the hotel for overnight stay.
Day 26: Aurangabad - Goa
Saturday, January 6, 2024 - Sunday, January 7, 2024
Early morning after breakfast check out the hotel and transfer to the airport to board the morning flight for Mumbai on arrival take a connecting flight to Goa. On arrival transfer to the beach resort. Evening free for relaxation. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 27: Goa
Sunday, January 7, 2024 - Monday, January 8, 2024
After breakfast, the day is free to enjoy the beaches and amenities available at the resort. You can take a sightseeing tour of Old Goa -10 km from Panjim, the basilica of Bom Jesus, the 16th century church dedicated to infant Jesus and enshrining the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier, is one of the most important sight of Goa. The other Churches in the same area are St. Cathedral, with its vaulted interior, Church of our Lady of Rosary and Nunnery of St. Monica. The Aguada Fort built by the Portuguese commands the mouth of the Mondovi River and houses a lighthouse. And in the evening enjoy Cruise over Mondovi River. Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 28: Goa
Monday, January 8, 2024 - Tuesday, January 9, 2024
Morning after breakfast rest of the day is free to explore the beaches of Goa, visiting visit the famous beaches of Goa like Anjuna Beach, Colva Beach & Calangute Beach. Later return to the hotel for overnight at the resort.
Day 29: Goa - Mumbai
Tuesday, January 9, 2024 - Wednesday, January 10, 2024
After breakfast, check out from the hotel transfer to the airport to board the schedule flight for Mumbai. On arrival transfer to the hotel. Later the evening is free for rest and leisure activities in the hotel. Overnight stay at the hotel.
Day 30: Mumbai
Wednesday, January 10, 2024 - Thursday, January 11, 2024
After breakfast you can take a tour of Mumbai market, Iscon temple, Juhu Chowpatty, later transfer to the International airport to board the scheduled flight for hometown. On departure the tour concludes with happy memories.