Late night arrival. Meeting and assistance upon arrival as our representatives welcome you and escort you to your car.
Whilst the room keys and check-in is organized, our representative would introduce the tour to you and hand over the documents to you.
Welcome to India, or as we say ‘atithi devo bhava’ (the guest is an incarnation of God). Thank you for giving us the opportunity to serve you!
After breakfast, we proceed on a guided tour of New Delhi, Visiting such sights as, Humayun’s Tomb (1586), the Qutab Minar 72 meters high and one of the most perfect towers in the Persian world. The Iron Pillar which has survived the vagaries of weather for over 1500 years. Continue with a drive through Embassy area, the Government buildings (1921-1930) and Connaught Place, the heart and main shopping district of the capital.
Later we cross the city and into the walled gates of the Old city with visits to the Jamma Mosque (1650) and drive through the fabled area of Chandni Chowk (aptly translates to Moonlight Square) where the throngs of shoppers and vendors meet in the oldest area of Delhi. Visit the Red Fort (1639-1648 built by Shah Jehan the builder of the Taj Mahal in Agra) to view the inlaid and carved Royal Chambers, on to Raj Ghat and nearby ghats where the founder of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi and thereafter Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi were cremated.
The highlight of this tour would be a ride on cycle rickshaws. Now these are 3-wheel cycles with a sofa seat at the back. The Rickshawalla (Rickshaw driver) sits on a small cushion in the front and two passengers on the sofa seat behind. This is a remarkable way to explore and picture the hustle and bustle as well as the colour of the narrow winding streets bursting with people and pavement shops selling wares of all description - including a laughing set of dentures. The ride would be accompanied by peals of laughter both from the passengers as well as the onlookers.
After breakfast, we will drive to Jaipur along one of the India’s finest freeways. Upon arrival check into the Naila Bagh Palace
After rest & relaxation, we explore the unending shopping options of Jaipur. An essential starting point for Rajasthan craft work is block making and block printing and we will be exploring the process from start to finish in some of the popular stores here. The opportunity also exists here to tailor make outfits to your design and size.
We also explore one of the chief attractions of Jaipur - its jewelry, which offers a variety that ranges from chunky tribal jewelry to enameled gold to modern diamond jewelry. Kundan (art of stone setting) and enamel jewelry has been a specialty of Rajasthan, particularly that of Jaipur. The stones are embossed into decorative shapes & patterns and embellished with delicate enamel ornamentation in the champeve (raised field) technique. Jaipur is well known for its gold and silver enameling. Colorful bangles made of lac and set with semiprecious stones make an inexpensive buy. The craftsmen take great pains to embed the hundreds of stones into the lac. The skilled gem-cutters of Jaipur carve enchanting little animals and birds from rock, crystal, jade, smoky topaz and amethyst. Intaglio beads & buttons and crystal scent bottles are also available.
This morning we visit Amber Fort, the former capital of the royal Jaipurs. Few fail to be moved by the dramatic Rajput grandeur of this hilltop fortress-palace 11 km north of Jaipur. Set on the dry wrinkled Aravali Hills, and surrounded by fortified battlements, the palace straddles two sepia-hued tundra hills overlooking Maota Lake, and its sprawling crenellated walls lattice the surrounding hills.
We will ride up to this hilltop palace on a caparisoned, jeep, passing through the ancient main gate where Maharajas of Jaipur have entered for four hundred years. Our guide will elaborate on the history of this architectural masterpiece with its mirror-studded alcoves, dazzling mosaics and water-cooled swings that delight today’s visitors as they did their former royal residents.
We shall visit the Hawa Mahal or Palace of the Winds, a five-storied structure of pink sandstone with semi-octagonal and delicately honeycombed windows overlooking the main street of the old city. It was built in 1799 so that veiled royal women could peer down unseen by the world through its 593 stone screens.
Later in the afternoon, we proceed on a tour Of the City Palace & Observatory. The City Palace in the heart of the old city is a blend of Rajasthani and Mughal architecture. The centre of the palace is a seven-storied building called Chandra Palace, with fine vies over the gardens and the city. The palace lies in the heart of the city and occupies the whole central grid. The fortified wall has seven gates and was built for protection from invading armies and animals that lived in jungles, which surrounded the wall that time. Next, we visit the Solar Observatory - an astronomical treasure house, with solar device that give accurate predictions till date.
Following breakfast, we will drive to Ranthambhore
Upon arrival & check in to hotel Tiger Den resort, which gives you all the excitement and exhilaration of holidaying in the heart of the Indian wildlife; right where all the action is, in the lap of Nature at it’s most raw. This Resort sprawling over an area of 5 acres on the edge of the Ranthambore National Park, is a place, which refreshes your scenic senses. Nestled among the majestic Aravali Hills, covered with lavish flora and fauna, it provides a soothing warmth to the eyes and relaxation to the mind. The Resort is barely five minutes drive to the main entrance of the park, just next to the Helipad. A well planned landscaping adds on to the rustic ambiance and enhances the natural beauty.
Afternoon jungle excursion in canter (Community Safari Vehicle)
Morning & afternoon Jungle excursions in canter (Community safari vehicle). Ranthambhore is known to have India's Friendliest tigers Assured of protection; these nocturnal creatures are seen often in the day. Sprawled on the Aravalli and Vindhya ranges of Rajasthan, Ranthambhore National Park encompasses an area of 410 Sq. km. in which lives a healthy population of about 40 tigers. A large number of deer inhabit the area and leopards are occasionally sighted. The Pandam Taloa lake, located adjacent to the Jogi Mahal hunting lodge, is the park's favorite water source. Smaller pools at Raj Bagh and Milak also attract a variety of wild life The best way to explore Ranthambore is in canter as the park is well connected by arterial roads and tracks. Some of the popular sighting areas are Nal Ghati, Lahpur, Bakuala, Anantpur and the Kachida valley. Mammals: Tiger, Panther, Hyena, Jackal, Jungle Cat, Caracal, Sloth Bear, Sambar, Chital, Nilgai, Wild Boar, Chinkara, Indian hare mongoose. Birds: Bonelli's eagle, crested serpent eagle, great Indian horned owl, grey partridge sandgrouse, quail, spurfowl, common peafowl, tree pie, paradise flycatcher, pheasant tailed jacana, painted stork, black stork, spoonbill, green pigeon, ducks.
Morning jungle excursions in canter (Community safari vehicle)
After a leisurely breakfast, we drive to Agra stopping at deserted capital city of Fatehpur Sikri. This abandoned capital of the Mughals is a perfectly preserved city at the height of the empire’s splendour. The city divided into religious and secular parts has interesting well-sculpted buildings. From here we continue riding to Agra.
Upon arrival check into Wyndham Grand Agra
Agra is the city of the Taj Mahal, perhaps the most photographed monument in the world. However, there is a degree of enigma about the Taj. Once you hear about a building so much and once you see so many pictures of a building your expectations are real high; and this is the enigma about the Taj Mahal. No matter how many pictures you have seen or no matter how high your expectations are the Taj never lets you down - the unparalleled glory and beauty of the building surpasses beyond all human imaginations. At sunrise we visit one of the greatest sights of one’s lifetime - Taj Mahal. Before departure for the monument we shall be served tea/coffee and cookies so that our eyes open real wide to behold this breathtaking sight. A dawn visit to the fabled Taj Mahal to witness the magical effects caused by the reflections of the changing colours of the rising Sun on this brilliant white marble building. Later we return back to our hotel for breakfast.
After a leisurely breakfast, we ride to the massive Agra Fort. The elegant buildings inside reflect an interesting synthesis of Hindu and Central Asian architectural styles. Built by Emperor Akbar, the maze of the courtyards, mosques & private chambers of the fort echo the story of the Mughal Empire. The Moti Masjid & other magnificent buildings reflect the skill of the ancient Indian architects.
Afternoon is at leisure for your independent activities
Evening, transfer to the train station to board your overnight train to Katni
Meeting and assistance upon arrival in Katni train station and transfer to Bandhavgarh
Upon arrival in Bandhavgarh check in to Tiger’s Den Resort
Afternoon we will enter the park to search for wildlife.
The pattern of early morning and afternoon excursions will be interspersed with periods of relaxation back at our accommodation during the heat of midday. Although Tigers are the star attraction at Bandhavgarh the supporting cast of mammals and birds is very impressive, the latter including such species as Grey-headed Fishing Eagle, Plum-headed Parakeet, Malabar Pied Hornbill, Greater Racket-tailed Drongo and Asian Paradise Flycatcher among a total of over 250 species recorded in the district. Tour members with an interest in ornithology will value the time between game drives as an opportunity to explore some of the habitats close to our base.
Tigers, and the more rarely seen Leopards, have no shortage of prey in the reserve. The Spotted Deer or Chital is a favourite item on the Tiger menu and several thousand of these delightful deer inhabit the park.
Other species found here in varying abundance include; Chinkara, Chowsinga, Wild Boar, Sambar, Muntjac and Nilgai. Herds of the Asian Bison, or Gaur, formerly Inhabited the Reserve but impressive beast has not been seen at Bandhavgarh since 1998 although a closely monitored programme for the reintroduction of the Gaur is planned within couple of years. A hunting pack of wild dogs may also be seen on occasions. Mammal sightings always require a degree of luck, particularly when the species is essentially nocturnal or reclusive but each outing in the reserve will at least provide a chance to meet one of the rarer inhabitants such as Sloth Bear, Indian fox, Jackal, Wolf, Ratel, Striped Hyenas, Jungle Cat or Indian Pangolin. More predictable are the sounders of Wild Boar rooting among the vegetation, Indian Hares, the lively little Palm Squirrels that seem to be constantly in a state of agitation, and several members of the mongoose tribe. Common Langurs and Rhesus Macaques are also plentiful, the former enjoying an elevated view of the forest as they devour their favourite leaves and often the first creature to bark out a warning at the appearance of a Tiger below.
We are never short of wildlife to watch in this gem of a reserve.
Morning jungle excursions
Upon arrival check into hotel The Radisson
Sound & Light Show : -
Evening, we visit temple complex to enjoy Sound & Light Show, where the history of the temples is narrated through the medium of Sound & Light. This fascinating Son-et-Lumiere spectacle evokes the life and times of the great Chandela Kings and traces the story of the unique temples from the 10th century to the present day. Amitabh Bachhan, the Indian Super Star, narrates the story of Khajuraho in his mesmerizing voice
Today, proceed on a tour of the world famous western group of temples depicting erotic sculptures of love making images of Gods and Goddesses and celestial Nymphs. The sexual fantasies displayed in the sculptures are mind-boggling. It speaks very highly of the artistic creativity and imagination of the sculptors. The frank depiction of uninhibited sex does hint towards a liberated society and times where people believed in dealing openly with all aspects of life. The graphic and realistic illustrated scenes of lovemaking elaborated on the Tantric texts
Afternoon, we proceed on a tour of Eastern group of Temples .If pictures speak a thousand words, then the temples of Khajuraho form a magnum opus... an expression of Indian sculptors of yore. These temples of Khajuraho were built by the Chandela kings following the tradition of Tantric art. Although famed for their erotic sculptures, the philosophy behind the temples is much more vast and encompassing. They are in fact a celebration of life!
After a leisurely breakfast, transfer to the airport to board your flight to Varanasi
Meeting & assistance upon arrival and transfer to the Jukaso Ganges
Varanasi is quite possibly the world’s oldest living city. Religious artifacts link it to the sixth century B.C. Said to be founded by Shiva; Varanasi’s Vedic affiliation goes back to the beginning of time. It is also a city of many names. The present name, Varanasi (derived from the names of two nearby rivers) is mentioned in the Mahabharata. The ancient name is Kashi, the City of Light. To the devout it is also called Kashika, the shining one, referring to the light of Shiva. Many others prefer the anglicized Benares. Revered by Hindus, Buddhists and Jain alike, Varanasi is considered the holiest city in all of India. It is presided over by Shiva in his manifestation as Vishwanatha, Lord of the Universe. Buddha delivered a sermon in nearby Sarnath and Mahavira, the founder of Jainism, lived in Varanasi. As a result, more Indians will make a pilgrimage to Varanasi in their lifetime than any other place.
Evening, we visit the ghats of Varanasi to witness the performance of Ganges Aarti. We enjoy a special evening cruise on the Ganges. See the Hindu devotees performing the "Puja" with lighted lamps. The view is very mesmerizing and the ambience is spectacular in the backdrop of the beating of cymbals and bells as well as the incessant chantings.
At dawn we visit the sacred Ganges for a boat ride. Every morning at dawn hundreds of worshippers can be seen bathing in the sacred waters. The great river banks are lined with an endless chain of stone steps—the ghats—that stretch from one end of the city to the other. The Ghats form an impressive part of the religious landscape of the city. Proceeding downstream at a leisurely pace, you would be pointed out the significant temples and buildings as well as the changing architectural style. Life and death go hand in hand in Varanasi. While young people seek prosperity and protection from harmful influences, the older generation comes to Varanasi to cleanse their souls in the forgiving waters in preparation for their ultimate dissolution. Believing that anyone who dies in the river of life in Varanasi gains freedom from the cycle of birth and death, the City of Light has become a haven for the sick and aged waiting out their final days. The smoke that billows from the crematoriums on the edge of the river gives testimony to their final release from life’s earthly confines. We would dock our boat at Manikarnika (Cremation) Ghat. On any given day, anywhere from a few dozen to a few hundred corpses are cremated here; the ghat is assiduous with activity as the cremated bodies threw up smoke and fire.
Following the boat ride we set off on foot to explore the inner city. Through a twisted maze of narrow alleys, home to numerous shrines and pilgrim shops, we walk back a few centuries. Life here has stood still for years. The homes, the shops and even the cattle have not changed over the centuries. It is a brilliant nostalgic experience of timelessness!
Afternoon we will visit several temples and the Hindu University at Benares. First stop would be the Bharat Mata (temple of Mother India). Inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi, it features a huge marble map of India on the ground floor. Next up, the Durga Temple. Known for its bright red color and the playful, if sometimes aggressive, monkeys that run amok there, the Durga Temple is one of the most imposing architectural monuments in Varanasi.
The university, which occupies a large piece of land at the southern end of town, is also home to the New Vishwanatha Temple. The New Temple is modern in design and open to Hindus and non-Hindus alike. Surrounded by palm trees, it is a splendid white marble structure that shines in the afternoon sun against a pale blue sky. Inside, the temple is spacious and airy. The interior walls are covered with Vedic art above inscriptions from the Bhagavad Gita and Upanishads. In the center of the first floor is the Shiva linga.
Evening we take a short trip to the Buddhist city of Sarnath .It is here that the Buddha preached his first sermons after attaining enlightenment.
Morning is at leisure for independent activities. You might choose to visit the banks of the Ganges or walk along the narrow meandering lanes of the old city to witness the performance of various rituals.
Afternoon transfer to the airport to board your flight to Delhi
Meeting & assistance upon arrival & transfer to hotel Palace Heights
Home Visit & A Farewell Dinner with an Indian Family : This evening, we would visit an Indian family for an Indian home experience. The evening is designed to give you a ‘feel’ and insight into Indian family life as well as experience typical Indian hospitality and home made Indian food.
Transfer to the International airport to board your flight back home
Mr Mr. Arup Kumar Bhattacharya
B-13/221, Sonarpura, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India - 221001
Kashi Yatra Hindu Pilgrimage Tour - 2 D / 1 N
Varanasi - Kashi
Hindu Pilgrimage Tour - 5 D / 4 N
Kashi - Bodhgaya - Gaya - Varanasi - Allahabad - Chitrakoot - Prayag
Varanasi Tour - 2 D / 1 N
Varanasi Tour - 3 D / 2 N
Varanasi Tour - 4 D / 3 N
Varanasi - Gaya - Allahabad
Varanasi - Gaya - Allahabad - Chitrakoot Tour - 5 D / 4 N
Varanasi - Gaya - Allahabad - Chitrakoot
Varanasi - Gaya - Allahabad - Chitrakoot - Ayodhya - Naimisarnya - Lucknow
Varanasi - Gaya - Allahabad - Delhi Tour - 10 D / 9 N
Varanasi - Gaya - Allahabad - Chitrakoot - Ayodhya - Naimi - Sarnya - Lucknow - Agra - Mathura - Vrindavan - Delhi
Varanasi - Gaya - Allahabad - Chitrakoot - Ayodhya - Naimi Sarnya - Lucknow - Agra - Mathura - Vrindavan - Delhi - Haridwar - Rishikesh
The Great Ganges Tour - 8 D / 7 N