CLASSICAL NORTH INDIA
Experience all the highlights of North India on this compact tour, Delhi is a city like no other with New Delhi; the modern national capital grand ceremonial avenues and impressive government buildings and contrasting Old Delhi; an old walled city building in the 17th century. Soak up the rich history of Agra and Jaipur then journey to Khajuraho to see the intricately carved temples. Visit the holy city of Varansai on the sacred Ganges to gain a fascinating insight into Hindu culture.
India’s capital and a major gateway to the country, contemporary Delhi is a bustling metropolis, which successfully combines in its folds – the ancient with the modern. Amidst the fast spiraling skyscrapers the remnants of a bygone time in the form of its many monuments stand as silent reminders to the region’s ancient legacy. Over your 2 nights here you will have a chance to visit Old Delhi and New Delhi.
Delhi to Jaipur
In the afternoon there is a visit to Sanganer. Located 16 kilometres south of Jaipur, the town of Sanganer is famous for its handmade paper and block printed fabrics and blue pottery. The most beautiful temple in Sanganer is the ancient Shri Digamber Jain temple. The temple has fine carvings as those of the magnificent Dilwara temples of Mount Abu.
This morning proceed to the Amber Fort, en route halting at Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds) for a photo stop. The Hawa Mahal is a five-storied wonder with a spectacular pyramidal facade and overhanging windows with latticed screens, domes and spires. Continue on to the ancient capital of Amer to see the fabulous Amber Fort (experience an Elephant / Jeep ride along the ramparts of the fort), situated on a ridge just outside Jaipur city. Crowning the crest of a hill, the Amber Fort offers a view of Maota Lake and the historic old town located at the base of the hill, which formed the early seat of the Amber kings before the fort was made their capital. Several havelis, stepwells and temples that can be seen below the fort, point to the existence of a self-sufficient township, where the Mughal emperor Akbar used to stop on his annual pilgrimage to Ajmer
In the afternoon enjoy a half day’s city tour of Jaipur, beginning with the spectacular City Palace. The City Palace is a synthesis of Rajput and Mughal architectural styles, consisting of an overwhelming complex of exquisite palaces. Visit the City Palace Museum, which has a superb collection of Rajasthani costumes, and armory of Mughals and Rajputs including swords of different shapes and sizes with chiseled handles. From here, carry on to the awe inspiring Jantar Mantar Observatory, a stone astrological and astronomical wonder built by Maharaja Jai Singh in the 18th century.
Jaipur – Agra
Visit Fatehpur Sikri 40 km before Agra. It was built by the Mughal emperor Akbar in 1571 in honour of the Sufi saint, Sheikh Salim Chisti. It was the Mughal capital for 14 years after which it was abandoned due to paucity of water. It is made of red sandstone and combines influences from both Hindu and Mughal architecture. Even to this day, the entrance to the fort is through the road that Akbar built which leads to the Buland Darwaza, a huge 54 metres gateway. Other inspiring monuments in Fatehpur Sikri are the Hiran Minar that Akbar built in memory of his favourite elephant, Tomb of Sheikh Salim Chishti, Birbal's House and the Diwan-i-Khas.
Taj Mahal (closed on Friday), one of the Seven Wonders of the World, celebrated for its architectural magnificence and aesthetic beauty. Emperor Shah Jahan built this exquisite white marble mausoleum for his favourite queen Mumtaz Mahal. The monument was commissioned in 1631 and took 20,000 artisans, 22 years to complete. Declared a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO, the Taj Mahal has always evoked varying emotions from wonder to ecstasy and often times, inspired poetic verse. Over the centuries, it has become the symbol of undying love and flawless beauty. Later visit Agra Fort, an outstanding example of Mughal architecture and the seat and stronghold of the Mughal Empire under successive generations. Shah Jahan, the Taj's creator, spent the last years of his life imprisoned at the fort by his son Aurangzeb. It was built in the late 1560`s by their predecessor, Akbar, with later embellishments by Jehangir, his son, and Shah Jahan, his grandsoncheck in at the hotel.
Agra – Jhansi - Khajuraho
Transfer to the railway station to board the Shatabdi Express for the rail journey to Jhansi. Disembark and meet car and driver for the road journey to Orchha where there is time to visit the famous temples and palaces, before driving on to Khajuraho and the hotel. In the evening visit the Kandariya Art Centre for a folk dancing show (subject to availability).
Khajuraho – Varanasi
This morning’s sightseeing visits the Western and Eastern group of temples and the Museum. The Western group of temples, the most spectacular of which are the Kandariya Mahadev, Vishvanath and Lakshman. Kandariya Mahadeva, dedicated to Lord Siva, is the most impressive temple of these and represents the high point of North Indian temple art and architecture. It is notable for its grand dimensions and over 800 sculptures cover the temple, depicting gods and goddesses, beasts, warriors, sensuous maidens, dancers, musicians and the erotic scenes for which the Khajuraho temples are famous. To further enhance the beauty, the temples subtly change hue from warm pink to white and back to warm pink, as the day progresses. The Eastern Group of Temples are located a short distance away. The largest temple here is the Jain Parsvanath, which was built in 950 AD and is most remarkable for the intricately carved ceiling pendants in its entrance porch. The other well-known temple here is the Adinath Temple that has fine carvings on its three bands of sculptures. Here the figures depict innocent charm and are supple, unlike the full and heavy ones at Parsvanath. Over the centuries, Adinath Temple has been paritally restored.
Transfer to the airport for the afternoon flight (flight and cost not included) for Varanasi. On arrival in Varanasi drive to Sarnath for a tour of the holy Buddhist site including the ruins of the temples (museum closed Fri). Drive to hotel in Varanasi late this afternoon.
In the evening witness the moving ‘Aarti’ ceremony at the ghats beside the Ganges where the faithful gather to join the Brahmin priests to chant evening prayers.
Varanasi - Delhi
The day begins with an early morning boat ride along the Ganges to see the ghats. At dawn the river banks begin to hum with activity. Enjoy the breeze and the watch the ghats glow in the first rays of the sun. The boat ride is a small adventure in itself, where you get to see an amalgam of various facets of life; from various rituals being performed at the ghats to people going about their daily chores like washing clothes. One can also see 'floating market' during the tour - boatmen and women selling floating lamps.
After the boat ride, continue south of the city to visit the Benaras Hindu University (BHU), which was founded at the turn of the 19th century. It was originally intended for the study of Sanskrit, Indian art, music and culture. The university campus is home to the New Vishwanath Temple, one of the tallest in India. Planned by Madan Mohan Malaviya, the Chancellor of the university, who believed in Hinduism without caste distinctions, the temple is open to all. Next, visit the Bharat Kala Bhawan, a museum with a fabulous collection of miniature paintings, sculpture and contemporary art and bronzes. Return to your hotel for breakfast.
This afternoon our representative will meet you in the lobby of your hotel for your transfer to the airport for your flight to Dehli. (flight and cost not included). Transfer to hotel on arrival in Delhi.
Transfer by private car to the airport or railway station after breakfast.
9 night package from $3358 per person twin share
- Return airfares*
- 9 nights’ accommodation
- 9 breakfasts
- Transfer and sightseeing in air-conditioned vehicles
- Elephant or jeep ride to Amber Fort
- Rail fare from Agra to Jhansi (air-conditioned chair class)
- Local English-speaking guides at nominated attractions
- Entrance fees at monuments (excluding camera fees)
- All current taxes
- Meet and greet by local agent at arrival and departure points
Exclusions: - tips to guides and drivers, camera fees at monuments, drinks and items of personal nature
*airfares are based ex Melbourne and include taxes low season departure
Package Supplier: Tempo Holidays
Please contact MJB Adventures for full terms and conditions