Duration : 08 Night/ 09 Days
Destination : Delhi - Varanasi - Agra – Ranthambore - Jaipur - Delhi
India is a vast country full of history, culture and colour. The trip starts and ends in the buzzing city of delhi with its many historical sights and colourful bazaars. We visit the ancient holy city of varanasi and then marvel at the beautiful taj mahal. We search for tigers in the jungle and explore the pink city of jaipur with its imperial palace. This is a fantastic trip giving a taste of all that india has to offer.
Today we begin our tour in India's capital city, Delhi. Start the afternoon by exploring the tomb of the 2nd Mughal king Humayun. Completed in 1572 this is one of the many buildings that inspired the Taj Mahal. The main tomb building is made from red sandstone with a white marble dome. The tomb complex also contains Persian style gardens that had never been seen before in India. Next stroll through the gardens surrounding India gate, the memorial for soldiers from the British Indian Army who died between 1914 and 1921 in the Afghan war and the First World War. Over 13 thousand soldiers names are inscribed into the stone of the gate making this a very moving place despite the busy location. Finish the day by seeing some of the government buildings including the Indian presidents house.
Today we fly to Varanasi the spiritual capital of India and one of the oldest living cities in the world. Spend the day exploring this enchanting city with its many shops and stalls selling religious items and offerings for the temples. In the evening we go to see the religious ceremony that takes place on the banks of the river Ganges every day.
Sunrise boat trip on the Ganges to see the many ghats and pilgrims bathing in the holy water. This is a fascinating time of day to visit the ghats as the whole world begins to come to life with bathers, chai sellers, people selling breakfast snacks and holy men advising pilgrims on prayers. In the afternoon we have an optional visit to Sarnath the place where lord Buddha gave his first sermon. Here we can also visit the museum which contains interesting artefacts and carvings from the Buddhist and Hindu religions.
Tonight we board the overnight train to Agra.
Today we arrive in the city of Agra situated on the banks of the holy Yamuna river. Agra is famous all over the world for being home to many historic sights most notably the majestic Taj Mahal. In the afternoon we visit Agra fort which is a stunning example of Mughal architecture, built by emperor Akbar in 1565. We will visit the Taj Mahal either for sunset this evening or early in the morning of Day 5 according to group preference. The Taj Mahal was built by the emperor Shah Jahan in the late 17th century in memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal. The building is made from white marble inlaid with precious and semi precious stones.
Today we drive to Ranthambore national park. On the way we stop at Fatehpur Sikri to see the grand mosque and tallest gateway (buland darwaza) which is 55 metres high. The mosque was completed in the late 16th century and was designed to hold 10 thousand worshippers. We continue on to Ranthambore which was first established as a game sanctuary in 1955, it went on to become one of the project tiger reserves in 1973.
This morning we have an early morning game drive to see what wildlife we can spot and to search for tigers. The park is one of the best places to spot the elusive tiger in its natural habitat. There is also a wealth of other wildlife here including leopards, wild boar and mongoose as well as a huge variety of birds, including the rare brown faced owl, and many plant species. We will have breakfast when we return followed by some free time. In the evening we will go on another game drive to further explore Ranthambore and watch the wildlife.
Today we drive to the pink city of Jaipur. The city was first established in 1727 and was India's first planned city. In the evening we visit the Birla Temple built by the well known Birla family to worship Lord Vishnu and his wife Goddess Lakshmi. The temple is built purely from white marble and contains an array of delicate carvings. This is an oasis of calm in a busy city.
Today we have a full days sightseeing in Jaipur. First we enter into the old city and head to see the spectacular.
Today we return to Delhi. In the afternoon we visit the Jama mosque built by emperor Shah Jahan and completed in 1656. This is the best known mosque in India and was built to hold 25 thousand worshippers in its courtyard. After we go to Raj Ghat the memorial of Mahatma Gandhi father of the nation. The gardens here contain a black marble platform which marks the spot where Gandhi was cremated and there is an eternal flame kept alight at one end. Later we spend some time in the old city of Delhi and explore the many narrow winding streets there.
Tonight we will have a final group dinner to mark the end of the trip..
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