India is the birthplace of several of the World’s major religions and this fascinating 17-day tour starts Delhi the capital city of India, rich in its cultural past before moving towards Amritsar (the holy city of the Sikhs). The tour then moves along the path of the holy River Ganges which has been the source of life for the Indian civilization, moving through Maheshwar, Gwalior, Orchha, Varanasi, a stop at the erotic temple site city of Khajuraho before concluding the journey in Kolkata, which is not only one of India’s most vibrant metropolis cities but also where the Ganges begins meeting the Bay of Bengal.
Late evening: On arrival in Delhi by your international flight, meet and greet at the airport and transfer to hotel for immediate occupancy.
After a relaxed breakfast, proceed for a full day guided city tour of New Delhi and Old Delhi covering largest Mosque in Asia, an unforgettable cycle rickshaw ride through the narrow lanes of Old Delhi, Mughal architecture, soul-stirring temples and the 72 pts tall minaret. Evening you the option of dining at one of the many Indian specialty restaurants.
Morning you will be transferred to the airport to board the flight to Amritsar and on arrival, our representative will assist you at the airport and transfer you to the hotel. Evening visits the Indo-Pak border for the border closing ceremony. The closing ceremony at Wagah Border, also known as ‘lowering of the flags’ ceremony, is a daily martial custom that the security forces of India (Border Security Force) and Pakistan (Pakistan Rangers) have mutually followed since 1959. This interesting ceremony takes place every evening before sunset.
Full day to experience the Golden Temple and other sites in Amritsar. The Golden temple is famous for its full golden dome; it is one of the most sacred pilgrim spots for Sikhs. The Mandir (temple) is built on a 67-ft square of marble and is a two-storied structure. Maharaja Ranjit Singh had the upper half of the building built with approximately 400 kg of gold leaf. The Golden Temple is surrounded by a number of other famous temples like the Durgiana Temple.
Today morning you will be transferred to the airport to board the flight to Indore via Delhi. On arrival in Indore, you will be assisted at the airport and drive to Maheshwar on the banks on river Narmada. Rest of the day at Ahilya Fort, your base for next three days. The majestic 250-year-old Ahilya Fort sits on the edge of a cliff, high above the mighty Narmada River, surrounded by the beautiful and unexploited town of Maheshwar.
Full day at leisure/activities of the hotel like boat ride, stroll by riverside, handloom weaving center, school visit, swim in Narmada river etc.
Full day visit to the ruins of Mandu. Mandu is a celebration in stone, of life and joy, a tribute to the love shared between the poet-prince Baz Bahadur and his beautiful consort, Rani Roopmati. The balladeers of Malwa still sing of their euphoric romance.
Morning you will be transferred to Indore airport in time to connect flight to Gwalior and on arrival; our representative will assist you at airport and transfer to hotel. Rest of the day is at leisure. Evening you might want to watch the Sound and Light show at Gwalior Fort to understand the making of Gwalior as it stands out today.
Morning explores the Gwalior Fort and the town. The entire city is a visual and aesthetic feast, for the builders of Gwalior were great architects. Take a walk through the streets of the city and you will discover old Havelis with exquisitely carved doorways and windows. Standing on a steep mass of sandstone, Gwalior Fort dominates the city and is its most magnificent monument. It has been a scene of momentous events: imprisonments, battles, and jauhars. Rest of the day is at leisure.
Today after an early breakfast you will be driving to Khajuraho (7 hrs). On the way visit the forgotten city of Orchha. Jehangir Mahal built by Raja Bir Singh Ju Deo for the Mughal Emperor Jehangir is worth visiting. Also, visit Chaturbhuj temple dedicated to Lord Rama, Rai Parveen Mahal built for poetess and musician Rai Praveen and the various Chhatris (Cenotaphs). On arrival in Khajuraho, assistance by our representative at the time of check-in.
Full day visit to the world-famous temples of Khajuraho begins with the Western group of temples followed by the Eastern and Southern group. These renowned Khajuraho sacred temples are one of the seven amazing things of India, second only to the amazing Taj Mahal. The amazing work of art on these temples are to be seen to be believed. The rest is on your imagination!!
Morning is at leisure. (You have the option of making a side trip to the Ranch waterfalls situated just 20kms from Khajuraho town. The popular Raneh Drops has some remarkable stone structures that are extremely fascinating. The significant interest is an excellent 100 ft strong and 5kms extensive gorge established out of crystalline marble). Later you will be transferred to the airport to board the flight to Varanasi, the oldest living city. On arrival in Varanasi, assistance at airport and transfer to hotel. In the evening your guide will meet you and take you on an evening boat cruise on river Ganges to witness the evening ceremony on the banks of Ganges. This offering of prayers to Mother Ganges is a captivating ritual. Return to hotel for the next day’s early morning boat ride.
Today early morning you will be taken on a boat ride. You will be cruising down many bathing ghats, where you will see seekers immersing themselves in the waters of Ganges to purify them and offering their prayers. You will also pass through the burning ghats here the dead bodies are burnt as per Hindu traditions. Once on the banks, the guide will lead you through the narrow bylanes of the old city giving you the history of the many bathing ghats and the importance of Varanasi in the lives of every Hindu. Return back to the hotel for breakfast and later proceed for the city tour of Varanasi covering temples including Bharat Mata temple, dedicated to Mother India and Benaras Hindu University founded in 1916 and its museum. In the afternoon visit Sarnath, where Lord Buddha gave his first sermon after attaining enlightenment and the museum.
Morning you will be transferred to the airport to board your flight to Kolkata via Delhi. On arrival in Kolkata – City of Joy, you will be met by our representative and transferred to hotel. Rest of the day is at leisure.
Morning city tour of Kolkata. Explore India’s former capital of British Raj and visit St. John’s Church, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Victoria Memorial (where you will enjoy a traditional carriage Tonga Ride), South Park Street Cemetery, Mullick Ghat Flower Market and Howrah Bridge. Afternoon visit Mother Teresa’s home for charity work. The Mother House of the Missionary of Charity’ – It is here that mother lived, prayed, worked, guided her pious family of sisters reach across the world and finally lay to rest. Also, visit Nirmala Shishu Bhavan (Children’s Home) – each volunteer contributes a drop to the ocean of humanity, and it is undoubtedly true that the ocean would be less without these drops. You will spend some time with these children here.
Full day at leisure or to visit Mother Teresa home for voluntary work.
Today you will bid farewell to the city of Joy and be transferred to the airport to connect onward flight home…
Little gifts from Travel East: