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Taj Mahal and Varanasi

 
Code:   NI 05
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Taj Mahal and Varanasi

Duration : 08 Nights / 09 Days
Destinations Covered : Delhi - Jaipur - Agra - Varanasi - Delhi


Day 01  - Arrive Delhi
Meeting and assistance on arrival and transfer to the hotel.
Check-in time is 12 Noon
Overnight.
 
Day 02 - Delhi
After breakfast, proceed  to visit Old and New Delhi.
Delhi, the capital of India, conceals within its bosom the remains of civilization that flourished over the last three thousand years.  Since those legendary days, many dynasties and rulers have flourished on its regal soil.  The legacy of that past survives in the  many monuments left behind by the regents.
Old Delhi’s landmarks are Red Fort built by Emperor Shahjehaan in 1638 AD, Jama Mosque largest mosque in India also built by Shahjehan. Raj  Ghat and Shanti van -the cremation sites of Mahatma Gandhi and Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru, Chandni Chowk - the main shopping hub of Old Delhi.
New Delhi showcases imposing buildings and monuments built during Mughal, British period and indepenentIndia. Qutab Minar, one of the earliest remains of Imperial Delhi (13th century AD ) Humayun’s Tomb-the fine monument believed to be forerunner of Taj Mahal represents the Mughal era while during British rule buildings with imposing architecture such as India Gate, the 42 metre high arch that was raised as a memorial to soldiers, Parliament House, President’s House, Secretariat and other Govt. Building as also Connaught Place, the oldest city centre shopping hub are prominent tourist spots.
 
Day 03 – Delhi-Jaipur drive, 260 km/4 hours
Morning proceed to Jaipur and on arrival, check-in at your hotel.
Rest of the day at leisure.
Overnight at the hotel.
 
Day 04 : Jaipur
Morning excursion to Amber Fort, set in a picturesque location.  Amer is a fascinating blend of Hindu and Muslim architecture.  Built in the 16th century  by Raja  Mansingh in red sandstone and white marble, the palace complex has some very interesting sections. Jai Mandir, Sheesh Mahal, Sukh Niwas, Ganesh Pol andTemple of Kali  are some of the prominent areas of interest.  Elephants are provided to ascend the fort. 
 
Afternoon city sightseeing tour.
The city was planned and built by Maharaja Jai Singh, the notable astronomer 260 years ago. The City Palace, the home of the erstwhile royal family, the Observatory,  RamNiwas  Gardens, Hawa Mahal or the Palace of winds built in 1799 by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh and Birla Temple are the most important tourist sites.
 
Day 05 : Jaipur-Agra drive, 235 km/6 hours
Morning proceed to Agra, stopping en-route to visit Fatehpur Sikri.
The beautiful city was planned and erected by Emperor Akbar in 1569. The story behind the city relates to birth of his Son Salim who was named after a Muslim Saint – Sheikh Salim Chishti.  Emperor Akbar hearing his renown, had visited the Saint, asked of the blessings of a child.  When a son was born, he decided to built a city near the place where the Saint lived.  The city was abandoned after 14 years due to shortage of water and growing population.  The imposing pavilions, Mosque, massive Buland Darwaza (Gate), Panch Mahal and other buildings are worth a visit
On arrival, check-in at your hotel.
 
Day 06 – Agra/Varanasi train : Departure at 23:25 hours
Morning visit Agra Fort.
Agra Fort’s importance can be judged with the great names of Mughal dynasties Humayun, Akbar, Jehangir, Shahjehan and Aurangzeb who lived here. The imposing structure on the banks of the river Yamuna is replete with priceless examples of craftsmanship in the Mughal period. The beautiful pearl Mosque, Diwan-e-Am, Diwan-e-Khas, Jehangir palace, Moti Masjid are to name a few that form the part of this great fort.
 
Check-out at 12 Noon.
Afternoon visit Taj Mahal.
Taj Mahal is the finest example of Mughal architecture.  A UNESCO World Heritage site, this immortal monument, the inimitable poem in white marble is the true expression of love of Emperor Shahjehan for his queen Mumtaz Mahal.  The monument was completed in 1653 AD and thousands of workers and artisans were employed.  It took little over 20 years for its completion.
 
Late evening transfer to Tundla Railway Station for train to Varanasi.
Night on train.
 
Day 07-  Arrive Varanasi at 07:40 hours
On arrival, transfer to the hotel.
 
Afternoon sightseeing tour.
Varanasi is considered as one of the oldest living cities in the world, believed to be founded 3000 years ago. It is one of the 7 holiest cities of Hindus situated in north eastern part of India on the banks of river Ganga. It was a flourishing trading centre 500 BC when the Buddha came to Sarnath to preach his first sermon. A city of great wealth and religious importance when the Chinese traveller, Hiuen Tsang, visited it in the 7th century. The temples of Vishwanath, the abode of great God  Shiva, Bharat MataTemple, Durga Temple, Tulsi Manas Mandir are the religious sites.  The ancient Banaras Hindu University and mosque within are the prominent places of interest in the city.
 
Day 08 – Varanasi
Early morning boat cruise on river Ganges. Thousands of pilgrims throng the water’s edge, bathing, worshipping and meditating. On stone platforms under umbrellas, the Pandas-Brahmin priests preside over rites and rituals. The boat trip will cover various ghats including the cremation sites. Because every pious Hindu believes that to die in Varanasi (ancient name Kashi) and to be cremated on the banks of the Ganges is to attain release from the cycle of birth and death.
 
Afternoon tour to visit Sarnath.
Located 7 km from the city, the site has a great historical importance.  Lord Buddha preached his first sermon more than 2500 years ago. The site is marked by the massive Dhamek stupa which is believed to date back to 500 AD. Nearby is a Museum where rare collection of manuscripts and other items related with Lord Buddha are preserved. 
 
Day 09 : Varanasi/Delhi flight : 1440-1600 hours
Transfer to airport for flight to Delhi.
On arrival, transfer to international airport for onward flight.

 
 

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