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Highlights Of North India

Overview

Tour Description

The Highlights of North India tour is cultural delight! This tour will take you to Varanasi, Khajuraho and the Golden Triangle, which is Jaipur, Agra and Delhi.Each region has its own culture, language, festivals, art forms, rituals, architecture, delicacies and more.

The ancient city of Varanasi, with the holy Ganges flowing through it, is one of the most colourful and fascinating places in India. A stroll along the ghats or a sunrise boat ride are sure to nourish your soul. Khajuraho is the city of majestic temples, which is also a UNESCO world heritage site.

We will explore the majestic forts and palaces, enthralling dances and puppet shows, and delectable cuisine of Rajasthan when in its capital city Jaipur. In the historic and imperial national capital city New Delhi, experience the Mughal era while you walk through the streets of "Old" Delhi and the contrasting British built Lutyen's Delhi when in Connaught Place and nearby areas. Agra is home to, amongst other delightful sights, the Taj Mahal, the white marble monument symbolizing everlasting love.

Itinerary

Our travel counselor will meet you at the airport and assist you in your hotel check-in. Delhi offers over a thousand monuments, old capital buildings including the present seat of the government, the Lok Sabha, designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, the British architect, and bustling bazaars. In contrast it has some of India's most luxurious and modern hotels, markets and restaurants

We will spend the first 2 days exploring Delhi and visit popular sites like Old Delhi, Red Fort, Jama Masjid (Asia's largest mosque), Humayun's Tomb and Qutab Minar. The highlight of our expedition will be exploring the busy streets of Chandni Chowk Bazaars by cycle rickshaw.

We will leave after breakfast for the airport for our flight to Varanasi.

Varanasi is one of India's most important pilgrimage sites and the holiest of holy cities for Hindus. It is one of the world's oldest living cities, and has been a centre of learning and culture for well over 2000 years. This afternoon is yours to explore on your own and experience local life and traditional cuisine first hand. Evening cocktails with informal talk on the local Indian products and share your views and tips. Later in the evening visit the banks of river Ganges and join the evening prayers.

Street food is an essential part of the Indian culture and cuisine. There are a number of street food dishes from across the country that are famous, but nothing can beat the hot and crispy kachoris and samosas from Benaras or Varanasi. The holy city is situated on the banks of the river Ganges in the state of Uttar Pradesh and its food is defined by its culture and tradition.

The so-called City of Lights is one of the most colourful and fascinating places on earth. Strolling the ghats (riverfront, which is the site for prayers and cremations) or watching sunrise from a boat on the Ganges are a highlight, and confronting the reality and ritual of death can be a powerful experience.

We take a special sunrise boat ride the next morning along the ghats of the holy Ganges, and visit the many temples, mosques and historical monuments that Varanasi has to offer. After lunch we take an excursion to Sarnath, the place where Buddha delivered his first sermon after attaining enlightenment at Bodhgaya.

The evening is for leisure and you may wish to explore the ancient city at your own pace.

We leave for Varanasi airport for our flight to Khajuraho.

The name Khajuraho is derived from 'khajur', which means 'date palm'. This town is home to the spectacular Khajuraho temples, which are a UNESCO world heritage site. Built between 950 and 1050 AD by the Chandela dynasty, they are the largest group of medieval Hindu and Jain temples in India. They are famous for their nagara style architectural symbolism and erotic sculptures, and are made of sandstone in different shades of buff, pink and pale yellow.

The Khajuraho temples are categorized into three groups, namely the western group, eastern group and southern group. They represent life in the 11th century, mostly depicting the lifestyle of women in medieval age. After arriving in Khajuraho we will have lunch and relax in our hotel.

Later in the evening we will step out for the the sound and light show at the Western group of Temples Complex, which offers a lyrical introduction to the history and legacy of the Khajuraho temples.

Drive to Agra where we will of course visit the Taj Mahal, the ivory-white marble mausoleum on the south bank of the Yamuna river. It was built in the 17th century by the Mughal king Shahjahan to house the tomb of his favourite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. It is one of the wonders of the world and is called the "symbol of love".

The next day we will make a trip to Fatehpur Sikri, Emperor Akbar's magnificent erstwhile capital city. Constructed out of red sandstone, the fortified city has two different parts. Fatehpur is a religious place, with Jama Masjid (mosque) and the tomb of Sufi saint Salim Chishti located behind the towering Buland Darwaza (Gate of Magnificence). Sikri, the main attraction, houses the palace complex where Emperor Akbar, his three wives, and son lived. We will then drive on to Jaipur.

Jaipur is one of the most popular tourist destinations in India. The bazaars teem with people, camels, horses and a multitude of varied vehicles, while around them are magnificent palaces and buildings.

The afternoon city tour will take you to the City Palace whose museum has an extensive collection of art, carpets, enamel ware and weapons. We will also go to Jantar Mantar - the observatory built my Maharaja Jai Singh in 1728 and the facade of Hawa Mahal - the Palace of Winds. The next morning we will visit Amber Fort, the ancient capital of Jaipur state. In the afternoon we will drive back to Delhi.

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