SUGGESTED HOTELS :

City
Luxury Hotels
Nights
DELHI IMPERIAL 01
CHENNAI TAJ COROMANDEL 02
MADURAI TAJ GARDEN RETREAT 01
PERIYAR SPICE VILLAGE 02
BACKWATERS LUXURY AC HOUSEBOAT 01
AURANGABAD TAJ RESIDENCY 01
MUMBAI JW MARRIOTS 01
UDAIPUR LAKE PALACE / UDAIVILAS 02
JAIPUR RAJVILAS 02
AGRA AMARVILAS 02
KHAJURAHO TAJ CHANDELA 02
VARANASI TAJ GANGES 02

Day 01 of Art and Culture Tour

Arrival at Delhi:

Company representatives will receive you on arrival at the international airport in Delhi late in the night or midnight. Transfer to your hotel. Relax.

DELHI, the capital of kingdoms and empires is now a sprawling metropolis with a fascinating blend of the past and the present. It is a perfect introduction to the composite culture of an ancient land. A window to the kaleidoscope - that is India.

Transfer to your hotel situated in the heart of Delhi. Overnight will be at Delhi.

Day 02 of Art and Culture Tour

Delhi:

By Air Flight : 9W 726
Airlines : Jet Airways
Aircraft : Boeing 737
Stopovers : Nil
Departure : 1855 hr
Arrival : 2130 hr

Breakfast will be at hotel.

Proceed for a full day tour of Old & New Delhi.

Old Delhi: A sightseeing tour of Old Delhi would entail visiting the Raj Ghat - the memorial site where Mahatma Gandhi was cremated; Jama Masjid - the largest mosque in India and the Red Fort - once the most opulent fort and palace of the Moghul Empire.

Enjoy a cycle rickshaw ride from Jama Masjid to Chandni Chowk.

New Delhi: An extensive sightseeing tour of New Delhi would include a visit to the Humayun's Tomb, the Qutub Minar, a drive along the ceremonial avenue - Rajpath, past the imposing India Gate, Parliament House, the President's Residence and would end with a drive through the Diplomatic Enclave.

Transfer to airport for flight to Chennai. Reach Chennai & transfer to hotel. Overnight will be at Chennai.

Day 03 of Art and Culture Tour

Chennai - Mahabalipuram - Kanchipuram - Chennai:

Full day excursion for 8 hours

Proceed to Kanchipuram after breakfast - ancient capital of the Pallavas, famous as a city of 1000 temples that still has 124 shrines. The first temple dedicated to Shiva was built in the 7th and 8th century and has paintings on the walls. Temples of Ekambaswara, Kailasanatha and Sri Kamakshiand Varadarajaswamy are of interest. Kanchipuram is also famous for its magnificent silks.

In the afternoon start sight seeing of Mahabalipuram - famous for the seven pagodas. Here, on the seashore is an interesting group of ancient rock hewn temples, which are the examples of Dravidian style of architecture.

Return back to Chennai. Overnight will be at Chennai.

Day 04 of Art and Culture Tour

Chennai - Madurai:

By Air Flight : 9W 3519
Airlines : Jet Airways
Aircraft : ATR Jet
Stopovers : Nil
Departure : 1800 hr
Arrival : 1920 hr

Morning sightseeing of temples and also visit Museum to see the Art and Bronze Gallery, High court, Fort museum, Marina Beach, San Thome Cathedral and Snake Park.

Relax in the afternoon.

Transfer to airport in time for flight to Madurai.

Madurai is over 2500 years old and is the second largest city of Tamil Nadu - Ancient seat of learning. The city is planned in the shape of a lotus.

Freshen up and visit the famous Madurai Meenakshi temple (dedicated to the consort of Lord Shiva with its towering Gopurams) - There are four entrances to this amazing temple complex set in 6 hectares. The total number of pillars in the temple is a staggering one Thousand.

The Evening Aarti is the highlight of Madurai. Overnight will be in Madurai.

Day 05 of Art and Culture Tour

Madurai - Thekkady:

By road covering 155 km in 4 hr. (Via THENI)

Breakfast will be at the hotel.

Visit the Thirumala Naik Temple or Thirupura Rock Temple. Drive to THEKKADY and reach by afternoon. This drive is through the undulating hills and scenery around cannot be described but experienced. The color of the greenery is also different and soothing to the naked eyes.

Check in at resort in the Periyar sanctuary periphery.

The earliest sanctuary, Periyar was set up in 1934 and forms part of the mountain ranges, the Western Ghats.

Overnight will be at resort.

Day 06 of Art and Culture Tour

Thekkady:

Breakfast will be at the hotel.

Enjoy a boat ride in the Periyar Lake. Cruising on the Periyar, you are likely to see animals like wild boars, sambars, wild dogs, langur and wild elephants. Return to the resort and go for a visit to the SPICE PLANTATION. Let the owner or one of his children explain the different plants and the process. It is a nice experience to know the favorite spices of India.

In the evening visit the KUMILY SPICE MARKET to buy some of the spices if you want or you can go for a jungle trek in the afternoon with a guide.

Enjoy the evening activities at the resort. Overnight will be at Thekkady.

Day 07 of Art and Culture Tour

Thekkady - Kumarakom:

By road covering 125 km in 4 hr

Drive to Kumarakom: the dream backwater destination after breakfast.

Pass through the rolling hills of tea plantations. Stop at a tea factory to see the tea making process. Once you drive out of the clouds you would reach the foothills when the rubber plantations will start. It is a beautiful drive passing through plantation and occasional Kerala small towns.

Reach Kumarakom by afternoon. Board a traditional luxury houseboat, which is a fabulous way to explore the fascinating beauty of the backwaters for a memorable day & night cruise to Alleppey. The boat will take you through the virgin villages of Kuttanad - the only location in Kerala situated below sea level. By evening the boat will be anchored at the middle of the water column. Enjoy a starry night stay in between blue waters & blue skies.

Lunch and dinner will be onboard. Overnight will be on board the houseboat.

Day 08 of Art and Culture Tour

Alleppey - Cochin:

By road covering 60 km in 2 hr

Cochin - Mumbai:

By Air Flight : 9W 404
Airlines : Jet Airways
Aircraft : Boeing 737
Stopovers : Nil
Departure : 1535 hr
Arrival : 1720 hr

Mumbai - Aurangabad:

By Air Flight : 9W 3109
Airlines : Jet Airways
Aircraft : ATR Jet
Stopovers : Nil
Departure : 1825 hr
Arrival : 1925 hr

Breakfast will be onboard the boat.

Cruise through the villages of Aleppey. The coastal town of Alleppey on the Arabian Sea has been called the "Venice of the East" for the numerous canals that meander through the town. It is also popular for its cashew nuts, choir trade and for rice, pepper crops and coconuts. Visit choir Gramams, Kuttanadan paddy fields, enjoy the taste of Kerala 'Toddy' (if you like it) the local liquor.

Disembark from the boat and proceed to Cochin airport by surface. En-route, stop at a restaurant for lunch. Take flight to Mumbai and connecting flight to Aurangabad.

Reach and check in at hotel.

The city of Aurangabad was founded in 1610, on the site of a village, Khirki by Malik Ambar - the Prime Minister of Murtaza Nizam Shah II. When Fateh Khan, Malik Ambar's son turned successor in 1626, he gave the city the name 'Fatehpur'. Later in 1653, when Prince Aurangzeb became Viceroy of the Deccan, he made the city his capital and called it Aurangabad. Aurangzeb added the walls that enclose the central part of the city in 1686 in order to withstand attacks from the Marathas. There are four principle gateways to the city - the Delhi Darwaza, the Jalna Darwaza, the Paithan Darwaza and the Mecca Darwaza. Nine secondary gateways also formed a part of the defensive system of this city.

Aurangabad district has always been a prominent region on the Deccan plateau. Having been inhabited since the Stone Age, it has a long artistic and cultural history - to which several dynasties have made major contributions over the years. Maurya rule marked the arrival of Buddhism in Maharashtra.

Aurangabad today is a bustling city of Maharashtra with diverse big and small industries, fine silken textiles, and exquisite hand woven brocades of silver and gold fabrics, Himroo of world frame. To scholars and lovers of art and culture the city is more familiar as the gateway to the ancient caves of Ajanta and Ellora, both famous as treasure houses of Indian Art and Sculpture.

Overnight will be at Aurangabad.

Day 09 of Art and Culture Tour

Aurangabad - Mumbai:

By Air Flight : 9W 3110
Airlines : Jet Airways
Aircraft : ATR Jet
Stopovers : Nil
Departure : 1955 hr
Arrival : 2055 hr

Breakfast will be at hotel.

Proceed for a full day sightseeing with excursion to Ajanta & Ellora Caves.

Ajanta caves: Nestling in an inner fold of the Sahyardi hills, 100 km from Aurangabad in the shape of a mammoth horse- shoe, are the 30 rock-hewn caves of Ajanta. The Caves date from the 2nd century BC. Discovered in 1819 by a group of British army officers, these startling achievements took around 600 years to create. Carved with little more than a hammer and chisel, Ajanta, once the retreat of Buddhist monastic orders features several 'chaityas' (chapels) and 'viharas' (monasteries). The exquisite wall and ceiling paintings, panels and sculptures of Buddha's life are famous throughout the world as the earliest and finest examples of Buddhist pictorial art.

Ellora Caves: Impressive in their own right is the rock-hewn temples and monasteries of Ellora that lie just 30 km away from Aurangabad city. In all, there are 34 cave temples, 12 Mahayana Buddhist caves (550-750 AD), 17 Hindu caves (600-875 AD) and 5 caves of the Jain faith (800-1000 AD) 22 more caves, dedicated to Lord Shiva, were recently discovered. Kailas Temple (cave16), the central attraction at Ellora, is the most remarkable. Chiseled by hand from a single massive rock, it includes a gateway, pavilion, courtyard, vestibule, sanctum, sanctorum and tower, which bear testimony to the excellence of Dravidian art. It is believed to have taken 7000 laborers, working in continuous shifts and 150 years to build the structures. Ever since the first European visitors in 18th Century, Ellora has attracted chroniclers, antiquarians, scholars and in more recent years, ever- increasing number of tourists.

Transfer to airport for flight to Mumbai. Reach and check in at a hotel close to the airport.

Overnight will be at Mumbai.

Day 10 of Art and Culture Tour

Mumbai - Udaipur:

By Air Flight : 9W 3301
Airlines : Jet Airways
Aircraft : ATR Jet
Stopovers : Nil
Departure : 0555 hr
Arrival : 0740 hr

Transfer to airport early in the morning for flight to Udaipur.

Reach and you will be assisted by your Tour Manager and the driver. Take the car to the hotel.

The city of Dawn, Udaipur is a lovely land around the azure lake, hemmed in by the lush hills of the ARAVALLIS. A vision in white drenched in romance and beauty, Udaipur is a fascinating blend of sights, sound and experiences and inspiration for the imagination of poets, painters and writers.

Its kaleidoscope of fairy-tale palaces, lakes, temples, gardens and narrow lanes strewn with stalls, carry the flavor of a heroic past, epitomizing valor and chivalry. Their reflection in the placid waters of the LAKE PICHOLA is an enticing sight.

Udaipur is the jewel of MEWAR -a kingdom ruled by the Sisodia dynasty for 1200 Years.

Proceed for Evening Motor launch cruise on the placid waters of Lake Pichola. From the boat you will be able to view the city of Udaipur as it rises majestically above the lake in the middle of the Rajasthan desert.

Also visit the Jag Mandir Palace - the other island palace in the middle of the lake. Spend some time at the Jag Mandir Palace.

Relax in the evening. Overnight will be at Udaipur.

Day 11 of Art and Culture Tour

Udaipur:

Breakfast will be at hotel.

Proceed for sightseeing tour of Udaipur, stopping first at City Palace. Here you will marvel at rooms with mirrored walls and ivory doors, colored glass windows and inlaid marble balconies and the Peacock Courtyard.

Visit the largest PRIVATE CRYSTAL COLLECTION of the erstwhile rulers of Udaipur.

Also visit the lovely Sahelion-ki-Bari Gardens, the Jagdish Temple and the local folk Museum.

Overnight will be at Udaipur.

.

Day 12 of Art and Culture Tour

Udaipur - Jaipur:

By Air Flight : 9W 3301
Airlines : Jet Airways
Aircraft : ATR Jet
Stopovers : Nil
Departure : 0810 hr
Arrival : 0915 hr

Take flight to jaipur after breakfast.

JAIPUR - The origins of the beautiful city of Jaipur can be traced back to the eighteenth century, during the reign of Jai Singh II who ascended the Amber throne in 1699. Jaipur today, epitomizes the spirit of Rajputana. In-spite of growing into a bustling metropolis, it still retains its character and history - A beautiful fusion of the yesteryears and modernity. It is popularly known as the Pink City because of the extensive use of the locally abundant pink plastered stone, painted so in honor of the visit of the royal consort of Queen Victoria. Jaipur thrills the soul with its massive forts, magnificent palaces, exquisite temples and lush gardens.

Reach Jaipur and check in at hotel.

In the afternoon proceed for sightseeing of the city.

CITY PALACE - A delightful blend of Mughal and traditional Rajasthani architecture, the City Palace sprawls over one-seventh of the area in the walled city. It houses the Chandra Mahal, Shri Govind Dev Temple and the City Palace Museum.

JANTAR MANTAR - This is the largest and the best preserved of the five observatories built by Jai Singh II in different parts of the country. This observatory consisting of outsized astronomical instruments is still in use.

HAWA MAHAL - The ornamental facade of this "Palace of Winds" is a prominent landmark in Jaipur. It is a five-storey structure of sandstone-plastered pink encrusted with fine trelliswork and elaborate balconies. The palace has 953 niches and windows. Built in 1799 by Pratap Singh, the Mahal was a royal grandstand for the palace women.

Shopping and relax in the evening.

Overnight will be at Jaipur.

Day 13 of Art and Culture Tour

Jaipur:

Breakfast will be at hotel. Proceed for a morning excursion will be taken to the Amber Fort. Enjoy the fort ascent on elephant back in a royal manner.

AMBER FORT PALACE: Amber is the classic romantic Rajasthani fort palace. Its construction was started by Man Singh I in 1592, and completed by his descendent Jai Singh I. Its forbidding exterior belies an inner paradise where a beautiful fusion of Mughal and Hindu styles finds its ultimate expression.

In the afternoon you can relax or visit the BIRLA TEMPLE, JALMAHAL PALACE, ANCIENT MARKETS, etc. You can also enjoy a BOLLYWOOD MOVIE in RAJDARSHAN the famous "cinema hall" in jaipur.

Overnight will be in Jaipur.

Day 14 of Art and Culture Tour

Jaipur - Agra:

By Road : 221 km/6 hr

Drive to Agra after breakfast visiting Fatehpur Sikri en-route.

The deserted, red Sandstone City, Emperor Akbar built that as his capital and palace in the late 16th century is an exhilarating experience. It a veritable fairytale city and its "ruins" are in pristine condition ... it's not hard to imagine what the court life must have been like in the days of its grandeur. Also visit the Bulund Darwaza, the largest gateway in the world.

Continue your drive to Agra and on arrival check-in at Hotel.

AGRA TRIP: Two great Mughal monarchs, Akbar and Shah Jahan, transformed the little village of Agra into a befitting second capital of the Mughal Empire - giving it the name Dar-ul-Khilafat {seat of the Emperor}. Today a visitor to Agra is caught up in a world of contrasting edifices, of red sandstone and white marble, narrow galleys and quaint buggies, and that irresistible charm that this favorite city of the Mughals still retains. It is not surprising, that modern Agra still reflects its Mughal heritage most conspicuously.

Relax in the evening.

Overnight will be at Agra.

Day 15 of Art and Culture Tour

Agra:

Breakfast will be at hotel.

Proceed for sightseeing of Taj Mahal.

TAJ MAHAL: The fifth Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan, built it in 1631 in the memory of his second wife, Mumtaz Mahal, a Muslim Persian princess. She died while accompanying her husband in Behrampur in a campaign to crush a rebellion, after giving birth to their 14th child. Her death so crushed the emperor that all his hair and beard were said to have grown snow white in a few months. When Mumtaz Mahal was still alive, she extracted four promises from the emperor: first, that he build the Taj; second, that he should marry again; third, that he be kind to their children; and fourth, that he visit the tomb on her death anniversary. He kept the first and second promises. Construction began in 1631 and was completed in 22 years. Twenty thousand people were deployed to work on it. An Iranian architect designed it and it is best appreciated when the architecture and its adornments are linked to the passion that inspired it. It is a "symbol of eternal love".

Having buried her down at Behrampur, it was time for the emperor to keep his promise and build a tomb there itself. But by and by, it was felt that it was virtually impossible to transfer all the marble there, as it would cost an entire fortune and an entire lifetime. So, when Agra was chosen as the only alternative, astonishingly her grave was uprooted and brought to Agra, only to be finally transferred to the monument, completed twenty-two years later.

Proceed for sightseeing to the AGRA FORT - Built by the famed Mughal emperor Akbar in 1565 AD, the fort is predominantly of red sandstone. Ensconced within is the picture perfect Pearl Mosque, which is a major tourist attraction.

Visit Itmadullah's Tomb built by Empress Noor Jehan in memory of her father (The interiors of which are considered better than the Taj).

Spend night at Agra.

Day 16 of Art and Culture Tour

Agra - Orchha - Khajuraho:

Train Name : Bhopal Shatabdi Express
Train No. : 2002
Departure : 0800 hr
Arrival : 1024 hr
By Road : 170 km/4 hr

Breakfast will be at hotel. Transfer to the station for train to Jhansi.

Reach Jhansi and transfer to Orchha, 12 km away.

Orchha: A medieval city founded by Bundela rulers with palaces and temples of the 16th and 17th century - which have remarkably withstood the onslaught of time. The city is picturesquely flanked by the river Betwa.

Proceed for sightseeing of Orchha sites within the Fort Complex. Enjoy your lunch at Orchha.

Continue drive to Khajuraho.

Situated in the heart of India, in the state of Madhya Pradesh, Khajuraho is a fascinating village with a quaint, rural ambience and a rich cultural heritage, honored by the world as India’s unique contribution to human civilization. The Chandela dynasty built eighty-five temples here. Twenty remain as embodiments of Indian architectural and sculptural art at its most evolved state. Even ten centuries after they were constructed, the temples of Khajuraho reflect an eternal philosophy relevant to all mankind. The temples of Khajuraho are a world heritage site and belong not just to India but to the world. Khajuraho is one of the few millennium destinations of the world.

Reach Khajuraho. Transferred to hotel and relax. Evening will be free. You can go out for a stroll.

Overnight will be at Khajuraho.

Day 17 of Art and Culture Tour

Khajuraho:

Breakfast will be at hotel. Proceed for a guided tour of the exotic temples of Khajuraho.

Relax in the evening at the hotel. Khajuraho is a PERFECT HONEYMOON DESTINATION.

Overnight will be in Khajuraho.

Day 18 of Art and Culture Tour

Khajuraho - Varanasi:

Flight : 9W 724
Airlines : Jet Airways
Aircraft : Boeing 737
Stopovers : Nil
Departure : 1335 hr
Arrival : 1415 hr

Breakfast will be at hotel.

Transfer to airport for flight to Varanasi. Reach Varanasi.

Varanasi Trip: Varanasi is the world's most ancient living city. Sunrise on the riverfront, as seen from a boat, can be spiritually uplifting sight. Crowded with temples and its labyrinth of streets, the city attracts the maximum number of tourists. Varanasi is the religious capital of Hinduism. It was previously known as Kashi - the city that illuminates. The present name is derived from the fact that the city is at the confluence of the rivers Varuna and Asi.

Check in at hotel and relax. Overnight will be spent at Varanasi.

Day 19 of Art and Culture Tour

Varanasi:

By Air Flight : 9W 724
Airline : Jet Airways
Aircraft : Boeing 737
Stopovers : Nil
Departure : 1445 hr
Arrival : 1605 hr

Drive in the early morning to Daswamedh Ghat and take a boat ride on the sacred river Ganges to see the cremation Ghats and witness the living traditions of one of the world's oldest and most important religions. (To start at 0500 hrs. for the best lifetime experience) For you to appreciate this remarkable city, we'll transfer you to the banks of the River Ganges before the sun rises. Board a boat with your guide and proceed to the middle of the river, where at sunrise the sight unfolds before you. Thousands of faithful come daily to the banks to bathe and pray while in the background, temples and palaces rise in tiers from the water's edge. Return for a walk through the cobblestone streets along the banks of "Ganga". As shops are opening, the place now becomes a beehive of activity as the faithful are coming and going.

Return to hotel for a sumptuous breakfast.

Proceed for a full day-guided tour of Varanasi including the Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Gyanvapi Mosque, Benaras Hindu University and other important monuments.

Relax in the evening. Overnight will be at Varanasi.

Day 20 of Art and Culture Tour

Varanasi - Delhi - Home:

By Air Flight : 9W 724
Airline : Jet Airways
Aircraft : Boeing 737
Stopovers : Nil
Departure : 1445 hr
Arrival : 1605 hr

Breakfast will be at hotel.

Proceed to visit Sarnath.

Sarnath is one of the holiest Buddhist sites in the world, where Buddha preached his first Sermon in 590 BC. Witness the ruins of a once flourishing Buddhist monastery and then visit a fine Museum which houses an excellent collection of Buddhist art and sculptures found at the site.

Proceed to the airport for flight to Delhi.

Reach and check in at a hotel close to the airport for freshening up and then proceed to the international airport for flight home after Farewell Dinner.


TOUR ENDS

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