Coinciding with Khajuraho Dance Festival
Join our small group: February 21-March 6, 2009
The group coincides with the dance festival of Khajuraho
Visit highlights of North India
including the Golden Triangle and Rajasthan--Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Deogarah, Udaipur, Khajuraho & Varanasi. Exquisite Palaces, Forts, Temples--including the classical temples from Chandella period of the 9th- 11th century. Enjoy the authentic dance festival of Khajuraho performed outside by the temple com plex and experience many cultural traditions of this ancient and exotic land.
Delhi - Day 1
Transfer to Hotel Inter-Continental Grand.
Delhi - Day 2
Relaxed morning. Afternoon: Tour of Old and New Delhi, including Red Fort, Qutab Minar and India Gate, House of Parliment, President's House, and riksha ride thru the market in Old Delhi. Welcome dinner at Colors & Spice.
Fly Delhi - Varanasi - flt 9W723 dep. 1040, arr 1150 - Day 3
Transfer to Hotel Taj Ganges. Lunch and independent time to stroll the wonderouslyÊstimulating area in the Od City around the Ganges. Evening witness aarti (light) ceremony onÊthe banks of River Ganges.
Varanasi - Day 4
Dawn boat ride on the River Ganges to witness the religious ceremonies of the Hindus.ÊAfterwards, walking tour of temples and ghats. Return to hotel forÊbreakfast. Rest of morning independent to relax or wander around theÊold village independently.
Afternoon visit Sarnath is where the Buddha gave his first sermon in 500 BC. The very spot is marked byÊthe Dhamekh Stupa. Located in the midst of the Archeological park,Êyou will also visit the ruins of the small monastery where the BuddhaÊlived during his visits and walk the path he took while meditating. After visiting the excellent museum that houses sculptures excavatedÊfrom the park you continue to the fairly new Buddhist temple. The walls of the temples are decorated by the paintings of a JapaneseÊartist tracing the important events in the life of The Buddha. AtÊapprox 6pm, local Buddhists chant the words to Buddha's last sermon.
Fly to Khajuraho flt 9W723 dep. 1200 arr. 1300 - Day 5
Independent afternoon. In the evening, enjoy a performance of classical dance: Khajuraho dance festival is held in the temple complex with the temples forming the backdrop. Hotel Taj Chandella
Khajuraho - Day 6
Visit the classical temples from Chandella Style of the 9th- 11th century, illustrated with remarkableÊsculptures of the classical erotic literature, the Kama Sutra. AlsoÊvisit the old village of Khajuraho. Evening attend classical dance performance at Khajuraho dance Festival.
Khajuraho - - Jhansi - Agra - Day 7
Morning enjoy the relaxed ambiance of this peaceful village; independent time to stroll and explore or relax at the hotel. Drive to Jhansi (170 Km) to board Shatabdi Exp Train to Agra dep.1805, arr 2035. Met at train station and transfer to hotel Taj View.
Agra - Day 8
Morning visit Agra Fort and Taj Mahal. Afternoon visit Sikandra and Itmad-Ud-Daulah. Return to Taj Mahal for sunset.
Drive Agra - Jaipur - Day 9
EnrouteÊvisit Fatephur Sikri. Built in 1571, Fatehpur Sikri, is one of the world's most perfect ghost cities and a marvel of design and construction. It is a synthesis of the flourishing styles of the Persian courts and the prevailing Hindu Islamic trends. Fatehpur (town of victory) Sikri was built by Akbar, the third and greatest of the Great Moguls. It is over 400 years old and today its pristine red sandstone buildings are as perfect as when they were first chiseled.
The town was erected after a holy man, Sheikh Salim Chisti, living in Sikri, decreed the births of three sons to Akbar after all his children had died in infancy. There are three sections to the City: The Royal Palace (notable for the Emperor's throne), outside the Royal Palace and the the Jami Masjid (the location of the Tomb of Sheikh Salim Chishti, a masterpiece in brilliant white marble). The centerpiece of this remarkable monument is the Jewel House of the Diwan I Khas. Architecturally extraordinary, the four doorways lead into a single storey room where a huge central pillar carved to baroque richness, supports a seat reached by mid air walkways. Evening attend puja atÊGanesh Temple. Hotel Samode Haveli.
Jaipur - Day 10
Morningvisit Amer Fort. Afternoon city tour including City Palace,ÊPalace of Winds, Jantar Mantar Observatory, bazaars. Special dinner at Spice Court.
Jaipur-Jodphur - Day 11
Early morning visit Galta Temple at sunrise.ÊThe Hanuman Temple here surges to life at sunrise when crowds ofÊlanguar monkeys come to meet the priests who arrive in a ricksaw withÊsacks of bananas. Return to hotel for breakfast.
Drive to Jodhpur. Enroute visit Pushkar, a unique gem in the grandeur of Rajasthan. Lord Brahma - The creator- in a search for his abode on earth, performed the supremely spiritual vedic yagna at Pushkar. It is thus the site of the only Brahma Temple in the world. A city of pilgrimage from time immemorial with over 500 temples and ghats, Pushkar radiates an ambience of peace and spirituality that casts a lure to visit again and again. Stop for luch at the Pushkar Resort. Continue drive to Jodhpur. Hotel Ranbaka
Drive Jodhpur - Deogarh (170 km) - Day 12
Morning city tour of Jodhpur including the 15th century Mehrangarh Fort perched majestically on a high hill and the Museum. The best way to trace the history of Jodhpur is to visit the aptly named majestic Meherangarh Fort, which dominates the skyline. Entered through gates which bear the evocative handprints of the Sati queens, women of the royal harem who took their own lives when their men were defeated in battle. The fort has a series of spectacular palaces, each decorated with exquisite engravings, lattice and mirror work. Of particular note is the museum that exhibits a magnificent collection of royal memorabilia. Also see the graceful cenotaph at Jaswant Thada.
Afterwards drive to Deogarh, a medieval fortress town and the home of Rawat Nahar Singhji, a knowledgeable art connoisseur, and his wife, the Ranisahiba. Here you will stay in a classic Rajasthani castle - the Deogarh Mahal. Built in 1670 AD by Rawat Dwarka as a family residence, it is the hub of village activity and towers over the town below. Each of the restored in this castle has been decorated in a unique traditional fashion and original frescoes fromthe Rajasthani School of miniature paintings adorn the walls. You can explore the town, visiting the market and the craftspeople. The surrounding lake area is haven for migratory birds and you can take a boat on Raghosagar Lake across from the palace, to see the ruins of an old fort on the opposite side. In the evening you can see sunset from the magnificent terraces overlooking the countryside. Deogarah Palace Hotel
Drive Deogarh - Udaipur (135 km) - Day 13
Drive to Udaipur enroute visit Ranakpur Jain Temples with 1444 pillars. Surrounded by tangled forests with m