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Itinerary:  Central India

 

Tour Highlights

Four World Heritage Sites.
Taj Mahal - Seven Wonders of the World
10th century erotic temples of Khajuraho
Travel by Indian Railways - 4th largest network
Varanasi - Oldest living city in the world
Stay in atmospheric heritage hotels .
Royal Splendours - Gwalior and Dholpur .
Orchaa - the land frozen in time .
Sunrise Boat ride on the River Ganges
Travel by Private Car
Private Guide for Sightseeing

Overview

This enticing tour offers you a slice of India's fascinating past documented in old forts and palaces, monuments and temples in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.

Having discovered the Mughal vision of Old Delhi we take you to Agra, home of the beautiful Taj Mahal and the forbidding Red Fort. From here we journey to the ghost city of Fatehpur Sikri, the Mughal Emperor Akbar's old capital. At Dholpur, you can enjoy some fine Rajput hospitality before heading out to Gwalior and its fabulous blue-tiled fortress. From here we journey to the painted palaces near the Betwa riverside at Orcha, via the massive fort hidden amongst narrow, winding lanes. In Khajuraho, famous for its sensuously carved temples, you will encounter the stunning heritage of India's artistic and architectural skills. The sound and light show held against these antique temples is a fabulous experience. A jungle safari in the nearby Panna National Park offers a glimpse into India's wildlife heritage. Wrapping up the tour we enter the holy city of Varanasi renowned for its ancient temples and ghats and busy bazaars filled with legendary Indian silks and brocades. A trip to Sarnath, an old Buddhist enclave, ends one of the most rewarding holiday experiences in India.


Photo Gallery

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Day 1 - Fly

Fly to Delhi


Day 2 - Arrive Delhi

Meet and transfer to hotel Oberoi Maidens / Imperial**


Day 3 - Delhi

Tour of Old and New Delhi. The Old Delhi or Shah Jahanabad, was built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in the first half of the 17th Century. This old city is a dense network of narrow alleys and tightly packed markets and houses. The modern area of Central New Delhi, with its wide tree-lined avenues and solid colonial buildings, has been the seat of the central government since 1931. At this hub the royal mall, Rajpath, runs from the palatial Rashtrapati Bhawan, in the east, to the India Gate war memorial, in the west. Next visit the tomb of Emperor Humayun which is an early example of the Mughal style of tomb. Overnight at hotel


Day 4 - Delhi/Agra

Morning 2 hours train ride to Agra. Visit deserted fort of Fatehpur Sikri, Red Fort and Tomb of Iítimad-ud- Daulah. Evening visit Taj Mahal at sunset. The Taj Mahal - To the Poet Tagore it was “a tear on the face of eternity”. Built from white marble, it is the mausoleum of Empress Mumtaz Mahal, who died after giving birth to her 14th child. The romance of the world’s most famous building Taj Mahal, still astonishes in its power and beauty. Overnight at Hotel Gateway,Agra.


Day 5 - Agra/Dholpur

Morning drive to Dholpur (55 Kms, 1-2 hours). Afternoon explore Dholpur. Laswari is a historical site of Dholpur where Daulat Rao Scandia was defeated by Lord Lake. You could see the ruins of the oldest Mughal garden, the Damoh Waterfall and the Kanpur Mahal. Situated south of Dholpur, is the Shergarh Fort which was constructed by Sher Shah Suri on the ruins of a Hindu Fortress. Stay at Raj Niwas Palace.


Day 6 - Dholpur/Gwalior

Morning at leisure. Then drive to the royal city of Gwalior (55 Kms, 1-2 hours). Remainder of the day at leisure. Stay at Usha Kiran Palace Gwalior


Day 7 - Gwalior

Tour of City and the magnificent Gwalior Fort.Gwalior Fort contains Jain sculptures, Jain and Hindu temples and the charming sandstone palace. It dominates the skyline of the town. In the town are the palaces, the Moti Mahal and the 19th Century Jai Vilas. A section of the Jai Vilas palace is now a museum, with another wing occupied by the princely family. Overnight at hotel .


Day 8 - Gwalior/Jhansi/Orchha

Drive to Orchha via Datia Fort (120 Kms, 2-3 hours). Stay at Bundelkhand River Side. Tour Orchha palaces and temples. The Bundela chief Raja Rudra Pratap (1501 - 31) chose this easily defended and beautiful site for his capital. Orchha contains three Palaces, each built by succeeding Maharajas in a similar style and combining to form a complex as imposing as that at Udaipur.


Day 9 - Orchha/Khajuraho

Morning drive to Khajuraho (180 Kms, 4-5 hours). Attend Evening Sound & Light Show at temple complex. Stay at Taj Chandela Khajuraho.


Day 10 - Khajuraho/Panna/Khajuraho

Morning Jungle safari to Panna National Park.

Afternoon tour of Khajuraho temples. The Temples are in a peaceful setting of a beautiful park; the mahua (madhuca Indiaca) flowers are used for a popular liquor while the fruit is used in sap making. Varaha Temple, A shrine dedicated to Vishnu in his third incarnation as Varaha, the boar (Vishnu, The Preserver, is usually depicted resting on a bed of serpents, until summoned to save the world from disaster). Lakshmana Temple, The earliest is opposite and best preserves the architectural features that typify the larger temples here. The exterior is richly carved with battle scenes with soldiers, elephant, horses, as well as scenes from daily life including the erotic. The Kandariya Mahadeva Temple is the most developed the largest and the tallest of the Khajuraho temples. The Chitragupta Temple is the only one here dedicated to Surya, the Sun God. The Vishwanatha Temple, is dedicated to lord Shiva. Overnight at hotel


Day 11 - Khajuraho/Varanasi

Morning Fly to Varanasi. Evening Boat Ride on river Ganga. Stay at Taj Ganges Varanasi / Palace on Ganges.


Day 12 - Varanasi

Morning river cruise followed by City tour and Sarnath. Morning City tour includes the Bharat Mata Temple with a big relief map of India in marble, Durga Temple, Tulsi Manas Mandir, Banaras Hindu University which has an Art Gallery and the Mosque of Mughal Emperor Aurangazeb built on the site of an ancient Hindu Temple. Afternoon tour Sarnath - It was here that Gautam Buddha delivered his first sermon and also attained nirvana. Overnight at hotel


Day 13 - Varanasi/Delhi/Departure

Afternoon flight to Delhi. Proceed to International Departures level ( one floor above ) on arrival at Delhi airport, to board onwards flight.


Note

Upgrade to Hotel marked with ** will be at additional cost.

Suggested Adaptations to this tour

* From Khajuraho - Go to Bandavgarh National Park, known for having the world's highest population of tigers. Spend 3-4 nights tiger- spotting.

* From Agra - Head for Keoladeo Ghana Bird Sanctuary-Bharatpur for a 1N/1D exciting bird watching tour.

* From Varanasi - Follow the footsteps of the Buddha at Gaya and Bodhgaya for three days. TIP One can also fly on to Nepal for few days from Varanasi.

Year round

 

The Hotels covered in this Itinerary are:
Oberoi Maidens / The Imperial
Gateway Agra
Raj Niwas Palace
Usha Kiran Palace
Bundelkhand Riverside Resort
Taj Chandela Khajuraho
Taj Ganges Varanasi / Palace on Ganges

Oberoi Maidens

Maidens Hotel is one of Delhi's oldest hotels, built in the early 1900s, and has retained its colonial charm and architecture. Its spacious rooms with high ceilings are unique when compared to the box-sized rooms of modern hotels. Set amidst eight acres of lush gardens, shady trees and tennis courts, it escapes the noise of the main city, but remains within easy access to some of the most magnificent Mughal monuments, and famous shopping center Chandni Chowk with its quaint bazaars and meandering lanes.

Situated in the North Delhi residential area with big " Turn of the Century" bungalows and the bank of the river Yamuna on the east; close to the University of Delhi Campus. The hotel lies within walking distance of the main Interstate bus terminal. Late 19th century architectural elegance is reflected in the classical rooms and the elegant restaurants.


The Imperial

From the time The Imperial opened its doors in the 1930s, when India was beginning to write the last chapters of its saga on independence, there was little space in New Delhi for an Indo- British rubbing of shoulders. The Imperial provided such a space. Pandit Nehru, Mahatama Gandhi, Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Lord Mountbatten would meet at The Imperial to discuss the partition of India and creation of Pakistan.The Nehru family had a permanent suite here.

The Imperial is a fine confluence of a rich historical past and contemporary international appeal. After many restorations, it has managed to preserve its charm, and exudes it’s former glory. The original Frasers and Daniells paintings and the tavern named after them, the symbolically baptized “1911” restaurant and bar, the Royal ballroom were the places where have met and are still as popular today. The Hotel is a jewel of architecture and its location in the heart of the city makes it the ideal venue for tourists around the world.


Gateway Agra

Gracious interiors, personalized service and The Gateway Hotel's unique style are complemented by Agra's glittering monument to love, the Taj Mahal. Set amidst six acres of landscaped gardens, this tranquil retreat is an ideal spot for a business or leisure stay.


Raj Niwas Palace

The interiors are all inspired by traditional design themes. The rooms are very spacious, with high ceilings.

Rediscover the time when there was time; for opulence and grandeur, style and substance... for extravagant indulgences, ordinary mortals could not even dream of.

Within these luxurious surroundings are found modern amenities, a blend of contemporary comfort and traditional style. The palace has a Library, a pool table, a movie theatre, a business centre and a gift and a souvenir store. It is surrounded by lush green manicured gardens with Peacocks dancing in them.


Usha Kiran Palace

Get welcomed in true Gwalior tradition. Enter at this 120-year-old palace, which has played host to the King of England and is now a heritage hotel. Set amidst 9 acres of beautifully landscaped lawns, this regal palace, rich in history, is outfitted with artistic stone carvings and delicate filigree work. Conveniently located the hotel is just 25 kms from the Gwalior Airport (GWL)and 3 kms from the railway station.


Bundelkhand Riverside Resort

The Bundelkhand Riverside is built on 50 Acres of land on the banks of the River Betwa in Orchha and the Old House, which still exists, was used as a Hunting Lodge cum Guest House. The present retreat is an addition to the old construction that dates back to 1895.

The furniture has been hand crafted on the site where carpenters worked for 7 years and the style is Indian and British Colonial.

The Hotel has extensive wooden and stone crafts of India, which are now no longer used in the building industry. It also has extensive use of Ceramic Tiles as they were used in the Medieval Period. (Only 2 Rajput Forts in India have used tiles in Medieval Times and these are the Forts of Gwalior and Orchha - Datia.) The Retreat has a Four Terrace Mughal Garden that can be used for private functions, weddings, conferences and camps.


Taj Chandela Khajuraho

A haven of peace and tranquility, Hotel Chandela offers easy access to the world famous Khajuraho temples, Panna National Park Tiger Reserve, and more. Tucked snugly amidst 11 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens, this hotel offers an array of modern comforts.


Taj Ganges Varanasi

Centrally located on Raja Bazaar Road at Nadesar Palace Grounds. Set amidst12 acres, the hotel is an oasis of greenery in this bustling temple town. This Western-style high rise has a lavish lobby and spacious modern rooms elegantly appointed with central air-conditioning.


Palace on Ganges

Hotel Palace on Ganges has coined all distinct cultures of India and accordingly altogether forty two rooms under one Grand Heritage Hotel roof are designed and dedicated to each of those provincial cultures.

This vivid endeavor is to give a glimpse of the different cultures in the rooms... which you may feel.


Map of India

Itinerary

Day 1 - Fly
Day 2 - Arrive Delhi
Day 3 - Delhi
Day 4 - Delhi/Agra
Day 5 - Agra/Dholpur
Day 6 - Dholpur/Gwalior
Day 7 - Gwalior
Day 8 - Gwalior/Jhansi/Orchha
Day 9 - Orchha/Khajuraho
Day 10 - Khajuraho/Panna/Khajuraho
Day 11 - Khajuraho/Varanasi
Day 12 - Varanasi
Day 13 - Varanasi/Delhi/Departure

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