Arrive into Delhi, Welcome to Vardhman’s ‘Grand North India Tour’ ! .On arrival in Delhi, you will be met and transferred by Vardhman’s representative to your hotel. Fresh up and proceed for the sightseeeing of Delhi. Combined city tour of New Delhi & Old Delhi . Visit Qutab Minar, Humayun’s tomb, Lakshminarayan Temple, a modern Hindu Temple, Parliament House, Government Secretarial Building and Connaught place, the shopping centre of New Delhi.Visit Red Fort, built in 1648 by Mughal Emperor Shahjehan, Jama Masjid, one of the largest Mosque of India, Raj Ghat and Shanti Vana, the cremation sites of Mahatama Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru. Also drive past Chandni Chowk, shopping centre of Old Delhi.
Overnight at Hotel.
DAY 2 - Delhi - Mandawa (260km)
After breakfast drive down to Mandawa and check in at the hotel.
Visit Mandawa, Afternoon visit Mandwa, founded in 1755 by Thakur Nawal Singh and still the home of his descendants. See beautiful frescoes, havelis and mansions. Mandawa castle, one of the finest castles of Rajasthan, is now a hotel and house of collections of armories, costumes of ancestors, canons from 1820, ancient coins, numismatic collection and many other interesting items, preserved in a museum. A walking tour of the painted ‘havelis’ of some of the leading business families of the country.
Overnight at Hotel.
DAY 3 - Mandawa - Bikaner
This morning after breakfast drive to Bikaner and transfer to hotel.
Visit Bikaner, Afternoon visit Bikaner is named after its founder Rao Bikaji in 1488. Long before this, the city was a trade center on the caravan routes from Africa and West Asia. Bikaner’s dominant features are rippling sands and abundant sunshine. The city stands on an elevation, enclosed by a 7 kms. wall, which can be entered from 5 gates. Bikaner City is bolstered by imposing walls and has a 16th century fort housing old palaces, temples and mosque. Founded by Raja Rai Singh, the fort is distinguished by its long range of 37 pavilions, a line of balconies and aerial windows of varying designs. Also visit Lallgarh Palace, the museum, Bhanda Sagar Jain and Deshnoke Rat temple.
DAY 4 - Bikaner - Pokaran - Jaisalmer
After breakfast, drive across the Thar Desert to reach Pokaran.
Visit the 15th century fortress where the 3rd Mughal emperor, Akbar the Great, was born in 1543. The bazaar in the middle of this village is very colourful and full of local flavours. Continue drive towards Jaisalmer and arrive by evening to witness the sunset over the desert with the most imposing edifice of the town behind you.
DAY 5 -Jaisalmer
Morning an exclusive visit of the Jain temples inside the Sonar Kila. The Jains are a community that respects life and are pure vegetarians by religion. Visit the citadel’s palace that houses a museum with a huge collection of robes and artifacts from the royal family of Jaisalmer. Visit the Patwaon ki haveli with intricately designed latticed windows used by the ladies to view the external world. Also see the Gadisar Lake.
Later, we go to Sam or Khuri village. Here we have loads of excitement in store for you. Upon arrival in the village you will be taken to the nearby sunset point on the dunes to see the sunset by camel carts. At sunset return to the village where your dinner is arranged in mud huts. In the evening listen to the haunted tunes of the desert by the local artists and musicians.
DAY 6 - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Luni
Today drive to Luni and upon arrival check into your hotel.
Post lunch session introduces you to the fabulous spice market of Jodhpur the 2nd largest city in Rajasthan. Walk along the market to feel the odours of the spices filling the air around you.
Then go to Mandore gardens the then capital of Marwar to view some of the fabulous cenotaphs and the hall of local heroes of the wars. Later drive up to the majestic Mehrangarh fort, the stronghold of the Rathore princes from 1453AD. We see the superb collection of paintings and arms and ammunitions. The view of the city from the rampart walls is breath taking.
Luni, the palace amidst the more rustic life of Rajasthan. We take you on a safari to discover the hidden beauty of the jungle life. Here you would be visiting the Bishnoi villages. Bishnois are a tribe that respects life in every form – animals trees and even dead branches. They are vegetarians and even in the villages they protect the animal life and don’t let anybody practice hunting in the vicinity of their villages. They live in a joint family system where the oldest member is generally the head of the family.15mts from a square base of 29 mts and then tapers off, making a total of 66mts. On arrival, check in at the hotel.
DAY 7 - Luni - Mount Abu
This morning drive through the arid Rajasthan to reach the the lone hill station in Rajasthan at a height of 1200mt. Upon arrival, check into your hotel. Later visit Mount Abu. Mount Abu is a true pilgrimage centre for the Jains as here we see the Delwara Jain temple complex with temples dating back to the 11th century. Later see the Nakki lake and then view the Sun going down the horizon from the sunset point.
DAY 8 - Mount Abu - Ranakpur - Udaipur
On the day 8 of your tour leave Mount Abu and drive to Udipur. Enroute visit Ranakpur another big pilgrimage centre for the Jains. Just four hours drive from Mount Abu is the eternal Jain pilgrimage centre of Ranakpur. Admire the workmanship from the 16th century. The temples are built out of marble and the main shrine of Adinath with 1444 columns is awe inspiring and none of these are similar. Also see the sun temple and the other temples in the campus. Upon arrival in Udaipur, check into your hotel and later visit the local way of farming and irrigation. Walk into the villages to mingle with the locals around to know more about their lifestyle.
DAY 9 - Udaipur
City tour of Udaipur,Visit the City Palace the richest palace museum in the entire Rajasthan. See the peacock square and the miniature painting school inside the palace premises. Udaipur has the prestige of housing the best miniature schools in the country under the royal patronage of the king of Udaipur. Later see the temples of Nagda and Eklingji.
The temple at Eklingji is a temple that belongs to the Maharana of Mewar (royal family) and he is often there to pray. The temple complexe of Nagda is a group of temples of which only two remain intact and those are that of Saas and Bahu – two temples of Shiva and of Vishnu both from the 7th century.
DAY 10 - Udaipur - Ajmer - Pushkar - Jaipur
Today cross the entire stretch of Mewar to reach the most holy cities of Pushkar and Ajmer.
Pushkar happens to be the holiest places according to the Hindus as it is considered that Lord Brahma (the Creator) and his wife Saraswati (the godess of learning and music) performed a ritual in the lake. Here we visit the only Brahma temple of the world before intermingling with the local colours in the local bazaar. Pushkar is the world famous for its cattle fair held each year in the month of October/November. Proceed towards Ajmer.
Ajmer is the pious city for the Muslims. Surprisingly both the cities are at distance of 11km from each other. Visit the Durgah built in fond remembrance of Khwaja Muin ud Din Chisti where the Muslim pilgrims from all over India throng during the festival times. Later visit Mughal emperor Akbar’s Palace where his son Jehangir received Sir Thomas Roe to grant him the permission of trade to East India Company with India, that changed the history of India completely and slowly and steadily India became colony of the British Empire.
Continue drive to Jaipur and reach by late evening and check into hotel.
DAY 11 - Jaipur
This morning after breakfast proceed on a city tour.
This morning you will experience the wonders of this magicial pink city, as you proceed on a tour of Amber fort. Later visit the Jagmandir or the Hall of victory glitterning with mirrors, Maharaja’s City Palace and the Observatory. Drive past Hawa Mahal or the Palace of Winds and through the rose pink residential and business areas of Jaipur.
DAY 12 - Jaipur - Fatehpur Sikri - Agra
Today you drive to the former capital city of Emperor Akbar
On to Agra, Your exciting day begins with a tour, starting with a visit to Fatehpur Sikri. Then continue onward to Agra and check into your hotel.
DAY 13 - Agra
Early in the morning visit Taj Mahal (Closed on every Friday) during sunrise and return to the hotel for breakfast. Later proceed on a city tour of Agra.
Visit Red fort & Tomb of Itmad-ud-Daula. Later you will visit a marble gallery – the flagship store in Agra which offers an excellant range of white marble, fashionable wear & exotic wooden articles, truly a one stop shop!
DAY 14 - Agra - Gwalior - Orchha
On the day 14 of your tour drive to Gwalior, the erstwhile stronghold of the Scindia rulers.
Arrive Gwalior and check into your hotel. Later visit Gwalior. A trip to Gwalior is incomplete without a visit to the fort, Scindia Palace and the tombs of Ghaus Mohammed and Tansen. Also visit the Gurjari Mahal the palace of the Gurjar queen Mrignayani today housing an archaeological museum. Also see the teli ka mandir and the Saas bahu ka mandir inside the fort. Then proceed towards Orchha.
DAY 15 - Orchcha - Khajuraho
On the day 15 of your tour proceed towards Khajuraho via Datia and visit the palace of the Bundela kings. Datia and Orchha are two twin cities from the medieval times. In these villages time has stopped. And you feel the timelessness of this spot. Orchha is 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 river Betwa picturesquely flanks the city. Reach Orchha by 1130 hrs and see the beautiful Palace Complex – Jahangiri Mahal and the Raja Mahal. Closely study the intricacies of the mural paintings in the Raja Mahal and visit the Laxminarayana Temple.
Post lunch continue towards Khajuraho about 182 km away by road.
DAY 16 - Khajuraho - Varanasi By flight
Morning sight seeing shows us the temples built during the 9th to the 11th centuries by the powerful dynasty of Chandela rajputs. The temples with their erotic sculptures are a feast to the eyes. The Chandelas built 85 temples in all but today only 20 temples stand intact. Visit the eastern and western group of temples before being transferred to the airport to catch your flight to Varanasi.
Upon your arrival in Varanasi transfer to your hotel.Relax for the remaining part of the day.
DAY 17 - Varanasi - Delhi (by flight)
Early morning, leave for boat ride on the Ganges to see the bathing Ghats (river bank) & cremation site. Sunrise on the riverfront, as seen from a boat, can be a spiritually uplifting sight. Return to hotel for breakfast, Return to your hotel for breakfast. Later visit Sarnath the sacred city for the Buddhist all over the world. It was here that Lord Buddha preached his first sermon to his first five disciples. Also worth visiting is the museum with artifacts dating back to 3rd century BC. Visit the nearby ruins of the ancient seat of learning in Sarnath. In time transfer to the airport to catch flight back to Delhi Domestic airport and transfer to Delhi International airport by Shuttle services available at the airport to board the flight for your onward journey to back home with sweet and unforgettable memories of ‘Grand North India Tour’! escorted by Vardhman Vacations