Welcome to Vardhman’s “Rapid North India Tour”! On arrival in Delhi, you will be met and transferred by Vardhman’s representative to your hotel. Relax for a while and later proceed on a city tour of Delhi. Vist 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 - Srinagar
Morning – transfer to airport for flight to Srinagar. On arrival transfer to Deluxe Houseboat. Evening Boat trip to floating gardens.
On arrival at Srinagar Airport, you will be met and transfered by our representative to the House boat. Relax for a while and later proceed for Shikara ride at Dal Lake.
Dal Lake : Dal Lake is a scenic picnic spot surrounded by forests of pine. It is a good base for trekkers. A colorful annual fair is held here every September.
Shikara Ride : Shikara is a Gondola type light rowing boat. The one hour boat ride takes tourists on a relaxing sightseeing tour of interior parts of the calm and placid waters of Dal Lake, to see the market and the floating Gardens.
Overnight at Houseboat.
DAY 3 -Srinagar
Early in the morning visit Shankaracharya Temple. Return to the hotel for breakfast and later in the afternoon visit Moghul Gardens. Relax for the remaining part of the day.
Mughal Gardens : Visit the Mughal Gardens, the Chashme Shahi (Royal Spring), Nishat Bagh(Pleasure Garden) and Shalimar Bagh(The Abode of Love).
Shankaracharya Temple : 5 km from Tourist Reception Center. Located on a hill one thousand feet above the city, it is also known as Takht-i-Sulaiman. Most authorities agree that the first edifice on this site was built by Jaluka, the son of Emperor Ashoka, around 200 BC. The low enclosing wall and the plinth of the existing temple is what has remained of the old temple. The philosopher sage Shankaracharya had stayed at this site when he had visited to Kashmir ten centuries ago to revive Sanatan Dharma. The present structure is said to have been built by an unknown Hindu devotee during the reign of Emperor Jehangir. The temple offers a magnificent view of the valley and the snowy peaks of the Pir Panjal range
Overnight at Houseboat.
DAY 4 - Srinagar-Gulmarg-Srinagar
This morning, enjoy day trip to Gulmarg, enjoy the beauty of Himalayan peaks and the cable car ride. Later in the evening return to Srinagar to stay overnight on the houseboat.
Gulmarg : The large meadow of Gulmarg is 52 km South-west of Srinagar at 2730 metres. The name means meadow of Flowers and in spring it is just that. This is also an excellent trekking base. Gulmarg Walks :- Outer Circular Walk : A circular road, 11 km in length, runs right round Gulmarg through pleasant pine forest with excellent views over the Kashmir Valleys. Khilanmarg : This smaller valley is about a 6 km walk from the Gulmarg bus stop and car park. The meadow, carpeted with flowers in the spring, is the site for Gulmarg’s winter ski runs and offers a fine view of the surrounding peaks and the Kashmir Valley. Alpather : It is beyond Khilanmarg, 13 km from Gulmarg. Ningle Nallah : Flowing from the melting snow and ice on Apharwat Peak and Alpather Lake, this pretty mountain stream is 10 km from Gulmarg. Ferozpure Nallah : Reached from the Tangmarg road, or from the outer circular walk, this mountain stream meets the Bahan River at a popular picnic spot known as Waters Meet. Ziarat of Baba Reshi : This Muslim shrine is on the slope below Gulmarg and can be reached from either Gulmarg or Tangmarg. The Ziarat, or tomb, is of a well known Muslim saint.
Overnight at Houseboat.
DAY 5 - Srinagar -Sonmarg- Kargil
Early morning drive to Kargil. Enroute visit Sonmarg. Arrive Kargil in the evening. Check in to hotel for overnight stay.
Sonmarg : Sonmarg is 80 km north-east of Srinagar and at an altitude of 2743 m. Popularly known as the ‘Meadow of Gold’ this place is strewn with the loveliest of alpine flowers and surrounded by mountains mantled in fir and pine. Glaciers pour down from the Himalayas almost on to the site of camping at Sonamarg.This golden meadow, one of the smallest resorts in Kashmir gets its name ‘Son’ meaning golden, from the bloom of yellow crocuses that fill this valley in the Spring. A gushing river is the highlight of this meadow, flowing down from snowy heights into the dense woodlands of firs and silver birches. Glaciers pour down this stream from the Himalayas on to the many camping sites in Sonmarg.
DAY 6 - Kargil - Leh
Visit Kargil in the morning and then drive towards Leh. Upon arrival in Leh, check into your hotel for an overnight stay.
Kargil, situated at a height of 2704 m, is located 234 km to the east of Leh. It is the second largest city of the region and the headquarters of the district with the same name. Encircled by the Himalayas, lying in the heart of the region. It is an important start off point for the numerous adventure tours to the Himalayas, along with being the base station to the Zanskar Valley due to its strategic location. Suru basin is another important feature of the landscape of Kargil. The Drass and Wakha streams of Suru River meet here, providing enough water for cultivation of barley, wheat, peas and a number of other vegetables and cereals.
DAY 7 - Leh
On the day 7 of your tour proceed on a sightseeing tour of Leh. Visit Leh Bazaar, Leh Palace and Sankar gompa, the women’s vegetable market in the afternoon. In the evening visiy the Sankar monastery, Leh Gompa, Phiyang, and Shanti Stupa. Later in the evening drive back to the hotel for an overnight stay.
Sankar Gompa & Village : A relatively modern monastery, it is closely associated with the Spituk monastery and served as the residence of the late head priest-Kushak Bakula. A number of gold icons are to be found here.
Phiyang Gompa : 17 Kms from Leh on the Leh-Kargil road, it looks like a huge palace from afar, build by Tashi Namgyal in the later half of the 16th century AD, it belongs to the Red Cap sect of Buddhists. Hundreds of icon of Buddha and other gods are kept on wooden shelves.
Shanti Stupa (Japanese Peace Pagoda) : Shanti Stupa/Japanese peace pagoda is build by a Japanese religious organization headed by Head monk Nakamura with the help from the organization and local people. It is situated at a hill top in Cahngspa village providing a bird eye view of the Leh town and the surrounding mountain peaks. Architecturally it has the Japanese touch with small clean rooms on the side for meditators and the main Japanese shrine at the entrance.
DAY 8 - Leh-Hemis-Shey Palace-Thiksey-Leh
Today visit Hemis Gompa, Shey Palace & Gompa Thiksey Gompa.
Hemis Gompa: Ladakh’s largest monastery. It contains a number of gold statues and Stupas decorated with precious stones and a superb collection of Thankas, including one that is the largest in existence. Hemis gompa is believed to have been established in 1630 by Lama Tagstang Raspa and built by Palden Sara under the patronage of King Sengge Namgyal on a site previously sanctified by the construction of a cave hermitage dating from the 12th century. This monastery is the oldest one in the area belonging to the Kargyu school. The Gompa is a unique example of a monastic complex of this period which manifests in its structure the geomantic principles which underlie religious constructions of this type.
Shey Palace And Gompa : Shey palace with its remarkable statue of Buddha and panoramic views of Indus valley. Situated on a hillock 15 Kms upstream from Leh, it was once the residence of the royal family. According to tradition, it was the seat of power of the pre-Tibetan kinds. A 7.5 mts high copper statue of Buddha, plated with gold and the largest of its kind, is installed here.
Thiksey Gompa : 19 Kms from Leh, spectacularly sited, Thiksey is one of the largest and architecturally most impressive Gompas. There are several temples in this Gompas, containing images, stupas and wall paintings of Buddha, which are exquisite.
DAY 9 - Leh - Alchi
Morning visit to local Immambarah and Turkish inspired architectural structures from the Silk route days, when this used too be a major stop for Central Asian trade route. Later drive to Leh. Enroute visit Mulbekh Monastery, perched on a mountain over the village of the same name, known for the huge image of Buddha carved from a giant rock. After Mulbekh, continue on to Alchi and Likir Monasteries. These monasteries house Buddha and renowned 1000-year-old religious wall paintings.
Likir Gompa : Founded in the 11th century and rededicated to a different monastic order in the 15th century, its earlier Gompa was destroyed in a fire. The present Gompa dated back to the 18th century. Skilled craftsmen producing excellent Thankas, earthen pots and carved wooden folding stools, live here in the village. Majestically situated, Likir commands a spectacular view. A magnificent giant Jupiter tree, one of the few survivors of its species, stands in the courtyard.
Alchi Gompa : 70 Kms from Leh, on the banks of the Indus, is the Alchi Gompa dating a thousand years back. One of its walls features thousands of miniature sized pictures of the Buddha. Three large sized images made of clay and painted brightly are its focal attractions. No longer an active religious center, it is looked after by monks from the Liker monastery. This is the only monastery amongst 34 monasteries, which is not located on a hilltop.
Arrive Leh by the late evening and upon arrival, check into your hotel for an overnight stay.
DAY 10 - Alchi - Leh
This morning after breakfast transfer to the airport to board flight for Delhi. On arrival at the airport, you will be transferred to your hotel by our representative. Relax for rest of the day.
DAY 11 - Leh- Jammu-Amritsar
This morning after breakfast transfer to Leh airport to catch flight for Jammu. On arrival Jammu at airport you will be met and transfer directly to Amritsar,the city of Golden Temple. Check into your hotel on arrival in Amritsar check in at hotel. In the evening visit to Golden temple to witness the Pooja Ceremony.
DAY 12 - Amritsar
Day tour of city.
Visit the famous Golden temple which is scared to the Sikh nation, here we will find time to tune into the amazing spiritual centre and feel the power that inspires the Sikh people worldwide. We continue our city tour and visit the Jallian walla Bagh Martyrs’ Memmorial built in the shape of eternal flame of liberty is situated on the outskirts of Golden Temple. Here about 1500 and 2000 persons who were attending a peaceful meeting during the freedom movement fell under the bullets of the British General Dyer on 13 April 1919.
DAY 13 - Amritsar - Delhi
TEarly morning transfer to Amritsar railway station to board train for Delhi. Arrive Delhi railway station and you will be picked up and transfer to your hotel. Rest of the day free to relax.
DAY 14 - Delhi - Jaipur
On the day 14 of your tour drive to beautiful Pink City – Jaipur. Reach and check in at the hotel. Rest of the day at leisure.
DAY 15 - Jaipur
City tour of Jaipur
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.
Optional: Lunch at a Heritage hotel with Tonga ride or explore the market & shop for special bargains!
DAY 16 - Jaipur -Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary- Agra
Morning drive to Romantic City of Taj Mahal- Agra. En-route visit to Fatehpur Sikri and Bharatpur Bird sanctuary.
Fatehpur Sikri: Fateshpur Sikiri, once the capital of emperor Akbar for almost 14 years. Fahehpur Sikri is home to a number of picturesque palaces, monuments and Dargah of Sufi Saint Salim Chisti.
Bharatpur Bird sanctuary:This magnificent bird haven in actual came into being paradoxically as a duck shooting preserve for Maharaja Suraj Mull of Bharatpur. He transformed the shallow depression formed by the confluence of River Gambhir and River Banganga into a reservoir by damming the rainwater in monsoons. Flooding of water created shallow wetland ecosystem causing it to be a perfect habitat for an astounding variety of birds. The park that was a hunting preserve for the Maharaja and the British continued to be so till 1964, after which the hunting was banned.
Upon arrival, check in at hotel for an overnigh stay.
DAY 17 - Agra-Delhi
Early in the morning visit Taj Mahal (closed on every Friday) during Sunrise. Return to the hotel after breakfast and then 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!
Later in the afternoon drive to Delhi. On arrival, check-in at the hotel for an overnight stay.
DAY 18 - Delhi
Day free for shopping in Delhi. Later in the afternoon transfer to International airport to board flight for your onwards journey to back home with sweet and unforgettable memories of your tour escorted by Vardhman Vacations.