NEW DELHI, VARANASI, KHAJURAHO, AGRA, FATEHPUR SIKRI, JAIPUR, AMBER, UDAIPUR KATHMANDU, NAGARKOT & MOUNT EVEREST FLIGHT - 17 DAYS
This amazing and inspiring Journey takes you to some of India’s most interesting cities including its capital, New Delhi; Mughal capital city of Agra that is famous for the Taj Mahal; the pink city, Jaipur; Rajasthan’s blue city: Jodhpur; 15th century Jain Temple at Ranakpur is one of India’s finest in architecture and location; the city of lakes and palaces, Udaipur; at Pushkar Camel Fair enjoy the colorful dresses of women and the turbans of men. About 30,000 camels apart from hundreds of cattle, horses, goats and sheep are traded in this annual religious pilgrimage fair. Be thrilled by the close up view of the world’s highest mountain peak, the Everest in the Mount Everest Flight in Kathmandu, Nepal. Enjoy the most important cultural and religious sites of Kathmandu Valley and the mountain resort of Nagarkot. Please call for price with international flights from other US airports.
Thursday, October 26, 2017, Fresno:
Departure from Fresno in the morning.
Friday, October 27, 2017, Delhi:
Arrive in Indira Gandhi International Airport in the evening. Traditional welcome to India with marigold garlands and transfer to Claridges - New Delhi’s heritage luxury hotel for overnight.
Saturday, October 28, 2017, Delhi:
After breakfast drive to the Qutub Minar. This area of the New Delhi was the capital of Chauhan Rajput rulers until the second battle of Taraori in 1192 when Prithvi Raj Chauhan was defeated by the Afghan ruler, Muhammad Ghur. The Afghan conqueror returned back to Ghur in Afghanistan after appointing the commander of his army, Qutubuddin Aibak as his governor in Delhi. Soon after Muhammad Ghur was assassinated in Ghur, Qutubuddin Aibak proclaimed himself the first Sultan of Delhi, a sovereign monarch. He was originally a slave of Muhammad Ghur, who rose among the ranks of his army to become his favorite commander. Qutubuddin Aibak destroyed 20 Hindu and Jain temples to use their material to start the construction of Qutub Jami Mosque – the oldest Islamic mosque in India. Many Islamic rulers of the Sultanate and later periods added to and repaired this tall minaret. An iron pillar in the courtyard that never rusts was originally the (Dhwaja Stambha) flag post of a Hindu Vishnu Temple built by Chandragupta II (375 to 417 CE). The Kufic Islamic calligraphy is unique in this mosque because it was sculpted in red sandstone by Hindu artisans under direction of Islamic scholars. The artisans did not know Arabic language and made the endings of letters curved, as they used to do in Brahmi and Devnagri script of Sanskrit language.
Later drive past the government buildings of India’s capital, planned & designed by the British architect, Edwin Lutyens and his friend Sir Herbert Baker: Office of Prime Minister, Office of Home Minister, President’s official residence, Parliament House and India Gate.
The mausoleum of the second Mughal Emperor Humayun may have served as inspiration for the architecture of the world famous Taj Mahal in Agra. It was built in 1570 during the reign of the 3rd. Mughal Emperor Akbar and its construction was supervised by Emperor Humayun's widow, Haji (Biga) Begum.
Lunch at Gulati’s Restaurant in Khan Market in New Delhi.
In the afternoon stop by the Red Fort for photography from outside - the massive sandstone fort built by Shah Jahan on the banks of river Yamuna, Jama Masjid - is the largest mosque in India and stands across the road from the Red Fort, built by Mughal Emperor Shahjahan 1648 CE. About 20,000 people can pray here at a time.
End the day's sightseeing with a thrilling bicycle rickshaw ride in Chandni Chowk Bazaar. Dinner and overnight in Claridges Hotel.
Sunday, October 29, 2017, New Delhi – Agra:
After breakfast drive on the Yamuna Expressway to Agra. On arrival sightseeing of Itmad-ud-Daulah’s Tomb, the mausoleum designed by Empress Nurjahan, the 20th queen of Emperor Jahangir. She designed the mausoleum and most of the motifs used in its decoration herself. On top of the four arched entrances into the white marble mausoleum, the carvings depict Chikan Embroidery – a special embroidery used nowadays in cotton Kurtas famous from the Lucknow city. The mausoleum was built to honor her parents, Mirza Ghiaz Beg and Begum Asmat. Some other close relatives of the Empress are buried in the corner chambers.
After lunch in Pinch of Spice Restaurant sightseeing of Emperor Akbar’s Agra Fort, built between 1565 to 1573 with red sandstone. Emperor Akbar’s grandson, Emperor Shahjahan demolished some of the original palaces on the eastern side facing the River Yamuna to replace them with majestic white marble edifices. In the last 8 years of his life, Emperor Shahjahan was kept a prisoner in these palaces after his youngest son, Aurangzeb, overthrew him and killed his 3 surviving brothers.
Later marvel at the craftsmanship at a marble factory where traditional artisans still work using similar hand operated implements that their forefathers had used more than 300 years ago when they worked to build the Taj Mahal. On the way to hotel visit Agra’s oldest and best marble inlay factory which is a virtual museum. Some of the work done by their artisans is much finer and delicate than the inlay art work in the Taj Mahal itself.
Dinner and overnight in Taj Gateway Hotel.
Monday, October 30, 2017, Agra:
Before dawn drive a short distance to the world famous Taj Mahal for viewing the world famous monument to love of Emperor Shahjahan to his Queen Begum Mumtaj Mahal. Ample time for sightseeing in the vast walled complex. The Queen died delivering her 14th child at a battlefield camp in west-central India about 1000 miles away in Burhanpur in 1630. The construction of the mausoleum started in 1631 and completed in 1648 according to an inscription on the main gate of the tomb.
After breakfast at hotel visit Sikandara, the tomb of Emperor Akbar. The main gate added to the monument subsequently by his son, Emperor Jahangir. The decorative motifs on this gate suggest that his wife, Empress Nurjahan, who was of Persian origin, may have influenced its construction.
Later visit the Dayalbagh Temple that has been under construction for almost 100 years. Dinner and overnight in Taj Gateway Hotel.
Tuesday, October 31, 2017, Agra – Fatehpur Sikri – Jaipur:
After breakfast at hotel and proceed to Jaipur with stop to visit Fatehpur Sikri, the deserted capital of Emperor Akbar. Sightseeing in Fatehpur Sikri includes the vast Palaces area with a blend of various architectural styles to reflect Emperor Akbar’s tolerant religious philosophy.
After lunch in Umaid Lake Palace Hotel in Dausa drive further to the pink city, Jaipur.
Rest of the afternoon is free for shopping: Demonstrations of wooden block textile printing; woolen carpet weaving; cutting & polishing of semi-precious and precious stones for jewelry.
Dinner and overnight in Trident Hotel.
Wednesday, November 1, 2017, Jaipur – Amber:
After breakfast drive through the walled “Pink City” to stop at Hawa Mahal, a royal parades viewing gallery for the women of Maharaja’s family in which they could watch outside but people outside could not see them.
At the foot of Amber Hill ride a decorated elephant up to the hilltop palaces of Maharaja Man Singh (one of the Navratnas, the 9 most important nobles of Emperor Akbar’s court) and the convex mirror decorated palaces of Mirza Raja Jai Singh.
After lunch at Stag Café opposite Amber Fort, sightseeing of the City Palace of Kachhwaha Maharajas to view the fascinating textiles gallery in Mubarak Mahal, the Sarvatobhadra (Hall of Private Audience) with the two famous Gangajallis (Silver Urns to carry Ganga River water), the colorful courtyard of Chandra Mahal with its Peacock Gate and the “Diwan-i-Am” Art Gallery that houses some of the most famous large paintings of portraits of various Maharajas of Kachhwaha Dynasty of Amber & Jaipur. Stepping out of the City Palace visit the Astronomical Observatory that is largest one built by the founder of Jaipur, Sawai Jai Singh. All except one of its 17 astronomical instruments are still functional. Dinner & overnight in Trident Hotel.
Thursday, November 2, 2017, Jaipur – Pushkar (145 kilometers or 90 miles):
After breakfast drive about 2.5 hours to the Hindu Pilgrimage center of Pushkar famous for India’s oldest Brahma temple and Pushkar Lake. During the annual pilgrimage a huge Camel / Cattle / Horse trading fair takes place in the sandy grounds near the lake. About 30,000 camels, thousands of cattle, horses, sheep and goats etc. are traded during the weeklong fair. After checking) in Pushkar Palace Hotel, visit the fair grounds on camel carts. Later in the afternoon visit the old town, Brahma temple and lakeside at evening Aartee time. Lunch, dinner and overnight in Pushkar Palace Hotel.
Friday, November 3, 2017, Pushkar:
After breakfast full day to explore the Pushkar Camel Fair grounds and the pilgrimage town. Lunch, dinner and overnight in Pushkar Palace Hotel.
Saturday, November 4, 2017, Pushkar – Jodhpur (187 kilometers or 116 miles):
After breakfast drive about 3.5 hours to Jodhpur for lunch and sightseeing of Mehrengarh Fort and Jaswant Thada Memorial.
Lunch, dinner and overnight in Ajit Bhawan Palace Hotel.
Sunday, November 5, 2017, Jodhpur – Ranakpur (171 kilometers or 106 miles) – Udaipur (94 kilometers or 58 miles):
After breakfast drive to Ranakpur for lunch at Fatehbagh Palace Hotel. Later sightseeing of Chowmukha Jain Temple (15th century).
Drive further to Udaipur for dinner and overnight in Trident Hotel.
Monday, November 6, 2017, Udaipur:
After breakfast start the full day’s sightseeing of the Sisodia Dynasty’s City Palace, the largest royal palace in the state of Rajasthan. The Maharanas of Mewar had their original capital in the present day pilgrimage town of Nagda, 30 kilometers or 19 miles north of Udaipur. It was established by the 1st. Maharana, Guhil, in 568 CE. In the 8th century CE the capital was moved to Chittor, where the successive Maharanas built the largest Fort and city in contemporary India. Already before the sacking of Chittorgarh by Mughal Emperor Akbar, in February 1568 after a long siege that began in October 1567, the plans for a new capital were under way.
The construction of the Mewar Dynasty’s City Palace in Udaipur started in 1559 by Maharana Udai Singh and continued by his successors over a period of about 300 years. Today the visitors see the Mardana (male section) and Zanana (female section) of the museum part of the palace. Apart from this two other sections of the palace are converted in to hotels: “The Shiv Niwas Palace” and “The Fateh Prakash Palace”. The descendents of the Maharanas of Mewar still reside in one section of the palace.
After City Palace walk north through the Tripolia (3-arched royal entrance) to the Jagdish Temple that was constructed by Maharana Jagat Singh in 1651 CE.
Enjoy your lunch with magnificent views of Pichola Lake at Ambrai Restaurant in Amet Haveli
In the afternoon visit the Saheliyon-ki-Bari fountain gardens for the women of Maharana’s family. Take a boat ride on Pichola Lake and visit the Jag Mandir Island Palace where Mughal Emperor Shahjahan took refuge while revolting against his father, the Mughal Emperor Jahangir. He was inspired to use marble instead of red sandstone in his palaces and monuments after his stay here. Dinner and overnight in Trident Hotel.
Tuesday, November 7, 2017, Udaipur – Delhi – Kathmandu:
In the morning transfer to Maharana Pratap Airport to board the Indigo flight # 6E525 departing at 7.10 am and arrive in New Delhi airport at 8.25 am. Tea/Coffee/Sandwiches will be available on flight. Connect to Royal Nepal Airlines flight # RA206 departing at 10.40 am and arrive in Tribhuvan International Airport of Kathmandu at 12.40 pm. 2 passport size photographs, US passport valid at least 6 months beyond departure date from Kathmandu and a fee of US$ 25 is required for Nepal Visa on arrival at passport check-in.
After check-in in Hyatt Regency Hotel, lunch will be in city area (5 minutes walking distance from hotel), rest of the afternoon is free to explore Boudhnath Stupa (UNESCO World Heritage Site) and surrounding Buddhist monasteries.
This stupa is one of the largest in South Asia at 36 meters or 118 feet height. This is the center of Buddhism in Nepal. It was built in 18th century by Licchavi rulers. Entry fee to the stupa is included in the price. The area is open 24 hours but the shops close at 7 pm. Some of the important monasteries in the area are: Shechen Tennyi Dargyeling Monastery – Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche built this monastery in 1980. Rabjam Rinpoche established the Shechen Institute for Higher Buddhist studies at this monastery. Over 100 students from across the Himalayas are enrolled in its 9 year curriculum. Many of the students from go on to be teachers across Asia. Khawalung Monastery was founded in 2005 by Lama Jigme Dorjee, who is the spiritual heir of Yogi Master Karma Choying Wangpo. The monastery includes an elementary school, a training school for rites and rituals, an institute for higher Buddhist studies and a retreat. Kopan Monastery was founded in 1971 by Lama Zopa Rinpoche. Monks and nuns from the age of seven come from all over Nepal and other countries including Tibet, India, Bhutan, Sikkim and even Mongolia to attend this Gelugpa monastery to receive a classical education. It is one of the best in Kathmandu Valley.
Wednesday, November 8, 2017, Kathmandu – Nagarkot:
After breakfast full day sightseeing of Boudhnath, Swayambhunath Stupa / Temples and Pashupatinath Hindu Shiva Temple. Lunch will be in Kathmandu City Restaurant. Transfer to Nagarkot for the majestic sunset view of eastern Himalayas with some of the world’s highest mountain peaks.
Dinner and overnight in Club Himalaya Resort in Nagarkot.
Thursday, November 9, 2017, Nagarkot – Bhaktapur – Patan – Kathmandu:
Another amazing view of Himalayan Peaks at Sunrise in Nagarkot. After breakfast transfer for full day sightseeing of Bhaktapur and Patan Darbar Squares with lunch in city restaurant. Later drive to Kathmandu for dinner and overnight in Hyatt Regency Hotel.
Friday, November 10, 2017, Kathmandu – Mt. Everest Flight – Fresno:
Early morning start for the awesome and breathtaking Mount Everest Flight. Short of climbing the Mount Everest this is the closest view of the world’s highest peak that you can have in the comfort of your plane seat. Rest of the day is free to explore Kathmandu on your own. After early dinner transfer to Tribhuvan International Airport to board the return flight to USA.
Saturday, November 11, 2017, Fresno:
Around mid-day arrive in Fresno.
The Price of $ 4,850 per person includes:
- Roundtrip international flight from Fresno to New Delhi
- 14 hotel overnights - 11 hotel overnights in India and 3 hotel overnights in Nepal, in double or twin bedroom accommodation in mentioned 5-star / heritage hotels with gourmet 5-star breakfasts and dinners.
- Lunches in selected, exclusive restaurants during sightseeing
- Deluxe air-conditioned coach for airport & intercity transfers and sightseeing as per the itinerary, all taxes, parking fees, interstate taxes, state taxes, driver’s allowance etc.
- 2 Bottle water per day per person in coach
- Entrances to monuments and museums in India & Nepal as per program
- English speaking separate guides (Nepal & India) throughout the tour
- Assistance at each city by our company representative
- Rickshaw ride in the Bazaar alleys of Old Delhi
- Elephant ride at Amber Fort in Jaipur
- Boat ride in Pichola Lake in Udaipur
- Mount Everest flight in Nepal
- Sunrise visit of Taj Mahal.
- Decorated Tonga/ Camel Cart ride / Battery Bus Ride during visit of Taj Mahal.
- Airfare international flight from Kathmandu, Nepal to New Delhi, India
- Airfare for domestic flight from Udaipur to New Delhi
- 2 days at Pushkar Camel fair
- Farewell dinner with room for wash & change for few hours at Delhi hotel near Airport
- Souvenir gift of the tour
- All current luxury government taxes and GST (9%)
The Above price exclude :
- India Visa Fee. The Visa application can be filled online at: https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/tvoa.html Please call your credit card company to make sure that payment to the bank with account of Government of India Visa on Arrival Program office goes through
- Travel Insurance
- Vaccination: Please consult your personal doctor
- Single room occupancy supplement is US$ 995
- Still and Video camera fees
- Tips to porters in hotels, tips to guide and driver
- Any costs of personal nature like alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks at restaurants and hotels, room service, telephone charges, laundry etc. in hotels
A non-refundable advance payment of $ 2000 is due with registration and the non-refundable balance payment is due 90 days before departure date from Fresno.