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Your Source for  affordable enjoyable, informative, educational, cultural & adventure tours of India and neighboring countries. We custom plan private tours and group tours using hotels of your choice including ancient palace hotels of India. Best prices in USA for best services in Indian sub-continent.

 

INDIA – MADHUBANI ART WORKSHOP TOUR 2016-17
PATNA-VAISHALI-MADHUBANI IN BIHAR, NEW DELHI, AGRA, JAIPUR, NAWALGARH & MANDAWA!

Experience one of the world's oldest art traditions with instructors of the Mithila Art Institute (MAI) in Madhubani and your tour director: Brijesh Sharma – He has guided and escorted about 1500 group tours in India since 1975. During the workshop at MAI you will be inspired by prominent artists and students of the Mithila art tradition to paint your own works. All art materials are included in the price. One day is reserved for visiting the humble art studios in the villages of Madhubani. Mithila Art is believed to have originated in the period of Ramayana when Raja Janak, father of Sita asked townsfolks to paint murals to decorate his palace. Janakpuri today is a popular Hindu pilgrimage place in Nepal just north of Madhubani across the border. The women of Mithila region in northern Bihar and southern Nepal have preserved this ancient tradition for thousands of years. Even today you will view artists homes decorated with murals though most of this traditional painting is now done on rag paper. Visit the ancient historical monuments of India's capital city, New Delhi; be amazed by the beauty of the world famous Taj Mahal in the golden glow of sunrise; and Vaishali, the city that Buddha visited often during his lifetime. Pataliputra was the name of Patna city in post Buddhist period when Megasthanes, the Greek ambassador of Selucus ( the Satrap of Persia appointed by Alexander the Great when he returned home) lived at the court of Emperor Chandragupta Maurya in 322 BCE. The last Guru Gobind Singh of Sikh religion was born in Patna. In Agra visit the tomb of Itmad-ud-Daulah and Emperor Akbar’s Fort. Later visit Fatehpur Sikri on the way to Jaipur. Ride decorated Elephant to the hilltop fort of Amber. In Nawalgarh and Mandawa you will be enchanted by the medieval mural art of Shekhavati region. Your hotel in Mandawa is profusely painted with traditional murals.

Day 1 - Tuesday, December 27, 2016, Fresno - Los Angeles – Hong Kong:
Board the flight from Fresno Yosemite International Airport at 7.15 AM to Los Angeles. (please call for flights from other cities, price may vary – individual transfers between Indira Gandhi International Airport and hotel in New Delhi can be arranged)

Day 2 - Wednesday, December 28, 2016, New Delhi:
Arrive in Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi at 11.55 PM. Reception by our India Representative at airport and transfer to Justa the Residence in Greater Kailash in South Delhi.

Day 3 - Thursday, December 29, 2016, New Delhi:
After breakfast drive to Humayun’s Tomb: visit the magnificent mausoleum of the second Mughal Emperor Humayun. Emperor Akbar designated his mother and the former Emperor’s widow, Hamida Bano Begum, also known as Haji Begum to supervise its construction. This tomb’s design later influenced the architecture of the world famous Taj Mahal. PM: Drive to Mughal Emperor Shahjahan’s Red Fort for viewing from outside. Visit Emperor Shahjahan’s Jama Masjid and enjoy a thrilling Rickshaw Ride through the narrow lanes and Chandni Chowk Bazaar. (Lunch at Gulati’s in Khan Market)

Day 4 - Friday, December 30, 2016, New Delhi – Patna :
After breakfast visit India Gate, drive past Parliament House, Prime Minister’s and Home Minister’s office buildings and Qutub Minar sightseeing – the site where the first Islamic Dynasty was founded by Qutub-Uddin Aibak, a former slave of Mamluk descent who rose to become the commander of Sultan Muhammad Ghur’s army. He demolished Hindu and Jain temples and used the materials including many panels with floral and geometrical Hindu & Jain designs in the first Islamic Mosque in Delhi. Hindu sculptors were employed to sculpt the Surahs from the Quran. They curved the endings of Arabic script as they were used to carving the Hindu Devnagri script earlier for their Hindu patrons. Lunch near Qutub Minar or domestic airport. Board the Indigo flight departing at 2.10 pm and arrive in Patna at 3.45 pm. Rest of afternoon is free at hotel. Overnight in Ashok Patliputra Hotel.

Day 5 - Saturday, December 31, 2016, Patna - Madhubani:
After breakfast drive to arrive in Madhubani at about 1 pm. PM: Drive to  Mithila Art Institute for an Art Workshop from 1 to 5 pm with faculty and students of the Mithila Art Institute: This institute offers Mithila Painting Education to about 30 students each year free of cost. Some poor students, mostly young women from nearby villages get transport cost also. A few best students get an additional one year of art education free of cost. You will meet these talented students, paint your own Mithila art paintings with them and their teachers, and later view some of the finest art work of present and former students in the institute’s collection. If you like you can buy the paintings. Dinner and overnight at Madhuyamini Inn

Day 6 - Sunday, January 1, 2017, Madhubani:
After breakfast full day at Mithila Art Institute for Painting workshop and viewing of student art work.

Day 7 - Monday, January 2, 2017, Madhubani Villages:
After breakfast drive to Ranti village to meet Santosh Das, who earned his BFA from Baroda in Gujarat and served as the founding Director of Mithila Art Institute. Later visit the homes of other artists nearby to view their art works. PM: Visit Jitwarpur village to view the art work of Urmila Devi, a renowned female Mithila artist of Dusadh (farmer caste). The Dusadh Mithila painting is known for using the Tatoo motifs in their art work. Dinner and overnight in Madhuyamini Inn.

Day 8 - Tuesday, January 3, 2017, Madhubani – West Champaran Village - Vaishali – Patna:
After breakfast drive to Vaishali for sightseeing of Buddhist Archaeological sites. Buddha made one of his earliest female disciples, Amrapali, a courtesan from Pataliputra (now Patna), in this place. He also predicted his Nirwana here before going to Kushinagar where he passed away. Near Vaishali is the Kundalpur, Jain religion pilgrimage site of the birth of Vardhaman Mahavir, the 24th and last Tirthankar or teacher of Jain religion who was contemporary of Buddha. On the way to Vaishali stop in West Champaran to see the Goddess Saraswati sculptor studios in the village. Drive further to birthplace of Guru Gobind Singh, the 12th and last teacher of Sikh religion, on the banks of Ganga River in Patna. Overnight in Ashok Patliputra Hotel.

Day 9 - Wednesday, January 4, 2016, Patna - New Delhi - Agra:
After breakfast sightseeing of the Patna Museum with archaeological artifacts from Mauryan Dynasty (circa 300 BCE), Stop for photographing the Granery – a semi-spherical construction of British East India Company period and then visit the Khuda Baksh Library for a demonstration of Mughal miniature paintings projected on a large screen. After lunch drive to airport to board the Indigo flight departing at 2.25 pm and arrive in Delhi at 4.05 pm. Drive to Agra. Dinner and overnight in Taj Vilas Hotel.

Day 10 - Thursday, January 4, 2017, Agra:
Early morning visit the Taj Mahal in the glow of sunrise. Ample time to view and photograph the vast south courtyard and the Charbagh Gardens, the white marble mausoleum, and the mosque on its eastern side.

After breakfast wonder at the inlay art work demonstration by traditional artists whose forefathers had worked to decorate the Taj Mahal and whose art is much finer than the decoration of the Taj Mahal.

Later visit Emperor Akbar’s Agra Fort. Emperor Akbar lived in this fort before he moved to Fatehpur Sikri and later returned to live there again.

Later visit the mausoleum of Itmad-ud-Daulah, that was designed by Empress Nurjahan for her parents, Mirza Ghiaz Beg and Begum Asmat. Nurjahan’s brother was father of Arjumand Bano Begum who received the title of Mumtaj Mahal and Emperor Shahjahan built the Taj Mahal for her. Overnight in Taj Vilas Hotel. . (lunch at Pinch of Spice Restaurant).

Day 11 - Friday, January 6, 2017, Agra - Fatehpur Sikri - Laxmi Vilas Palace - Jaipur:
After breakfast drive about an hour to the deserted capital of Fatehpur Sikri. Emperor Akbar did not have a male heir to his throne for a long time. He came to the Sikri village to seek the blessings of the Sufi saint, Sheikh Salim Chistie, who prophesied that Emperor Akbar would have three sons.

The emperor moved with his Hindu queen, Jodha Bai, to Sikri village to live with the saint and started building an alternative capital at the site which was earlier a query for red sandstone. The entire capital was built with red sandstone from the ridge on which it is located. The first born son was named Salim after the Sufi saint. The second was named Murad or longed one. The third son was named Daniel, probably influenced by the Jesuit priests from Goa who were invited by the Emperor to teach him about Christianity. Emperor Akbar developed the philosophy of “Sulah Qul” – living in harmony with all religions. Later he developed his own religion, Din-i-Ilahi or faith of God. His dear friend and official biographer, Abul Fazl, was among the first to convert to the new religion which he described in “Akbar Nama”. Visit the grand Friday “Jama Masjid” and the mausoleum of Sheikh Salim Chistie, which was renovated using the white marble by later Mughal Emperors. After Emperor Akbar moved away from this capital, living there only 14 years, the capital was deserted for more than 400 years until Lord Curzon, British Viceroy of India ordered the Archaeological Survey of India to restore this fascinating capital and this renovation work is still going on. The palaces were all covered with wild forest and wild animals lived in the palaces. The “Dargah” or mausoleum of the saint was never deserted and people from Agra and nearby villages have been coming there to seek the saint’s blessings for centuries.

Drive half an hour to Laxmi Vilas Palace for lunch and then drive about four hours to Jaipur.

Overnight in Nahargarh Haveli.

Day 12 - Saturday, January 7, 2017, Jaipur:
After breakfast full day sightseeing of Amber and Jaipur starting with a drive through the walled pink city to Hawa Mahal, which is mere facade with about 3 feet deep balconies behind latticed screens where royal family ladies used to sit to watch the royal processions on the street. Drive further north through pink city to Amber Fort where you will enjoy a royal elephant ride to the hilltop palaces of Sawai Jai Singh, Mirza Raja Jai Singh and Maharaja Man Singh (one of nine jewels of Emperor Akbar’s cabinet of nobles). On the way back stop at the Jal Mahal Island Palace.

After lunch visit the City Palace including the Royal portraits gallery in the Diwan-i-Am (Hall of Public Audience), the Diwan-i-Khas (Hall of Private Audience), the southern Mor Chowk (peacock) courtyard of Chandra Mahal, the palace where the present head of the Jaipur royal still resides. When he is in the building the family’s royal flag flies on its roof. Later wonder at the 17 working astronomical instruments of the Jantar Mantar observatory of Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh. Overnight in Nahargarh Haveli. (lunch at Surabhi Restaurant)

Day 13 - Sunday, January 8, 2017, Jaipur – Nawalgarh - Mandawa:
Drive to Nawalgarh for visiting the Anandilal Poddar and Murarka Haveli that have some of the finest Shekhavati mural art. Shekhavati is a region between north of Jaipur and south of Bikaner in north-eastern Rajasthan which is often called an open mural art museum. Marwari silk road merchants used to live here and trade between central Asia and sea-ports of Gujarat state. When British developed the port cities of Mumbai and Kolkata, they moved to these cities but kept their aristocratic mansions in their ancient home towns in Shekhavati region. These palaces are profusely painted with mural depicting a wide variety of motifs in their interiors and exteriors. After lunch at Roop Niwas Palace or some other restaurant on the way, drive to Mandawa for overnight in Heritage Mandawa Hotel, which is also profusely decorated with mural art work

Day 14 - Monday, January 9, 2017, Mandawa:
Full day sightseeing of Hanuman Prasad Goenka, Goenka Double, Jhunjhunwala, Murmuria, Gulab Rai Ladia and Mohanlal Saraf Havelis (palatial residences of silk road merchants). If possible we may visit Mandawa Castle also to view the murals there. Overnight in Heritage Mandawa Haveli.

Day 15 - Tuesday, January 10, 2017, Mandawa - Gurgaon:
After breakfast drive to Gurgaon with stop on the way for lunch at Chandni Midway Restaurant in Narnaul village. Farewell dinner at Justa the Residence in Gurgaon.

Day 16 - Wednesday, January 11, 2017, New Delhi Los Angeles - Fresno:
Transfer to Indira Gandhi International Airport to board the flight departing at 1.25 AM. Arrive in Hong Kong at 9.10 AM. Depart from Hong Kong at 10.15 AM and arrive in Los Angeles Airport at 6.40 AM. Depart with flight from Los Angeles at 6.40 AM to arrive in Fresno at 12 PM.

The price of US$ 3,195 includes:

  • International round trip flight from Fresno to New Delhi – flights from other cities can be arranged with price variation
  • Accommodation for 13 overnights on twin/double sharing basis with breakfast and dinner.
  • 2 domestic flights from New Delhi to Patna and from Patna to New Delhi
  • Lunches in city restaurants during day time sightseeing. In some places lunches will be in hotel.
  • All transfers, sightseeing, excursions by air-conditioned deluxe coach
  • 2 bottles of water in coach per person daily
  • Assistance at the arrival and departure from each city
  • Entrances to monuments
  • Elephant ride at Amber
  • All presently applicable taxes
  • All parking, toll taxes & state taxes
  • Service of English speaking local guide as per program – in Madhubani and intercity Brijesh will guide
  • Government general sales tax as applicable in India

Tour Price Exclusions:

  • Single room supplement of US$ 510
  • Camera fee at the Monument in India Portion (guest can pay this directly at the time of visits).
  • Any personal expenses such as laundry bills, telephone bills, Ayurvedic Treatments or massage etc.
  • Tips and other such cost, to the drivers ($ 2 per person per day), guides ($ 2 per person per day), porters ($ 1 per person) etc.
  • Any losses due to political or natural disturbances or flight delay or flight cancellation.
  • Anything not specifically mentioned under the head “Prices inclusions column”

PAYMENTS:

An advance deposit of $ 1,700 is payable with registration. Balance payment of $ 1495 is payable before or on September 27, 2016.

Our 'California Seller of Travel' registration # is 2083736-40 since June 2006. We participate in the Travel Consumer Restitution Corporation as per the rules of the State of California.