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1-559-446-0499 - brij@IndiaTravelerUsa.com

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.

 


8 days – 7 Overnights (with Optional Extension Tours)


Spirit of India Private Tour:

New Delhi, Varanasi, Khajuraho, Agra and Jaipur - This amazing voyage in north India includes the most important historical and cultural sites in the nation's capital, New Delhi; the medieval Mughal capital Agra that is famous for the Taj Mahal & Fatehpur Sikri, the capital for 14 years of the Mughal Emperor Akbar that was then deserted for almost 400 years until the early years of 20th. century. The ancient Kachhwaha Rajput capital of Amber and the 17th. century built walled city of Jaipur offer breathtaking sights and sounds. A short flight from Delhi brings you to Hinduism's holiest and most ancient city, Varanasi and the archaeological site of Sarnath, the deer park north of Varanasi where Buddha preached his first sermon to his initial five disciples setting in motion the 'Dharmachakra', the wheel of religion. Another short flight from Varanasi brings you to the world famous Hindu and Jain temples from 10th. century that were built under the patronage of Chandela Rajput rulers of central India. Optional extension tours are mentioned in the itinerary below:

Day 01 // Delhi:
Arrive in Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi. Traditional welcome with fresh marigold flower garland and transfer to hotel for overnight.

Day 02 // Delhi:
After breakfast proceed for sightseeing of New Delhi - Qutub Minar- its construction was initiated by Qutubudin-Aibak in 1199 CE upon becoming the first Sultan of Delhi; second Mughal Emperor Humayun's Tomb - its architecture may have influenced the construction of the Taj Mahal in Agra; Baha'i Lotus Temple - this distinctive lotus shaped marvel in marble is a symbol of peace; India Gate (the war memorial), Parliament House and Presidents House (from outside). 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. Enjoy a cycle rickshaw ride in the narrow lanes of old Delhi near Jama Masjid and broad, grand Chandni Chowk avenue. Overnight stay in hotel in New Delhi.

Optional ExtensionTours: Add an extra overnight in Delhi to visit one or more of the three important museums of Delhi: National Museum of artifacts from Indian and foreign antiquity and archaeological excavations, ancient coins, miniature paintings, manuscripts, Buddhist artifacts including the holy relics of Buddha from Kapilvastu where he spent his childhood and youth and/or National Gallery of Modern Art in the former palace of the Maharaja of Jaipur near India Gate and / or Craft Museum where you can witness fine traditional crafts in folk painting, textiles, terracotta figurines and pottery, wood carvings etc. and / or visit the Akshardham Swami Narayan Temple - capital's largest Hindu temple (about 3 hours required for temple sightseeing).

Day 03 // Delhi - Varanasi:
After breakfast drive to Delhi domestic airport to board flight to Varanasi, arrival & transfer to hotel. sightseeing of temples in the ancient city - Sankat Mochan Mandir dedicated to Hanuman & Durga Mata Mandir dedicated to Goddess Durga,and the Bharat Kala Bhawan Art Museum in the Banaras Hindu University campus area. In the afternoon visit the Man Mandir Palace with astronomical observatory of Sawai Jai Singh of Amber and Jaipur, and temples on the Ghats. Man Mandir Palace was built by Maharaja Mansingh I of Amber, who was one of Navratnas (9 Jewels of Emperor Akbar's court). Sawai Jai Singh II, the builder of the walled Jaipur city, constructed one of his 5 astronomical observatories on the roof of Man Mandir Palace. The instruments are functional in this observatories but because of higher buildings in the neighborhood, they cannot be used in afternoon hours when sun is near the western horizon. In the evening enjoy the Ganga Aartee, a unique oil lamps prayer ceremony on the banks of the River. This interesting ritual takes place in the evening on Dasasvamedha Ghat, just below Man Mandir Palace. The view of the Aartee ritual from the boats in Ganga river is fascinating and memorable. Overnight in hotel in Varanasi.


Day 04 // Varanasi – Khajuraho:
Early morning boat ride on River Ganga to view the Hindu rituals at sunrise. After breakfast check-out and drive a short distance to Sarnath, where Buddha preached his first sermon more than 2500 years ago. Visit the vast the archaeological site and the archeological museum just outside. The Lion capital from Mauryan period under Ashoka the Great that was declared the national emblem of free India is preserved in this museum. Later transfer to airport to board the flight to Khajuraho. The Varanasi airport has a restaurant serving sandwiches and snack as well as hot & cold beverages. After arrival half day sightseeing of the three Hindu - the most important temples in Hindu section are Varaha (dedicated to boar incarnation of Vishnu), Lakshman Temple, Kandaria Mahadeo Temple (dedicated to Shiva) and Jagdambi Temple dedicated to mother goddess Durga. Overnight in hotel in Khajuraho.

Day 05 // Khajuraho – Orchha – Jhansi – Agra:
After breakfast sightseeing of Jain Temple Group and drive to Orchha. After lunch at Orchha Resort, sightseeing of Orchha Fort and the two Hindu Temples (including one with the murals) on the way to Jhansi. Transfer to railway station to board the Bhopal Shatabdi Express or the Taj Express Train). Arrival in Agra & transfer to hotel for overnight.

Optional Extension Tours:
Get off the train at Gwalior, the capital of the former central Indian Maratha kingdom of Scindia Maharajas to visit their grand palace and the Gwalior Fort that towers over the entire city. Gwalior fort is very old and contains ancient Jain sculptures and Hindu temples apart from the medieval palaces.

A short drive from Gwalior is the small town of Datia. The palace of Datia in red sandstone was built by the same Bundela clan of ruler who built the fort in Orchha. Edwin Lutyens, the architect and town planner of the British East India Company's capital, New Delhi, was very impressed by the decorative elements in Datia Palace and he incorporated many of these features in the Viceroy's Mansion that is now the Rashtrapati Bhawan and the Secretariat buildings that are now Prime Minister's and Home Minister's offices. It takes about 4 hours to drive from Datia to Agra.

Day 06 // Agra:
Early in the morning we drive a short distance to the world famous mausoleum of the Mughal Queen, Arjumand Bano Begum, Taj Mahal before dawn. After marriage with Mughal Prince Khurram (Later crowned as Emperor Shahjahan) Arjumand was honored with the title of Begum Mumtaj Mahal or the Queen Crown of the Palace. Ample time for sightseeing in the vast walled complex. After breakfast at hotel 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. Drive to the Red Fort of Agra for sightseeing of the red sandstone palaces of Emperor Akbar and the white marble palace that his grandson Emperor Shahjahan replaced. Emperor Aurangzeb, the son of Emperor Shahjahan kept his own father, Emperor Shahjahan, a prisoner in his own palaces in Agra Fort for the last 8 years of his life.

Later visit the beautiful white marble mausoleum of Mirza Ghiaz Beg and his wife Begum Asmat, the parents of Empress Nurjahan and paternal grandparents of Begum Mumtaj Mahal. The mausoleum was designed by Empress Nurjahan probably based on the design of Emperor Babur's unfinished, temporary tomb nearby. The decoration has a distinct feminine and Persian character - notice the Chikan embroidery engraved in the four main marble arched gateways. Overnight in hotel in Agra.



Optional Extension Tours:
Sur Sarovar Bird Sanctuary with Bear Rescue Center that has 256 black Himalayan bears and the Elephant Sanctuary (both these are inside the bird sanctuary) and / or
visit the archaeological Museum at Mathura that has India's largest collections of Kushan, Gandhar and Gupta period sculptures and /or Krishna Janmabhumi - the birthplace of Bhagwan Krishna, the incarnation of Vishnu and / or the ISCKON Hare Krishna Temple in Vrindavan.

Day 07 // Agra – Fatehpur Sikri- Jaipur:
Breakfast at hotel and proceed to Jaipur with stop to visit Fatehpur Sikri, the deserted capital of Emperor Akbar. Visit the palaces complex and the mosque with white marble tomb of Sufi saint Sheikh Salim Chistie after driving 40 kilometers or 25 miles from Agra. Later proceed to Jaipur & check into hotel.

After lunch 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 Mughal and Rajasthani miniature paintings.

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. Of the other observatories the one in New Delhi is not functional, the one on the roof of Manmandir Palace in Varanasi is partly functional but the one in Ujjain is very well maintained and fully functional. Dinner & Overnight in hotel.


Optional Extension Tours:
Keoladeo Ghana Bird Sanctuary in Bharatpur where about 150 Indian species of birds reside throughout the year and another 150 species of migratory birds arrive from Tibet, China, Mongolia, Siberia and even Scandinavia. This requires one overnight in Bharatpur.
About an hour before arriving in Jaipur is the town of Dausa that is quite close to Chand Baori - the world's deepest stepwell and the Hindu temple of goddess Harshat Mata, there is a large collection of sculptures found in the vicinity here.
Just before entering Jaipur in the valley of Aravali Mountains is the Garden Palace of Sisodia Rani (Queen of Sawai Jai Singh belonging to the royal house of Mewar in Udaipur) and
further in the same valley is the Hindu pilgrimage center of Galta with a natural water spring and many beautiful Temples.

Optional Extension Tour: Udaipur and Ranakpur -




After dinner in Jaipur transfer to railway station to board the overnight train in first class air-conditioned compartment to Udaipur. Overnight in train. Next morning arrival at Udaipur Railway Station. Transfer to hotel. After breakfast sightseeing of the City Palace of the Maharanas of Udaipur and the Hindu Jagdish Temple just outside the palace gates. After lunch boat ride on Pichola Lake to view Jagniwas Lake Palace and sightseeing of Jagmandir Island Palace. Overnight in hotel in Udaipur.
Next day a full day excursion by road to Chaturmukh Jain Temple dedicated to the first Tirthankar (there were 24 Tirthankars or teachers in Jain religion, the last of whom was Vardhaman Mahavir who was contemporary to Buddha) at Ranakpur.




Day 08 // Jaipur – Delhi – USA:

After breakfast a short drive north of walled Pink City to the ancient capital of Kachchwaha rulers on the hilltop at Amber where you ride on beautifully decorated elephants to the palaces of Maharaja Mansingh (1589 to 1614 CE) that were originally decorated with fresco paintings and those of Mirza Raja Jai Singh (1621 to 1667 CE) with the interiors decorated with interiors laminated with beautiful patterns of convex mirrors and inlay of black marble in white marble on the bottom of the walls. After lunch drive to Gurgaon for farewell dinner and later transfer to Indira Gandhi International Airport for flight back to USA.



Optional Extension Tours:
One overnight in Samode Palace, at a distance of about one hour's drive from Jaipur, a luxurious palace famous for its glass mosaic palace halls and located in a quiet valley.
105 kilometers or 65 miles from the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi is the ancient fort of Neemrana, perched on hilltop. It is an ideal place to relax before the international flight.

PRICE with following hotels includes:

Destinations

Using 3* Hotels or Similar

Using 4* Hotels or Similar

Using 5* Hotels or Similar

No of Nights

Delhi

Justa The Residence

The Muse Sarovar

The Oberoi Maiden / Le Meridien

02

Varanasi

Vibhav Harsh

Ramada Varanasi

Gateway Ganges

01

Khajuraho

Hotel Harmony

Ramada

Jass Radisson

01

Agra

Taj Vilas / Atulya Taj

Crystal Sarovar Premier

Trident / ITC Mughal

02

Jaipur

Umaid Mahal / Leisure Inn

Lemon Tree Premier

Trident / Mariott

02

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Call or email Brij for prices with above mentioned hotels or other hotels of your choice and to custom design your own Spirit of India Private Tour!

Above prices include the following services:-

  • 8 nights’ accommodation in the mentioned or similar hotels inclusive of taxes.
  • Daily buffet breakfast at your hotels.
  • AC Tata Indigo or Toyota Itios car for 02 Pax / Toyota Innova Van or similar vehicle for 04 Pax  and Tempo Traveller van for 06 – 10 Persons with driver on full time basis.
  • Bottled water 2 per day in car
  • English speaking local guides at each city for city tour only as per program
  • Assistance at each city by our company representative
  • 01 Rickshaw ride at Jama Mosque in Delhi.
  • 01 Elephant ride at Amber Fort in Jaipur.
  • Common boat ride over River Ganges / Varanasi
  • All taxes, parking fees, interstate taxes, state taxes, driver’s allowance etc.
  • Farewell dinner as mentioned above

EXCLUSIONS:

  • India Visa Fees (India visa can be applied for online in USA and collected on arrival at Indian airport)
  • International/Domestic airfare will be conveyed at the time of the booking
  • Lunches and dinners
  • International Travel Insurance - we offer Travel Guard Insurance
  • Expenses of personal nature such as drinks, telephone, laundry bills etc.
  • Tips and porter charges
  • Any additional expenses incurred due to any flight delay or cancellation, weather conditions, political closures, technical faults etc.
  • Any other service/s not specified above

PAYMENT:

An advance payment of US$ 500 is required with registration. Balance is due and payable 90 days before departure date from US airport.

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.