The Moghuls have the unique distinction of being the builders of the most famous buildings, gardens, tombs and mausoleums in India. Amongst their outstanding aesthetic creations are the Taj Mahal, Shalimar Garden, the spectacular Jama Masjid, Badhshahi Mosque, Red Forts in Delhi & Agra as well as many more. Our tour provides an experience of India as it was in the Mughal Raj heyday.
|UNESCO World Heritage Sites covered in this tour|
|1.||Agra Fort||6.||Qutb Minar and its Monuments, Delhi|
|2.||Fatehpur Sikri||7.||Red Fort Complex, Delhi|
|3.||Hill Forts of Rajasthan||8.||Taj Mahal, Agra|
|4.||Humayun's Tomb, Delhi||9.||The Jantar Mantar, Jaipur|
|5.||Khajuraho Group of Monuments|
|Tour Duration||:||15 days|
|Min. Tour Size||:||02 persons|
|Max. Tour Size||:||15 persons|
|Includes international air|
|Tour Price (from)||:||US$|
Day 01: Arrive Delhi (Flight)
Arrival. Namaste! We are warmly welcomed the traditional Indian way with hands clapped together at the airport and transferred to our hotel. The remainder of the day is free to relax.
Overnight: Jaypee Vasant Continental (3 nights)
Day 02: Delhi
We start our morning with a tour of New Delhi, with a visit to Birla House, the former residence of Mahatma Gandhi, before his assassination in 1948. We then visit the famous India Gate, a war memorial located astride the Rajpath, on the eastern edge of the ‘ceremonial axis’ of New Delhi. We then drive by the Houses of Parliament and Connaught Place to Humayun's Tomb*. This tomb, built in 1570, is of particular cultural significance as it was the first garden-tomb on the Indian subcontinent. It inspired several major architectural innovations, culminating in the construction of the Taj Mahal. We continue to the Qutub Minar and its Monuments*. Built in the early 13th century the red sandstone tower of Qutub Minar at 73 metres (240 ft.), is the tallest brick minaret in the world. The surrounding archaeological area contains funerary buildings, notably the magnificent Alai-Darwaza Gate, a masterpiece of Indo-Muslim art and two mosques. In the evening we enjoy a sumptuous welcome dinner at a renowned local restaurant. (B, D)
Day 03: Delhi
Today we explore Old Delhi, starting with the Red Fort Complex*. Named for its massive enclosing walls of red sandstone, it is adjacent to an older fort, the Salimgarh, built by Islam Shah Suri in 1546, with which it forms the Red Fort Complex. The Red Fort is considered to represent the zenith of Mughal creativity which, under Shah Jahan, was brought to a new level of refinement. Each pavilion reveals architectural elements typical of Mughal building, reflecting a fusion of Persian, Timurid and Hindu traditions. After visiting the Red Fort, we embark on a captivating journey on board a rickshaw, travelling through the narrow lanes of the renowned Chandni Chowk Bazaar, dating to the 17th Century. To this day it remains one of the busiest markets in Delhi. Our rickshaw ride ends at the Masjid-i Jahan-Numa commonly known as Jama Masjid. Built in the 17th century it is one of India's largest mosques. We then proceed to Raj Ghat, a black marble platform that marks the spot of Mahatma Gandhi's cremation.
Please Note: Red Fort and Birla House are closed on Mondays and Chandni Chowk is closed on Sundays.
Day 04: Delhi/Jaipur (Drive)
After breakfast we drive Jaipur, the capital and largest city of Rajasthan. Upon arrival we check in to the hotel. Rest of the day is free.
Overnight: Hilton Hotel, Jaipur (2 nights) (B)
Day 05: Jaipur
This morning we are treated like the royalty of yesteryear with an elephant ride up to Amber Fort, which is located high on a hill in the Aravalli Range. Amber Fort is known for its artistic Hindu style elements. With its large ramparts and series of gates and cobbled paths, the fort overlooks Maota Lake. Constructed of red sandstone and marble, the attractive, opulent palace is laid out on four levels, each with a courtyard. The construction of the fort began in 1592. It shows the evolution from the purely defensive fort settlements of the early medieval period to the palace fortress type of architecture typified in the 16th century. This palace fortress was never attacked or invaded. The fort comprises of number of gardens, courtyards and palatial spaces derived from Mughal architecture and is a distinguished example of 17th century Rajput architecture. After our visit, we return to Jaipur to visit the majestic City Palace, which houses a rare collection of Indian art and the beautiful Hawa Mahal, the Palace of Winds, where the ladies of the royal harem used to watch the city from behind the intricately carved facade. We also visit the Jantar Mantar*, an astronomical observation site built in the early 18th century that includes a set of some 20 main fixed instruments designed for the observation of astronomical positions with the naked eye. It is an expression of the astronomical skills and cosmological concepts of the court of a scholarly prince at the end of the Mughal period. Afterwards we have time to wander through the bazaars for shopping or simply soak up the atmosphere and cultural experience. Jaipur is noted for its craftsmen, skilled in brass inlay, lacquer work and stone setting. (B)
Day 06: Jaipur/Agra (Drive)
After breakfast we drive to Fatehpur Sikri*. Built during the second half of the 16th century by the Emperor Akbar. Known as the ‘City of Victory’, it was made capital by the Mughal emperor Akbar (1556-1605 AD) and constructed between 1571 and 1573 AD. Fatehpur Sikri was the first planned city of the Mughals marked by magnificent administrative, residential and religious buildings comprised of palaces, public buildings, mosques, living areas for the court, the army, the servants of the king and an entire city. Upon moving the capital to Lahore in 1585 AD, Fatehpur Sikri remained as an area for temporary visits by the Mughal emperors. The complex of monuments and temples, all in a uniform architectural style, includes one of the largest mosques in India, the Jama Masjid and the artistically designed mausoleum of the revered Sufi saint, Salim Chisty. From here we continue to Agra. On arrival we check in our hotel. The remainder of the day is free.
Overnight: Jaypee Palace, Agra (1 night) (B)
Day 07: Agra
This morning, before sunrise, we visit one of the most famous monuments in the world, the Taj Mahal*. An immense mausoleum of white marble, built in Agra between 1631 and 1648 by order of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his most beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal. Situated on the right bank of the Yamuna river in a vast Mogul garden, this funerary monument combines elements and styles of Persian, Central Asian and Islamic architecture. For its construction, masons, stone-cutters, inlayers, carvers, painters, calligraphers, dome builders and other artisans were requisitioned from the whole of the empire and also from the Central Asia and Iran. After our visit to the Taj Mahal we return to hotel for breakfast. Later we visit Agra Fort*, also known as the Red Fort of Agra. This powerful fortress of red sandstone encompasses, within its 2.5-km-long enclosure walls, the imperial city of the Mughal rulers, dating to the 16th century. It comprises many fairy-tale palaces, such as the Jahangir Palace and the Khas Mahal, built by Shah Jahan; audience halls, such as the Diwan-i-Khas; and two very beautiful mosques. Later we have free time for shopping for replicas of the Taj, handicrafts and various other curios that the descendants of the builders of the Taj are famous for crafting. (B)
Please Note: Taj Mahal is closed on Fridays. On nights with a Full Moon the Taj Mahal's pure white marble shimmers silver in the moonlight and is open to visitors. We can arrange for an optional tour to enjoy this very special occasion.
Day 08: Agra/Gwalior (Drive)
Today we drive to the former princely state of Gwalior. Here we explore Gwalior Fort, which dates to the 8th century. The fort consists of a defensive structure and two main palaces, Gurjari Mahal and Man Mandir, built by Man Singh Tomar. The fort has been controlled by a number of different rulers in its history. The Gurjari Mahal palace was built for Queen Mrignayani. It is now an archaeological museum. The oldest record of "zero" in the world was found in a small temple, which is located on the way to the top. The inscription is around 1500 years old. We will also see the Siddhachal Jain Temple Caves were built in 7th to 15th century. There are eleven Jain temples inside Gwalior fort and on the southern side are 21 temples cut into the rock with intricately carvings.
Overnight: Usha Kiran Palace, Gwalior (1 night) (B)
Day 09: Gwalior/Orchha (Train)/Khajuraho (Drive)
Today we board our express train to Jhansi. Shatabdi Express trains are fully air-conditioned and we get to enjoy a complimentary meal. We then continue to visit Orchha, an amazing medieval fortress- city located on the shores of the Betwa River. The fort consists of several connected buildings erected at different times, the most noteworthy of which are the Raja Mahal and the Jahangir Mahal. After our tour we proceed to Khajuraho and check in our hotel.
Overnight: Radisson Jass Hotel, Khajuraho (1 night) (B)
Day 10: Khajuraho/Varanasi (Flight)
In the morning we explore the Khajuraho Group of Monuments* The temples at Khajuraho were built during the Chandella dynasty, which reached its apogee between 950 and 1050. Today only 20 temples remain and they fall into three distinct groups and belonging to the religions of Hinduism and Jainism. They strike a perfect balance between architecture and sculpture. The Temples are decorated with a profusion of sculptures that are among the greatest masterpieces of Indian art. In the afternoon we take a short flight to the holy city of Varanasi, one of the oldest living cities in the world. On arrival we are transferred to our hotel.
Overnight: The Gateway Hotel Ganges, Varanasi (2 nights) (B)
Day 11: Varanasi
In the early morning we take boat ride at sunrise on the River Ganges for a most serene experience. One of the cardinal principles of Hinduism is the belief in the holiness of the Ganges. Every morning scores of pilgrims and priests fill the riverbanks bathing in the holy waters and performing various other rituals. Watching this unique experience literally transports us to another world. We return to our hotel for breakfast and then explore Sarnath, the site of Lord Buddha's first sermon after attaining enlightenment. The Ancient Buddhist Site of Sarnath contains Chaukhandi Stupa, a lofty brick structure crowned with an octagonal tower that commemorates the spot where the Buddha met his first disciples, dating back to the fifth century or earlier and later enhanced by the addition of an octagonal tower of Islamic origin. In recent years it is undergoing restoration. and the remains of several stupas, monasteries and Ashokan column inscribed with edicts by the Mauryan king Ashoka during his reign in the 3rd century BC. In the afternoon we explore old Varanasi, visiting the Bharat Mata Temple, which houses a huge marble relief map of India; the Durga Temple, the Tulsi Manas Mandir beside the Banaras Hindu University and the Mosque of Mughal Emperor Aurangazeb. The city is famous also for its silk sarees and we visit some of the houses where the beautiful silk sarees are woven. In the evening we return to the banks of the Ganges to witness the devotional ceremony of Aarti performed by devout Hindus after sunset. (B)
Day 12: Varanasi/Lucknow (Drive)
After breakfast we drive to Lucknow. Lucknow has always been known as a multicultural city that flourished as a North Indian cultural and artistic hub and the seat of power of Nawabs in the 18th and 19th centuries. Lucknow is also famous for its gold and silver brocades, silverware, clay figurines and pottery. On arrival in Lucknow, we check in at our hotel. Remainder of the day is free to relax.
Overnight: Vivanta by Taj Gomtinagar, Lucknow (2 nights) (B)
Day 13: Lucknow
We start our exploration of Lucknow with a visit to the ruins of the Residency, which served as a refuge for about 3,000 British inhabitants, during the revolt of 1857. We then visit the Bara Imambara built in 1784 by the Nawab Asaf ud Daula. The architecture of the complex reflects the maturation of ornamented Mughal design, namely the Badshahi Mosque - it is one of the last major projects not incorporating any European elements or the use of iron. The main imambara consists of a large vaulted central chamber containing the tomb of Asaf-ud-Daula. We then admire the Hussainabad Clock Tower, one of the finest examples of British Architecture in India dating to 1887. We then marvel at the Jama Masjid, started in 1840 by Mohammad Ali Shah and completed by his wife Begum Malika Jahan after his death. This splendid mosque was built in the typical Mughal style. After the tour we return to our hotel. In the evening, we enjoy a guided culinary walk of Lucknow, trying the delicacies offered by traditional roadside eateries. We are given our own set of cutlery and dining ware that allow us to experience the best food, without worrying about hygiene. After the tasting tour we return to our hotel. (B, D)
Day 14: Lucknow/Delhi (Train)
The morning is free to relax or indulge in some local shopping. In the afternoon we are transferred to the railway station to take our train to Delhi. Upon arrival in Delhi we are transferred to our hotel.
Overnight: Vivanta by Taj Dwarka, Delhi (1 night) (B)
Day 15: Depart Delhi
Today we are transferred to the airport for our flight home. We bid farewell to India after what will have been a memorable journey into history, culture, art and architecture. (B)
B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner
English Speaking Departures (Please contact us for information on French, German, Italian and Spanish speaking departures).
Jan 08; Feb 05; Mar 05; Apr 02; May 07; Jun 04; Jul 02; Aug 06; Sep 03; Oct 01; Nov 05*; Dec 03
(*) what's this?
Tour PriceWe accept payment in US $ (US Dollars), CA $ (Canadian Dollars) or equivalent EURO (for clients outside North America). Bestway Tours & Safaris offers conversion rate protection. Once full payment has been received, and no modification has been made to the tour itinerary, we will honour that rate. For complete payment procedures, please click here
|Options||Per Person on Twin Sharing||Single Room Supplement|
|VALIDITY (Jan 01, 2017 to Mar 31, 2017)|
|Accommodation||US$ 2675||US$ 895|
|Domestic air||US$ 155|
|VALIDITY (Apr 01, 2017 to Sep 30, 2017)|
|Accommodation||US$ 2285||US$ 595|
|Domestic air||US$ 155|
|VALIDITY (Oct 01, 2017 to Dec 31, 2017 except between Dec 23 to Jan 03)|
|Accommodation||US$ 2950||US$ 926|
|Domestic air||US$ 155|
The price are on Per Person basis - All prices are subject to any revision of tax and tariff structure.
Estimated International Airfare (International airfare is NOT included in this tour)
This tour operates on a minimum of 02 and a maximum of 15 participants
If you would like to have a tour on dates other than the above ones or with a customised itinerary, please contact us and we will be happy to work out an exclusive program for you.
You may e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-604-264-7378. Residents of U.S.A./Canada may call us toll free at 1-800-663-0844.