Culture and Heritage of India

12 Nights Itinerary Covering: Delhi - Jaipur – Agra - Gwalior –Khajuraho - Varanasi


Overview

Prepare for a memorable extravaganza of India’s culture, art, heritage and history. The destinations included in Culture and Heritage of India Tour by LuxoIndia are handpicked and crafted to flaunt few spectacular aspects of this country. Along with Golden Triangle Tourist Circuit (which consists of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur- a preferred circuit by a lot of people around the world), Gwalior, Khajuraho and Varanasi are also included in it. During these twelve nights and thirteen days you will experience India’s city life, holy rituals in pilgrimage sites and old-world charm in its archeological destinations. Read the itinerary for more information regarding the tour.

Note: This is just a suggested itinerary indicative of what could be possible. We tailor holidays for your specific needs. Contact us if you want modifications so that we could tailor a holiday to suit your need for an unforgettable India tour.

Highlights

  • Shop at Old Delhi Markets and visit splendid sites of the city like the Red Fort and Qutab Minar.
  • Ride an elephant to reach the magnificent Amber Fort up the hill in Jaipur.
  • Lose yourself in the grandeur and flawlessness of one of the Seven Wonder of the World, Taj Mahal.
  • Spend the day exploring the massive and beautiful Gwalior Fort.
  • Visit UNESCO World Heritage Site and a popular attraction of India, Khajuraho Group of Monuments.
  • Attend enchanting evening arti in the banks of holy river, Ganga, in Varanasi.

Itinerary

Day 1 - Delhi

On your arrival in Delhi Airport/ Railway Station meet our tour representative and get escorted to a pre-booked hotel. Check-in to your hotel and relax.

Delhi is dotted with ancient, European and hi-tech infrastructure. From street food to exquisite restaurant, Delhi doesn't disappoint foodies too. For culture-vultures Delhi is an open exposition. This much-deserved capital of India is a mesh of antiquity and vogue, but with the right amount of ingredients.

Overnight stay in the hotel.

Day 2 - Delhi

After breakfast proceed for New Delhi sightseeing. Few of the sites included in the tour consist of Old Delhi market, Qutab Minar, Red Fort, Laxmi Narayan Temple and Rashtrapati Bhawan. Cycle ride and driving past India Gate are also added in the sightseeing session.

Old Delhi Market has a mélange of goods, food and entertainment. Name anything and you can find an expansive variety in this market. Khari Baoli, the spice market of Old Delhi is the largest wholesale market of Asia. Here, you can treat your taste-buds with some of Delhi's finest street foods, or shop in the flea-markets.

Qutab Minar is a 100-meter-high minaret, built in the 12th century. It is a UNESCO World Heritage and is accompanied by other archeological structures like The Tomb of Iltutmish and Alai Darwaza. The minar is built of red sandstone, marble and sandstone and has verses of Quran inscribed on it. The first three floors are made from red sandstone, while the fourth and fifth storeys are built of marble and sandstone. The first floor has Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque. Qutab Minar is a major tourist attraction of Delhi and has been regarded as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Red Fort isn't just a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but is also the venue of India's Independence Day celebration. This is a prominent facet of Delhi's heritage, history and architecture. The structure was built in 1857 and back then, it served as the residence of the ruler for about two hundred years. The façade has an Indian Flag fluttering through. The fort is enclosed with huge walls built from red sandstone. Its architecture reflects an amalgamation of Mughal, Persian, Timurid and Hindu styles.

Laxmi Narayan Temple or Birla Temple is a significant Hindu religious spot of Delhi dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Other idols inside the complex consist of Lord Shiva, Lord Buddha and Lord Krishna. Total area of the complex is about 7.5 acres, which is embellished with many shrines, fountains, garden and Geeta Bhavan.

Rashtrapati Bhavan and India Gate are in close proximity, both of these hold great significance in India's political and nationalistic scenario. Edwin Lutyens designed India Gate, which dates back to 1921 and was built to pay regards to the soldiers who died in First World War and Anglo-Afghan War. The structure of India Gate was inspired by Arc-de-Triomphe of France, even the pathway to Rashtrapati Bhawan and routes are much similar to it. Rashtrapati Bhawan is the official residence of the president of India. The British built this structure for viceroy after Delhi was finalized to be the capital of India in Delhi Durbar, 1910.

Overnight stay in hotel.

Day 3 - Delhi-Jaipur

This day drive to Jaipur, the Heritage City. On arrival proceed to your hotel, check-in and relax. Rest of the day is to be spent at leisure. You may also choose to stay at the hotel or go for sightseeing.

Jaipur is the capital of Rajasthan state of India, well-known as Pink City and for its heritage and archeological sites. The city is further festooned with colorful bazaars from where you can buy vibrant bangles, clothes, artifacts, handicrafts et cetera. The popular tourist circuit of India, Golden Triangle consists of three cities, namely Agra, Delhi and Jaipur. This city is indeed a major tourist destination of India.

Overnight stay in hotel.

Day 4 - Jaipur Sightseeing

Today you visit various attractions of Jaipur. Amber Fort, museums, Jantar Mantar and Hawa Mahal are some sites to be visited this day. Along with sightseeing, you can enjoy activities such as hot-air ballooning, elephant polo, elephant ride, cooking classes and heritage car drive.

Amber Fort is a hill fort and UNESCO World Heritage Site, also a star attraction of Jaipur. The fort and palace are embellished with aesthetic art-work. The structure was built by Raja Man Singh I in 1592 with red-sandstone and white-marble mainly. Precious stones, paintings and mirrors were used for décor. Since it is perched on a hilltop, the view of surrounding is enchanting. Unlike many buildings of ancient era, Amber Fort is well-preserved and hasn't got its charm faded. From the foothill, tourists can choose to climb on foot, hire a jeep or ride an elephant.

Hawa Mahal is an icon of the city, situated amid bustling bazaar. This red-hued fort is also known as Palace of Winds, owing to the fact that it has several miniature windows in honeycomb structure. These windows were made for the women of royal households, so that they could enjoy the hustle and bustle of the market, without getting seen by public.

Jantar Mantar, dating back to 18th century, is where a collection of architectural astronomical instruments are installed. You can spot world's largest sundial here, along with Laghu Samrat Yantra, Nadivalya Yantra, Jai Prakash Yantra and other astrological devices. These devices are a reflection of sharp intellect and unflawed calculations. Even today these instruments are used by astrologers. Students of Astronomy and Vedic Students get to learn more about their subject in the observatory.

Overnight stay in hotel.

Day 5 - Jaipur- Agra

Have your breakfast and proceed to Agra, by car or train.

Agra is the city of Taj Mahal, settled beside the Yamuna Ganga. It has its Mughal charm intact and unscathed. Formerly it was the seat of Mughal Empire and today it is a major tourist attraction of India. Agra is located in Uttar Pradesh state of India. It houses several UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including one of the Seven Wonders of the World, Taj Mahal. This is a perfect place for the lovers of heritage, art and history.

As you reach Agra, check-in to your pre-booked hotel and relax. Stay overnight in hotel.

Day 6 - Agra Sightseeing

On the sixth day of Culture and Heritage of India Tour, get ready to visit one of the Seven Wonders of the World and the major tourist attraction of Agra, The Taj Mahal. This white-marble mausoleum is often regarded to as "Crown of Palaces". Mughal Emperor commissioned it in 1632 for his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal. It took 22 years for Taj Mahal get all ready and shining. The Taj Mahal is located at the Southern Bank of Yamuna River and serves as an impactful symbol for India's rich history and heritage. To build it, a mesh of Indian, Islamic, Mughal, Persian Ottoman and Turkish styles of architectures was incorporated. This mausoleum got its name inscribed in the list of World Heritage Site UNESCO, in 1983. Today it is visited by more than 3 million visitors every year.

Other attraction to be visited today is Agra Fort, another UNESCO World Heritage Site. This fort is just 2.5 km away from Taj Mahal. Originally it was a brick fort known as Badalgarh, we may also call it a fort city instead. The forts has walls that are seventy feet high and four doors, one of which (Khizri) has its opening towards Yamuna River. Its gardens are flourishing; in fact every corner is well-maintained. Decorations of the interior are done beautifully, with precious stones, mirrors, carvings etc.

Fatehpur Sikri is also added to the list to things to do. This ancient city is datable to 1569, when the Mughal Emperor found it. The king shifted his capital from Agra to Fatehpur Sikri as a gesture of regards to the eminent Sufi Saint Salim Chishti. Historians say Akbar took special interest in adorning Fatehpur Sikri, and this is pretty evident upon looking at collection of marvelous Mughal buildings in the city. The city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a hotspot for travelers visiting from far-flung regions.

Overnight stay in hotel.

Day 7 - Agra- Gwalior

On the seventh day of the tour, check out from your hotel and proceed to Gwalior. This is a huge historical city located at the Heart of Incredible India, i.e Madhya Pradesh state. It is strewn with various popular tourist attractions, right from archeological to modern infrastructures. Mughals, Scindias and Marathas are some of the rulers who prettified different corners of Gwalior. A trip to Gwalior is a trip to history and heritage.

On reaching Gwalior, check-in at your pre-booked hotel and relax. Overnight stay in hotel.

Day 8 - Gwalior Sightseeing

On this day get set for an engaging session of Gwalior sightseeing. The prime highlight of the day is Gwalior Fort, located at the heart of the city. The structure of the fort is something that deserves a special mention. It was built in the 8th century and has now been turned into an archeological museum. Other than the defensive structure that protected the royal residents from enemy attacks, the fort consists of two palaces (Man Mandir and Gurjari Mahal) built by Man Singh Tomar. The fort indeed has several other structures which are highly acclaimed, like Garuda Monument, Karn Mahal, Vikram Mahal, Teli Ka Mandir, Saas-Bahu Temple and Chhatri of Bhim Singh Rana, among others. There is so much to see and do in Gwalior Fort. By late evening return to your room and relax. Stay overnight in hotel.

Day 9 - Gwalior- Khajuraho

On this day head to Khajuraho, yet another historical city of Madhya Pradesh and a popular tourist attraction of India. A British officer found this small town in 1838, in the middle of a jungle. Khajuraho is famous for its erotic sculptures. The Khajuraho Group of Monuments is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and attracts a huge number of travelers every day.

Check in at your hotel and relax. Rest of this day is to be spent at leisure. Stay overnight in the hotel.

Day 10 - Khajuraho Sightseeing

Today you are going to explore Khajuraho. Collectively, the monuments of Khajuraho are World Heritage Site, as considered by UNESCO. The temples are datable to around 950 and 1050 CE and are said to have been built by Chandela dynasty. Some temples are dedicated to Hindu gods and some to Jain, but the similarity in their structure and close proximity give an idea that in ancient era there was sheer harmony between these two religions. By 12th century, there were 85 temples, of which only 20 withstood the test of time. The temples are divided into three parts; namely Eastern, Western and Southern. Vishnu, Shiva, Parshvanath, Parvati, Rishabha and Hanuman are some of important deities of the temples.

After exploring Khajuraho Monuments, proceed to your hotel room. Stay overnight in hotel.

Day 11 - Khajuraho-Varanasi

Today you catch a flight to Varanasi, the holy city. Varanasi boats of being the oldest city of the world, having recorded history of 3500 years. The city is located on the banks of Holy River, Ganges / Ganga and is one of the seven holiest cities of India. Spellbinding aarti is performed in the evening on the banks of river, which is attended by thousands of devotees. No heritage tour to India is complete without a trip to Varanasi.

As you reach Varanasi you check in at your hotel and relax. Attend Ganga aarti in the evening.

Perhaps the most iconic symbol of Varanasi is the images of saffron clad pundits engulfed in the smoke of incense stick waving large lit multi-layered lamps in synchronicity by the bathing ghat of the holy river Ganges. The evening aarti in Varanasi - even though highly choreographed - takes place every sunset at Dasaswamedh Ghat near Kashi Vishwanath Temple and is considered one of the must have cultural experiences in Varanasi.

Overnight in the hotel.

Day 12 - Varanasi

On the twelfth day indulge in an early-morning session of boating on the Ganges and stopover at different bathing and cremation ghats of the city. Return to the hotel and have breakfast. After freshening up get ready for sightseeing tour of Varanasi.

Kashi Vishwanasth Temple is a popular tourist attraction of Varanasi. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas of the lord. This is one of the most important shrines of Lord Shiva in the world; a Hindu considers visiting this temple at least once in his life. A visit to this temple and taking a dip in the river make the devotees attain moksh (salvation).

Other highlights of the day are Dashashwamedh Ghat, Dhamek Stupa, Assi Ghat, Manikarnika Ghat and Ramnagar Fort.

Day 13 - Varanasi-Delhi

In the morning have your breakfast and check out from the hotel. You get assisted transfer to the airport from where you catch a flight to Delhi and continue your onward journey. Hence, this journey ends.


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