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10 Nights Golden Triangle with Khajuraho & Varanasi

Destinations Covered
New Delhi–Jaipur–Agra–Orchha–Khajuraho–Varanasi–New Delhi

Day 1 Arrival in New Delhi

On arrival at Delhi International Airport, you will be met by our representative and assisted to the designated coach/car booked.

Transfer and check-in at selected hotel.

Delhi, the capital city of India, is a blend of many historical eras, which are evident in its many monuments, forts and tombs. The elegant tree-lined avenues and majestic buildings of New Delhi tell us the tales of the British Raj. Delhi encompasses two cities, the older part of the city, Old Delhi, that represents the inherent character of the city (what the city originally was), and its comparatively newer counterpart, New Delhi, that shows the developed character of the city, and is marked by rapid urbanization and infrastructure development (what the city has become). Delhi presents a fine combination of old world charm with modern urban culture.

Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 2 In Delhi

Post breakfast, - set off for full-day sightseeing tour of Old and New Delhi.

The important places in Old Delhi include: the majestic Red Fort, built between 1638 and 1648 with marvellous red stone; Jama Masjid, the largest mosque in India, built around 1650; the historical Chandni Chowk, a shoppers hub; and Raj Ghat, the burial site of Mahatma Gandhi. In New Delhi, drive past the President House, built in 1921, the one-time imperial residence of the British Viceroys and current residence of the President of India; the India Gate; a war memorial built in 1931. Also visit Humayun's Tomb, built in 1552.

Visit the Lotus Temple, also known as the Baha'i House of Worship.

Also see Qutab Minar, built in 1192 by Qutub-ud-din Aibak and famous. Lakshmi Narayan Temple.

Overnight stay at hotel in Delhi.

Day 3 Delhi – Jaipur (250km/4hrs 30min)

Post breakfast, depart for Jaipur.

Jaipur was founded in 1727 AD by Sawai Jaisingh II. It is the capital of Rajasthan and popularly known as The Pink City because of the colour of stones used in the walled city. It has broad avenues and spacious gardens. Here the past comes alive in splendid fortresses, majestic palaces, tranquil temples and beautiful havelis. The bustling bazaars of Jaipur – famous for Rajasthani jewellery, fabric and shoes – possess a timeless quality and are surely a treasure-trove for shoppers. This fascinating city, with its romantic charm, takes you back to an epoch of royalty and tradition.

On arrival, check-in at the hotel.

Later in the afternoon, go on a half-day sightseeing tour of Jaipur City, visiting the City Palace Museum and Observatory (Jantar Mantar), the Albert House and Jaigarh Fort.

The City Palace is the former royal residence. Part of it is now converted into a museum, while a small portion is still used by the royal family of Jaipur. The Armoury Museum here houses an impressive array of weaponry: pistols, blunderbusses, flintlocks, swords, rifles and daggers.

Jantar Mantar is an observatory begun by Jai Singh in 1728. This Jaipur observatory is the largest stone and marble crafted observatory in the world, and the best preserved of the five observatories he built.

Drive past Hawa Mahal, a component of the City Palace. The five-storeyed building, with 953 windows, allowed woman of royal entourage to watch the activities on the street without being observed.

The Albert House Museum is named after King Edward VII (Albert Edward); its foundation stone was laid on 6 February 1876. The museum has a rich collection of artefacts like paintings, carpets, ivory, stone, metal sculptures, and colourful crystal works.

Jaigarh Fort stands on a hilltop, overlooking the palaces and the city of Amer. The world’s biggest cannon on wheels – the Jai Ban – is positioned here. It was built during the reign of Maharaja Sawai Jaisingh, and has a twenty-foot long barrel.

Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 4 In Jaipur

Post breakfast, set off for a half-day sightseeing tour to Amber Fort with an elephant ride starting from the base and going until the fort’s main entrance.

The Amber Fort is set in a picturesque location about 11km from Jaipur. It presents a fascinating blend of Rajputana architecture. The original palace was built by Raja Man Singh, and additions were made later by Sawai Jai Singh; it’s built in red sandstone and white marble. The palace complex comprises the Diwan-e-aam (Hall of Public Audience) and the Diwan-e-khas (Hall of Private Audience), as well as the Sukh Niwas, The private chambers of the queens, where windows with latticed screens once enabled royal ladies to watch the proceedings of the court in privacy. There is also the Jai Mandir (Temple of Victory), with its famed Sheesh Mahal (Hall of Mirrors).

The walls of the Amber fort are adorned with paintings of hunting and war, along with precious stones and mirrors set into the plaster. The Maota Lake in the forefront of the fort reflects the magnificent fort and palace in spectacular and beautiful ways. The most fascinating way to reach the Amber fort is on elephant back: truly a royal experience.

Important Note

  • Elephant ride timings: 07:30 to 10:00.
  • Elephant ride is subject to availability.

Later in the afternoon, before going back to hotel, visit Albert House Museum.

The Albert House Museum is named after King Edward VII (Albert Edward); its foundation stone was laid on 6 February 1876. The museum has a rich collection of artefacts like paintings, carpets, ivory, stone, metal sculptures, and colourful crystal works.

Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 5 Jaipur – Agra (250km/6hrs 30min via Fatehpur Sikri)

Post breakfast, check-out and depart for Agra, visiting Fatehpur Sikri on the way.

Fatehpur Sikri: Emperor Akbar was impressed by the Sufi saint Sheikh Salim Chishti's divine prediction of an heir to the Mughal Empire. He decided to construct a beautiful walled city complex in the saint’s honour. This stunning complex took almost fifteen years to complete, and served as the capital of the Mughal Empire from 1571 to 1585. It is not just a monument but a huge land comprising royal palaces, courts and much more. Following are some of the important attractions in Fatehpur Sikri.

Buland Darwaza is the highest gateway in the world, and is the main entrance to the palace at Fatehpur Sikri.

Diwan-i-aam is a common hall for ‘audience’. All public meetings and gatherings were held here.

Diwan-e-khas is a hall for private audiences. It is said that this is the place where Akbar held all of his private meetings.

Jodha Bai’s Palace is dedicated to Akbar’s Rajput wife Jodha Bai. This palace is the largest; several Hindu architectural styles suggest that the Palace was occupied by a Hindu lady.

Sheikh Salim Chisti’s Tomb is a marvellous tomb inside Fatehpur Sikri. The Mughal Emperor Akbar had no sons and so he went to Sheikh Salim Chisti, whose blessings gave him three sons. As a mark of honour to the saint, Akbar built his tomb inside the city.

Afterwards, resume journey to Agra; on arrival, check-in at the hotel.

Agra is home to the magnificent Taj Mahal, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. The city rose to prominence as the capital of the Mughal Empire in the 16th Century, and most of the city's acclaimed heritage sites date back to this era. Carrying the artistic heritage of the Mughal Empire into the present day, the streets of Agra are dotted with ancient buildings existing in happy harmony with modern day shops and houses.

Rest of the day at leisure and overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 6 In Agra

An early morning visit to the Taj Mahal at sunrise.

Taj Mahal, the epitome of love, stands on the banks of the River Yamuna. Built in 1648 by the Mughal Emperor Shahjahan, in memory of his empress Mumtaz Mahal, the Taj attracts millions of tourists from all over the world. To experience the beauty of this architectural marvel, you need to view it at different times of the day and year. It is made entirely of white marble and decorated with exquisite pietra dura (stone inlay) work, and different types of precious and semi-precious stones were used in the intricate inlay work done on the interiors. The white marble changes its hue with the variations in the daylight. In moonlight, particularly on the full moon night, the marble appears extraordinarily luminescent. This magnificent monument is built around a “four garden” plan, split by watercourses – reflecting the influence of the Persian architectural style. On a trip to the Taj, it is always better to sit around in the garden and admire the scenic beauty, rather than rushing through to see the monument. Immerse yourself in the serene atmosphere to make your visit even more memorable.

Post breakfast, visit Agra Fort.

The Agra Fort is a massive red sandstone structure, located on the banks of the Yamuna River. Construction of the fort was started in 1565 by the Mughal Emperor Akbar, and further additions were subsequently made, up until the reign of his grandson Shah Jahan. Originally built for military purposes, it was later used as a palace, and eventually even served as a prison where Shah Jahan was confined by his son Aurangzeb. The fort runs along a length of 2.5km within enclosed walls; it encompasses several exquisite palaces such as the Shah Jahani Mahal, Jahangiri Mahal, Khas Mahal, as well as audience halls named Diwan-e-am and the Diwan-e-khas. It further contains a fish pavilion, the Nagina Masjid, the Garden of Grapes and the Pearl Mosque.

Important Note

  • Taj Mahal is closed on Friday.

Afternoon at leisure with a car and driver at disposal.

Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 7 Agra (2hrs train journey) – Jhansi (20km/40min) – Orchha

Post breakfast, transfer to Agra Railway Station for Shatabdi Express Train to Jhansi.

(Departure from Agra Cantt Station at 08:15. Arrival in Jhansi at 10:30)

You will be assisted on arrival and transferred to the hotel in Orchha.

Orchha lies on the Betwa River in Tikamgarh; it was established by Maharaja Rudra Pratap Singh in 1501. Orchha means “hidden” in the Bundelkhandi language; it was named so because it was completely covered by forests before being found again. Its magnificent temples, palaces and chhatris reveal sepia-tinted tales of regal splendour, devotion and love.

Go on an afternoon sightseeing tour of Orchha, visiting Orchha Fort, Ram Raja Temple, Chaturbhuj Temple and Lakshmi-Narayan Temple.

The Orchha Fort consists of several connected buildings that were erected at different times. The tiered Jahangir Mahal was built in 1606 to commemorate the visit of Emperor Jahangir. The Raj Mahal, to the right of the courtyard, was built by Madhukar Shah and has bold colourful murals inside. The third palace is the Rai Praveen Mahal, which is a two-storey brick structure set in the gardens of Anand Mahal.

Ram Raja Mandir was originally a palace and became a temple when an image of Shree Ram was installed here while it was being built. For some reason the idol could not be moved from the palace, and despite its spires and royal decoration, this became a sacred place. Linked to Ram Raja is the Lakshmi-Narayan temple, the interiors of which has some of the best-preserved murals and wall paintings in Orchha.

Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 8 Orchha – Khajuraho (170km/3hrs 30min)

Post breakfast, depart for Khajuraho.

On arrival, check-in at the hotel.

Khajuraho is a famous tourist and archaeological site known for its sculptured temples dedicated to Shiva, Vishnu, and to Jain patriarchs. The beautiful temples dotting the town of Khajuraho are believed to have been built by the mighty Chandela rulers in the 9th and 10th Centuries. The engravings on these temples are highly sensual and erotic. Made of sandstone blocks fitted together, the temples are aligned east-west. For convenience, these may be divided into the western, eastern, and southern groups of temples.

In the afternoon, take a half-day sightseeing tour of the western group, the most important temples in Khajuraho.

Kandariya Mahadeva, dedicated to Lord Shiva, is the largest temple in Khajuraho. Kandariya Mahadeva Temple and Chausath-Yogini Temple, in the western group of Khajuraho temples, are made of fine-grained sandstone that is pink or pale yellow in colour.

The Chausath Yogini Temple is the only one of these temples built from granite. It is quadrangular in shape and dedicated to Goddess Kali. Devi Jagdamba Temple is located towards the north of Kandariya Mahadeva Temple, and is dedicated to Vishnu; it is famous for sculptures depicting mithunas in various positions.

Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 9 Khajuraho – Varanasi (45min flight)

Post breakfast, go for a half-day sightseeing tour of the eastern group of temples.

The eastern group is mainly dominated by Jain Temples. Parsvanath Temple is the biggest of all the Jain temples, and is located here. This temple is dedicated to Jain Tirthankara. The Vamana and Javari temples are dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The Vamana temple enshrines Lord Vishnu's chubby and small incarnation, Lord Vamana, and the Javari temple is named after the millet crop that is grown in the surrounding fields.

Afternoon check-out and transfer to the Airport for a flight to Varanasi.

Meet and assist on arrival in Varanasi, and transfer to the hotel.

Varanasi, built along the western bank of the Ganges, is one of the oldest continually inhabited cities in the world. According to the historians, the city was founded some ten centuries before the birth of Christ. It is mentioned in Vedic scriptures like the Vamana Purana, Buddhist texts, and in the epic Mahabharata. The author Mark Twain was enthralled by the legend and sanctity of Banaras, and once wrote: "Benaras is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend, and looks twice as old as all of them put together”.

Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 10 In Varanasi

Early morning boat ride on the Ganges to see the bathing ghats (riverside stepped bathing places).

Take an hour-long boat ride from Dashashwamedh Ghat to Harishchandra Ghat at sunrise; this is a quintessential Varanasi experience. The early-morning light is particularly inspiring. All the colour and clamour of pilgrims bathing and performing puja and priests chanting mantras on the riverfronts unfolds before you, all seen from a boat moving slowly in the waters.

Breakfast at the hotel. Later, proceed for a half-day sightseeing tour of Varanasi, visiting Durga Temple, Bharat Mata Temple, Benaras Hindu University and Sarnath.

Durga Temple, dedicated to Goddess Durga, is one of the most popular temples, and is also known as the Monkey Temple. Constructed during the 18th Century by a Bengali Maharani (queen), the temple displays North Indian or Nagara style of architecture.

The Bharat Mata Temple was constructed in 1936 by Babu Shiv Prasad Gupt, and is situated in the campus of Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapeeth. The shrine is dedicated to Mother India and possesses a beautiful marble structure, and was inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi. The temple also has a beautiful structure of undivided India with a three-dimensional view, displaying the exact proportions of lands, oceans and hills. The architecture of the temple is in the shape of a pentagonal cone, which is supported by five pillars. The temple also offers a beautiful view of the River Ganges, and the ghats located in close vicinity.

Sarnath, 10km from Varanasi, is the place where Lord Buddha gave his first sermon. Now an archaeological site, Sarnath sits on a sprawling landscaped garden with a stupa in the middle. Ashoka built the Dharmarajika Stupa here, and nearby erected a pillar surmounted by four adorned lions, which today forms the national emblem of India. Dotted with Buddhist temples and monasteries, Sarnath has also yielded an extremely rich collection of Buddhist sculptures, comprising numerous Buddha and Bodhisattva images which can be seen at the Archaeological Museum of Sarnath.

Later in the evening, take a boat ride on the Ganges to witness Ganga Aarti (worship) at Dashashwamedh Ghat.

Every evening at Dashashwamedh Ghat near the Vishwanath Temple, a religious ritual (aarti) is performed by priests using fire, and chants are performed for Mother Ganges’ blessings. The ceremony takes about 45 minutes. At its end, many people float small lamps made from clay in the river, to ask for her blessings.

Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 11 Varanasi to New Delhi

Post breakfast, check-out and transfer to Airport/Station for flight/train to New Delhi, or any convenient point for your onward journey.

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