Day 1 : Overnight Travel

Flight from Heathrow to Delhi

Depart on overnight Air India flight to Delhi:

Heathrow / Delhi  AI112  21:30/10:40 (arrives following day) 

Day 2 : New Delhi

ARRIVE DELHI
You will be met and assisted at the airport by our local representative and driven to your hotel.

Check into your hotel for a one night stay, followed by sightseeing tour.

Old Delhi Sightseeing Tour
Bask in the richness of Old Delhi and explore the majestic Jama Mosque, the final architectural extravagance of Shah Jahan. Take a rickshaw ride through the busy streets of Chandni Chowk to explore its culinary delights and vibrant alleys dotted with shops & shoppers. A visit to Raj Ghat will help you understand the philosophy and peace propagating thoughts of India’s father Mahatma Gandhi.

Overnight:
Standard: The Claridges, Deluxe Room
Luxury: The Imperial, Imperial Room

Day 3 : Jaipur

DELHI - JAIPUR (268 KMS / APPROX.  5 HRS)
New Delhi Sightseeing Tour

After breakfast visit the sacred Bangla Sahib Sikh temple, which is visited equally by Sikhs & people of other faiths. Don’t forget to see the huge community kitchen here which serves food to people of all religions. Get closer to the Indian legacy and witness the journey of India from a ruled country to a free democracy by taking a look at places such as – India Gate, the President’s Palace, secretariat buildings and Indian Parliament House. End the tour by a visit to strong and ever standing Qutub Minar, which is world famous for its non-rusting qualities.

After sightseeing drive to Jaipur and check in at your hotel for a two night stay.

Overnight:
Standard: Khas Bagh, Deluxe Room
Luxury: Samode Haveli, Deluxe Room

Included

Breakfast

Day 4 : Jaipur

JAIPUR
After breakfast,  take an Elephant ride to the Palace of Amber to view the majestic Fort. Miniatures painted on the walls depict hunting and war scenes, and scenes from festivals. Precious stones and mirrors are embedded into the plaster. Inside the Jag Mandir is the famed Sheesh Mahal - a room with all the four walls and ceiling completely embedded with glittering mirror pieces, which were specially imported from Belgium during that period.

You you will have a brief photography stop a t the picturesque Hawa Mahal - the Palace of Winds. 

The next attraction is the Maharaja's City Palace.  This former Royal residence is partially converted into a museum. A small portion is still used by the Royal family of Jaipur. Built in the style of a fortified campus, the palace covers almost one-seventh in area of the city. One of the major attractions in the museum is the Armoury housing an impressive array of weaponry: pistols, blunderbusses, flintlocks, swords, rifles and daggers. The royal families of Jaipur once used most of these weapons.

Later visit the Jantar Mantar, which is the largest stone and marble crafted observatory in the world. Situated near the gate of the city palace, the observatory has 17 large instruments, many of them still in working condition. 

Overnight:
Standard: Khas Bagh, Deluxe Room
Luxury: Samode Haveli, Deluxe Room

Day 5 : Agra

JAIPUR-AGRA (240 KMS / APPROX  4.5 HRS)
After breakfast transfer to Agra by car, visiting the deserted city of Fatehpur Sikri enroute. 

Located 40 Km from Agra, the deserted city of Fatehpur Sikri was built by Emperor Akbar in 1569, in honour of the great Saint Sheikh Salim Chisti. Akbar used Fatehpur Sikri as his capital and the city was fully occupied for 14 years but slowly became deserted and ruined after Akbar left the city. Scarcity of water was the prime factor for the abandonment of this beautiful city. Visit the remarkably well-preserved, graceful buildings within the 'Ghost City' including the Jama Masjid, tomb of Salim Chisti, Panch Mahal Palace and other palaces that speak of the grandeur and splendor of the Mughal empire at the height of its power.

Continue to Agra and on arrival, check into your hotel for a one night stay, followed by an afternoon tour of Agra.

Agra Fort
Visit Agra Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the finest Mughal forts in India. Built in the 11th century, an era marked by invasions and battles, this red stone-fortified castle was the site of the India Rebellion of 1857.

Taj Mahal
The spectacular Taj Mahal is living example of greatest love story ever told. On the death of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal, Mughal emperor Shahjehan built her this memorial. 20,000 men laboured for over 17 years to build this wealth of white marble and precious stone. 

Overnight:
Standard: Hotel Trident Agra, Garden View Room 
Luxury:  ITC Mughal, Royal Mughal Suite

Activities and Services

Included

Breakfast

Day 6 : Orchha

AGRA - JHANSI - ORCHHA (18 Kms/ 40 mins)
After breakfast you will be driven to Agra Railway Station to board the train to Jhansi:

Agra / Jhansi      2050 Gatiman Express    09:55/ 12:35 

Meeting and assistance on arrival at Jhansi and transfer to your hotel in Orccha for a one night stay, followed by an aternoon of sightseeing.

Orchha Sightseeing 
Visit the palaces and temples of this medieval township built by its Bundela rulers in the 16th and 17th century.  The Jehangir Mahal was built in the 17th century by Raja Vir Singh Deo to commemorate the visit of Emperor Jehangir to Orchha. Its strong lines are counterbalanced by delicate chhatris and trellis work.  The Raj Mahal has a plain exterior crowned by chhatries (cenotaph) but the interior has exquisite, boldly colorful murals on religious themes.  The Ram Raja Temple is most unusual as it is a palace turned temple and where Rama is worshipped as a Raja (king). The Laxminarayan Temple is linked by a flagstone path to the Ram Raja Temple. The interiors contain the most exquisite of Orchha’s wall paintings. End the day with evening aarti at Raja Ram Temple.

Overnight: Orchha Resort, Standard Room

Activities and Services

Included

Breakfast

Day 7 : Khajuraho

ORCHHA - KHAJURAHO (175 KMS/ 4 HRS)

After breakfast drive to Khajuraho and check into your hotel for a one night stay, followed by a sightseeing tour.

Khajuraho Sightseeing Tour
Visit the world famous temples of Khajuraho which have been listed a UNESCO World heritage site. Khajuraho was the capital of the Chandela kings and its temples were built in the short span of hundred years, from 950-1050 AD. The Khajuraho temples are famous for their erotic art and carvings.   

Overnight:
Standard: Radisson Jass Hotel Khajuraho, Deluxe Room
Luxury: The Lalit Temple View Khajuraho, Temple View Room

Activities and Services

Included

Breakfast

Day 8 : Varanasi

KHAJURAHO -  VARANASI
After a leisurely morning, drive to Khajuraho Airport to board your Jet Airways flight to Varanasi:

Khajuraho / Varanasi     9W 370   14:20/ 15:15 

Meeting & assistance on arrival and transfer to your hotel for a two night stay. 

Rest of the evening at leisure.

Overnight: 
Standard: Suryauday Haveli , River View Room
Luxury: Brijrama Palace, Dhanurdhara Room

Included

Breakfast

Day 9 : Varanasi

VARANASI
Early morning boat ride
 along the Ganges. A dawn rowing boat ride along the Ganges is a quintessential Varanasi experience. The early-morning light is particularly inspiring, and all the colours and clamor of pilgrims bathing and performing puja unfolds before you. The boat goes from Dashashwamedh Ghat to Harishchandra Ghat. Take a stroll through the narrow lanes of old Varanasi and stop at the famous Kashi Vishwanath Temple = please note non-Hindus are not allowed inside the temple premises.

Return to the hotel for breakfast.

Afternoon , excursion to Sarnath. Buddha came to Sarnath to preach his message of the middle way to nirvana after he achieved enlightenment at Bodhgaya and gave his famous first sermon here. In the 3rd century BC emperor Ashoka had magnificent stupas and monasteries erected here as well as an engraved pillar.  However, when Buddhism went into decline and Muslim invaders sacked the city in the late 12th century, Sarnath disappeared altogether. It was ‘rediscovered’ by British archaeologists in 1835. Today it is one of the four important sites on the Buddhist circuit (along with Bodhgaya, Kushinagar and Lumbini in Nepal) and attracts followers from around the world.

In the evening, experience the evening aarti ceremony on the ghats of the Ganges. The brightness of multiple diyas and oil lamps brightens the ghats during the evening Pooja when chants, incense and flowers bless everyone all around, followed by the releasing of diyas into the holy waters of the Ganges.

Overnight: 
Standard: Suryauday Haveli , River View Room
Luxury: Brijrama Palace, Dhanurdhara Room

Activities and Services

Dawn Ganges Boat Ride

Included

Breakfast

Day 10 : Lucknow

VARANASI - LUCKNOW  (by train)
After a leisurley morning,  transfer to Varanasi Railway Station to board your train to Lucknow:

Varanasi/ Lucknow     12237 Begumpura Express   12:50/ 17:55 

Meeting & assistance on arrival and transfer to your hotel for check in for a two night stay.

Overnight:
Standard: Novotel Lucknow Gomiti Nagar, Superior Room
Luxury: Lebua Lucknow, Luxury Room

Included

Breakfast

Day 11 : Lucknow

LUCKNOW
After breakfast at your hotel, enjoy a day of sightseeing in Lucknow.

Visit the exquisitely decorated Rumi Darwaza also known as the Turkish Gate and see the magnificent Bara Imambara, the Husainabad Immambara, and the Asafuddaula Immambara, which reflect Avadhi architecture with its strong Persian influence. Visit the Picture Gallery which houses a collection of life-size oil paintings of the Nawabs of Oudh (1882-1885) and see in the foreground the British Style Clock Tower built in 1881.

The British Residency of Lucknow is a famous historical landmark of this place. Once the residence of the British Resident General, it was one of the major sites of the Revolt of 1857 and the historic battle known as the Seige of Lucknow.  It is now in ruins and has been declared a protected monument by the Archaeological Survey of India. Also visit the famous La Martiniere College, the local Chikan kari embroidery centre and the Dhobi ghat next to it.

In the evening, enjoy a culinary walk to sample the best of the traditional street food for which Lucknow is deservedly famed for.

Overnight:
Standard: Novotel Lucknow Gomiti Nagar, Superior Room
Luxury: Lebua Lucknow, Luxury Room

Included

Breakfast

Day 12 : Allahabad

LUCKNOW - ALLAHABAD  (210 kms / 5.5 hrs)

After breakfast, drive to Allahabad and check in at the camp site located on the Ardh Kumbh fairground. You will stay in an air-conditioned tent with ensuite toilet and shower. 

Ardh Kumbh is held in Haridwar and Allahabad alternatively every six months and like Maha Kumbh it also attracts millions of pilgrims from all over the country. While the fair goes on for around 45-50 days during which pilgrims come and take a dip in the holy Ganges, there are a few dates which are ‘most auspicious’ for bathing and the crowd during these dates is huge. The key bathing dates for the 2019 Allahabad Ardh Kumbh are:

Makar Sankranti (First Shahi Snan)                     15th January 2019

Paush Purnima                                                          21st January 2019

Mauni Amavasya (Second Shahi Snan)               4th February 2019

Basant Panchami (Third Shahi Snan)                  10th February 2019

Maagh Purnima                                                         19th February 2019

Maha Shivratri                                                           4th March 2019

Overnight: Sunset Desert Camp, Luxury Tent

Included

Breakfast, Dinner

Day 13 : Allahabad

Spend the entire day at Ardh Kumbh Mela. 

Prayag in modern-day Allahabad is believed to be the most important pilgrimage centre for Hindus. Traditionally river confluences are regarded as auspicious places, but at the Sangam, there is even greater significance of the confluence because here, the holy Ganga, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswathi meet to become one. The festival is marked by the construction of a massive tented township, complete with cottages, huts, platforms, civic facilities, administrative and security measures.  The mela (or fair) is especially renowned for the presence of an extraordinary array of religious ascetics - sadhus and mahants - enticed from remote hideaways in forests, mountains and caves. The first to hit the water are the Naga Sadhus or Naga Babas, who cover their naked bodies with ash and wear hair in long dreadlocks. 

Overnight: Sunset Desert Camp, Luxury Tent

Included

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14 : Allahabad

Spend the entire day at Ardh Kumbh Mela. 

Overnight: Sunset Desert Camp, Luxury Tent

Included

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 15 : New Delhi

ALLAHABAD - DELHI

In time, transfer to Allahabad airport to board your Air India flight to Delhi.

Allahabad/ Delhi      AI 9604    17:25/19:10 

Meeting and assistance on arrival and transfer to your airport hotel for one night.

Rest of the day at leisure.

Overnight:
Standard: Lemon Tree Premier Delhi Airport Hotel, Superior Room
Luxury: Hotel Novotel New Delhi Aerocity,  Standard Room

Included

Breakfast

Day 16 : End of Itinerary

DEPART DELHI

Transfer to the airport to board flight Air India flight to London:

Delhi / Heathrow  AI111  14:00/19:00

Included

Breakfast

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