This twelve days itinerary traversing through Agra, Allahabad and Varanasi(Banaras) is going to be an amazing tour which will offer us a chance to explore the best of cultural and spiritual temples and monuments of India.
Our tour begins with the traditional welcome on arrival in Delhi. Next day, we would be heading towards the city of Taj Mahal. Despite the flux of occidental tourists, one feels blessed standing in front of Taj Mahal. Continuing with the exploration, we will proceed towards Khajuraho visiting the historical palaces such as Gwalior, Orcha. Forts and temples of these two sites are worth visiting as their architecture is blend of Mughal and Indian style. Thereafter, sightseeing of Khajuraho is generally organized in two portions visiting eastern group of temples followed by western group of temples or vice-versa. Following the route towards the city of confluence of three rivers locally known as ‘Sangam’, we arrive in Allahabad where boat ride in confluence would be the ideal occasion to observe the devotees performing rituals. Ambiance of Varanasi(Banaras) along the Ghats leaves us spellbound. Two best occasions to explore the pilgrimage city are early morning boat ride and attending the evening prayer ceremony where we observe thousands of people chanting the hymns. Apart from this, excursion to Sarnath helps us to understand the Buddhist culture. Our trips concluded in Delhi.
- Magnificent Taj Mahal in all its glory and grandeur.
- Spectacular fort of Gwalior
- The amazing ancient temples of Khajuraho
- Confluence of Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati - Allahabad
- Varanasi – witness grand rituals and early morning boat ride on the Ganges
Day 2Delhi - Agra
Delhi - Agra
After the breakfast, we depart for Agra. After 4-5 hrs drive, we reach Agra. On arrival, check-in at the hotel. Rest of the day is free to explore the market. Late evening, we will attend the show entitled 'Mohabbat Taj Show' starting at 18:30 hrs and it is a live theatrical performance of the love story of Emperor Shah Jahan and Mumtaz for about 80 minutes. Overnight at the Hotel.
Day 3Agra Sightseeing
Today is the day to strike off the Taj from our bucket list. We rise early to visit this astonishing wonder in white marble. Taj Mahal, a symbol of eternal love, stands on the southern bank of River Yamuna. It was built by the 5th Mughal Emperor, Shah Jahan, in memory of his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal, who died in the 16th century CE. The charisma of the amazing Taj Mahal never fails to leave a first time visitor spellbound.
visit the Agra Red Fort, a historical fort in the city of Agra and its walls are richly adorned with red sandstone. Till 1638, this fort was main residence of the emperors of the Mughal Dynasty. Thereafter the capital of Mughal was shifted from Agra to Red Fort in Delhi.
Day 4Agra - Gwalior
Agra - Gwalior
After delicious breakfast, we leave for Gwalior, dating back to 8th century and dominated by a massive hilltop fort overlooking the city. On arrival, check-in at the hotel. Thereafter, we visit the Gwalior Fort, a majestic structure that dominates the city like a great monolith. Within the Fort is the 9th century Teli Ka Mandir (Temple), 15th century palace of Raja Man Singh and a Museum.
Day 5Gwalior - Orcha via Datia
Gwalior - Orchha
Today, we leave for Orcha enroute visiting Datia. It is most famous for the 17th century, 7 storey hilltop Palace of Raja Bir Singh Deo. We visit the Shri Peetambra Peetha Temple with Mughal frescoes and the Gopeshwar Temple. After the visit, we resume our journey to Orchha. On arrival, check-in at hotel. Late afternoon, we visit the Raj Mahal and Jahangir Mahal.The other attractions include the Raj Mahal, The Sheesh Mahal, the chaturbhuj temple. Along with these there are numerous Chhatris of royals or cenotaphs dotting the banks of the river Betwa. Overnight stay at the hotel.
Day 7Full day sightseeing
Full day for visiting the Temples. Before we venture out, we will visit the temples of the group: The Jain Museum - located outside the Jaina compound, this circular gallery contains statues of 24 tirthankaras. Parasvanath - The largest Jain temple of the enclosure is also one of the most beautiful. Adinath - adjoining the Temple of Parsvanath, the small temple of Adinath was partially restored.
After lunch, we will visit the temples of the Western group: Lakkshana and Varaha - These two small temples stand opposite the temple of Lakshmana. The temple of Varana dedicated to the wild boar faces the temple of Matangesvara. This small open sanctuary houses a gigantic wild boar sculpture dating back to about 900 AD. The great temple of Lakshmana is dedicated to Vishnu, but its style is comparable to that of the temples of Kandariya Mahadev and Vishvanath.Kandariya Mahadev - The first temple on the common deck at the back of the group is not only the largest temple in Khajurhao but also the most artistically and architecturally completed. Devi Jagadamba - The third temple of the common platform is of a simple three-part design. To complete the tour of the West Group, we will take a look at the Temple of Vishvanath and Nandi, the Temple of Matangesvara and Chausath Yogini.
Day 8Khajuraho - Allahabad
Khajuraho - Allahabad
After the breakfast , we drive to Allahabad. Check-in to Hotel and then, proceed to observe the confluence of the three rivers namely Ganga, Yamuna & Saraswati. We would be able to observe the holy rituals being performed near ghats. Visit of Hanuman temple on the conflunce allows us to mix with the indian devotees. Before returning to hotel, we visit Anand Bhawan, museum depicting the life of Jawahar Lal Nehru (first Prime Minister of India).
Day 9Allahabad - Varanasi via Chunnar
Allahabad - Varanasi(Banaras)
Today, we head towards Varanasi by stopping enroute to visit Chunnar Fort, 25 km south of the holy city. This massive sandstone fort stands on a promontory overlooking the plain of 80 meters. About 1000 years old, it has many temples: Bhartri Nath's samadhi, Sonwa Mandap, and the bungalow of Warren Hastings, the first Governor-General of India.
After the visit, we resume our journey to Varanasi, check in at the hotel. Rest of the evening is free.
Day 10Varanasi exploration
Take a Boat ride on the Ganges to experience Hindu rituals being performed on the bathing Ghats.
You will visit the Temples and Ashram.Thereafter, a walk along the Bazars would be an ideal way to explore the town.
Late evening, we depart to ghats to attend the Nocturnal ceremony on the Banks of the Ganges where each day gather between 7000 and 8000 people.
Day 11Excursion to Sarnath and overnight train to Delhi
After the delicious breakfast, we leave to Sarnath, one of the holy places of Buddhism, where Buddha had preached his first message / speech. Here, the Emperor Ashoka had built monasteries, stupas of which one of 100m of height.
Then, visit the Museum of Buddhist objects and sculptures found in the site. Later, we drive back to Varanasi.
late afternoon, we will be transferred to the Railway station to board the night train to Delhi.
Day 12Arrival in Delhi and free day
Arrive at the Railway station and transfer to the hotel.
In the afternoon we visit the walled city of Old Delhi; crowded, full of activity and still influenced by the great Mughals who once ruled from the ramparts of the majestic Red Fort Delhi. Here we visit Jama Masjid Delhi - the largest 17th century mosque in India; Chandni Chowk - the typical Indian market always abuzz with activities; and Rajghat - the memorial of Mahatma Gandhi (also called the 'Father of the Nation’). We also visit New Delhi where we drive past the Presidential Palace, Secretariat Buildings and down the impressive Rajpath to India Gate .
Check-out from the hotel and transfer to the International airport or any point of convenience for onward journey to respective countries.