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Golden Triangle with Mathura Rishikesh Varanasi Tour

  • 11 Nights / 12 Days
  • Delhi - Jaipur - Abhaneri village - Fatehpur Sikri - Agra - Mathura - Vrindavana - Haridwar - Rishikesh - Varanasi - Sarnath - Delhi

Golden Triangle with Mathura Rishikesh Varanasi Tour is a special north India tour which nicely encapsulates the destinations that are representative of essence of India. Delhi, Agra and Jaipur, on the one hand, offer exuberance of architectural extravaganza; whereas, Mathura, Haridwar, Rishikesh and Varanasi present opportunity to peep into Hindu religious rituals and unique aura of spiritualism. During the course if the journey, enjoy taste of India & experience unique Indian way of life.

Day 1 Arrival in Delhi

On arrival at New Delhi airport and after passing through customs formalities, you will be welcomed by our representative and transferred to Delhi hotel. Delhi, formerly called Indraprastha, consists of eight cities. Out of these eight cities, six are in ruins and shambles. The other two are New Delhi, the capital, and Old Delhi, formerly called as Shahjahanabad. On the banks of river Yamuna, Delhi is the beautiful reflection of the soul of the country, an exotic outcome of rich and harmonious blend of culture, architecture, human diversity, history, monuments, museums and gardens.

As most of the international flights land in New Delhi during mid-night so, after check in at the hotel, have sound sleep in Delhi hotel to get relaxed for the sightseeing tour of Delhi next day.

Day 2 Old & New Delhi sightseeing tour

The Delhi is segregated into two parts Old & New. New Delhi, the capital of India, is an imperial city, initially planned and founded for the British by Lutyens. New Delhi is marked by many beautiful parks, wide avenues shaded with trees on both sides. The Mughal era Old Delhi, a bustling metropolis of medieval era, takes us to colourful and vibrant streets to stroll, bazaars full of attractions and historical monuments, silent reminder of ancient heritage, haven of a past time.

Having enjoyed delicious breakfast in Delhi hotel, you will be introduced with Delhi tour guide who will take you for a full day sightseeing.

First visit the memorial of Mahatma Gandhi-Raj Ghat, where he was cremated. After Raj Ghat proceed for Chandni Chowk for a ride in rickshaw and then visit Jama Masjid and Gurudwara Shishganj. During afternoon, visit the new part of Delhi which has Qutab Minar, one of the oldest monuments but located in the new part of Delhi. Its construction began in 1199. The complex is characterized by combining Hindu styles with Islamic elements. It’s the highest stone-built minaret in the world. It is 72.5 m high. At the foot of the minaret is Alai Darwaza, built of red and yellow bricks. It was the entrance to the mosque. Also visit the "India Gate", the dominant stone structure that was built on the east side of Rajpath, in memory of the 90,000 soldiers of the Indian army who died during the First World War. The Amar Jawan Jyoti under the arch commemorates the victory of the "Indian Armed Forces" in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971. The sightseeing of Delhi will end after visiting the presidential residence from a permitted distance.

After visiting famous monuments of Delhi, later in the evening, return to hotel for overnight stay.

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Day 3 New Delhi – Jaipur (265 kms/ 05 hrs)

Have scrumptious breakfast in Delhi hotel and depart for Jaipur. Jaipur is the state capital of Rajasthan, the Land of Maharajas. Jaipur is also known as “Pink City of Rajasthan” which owes its nickname to the colour of the sandstone with which the ancient buildings of the city were constructed of. The nice design of the first planned city of medieval India and magnificent architectural gems in the form of forts, palaces, solar observatory, temples etc are contributions of Maharaja Jai Singh II. The Maharaja began construction in 1728 and managed to successfully mingle styles as diverse as Hindu, Jain & Mughal.

On arrival at Jaipur, you will be checked in at the pre-booked Jaipur hotel. The day has been kept free for leisure and overnight stay has been planned in Jaipur hotel.

Day 4 Jaipur sightseeing

The Jaipur sightseeing tour will commence with early morning visit of two famous forts of Jaipur- Amber Fort & Jaigarh Fort. The excursion these prominent forts of Jaipur will begin after early morning breakfast. Have breakfast in Jaipur hotel and proceed for exploring rich heritage, royal past, glorious history and refined craftsmanship of Jaipur while making a tour of Jaipur forts. First and foremost, proceed on for Amber Fort excursion. Take an excursion to Amber Fort, a very interesting fort palace complex, which can be accessed by elephant tour. Enjoy elephant ride ascent to the Amber Fort. For six centuries Amber was the capital of Rajasthan, and played a pivotal role in the history of the Rajput. Amber is now a vast palace, located on a small hill and surrounded by walls that give a majestic air of great beauty. Interior of the palace is beautifully decorated. Each room shows some vestige of its former glory, especially the "Sheesh Mahal" (chamber of mirrors).

After visiting Amber Fort along with Jaipur tour guide, move for visiting Jaigarh Fort which is still in possession of the Jaipur royal family. Located on the top of the hill called Cheel ka Teela (Hill of Eagles), is home to several palaces, granary, well-planned cannon foundry, several temples and a tall tower. Jaigarh Fort served as war fort with canon foundry. Jaigarh Fort possesses world’s largest canon Jaivana, that was used only once. Exemplary water harvesting and storage system is hallmark of Jaigarh Fort. The fort also houses a marvelous collection of coins, puppets, photographs of the royal kings, buildings, processions, numerous swords, shields, guns, muskets and even a 50 kg cannon ball, which would take you back to the gallantry days of the Kings.

After forts visit, return to Jaipur city centre. Have lunch and along with guide, move for Jaipur city sightseeing. Now, Jaipur city tour includes visit to City Palace, Jantar Mantar (stone built ancient solar observatory), Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds), and Govind Dev Ji Temple. First you will be visiting cluster of three monuments City Palace, Jantar Mantar and Hawa Mahal.

Hereinafter, explore the market. Thereafter, visiting these monuments, proceed to visit Albert Hall Museum and Birla Temple. In Birla Temple, you will be attending evening ‘aarti’. After watching royal monuments, bustling market and auspicious ‘aarti’, return to Jaipur hotel for overnight stay.

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Day 5 Jaipur- Fatehpur Sikri- Agra (245 kms/ 05 hrs)

After breakfast in Jaipur hotel drive to Agra. En route, visit Fatehpur Sikri, the city built in red sandstone at the wish of the great Mughal ruler Akbar in the late sixteenth century. It was conceived and constructed as his capital and palace, but when the local wells ran dry, the Mughal had to leave desert it. Today, Fatehpur Sikri, preserved nicely, remains the same as when it was built. It has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The most important rooms of the complex of Fatehpur Sikri are Jodhbai Palace, Private room Hearings, Panch Mahal and the tomb of Salim Chisti.

After visiting Fatehpur Sikri, move for Agra. Agra has three UNESCO World Heritage sites, the Taj Mahal and the Agra Fort in the city and Fatehpur Sikri nearby. The sites are some of the wonders of the world and no trip to India is complete without at least one visit to the Taj. The earliest reference to Agra is in the ancient epic, the Mahabharata, while Ptolemy was the first person to call it by its modern name.

On arrival at Agra, you will be directly transferred to the pre-booked hotel to spend the rest of the day in leisure and have overnight stay in Agra hotel.

Day 6 Agra sightseeing

In the very early morning, approximately around dawn hours, you will be taken by Agra tour guide to Taj Mahal. The time of sunrise has been purposefully chosen so that you could see the Taj Mahal when it looks most stunning and beautiful. The stunning Taj Mahal is a monument that never disappoints a first time beholder. This mausoleum was built by Mughal ruler Shah Jahan in 1631, in honour & memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal, the lady of the Taj, who died while giving birth to their fourteenth child in 1629. The building, in which 20,000 people participated, was completed in 1653 and is the most representative sample of Mughal architecture. The mausoleum, built entirely of white marble, stands on a marble plinth with four minarets, also white, in each of the corners that reach 41 m high. Its architectural wealth is hard to match.

Visit the world famous Taj Mahal, then come back to hotel for breakfast. Relax, refresh and move on to visit Old Fort and Tomb of Itmad-ud-Daula, Akbar's Tomb in Sikandara. The Agra Fort houses the buildings built by Mughal ruler Akbar in red sandstone and Shah Jahan in white marble. The fort is built alongside the Yamuna River and stretches almost 2.5 km. It consists of a wall built in red sandstone and several buildings inside. The wall has 2 gates, the Delhi Gate and the Amar Singh Gate.

After visiting Agra Fort, move for exploring local market. Hereinafter, have lunch in a nice restaurant. Thereafter, in the company of Agra tour guide, proceed to visit Baby Taj & Sikandara. Tomb of Itmad-ud-Daula houses the magnificent mausoleum of Ghias Beg, father of the Mughal Empress Noor Jehan. The main tomb is made of pure white marble, with each façade composed of three arches with beautiful trellis screens, so delicately carved that they appear to be made of ivory. Akbar's Tomb in Sikandara is in a pyramid shape and consists of five storeys. The building is unique in its departure from Islamic architectural tradition, for it has no domed roof. The walled garden enclosure is laid out in the Char Bagh style with the mausoleum at the centre.

After visiting these three Mughal monuments, you will be taken to a fabulous temple of Agra which is a masterpiece and can rival even Taj Mahal. Dayal Bagh Temple is located at Dayal Bagh, a sacred place in Agra District of Uttar Pradesh. This beautiful temple is believed to have been built in 1861. It is a magnificent structure, 110 ft high, built of pure white marble. It houses the Samadhi of Swamiji Maharaj, the founder of Radha Swami Faith. Dayal Bagh Temple has been under construction for the last 100 years. Some people consider this building as an alternative to the great Taj Mahal.

After sightseeing of famous monuments of Agra, return to Agra hotel for overnight stay.

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Day 7 Agra – Mathura & Vrindavana

After breakfast, check out from the hotel and depart for New Delhi. En route, you will be visiting Hindu religious places of Mathura & Vrindavana where Lord Krishna was born and spent his childhood. There are several temples in Mathura but three prominent temples are must-see. These temples are Banke Bihari Temple, Krishna Janmasthan and ISKON Temple. ISKCON Temple, known as Sri Krishna Balaram Temple as well is. Its principal deities are Shri Krishna-Balram and Shri Radha-Shyam Sundar. Shri Krishna Janmasthan Temple is built on the same place where Lord Krishna had taken birth. Originally, Keshav Dev Temple was built here which was plundered by fanatic and barbaric Mughal ruler Aurangzeb and a mosque built over there by the despicable Mughal ruler. Banke Bihari Temple of Mathura/ Vrindavana is most famous and revered one. It is famous for for the floral decorations that adorn its deity.

After visiting famous, historical and religiously prominent temples of Mathura and Vrindavana, drive to New Delhi. Overnight stay has been planned in Agra hotel.

Day 8 Delhi- Haridwar- Rishikesh (230 kms/ 05 hrs)

Have breakfast in Delhi hotel and proceed for Rishikesh. On the way to Rishikesh, have a stopover at Haridwar, a pilgrimage of Hindus. Early noon reach at Haridwar. Along with Haridwar tour guide, visit famous temples of Haridwar- Bharat Mata Temple, Vaishnodevi Temple & Mayadevi Temple. The temples of Haridwar are centre of reverence, though from architectural point of view of less importance. The devotion of the devotees and various religious rituals will be of your interest. Also watch Har-Ki-Pauri, the sacred Ghat was constructed by King Vikramaditya in memory of his brother Bhartrihari.

After Haridwar sightseeing, proceed to Rishikesh. On arrival at Rishikesh, you will be transferred to the pre-booked hotel. Having relaxed a bit, move for attending auspicious Ganga Aarti at the ghat. Later in the evening, return to hotel for overnight stay.

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Day 9 Rishikesh sightseeing – New Delhi (230 kms/ 05 hrs)

As per the early morning routine of the ashrama, you will be taken to the ashrama to participate in daily activities and observe exotic Indian religious and spiritual practices. You will be staying a hotel nearby ashrama so that you could see & feel the way of life in an ashrama.

Have early morning dip in sacred Ganga and then proceed to explore Rishikesh, known for its ashramas. Also do sightseeing of prominent places like Laxman Jhula, Triveni Ghat and temples on the ghats of river the Ganges. After half day exploration of Rishikesh, check out from the hotel and depart for New Delhi. On arrival at New Delhi, check in at the pre-booked hotel for overnight stay.

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Day 10 Delhi- Varanasi (by flight)- Sarnath sightseeing tour

You will be transferred to New Delhi airport to board flight for Varanasi. On arrival at Varanasi, you will be received by our representative and transferred to Varanasi hotel.

Varanasi is the religious capital of India. Called as Kashi and Benares as well, Varanasi is one of the oldest cities in the world, a place of traditions firmly rooted. Its history is since time immemorial. No one knows the date of the founding of the city.

A Hindu devotee seeks to visit Varanasi at least once in his lifetime, to purify the body and soul in the river Ganges, and if possible, to end his life here, and thus end the cycle of reincarnation which is the ultimate goal for Hindus. Varanasi's old city is a maze of small streets, alleys hiding among some 2,000 temples. The domes, minarets, spires, towers and abandoned palaces of the eighteenth century, dominate the left bank of the sacred river.

After getting freshened up, proceed to visit Sarnath. Sarnath is the testimony to ancient Indian Sarnath, located just 12 km from the Hindu holy city of Varanasi, is the site of the deer park where Gautama Buddha delivered his first sermon and thus heralded ‘Dharmachakrapravartana’. It is one of the pilgrimages of the Buddhism. Most of the ancient structures of Buddhist monastery at Sarnath were damaged by the Muslims out of religious intolerance. Famous monuments are the Dhamekh Stupa (built in 200 BC,128 feet high, 93 feet in diameters), the Dharmarajika Stupa, decaying ruins of the Mulagandhakuti Vihara, the Ashoka Pillar and the Sarnath Archaeological Museum.

Be a witness to ancient India and then move for watching splendid and magnanimous GANGES WORSHIP CEREMONY at the ghat of river Ganges. After enjoying the surge of religiosity at ghats during Ganga Aarti, return to Varanasi hotel for overnight stay.

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Day 11 Varanasi sightseeing- New Delhi (by flight) - Departure

The morning in Varanasi will unfold numerous exotic aspects of India and more particularly Varanasi. To acquaint you with the traditional and perennial Varanasi, you will be taken to the Varanasi ghat in the dawn-hours and a long boat-ride alongside the various ghats of the Ganges will be carried out. Early in the morning, proceed for viewing the panoramic view of ghats on boat.

The boat cruize, commencing from Dashashwamedha Ghat, will take you to famous Assi Ghat of Varanasi and watch out a newly conceived and implemented concept of Subah-e-Banares

Subah-e-Banares brings forth an altogether different aspect of Varanasi which will encompass traditional session of Yoga, followed by two hours long music festival in which the various vocalists and instrumentalists play traditional Indian morning ‘ragas’, Vedic ‘yajnas’ and morning ‘Ganga Aarti’. This programme is being held since last three months at Assi Ghat of Varanasi. This cultural extravaganza is known as Subah-e-Banares. The programme 'Subah-e-Banaras' begins with one-hour yoga session at 5 am followed by two-hour music recital from 6 to 8 am. The programme has been named so as it offers a view to sunrise from the ghats that is popular world over. Besides yoga and music, ancient practices like yajna are also performed. The programme begins with morning Ganga Aarti with ‘Shehnai’ and 'Mangalacharan' in morning ragas. Girls recite hymns of Vedas on the river-front in the morning to display the ancient tradition of Kashi.

After the ghats tour, return to the hotel for breakfast. After breakfast, visit the most important places in the city, Dasashwamedh ghat (main ghat), Gyanvapi mosque, built by fanatic Muslim ruler Aurangzeb after demolishing the Hindu temple, called Vishwanath Temple. Adjacent to the mosque, Hindu queen Ahilyabai Holkar again built Kashi Vishwanath temple. In the afternoon, excursion to Ramnagar is planned. Ramnagar Fort is a fortress located in Ramnagar, Varanasi. It is located near the Ganges river on the east bank opposite the Tulsi Ghat, a spectacular spot. The structure was built in 1750 by Raja Kashi (Varanasi) Balwant. There are inscriptions on the outer walls of the fortress dating from the seventeenth century. It was built in the style of Mughal architecture with carved balconies, open courtyards and pavilions. The fort and its museum are repositories of history of the kings of Varanasi. This place has been home to the Maharaja of Kashi (Varanasi) since the eighteenth century, which has been considered to be a descendant of the god Shiva. The fort is about 14 kms from Varanasi.

After ghat, temples & Ram Nagar tours, return to Varanasi hotel for overnight stay in hotel.

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Day 12 Varanasi- New Delhi (by flight)- Departure

Have delicious breakfast in Varanasi hotel and proceed for Varanasi airport to board flight for New Delhi. On arrival at New Delhi, in time catch flight for your onward destination.....

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Delhi

Presently the national capital of Republic of India, Delhi, since the ages, has been a theatre of tumultuous political upheavals. From the times of legendary Pandavas of Mahabharata fame to Rajput rule to Sultanate rule to Mughal rule to British regime and, presently, to Indian democratic rule, Delhi has been centre of political and cultural activities. Now-a-days, Delhi is the largest commercial centre in northern India. Due to glorious past and modern infrastructure, Delhi is an incredible mélange of ancient and modern & alleys and broadways. It is a hotpot of cultural amalgamation. Delhi is a great place to taste spicy and non-vegetarian Mughlai dishes along with vegetarian Hindu cuisines. Probably Delhi is one of the richest capitals in the world in terms of monuments of historical importance.

A few places which attract the masses are Qutub Minar (world's tallest free-standing brick minaret and also a UNESCO World Heritage Site), Red Fort of Delhi (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), Humayun's Tomb (first mature Mughal Tomb built in 1560), Akshardham temple (the largest Hindu temple complex in the world), the Lotus Temple (a Bahai worship place & notable for its flowerlike shape), the India Gate (originally called the All India War Memorial, located astride the Rajpath), President House, Parliament Building etc.

Jaipur

Jaipur, known as Pink City of Rajasthan, is the capital of the state of Rajasthan. Only two hundred and half centuries ago, the great Maharaja Jai Singh founded the capital city of Jaipur. It was a time when the Mughal power was waning and the Hindu Rajput rulers were asserting themselves. So, it was that Jai Singh II, living at the old Rajput capital of Amber, decided to found a new city in the nearby valley. He laid out his own capital in neat squares, with its wide main streets crossing each other geometrically. Having seen Jaipur, every traveler gets amazed at how orderly it seemed, rather as though it was the product of some twentieth century town planner. Contributing to this general impression is the fact that all the buildings were constructed of local pink stone, which earned for Jaipur its old designation of "the autumn sunset city".

Abhaneri

About 95 kms before Jaipur, is located a historical village of Abhaneri. This village tour will present before you ancient lineage of India in terms of cultural values, architectural gems and traditional rural lifestyle in villages of India. A detour is well merited for its amazing step-well or 'baoris' and Harshat Mata Temple. The village's original name was Abha Nagri and its present name is Abhaneri. Gurjar king Mihir Bhoja ruled over the Gurjar kingdom in the ninth century AD. The ruins of the temple also speak of the 10th century architectural and sculptural styles. There is a huge tank named "Chand Baori", opposite to the temple fortified on all four sides with bastions for defence. Even though Abhaneri is now in ruins, the place has a distinct reminiscence about itself.

Fatehpur Sikri

Fatehpur Sikri, a historical place with nicely preserved monuments of Mughal era, is a must see place while visiting Agra. Located some 37 kms from Agra, Fatehpur Sikri of Buland Darwaja fame was founded by Akbar in 1569 to express his gratitude for Sufi mystic Salim Chishti, who was born in Sikri village. Many historians believe that Fatehpur Sikri was established as a joint capital with Agra but due to paucity of potable and drinking water, the plan to shift a section of imperial officials there had been reversed. Even today, its red stone architecture, richly ornamented with carvings & firework, is in a perfect state of preservation. Buland Darwaja is 15-storied, stands 140 feet on the pedestal and is 54 feet above the ground. A steep flight of 42 steps leads one to the massive gateway and makes it as one of the tallest gateways in the world is made of red-sandstone with marble decoration on it. With Quranic inscription on the front and cenotaph on the heights of the gateway, Buland Darwaja is a splendid blend of Hindu and Persian architecture. The calligraphy work done on the inner façade of Buland Darwaja has very less parallels in India.

Agra

Agra finds its mention in epic of Mahabharata as ‘Agravana’. Agra is traditionally and culturally part of Brijbhumi, associated with legendary Lord Krishna. Strategically located on the banks of river Yamuna, the city of Agra has seen many upheavals due to intermittent attacks of the invaders to take control of it. Agra remained under control of the Rajputs, the Muslims, the Marathas and the British. Though the influences of these regimes are quite visible in art, architecture and culture of the city but the Mughal impact is more pronounced, especially in old Agra. Now-a-days, Agra has been synonymous with Taj Mahal from tourism perspective. Taj Mahal can easily be termed as a feather in the cap of India, particularly Agra, which also possesses the most precious jewel in the country’s crown the “Taj Mahal”. Sikander Lodhi, Babur, Humayun, Akbar, Jahangir and Shahjahan ruled with Agra as capital of their kingdoms. Babur was the first Mughal king who built first Islamic monument in Agra i.e. Gul-e-Afgaan or the Aram Bag -a planned garden. During the rule of Akbar, famous monuments of Agra, Fatehpur Sikri and Agra Fort, were constructed. Sikandara and It-mad-ud-Daula are the famous buildings of Jahangiri period. World renowned Taj Mahal, built by Shah Jahan in fond memory of Mumtaj Mahal, is now one of the ‘Seven Wonders of the World’. Agra is also known for its fabulous handicrafts, made of marble and soft-stone inlay work. Agra's major handicraft products besides inlay work are: leather-ware, brassware, carpets, jewellery and embroidery work.

Mathura & Vrindavan

Situated on the banks of river Yamuna, Mathura is famous from old ages as a religious place for Hindu, Jains and Buddhist. Mathura has witnessed three devastating attacks. Mahmood Gajnavi, Sikandar Lodhi and Aurangjeb, who molested a number of Hindu and a prominence among Sapt-Tirth (seven- pilgrimages).

Vrindavan , had been land of spiritual love and affection between Radha and Krishna. Only 15 kms away from Mathura, this is the place where Lord Krishna played his flute and performed his LEELAS. The town was later immortalized in the poems of Surdas, Raskhan, Meerabai and other great saints and poets. Govind Dev Temple: an example of architectural excellence of medieval India. It is considered to be among the most impressive temples of North India.

Haridwar

Haridwar is the site of Kumbh Mela which occurs once in 12 years, when millions of pilgrims throng here. The River Ganges flows here. It is a great pilgrimage centre and has many ‘ashramas’ and ‘sadhus’. The Har Ki Paidi is the most important bathing ghat here as it is supposed to be the precise spot where the holy river, the Ganges, leaves the mountains and enters the plains. At this spot, it is believed that the Ganges is most sacred and hence a dip here, completely washes away one’s sins. There is a footprint of Lord Vishnu on a stone at this ghat. Haridwar’s most important temple is the Daksha mahadev Temple. Legend has it that king Daksha is said to have once performed a sacrifice here and failed to invite his son-in-law, Lord Shiva. His daughter Sati could not tolerate this insult to her husband and spontaneously immolated herself. The Parmarth Ashrama has fine images of Goddess Durga.

Rishikesh

Rishikesh lies on a plateau some five thousand feet above sea level and is very near to Tibetan border, beyond which rises Mount Kailash (over twenty two thousand feet high), the traditional abode of Lord Shiva. Savour the glorious cool mountain air and the fine view of the Ganges. In Rishikesh, a thin swift current dashes through a deep gorge, rocky and richly green. The water of the Ganges is crystal clear and obviously ice-cold. Because of its association with the Ganges and the dwelling of Lord Shiva so near, the region is a famous place of Hindu pilgrimage and many of its villages and towns are given over to holy men. One such is Rishikesh.

Rishikesh, since the ages famous as "village of saints" or "village of the sages", is characterized by numerous resident saints ('rishi', 'sadhu' and 'swami') and 'ashramas', communities isolated from the world and devoted to contemplation. Most of them lie alongside the Ganges or in the nearby forests. So many places of pilgrimage all over the world are noisy and bustling, full of people determined to extract the last penny the pilgrim has in his pocket. Rishikesh is altogether different. The inhabitants are serene, simple-hearted folk who live a life of frugality, even austerity, eschewing alcohol, eating an exclusively vegetarian diet, and going so far as to refrain from the eating of eggs, which they consider to be a kind of meat.

On the outskirts of the town flowed the Ganges, a number of ashrams huddling beside it. The traditional ashram, surrounded by a wooden fence, contains four or five small earthen huts, their roofs straw thatched, rather like tiny hamlets in some very remote and extremely underdeveloped part of the world. The ascetics who dwell in these ashrams bathe night and morning in the cold waters of the Ganges and then spend the rest of their time in meditation, except for a couple of extremely simple meals. However frugal their lives, however, they are found happy and content.

Varanasi

Varanasi, the cultural capital of India, is the Vatican City of the Hindus. Varanasi is known as the city of Lord Shiva and spiritual capital of India. It is situated on the banks of holy river the Ganges with history dates back to pre-historic times. One of the major pilgrimage destinations for Hindus since ages, Varanasi is one of the oldest living cities of the world. Though home to numerous Ashrams, Ghats, temples, stupas and various religious sects, Varanasi has been since ages a major commercial centre as well. Varanasi, the cultural capital of India, is a seat of learning since more than 3000 years of recorded history.

Sarnath

Located 10 kms from Varanasi, Sarnath is one of the four pilgrimages of the Buddhists. It was Sarnath where Lord Buddha delivered his first sermon and declared the birth of a different 'dharma' (religion)- Buddhism. From Sarnath, the 'dharmachakra pravartan' commenced. In around 234 BC, Emperor Ashoka, a great follower of Buddhism, built a grand stupa- Dharmarajika Stupa , here. Later on Sarnath developed as a prominent Buddhist centre with a grand monastery. Between the 3rd century BC and the 11th century AD, several Buddhist structures were built here in Sarnath. The Muslim invaders in medieval period ransacked and destroyed it. But an inquisitive traveler may still experience the rich past in the remnants of monastery, Dhamekh stupa , Dharmarajika stupa and Emperor Ashoka's pillar . Also, visit Sarnath museum . Sarnath museum also has the figures and the sculptures from the Mauryan, Kushana and Gupta periods discovered during the excavations at Sarnath.

  • Stay in the mentioned hotels (modern & heritage) on double sharing.

  • Daily breakfast basis on all places.

  • Total meals: 11 (Breakfast-11).

  • Total night stays: 11 (Delhi-04; Jaipur-02; Agra-02; Rishikesh- 01; Varanasi-02).

  • Well-appointed upgraded air-conditioned base category rooms at all places.

  • Entrance fees for all the monuments mentioned in sightseeing.

  • Medieval era market’s (Chandni Chowk) visit on manually paddled rickshaw in Delhi.

  • Elephant ride at Amber Fort in Jaipur.

  • Morning boat cruise in the Ganges alongside Varanasi ghats.

  • Destination-based English speaking guides at all places for mentioned sightseeing tour.

  • Meet & assist at the airport on arrival & departure.

  • Sightseeing tours as mentioned in the itinerary.

  • Air-conditioned private car for the whole sightseeing tour.

  • Driver for the whole tour.

  • All prevailing taxes like luxury tax, service tax etc.

  • All transfers, city tours, excursions & drives by air-conditioned transport.

  • Interstate road tax, toll tax, parking charges, driver’s wages, fuel charges etc.

Optima Special:
  • Visit and exploration of narrow alleys, humming with social activities, while riding on man-pulled tri-cycle rickshaw.
  • Ride a caparisoned elephant like a king at Amber Fort in Jaipur.
  • Tonga (horse carriage) ride in Agra- from hotel to Taj Mahal gate.
  • Morning boat ride in the Ganges along the ghats of Varanasi
Don’t miss on Golden Triangle with Mathura Rishikesh Varanasi Tour:
  • Experience Indian hospitality in a comforting cocoon of a heritage hotel in Jaipur.
  • Cultural events, puppet shows and traditional dances at Ravindra Manch.
  • Evening Aarti at Govind Dev Ji temple in Jaipur, Rajasthan.
  • Do attend Ganga Aarti (Ganges Worship Ceremony) on Dashashwamedh ghat.
  • Visit Tibetan Buddhist temple while visiting Sarnath.
  • Visit ashramas in Rishikesh and experience saintly lifestyle.
  • Ganga aarti at Rishikesh Ganga ghat.
  • Get submersed into chanting of Hare Rama Hare Krishna at ISKCON Temple at Vrindavana.
Shopping:

Delhi: Handlooms, handicrafts, stalls that sell products from all over India (Dilli Haat).
Agra: Marble souvenirs.
Jaipur: Environment-friendly printed clothes, jewellery and ethnic goods.
Varanasi: Banarasi sarees, carpets and beads.

Cuisines:

Jaipur:Dal, Baati, Lahsun Ki Chutney, Gatte ki Sabji, Bajre ki Roti, Kadhi.
Delhi:Street foods/snacks like ‘tikki’, ‘chaat’, ‘Dahi Bhalla’, ‘pao bhaji’, ‘fruit chaat’, ‘rabdi faluda’.
Agra:Biryani at Heeng ki Mandi.
Varanasi:Mirchi Gosht ( a goat meat curry with a sharp garlic and green chilly sauce)

Is This Trip For Me:
Travel Style Service Level TPhysical Demands Trip Type Trip Rating
Classic Standard FIT/Small Group 4.5/5
DestinationsStandardSuperiorDeluxeLuxury
DelhiAlmondzHoliday Inn Shangri La Hotel Imperial
AgraSeven Hills TowerHotel Mansingh PalaceITC MughalOberoi Amar Vilas
Jaipur ParadiseHotel Ramada PlazaITC Rajputana Oberoi Raj Vilas
RishikeshParmartha NiketanEll BeeEll BeeEll Bee
VaranasiHotel IndiaHotel Ramada PlazaHotel Taj GangesTaj Nadesar Palace
  • Prices mentioned are per person on double or twin sharing basis.

  • Any airfares, international or domestic, are not included.

  • Additional conditions may apply, please enquire for further details.

  • Prices shown are fully inclusive of taxes.

  • Additional levies, government charges & other applicable fees, including additional taxes and surcharges on flight routing, may apply and are beyond our control.

  • Seasonal surcharges and blackout dates may apply depending on date of travel.

  • Payments made by credit card will incur a surcharge.

  • Prices shown are for payments made through normal bank transfer into our accounts.

  • These prices are a guide to the best price and are subject to change without notice.

  • Prices are subject to change without notice, due to matters outside our control, such as adverse currency fluctuations, fuel surcharges, taxes and airfare increases, please enquire for further details.

  • Please provide your passport details to Optima Travels Private Limited at least one month before travelling. Please note that if you do not provide your passport details, you may be denied entry to any Indian National Parks that are visited along this itinerary, or you may be charged a fee by the local government as passport details are now a requirement for entry into all national parks in India.

  • Throughout the trip, we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination.

  • In India normally the check in time in hotels is 02:00 PM and check out time in hotels is 10:00 AM.

  • Normally the package cost includes breakfast at all locations but in case of the destinations where availability of restaurants outside hotel not possible, we provide meals there and mention that in inclusions. Meals other than breakfast are as specified above in inclusion.

  • Video camera/ still camera fee applicable at various monuments. The same will be paid by you direct on spot on actual basis.

  • Items of personal nature like telephone calls, laundry, tips, hard/soft drink etc. Arenot included in the package.

  • Any expenses arising out of unforeseen circumstances like flight delay/cancellation/hike in fare, strike or any other natural calamities are not part of package.

  • Indian visa fees are not included in the package cost.

  • Any compulsory meal supplements during festive season is not included.

  • Early check in & late check out at the hotels is chargeable in high season.

  • Any other Item is not included in " Inclusions" heading.

*Important Notice: The following information has been obtained from the relevant suppliers and should be considered an indicative guide only as to the prices that may be available for these products. Optima India Tourism cannot guarantee that any particular product will still be available at the following prices, or for your exact dates of travel. At time of making your booking, prices may differ to that price displayed on this website. Please contact an Optima India Tourism travel consultant to obtain the latest up to date information regarding applicable prices, fees and charges, availability and other terms and conditions which may apply.

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