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Spiritual Tour of North India

  • 16 Nights / 17 Days
  • Delhi - Ajmer - Pushkar - Jaipur - Agra - Orchha - Khajuraho - Varanasi - Delhi - Haridwar - Rishikesh - Haridwar - Amritsar - Dharamshala - Delhi

Spiritual Tour of North India offers true perspective of Indian heritage which is intrinsically imbued with spiritualism. In India, religion is omnipresent and an important part of everyday life. Various aspects of religious beliefs and spiritual leanings reflect a galore in architecture, sculptures and paintings of the monuments. All major world religions are represented in this vast, mystical nation: Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism, Islam, Christianity and Judaism, as well as some fascinating smaller communities of Jain and Parsing. Explore these religions and their holy sites during your private journey. In addition to religious places, you will be visiting several historical sites, highly popular among the tourists.

Day 1 Arrive in Delhi

Welcome to India! Upon arrival at the international airport in Delhi, you will be warmly welcomed by our representative and transferred to your pre-booked New Delhi hotel. Already, on the way to your hotel, you get a first impression of the capital of India. The company representative will take care of your check in process of the hotel. Overnight stay has been scheduled in Delhi.

Day 2 Sightseeing in Delhi

After breakfast you will have an exciting tour of Delhi. It will be a guided tour. Delhi tour guide will be introduced with you in the morning in the lobby of the hotel. First you visit India’s biggest mosque Jama Masjid, the main mosque of Old Delhi which was built in 1656 AD by the Mughal ruler Shah Jahan. Here, while Muslims offer Namaz, you can have a glimpse of that and thus get a deeper insight into Islam. Then visit the Laxmi Narayan Temple (Birla Mandir as known). This temple, a fine example of Nagar style of temple architecture, was built in honor of Laxmi, the Hindu goddess of wealth, and her consort Lord Vishnu. In the temple, the priest will perform a special prayer ceremony for you. Later, you will be visiting a gurudwara (a Sikh temple) and Christian church. You will be taken to golden domed Gurudwara Bangla Sahib which is one of the most famous gurudwaras of the Sikh. Hereinafter, you shall be visiting one of the largest Roman Catholic churches of Delhi, the Sacred Heart Cathedral. It has been built in traditional style by Edwin Lutyens, the most important British architect of the 20th century. In a local restaurant you can enjoy lunch. Have a digestive walk in Indraprastha Park where you can see the Vishwa Shanti Stupa-the World Peace Pagoda. Finally, visit the Akshardham Temple. The Hindu temple complex of Akshardham is a majestic creation incorporating modern technology with ancient traditions of architectural finesse. This temple was inaugurated on 6 November of 2005. After visiting prominent religious shrines and sites of Delhi, return to Delhi hotel to spend evening in leisure and have overnight stay therein.

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Day 3 Delhi - Ajmer (by train) – Pushkar (by car)

The ride in a private air-conditioned vehicle is of course a lot more comfortable but knowing people, countryside and lifestyle of India, a train ride is the best way to observe and explore. It’s a very special way of coming in contact with the people. That's why your journey to Pushkar via Ajmer will be on a Shatabdi Express train. This train is one of the best trains in India and has only chair cars. Board train at New Delhi railway station and move for Ajmer. Here you will visit Ajmer Sharif, the shrine with the remains of the revered Sufi Hazrat Moinuddin Chishti - founder of the Chishti Sufi sect. Then you will be transferred by your chauffeur to Pushkar. Overnight stay has been scheduled in Pushkar hotel.

Day 4 Explore Pushkar – Jaipur (by car) Pushkar is one of the most important pilgrimage sites in India. The town lies on holy Pushkar Lake. During annual pilgrimage, many devout Hindus take holy dip into the ‘kund’(the Pushkar Lake) to get rid of their sins and get blessings for family’s health and wealth. These rituals are performed by local Brahmins. The Brahmanical cult here has a long tradition. Pushkar is home to the only Brahma Temple in India that was rebuilt in 14th century. The dawn in Pushkar begins not with birdsong but with the drums and bells of the Brahma temple at four O’clock in the morning. Watching the way of life of Hindu religious town Pushkar in the dawn hours is a feast to eyes and soul. Another attraction of Pushkar is Pushkar Fair or Camel Fair, probably the largest market place in the world, though for a limited number of days every year. Hundreds of thousands of people gather here. In the afternoon, your journey takes you in the "pink city" Jaipur. Overnight stay has been scheduled in Jaipur.

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Day 5 Jaipur sightseeing

Jaipur is a busy town with all characteristics of a modern metropolis, but with old world charm. The old Jaipur, painted in pink, will enchant you! In the morning you will visit the Amber Fort. Amber Fort is a prime attraction of Jaipur and offers great view of the city. Its mammoth structure, majestic palaces inside, pavilions, courtyards temple, tunnels and water storage system etc are captivating. Traditionally & festively decorated elephant ride up to the courtyard of Amber Fort or drive on a Jeep (subject to availability of elephant) is a lifetime experience. Visit the public audience hall (Diwan-i-Aam), the magnificent Ganesh Gate and the mirror palace (Shish Mahal). The building is considered one of the finest of its kind in Rajasthan. Later visit the City Palace, still the residence of the Maharajas and admire the private collections of historical miniatures, carpets, weapons and robes in the museums. Also the Palace of Winds (Hawa Mahal) with its uniquely decorated red sandstone facade is one of the tourist highlights. Lying in the same cluster is Jantar Mantar, world’s largest and still in working condition solar observatory. Explore local bustling market. Later in the evening, attend gracious ‘ aarti’ in Govind Dev Ji Temple. Overnight stay has been scheduled in Jaipur.

Day 6 Jaipur - Fatehpur Sikri – Agra (by car)

AHaving enjoyed breakfast in Jaipur hotel, proceed for Agra, erstwhile Mughal capital. On the way to Agra, visit the deserted & city-in-shambles of Fatehpur Sikri. Buildings of Fatehpur Sikri are built of red sandstone. Mughal ruler Akbar built this capital city in 16th century but had to abandon it soon after its completion due to lack of potable water. Fatehpur Sikri, called as ghostly city as well, has been well-preserved still with the great mosque and all palaces. Even today one can - just like four hundred years ago - wander through an intact, lordly city: multi-storey palaces, gardens, a square, waterworks, countless covered walkways, stairs and terraces. These architectural gems speak a lot about Akbar’s leanings. The sunken metropolis combines two opposites: the figurative architecture of the Hindus and the geometric of Islam. The red, well-preserved sandstone buildings are among the most important examples of Mughal architecture. Having visited Fatehpur Sikri, drive to Agra. You will reach Agra in the late afternoon. Spend the evening in leisure and have overnight stay in Agra hotel.

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Day 7 Agra sightseeing

Situated on the banks of River Yamuna, the city of Agra holds importance of being erstwhile capital of the Mughal rulers from 1526 to 1628. Agra’s tourist highlight is clearly the Taj Mahal. Featuring an unrivalled perfection and beauty, carved and etched out on white marble, world’s most expensive monument dedicated to love, Taj Mahal shines brilliantly even today- especially in the early morning hours. Mughal ruler Shah Jahan built this mausoleum in 1631 for his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal. 20,000 workers built it in 22 years: a dream of white marble, which rises in perfect proportions amidst an elegant garden with a fountain. Agra is home to yet another UNESCO World Heritage sites: the monumental Agra Fort - a fortress and palace complex from the 16th century. Not only the building itself but also the views of Taj Mahal from here is breathtaking. In the afternoon, visit the St. Mary's Catholic Church and the Missionary of Charity, Mother Teresa's former home, which is now home to an orphanage. Have overnight stay in Agra.

Day 8 Agra – Jhansi (by train) – Khajuraho (by car)

After an early breakfast, transfer to the railway station of Agra for the train journey to Jhansi railway junction. Board Shatabdi Express to Jhansi. Once there, you will be received by our representative. On the way to Khajuraho, you will visit the small town of Orchha with its spectacular palaces and temples. Orchha Fort Palace complex comprises several architectural and sculptural gems like Raja Ram Mandir, Laxmi Narayan Mandir, Jehangir Palace, Raj Palace and Rani Praveen Palace. After visiting Orchha and having taken delicious lunch in a restaurant in an idyllic location on the banks of River Betwa, depart for Khajuraho. Located in the northernmost part of Madhya Pradesh, Khajuraho is famous for its enchanting temples and its legendary Khajuraho dance festival. On arrival at Khajuraho, you will be transferred to the pre-booked hotel. After relaxing for a while, proceed to enjoy cultural show or sound & light show. Later, return to hotel for overnight stay.

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Day 9 Khajuraho sightseeing – Varanasi (by flight)

Have delicious breakfast in Khajuraho hotel and move for visiting famous temples of Khajuraho along with tour guide. Khajuraho temples have been identified into three clusters- Western Group of Temples, Eastern Group of Temples and Southern Group of Temples. Western Group of Khajuraho temples are most magnanimous and famous. The erotic representations of scenes from the Kamasutra on the walls of the temples of Khajuraho attract many tourists. The temples were created between the 10th and 12th centuries. Its builders took pleasure in spreading the legend that they came from the moon. The erotic sculptures and reliefs not only please the curious voyeur in all of us, but are also impressively and skillfully worked. Besides erotic scenes also everyday situations are presented, about women who write letters, apply make-up, comb her hair, dancing or playing with their children. Having visited Khajuraho temples, return to hotel, check out and depart for Khajuraho airport to board flight for Varanasi.

On arrival at Varanasi, you will be received by our representative and transferred to the hotel. Once you have settled into your hotel, take an excursion to Sarnath. The city is one of the holiest Buddhist sites in the world, as Buddha preached his first sermon here. Explore the ruins of the once flourishing Buddhist monasteries and visit a museum, which houses an excellent collection of Buddhist art and sculptures. Here you can visit Tibetan Buddhist monastery as well. Thereafter, return back to Varanasi city to watch the evening Aarti ceremony on the Ganges. Aarti is offered by burning oil lamps. Later, return to hotel for overnight stay.

Day 10 Explore Varanasi

The city on the Ganges has a long religious tradition and is considered a sacred place of Hinduism. For over 2,500 years, the faithful make pilgrimages here. In fact, Varanasi is called to be the cultural capital of India. Hindus take holy dip the Ganga to get rid of sins. Hindus prefer to die in Varanasi and get burnt on the Ghats of the Ganges to escape from the constant cycle of rebirth. Today, welcome the morning with a boat ride on the Ganges. Thousands of believers come every morning to the banks of the Ganga to bathe and pray. Before the silhouettes of the temples and palaces in the morning light, they light candles, floating on banana leaves over the river. Let the magical atmosphere encompass you. Then return for a leisurely breakfast in your hotel. Later in the day, move on a guided tour of Varanasi which includes Bharat Mata Temple, Durga Temple, Tulsi Manas Temple, Sankat Mochan Temple (where a large monkey population lives) and the university campus with its Art Gallery. Return to hotel in the evening for overnight stay.

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Day 11 Varanasi – Delhi (by flight) – Haridwar (by train)

Today you fly from Varanasi to Delhi, where you will be received at the airport by our representative and taken to railway station. Here you will board the train to Haridwar. The city is considered one of the seven holiest places for the Hindus. According to legend, spilled drops of ‘amrit’ (nectar), the elixir of immortality, accidentally from the pitcher fell here. On arrival at Haridwar, our representative will receive you and give transfer to the pre-booked hotel. Spend the evening in serene environment of Haridwar and feel the ethereal spirituality all over. Overnight stay has been scheduled in Haridwar hotel.

Day 11 Varanasi – Delhi (by flight) – Haridwar (by train)

Today you fly from Varanasi to Delhi, where you will be received at the airport by our representative and taken to railway station. Here you will board the train to Haridwar. The city is considered one of the seven holiest places for the Hindus. According to legend, spilled drops of ‘amrit’ (nectar), the elixir of immortality, accidentally from the pitcher fell here. On arrival at Haridwar, our representative will receive you and give transfer to the pre-booked hotel. Spend the evening in serene environment of Haridwar and feel the ethereal spirituality all over. Overnight stay has been scheduled in Haridwar hotel.

Day 12 Day trip to Rishikesh

Today you take a day trip to Rishikesh at the foot of the Himalayas. Rishikesh is the starting point for the pilgrimage to the holy places in the Garhwal mountains where the sources of the Ganges lie. The holy river flows through Rishikesh and offers here - unlike in many places downstream - with clear water and scenic beauty. In Rishikesh you take some temple visits. In the evening visit an ashram here. Later, return to Haridwar for overnight stay.

Day 13 Haridwar – Amritsar (Haridwar Amritsar Jan Shatabdi-12053)

Today you will be taken on temple tour of Haridwar. You will be visiting several famous temples and ‘gurukuls’ during the course. After a tour of the temples of Haridwar, you will be transferred to Haridwar railway station to board train for Amritsar, the capital city of Punjab and cultural pivot of Sikhism. On arrival at Amritsar (Punjab), you will be received by our representative to ensure your transfer to and check in at the hotel. Overnight stay is scheduled in Amritsar hotel.

Day 14 Amritsar sightseeing

In the morning visit the famous Golden Temple of Amritsar, the most culturally significant shrine of the Sikhs. The Sikh religion goes back to the Guru Nanak Dev who gleaned the best of Hinduism & Islam and amalgamated them to enhance social harmony, meaningful life and progressive elements in 1469. You will then visit the Jallianwala Bagh, a park and monument. This memorial reminds Indians about the atrocities committed by the British. The memorial is reminiscent of the people who were killed during a peaceful protest for India's independence in 1919 by British soldiers. More than 2,000 civilians had lost their lives to the noble cause of freedom from the British. Hereinafter, you will be taken to Durgyana Temple. In the evening, visit the Wagha border, the only border gateway that ensures legal entry of people into each country- India & Pakistan. Beating Retreat ceremony, performed daily, is the prime attraction. only road border crossing between India and Pakistan. Overnight in Amritsar.

Day 15 Amritsar – Dharamshala (by car)

Have relaxed breakfast in Amritsar hotel, move for Dharamshala, a famous hill station & cultural centre of Himachal Pradesh. Dharamshala is a popular holiday destination. After annexation of Tibet by China, a large number of Tibetan Buddhists fled from Tibet to India and settled down along with their religious leader Dalai Lama in Dharamshala. Dalai Lama, from Dharamshala itself, runs Tibetan government in exile. As Dharamshala is the spiritual home of Dalai Lama, it has emerged as a great Buddhist centre with excellent mélange of Hinduism and Buddhism. On arrival at Dharamshala, you will be transferred to pre-booked hotel to spend evening in leisure and have overnight stay.

Day 16 Free time in Dharamshala

After relaxed breakfast in Dharamshala hotel, the day has been kept for leisurely visit of Macleodganj where one visits Dal Lake, Naddi, Bhagsu Nag Temple, the Holiness "Dalai Lama Temple" & Namgyal Monastery and enjoy the stunning beauty & tranquility of this region. Depending upon your interest and availability of time, visit ancient temples like Chamunda, Jwalamukhi and Brijeshwari and St. John Church. During the course of sightseeing, do explore the small Tibetan handicrafts and artifacts bazaar, which is filled with variety. Overnight stay has been scheduled in Dharamshala hotel.

Day 17 Dharamshala – Delhi (by flight)- Departure

Have delicious breakfast in Dharamshala hotel, spend morning hours in leisure and then drive for Dharamshala airport to board flight for Delhi. On arrival at New Delhi, board another flight for your onward destination.

Delhi

Delhi is enriched with long historical past, glorious culture, an enviable treasure of monuments and modern infrastructure. Delhi, currently thecapital of Indian Republic , has passed through several upheavals during its thousands of years of existence and has witnessed many ups and downs of history with many dynasties flourishing and diminishing with the passage of time.

Delhi has been built nine times over the years and accordingly named in the scriptures. Indraprastha, known as first Delhi, was founded by Pandavas of Mahabharata in around 1500 BC. Qila Rai Pithora, termed as second Delhi, was built by Raja Anang Pal and later re-christened by Prithviraj Chauhan as Lal Kot. Siri, the third Delhi, was founded by Ala-ud-din Khilji. Siri Fort, a major tourist attraction, is a famous monument of that time. Tughlaqabad, called as fourth Delhi, had been founded by Ghiyas-ud-din Tughlaq. Tughlaqabad Fort is a testimony to that. Jahan Panah, the fifth Delhi and a walled city, was constructed by Muhammad bin Tughlaq to address the constant threat of Mongols. The sixth Delhi, Ferozabad, was founded by Feroz Shah Tughlaq and its testimonial evidence can be seen in the form of 13-metre high tapering quadrangular pillar adjacent to Ashokan pillar. Din Panah, the seventh Delhi, was rebuilt afresh by Humayun and later razed and constructed by Sher Shah Suri. Earlier this Old Fort or Purana Qila was seat of legendary ruler Prithviraj Chauhan. The walled city of Shahjahanabad, known as eighth Delhi, had been founded by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan who built Taj Mahal as well in Agra. Modern and present day Delhi, the ninth Delhi and known as Lutyens' Delhi or New Delhi has been laid down by the British.

Ajmer

Situated in the centre of Rajasthan, the name of Ajmer, refreshes the memories of world famous Dargah of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti, Prithviraj Chauhan, the great poet Chandbardai, Sanyogita and Jaichand. The only Brahma Temple in India is at Hindu pilgrimage, Pushkar, which is 11 kms far from the city. The glorious ruler of Chauhan clan Ajaipal founded Ajmer on the Ajay Meru mountain in the seventh century. Dargah of Garib Nawaj Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti,also famous by the name of "Dargah Sharif"" and "Ajmer Sharif" is situated in the heart of the city. It is a principal Muslim pilgrimage, where devotees from all religions and communities bend down their heads to get their wishes fulfilled. In the month of "Rajab of Islam", lacs of Jayrins (pilgrims) come here. It is popularly known as second Mecca Madina among the Muslims of South East Asia. Emperor Akbar visited the the shrine on bare foot to get the blessings for getting a son. "Adhai Din Ka Jhopra Mosque “was built in two and half days, therefore, this mosque was named as such. This giant mosque is a unique artwork of Indo-Islamic amalgamation. "Soniji Ki Nasiyan”, the temple built of red stones, is dedicated to the first Jain Tirthankar, Rishabhdeo. The temple is a centre of tourist attractions for the highest degree of workmanship. Taragarh Fort was built on the hills of Taragarh at the height of 800 feet.

Pushkar

A small town of Ajmer district of Ajmer in Rajasthan, Pushkar is a religious and historical site. For the Hindus, Pushkar is one of the holiest pilgrimages with lone Brahma Temple. Pushkar Fair, organized every year, is a world renowned gathering of foreign and Indian tourists to enjoy traditional celebration of festivity. Pushkar Lake, religious rituals, activities in normal Indian fairs, folk music and dances, delicious cuisines, camel cart races etc. are prime attractions of Pushkar.

Jaipur

Jaipur, present day capital city of India’s largest state Rajasthan, is representative of typical Rajasthani culture, art, architecture and lifestyles. Known as ‘Pink City’ or ‘Gulabi Nagar’ of Rajasthan, Jaipur attracts tourists towards its gargantuan forts, marvelously built palaces, lively market of handicraft products and intricately carved out temples. The sprinkling beauty, the edifices, big havelis and stupendous sky-touching forts of Jaipur attract the tourists immensely. Jaipur is the only city in the world which has been built as per India’s Vaastu Shastra and segmented as per astrology. Jaipur has been laid according to the conventional nine-grid pattern that astrologers believe to be lucky and which has been recommended in the ancient Indian treatise on architecture. Its nine rectangular sectors represent nine levels of universe. A boundary wall with eight gates surrounds the city.

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.

Orchha

At Orchha, one can see the palace of Bir Singh Deo and also the Jahangir Palace. The palaces are impressive and offer pleasant views of the countryside and are worth a visit. There many other ruined buildings here and the seven storey Chaturbhuj Temple is close by.

Khajuraho

Khajuraho is well known for its temples. Of Indo-Aryan architecture, the temples of Khajuraho are embellished with superb decorations. Fine and artistic stonework is to be found around these temples. Many aspects of Indian life, as it existed 1000 years ago, have been depicted by the sculptors; curiously women and sex have been depicted in more detail. Owing to the subject of the sculptures, Khajuraho temples are also called Kamsutra Temples. These temples were built in Chandela period.

A Dance festival is held in March. The festival lasts for 10 days and some of the best classical dancers of India perform during the Khajuraho Dance Festival against the backdrop of Khajuraho temples which are floodlit.

Varanasi

Situated on the banks of holy river Ganga (the Ganges), the spiritual capital of India- Varanasi is known by several names like Banaras (as local people call it), Kashi (desrived from 'Kashika' meaning the shining one referring to the light of Lord Shiva), Avimukta (meaning never forsaken by Lord Shiva), Rudaravasa (meaning abode of Lord Shiva) and Anandavana (meaning forest of bliss). Varanasi is one of the holiest of the pilgrimages of the Hindus. Being on the banks of the Ganges, the most sacred and venerated river in India, Varanasi becomes all the more pious spiritual centre among religious Hindus. Its name Varanasi is derived from its being on the confluence of two rivers- Varuna and Asi. Though Varanasi is the world's oldest living city but its oldest monument is not older than 300 years because of inimically destructive invasions of Muslims. Varanasi is a prominent business and trade centre as well since the ancient times.

Ghats of Varanasi along the western bank of the Ganges are special as these epitomize various aspects of Hindu way of life. Watch out people having early morning bath followed by ablutions, puja by Brahmin priests, people practicing meditation & yoga, cremation process on Manikarnika ghat and Harishchandra ghat, people consulting the astrologers under their palm leaf parasols, buy offerings for rituals, trades selling silk apparels and brassware etc.

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.

Haridwar

Haridwar, meaning the gateway to God's abode,is one of the foremost pilgrimage place out of seven holiest places of Hindus. Located on the bank of river Ganga, it has its own identity among the tourists as well as among holy places of India. It is also recognized as gateway to four sacred abodes of Uttrakhand. There are many holy temples, famous ghats along with worth seeing historical places. Har-ki-Pauri is the foremost ghat of Haridwar. On this ghat, there is a sacred temple, where a crowd of priests and pandas remain everytime. Here, Kumbh and Ardhkumb fairs are held after a gap of twelve years and six years respectively. In the temple, worship of river Ganga, during evening, is a treat to watch and is beyond description.

Rishikesh

On the holy banks of Ganga, 24 kms away from Haridwar, is situated Rishikesh Dham. Located in the incomparable splendour of nature, its beauty is worth watching. After viewing the charming panorama of Ganges banks, the tourists, pilgrims get delighted. Here, the architecture of temples and ashrams is fascinating. Journeys to different places of Himalaya start from Rishikesh. Due to spiritual atmosphere, this place is termed as Yoga capital of the world.

Amritsar

Amritsar is capital city of Punjab province of India. The Sikh faith came into being in Punjab. To the Hindus and Sikhs, Amritsar is synonymous with the holiest shrine of Sikhism, the Harmandir Sahib of Golden Temple. It calls to the devotee in all corners of the world. A double- storey marble structure, its dome is covered with gold, as indeed are those of many Sikh temples (gurdwaras) all over the country. This is due to the devotion of the people for whom offering a part of their earnings is very important. Manual labour or 'Karseva' is another very important offering. It may be in the form of sweeping and washing the temple premises, cooking or actually bricklaying and building the Place.

Dharamshala

Dharamshala, popularly known as the 'Scotland of India' which is surrounded by deodar forests has open sky, dense and beautiful valleys along with the marvelous place, Kangra. This place is divided into two parts- Nichala Bazar (1250m) and Upper McLeodganj (1768m), which attracts the tourists too much. The Dalai Lama had established his headquarter here in 1960. Norbulingka Institute is becoming a major centre of Buddhist teaching where the students learn Tibetan language, art of wood and metal carving, silk, paintings etc. There is a small museum of traditional' dolls' made by monks and a Tibetan Library with a good range of books. McLeodganj is the residence of religious preacher of Tibet, Dalai Lama. It has a strong Tibetan influence. The Namgyal Monastery, with the centre of Tibetan Studies, is known as Little Lahasa or Small Tibet. It contains large glided bronzes of Buddha, Avalokitesvara and Padmasam-bhava. St. Jones Church in the Wilderness has attractive stained glass window. British viceroy Lord Elgin is buried here, according to his last wish. Bhagsunath Temple is having an idol of Lord Shiva inside along with a kund of cold water. It is changed with splendid natural sceneries.

  • Accommodation in the mentioned hotels on double sharing.

  • Daily breakfast basis on all places.

  • Total Meals: 16 (Breakfast).

  • Total night stays: 16 (Delhi-02; Pushkar-01; Jaipur-02; Agra-02; Khajuraho-01; Varanasi-02; Haridwar-02; Amritsar-02; Dharamshala-02).

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

  • Monument entrance charges.

  • Rickshaw ride in Chandni Chowk, Delhi.

  • Elephant ride at Amber Fort in Jaipur.

  • Tonga ride from hotel to Taj Mahal.

  • Cultural/ Sound & Light Show in Khajuraho.

  • Morning boat cruise in the Ganges along the ghats of Varanasi.

  • English speaking & destination-specific guides at all destinations 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.
  • Morning boat ride in the Ganges along the ghats of Varanasi.
  • Ride a caparisoned elephant like a king at Amber Fort in Jaipur.
  • A visit to Wagha border in Punjab.
  • Cultural/ Sound & light Show in Khajuraho.
  • Morning boat ride in the Ganges alongside the ghats of Varanasi.
  • Tonga (horse carriage) ride in Agra- from hotel to Taj Mahal gate.
Don’t miss on Spiritual Tour of North India:
  • Stay in heritage hotels of Rajasthan to experience modern yet royal hospitality.
  • Cultural events, puppet shows and traditional dances at Ravindra Manch.
  • Evening Aarti at Govind Dev Ji temple in Jaipur, Rajasthan.
  • Magnanimous Ganga Aarti (Ganges Worship Ceremony) in the evening on Dashashwamedh Ghat of Varanasi.
  • If you are handicrafts-freak, do squeeze out time visit Shilpgram in Udaipur.
  • Do move out to see Pushkar Lake & Brahma Temple in the morning when Vedic hymns are chanted, and various religious rites are performed by the devotees. Pious sound of conches and bells will enchant you.
  • Do taste food in ‘langar’ in Golden Temple of Amritsar.
Shopping:

Delhi:Handlooms, handicrafts, stalls that sell products from all over India (Dilli Haat).
Varanasi:Rudraksha, Banarasi sarees, carpets and clay artefacts.
Agra:Marble souvenirs
Jaipur:Environment-friendly printed clothes, jewellery and ethnic goods.
Dharamshala:Handicraft items produced by Tibetan Buddhist artisans.

Cuisines:

Delhi: Street foods/snacks like ‘tikki’, ‘chaat’, ‘Dahi Bhalla’, ‘pao bhaji’, ‘fruit chaat’, ‘rabdi faluda’.
Agra: Biryani at Heeng ki Mandi.
Varanasi: Hot and garlicky fish steak (Lahsun wali machali).
Amritsar: Matar Kulcha, Chicken Tikka, Lassi & Parathas.
Jaipur: Ker Sangri, Papad ki Sabzi and Dil Jaani sweet.

Is This Trip For Me:
Travel Style Service Level TPhysical Demands Trip Type Trip Rating
Classic Standard FIT/Small Group 4.7/5
DestinationsStandardSuperiorDeluxeLuxury
DelhiJiviteshHiltonShangri LaHotel Imperial
PushkarHotel Jagat Niwas Hotel Karohi HaveliLaxmi Vilas Palace- The LalitOberoi Udai Vilas
JaipurParadiseShahpura HouseITC RajputanaOberoi Raj Vilas
AgraHadoti PalaceHadoti PalaceHadoti PalaceHadoti Palace
KhajurahoUsha BundelaRamada PlazaJass RadissonThe Lalit-Temple View
Varanasi Maridien GrandRavitasTaj GangesNadesar Palace
HaridwarHotel Hari HeritageCountry Inn & SuitesRadisson BluRadisson Blu
AmritsarHotel City HeartCountry Inn & SuitesRadisson BluHyatt Amritsar
DharamshalaBob’s & BarleyAsia Health Resorts & SpaFortune Park MokshaFortune Park Moksha
  • Prices mentioned are per person on double/ 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 by cash in store or 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.

  • The normal check in - check out time of the hotels are 1200 hours and if your arrival time does not suit this we can arrange activities for you on the first day or pre-book the hotel from the previous night on additional charge and as per your request. Normally it takes 1 hour to come out of the airport from the time of arrival.

Followings are not included in the package

  • Meals other than breakfast and as specified above.

  • 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.

  • Any expenses arising out of unforeseen circumstances like flight delay/cancellation/hike in fare, strike or any other natural calamities.

  • Indian visa fees.

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

  • Early check in & late check out at the hotels.

  • Any other Items 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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