Vacation India Tourism » Religious
Wildlife Religious India Tour
11 Nights / 12 Days
Delhi - Patna - Bodhgaya - Varanasi - Khajuraho -
Agra - Mathura - Vrindavan - Agra - Fatehpur Sikri - Bharatpur - Jaipur
Day 1: Arrival Delhi
Arrive at New Delhis International Airport and transfer to hotel.
Overnight at hotel.
Day 2: Delhi
Today you will visit various temples, a mosque and yoga ashrams. Overnight
Day 3: Delhi - Patna - Bodhgaya
On the morning, take an early morning flight southeast from Delhi to Patna,
then transfer to our luxury coach for a drive south through rural central
Bihar State to Bodh Gaya. Bodh Gaya is the place where the Buddha attained
enlightenment, and the most important Buddhist pilgrimage site in the
world. After hotel check-in, you will have a full-day guided tour of the
area as we follow in the steps of the Buddha. In this large working Buddhist
center, you will see the descendant of the Bodhi tree under which the
Buddha sat, as well as numerous international Buddhist monasteries built
in their respective countrys styles.
Overnight at Hotel.
Day 4: Bodhgaya - Varanasi
After breakfast, drive west from Bodhi Gaya into Uttar Pradesh state and
to Hinduisms holiest pilgrimage city, Varanasi, the "City of
Light." Also known as Bewares or Kashi, Varanasi is the oldest continuously
inhabited city in the world. It is here that all Hindus aspire to come
once in their lifetimes to bathe in the Ganges River from the ghats, or
landings, all along the river. This act of worship releases the soul from
earthly samsara, or the cycle of life, death and rebirth, caused by ignorance.
We will have the opportunity to perform this ritual release as we take
a holy dip in the Ganges River. We will also enjoy an inspiring sunrise
boat ride along the rivers edge to view the temples and the ancient
rituals of the thousands of pilgrims who worship here daily. Free time
will be given to roam this ancient city independently.
Afternoon you will also have the opportunity to visit the Buddhist sacred
site of Sarnath, where the Buddha taught his first sermon about the Four
Noble Truths in Deer Park. During our evenings in Benares, we will meet
with scholars in fields such as Sanskrit, Ideology, Buddhism and Tantra.
Overnight at Hotel.
Day 5: Varanasi
Day in Varanasi to explore the city and temples. Overnight at hotel.
Day 6: Varanasi - Khajuraho
On the afternoon take a short flight westward to the world-famous temple
city of Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh state. The erotic sculptures of these
22 temples date back to the Chandela Dynasty of the 10th century AD. They
have been linked to everything from Tantric cults to Kama Sutra instruction
to a carved depiction of the marriage party of Shiva and Parvati. Regardless
of their origins, they depict a joyful ode to the source of all life,
and are Indias unique gift to the world. Overnight at Hotel.
Day 7: Khajuraho - Agra - Mathura
Morning free for independent activities. In the afternoon, take a short
flight to the city of Agra in Uttar Pradesh state to visit the legendary
Taj Mahal, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. This tastefully ornate
and architecturally perfect mausoleum was built by Emperor Shah Jahan
in memory of his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal, and is said to be the most
extravagant monument ever built for love. In addition to the Taj, we will
visit Agra Fort, the Old City, and the nearby city of Mathura, the birthplace
of Krishna. Overnight at Hotel.
Day 8: Mathura
Day to visit the temples.
Day 9: Mathura - Vrindivan - Agra - Fatehpur Sikri - Bharatpur
In the morning leave for the deserted city of Fatehpur Sikri, Built between
1569 and 1585 by the great Moghuls emperor Akbar, this unusual ghost city
fuses both Hindu and Muslim artistic traditions, in reflection of the
unique tolerance of this Muslim emperor. It was abandoned after 16 years
due to a shortage of water. In the afternoon, continue a short distance
west into Rajasthan state to arrive in the traditional town of Bharatpur,
where we will stay in a beautiful heritage hotel, formerly owned by a
royal family of Jaipur. This small town is also home to the Keoladeo Bird
Sanctuary, a World Heritage site, and one of the finest bird sanctuaries
in the world. In the evening, walk down to the town to visit with the
village inhabitants as they create hand-woven carpets. Overnight at Hotel.
Day 10: Bharatpur - Jaipur
At dawn on the morning, enjoy a cycle rickshaw safari/boat ride in the
Keoladeo Bird Sanctuary. The 29 square kilometers of swamps and lakes
here constitute one of the most important heronries in the world, with
such species as the dazzling purple heron, the common grey and the tiny
brown pond heron. Other species include orange-headed painted storks,
snake-like darters, spoonbills, white ibis, egrets, coots, shovelers,
widgeons, kingfishers, and grey pelicans. From October to March, the 120
species of Indian birds who live in the park year-round are joined by
another 130 species from as far afield as the Russian steppes and Central
Asia, including the rare Siberian crane, only 125 of which are estimated
to survive in the entire world. Along with birds, other species present
include wild boar, mongoose, spotted deer, blue bulls, antelope, jungle
cats, hyenas, jackals otters, pythons and Indian black buck. This
is definitely a sanctuary that even non-birders will enjoy!
After a relaxed breakfast, drive west to the traditional Rajasthani city
of Jaipur and check into hotel, In the afternoon, take a guided city tour
of Jaipur, the "Pink City," to include the honeycomb pink and
white-faced "Palace of the Winds," the magnificently ornate
City Palace, and the incredible sherbet-yellow astronomical observatory,
which operates through the use of the suns shadows to identify the
positions of the planets. Overnight at hotel.
Day 11: Jaipur - Delhi
In the morning, take a guided excursion through the Amber Fort and Raj
Mahal Palace complex. Built by Raja Man Singh beginning in 1592, this
ancient capital is a superb example of Rajput architecture, stunningly
situated on a hillside and overlooking a lake, which reflects its terraces
and ramparts. Enjoy a sturdy uphill ride to the palace atop a colorfully
decorated elephant. In the palace, visit the Shila Mata Temple, dedicated
to Goddess Kali in her aspect as the Goddess of War. Later in the afternoon,
drive back to Delhi in Uttar Pradesh state, and check into hotel. Overnight
Day 12: Delhi
Breakfast will be at hotel.
Transfer to airport in time for flight home with sweet memories of India.
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