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Vacation India Tourism –» Religious Tours India

Wildlife Religious India Tour

Duration: 11 Nights / 12 Days
Places Covered: Delhi - Patna - Bodhgaya - Varanasi - Khajuraho - Agra - Mathura - Vrindavan - Agra - Fatehpur Sikri - Bharatpur - Jaipur - Delhi

Day 1: Arrival Delhi

Arrive at New Delhi’s International Airport and transfer to hotel.
Overnight at hotel.

Day 2: Delhi

Today you will visit various temples, a mosque and yoga ashrams. Overnight at hotel.

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 country’s styles.
Overnight at Hotel.

Day 4: Bodhgaya - Varanasi

After breakfast, drive west from Bodhi Gaya into Uttar Pradesh state and to Hinduism’s 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 river’s 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 India’s 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, jackal’s 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 sun’s 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 at hotel.

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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