Classical and Heritage India: 19 Days

Taste the diversity of the Indian landscape as we acquaint you with the bustling plains of Delhi, sleepy forests of Shimla, Holy shores of Varanasi, enticing shrines of Khajuraho and the royal dunes of Rajasthan. Witness the diversity of culture, traditions, food, architecture and art as you scale this incredible Indian landscape. Discover British influences in the architecture of Delhi and Shimla, while Varanasi and Khajuraho tell tales of eras gone by, absorb the beauty of the Taj Mahal and find yourself in awe of the display of opulence in Rajasthan.



Day 1-2: Delhi

A Compass India Holiday representative will receive you at the airport and help you transfer to the hotel.

Delhi, India's capital has seen great empires rise and fall around it for millennia, with each new batch of rulers building over the works of their predecessors. As a result, the city abounds in monuments and ruins of stunning diversity. The seat of the world's largest democracy, it also boasts of magnificent symbols of government that pay architectural tribute to the ideals of self-rule and democracy. These co-exist side by side with wide multi-lane motorways, shopping malls, fast cars and ultramodern steel-glass office complexes that characterize any large 21st century metropolis.

Overnight will be at Delhi.

Enjoy a guided tour of Old Delhi after breakfast.

The tour will begin with a visit to Raj Ghat, a simple memorial to Mahatma Gandhi. He is also famously known as the "father of the nation".

One of the most important buildings of Old Delhi is the RED FORT. The magnificent Red Fort was built during the years 1638 - 48 when the Moghul Empire was at its peak. In 1638 Shahjahan transferred his capital from Agra to Delhi and laid the foundations of Shahjahanabad, the seventh city of Delhi. It is enclosed by a rubble stonewall, with bastions, gates and wickets at intervals. Of its fourteen gates, the important ones are the Mori, Lahori, Ajmeri, Turkman, Kashmiri and Delhi gates, some of which have already been demolished. His famous citadel, the Lal-Qila, or the Red Fort, lying at the town's northern end on the right bank or the Yamuna and south of Salimgarh, was begun in 1639 and completed after nine years. The Red Fort is different from the Agra fort and is better planned, because at its back lies the experience gained by Shahjahan at Agra, and because it was the work of one hand. It is an irregular octagon, with two long sides on the east and west, and with two main gates, one on the west and the other on the south, called Lahori and Delhi gates respectively. While the walls, gates and a few other structures in the fort are constructed of red sandstone, marble has been largely used in the palaces.

Continue your tour to Jama Masjid by bicycle rickshaws, one of Asia's largest mosques. People stream in and out of the mosque continuously and the presence of a nearby bazaar means that the area is rarely quiet.

Enjoy the rickshaw ride at Old Delhi peddling through the narrow by lanes of Chandani Chowk.

After lunch proceed for a sightseeing tour of New Delhi, which reflects the legacy of the British left behind. The division between New and Old Delhi is the division between the capitals of the British and the Mughals respectively. The division in the walled city and New Delhi also marks the division in the life-styles. The walled city is all tradition where one will be able to glean a past life-style in all its facets, colors and spells. New Delhi in contrast, is a city trying to live up to the best of 21st century standards.

Imperial Delhi will include the Qutub Minar, the tallest stone tower in India. Qutb-Minar in red and buff standstone is the highest tower in India. It has a diameter of 14.32 m at the base and about 2.75 m on the top with a height of 72.5 m. Qutbu'd-Din Aibak laid the foundation of Minar in AD 1199 for the use of the mu'azzin (crier) to give calls for prayer and raised the first floor, to which were added three more floors by his successor and son-in-law, Shamsu'd-Din Iltutmish (AD 1211-36). All the storeys are surrounded by a projected balcony encircling the minar and supported by stone brackets, which are decorated with honeycomb design, more conspicuously in the first floor.

Next stop would be the majestic Humayun's Tomb. Humayun died in 1556, and his widow Hamida Banu Begum, also known as Haji Begum, commenced the construction of his tomb in 1569, fourteen years after his death. It is the first distinct example of proper Mughal style, which was inspired by Persian architecture. It is well known that Humayun picked up the principles of Persian architecture during his exile, and he himself is likely to have planned the tomb, although there is no record to that effect.

The tour also includes a drive past the imposing India Gate, the Parliament building and the Rastrapathi Bhawan, the President's residence.

If time permits then visit the Lotus temple located in south of Delhi. It is lotus shaped and has rightly been given the name. It is made of marble, cement, dolomite and sand. It is open to all faiths and is an ideal place for meditation and obtaining peace and tranquillity. Its founder, Bahaullah (1817-1892), is regarded by Bahai as the most recent in the line of Messengers of God that stretches back beyond recorded time and that includes Abraham, Moses, Buddha, Zoroaster, Christ and Muhammad.

We could even have time to see the Indira Gandhi Museum or else Lotus Temple can be replaced with the museum visit. The history of the Gandhi family is well documented in this old building which was the last residence of Mrs Gandhi.

Overnight will be at Delhi.

Day 3-5: Shimla

Breakfast will be at hotel. Proceed for the sight seeing tour of the city. Explore the scenic places around Shimla – Naldhera with its rolling meadows and a 9 hole golf course, Mashobrawith its pine forests offering lovely walks, specially the pathways from Bekalty Road, Kufri's famed ski slopes and the small zoo and Chail with its romantic palace, deodar The Mall, Shimla Travel Packagesforests, not to forget its highest cricket pitch. The area has breathtaking views of the Himalayan peaks foreshadowed by the terraced fields and verdant forests. In the evening soak in the ambience of this old world town, going shopping on the fashionable Mall. In the evening, pamper yourself at the facilities of the resort.

Overnight will be at Shimla.

Day 6: Delhi

Proceed to Delhi and sightseeing of the city.

Overnight at hotel.

Day 7-8: Varanasi

In the early morning drive to Daswamedh Ghat and take a boat ride on the sacred river Ganges to see the cremation Ghats and witness the living traditions of one of the world's oldest and most important religions. (To start at 0500 hrs. for the best lifetime experience) For you to appreciate this remarkable city, we'll transfer you to the banks of the River Ganges before the sun rises.

Board a boat with your guide and proceed to the middle of the river, where at sunrise the sight unfolds before you. Thousands of faithful come daily to the banks to bathe and pray while in the background, temples and palaces rise in tiers from the water's edge.

Then return for a walk through the cobblestone streets along the banks of "Ganga". As shops are opening, the place now becomes a beehive of activity as the faithful are coming and going. Visit the Kashi Vishwanath Temple while returning to the hotel.

Return for breakfast to the hotel.

Proceed for day guided tour of Varanasi including the Bharat Mata Temple, which features a big relief map of Mother India engraved in marble. Also visit the 18th century Durga Temple, commonly known as the Monkey Temple due to the huge population of the monkeys. Proceed to the Tulsi Manas Temple, crafted from white marble which features the entire Ramayana inscribed on its walls. Also visit the BHU considered as the biggest residential university in Asia. The University Campus houses an Art Gallery and the Mosque of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb.

Visit Sarnath 5 miles out of Varanasi: The great Buddha enhanced the sanctity of Varanasi by choosing the environs of the city to preach his first sermon at Sarnath, (only 10 Kms away) after attaining enlightenment. Later, Ashoka, the great Mauryan Emperor erected magnificent stupas and other buildings along with his mighty stone pillar, Dharmarajika Stupa. The 110 ft. tall Damekh Stupa marks the place where Buddha preached first sermon. Sarnath has been a premier centre for Buddhism. It is a rich collection of ancient Buddhist relics and antiques comprising numerous Buddha and Bodhisatva images on display at the Archaeological Museum (1000 hrs to 1700 hrs. Open all days except Friday)

Post sightseeing day free to explore the city.

Overnight will be at Varanasi.

Day 9-10: Khajuraho

Drive to Khajuraho. Reach Khajuraho. Transferred to hotel and relax.

Khajuraho: Situated in the northernmost part of Madhya Pradesh, Khajuraho is famous for its enchanting temples and its legendary Khajuraho dance festival. The name Khajuraho is derived from the Khajur tree (the date palm tree) which is grown abundantly in the region. The Khajuraho Temples are dedicated to a celebration of womanhood, her myriad moods and facets. Famous for its erotic architecture, the carvings include, women writing a letter, applying eye makeup, combing her tresses, dancing & playing with her child. Her innocent, blushed, charming, seductive, ardent beauty, all depicted in exquisitely sculptured details. These temples have been designed and carved to lead the eyes from ground level upward till you seem to be looking at heaven.

In the evening proceed for the Sound and light show and retire for the night.

Overnight will be at Khajuraho.

Day 13-14: Jaipur

Proceed for a sunrise view of the Taj Mahal.

TAJ MAHAL - Little needs to be said about this architectural wonder which is always the soul raison-de-etre for every tourist's visit to Agra. Built by Shah Jahan, the Taj is a white marble memorial to his beautiful wife Mumtaz Mahal. This monument took 22 years to be completed and was designed, and planned by Persian architect Ustad Isa. Apart from its stunning design balance and perfect symmetry, the Taj is also noted particularly for its elegant domes, intricately carved screens and some of the best inlay work ever seen. Return back to the hotel for breakfast.

Proceed for an afternoon visit of Agra Fort.

AGRA FORT - Built by the famed Mughal emperor Akbar in 1565 AD, the fort is predominantly of red sandstone. Ensconced within is the picture perfect Pearl Mosque, which is a major tourist attraction. It lies on the bend of the river Yamuna, almost in the heart of the town. Akbar built it as his citadel over the years 1563-73 in the finest architectural style. It has imposing gates and walls of red sandstone and a moat.

After Agra Fort we will visit BABY TAJ - The interiors of which are considered better than the Taj.

Overnight will be at Agra.

Day 15-16: Jodhpur

Proceed in the morning after a leisurely breakfast and reach Jodhpur.

Set at the edge of the Thar Desert, the imperial city of Jodhpur echoes with tales of antiquity in the emptiness of the desert. Once the capital of the Marwar state, it was founded in 1459 AD by Rao Jodha-chief of the Rathore clan of Rajputs who claimed to be descendants of Rama - the epic hero of the Ramayana. The massive 15th century AD Mehrangarh Fort looms on the top of a rocky hill, soaring 125 Mts. Above the plains. The city is encompassed by a high wall -10 km long with 8 gates and innumerable bastions.

Relax in the hotel and visit the museum of UMAID BHAWAN PALACE.

Overnight at Jodhpur.

Day 17-18: Udaipur

Breakfast at hotel.

Proceed for sightseeing tour of Udaipur, stopping first at City Palace. Here you will marvel at rooms with mirrored walls and ivory doors, colored glass windows and inlaid marble balconies and the Peacock Courtyard.

Also visit the lovely Sahelion-ki-Bari Gardens, the Jagdish Temple and the local folk Museum.

Proceed for Evening Motor launch cruise on the placid waters of Lake Pichola. From he boat you will be able to view the city of Udaipur as it rises majestically above the lake in the middle of the Rajasthan desert. Also visit the Jag Mandir - the other island palace in the middle of the lake. Spend some time at the Jag Mandir.

Overnight at Udaipur.

Day 19: Delhi - Back Home

Breakfast at hotel. Day free to explore the city and finish last minute shopping.

Proceed for the DANCES OF INDIA SHOW in the evening at 1800 hr after checking out of the hotel. After the show you will have FAREWELL DINNER before reaching the airport for flight home with sweet memories of India.

SPECIAL HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDED

• Rickshaw ride at old delhi bazaar,
• Toy train from shimla to kalka,
• Boat ride at river ganges in varanasi,
• Prayer ceremony at the banks of river ganges in varanasi,
• Sound and light show at khajuraho,
• Dance show at khajuraho,
• Horse cart ride to taj mahal in agra,
• Theatre show kalakriti in agra,
• Lunch at abhaneri,
• Prayer ceremony at birla temple in jaipur,
• Elephant ride at amer fort - jaipur,
• Pal haveli dinner,
• Bishnoi village visit in jodhpur, and
• Boat ride at udaipur - if water level permits.

THE TOUR INCLUDES

• Accommodation at suggested hotels on double occupancy,
• Daily buffet breakfasts,
• Sightseeing tours as mentioned in the itinerary,
• All tours and transfers in ac private toyota innova at disposal with driver,
• English speaking company authorised guide for all mentioned tours,
• Monument entrances,
• Assistance at the airports on arrival / departure,
• 24 hrs dedicated tour manager,
• Unlimited mineral water and tissues during drives,
• Porter charges at stations,
• Train fare in first class from delhi-kalka-delhi,
• Shimla Tour PackagesEconomy class airfare by full service airline,
• All applicable taxes and service charges, and
• All road taxes, government taxes and driver allowances.

EXCLUSIONS

• Lunches and dinners (except for those mentioned in inclusions),
• Personal expenses,
• Camera fees, tips etc,
• International airfare,
• Visa charges.

Hotels

City Luxury Palace & Boutique First Class & Heritage Nights
Delhi The Oberoi Taj Mansingh The Maidens 02
Shimla The Oberoi Cecil Clarkes Radisson 03
Delhi The Oberoi The Imperial The Maidens 01
Varanasi Nadhesar Palace The Gateway Hotel Ganges Radisson 02
Khajuraho The Lalit Temple View The Lalit Temple View Radisson 02
Agra The Oberoi Amarvilas Grand Imperial Clarks Shiraz 02
Jaipur The Oberoi Rajvilas Taj Jai Mahal Palace Shahpura House 02
Jodhpur Taj Umaid Bhawan Palace Taj Hari Mahal Ajit Bhawan 02
Udaipur Taj Lake Palace The Leela Palace Kempinski Shikarbadi 02

Tour Price

Ask our travel expert for Tour price.

We would love to personalize a tour for you that fits your travel requirements and satisfies your vacation needs. Just let us know what you want and we will create the perfect vacation experience for you. We don't and will never charge you for any number of itinerary changes that you may wish to have. Do let us know you thoughts and we will ensure that you will see India just like you wanted to!

Get a Quote now! Customize now!