Classical India Tour With Rajasthan Royalty & Wildlife: 18 Days

Experience the sights and sounds of India’s most multicultural, vibrant cosmopolitan city Mumbai, the starting point of your journey. This” City of Dreams “has a multitude of unique and interesting sights and the grandiose monument overlooking the Arabian sea, the Gateway of India is a popular place to start exploring Mumbai. Next head to Udaipur, a city of fairytale palaces, lakes, temples and gardens. Relax in the specially appointed rooms in the luxurious Oberoi Udaivilas ,overlooking the picturesque Lake Pichola.The grand interiors ,the architectural brilliance and tranquil ambience will transport you in the bygone era of royalty .Experience the vivid hues of Rajasthan in the blue city Jodhpur before heading out to Jaipur to explore opulent palaces , majestic forts and a labyrinth of bustling bazaars selling textiles, leatherwork, woodblock prints, perfume, jewelry and Jaipur’s traditional blue pottery. Get in tune with nature for a luxury holiday in the heart of the jungle Ranthambore - perhaps the best place in the world to sight a tiger in the wild.

No tour of India would be complete without a visit to the eternal embodiment of love, the Taj Mahal and you will be spell bounded with its exquisite beauty and craftsmanship. Feel the pulse of the real India on your train trip to Jhansi, drive to Panna visiting the medieval city Orchha en-route. Your next stop Varanasi, the City of Sacred light is the spiritual center of the Hindu world and a major pilgrimage site. Witness the evening Aarti on the banks of the Holy Ganges at sunset and this spectacular synchronized ritual will leave you in a hypnotic trance.

Next head to the Capital city of New Delhi and explore the Moghul monuments, of Old Delhi, the edifices of the imperial era in New Delhi and witness its past glory and vibrant present.

This trip is not only one of the favorites amongst our guests but also our most recommended trip for North India.



Day 01 : Mumbai Arrival:

COMPASS REPRESENTATIVE will receive you on arrival at the Mumbai airport and transfer to the hotel.

Its young, its lively and a confluence of varied cultural currents and cross currents have given Mumbai a unique position of the most multi-ethnic city of India. The capital city of Maharashtra State formerly known as Bombay lies in the southwestern part of India and occupies a peninsular site originally composed of seven islets lying off the KONKAN COAST of western India. Oozing with the cocksure self-confidence of a maverick moneymaker and "Bindass" (carefree) attitude, Mumbai is also country's financial and commercial hub and has a principal port on the Arabian Sea.

Yet, there's another face of Mumbai too that is of the most densely populated cities in the world. Mumbai is located on a site of ancient settlement and took its name from the local Goddess "Mumba" - a form of Parvati, the consort of Shiva, one of the principal Gods of Hinduism - whose temple once stood in what is now the southeastern section of the Mumbai city.

Enjoy evening in leisure around the beach.

Chowpatty Beach: Chowpatty beach situated at the end of Marine Drive has a moderate expanse of sand and is the only beach in the central part of Mumbai. One can witnesses many Hindu religious ceremonies taking place at Chowpatty like the Annual Thread-Tying Ceremony initiating young boys into the Brahmin caste, 'Nariel Purnima' towards the end of the monsoons and 'Ganesh Chaturthi' immersions.

Overnight will be at Mumbai.

Day 02 : Mumbai:

Breakfast will be at the hotel.

Enjoy the sightseeing.

Mumbai Fort: The area north of Colaba is known as Mumbai Fort, since the old British fort was once located here. There are a lot of impressive buildings from Mumbai's golden period here. St. John's church, dedicated to the soldiers, who laid down their lives in the Sindh campaign of 1838, and the first Afghan war of 1843, is also worth a visit.

Marine Drive in Mumbai: Marine Drive located in the central Mumbai, built in the 1920s and 30s on land reclaimed from the sea, is Mumbai's most famous thoroughfare. It is also referred to as the Queen's Necklace because of the dramatic line of street lamps lit up at night. Recently it has come to known as Netaji Subhashchandra Bose Road with Nariman Point on one end to Babulnath, at the foot of Walkeshwar on the other.

Gateway of India: Mumbai's principal landmark, the Gateway of India is a huge archway on the water's edge at Apollo Bunder. It is the starting point for most tourists who want to explore the city. This famous monument was built to commemorate the visit of the first ever British Monarch, King George V and Queen Mary in 1911.

Flora Fountain/ Hutama Chowk: This fountain situated in the heart of the city was erected in 1869 in honour of a British Governor of Bombay. Sir Brtle Frere. Flora Fountain marks a junction of five streets and known as the 'Picadilly Circus 'of Mumbai, which is decorated at its four corners with mythological figures, the Fountain is a structure in dull stone with a figure the Roman Goddess of flowers, at the top.

Victoria Terminus/Western Railway Station: At the site of the Koli's original temple to Mumba Devi now stands Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus - one of Mumbai's most prominent buildings and architecturally one of the finest stations in the world. It is built in a style that combines Gothic and Indian influences. It was completed in 1885. Designed by F.W. Stevens the building commenced in 1878. This Italian gothic Building has a frontage of over 15, 00 feet. The administrative offices form three sides of a rectangle enclosing an ornamental garden, the entrance gate guarded by a massive stone Lion and Tiger. The most prominent feature of this building is the high 160 feet dome crowning the centre. On top of the giant dome is a figure of a women with a torch held aloft to symbolize progress.

Mumbai High court: An attractive building in early English Gothic style, situated next to the Oval Ground is well worth a visit for its impressive architecture. Statues representing Justice and Mercy surmount the Central structure.

Rajabai Clock tower: Rajabai Clock tower, situated at the gardens of the Bombay University building rises above the portion of the library section. Consisting of five elaborately decorated storeys the tower is 280ft.in height. The top of the cupola is ornamented with sixteen statues depicting various Indian castes.

Hanging Gardens in Mumbai: Also known as Pherozeshah Mehta Gardens, the Hanging Gardens were built in 1880 and renovated in 1921. These gardens are popularly known as Hanging Gardens, because of their location on the slope of a hill. The terrace garden looks south from Malabar Hill towards Colaba, and affords a panoramic view of the city or a breathtaking sunset. It is built over three reservoirs, which store 30 million gallons of water pumped here for cleaning before being supplied to the town.

Dhobi Ghat: unique feature of Mumbai, the dhobi is a traditional laundryman, who will collect your dirty linen, wash it, and return it neatly pressed to your doorstep. All for a pittance. The "laundries" are called "ghats": row upon row of concrete wash pens, each fitted with its own flogging stone. The clothes are soaked in sudsy water, thrashed on the flogging stones, then tossed into huge vats of boiling starch and hung out to dry. Next they are ironed and piled into neat bundles. The most famous of these Dhobi Ghats is at Saat Rasta near Mahalaxmi Station where almost two hundred dhobis and their families work together in what has always been a hereditary occupation.

In the evening and enjoy a walk around COLABA or shopping.

Overnight will be at Mumbai.

Day 03 : Mumbai – Udaipur: By air

Breakfast will be at the hotel.

If interested proceed for a SLUM tour.

Later, transfer to the airport to take flight for Udaipur. Reach and check into the hotel.

The city of Dawn, Udaipur is a lovely land around the azure lake, hemmed in by the lush hills of the ARAVALLIS. A vision in white drenched in romance and beauty, Udaipur is a fascinating blend of sights, sound and experiences and inspiration for the imagination of poets, painters and writers.

Its kaleidoscope of fairy-tale palaces, lakes, temples, gardens and narrow lanes strewn with stalls, carry the flavor of a heroic past, epitomizing valor and chivalry. Their reflection in the placid waters of the LAKE PICHOLA is an enticing sight.

Udaipur is the jewel of MEWAR – a kingdom ruled by the Sisodia dynasty for 1200 Years.

Overnight will be at Udaipur.

Day 04 : Udaipur:

Breakfast will be at hotel.

Proceed for sightseeing tour of Udaipur, stopping first at City Palace.

City Palace: Standing on the east bank of Lake Pichola, is a massive series of palaces built at different times from 1559 A.D. The balconies of the palace provide panoramic views of "Jag Niwas" (the world wide famous Lake palace hotel), Jag Mandir on one side and on the other the city of Udaipur. Its main entrance is through the triple-arched gate - the Tripolia, built in 1725. The way now leads to a series of courtyards, overlapping parathions, terraces, corridors and gardens - a harmonic profusion hard to describe. There is a Suraj Gokhda, where the maharanas of Mewar presented themselves in the times of trouble to the people to restore confidence. The Mor-chowk (Peacock courtyard), gets its name from the vivid mosaics in glass decorating its walls. The chini chitrashala is noteworthy while a series of wall paintings of KRISHNA are on display in Bhim Vilas. There are numerous other places such as Dilkhush Mahal, Sheesh Mahal, Moti Mahal and Krishna villas - in memory of a princess of striking beauty who poisoned herself to avert a bloody battle for her hand by rival princess. Now the palace contains many antique articles, paintings, decorative furniture and utensils and attracts thousands of visitors every day.

Here you will marvel at rooms with mirrored walls and ivory doors, coloured glass windows and inlaid marble balconies and the Peacock Courtyard.

Saheliyon ki Bari: Maharana Sangram Singh builds this in the mid-18th century. The 'garden of the maidens' brings to mind the lifestyle of the ladies of the court. The delightful gardens appear discreet and in impeccable taste. There are four pools with dainty kiosks, and all around are flowerbeds, lawns, pools and fountains protected by a series of walls and shady trees. The Foundation of the Sahelion ki Bari functions solely by water pressure and no pumps are used. The garden has a lotus pool, a sitting room decorated with paintings and glass mosaics. The whole ambiences are flavored by the nostalgia of those beautiful bells enjoying themselves in a lavish aura.

Bagore ki Haveli: This is a very congenial old building built right on the waterfront of Lake Pichola at Gangori Ghat. Amir Chand Badwa, the Prime Minister of Mewar built it in the eighteenth century. The palace has over hundred rooms and some very interesting display of costumes and modern art. The glass and mirror in the interiors of the Haveli delicate work and well preserved too. It also preserves a fine example of Mewar Painting on the walls of Queen's Chamber. The two peacocks made from small pieces of coloured glasses are fine examples of glasswork. After the death Badwa the building became the property of Mewar State. It came to be occupied by Maharana Shakti Singh of Bagore who built the palace of the three arches also in 1878 and it acquired its name of Bagore-ki-haveli, the house of Bagore. After independence the structure lay in neglect until 1986 when it housed the West Zone Cultural centre.

Jagdish Temple: The temple is situated in the middle of the city. The temple of Jagannath Rai, now called Jagdish-ji, is a major monument and should be seen carefully. Raised on a tall terrace and completed in 1651, it is a tribute alike to the tenacity of its builders and the resilience of the art tradition it represents. It attaches a double storeyed Mandapa (hall) to a double - storied, saandhara (that having a covered ambulatory) sanctum. The mandapa has another storey tucked within its pyramidal samavarna (bell - roof) while the hollow clustered spire over the sanctum contains two more, non - functional stories. Lanes taking off from many of the sheharpanah (city wall) converge on the Jagdish Temple and walking leisurely through them brings you face with the many layers of the cultural palimpsest that Udaipur is. It was built by Maharana Jagat Singh Ist in 1651 A.D.

Proceed for Evening Motor launch cruise on the placid waters of Lake Pichola. From the 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 Palace - the other island palace in the middle of the lake. Spend some time at the Jag Mandir Palace.

Overnight will be at Udaipur.

Day 05 : Udaipur - Ranakpur - Jodhpur By Road

Breakfast will be at the hotel.

Start for Jodhpur visiting Ranakpur enroute.

En-route, visit the RANAKPUR TEMPLES, dating back to the 15th century. 200 pillars, none of which are alike, support its 29 halls. The Temple abounds with intricate friezes and sculptures. Includes visits to two more Jain temples and the Temple of the Sun God with its erotic sculptures.

Reach and check in at hotel.

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.

VISIT MUSEUM IN UMAID BHAWAN PALACE: The romantic looking Umaid Bhawan Palace was actually built with the purpose of giving employment to the people of Jodhpur during a long drawn famine. The royal family of Jodhpur still lives in a part of the palace. Another part of the palace houses a well-maintained museum, displaying an amazing array of items belonging to the Maharaja and the royal family - weapons, antiques & fascinating clocks, crockery and trophies.

Overnight will be at Jodhpur.

Day 06 : Jodhpur – Jaipur By road

Breakfast will be at the hotel.

Enjoy the sightseeing tour of the city.

MEHRANGARH FORT: Situated on a steep hill, Mehrangarh fort is one of the largest forts in India. The beauty and the grandeur of numerous palaces in the fort narrate a saga of hard sandstones yielding to the chisels of skilled Jodhpuri sculptures. Mehrangarh Fort, spreading over 5 km on a perpendicular hill and looking down 125 meters, presents a majestic view on city horizon. It was built on advice of a saint in 1459 to establish an impregnable head-quarter. This Fort is one of the best in India with its exquisitely latticed windows, carved panels, elaborately adorned windows and walls of Moti Mahal, Phool Mahal, and Sheesh Mahal. A collection of musical instruments, palanquins, royal costumes, furniture and the cannons on the fort's ramparts are well preserved.

JASWANT THADA: Close to the fort complex, lies Jaswant Thada. This 19th century royal cenotaph built in white marble in commemoration of Maharaja Jaswant Singh II and three other cenotaphs stand nearby. The cenotaph of Maharaja Jaswant Singh holds the rare portraits of the rulers and Maharajas of Jodhpur. A visit inside the cenotaphs, with some villagers of the region, would bring forward the reverence they still hold for their brave kings.

Drive to the city of Jaipur through rustic villages. Reach and check in at hotel by afternoon.

Jaipur is the capital of the state of Rajasthan a romantic realm of resplendent palaces, mighty fortresses and regal Maharajahs that lies in the western deserts and is an utterly unique part of India. Proudly belonging to the KSHATRIYA warrior caste and fiercely independent, the Rajput princes made fearsome foes. However, many of them realized that to maintain their wealth and authority locally, it was expedient to proclaim allegiance to the central power. Thus, many enjoyed a privileged position under the Mughal emperors and also the British Raj that followed.

The bustling Rajasthan capital of Jaipur takes its name from its venerated founder Jai Singh II, who was given the title Sawai Maharaja by the Mughal. Literally translated this would mean ’one and a quarter’, suggesting that the Mughal thought this emperor to be more valuable than just ‘one’. Jaipur is known as the ’Pink City’ on account of the distinctive color of its buildings. This did not, however, form part of the original plan, but dates back to 1856, when the city was given a wash of pink in honor of a State Visit from Prince Albert.

Overnight will be at Jaipur.

Day 07 : Jaipur:

Proceed for a morning excursion to Amber Fort after breakfast. Elephant ride ascent to the fort.

AMBER FORT PALACE - Amber is the classic romantic Rajasthani fort palace. Its construction was started by Man Singh I in 1592, and completed by his descendent Jai Singh I. Its forbidding exterior belies an inner paradise where a beautiful fusion of Mughal and Hindu styles finds its ultimate expression.

Continue sightseeing.

CITY PALACE – A delightful blend of Mughal and traditional Rajasthani architecture, the City Palace sprawls over one-seventh of the area in the walled city. It houses the Chandra Mahal, Shri Govind Dev Temple and the City Palace Museum.

JANTAR MANTAR – This is the largest and the best preserved of the five observatories built by Jai Singh II in different parts of the country. This observatory consisting of outsized astronomical instruments is still in use.

HAWA MAHAL – The ornamental facade of this "Palace of Winds" is a prominent landmark in Jaipur. It is a five-storey structure of sandstone-plastered pink encrusted with fine trelliswork and elaborates balconies. The palace has 953 niches and windows. Built in 1799 by Pratap Singh, the Mahal was a royal grandstand for the palace women.

This afternoon is free for you to relax shop or explore independently. Shopping is superb in Jaipur, particularly for gold and silver jewellery, pottery, tie-dye materials, silk, saris, wooden handicrafts and carpets.

This evening, visit the BIRLA TEMPLE to learn more about the fascinating religious life of Jaipur. The marble structure, built as recently as 1985, houses ornate statues including one of Lakshmi (goddess of Wealth and Beauty) and Narayan dressed in gaudy robes, representing a Hindu vision of heavenly luxury. Carvings in the temple and on pillars supporting the covered walkways include images of the Hindu pantheon, as well as Jesus, the Blessed Virgin Mary and St Francis of Assisi. Your visit will coincide with the AARTI Ceremony, which involves oil lamps being lit and waved, in order to awake and invoke the deity.

Enjoy the experience and spend night at Jaipur.

Day 08 : Jaipur – Ranthambhore By road

Breakfast will be at the hotel.

Drive to RANTHAMBHORE and check in at your luxury lodge.

Ranthambore Tiger Reserve, at the junction of the Aravalis and the Vindhyas, is a unique example of natural and historical richness, standing out conspicuously in the vast, arid and denuded tract of eastern Rajasthan, barely 14 kilometers from Sawai Madhopur. Get in tune with nature for a luxury holiday in the heart of the jungle. Ranthambore - perhaps the best place in the world to sight a tiger in the wild. The Ranthambore National Park has had more Tiger sightings than any other National Park in the country. It has come to be known as "The land of the Tiger", where most of the documented footage of this majestic beast has been recorded.

It spreads over a highly undulating topography varying from gentle to steep slopes; from flat-topped hills of the Vindhyas to the conical hillocks and sharp ridges of the Aravallis, from wide and flat valleys to narrow rocky gorges. An important geological feature the ‘Great Boundary Fault’ where the Vindhya plateaus meet the Aravali Hill Ranges meanders through the Reserve. The rivers Chambal in the south and Banas in the north bind the National Park.

Overnight will be at Ranthambore.

Day 09 : Ranthambhore:

Wake up early morning and leave for your safari into the National Park. Track the tigers and other wildlife through the morning. Return to the resort / lodge by 1000 in the morning and have breakfast.

Freshen up and spend time at the hotel or visit the town. You could also go for a nice visit to the temple on top of the fort.

In the afternoon have lunch and then leave again for you afternoon safari. The safari will be till evening 1700 – 1800hr and then return to the resort / lodge.

Dinner will be at the resort and retire early for the night.

Overnight will be at Ranthambore.

Day 10 : Ranthambhore – Fatehpur Sikri – Agra By Road

Visit FATEHPUR SIKRI before reaching Agra.

Fatehpur Sikri is 37 km west of Agra. Jajal-ud-din-Muhammad Akbar, Humanyun's son, accessed the throne at the tender age of 14. While hunting around Sikri his curiosity was aroused by the songs of some minstrels about the celebrated Khwaja -Mu'inu'd-din Chisti, the founder of the Chisti order of SUFIS. Akbar, who was without a male heir heard about Saint Salim Chisti and visited him in the year1568,. The saint blessed him with 3 sons and in gratitude Akbar ordered the great mosque of Fatehpur Sikri built under his supervision. As a mark of respect to the saint, Akbar shifted his capital to Fatehpur Sikri and built various secular buildings like the Diwan -I-Am, Diwan-I-Khas, Jodhabai palace, Birbal's house, Marian's house and the Panchmahal.

Reach Agra and transfer to hotel.

AGRA: Two great Mughal monarchs, Akbar and Shahjehan, transformed the little village of Agra into a befitting second capital of the Mughal Empire - giving it the name Dar-ul-Khilafat {seat of the Emperor}. Today a visitor to Agra is caught up in a world of contrasting edifices, of red sandstone and white marble, narrow galleys and quaint buggies, and that irresistible charm that this favorite city of the Mughals still retains. It is not surprising, that modern Agra still reflects its Mughal heritage most conspicuously. A walk down the narrow bustling streets of the city will introduce the visitor to the wafting aroma of Mughlai cuisine.

Later in the evening a tantalizing shows depicting the Mughal era – Mohabatt e Taj.

‘Mohabatt-the-Taj’ – a series of play depicting the saga of love. The true and immortal love of Shahjehan for Mumtaz Mahal- his beautiful wife; the lavish lifestyle of Mughal era; emaculate hardship of the artisans for 22 years that created the most precious specimen of craftsmanship. Mohabatt-the-Taj is an exceptionally inviting monument. The effort to hold up the cultural and historical legacy of India is worth a glance and witness the Indian heritage come alive.

Overnight will be at Agra.

Day 11 : Agra:

Proceed for SUNRISE visit of the monument of love – 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 to the hotel for a leisurely breakfast.

Proceed for day sightseeing of Agra.

SIKANDRA – This beautifully maintained monument is where EMPEROR AKBAR was buried. It is a very low profile monument but it has one of the most awe – inspiring tombs. It is surreal how one of the greatest emperors has been put to rest. The manicured lawns has spotted and other varieties of deer roaming in them. Named after the Afghan ruler Sikander Lodi, Sikandra is the final resting place of Emperor Akbar. The Emperor began the construction of his own garden mausoleum during his lifetime. However, his son Jahangir completed the construction in 1613. An impressive marble - inlaid gateway leads to the spacious four - tiered monument, which is crowned, by a white marble cenotaph and screen. What is interesting is that the structure imbibes the best of Hindu, Christian, Islamic, Buddhist, Jain motifs, signifying the new religion started by Akbar – the DEEN E ILAHI.

AGRA FORT – The red sandstone structure is surrounded by chahar-bagh, a foursquare formal garden. 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 or the ITMAD-UD-ULLAH – The interiors of which are considered better than the Taj. It is one of the most beautiful Mughal tombs and was built by Nur Jahan, the Empress of Jahangir for her father in 1628. The tomb is a resting place of the powerful personality in Mughal Court, Itmad-Ud-Daulah, whose life is very interesting. Formerly a very poor Persian merchant then named Mirza Ghiyas or Ghiyas Beg, he became a minister and a trusted treasure in Akbar's court. After Akbar's death in 1605, his son Jahangir rose into power. Jahangir made Ghiyas Beg his chief minister and honored him with the title of Itmad-Ud-Daulah, the Pillar of State. Later, Jahangir met a beautiful daughter of Ghiyas Beg named Mehr-Un-Nissa and married her. Mehr-Un-Nissa soon played a significant role in the Jahangir's court and was called Nur Mahal, the light of the Palace. Owing to her influence, her father and brother were granted with privileges in the court. When Ghiyas beg (Itmad-Un-Daulah) dies in 1622, Nur Mahal decided to build a mausoleum for him. Queen Mumtaz Mahal or the lady of the Taj was also from this prevailing family. The mausoleum is entirely made of white marble and graced with intricate decoration of inlay work, and marble-screen work belonging to the Islamic style. With its tranquil, small garden on the bank of Yamuna River, the tomb stands impressively elegant from a distance.

Proceed for a HERITAGE WALK to the other side of River YAMUNA with your guide.

The other side of the TAJ MAHAL across the river Yamuna where Mughal History has been written in edicts of stone, the river Yamuna lined with the residences of mobility was the artery, the very lifeline, which fostered the development of Mughal Agra. These heritage relics have been weaved together for a historic experience of Mughal Agra. You would walk through the various monuments in midst of rural setting intertwined with the communities along with stunning view of the TAJ MAHAL.

Enjoy the extended hospitality of the local villagers sipping a cup of Masala Chai on the Tea Terrace with standard, comfortable, clean, affordable, and safe facilities. The whole village walk through India’s Mughal History and amiable people is an unforgettable experience.

Overnight will be at Agra.

Day 12 : Agra – Jhansi By deluxe train: Jhansi – Orchha – Panna By road

Breakfast will be at the hotel.

Transfer to the railway station to board train for Jhansi (This is a super-fast train with airline type seats and snacks / mineral water is served on board). Reach Jhansi and drive to Panna visiting Orchha enroute.

ORCHHA – A medieval city founded by Bundela rulers with Palaces and temples of the 16th and 17th century which have remarkable withstood the onslaught of time. The city is picturesquely flanked by the River Betwa.

Enjoy sightseeing of ORCHHA sites within the Fort Complex.

Continue drive to Panna. Reach Panna and check into the hotel.

PANNA National Park is situated in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, at a short distance from Khajuraho. The region, famous for its diamond industry, is also home to some of the best wildlife species in India and is one of the most famous Tiger Reserves in the country. The park is known worldwide for its wild cats, including tigers as well as deer and antelope. Due to its closeness to one of the best-known Indian tourist attraction in India, Khajuraho, the park is recognized as an exciting stop-over destination. The climate of the region is tropical. Summers, somewhat scorching, are when one has the maximum chances of encountering the exclusive wildlife of this park.

PANNA is famous for its diamond mining industry and this makes it an interesting place to visit. PANDAV FALLS is also a major attraction with its lake that is fed by a waterfall. Another major attraction of this region is the RAJGARH PALACE, a magnificent piece of architecture overlooking the valley.

Overnight will be at Panna.

Day 13 : Panna – Excursion to Khajuraho:

Enjoy early morning game drive.

Come back to the hotel and enjoy leisurely breakfast.

Later proceed for an excursion to Khajuraho. Visit FAMOUS WESTERN & EASTERN TEMPLES of Khajuraho.

Come back to the hotel and spend evening in leisure.

Overnight will be at Panna.

Day 14 : Panna – Khajuraho By road : Khajuraho – Varanasi By air

If interested proceed for morning safari.

Breakfast will be at the hotel.

Enjoy the serene environment of the hotel.

Later drive to Khajuraho airport to take flight for Varanasi. Reach Varanasi and check into the hotel.

Picturesquely situated on the crescent shaped left bank of the holy River Ganges, Varanasi, one of the ancient seats of learning in India, is said to be a compound of the names of two streams, the Varuna and the Assi, which still flow in the north and south of the city respectively. This name seems to have been corrupted, in medieval times to Varanasi, which was in use till May 1956, when it was changed to Varanasi, by an order of the Government of India. Varanasi is probably one of the most ancient living cities in India. From time immemorial it has been a great religious center for Hindus and one of their most sacred places of pilgrimage, being visited by millions of people every year. To every visitor Varanasi offers a breathtaking experience. The rays of the dawn shimmering across the Ganges; the high-banks; the temples and shrines along the banks bathed in a golden hue …soul stirring hymns and mantras along with the fragrance of incense filling the air…and the refreshing dip in the holy waters gently splashing at the Ghats. Varanasi – The land where experience and discovery reach the ultimate bliss. Varanasi is also renowned for its rich tapestry of music, arts, crafts and education. Some of the world – renowned exponents India has produced in these fields were schooled in Varanasi’s cultural ethos. Luminaries apart, Varanasi abounds in the art of silk weaving, an exotic work of art which manifests itself in precious Banarasi silk saris and silk brocades which are cherished as collector’s items across the world today.

In the evening, witness Aarti at the ghats of Varanasi. The chants of religious hymns by priests, the sound of conch shells, bells, gongs, the smell of camphor and incense sticks will mesmerize you as you sit by the dark waters of the ancient river. Your guide will be at hand to explain the proceedings and the significance of the Vedic hymns recited by the priests.

Overnight will be at Varanasi.

Day 15 : Varanasi:

Drive to Daswamedh Ghat early in the morning 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. Return for a walk through the cobblestone streets along the banks of "Ganga".

Experience the rituals of death ceremony.

As shops are opening, the place now becomes a beehive of activity as the faithful are coming and going.

Return for breakfast to the hotel.

Walk through a colorful fabric and Saree market. Enjoy a cycle-rickshaw ride through the main market thoroughfare of the city to reach Chowk.

From Chowk, we walk again, covering the following:

• The wedding market (Kinari Bazaar)
• Kachori Galli (lane of kachoris, these are deep-fried snacks very popular in Varanasi)
• Khoa Galli (this lane sells milk products including paneer and condensed, sweetened milk)
• Vishwanath Galli (the most famous of all lanes in Varanasi)

Visit Benaras Hindu University campus which is spread over 4000 acres, it is considered to be among the biggest residential universities in Asia. The University Campus houses an Art Gallery and the Mosque of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb.

Proceed to Sarnath after lunch. This is the famed deer park where the Buddha delivered his first sermon to all of five disciples, making it one of the holiest places in Asia, attracting visitors from all over the world. The Great Emperor Asoka erected monasteries, stupas and an engraved pillar in the area, but most were destroyed subsequently by invading Muslim armies, except for the 110 feet tall Dhamekha Stupa that marks the spot where Buddha sat during his maiden sermon.

Sarnath has a terrific museum that houses antiquities dating back to the 3rd century BC, notable among them colossal standing Bodhisatvas of red sandstone and the magnificent Asokan pillar that is India’s state symbol.

Visit textile village covering the artisan, his set up and his house and daily activity.

Overnight will be at Varanasi.

Day 16 : Varanasi – Delhi By air

Breakfast will be at hotel.

Spend morning in leisure…enjoy last minute photography.

Later transfer to the airport to take flight for Delhi. Reach and check into the hotel.

DELHI, India’s capital is a city built in layers. Over millennia, with the city as epicenter, great empires have risen and fallen, one built atop the remains of another. Consequently, countless ruins and monuments dot the city, each with a story to tell. Alongside, New Delhi’s wide multi-lane motorways, bustling with shopping malls, fast cars and steel and glass office complexes, belong unmistakably to the 21st century.

Overnight will be at Delhi.

Day 17 : Delhi:

After breakfast at the hotel, we shall embark on a full day’s sightseeing.

The tour begins in Old Delhi with Raj Ghat, the memorial to Mahatma Gandhi. The shrine is a simple black stone structure with an eternal flame burning at one end, a fitting tribute to a humble man who changed the world with nothing but the power of ideas.

Red Fort: The imposing red sandstone structure was commissioned by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in 1639, and remained seat of the empire for the next two centuries. Today, the Prime Minister of the India delivers his Independence Day speech to the nation from its ramparts.

A rickshaw ride takes us to Jama Masjid, one of Asia’s largest mosques. We shall view this magnificent structure from outside, its lofty domes and minarets reminiscent of a scene from the Arabian Nights.

Next, you will be driven to New Delhi, built by the British in the 1930s as their imperial capital. Majestic government and administrative offices line its wide, tree-lined avenues. Named after Sir Edwin Lutyens who was commissioned to design the city in 1911, this part of the city is also known as Lutyen’s Delhi and is a striking contrast to the old city.

The red sandstone arch of India Gate, memorial to Indian and British soldiers who laid down their lives in World War I, leads us to the Parliament House, the magnificent seat of the world’s largest democracy. We shall also see Rastrapathi Bhawan, the Indian President’s official residence. Inside is the famed Mughal Gardens with its resplendent fountains and manicured lawns. In spring, it opens its doors to the public.

The day’s tour ends at the Qutub Minar. Built in 1193 by Qutubuddin Aibak, a slave general, it is the tallest stone tower in India and marks the site of the country’s first Muslim kingdom. The iron tower in a square opposite is unique in that it never rusts, although it has been exposed to the elements for centuries. Also visit Humanyun’s tomb.

If time permits, we shall visit the lotus-shaped Bahai temple south of Delhi. An ideal place for meditation, this Bahai House of worship is open to people of all religion.

In evening, enjoy Blessedness of the Sufis – This experience takes you to a little mohalla (neighborhood) in Delhi called Dargah Hazrat Nizamuddin. Here you will be introduced to Sufism, a mystical version of Islam, and its teachings of Ishq (love), Aql (intelligence) and Ilm (knowledge). You will walk the ancient crowded alleys to explore monuments and sites associated with famous Sufi saints including Nizamuddin Aulia, Amir Khusrau and Mirza Ghalib. Finally you will enjoy Sufi music concert called a qawwali.

Overnight will be at Delhi.

Day 18 : Delhi – Departure:

Breakfast will be at the hotel.

As per the international flight timings you will be transferred to the airport to fly back home with sweet memories of the India trip.

COMPASS EXPERIENCE INCLUDES

• ACCOMMODATION AT MENTIONED HOTELS,
• BUFFET BREAKFASTS,
• ALL MEALS AT RANTHAMBHORE & PANNA,
• SIGHTSEEING TOURS AS MENTIONED IN THE ITINERARY,
• AIR CONDITIONED VEHICLE FOR ALL TRANSFERS & SIGHTSEEING,
• LOCAL ENGLISH SPEAKING COMPANY AUTHORIZED GUIDES FOR ALL TOURS,
• ASSISTANCE AT THE AIRPORTS / STATIONS ON ARRIVAL / DEPARTURE,
• MONUMENT ENTRANCE CHARGES,
• TRAINFARE IN BEST AVAILABLE CLASS FROM AGRA – JHANSI,
• INTERNAL AIRFARE IN NORMAL CLASS FOR THE MENTIONED SECTORS,
• ALL APPLICABLE TAXES AND SERVICE CHARGES,
• ALL ROAD TAXES, GOVERNMENT TAXES AND DRIVER ALLOWANCES.

SPECIAL HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDED

• GUARANTEED HOTELS,
• DHOBI GHAT VISIT IN MUMBAI,
• BOAT RIDE AT LAKE PICHOLA IN UDAIPUR,
• CRYSTAL GALLERY VISIT IN UDAIPUR,
• RANAKPUR TEMPLE VISIT WITH PRIEST,
• ELEPHANT RIDE AT AMER FORT IN JAIPUR,
• HERITAGE WALK IN THE LANES & BY LANES OF PINK CITY,
• HI-TEA EXPERIENCE AT NAHARGARH FORT IN JAIPUR,
• SHARED JEEP SAFARIS IN RANTHAMBHORE,
• TONGA RIDE TO TAJ MAHAL IN AGRA,
• KALAKRITI – THEATRE SHOW IN AGRA,
• VILLAGE WALK WITH TEA IN AGRA,
• SHARED JEEP SAFARIS IN PANNA,
• EVENING AARTI AT GANGES IN VARANASI,
• SUNRISE CRUISE AT THE GANGES IN VARANASI,
• SARNATH EXCURSION,
• FOOD TOUR IN VARANASI,
• RITUALS OF DEATH IN VARANASI,
• RICKSHAW RIDE AT OLD DELHI,
• BLESSEDNESS OF THE SUFIS IN DELHI AND
• OLD CITY WALKING TOUR IN DELHI.

COMPASS SPECIAL PRIVILEGES

• OPPORTUNITY TO BE A PART OF WEDDING (IF POSSIBLE),
• HERITAGE WALKS, VILLAGE WALKS, TEMPLE VISITS,
• UNLIMITED BOTTLED WATER & TISSUES DURING ALL TOURS AND DRIVES,
• ONE ROAMING FREE PHONE WITH PRE ALLOTTED NUMBER
• AND DEDICATED TOUR MANAGER / COORDINATOR FOR TOUR.

Hotels

CITY LUXURY & PALACE HOTELS (TAJ & OBEROI) NIGHTS
MUMBAI THE OBEROI 02
UDAIPUR OBEROI UDAIVILAS 02
JODHPUR RAAS 01
JAIPUR OBEROI RAJVILAS 02
RANTHAMBHORE OBEROI VANYAVILAS 02
AGRA OBEROI AMARVILAS 02
PANNA (TAJ) NADESAR PALACE 02
DELHI THE OBEROI 02

Tour Price

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